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Suisin vs Togiharu: High Carbon Gyutos

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey Everyone,


I've been wanting to buy a high-carbon western-style Gyuto, preferably, without spending that much.
I'd say value-for-money is a key issue.
So... happens to be that a good friend of mine possesses a 240mm Suisin High-Carbon Gyuto, and he was kind enough to lend it for a couple of days.
I was VERY happy with this knife - it's light, well-balanced, feels good in my hand and is very sharp.
The spine and choil are rounded enough so it wouldn't cause any discomfort when applying a pinch grip, and the edge retained its sharpness throughout the several vegetable-cutting sessions I've had with it.


I've sharpened it myself, and had no issues with the non-stainless metal. 
To top it all, this delightful knife only costs $112.
The one flaw I could find was that it's HRC is only 58.


As I was about to purchase this knife at korin.com, I came across two other knives which seem to be very similar:
The Togiharu Virgin Carbon Steel Gyutou and the Masamoto Virgin Carbon Steel Gyutou.

The Masamoto, for whichever reasons, costs more than double the price of the Suisin, so there's no way I'll even consider it.
However,  the Togiharu is at about the same price range, and its HRC is at 62. Quite the difference.


So here's the question -  

Have any of you had any experience with either knife and can give his/her impression of it?
Is the 4 point differential in HRC between the two knives critical?




Links to the knives mentioned:

post #2 of 12
The Masamoto is not only overpriced. QC seems to be absent for years, and there are recent reports about a fairly thick edge.
Four points on the Rockwell-c scale is a lot. It's the difference between daily and weekly maintenance by stropping on the finest stone -- and the second finest perhaps, if used in a pro environment with poly boards. Or the difference between a 40 degree inclusive angle and a 25 degree one, with equal maintenance. Retailer's information about Rockwell hardness is to be taken with a grain of salt, though.
I should add that if one is used to German stainless blades a 58Rc might be more prudent. Rock-chopping and walking are forms of abuse a softer steel can take, and a harder thin one will respond to by inevitably chipping.
Whether you go for the Suisin or the Togihari, ask for Korin's free initial stone sharpening.
Edited by Benuser - 6/15/15 at 6:33am
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply and elaboration, Benuser.


Although the 4 points in HRC are important, it's not the only aspect one looks into when deciding on a knife.

For instance -  the profile - the Togiharu has a pretty... 'strange' profile (for lack of a better term), while the Suisin's profile reminds me of a K-Sabatier knife.
I'm more used to the latter, however, would love to hear of the advantages of Togiharus' profile. It seems to be designed for finely chopping with the edge, in the expense of a smooth rocking motion.
Other aspects are F&F, balance, weight...
That is why I'd be happy to hear of a personal experience with any these knives.

post #4 of 12
You might consider the Masahiro Virgin Carbon.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

...Rock-chopping and walking are forms of abuse a softer steel can take...

Hey Benuser, sorry to stray off-topic, but I was wondering about your remark:

What's the harm in rock-chopping? I sometimes use that type of cut when I want to finely mince fresh herbs, for instance.

I don't think I'm using more force than when I'm slicing or chopping.


How is that abusing the blade, and are harder, sharper knives become so brittle that they may chip from simple rock-chopping?

Edited by nortagem - 6/17/15 at 1:20pm
post #6 of 12
The rock-chopping I'd in mind is the Germanic pumping from the shoulder, as it still learned in some parts of Europe. If you use the blade for a lot of herbs, consider a flat spot with a microbevel, starting at the heel.
post #7 of 12

I never saw the profit in rock-chopping.  I bunch things together, make fine slices, then do the flat-blade-rock (aka "guillotine and glide) over that, essentially making the same finely spaced slices.  Actually I typically pick the whole edge up off the board as I move over.  Far more consistent and efficient from all I can see.




post #8 of 12
I should add there is a typical French push-cutting for herbs, using the flat spot, holding the blade by two hands.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, the way I do it is this:


(apparently also called "cross chop").

It's efficient when mincing herbs, and I don't think it should harm your knife

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

The way I do it is also called "cross chop". I'm not using a lot of force, and I don't believe it's harmful to the knife.

post #11 of 12
I just received my Suisin High-Carbon Steel Gyutou 8.2" last week. I've been cooking as a hobby for about 45 years. I've never been a professional chef but I've always been a strong reader. There is always more to learn regardless of the subject. As a mechanical engineer I had to stay current with latest technologies and therefore was constantly reading technical specifications and various journals. My technical training in metallurgy was extensive but real life experience always beats the classroom. After graduating many years ago from LSU, my first job was as an associate ME in a large steel mill. I had the opportunity to learn a great deal about making steel. Some of the most modern stainless steels are amazing by comparison to older versions. I am more comfortable giving up a little hardness in favor of safety as it pertains to chipped blades. The sharper the blade, the more likely to chip. I've recently purchased the WORK-SHARP-Ken Onion tool and knife sharpener. I purchased the set of diamond belts from Darex for sharpening ceramic knives. If you want to see an example of extremely brittle, try out a $200+ ceramic chefs knife. After they shatter sitting on the counter a couple of times, you quickly understand brittle. Thermal shock, that as far as I know was out of my control, will shatter a ceramic knife. I found mine in about a dozen pieces sitting on the counter. With a 15 degree edge on both sides, you should be able to shave with the blade. However, know one wants to shave with their chefs knife that I know of. The ceramic blade of my knife is 34 degrees or 17 degrees per side. Some blades are only sharpened on one side. My Suisin Gyutou is a 70-30 degree edge. That means 35 degrees on one side and 15 degrees on the other. If anyone knows this knives angles to be different please let me know. I use a Starrett dial caliper to calculate the angles if I can't find them on the net. The law of cosines will let you calculate the angles given 3 sides of the triangle but there are plenty of calculators on the net to do that for you. Another issue is that the caliper costs more than the knife. I used to be a machinist and my long gone grand father was a machinist so I've got plenty of measuring devices. I store my Gyutou in a paper towel after I spray it with Pam. I'm waiting on the delivery of the wooden storage container for this specific knife. I'm selling my SS Henckles on Craigslist and already have a buyer. I really like my Suisin and even with the mighty claims about powdered SS in the knife making industry I don't think I will ever go back. I had the manufacturer sharpen mine and even though I've been slicing and dicing for many years, I cut myself the first few times I used it. Why pay twice as much for something that works so well for 1/2 the price?
post #12 of 12
Something I read recently was to stay away from glass type cutting boards. I am just starting a knife sharpening business among other services and not everyone needs their knives to be razor sharp. The sharper the blade, the more apt to fracture. The other thing is the life of the blade. As you remove more metal, you get further into the thicker portion of the blade. I have two books that may be of interest. The first is "Knives Cooks Love" and the second is the 34th edition "Knives" The Workd's Greatest Knife Book 2014. I've sharpened my Kyocera ceramic to the specified angle by the manufacturer. It's very sharp but also very brittle. My first Kyocera shattered into about a dozen pieces just sitting on the counter. Thermal shock is the only explanation I can come up with. My dad gave that knife to me and one for my brother and one for himself. My brothers also shattered. After my dads passing about 10 years ago I got his and it has held up. That blade will hold its edge for a long time. I sharpened my 10" J.A Henckle to factory angle and it's also very sharp. My new Gayatou 8.2" Suisin was just delivered about 2 weeks ago and I had the factory sharpen it. That knife is a pleasure to use. I sharpened two pairing knives we own. The first is a Henckle and the second is a CUTCO. My wife bought the CUTCO some years ago and they recommend 15-17 degree angle. I sharpened it to 15 degrees. I prefer the Henckle. One suggestion I have is to always use a wood cutting board. Red oak preferred. Red oak is naturally resistant to moisture as opposed to white oak. The cellular structure of red oak is much better.
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