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Little help please

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, my name is Lois i´m from Spain, yes, my English is crap, and yes i´m about to ask what it´s been asked 1000 times, but i think

i won´t be able to make a choice if i don´t.


I´ve been reading a lot of post with the same purpose and i realiced that there are some winners.


I´ll start telling you I´m looking for a knife to use at home, a Gyuto, i´m a vegetarian and therefore my Knife won´t chop bones or so,

i´m quite tall and have my hands proportioned to my height so i guess i shoud go for the 240 mm, but i´d apreciate if someone could confirm that.

I don´t mind to have special care about the knife and i don´t mind if its made from carbon or steel, i own two KAI whetstones one 300/1000 and another 3000, i guess its not the best brand but i have been using for a while and so far so good, and last but not least i live in Spain, and i guess that makes a little bit harder find a distribuitor.


Now, based on the post i checked i found that some brands/knifes show up more than others for example.


- Mac BK100 it´s been recomended in a lot of posts, the thing its that i can´t find where to buy it from here.

- Hiromoto aus-10(its aus-10 the same as aogami steel???)its also a common advice in the forum, but in JCK its sold out(or i can´t find it) I found a Hiromoto Gyuto, but i don´t know where to check if its aus-10 ( is it? i don´t know if they deliver to spain anyway.

- I specially like the stetic of the Takamura Migaki R2 Gyuto 210mm and i saw its good knife, a little delicate i heard but that won´t be a problem as i´m gonna use it at home. The problem is that its 210mm and i don´t know if that´s gonna be a little to short for me.

- And the last i liked is te ITINOMONN KASUMI 240MM WA GYUTO, its  just beautiful, i can purchase it from japanesenaturalstones, but its on the top of my budget and maybe its better to go for a Mac Pro and i would like to hear some advice before buying anything.


As i said i checked a lot of post and tried to get the most info before ask but if you think i should read more and can point me to a particular thread i´d do it gladly


Any help it´s apreciated, thank you in advance



post #2 of 10

Hello Lois, Welcome to ChefTalk!


Let's start with the length of the knife.


Choosing what length should depend on your usage and on the size of your cutting surface.  Since you describe yourself as tall, with hands that are proportioned to your height, then most blade sizes and handles would probably work well for you.  So, a major issue is how much cooking you would be doing for the largest single meal in a year you would probably prepare.  If it's for more than 4 people, then a 240 mm gyuto would do fine 


All of that is of course conditional on the size of your cutting surface.  Generally the usual length we would use would be about 450 mm wide by 300 mm long (that works out to 18 inches by 12 inches, for the metrically challenged readers of this thread).  For that sized surface, a 240 mm blade will be just fine.


Now, you did not mention it, but I hope you will look up how to do a "pinch grip", where the thumb and index finger are directly on the face of the blade.  Gripping the knife that way allows you much more control, and you do not have to grip the knife very hard.  The pinch grip also has the effect of making the feel of the handle almost unimportant.  Note that is "almost" - not an absolute.


For MAC knives, there does not seem to be a Spanish importer-distributor.  However, since Spain is part of the European Union, it may be possible to order from a MAC distributor in the Netherlands, .


The MAC BK-100 uses the same steel and is the same blade thickness (2.5 mm) as the MAC MBK-95 Pro, but the main difference is that the thr BK-100 does not have a metal bolster and the handle extends further forward along the tang towards the blade.  However, the handle material of the BK-100 is a composite, which can readily be shaped by hand by the end user by means of ordinary sanding or other abrasives.   The relative angle of the edge in relation to the handle is also at a slightly more triangular level than the MBK-95.  Also, the BK-100 is a small amount longer than the MBK-95, the BK-100 being 255 mm and the MBK-95 being closer to a 240 mm blade..   


Hiromoto knives are very good quality.  Unfortunately, the knives were made in what appears to have been a one-man-shop, whose proprietor retired last year at the age of 78.  The remaining stock of knives will probably be sold until that stock is all sold out, then that will be the end of availability.


The Hiromoto AUS-10 steel gyutos have now disappeared from the web site, which was the only location which sold them.  So, presumably, they have now sold out.


The knife you listed is a Hiromoto AS 240 mm knife.  AS stands for "Aogami Super" or "Aogami Super Blue" and is a different steel than AUS-10 (which is a stainless steel). The Hiromoto AS blades are "clad" blades, where two outer layers of stainless steel are bonded to the inner layer of Aogami Super, which is the layer which has the edge.  Aogami Super is a not-very-stainless steel, which behaves like a carbon non-stainless steel.  It can hold an excellent low-angle edge and The Hiromoto AS is considered as a very good quality knife, but needs to be cared for the same way that a carbon steel blade is treated.


As of this point, ChefKnivesToGo ("CKTG") may be the only source anywhere for the Hiromoto AS 240mm gyuto.  You should be aware that CKTG is in the United States and that the policy of free shipments over $60 only applies to shipments within the United States.  Before ordering from CKTG, contact them about finding out what shipping costs to Spain probably will be. 


I am afraid that I am not familiar with the other two knives.


I also do not see any information about what your cutting surface is, or what size it is.  Unfortunately, good cutting surfaces are extremely expensive to ship internationally, so I do not know what will be available in Spain or the European Union.  


Hope that helps.


Galley Swiller

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, thank you for your reply, I do grab the knife with the "pinch grip" I didn´t know it was worth to mention, as for the cutting surface, I´ve got one wood surface that it´s at least 45x30cm, I didn´t measure it but its quite large, I´m guessing its not the best quality but I had no problems with it so far. Could you explain to me what makes a good cutting surface?


I´ll talk with the people of mac to check if i can purchase from them.


Thank you again for your reply



post #4 of 10

Despite its size I believe you will be quite thrilled with the Takamura.  From all accounts it cuts about as good as any laser out there.  Both sharpness and edge retention will be significantly better than the MAC, and most other knives.  Quite a bargain price for what you get.  Of course if you are looking for a tall knife that is a work horse this is not the one.




post #5 of 10

That your board is wood is the most important part.  Everything else is worse for your knife's edge.


The best advice for a board (especially for a European user) would likely be in this thread:


David Smith is one of the top experts on cutting boards and makes some of the best boards available.  I would suggest you read his posts (as the BoardSMITH) in the above thread for some very good and solid advice.



Galley Swiller

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your replys.


The truth is that I´m considering purchasing the Takamura, I found a site that suposedly ships to Spain, the website is chuboknives.


Someone heard about it?


Thank you again

post #7 of 10
Site is OK as I heard, no personal experience though. Please be aware of import tax, local VAT and handling costs. With R-2 (AKA SG-2) you will need good, hard, fast stones. Think Naniwa Professional or Shapton. And expect a factory edge to be weak and brittle.
post #8 of 10
Niniwa Pro are nice stones to have, but I have been using cheap mud-binder stones to sharpening SRS-15, a harder and tougher steel, and I feel these work well enough for the needs of a home cook. I'd have you get a finer stone for finishing though. I'm not sure about R2 but SRS-15 finishes just fine with 6K.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, the more I read the harder it gets to me to make a choice, I´m thinking that I´ll go for de 240mm, not sure what knife yet, along with the MAC I´m considering the Misono Swedish, the Kagayaki carbonext and the Masamoto HC/VG but of course the price keeps going up and I don´t know if I should make that much of a investment.


As for the chuboknives website, they say the shipment is 8$, in jck its 7$, I´m guessing the taxes would apply to both in any case, m I wrong?


I found this table, I´m guessing its end grain but in the website doesn´t mention it, I´m little afraid bcos I find it quite cheap(25€) I´ll write them to ask.


Thank you again, for the moment I think i´ll keep studying the matter, any advice it´s welcome



post #10 of 10

Look at the reviews for the cheap boards on amazon.  You will see many saying that after a relatively short period of time the board started to split.  You'd probably see most reporting the same if they would bother after a few months or a year maybe 2.  All that is said of this board is that it is made of wood, not very descriptive of what you'll be getting.




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