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240mm Gyuto for Novice Home Cook

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm new here and looking for some advice. I know this type of question is pretty common here, but I feel like I fell into a rabbit hole when I found this place and lost all notion of what I thought about cooking knives. I recently started building up my collection of good cooking knives that I hope will last a long time, so here's what I already have and what I'm looking for:

 

Wustof Classic 6in boning knife

Wustof Classic 3in paring knife, sheep's foot

F. Dick 8 in bread knife

Some Ginsu chef knife from a set I got back in college

A Mercer Genesis 7in santoku

Some large heavy wood cutting board from IKEA (bamboo?)

Some mystery honing steel from the same Ginsu knife set

A King's 1000 grit stone

 

I like the first 3 knives well enough, but for my main general purpose knife I end up using the santoku knife which feels lacking. I like the shape better than a western chef knife because of the large flat spot for chopping vegetables (I'm not much of a rocker), but the shape doesn't seem to do much else well. Despite that, it does a decent job for how cheap it is.

 

Reading here it sounds like a 240mm gyuto is the way to go, with maybe a petty later on. That idea feels right to me, but I can't decide. Here's what I've been looking at.

 

Fujiwara Carbon Gyuto 240mm

MAC Professional Mighty Chef's Knife 9 1/2"

Masamoto 240mm Gyuto

Misono UX10 Gyutou 9.4" (24cm) - Right

Gesshin Uraku 240mm Stainless Wa-Gyuto (out of stock but I could wait if it's really worth it).

 

I'm leaning towards the Misono or Masamoto, but I really have no idea what I'm doing. My budget is ~$200 for the knife, and willing to fork out extra on top for stuff like sharpening stones, a new honing rod, better cutting board, etc as necessary. Any opinion on the best knife of those, or even something new would be great!

 

Bonus: I'm right handed, am responsible enough to not let cast iron pans or carbon steel woks rust, but also don't want to be obsessively cleaning/sharpening/protecting from wife&friends my knives. I'm willing to learn to sharpen well and put in some time.

post #2 of 5
The Gesshin Uraku plus a decent medium fine /fine grit stone you could probably get for about $200 together. The Uraku is a knife that has a very useful amount of blade if you use even the slightest amount of horizontal motion in your cutting. How would you rate the current level of your sharpening skill (good on you to have a King already!) ?

The other stainless knives on your list are certainly all good but I feel maybe there is not a need to pay as much as they currently cost. Notably, the UX-10 costs a whole heck of a lot more than the Uraku, and I don't know that it gives enough extra benefits or good qualities as to really account for the price difference. It is certainly a great knife though.

Fujiwara carbon may not be the best choice if you don't want to be hovering over your wife or friends to make sure they don't mess up the knife. I understand the concern- I don't know if I have a single friend who I could really trust to use my carbon steel blades and clean them promptly and properly.

Bamboo is very decidedly not wood and does not confer the same qualities and benefits that decent/good wood boards give. Do you think you could find a way to verify the composition of your board?
I'll give out a cutting board recommendation, don't know why I don't see much mention of them (maybe they are new? ) I've got an absolutely gorgeous cherry end grain board from top chop butcher block, 24×18×2 inches, for $115 bucks. One diagonal of the board wasn't 100% flat, so I have a folded up paper towel shoved under a corner to keep the board from slightly tapping when I'm sharpening on it, but it is the most gorgeous delightful thing to cut on. No visible cut marks after 4+ months of cutting on it (I try to be very generous about oiling it).

With regards to sharpening, I hope you've found Jon Broida's sharpening playlist. Watch, digest, practice. He gives good information and demonstration of technique and responds to questions pretty reliably.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips, it sounds like the Gesshin Uraku might be my best bet if I'm willing to call up JKI and wait for some to come in. I have seen his playlist but haven't gotten around to studying and practicing it. It on my to do list, along with getting a second stone around 6000 grit.

 

I double checked my board and it is in fact bamboo, which from my understanding is a lot harder than you want... I'll take your tip and look around for a good cherry block after I measure my counter space.

 

I've seen lots of complaints about the price of the Misono UX-10, but it seems like those were complaints of it costing $300 when you can find them on amazon and etc for ~$200 now. Maybe that would be my second choice if the price is right. I tend to obsess over research when making a big purchase like this, so I guess this is all a part of the process!

post #4 of 5
Maple, cherry, and walnut are the standard good picks, with maple usually being the most affordable.

The Suehire Rika 5k is a good medium fine stone that has great feedback and is pretty forgiving. It will certainly refine the edge you get off your king 1k. You may want for a true fine stone later down the line, but it's a very pleasant stone to use at a manageable price point.
By the way, make sure you have a way to flatten your king stone.

I think it's still almost $100 more though for the 240mm size? And Jon's including a saya in the price biggrin.gif
Definitely keep shopping around and learning. It's good that you're not in a big rush!
post #5 of 5

Get the Uraku, keep the first three and the stone.  Get a 6k stone Geshins are great, King is good too and get one of these:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Catskill-Craftsmen-19-Inch-Grain-Chopping/dp/B0002HE11U

 

It's an excellent board for the money.

 

 

That ought to be a good start.  Welcome to the rabbit hole - :lol: 

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