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Looking for good stainless 270mm or 240mm gyuto for under $250

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


I'm looking for a good stainless gyuto to compliment my current knife selection. I have some Shun knives and love them, but they don't make a gyuto long enough to suit my tastes, which is too bad, since I live near Portland and can get free sharpenings from Kai.





post #2 of 51

H DevOps, welcome to CT


Any particular weight, handle, profile, or aesthetic preferences? Edge retention and or edge taking qualities valued?


How will you be sharpening this knife?


As an aside, looks like Epicurean Edge is about 3 hours from you. They have business hours, so I assume that means they have a store front and should have knives you can look at in person if that interests you. Not ideal on the distance, but it's about what my drive is to good J-knives I can see in person.

post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
I like the D handle of my Shun knives, so would like to stick with similar wa style handles. Looking for Japanese chef knife/gyuto profile since I already have a regular chef's knife. Don't have a weight or thickness preference. For me it's all about being able to control the blade precisely. For instance, the Shun knives tend to drift a bit when cutting an onion in half. So yeah, sharpness and being able to hold an edge are key. Since I only have experience with double edged knives would like to keep with that for now.

Basically, the Shun knives are good. Way better than any German knives, but I'd like to have that "one" knife, you know? Something closer to awesomesauce, but I can't afford to pay more than $250.

I'd prefer to stay with stainless, but might be coaxed to venture in to high carbon steel territory with the right set of pros, but I do tend to be laid back in nature and don't want to baby the knife unless it's really worth it.

Would love advice on sharpening the knife as well. What stones are recommended and how do you know when you are at 15 or 16 degrees?
post #4 of 51
Stone recommendations depend on budget, but the conventional wisdom is probably a king 1000/6000 combo at the low end, or a bester 1200 and suihero Rika 5000 in the mid range. I don't know much about the higher end, but there's probably so much variation it would be hard to give a default anyhow.

If you're getting a up to $250 Japanese knife, you should consider how you're going to keep it sharp. It's a different deal from European style knives, which means you're either going to have to learn to sharpen yourself, or find a local expert or send it to an expert regularly, and should consider how that effects your budget.
post #5 of 51

If you are willing to consider stainless clad carbon, then there's some good options opened up in your budget range.

For example http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/itinomonn-kasumi-270mm-wa-gyuto/ this or the 240mm would easily be one of my top recommendations (I have a version with an octagonal burnt chestnut handle, but same blade). Exceedingly thin behind the edge but has a little bit of weight to it to aid falling through foods. Really outstanding cutting performance for the price. But I would probably avoid sharpening this one so much until the skills have been developed to not take off so much metal in one session, retaining that thinness. You'd be paying the Excl. VAT price, and it qualifies for free shipping. I did not get charged customs fees from my JNS purchase.


Another recommendation would be https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/collections/ikazuchi/products/ikazuchi-240mm-stainless-clad-blue-super-wa-gyuto which is pretty thin and light overall (laser-ish) and has a finesse kind of air to it, no problems with precision on this one. Comfortable octagonal handle, also stainless clad carbon.


The drifting while cutting through an onion is an indication of a wedging/steering issue that could be from the knife or could be from how it's been sharpened and maintained. Can also probably be fixed by thinning and sharpening in a way to offset the drifting. I see that issue as independent (and likely fixable) from the absolute need for another knife.


Bester 1200 & Suehiro Rika 5k are good starting options for beginner-friendly feedback and decent price range. These stones both require soaking in water before use. 


15 vs 16 degrees - there's nothing to be made out of that aside from marketing. The knife's intended angles are going to be a function of your usage patterns (maximize cutting performance at the cost of some edge retention, or more conservative angle to go longer without needing to touch up the edge) and also what works with the grind of the knife and offsets steering. Safe angle range to start off with could be between 10-20 degrees per side, shooting for 30 degrees inclusive (one example could be 12 right/18 left for a slightly right hand biased blade).

post #6 of 51

First thing I believe you need to consider is that Shun knives, the Premier in particular, are actually German knives, though made of Japanese steel.  They have a lot of belly in the profile, and the point is way too high to be practical, it literally "shortens" the knife by making the tip end mostly unusable.  They are also thick behind the edge, usually .025" or more.  This increases effort, which reduces control, and is likely responsible for you steering issue.  Japanese knives have a flat or nearly flat edge for half or more of the blade, and the tip remains below the bottom of the handle.  A knife in the dollar range you are considering would typically be .010 at the edge, or less.  At cutting they are like night and day compared to a Premier.


As for sharpening, I doubt if many, if any, Shun knives were delivered at 16deg/side, the buffing job they do removes considerable material from the edge, in the wrong direction.  And their free sharpening is much worse.


You will absolutely need to learn how to sharpen and thin your new knife.  Send it out to ANY sharpening service, or put it through one of those motorized units, and in no time your extremely nice $200+ Itonomon or whatever, will be cutting more like your Shun.


These are the facts, regardless of make or cost, all blunted and dull knives are pretty much equal.

post #7 of 51
post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 

My point on angles was more about how do you know the angle you are sharpening at and keep the angle consistent?

post #9 of 51

Angle consistency - practice, muscle memory. Using tricks like the magic marker/Sharpie method frequently to reinforce that you can removing metal exactly where you mean to



I have an angle cube. If I didn't I would probably have gotten a protractor and some cardboard and cut out a couple of angles- 10, 15, 20 to have as a visual guide. But the important part starting out is just to pick something in a reasonable range and commit to keeping that consistent angle during a sharpening session. The exact exact number is less important.

post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 

Why Suehiro Rika 5k instead of Arashiyama 6k?

post #11 of 51

The Rika is a bit cheaper and a very good value. It's a tried and true good stone and very beginner friendly.

Choice between the two can depend on various things, including budget, need for splash and go (Arashiyama) versus soaking okay (Rika must be soaked), level of edge refinement/polish (the Arashiyama should be able to yield a more polished edge) desired, what stone you are having to bridge the gap from, etc. I wish I could speak more than generally on the Arashiyama but I have not used that stone. I have the Rika and the feel of it is very creamy...enjoyable to use.

post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 

OK, just curious because I read elsewhere that BDL highly recomended the Arashiyama.

post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 

@BrianShaw I take it you disagree with the other commenter's opinion on Shun? So do I.

post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 

@foody518 Any idea how the Itinomonn compares to this Miyabi? 


I'm currently leaning towards the Itinomonn, but still exploring my options.


post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 

@foody518 Any thoughts on how the Itinomonn compares to the Miyabi birchwood 9" SG2 gyuto (34373-243)?


Currently leaning towards the Itinomonn, but still exploring my options.





post #16 of 51

Alex, unfortunately I do not have any personal experience with the Miyabi birchwood. From web images the profile looks pretty usable, tip placed at a reasonable place. It has that bling factor if that is a preference. Need to look more to try and get specs and find different angled shots to try and get a feel for taper and grind. It costs more than I've paid thus far for a non-made to order/custom knife (I prefer 9-10.5 inch gyuto and the price on the 9in I saw was quite high) so the urge to buy that vs like a Shiro Kamo R2 or Shibata Kotetsu R2 is not there (if I was buying for the R2/SG2 core steel). The metal bolster and end cap will shift the balance point backwards a bit compared to a typical wa-handled knife so that's a factor that goes down to personal usage and preference. 

In general I would have somewhat of a hard time believing that a mass market knife is purposely ground as thin behind the edge as my Itinomonn. To a typical consumer who may not be particularly attentive or willing to adjust their technique (or adjusting the edge to be at a more obtuse angle for durability), using that kind of knife can potentially be a bad idea either for user or knife. But on finesse and ease of cutting it absolutely delivers. I think that difference is part of what Rick was getting at with behind the edge specs. It can have a huge difference on knife performance to have a knife that is really thin at and directly behind the edge, but you tend to have tradeoff in durability/abuse-ability and there's no getting around that that's a concern mass market sellers have to consider. 


On the stones, either one should be a good choice. I would expect the level of visual polish on the Arashiyama to be higher if you prefer a shinier vs a somewhat hazier edge bevel. If you don't have budget restrictions on that side (stone purchases), then go with whichever :)

post #17 of 51
You might find this thread informative regarding the Miyabi Birchwood http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?t=962
post #18 of 51
Dunno which itinomonn you mean exactly but it is either V2 carbon or a semi stainless (you need to take care of this same as carbon) clad in stainless in both cases.  They are similar except the belly on older ones and the steel.
Miyabi birchwood is sg2 clad in some other stainless for looks.   That is 2 fully stainless steels in the Miyabi.   The birchwood is surprisingly heavy, I would say heavier overall and definitely in the handle.  They weighted the handle with metal (nickel?) to make it "balanced"  It is not blade heavy or handle heavy it is pretty much balanced because that was their design.
By comparison itinomonn blade is thinner behind the edge and has a lighter handle, it is blade heavy to give you some cutting power.
post #19 of 51

The birchwod is a good effort for a mass-marketer like Zwillings, I don't know of anything Shun that compares.  I've seen the 8" on Amazon for $160 but, comparing knives of SG2/R2, $175 buys you the Takamura Migaki 210.


If you could get the 240 Burchwood for $180, like the KKF dude, that sound like it would be a decent deal.

post #20 of 51

The fit and finish is nice and if you're in the market for SG2 or R2 powder steels they all cost a lot anyway

post #21 of 51
Yeah, but the C&M price on the 9 inch was like $300 :/ Feelsbadman. I'd probably bite on the Shiro Kamo R2 if I was going bling-y R2, knives and stones has it for like $240
post #22 of 51
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info and discussion...so going to open another can of worms with this one...if I have to take care of the Itinomonn stainless clad high carbon steel the same as I would a carbon steel knife, why not just get a high carbon steel knife?


Which of course opens a whole nother can of worms...which high carbon steel knife should I get?

post #23 of 51

For a 240 that I'd be using on the board, after playing with Millions Itonomon that would be my pick here, the Kamo for the bling, and the slightly better food release it might represent for the extra girth, if that mattered. 

post #24 of 51

Stanless clad means only like a cm at the edge is reactive.  On the semi stainless one it's less reactive than full on carbon, but still pretty easy to sharpen.  It will patina but not rust as fast.


You *should* take care of all your knives, even stainless.  Nothing is stainless only more stain resistant.  Leave it wet overnight, soak it in vinegar, etc and you can make it rust.   Cut, wash, dry.  Every time.

post #25 of 51
Thread Starter 

Well, for our regular knives, I'm not the only one who uses them and not everyone respects equipment the same. For the knife I'm looking to buy, I'd be the only one using it so could take better care of it.

post #26 of 51

Only having to worry about the reactivity of like the last 20% or less of the knife can help a bit. Like stray water specks from spray if you prep close to the sink or miss a small spot wiping...they are more likely than not to land on a stainless portion of the knife :) but overall Millions is right about blade maintenance habits. And personally, I don't like water droplets or streaking on any of my knives.

post #27 of 51
270mm Itinomonn Kasumi with burnt chestnut handle. This year I have been preferring a lot more of this style or even more rustic versus overt bling, in fact, there's very few Damascus knives that are on my want to buy list.
post #28 of 51

The magic 

post #29 of 51
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post

270mm Itinomonn Kasumi with burnt chestnut handle. This year I have been preferring a lot more of this style or even more rustic versus overt bling, in fact, there's very few Damascus knives that are on my want to buy list.

what's the knife in the background?
post #30 of 51

@wens It's my beater/project knife I play with my stones on - Yamashin 240mm gyuto. So many dozens of hours of work into that poor knife...

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