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Tadafusa--Gyuto recommendations

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've read various threads with recommendations--all helpful. I'm looking for a Gyuto knife that's in the $100-200 range and 210mm or above, though I've often felt that a longer knife feels a little clunky (but that is mostly referring to the current Cutco knife I have). I went into a knife store today in San Francisco and the employee recommended this exact knife: http://bernalcutlery.lightspeedwebstore.com/kitchen-knives-japanese-tadafusa-tadafusa-210m-gyuto-aogami-no2-bubinga-western-handle/dp/1961. I do like the handle (a little bit big) and the feel of the blade. I'm wondering your thoughts. I've seen it for cheaper: http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=91019 , but that's with a different handle. The store owner/employee did mention, what I've come to understand in my research, that brands like Shun, have become more factory than smith (and, it seemed, included Masamoto in this category).


I'm really look for the best bang for my buck. Don't care for names, etc; though it does seem like certain knife makers develop reputations because they make good knives. Go figure. I'm willing to do whatever maintenance required for a high carbon blade if that will get me a nicer knife (that will hold an edge longer and sharper).


I know this post might be frustratingly vague for some of you who know much more about knives. I'm willing to answer questions that could hopefully hone in on what I don't know I'm looking for.


Thanks so much!



post #2 of 3

Hi Jimmy, welcome to Cheftalk


The profiles (shape) that most J-knives have are going to feel a lot better than your current Cutco. The Cutco chefs knife profile is not good (in terms of usable length and usefulness of the tip, how your arm/elbow/shoulder may have to move to use parts of the knife). You may very well feel fine with something like a 240mm J-knife. 

Handle difference between the bubinga with the metal bolster and the wa-handle is certainly going to account for some difference in that price. I'm envious of your location! Would love to be able to visit Bernal in person...they stock a lot of good stuff. I would also ask them when they expect to get another batch of Wakui Shirogami knives with the octagonal ho-wood handle. The 210 and 240mm of those should be under $200 considering the 270mm is currently stocked at $228.


What kinds of foods are you regularly prepping? What cutting motions do you utilize? What kind of board do you cut on? What kind of in-hand feel do you want from your new knife (hefty, super light, somewhere in between)?


What are your plans for routine sharpening?

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Ha! Yes, I'm from Vermont, so I'm sure you can imagine that I'm appreciative of all that a city has to offer. As it happens, Bernal is two blocks from my house. That being said, while it would be nice to purchase a knife locally, I'm also looking for the best possible knife for under $200. I'll ask about the Shirogami. I've heard longer blades usually stay sharper longer, but doubt I'd want to do more than 240, as that would probably feel awkward, unwieldy. 


So--I'm looking at also purchasing the Ohishi 1000/6000 block, if that is the one you'd recommend. I've been learning to sharpen, and that kind of maintenance is something I want/look forward to taking on (though I wouldn't look forward to sharpening more than every four months or so:)


As for prepping, I do a lot of vegetables: sweet potatoes, onions, peppers, etc. I do some meat--any bone stuff (every butternut squash), and I could employ the ol' Cutco. Right now, I'm cutting on a Walnut/Maple board a friend made me (that's a nice 14 by 22 or so inches). It's not an end grain, but if end grain is much preferable for keeping a blade sharp, I could make one. I'd want this knife to last a long time. It's a birthday present from my parents; now that they're getting up in age, their gifts have a weirdly sentimental quality. (It's also why I want to keep the price below $200).


I don't want something that's much in weight (as it seems the German knives are). But super light would probably feel a bit whippy as well (though maybe just takes some getting used to). Probably something in between. Knife motions: slice, chop, mince, push cut, rock chop (but that might not be great for a nice Japanese knife). But alas, I can adapt, learn new techniques.

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