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Which would better compliment my set - a 240mm Gyuto, or a Suji?

3242 Views 21 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  rick alan
I'm a pretty serious home cook, and love my kitchen equipment (Sous vide, Vitamix, Baratza Burr Grinder, Stand Mixer, you name it I got it). The first real knife I ever owned was a Moritaka 170mm Santoku, gifted to me by my mother for Christmas about 7 years ago. About 3 years ago, I bought a Wusthof Ikon set (I know, I know, I could have hand selected a better set for less) which I was comfortable with as I grew up in a household with mostly German Style knives.

I want to add a knife or two to my set, and I was looking for some advise on which style I would likely get more use from given my current selection. As it stands, I have an 8" Ikon Chef Knife, 5.5" Ikon Utility Knife, Ikon paring knife, Ikon Bread knife (I actually love that thing), the 170mm Moritaka, and a 5.5" Zwilling Henkel Pro Boning Knife. Given my Moritaka, I am no stranger to caring for carbon steel, and the small amount of additional care doesn't bother me.

I was thinking that the best choice for my next knife would be a 240mm Gyuto. Yes, it's another general purpose chef knife, but it has the additional length over my Ikon, yet will be significantly more nimble (although much more delicate). However, I have been looking for a long slicing/carving knife, so a Suji has tempted me a bit.

I'm currently thinking of going with a Misono Swedish 240mm - I can get it for $190 CAD which seems to be quite a steal. Apart from that, the Misono UX10 ($200 US), and Yoshihiro VG10 hammered damascus (160 US) have also caught my eye. I love how effortlessly my Moritaka slices through onions and vegetables, but I'm not sure if that's due to the carbon, or due to the style of knife.

Any input/recommendations would help a lot :)

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Larger gyuto seems a good call. BTW, it's not worth the money but the Ikon 9" slicer isn't half bad, if that's the one you have, but the smaller one would make a good utility knife. Actually for the $80US I paid for it the 9" slicer wasn't so bad a deal, though had I known better at the time I would never have bought it.

Yoshihiro makes knives in much better steel than vg-10. This one has intrigued me, especially the price:
Darn, link won't take, but search amazon for "Daisu Powdered Steel."

The Swede is a great carbon knife by all accounts, and though the edge retention is not said to be great, it's carbon after all and comes back to life with just a couple stropping strokes on a fine stone, or cardboard even to some extent. The UX10 is Sandvick 19C27 as I understand, not as keen as 13C26, or the Swede of course, but very good edge retention.
Slicer (German or otherwise) and suji are pretty much the same thing. I made a point that the 9" Ikon wasn't bad, it had a decently thin grind and top notch F+F, their handle shape [though not terribly important to me] is just what I like, but it was comparatively heavy and of course the mediocre German steel.

Especially with a conservative edge you don't need to concern yourself with the ruggedness of the Ikon.

Tanaka makes a blue 2 that's in the range.
Poly boards, ethylene or propolene, are relatively tough on knives. Personally I wouldn't trust any end-grain board but Boardsmith, they are pricey but they don't crack. Boos is a good board, but they aren't guaranteed like Boardsmith. Some boards are so cheap you can consider them throw-aways, they can last a good number of years, but often don't. Stay away from acacia and teak, rough on blades. Keep to single-wood boards in general, but you can trust what BoardSmith makes here as they match the wood densities to prevent cracking.

There are the new synthetics like the HighSoft. These are rubber-like materials that protect your knives much like end-grain. They are not so cheap either, pretty plain looking, but otherwise quite durable and easy cleaning.
Jay, putting up a smiley would have been a fine response...I believe most of us got a kick out of that. So anyway you need give flea-market knives no further consideration.
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Insufficient scientific data? Well I just go by my own experience with poly, and the many chefs I hear say, "Damn [expletives deleted] poly-boards we have to use at work!" There is an absolute glut of pulp peer review literature out there, like studies to show that parents of children with autism suffer more stress than the average. So I am actually opposed to initiating any further research on cutting boards. A cherry or Japanese Ho/magnolia wood edge-grain board is a good cheap alternative to end-grain if you don't want to spend the money and still want wood.

Yes I do admit I am unabashed in my promotion of BoardSmith. Dave essentially retired and passed the business onto a very competent outfit, and he is still a rockstar here.
In fact, the only blades in the price range in A2/AS are Kohetsu A2, Harukaze AS and A2, and Tanaka Kurouchi A2 from what I can see.
Jay I hope you're still with us, I missed this comment. I'd shy away from the Kohetsu, known to have serious construction issues, don't know anything of the Harukaze, the Tanaka is considered a great value, but I don't recall if it is especially reactive or not.

It was mentioned so I will elaborate: Some people make a big deal about handles, but really there is very little difference in "conventional" western and Japanese handles so far as ordinary healthy hands are concerned. I do have a slight preference for handles where the bottom drops down in towards the back end. Far more important is a relaxed pinch-grip, and that primarily entails realizing that you 2 smaller fingers should be your power generators. They sit farthest toward the back end of the handle and they have most the leverage. All of your other fingers should be muchly just in for the ride.
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