White or Blue steel Gyuto?

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White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

.....or does it really matter for a home cook? I recently received my first good cutting board (Boardsmith end grain). I'd now like to get my first good Japanese knife (waiting on Anryu's to restock). The only Japanese knife I currently own is a recently purchased W#2 Tojiro 150mm Petty to learn free hand sharpening techniques (have used a SharpMaker for 20+ years). I'm limited to a 15 degree angle on the SharpMaker but I am sold on how sharp W#2 gets and how much better it performs over my German steel knives. I've used it this week for daily veg prep, breaking down a chicken and trimming pork chops.....simply love it...I have been missing out for decades. But I digress; for a home cook, does the steel choice matter? I own a couple hunting knives in 52100 and camping knives in 1095 so I am well aware of carbon steel care.

FYI...I'm really drawn to the Anryu Blue #2 hammered. I love the look.

Thanks for your time!
gladius
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by gladius »

Practically doesn't matter. IMO the trait most desirable in a kitchen knife is the ease of sharpening. Eventually all knives dull and require sharpening. The Anryu Hammered Series are really great knives.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by d_rap »

Was responding at the same time as Gladius.

People do have their preferences, and there are subtle differences (edge retention, how thin an edge the steel will hold in use) but the white and blue steels, treated well, will take an extremely sharp edge and sharpen fairly easily. A home cook who keeps these knives clean and dry and plans to sharpen will enjoy any of the white or blue steels.

Good luck on the race for an Anryu. That would be an excellent choice. I have his 240 gyuto in AS (blue super) and will be looking to add a blue 2 when they drop.
David
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by LaVieestBelle »

The big sharpening difference, as you have described it, is between the German steels and both the white and blue steels. Compared to sharpening my old German knives, both the white and blue steels I have are a breeze and a joy to sharpen. I am a home cook with, admittedly, enough knives that no single one gets inordinately heavy use. Personally, given the light level of use of each knife, I just do not feel that the steel difference is terribly meaningful for me. In the end, I go for many of the other attributes of the knife before I filter my choices by white or blue.

There are a number of threads here that do get into the fine points of blue and white and you might enjoy reading them. There are some members here who do have a love for a specific steel. For me, I studied everything on the steel threads for the research pleasure, digested it, then found myself paying more attention to other factors when I made my choices.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

To all, thank you for the feedback 👍
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by Emieloss »

I don’t have a whole lot of experience with white and blue under the hands of different knife makers, so please take this as my experience and not as proper research.

In theory:
white is a little easier to sharpen, gets a little sharper, dulls a little faster
Blue is a little tougher to sharpen, doesn’t get quite as sharp as white, keeps the edge longer.

In practice:
It really depends on the blacksmith and what they’ve done with the steel. I do find white a little easier to sharpen, but I can get blue steel sharper. That is however based on my own limited experience and I’ve never sharpened blue #2. Just blue #1 and AS. Besides that, I only have 1 knife in white #2, so yeah. Hard to say.

To me white feels more vibrant, warm, and pleasant to sharpen and to cut with.
Blue, especially AS feels more like a cold assassin that will cut anything in it’a path.
Last edited by Emieloss on Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by salemj »

I think you'll find opinions on this topic vary, but I am definitely in agreement with the comments above and think they are representative of those with lots of experience.

I think that anyone, over time and with experience, develops preferences for subtle differences not only between different white and blue steels individually, but also for different smiths. These differences are definitely noticeable and - for someone like me and the posters above - reasons to buy one knife and not another.

However (and much more to the point): I think your question has been answered in terms of where you are at and what you are concerned with: any good steel by a good maker will satisfy your needs and be enjoyable to use. The more difficult question is what preferences you'll develop over time, and if these will matter to you. I'd say yes, they will, if you keep using and trying different Japanese knives. But it would be a mistake - foolish, even, in my opinion - to get stuck on this level of nuance when starting out. You're considering good knives with good reputations that have been well-researched, so even if your preferences change, you'll be happy to have owned and experienced quality.
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by bob_m »

The blacksmith matters more. As you level up your sharpening, you may find a bit of a difference and be interested in the feel of different steels, but I think that will take a little while to really appreciate.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by Cigarguy »

My personal preference is white. It's personal preference really. Keep in mind that the steel is only one of a few factors. There is no one knife to rule them all, one knife to to find them, one knife to bring them all and in darkness bind them. Like most of us on this forum, you'll soon have a few knives kicking around.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

d_rap wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:45 am Was responding at the same time as Gladius.

People do have their preferences, and there are subtle differences (edge retention, how thin an edge the steel will hold in use) but the white and blue steels, treated well, will take an extremely sharp edge and sharpen fairly easily. A home cook who keeps these knives clean and dry and plans to sharpen will enjoy any of the white or blue steels.

Good luck on the race for an Anryu. That would be an excellent choice. I have his 240 gyuto in AS (blue super) and will be looking to add a blue 2 when they drop.
d_rap: If I do lose the race for grabbing an Anryu when they drop :D , Mark suggested that I try the Kohetsu Blue #2 Nashiji Gyuto. Nice thing is, it would appear, I win regardless 👍
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by d_rap »

Yeah when things around here don't go absolutely perfectly they still go pretty darn well. The tremendous array of fantastic choices can be overwhelming. That's about the worst thing you can say.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by Jeff B »

If you have experience with knives in both 52100 and 1095 you will find knives in White or Blue a pleasure to sharpen and use.
In the end it will be your sharpening skill and not the flavor of steel that will rule the day. After more experience, you like everyone else will develop preferences and your sharpening ability will play a part in that.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by lsboogy »

If that Anryu turns your crank get it. I've used them and they are marvelous cutting tools on almost any product. And don't get to wound up about White or Blue (or AS) - all the knives sold by Mark are much harder than German steel stuff for the most part, so they will hold an edge longer and you can more acutely sharpen them. Be careful until your skills are up - Blue steel tends to be a bit less chippy than White, but I see lots of damaged edges, almost always as a result of folks rocking and turning at the same time. Having a very sharp knife will change how you cut - much less pressure and determined strokes seem to be the thing. And until you get really good (lots of muscle memory) a good edge will require lots of practice, and may be frustrating. Learn to sharpen on your Tojiro, and get an Anryu and get the finish sharpening service on it. If you only cook at home, it will stay far sharp enough for months - maybe get a strop (I keep a felt and a couple of bovines on the counter at home - I still shave with an old straight razor that my grandpa bought 100 years ago - sees the stones once or twice a year and I strop daily) and it should be good till late summer or longer.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

Complete tangent: I am digging this Tojiro to the point I'd like to get a nice handle on it. I've read many a post that people have had Mark rehandle knives but I can't find any information on the web page (retail) supporting such? Or....am I crazy and just getting old??
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by XexoX »

7x57mm@gmail.com wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:01 pm Complete tangent: I am digging this Tojiro to the point I'd like to get a nice handle on it. I've read many a post that people have had Mark rehandle knives but I can't find any information on the web page (retail) supporting such? Or....am I crazy and just getting old??
Just email (info at chefknivestogo dot com) him and ask. Email is the best way to get a hold of him. If he can't, there are a few here that can rehandle a knife for you.
You can blame Mr. Suburban for my being here. :lol:
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by Jeff B »

The cost of a new handle for that Tojiro will likely be 3-4x what you paid for the knife, not a great allocation of funds to me. Spend that money on good stones or another knife!
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by lsboogy »

Jeff B wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:54 pm The cost of a new handle for that Tojiro will likely be 3-4x what you paid for the knife, not a great allocation of funds to me. Spend that money on good stones or another knife!
Keep an eye on the classifieds section as well You can find handles there
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

Are any of the Gyutos below considered "wedgey/sticky" when cutting product like potatoes, squash and cheese? It's one of the things I hate about my 25 year old Goldhamster chef's knife.

Gihei Nashiji B#2
Makoto W#2
Anryu B#2 Hammered
Kohetsu B#2 Nashiji

When I started this knife search, my first inclination was to purchase a Glestain. Unfortunately, it is not available in any carbon steel flavor.
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by taz575 »

Which Tojiro are you looking at for a rehandle?
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Re: White or Blue steel Gyuto?

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

Morning taz575. The Tojiro in question is the inexpensive 150mm Petty. Jeff B is right, the cost to rehandle far outweighs the original cost of the knife. I didn't realize how expensive it was to do so. Once I purchase who knows which Gyuto :), I'll start looking for a Petty with a wood handle to my liking.
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