Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

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yummycrackers
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Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

Hello everyone, first time on the forum, and was wondering if you could offer some advice to someone who's just getting into Japanese knives. Thank you in advance!

1)Pro or home cook?
Home cook (daily use).

2)What kind of knife do you want? (Gyuto, Santoku, Petty, Paring, Sujihiki, etc.).
Gyuto.

3) What size knife do you want?.
~210mm

4)How much do you want to spend?
~$200 (less is better, but can go slightly higher if it's worth it)

5) Do you prefer all stainless, stainless clad over reactive carbon, or all reactive carbon construction?
Stainless clad. This will be my first Japanese knife, so stainless clad seems like a good compromise.

6)Do you prefer Western or Japanese handle?
Wa handle.

7)What are your main knife/knives now?
Zwilling Pro 7-inch (too short and thick; doesn't hold an edge)
Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch (prefer it to the Zwilling, but still a bit too much of a belly for my tastes and doesn't hold an edge for all that long)

8)Are your knife skills excellent, good, fair?
Good.

9)What cutting techniques do you prefer? Are you a rocker, chopper or push/pull cutter?
Chopper. Will rock on smaller items (e.g. garlic).

10)Do you know how to sharpen?
Yes, still improving.

I've noticed that most knives are out of stock at the moment, but I'm fine with waiting, just want to know what to look out for.
Infrared
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by Infrared »

Harukaze G3 Nashiji Gyuto 210mm https://www.chefknivestogo.com/hag3gy21.html

Kohetsu Blue #2 Nashiji Gyuto 210mm https://www.chefknivestogo.com/kobl2nagy21.html

Tsunehisa AS Sakura Gyuto 210mm https://www.chefknivestogo.com/tsassagy21.html

They're all great knives. The main difference is that the Harukaze is fully stainless while the other two are stainless clad with a carbon core. The Tsunehisa should have slightly better edge retention, although the difference shouldn't be very noticeable in a home environment.
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lsboogy
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by lsboogy »

I have the Richmond GT that I use as a line knife, and would seem to fit your needs well - has enough belly to rock, and a good flat spot for chopping, plus they are made for line use (hint - you never know the knife skills of the person grabbing it, so it has to be very durable) - it's a very light, near laser knife that can stand up to busy lines (think about getting 250 plates out in 10 minutes with 6 people - no time for thinking about what to do - just get the food trimmed and pass to the sauce person) - and has great steerability (the thing goes where you point it)and the edge can be quite keen and keeps it. I think home cooks should look at line knives at times, and you don't push/pull much (this is not a great push/pull cut blade). Think about waiting for them to come back into stock - fits all your needs and cutting style. Seal up the handle and it should be good to go for many years, and they are easy to sharpen and hold a decent edge for long shifts

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/argtgy21.html
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

Thank you for all of the suggestions. The Tsunehisa looks excellent, and I'll take a closer look at the Yahiko as well. Any thoughts on the Sakai Takayuki AS gyuto?
And generally speaking, in terms of performance, is it worth spending more to get something like a Kurosaki, Kato or Anryu, or is one mostly paying for the name? Thanks again!
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by Infrared »

yummycrackers wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:55 am Any thoughts on the Sakai Takayuki AS gyuto?
I don't have that particular knife, but the Takayuki I have is very well made. It is also very attractive in person and was pretty sharp out of the box.
And generally speaking, in terms of performance, is it worth spending more to get something like a Kurosaki, Kato or Anryu, or is one mostly paying for the name?
There might be a difference, but it's going to be slight. Generally speaking, you're mostly paying for quality up to $200-300. After that it's more about reputation, scarcity, etc.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by d_rap »

Look, if you drop a grand on a vintage Konosuke Fujiyama wide bevel gyuto (which I could see doing, because, well...), that's collecting. You're paying for stellar work by a sharpener whose tenure is over, at least as far as we know. Yet while I understand that these knives are amazing, well, no one is claiming that they cut 5 times better than a Makoto or whatever. In a case like that, you're paying for something beyond performance.

But if you're paying $270 for a 240 AS gyuto from Shibata, you're getting every penny's worth in performance; yes, there's a name there, but Shibata-san is Shibata because his knives work that well. If anything, I feel like I got a deal on this amount of performance for that amount of knife. And I'd say the same for my $400-plus FMs from Konosuke. Name, absolutely. But $400 is how well they cut too. Anryu, Makoto, brother Yu Kurosaki, any number of other makers whose knives sell in the $200-350 range and beyond in the store, Takeda comes to mind, for my now couple years of purchases in none of these cases do I feel as if I've paid predominantly for reputation.

For my friends who are getting into this and asking my advice, I tell them if you can spend in the low to mid $200s, that's a sweet spot to see what this world really offers. Definitely, in my opinion, there's dollar for dollar at that price point all day. Not saying you can't do great for less too. But these prices usually make a world of practical sense.
David
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

Understood, thank you for the various answers. There is certainly an embarrassment of choice, and it's quite a rabbit-hole to go down.

I'd be curious to know if anyone with some experience could compare the grind of the Tsunehisa to that of the Takayuki. Both seem quite thin at the spine but I wonder if there's any difference between them as far as cutting performance goes.

d_rap, what do you see as the primary difference when speaking of Shibata, Takeda, Anryu, etc. compared with more budget-oriented knives? Given the same core steel, is it the heat treat? The blade grind?
My thinking is that I won't be buying another gyuto anytime soon (seeing as it's purely for practical use), so if it might make sense to invest a bit more now, then I'd be willing to do so.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by Bob Z »

Do this Immediately! go here: https://www.chefknivestogo.com/anhagy21.html

Put your email in the notify me when they come back in stock and make sure the email you use you get within a few minutes of it being sent, vxtexts to your phone work good here.
These should be in shortly and will sell out right away! You want one! Great knife and looks, and if for some reason you dont like it, you can sell it in a heartbeat in the classified part of this forum.
Good Luck!

Oops, I see that this batch is gone already! But Mark says more may come in a few weeks. Ck this topic:
http://www.chefknivestogoforums.com/vie ... =3&t=15154
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by d_rap »

yummycrackers wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:32 pm d_rap, what do you see as the primary difference when speaking of Shibata, Takeda, Anryu, etc. compared with more budget-oriented knives? Given the same core steel, is it the heat treat? The blade grind?
I'll take a stab at that.

Generally speaking, yes, grind, how the steel is treated, sometimes fit and finish.

But it really comes down to cases. At the risk of taking the thread afield with some off-the-cuff, admittedly half-baked mini-reviews, here are a few.

Takedas have low convex grinds that curve right to the apex of the edge, yet the high "unground" blade face is hammered beautifully thin and hollow (can vary side to side)--the famous "S-grind." Much of that geometry is achieved by expert hammering. The aesthetics, particularly of the classics, but really to me of both carbon and stainless clad, are gorgeous. And Takeda's AS, particularly after one full sharpening progression, resists chipping and holds an edge beautifully.

Shibata's knives, generally speaking, are remarkably thin and can take and hold an extremely thin edge that, with care on the board, is also surprisingly durable. That's his heat treat and the smoothness and symmetry of his grinds. The grind of his tip areas below the spine is just fantastic for the last few inches of the blade near the tip, rapier thin but strong and, if not rigid, plenty solid. If you want a knife that flies through an onion in a horizontal cut (kind of a thrill for me) then you're not going to do better. Grind and heat treat and beautiful vertical finish grind lines into the bargain. And nicely relieved choils and spines, a nice touch when you need a gentle push for hard ingredients such as big carrots (the surface of carrot rounds feels like the finest glass after your cuts).

Almost don't know where to begin with my Kono FMs. Their new Kaiju is said to be entirely "free of flat spots," but the smoothness, cleanness of the mainly gently convex grind of my "regular" FM blades is as free of imperfections as I can imagine. I shudder to think what they are doing with the Kaiju! The comfort level because of the special work they do on the choil and spine is like nothing else in my drawer. I have two very different FMs and an older FT, and they all require a light touch because of the thinness of the grind, but as a summary the combination of power and delicacy is what just blows me away about all of them.

Other mid-range or higher priced knives may not be as thin as my examples. The combination of power and edge durability in knives that still cut tremendously well is highly valued. The knives I used as examples may not be the best everyday workhorses for a busy professional. Check out salemj's recent review called "The workhorse no one told me about" http://chefknivestogoforums.com/viewtop ... d3d60c0for a discussion of what makes a notable higher end workhorse-type knife special.

Anyway, some quick thoughts. As I said earlier, there are some great knives that come in far under where the ones I listed are at. But when they're good, they're really good around here!
David
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

That's very helpful, thank you! Now I just need to figure out which kidney to sell... (might be able to stretch to a Shibata while keeping both, though). Incidentally, just saw that some Masakage Yukis came in. Might that be a good option?

Bob Z, will do, I've certainly read plenty of good things about that one. Would you prefer it to the Anryu AS gyuto?
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by lsboogy »

yummycrackers wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:12 pm That's very helpful, thank you! Now I just need to figure out which kidney to sell... (might be able to stretch to a Shibata while keeping both, though). Incidentally, just saw that some Masakage Yukis came in. Might that be a good option?

Bob Z, will do, I've certainly read plenty of good things about that one. Would you prefer it to the Anryu AS gyuto?
I think any of the knives in the tread will change how you think about cutting product. But I did snag one of the Anryu B2 Hammered 210's today - they sold out in a few minutes. I've never owned an Anryu, used many of them for varying periods, and they are always excellent cutters. It's a bit of a stretch on your budget, but it's one of the more revered knives (both home and pro) on the site - Kono and Takeda are probably the most used by pro chefs, but Anryu stuff is just a joy to use. I have too many knives, but given the chance to get one of the last Anryu gyutos (he's 80) I figured I should jump. I'll still view my Carter Hopkins beast as my principle knife (helped him design the thing), and I do not take it into a pro kitchen for many reasons, but an Anryu seems to be up there with Matsubara stuff (I really like Matsubara for big veg duty). But then again, I am pulling out Kono stuff more and more often as well.
Knives are personal - what I like may not be what you like. Don't think that there is a bottom to this rabbit hole - only passages. As my skills grow, my knife choices change and become more refined for what I am going to be doing. But an Anryu is going to change the way you view knives, as will the Yahiko mentioned earlier. You are changing from a big bos store knife user to a smith user - they are all different - different profiles, grinds, heat treats etc - and there is no "one knife to rule them all" - just whatever you think is the best thing in your kit for today's meal. I would say the knives that make it into my roll on a given day change about 50%, but I find a Kono and Matsubara in there most of the time. Maybe the Anryu will join them
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by Bob Z »

yummycrackers wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:12 pm That's very helpful, thank you! Now I just need to figure out which kidney to sell... (might be able to stretch to a Shibata while keeping both, though). Incidentally, just saw that some Masakage Yukis came in. Might that be a good option?

Bob Z, will do, I've certainly read plenty of good things about that one. Would you prefer it to the Anryu AS gyuto?
I dont have an Anyru AS but Im sure they are also good as this maker has the experience and care to make great knives, but You may never see another AS. Blue steel is commonly mentioned as easier to sharpen than AS. Grab a blue one if you can while you can.

Yuki's always seem to be in high regard so that would be a good choice, Shibata? I have the bunka version in AS and the craftsmanship is superb, but for everyday use might be a bit delicate for your first knife. The choices here and info available dont make this easier I know. Ull be reading this stuff at 1am sittin on the fence about which to get. But like most of us here, You will buy another (or two or ...)
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by lsboogy »

Bob Z wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:18 pm
yummycrackers wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:12 pm That's very helpful, thank you! Now I just need to figure out which kidney to sell... (might be able to stretch to a Shibata while keeping both, though). Incidentally, just saw that some Masakage Yukis came in. Might that be a good option?

Bob Z, will do, I've certainly read plenty of good things about that one. Would you prefer it to the Anryu AS gyuto?
I dont have an Anyru AS but Im sure they are also good as this maker has the experience and care to make great knives, but You may never see another AS. Blue steel is commonly mentioned as easier to sharpen than AS. Grab a blue one if you can while you can.

Yuki's always seem to be in high regard so that would be a good choice, Shibata? I have the bunka version in AS and the craftsmanship is superb, but for everyday use might be a bit delicate for your first knife. The choices here and info available dont make this easier I know. Ull be reading this stuff at 1am sittin on the fence about which to get. But like most of us here, You will buy another (or two or ...)
I would guess that a home user would not be able to see any difference between an AS and a B2 blade. It's one strop session per 300 plates in my experience. Most important things are smith, profile, and grind IMHO. Everything on this site is Ferrari/AMG/Lotus - big box store stuff is Kia to Cadillac
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

Fantastic, thank you, and great to hear from someone who has used these in a professional setting, seeing as it certainly puts home use into perspective. I'll try to grab the Anryu, and, if not, maybe one of the other ones you guys have recommended.

Isboogy, out of curiosity, when you speak of Konosukes, do you mean the FM knives or the so-called lasers?
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by lsboogy »

I don't have any of the Fuji stuff yummycrackers. I like lightweight knives for use.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by Miles »

lsboogy wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:44 pmEverything on this site is Ferrari/AMG/Lotus - big box store stuff is Kia to Cadillac
It’s funny- I tend to think of my Fujiyama as my Ferrari. I don’t drive it as much as I should and spend more time looking at it than using it. My Yoshikane skd 210 is my BMW M3- It’s my regular driver. The car analogy would be an interesting post.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by Radar53 »

Infrared wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:32 pm Harukaze G3 Nashiji Gyuto 210mm https://www.chefknivestogo.com/hag3gy21.html

They're all great knives. The main difference is that the Harukaze is fully stainless while the other two are stainless clad with a carbon core.
Haven't posted so far as there's lots of good info and advice above. I have the Harikaze above, but as a 240 and I often recommend this knife. Ginsan is a great steel, takes and holds a great edge. Harukaze have a reputation of providing really good knives, aesthetics, steels, fit & finish at very reasonable prices.

I've just noticed that the re-stocked 240's have a price increase of $20, but the pricing for the in-stock 210 remains unchanged. That wont last. :? :?
Cheers Grant

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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

Miles wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:09 am
lsboogy wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:44 pmEverything on this site is Ferrari/AMG/Lotus - big box store stuff is Kia to Cadillac
It’s funny- I tend to think of my Fujiyama as my Ferrari. I don’t drive it as much as I should and spend more time looking at it than using it. My Yoshikane skd 210 is my BMW M3- It’s my regular driver. The car analogy would be an interesting post.
All I can say in that vein is that my Zwilling bears a strange resemblance to the fifteen-year-old Toyota sitting in my garage.


Radar53, thanks for the pointer. I had my eye on their AS gyuto as well. Any preferences between that and the G3?
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by Radar53 »

Sorry my posting about the price change might just have jinxed you as I see that they are now OOS as well as the AS.

I have knives in both Ginsan and AS, both great steels. But haven't handled the Harukase AS at all, so can't really comment or compare. Certainly check out Steve Gamashe's videos on each and if you have further questions then I'm sure other members might be able to respond better than me.
Cheers Grant

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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by d_rap »

lsboogy wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:44 pm I would guess that a home user would not be able to see any difference between an AS and a B2 blade. It's one strop session per 300 plates in my experience. Most important things are smith, profile, and grind IMHO.
Not that it's likely to affect a purchase at this point, but I want to second this assessment. I have had Anryu's AS 240 for the past year and sharpened it several times. It's a fantastic knife and it sharpens easily, very similar to his B2 (waiting on a 210 B2, but I've sharpened my friend's Anryu B2 santoku for him).

Of my B2 and AS knives in general, I would say that the differences in ease of sharpening are negligible.

Popular as Anryu's B2 is, I also wonder if we'll be seeing more of his work in AS. Well executed, attractive ku finish, textured enough to aid a smidge in food release and yet cuts clean without resistance. Thin, fast, light knife with excellent edge retention. Eager to compare it side by side with his B2.

Good luck narrowing it all down yummycrackers.
David
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