Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

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Emieloss
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by Emieloss »

Eventhough I really love my Shibata Kotetsu R2 180mm Bunka. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who is new to japanese knives. They are absolutely amazing knives for the money with excellent fit and finish, but they can also be a bit prone to microchips. I only use it for soft product like tomatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, etc etc. I also no longer chop onions with it but rather use it for push cuts, tip draws and slicing. My girlfriend is no longer allowed to use it, even though it's her favorite knife :P Simply because it takes more time to sharpen than for example my Blue #1 / Aogami super knives. What I'm trying to say is: it's one of my favorite knives, it's probably the best performer on a lot of tasks, but it's too delicate to be an allrounder.

My first two carbon wa-handle knives were quite cheap. A zakuri blue #1 and a Tadafusa white #2. I loved to play around with them, try patina's, removing patina's, sharpening techniques, thinning, etc. I made a lot of mistakes on those knives but learned so much. Messing up a tip, fixing a tip. Scratching the blade, trying a mirror polish, etc. If you plan to dive deeper in the world of japanese knives, a cheaper knife to experiment with and learn on might be a great choice.

If you just want a great performing knife that tackles all kinds of tasks well, the Anryu Blue #2 will probably suit your needs perfectly. If you don't like it you can always sell it on the forum without a problem.
yummycrackers
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

Emieloss, thanks for the info regarding the Shibata. Since it'll be my first decent knife, something that would be more of an all-rounder would indeed be preferable.
I think the main decision is going to be between something more budget-oriented, as you mention, and something like the Anryu, depending mainly on whether or not I manage to procure one in a few weeks. I'm hesitant to go with full-carbon, even though I'm the only person in the house who will be using the knife, which is why I wanted to start out with something clad. If it turns out fine, then I guess there's always the option to later get a cheaper full-carbon petty or deba (seeing as I often have to fillet fish).
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lsboogy
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by lsboogy »

I picked up one of these a couple of years ago from AltaDan - it's a very good cutter, and it's one of my "whomever is in the kitchen (home kitchen) can use it" knives. I got a patina on the edge using my favorite vinegar and mustard solution, and it's just a brutally good knife for the money. If the Arnyu does not come back into stock, I'd look at this one as well. Steel is hard enough to take a very refined edge (I have it at 6K and stropped right now) - and it holds it when folk who are not terribly skilled use it - no chips, nothing seems to happen to it, and you might get a good surprise out of it. I have mag strip and work space on the counter to the left of the sink (I work on the right, and so does Jen) that folk like my brother use when he's here - it is a great knife, and a complete beast on hard onions - plus it takes a lickin and keeps on tickin - I almost started using it as a line knife, but it's too good for that - will go to one of the next gen when they get older

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/yawh2nagy211.html
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by d_rap »

That Yahiko Sanjo 210 is the second knife I bought at cktg when I started this journey and like Isboogy I absolutely love it.

Watch Steve's video on the product page; what an endorsement.

There's also an excellent review here that pushed me over the edge. viewtopic.php?f=13&t=13210&p=94903&hilit=Yahiko#p94903

Stellar all-rounder 210.

It is however full carbon. But...not a big deal with a nice patina. Even a carbon knife that's stainless clad needs to be dried carefully.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

Fantastic, thank you, I've added the Yahiko to the growing list of options. My concern with full carbon knives was mainly their reacting with ingredients (especially onions and citruses) before they form a patina, but since I don't have any experience with the issue, perhaps I'm overstating it.

Doing some research, a few other knives piqued my curiosity, notably the Tanaka B#2, the Makoto W#2 and the Kohetsu AS. Would be curious to hear if anyone has some experience with these.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by d_rap »

You're doing great research because you're looking at all the favorites.

Makoto's W-2 gyutos (I have the 240) are top of the charts around here, on the bang for the buck front. Tall grind, wide bevel style although there's a microbevel, bit of a shoulder and then plenty of stock near the spine for power. Thin edge, but not excessive. Excellent fit and finish and performance for the price. Even though I'd read the comments when I started using it I was really like I can't believe this isn't another hundred dollars.

No experience with the other two so hopefully people will weigh in but you're barking up the right tree.

Oh and yeah citrus will quickly stain the Yahiko to the point that that's not the best citrus knife. But onions no real problem and in general yeah it's going to react you're going to get patterned patina and in my opinion it's not that big a deal. Cool actually.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by salemj »

I'd say the fundamental question you face is this: how much do you want to change your cutting and care techniques?

I have made the transition you are making, and I have many friends who have made a similar transition (if only temporarily, in my kitchen). I want to really stress that, to use some of these knives properly, you will almost certainly be completely changing your cutting technique and your care techniques. How much you're willing to change is a very big part of this purchase.

I don't want to prejudge comments above, but remember that. you are talking here to "the choir," the converted masses who mostly agree with each other that a certain kind of Japanese-style blade is worth all the change and trouble. For every one of us, there are 8-10 of people who - even after trying great knives - are far more comfortable using decent knives because it fits better with their style. This even includes people we gift knives, who love them, but only so far as they can use them without caring for them properly (and even then they don't often become their daily knives)!

I wrote three posts about making this transition. The things I emphasize in those might be useful even though you are clearly beyond these basics in research in some ways. Or you may not be. But I do think it is very, very useful to remember that stepping up to some of these knives requires you to be willing to change yourself. If you're looking for a challenge in that way, and you're the only one using the knives, that's great. But if others use the knives, and your passion is definitely for cooking and not for technique, there are many options in the 100-200 range that would be much better than other options, and the things to consider are not necessary performance but many other factors.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13780
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13781
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13782

Just thought I'd try to bring things back into some kind of focus after the explosion of options and choices! I think you have a lot of great suggestions already.
~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: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

David, thanks for confirming regarding the Makoto. I guess it'll once again be a case of waiting till it (or one of the others) is back in stock again.

Joe, thanks for pointing me towards your three very thorough write-ups. I think you're absolutely right to the extent that I don't have any practical experience with knives of this sort—whatever research I've done over the past several months has been purely theoretical. All I can say is that I'll be the only one using/cleaning my knives, and am used to kitchen items that require an extra degree of care (e.g. carbon steel and cast iron pans); as far as technique goes, mine may be decent, but it has also obviously been conditioned by years of using quasi-indestructible Western blades. On the flip-side, that does mean that at least I'll have a beater-knife to use when dealing with hard ingredients that these more delicate blades aren't made for. Changing cutting technique shouldn't be too problematic; care technique perhaps slightly more so, though I already wash and dry my knives immediately after use.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by salemj »

yummycrackers wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:31 am David, thanks for confirming regarding the Makoto. I guess it'll once again be a case of waiting till it (or one of the others) is back in stock again.

Joe, thanks for pointing me towards your three very thorough write-ups. I think you're absolutely right to the extent that I don't have any practical experience with knives of this sort—whatever research I've done over the past several months has been purely theoretical. All I can say is that I'll be the only one using/cleaning my knives, and am used to kitchen items that require an extra degree of care (e.g. carbon steel and cast iron pans); as far as technique goes, mine may be decent, but it has also obviously been conditioned by years of using quasi-indestructible Western blades. On the flip-side, that does mean that at least I'll have a beater-knife to use when dealing with hard ingredients that these more delicate blades aren't made for. Changing cutting technique shouldn't be too problematic; care technique perhaps slightly more so, though I already wash and dry my knives immediately after use.
All helpful to know. I'm someone who got the bug in a particular way, and by that I mean I started with thinner, lighter knives and associated that very much with "Japanese" gyuto style in lots of ways. In the words of Murray Carter, the Japanese train you to always forge thinner if possible. That's changed quite a bit now. The market has pushed in a far more "American" and Western direction, and many makers are creating more robust blades with profiles that are designed for Western cutting techniques (although it is still a bit of a Japanese signature to go as thin as possible...at the end). But when I started, the idea was to learn how to use and appreciate thin monosteel knives above all.

I mention this because I think that, when you are first making the transition, how you transition (and how it changes your technique or does not) can shape a lot about how you go forward. Some knives, likes Mark's Kanehide designs, Fujiwara AUS8 designs, or Misono and Masamoto knives, exist in a realm where you can use a lot of Western cutting techniques and such and they will hold up just fine, while also giving you a lot of pleasure from using better steel, etc.

Others, such as a Makoto, Kurosaki, or Konosuke, can have more challenging edges that are less forgiving (depending on steel). You can get a lot of micro-chipping and other issues with knives like these if you've never used one before and just jump into it...unless you actually start by adjusting your technique quite significantly. I've been in stores where they even say it is improper to use a pinch (I disagree): the idea is that the knife is so sharp that you shouldn't have to use hardly any force at all, and holding it further back and with a more gentle grip allows you to do this. And so on. This can all seem absurd. But it is definitely true that some of these knives are just not fun at all to use unless you learn how to adapt to them (and not the other way around).

Others fall in-between, like Anyru (btw, Mark has recently announced that a lot of his knives are now forged by the young Ikeda...this may be why his AS knives are good, as Ikeda is terrific and also does the smith work for Shibata, among others...I didn't like the Anyru I tried way back, but I bet I'd like one now if Ikeda is helping with the process). Such knives can be durable do-it-alls that are tough enough to work with all sorts of techniques. Some people (like me) can really dislike them for this, and other people can really love them.

I think you can go in any direction. But that doesn't mean you will! I'm still convinced that many people on this forum actually like "Western" style knives that are bigger, heavier, more macho...but happen to use very good steel. I think they like these because of their cutting techniques more than anything. It isn't better or worse, but the type of knife you buy and how much you allow your technique to adapt can have a lot to do with it. So can what you like to cook! It doesn't make sense to use Japanese cutting techniques if all you make are rustic French stews. So, it all goes hand-in-hand.

I guess my point is: focus less on the choices of knife, and try to focus much more on you: your style, what you like to cook, and how you'd LIKE to develop your cutting skills. If you add this to your profile or wish list, I think you'll find the recommendations get a lot more specific!
~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: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by Bob Z »

You are going thru "paralysis from analysis". Wait for one of the sacred ones to come back in stock and get it. If you dont you will always wonder if you should have. Welcome to the rabbit hole!
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

YummCrkr's: I am a neophyte when it comes to Japanese knives so I divert expertise to pretty much everyone here when it comes to suggestions on what to purchase. I recently bought a Tojiro W#2 ITK 150mm Petty for the sole purpose of learning how to free hand sharpen on water stones (props to Ken123 for the suggestion...it just took me 5 months to listen to him :) ). I was AMAZED at how much BETTER performance this Petty has over my German knives. Just this past week, I received my Anryu B#2 Hammered Gyuto....and it blows the Tojiro out of the water in terms of performance. Perhaps the Anryu grind and blade design just happens to fit my cutting style but I've never had more fun running a knife on a cutting board. My knife skills are in the high fair, low good category. I've buzzed through a lot of produce, fruit and protein with the Anryu in the short time that I have had it and I couldn't be happier. I would give serious consideration to this knife. Per Mark, the next shipment is due in like 2-3 weeks. If you sign up for the email alert when the knives drop...keep your phone within arms length. You'll want to place the order ricky-tick as the inventory will likely be gone within an hour :)
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

Joe, thanks for elaborating. It's difficult for me to say, seeing as I've never used such blades, and hence would have a hard time judging what would be too thin/delicate or robust enough. With respect to the knives I'm using currently, what I'm mainly looking for in terms of performance is greater precision and efficiency (which isn't particularly difficult compared with a German knife). Beyond that, I can't say if a do-it-all knife like the Anryu might end up working out better than something more laser-like, so I guess it'll just be a matter of trying and seeing.

7x57mm, good to hear for another neophyte and that you're enjoying the Anryu. I was also thinking of getting one of the shirogami Tojiros to start off with, but then realised that what I needed most urgently was a proper gyuto, though I might have to get a proper petty soon enough anyways.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

The Anryu is a fantastic knife. I know you would be happy with this purchase. When all was said and done and after many hours of reading and analyzing, I concluded I can't go "wrong" with whatever Gyuto I purchased from Mark's inventory. All will slice, dice and make everything nice 👍🏿
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by salemj »

7x57mm@gmail.com wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:56 pm The Anryu is a fantastic knife. I know you would be happy with this purchase. When all was said and done and after many hours of reading and analyzing, I concluded I can't go "wrong" with whatever Gyuto I purchased from Mark's inventory. All will slice, dice and make everything nice 👍🏿
I think this is a great comment, and I don't want to challenge it per se. But I will say I tried an Anryu in a pass-around and I would not be happy owning that particular knife for a number of reasons, from how it cuts to how it looks. However, I know a lot of people love it, so that is less a comment about the knife, and more a comment that different people have different preferences. I'd venture to say the same about cost: for some, a 200 knife is a one-in-a-decade investment and a really significant purchase, and for others, it is a fun toy to try out and potential sell when it gets boring. To each his own, but such differences are worth consideration.
~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: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

I think this is a great comment, and I don't want to challenge it per se. But I will say I tried an Anryu in a pass-around and I would not be happy owning that particular knife for a number of reasons, from how it cuts to how it looks. However, I know a lot of people love it, so that is less a comment about the knife, and more a comment that different people have different preferences. I'd venture to say the same about cost: for some, a 200 knife is a one-in-a-decade investment and a really significant purchase, and for others, it is a fun toy to try out and potential sell when it gets boring. To each his own, but such differences are worth consideration.
[/quote]

Thanks for the feedback Joe! And I do appreciate your assessment. From reading all of your posts (good info!!), I must defer to your expertise and broad experience with a wide variety of knives. Perhaps I am just mesmerized on how superior my Anryu is over any German knife I've owned or run over a cutting board. It is weird for me to type "cutting veg is now fun" and read it out loud. LOL...but it is true. This Gyuto has opened my eyes to what I have missed out on in four decades of home kitchen life. I will never be in the same class as so many here on knife usage and evaluation. I'm not a knife geek but I love reading about people geeking out over this type of steel, that design, this grind etc. It is a wonderful education. I've said it before in earlier posts, I truly enjoy reading and learning from those who know their stuff. You are in that category. I will likely never purchase another Gyuto over the Anryu because it serves my needs in spades (don't hold me to that ;) ). I'm looking into another knife design purchase based on recommendation from Isaboogy. It's kinda of a hard sell over my experience using another similar European (American??) design that I am very familiar with. But, like you, Isaboogy has experience that I will never gain so I listen with open ears and an open mind. One thing that I have learned in almost 6 decades on this earth is that it's never to late to be a good student and learn a thing or three 👍🏿
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by lsboogy »

7x57mm@gmail.com wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:39 pm I think this is a great comment, and I don't want to challenge it per se. But I will say I tried an Anryu in a pass-around and I would not be happy owning that particular knife for a number of reasons, from how it cuts to how it looks. However, I know a lot of people love it, so that is less a comment about the knife, and more a comment that different people have different preferences. I'd venture to say the same about cost: for some, a 200 knife is a one-in-a-decade investment and a really significant purchase, and for others, it is a fun toy to try out and potential sell when it gets boring. To each his own, but such differences are worth consideration.
Thanks for the feedback Joe! And I do appreciate your assessment. From reading all of your posts (good info!!), I must defer to your expertise and broad experience with a wide variety of knives. Perhaps I am just mesmerized on how superior my Anryu is over any German knife I've owned or run over a cutting board. It is weird for me to type "cutting veg is now fun" and read it out loud. LOL...but it is true. This Gyuto has opened my eyes to what I have missed out on in four decades of home kitchen life. I will never be in the same class as so many here on knife usage and evaluation. I'm not a knife geek but I love reading about people geeking out over this type of steel, that design, this grind etc. It is a wonderful education. I've said it before in earlier posts, I truly enjoy reading and learning from those who know their stuff. You are in that category. I will likely never purchase another Gyuto over the Anryu because it serves my needs in spades (don't hold me to that ;) ). I'm looking into another knife design purchase based on recommendation from Isaboogy. It's kinda of a hard sell over my experience using another similar European (American??) design that I am very familiar with. But, like you, Isaboogy has experience that I will never gain so I listen with open ears and an open mind. One thing that I have learned in almost 6 decades on this earth is that it's never to late to be a good student and learn a thing or three 👍🏿
[/quote]

Good comments .275 Rigby (7x57), and as salemj points out, we all like different knives for different reasons. I bought a couple of Hiromoto AS blades many years ago, and did not use them much – my SO has taken to them so I doubt I will ever be able to claim them again. I finally bought an Anryu on a whim, but I keep going back to a CHII blade that I helped him design as my basic kitchen knife. I tend to like Sabatier/KS profiled knives (have a couple Richmond Ultimatums, a Masamoto KS, bunch of Sab Nogent blades I got from my mom), and the CHII blade is something that just acts like what I have known since the late 60’s – I don’t need to look at product when cutting with the thing – thing just knows where it’s going in my hands. We all have a different cutting style and preference, no one has the best for others. The Anryu is a great blade, and I’m glad I bought it, but it’s not going to be the thing I pull out the most by any means. Jen has tried dozens of my knives, and the Hiromoto blades are her current favorites. If I had to pick two of my knives for serious kitchen work, I might include my Matsubara 210 as the add to the CHII – very tall 210 that just goes where you think it will every time – best thing for doing 1mm carrot diagonals I’ve ever used. We all cut differently, and we all like different blades. I like my old Lotus Esprit for tight roads more than any car I’ve ever driven, but most would not like the direct feedback on the wheel – too much kickback for Jen and my brother likes his Audi’s much more than my cars. I owned a 930 many years ago, and it was cool, but it rode like a brick – would not consider owning it again at my age. There is no best knife, just the one that performs in your hands better than your other blades for a given product. Welcome to the rabbit hole
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by ChloeDodwell »

I have always used Santoku knives , in my opinion they are one of the most versatile knives , although their price may be a disadvantage.You have to pay for quality.
Last edited by ChloeDodwell on Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

Isboogy, speaking of Sabatier/KS profiles, are you aware of any more budget-oriented knives that have a similar profile? I've always liked it on old Sabatiers, but unfortunately don't have the funds for a KS or a Kohetsu Togatta (which is the only other one that comes to mind).
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by 7x57mm@gmail.com »

FYI: good eye on the Rigby designation Andrew :) I can't afford a true Rigby but I've run a Win Model 70 7x57 Featherweight as my primary deer rifle for the past 15 years. No slouch in producing venison for sure 👍🏻
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Re: Help Choosing a 210mm Gyuto

Post by yummycrackers »

While we're still waiting for the favourites to come back in stock, does anyone have any experience with Shiro Kamo knives? I've seen that Mark has their W#2 and R2 knives, and it seems like he also used to have a KU AS gyuto, though I can't seem to find it anymore on the site.
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