Advice for Going Japanese - Kiritsuke Gyuto vs. Gyuto, Stones, and More

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by hutchla, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. hutchla


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    Home Cook
    I need help choosing a knife. And all of the fixings that go with it. I have an idea of what I want but need help deciding.


    I have a set of Wusthof Dreizack knives including an 8" chef that I've used for over 15 years. For most of that time I've kept  them sharp with a Norton IB8 and a fine grooved Wusthof steel. Bought a 7" Shun classic Santoku for my wife a couple of years ago and I sharpen that on the Norton stone too. Now I want to upgrade to some nicer Japanese steel. I figure that's only worth doing if I upgrade my sharpening setup too.


    I'm a home cook, I mostly work with vegetables and fish. I typically push cut. Carbon is fine as I clean and baby my stainless knives as I work. Definitely want a wa handle.

    I've grown to dislike my current knives. They're too short and I don't like their profiles. I'm leaning to buying a 240 mm kiritsuke shaped gyuto for the flat profile. I like how they look but I'm not sure if the tip will be annoying over time. Perhaps a 240 mm or 270 mm gyuto would be better?

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    For the kiritsukes either the Moritaka Kiritsuke Gyuto Blue or the Tojiro ITK Kiritsuke Gyuto. Both have a nice flat profile. The Tojiro, since it's cheaper, might be a good knife to practice on the new stones.

    For gyutos either the Richmond Laser or Ultimatum. I think I'd really like the super thin and light laser. I'll still have my Wusthof for heavier duty work. Plus stainless will be easier to maintain (for my wife). Not sure if a laser isn't a good idea for a first Jknife.

    Something else I should look at in the same price range?


    I'd like to retire my IB8 and move to waterstones. I'm guessing I need 4 stones - 500, 1000, 3-4K and 6-8K. I like how Shapton Glasstones are wet and go - no soaking. Are they easy to use? Or should I accept soaking and find a better group of stones for cheaper? Does it make a difference that I'll be using the new stones for the Wusthofs and Shun too? Also, seems I should get rid of my Wusthof steel and get an Idahone rod?

    Cutting Surface

    RIght now I'm cutting on edge grain (plastic for meat, poultry and fish). How bad will it be for the blade if I stick with edge grain? I don't keep the board on the counter and a 2 inch thick, 25 pound Boardsmith is too much to move all the time. Seems like Sani-tuff boards have too much friction. I saw some thin Japanese rubber at JKI in Los Angeles but that stuff is super expensive and seems to weigh as much as butcher block.

    Thanks for your help. I've been having a great time reading this forum. Looking forward to getting more into it.

  2. rdm magic

    rdm magic

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    Culinary Student
    As for the stones, you should be fine with this set.

    I notice that the 5k stone has changed, maybe BDL or someone can tell you if its still a good deal or if that particular stone is no good. I can't really see Mark lowering the standard of something. Get an Idahone rod.

    The general advice I've seen here is to avoid the ITK range, unless you're on a very tight budget (you don't mention it) or don't mind taking on a 'project' knife. Rehandling an ITK would probably be a priority, along with accepting the fact that it may have overgrinds on it. The Kurouchi finish is supposed to be pretty rough on the ITKs too, but also wears off pretty easily. FWIW, if you have the cash and the want, you're probably going to end up getting a Kiritsuke anyway, so maybe just get one to satisfy the urge.