Another Chefs Knife Thread

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by gennaroe, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. gennaroe


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    Line Cook
    Thanks to all of the great advice I received after the last question I posted on this forum, I wound up delaying my purchase of more expensive kitchen knives in favor of learning how to sharpen with my 8 inch Forschner. In the past few weeks, I've gotten better at sharpening on the water stones I've purchased, I've begun serious work in a restaurant kitchen (in a position that demands an inordinate amount of chopping and slicing), and Korin has started their 15% off sale. So...I'm thinking it's time to finally make a purchase. I'm looking spend under $150. Here are the knives I'm looking at (in order of current preference); I'd appreciate any advice on choosing between them, or any suggestions of options that I should be considering:

    Togiharu G-1 Molybdenum Gyuto (240mm)

    Kagayaki VG-10 Gyuto (240mm)

    Togiharu Inox Steel Gyuto (240mm)

    Edit: 1 addition, the Masamoto VG10 Gyuto (240 mm); just slightly over $150 from Korin right now, but I've seen such praise for it that it seems worth it.

    A couple specific questions: how significance is the difference between these two Togiharu lines? How does the Kagayaki stack up to the G-1 (I seem to remember BDL stating that the Kagayaki was superior to the Togiharu Inox). And lastly, is the "extra sharpness" option from JCK worthwhile?

    Also, due to a few of the tasks that I'm faced with at my station, I'd like to invest in a "lobster cracker"/"chef-de-chef". Any suggestions on a relatively inexpensive (under $100, preferably even less) option on that front?

    Thanks all,

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  2. boar_d_laze


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    Cook At Home
    You wrote,
    It probably is worth it, but that depends on how much you value the benefits it conveys to your other choices.  It's in the same category as the MAC Pro and the Sakai Takayuki Grand Cheff.  If you're looking for a very stiff knife, and/or really value a comfortable knife, the MAC is better than the Masamoto.  If you want a knife that's incredibly easy to get very, very sharp, that would be the Grand Cheff.

    Although Korin advertises the Masamoto as the Masamoto VG-10, it is definitely not made with VG-10 (most probably VG-5, same as the MAC Pro), and is listed in the Masamoto Sohonten catalog as VG and not VG-10.

    While I would choose the Masamoto for myself and nearly everyone who's had the opportunity to try one will tell you that the feel and profile of a Masamoto is almost uniquel wonderful (the good Sabatiers are as good), but the MAC is almost Masamoto's equal in those respects.  Furthermore, the edge characteristics are identical.  The Masamoto is a little thinner, but the MAC is significantly stiffer (something most westerners find important).  MAC has the best handle in the business.  Period.  In addition MAC USA really stand behind their knives.  Maybe not quite Henckles, but the next best thing.

    In tems of actual prep, the Grand Cheff is very, very close to the other two, but doesn't quite measure up.  However, if you're all about getting the sharpest possible edge without OCD sharpening techniques, and if you don't mind using a steel fairly frequently, it's an incredibly good choice.

    You'll be ecstatic with any of the three.  Don't invest too much time or anxiety sweating the differences.  If you can't choose, toss a coin.
    Fairly significant.  The G-1 actually is VG-10.  I'm not sure what the Inox is; something pretty good but not nearly as good VG-10.  The differences are in the edge characteristics -- VG-10 is better as to edge taking, absolute edge quality and durability as well.

    Worth the price difference?  Yes. 
    People I respect rate the Kagayaki as a better knife and a better value.  I haven't had enough experience with either to make a meaningful comparison.  Both have smallish handles.  My impression is that the Kagayaki is very slightly more agile, but didn't have the opportunity to  compare at the same time, or even in the same time frame.  So, take it for what it's worth. 
    Depends.  What JCK is really offering is the service of "opening" the knife by a professional sharpener who (theoretically) will not only do a good job of opening but not mess up the cosmetics.

    If you're a good enough sharpener to "thin," and/or create a flat bevel at your desired angles on a coarse stone, then you don't need it.  Otherwise, it might be worthwhile to have someone you trust "open" the knife for you in order to establish bevel angles you can "click in" when you go to sharpen yourself.

    Bottom Line:  

    Masamoto VG or MAC Pro if you can afford one.  If not, Kagayaki VG-10.

    Hope this helps,