Carbon Steel Gyutos with French Profile like a MAC MBK-95?

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Joined Jul 15, 2020
Hey all, I am a big fan of French profile chef knives. I have a vintage carbon Sabatier that I love the feel and aesthetics of from the wonderful patina to the rosewood handles and brass rivets. I also have a MAC MBK-95, which I really enjoy and I think I actually prefer the performance of with its thinner, harder blade and lighter weight, as well as the ease of sharpening due to the bolster less blade.

Unfortunately, I don't think I am completely happy with either knife. I would love a 240mm carbon steel gyuto that combines the features of both - carbon steel blade, French profile, thin, hard blade, Western handle (preferably dark wood with brass rivets). Any suggestions? And most importantly where might one buy it?
 
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Joined Nov 18, 2010
I would seriously consider the Misono Swedish Carbon. Get the 240mm gyuto AKA 'Dragon'. It's the further development of the French chef's knife as it was around 1900.
Quite flat, but no deadly flat spots. Profile is a continuous arc. Imperceptible small upswing at the heel which will protect your board. Very nice Fit&Finish at this price point. Very comfortable handle with brass rivets. Steel is very finely grained, will take and hold a fine, polished edge. Hardness is kept reasonable around the 60Rc. As usual with Japanese blades, it has a pronounced asymmetry which benefits the food release. The standard version is meant for right-handers. Left-handers better ask for the version with an inverted geometry.
If you happen to live in the US, get it with Korin and ask for the free 'initial stone sharpening'. It will help a lot with further maintenance.
 
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
Thanks, good to know. I looked into the Misono and it looks like a nice knife. The only thing is I'm not a fan of the big dragon engraving on the blade. When I looked into it, there seemed to be some mention of some retailers carrying the option to buy it without the dragon engraving. Anyone have any ideas who might carry that version?
 
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Joined Nov 18, 2010
Ask Korin. I insist a bit on their 'initial stone sharpening' because the factory edge is weak — a very common problem — but also overly convexed, so following it is not a good idea.
 
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Joined Nov 18, 2010
By the way, as the steel darkens with use, the engraving becomes less prominent. If you ever want to sell it, have the one with the dragon. Anyway, both are available, with and without.
 
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
Thanks, yeah, I'm not looking to preserve resale value or anything, I just want a really nice carbon steel gyuto that fits me and my cooking style and of which I like the aesthetics. Although functionality is foremost, I don't want to invest in a knife that I think is ugly. To be honest, I really dislike the dragon engraving, and even beyond that, I'm not a huge fan of Misono's styling.

I'm also looking at the Sakai Takayuki Aoniko Blue 2 Gyuto and the Sakai Kikumori Sweden-Ko. The profile of the Takayuki looks really similar to that of my beloved antique Sabatier K Jeune:
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But it has a thinner, lighter blade, which would avoid the wedging and splintering that sometimes occur with the Sabatier when chopping harder vegetables like carrots. The only issue is I understand is it a bit of a narrow knife at the heel and I worry about knuckle clearance. I also understand the fit and finish can be a little rough.

I really love the look and styling of the Sakai Kikumori Sweden-Ko:
sweden01.jpg
It is supposed to be made from superior steel than Kikumori's Nihonkou line, which is carried by reputable retailers like Bernal Cutlery and Carbon Knife Co., but I can't seem to find much info on it or any reviews online. My biggest hesitation with the Kikumori is that tip seems a little lower(how much depends on the photos) and I'm not sure how different its profile will feel in comparison to the French profile I have gotten used to.
 

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