Fujiwara gyuto

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by cheflayne, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    If you were to buy a Fujiwara gyuto for use as a primary workhorse knife in a professional kitchen, which series would buy (FKM, FKS, FKH) and why?
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The FKM and FKS are good entries to the high end.  They're made from an adequate alloy (AUS-8), adequately hardened to around 58RCH.  The profile is agile, the handle is comfortable if a little bit short and thin, F&F are good (but not great), manufacturer support is non-existent -- but Fujiwara are handled by some very good retailers (choose carefully).   The difference between FKM and FKS?  FKS has "dimples," I don't like dimples.  But if you do, the FKS is a better choice than the FKM.

    FKH is not only carbon -- which is marginal for a great many people in a pro situation, anyway -- but crummy carbon.  The alloy Fujiwara uses for its FKH line is not like Sabatier au carbone, any of the better Japanese carbons (e.g., white #2), or any of the better American or Euro alloys (e.g., 52100 or the Sandvik steel Misono uses for its Sweden series).  Until an FKH develops a patina, it will not only discolor food but transfer a sulfurous and unpleasant odor.  And, no matter what you do the patina will remain somewhat unstable and require frequent and regular renewal to control its reactivity. 

    There are three good knives at the particular price point, four if you include the 20% more expensive FKS:  Fujiwara FKM (and FKS), Richmond Artifex, and Tojiro DP. 
    • The Artifex is the best choice for most pros, because it's made from a better alloy, and has better edge taking and edge holding properties; further, its complete lack of cosmetics isn't a handicap in a professional kitchen. 
    • The Tojiro DP is good for people who want a large grip or a lot of stiffness, and aren't bothered by san-mai. 
    BDL
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  3. coren

    coren

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    BDL, I've been trying to ferret out all the extremely useful information you've imparted to this forum, and there's just too damn much (ie, thank you very much, and excellent job). Do you still recommend the 3 knives you've listed in the previous post? They are all comparatively priced ($45 to $60) and seem to be pretty similar judging by the pictures and descriptions.

    A short background: I was given a set of Wusthof classic in college. They have been pretty decent to me, and I can't overly complain as a hobby home cook.

    Now that I get a decent discount on some decent models due to part-time employment at williams-sonoma, I decided to add to the collection. To that end, I purchased a 10" Shun Classic last year. I now understand that Shun isn't the favorite around here, but I hadn't yet found this forum, and at the price at the time, it was a great deal (Christmas cutlery promotion plus employee discount put it around $85). Since then, I've come to understand (through this forum) that any of the mass-produced knives are not as high end as their prices would indicate.

    So now I'm looking to upgrade my 2nd-most-used knife, the petty-equivalent utility knife. It's a 4.5" that I use regularly for trimming meats and for smaller veggies (like peppers) among other things.

    Is it safe to assume that even if I can get the Shun 6" utility knife for a similar price to the above knives (~$60), you'd still recommend any of the others?

    A last point to mention is that I'm planning on ordering the EdgePro Apex3 with the goal of adding some of the finer Chosera stones (from cktg.com) over time. I understand you sharpen by hand, but realistically I don't expect to have the time to devote toward learning to sharpen freehand. Does this sound like a decent enough plan?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  4. kingofkings

    kingofkings

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    The 4 inch Shun classic parer is raved about more than any other parer I've seen.
     
  5. coren

    coren

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    Interesting... 

    Are the shuns able to hold an edge as well as the others?  And are you talking the classic or wide classic?

    The other reason I'm looking to upgrade the petty for the length.  Shun has the utility knife that I mentioned that's 6" (~152mm), and then they have the paring knife that's 4".  I have a small paring knife that I rarely use (though my wife does).
     
  6. kingofkings

    kingofkings

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    I believe the thinking is that with a petty, comfort is far valued over edge retention due to the tasks which you undertake with it. Edges get destroyed quickly on paring knives.

    FWIW, the pettys I've seen BDL recommend are the Nogent 6 inch slicer, and I know he has a Konosuke HH.

    I can't speak for any pettys as I don't own one yet. But, from what I know the main issue people have with shuns is that they're overpriced for what they are, not that they are inherently bad knives. The do have issues, but all knives do.

    If you enjoy the handle on the shun you have, and have no issues with the other aspects of the knife, you should consider it. If its costing 60$, you're hard pushed to find another 150mm at that kind of price point. Infact, the only ones I can think off, are the Tojiro Shirogami and the Fujiwaras.
     
  7. pancake house

    pancake house

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    If you search them out, fujiwara makes some much better knives, but they get expensive

    The best bang for buck knife is his San nashiji line.

    I have some experience with the maboroshi as a workhorse, and it has held up well
     
  8. coren

    coren

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    Assuming I'm looking at the the knives you're talking about, the 150mm Fujiwara san Nashiji is $140 and the Maboroshi no Meito is $290 for the same length.

    While I don't mind spending money on quality knives, that's a substantial jump.  Of the 4 that have been mentioned (Shun classic, Fujiwara FKM, Richmond Artifex, and Tojiro DP), do you like any?  
     
  9. pancake house

    pancake house

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    The cost jump on fujiwara high end knives is scary, but they are incredible. I lust after a denka no hoto gyuto after trying one out when I got my San nashiji santoku.

    I really like the tojiro dp - solid, no nonsense. I have several apprentice cooks all looking at or using tojiro

    I have no experience with Richmond knives

    I won't hates on shun if the price is good, but I am not fond of the weird "germanese" feel of their larger blades
     
  10. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    I believe Teruyasu-Fujiwara (san Nashiji, Deka no Hoto, Maboroshi no Mieto) and Fujiwara Kanefusa (FKM,FKS,FKV,FKH) are two unrelated companies. 
     
  11. wubu

    wubu

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    Teruyasu Fujiwara is based on Tokyo (currently 4th Gen), while Fujiwara Kanefusa is based in Seki (currently 26th gen I think), but I guess it is an honest mistake to mix the two up :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  12. coren

    coren

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    Interesting to know that they're different; it's not very obvious on the various knife websites.

    I've decided to just wait till the Tojiro is back in stock at cktg and then pick it up.

    The other question was about sharpening. It seems that the edgepro apex is a good set, and the Apex 3 seems to be the best bang for the buck outside the chosera kit. Should I get the chosera kit now? Or get the Apex 3 and then add other stones later?
     
  13. harlock0083

    harlock0083

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    I bought the Fujiwara FKH gyuto about a month ago. The steel is extremely reactive (not to mention smelly). I forced a pantina on it with diluted phosphoric acid (seems to help quite a bit). I don't mind the extra care needed either, but I don't work in a professional kitchen so its probably better going with the FKM series imo.
     
  14. coren

    coren

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    This is exactly the reason I'm looking at the SS-clad FKM and Tojiro. Eventually when I get a new gyuto I may look at the carbons, but for now I don't want to have to deal with reactive/smelly blades.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  15. coren

    coren

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    Is there a list somewhere of the various metals used in knives? I see white and blue, and vg-10, and then occasionally really long names that don't exactly make a lot of sense to somebody that's not otherwise familiar with the trade.

    As far as the discussion here, the 3 knives I'm looking at (the ones recommended) have vg-10 (tojiro), aeb-l (richmond), and "Molybdenum Vanadium Stainless Steel" (fujiwara). I'm assuming all of these take a good edge, but beyond that ... ?? For future reference, I'm curious to know what the pros and cons are to various steels.

    edit: found a couple lists online, but they still don't go beyond the normal white and blue steels, vg10, and the moly/vana combo that fujiwara uses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  16. wubu

    wubu

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    http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/articles/kkchoser/kksteel.shtml

    and http://zknives.com/knives/articles/knifesteelfaq.shtml

    has a list

    also http://www.cookfoodgood.com/?p=190

    and regarding the entry level knives... http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/toj...d-budget-entry-level-intro-to-japanese-knives

    otherwise search this forum for BDL's discussions on the steels used :p

    google: site:cheftalk.com BDL steel   <~~ you can also insert terms like VG-10, AEB-L, sandvik, Masamoto, etc to narrow the results

    and take with a pinch of salt (maybe add some lime).

    Check the dates of the post as well....some old posts may refer to Tojiro DPs using a Swedish stainless instead of VG-10.

    regarding steels by Hitachi, http://www.cheftalk.com/t/73225/help-with-choosing-between-yanagi-or-suji-which-one-too#post_409511 has a chart.

    also, moly-vanadium stainless is a general name for a range of steels that use those elements (Molybdenum and Vanadium), the FKM uses AUS-8 formulation of that steel.

    And, the steel used isn't the last say in the qualities of the a knife. The manufacturer still has to shape it right (profile, thickness, balance, grind), heat treat it properly (to harden it, to resolve residual stresses). Bad heat treatments can mean a brittle/chippy knife, or a knife that can't hold an edge even if it is a good steel. Good steel can still make a bad knife.

    edit: I really enjoy assigning homework (reading material) :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  17. kartman35

    kartman35

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    Here's a list of most 'stainless' steels along with a brief description of each.

    http://www.zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/articles/kkchoser/kksteelp2.shtml

    As for the white and blue, these are high carbon non-stainless steels. so you'll find that on the Carbon steel page below :)

    http://www.zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/articles/kkchoser/kksteelp3.shtml

    As for the edge pro, its a great system and your knives will love it however make sure you buy the drill stop collar and I really like the table magnet for another 3 bucks...

    don't forget to get something to flatten the stones with
     
  18. coren

    coren

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    Thank you both.

    You say to not forget something to flatten stones with... while that makes perfect sense, is there something special I need to do that with?
     
  19. wubu

    wubu

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  20. betowess

    betowess

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    That is good to know what BDL said about the carbon knives from Fujiwara...

    FYI, Although I've only owned them about a month, my French made K-Sabatier's (which are carbon) are not very reactive at all, slicing onions and tomatoes a lot. It just results in little patina spots so far...absolutely no smell out of the sleeve. They are very reasonably priced on amazon, but be sure you get the real K-Sabatiers as its not a trademarked item out of Thiers, France... And there are a lot of knock offs using the name. One can read about them in various reviews.

    The store on Amazon (China Fair) out of Boston ships fast and these knifes feel really good to hold, if you want to consider using a french profile. They also make a stainless variety, though I have no experience with those. I imagine they are great. Here is a link:

     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013