Gyuto and Longish Petty

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by argopo, May 19, 2013.

  1. argopo


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    Home Cook
    Looking to replace some of my old worn knives with good quality Japanese SS knives; and seeking advise on which Gyuto or Petty would be best suited for my needs.

    My current knife set:

    Left to right in the below photograph: 8" Chef (Generic) | 7" Santoku (Cuisinart) |  8" slicer/petty? (Generic) |  8" Bread (Henckels) |  6" Bone (Generic) | 5" Serrated utility (Henckels) | 4.5" Utility (Generic) | 3.5" Paring (Generic)

    As a home cook, my most used knives are the first three: Chef, Santoku and long Petty.

    I have started to cook more often recently and realized I need to improve both my knife skills and tools. Since, I am moving on to handle more complex recipes, I need to become more efficient during prep and develop better knife technique. I am finding myself fighting with the knife and being disappointed with the results. (Most of my knives tear and crush more than they cut.)

    I recently ordered a number of Victorinox Forschners with the rosewood handles as replacements for heavy duty and mundane tasks:

    10" Chef | 7" Straight Stiff Wide boning knife | 10.25" Bread knife | 4.75" Utility | 3.25" Paring 

    I'm left-handed, do not have large hands and don't spend time butchering meat. So, mostly focused on using the knives for typical prep work of fruits and vegetables. And in the future properly prepping fish.

    For starters, I would like to replace my 8" Chef with a  240mm Gyuto. After spending time researching the archives of this forum I came up with a short list: 

    Gesshin Uraku 240mm Stainless Wa-Gyuto ($155)

    MAC Professional Mighty Chef's Knife 240mm ($185)

    Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef 240mm Gyuto ($190)

    Gesshin Ginga 240mm Stainless Gyuto ($250)

    For a long Petty, I came up with the following:

    Gesshin Ginga 210mm Stainless Petty ($200)

    Konosuke HH Stainless 210mm Wa-Petty ($179)

    Richmond Laser 210mm Petty ($180)

    As you can tell from the above lists, I have a preference for stainless steel (at least initially). I am not adverse to the high-maintenance of a carbon steel knife, since I already use and care for carbon steel pans and cast iron skillets, but I would think as an introduction to Japanese knives I should stick to stainless.

    I would think the light weight of a Wa handle would be better for me, but am not sure. And not all of the above knives come with Wa handles. I really want to chop and cut more quickly and with greater accuracy. But, don't know how much of the weight of the handle has an effect on chopping speed. Also, I've never used a Japanese styled handle before. And, I may want both knives to be similar in weight for consistency, so I would get the Petty with a western handle and a Wa-Gyuto (or maybe I am over thinking the weight issues).

    Also, I am aware that some Japanese knives are cut with an edge profile for right-handed cooks. I am not sure whether any of the above have that asymmetrical profile? Would I need to re-profile any of the above knives to a more neutral bevel cut?

    Are there any other manufacturers I should consider in this price range: $150-250? 

    For sharpening, I have decided on buying the Minosharp Plus 3 for the Forschners, and buying the following stones for the Japanese steel: 500 Beston, 1.2K Bester and 6K Arashiyama. With the DMT XXC plate for flattening.

    Any guidance or opinions on the above mentioned knives would be greatly appreciated.
  2. franzb69


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    Culinary Student
    i'd get any of those gesshins that you mentioned.

  3. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    I have the Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef, also in 240mm wa. I LOVE this knife. I'd recommend it to anybody looking at knives in that price range. Some things to consider about it though... It is a laser, at least in my definition. "Near laser" I believe BDL described it as. Which means it's not a knife you want to crack open the back of a lobster with.

    It is highly polished on the blade face, almost to a mirror. This is bad for me as I tend to leave very fine scratches on it while sharpening. I feel that if the blade weren't so highly polished, I'd notice the fine scratches less. It is a beautiful knife with the high polish, however. In fact, it's so highly polished that I leave hazyness if I rub too hard with a damp rag.

    I love the handle on it but I did seal it with some spar urethane that I felt it needed. The wood did seem a bit too unfinished for me.

    The hardness of it is slightly softer at 58-59. But it doesn't bother me, I tend to sharpen it about as frequently as my other knives. I have a VG-10 knife that is 61 hardness that seems to only last slightly longer in between sharpenings. I know the 58-59 advertised hardness is a deal breaker for most people looking at knives in this price range.  

    Some great things about it... The AEB-L truly is a great metal. I love how it feels on my stones and it takes a really steep edge and gets scary sharp. It takes a great polish on the edge.

    It is extremely light!

    It's spine is so beautifuly polished and rounded, I love the finish of the spine.

    And like I said before, the blade face really is beautiful in all it's mirror like finish. All-in-all a great knife.

    Although, I have been itching to buy a Gesshin Uraku to compare it to.  
  4. argopo


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    Home Cook
    Many thanks for the replies.

    I briefly spoke to Jon from JKI and ordered the Gesshin 210mm petty in a western handle.
    After further research, I narrowed the choices for the gyuto down to the Grand Chef and included the Konosuke HH (both with wa handles). In comparison, aside from the significant price difference, it boils down to a slight difference in blade height. I doubt I'd be able quantify the difference between a hardness of 61 or 58 in a home cooking environment.

    I emailed Mark from CKTG about these knives, but it seems he is in Japan right now.

    One thing about the Konosuke is that it would weight as much as the yo handled Gesshin petty. 124gms/122gms 

    The Grand Chef weighs 159gms. So, again, I doubt I'd be able to tell the difference.