Japanese chef knife buying advice.

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Joined May 19, 2020
I'm new to this forum but I'm hoping someone could give some advise on a few knives. I work as a chef and I'm looking for knife as my main chef knife/ gyuto. I'm currently using a Gihei blue steel santoku, a Chinese cleaver and a victorinox 210 chef knife, which is the knife that needs replacing. I live in the UK where there seems to be a limited amount of Japanese knife brands. I'm looking for a knife under £150. So far I am torn between a Masahiro MH range 240mm gyuto and a takamura vg10 nashiji 210mm gyuto. Does anyone know much about these knives? especially the Masahiro as I can find more about the Takamura online. The only thing putting me off the Takamura is the extreme grind angle and apparent brittleness. I've read a fair bit about people chipping these knives. But this knife looks great and I like the traditional look and hand made quality. The Masahiro looks factory made in relation, is this correct? I'm not 100% sold on the 20/80 grind on the Masahiro, does anyone have experience with asymmetric knives? Although the extra length of the blade is a huge bonus to me. Im also considering Tojiro, Iseya Seto and Sakai Takamura knives if anyone has any opinions on those or any other knives that could possibly be appropriate. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
Take a few minutes to review the Many, many knife threads on this forum. Every possible discussion about all kinds of knives has been had. I'm sure you'll find more than a few answers there.
 
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Joined May 29, 2013
I'm trying to identify the Masahiro blade you're referring to, and I can't find any "MH" series.

Are you referring to the "MV-H" series?

I have a 240mm Masahiro carbon (non-stainless) gyuto. It comes with an 80/20 edge profile and is right-handed. (I don't think any of the Masahiro blades comes with left-handed grind, but I could be wrong) Fit & finish are decent, but with a rather rough edge grind (which is typical for blades marketed for the Japanese marketplace - in Japan, each cook is expected to put his/her own preferred edge onto the blade).

Asymmetric grinds will work well, but the blade has to be designed, forged or /stamped, and subsequently ground, to be asymmetric. It's not something done after the fact. Thinning and/or sharpening needs to follow the existing edge profile. Done properly, it does give a cook better control over the direction the blade will follow, especially when doing delicate low-pressure cuts.

GS
 
5
1
Joined May 19, 2020
I'm trying to identify the Masahiro blade you're referring to, and I can't find any "MH" series.

Are you referring to the "MV-H" series?

I have a 240mm Masahiro carbon (non-stainless) gyuto. It comes with an 80/20 edge profile and is right-handed. (I don't think any of the Masahiro blades comes with left-handed grind, but I could be wrong) Fit & finish are decent, but with a rather rough edge grind (which is typical for blades marketed for the Japanese marketplace - in Japan, each cook is expected to put his/her own preferred edge onto the blade).

Asymmetric grinds will work well, but the blade has to be designed, forged or /stamped, and subsequently ground, to be asymmetric. It's not something done after the fact. Thinning and/or sharpening needs to follow the existing edge profile. Done properly, it does give a cook better control over the direction the blade will follow, especially when doing delicate low-pressure cuts.

GS
My mistake, it is the MV-H range. I have a high carbon knife and wanted something stainless. The carbon Masahiro's seem to have pretty good reviews. May I ask, what angle do you sharpen your Masahiro knife at on each side?
 
509
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Joined May 29, 2013
For my carbon Masahiro gyuto, I have it sharpened at 10 degrees and 15 degrees respectively, for the 80/20 grind.

But more importantly, I have thinned the blade behind the edge on the 80% side, so that I significantly reduced the extent of the visible edge grind. To give me a good visible guide when reducing the visible edge grind, I first used a broad black-tipped marker pen to color in black the full extent and beyond of the visible factory grind. I then set the blade aside for a few days to allow the ink to fully dry. Then, I started grinding at about a 2 degree angle on a 400 grit stone, and ground away along the full length of the edge until I had thinned the area behind the edge to what I was satisfied. I then polished that area with successively finer grit stones until it was as generally reflective as I wanted.

I have two ways to get the angles I desired. I have an Edge Pro jig, which I set using an electronic digital angle measuring guide (those I think were originally developed for setting woodworker's table saw blades to precise angles). The main problem with the Edge Pro is speed. It takes quite a while to thin the amount of metal on a gyuto.

More recently, I do my thinning freehand, and, for the edge, I find that an "angle stick" can give me relatively accurate edge angles from Wedgek pre-molded angles (10 to 20 degrees, in 1 degree increments), that are backfilled with a permanent putty (such as an epoxy) and then drilled and screw-mounted linearly along a stick (I suggest cutting a stick from a sheet of some impervious to water material, such as polypropolene). I can then get a feel reading as to the angle I need to follow on the stone, and, as long as I don't shift my wrist, I can maintain that angle when on the stone.

Hope that helps.

GS
 
5
1
Joined May 19, 2020
For my carbon Masahiro gyuto, I have it sharpened at 10 degrees and 15 degrees respectively, for the 80/20 grind.

But more importantly, I have thinned the blade behind the edge on the 80% side, so that I significantly reduced the extent of the visible edge grind. To give me a good visible guide when reducing the visible edge grind, I first used a broad black-tipped marker pen to color in black the full extent and beyond of the visible factory grind. I then set the blade aside for a few days to allow the ink to fully dry. Then, I started grinding at about a 2 degree angle on a 400 grit stone, and ground away along the full length of the edge until I had thinned the area behind the edge to what I was satisfied. I then polished that area with successively finer grit stones until it was as generally reflective as I wanted.

I have two ways to get the angles I desired. I have an Edge Pro jig, which I set using an electronic digital angle measuring guide (those I think were originally developed for setting woodworker's table saw blades to precise angles). The main problem with the Edge Pro is speed. It takes quite a while to thin the amount of metal on a gyuto.

More recently, I do my thinning freehand, and, for the edge, I find that an "angle stick" can give me relatively accurate edge angles from Wedgek pre-molded angles (10 to 20 degrees, in 1 degree increments), that are backfilled with a permanent putty (such as an epoxy) and then drilled and screw-mounted linearly along a stick (I suggest cutting a stick from a sheet of some impervious to water material, such as polypropolene). I can then get a feel reading as to the angle I need to follow on the stone, and, as long as I don't shift my wrist, I can maintain that angle when on the stone.

Hope that helps.

GS
 
5
1
Joined May 19, 2020
Thanks for your reply and in depth advice. I made the decision to buy the Masahiro. It was super fast delivery, so got it today. The blade is very sharp but I can tell with a bit of fine tuning it will get even sharper. I preped a lot of veggies with little effort. From an aesthetic point I think the knife looks great, yet it is also very functional for a professional kitchen. It feels light but at the same time robust enough and not brittle. Not sure why the Masahiro's don't have more recognition (maybe they do in Japan),most people seem to talk more about Masamoto and Misono knives out of the so called 3 M's. From what little I can find about Masahiro, people who use them seem to love them.
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2014
Thanks for your reply and in depth advice. I made the decision to buy the Masahiro. It was super fast delivery, so got it today. The blade is very sharp but I can tell with a bit of fine tuning it will get even sharper. I preped a lot of veggies with little effort. From an aesthetic point I think the knife looks great, yet it is also very functional for a professional kitchen. It feels light but at the same time robust enough and not brittle. Not sure why the Masahiro's don't have more recognition (maybe they do in Japan),most people seem to talk more about Masamoto and Misono knives out of the so called 3 M's. From what little I can find about Masahiro, people who use them seem to love them.
NIce! Do your own sharpening to take the factory edge off the put on a microbevel and you're all set :D
 
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