Konosuke wa-gyuto first impression

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by fish boy, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. fish boy

    fish boy

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    Received my Konosuke 270mm Wa-Gyuto this weekend (thank you CKtG).  After slicing one hard Granny Smith apple and mincing an onion faster and more consistently than I ever thought possible, I'm thrilled.

    Was intimidated at first before I even opened the box at the length of the box, and then the length of the knife.  This is my first 270mm.

    After just 5 minutes, however, it felt like an extension of my arm.   Sharp enough to shave the hair on my arm out of the box.  Well balanced for my hand and my grip.  Only gripe is that the horn ferrule and the handle are not perfectly flush on the top and bottom of the handle.  Both sides are flush.  I attribute this to some minor shrinkage across the grain in the handle.  Not a big deal, but very noticeable (and given the nature of mixed materials with wood, perhaps unavoidable).

    Was also a little apprehensive about the thinness of the blade.  Shouldn't have been concerned.  It's just perfect.  No (noticeable) flex and it's weight is a joy.

    Thank you to BDL, Mark at CKtG and all the others who shared their experience and advice on comparisons.  You helped me make an informed decision that I'm very happy I made.

    I fear now I may become addicted.. God Damn the pusher man.

    Fish Boy
     
  2. mimmogram

    mimmogram

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    Hmmmmmmmm..... I think I want one!!!! Lol! Dear hubby will hurt me if I buy any more knives... I have 5 sets already!!!
     
  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    A laser is a thing apart.  If you're into knives -- and you obviously are -- it's something you should definitely try.  Your husband can live with your tool purchases. 

    I love my Konosukes deliriously and recommend accordingly to anyone with the skills... but don't know if they're easy to purchase in Oz. 

    If not, they're not the only great brand of lasers.  Several are available direct from Japan, which might things a lot easier.  While I don't own one, I'm very high on Tadatsuna's "European" series.  They're available in a really wonderful version of G3 (stainless) or in White #2 (White might be special order).   

    BDL
     
  4. ccoppola82

    ccoppola82

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    I have been lurking around for a week or so and I picked up the set BDL talked about.  I picked up a 150 ss petty, an hd 270 sujihiki, and the 240 wa-gyuto is out of stock but I should get a reminder email.   I could not believe how light they are.  I used them out of the box and they made quick work of whatever I put in front of them.  Also thanks BDL for the info.  Super happy with them so far. 
     
  5. mimmogram

    mimmogram

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    Wow!!! They are rather expensive over here!!! :-/

    might have to buy a couple just before tax time so I can claim the $$ straight back... It's about the only way I could talk the hubby into it!!! (or I could just not tell him....)
     
  6. Iceman

    Iceman

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    OK. As it says in my signature, "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.", but in regards to: 
    You don't have to buy the first $300 laser that you see and/or is recommended. Now Jebus forbid, I'm not backtalking anything BDL says, but there are lots of others you can look at, and not have to pay for so dearly. 
     
  7. mimmogram

    mimmogram

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    Have a set on order now... Itching to get it!!

    what can I say?? They just look so funky!!! Lol
     
  8. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    CKtG just got a newer version of the HD that's flatter; it's basically shaped like a Masamoto KS.  I'd love to pick on up but I just bought a Nubatama 240mm Wa-Gyuto a couple weeks ago...my toy fund is basically blown for the rest of the year.
     
  9. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Iceman do you have any links?

    I am seriously looking at the Konosuke HD and always interested in a better value purchase :)
     
  10. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    I'm interested to hear on this issue, too.... BDL himself said he got the HD in part because of how he talks about stainless but only was using carbon (Sabs) at prior to getting those.  The Konosuke White Steel gyutos are a savings, for starters.  It's at *that* point I wonder about the Sakai Yusuke carbons vs the Konosuke carbons.  I don't know what other lasers.... (IceMan?)

    But then, also, I think it was LennyD on another thread who expressed interest in the semi-stainless, or low-stain carbons.  And I don't know what alternatives are out there, regarding that steel, that are lasers.  I have the CarboNext, which is a thin knife but not a real laser.  I don't think the steel is as good as the Konosuke in spite of being another low-stain carbon tool steel (?), and the profile is less good, too.  (They're great price-point knives, if you can sharpen; and maybe re-profile -- though that wasn't an issue for me).

    Anyway, I'm certainly not ready to spend $300 on another gyuto.  I wish I were!
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  11. Iceman

    Iceman

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    OK. First off, I apologize for making a rather obtuse and opaque statement. I am not in any way a knife geek like so many others here are. I'm just a chef. I've spent the last year not really knowing what "lasers" really were. Someone gave me an "idea" of what "starter entry-level" lasers might be, and I've since been told "NO, wrongamundo", in simple words. I'm not a guy who's gonna spend $300 on a knife. My point was that "if you look, there's gotta be something cheaper than $300". I was kinda throwing out some bait that I expected someone who does know, to tell us what knives those may be. I guess I apologize for that too. Now once again, I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin', that in and for what I do, cook professionally, there is no where near as much over-the-top love and excitement for knives among professional chefs as there is with home cooks who have lots of money. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, I'm not calling anyone out. Hobbies and interests are great. We all have them. I'm just having conversation, including my side. 

    As an example of really stupid stuff, here is a part of discussion I had with an idiot a year or so ago: 

    Quote:
    He then showed me at least one(1) $350 knife, told me to go check out some "knife boards", and called me a nasty name. LOL. He was called out for that after by other posters. Anyway, I ended with this:

    Quote:
    My point is that we all look at things from our different viewpoint, based on where it is we stand looking. One place may or may not be any better than any other, just different. I don't think that anything I put on a plate would taste any different depending on what knife I used. I would love however, to have some of these knives that you all talk about though. I just can't afford any. 

    Just to show that I'm not all cheap talk, w/ no respect for you guys that like pricey knives, I'll give you this example of my money crazyness. Along with all the other things I do fantastically (or so I wish to believe), that I don't make any living at, I'm a professional jazz musician. I have three(3) horns totaling replacement value north of $15,000. Do these make me play/sound any better? Maybe, but probably not compared to any other quality horns.   

    Anyway, I guess again, that that was a really long drawn out post to basically say "NO, I don't have any links or examples of cheaper laser knives". Sorry. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  12. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    Tease.
     
  13. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    BTW, Lee Morgan might be my favorite. (Though I didn't ask what horn).  Or Curtis Fuller.  Or John Coltrane. Or somebody else.  (Alto? -- what horn do you play?)
     
  14. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Understood, and just to be clear I was not calling you out, but rather just looking for more information LMAO

    Not sure if I should still feel so "new" in the J knife world but somehow as confusing as the entry point was initially the higher end products seem to be so much more confusing and almost mystical that it makes the original decisions seem almost juvenile or simple in comparison.

    Consider just taking whatever you have learned from personal experience, and then add what you have seen here etc and then go do a search on google or eBay for japanese chefs knives and you learn mighty fast that there are another hundred or so possibilities you never even thought of.

    There are just so many brands, styles, profiles, steels, and preferences that you would literally need to spends years buying, using, sharpening and comparing to really have a true handle on it all, but then in most likeliness there would have been enough changes during that time that it all has changed already :D

    The point being that having a resource like this forum is very valuable to anyone looking for information no matter a new home cook or seasoned professional.

    Remember we once were all happy to some extent with what we were using before we found enlightenment ;)

    I am still feeling like a kid on Christmas morning just thinking about how much better any of my choices for my next higher end knife will be compared to the ones I have now that totally blew my socks off when I first got them.

    Is that making sense?
     
  15. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    .... and btw, "I've got a guy..."   Well, I don't.  But I found a guy on yelp who is local to me, a sharpener.

    He sharpens on belts at a low enough speed that he doesn't heat them up overly much.  Gets a consistent, toothy edge.  I like my own sharpening much better.  But for a few bucks he sharpens.  He also makes knives that are super inexpensive.  So for $12 I have freakni' sharp, wooden-handled chef's knife.  I don't love it because it's too wide, and it's hard for me to sharpen.  I can take it back to the dude who made it an have it sharpened for $4.00.... and if I wanted $10 knife, could have gotten the same thing with a groovy plastic handle.

    But seriously, IceMan would do very well with it, and outcook me in my wildest dreams I'm sure.  TOTALLY sure.  Someone (I don't remember who) said on one these forums, "hey, it's a handle and edge.  It cuts stuff. Spend $12, you'll be ok".

    I won't shill for "the guy", but seriously, if someone wants a $10 or $12 knife (last I checked), PM me and I'll let you know.  On the other hand,  I think it was IceMan who said "just get a knife that has "NSF"  the side.  You'll be ok".  Or something like that.

    (Sorry if it wasn't IceMan, but I think that's the spirit of IceMan's post at least!)

    Meanwhile, I can't afford a $300 knife either, just now.  But I like a knife that makes prep more fun, and I like a knife that takes and keeps a better edge, more easily.  So... hobbyist in that sense.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  16. lennyd

    lennyd

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    I hear you on that, and after trying to put aside that much cash for the purchase and going into it several times lol I am still going to end up spending less on my next knife than $300 as I am still selling myself on just how much better can a $200 knife be than a $80 one.

    Guess I could just throw it onto a charge etc, but find I appreciate things more since I stopped doing that "instant gratification" BS thing so many seem to do :D

    Bet you would not be surprised that my friends get pissed when I remind them they don't own much but Visa, Mastercard, and their mortgage company have a lot of nice things :D
     
  17. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    I have a $175.00 knife (or $165.00 when I bought it).   That'd be $10 or $20 cheaper in 240mm, I suppose, just to compare apples to apples. So "next step", unfortunately, is probably a $300 knife, should I ever want to go there.  Upgrade-itits being what it is.  Or else a somewhat less expensive carbon "laser".  But then we're still talking about a Konosuke white steel or something like it.

    Which is why I'm curious about that vs. a Yusuke Sakai white steel.  Which... I *think* has the same geometry, the same steel (? - not sure if it's heat treated the same and the geometry and all that). And then I have the issue that I'm likely to spend the extra bucks on the Konosuke *anyway* just out of loyalty to my local shop.  Because that's where I actually got see and hold one, and out of loyalty to where I learned the most about knives -- at least, there (in person) and here (on-line).

    At that point we're still talking about expensive freakin' knives.  And *maybe* I like the idea of the low-stain HD carbon enough that the Konosuke is the only choice anyway.  Maybe.

    Only other knives I lust after as still more money.  And like IceMan says... he could, no doubt, cook better than I with plastic knives.  So it's hobbyism.

    I will say, feeding hobbyism... my thin but-not-laser-thin Yoshihiro may become victim of reprofiling.  I'd like to try to convex it a bit, give it better food-release.  If that goes well I may just stick with what I have for a long time.  If that doesn't go well I might be saving up for a $300 knife!
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  18. Iceman

    Iceman

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    I have/play two(2) trombones (tenor/bass) and a bass trumpet. all Bach Stradivarius. A quality enough brand. I like them and think they're cool. 

    If I could buy new knives right now it would be these, all based on "coolness to me". The complete overall value to that, not so much probably. The "coolness factor" also includes the relative inexpensiveness. 

    [​IMG]   [​IMG]  [​IMG]  [​IMG]

    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/topost.html

    I don't know which I'd like better, the 120 or 150 petty, the same w/ the 210 or 240 gyuto. I've almost always used an 8-in chef knife so that's what I'm used to. I just like santoku knives. I really can't give you a reason why, I grab them before a chef knife sometimes. I just do. I love using a nice nakiri when cutting up lots of veggies. It makes me feel good, like being w/ the Asian guys in the videos. One(1) thing that I would question if I got those knives right now was if those labels come off the handles easy enough. That's the first thing I would do. 

    On the other side of the coin, I'd get these: 

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/cutlery-clearance

    They've got a very "classic" look. I like that. They're very close to the same look as Chicago Cutlery. They're also very inexpensive. I think their newest line looks really nice too. Lamsonsharp Vintage. I'm sure it's nowhere as cheap as the "Walnut" stuff I posted though. 

    I apologize for the serious tangent here, but this thread is two(2) weeks old. That's long enough I figure (any excuse, right?).
     
  19. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    I think about those Lamsons for xmas gifts, too.  Seem very good for the bucks, and look nice.  And the (clearance) Henckels Twin Cermax from C&M, too, which I also learned of from someone on this forum.

    I had, until today, a santoku.  A Spyderco.  From what I understand, it's something of a collectors piece now, since they're not made anymore.  It was around $35 or so when I got it.  Maybe $40.  It's been in a drawer for too long, so I decided to make a Christmas gift of it to someone who will appreciate it.  It's MBS-26 steel, so that leads me to believe it's a Masahiro knife, branded for Spyderco back when.  At the time I bought it, I knew a little bit about folding knives ("killing knives") and nothing about kitchen knives at all.  So m coolness-factor was just "cool! Spyderco makes a kitchen knife!"

    And Curtis Fuller.  Trombone.  I can't believe what he does on Art Blakey's "Free For All".  Articulation on the thing makes it sound like a trumpet.  Only really low.  (This from a fan's perspective -- I don't know how ANY of you guys can play those things.  I understand strings better!)
     
  20. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Funny you mention the Tojiros above as I was on the email list for the 210 Gyuto for when they came back into stock, and once I saw they raised the price over 20% for the new shipment I let it tick me off and decided it was time to spend a little more on something a bit higher in the quality/performance level.

    From everything I keep reading on the Konosuke HD it is sounding like the real value leader in the $200 range (looking at 240 or 270 Gyuto) and is what originally got me to this thread.

    I think that the same value driven thinking that makes those Tojiro's so appealing is also making the Konosuke so attractive.

    I mean where does one put or create the different value when going higher up the price/performance scale? I had questioned the very idea of there possibly being the same value to higher priced knives when I was first introduced to J knives over a year ago, and still am skeptical if the bang for the buck can be as extreme as it was going from previous Henckels Pro S to the Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM, but since I am expecting to pull the trigger on either the Konosuke HD or Hattori HD on Monday I sure as hell hope they will be worth the extra investment.