Longish term review of Yoshihiro Aoko Gyuto

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by tastytaco, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. tastytaco

    tastytaco

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    Hello all,
    A few months ago I came here looking for advice and I got quite a bit of quality information. Thank you for that. So when I chose a knife I knew I would be happy with it. The knife I chose was an Amazon purchase for the Yoshihiro Aoko blue steel knife. I will go over some initial thoughts and a little deeper as I have been using this knife for quite a few hours a day for a couple of months now. I will not be posting links, sorry, this site just doesn't care for them sometimes. I can take specific measurements at another time as it is currently unavailable.

    Initial impressions are that the knife is an eye-catcher. The hammered and sand-blasted finish look wonderful. Made in Japan. Happy packaging and a booklet of lots of knives I can't afford came along with the knife. The knife is very light. The carbon-stainless sandwich looks fantastic. This is coming from someone that has quite a bit of German workhorse experience. Also that the knife feels much smaller than it's 210mm would seem. Which isn't big by any means, it just feels immediately nimble. Edge is decent, I feel that I can get a equal or better edge myself, if I have the time.

    Medium-time impressions is that blue #2 steel is wonderful. After repeated use and sharpening this knife makes my older softer stainless knives seem like a chore to sharpen and maintain. though I really thought it would hold an edge longer, I spend a fair bit of time sharpening the knife. This is also part edge addiction I suppose, as once you handle a very sharp knife that's all you will ever want. But I am starting to notice a fair amount of hand fatigue and the knife doesn't quite fit my large hands and long fingers. The blade itself if very shallow and the handle is small. I do a fair amount of all cutting I would say. I use it to break down all types of vegetables/root veg/melons/fishes/animals/fruits. Push/pull cuts, rock chop(i know), slicing, dicing and I even make julienne fries. I do not shy away from anything with this knife and it hasn't let me down. Also being so light, the weight of the knife does no work for me. The blade has only once earned some micro-chips which was a mystery, but also very easily fixed. The carbon sammy has a petina that looks great BUT I have already made it to the softer stainless in some areas. Which is noticeable while sharpening -- you can feel when the softer steel hits the stone.

    Final thoughts. So just recently my knife took a vacation. An unplanned vacation. During a multi-chef event another took it home by accident. It is my understanding that it is on it's way home as I type. But it has forced me to use other knives and there is somethings that I noticed. I still don't care to sharpen soft stainless but I do miss a deeper blade. Not necessarily a round belly, but just more room for my fingers. I broke out my old cleaver and my hand really got to stretch out, and that felt pretty good. I realize this Yoshihiro Gyuto isn't the workhorse I am using it as, and it has held up wonderfully. It is an awesome knife and a solid purchase, especially for the money. I just saw it on Amazon for $144. It will always be in my knife bag from here on out, but I think it's time for a bigger knife, something in the 240- 270 range. My cleaver will probably get back into rotation but dang if that thick blade(by Japanese standards) doesn't take some work to edge up... I will be looking for a knife when I am prepping the whole kitchen, then I can switch back to this little beauty when it's GO time and space is short and edge is key. Unfortunately the stainless sandwich is cool to look at but ultimately a let-down for it will be gone soon, this micro-thin layer of blue #2 wears out fast. This is the perfect home-cook or short term usage knife, but for as much as I use this knife I feel I am asking to much. Am I glad I made this purchase? Absolutely. If it doesn't get returned to me would I buy it again? Nope. To many other fish in the sea.
     
  2. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Sounds like a good first Japanese knife experience! That's how it goes and why I try so many knives. The only way to know what you like or not is to try it out and get something different next time. Reading through I have a couple comments

    - Have you thinned this knife as you sharpen? Thinning is at a very low angle like 2-5 degrees. Its like a pencil- you have been sharpening the lead part only without taking away any wood. If you're hitting cladding you need to thin it a bit and move the shinogi line up and then do normal sharpening.

    - I like taller knives myself if I use a gyuto at all. My itinomonn 240mm is 52mm tall at the heel! I took this to the extreme for the last two years, my daily users are all chukabocho. I find really thin lasers are always too short at the heel. 210mm are also narrower than 240 or 270mm from the same line. My only advice for short knives is work closer to the edge of the board so your handle is always off board.

    If you're shopping for taller at the heel gyutos, consider these lines. They are all excellent cutters thin at the edge but heftier at the spine to have something to hold onto:

    Japanesenaturalstones.com: itinomonn, toyama noborikoi
    https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/: kochi, heiji
    Watanabe pro - http://www.kitchen-knife.jp/pro/ (this one is direct from the blacksmith)
     
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  3. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Thanks, tastytaco... your very comprehensive review really satisfied my curiosity about this blade... and makes me very happy with the blades I'm currently using.
     
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  4. tastytaco

    tastytaco

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    Well I thought I would try and add a review to the forums, as lots of people come here for advice and then we never know just how it goes for them later on.

    Thanks Millions. I have tried some thinning, but perhaps not aggressively enough. To be fair there were a few spots where the cladding was almost to the edge (and one spot where it was at the edge)--right out of the box--and those are the spots I'm running into now. One part I forgot to add about the review is that the non-cutting edges were way sharp initially. They all required smoothing to be handled comfortably. My next knife won't necessarily be a gyuto. I'm not even opposed to a decent Euro knife as long as it isn't shaped like a 20 pound walleye. And definitely a chukabocho isn't out of the question either. I will keep looking around. Taking what I have learned from my wusthofs, vics and now my gyuto and applying it to the next purchase.

    Thank you for the knife suggestions but they are a bit out of my economical comfort zone. After this last knife walked away I am going to be a bit more cautious. But really if it was a Messermeister it would have gotten left behind or just put on the house-knife rack while not being of any less "quality".
     
  5. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I have for a while now been wondering about the Yoshihiro Daisu powdered steel series. I'm a huge believer in SRS-15 PM steel, sharpens easy, takes a great edge for stainless and hold its sharp like nothing much else. Maybe it's time I just buy one, I can always gift it.
     
  6. tastytaco

    tastytaco

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    Powdered steel has really caught my eye as well. To many choices