Looking for good stainless 270mm or 240mm gyuto for under $250

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by devopsprodude, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. devopsprodude

    devopsprodude

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a good stainless gyuto to compliment my current knife selection. I have some Shun knives and love them, but they don't make a gyuto long enough to suit my tastes, which is too bad, since I live near Portland and can get free sharpenings from Kai.

    Thanks,

    Alex
     
  2. foody518

    foody518

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    H DevOps, welcome to CT

    Any particular weight, handle, profile, or aesthetic preferences? Edge retention and or edge taking qualities valued?

    How will you be sharpening this knife?

    As an aside, looks like Epicurean Edge is about 3 hours from you. They have business hours, so I assume that means they have a store front and should have knives you can look at in person if that interests you. Not ideal on the distance, but it's about what my drive is to good J-knives I can see in person.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  3. devopsprodude

    devopsprodude

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    I like the D handle of my Shun knives, so would like to stick with similar wa style handles. Looking for Japanese chef knife/gyuto profile since I already have a regular chef's knife. Don't have a weight or thickness preference. For me it's all about being able to control the blade precisely. For instance, the Shun knives tend to drift a bit when cutting an onion in half. So yeah, sharpness and being able to hold an edge are key. Since I only have experience with double edged knives would like to keep with that for now.

    Basically, the Shun knives are good. Way better than any German knives, but I'd like to have that "one" knife, you know? Something closer to awesomesauce, but I can't afford to pay more than $250.

    I'd prefer to stay with stainless, but might be coaxed to venture in to high carbon steel territory with the right set of pros, but I do tend to be laid back in nature and don't want to baby the knife unless it's really worth it.

    Would love advice on sharpening the knife as well. What stones are recommended and how do you know when you are at 15 or 16 degrees?
     
  4. wens

    wens

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    Stone recommendations depend on budget, but the conventional wisdom is probably a king 1000/6000 combo at the low end, or a bester 1200 and suihero Rika 5000 in the mid range. I don't know much about the higher end, but there's probably so much variation it would be hard to give a default anyhow.

    If you're getting a up to $250 Japanese knife, you should consider how you're going to keep it sharp. It's a different deal from European style knives, which means you're either going to have to learn to sharpen yourself, or find a local expert or send it to an expert regularly, and should consider how that effects your budget.
     
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  5. foody518

    foody518

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    If you are willing to consider stainless clad carbon, then there's some good options opened up in your budget range.

    For example http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/itinomonn-kasumi-270mm-wa-gyuto/ this or the 240mm would easily be one of my top recommendations (I have a version with an octagonal burnt chestnut handle, but same blade). Exceedingly thin behind the edge but has a little bit of weight to it to aid falling through foods. Really outstanding cutting performance for the price. But I would probably avoid sharpening this one so much until the skills have been developed to not take off so much metal in one session, retaining that thinness. You'd be paying the Excl. VAT price, and it qualifies for free shipping. I did not get charged customs fees from my JNS purchase.

    Another recommendation would be https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...uchi-240mm-stainless-clad-blue-super-wa-gyuto which is pretty thin and light overall (laser-ish) and has a finesse kind of air to it, no problems with precision on this one. Comfortable octagonal handle, also stainless clad carbon.

    The drifting while cutting through an onion is an indication of a wedging/steering issue that could be from the knife or could be from how it's been sharpened and maintained. Can also probably be fixed by thinning and sharpening in a way to offset the drifting. I see that issue as independent (and likely fixable) from the absolute need for another knife.

    Bester 1200 & Suehiro Rika 5k are good starting options for beginner-friendly feedback and decent price range. These stones both require soaking in water before use. 

    15 vs 16 degrees - there's nothing to be made out of that aside from marketing. The knife's intended angles are going to be a function of your usage patterns (maximize cutting performance at the cost of some edge retention, or more conservative angle to go longer without needing to touch up the edge) and also what works with the grind of the knife and offsets steering. Safe angle range to start off with could be between 10-20 degrees per side, shooting for 30 degrees inclusive (one example could be 12 right/18 left for a slightly right hand biased blade).
     
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  6. rick alan

    rick alan

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    First thing I believe you need to consider is that Shun knives, the Premier in particular, are actually German knives, though made of Japanese steel.  They have a lot of belly in the profile, and the point is way too high to be practical, it literally "shortens" the knife by making the tip end mostly unusable.  They are also thick behind the edge, usually .025" or more.  This increases effort, which reduces control, and is likely responsible for you steering issue.  Japanese knives have a flat or nearly flat edge for half or more of the blade, and the tip remains below the bottom of the handle.  A knife in the dollar range you are considering would typically be .010 at the edge, or less.  At cutting they are like night and day compared to a Premier.

    As for sharpening, I doubt if many, if any, Shun knives were delivered at 16deg/side, the buffing job they do removes considerable material from the edge, in the wrong direction.  And their free sharpening is much worse.

    You will absolutely need to learn how to sharpen and thin your new knife.  Send it out to ANY sharpening service, or put it through one of those motorized units, and in no time your extremely nice $200+ Itonomon or whatever, will be cutting more like your Shun.

    These are the facts, regardless of make or cost, all blunted and dull knives are pretty much equal.
     
  7. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    ...
     
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  8. devopsprodude

    devopsprodude

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    My point on angles was more about how do you know the angle you are sharpening at and keep the angle consistent?
     
  9. foody518

    foody518

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    Angle consistency - practice, muscle memory. Using tricks like the magic marker/Sharpie method frequently to reinforce that you can removing metal exactly where you mean to



    I have an angle cube. If I didn't I would probably have gotten a protractor and some cardboard and cut out a couple of angles- 10, 15, 20 to have as a visual guide. But the important part starting out is just to pick something in a reasonable range and commit to keeping that consistent angle during a sharpening session. The exact exact number is less important.
     
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  10. devopsprodude

    devopsprodude

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    Why Suehiro Rika 5k instead of Arashiyama 6k?
     
  11. foody518

    foody518

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    The Rika is a bit cheaper and a very good value. It's a tried and true good stone and very beginner friendly.

    Choice between the two can depend on various things, including budget, need for splash and go (Arashiyama) versus soaking okay (Rika must be soaked), level of edge refinement/polish (the Arashiyama should be able to yield a more polished edge) desired, what stone you are having to bridge the gap from, etc. I wish I could speak more than generally on the Arashiyama but I have not used that stone. I have the Rika and the feel of it is very creamy...enjoyable to use.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  12. devopsprodude

    devopsprodude

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    OK, just curious because I read elsewhere that BDL highly recomended the Arashiyama.
     
  13. devopsprodude

    devopsprodude

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    @BrianShaw  I take it you disagree with the other commenter's opinion on Shun? So do I.
     
  14. devopsprodude

    devopsprodude

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2016
  15. devopsprodude

    devopsprodude

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    @foody518  Any thoughts on how the Itinomonn compares to the Miyabi birchwood 9" SG2 gyuto (34373-243)?

    Currently leaning towards the Itinomonn, but still exploring my options.

    Thanks,

    Alex
     
  16. foody518

    foody518

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    Alex, unfortunately I do not have any personal experience with the Miyabi birchwood. From web images the profile looks pretty usable, tip placed at a reasonable place. It has that bling factor if that is a preference. Need to look more to try and get specs and find different angled shots to try and get a feel for taper and grind. It costs more than I've paid thus far for a non-made to order/custom knife (I prefer 9-10.5 inch gyuto and the price on the 9in I saw was quite high) so the urge to buy that vs like a Shiro Kamo R2 or Shibata Kotetsu R2 is not there (if I was buying for the R2/SG2 core steel). The metal bolster and end cap will shift the balance point backwards a bit compared to a typical wa-handled knife so that's a factor that goes down to personal usage and preference. 

    In general I would have somewhat of a hard time believing that a mass market knife is purposely ground as thin behind the edge as my Itinomonn. To a typical consumer who may not be particularly attentive or willing to adjust their technique (or adjusting the edge to be at a more obtuse angle for durability), using that kind of knife can potentially be a bad idea either for user or knife. But on finesse and ease of cutting it absolutely delivers. I think that difference is part of what Rick was getting at with behind the edge specs. It can have a huge difference on knife performance to have a knife that is really thin at and directly behind the edge, but you tend to have tradeoff in durability/abuse-ability and there's no getting around that that's a concern mass market sellers have to consider. 

    On the stones, either one should be a good choice. I would expect the level of visual polish on the Arashiyama to be higher if you prefer a shinier vs a somewhat hazier edge bevel. If you don't have budget restrictions on that side (stone purchases), then go with whichever :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  17. foody518

    foody518

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  18. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  19. rick alan

    rick alan

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    The birchwod is a good effort for a mass-marketer like Zwillings, I don't know of anything Shun that compares.  I've seen the 8" on Amazon for $160 but, comparing knives of SG2/R2, $175 buys you the Takamura Migaki 210.

    If you could get the 240 Burchwood for $180, like the KKF dude, that sound like it would be a decent deal.
     
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  20. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    The fit and finish is nice and if you're in the market for SG2 or R2 powder steels they all cost a lot anyway
     
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