Mashahiro Gyuto?

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Joined May 21, 2020
Hi, am looking for an all-round knife (~210mm) that does most of my kitchen jobs. After reviewing all the threads, I am leaning towards a Gyuto. My criteria is a durable knife that will hold it's sharpness, wouldn't chip off on the edges, and is easy to take care of. Price range < $150. I am leaning towards the following Mashahiro Gyuto. My question is, is this the best bang for the buck? I am very open to other suggestions.

hocho-knife.com/masahiro-japanese-steel-metal-tsuba-chef-knife-gyuto-210mm/
 
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Joined Nov 18, 2010
My Masahiro Virgin Carbons are amongst my best knives. Fit&Finish is a bit rudimentary, but OK. Quite sure they are made in the same factory as the Fujiwara Kanefusa FKH, but have the far better steel, from the Takefusa V2 series, @ 61-62Rc I guess. Performance-wise one of the best you may get. Easy sharpening, excellent edge retention, not overly reactive. You once force a patina and will never have to look at it again.
One thing you should know: it's very strongly asymmetric. All Japanese knives are, but this one to a much higher degree.
So, the edge is strongly off-centered to the left. Only to be used if you happen to be a right-hander. By the way, if you were left-handed, Masahiro does make the same knives with an inverted geometry. But you won't get it at this price.
Comes with a decent factory edge, which isn't common at all.
Alternatives: Misono Swedish. Has certainly the better look, F&F unrivalled. Very finely grained, simple but pure steel. Far more reactive, and quite a bit softer than the Masahiro — my guess 59Rc. Even with its splendid F&F, you will have to smoothen choil and spine yourself. And the Misono requires a good sharpening right out of the box, as it comes with a weak, overly convexed edge due to factory buffering. First thing to do is getting rid of that factory edge giving it a full sharpening starting with a coarse stone. No way you can follow the existing edge. The Misono are asymmetric, but to a lesser degree.
Misonos come with a very elegant spear- or arrow-like tip. Very sharp, but not very practical in a busy kitchen as it is so fragile. Repair is only a matter of a few minutes, but the point is to be considered. The lower Masahiro tip is less vulnerable.
Another alternative were the said Fujiwara FKH. Simpler steel, softer, coarser grain, much more reactive. Unexpensive. The coarser grain may be interesting if you were looking for a sujihiki as it offers some extra bite.
I own and use all three. Independently of the price, the Masahiro has my preference, certainly in the long run. At the price you got offered you can't go wrong.
 
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Joined Nov 18, 2010
By the way, if it is meant as an all-rounder, consider the 240mm, unless it's for occasional home use and there's a space problem. A Japanese 240 has nothing to do with a clunky German 230. Still nimble. More versatile than a 210, and with a much better edge retention: tip and heel area being the same, the contact area with the board is much larger. It will take one hour to get used to it. Have seen a lot of people going from 210 to 240, never seen them coming back.
 
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Joined May 21, 2020
Thank you, benuser benuser . I am a little concerned about Masahiro's durability. I need a kitchen workhorse that is an excellent long term investment. Given Masahiro's brittle composition, do you think the edge or tip is more susceptible to breakage during daily use?
Also, except going through bones, is there any other regular kitchen job that a Masahiro Virgin Carbons should not be put to?
 
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Joined Nov 18, 2010
I haven't noticed the slightest brittleness. In fact, some harder steel types that got a correct heat treatment are less brittle than other, much softer ones containing large carbide clusters. Never got any chipping with my Masahiros or Misonos but I must admit I sharpen any new knife out of the box.
The Masahiro hardness is quite modest to Japanese standards. 61-62Rc is rather common. By the way, I have a Aogami Super at 64Rc that isn't chippy, and had a brittle Blue#2 @62Rc. Most chips occurred so far with a Global (57-58Rc) due to carbide clusters breaking out.
No particular precaution is needed. With a Japanese knife in general, no rock-chopping and certainly no walking. Because of the thin asymmetric edge lateral forces are to be avoided.
And further common sense. Clean the edge immediately, don't leave it dirty or it will dull. The same with stainless, by the way. Only difference: once you're done, and have cleaned the blade with hot water, and wiped with a towel, let it air dry before putting away.
 
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Joined May 19, 2020
I have recently just bought a Masahiro MV-H stainless steel 240 gyuto. I have only used it for a day but it seems great. It's around 58-59 heat treat but that's fine for what I need it for - lots of veg prep and slicing meat. I also can't sense any brittleness, I chose this knife over a Takamura gyuto for which I was concerned about brittleness due to its extremely thin edge. The Masahiro seems like a good balance between durability and sharpness. I'm a professional chef and it definitely fits the bill. Obviously the carbon steel range will be slightly different. I think the Masahiro's also look great.
 
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