Need help deciding between Hattori HD and Konosuke HD Gyuto Xmas purcahase

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by lennyd, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Well its been over a year since I found this forum (my absolute favorite cooking/Knife forum BTW) and I have had enough time with my choices from last year to have an idea on what I really want to add to my collection this holiday season.

    I was originally going to try to add to my "set" and was looking at a slicer (suji) or a longer petty (180-210 etc) but after thinking long and hard about this for a while now I have decided that since my current Fujiwara FKM 240 Gyuto see the most use by far it may be better or will be better to purchase a higher end Gyuto to allow me to compare low end to high end etc and then be able to make a more experienced decision for future purchases.

    I have settled down to two knives as they both seem to be excellent quality, and have great reviews from most everyone who has written one.

    The choices are a Hattori HD  v/s  Konosuke HD  both in 240mm Gyuto.

    Have to admit two things so you know before you share your thoughts (and please do so quickly as I am running out of time lol) one is that I do seriously like the looks of the damascus blade on the Hattori (really Maruyoshi) but am so intrigued by the benefits of the semi carbon or semi stainless steels that it has the logical or analytical side of my brain on fire.

    So which do you believe to be the better choice, and why?

    Oh and don't be shy let it fly!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  2. lennyd

    lennyd

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    I really thought with all the talk about the Konosuke lately (here and around the net etc) that someone here would have a really good opinion on why I am nuts for even comparing these two knives.

    I also thought it would be interesting to see a comparison of what is perceived to be a good VG10 Gyuto to a great semi stainless one.

    Could it be that even though so totally different the results are more similar than I thought?

    Am I just letting the "cool" factor of the Damascus pattern and my inexperience get the better of me, or is it that the experience I do have with VG10 has been good and it is a safe feeling or purchase?

    Also since I really had a $200 budget for this and both are just above that would a 270MM be worth going even more over budget?

    One important thing I forget for the original post is if there is a real difference between the WA and YO handle versions? I see on CKTG that there is plenty of room for improvement in listing specs and descriptions but also that they show a big diff in weight and also spine thickness. Should this be of any concern as well?

    Now c'mon guys and girls lets hear your thoughts.
     
  3. wagstaff

    wagstaff

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    The Hattori HD is a clad knife, no?  (I'm not sure of this).

    I haven't ever used one.  They look pretty damn great.  BDL talks about clad knives having a "damped" feeling on the board.  Or kc (on foodieforums) talks about using them being like wearing a condom.

    I've never worn a condom during food prep, either, so have no experience with which to confirm or deny ;-)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  4. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Wag you seem to be on a roll lately, and thanks for keeping me laughing :)

    Though I may have a decision made for my purchase solely due to what is left in stock now (damn I got to stop procrastinating lmao) I honestly am not sure if it is better to have made a decision based on appearance and performance plus value, or appearance alone of even just performance alone.

    In reference to your point on the san mai and dead or muted feeling on the Hattori that really seems to be the only real negative I have seen (most others I did find were not issues for me etc) and even this seems to a personal thing.

    Another thing for "most" to keep in mind is that there is a point where things become the splitting of hairs so to speak and also have to keep in mind when reading comparisons or reviews that what the writer is comparing to is as important if not more so than what is being reviewed.

    It all comes down to what skills and experiences each individual may have, and therefore what their expectations may be.

    I am fully sure that I would be happy with either of these knives, and there is no real question there as both are superior to what I am using now (and what I am using now is so far superior to what I have used in the past it is not funny) but still wanted to be able to compare these very nice but very different knives.
     
  5. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I almost bought a Konosuke a few weeks ago but ended up getting a once-in-a-lifetime deal on a 240mm Nubatama (normally a bit over $800!).  But the Kono is probably my next major knife purchase.  I can't comment on it from experience but everyone I know that's used one loved it.  I have had some Hattori HDs, though.  While they're certainly well made I found them underwhelming.  I'm so "over" VG-10, will probably never get another kitchen knife in that steel unless it's some specialty shape.  The suminigashi finish looks okay but it scratches very easily.  I consider them entry level knives.  For the money there's knives I'd much rather have, including the Kagayaki CarboNext.
     
  6. racineboxer

    racineboxer

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    I have a Hattori HD 6" petty and I've had a bit of an evolution of my opinion of this knife over time.  When I first got it, I was not impressed really.  I thought the aesthetics were "nice" but not great.  It probably didn't help that the carved kanji didn't stand out all that much, it kind of blended in with the rest of the damascus type pattern.  I also felt it was insanely light, now remind you, we're talking about a petty here not a gyuto.  And therein lies my evolution... while I wasn't thrilled with it at the beginning (I felt it was almost too light or fragile to be good for much), I now think it'll pair nicely with my MAC Pro 9.5" gyuto, because the MAC is really pretty stiff (wayyyy stiffer than the Carbonext).  So for jobs where I want more finesse (like the mango steak salad I made this weekend), it's a great compliment to my gyuto.  I'm not sure how relevant that is to your gyuto choice though... but...

    The thing I'm noticing about knives with the more I own, is that they're all a little different and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.  To me, the knives I've owned, the differences stand out more than I would expect.  So you have to really know what you want.  The problem is, for us that haven't been in the kitchen knife game for 10 years+, it's not until you use a knife for a while that you get the appreciation for the differences.  So do you want a knife that is different feeling than your Fujiwara or do you want something similar, but higher end?  Do you want an every day workhorse that you'll use for 90% of your daily duties or do you want a unique, special knife.  For example, I wonder if the konosuke is a good daily workhorse, or if it's a bit thin for that?  I dunno, I've never used one.  But I suspect the hattori hd is pretty substantially thicker and stiffer.  That may or may not be what you'd want.  Do you care about stainless or semi-stainless?  I ended up not liking the semi-stainless finish on my carbonext (I have no idea how the konosuke compares to the carbonext in the finish department).  To me, it seemed as if the CN was constantly spotty, like a window with water spots on it.  So I'd scrub on it and... it wouldn't really come off.  I think it was like a very faint patina, which... many people want on that type of knife.  To me it was distracting, it looked like it needed to be cleaned (but man was that CN a good cutter).  That said... I'd love to have one of those really rustic takeda's... there just so expensive.

    Anyways, do you want a workhorse?  Do you want something different than your fujiwara?  If so, different how (lighter, stiffer, thinner, taller, flatter profile or more belly, etc...).  Do you want a japanese or western handle?  Stainless or semi-stainless? 

    P.S.  On my knives that are damascus, I get no feeling of "damped".  Not saying that it's a fake claim, matter of fact I don't doubt that people can feel it.  But I get no condem type feeling from a damascus or san-mai blade. 
     
  7. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Phaedrus

    I think your going to have to let us know what you think of that Nubatama since you now have the curiosity part of my brain working overtime lol,

    Maybe because I am far from over VG10 at this time (will that change with using the Konosuke? I wouldnt mind if it did) and am still a bit impressed with the steels performance over the "moly" knives I own or have owned or possibly just due to appearance alone I still find myself attracted to the Hattori HD.

    Even though I did go with the Konosuke already (can not wait to get my hands on it BTW) it was more about the analytical part of my brain taking over and all the countless reviews and comments so strongly praising it's feel, quality, and performance.

    I understand your "entry level knives" comment, but being all my current knives are truly entry level that comment really gets me thinking, but also it implies there are other choices that are superior and this is where I had been having a problem trying to understand or get a feel for what difference is really all about. I mean if my current Tojiro and Fujiwara are considered entry level (very affordable, and very pleased with them especially when you consider their cost etc) and most consider the Hattori to be at a higher level, and those like yourself who have had the opportunity to experience other knives that make the Hattori seem entry level etc is just a whole lot to try to understand when I am still very impressed with just how insanely superior my current entry level knives are compared to my previous Pro S.

    Just what is to be expected? Where does it end? how much better can it get etc, etc, etc.

    Racine

    I hear you on the not so bold Kanji etc, and honestly am a little unhappy that even the Konosuke HD uses a similar print or screen as my inexpensive knives :(  and really wish it was stamped or something more permanent. But this all is mostly appearance based etc and I am trying to pay less attention or give less value to that part of things. I guess if looks manage to push higher on the scale of things I could always polish the steel to a mirror etc but that is a real PITA.

    I think you comment on learning the strengths and weakness of various brands and knowing what you want is a good one as it is part of my issue.

    As an example I can fully understand and compare the differences between the various knives I own and have owned etc, and can also have an idea of what I would like different as well, BUT knowing what you may want from your knife and knowing which one you actually want is not exactly the same, and also where I get myself into too much thought too lol.

    It is similar to how I do like how Tojiro DP takes and holds it's edge, and am happy with the performance as well (I mostly use the petty which due to being my thinnest knife seems to get the sharpest) but also prefer the feel of the Fujiwara FKM (comparing it to other Tojiro gyuto I have used, and even the santoku I own) and much as I want to improve on the steel and performance of the FKM I am just not sure how to put that into just which knife would do that etc. So I guess  would most likely prefer a slightly thinner, and flatter profile that will hold a sharper edge longer. Doesn't need to be a complete workhorse as I don't need to put it through 12hr shifts or anything, but it can't be no willy nilly sissy either :)

    Now Wag had some comments on another thread about the Konosuke that though I teased him a bit did hit on some good points relating to technique and profile. I think this plays into things here also because I have found that part of the reason my results and speed have improved since moving into J knives in general is partly due to the knives themselves a similar or even larger part of it is from changes or improvements in technique.

    I think it was around the end of last winter where I had put in a serious effort to be more aware of my cuts and methods and started employing more glide and guillotine in some sort of natural change that I found worked so well with the Fuji it was obvious. Not that I do not chop or use other styles (how to mince without a lil rock n roll etc) but smooth like push cuts have completely taken over much of the others, and it seems to work really well.

    So to answer the question about what am I looking for or to do. Yes I am looking to improve on the Fujiwara, and yes something different, but not so much different as improvement. I would like to improve on the steel, the feel, and performance. Not that there is anything "wrong" with it, but just that with all the talk I have heard and even seen in various vids about all this and that superior this and that and seeing products costing 3, 4, 5 and even 50 times as much I am drawn to finding out just what all that difference really is.

    It is sort of like when you see every newbie directed to the same 4 or 5 knives as the popular recommendations, but if you are the newbie just how to put a value on all these different products when you do not have the experience with the products to even understand what your comparing?

    I remember when I first get started with this all last year, how nearly mystical it all sounded, and how overwhelming all the information was. In hind sight I am glad I was working with a small budget as it allowed to get my feet wet before jumping in. Now that I have a base to compare with and some very different low cost knives that I am still very impressed with it is just time to move up to the next step in the progression so I can experience the difference and be able to compare if the next step is as large an improvement as the previous one (really hope so, but can not think things can continue to progress like moving from Henckels to Tojiro etc).

    I know this is getting a bit long, and hope I did not lose everyone already, but another part of this is about experimenting with carbon or semi stainless. The only non stainless I have is a old hunting knife (puma white hunter) and though an odd shape the steel is a pleasure to sharpen, and even with what seems like a totally blunt angle the thing gets silly sharp. So I really wanted to get a feel for non stainless, but really do not think I wanted a full carbon for what may become my main knife. So the Konosuke seems that it may fit what I am looking to do, and much as I do prefer the look of the Hattori (and may end up with a longer petty or slicer of some sorts from them in the future) I decided to go with the Konosuke, and only hope I made the right choice.
     
  8. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    Racine, if you lust for a Takeda but don't want to spend the cash, try a Moritaka.  They're pretty similar, and several guys that have both have told me that while they like the Takeda a little better they're not enough better to justify the extra money.
     
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    To the extent that there is any real difference between high-performance knives, the difference between the Konosuke carbons and semi-stainless knives and the Hattori
    Damascus is light years.  The Hattori is a suminagashi, home-kitchen queen, a Konosuke is a laser, and there's not much real comparison.

    However, you really need to decide on what type of knife you want rather than willy-nilly picking a particular line from a particular manufacturer.  If looks are a real priority, that's fine.  When it comes down to it you can cut onions just about as well with a really good looking knife as with one which is less visually appealing.  Once you've got your priorities straight, you can narrow down the field to a few lines which make the most sense for you.  

    If you're looking for a yo or wa laser, the Konosuke has plenty of competition, but not with the Hattori.  If you're looking for a suminagashi yo-gyuto with a VG-10 core, Hattori seems to be one of very few manufacturers who got the VG-10 part right; but again, there are others in the general field.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of the Takeda/Moritaka type knife -- too flat, too san-mai, too kurouchi -- but that's me.

    If the goal is lifting some of the onus from prep, and/or having fun with knives, my general sense is that most people would do "best" with a thin but not quite laser, single-steel, high quality, non-VG10.  But, at the end of the day, "best" isn't that much better than "extremely good" and the difference between them isn't nearly as important as how well you sharpen. 

    Everything depends on sharpening.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  10. lennyd

    lennyd

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    BDL appreciate the no nonsense response as always.

    Really does help to put things in perspective etc.

    The more I think about this the more confident I am with my decision as everything I had wanted performance wise is addressed by the konosuke and the the potential alternates were either imitating it like the carbonext or full on carbons (aogami or white or blue etc) and also much more expensive and out of budget. Have to remember that though a bit higher than last years most of my budget is gone on one knife where last year it was enough for several etc.

    I know I will experiment with other types in the future bit really am expecting the laser aspect and better or different steel to help me bring my sharpening to a new level. That's the plan at least lol.

    Will know more next week as officially it is a x mas present.
     
  11. lennyd

    lennyd

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    First I have to be honest that it seems I am posting some info here and also a bit in the first impression thread so sorry for any confusion etc.

    I managed to get some measurements so here they are.

    Thk at heel 2.3mm at 1" fr heel 2.30mm at mid of blade 2.20mm. At 1" fr tip 1.30mm at 1/4" fr tip 0.39mm
    Blade height. at heel49mm at mid 42mm at1/4" fr tip 21mm
    Thick half way from edge to spine. Heel1.31mm. 1" towards tip1.22mm. Mid 1.98mm 1"fr tip.80mm tip 0.38mm

    The measurements are not 100% exact but taken with a dial caliper and converted to mm.

    I am still a little confused or well maybe curious is a better word by the similar profile and even some of the measurements compared to the Fujiwara FKM.
     
  12. lennyd

    lennyd

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. lennyd

    lennyd

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    A correction is in order as I was somehow mislead to believe the Kanji was printed or screened etc, and that is absolutely not he case with the HD I had received.

    It is stamped and very well done at that.

    The whole idea of polishing remains another subject /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  14. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Does anyone have any input on the dimensions or comparisons with the wa handle version?
     
  15. racineboxer

    racineboxer

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  16. lennyd

    lennyd

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    I did compare with the info on the CKTG site and was really looking to get more info (say like blade height further down the blade or thickness halfway between the spine and edge etc)

    There is an obvious small difference in thickness, and I am assuming the profile is mostly the same.

    I guess my question is since the thickness of the HD is really close to that of the FKM and where it really starts to thin out is further down the blade towards the edge etc just how different is the WA handled version that is obviously thinner at the top of the spine down the entire blade?

    Is it even thinner than the yo version in the rest of the blade as well, or is it just that the yo gets thicker at the top.

    Also if the wa is thinner in all areas how to compare the flex of the knife?  The yo is not nearly as "flippy" as I was expecting from various reviews and not all that much more than the Fujiwara FKM is either. Then again it is also not all that thinner than the FKM.

    I am confident just by initial inspection and without even cutting or sharpening this blade that I will most likely be very happy with it's performance (I can not wait to get to the point of making that distinction) but I want to be sure that I am not "missing the boat" by getting the thicker yo handled one, and that I may find it too comparable to the much less expensive Fujiwara.

    Remember a big part of this upgrade for me was to be able to compare the entry level knives I purchased last year to the the higher end performers. I think I picked the right one, and really just need to get moving on making a final decision if I am going to stick with the yo, or return it for a wa, and if so weather to go with the std or ebony handle.

    Any help is very appreciated as I really want to get into using this thing lol.
     
  17. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Well thanks to all for your input etc.

    I had decided to just go with the original choice I had made before things started selling out of stock etc. and there should be a 240 wa here next week if all goes well.
     
  18. racineboxer

    racineboxer

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    It'll be interesting to hear if you think the wa and yo handled knives are in fact the same knife, just with different handles. 

    I'm eyeballing a new knife purchase and a wa gyuto, perhaps one like the konosuke, is near the top of my list.
     
  19. lennyd

    lennyd

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    From everything I have seen I am expecting they are not, but since I have all the measurements on the YO version I will certainly measure the WA and post up my findings.

    Also for the administrator here can you look into the problem with the site working with mobile devices running Symbian OS? It just doesnt seem to be compatible, and is weird since it works so good on android.
     
  20. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    They can't be exactly the same, since the yo has a machi, while the wa has a full tang.  However, Jon Broida said -- or at least implied -- that they're very, very similar otherwise.

    I don't think I'd go so far to say as a "laser is a laser is a laser," but lasers have far more in common with one another than with other, merely thin knives.  My guess is that the Konosuke wa and yo gyuto profiles are much the same.  Again, it would be nice to get some input from Jon.  

    FWIW, don't expect two knives as "handmade" as a Konosuke to ever be exactly the same.  

    BDL