Pricing for knives - Masamoto HC, Misono Swedish, Mac Pro, Konosuke HD?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by chefanr, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. chefanr

    chefanr

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking to upgrade from my entry level Victorinox chefs knife and I'm looking between the following:

    Masamato HC Gyuto 210mm

    Misono Swedish Carbon Gyuto 210mm

    Mac Professional Mighty 210mm

    Konosuke HD Gyuto 210mm

    I've found fantastic reviews for all 4 knives. I've also had the pleasure of using a colleagues Masamato HC and Mac Pro (albeit a 240mm model), both felt fantastic and obviously a big step-up on what I've been using.

    My problem is two fold:

    1. Shopping in the UK it is proving difficult, even online, to find many suppliers offering any of these 4 knives. The ones that do are at ridiculous mark-ups.

    2. When looking at Japan or US based sellers the prices jump significantly once adding in postage and varying exchange rates.

    I was wondering what sort of price people have paid for these knives themselves? Or what prices they tend to see them being sold for?

    Equally if any UK based posters know of suppliers who may be offering these knives for reasonable prices then I'd be delighted for a pointer!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  2. foody518

    foody518

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    Have you looked at japanesechefsknife.com? They have the Misono and Masamoto

    Are EU sellers an option, or no?

    210mm only?

    Cuttingedgeknives UK might be an option but it seems like they tend to stock pretty blingy looking knives and therefore has a bit of price premium for that
     
  3. chefanr

    chefanr

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    Hi foody,

    JCK is currently looking like my best option for Masamoto, although they are out of stock for the 210mm. Ideally I'm looking at 210mm for the extra maneuverability yes. They are stocking the 240mm at $212. Is that a reasonable price for the Masamoto HC 240mm or a touch on the high side?

    My other option on the slightly cheaper side is to go stainless alloy rather than HC. The Masamoto VG is in stock with JCK and going for $161.

    Suggestions for EU sellers would be much appreciated. At the moment the ones I have found are working a very significant mark-ups though.
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    I'm curious...  What  (in terms of amount of money) are you calling "a very significant mark-ups"?  (I, personally, rarely seem to figure out the "true value" or the "true cost" of a lot of items I buy.)

    I understand the quest to bargain hunt, but there are some products that one might just have to pay the prevailing price to get exactly what one wants. Unfortunately living in the world economy that we do involves postage, exchange rates, tariffs, taxes, etc.

    I occasionally buy British products from British sellers because the items I need/want are not generally imported to US. While there doesn't seem to be import taxes, etc the postage and time delays cost money. But never had a problem with getting what I want. And for those British products that are generally imported... I'm often shocked by the price mark-up compared to what I pay in the UK as well as have to deal with "freshness" issues. Those issues are inconvenient at best, though.

    But finding a British or EU knife purveyor likely would be your best bet!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  5. chefanr

    chefanr

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    Hi Brian,

    On the most extreme end of the mark-ups I found one UK based website selling the Mac Pro 240mm for £250. Around $320. Ridiculous money in otherwords. This was a fairly well known catering suppliers as well.

    On other occasions I've had smaller knife suppliers around the country who I've rang offer prices such as £200 ($260) for the Masamato HC 210mm  or £180 ($230) for the Masamato VG 210mm. Whilst not as ridiculous as the price for the Mac Pro above it is still a big mark-up.

    I'm resigned to the fact that I'll have to pay more than if I were buying in the States or even in Japan, I'm also happy to do so for a superior product I'll work with everyday. It's a case of what mark-up is acceptable and what's ridiculous that I'm trying to get a grasp on though.

    As a commis who has only bought European (largely Victorinox and some Wusthof) knives it is a completely new market to me.
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    check out http://www.chefs.net/prodpage.asp?productid=161

    MAC Pro Mighty Chefs Knife 9.5" Code: F141 Price: £207.39


    that is still about $268, I can buy it here for $187
     
  7. foody518

    foody518

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    I have Misono Swedish Dragon 270mm gyuto and love the profile on it. JCK's pricing for Misono Swedish is good too. Not really sure if I'm qualified to judge how the Masamoto knives are priced, but you're looking at like $70+ difference for the 210mm size and there starts to be other knives that are attractive choices in that range (see Itinomonn below)



    I think Koki Iwahara at JCK also stocks Masahiro virgin carbon knives at a good price, just not listed on the website. Contact him directly on those. They supposedly run a bit harder for better edge holding vs Misono Swedish, hopefully @Benuser  can chime in on the Masahiro. 



    Korin France stocks Togiharu (their house brand?) Virgin Carbon which would be a similar kind of knife



    If you start getting into the $200+ range, have a look at the Itinomonn Kasumi knives from Japanese Natural Stones, based in Denmark. I'm guessing you would pay the incl. VAT pricing? The grind on these makes for excellent cutting performance compared to most of the 4 you listed. http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/itinomonn-stainless-kasumi-210mm-wa-gyuto/ the initial edge should probably be microbeveled more strongly. It is definitely *very* thin at and behind the edge


    How are you sharpening your knives?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  8. benuser

    benuser

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    I would avoid the Masamoto HC as the QC seems to be unexistent if you consider the numerous very serious Fit&Finish issues that have been reported.
    With Misono F&F are exceptional at its price point. Masahiro Virgin Carbons are more basic but without serious flaws. The Masahiro steel is much harder and much less reactive than the Misono one. Misonos have an appealing spear point tip, Masahiros the typical delayed dropping gyuto tip which is less vulnerable and assures greater stiffness. Misonos are clearly blade heavy, Masahiro more neutral.
    Neither has a great factory edge and both better get sharpened right out of the box.
    Prices are now the same.
     
    foody518 likes this.
  9. chefanr

    chefanr

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    Hi foody,

    Sharpening wise I work through 3 grades of stone using 1000, 3000, 8000. I sharpen my chefs knives to a 70/30 bevel. I am an inexperienced chef and have a lot to learn about knife care and sharpening but it is a part of the job that I genuinely enjoy so think I am better at it than the vast majority of junior chefs you'd meet. Then again most commis I know neglect kinfe care entirely...

    Interesting to see both foody and Benuser putting the Misono swedish ahead of the Masamoto HC. It's not a knife I've been able to use at all but looking back over topics on the forum it is clearly a debated topic as to which is better. I do prefer the balance of a blade heavy chef knife so that is very good to know about the Misono, thanks Benuser.

    As for going into a higher price range, this is my issue with the mark-ups I'm looking at. It's putting knives such as the Masamoto HC and Mac Pro into a price bracket where I'd be wanting to look at something such as the Masahiro.

    Realistically for my level of knife skills I would rather look in the below $200 price range though.
     
  10. foody518

    foody518

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    Sounds good on the sharpening, as long as you understand why you're doing something and executing to your satisfaction.

    Maybe in years past the pricing between the Misono Swedish and Masamoto HC were similar, but with the vendors I've found, that is not the currently the case. There are other knives I look at in the price range the Masamoto HC occupies.

    Haven't had an issue with reactivity, like the handle as well.


    As you're looking at 210mm, not sure if these will really run blade heavy. More likely to be pretty neutral balance. 

    Not sure I understood the next part - Seems like the Masahiro VC and Misono Swedish are priced about the same at JCK.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  11. benuser

    benuser

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    Misonos I've handled had the balance point at 1" from the bolster. The Masahiro above the heel.
     
  12. foody518

    foody518

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  13. benuser

    benuser

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    240, 270. I'm not longer sure about the 210, LOL.
     
  14. foody518

    foody518

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    That was my thought as well. Looking on JCK, there is a huge jump in blade width between the 210 and 240mm, and nearly 80g weight difference as well
     
  15. chefanr

    chefanr

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    foody - I can't see the Masahiro VC on sale through JCK. I have just found it on knifemerchant.com for $108, the same as JCK are offering the Misono Sweden. Both the Masamoto VG and HC are running for $60 dollars more than that with the prices I can find.

    I'm very happy with $108 as a price for a Misono Sweden or Masahiro VC so reckon I'll try to make a decision over the next couple of days between the two.

    Is there any more advice or comparison between the two knives that either (or anyone else of course!) of you can give?

    As a commis I naturally get through a lot of prep work, being in a high end French fine dining kitchen it is time consuming mise en place as well so a knife that will be nice to work with over long periods is a must.
     
  16. foody518

    foody518

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    ChefANR - I don't have any personal experience with the Masahiro. I believe you have to contact Koki Iwahara (the man behind JCK) to ask about them since they are not on the website.

    Main comparison between the two is Benuser's post #8 in this thread

    You'd probably want to tweak the Misono's edge out of the box. It's quite convexed (buffing?). Sharpens up easily. Though not sure what edge retention needs and or what options you have to touch up an edge during the day

    Spine and choil are not eased so that might also quickly warrant some sandpaper or files to relieve those 
     
  17. benuser

    benuser

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    The Misono comes overly convexed out of the box, from buffering, indeed. Get rid of that factory edge and you will be fine.
    The Masahiro factory is highly unpredictable. I got a new 240 with an extremely one-sided edge, and a 180 with a more 20 degrees right and 8 left, but still highly off-centered to the left. It doesn't matter. I put a 13/17 degree on it and see if it works.
     
  18. chefanr

    chefanr

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    Thanks a lot for the advice, benuser and foody.

    I've decided to pull the trigger on the Misono Sweden 210mm from JCK for $107 - well $114 with P&P but still a good price I believe?

    It should be delivered later in the week so will give an update then.
     
  19. foody518

    foody518

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    That's a good price. I've had good experience with fast shipping from JCK as well.
    Hope you enjoy the knife!
     
  20. benuser

    benuser

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    Looking forward to seeing your update!