Upgrade Gyuto Recommendation

Joined Apr 24, 2018
Bought my 1st J-knife (Mac Pro MTH-80) last year after spending way too much time on forums like this one and I am down the rabbit hole. Love the Mac but looking to dive into the deep end and buy a carbon steel knife. Looking for recommendations

  1. Right handed pinch grip
  2. Live in the USA
  3. Cook 4-5 meals a week at home
  4. Prep is mainly vegetables with the occasional protein
  5. Prefer french profile for push/thrust cutting. Not as much of a fan of rocking or draw cuts
  6. Own Chosera 800, Chosera 3k and King 1000/6000 combo.
  7. I enjoy sharpening, so would prioritize ease of sharpening and sharpness over edge retention. In other words would prefer white steel or equivalent over tool steel/semi-stainless/cpm. Open to blue steel
  8. I have no problem wiping off knife immediately after use, but want something less reactive that will not rust in seconds or impart a metallic taste to food
  9. Would prefer Wa handle over western
  10. 210mm or 240mm
  11. Budget: $200 to $250
  12. I care about fit and finish such as rounded choil and spine, but don't care at all about aesthetics such as Damascus or hammered finish. Prefer function over form
  13. Prefer a knife that is taller at the heel, but not quite as tall as a Kramer.
Looking for thoughts on mono-steel vs stainless clad carbon. Will the cladding get ruined when the knife is thinned or is it just a lot more work to polish the cladding afterwards?

Should I get a wide bevel knife that is easier to thin when needed?

Considering the following but open to any suggestions
  • Gesshin Uraku White #2
  • Gesshin Ginga White #2
  • Zakrui Aogami
  • Masamoto HC
  • Masakage Yuki or Shimo
Joined Oct 9, 2008
Love Masamoto though I do, I wouldn't recommend the HC here. To be fair, I only used it once, but I found it mildly irritating to sharpen. I suppose the Masamoto KS is out of your price range? That thing sharpens like a dream, and you've got good enough stones to make it really happy.
Joined Apr 24, 2018
Love Masamoto though I do, I wouldn't recommend the HC here. To be fair, I only used it once, but I found it mildly irritating to sharpen. I suppose the Masamoto KS is out of your price range? That thing sharpens like a dream, and you've got good enough stones to make it really happy.

Thanks Chris,

The KS would definitely be a top choice but I have checked CKTG and JCK they are always sold out. Looks like the price has gone up too. $328 for the 210mm which puts it out of my price range
Joined Apr 25, 2014
I was like you trying every which knife a few years ago. The important thing is that you're sharpening your own knives which changes what I'd recommend

You're deciding between
-Monosteel carbon (reactive)
-iron clad carbon (reactive)
-stainless clad carbon (reactive near edge)

Stainless clad is in soft stainless that is not fun to thin. However, as a home cook, you're not going to use your knife enough to have to thin it that much. I don't thin every time I sharpen, and most sharpenings are only touchups on finishing stones. If you start off with a thin knife to begin with, you might not thin it for years. The other benefits of stainless clad are worth it

You're also deciding if you want a wide bevel or not. Wide bevels sharpen kind of like single bevel but on both sides. You thin out and move the shinogi line up each time you sharpen. So in a way, thinning is built in and so is refinishing/polishing everything below that line.

For me, the amount of effort put into finishing depends on how you want to maintain your carbon steel knife. I let mine patina, so going up the grit progression it looks 'good enough' off my finishing stones

If you narrow down what you want, there are some great options in your price range. Depending on what cladding you want these might be up your alley:


also push and pull cut both benefit from a flatter profile. I like push cut for most things but pull for softer ingredients like tomatoes and cucumbers. Give it a try.
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Joined Jan 7, 2018
Ikazuchi if you want a super thin stainless clad (currently out of stock)
The ginga for a fully reactive monosteel (Both from JKI)
I'll also consider the Tanaka off knives and stones for a thin at the edge but a bit of meat at the spine.. the nashiji finish is the thinnest and probably the best, it's stainless clad.
My suggestions are all pretty thin so that it feels like a decent enough step up from the Mac.
You should get the 240 of these as they're much lighter and more nimble.
This way you'll have a thin wa gyuto for most work and keep your western handle mac for the tougher jobs.
Joined Apr 25, 2014
Oh and if you are sharpening your own knives anyway, check out kitchenknifeforums buy/sell/trade page. There's more expensive knives that could fall into your price range used.
Joined May 6, 2018
Love my Kohetsu Aogami Super Steel Gyuto. Around $200. Wa handle, has a taller heel, super thin blade and is clad with stainless. The edge develops a nice patina that contrasts with the stainless. SUPER light! Very easy to sharpen and hold it's edge for a long time. It's been a great workhorse for the year I've had it.
Joined Apr 24, 2018
Thanks for the advice on the stainless clad carbon. I ended up going with the 210mm Ikazuchi stainless clad AS from JKI. First off, the customer service was amazing. I received a call from one of the owners, Sara, within a few days of ordering to let me know the knife was shipping and to go over the care and use of carbon steel. She and Jon spent 20 minutes on the phone with me answering any questions I had.

The knife arrived to today with a handwritten thank you letter. This is my 1st carbon Steel Wa Gyuto so I only have my Mac Pro, Vic Fibrox and Henkels Pro S to compare it to. Beautiful knife. Simple, with clean lines. Flat on the back 1/3 of the blade, gently sloping belly towards the tip. Sharpish edges on the spine and choil. Jon offered to round them for free but I wanted to work on it myself.

Its definitely blade heavy compared to my other knives but it feels great in the hand and the weight helps it fall through food. I was concerned about the knife being too light but the weight forward balance makes it easy to control on the board. The factory edge was razor sharp but I put it on my Chosera 800 to see how it sharpened. I was able to raise a burr within a few seconds. After de-burring and stropping on the 800 I moved to the Chosera 3000. After just a few light stropping passes it was able to push cut news print and shave arm hair with ease.

The Mac Pro seemed like a large step up from my Henkels in terms of blade geometry and cutting ability. The Ikazuchi is definitely another step up. It simply falls through food. While I don't have the range of experience with carbon steel gyutos that many others have, I can definitely recommend this for anyone looking to make the jump from stainless. I have not had it long enough to comment on edge retention but the Ikazuchi sharpens so quickly and easy that it won't be an issues for a home cook like me.

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