Upgrading From A Mac MTH-80 Chef's Knife

Joined Nov 29, 2018
This is my first post here, so if I am blatantly violating etiquette, please let me know. I tried to find a pinned post or FAQ for this without success.

Anyway, I have been using an MTH-80 for the last ten years. I like the knife immensely, for fairly low maintenance (honing every fortnight, personally sharpened every 2-3 months), it retains an excellent edge and doesn't feel like the knife's aged at all. I only have modest home cooking needs (so a family of two to four) and use the knife for 8-10 meals a week on average. I do not do anything stupid like send the knife to the dishwasher, attempting to use it for non-food items, or otherwise abuse it.

At this point, I would like to move to something even better as a Christmas present. I would prefer the knife to be on the lower side of maintenance (so something like a Sabatier Carbon's with its extensive needs is not desired) and on the light side. Staining is fine, I don't care. I will not buy Cutco or a knife made in mainland China (Dalstrong comes to mind). Budget is less than $1000, but probably in the $200-$500 range.

Also, is there a FAQ for "recommended knives at various price points" post somewhere trustworthy? I tried the Cook's Illustrated, but their recommendations were not good at all (the cooking instructors I went to at NordicWare gave me the satisfying MTH-80 recommendation a decade ago).
Joined Nov 18, 2010
Welcome aboard!
You may consider a 240mm gyuto. The extra length offers a greater contact area with the board, and result in a better edge retention.
In the case of Japanese blades they still are light and easy to handle. Nothing to compare with German knives of the same size. You get used to it within a day. Never seen people going back to the 210mm once they used the 240.
I would get a Misono UX-10. Steel offers a great retention at a very acceptable level of sharpness. Splendid Fit&Finish. Same profile as your MAC. Get it with Korin and ask for the free initial stone sharpening. So you have an edge you may easily reproduce while sharpening.
Other option: a Ryusen Blazen. Comes with the better factory edge. Sharpens a bit easier. More traditional look. Same very high level of F&F.
Joined Apr 24, 2018
I also started with the MTH-80 as my 1st Gyuto profile knife. After struggling with a cheaper King stone, I invested in some Naniwa Chosera stones and learned to sharpen. Once I got comfortable with my sharpening skills I decided it was time to upgrade. After some research and feedback from the various knife forums, I decided on a stainless clad carbon steel knife for ease of sharpening, ultimate sharpness and ease of care.

I ended up buying the 180mm stainless clad Aogami Super Ikazuchi from JKI. I thought the MTH-80 was an amazing cutter compared to my old Henkels, but the Ikazuchi is a light saber.

Sharpening is incredibly fast compared to stainless steel. I can raise a burr with just a few passes on the 800 grit Chosera and then strop a few more passes on the 3000 grit stone.

The exposed carbon edge took a nice patina quickly with no rusting. Its definitely not over reactive. I do usually wipe the blade dry within a minute of using it.

It is light and thin with a laser-ish profile. Not too tall. I still go back to the Mac for heavier jobs such as squash and use the old Henkels for anything with bones. No problems with chipping, but the edge is super thin and would not want to risk it.

My experience has been that the edge retention is even better than the MTH-80. Maybe its just that the Ikazuchi at 90% of its potential is a better cutter than the MTH-80 is at 100%. After 6 months of use I have only had to go back to the 800 grit once. Usually a few strops on the 3000 grip gets it back to razor sharp.

I am sure there are tons of great options out there in the $200 to $250 range but if you are looking for a lighter knife than can take and hold a razor sharp edge, the Ikazuchi is a great choice.
Joined Nov 29, 2018
So, I wanted to profusely thank @benuser and @rick alan for their suggestion of the UX-10.

So, after about a month (going into the Chinese New Year), I find the UX-10 to be an upgrade to the MTH-80. There are better people on this board who can gush about the UX-10, but this short note is my take.

I really like the Mac MTH-80, compared to the old Cutco utility that I used to have, it's basically the knife equivalent of a "fat-free, tastes great" that for an entry knife, I heartily recommend it to anyone (and even with the UX-10, I still do highly recommend it). I did not think I could upgrade without spending serious money for a knife, but it turns out that the 240 mm UX-10 is a very nice upgrade while only marginally more expensive than my old MTH-80. I have not had to sharpen it yet, but as for honing, it's as easy as the old MTH-80, and it seems to retain its edge slightly better than the MTH-80. Took a bit to get used to the extra length, but it's easier now to cut supremes out of chicken.

I've put my MTH-80 in storage as a secondary knife, it's still good, but I'm definitely a Misono user now and would highly recommend the knife to anyone that's ok spending in the range for that length, even more than the MTH-80.
Joined Jan 31, 2019
Just from the short time i have been using this forum, i have already picked up so much knife and sharping information, it has changed my total prospective of Chef knives and how they should be cared for.
I thank all who have posted.
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