Which would better compliment my set - a 240mm Gyuto, or a Suji?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by Jay MacCallum, Nov 14, 2017 at 5:09 AM.

  1. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    I'm a pretty serious home cook, and love my kitchen equipment (Sous vide, Vitamix, Baratza Burr Grinder, Stand Mixer, you name it I got it). The first real knife I ever owned was a Moritaka 170mm Santoku, gifted to me by my mother for Christmas about 7 years ago. About 3 years ago, I bought a Wusthof Ikon set (I know, I know, I could have hand selected a better set for less) which I was comfortable with as I grew up in a household with mostly German Style knives.

    I want to add a knife or two to my set, and I was looking for some advise on which style I would likely get more use from given my current selection. As it stands, I have an 8" Ikon Chef Knife, 5.5" Ikon Utility Knife, Ikon paring knife, Ikon Bread knife (I actually love that thing), the 170mm Moritaka, and a 5.5" Zwilling Henkel Pro Boning Knife. Given my Moritaka, I am no stranger to caring for carbon steel, and the small amount of additional care doesn't bother me.

    I was thinking that the best choice for my next knife would be a 240mm Gyuto. Yes, it's another general purpose chef knife, but it has the additional length over my Ikon, yet will be significantly more nimble (although much more delicate). However, I have been looking for a long slicing/carving knife, so a Suji has tempted me a bit.

    I'm currently thinking of going with a Misono Swedish 240mm - I can get it for $190 CAD which seems to be quite a steal. Apart from that, the Misono UX10 ($200 US), and Yoshihiro VG10 hammered damascus (160 US) have also caught my eye. I love how effortlessly my Moritaka slices through onions and vegetables, but I'm not sure if that's due to the carbon, or due to the style of knife.

    Any input/recommendations would help a lot :)

    Thanks!
     
  2. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    I don't see anything about how you maintain your blades, or about what type of cutting surface you use.

    Also, knowing where you are can make a real difference in what recommendations we can give. (I'm guessing Canada, from your quote of a Canadian price, but it might also be somewhere in the USA) There are quite a few restrictions on the international shipment of cutlery, and we get inquiries from around the world.

    This forum also works best when there's a back and forth dialogue between you and the community.

    GS
     
  3. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    I have a 1200 grit King stone, a stone fixer, and a rust eraser, Purchased from Korin. I bought the stone in University, and could only afford one. I'm also in the market for a couple more stones - perhaps a 400 and a 3000 grit? I would also appreciate some recommendations in that category. I sharpen my knives probably about 4 times a year, but use a steel before each use. Up to this point, I haven't been using any oil on my carbon steel knife. My knives are only used for one meal a day during the week, and it usually doesn't involve using the whole set.

    I have a few different cutting boards. One crappy bamboo board, and a couple epicurean boards. The Bamboo seems rather soft and prone to warping, and I feel like it puts shear stress on my blades - especially the Moritaka. Should probably toss that bamboo board now that I think about it. I like the epicurean boards quite a bit.

    I live in Canada, but I have a PO box in Buffalo. We often purchase from US stores or Amazon.com, so anything in the USA is likely available, as long as they will accept a Canadian billing address.

    I tried to give as much background as I could last night, but it was midnight and I was tired so I guess I missed a few things. Dialogue is certainly welcome, and I appreciate the response!
     
  4. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    Also, I would like to add that both BBQ and grilling are passions of mine. I have a charcoal BBQ that gets frequent use on Sundays. Ribs, steaks, pork shoulders, burgers, and occasionally Brisket see action on that thing. This is why I had some interest in a slicing knife (the Suji), but I'm not sure its necessary unless I'm cooking a lot of Brisket, or doing a lot of Roasts/Turkeys. It would also get some very infrequent use as a Sushi knife, as I can't see myself being able to justify a Yanagi. I like to entertain/have a group of 6+ every month or two.

    I cook a lot of American Comfort, Italian, Thai, and Mexican dishes, as these are my favourite types of cuisine. French not so much (not that I don't enjoy it, but it's not something I make at home). Protein is always an integral part of the meal - both boneless and bone-in, of course.
     
  5. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    I would suggest a good high grit stone as your first priority. A Suehiro Rica 5K stone will nicely polish the edges of your blades at an acceptable price (about $50 from chefknivestogo). Unless you need to repair an edge, hold off before getting a coarse stone, until you get used to polishing the edges of your blades.

    I would also suggest a set of AngleGuides to help you find proper angles when sharpening.

    Next, a good quality end grain hard maple board with minimum dimensions of 12" x 18" x 2" (300mm x 450mm x 50mm). If you have the space, bigger in cutting boards is always better. Boos or Michigan Maple Block are the two brands I like. I would treat it with off-the-shelf food grade mineral oil (which I buy in a local grocery supermarket).

    I would ditch the bamboo cutting board or re-purpose it to non-cutting purposes. Bamboo has a tendency to absorb and retain silica during growth. You might use it as a cheese serving platter?!? If the epicurean boards are thin, then consider that they are largely epoxy - another really hard material and not good for edges.

    If I were in your situation, I would probably buy a 240mm gyuto before getting a sujihiki. The difference in length in your primary work knife makes a HUGE difference, compared to an 8 inch blade.

    One thing I would avoid like the plague is Damascus. Maintaining a decent looking blade with Damascus is a study in frustration. Better to just get a plain looking blade and accept scratches as badges of work honor with an honest workhorse blade.

    Of the two Misono knives you mention, my personal choice would be for the Swedish steel 240 mm gyuto. Personally, I prefer carbon, though I enjoy my stainless MAC's, also.

    Galley Swiller
     
  6. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    This site is awesome, people really go into detail to make sure newbies like myself are comfortable and well informed. Thanks for the suggestions Galley!

    Do those large cutting boards tend to sit on the counter all day long? 2" thick slabs of wood can get heavy. If that's the case, do people tend to avoid cutting proteins so that they don't need to clean every time they cook? On that subject, why do these boards tend to be so thick?

    Didn't consider the damascus aging poorly. I could see that driving me crazy and asking friends/family "where did this scratch come from?!". I don't want people to necessarily be scared of using my knives, carbon already has that effect on people when I ask them to wipe it down. I can imagine myself being even more insisting with a damascus - good call.

    My only apprehension towards the sweden is that people talk about how reactive it is. I can get some discoloration on my santoku if I don't wipe it down in 10 minutes, but people talk about this blade like it needs to be wiped down within seconds. How effective is forcing a Patina in protecting against reaction?

    Because My first Japanese style knife was made of carbon steel, I am a little more inclined to stick to that route. After all, their more agile and thin profiles kind of compliment a hard, razor sharp narture of carbon steel. This may be a little less important with a gyuto, as I would be doing less precision cutting with it.
     
  7. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Larger gyuto seems a good call. BTW, it's not worth the money but the Ikon 9" slicer isn't half bad, if that's the one you have, but the smaller one would make a good utility knife. Actually for the $80US I paid for it the 9" slicer wasn't so bad a deal, though had I known better at the time I would never have bought it.

    Yoshihiro makes knives in much better steel than vg-10. This one has intrigued me, especially the price:
    Darn, link won't take, but search amazon for "Daisu Powdered Steel."

    The Swede is a great carbon knife by all accounts, and though the edge retention is not said to be great, it's carbon after all and comes back to life with just a couple stropping strokes on a fine stone, or cardboard even to some extent. The UX10 is Sandvick 19C27 as I understand, not as keen as 13C26, or the Swede of course, but very good edge retention.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 8:02 AM
  8. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    The utility knife that came with my set is about 5.25" long, not 9" as the slicer you mentioned above, unfortunately. I find it has very few uses, as I have a petty knife, a serrated 5" utility, and my Santoku - all blades that excel in one area or another over a small utility knife. I hope that this gyuto will be serviceable as a slicer for the next 6-12 months or so, before I buy a proper one. Are most people in agreement that a Suji is more effective than a traditional German slicer? Are there other styles of slicers I should be considering?

    I was really between the UX10 and the Swede. I already have a stainless chef knife (albeit not a fantastic one), but it still gives me the luxury of not needing to worry about rust if others are a little more careless with it. It also gives me a knife that can cut through a chicken backbone without me holding my breath. I suppose it could chip, but much less likely than a carbon steel knife.

    Originally I was looking for an AS or Aogami #2 Gyuto, but in 240mm that seems to be pretty pricey. I was also looking at the Masamoto HC, but I think I would consider it out of my price range, so this Misono seems to be one of the standouts within my budget. My Moritaka is Aogami#2, so at least I will have something to compare the dragon's steel to.

    Unless there are for AS gyutos in the ~150 US range that I don't know about, I will likely buy the Misono this week. I'll also be buying a Boos Cherry board, and a 5k stone, as recommended above. Thanks for the input so far!
     
  9. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    In fact, the only blades in the price range in A2/AS are Kohetsu A2, Harukaze AS and A2, and Tanaka Kurouchi A2 from what I can see.
     
  10. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Slicer (German or otherwise) and suji are pretty much the same thing. I made a point that the 9" Ikon wasn't bad, it had a decently thin grind and top notch F+F, their handle shape [though not terribly important to me] is just what I like, but it was comparatively heavy and of course the mediocre German steel.

    Especially with a conservative edge you don't need to concern yourself with the ruggedness of the Ikon.

    Tanaka makes a blue 2 that's in the range.
     
  11. scott livesey

    scott livesey

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    High Density Polyethylene or Polypropylene makes a good cutting board. wash in the sink or dishwasher, spray with bleach, it doesn't care. when cut up, get a new one and use the old one for cleaning fish outside. an example https://www.ebay.com/itm/POLYPROPYL...869519?hash=item33ca63ca0f:g:EqYAAOSwGtRXybfZ cuts with any power saw. make boards as big or as small as you want.
    face grain, edge grain, and end grain all have advantages and disadvantages. Know that a Boos board will cost a lot more just because of the name.
    go to a kitchen or restaurant supply store and see what they have. touch and feel to see what would work the best. maybe you don't buy one there, but you can feel the difference between a 8", 10", or 14" basic blade. Google "handmade kitchen knives for sale" and explore. you might find a maker close by who could make what you want
     
  12. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Poly boards, ethylene or propolene, are relatively tough on knives. Personally I wouldn't trust any end-grain board but Boardsmith, they are pricey but they don't crack. Boos is a good board, but they aren't guaranteed like Boardsmith. Some boards are so cheap you can consider them throw-aways, they can last a good number of years, but often don't. Stay away from acacia and teak, rough on blades. Keep to single-wood boards in general, but you can trust what BoardSmith makes here as they match the wood densities to prevent cracking.

    There are the new synthetics like the HighSoft. These are rubber-like materials that protect your knives much like end-grain. They are not so cheap either, pretty plain looking, but otherwise quite durable and easy cleaning.
     
  13. iceman

    iceman

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  14. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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  15. iceman

    iceman

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    You've got such a seriously classic set of knives so far that I was suggesting a bit of diversity.

    Take a walk on the wild side.
     
  16. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    I guess I shouldn't have expected everyone on this site to be helpful. If the set I have has so much overlap/urks you so much, why not simply suggest a knife that could help improve it? Alas, there are elitists in every forum.
     
  17. iceman

    iceman

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    WOW. That seems just a little bit testy. I'm not at all "urked" by the knives you have. I actually complimented your set. All I did was suggest something different, a step away from the direction you have gone so far. It's really funny that you would call me an "elitist".





    "We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery.".
     
  18. Jay MacCallum

    Jay MacCallum

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    Iceman - I apologize if I misinterpreted your post, but a link to two Santokus (in the size range that my Moritaka is) for $25.99 seemed to be a pretty obvious jab. Followed by a post saying that you were suggesting 'a little of diversity' seemed to confirm that suspicion.

    If you were serious then I'm sorry to have jumped to conclusions, but it really did seem like you were poking a little fun...
     
  19. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Jay, putting up a smiley would have been a fine response...I believe most of us got a kick out of that. So anyway you need give flea-market knives no further consideration.
     
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  20. scott livesey

    scott livesey

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    no evidence on plastic being rougher than wood. you forgot to put:rolleyes: "I was not paid for this advertisement.";) LOL
    as i keep saying, find a knife you can touch and feel. imagine your disappointment when you buy Master Abe's 247mm Rimbyo with handle made from Mt Fuji spruce and find it hurts your hand to hold and won't hold an edge. then the disappointment of waiting for weeks to get your money back.
     
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