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    Username Post: Le Grande Gyuto Experiment #1, #2, and #3: Misono UX10, Masamoto VG, MAC        (Topic#788119)
    rorschah1
    Journeyman KnifeNut!
    *
    02-06-07 19:59.42 - Post#1150677    



    Alright. After the mass of recommendations and research from all the folks, I'm starting the trip through a pretty hefty set of gyutos, in the search for the One or Two True Blades.

    This time, 3 gyutos:

    #1: Misono UX10 210mm
    #2: Masamoto VG, 210mm
    #3: MAC Professional, 8"

    #1: Misono

    The Misono is very arrow-y. It seems to want to cut in straight, straight lines. It does not want to mince very much, it does not want to do many other tasks. It is slim, long, straight. It likes to cut.

    The Misono is the mid-weight of these three knives. It's well-balanced, but doesn't seem alive. It seems very... neutral, very engineered, very balanced, like crystal clear vodka. (I'm a dude for the rougher, hella-flavor-everywhere, Whoah-I-love-wheat country vodka style - the stuff I can get for $12 at the local Russian supermarket). Whippiness: low. Liveliness: low. Slicing: hell, yeah.

    The Misono is the nimblest of the knives. I seem to have the greatest control of the point when doing fine in-air carving work. It swoops, it dives, it reacts instantly. It's kind of the cold-but-brilliant knife - sort of like dating and going out dancing with an obsessive Ukranian ballerina. (Which I've done.) What an experience, what talent, but it doesn't actually warm your soul. Unlike the chick from Iowa who's dancing to hip hop for the first time, and trying to throw you into the air.

    This proved the best knife for me to cut ultra-thin slices of delicate red snapper in my second attempt to make sashimi. It was the first time I managed that diagonal-thin slice, what Tsuji calls "the backhand of sashimi cuts". The Misono seems to afford me the most control for the fancy cuts.


    #2: Masamoto VG-10

    Ahhhhh.

    Ahhh.

    Ahhhhhhhh.

    This knife immediately melded to my hand and I could no longer tell I had a knife there, and then I wished stuff was cut and then it was cut. To be a little more accurate: the Masamoto felt very awkward to me the first moment I picked it up. No Excalibur effect, no glorious parting of the heavens. It felt awkward, like there was a malfunctioning gyroscope inside it and it was resisting my attempts to turn it.

    Put it on the cutting board, and it's a whole different story. This is the knife that seems most natural to me (being relatively inexperienced with gyutos). It's terrifically, ridiculously sharp, and it glides through onions and carrots and steak and all that.

    It's whippy. It felt whippy, and then I whipped it around a little, and I realized: it feels whippy because it is whippy. It's clearier thinner and bendier than the other two knives. It actually, you know, whips.

    It's weak point thus far seems to be the semi-heavy-duty work - in this case, cubing a butternut squash. The blade got a little bendy in the process. Maybe I need to make sharper. Shaaaarper. Anyway, this knife is going nowhere. I'm definitely keeping this one. There may be mightier knives to come, but this is a knife that I'm immediately at home with. We cut stuff together. It's fun.


    #3: MAC Professional 8" with grantons

    This is a weird knife.

    First of all, I had the opposite effect with it from the Masamoto. Picking it up and hefting it around, it feels perfectly balanced. On the cutting board, it seems to hate me. I can't get natural with it. We fight each other. I can't tell why. (Tonight, two small women-types picked it up and one of them seemed to think it was the most perfect feeling of the lot. So it's a personal fit thing.) This is the heaviest of the knives. The blade is way thicker at the spine.

    But boy does it cut.

    The term "cutting machine" has come up in both ad copy and posts about MACs, and I see why. There's a kind of energetic viciousness to it - the sort of scary gleeful smile you see on, like, a Mafia heavy in the movies, except in knife form. It's Very Strong. It cuts absolutely, it cuts quickly, it cuts straight. Out of the box, it's the cuttingest of all the knives.

    Chad Ward mentioned that he seemed to get the most accurate cuts out of this knife, even more than the knives he loved with his soul (hattori), and I find the exact same thing. I can instantly get incredibly accurate, regular cuts. Exactly the cut that appears in my mind happens on the vegetable. I think it may have something to do with the weight, the rigidity of the blade (it is the anti-whippy). But I just can't get comfortable with it. Something in the balance of it, something in the size.

    If I could find something with this kind of Powerful Blade, but with balance I liked more, it would make a good pair with the whippy-delightful Masamoto.

    Anyway, the aforementioned ladies are lined up to buy this knife off of me, so, no problems. I'm going to hang out with it for a while and see if we can come to terms. I definitely got more comfortable with the Misono after awhile. And I love the power and precision of the cuts I get with it. But it and my arm... they just don't seem to get along.

    Next up: Hiromoto AS 240 mm. Out of the box, it's dreadfully dull, so I guess I have to learn to sharpen on my brand new Norton 1000/4000 waterstone before I can give it a fair review.


    Edited by rorschah1 on 02-06-07 20:07.53. Reason for edit: No reason given.
     


    rorschah1
    Journeyman KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 05:39.29 - Post#1150939    


        In response to rorschah1

    I can't actually figure out what makes the MAC disagree with me so much. Every other knife that felt initially awkward to me - Misono, Hiromoto 240 - felt pretty natural through time.

    Is Blazen like MAC in the thick-spine powerful-cut kind of thing? Any suggestions for that "cutting machine" but different?

    Anyone try the non-granton line against the granton line? The profile looks a little different.

    I wish I could figure out the source of the discomfort.

     
    Andy777
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 05:44.23 - Post#1150946    


        In response to rorschah1

    Interesting observations. This grand gyuto experiment should be fun to follow. Thanks
    Andy


     
    rorschah1
    Journeyman KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 06:13.11 - Post#1150963    


        In response to Andy777

    Also, out of the box, the Masamoto is the sharpest, followed closely by the MAC, the Misono trails quite a bit, and the Hiromoto AS is way behind.

    Is this entirely due to factory sharpening differences, or is this in some way representative of the steels?
     
    joe_c
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 06:24.54 - Post#1150970    


        In response to rorschah1

    Factory sharpening differences really. Many knives come pretty dull.

    Joe


     
    moggi1964
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 06:55.58 - Post#1150999    


        In response to rorschah1

    • rorschah1 Said:
    I can't actually figure out what makes the MAC disagree with me so much. Every other knife that felt initially awkward to me - Misono, Hiromoto 240 - felt pretty natural through time.

    Is Blazen like MAC in the thick-spine powerful-cut kind of thing? Any suggestions for that "cutting machine" but different?

    Anyone try the non-granton line against the granton line? The profile looks a little different.

    I wish I could figure out the source of the discomfort.





    I bet you could work some magic on it (or somebody on here could) to give it the balance you want and then POW! you have the (almost) perfect kife!

    Does Fish put handles on MAC's????
    Moggi
    astrolaugh.com

    Pronounced with an 'o' as in Dog and two 'g's as in Digger. The 'i' does not sound like eye, it sounds like the 'i' in In


     
    DwarvenChef
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 07:42.17 - Post#1151026    


        In response to moggi1964

    Did I miss the report on the Hiromoto AS?

    Very interesting reports, defenatly something to follow Keep up the good work
    Hiromoto AS Addict

    "Thats not a stain you fool, it's Patina



     
    landrover
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 07:56.28 - Post#1151036    


        In response to moggi1964

    Last I saw Fish was so called retired from knife handles. But Fish I'm sure could handle anything. Want a new custom cocobolo handle on your lawn mower, he could probally do it. I'm sure DR or someone around here can give you some help with the sharpness issues your having. I'll watch this one, should be fun.

    Rover
    Rover


     
    jagstyle
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 08:53.48 - Post#1151073    


        In response to rorschah1

    • rorschah1 Said:
    I can't actually figure out what makes the MAC disagree with me so much. Every other knife that felt initially awkward to me - Misono, Hiromoto 240 - felt pretty natural through time.

    Is Blazen like MAC in the thick-spine powerful-cut kind of thing? Any suggestions for that "cutting machine" but different?



    Never used a MAC but I can tell you about the Blazen. My Blazen 210mm gyuto spine is thick at the bolster (comfy as there is more surface area for the hand!) but tapers thinner than most gyutos half way down the spine. Flipping the knife over and looking at the geometry, the grind taper is very aggressive. This means that the thick section gets thin enough to cut well and the thin section is an absolute scalpel. It's not like you notice different sections of the blade when cutting food. It all flows together to create a wonderful cutting tool.
    Eric


     
    rorschah1
    Journeyman KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 09:02.20 - Post#1151079    


        In response to jagstyle

    Thanks, jag, for the Blazen tips.

    No report yet on the Hiromoto - it's just way too dull out of the box. I have to learn to sharpen it adequately, first.
     
    Brukky
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    02-07-07 19:34.14 - Post#1151586    


        In response to rorschah1

    What is the metal like on the Masamoto? Cause I don't want a really flexible blade. I want a stiff hard cutting knife. I have too many flexible chef's knives. Anyone have any comparison to other knives?
     
    rorschah1
    Journeyman KnifeNut!
    *
    02-08-07 22:56.14 - Post#1152628    


        In response to Brukky

    MAC and Hiromoto are dead-stiff and super-hard. Never detected any flex whatsover. MAC the most dead-stiff of all. Misono is hard, and I think I can occasionally detect a little flex under hard use, but it's minor. Masamoto has definite flex. It wobbles on the hard stuff. It's also the thinnest.

    I don't know much about the metallurgy.
     
    Chad_Ward
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    02-09-07 03:28.38 - Post#1152777    


        In response to rorschah1

    I'm enjoying this very much. The stream of consciousness reviews are a lot of fun. Keep 'em coming.

    I've never thought of the MAC as particularly thick spined, but hand feel is a very personal thing. Just out of curiosity I got out the calipers and checked a sample of knives. At the thickest part of the spine:
      * MAC MTH-80 - 2.5mm
      * Artisan 240mm - 2.8mm
      * Tojiro PS 240mm - 2.1mm
      * Masamoto VG10 240mm - 2.3mm
      * Misono UX10 240mm - 2.3mm
      * Takeda 270mm - 2.5mm
      * Hattori HD 270mm - 2.8mm
      * Shun 10" - 2.4mm
      * Chef's Choice 10" - 5mm


    What is particularly interesting is that the thickest part of the spine generally isn't just forward of the bolster. That area is usually scooped out a little where the manufacturer ground & smoothed off the weld.

    By the way, I have the opposite reaction with the MAC and Masamoto. The MAC feels livlier in my hands; the Masamoto (at least the 240mm version) feels like a pre-Iacocca Chrysler. The 270mm Masamoto, with a lot of work on the belt sander, is one of my favorite knives. Go figure.

    Chad
    Chad Ward
    An Edge in the Kitchen
    William Morrow Cookbooks
    www.chadwrites.com


     


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