I have used various Fujiwara FKM knives as well as the Carbonext 210mm Gyuto and a couple of Kagayaki VG10 knives. Some of these were bought as gifts, but I used them for a bit before presenting them. I currently own the Kagayaki 240mm gyuto and 125mm petty, the Carbonext 210mm gyuto, and the FKM honesuki.
Originally Posted by Keith
All of these knives are excellent value, well made, good steel and good grinds and profiles, and I don't regret any of them. However, for a home cook, if budget is a consideration, the FKM series almost always win. For example, I prefer the VG10 240mm gyuto to the FKM 240mm, but for about the same money I very much would prefer to have the FKM 240mm gyuto PLUS the FKM honesuki or petty.
I'll comment on each in order I ran into them:
Kagayaki VG10 240mm gyuto (mine is actually labeled Fujitake, but it is the same knife).
My first gyuto, I'd been using Wusthof Grand Prix previously. This knife taught me a lot, and has been very good.At first I worried about chipping or damaging it, but this never happened. Over time I've worked it to a 95/5 edge bythinning and only sharpening the face and just deburring on the back. After a couple years with it, I've recently upgraded to a Sakai Yusuke 240mm wa-gyuto.
- Very good VG10. A bit of work to sharpen and it loses the ultracrisp new edge right away. But then it holds a good working edge for weeks and weeks of sometimes heavy handed use.
- Good profile, fairly flat with a good sweet spot at the tip. Fairly thin at the spine, flat on the back convex on the face, but it stays fairly thick down toward the edge. Not a laser, and not at all fragile. I've thinned it and made it highly asymetrical and it never chips or rolls even with vigorous chopping.
- Distinctive handle, both the wood and bolster are different then the usual black handles.
- A bit thick toward the edge, not a laser, some wedging in things like large carrots. Coming off the Wusthofs I never noticed until I had tried some other thinner knives.
- Distinctive handle. Some people don't care for them.
Kagayaki VG10 125mm petty.
I got this at the same time as the VG10 gyuto. My wife uses it two thirds of the time, even when she should use a bigger knife. 125mm is small, 150mm would have been better. It is very sturdy for a small petty. The comments about steel and sharpening for the gyuto apply here too.
Mini gyuto profile. Flat on the back, convex on the face, but even thicker toward the edge than the gyuto. A bit of a surprise that it is so stout, but it makes it super versatile. Before I got a real honesuki I used this for cutting up chickens, trimming around bones etc, as well as general utility tasks.
Holds a good working edge a long time. My wife's favorite knife.
It might be a little too thick for fine work.
I can't stand to watch my wife dice an onion with a 125mm knife.
Fujiwara FKM Honesuki
I love this thing. One of the few knives I've tried that I'd replace with the exact same item. I use it on poultry and to trim meat, cut up spare ribs, and for anything I'd be afraid of hurting another knife on. I've used it to: spatchcock a turkey, cut the spines out of chickens, whittle wood chips for smoking from an apricot branch, cut pizza slices, unbox the new refrigerator. Even when I lean on it with both hands, it never complains.
I'm no honesuki master, but I find the strongly asymmetrical grind and flat edge and pointy point strangely useful. It just seems handy and I keep finding new ways to take advantage of the shape.
- Feels great in hand, I can't even say why, but I always am happy when I get to use it.
- Steel is hard enough to keep an edge, but tough enough to take a beating. Cuts suprisingly well for such a thick blade.
- Easy to sharpen, and also responds well to steeling on a ceramic rod.
- Nice, but not too nice to use. Tough enough to do anything and cheap enough to risk it.
Fujiwara FKM 150 mm petty
I got this for a friend and used it a few days. When it arrived I was impressed at how nice it was for that price. It is more of a classic petty design than the Kagayaki VG10 petty. It is thinner and pointier and seems a little delicate by comparison. I liked it and would recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive petty.
Fujiwara FKM 210 guyto
I got this for my niece and used it for a couple weeks. I sometimes wish I had kept it instead of giving it to my niece. A pleasure to use, nimble and light. Any 210mm gyuto is going to have to make some compromises, especially if it is also going to be inexpensive. This one is a fine example of good design, it seems to manage all the compromises without actually giving anything up. If I needed a 210mm gyuto for home use this would always be on the short list regardless of price. This and the honesuki probably make me sound like some sort of Fujiwara fanboy.
- Outstanding profile for a 210mm gyuto. It is quite a trick to get a good length of cutting edge and a sweet spot toward the tip into only 210mm, Whoever drew this curve really knew their business.
- Nicely made and finished. Good handle. Easy to sharpen.
- Amazing value. Next step down is the Forschners which are nowhere near as good, and the next step up is only a little better for a lot more money.
- Supposedly not hard enough steel for a work knife. Perhaps, I would not know. For a home cook, this is not an issue.
JCK Carbonext 210mm gyuto
I got this for my wife after getting the FKM 210mm for my niece, to try something else. I expected it to be a lot better than the FKM so at first I was a little disappointed. It has grown on me over time. It is better than the FKM in some ways, the fit and finish are a little better, the grind is thinner toward the edge, and it is amazing to sharpen. But the profile, while good, is outclassed by the FKM 210mm. It has a too much belly and not enough flat edge and less sweet spot.
- Interesting steel. Not quite stainless, but stainless enough. Super quick to sharpen, zip zop, a couple strokes and there you are. A lot of people rave about the edge retention, but I don't think it is as good as the Kagayaki VG10. On the other hand I'd rather sharpen this twice than sharpen the VG10 once, it's just that quick. If you don't sharpen regularly then VG10 will be sharper on average.
- Very thin grind toward the edge. It is flat on the back and only lightly convex on the face, and it is very thin. Sometimes I worry it might be a little fragile, but I've never hurt it.
- Nicely made, good handle.
- Just misses being great. A little more convexity on the face and copy the profile from the FKM and this would be pure win.
- Turns kind of misty grey after a year or so. I kinda like this look, but if you prefer shiny this might be an issue.
Fujiwara FKM 240mm gyuto
I got one for my brother and used it a week and have sharpened it a couple times since then.This is a nice knife at an excellent price. Compared to the 210mm FKM it feels a little chunky, and compared to the 240mm VG10 it doesn't seem as handy working with the tip. The 210mm FKM is so clever and right and this is merely very good so I'm not quite as impressed. That said, if you want a 240 on a limited budget this is the obvious choice. If I had a little more to spend I'd like to try the Carbonext in this size. I think the extra length might let the Carbonext profile work better than it does in 210.
- Easy to sharpen and also responds well to steeling.
- Nicely made, excellent value.
Last edited by -dg; 04-26-2012 at 06:52 PM.
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