Loyal readers will recall that when I started using a Wüsthof Santoku knife in early 2005, the change in blade weight, shape, and balance caused me to have a little accident. I quickly adapted to this new style and came to really appreciate the value of a lightweight and nimble blade. No more heavy European cleavers for me!
In recent months I’ve been thinking of going back to a bigger chef’s knife. I’m fascinated by the new breed of Japanese Gyutou knives, which are essentially hybrids – traditional European shape combined with Japanese lightness and agility. The blades are thinner than their European counterparts, and there is no bolster (although there is often a faux bolster made from separate pieces of steel and integrated into the handle).
So I bit. I am now the proud owner of a Misono UX10 Gyutou knife, all 240 mm of it. This thing is huge compared to my Santoku, although it doesn’t weigh all that much more, all things considered (244 grams vs 165 grams).
However, it handles very differently. I haven’t had it for very long, and so far it has drawn blood twice (two minor incidents; one involving the needle-sharp point, and the other caused by the heel, which has a sharp corner because of the lack of a bolster).
It retrospect, it might have made more sense to get the 210 mm one, as the handling would have been more familiar. But hey, smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
There will be blood. I am not looking forward to the day when my flesh comes in painful slicing contact with that long and very sharp edge. But it will come, and hopefully I won’t hit an artery. However, I’ve been chopping, slicing, and mincing furiously for days now, and loving every minute of it!