Miyabi 7000MC gyuto was the knife I was interested the most, out of the 7000MC series knives that is. I wrote about that in the Henckels Miyabi 7000MC Santoku review too. Well, few months later I got my chance to evaluate this knife. At least at this time, which is summer 2010, it still is the longest gyuto offered in 7000MC line, in other words ZDp-189 ultra high carbon steel. The owner of the said santoku purchased the Miyabi Gyuto knife as well. I'll have to admit, it was my recommendation :) Although, he was very happy with Miyabi 7000MC santoku performance, which is why the new knife was on the schedule. Anyhow, I was interested in this knife, and frankly, if it had 270mm long I wouldn't hesitate a second to buy it for myself, but since I'm kind of over 240mm gyutos at this time, I refrained from the purchase. It all worked out well as you can see, the owner prefers 240mm gyutos and I got my chance to play with it for a little over a week. Like I said, I was more interested in evaluating the gyuto because, well it works better for me, I see it as more versatile knife and gyutos do not have that 180mm(7") blade length limit like santoku knives do. So, that is how I ended up with Miyabi Henckels Miyabi 34583-240 7000MC Gyuto. Overall time in my possession was about 10 days and it was more than enough to sharpen and use it few times, totaling of about 4 hours of cutting use.
General- Because I got the loaner knife, and it was already used, I don't really know in what type of packaging 7000MC series Miyabis come, but judging by the packaging on the less expensive, but still quite fancy Miyabi 34313-270 600D Morimoto Edition Gyuto, which has very nice packaging too, more high end 7000MC line will have matching a one. The Miyabi gyuto is quite French looking knife. The handle is the standard one for the 7000MC line. Overall, it is a quite large knife for most of the people I'd guess, although like I mentioned here and in many other kitchen knives reviews, currently my favorite blade length for gyutos is 270mm(10.5"). Although, on the occasion I still use 240mm(9.5") ones, and for this particular evaluation, I've used both of the 240mm gyutos I have in my kitchen knife block. For the details regarding Henckels Miyabi knife division and their products I'll have to refer you to the Henckels Miyabi 7000MC Santoku review. In case you are interested knowing more about the company and their products you should check that one. Other than that, the knife is quite light for its size, just about 257.00g(8.69oz). Balance is rather forward heavy, well compared to other knives it is forward heavy, but the balance is close to the handle still. Fit, finish and overall quality are very high. I didn't find any gaps, cracks, uneven grinds or any other defects. Well made knife, and frankly, 240mm long, ZDP-189 steel knife for less than 300$ is a good bargain in my book :) If you can maintain it of course.
Blade- Henckels Miyabi 34583-240 7000MC Gyuto features 240mm(9.5") long blade, which is about 52mm wide at the blade heel and its a hair above 2mm thick in the same spot. Mid section is slightly less than 2mm. So, based on that data and comparing it to other gyuto knives, you can see it is fairly thin gyuto knife. One of the thinnest I have ever reviewed and handled. Perhaps you know it already, if you read my other reviews, then you know I prefer thin knives. At least when it comes to light/medium cutters, which kitchen knives, majority of them, clearly are. Blade geometry is pretty typical for a gyuto knives. Comparing to the other gyutos of the same size, it is slightly wider then my 240mm Akifusa(Ikeda) gyuto and more close to 240mm Kumagoro gyuto. I was comparing to those two because, I was comparing them in cutting tests later on. The blade had the same style asymmetrical grind edge as the Miyabi Santoku I had reviewed earlier. And for the record, the newest 600D series gyuto has asymmetrical grind as well. Initial sharpness wasn't all that good, considering the knife was in moderate use for about 6 months, but the owner was careful enough after my lectures about delicate super hard steels, and I only found small dent on the blade, about 0.5mm wide. That actually was a very good result from non knife nut using 66HRC steel for six months. In that, anyone cane make it work without chipping if proper care is taken and it will cut well and last sharp much longer compared to standard western knives.
Sharpening- Like I said, the edge wasn't really damaged, and in fact it was in good enough shape that I've decided ot start sharpening with 1200 grit king whetstone. Overall, the whole sharpening process took about 45 minutes. King waterstone was followed by 3000 Grit aoto synthetic whetstone, which was followed by 5000 grit Naniwa chosera whetstone and finally 10000 grit naniwa chosera superstone. Then the usual stropping on 0.50µm and 0.25µm diamond loaded leather strops, although lately I regularly use 0.30µm aluminum oxide abrasive film between those two - 0.50µm and 0.25µm. Even though the difference between the last two is just 0.05µm, the edge improvement is noticeable, at least to me :) Obviously you don't have to go to those levels, just 5K or 8K edge is more than enough for the kitchen knife. But higher grits are better still. This time, I didn't alter the edge angle, given the relatively good shape of the edge I got, so it remained at ~12° per side. I've measured the edge angle with Edge pro Apex sharpening system.
Handle- All of the Henckels Miyabi 7000MC knives feature the same handle. Obviously the length changes based on the knife length, but other than that it's exactly the same handle described in details in the Henckels Miyabi 7000MC Santoku review. In relation to this particular gyuto the handle looks quite proportional and balance in my opinion is good. Obviously, you might prefer different preferences for knife balance, but overall it's hardly that precise and important, unless the knife is really awkward somehow.
Usage 24° inclusive angle- I already know how ZDP-189 steel holds its edge, in the kitchen and outside of it. First, I've used my 270mm Sanetsu gyuto in the kitchen numerous times, then I've also tested Miyabi santoku, Kershaw Shallot ZDP-189 folder was able to take a lot of abuse in the superhard vs. soft edges experiments. So, this time I wasn't really testing edge durability, just the cutting ability and overall comfort and usability of the knife. Although, I still did the standard tomato slicing test throughout the first cutting session. I'm referring to the ability of the knife to cut through the tomato using just its own weight. Since the salad mix I was using as a test cutting material did contain a box of cherry tomatoes, so all I had to do, make a control cut on one of those in half every once in a while. I can tell you here, the edge holding ability was very high and what was expected form the ZDP-189 steel in 65-67HRC range. After finishing about 9.5 lbs of various vegetables, all minced, chopped and diced, the knife and no problem cleanly cutting those tomatoes using just its own weight, which I already noted above isn't heavy for a Japanese kitchen knife of that size - 257g(8.69oz), with Akifusa and Kumagoro gyutos being 216.00g(7.3oz) and 244.00g(8.25oz) respectively. There are very few knives that can achieve that result, and Miyabi 7000MC gyuto is one of those proud few ;) Most of the cutting was done using the test knife, Miyabi 34583-240 7000MC Gyuto, however, when I felt necessary or simply curious, I just put it aside and made identical cut with either Kumagoro gyuto or Akifusa gyuto. Just a few cuts, purely for comparison reasons.
On its own, Henckels Miyabi 7000MC gyuto will give a run to any kitchen knife, in terms of edge durability and cutting performance. It's thin, lightweight, the edge is quite acute and the super hard, 66HRC steel definitely helps with all that. I don't like oval or D shape Japanese handles all that much, and on occasion, in certain knives I simply dislike them. However, on this particular knife, then handle/blade proportion is just perfect for me and while I'd definitely prefer an octagonal handle on it, I could live with current handle too. If only it was 270mm... Anyway, back to cutting performance. After sharpening, obviously it was very high. Carrots and broccoli stems, being probably the harshest materials in the salad mix I used for cutting were absolutely no challenge. Everything went fast and I never felt I had to struggle with the knife to make a cut. Translucent thin slices of carrots, tomatoes and broccoli stems were a breeze. Chiffonade from 6-7 green collard leaves rolled into a cigar roll, I didn't feel much of a resistance either. Brussels sprouts which are not the best thing to shred with any knife also posed no challenge. About 1.5lbs of those shredded into sub millimeter thick pieces. Otherwise, it's impossible to chew those... Hate those to be honest.
As for the comparison with the other two 240mm gyutos, Akifusa had very similar cutting performance, since I put 12° per side edge on it myself, later on. Kumagoro cuts slightly better, because the behind the edge thickness is less compared to Miyabi gyuto, and the edge is about 10° per side by now. If it was my knife, I wouldn't hesitate to bring the edge down to the same angle and behind the edge thickness. Granted the knife isn't mine and it's owner will not be as careful with it as I am, I left it alone. Besides, as it is, it's cutting ability and edge holding ability surpasses 99% of the kitchen knives out there anyway. Very few kitchen knives are made out of the ZDP-189 steel and honyaki knives and other exotic steels are just as rare. One aspect worth noting here is the dimples on Kumagoro. Besides visual cue, well, I like them, they in theory reduce friction and drag induced on the blade by cutting medium. Even though I cut about 20 different types of vegetables in this cutting session, the only time I felt some difference was when I was slicing 1mm thick slices of red radish. That thing loves to stick to any type of metal. Every once in a while I think I found a knife that it won't stick to, but in the end, I am always wrong. If not today, not this batch, next one will stick anyway. I've tried all sorts of surfaces, damascus, stainless, carbon, polished, stain finish, kuro uchi, whatever. Nothing works perfectly. Kumagoro felt less sticky on those radishes in the last test, but I am not quite sure what to attribute that, thinner edge and bevel or those dimples, because dimples are quite high on the blade. Still, Miyabi fared better than bunch of other Damascus knives.
As for the handle comfort, I still preferred western handle on Akifusa, which felt more secure once I had to cut with oily hands, and obviously, custom made iron wood handle on Kumagoro gyuto is what I like the best. By the way, the handle preference references are strictly based on my own taste, cutting habits and knife use. It is absolutely possible you will like D type handles better than octagonal or western handles. There's plenty of folks out there who do just that ;) Don't take my word for it. If you get a chance try to handle the knife and see how it works for you. I know, it's not always possible, but ask or look around, who knows.
Conclusions- Very high performance knife, which requires proper care and proper use, but the benefits definitely outweigh the extra care it requires. At least, for someone like me, it is no brainer. Also, considering that average knife user, could maintain this knife chipping free for over 6 months and when it got to me it could still easily out-cut majority of the western mainstream kitchen knives out of the box, should also tell you something. In the end, this is not the knife you can whack lobsters or coconuts with. No chef's knife is for that matter. If western knives can take that abuse without breaking, the result is completely dull edge and then it's up to you, what do you want, sharp knife or dull, abused one. As for the price/performance ratio, it's a really good value. One thing to remember, you have to sharpen it properly, yourself, or use the pro, but average dude with grinder will not do, most likely he will simply screw up the knife. I've seen a lot of the knives sharpened by those guys, in the restaurants and pro kitchens and often it's simply a whack job. No biggie for a 5$ or even 20$ knife, but not for the knives of this class.
- Blade - 240.00mm(9.5")
- Thickness - 2.25mm
- Width - 50.55mm
- OAL - 380.00mm(15")
- Steel - ZDP-189 steel at 65-67HRC
- Handle - Pakkawood
- Weight - 257.00g(8.69oz)
- Acquired - 10/2009 Price - 280.00$
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Last updated - 09/01/11