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Tojiro Flash - Gyuto 160mm(6")
Japanese Kitchen Knife Review

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Tojiro Flash - 150mm(6") Gyuto

Although an excellent knife by itself, this Tojiro 150mm gyuto I consider as a failed experiment for me. I am not sure, what exactly was I thinking when I got it, because I already knew that most likely it wouldn't work well for me, since I prefer longer blades in the kitchen. At least when it comes to chef's knives and gyutos the smallest I feel is comfortable with and works well for me is 240cm(9.5"). If nothing else better is available, I can call 210(8") also ok length, but after all, I am buying those knives for myself and trying to get the best that works for me.
    So, the goal of the experiment was to get short gyuto, such as this 150mm Tojiro Flash and see if I could, or would use it for general gyuto specific cutting and may be for some other cutting too. As you can guess I ended up using it for nothing at all. For larger stuff, bigger gyutos and slicers worked much better. For smaller pieces - paring knives were clearly superior and convenient. So, I guess, eventually I'll sell this one or give it away as a present. It hasn't been not used during last year and I don't really miss it, simply because I never got used to it. Kindda sad, because I really like it visually and it's an excellent knife as far as fit, finish and cutting performance go.

Initial inspection

 - Flash series are high end knives in Tojiro western and I guess, Japanese knives lines. They come in the nice black boxes. Visual inspection revealed no defects or flaws in the product. Fit and finish are pretty much perfect. Thee are no gaps between the handle and the inserts or the blade. Edge sharpening job is also very good. It's very rare to see factory knife edge finished at that level and so sharp. Out of the box, this knife could shave in both directions effortlessly. Balance, at least on the Flash series knives is handle heavy and it's quite pronounced, especially on smaller knives like the paring knife. So, if you have problems with that you might look elsewhere, at least other series from the same Tojiro. The balance is more even for this Gyuto, but still quite handle heavy.

Blade

 - I already said above, it's a beautiful knife. So, the blade looks very nice :) Damascus pattern is well defined and quite tasteful, at least to me. As for the geometry, this is a typical gyuto, except that the drop in the tip area isn't as sharp as in some of the gyutos I've seen, but more gradual and makes the blade more pointy. For comparison check out the picture of Watanabe Honyaki Gyuto and you'll understand better what do I mean.
    Like all other DP Flash series 150mm gyuto is also made using traditional Japanese San-Mai technology. To remind you that is the softer metal jacket over the super-hard steel core. Helps to protect the less stain-resistant core from the elements and gives the knife some flexibility without risking the breakage. For the Flash series, lamination layer is made out of 63 layer Nickel stainless steel.
    Cutting core is made out of VG-10 steel which is hardened to 62HRC. The steel itself is nothing new, well known and very solid performer in the kitchen and field knives. I've had and still have several knives made from VG-10, namely Fallkniven White Whale K2, which is a kitchen knife and another example would be again, Fallkniven A1, hefty, hard use field knife. For both of those VG-10 performed very well are 59HRC. While I can justify 59HRC on the hard use field knife, which can be used for chopping, prying and hacking through the bush or cutting wires and such, the same 59HRC Rockwell hardness, on the santoku knife is a bit soft to my taste now. Still much harder than standard western kitchen knife hardness which is 54-56HRC for the better knives. For VG-10 elemental makeup and other cutlery steel info go to Kitchen Knife Steel FAQ, stainless steel seciton.
    True to the Japanese kitchen(and non-kitchen) knife making school, Tojiro pushes VG-10 to its limits - 62HRC! As of today that is the highest hardness I have ever seen or heard of for the VG-10 steel from any maker, Japanese, US or Europeans. Needless to say, Tojiros perform a lot better compared to much softer western knives and also compared to Globals, which are also quite soft compared to Tojiro at 58HRC, let alone a better steel being used in Tojiro Flash series.    Of course, ultra-hard edges like this require more delicate treatment. However the benefits you egt are well worth it. The blade cuts magnitudes better compared to 40°-45° angle, thick edges and what's more important lasts a lot longer being sharp. Therefore, maintenance time and efforts are dramatically reduced. I'm referring to sharpening.

Handle

 - I described the handle of the Flash knives in pretty good details inside Flash Paring Knife review. The handle on the gyuto is identical design except the size.

Conclusions

 - I've used Tojiro 160mm gyuto only once. Peeled and cut a few cucumbers, minced parsley and green onions and peeled an apple. That was it. To my taste, it was too short for serious vegetable chopping and too big for peeling an apple. Those are the reasons I gave up on this knife. On the other hand, as a knife it is a very good piece. Very well made, with very good steel and heat treatment. Everything is a top notch, including appearance. There are many people out there, who don't feel comfortable with long chef's knives, just like I don't feel too comfy with the short ones. So, for those who prefer shorter knives this is cleraly a very good choice. It's a little bit preicey, but most definitely you get what you pay for. Price/performance ratio is very good. If you feel this length is ok for your use, then go for it.

Specifications:

  • Blade - 150.00mm(5.91")
  • Thickness - 1.80mm
  • OAL - 280.00mm(11.02")
  • Steel - VG-10 62HRC
  • Handle - Micarta/Stainless Steel
  • Weight - 80.00g(2.71oz)
  • Acquired - 06/2008 Price - 150.00$

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Last updated - 09/01/11