Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

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Sean-in-AK
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Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:00 am

My new Makoto AS 210 Gyuto came in the mail today, so I figured I would start a review thread for it. I will update this overtime as I use the knife and am able to give my impressions.

It’s getting late and my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, so I won’t write much tonight. I just wanted to get the thread created so I can add to it over the next few days.

And to leave you guys with some knife pron. the link has around 20 photos, including what I think to be a pretty great pic of the Choil. This knife has some nice lines.

https://imgur.com/gallery/wQOaFca

Enjoy.

To be continued...

Sean-in-AK
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:29 am

Makoto

I wanted to get some initial impressions down on “paper”. So here it goes.

I should first say that I am by no means an expert in any regard. I am a passionate home cook. I do have an eye for detail and a feel for quality tools. I paint cars professionally, gunsmithing is another hobby/passion as well as crafting silver chains. All of these thing require attention to detail and a discerning eye. They also develop an appreciation for quality tools that perform.

Fit and finish:
Handle-
The rosewood handle is simple yet well executed, fitting very flush to the black pakka wood ferrule. Symmetrical with no noticeable taper and smooth. Upon side by side comparison with a Takeda Funayaki, the handles of the two are identical. Shape, length, smoothness and ferrule fit are a mirror match, so much so that it would leave one to think the same craftsman made both. I will say that the fit of the handle to the neck of the knife is flatter and cleaner on the Makoto. It’s a nice no frills handle installed very clean.
Blade-
The blade on this knife makes me think of a “farmers daughter” gussied up for a night on the town. She will catch your eye from across the room enticing you to come closer. When you do you will notice she has a bit of dirt around her nails and a working girls hands. She isn’t trying to hide her flaws, her natural beauty just makes them easy to overlook. She is secure, and confident, but rather be out getting dirty.
You may be thinking to yourself, “how the heck does the above apply to a blade”? Bear with me and I will try to tie it all together here.
The blade profile and finish of this knife are very eye catching. The sleek profile with a long gentle curving edge that starts about 2” from the heel and continues all the way to the beautiful thin tip. Following the tip up the spine it slowly starts widening at the jigane and flows into near full spine thickness at the shinogi line. Continuing down the highly polished spine with very little distal taper to the heel. The choil is nicely round and polished. This view allows you to appreciate the nice taper in the grind to a knife that is thin behind the edge. It just looks like it wants to go to work!
Getting up close you can start to see some small imperfections under the Nashiji finish.
The dirt under the nails so to speak. There are some deeper scratches left from grinding the profile of the blade running mostly perpendicular to the edge. A few sneak past the Shinogi line ever so slightly. I wouldn’t count this as a fault or flaw of any kind on a sub 200$ knife. Especially since the could be polished out on water stones. The hagane/jigane junction is beautiful out of the box. Very pronounced contrast that could likely be refined to a stunning level on natural stones. The edge while sharp and very true could greatly benefit a visit to the sharpening stones for refinement.

I plan to do some initial meal prep with the ootb edge before putting it on the stones. I will comment more on this later after I have spent some time cutting over the next few days. And again after I sharpen.

Overall first impressions are that this knife is a stellar deal at its price point. Hitting all the right notes. The level of refinement at this price point speaks to the pride put into its craftsmanship by the makers. Which is something I really appreciate. This knife screams that it wants to be used! And use it I shall.

I hope this gives some insight to anyone interested in this knife. I did my best to capture everything discussed here in the pictures I linked to in the original post.

I will be adding more photos as I expand this review over time. Things like micrometer measurements along the blade, results of food prep, patina development etc. I like pics 😉

Thanks for the interest and listening to my ramblings. I would be more than happy to answer specific questions (best I can) or get specific photos anyone may have/want.

Anyone else using this knife that wants to add anything to this thread is welcomed and encouraged.

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jbart65
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by jbart65 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:39 am

Thanks for the evaluation, Sean. I owned the Makoto W#2. Excellent knife, obviously, especially for the money. Mine came especially sharp.

Makoto doesn't reach quite the level of refinement of some of the most experienced Takefu smiths, but he should be there soon enough.
Jeffry B

Sean-in-AK
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:59 pm

I think I may have been a little overly critical on the ootb sharpness. I was comparing the edge to my Takeda Funayaki that was just sharpened haha.

I did use the Makoto the night before last to make halibut tacos, so of course pico de gallo, fine shredded cabbage, and some very finely julienned carrots. The Makoto breezes through all of it with ease and was a pleasure to use. I was very impressed with how thing and how precise it handled the carrot.

The only minor struggle it had was halving the cabbage, but it was a small very dense cabbage and I was trying to use the lease force possible, just testing and playing. I have a feeling harder initial force would have been fairly effortless.

One other thing of note is the tip, it slices so fast and clean through horizontal onion cuts. And also work superbly for a fine mince on garlic.

I will put it through some more paces tonight. Really liking it so far.

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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:22 pm

I gotta day the more I use this knife the more I am really appreciating the grind on it. It is phenomenal!

I just finished doing the prep for making cheese steak sammiches later tonight. I was able to get super thin and consistent slices on the raw rib eye. While I am a huge fan! My dog is less impressed, the fat trimming yielded virtually no meat loss. I have to credit that to the blade being thin and uniform in all the right places.

The knife breezes through bell pepper with ease. I know I already mentioned the tip and onions, but it’s worth saying again. The way the tip of this knife goes through onion on horizontal cuts is an absolute pleasure!

I still haven’t put the knife to a stone or strop, and is cutting everything with very nice precision. The crazy part is that I know there is even finer cutting potential waiting to be coaxed out of this knife. Exciting!

I will try to grab the micrometer and get some good measurements of the blade overall.

wphill
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by wphill » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:04 am

Sean,
Did you sharpen? I’m curious as to how his AS steel compares to his white.
Whites, when sharpened, I get the wow.

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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:32 am

I have not sharpened yet. My counter space is being eaten up by coarse Stones I am using on a project. I will definitely post results when I do though.

Now you have me curious about his white blades too haha. His grinds are awesome for sure. It would be fun and interesting to handle both side by side.

I did dig out my calipers to do some measuring but the battery is dead. It seems to use the one battery I don’t have spares of! I suppose that’s the way it always works 😂

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Jeff B
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Jeff B » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:57 pm

Sean-in-AK wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:32 am
...I did dig out my calipers to do some measuring but the battery is dead. It seems to use the one battery I don’t have spares of!...
Bill knows all about that problem. ;)
A little bit of advice too, most digital calipers will use a little current even when turned off and kill a battery when stored. It's best to remove the battery when not in use and you have a better chance of it not being dead the next time you use it.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Bensbites » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:10 pm

Jeff B wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:57 pm
Sean-in-AK wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:32 am
...I did dig out my calipers to do some measuring but the battery is dead. It seems to use the one battery I don’t have spares of!...
Bill knows all about that problem. ;)
A little bit of advice too, most digital calipers will use a little current even when turned off and kill a battery when stored. It's best to remove the battery when not in use and you have a better chance of it not being dead the next time you use it.
If you hit the web, you can find folks that replace the lithium battery with AA and/or add a power switch.

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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:38 pm

I blame “Murphy”! Haha.

Jeff my caliper case actually has slot to store the battery while not in use. I usually use it. I must have been lazy last time at the reloading bench. Which also hasn’t seen any use at all this year, but that’s another story!

Ben, I might have to geek out on YouTube and see what you are talking about. DIY projects are fun.

I did get a new battery today. I also took some measurements and a few photos. I will post them here shortly.

I will say this knife is thin! Yet it is also pretty damn rigid.

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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:06 am

This post will be the measurements I took with a digital caliper on the Makoto. I was trying to figure out a good way to relay detailed info for everyone and I came up with the following:

The knife was set on paper and I numbered the points of measure on the paper. So the numbers on the photos will relate to the numbered measurement. I thought this would be helpful to put a visual to everything.

Let me know if you guys find this helpful or if there is a better way to relate the info.
083A6D3D-ED0B-43F9-8026-E4D8A9545165.jpeg
Spine measurements
1. 2.16mm
2. 2.00mm
3. 1.86mm
4. 1.77mm
5. 1.57mm
6. 0.96mm
7. 0.55mm
8. 0.33mm
4170959B-0569-4CF4-A858-14B0BDE4A59C.jpeg
Choil measurements
1. 2.16mm
2. 2.09mm
3. 1.32mm
4. 0.54mm
5. 0.30mm
73C624CD-1A8E-48B8-9CD6-EACEA763E2E4.jpeg
Edge to shinogi
21.48mm

This measurements is from the edge to the shinogi Line. It was uniform and did not deviate the entire length of the blade.


Lastly I checked for bevel consistency alon the higane/jigane line. It was also consistent and showed no noticeable deviation from heel to tip. I checked this at 45 points along the blade from number 4 I. The second pic to number 7 in the first pic.

0.54mm entire length.

I am flat out impressed at how precise the grind is on this knife.

I will let the far more experienced users decide if this knife is a laser or not. All I can say is wow!

Let me know if you guys want anymore measurements and I will get them up here.

Thanks for looking

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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by enjay » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:35 pm

This is fantastic, Sean.

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Jeff B
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Jeff B » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:03 pm

Good job Sean, thanks for taking the time.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

Sean-in-AK
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:38 am

I’m glad you guys are liking the info. I am having fun doing it for sure.

I did put this knife on the stones last night, not because the ootb edge dulled, but I just wanted to see what kinda kind of edge it would take.

I will share my thoughts and experience after I have more coffee and I can form coherent sentences 😂

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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:45 pm

I wanted to talk about how this knife sharpens. But first I would like to say the the OOTB sharpness on this knife is quite good. The edge retention also seemed to be doing very well. I experienced no micro chipping from the factory edge either.

I have been doing a lot of cooking and intentionally choosing meals that require the most prep work I can manage being a home cook. I went through approximately the following ingredients prior to sharpening (which again was not even necessary).
12 onion fine dice
3-4 lbs carrot fine jullian
12 jalapeño fine dice
6 Serrano fine dice
8 bell pepper jullian or fine dice
2 cabbage fine shred
3lbs rib eye trimmed then paper thin slices
4lbs chicken thigh trimmed and med dice
10 large Yukon gold medium dice
2 apples thin slice
3lbs pork butt steaks trimmed and paper thin sliced
6 baby bok choy rough chop
2 heads garlic minced
2 bunches cilantro minced
12 tomatoes diced and some thin slices

The last thing I did before sharpening was 3 potatoes diced. Here’s a pic that shows the food release is pretty good. I used pull cuts.
193BCFD4-B24F-4F53-86EB-FB0B23DBCE42.jpeg
I then played a bit with the trimmed potato pieces. I used draw cuts with the tip.
8BCC9E2A-6A11-4291-A84F-CBA862D9D515.jpeg
After pressing them flat with my hand.
A7DF9BCE-25F1-4E21-999A-4F842128AE5B.jpeg
And lastly, slices laying on the blade. They are thin!
23B8E662-E7A2-48A7-9320-1AFEDC903385.jpeg
Sorry for the lengthy preamble, but I did want to show that this knife was still cutting very well and certainly didn’t need to be sharpened.

I wanted to really play with this knife on the stones to get a feel for it. I started to get a feel for the angle of the bevel on a Naniwa traditional 1k. Once confident of my angle hold I dropped down coarse just to play a bit and get a feel for the steel at different grits. Which is why I used several stones close in grit that I would not normally do. It was a fun learning experience.

Shapton pro 320, this stone formed a bur very quickly. 2 passes. Flip and repeat. Followed by a few stripping strokes to uniform the bevel and clean any residual bur. It resulted in a uniform but rough edge.

Next on to the Naniwa SS 400. I flattened the stone first and started with a bit of mud. This stone doesn’t seem to cut real fast but it polishes nicely when muddy. That is why I made such a small jump. I did 3 passes on each side and then stropped about 10 times per side. This left the edge much less toothy but obviously still rather coarse

I then moved back to the Naniwa traditional 1k. I also like this stonea little muddy. So I created a bit of mud before starting. 2 passes per side, then 1 more light pass followed by 5-6 strops per side. This left a pretty smooth and shiny edge. The knife was starting to shave arm hair again but it wasn’t popping the hairs how I like yet.

Next stone was the shapton pro 1.5k I did 3 passes per side and stropped 5-6 times per side. It’s getting shinier now. I wasn’t sure if it was shaving better yet though.

On to the shapton pro 2k. Again I did 3 passes per side and stropped 5-6 times. Bevel is shining pretty nice now! Arm hairs are popping noticeably better.

I finished on a Naniwa traditional 6k. 4 passes per side and stropped 10 times per side. Now the bevel is shiny! Hairs is popping with a very light touch. The knife is now sharper than OOTB and the edge looks/feels good.

I stropped 5 times per side on leather to tidy thing up. I don’t know if this AS will get as sharp as the Makoto white steel knives, but they certainly are capable of taking an exceptional edge. The edge retention seems to be very good as well. Putting a good edge on the knife also was not difficult. This knife now feels just as sharp as my Takeda. Time will tell if the edge retention is also equal between the two. My hunch is that it will be very close, likely to close for me (a homecook) to notice any appreciable difference.

It would be nice to see what some of the much more skilled sharpeners and experienced knife aficionados thought of the Makoto AS knives. I know that I am a fan!

mlb1988
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by mlb1988 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:39 pm

Sean-in-AK wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:45 pm
I wanted to talk about how this knife sharpens. But first I would like to say the the OOTB sharpness on this knife is quite good. The edge retention also seemed to be doing very well. I experienced no micro chipping from the factory edge either.

I have been doing a lot of cooking and intentionally choosing meals that require the most prep work I can manage being a home cook. I went through approximately the following ingredients prior to sharpening (which again was not even necessary).
12 onion fine dice
3-4 lbs carrot fine jullian
12 jalapeño fine dice
6 Serrano fine dice
8 bell pepper jullian or fine dice
2 cabbage fine shred
3lbs rib eye trimmed then paper thin slices
4lbs chicken thigh trimmed and med dice
10 large Yukon gold medium dice
2 apples thin slice
3lbs pork butt steaks trimmed and paper thin sliced
6 baby bok choy rough chop
2 heads garlic minced
2 bunches cilantro minced
12 tomatoes diced and some thin slices

The last thing I did before sharpening was 3 potatoes diced. Here’s a pic that shows the food release is pretty good. I used pull cuts.
193BCFD4-B24F-4F53-86EB-FB0B23DBCE42.jpeg

I then played a bit with the trimmed potato pieces. I used draw cuts with the tip.
8BCC9E2A-6A11-4291-A84F-CBA862D9D515.jpeg

After pressing them flat with my hand.
A7DF9BCE-25F1-4E21-999A-4F842128AE5B.jpeg

And lastly, slices laying on the blade. They are thin!
23B8E662-E7A2-48A7-9320-1AFEDC903385.jpeg

Sorry for the lengthy preamble, but I did want to show that this knife was still cutting very well and certainly didn’t need to be sharpened.

I wanted to really play with this knife on the stones to get a feel for it. I started to get a feel for the angle of the bevel on a Naniwa traditional 1k. Once confident of my angle hold I dropped down coarse just to play a bit and get a feel for the steel at different grits. Which is why I used several stones close in grit that I would not normally do. It was a fun learning experience.

Shapton pro 320, this stone formed a bur very quickly. 2 passes. Flip and repeat. Followed by a few stripping strokes to uniform the bevel and clean any residual bur. It resulted in a uniform but rough edge.

Next on to the Naniwa SS 400. I flattened the stone first and started with a bit of mud. This stone doesn’t seem to cut real fast but it polishes nicely when muddy. That is why I made such a small jump. I did 3 passes on each side and then stropped about 10 times per side. This left the edge much less toothy but obviously still rather coarse

I then moved back to the Naniwa traditional 1k. I also like this stonea little muddy. So I created a bit of mud before starting. 2 passes per side, then 1 more light pass followed by 5-6 strops per side. This left a pretty smooth and shiny edge. The knife was starting to shave arm hair again but it wasn’t popping the hairs how I like yet.

Next stone was the shapton pro 1.5k I did 3 passes per side and stropped 5-6 times per side. It’s getting shinier now. I wasn’t sure if it was shaving better yet though.

On to the shapton pro 2k. Again I did 3 passes per side and stropped 5-6 times. Bevel is shining pretty nice now! Arm hairs are popping noticeably better.

I finished on a Naniwa traditional 6k. 4 passes per side and stropped 10 times per side. Now the bevel is shiny! Hairs is popping with a very light touch. The knife is now sharper than OOTB and the edge looks/feels good.

I stropped 5 times per side on leather to tidy thing up. I don’t know if this AS will get as sharp as the Makoto white steel knives, but they certainly are capable of taking an exceptional edge. The edge retention seems to be very good as well. Putting a good edge on the knife also was not difficult. This knife now feels just as sharp as my Takeda. Time will tell if the edge retention is also equal between the two. My hunch is that it will be very close, likely to close for me (a homecook) to notice any appreciable difference.

It would be nice to see what some of the much more skilled sharpeners and experienced knife aficionados thought of the Makoto AS knives. I know that I am a fan!
I love your details on how you review your knife :) I love the Makoto AS.

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Jeff B
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Jeff B » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:53 pm

Such a great looking knife, some nice chiseled kanji would just REALLY set it off!
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

Bluenoser87
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Bluenoser87 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:35 am

Nice write up! I’ve been thinking about picking up an AS blade to try....

Sean-in-AK
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Sean-in-AK » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:26 am

Jeff B wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:53 pm
Such a great looking knife, some nice chiseled kanji would just REALLY set it off!
I was thinking the same thing Jeff! Chiseled Kanji and a bit of refinement to the polishing/finish below the shinogi line and this knife would be an absolute stunner! Perhaps he has plans for a more expensive line in the future. I would buy one for sure.

That said, I think as is, this knife line has incredible value! Makoto has done a spectacular job of balancing refinement, fit/finish, sharpness and superb grind into a sub 200$ knife. I think you get a lot of knife for your money!

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Jeff B
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Re: Makoto AS 210mm Gyuto

Post by Jeff B » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:56 am

Sean-in-AK wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:26 am
Jeff B wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:53 pm
Such a great looking knife, some nice chiseled kanji would just REALLY set it off!
I was thinking the same thing Jeff! Chiseled Kanji and a bit of refinement to the polishing/finish below the shinogi line and this knife would be an absolute stunner! Perhaps he has plans for a more expensive line in the future. I would buy one for sure.

That said, I think as is, this knife line has incredible value! Makoto has done a spectacular job of balancing refinement, fit/finish, sharpness and superb grind into a sub 200$ knife. I think you get a lot of knife for your money!
Completely agree, Makoto knives are definitely a great value. I have his White#2 Kurouchi and love it's performance. It's the best sub $200 knife out there in my view. I too would like to see just one line added that is a little more high end in F&F with chiseled kanji for us knife nutz, I'd buy it! 8-)
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

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