This review was originally published here: http://www.chefknivestogoforum.com/anryu-goko-itto-ryu-kurosaki-tetsuhiro-t7466.html
Brace yourselves for free association BS.
These five knives are very similar. They are all high quality, rustically finished, middle weight knives. All except the Kurosaki Mehumi are carbon core, and all five are stainless clad. While the Tetsuhiro does not get mentioned much, and the Kurosaki is newer to CKTG, the other three are frequently recommended together or piecemeal for a wide variety of users. All five deserve consideration by many of the users soliciting recs.
So discarding what the have in common, what differentiates them?
The Kurosaki is the easy outlier, it is stainless, and the dreaded VG10 at that. We probably shouldn’t discount it but it deservedly requires more feedback from longer term users to allay any concerns about the steel. The overall aesthetic is extremely good and the grind is killer. In the long run I genuinely hope this knife stands the test of time and gets more attention.
The Itto-Ryu is, lets put it charitably, the most rustic of the lot. It makes up for that by being the cheapest. It has a thinner grind behind the edge than the Goko or Tetsuhiro which have similarly heavy grinds overall. The result is it slices better, especially with shorter product, but it also has a shoulder which can exacerbate wedging. Ignoring present company and instead comparing it to entry level knives like the Tojiro DP or Artifex, the Itto-Ryu is a slam dunk.
The Goko is almost as inexpensive as the Itto-Ryu. It has a nicer aesthetic, IMHO, and while thicker behind the edge, it feels more predictable going through ingredients than the Itto-Ryu. For me, this is the best bang-for-the-buck knife on this list.
The Tetsuhiro is an outlier here. It is a stunning looker. But its overall grind is more similar to the Goko or Itto-Ryu while not being particularly inexpensive. As a result this knife fills a niche not often called for…that’s a shame.
Full disclosure, the Anryu is my favorite knife in this lot. Though it is not the best fit for everyone. It is more expensive than either the Goko or Itto-Ryu. Individual buyers have to decide if the extra cost is warranted for their applications. While the Kurosaki is damn close in performance, it uses a lesser steel and costs more. The Tetsuhiro looses a bit on performance to the Anryu and costs more, though for someone needing a beefier knife, that would be the better pick.
That’s all I have to say about that….