This gyuto was made by an up and coming craftsman, named Don Nguyen. Don practices his trade in Arizona, only part-time, because of his other obligations (life, school, etc). However, he really knows what makes a great kitchen knife! His work is clean, elegant and has a slightly innovative/contemporary look to it. I discovered Don's work as a result of being a tester for his prototype gyuto, which I was immediately amazed by. It was light, well made, beautifully balanced and cut like an absolute dream! He currently uses 1084 carbon steel, which, quite honestly, is a great steel for in the kitchen. It sharpens to a razor's edge, while maintaining a nice amount of durability and toughness. 1084 steel develops a very nice patina, and best of all, is a fairly non-reactive carbon steel, which is a huge plus. In my experience, it leaves no residual taste or smell on the product being cut.
This knife, in particular, is a "240 gyuto", with an actual edge length of 248mm and a blade height, at the heel, of 50mm and is hardened to 59-60Hrc. It has a nicely eased choil and spine (a bonus of working with the maker), and a stunningly perfect distal taper. Don's knives have perhaps the most useable tips I have encountered in a chef knife/gyuto. He manages to find that perfect balance of "pointy" and "substantial", while definitely being more on the side of pointy. In fact, I've only ever held two other gyutos with tips that, in my opinion, found the balance so well. Both were prototypes; One made by Don, the other by the one and only, Pierre Rodrigue.
This knife features a very comfortable and understated, yet innovative handle, made out of black paper micarta. The angles on it scream "sports car", but the comfort level is pure luxury. It's a cross between a Wa and a Western handle, with and angled butt and tapered tang/tail. The taper on the tang positions the balance point almost exactly at the very front of the handle, with a slight edge towards blade heavy. All in all, the balance is just where you want it!
This knife presents an opportunity to get a knife that, if made by any other maker, would cost at least $150-200 more. The difference is not in quality, but in name recognition. I truly believe that if Don finds the time, he'll be like the other well known craftsmen out there, and have a 8-12 month wait-list. My "motto" is to only carry items that make me excited, and I'm pretty sure it's obvious just how excited I am by Don's work and his future in the industry.
Edge Length: 248mm
Blade Height, at the heel: 50mm
Spine thickness, at the heel: 2.55mm
Spine thickness, at midway point: 1.5mm
Spine thickness, 1cm from tip: 0.6mm
Thickness, directly behind the edge: 0.005"-0.008'' (tip to heel)