Blade: 210mm long; mirror polish, hammer finish; SG2 steel (target 63 HRC); double-bevel edge
Handle: oval cocobolo pakkawood
Price: $125 discounted ($200 standard)
Yay, it’s another knife review! This time we’re looking at the 8” chef’s knife from Miyabi’s flashy and (relatively) new Artisan line. We’ll begin with the obvious. The first thing you’ll notice about the Artisan line is that these are some seriously blinged-out blades. The handle sports a mosaic pin and multiple rows of spacers, the endcap has a deeply embossed Miyabi logo and the blade itself is mirror polished and wrapped in hammer-dimpled cladding. There’s also a hazy stripe of cladding beneath the hammered portion; this is described as “damascus” in the marketing blubs but it clearly isn’t. I don’t really know what they were trying to go for here, but I’ll admit to kind of liking that portion. I think a bunch of layers of faux damascus crammed into the middle would have really been too far over the top. The haze calms things down a bit. Anyhow, if you want something really eye-catching, this’ll do it. If you prefer simple and subdued, you’d best look elsewhere.
Once your eyes recover from the initial radiance, a closer inspection reveals a number of details about the blade. The profile is similar to Miyabi’s Kaizen line of knives, with a long, gentle curve to the belly. This is different from the Fusion gyuto, which has a lower tip and flatter profile. The blade is definitely slim overall; less than 2mm wide above the heel and quite thin behind the edge. That thinness remains fairly constant, however, and the blade doesn’t taper much until about the last inch and a half or so before you reach the tip.
Okay, we’re done with the looking, let’s get to the touching! (No, not like that. Jeez, you perverts.) The knife weighs a pretty substantial 212g (10g more than the Miyabi Fusion gyuto) and the balance point is is right at the end of the handle, which makes the knife slightly handle-heavy (a feeling that becomes more pronounced if you use a pinch grip). Aside from the balance, I found the oval handle more comfortable than a standard D handle but less comfortable than an octagon or western handle. Spine and choil of the blade are eased, which is a nice amenity. The blade was very sharp out of the box and this combines with the thinness to make it a great slicer right from the get-go. (That thinness will also continue to be an asset over the life of the knife.) The belly lends itself to easy rocking but means that push-cutters like myself will be less pleased. The high-hardness steel should lead to good edge retention, though I’ll admit that I haven’t used it enough at this point to really make a comment on whether that theory holds or not.
So, would I recommend it? Yes and no. It’s got plenty of good qualities that I think a lot of people will like, but at the same time it has qualities that may really turn some people off. Personally, I prefer the Fusion gyuto, but the Gastrognome prefers this one. The one thing I will definitely knock here is the price—there are a lot of cutlery options for $200 that are significantly more serious than this one. If, however, you can find it at a discount and are interested, I’d say a good bet is to see if you can try it out and decide if it might not be a good fit for you!
spine & choil rounded
thin behind the edge & along spine
good for rocking & mincing
on the heavy side
standard price is high–definitely look for a sale/discount
too much belly for push-cutting
Could go either way/your preference:
balance optimized for hammer/sword grip instead of pinch grip
very flashy looks