The Gyuto HAP-40 Gyuto 200mm with Ebony Handle is in my opinion the best possible reasonably priced knife one can buy: After sharpening with a 1000/6000 grinding stone the blade became ultra-sharp that I feel with every cut. Sharpening at the grinding stone is very exact & quick, while for other knife steels such as Aogami & Ginsan I need much longer to achieve the same edge. And the HAP40 edge will hold much longer compare to carbon steels.
Although HAP40 is considered a semi-stainless steel, patina develops only slowly and not that visible. This is in strong contrast to Aogami steels that quickly put up a initial yellow, later brown patina that needs to be ground away by a blade-stone, after which the blade needs new sharpening.
Therefore I agree with Japanese knife experts that HAP40 is the best possible steel at the market.
With this new version of the HAP40 gyuto also the handle had been improved, so that it gets tapered towards the blade: this gives the knife optimum stability when laid flat on the desk/cutting board. And the ebony is the most beautiful & functional wood.
Overall this knife deserves 5* in my high-standard opinion.
(previous rating was 4* due to the previous version handle had no taper)
Miyamoto Musashi (16th century samurai) would have been proud of owning such a knife!
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