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Mac French Series 8.5" Japanese Chef's Knife $106.93 + Delivery ($0 with Prime) @ Amazon US via AU

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Good day knife hunters,

Ya boi KEB is always on the cutting-edge looking for deals for you fine folks, I found you all a steel.
I found this particularly 'rare' piece, since japanese knife manufacturers don't usually make a low-cost sabatier profile knife unless you head into the $300-$1000 territory with the Masamoto KS, Konosuke GS+ Togatta, Kohetsu HAP40 Togatta, Shibatsu R2, etc.

Mac is a japanese knife maker who makes the hugely successful Mac Superior Bread knife (touted as the "best" serrated knife due to profile, quality, and ease of use). Mac is particularly good at heat treatment, as their "superior" bread knife doesnt have problems with snapping in half like the similarly made Tojiro.

Specs:
Steel: AUS8 Stainless
Hardness: 58-59 HRC
Profile: Sabatier or "French profile"
Construction: Full Tang, triple riveted
Handle: Pakkawood
Made: Seki City, Japan

Why would you buy this? Glad you asked. If you are keen for a knife with a more slender tip and a much straighter profile which is ideal for cooks who spend most of the time using the top 40% of their knife to do precision chopping and "detail" work, this would be a good knife to use. Or if you are curious to know if this profile would suit you better but are not ready to spend $400+ on a konosuke or $700 for the famous Masamoto KS, this might be a good foray.
The next best knife with a similar profile would probably be the Kasumi 20cm Chef's knife, but they retail for around $180.
Good for: Tap chopping (with the top 40% of the blade), Line-slicing (drawing-style), Push-cutting.
Not great for: Rocking motion chopping

If I had money to burn I would probably buy one of these myself, but am saving for a more expensive one.

Global or this? This.

Video on Mac chef knives
Mac's Website

Stay sharp folks.

Price History at C CamelCamelCamel.

Related Stores

Amazon AU
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Amazon Global Store

closed Comments

  • Good find OP
    Great knives and a definite step up from Global / Shun etc
    But don't just take my word for it:
    https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/the-best-chefs-kn...

  • That blade has a nice profile. I don’t think I’d like it for continuous use with no bolster and the handle leading straight onto the blade with no leading space between the handle and heel. With enough use building a callous on the index finger would make it work.

    • I watched some more videos and it sounds like they dont round the edges off that well (Tojiro dont either in my experience), so may want to run the edges through with some sandpaper or a dremel tool.

  • Thanks OP. Grabbed one. Love MAC knives.

  • Steel: AUS8 Stainless
    Hardness: 58-59 HRC

    Harder than European steel knives, but I think the in thing was VG10 if you are buying japanese made ? What is AUS8 like compared to VG10.

    • In terms of steels, I would rate in this order:
      Global's CrMov18, AUS-8, VG-10.

      But different manufacturers can give varying qualities in refinement with the steel. Since Mac only use AUS-8, they've refined their heat treatments very well, and they don't really use other steels. AUS-8 isn't as prone to chipping as VG-10, and I think Mac tend to market their knives more for professional kitchen for line cooks and chefs who will use their knives hours a day, not the home cook who only use their knives for 4 hours a week tops.(I heard Gordon Ramsay used to use Mac knives)

      So what I would expect is:
      Requires more frequent touch ups
      Less prone to chipping, less brittle

      I don't yet own a Mac knife but you can expect me to buy a Mac superior bread knife when I finally have my own place :)

  • Very good OP however not sure I'll get it yet, cheers.

  • bought a Tojiro recently and love it, how does this compare?

    • According to review shown by @citizencane, the Mac mighty chef's knife took the "edge" against Tojiro, I think both knives are great.
      If I knew what I knew now and needed my first foray into japanese kitchen knives, I would definitely try this. If I had this, definitely would not need the Tojiro DP3.

      The trouble is, unlike in US we dont have many places where we can "try" different knife profiles to see what would suit us the best.

      If you are keen on sabatier (french style, pointy) profile, this is your best bet.

      • thanks i have the DP3 and its awesome, but this one seems to be a larger blade. so the blade on this is 21 cm or thereabouts?

        • seems like its slightly longer than 21cm @ 21.59cm.
          DP3 is a good knife, make no mistake. I do prefer this profile over the DP3, and now my DP3 gets barely used over the Kasumi (similar profile)

  • Yeah thanks, so now I'm buying the bread knife instead.

    it's $152 from Amazon, any cheaper elsewhere???

    • $152 seems to be around "normal price". I too am waiting for it to drop substantially before i buy one, its not like i need it anytime soon. Alternatively may buy one when i go to Japan, if flights ever resume…

  • At this price point, I prefer the Tojiro DP3 ($109 at petersofkensington). Bought it anyway, thanks OP.

  • Bought this exact knife in Japan about 4 years ago for similar price. You will hardly notice the difference between this and a VG10 unless you're a pro. Love unbolstered blades for ease of sharpening the full length of the blade and Euro handle for those who don't like Jap style.

  • Which versions of MacOS is this compatible with?

  • Never killer deals on miyabi 5000MCD or 5000MCD67, i own one 5000mcd67 which i got off amazon as i never see them in australia,

    • I knew David Jones sold Miyabi knives at least 6 years ago, but I dont think it was marketed well and Australia probably wasnt even ready for that extent of "luxury" when it came to knives. At that time people thought Global was the bees knees and the "best", so did I until my friend showed me his Miyabi and Shun knives.

  • If I already have a wusty ikon classic 9in do you think it's still worth getting this?

    Profile wise they don't look too far apart from each other but I'm a noob to the knife world and could be missing something here. I have my eye on a Glestain Santoku 6.75in as it's a completely different profile to a chef knife.

    As I only have the wusty I'm keen to build a nice collection but trying to avoid overlap to build a more versatile set.

    Thanks for the post OP, looks like a good buy.

    • I think it really depends on what you feel comfortable with. I have examined the profile of the wusthof's and similar knives, and they dont appeal to me that much. I dont do much rocking chopping, and find that the Kasumi is adequate for that.

      However the profile of Wusthof and this sabatier profile is definitely different, by a "large" margin i would say. The blade from the heel to the tip, about 60-70% of it is flat, which makes it ideal for push cutting. It does not have a rounded "belly" so not ideal for "rocking motion".

      If you are considering a santoku, the difference between the santoku and the wusthof profile is the "flatter" blade profile, which is kind of what the sabatier has (that 70%).

      I am considering starting a youtube channel about knives to help people discern the difference

      • I think the profile of this knife is very much suited to "french" chef style way of chopping (i.e. leaving the upper tip in constant connection with the chopping board and slight "sliding" motion), having trouble finding a video to demonstrate

      • Thanks mate,

        I find myself doing quite a bit of tap chopping most of the time and push cutting with bunches or more cumbersome items.

        Have found the wusty quite comfortable for both but I have no real hands on experience with any other style knife since Vic lockdown and getting a lot better with food prep skills. Yes I have other knives at home but they are not in the same quality as the Ikon so hard to compare apples to apples.

        From this Knife Vid I can see them side by side and it's interesting what the guy says. Sadly he doesn't talk much about the Mac but there is defiantly a difference in the shape (more so the position of the tip than the overall shape I believe). Both still looks quite round but may feel different in the hand.

        • Right tool for the right job I guess. If you want to do very fine slicing and chopping herbs, even tap chopping (i.e. scallions that you want to simply dissolve in savoury pancakes etc.), then you probably want something that is extremely sharp with a narrow cutting angle.

          Going through butternut pumpkin, you might find the wusthof is better to use.

          I do mostly asian cooking, so we cut way more scallions and onions than we do pumpkins. Having very thin blades does help with cutting onions and reduces the amount of onion vapor getting into your eyes though.

          • @KnifeEnthusiastBoi: On nice!! That's a great tip and I totally agree with you about having the right tool for the right job. It makes it more enjoyable too.

            At the moment I strop the wusty after mosts uses and sharpen it once a week on a 3000 pro naniwa stone. I find the edge is still great, but a quite sharpen just makes it that much better.

            Mostly chopping carrots, celery, mushrooms, potatoes, broccoli, onions, fruits, steak and chicken (no bones). Every now and then we have pumpkin but most food prep isn't on the hard side.

            • @vash5: Would definitely recommend if you have a friend who has a japanese style knife to give it a try and see how its different. Try to see if you can appreciate where you might use a japanese knife versus a western knife. It can be pretty wonderful when chopping chives into tiny pieces for things like scalloped potato and eggs.

    • the trident has the broader euro angle on the edge and is a bit tougher to damage, and softer on rockwell.

      if you have the ikon already, i’d go with more of a japanese shape which is more cutting / slicing focused, rather than euro rocking and chopping.

      • Thanks you. I'm on a similar train of though as both knives looks to be euro style and something completely different might be more interesting :)

  • Did not know about the MAC bread knife - thanks for the tip!

    I have a MAC mighty as well as the Kasumi which I use as the daily driver - the MAC is a much better knife (though I got the Kasumi for $120 years back)

    Can also highly recommend an EdgePro Apex as well

    • Very interesting comments, i'd like to hear your thoughts about what makes the mac mighty a better knife for you. Please reach out and PM me!

      • Sure - upon reflection I think I probably shouldn't have included the word "much" - the Kasumi works fine and like you said, its pretty handy for nimble work further up near the tip

        The MAC has great weighting and a general rock solid feel that inspires confidence and makes it easy to use - the Kasumi can get a bit "wobbly" when cutting harder things like carrots - not the best description but hopefully you get what I mean

        • interesting, not sure if i have ever experienced that "wobbly" ness. Definitely the kasumi is not a laser, but thats why im looking toward getting a laser style blade like the konosuke.

    • Is the edge pro better than whetstones?

    • I did see that. At $147 i wouldnt say its spectacularly good "deal", I think it is a "fair price" or normal price. At this price the Yaxell Mon seems to be a direct competitor, and slightly cheaper. I would probably opt for the Yaxell. Both knives would be great though

      • i have given up on the gratton / scalloped blades, after while of sharpening you get to the scallops ….better with hammered finish if you want a blade that releases with air pockets.

        • Me too. Not sold on scalloped knives, some people say they make no difference. I guess depends on how it is designed.

          • @KnifeEnthusiastBoi: Here is Youtube video comparing some scalloped knives, it's in Chinese but you can turn on the subtitle auto translate. And, the best among them is Glestain 210mm gyuto.

            By the way, how does your Yaxell Zen goes in this respect?

            • @O O: Im sure that knife performs well…i dont fancy the appearance though haha.
              I haven't used the Zen that often. It's still in the box. I break it out from time to time to try it out, i kind of bought it to use when i finally get my own place XD.

              The worst offender by far is usually potatoes, but i havent made scalloped potato in a while so I cant report on that. Will use the Zen next time i make scalloped potato. Although i must say if sticking was really an issue I would probably use the KS style blade or the sexy Sakai Takayuki Kurokage

  • +1 for the write-up..

    I like using sharp knives (& tools) but know bugger all about knives compared to most of u peeps… I'm just a hack but i can appreciate the technicalities you guys are speaking of..

  • +1 for our resident knife expert KEB

  • damn pressed buy and is $160