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Amazing new knife

 
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jagstyle



Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: CA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:39 am    Post subject: Amazing new knife Reply with quote

330mm Blue Steel (#2) Yanagiba (Sashimi) with ebony octagon handle and water buffalo horn hilt, hand forged by Shinichi Watanabe:





The pictures really say everything. Like all traditional Japanese knives it is single bevel with a hollow ground back. Skilled blacksmith + high quality materials = amazing knife.

The arsenal:


Knives:
Watanabe 330mm Blue Steel Yanagiba
Watanabe 240mm Blue Steel Gyuto
Takeda 240mm Blue Super Steel Gyuto
Tojiro 240mm Powdered Steel Gyuto
Shun Pro 210mm Deba
Shun Classic 6" Utility
Shun Classic 3.5" Parer
Chan Chi Kee 240mm light Chinese Cleaver
POS Three Rams Brand Heavy Cleaver

Water stones:
2xNorton 220
Norton 1000
Norton 4000
Norton 1000/8000
Norton Flattening stone
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that is a beauty! I don't know what else to say, except beautiful! (and congratulations!)
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cranmere



Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooh, knife prOn! Those are beautiful.

Pat in Somerset, England
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GarlickyGeek



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 5
Location: East Coast

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jagstyle,
That is just an awesome collection you've got there.

How would you compare the three gyutos: Watanabe, Tojiro and Takeda?

And how do you like your chinese light cleaver?
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jagstyle



Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: CA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Takeda has this unbelievably thin edge that allows for unmatched sharpness. It also uses the best steel. However it has its weaknesses. I prefer the Watanabe for its weight, profile, and aesthetics. I couldn't use the Takeda as a workhorse. It just feels too fragile (light) and the profile needs work (FYI, he has made some with more belly upon special request). However when you want to impress someone with the most amazing slice through a tomato they have ever felt, the Takeda is the one to choose. Both of these knives take anything stainless and rip it a new one. Powered steel (Tojiro) puts up a good fight but it just isn't the same. It also doesn't have that nice handmade feel to it...

The Watanabe is my favorite but the Tojiro gets used more since the stainless steel makes it much more worry free.

balance:
Watanabe ~ 2" from hilt
Takeda ~ 2" from hilt
Tojiro ~ 0.5" from hilt

Japanese knives tend to be blade heavy due to the "rat tail" tang. A little bit blade heavy is ideal for the typical chef style pinch grip (index and thumb pinching blade, other three fingers wrapped around handle). The Takeda and Watanabe work excellent with an agressive pinch grip. The Tojiro with its full tang balances 0.5" from the hilt and still allows for a pinch grip without significant problems of handle heaviness. For the pinch grip I like to use, I think my ideal balance point would be around 1.5" from the hilt.

prices:
Watanabe 240mm Blue #2 Steel Gyuto with octagon Ho wood handle - $283 shipped
Takeda 240mm AS Gyuto with octagon rosewood handle - $183 shipped
Tojiro PS 240mm Gyuto - $155.50 shipped

Another picture:
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GarlickyGeek



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 5
Location: East Coast

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick response.

I am leaning towards a stanless blade because I just know there will be times I wont take proper care of the knife (busy with company, whatever) and I'd end up really regretting corrosion on a very fine handmade knife like the Watanabe. I use my chinese cleaver for most daily jobs, actually, and am looking at a bigger chef's knife for those heavy jobs like large, thin melon slices, thin fresh coconut slices, butternut squash, etc. where I need a 270mm or even a 300mm. Such a long blade has me a bit worried about the balance point and brittleness, however. I am looking at the Tojira PS 300mm Gyuto (about $200) vs. the Misono UX10 300mm Gyuto (about $270). I have read very good things about the Misono, but I like the higher hardness and engineering of the Tojiro better. It strikes me that it might be a better blade than the Misono at a better price, but I haven't seen any direct comparisons. The Masamoto has a better reputation, but from what I read, the Misono UX10 and the Tojiro powdered steel line are both better than the Masamoto VG10 blades.

I'm definitely looking for an everyday blade. There are some things I like to slice with my left hand over the back of the blade hold both sides of the food, whiich can't be done with a cleaver. I've spent most of my cooking life with a Gyuto style knife rather than a cleaver, so I still fall back on its use in spite of the fact that the cleaver seems to be more and more useful with every passing day.

On a related but different note, what would you consider to be the best tool for very thin slices of fresh garlic? The issue of course is once you've slice 80% of it or so, the smallness of what is left of the clove coupled with the taper of the end makes things dicey for the fingertips.

I do have to commend you again on your knives. They are one very fine set.
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jagstyle



Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: CA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GarlickyGeek, your research is very good. Have you been reading knifeforums or foodie forums? Are you a member? If not, where have you been finding opinions about the knives mentioned?

OK, Tojiro PS vs. Misono UX10 coming from someone who has never held or used a UX10 but owns a PS.

I like the PS better because it offers an excellent blade for a decent price. Especially at the 300mm level where the price difference is $70

Things to be wary about with Tojiro PS:
1. Fit and finish - Tojiro is not famous for their QA
2. Thin factory edges - may need to be sharpened more obtusely if the edge starts chipping under a heavy workload. Not a big issue for someone with some experience and a good set of waterstones

So with the UX10 you can pretty much be assured that you will get a great all around knife. With the Tojiro you take a little bit a chance as you may have to deal with some issues before you get the ideal high performance gyuto that you are seeking.

The price and the steel of the Tojiro make it worth the risk IMO.

If you are willing to spend $270 I would go with the Blazen over the Misono.
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/RYUSEN.html
Tojiro PS performance without the risk of issues that lean one toward the Misono...

a 300mm would probably be great for the tasks you have mentioned. A full tang blade like the ones you are considering should have decent balance at that length considering that 270s are often ideally balanced. I really don't know for sure so I would ask "louisianacook" on knifeforums.com as he owns a 300mm Tojiro PS and knows a lot more than I do.

For slicing garlic I would use my go-to knife whether that be a 240mm gyuto or a Chinese cleaver. If properly sharpened the knife should be plenty sharp to do the small slices. The left hand work just takes practice. I try to keep my fingers in a bridge so that if the knife slips it is not cutting straight down through a finger. You'll probably have to slow down the last 20% to take time to carefully setup the knife and garlic for a nice slice.


misono ux10 240mm gyuto or tojiro powder steel 240
http://216.91.137.210/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5844/
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GarlickyGeek



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 5
Location: East Coast

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just started reading this forum a couple of days ago. I've been looking at quality knives on and off for some weeks, since I managed to damange my old workhose (a JA Henckels that was a gift about 20 years ago) I worked in the machine tool industry for a while a couple of decades ago, so I know a little bit about steels and hardness and stuff like that. And I'm an engineer, so I know how to find out a lot about something that I need to deal with.


I hadn't even considered the Ryusen Blazen because:
- I hadn't heard or read a lot about it;
- It was not at all clear from what I saw on the japaneschefsknife.com website that it was stalnless (or at least stain-resistant). The Tojiro states explicitly that the powdered tool steel core is clad with a stainless formulation. The Misono states that it is stainless, and it's lower rockwell confirms that. But the high hardness claim of the Blazen coupled with no information about cladding or other operation to make the powdered tool steel more resistant to careless or casual use (my daughter might cut a grapefruit in half, and just leave the knife out on the cutting board like that until I got home from work, for instance) led me to not consider it. If you know it to be stainless (or clad, or have a website that gives a bit more information about the metallurgy and constuction details of the blade) then I would definitely consider it as an alternative to the other two.

The handle and bolster look better (from the photographs) on the Blazen than the Tojiro. I think that for myself, the difference in very slightly higher hardness of the Tojiro would not be noticeable. I am very concerned to get a blade that doesn't need the care of a carbon steel blade. If I cooked for a living, I would probably feel differently, but cooking is a hobby for me, and although my main knife is used all day, we are talking cutting an apple or two and a grapefruit in the morning, maybe a tomato and cucumber at lunchtime, and maybe three or four times a week doing an evening meal, with veggies, meats, etc. for maybe an hour or so. But I am a bit of a tool fetishist; even if I use any tool only occasionally, I want it to be professional quality, and work perfectly, and be perfect for the job. Since cooking is a bit of a hobby, like the guy that buys better golf clubs than his playing ability warrants, I'm happy to spend more money on a knife than my time in the kitchen (or ability as a chef, for that matter) warrants.

So...if the Blazen is stainless (is it clad?) then I would proably go with that. As good as the Misono and a better blade. If not, then I probably lean towards the Tojiro since I like the better steel (stays razor sharp longer).
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wickidpisa



Joined: 23 Sep 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GarlickyGeek wrote:
On a related but different note, what would you consider to be the best tool for very thin slices of fresh garlic?


They actually sell tiny mandolins made specifically for slicing very thin garlic slices. You should, of course, still buy a good knife, but if you slice a lot of garlic, it may be easier to use this to get really thin slices.
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GarlickyGeek



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 5
Location: East Coast

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wickidpisa,
I have this very tool at home. Depending upon what I am cooking and how I am oooking it, the slices this thing makes are either a bit too thick or a bit too thin. I don't think they make them adjustable thickness, or if they do then I clearly bought the wrong tool.

I am just so used to having complete control over size, shape, and thickness of everything that goes into a recipe when you have the right knife that I use the cleaver or even a big gyuto on garlic cloves. I know, I should use the right tool for the job...
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jagstyle



Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: CA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GarlickyGeek wrote:
So...if the Blazen is stainless (is it clad?) then I would proably go with that. As good as the Misono and a better blade. If not, then I probably lean towards the Tojiro since I like the better steel (stays razor sharp longer).


The Blazen is basically the same blade as the Tojiro (material wise) but with a better handle and better quality control. So yes, it is a sandwich construction (Warikomi) like the Tojiro PS and is stainless...

I have not seen any discoloration on the powdered tool steel core of my Tojiro so I consider the whole knife stainless rather than stainless with a carbon steel core. This is also the experience of others on those forums that I just never shut up about.

My recommendation would be to keep the knife out of the reach of family members...

enjoy shopping!
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albino
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jagstyle,

did you ever use a Mizuno?

you posted a knife, foto, a deba, WOW, who is the maker?
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