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Foo shops for a Japanese knife - Page 11

post #151 of 291
A couple pics of similar knifes from MAC (Professional Series) and Tojiro (DP3 HQ) I've ordered to compare them.


240mm Gyuto (well, the Tojiro has 233mm and the MAC 243mm)
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Closeup of the handles
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Other side
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The finishing of the Tojiros is a little bit rustic. For example, the connection between the handle and the bolster is a little chipped.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The connection of the MACs is much smoother, although two out of four knifes had these small scuffs on the bolster.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

ca. 150mm paring/utility/petty knife
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

ca. 120mm paring/utility/petty knife
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80/90mm paring knife
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Overall, the handles of the MACs have a much nicer finish. The Tojiros don't seem to have any grain at all. However, due to mother nature, the grain differs quite a bit. It may not matter all that much, and it may disappear with use, but the differences are noticeable (the colour difference is not due to lightning). Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

So, overall, the handles of the knifes are different. Also, the MAC's blades go off in a 90° angle whereas the Tojiro's blades go off in a <90° angle (see pictures).
I can't comment on the quality of the blades. They are different, I can't judge whether for better or worse though. The MAC knifes have very smooth blades, you can easily wipe over them with a kitchen towel. The Tojiro's blades are rougher, it makes some sound when you wipe over them with a kitchen towel.

Overall, I wasn't sure which of the smaller knifes to get since I only want to get one for now. The 150mm one is definitely too big, so the 120mm and 80/90mm ones are the two options. At the moment, I tend towards the 80/90mm. The prices of Tojiro's and MAC's "small" knifes are the same (+-10%). I prefer MAC's knifes.

MAC's guyto is much lighter than Tojiro's, 219.2g vs 250.6g, which I prefer. It feels better in the hand. The only problem is that unlike the "small knifes", the gyuto has a significant price gap. MAC's is 50% more expensive than Tojiro's (189€ vs 125€). So yeah, I prefer MAC's, so I'll probably take it, but the price difference is huge so I'll have to think about it.
post #152 of 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba View Post

Why are the traditional Japanese looking knives from the same makers more expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post

They aren't always.

But when they are the typical answer is because they take more steel and are harder to make.

To elaborate on this answer, some Japanese blacksmiths will forge-weld different steels in their pieces with the hardest steel at the very edge, surrounded by softer metals for support. They do this frequently with chisels and plane blades which typically take more shock / abuse than your average kitchen knife, and if you look at the bevel you should notice the steel change in color towards the tip. That line, BTW, is sometimes called the Hamon, which becomes indelible if you have even a limited grasp of Spanish.


I thought that the Hamon resulted not from different steel, rather from differential heat treatment.

post #153 of 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post


I thought that the Hamon resulted not from different steel, rather from differential heat treatment.

I think this is right because honyaki knives have a hamon line and are monosteel. Most Japanese knives are clad, though, and the edge material usually has a pretty distinct line.

@b1os - neither the Mac nor Tojiro handles are solid wood, so the grain you are seeing is decorative. They are both layered veneer, which is better because it doesn't expand, contact and crack in a wet environment. Theoretically, the Tojiro is made of a better steel. It is definitely made of a more expensive steel. Mac steel will be a little softer, but a little more durable. Also, the Tojiro knives are clad, as I said above, which is going to give the steel you are wiping with a towel a different feel. Mac knives are monosteel, I am pretty sure about that. There is a pretty good advantage to clad knives as knives get harder in that when you need to thin your blade, it is easier to thin the soft jacket than the hard edge, but other people dislike them for various reasons.

Overall, though, the handles are a bigger difference than the steel points I mentioned. You have to have really good knife skills, and more importantly really good sharpening skills, to notice a difference. Most people never thin their knives anyway, so the cladding doesn't help them.
post #154 of 291
Ah, wouldn't have guessed that Tojiro's knifes use higher quality steel (especially given the price difference of the Gyuto). The different steel probably explains the difference in weight. I figured that they weren't solid wood, but the Tojiro handles still look a little sad. But that's just optical so shouldn't play a big role in the decision process. Will have to do some more comparing.
post #155 of 291
I don't want to say higher quality, because I don't personally think vg-10 steel is any better than the vg-1 Mac uses (generally believed, they are mum on it.) VG-10 can be made a bit harder, but it chips more easily, and as I said, just because somebody who is a really good sharpener can get it marginally sharper doesn't mean that you can or that the difference makes any difference at all.
post #156 of 291
I understand, It was supposed to read "higher quality". Thanks. smile.gif
post #157 of 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post


I thought that the Hamon resulted not from different steel, rather from differential heat treatment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsstillmatt View Post

I think this is right because honyaki knives have a hamon line and are monosteel. Most Japanese knives are clad, though, and the edge material usually has a pretty distinct line.

(...)

Whoops, thanks for the correction.
post #158 of 291
Can we expect an update on the knife situation?

I'm on my way out to grab the Wust Ikon chef's '10. Handled that and the Shun Classic and I'm just not proficient enough to notice a significant difference- going with the cheaper of the two.
post #159 of 291
^Aside from the obvious German/Japanese knife difference, the knifes seem pretty different from the look, bolster, blade and handle alone, no?

6220-803954-p.jpg
post #160 of 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsstillmatt View Post

I don't want to say higher quality, because I don't personally think vg-10 steel is any better than the vg-1 Mac uses (generally believed, they are mum on it.) VG-10 can be made a bit harder, but it chips more easily, and as I said, just because somebody who is a really good sharpener can get it marginally sharper doesn't mean that you can or that the difference makes any difference at all.
meanswear corollary: knife geeks get all caught up in steel formulas, but for the most part, it's like debating super 120s v. super 130s. pay attention to the way it cuts and feels in your hand, not the labeling.
post #161 of 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba View Post

My opinion is that the origin of Damascus steel is along the lines of how the Japanese sword makers blended a variety of steels together to create a worthwhile steel. Blending very hard tool steels with softer steels likely allowed them to create a worthwhile, resilient blade that held and edge. The process probably fell by the wayside as better and more consistent refining techniques became available.

The forge folding used by Japanese swordsmiths, as I understand it, was necessary to help drive impurities out of the terrible quality iron available in Japan, as well as to distribute carbon evenly throughout the blade blank. But that folding process was not the critical part in the creation of a strong, resilient blade. The use of differential heat treating to create a blade with a soft spine and hard edge, and the lamination of discrete layers to form the blank were more important aspects of creating a useful sword. Except for the use of san mai construction to clad a high carbon core with more corrosion resistant sides, I think most of the Japanese bladecrafting techniques are ultimately done for aesthetics and tradition as far as knives are concerned.
post #162 of 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post

meanswear corollary: knife geeks get all caught up in steel formulas, but for the most part, it's like debating super 120s v. super 130s. pay attention to the way it cuts and feels in your hand, not the labeling.

I'm not sure if this was to comment on my geekiness or my non-geekiness, or both, but I agree.
post #163 of 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsstillmatt View Post

I'm not sure if this was to comment on my geekiness or my non-geekiness, or both, but I agree.
i was affirming your non-geekiness.
post #164 of 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1os View Post

^Aside from the obvious German/Japanese knife difference, the knifes seem pretty different from the look, bolster, blade and handle alone, no?

6220-803954-p.jpg

Right- I meant to say that what I'd be able to do with the knife would be the same. Going from a shitty dull 7 santoku to a upscale german/japanese 10.

Anyway- trying them again, I rather liked the weight and feel of the Classic Ikon- I'm sure it will last longer than I do.
post #165 of 291
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post

i was affirming your non-geekiness.

Damnit!
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