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Foo shops for a Japanese knife

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mafoofan, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Thanks Manton, I suppose it makes sense that a good execution of the hidden tang is a bit more difficult.
     
  2. shibbel

    shibbel Senior member

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    huh?
    Amazingly, I was able to find a place not too far from me that had these available to play with. Buying one wasn't much of a decision once I had my hands on it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  3. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    :slayer:

    were you able to play with anything else?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  4. shibbel

    shibbel Senior member

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    huh?
    The Misono, a couple of MAC knives,a Kasumi, and a Masahiro. The Misono felt really good too, but the Masamoto has a blade that's a bit more durable, so that ultimately sold me. So glad I found a place that had them, because I was seriously considering a 240- would have been a big mistake.
     
  5. otc

    otc Senior member

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    If you pay for the left handed version, can you have them just center the bevel instead?

    I'm not sure I want to deal with sharpening an asymmetrical edge...and since I have to pay for the lefty switch and make it non-returnable, maybe I should just make it "normal"
     
  6. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Teh bevel isn't much of an issue with the masamotos. It isn't the whole blade that is asymmetrical, just the edge, so you can reshape it at will by yourself.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's really not tricky to sharpen an edge 70/30. No tricker than 50/50.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    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.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    What makes them indelible, bro?
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    Because every time I read "Hamon" I think Ham. (Jamon). As soon as I think Japanese steel (chisels, razors, plane blades, and to a lesser extent knives) I think Ham -> Hamon -> Forge welding.

    Odd thing to think standing at the urinal this morning, but there it is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  11. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    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)

    [​IMG]

    Closeup of the handles

    [​IMG]

    Other side

    [​IMG]

    The finishing of the Tojiros is a little bit rustic. For example, the connection between the handle and the bolster is a little chipped.

    [​IMG]
    The connection of the MACs is much smoother, although two out of four knifes had these small scuffs on the bolster.

    [​IMG]

    ca. 150mm paring/utility/petty knife

    [​IMG]

    ca. 120mm paring/utility/petty knife

    [​IMG]

    80/90mm paring knife

    [​IMG]

    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).
    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  12. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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  13. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     
  14. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    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.
     
  15. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     
  16. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    I understand, It was supposed to read "higher quality". Thanks. :)
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    Whoops, thanks for the correction.
     
  18. CBrown85

    CBrown85 Senior member

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    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.
     
  19. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  20. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    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.
     

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