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Suggestion for Katsuobushi Kezuriki (Bonito Shaver)

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Hello,

I have finally decided to buy a katsuobushi shaver in order to prepare my first (non instant) bonito and kombu ichiban dashi.

In this first post of mine I will report my findings (from the point of view of someone not living in Japan) on the products that I found during my research.

I would really appreciate any suggestion on such products based on your experiences and your knowledge on the matter :)

For each product I try to include the following information: price, blade material, plane material (not necessarly the same of the whole box) and international shipping info.

Good characteristics for the blade are: achievable sharpness, edge retention and resistance to rust.

Good characteristics for the plane are: durability, resistance to deformations and to oils/liquids.

The symbol (?) means I am unsure due to the automated translation from Japanese (confusing at times :P), and if anyone able to read Japanese can help with these doubts I will be happy to edit this post to include the revised information.

Now to the products:

* E-dashi shaver:

Link: http://www.e-dashi.com/kezuriki/kezuriki.html

Price: 7.297 Y

Blade: blue paper steel mixed with other steels (?)

Plane: oak

Shipping: international shipment available

This one is talked about in: http://italianintheus.blogspot.com/2009/11/quest-for-katsuobushi-ii-dashi-is-deep.html

* Fushitaka shaver:

Link: http://www.e-dashi.com/kezuriki/kezuriki.html

Price: 14.175 Y

Blade: SK steel

Plane: shirakashi (oak)

Shipping: from the website it seems they ship to Japan only. Not an issue, as specialised companies (which forward the item from Japan to your home) can be used.

* Marusan shaver (wooden box):

Link: http://en.item.rakuten.com/nishimurakanamono/10000770/

Please notice that by clicking on “original page” you can access the Japanese version of the page which has more details on the product.

Price: 4.600 Y

Blade: not reported; I have sent an email to the shop with an info request on this point

Plane: oak

Shipping: international shipment available

This item really seems the one present in this blog: http://naokomoore.com/2010/08/hand-shaved-bonito-with-homemade-tofu.html

* Marusan shaver (plastic box):

Link: http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%83%91%E3%83%BC%E3%83%AB%E9%87%91%E5%B1%9E-%E5%91%B3%E4%B8%80%E7%95%AA-%E9%B0%B9%E7%AF%80-%E5%89%8A%E5%99%A8-H-5046/dp/B000FMJKCM/ref=pd_cp_k_0

Price: 2.625 Y

Blade: not reported

Plane: not reported

Shipping: international shipment not available. Again specialised companies can be used.

* Makurazaki shaver:

Link: http://www.katuo-honkarebushi.net/shop/products/detail.php?product_id=18

Price: 7.350 Y

Blade: not reported

Plane: not reported

Shpping: from the website it seems they ship to Japan only. Again specialised companies can be used.

Despite the lack of information on this shaver, the website sells honkarebushi (the best quality drited bonito) so I assume this item should be of good quality too...

* Keiyo Kosan Co. shaver:

Link: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Japanese-Katsuobushi-Dried-bonito-shaver-Miso-Dashi-NEW-/250717068631?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a5fe6dd57

Price: 40 US Dollars

Blade: not reported

Plane: not reported

Shipping: international shipment available

* Finally the link:

http://www.matsusaku.com/page/kezuriki.htm

contains a number of bonito shavers with different prices, blades and planes.

At the moment I am oriented toward the E-dashi shaver, as it is the cheapest that I found which has a blue paper steel blade (which for what I understand should be of higher quality then the SK steel blade) and has an oak plane (which should be a good material for the task). Are SK blades more rust resistant than blue paper steel blades?

I hope that this post will prove useful for other persons interested in buying this product from outside Japan and I am looking forward any comment and suggestion.

Cheers

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Just my experience... I don't think you should be too technical with the Kezuriki. Anything above $50 will last you a good 3 years regardless of the the blade type. The blade is not a problem, it's the wood. It will slowly deteriorate in any circumstance. My Kezuriki is on over two years and about ready to be replaced as the wood is rotting. It will happen. $50 for three years is a good product for me. Hope that helps you decide :)

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Update: I ended up buying the e-dashi Kezuriki mentioned above and it is a really nice product. I had the instructions translated to English.

My main issue is that it's more difficult than I anticipated to use it correctly. Sometimes I just got "powder" from it and it's also very tricky to adjust the blade: I continue to go from nothing being cut to the bonito almost getting stuck in the blade!

Any suggestion is more than welcome!

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shaving bonito by hand is actually very difficult. making thin flexible shavings like you buy in the pack is almost impossible in my experience. some things that might help you.

- are you cutting on the "push" or do you "pull"-cut? have you tried both? you can flip the blade assembly or just rotate the whole thing.

- are you holding the katsuo-bushi the right way? From one katsuo 4 fushi are produced. each fushi has a head end and a tail end. you can buy se back or hara belly fushi. you want the fushi to hit the blade in the opposite way as it would swim through the water, tail first. the angle should be so the tail end is pointing up in the air and you shave the head end first. This is difficult to describe but I'm sure you have seen pictures. hara-bushi is easier to shave because it has more fat in it but it is considered to be a less pure flavor than se-bushi.

- have you tried gently heating the face you will shave before shaving? this can really help with getting clean slices. you can heat the katsuo-bushi over the flame of the stove.

- it is important to understand that the type of katso-bushi that you shave on a hand shaver and the kind that comes in the pack are different. They are produced by a different process and as such have different properties. the kind you are using on your shaver is probably "hongare-bushi". The kind you buy shaved in the pack is made from "ara-bushi". Ara-bushi is easier to shave thinly.

- are you storing your katsou-bushi at room temperture? if you house is cold it may be even more necessary to gently warm the katsuo-bushi before shaving.

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I live in Japan and we use a katsuo shaver. Many are made locally. traditionally we use a wooden one, which has a stainless steel blade-if you make certain those two elements are there, then the box should not cost more than 30.00$, or 3000 yen.

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I'm in the market for a katusokiri. I came here to see what you all had to say about them and figure I'd add links to the two I'm considering. I prefer the smaller one, but the the one with the SK blade is on backorder for five months, so I might just go ahead and purchase the more expensive one. I'm going to Seibu to take a look at them today. :)

 

 

http://www.dai-ya.com/台屋オンラインショップ/  From Daiya, a new brand, they're handmade. I'd purchase this one if only to support a local business. 

 

And this one from the well-known knife company, Kiya.  http://www.ameyokonet.jp/kiya/search.php?f_keyword=%B3%EF%C0%E1&f_search=%B8%A1%BA%F7

 

 

 

If you've had any experience with them, let us know. 

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On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2016 at 10:46 PM, cteavin said:

I'm in the market for a katusokiri. I came here to see what you all had to say about them and figure I'd add links to the two I'm considering. I prefer the smaller one, but the the one with the SK blade is on backorder for five months, so I might just go ahead and purchase the more expensive one. I'm going to Seibu to take a look at them today. :)

 

 

http://www.dai-ya.com/台屋オンラインショップ/  From Daiya, a new brand, they're handmade. I'd purchase this one if only to support a local business. 

 

And this one from the well-known knife company, Kiya.  http://www.ameyokonet.jp/kiya/search.php?f_keyword=%B3%EF%C0%E1&f_search=%B8%A1%BA%F7

 

 

 

If you've had any experience with them, let us know. 

 

I use this and I have been very pleased.  The construction is beautiful and the blades are heavy and very sharp.

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I ended up getting an electric one and I will never go back to hand shaving. I shave 45g. every day and it is a lot of work especially in the hot summer. I have also switched to honkarbushi which is more difficult to shave by hand compared to arabushi. If anyone is interested in electric ones the only advice I have is to get one that has a large spinning wheel. Some smaller models shave the katsuobushi into thin ribbons using a toothed blade which is not as desirable.

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