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Buying Japanese Knives Online

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, adey73 said:

 

...............I should never read your posts Brandon, anywhere.

 

Rosewood Handle?

 

 

I admit it. I'm a bad influence. :D
Yep, that's a rosewood handle. It's the same knife I linked to above.


Edited by btbyrd (log)

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6 hours ago, btbyrd said:

I admit it. I'm a bad influence. :D

 

but apart from the hammer forging on the blade, is there any difference between yours and THIS

 

And have you bought 3000 & 8000 grit stones?

 

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Well, the handles are different too. Apart from that, the one you linked to is "kasumi" grade while the one I linked to is "hongasumi" grade -- which is supposed to be a slightly higher quality knife with respect to fit and finish. I don't know what that actually means (or what exactly is supposed to be higher quality about it) and the knives appear to be similar overall so the "grades" might just be a kind of marketing thing -- at least, with respect to these "low end" high end knives. In any event, the one I got runs $10 more than the one you linked to. I don't think there's a world of difference between them... but I don't really know. 

 

I already have a set of cheaper cheap synthetic stones (400/1k/3k/6k) but I just picked up a knock-off Edge Pro with some non-knock-off Shapton glass aftermarket stones. I'm not super skilled with freehanding -- yet -- and I figure the EP system will give me an easy way to get a consistent edge. Of course, the EP doesn't really do much as far as blade resurfacing is concerned, so it's not a full substitute for waterstones. It'll be nice to have around though.

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20 hours ago, btbyrd said:

I already have a set of cheaper cheap synthetic stones (400/1k/3k/6k) but I just picked up a knock-off Edge Pro with some non-knock-off Shapton glass aftermarket stones. I'm not super skilled with freehanding -- yet -- and I figure the EP system will give me an easy way to get a consistent edge. Of course, the EP doesn't really do much as far as blade resurfacing is concerned, so it's not a full substitute for waterstones. It'll be nice to have around though.

 

if you get chance could you post something about your experience using them?

 

,,,,,,,I bought a dual textured Global whetstone with my knives about 15yrs ago, but I also got the ceramic sharpener, which is easier to use.  

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Even though I'm not very good at sharpening -- I can't reliably produce the hair-shavingly sharp edges you see in videos -- I can still get my Globals sharper using stones than using any of the "pull through" devices I've used, like Global Minosharp handheld sharpeners or the "speed sharpener." I have a ceramic hone from MAC, but that's only really good for realigning the edge, not cutting a new one. If you really want to sharpen a knife, you've got to remove some metal, and the rod-sharpeners can't grind down the blade like you need to. In a home kitchen where you take reasonable care of your knives, it's not necessary to sharpen very often (though you should obviously hone your blades frequently). Which is nice, because it can be a bit of a chore depending on how many knives you need to sharpen and how refined you need the edge to be. If you're just touching up a single knife and getting it super sharp, it's not a big ordeal; if you want to refinish five or six knives, it's going to take a while.

 

There are lots of online resources about how to best use stones. I got into it when ChefSteps first did their knife sharpening course back in the day. Korin and Japanese Knife Imports also have some great videos up. 

 

I can't comment on the knock-off EP or the Shapton stones since they have yet to arrive.

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On 10/3/2017 at 9:37 AM, btbyrd said:

Well, the handles are different too. Apart from that, the one you linked to is "kasumi" grade while the one I linked to is "hongasumi" grade -- which is supposed to be a slightly higher quality knife with respect to fit and finish.....

 

The "Kasumi" knife has a kasumi or "mist" finish - all polished metal.   The Hongasumi knife has a kurochi finish - the dark scale at the top of the blade is scale from the forging process.  It's mostly an aesthetic difference though the kurochi finish is said to inhibit rust from forming.    These are not high end or expensive knives but work quite well.  My first Yani was a white Yoshihiro and there are times when I wish I still had it.

 

The Kiritsuki cited is a double beveled knife and is more commonly referred to as a K-tip Gyuto (except by the people trying to sell knives)  A traditional Kiritsuke is a single bevel knife like this one.  https://www.echefknife.com/yoshihiro-hongasumi-blue-steel-kiritsuke-multipurpose-japanese-chef-knife-504.html  The single bevel is a very flat knife, very good for push cutting, slicing and in-hand work.  It does not suit the more western rock type cutting well at all.

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Thanks for the instructive comments, Dave. My remarks on the Kasumi vs Hongasumi were based on some information found on the Yoshihiro site, which didn't really seem to make sense. I can't find the "FAQ" section where they broke down the kasumi vs hongasumi deal, but the basic just of the idea can be found in this item description: "Being a hongasumi knife, this knife is a higher-quality kasumi knife..." They make similar remarks elsewhere on the site, but all I could find in my research was that it had to do with the finish on the metal.

 

The whole issue of what is (and what isn't) a kiritsuke (or kiritsuki) is also weird out there online. The OG authentic, real-deal kiritsukes have a single bevel and combine the usuba and the yanagi (but aren't as good as either is alone at their respective tasks). Yoshihiro calls them "Yangi kiritsuke". And they're basically a specialty knife for pros. Then there's the dual-beveled "western" type kiritsukes -- or "wa kiritsuke" -- that combines a sujihiki and a nakiri. It tends to have a very flat belly, and is only suitable for push cutting and slicing, not rock chopping. (At least, for the most part). And then there are "K-tipped gyutos," which have a bit more curve in the belly, but are still mostly flatt-ish and not super-good for rock chopping, but you can do a bit of rocking. With all the variations, it can get misleading... and some of the vendors have even suggested coming up with a new name for the "western" styles altogether. 

 

Regardless of what people call them, the consensus is that they look badass. And that, admittedly, is a big part of the attraction (along with the weight of the blade -- western kiritsuke's tend to be thick at the top like a yanagi, so they've got a lot of heft compared to thinner nakiris for vegetable chopping purposes). Also, I never rock chop anything anyway, unless I'm murdering herbs or garlic. It should get here Tuesday. After that and a nakiri, I think I'm good for a long while. 

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Excuse the laziness (as I am sure it is mentioned earlier in the thread) but what was decided on the best/cheapest source to order Japanese knives from?

 

Any North American sources which do not require foreign exchange?

 

I find it difficult buying a knife which I have yet to hold in my hand - not sure how you guys take that plunge!

 

I too am a fan of Global knives (I have about 4) and would like to hear bt - what you believe is most similar in feel (as well as your suggestion for a good all around Japanese pick).

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@TicTac

 

cheers

 

if you are thinking :

 

""  cheapest source ""

 

take more time to look into Japanese Knives.

 

aside from a significantly different upkeep on them , vs european knives

 

which you should enjoy, as that's part of the knife culture for these knives

 

don't think cheapest.

 

I have several Globals  as you mentioned them , and I bought the EdgePro as that was the only way

 

I coul;d maintain them to my liking.

 

if razor sharp they are very fine knives.

 

ignore exchange rates.

 

find a vendor in Japan that will accept US Postal order  in US dollars

 

and agree on the exchange of the day and send them that vis AirMail

 

its a bit cheaper than PayPal when you look into the real final costs.

 

interns of your hand feel :

 

look at your Globals and go from there :

 

length ?   height ?  i.e. clearance for you hand ?

 

that all the info  you need

 

take your time.

 

the Watanabe's I have were not cheap

 

but very fairly prices for then end result :

 

 very very rewarding for me.  every time i use them   

 

many times a day

 

i.e. : better than sousVide !

 

suprise.gif.ecd790a2e86cd1860f3a1ae8b83514f8.gif

 

now that says something !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When I use the term cheapest source, it is not to infer that I believe the purchase price of the knives will be cheap, but rather to avoid price comparison shopping.

 

I have a few hand made Japanese knives, but want to learn more!

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That's a pretty strong start.  Though I would rank order them JKI, Korin, EE, Yoshihiro, CKTG based on the amount of business I do with each (and a little subjective stuff).  Bernal Cutlery in SF and Knifewear in the Great White North are two more in North America.  Japanese Natural Stones in Denmark and Knives and Stones in AU both offer some very good product and free shipping to states if a dollar threshold is met.

 

I've got more than a couple Jknives and a few off the shelf knives from American custom makers and I've yet to buy a knife that I was able to handle before purchase.  THis game involves a lot of faith in the knifemakers and in the retailers of the knives.  And can very easily get stupid fast.   And then there are the sharpening stones.....  I passed stupid awhile ago and am closing on absurd fast.

 

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On 10/6/2017 at 7:58 AM, TicTac said:

Excuse the laziness (as I am sure it is mentioned earlier in the thread) but what was decided on the best/cheapest source to order Japanese knives from?

 

Any North American sources which do not require foreign exchange?

 

I've bought most of my knives from Japanese Chefs Knife. Flat $7 shipping and your knife arrives in about 4 business days. Pay w/ credit card.

https://japanesechefsknife.com

 

If for some reason you have to return your knife, there is a Seattle address. I've had zero problems buying from them (him, actually - his name is Koki.)

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Does the Yangai you bought have the same almost Damascus patina on the blade?


Edited by adey73 (log)

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Nope. But that k-tip gyuto (or whatever) is Damascus blue steel #2. The yanagi is unpatterned white steel #2 with the kurouchi finish on the front (and a "naked" back, which is traditional).

 

I will say that unless you're going to slice a lot of fish (or can buy both) it might make more sense to invest in a sujihiki over a yanagiba (if you're thinking about getting a slicer). My ultimate plan is to get a suji made from VG10 (or other stainless alloy) to use as more of a "western-style slicer." I already have a good, cheap, fibrox-handled stainless 12" slicer/carver that can do the job for now. And it's probably the best thing for cooked crusty meat anyway.

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This is awesome.

 

 

I just ordered a nakiri made by this man (the following clip is also in the documentary):

 

 

The film was put together with Knifewear, a Canadian importer of Japanese kitchen steel. But the Anryu knife I ordered was from Japanny's shop in Portland. Hammered tri-clad super blue. Oooooh la la....

 

img_6881.jpg

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The recent acquisitions. The sayas for the yanagi and the k-tip are perfect, but the petty's is a little loose. It was clearly built for a bigger blade, which makes sense because it didn't come with one and they said they'd basically either find or make one that would fit it. Considering drilling a new hole for the pin...

 

IMG_6461.thumb.JPG.2f33270d09824e53720d6dca947d735b.JPG

 

IMG_6463.thumb.JPG.beafcdce5949cc1ad9f51973e628474b.JPG

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