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Kershaw Shun Knives

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Just curious Blether, what knives outside of a chefs knife, a paring and deba knife would you suggest?

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Hmm. There's the fish filleting knife we talked about, otherwise practically speaking there's not much you can't do with those three. Probably the wise advice is, buy those and extend your set piece-by-piece over time if and when you feel the need. You'll learn most about knives by using them.

For my own situation, I'm happy to have the serrated bread knife, and I use it a lot. I make 100% wholewheat bread in a bread machine because it's basically unavailable from bakers here (I had an arrangement with one that would do it to order, but it's not convenient from where I am now).

The carving knife is great of course, if you do a lot or even a modicum of roasts - for show if nothing else, it looks so stylish :wink: - and I used it to slice my first blocks of home-made bacon before I bought my hand-cranked slicer from Porkert, because the blade reached all the way across a belly piece. And yes, I bought the slicer 'cos I just wasn't deft enough to slice the bacon the way I want it, consistently, by hand.

I'm also happy I have the shorter cook's knife for visitors and for when I'm just pulling out the smallest cutting board to mince some garlic and chilli for an AOP (one of my latest crazes, AOP with some mustard greens added, has me pulling out the big knife anyway). Sometimes I'm cutting on the draining board beside the draining rack, where small is definitely a plus. It's also good to be able to cut raw meat as well as (something else) without always having to wash the blade.

The cleaver does what only a cleaver can do (unless you've a large, hefty deba), making short work of bone-in division of a carcass, raw or cooked. That said, I'm more often dividing at the joints where my cook's knife can do just as well, though having the cleaver I may use it then.

I use the butcher knife (top row, middle) and boning knife (below and to the right of it) (picture) least. I will use the butcher for slicing raw meat for a stew or whatever (it does a great job with that fine blade), but not doing any real butchering leaves it a luxury or a waste depending how you look at it. And guess how much poultry I've ever boned, raw ? Boner there is a bit lonely, I'm sure, but he has a good, thick, strong blade that I'm sure I can apply if I really try.

(Actually, I'd be very happy to hear/read a knowledgable commentary on the whys-and-wherefores of the western 'butcher knife' design, if anyone who knows is still reading here. Please ? :smile: ).

If I've any hankering left at all, it's for a bigger (10") cook's/chef's knife, to be that bit more 'almighty' on the chopping board... or for thousands upon thousands of dollar's worth of handmade, folded, crystallised, perfect Japanese blades (picture me with stars in my eyes as I write it) with beautiful, cloud-like, ethereal hamon and distinguished, purposeful hada.

Edit: to say I do also miss a smaller vegetable knife - my 6" kitchen knife is just a bit too big. That said, you'll not normally catch me paring anything. I've taken to eating stuff with the skin on as far as possible - it just gets washed.


Edited by Blether (log)

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  ...perfect Japanese blades (picture me with stars in my eyes as I write it) with beautiful, cloud-like, ethereal hamon and distinguished, purposeful hada. 

You mean like this one? :biggrin:

gallery_22252_2954_118700.jpg

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You mean like this one?  :biggrin:

Uuuuuh-huhhh :smile: Do you want to describe it ?


Edited by Blether (log)

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Man, it's a knife that when I opened the box, my jaw hit the floor. I was in shock for at least a week and just studied it before using it for the first time. I can't put into words what it's like to use it. Amazing.

It's an Ittosai Shiro-ko Honyaki Gyuto 270mm (special order). It took almost three months for them to make and deliver it. Blade material is Japanese White #2 and I believe this baby is 100% hand made. The handle material is ebony. The spine is nicely rounded for comfort. The bevel is 50/50 and it's my guess that angle is a combined 24* convex ground. It comes complete with a saya made from ebony as well. The steel is hardened to 61-62 on the rockwell scale and sharpens up pretty easily with some quick swipes on the higher grit stones. The knife originally came covered in a resin-like material to protect it during shipment. Any scratches seen is on the surface of this material. It took acetone to get it off. Quality of craftsmanship is incredible. This knife is in my top two favorite knives and it goes back and forth with the other knife for the #1 spot quite often.

Here are a few more pics...

gallery_22252_2954_486659.jpg

gallery_22252_2954_515234.jpg

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About MAC knives, could someone tell me what their Japanese brand name is? I thought (I might be wrong) that they were marketed under a different name in Japan, and I wanted to check out the price difference between US and Japanese prices. (I think Global knives, for example, are not really so much more expensive in the US than in Japan--if you don't factor in the exchange rate.)

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That is what they are called in both Japan and U.S. They are actually manufactured in Japan.

Here is one site:

Knife Merchant

and here is their U.S. site:

MAC Knives U.S. Site

edited to add: anyone know about Masahiro knives? Had a look at them here:

The Knife Merchant

They are nice looking knives too.


Edited by kristin_71 (log)

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is there any connection between japanesechefsknives.com and korin trading?

also, chad or bob, do you have any opinion on the western style knives korin sells as their own brand.

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Wkl, there is no connection between the two. I can't recall exactly what I've heard but I vaguely recollect it not being all that great of a knife. The HRC is pretty low too. Korin's Snakewood collection (if they still have any) has a great blade but the wood shrinks and swells badly.

For other knives in the price range of the Korin VG Silver line though, the Tojiro DP truely is a great knife for the money. Other quality knives in this range would be Kantesugu Pro-M series. I've never used them but from the description they appear to be pretty decent. A little more in cost but the next in line after that would be the Hiromoto Tenmi-Jyuraku series. The AS (Aogomi Super) is quite a remarkable blade and very affordable for what you get. I've treid them before and it's a very tough blade that holds up well to constant use. The Hiromoto HC line is the best bang-for-buck carbon steel knife. I have this one too. Great knife. All these are sold at JCK.com. No, I'm not a rep for them...they just have one of the best selections of Japanese knives anywhere and their customer service is incredible. $7 to ship one or more knives from Japan in 3-5 days just can't be beat. I ordered a knife from them on a Monday once and got it Thursday. Great place to order knives from.

Kristin, I have the MV series Honesuki (actually a Hankotsu) and think it's a pretty good quality knife. The fit and finish are very good. I asked Koki at JCK.com what he thought about Masahiro's carbon steel series (not the MV) and he said it's a very good steel and a high quality knife. The steel used is Masahiro's own. The MV line is a good stainless steel line that would be a good choice. The Knife Merchant is a good site to order from.

edited for clarity and inability to type.


Edited by Octaveman (log)

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Man, it's a knife that when I opened the box, my jaw hit the floor...

That's a lovely knife - looks like the real thing. Great !

It also looks like this one knife porn (lower half of the page)

and its siblings more knife porn

but the one I like best is this one appalling knife porn for the comforting thought that when you pay two grand for a knife, it'll be painstakingly hand-honed by a veteran craftsman wearing the traditional ski goggles :biggrin:

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HA. Great links, thanks. I've been disspointed with the newly revamped US Kikuichi website. Their old one at least had all their knives up for viewing but was rarely updated. These links give me plenty to ponder how I can afford them.

Yeah, the Honyaki looks to be made the same way although the Hamon line goes further down the blade. Very nice looking and in line with what the Ittosai cost. That damascus blade though looks very nice and cheap too all things considered. I'd like to know more about the materials.

Thanks again

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That is what they are called  in both Japan and U.S. They are actually manufactured in Japan.

Here is one site:

Knife Merchant

and here is their  U.S. site:

MAC Knives U.S. Site

Thanks. I had already looked at their homepage, but it doesn't say anything about who the Japanese manufacturer is (at least not so that I could see).

So MAC knives are sold as such both in the US and Japan? I've never seen a MAC knife here, and I thought I had read somewhere else that they were sold under a different name. Oh well, I'll just have to look more carefully!

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is there any connection between japanesechefsknives.com and korin trading?

for some reason, korin has two websites, this one called korin

korin no. 1

and this one called japanese-knife

korin no. 2

i'm sure there is a very good reason for this .... but i can't figure it out. the sites look different but are really quite similar and the prices are usually the same (i do remember when they had their christmas sale, the discount was shown on one site but not on the other ... again, i'm sure this is perfectly logical, somehow).

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Japanese-Knife.com is their old site that they keep running for some reason. Korin.com came along and included all cooking related items in addition to the knives. They actually keep on changing the look of the JK.com site. Probably keeping it going because it's purely a knife related site and it does carry stuff that the Korin site doesn't... like THESE cute little knives. Korin.com is a bit more informative though.


Edited by Octaveman (log)

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Yeah, the Honyaki looks to be made the same way although the Hamon line goes further down the blade.  Very nice looking and in line with what the Ittosai cost.  That damascus blade though looks very nice and cheap too all things considered.  I'd like to know more about the materials.

If I knew more I'd tell ya :smile:

I thought the hamon looked almost exactly the same - so close in fact, I wondered if there was an OEM deal in the background. The hamon on the Damascus is completely different, yes.

On my side I'm trying to make out what the characters on your blade say, above 'ittousai kotetsu' (iow the characters nearer the point of the blade).


Edited by Blether (log)

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So I decided that I am going to order the following knives from MAC: (I am including model numbers)

MAC Knives

I should add you will need adobe acrobat to see the price list.

SBK-95 9" chef knife

CL-75 71/2" deba knife

sk-40 4" santoku paring knife

sk-65 61/2 santoku ( recomended at the MAC site.)

SO-70 7" fillet knife

SR2 rollsharp (gotta keep em sharp!)

The total before shipping is $617.50

The shipping at macknife.com is a flat $6.00 which is really good.That should cover my needs. I will be ordering them in a couple of weeks! I appreciate everyone's help. :smile:


Edited by kristin_71 (log)

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Thanks.  I had already looked at their homepage, but it doesn't say anything about who the Japanese manufacturer is (at least not so that I could see).

So MAC knives are sold as such both in the US and Japan?  I've never seen a MAC knife here, and I thought I had read somewhere else that they were sold under a different name.  Oh well, I'll just have to look more carefully!

Hi, Prasantrin. I too have never come across a MAC knife here. However they have a Japanese web site and it also details a retailer called Union Commerce, near Ueno station in Tokyo.

Kristin, good luck with your new knives :smile:

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Hi, Prasantrin.  I too have never come across a MAC knife here.  However they have a Japanese web site and it also details a retailer called Union Commerce, near Ueno station in Tokyo.

Interesting. They're actually based in the Kansai area in Osaka (I can't read the name of the city, but it's not Osaka City). Did you notice the Japanese versions of the knives have the name in kanji? "Ma" (the same as "shin" in "shashin") and "ku" (the one often used in names, also read as "hisa"). They sell on Rakuten, too, but the prices aren't all that much cheaper here than in the US (Y5800 for SK-65, US$60 for the same knife).

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Hi, Prasantrin.  I too have never come across a MAC knife here.  However they have a Japanese web site and it also details a retailer called Union Commerce, near Ueno station in Tokyo.

Interesting. They're actually based in the Kansai area in Osaka (I can't read the name of the city, but it's not Osaka City). Did you notice the Japanese versions of the knives have the name in kanji? "Ma" (the same as "shin" in "shashin") and "ku" (the one often used in names, also read as "hisa"). They sell on Rakuten, too, but the prices aren't all that much cheaper here than in the US (Y5800 for SK-65, US$60 for the same knife).

Just figured it out, it's Sakai City. I wonder if they sell out of their offices. I was just in Sakai last week, too!

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Yeah, not much in it price-wise. I don't see 真 and 久 anywhere - do you have a link ? In the text they call themselves マック in katakana and all the blades I see say MAC.

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Yeah, not much in it price-wise.  I don't see 真 and 久 anywhere - do you have a link ?  In the text they call themselves マック in katakana and all the blades I see say MAC.

Check the Rakuten link I included. You can see close-ups of their knives with the kanji. On their website, too, if you look closely at the large pictures, you can see that the labelling on the knives is different from the US knives. I couldn't make out the kanji from their site, though, just on the Rakuten site.

This page gives a better picture of the kanji--you have to scroll down a bit, as the first knife has the English "Mac" insignia.


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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I see what you mean. Some of them seem to have Japanese on the right-hand side of the blade and English on the left - like this one.

It was interesting, too, to see their diagram (a third of the way down) explaining that the factory edge is honed to an included angle of 45.5 degrees, against 76 degrees for a 'typical' French / German edge (without quite being clear that they're talking about the last 0.2mm of the edge).

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On my side I'm trying to make out what the characters on your blade say, above 'ittousai kotetsu' (iow the characters nearer the point of the blade).

did some asking around at Korin.com where I bought the knife and they confirmed the characters to mean

1st Character - PURE

2nd & 3rd Character - JAPANESE

4th - STEEL

5th, 6th & 7th - ITTOSAI

8th & 9th - KOTETSU

10th - BY

Basically, the message is saying "A pure Japanese steel made by Ittosai Kotetsu"

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Thanks for taking the trouble :smile: - I was just hoping for a better picture :raz:


Edited by Blether (log)

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