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Kasumi damascus blade knives

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
For Christmas my mother bought me 9 Kasumi damascus pattern knives.

Personally I find the knives not only beautiful to look at but also a joy to use. I was just curious if anyone else has had experience with these knives and their thoughts on them.

I feel lucky to have recieved a gift of this calibre as i did not realise the price per knife was as high as I have seen in stores and on the net.

I recieved the following:
6" boning knife
4" boning knife
3" paring knife
7" santoku
10" chef's
8" chef's
10" slicing knife
8" titanium chef's knife
10" carving knife

Why she got me so many chef's I don't know but that titanium is quite the show piece in knife drawer and sooo light to boot.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
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"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
post #2 of 24
They look nice in the first link I turn up with google. Do they have more contrast in person? The pics on the link I found don't show the damascus effect very strongly.

The prices are enough to keep me out of that line of knives. If you like the damascus look in kitchen knives, you should take a look at these http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/cooki...tml#post154540
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
The damascus pattern is very distinctive with these blades. i also like that the edge material i carbon steel to which the edge is razor sharp. i used to skin alot of animals with my father so i do know a thing or two in regards to sharpening and i could probably shave with these knives.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
post #4 of 24
FR33,
You probably only ever use two of these knives. That said, if you'd like to offload the rest, we can talk. ;)

I have the santoku 8" damascus pattern as well. It's all I need for most jobs. Just love it.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
All I had prior to this collection was a 10" sheffield chef's knife, a 51/2" boning knife, and a 4" paring knife. You are right though, it is all I needed.

I probably will either give a couple away or just keep them around just to be pretentious:smoking:. I think that my mother worked many years with substandard equipment and just over compensated. But you should have seen the spread I created for her which was the first time using the knives.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
post #6 of 24
It's odd that there is a Kasumi brand name. Kasumi is actually a forging technique.

Buzz
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Whoahohohoho!! That is one sexy set of knives.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
post #8 of 24

Kasumi knives

I have had a set of Kasumi Damascus knives for about 5 years. They have seen a good deal of use and have performed extremely well. I am sure you will enjoy your set, though one or two of the choices are a bit odd.

They are easy to sharpen - I use a diamond steel for every day, and a set of Japanese water stones (four different grits up to 8000 with two stones) and these can deliver an edge sharp enough to shave with. I find it much easier to get a really sharp edge on these than I do on my Gustav Emil Ern or Henckels knives, though I am well practiced now.

The knives keep their appearance well. Mine still look almost as good as new, although the applied Kasumi branding does wear off.

Two points I would make. I am not that impressed with the serrated bread knife. It is quite hard work compared with other serrated knives I own.

And most importantly, DONT DROP THEM. I recently dropped a big cooks knife onto a ceramic tiled floor. This slightly rippled the tip, so I had to grind it back to a point. Upon re-sharpening the tip, I experienced some de-lamination of the folds. Further work polished this out. However, dropping them is bad news as the blades are very hard.

The knives are unsuitable for dishwashing.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. I don't think I have ever machine washed any cooking knives that I have owned, even the cheapest ones. That is good to know about dropping them and now that you mentioned it I have a katana that I had dropped and the tip also delaminated and yes it was fixable, but I figure it took me almost as long to fix the katana as it did for the maker to forge it. The beauty of damascus is that you have two metals that are two different characteristics. The edge being far different from the spline. The edge is softer metal, usually carbon steel and a harder steel is twisted and forged into the blade material and hence the patterning. The more folds that is done on the metal, the more intricate and durable the blade becomes. I have watched local smiths do this for hunting and pocket knives. Nothing too special other than the process can take days if not weeks to create a damascus blade.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
post #10 of 24
I do not understand your post.

The edge is softer than the spine (and cladding)?

That would be rare. The edges are of the harder steel for sharpenability and durability. The cladding is softer steel to absorb shock among other things.

Totally damascus blades are a different animal. See how they are made here.

Buzz
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #11 of 24

kasumi knives - not forged??

congrats on having a mom willing to spend that much $$$ on you!
i have noticed the kasumi knives are very similar to the also prized
shun knives.

but i think if you look VERY CAREFULLY at the blades, these are NOT
damascus blades, nor are they "forged" in the traditional sense.

upon very close observation, both the kasumi and the shun knives
are in fact ... stamped blades! this appears to be a very clever
cutlery trick. i believe (but haven't verified") that these knives
start as a sheet of VG-10 steel then have two sheets of 16 layer
stainless steel welded to the VG-10. the finished blade is then
"stamped" (most likely laser cut) and then beveled and polished.
you can see from the welded on bolster of a single steel material
that the blade and bolster are not from the same piece of metal.

stamped or not, i have eight of the shun blades and two of the kasumi
blades and they beat out german steel anytime!
post #12 of 24
It seems unwise to make remarks such as those above without checking with the manufacturers. What follows is extracted from a quick google search:

JAPANESE AND ORIENTAL STYLE KNIVES
Japanese and oriental style knives are becoming increasingly popular amongst cooks at all levels. Some are manufactured in similar ways to European knives, for example some are made from carbon steel. Others are made in ways quite distinct from that of the European tradition – for example Damascus style or the Damascene method. The Damascus method of manufacture originated in Damascus around 1500 years ago. It involves hammering or forging the steel into a flatter shape and then turning the steel on itself and then hammering or forging again. This is done many times, indeed up to 63 in some instances. This process imparts a great strength into the steel and imparts a high degree of sharpness retention to the knife. Examples of this type of knife are the Tojiro and Kasumi knives.

Laminated steel knives take another approach to optimising the two ideals in knife construction. Laminated knives have a number of layers of different grades or types of steel used in the manufacturing process. The aim of this “sandwich” type of construction is to provide an ultimate mix of properties in the knife which will include the twin virtues of sharp edge retention and ease of sharpening. I.O. Shen knives use this technology in their fine range of cooks knives.

It would be interesting if a true knife expert here could confirm how the respective knives are in fact made.
post #13 of 24
ACCORDING TO Phatch on this subject:

Damascus (and its variants) is really just a low carbon steel and a high carbon steel. Folded together whether mechanically or in the other methods mentioned, it creates an amalgam/laminate with the edge holding brittleness of the high carbon steel and the toughness low edge hold of the low carbon.

Wootz when polished, or first forged has no differentiating appearance. It must be washed with acid to bring out the light/dark pattern characteristic. Wear and staining can also bring out the pattern. Other methods can produce a similar look, such as the differential tempering of the traditional Japanese swords. The folding method of their construction is also the same as that of wootz (just not from different metals) so some lines will appear.

The knowledge of mechanical damascus has led to a bunch of named damascus patterns.

**********************

i have had my info from the local kershaw rep re: manufacturing of shun knives and he is the one who told me how these knives were made. i do own some genuine kasumi style (kasumi as in the japanese usage, not the brand name, altho i own a couple of those too!!) knives and trust me ... they are a LOT more expensive than the shun or kasumi brand knives. he told me the only way these companies could make "damascus" or clad knives so reasonably priced ($80 for a shun vs. $350 for a sugimoto, for instance) is to have a sixteen layer sheet of steel clad to both sides of a core steel (in this case, vg-10 for both shun and kasumi brands) (ever notice how much these two blades look so much alike??) and then treating it like any other quality "stamped" knife. anyway, this is what he told me ... either way, the resulting knife still beats the crap out of anything from germany.

makes me wonder if all those people who swear that wusthof knives are razor sharp have ever tried cutting with a shun or kasumi? even the local
wusthof dealer admits the japanese blades are sharper and stay sharper than german steel.
post #14 of 24
My point was simply that you are making what could be interprested by the companies concerned as derogatory remarks about Kasumi and Shun brands, based on here-say not facts. This is dangerous in a litigious environment. In your original post you suggested that the manufacture of Shun and Kasumi was the same or similar. In fact this is evidently not so. You also stated that the blades are stamped. I have seen nothing in your posts to substantiate this as fact.

You try to subtstantiate your argument by drawing a price comparison with hand made knives. It is of a course a fact that hand made Japanese knives are often more expensive and in some cases much more expensive than the Kasumi and Shun brand knives. However, I disagree that this tells us anything per se about the manufacture of those brands. One could equally argue that economies of scale are capable of delivering metal work techniques hitherto only available on handmade knives.

The Kershaw web site does not appear to support the assertions that you say were made by the rep that you know. The website does not address the Kasumi brand (though it does deal briefly with the method), but it does deal at some length, in various places with Shun. based on this then either your rep is mistaken or the Kershaw web site is wrong or misleading.
post #15 of 24
Okay all you speculators. The following is from Shun:

"Over the last Three and a half years, we have added much to the Shun line. Not just in new product, but also in technology. I have looked over the articles I have written, and thought it would be a good idea to consolidate and improve these for you. So what I would like to accomplish, is to talk about each of the lines and what makes them special. The logical place to start would be Shun Classic. To start with, the reason we call it Shun Classic is because it utilizes classic European shapes, and it has a double bevel edge. As you all know most traditional Japanese cutlery uses a single bevel edge like our Shun Pro lines. The first question we usually get about Shun Classic is, "how do we get that beautiful pattern across the blade"? The process is absolutely amazing. To best understand it I think it is important to first describe the German process so that you can compare it with ours.

You have all heard the term "hot dropped forged". In the old days, this denoted the highest quality of German knife making. Steel was heated to almost molten hot, and then a 3000 pound hammer with a mold attached would slam into it, forming the bolster and would also realign the molecular structure of the steel. As demand grew and technology improved, the Germans decided that this process was no longer efficient or profitable.

These days, the steel they use starts out as a one by one by one-foot ingot. They then pound it down until it is about 3/16ths of an inch thick. As you might imagine at this point, the molecular structure of the steel is pretty much aligned. This means that the only thing you are accomplishing by slamming a 3000 pound hammer into it is forming the bolster. The problem is that over time, the mold starts to warp, which means that you have to shut down the line and retool. This is very costly and is the main reason that the Germans don't do it anymore.

Henkels and Wusthof now use what is called compression forging. This is where they take a piece of roll stock called a blank, and using electricity, heat up the middle till it is molten hot and then using what looks like a vice, compress the blank creating a bulge in the molten steel. A mold for the bolster is then compressed very slowly on to the bulge forming the bolster. The advantage is that it still is a one-piece knife using forged steel.

So now let's talk about what we do. Remember, I said that the Germans pound out their roll stock to about 3/16ths of an inch. We pound out ours to 3/1000ths. I hope you can imagine how perfect our molecular structure is at this point. We then take 32 layers of this steel, and put 16 on each side of a layer of VG-10 making a kind of VG-10 sandwich. Then using heat and pressure we clad these 33 layers together making our roll stock.

The next step is to place the sheet of roll stock into a press that kind of looks like two beds of thick blunt nails facing each other. The roll stock is then compressed, causing a series of dents or impressions across both sides of the sheet. This creates a kind of ripple effect in the sheet, like throwing several pebbles in a still pond. If you look at our Chinese cleaver, you can actually see where the dents were made. These would be the circular pattern across the length of the cleaver. This process was inspired by a famous knife making style known in Japan as Kasumi style. It is the same process used to make Samurai swords. The Japanese learned 700 years ago that there is no such thing as the perfect steel. Hard cutting steels with more carbon in them were highly reactive to corrosion and rust, and could also be brittle. The Japanese would surround these steels with softer less reactive steels to protect and support them. This process would create a pattern in the steel that many people today confuse as Damascus.

To dispel this confusion, let me tell you what Damascus really is. There are two types of Damascus, Wootz Damascus and Pattern Damascus. Woots Damascus was actually first. It was invented in the city of Damascus where they discovered a special mine that had iron oar with traces of tungsten and vanadium in it. Of course at the time, they didn't know this particular fact, they did notice however, that the steel from this mine was very different and special. These trace elements were drastically changing the steel making it extremely hard and flexible. Imagine if you will, putting a pinch of salt into a glass of soda pop. The salt acts as a catalyst causing the CO2 molecules to split faster from the H2O molecules which makes the pop go flat quicker. In the case of Wootz, the tungsten and vanadium had the effect of aligning the carbides in the steel. I will explain what these are later. The steel had after forging, a "watered" look to the blade, which means there was a pattern. This pattern was caused by bands of extremely high carbon steel (being dark in color) contrasting against considerably lower carbon steel (which is lighter in color). The bands added strength, flexibility and toughness to the steel, which is a must for a great sword. These special qualities made the swords extremely tough and resilient in combat situations while maintaining a razor sharp edge. The Persians used these superior steel blades against the Christians in the crusades, and we all know how that ended, twice. In time the mine that had the special iron oar, ran out, and the art of Wootz Damascus was thought to be lost until it was rediscovered in the mid 90's by Al Pendray. Mr. Pendray is a Ferrier by trade, and through trial and error discovered that by adding the trace elements of tungsten into his metal mix, he could reproduce the Woots Damascus steel.

After Woots Damascus steel was no longer available, the art of Pattern Damascus was invented in Europe. Instead of cladding the high carbon steel in the protective steel like the Japanese, the Euopeans would fold different metals together. The patterns would appear, because some of the metals used in the folding process like the carbon steel were highly reactive while the other metals like nickel weren't and would stay bright. The pattern is brought out by rubbing the blade with acid causing the reactive steels to darken. The end results were what is now considered modern Damascus. Althoug the blades made by this process are very beautiful, they don't have the strength or ability to really hold an edge. This is why now the Damascus patterns are clad onto harder cutting steels. Much like the Japanese Kasumi style, today Damascus is folded into large sheets, using a variety of different reactive and non-reactive metals. These sheets are then clad onto various cutting steels. So as you can see, although there are similarities between Pattern Damascus and Shun, they are really quite different.

The shun knife shapes are then cut out of the finished roll stock, and the hand grinding process begins. You are all aware that a knife is thick in the back and tapers to its edge. As we grind the knives into this "V" shape, which is called flat grinding, the pattern emerges. We then make it visible by using a bead blaster. Imagine an air brush but instead of using paint, it uses teeny tiny glass beads. The bead blasting is what also creates the stick resistant properties of the knife. It does this by creating thousands of little indentions on the blade that in turn create thousands of little air pockets which of course reduces the percentage of the surface area of the blade touching the food which results in reduced sticking.

Two other factors to keep in mind when talking about Shun Classic, are the edge and the handle. First you need to remember that the edge on a Shun knife is ground at 16 degrees per side verses the Germans which are at 22 degrees per side. The Germans are certainly capable of grinding at a thinner angle, but they choose not to based on the type of steel they use. Grinding at such a thin angle greatly reduces the strength of the edge and its ability to stay sharp. So why and how do we do it? The answer is simple, better steel. The Shun Classic line uses VG-10, which is a new type of stainless steel that has a higher density. This allows the steel to be tempered to a higher Rockwell, in this case 61, and still have the flexibility and strength to take and keep a perfect edge. It is also important to note that our edge is also highly polished along its bevel. This greatly reduces drag as you are cutting making it seem like the blade is going through like magic."
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #16 of 24

thanks for input!

first off .... thank you AJB for worrying about my post in such a litigious society.

secondly .... thanks, "buzz", for your extensive input.

the information you gave said, in lengthy form, what i said in brief ...
that two separate 16 layer sheets are clad/laminated to a VG-10 core
and then cut out (stamped), ground to shape and finished. and as i
mentioned, this is a very clever method to produce a quality blade at
a reasonable price.

like i said, i have eight of the shuns and a couple of the kasumi knives
and i love them to death.
post #17 of 24
Defensive nonsense. You used the word "stamped" linked with the words "cutlery trick". Stamped blades tend to suggest low quality. Nothing in buzz's post or in your dealers web site supports your assertion so far.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Irregardless of personal opinion, my personal experience for the last month has been nothing short of bliss with my Kasumis. The edge holds longer, the handle feels like it was shaped for my hand, the balance is set nicely for me anyhow. The bottom line is that I would recomend these knives to anyone at this point.

The titanium chef's that I also recieved is extremely nice. Super light, super sharp and has not needed any honing or sharpening what so ever which is the main feature of this blade. It is also sexy to boot so I have only used it to carve a roast and cut up a chicken in front of people for a bit of show.

If I can only use one word to sum up all the knives is "Saweeet!"
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
post #19 of 24
i really don't know what you seem to be so upset about!

in reading "cook's illustrated" magazine, they consistently rate
forschner knives very highly, beating out "forged" knives in term
of sharpness and actual use, and they are stamped knives.

the time is now to lay aside that "stamped" means "cheap", just like
years ago we had to lay aside "made in japan" as cheap (as in low
quality, and now "made in japan" is a badge of honor.

read buzz's post carefully ... sheets of the 16 layer material are
clad/laminated to a VG-10 core (meaning sheet on sheet) and then
cut to shape before grinding to finished product. that suggests the
"stamping" process (albeit a more sophisticated level) rather than
the german forging process.

the finished product LOOKS like a genuine kasumi style blade while
being produced by an easier, mass produced method. i think
that is pretty clever.

not all tricks are bad, just as there are many cooking "tricks" to
shortcut a recipe to make it more efficient in the kitchen without
sacrificing the flavor, taste, or texture of the finished product.

and i still contend that, like FREE_MASON, i think these are super duper knives that beat out german steel any day of the week, and twice
on sunday!
post #20 of 24
I am not at all upset, just pointing out that your make extreme statements with little forethought. However, well done, with each post you get closer to accepting that your first post was inflammatory and ill considered.

Now you are pushing the Japanese steel beats German steel line. That too is utter nonsense. They are simply different styles of knife and many chefs prefer the traditional European style - and the sharpening and wear characteristics that come with it.
post #21 of 24
I am not at all upset, just pointing out that your make extreme statements with little forethought. However, well done, with each post you get closer to accepting that your first post was inflammatory and ill considered.

Now you are pushing the Japanese steel beats German steel line. That too is utter nonsense. They are simply different styles of knife and many chefs prefer the traditional European style - and the sharpening and wear characteristics that come with it.
post #22 of 24
No, cutting to shape means exactly that. It's done with a handshire. Goto moritakahamono.com, click on English, click on manufacturing process, and see how it's done. This is true forging. I personally own three custom Moritakas and can't say enough for their products. Ken, on another forum, actually visited Moritaka last year and watched his knife being made.

Cooks Illustrated, as nice as it is, always questions the need for expensive knives. For 99.9999999% of the users they are absolutely correct, and they are the subscribers. Hey, gotta keep 'em happy. On the other hand, a small percentage of us are aficionados and NEED something different, much different.

The Forschner stamped AND forged knives are sharpened at 22 degrees per side and seem mighty sharp to the average cook. Take my Usuba which is a single edged blade in white steel. The single bevel is sharpened exactly at 10 degrees on an EdgePro. That equates to 5 degrees per side *if* it were double beveled like Forschners, Wustoffs, etc. The difference in cutting ability is astronomical.

Friends who try my knives for the first time are, in one word, floored.
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Alot of the recent posts are now becoming subjective.

Bottom line is what works best for you.

There are as many styles of knives as there are techniques in using them. Just as I weild my katanas in competition differently than the next guy does not mean he or I are any less effective in the end result.
The combination of both knife and handler is where the difference occurs.

All I know is that these kasumi knives are a far cry better than any other knife I have ever used thus far. I have done some looking on the net and there are definitely some beauties out there. I personally like the Japanese for cutlery because they simply work best for me. If I do go to an even higher end line if knives, I will go to Japan and visit some of my friends there to get something "nice".

For a little subjectivity, I go with the manufacturer that has more experience in the product I am looking for. I am pretty sure Japan has been making cutlery a tad bit longer than Europe.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
Reply
post #24 of 24
clicked on to the link you gave and yes, it is very informative, and i myself have several knives made with this method (sugimoto, aritsuga, masahiro) BUT ... this is not to say that shuns and kasumis are made this way. I cannot fathom that with the thousands of knives that shun and kasumi make and sell that ALL of their knives are made like this, one-by-one.

but i do agree that my yanagis, usubas, and debas (all single sided sharpened) are all breath takingly sharp. these knives were all made with
ao-ki blue steel and cost a pretty penny!
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