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Sushi knife advice - please.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I’m trying to improve my amateur attempts at making sushi and would appreciate any help selecting the type, length, and brand of knife. Many suggest a Yanagi that’s at least 270mm long, but I’m a bit confused about how a single bevel blade works and whether I need such a long length.

I’m trying to replicate two cuts; one involves slicing the fish from left to right into thick pieces and the other slices the fish from right to left into thinner pieces. I don’t understand how a single sided knife can do both cuts. Am I wrong to assume that a single sided knife cuts better in one direction and worse in other?

My fishmonger breaks down the fish to where I’m only slicing off bite size pieces. What would be the shortest recommend length?

Are Yanagi as versatile as a Sujihiki for slicing roast beef, hams, etc.?

Much thanks.
post #2 of 27
The first thing is to forget about the whole "problem" of single-beveled knives. A yanagi, or in fact any knife for cutting sashimi (e.g. a takobiki, fugubiki, etc.), is so thin-bladed that any tendency of the knife to turn in the cut is trivial.

As to cutting technique, there are of course many classic cuts for sashimi, but the two you're most likely to use are as follows:

1. With thick, square blocks of fish that have minimal "grain," e.g. tuna, you normally cut with the blade straight up-and-down, making rectangular planks of a thickness appropriate to the cut and type of fish.

2. With a full or half fillet of a smaller fish, laid flat on the board skin-side down (whether it's got the skin on or not is another matter), you normally turn the blade so the spine is away from you and the beveled side is at about a 45-degree angle (precise angle depends on the fish grain) to the board.

In either case, you will be cutting with the flat side of the blade (actually very, very slightly concave) toward you and the beveled side away. The fingers of your off-hand will guide the blade on the flat side, never the bevel. With the knife used this way, the bevel will never work against you -- that will only happen if the knife is extremely thick (which a sashimi knife isn't), the object being cut is extremely deep (which fish prepared for sashimi cutting isn't), or you turn the knife over (which is almost never done with sashimi knives).

This takes us to two important issues: length and sharpness.

How long the knife needs to be depends on how heavy it is and how sharp. How heavy it is depends on how it's made and how it's sharpened. How sharp it is depends exclusively on how sharp you keep it: nobody will sell you a sashimi knife that is sharp enough, unless you are in a knife shop in Japan and beg very, very nicely -- and pay a lot for the service. So the most important consideration is sharpening.

Think of it this way. When you cut sashimi, you normally use a draw-stroke, which means that you pull rather than push the knife. Ideally, you cut the fish in a single pull. Consider the straight cut, for blocks of tuna. Put the knife, just a hair forward of the heel, on the far edge of the tuna block so that the point is just very slightly down but not touching the board. Push forward a tiny hair -- forward, not down, letting the weight of the knife at the heel start the cut. Now start drawing the knife back in a smooth, even motion. The handle should arc downward as you do this, then go straight back. The point should thus swing upward, back, and down in an even curve. By the time you are halfway through the pull, so the middle of the knife is in the tuna, you should be pulling essentially straight backward, and the tuna should be about 1/3 cut, give or take. The remainder of the cut, pulling straight back and letting the knife simply fall, uses the fact that the majority of the blade weight is near the tip, where the knife is also thinnest, and the rest of the slice is cut with just the last generous third of the knife. Ideally, the cut finishes with the tip just barely grazing the board as it exits the block of tuna.

Now in order to do this, you need a heck of a lot of practice. But you also need a knife that is very thin, rather heavy, and extremely sharp. But thin and heavy don't go together: the thinner the knife, the less it weighs, assuming it's made of steel and not depleted uranium or something. So you get the weight primarily through length. This is why sashimi knives are so long --- and 270mm is hardly long here: 360mm is long.

The other classic cut, which I won't describe in such detail, begins much the same, but the knife bevel is laid against the surface of the fish fillet at the appropriate angle. As you draw, you gently hold the fish slice in place with the flat fingers of your off-hand, fingertips pointing toward the blade spine, fingers themselves as close to parallel to the blade flat as is possible. You generally need a little more force to get this cut started, but lower in the fillet any force from your hands will tend to tear the slice, even a little bit, so everything has to come from that scary-sharp pointmost-third of the knife.

My feeling is that you need to think very, very seriously about just how often you're going to cut sashimi:

A. Fish of sufficient quality is expensive in the U.S., and with very limited exceptions is always pre-frozen, which doesn't do anything too great for the texture. I don't know, though, you might not live in America, or you might do your own deep-sea fishing, or whatever.

B. A sashimi knife is an investment, and from your post it doesn't sound as though you currently have a whole lot of expertise with it. This means that if you intend to get serious about this, you have to plan ultimately to buy several more such knives. What I mean is, you don't want to buy the best sashimi knife in the world (rather debatable what that would be, but...), for the same reason as you don't want to learn how to drive with a Ferrari. But a sashimi knife of enough quality that you can learn well is not cheap.

C. Maintenance of a sashimi knife is a very serious business. It must be kept frighteningly sharp, especially near the tip, or it won't work right and you will be frustrated -- and learn bad habits. If you're serious about this, I would recommend that you consider something like an Apex EdgePro or similar high-end manual sharpening system, unless you are an extremely practiced freehand sharpener: a single-beveled knife is easier to sharpen, in some respects, but the thinness and flexibility of a sashimi knife, as well as its length, makes freehanding quite a bit more difficult.

D. I don't speak from personal experience on this one, but some people whose opinion I greatly respect say that a takobiki or fugubiki is a great deal easier to learn than a yanagiba. What's more, the skills are sufficiently the same that once you have really mastered one of the "easier" knives, you can graduate to the yanagiba without having to completely retrain yourself.

E. If you just want to try it out, see whether this is something you want to get more seriously into, I think the very first thing to do is to find someone -- quite possibly through a woodworking shop -- who is really expert at sharpening single-beveled knives and knows a lot about them. Talk to this person, and try to get a feel: can he or she really bevel the knife appropriately and put that terrifying razor edge on it? Does he or she know clearly what is involved? Has he or she done it -- often? What sort of equipment is being used, and why? If you find such a person -- you can, if you look -- buy yourself a decent-quality stainless or semi-stainless takobiki or fugubiki through one of the Japanese knife-retailers with a good rep (Boar_d_laze, who will chime in soon, can give you a list of such places). Buy 270mm. Expect to spend some cash here, but you shouldn't have to put the kids in a workhouse. GET A SAYA, i.e. a wooden sheath, that fits the knife. Take your knife to the sharpener and get the edge properly beveled and sharpened -- Japanese knives rarely come fully finished. Now you're all set, and can start working with your fish.

Warning: never, never, never let the blade touch anything but boneless fish flesh. It should touch the cutting-board as little as possible, and when it does touch it should be in motion, under its own weight alone, moving straight, and you should be lifting it up ASAP. The blade will chip faster than you would believe. There are ways to use these knives when bones are involved, but don't go there until you are quite confident and knowledgeable.

Warning: when you put the knife into or take it out from the sheath, hold it spine-down by the sheath. Pull the knife out so that the spine drags along the bottom of the sheath, and put it in precisely the same way. Otherwise the sheath will dull and possibly chip the knife (though the latter is unlikely).

Warning: if you are a lefty, expect to spend more than your righty friends. Sad but true.

If you find you just love this sort of thing, take some classes. See if the chef at a local sushi place will give you some lessons on his off-days.

Final warning: if you like this, you've just entered upon a dangerously expensive hobby, and will begin slowly accumulating a large collection of knives and sharpening equipment.

Oh, and by the way: if you just want to cut some fish every now and then, just buy a thin-bladed slicer and have some nut from the woodworking shop sharpen it like a razor. You can't use a sashimi knife for anything else. Nothing. And it's expensive.
post #3 of 27
No. You can't do any of these things with it. Not ever. The blade will not stand up to it: it will at best become dull.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi Chris,
Thank you very much very your detailed response. You’ve confirmed my reservations about a Yanagi being too specialized for me. I would appreciate suggestions for a thin-bladed slicer - versatile enough to slice fish as well other meats. Which brands would be on par with like a Honda, Toyota car?

Much thanks.
post #5 of 27
Hey, heres my thoughts..

While this isnt a knife i use a lot, only because I dont really do a lot of this type of cutting, for what you are in the market for, it should be perfect.

The Cutco Salmon Knife, I think, will be the perfect knife for your needs. It is razor sharp, and incredibly flexible,,, really, you will be surprised at how much flex it has and that its near impossible to snap. heres a link..
CUTCO Cutlery: Salmon Knife Product Details btw: it doesnt say on the website, but currently, its $80 plus shipping.

Now, you had mentioned about slicing roasts and hams with a knife used for sashimi. While the answer is a definate no on the knives talked about above, this knife can be used for such tasks. I worked for cutco, selling knives, for about a couple months. They are definatly not the best knives in the world, as they so furiously believe, but, they do have a forever garuntee. Forever. Check that out through the link. Probably the one thing I really liked about them. That and their salmon knife, which definatly rocks.

Whatever knife you choose, when you start doing sushi and sashimi, put up some pics! those types of platters can look so elegant.. I think..

Happy shopping... hope this helps you.:smoking:
post #6 of 27

This Cutco knife, or a similar slicer from any reputable manufacturer, looks like a good solution for you, and you can certainly use it to slice ham and such. Buy the longest you can get without spending too much: a knife like this doesn't weigh much, so you're going to need a lot of length to get the single-draw slicing to work.

Bear in mind that this knife will get dull, as all knives do, so think seriously about how you're going to sharpen it. If you're planning to send it out to someone, check first that he or she is able and willing to sharpen it extremely thin and sharp: lots of people won't sharpen knives other than about 20 degrees on a side, which at a 50:50 bevel is too thick for this. The steel probably won't hold better than 15 degrees, but that's a significant improvement here. If you're going to do it yourself with a machine or something, you need one that will sharpen thin; many are pre-set to a fixed 22.5 degrees, which is way too thick for this purpose.
post #7 of 27
I think I can shed some light on cutco and sharpening...

To start, I did, but no longer work for the marketing company Vector, who sells the knives through sales representatives doing in home demonstrations. The way the company is run, I dont think is fair, and they put a lot of pressure on you to perform, for a job that is advertised as being flexible and allowing you to make your own schedule...


Cutco makes a plethora of knives, as well as many many other kitchen tools, some of which I think rock(like they're peeler, Idk what it is, but it slams any other peeler into the ground), and others which are just a joke, like theyre garlic press which presses only 1/3 of the clove. heh.

Now, this Salmon knife has their straight edge. If you look around thier site, they have the knives called the Petite slicer and the Slicer. The slicer is almost exactly the same size as the salmon knife, tho it has their DD edge on it, here is a link giving more detail on the DD edge. not a bad idea, but in no way can it replace a straight edge, IMO( CUTCO Cutlery: Features & Benefits ).

Sharpening wise, cutco sells a sharpener you can use at your house. Its a manual sharpener, and honestly, does a great job. But heres the thing. The knives arrive at your house razor sharp. Sharper then you're thinking they will be, right now as you read this. AND, they do not get dull quickly at all. I've had my salmon knife for almost a year now, and while I do not use it THAT often, I do use it. probably at least for one or two jobs a week. And to be honest, I've used the home sharpener one time. Now, if you really dull the knife somehow, you can send it back to the factory, where it will be re-sharpened and returned to you within/under one week, for only about 4-6 dollars for shipping. but rarely does a customer need this, even if they dont own the home sharpener.

Now, it should be said, that cutco knives are not marketed to people who are educated on knives. I don't think Boar_d_laze will be purchasing cutco anytime soon(but maybe;)) but that is not to say they are not good knives. I own a few random cutco knives, but my main knives are.. well.. no need to start that discussion. I just think it should be noted that some consider them inferior to other knives, one reason being that they're stamped.(no worries, I own stamped and forged, good is good, idc who makes it) but the main thing is that it feels right in your hand, and it does the task you need for. Plus, 80 bucks isnt bad, and for this knife, compared to other brands, its a definate score.

either way, good luck shopping, and happy holidays.. hope I was of some help
post #8 of 27
I'll spare you the Japanese names. The common, "thick" cut is an ordinary slice, the thin cut is a forehand slice. That is, you roll your arm so the bottom of the wrist is up to turn the edge in the desired direction. The idea is not just to cut thin slices, but also to cut them on an extreme bias -- "lifting" them off the loin. The technique is used to cut large, transparently thin slices from fish loins which are relatively thin themselves -- such as small halibut or blowfish.

As long as the single sided bevel is for the proper hand, it doesn't matter how you roll your wrist -- the knife will still cut as it should.

It's easier to make an appropriately profiled chisel edged (bevel on one side) knife very sharp and keep it that way than a knife beveled on both sides. As long as the knife is thin enough -- a very sharp knife will cut fish well, whether sharpened on one or both sides. Fish flesh composed of very fine fibers. It's important to cut them cleanly, rather than tear them. The importance is magnified when cutting for eating raw. Super sharp is the minimum to do a good job. You absolutely can use a knife sharpened on both sides to cut fish for raw presentation, it's just not as easy to keep sharp.

The subtext to cutting fish is sharpening. If you want to learn to cut fish well, you'll have to learn to sharpen. A high zoot knife is secondary. Anything that will take a good edge will do fine. I used to pal with a few sushimen -- to the point of fooling around with one another's knives; and to a man they had no problem cutting with my 10" and 12" French slicers (trenchelards). They were surrprised -- not so much that the knives themselves could do it, but that a westerner would keep his knives sharp. That doesn't mean that those are ideal choices for the job. If you're going to cut a lot of sushi and sashimi, you're probably best off with a yanigaba. If it's a once in a while thing -- just get something you can make and keep sharp. IMO a suji or slicer is fine -- but I'm not Mr. Fish.

Cutco is a horrible choice. All but a few Cutco are serrated (double D), and serrated knives tear fiber rather cut cleanly. A sharp saw is not the same thing as a sharp knife. They have different purposes. A Cutco knife will leave the fish feeling slightly fuzzy and less than fresh on the tongue.

21 cm is really too short. Probably, neither you nor your board are ready to handle a knife as long as 30cm. That leaves 24cm and 27cm. Long slicing knives are much more about how much room you have, and how well organized you keep it, than any particular skill.

But, as Chris said, sushi and sashimi pieces are best cut with a single stroke, and you certainly want something long enough for that. The reason is that a sawing motion brings up the fiber ends.

Speaking of fishmongers -- buy the fish in the largest blocks you can and trim them yourself. You want to use your own knives as much as possible to ensure that every surface was cut with a very sharp edge and is glassy smooth.

No. The edge geometry is such that it's more easily damaged. Although, different knives and cooks have different characters. So a particular knife in the hands of a particular cook may well defy all generalities.

Sujis are more heavy duty, better for general carving purposes, better anytime bumping into a bone might be an issue, and better for trimming large pieces -- for instance for taking the fat cap of a brisket down to 1/4", and that sort of thing.

If you're restricted to purcashing one or the other, choose a suji over a yani.

Hope this helps,
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
I’ve been swamped with Christmas and haven’t done much beyond some online searches. I found this youtube video “Kai knives Japan - Wasabi - Coltelleria Collini” showing what Boar_d_laze calls the "thick" cut (at 1:00), and “thin” cut (at 1:20). The forehand slicing motion is more problematic. I have a ways to go practicing with a potato and of course need a better knife. I feel as though I’ve opened up Pandora’s Box. I’m overwhelmed as well as fascinated to learn more.

1. Is a more flexible vs more rigid blade better for the forehand slicing motion? The Cutco (or other brand) Salmon slicer are available with a flexible blade for smoked / cured fish or with a more rigid blade for meats.

2. What would be the generic differences (if any) between a -
a. rigid version of salmon slicer with a pointed tip
b. two sided Yanagi like the one Global offers
c. Japanese Sujihiki, western slicing / carving knives

3.Are the Korin knives like the Tojiro DP, Togiharu Molybdenum as good as what I can get at the local Williams Sonoma – for less money?

Thank you for all advises and thoughts.
post #10 of 27
Practice with pork loin, sirloin, chicken breast, or anything else you can use very thinly sliced. A potato won't help. Wrong texture.

Flex helps you "feel" the outside of the slice from inside the cut, and in that way helps cut thinner. For your purposes, avoid anything with serrations, especially Cutco.

Trick question? All salmon slicers are flexible.
Another trick question? Yanigabas are chisel edged and asymmetrical by definition. However, the Global variant is a decent (but not a very good) choice. Certainly there are better for the money.
A true yanigaba has a rather thick spine near the handle which tapers radically toward the tip. The back is convex, and the front is partially saber ground, then radically thinned before the true cutting edge. A suji is far more symmetrical. A yani will give you more help in the cut, if the cut was started correctly, but will fight any attempt to correct if the cut was not perfect to begin with. A true salmon slicer is a very long, and flexible (because of its length and thinness) knife. The thinness makes it easier to keep sharp. Part of the flexibility comes from the thinness, and part from the length. The flexibility adds some extra feel -- which takes a lot of practice to read and use btw -- that helps cutting thin slices. A good salmon slicer is a champ for making that forehand slice. If you're going with a European style salmon slicer, get a Sabatier carbon.

Absofrigginlutely! That said, neither Tojiro nor Togiharu Moly is the best choice for what you want. THE bargain Japanese suji choice is the (carbon) Fujiwara FKH, and the best bargain yani choice is the Korin 8A. If you're going to go with a stainless Japanese suji, the Tojiro is a good choice, while the Togiharu 2 Inox might be a little bit better.

If you like European knives at all, take a look at the 10" and 13" Nogent slicers at: Thiers-Issard Sabatier Nogent Carbon-Steel Kitchen Knives. IMO these are the best bang for the buck. The 10" is a particularly good slicer, and is very much like the slicer in my core block. The Nogent would be a spectacular choice if you've got the room to use it. Not only are they good value, but they're elegant and have a lot of history. The Nogeents are, however, carbon and need the good workhabits and little bit of extra care carbon knives always require.

One thing to consider, all of these long, flexible knives present some challenges sharpening, but require a very sharp edge to work at all well. Buy one, and you're entering a different world of sharpening. You need a better plan than a pull through, a "honing steel," or a Sharp Maker. So make sure to include sharpening in your budget if you don't already have the equipment.

This brings me back to the carbon Fujiwara and Sabatier Nogent slicers I recommended: Carbon gets sharper than stainless, is easier to sharpen, and the edge is easier to maintain sharp. Sharp is everything. Carbon is tough to recommend because it needs a little more TLC; but a slicer -- especially for raw fish -- requires a lot of sharpness and doesn't see many corrosive foods. So, think about it seriously.

And for heaven's sake, don't buy a Cutco to cut sashimi and sushi. I'm by no means anti-Cutco. It's a valid choice for some people, but the Cutco knives are absolutely what you don't want. You'd be better with a sharp paring knife.

post #11 of 27
HAH! did you see the topic on Fred's cutlery forum recently? Also, BDL it's fine to not like Cutco. I don't like them, probably for the same reasons you don't as well. Bang for you buck, not worth it.

Back on topic though, through my experience the way I've seen it is that a Sujihiki can do the work of a Yanagiba passably but a Yanagiba can't do the work of a Sujihiki. I've cut sashimi with my Misono UX-10 suji, and the results were passable. But if you try to carve a turkey for instance with a Yanagiba, you'll have problems. The blade is designed for long straight strokes with minimal damage to the product your cutting. If you try to turn or angle your cut, you'll find that the blade will steer you in directions you don't want to go.

If your really into sushi and sashimi, I'd say go buy a Yanagiba, but if you want a more versitile all around knife... get a Sujihiki.

Also, unless your familiar with carbon steel stick to stainless for the time being. Carbon steel has it's advantages, such as sharpness and edge retention, but unless you know how to care for one and store one you're running a risk of rusting the blade and potentially ruining your investment. If you insist on carbon though, I'd recommend a Hiromoto AS (Tenmi Jyuraku Series Japanese Knife,Japanese Kitchen Knife,Japanese Chef's Knives.Com) it's essentially a core of carbon steel wrapped in stainless. The edge is carbon, but most of the remaining steel is stainless so it goes a long way to improve it's resistance to rusting.
post #12 of 27
Okay, I'm intensely anti-Cutco and have been for years. But don't think that personal bias contributed to my judgment that a serrated edge is inappropriate for cutting fish.

Of course I've seen the thread on Fred's. It doesn't need me in it. I've written about Cutco several times on several forums. As one of the few people -- if not the only one at Fred's -- who regularly uses European made knives sometimes it's best to just hunker down.

In the end, it's ALL about sharpness. No matter the skill of the cutter, he'll do a better job with a sharp suji than a not-quite-sharp yanigaba. The primary advantage of a yanigaba is that, everything else being equal, it's chisel shaped edge acts sharper than a suji's "V."

The observation that a yani is harder to control in the cut is well made. Another difference is that for reasons of geometry as well as materials, a yani's edge is more delicate and more subject to rolling AND chipping than a suji. Chipping requires reprofiling in any case. But rolling requires substantial work with a yani, because they can not be honed.

If you have to ask ... you don't need a yanigaba, and from a practical standpoint would almost certainly be better off with a good to excellent suji. However, knife ownership isn't all praciticality, at least not for those of us who like to fool around with tools.

It's a lot of fun to match someone with a knife that's exactly what they wanted -- even though they didn't know what they wanted. In this case, the OP would probably be best served with a decent gyuto or chef's and a lot of sharpening practice before moving on to a dedicated fish knife. I thought I'd approach that gently if the dialogue continued -- but it didn't.

C'es la vie,
post #13 of 27
As a sushi chef I use both a yanagi (yoshihiro 300mm) and suji (misono Swedish 270mm) and honestly the suji has been sharpened wider than factory bevel and I can almost say it cuts just as well as the yanagi but always pull out the yanagi for sashimi cuts (thick cuts from right side).

A suji should e perfectly fine for home sushi.
post #14 of 27
"Sharpened wider than factory bevel"

Curious if you did both sides that way or if more asymmetric and only one side?

Also what do you believe is the benefits of that?


"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this




Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!



"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this




Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

post #15 of 27
Yes both sides are very steep, I try to keep the 70/30 approach.

Benefits is that it is VERY sharp.

At first it wasnt working because only one side was steep, since ie been steepening the back it has been literally razor sharp.
post #16 of 27

Chris, BDL ,Joshua Lenny and everybody else... Thanks for all the info in this post. A very enriching read!thumb.gif

post #17 of 27
Originally Posted by BeardedCrow View Post

Yes both sides are very steep, I try to keep the 70/30 approach.
Benefits is that it is VERY sharp.
At first it wasnt working because only one side was steep, since ie been steepening the back it has been literally razor sharp.

The idea of wider bevels and more acute angles relating to increased sharpness is oddly what led me here initially as the Henckel Pro S I had back then just couldn't handle the changes etc.

Now after being around this and other cooking and knife forums and owning J Knives for a few years etc I have started to re think this some and now not only believe both the more acute angles and asymmetric bevels possibly only make the knife "feel" sharper etc I also know that if true or not I definitely prefer it!

The idea of perceived vs actual sharpness is alive and debated in many threads, and much as I try to learn as much as possible etc I still end up concluding that it is the feel and user preference that is of most importance.

Though I still consider myself a noob in the intricacies of Japanese cutlery I can figure out what feels best to me, and am honestly still amazed at the precision and effortless cutting of thin blades with acute angles and asymmetric edge geo. May not work for everyone but does for me.

Would you share if there are any drawbacks to this in your opinion?

Im thinking with a suji or yanagi it shouldn't be as much an issue.


"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this




Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!



"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this




Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

post #18 of 27
I got my Misono Swedish gyuto with a very convexed edge - on both sides! Nicely polished, ending at 34 degree inclusive. As the shoulders weren't removed I had to take it to the stones. I've put a 10/15 degree 80/20 edge on it, question of minutes.
On a sujihiki I would put an edge it barely holds, as there is almost no board contact. If you're fine with the existing asymmetry, that would be a sub 20 degree inclusive one. If you prefer a more symmetric edge, it has to be a little more robust as there is a little more friction.
post #19 of 27
Well I prefer extremely flat bevel opposed to rounded (convex?) bevels.

For my kitchen guys who chop a lot of food, I put on a convex bevel for them because if I sharpen their gyuto with an extreme flat razor sharp bevel, it dulls in less than 2-3 days.

My suji and yanagi (especially yanagi) almost never sees the cutting board, except my suji because I cut a lot of maki's (sushi roll) and must slice through and make contact to ensure rolls is fully cut.

A convex can be sharp and much more durable, but will not ever satisfy a sushi chef.

Most my knives are very sharp, true sharpness is when you barely touch edge and your skin splits, perceived sharpness will not split skin with a feather amount of pressure.

Also I roll thin magazine paper (circle) and cut sideways (extremely slippery) only when it's absolutely sharp will it SMOOTHLY cut this, not toothy.
post #20 of 27
Thank you for explaining!
post #21 of 27
I want to add that misono gives you a convex edge so that you may choose bevel angle from the start, judging by the 3 angles it shows you 10• 15-20• and 25-30•.

I'd say I chose the 8• route wink.gif
No chips.
post #22 of 27

If the people in the other forums are talking about what I'm talking about, the tension between is between "perceived" and "absolute" sharpness; not between perceived and "actual." 


When I use the term absolute sharpness I'm referring to the width of the edge where the bevels meet; i.e., what would be the apex, if the edge were an ideal V -- but nothing's ideal.  Using that definition, a relatively thick knife, profiled to 50/50 symmetry with a 45* included angle can have the same absolute sharpness as a laser sharpened to a chisel profile with a 10* included angle -- but of course the laser is will act significantly sharper.  


The idea is to have ways of referring to sharpening and sharpness, which are independent of the type of knife.  I can get my 12" K-Sabatier au carbone chef's sharp enough to fall through the tip of a chicken wing; but there's no way I can make its edge act as sharp as my 10" K-Sab au carbone chef's sharpened to a more extreme (and less durable) geometry.


Part of the art of sharpening is choosing appropriate geometry and stone choices for the knife.   

post #23 of 27

One quote:

I got my Misono Swedish gyuto with a very convexed edge - on both sides! Nicely polished, ending at 34 degree inclusive. As the shoulders weren't removed I had to take it to the stones. I've put a 10/15 degree 80/20 edge on it, question of minutes.

And another:

I want to add that misono gives you a convex edge so that you may choose bevel angle from the start, judging by the 3 angles it shows you 10• 15-20• and 25-30•.
I'd say I chose the 8• route wink.gif
No chips.


I've got to ask, how can you judge the angles and symmetry so precisely? 



post #24 of 27
I agree fully!

Learning the metal and stone takes some practice.

I think reading about sharpening knives online is the same as reading about dribbling and shooting basketballs, online.

You have to just do it. I'd use a cheap knife to practice and even a cheap stone.
post #25 of 27
@BDL: with a few very light strokes on the finest stone I surely can determine the angle of the very edge. School trigs.
post #26 of 27
I was taught to listen to noise that knife makes, it'll stick to the stone, almost a suction.

That and I have very steady hands over yhr years of sharpening yanagis
post #27 of 27
Great info and discussion!

It is very interesting to learn how others have come to their conclusions and compare to your own etc.

When first starting out with J knives everything got a much too acute edge, but I have adjusted that since.


"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this




Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!



"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this




Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

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