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Misono Swedish Carbon Steel

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I received my beautiful Misono Chef's knife. 270mm. The Swedish Carbon one with the dragon etched on the blade.
Just a wonderful knife. I always thought that I had my Henkels razor sharp...WRONG!!!
I am well aware of the need to look after carbon steel. I have had a traditional Deba for many years. In fact I have a question about that too, but later.
My only question about the Misono is the bevel. It seems to be heavily favoured to the right side. Looks about a 80/20 %. No problem, it works fine, but I was wondering what benifit, it any, this is and whether slowly sharpening it to a 50/50 would hurt the performance.

About the Deba. It is a very old one. On the blade it says Shigemitsu and Sakai. I understand Sakai is where it was made, but the only reference I could find to Shigemitsu is he was the Japanese officer who signed the surrender in WWII. I doubt if it is the same guy. Just a matter of curiousity, has anyone info on this knife maker?

post #2 of 3
If you think a Misono Sweden is sharp OOTB (out of the box), wait til you sharpen it. Misono doesn't bring the knife to anywhere near its potential.

Whether there's any performance gain from asymmetric sharpening is controversial. The knife nuts who are disposed to favor all things Japanese are in love with asymmetry -- the more the better. The way things are going in the world of culinary cutlery, that's most of the knife nuts. (As you pointed out the differences between the best of German stainless and a merely good Japanese knife aren't subtle -- with all of the performance advantages to the Japanese.)

The main arguments are that asymmetric edges stay sharper as they wear, and asymmetric edges don't "wedge" as much. The counter arguments are that dulling is more often the result from deformation (waving and rolling caused by impact) that; and that except in the case of fish, wedging at the edge itself doesn't make enough difference to matter at all. And even with fish, absolute sharpness (width at the edge itself) trumps thickness close to it -- as long as the blade isn't very thick.

The major drawbacks are (1) that asymmetric edge tends to steer. The effect is heightened any grip problems (such as too tight, bent wrist, etc.), and by wrong-handed use (related, if you think about it). The tendency increases with degree of asymmetry. (2) The only way to true the edge is on a stone.

None of this stuff is huge. Personally, I tend towards the nay-sayers. For almost all purposes the benefits of a more symmetric bevel outweigh those from extreme asymmetry. Most important are that a fairly symmetric bevel is more robust and can be steeled (the two are related). I've also noticed that most of the people who claim superiority for the chisel type edge sharpen a lot more often than I consider reasonable. If it's such a long wearing edge, wtf?

Misono Swedens profile easily given their hardness -- and you won't have much difficulty sharpening the knife to any profile which strikes your fancy. It's a perk of knowing how to sharpen.

Right now my chef's knife is sharpened to around 60/40 righty. I'm a lefty and can't feel the imbalance. Take it past that, and it gets annoying. Similarly, up to around 70/30 lefty, I don't feel any difference. Around 80/20 I can feel it, but don't get much for it -- certainly nothing worth the edge's tendency to deform. My knife is only hardened to around 57ish, and yours to 60 (or maybe an RCH more), but still...

The one area where asymmetric bevels noticeably pay off is with raw fish. If I did a lot of fish butchering and/or sushi type cutting, I'd probably use Japanese blade profiles sharpened to single sided bevels.

Thanks for letting me vent.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thank you for taking the time BDL. Yes, I noticed the steering effect although it was quite mild and easy to fight. Not like my deba which steers like crazy, although I didn't use it for anything except celery and the like. Likely won't be using it much anymore.
I will likely favour the left side every time I sharpen it to get it eventually to 50/50. We shall see.
Again, thanks.
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