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Att: Boar De Laze Konosuke HD

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

How are you liking the knife after you've had a few months to work with it? Still the cream of the crop?

post #2 of 22

Still mucho amor.  I bought a Konosuke HD 300mm suji and SS 150mm petty as well and am loving them as well.  

 

BDL

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post #3 of 22

Wow... what "made" you go stainless??? (I know, it's just the one knife).

 

I'm glad you still love your knives.  I've got a couple of them on a bucket list. (Because that's how exciting my life is!)


Edited by Wagstaff - 7/4/11 at 3:43pm
post #4 of 22

I've got two Konosuke HDs (27cm gyuto, 30cm suji), a Konosuke SS (15cm petty), and a bunch of Forschner/Victorinox stainless. 

 

After fooling around with kcma's stainless, Tadatsuna gyuto, I was sold on the laser aspect but not necessarily on the stainless and was leaning towards something in one of the Hitachi carbons.  But KC started hyping me on the HD's.  I had lunch with him and Jon Broida (Japanese Knife Imports), and Jon convince me to try the HD.  The Konosukes are marvelous knives, but for a lot of idiosyncratic reasons are especially good for me.

 

Still loving my Sabatier carbons, I'm not using them very much right now and am doing nearly everything with one or the other of the HDs.  Sure, a lot of it is newness, but a lot is sharpness and the convenience of not having to roll boulders up hill every time I cut lemons or onions.  

 

Linda doesn't have to sharpen or maintain the knives, and she prefers the Sabs -- especially the 10" chef's. 

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/5/11 at 10:04am
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Glad to hear you still love them.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

I bought one, received it today. It is damn fine. Haven't taken it to the stones yet, I would wait, but I'm at work right now with it in my hand. Time to slice and dice.

post #7 of 22

How is the weight distribution/balance? These knives look incredible.

post #8 of 22

Balance on the 270 is about half a finger width's forward of the pinch point, which is right over the heel and forward of the machi.  However, the knife is so light there's no sense of imbalance.

 

The knife requires a little bit of babying, and may not be suitable for your kitchen.  That said, it's a perfect fit for me, and because it's so good if I were still cooking professionally I wouldn't hesitate to keep it in my roll and use it as my primary knife.

 

Read my "preliminary review" and we can talk about it after. 

 

FWIW, Japanese Knife Imports now sells them with a more "normal" octagonal handle, and Chef Knives To Go still sells them with the original, half-octagonal / half round that's on my knife.  So one way or another, the handle is no longer an issue.

 

BDL

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post #9 of 22

What sort of babying? I'm already in the habit of cleaning the knife between uses. How would the handle hold up? Something to avoid getting wet? I really like the idea of a laser knife with a little flex to it. How different are the hd from the white #2?

post #10 of 22

Babying:  You should avoid skinning pineapples, trimming heavy-skinned squash stems, or anything else where there's a high probability you'll end up smashing the knife on to the board.  With meat and poultry, you don't want to try splitting bones, or even cut too close to them where you might cut tiny chips of bone and/or chip your knife.  You don't want to use it to break down big fish, either.  This is true of all "lasers," and for most finer wa and yo-gyuto as well.  There are exceptions. 

 

I have a bad habit of using knives to do things they shouldn't and get away with a lot of it because of technique and because I don't mind sharpening.  But when you're in a hurry -- as one gets in a commercial kitchen -- technique can break down.  You'll want to stay conservative which means having a chef de chef (or something you can use like one) handy.

 

The handle will hold up a long time if you (a) oil it now and then; and (b) check to make sure it's sealed and water isn't coming in along the machi.  That's with my handle, anyway (still sold by Chef Knives To Go).  The new handle, on knives sold by Japanese Knife Imports, is already stabilized and better sealed.  It should hold up a bit better.  It's not a big issue though. 

 

The first time Konosuke I held was Jon's (Jon owns JKI) with the old, half-round handle. Our grips are quite similar -- very soft pinches -- and are hand sizes are similar as well (I'd say his are "L" shading to "XL," while mine are definitely XL).  Yet, the knock on the old handle -- including Jon's take on it -- is that it feels a bit narrow.  Go figure.

 

By the way, I think we can do a lot for your grip to make any handle more comfortable and secure, and make prep less fatiguing.  You talked about using a very strong grip, you might be better off with a very soft one.  Worth a try.  For one thing, with a very sharp knife you won't kneed a strong grip.

 

White #2 and HD are very similar in terms of use.  White's a carbon like all carbons and requires frequent rinsing and wiping.  In addition, you'll have to develop and maintain a "patina," or rub the knife down with baking soda every night.  What makes HD so special, is how much like a good carbon it is -- and white #2 is a very good carbon indeed.  Obviously the white #2 knife is a lot cheaper than the HD.  If you can live with carbon's neediness, and price matters, it's an obvious choice.

 

The Konosuke SS knives are also very good with the same laser-ness, same feel in the hand, etc.  Where they don't match up is a small difference in edge taking, a larger difference in edge holding, and a big difference in feel on the stones.

 

While I love my Konosuke HD very much, I don't see it as being better than the Suisun Inox Honyaki or the Tadatsuna ginsanko.  

 

BDL

 

 

 

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post #11 of 22

I've actually been working on a looser grip, which has been quite nice, but it's difficult to maintain after using the furi for too long (dull). My technique is good; we do a very good job of staying on a schedule with our prep, encouraging proper technique and eliminating rushing. I really don't worry about cutting through bone, as I have other knives for that. I have an old santoku (which actually holds an edge way better than the furi), a seven inch utility, and boning knife for the "harrier" tasks.

 

My hands are slightly longer than large latex gloves, yet not long or fat enough for XL's.

 

The white #2 seems nice, but the idea of forming/maintaining a patina is foreign to me. The price, along with the similar edge qualities when compared to the HD, is what caught my eye.

 

The Suisins look amazing, but way out of my price range.

post #12 of 22

BDL - have you noticed any areas in which the SS is better than the HD? or is the HD all + and no -?

post #13 of 22

SS is more stain resistant and costs less.  Otherwise, HD is better in every way.  My block has three Konosukes:  30cm HD suji, 27cm HD gyuto and a 15cm SS petty.  If I had to do it again I'm not sure what I'd do about the petty, probably stick with SS.  To my mind the HD makes enough of a difference in the big knives, that the extra money is well worth it.  Your take on the money might be different, but you'd agree on the performance.  That said, remember that we're talking about very high performance knives and the differences are very close to the margins.

 

Non-stainless carbon is sort of like an intelligent, talented but neurotic girl friend.  Needy but rewarding.  Whether the latter is worth the former is your call.  I used carbon for years, still love it, and would still be using it more or less exclusively if I hadn't started writing so much about knives.  Since stainless dominated the discussions, it felt "inauthentic" not to own a few, quality (near) stainless knives.

 

Except for the petty.  That was pure practicality.  I cut so much citrus that a quality stainless, petty simplified my life considerably. 

 

BDL 

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post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post  [...snip]That was pure practicality.  I cut so much citrus that a quality stainless, petty simplified my life considerably. [/end snip]

 

So there's the question...  is not the HD adequate to citrus?

 

I ask because of looking down the road at these knives, and loving carbon *but*... I cut a fair amount of citrus, and a whole LOT of sweet potatoes, which end up taking on some color and flavor of carbons (of T-I Sabatier carbons, at least).  And thinking about a petty... would not the HD be fine, given how "low-stain" it is? i.e., can I get the best of both worlds in terms of carbons for sharpness and sharpenability and stain-resistant "enough" not to impart carbon flavor to my tubers? Considering a "large" petty as next knife, I'm wondering if I should go stainless, or would be good with the Konosuke HD. (Thinking about a 210mm "suji" as a petty).
 

 

post #15 of 22

As long as you wiped it down now and then, there shouldn't be a problem with HD and citrus or anything else.  It doesn't stain easily.

 

Shiroko (aka Hitachi "White #2"), is much purer than the steel used in most old Sabatiers and won't transfer tastes.  At least not after it's been used and cleaned a few times.  Try scouring your Nogent with plenty of baking soda on a Scotch-Brite after every service, and see if that doesn't control its bad behavior.  Back in the day, we used to rub it on with a wine cork, but the Scotch-Brite not only works better, but leaves a better look.

 

At the time I bought the petty, there was a powerful reason to choose the SS over the HD.  The SS was in stock, the HD wasn't, and I was in a hurry to close a package deal which included the suji and some other stuff.  You can't beat the combination of impatience and greed.  Not unless sex is involved, and -- trust me -- it wasn't.  Furthermore, I tend to sharpen my way through small knives pretty quickly and see that as a reason to keep their prices down.   

 

BDL

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post #16 of 22

Thank you BDL.  I've been doing baking soda with a green scotch brite (or generic) -- works great.  Still need not to destroy a patina I guess.  Actually the imparting of the taste to sweet potato happened only recently when the knife had been scrubbed over-zealously, and when I wet the blade to slices from sticking.  So I can find my way around those things with the Sabs.  But a stainless or an HD or a CarboNext has great appeal for some cooking, too.

 

Thanks for the detailed answer -- of course what's in stock is key when we want a knife NOW.  But also, it didn't really occur to me that if you're going to sharpen a "short" blade away anyway, you might get the expensive version.  That's the voice of experience.  And once again, I'm grateful that you share it.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Babying:  You should avoid skinning pineapples, trimming heavy-skinned squash stems, or anything else where there's a high probability you'll end up smashing the knife on to the board.  With meat and poultry, you don't want to try splitting bones, or even cut too close to them where you might cut tiny chips of bone and/or chip your knife.  You don't want to use it to break down big fish, either.  This is true of all "lasers," and for most finer wa and yo-gyuto as well.  There are exceptions. 

 

I have a bad habit of using knives to do things they shouldn't and get away with a lot of it because of technique and because I don't mind sharpening.  But when you're in a hurry -- as one gets in a commercial kitchen -- technique can break down.  You'll want to stay conservative which means having a chef de chef (or something you can use like one) handy.

 

The handle will hold up a long time if you (a) oil it now and then; and (b) check to make sure it's sealed and water isn't coming in along the machi.  That's with my handle, anyway (still sold by Chef Knives To Go).  The new handle, on knives sold by Japanese Knife Imports, is already stabilized and better sealed.  It should hold up a bit better.  It's not a big issue though. 

 

The first time Konosuke I held was Jon's (Jon owns JKI) with the old, half-round handle. Our grips are quite similar -- very soft pinches -- and are hand sizes are similar as well (I'd say his are "L" shading to "XL," while mine are definitely XL).  Yet, the knock on the old handle -- including Jon's take on it -- is that it feels a bit narrow.  Go figure.

 

By the way, I think we can do a lot for your grip to make any handle more comfortable and secure, and make prep less fatiguing.  You talked about using a very strong grip, you might be better off with a very soft one.  Worth a try.  For one thing, with a very sharp knife you won't kneed a strong grip.

 

White #2 and HD are very similar in terms of use.  White's a carbon like all carbons and requires frequent rinsing and wiping.  In addition, you'll have to develop and maintain a "patina," or rub the knife down with baking soda every night.  What makes HD so special, is how much like a good carbon it is -- and white #2 is a very good carbon indeed.  Obviously the white #2 knife is a lot cheaper than the HD.  If you can live with carbon's neediness, and price matters, it's an obvious choice.

 

The Konosuke SS knives are also very good with the same laser-ness, same feel in the hand, etc.  Where they don't match up is a small difference in edge taking, a larger difference in edge holding, and a big difference in feel on the stones.

 

While I love my Konosuke HD very much, I don't see it as being better than the Suisun Inox Honyaki or the Tadatsuna ginsanko.  

 

BDL

 

 

BDL - I have decided on getting the Konosuke 240mm Gyuto, but your post above concerns me.  I love to cook, but am just a home hack.  I'd still like to get this knife, but what would you recommend as a secondary tougher knife to use when I'm hacking away?  Thanks!

post #18 of 22

Any ordinary Euro.  Don't spend a lot if you're buying new.  I use one of my 10" or the 12" carbon Sabs, or my Forschner Cimeter for things like cutting through big squash, tough gourds, working around bones, etc.  The Sabs might be a little on the high-end side of things, but I already had a bunch of them and somehow they continue to multiply.

 

If you're thinking about going out and buying a knife, and you do a lot of big meat the Cimeter is a great knife to use AND abuse.   A regular Forschner chef's wouldn't be a bad choice.  An inexpensive forged knife like Mercer might be even better than a Forschner since it's heavier; but they're made of X45CrMoV15, an alloy one level down from Forschener's X50CrMoV15, and are considerably thicker, so don't have the edge taking properties.  Your call.

 

Another possibility, and kind of fun if you can live with carbon, is an Old Hickory butcher's knife.  I understand that they've made some changes to make them more easy to sharpen than they used to be.  Speaking of crude... machetes are a real kick. 

 

A home cook (like us), even one whose skill-level isn't particularly high, can get away with using our laser Japanese chef's knives for some stuff that a pro can't because we're not under time pressure and can listen to the knife when it tells us it's being tweaked.  I don't think a home cook as nearly as much to worry about cutting squash or pineapples as we're not as likely to just keep forcing a knife which is binding in the kerf.

 

That said, you're going to get a lot more out of a high-end knife like a Kono if you start working on some very basic skills like keeping the knife square.  The key to good knife work with almost every longer knife and triply so with a chef's knife is a good, soft grip.  And the key to that is a very sharp knife -- sharp enough that you don't have to "death grip" and muscle it through tough cuts.

 

Moral of the story:  Sharpening is nearly everything.

 

BDL 

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post #19 of 22

Hi guys...

 

Since the main topic is the Konosuke HD, as a proud owner of one of such pieces let me add my two cents... The HD according to the description is a semi stainless steel, and let me tell you... It does get stained, or at least mine is. It got some sort of patina, that it's not "dirty", is more like "cloudy" looking.

 

I got really disappointed when I got it, but for sure my fault... Since I was a cheap buyer, I didn't get the suggested saya, I wanted to get a plastic one because I'm not sure if I want to get a wooden one in a professional kitchen where it may get stained with beets, and some other colored juices, so I went for the plastic one... But since CKTG was short on it's inventory, all I could get instead was a set of forchner magnetic "sayas", and I guess that when I stored the knife it wasn't 100 percent dry...I wiped it dry but maybe it wasn't dry enough.

Every night when closing the kitchen, I clean the Tojiros, wipe them with a dry paper towel, and let them a couple of minutes under the heating lamp to make sure that it's 100% dry and I'll not get ugly stains overnight... But I skipped this step with the Kono, thinking that it was unnecessary.

 

As a declared patina hater...My konosuke got one mad.gif, no big deal but I didn't expect that. That doesn't mean that I don't like the knife anymore... It's still my favorite one but I discovered that it needs a bit of care, nothing compared to a carbon blade, but a bit more than a 100% stainless steel.

 

I'll post a picture soon. Any advice or input on the subject is welcome.

 

Regards.

Luis.

post #20 of 22

The pics of my stained Konosuke... frown.gif

 

Konosuke-1.jpg

 

Konosuke-2.jpg

 

Regards

Luis

post #21 of 22

Does look like you've got some water stains.  If I get to guess, you're putting it away in the plastic guard without drying with a cloth, AND allowing a thorough air dry.

 

You can rub the spots out with baking soda and a Scotch Brite cloth, then rinse and dry.  If baking soda isn't enough, try BKF with a Scotch Brite, rinse your knife thoroughly, hit it again with baking soda and the same Scotch Brite, rinse and dry. 

 

BDL

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post #22 of 22

Agree BDL...

 

That must be moisture, I wipe it dry with a towel or paper towel , but maybe the plastic guard is moist, or wiping dry is not enough when you're going to keep it in an absolutely tight guard that does not allow any moisture to evaporate.

I'll try your suggestion on the baking soda/scotch brite and I'll dump the magnetic guard.

Thanks for the advice, as usual, very helpful.

 

Luis

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