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Looking for advice on picking up my first Sujihiki

post #1 of 190
Thread Starter 

hey guys

 

I've never owned a Sujihiki

 

and i'd like to

 

but i have no idea which one to pick

 

i've been looking at the following knives which i can buy online

 

anyone know any of these? care to share an opinion? help guide me in a positive direction?

 

i put them in price order. but cost isn't a significant issue for me...

 

 

Suisin High-Carbon Steel Sujihiki - € 84.00
 
Fujiwara FKM Stainless Sujihiki 270mm - $87.00
 
Togiharu Inox Steel Sujihiki - €92.23
 
Togiharu Virgin Carbon Steel Sujihiki - €139.40
 
Kikuichi Elite Carbon Sujihiki 270mm - $152.00
 
Kikuichi Performance TKC Sujihiki 270mm - $191.96
 
Misono 440 Molybdenum Sujihiki - $243.00
 
Sugimoto Suuji-hiki 270mm - $259.95
 
Suisin Special Inox Suijihiki - $275.00
 
Bu-Rei-Zen (Blazen) Slicer - Sujihiki - 10-3/4 in. (270mm) - $309.65
 
Misono UX10 Sujihiki - $348.00

 

 

 

 

Edited by ruscal - 7/9/11 at 2:51am
post #2 of 190

You may not be familiar with a "suji" per se, but really it's just a Japanese name for what's very much an ordinary European slicer profile.

 

You've got a very disparate group there.  Is there anything in particular you like or don't like about knives in general or slicers in particular that would help me help you narrow your choices. 

 

For instance, if you could articulate what you like about Japanese cutlery...

 

Do you have a good gyuto (chef's)?  If not, that should be the first knife on which you spend serious change.

 

How well do you sharpen?  Sharpening makes all the difference in the world.  Don't waste your money on a high-zoot knife you can't keep sharp.  By the way, your second big purchase -- before a suji -- should be a good sharpening kit.

 

How much are you willing to spend.  If you're willing to spend a lot, what do you expect for the extra money?

 

How are you planning to use the knife? 

 

How big is your board?  Do you have room for a long suji?

 

You've got several carbon (i.e., non-stainless) knives in your list.  Really?  That opens things up quite a bit.

 

As it happens I recently bought a Konosuke HD 300mm suji.  It's more expensive than the stainless model but has the same profile and handle.  Even at 300mm it's a very light knife.  The profile is excellent, best slicer I've ever used, and puts it at the outer limits of agility and versatility.  I'm chopping with it like I would with a gyuto and trimming like I would with a petty.  At the moment, it's my favorite knife.  Konosuke's stainless sujis are very much on par -- except for the edge qualities which are typical Swedish stainless.  If you're open to carbon, you might want to seriously consider Konosuke's White #2 instead of the stainless.

 

The Misono UX-10 is something of an idea whose time has past.  The profile is very low which makes the knife less versatile unless you have a truly good grip, and they're not the easiest knives to sharpen. 

 

On the other hand, you have a few carbons in your list, but not the Misono Sweden -- which is absolutely outstanding.  Everything else being equal (it never is though), the Sweden is my first recommendation for people who want a modern, carbon, yo-suji (western handle).  With its comfortable handle, engraved dragon, edge taking and holding, it's just that little bit better than the Kikuichi carbon.

 

You might also want to consider one of the carbon Sabatiers.  K-Sab and Thiers-Issard each sell a number of excellent slicers.

 

Oops.  I'm going on and on about carbon knives and I don't even know if you can live with one.  They don't demand much extra care, but when they need attention they need it RIGHT NOW.  Accordingly, they're not for everybody.

 

BDL

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post #3 of 190
Thread Starter 

hi there BDL

 

thanks for the info, and the questions. i'll try to explain a bit more about my situation....

 

first off, i'm a home cook. i work long hours during the week so i only really get to cook anything interesting that might require a decent amount of prep at the weekend. i haven't honed my knife skills in a professional kitchen, so i don't really know a great deal about what i do and don't like about kitchen knives yet.

 

i am trying to learn about proper knife skills. so i'm trying to put together a decent set of knives which i can learn with, and learn from, and which will grow with me as i get better.

 

so far i own the following knives:

 

Togiharu G-1 Petty 150mm
Tojiro DP Santoku 170mm
Mac Superior bread 270mm
and am waiting for these 2 knives to clear customs:
MAC Pro Paring 80mm
Masamoto VG Gyuto 240mm
 
all the knives above are stainless. in general i think that suits me better than carbon. but if carbon is considered better suited to a suji than stainless then i don't mind having a carbon suji.
 
my sharpening skills are a work in progress. i can put a decent edge on a knife, but the bevel that i create on the knife edge is not uniform throughout the length of the blade. i have a 1000 grit global whetstone which is a decent size - 210mm x 70mm. i found the Tojiro DP fractionally easier to sharpen than the Togiharu G-1, but both are significantly easier to sharpen than my old global knives.
 
i have an end grain knife block which is a good size i think. its 360mm (front to back) x 400mm (left to right) and 60mm thick. it says "Olive & Thyme" on the underside - i picked it up cheap from TK Maxx. if i'm cutting meat i generally put a smaller plastic board (240mm x 340mm) on top of it for hygiene reasons.
 
for the handle, i'd prefer to either stick with something like the Tojiro DP, or go for a japanese style handle (i've never tried a japanese style handle before!). I'd prefer to avoid the more unusual western style handles/bolsters (eg: Nenox, Glestain, UX10). if i did go for a japanese handle, i'd prefer if it was black so it wasn't totally mismatched with my other knives.
 
i'd prefer to avoid any aesthetic gimmicks like hammered or damascus steel (or hammered and damascus steel). the dragon engraving on the misono sweden isn't really for me either.
 
in terms of cost i don't really mind if it is expensive or cheap. i'd rather not spend more than $300 and would prefer to spend half that much ideally. i'm expecting nothing more than to try to get the best knife i can afford to get.
 
right now the one i'm drawn to the most is the Kikuichi Performance TKC Sujihiki 270mm @ $191.96. that's based on price vs prominence (prominence as perceived by me as a lay person).
 
what do you think?
post #4 of 190

I think you should hold off until you've had the opportunity to play with your Masamoto for awhile.  That will give us some insight into what you like.

 

The 27cm Misono Sweden is a great choice if you can make the commitment to care for carbon.  The Masamoto VG isn't bad at all if you're going to stick with stainless.  Hard to criticize a Masamoto.  No personal experience, but I hear the TKCs are great knives and doubt you can go wrong. I've always wanted a Misono Sweden, but for one reason or another never got around to buying one.  FWIW, my own slicers are a 30cm Konosuke HD, 10" K-Sabatier au carbone, and 6" T-I "Nogent" (carbon, which I use as a petty) and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of them. 

 

The Konosuke in particular is mind blowingly good, but you seem doubtful about wa-handles.

 

Nicely chosen set, by the way.  Seems like you need more congratulations than advice.

 

Congratulations,

BDL

 

 

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post #5 of 190
Thread Starter 
thanks for the advice BDL

i received the Mac paring and Masamoto gyuto last week and made a few dishes over the weekend so i'd have a chance to play with them a little

based on the knifes i have so far here's what i've gathered so far about what i do and dont like:
* i should stick with stainless steel. i can be a little lazy with my clean up. plus sometimes i work abroad for periods of time and i dont want to worry about having to oil and store my knives.
* i prefer resin handles to wood handles. whatever it is they use on the Masamoto VG i love. i'm not so keen on the Mac wooden handles.
* i like the somewhat chunky handles on the Masamoto VG and Tojiro DP
* 80mm is too short for me as a paring knife. 150mm is great for precision work and filleting, but at the moment it feels a bit big for a paring knife for me. i might end up getting used to the 150mm, but meanwhile i think i'm going to retire the mac parer and get a 120mm petty to replace it.
* the Masamot gyuto is a dash thicker than i'd like for slicing work. i made some fan sliced baked new potatoes (where you slice the spuds but not all the way through), and the thickness of the blade was close to splitting a couple of the potatoes.
* at the moment i dont feel a significant difference between any of the different steels used in each knife. the Tojiro DP is a pretty cheap knife but the blade edge doesnt feel significantly worse than the Masamoto VG. the workmanship on the Masamoto VG does look better finished than the Tojiro DP though.

does any of that help? or am i missing what i should be looking for..?
post #6 of 190

It all makes sense. 

 

Tojiro DPs are made with VG-10 (it's stainless) cores, laminated between two sheets of softer, generic stainless.  Both the MAC and Masamoto are probably made from VG-1 -- an alloy from the same maker (Takefu), very good but slightly less prestigious.  Everything else being equal you can supposedly get VG-10 slightly sharper, but everything else never is.  

 

There's a lot to like about the Tojiro, as long as you don't mind it showing its budget roots.  There are things not to like too.  I think the handles are boxy, the F&F indifferent, and don't care for any 3 layer, western style knife because they feel damped to me.  That's a minority thing though.  Most people don't notice it or don't care.

 

Most people prefer MAC handles over any other Japanese, "yo" (western-style) handle.  It doesn't matter, because you aren't most people.  Just saying.  I really like the MAC's profile a lot, and I appreciate its stiffness as well.  But -- for me -- the Masamoto's profile is better still, and definitely the best profiled gyuto for me -- perhaps because it's so much lie a Sabatier.  Masamoto VG sujis are excellent knives too.

 

If you want a super thin suji, you might want to think about getting a "laser."  It would mean using a "wa" (Japanese style) handle, but if you have a good, adaptable grip, that's no biggie.  I have a 300mm (12") Konosuke HD (semi-stainless and beaucoup expensive) suji, absolutely love it, and it's currently the knife I use most often.  The HD series is ridiculously expensive.  Konosuke's stainless knives are still quite high priced but not quite so extreme.  You don't give up very much for the savings either, a little hardness, a little sharpening "feel," and perhaps a tiny bit of absolute sharpness potential.

 

BDL

 

 

 

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post #7 of 190
Thread Starter 

BDL

 

do you mean that a "wa" (Japanese style) handle generally means that you get a thinner blade than with a western handle?

 

if so that is very interesting...

 

is this the stainless Konosuke that you were referring to(?): http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kowa271.html

 

i totally respect your opinion on the Konusuke, but if i was going to get a wa handle then i'd love to find a black handled one so that it matched a little bit with what i already have. am i aesthetically superficial? yes indeed - guilty as charged.

 

i saw this Masanobu which i quite liked: http://www.korin-france.fr/nos-collections/marques/masanobu-couteau-japonais/vg-10/masanobu-vg-10-sujihiki-2.html

 

What do you think of the Masanobu VG-10 suji? it seems like a good fit between what i'm trying to find and what you suggest will suit me?

 

post #8 of 190

do you mean that a "wa" (Japanese style) handle generally means that you get a thinner blade than with a western handle?

 

As a general rule, it's true.

 

is this the stainless Konosuke that you were referring to(?): http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kowa271.html

 

Yep.

 

i totally respect your opinion on the Konusuke, but if i was going to get a wa handle then i'd love to find a black handled one so that it matched a little bit with what i already have. am i aesthetically superficial? yes indeed - guilty as charged.

 

It's certainly doable.  A lot of people do custom wa re-handle jobs.  It isn't cheap, though.

 

i saw this Masanobu which i quite liked: http://www.korin-france.fr/nos-collections/marques/masanobu-couteau-japonais/vg-10/masanobu-vg-10-sujihiki-2.html  What do you think of the Masanobu VG-10 suji? it seems like a good fit between what i'm trying to find and what you suggest will suit me? 

 

Decent but way overpriced for what it is.  Despite what Korin says about  "la finesse de la lame..." they aren't particularly thin at the edge -- about as thin as Sabatier carbons.  Lovely cosmetics with their black handles and silver ferrules, but otherwise run of the mill VG-10 san-mai in the same league as Shun.  I'm not doing a good of reviewing them.  I don't actually hate them.  Not only that, it's a mistake to overvalue what most people would perceive as relatively minor differences in performance and which take some serious sharpening and knife skills to manifest at all.  They're not Konosuke HD, Tadatsuna or Suisuin Inox Honyaki, but you're the one who has to live with the knife.  If you really like the way Masanobus look, they're certainly good enough so as not to get in your way and far better performers than most people ever get to use.


BDL

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post #9 of 190
Thread Starter 

Thanks again BDL!

 

So looks like i have 3 choices:

 

1) get a great Suji with a wa-handle (like the Konusuke Swedish Stainless or HD) and have it re-handled. cost wise i'm looking at approx $215-285 plus the cost of rehandling. i like the idea of this but i have no idea where to look or who to speak to or what it would cost to arrange the re-handling. do you have any recommends for people or companies that do this? ideally i'm looking for a black resin handle (or similar) which i'm sure a lot of re-handlers will think is an odd request...(?)

 

2) get an average Suji with wa-handle like the Masanobu VG-10 which has the handle finish i'm looking for. cost is approx $370. but i don't get the true benefits of the wa-handle as the blade isn't very thin. and as attractive as the finish is the lack of performance kinda defeats the object of getting a wa handle right? seems like instead of this option i might as well go for option 3...

 

3) get an average Suji with a western handle (like the Masamoto VG or Togiharu G-1) which has the handle finish i'm looking for. This is certainly the cheapest option - around $180-200. but you don't get the best performance that you could for this type of knife due to the thickness of the blade...

 

right now my fav option is to get a re-handled Konusuke Swedish Stainless suji - that would be awesome... can you hook a brother up with some info and advice on re-handling?

post #10 of 190

That's a fair way of looking at it.  There are a few knife sites that have relationships with guys who do handles, or at least used to.  I don't really keep up with this stuff.  I think Japanese Knife Sharpening, Epicurean Edge and Chefs Knives To Go can all accomodate you. 

 

Your best bet is probably to go on a real knife forum and ask around.  My favorite is Fred's Cutlery Forum which one of the Foodie Forums.  It's a little more civilized and normal than the Knife Forum -- which can be very "personality driven," if you know what I mean.

 

It won't be cheap.

 

Then there are knives available with the sorts of handles you like.  Tadatsuna makes some of the best stainless lasers in the world, and I think they have a couple of handles you'll want.  The knives aren't cheap -- significantly more expensive than a Konosuke SS (but a better knife) -- and the handle is a significant upcharge as well.  

 

I like western handled slicers and don't believe you gain that much with a wa handle, unless you're a very, very good sharpener.  And even then...

 

Your best bet is to buy whatever knife you want when you're ready, with a stock handle, and try it for awhile.  You may really like the stock handle, and/or your feelings about matching knives may change.  

 

I all kinds of knives and handles, and think it looks good.  It sort of makes a mistake that you care more about what the knives do than how they look -- which is a darn good look. 

 

BDL

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post #11 of 190

Quote BDL; "...Decent but way overpriced for what it is.  Despite what Korin says about  "la finesse de la lame..." they aren't particularly thin at the edge -- about as thin as Sabatier carbons.  Lovely cosmetics with their black handles and silver ferrules, but otherwise run of the mill VG-10 san-mai in the same league as Shun.  I'm not doing a good of reviewing them...."

 

No, Masanobu is made of full VG10 instead of "san-mai", aka sandwiched vg10 between two cheaper layers. I love the design of this knife. I was contemplating to buy a few of those but I switched to Hattori FH, also full VG10 and also a fabulous knife.  Quality has a price, cfr. Nenox http://www.japan-messer-shop.de/Nenohi-Cutlery/Nenohi-S1/?XTCsid=iedbj4p8mst2qes4o42plljnu0 .

 

Ruscal, a suji is mostly the least used knife in a home situation!!! However, whenever needed, a spectacular knife contributes to the fun of a dinnerparty. Imagine slicing a turkey at christmas in front of the family with a knife like that..

 

Another, probably the very best slicer around, is the Hiromoto AS, which is a san-mai construction. The core steel is the toughest carbonsteel around, the outer sides are stainless. I own a few Hiromotos, they are fabulous and unbeatable in cutting capacity! Available at JCK straight from Japan. Also, Dave Martell has done quite a number of rehandlings. Want to see some of his work in a series of images? Here;

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?150-Western-Re-Handle-Gallery

 

Also, it's not Masanobu, but surely the best alternative together with Nenox. Here are the Hattori FHs I bought from JCK Japan. There's a 270mm slicer in there which is the best length for a slicer imo. The handle is in micarta and is sculpted to a hand's contour. If you're an European, go for JCK, they will turn out to be the cheapest in your situation; http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/products.html

 

HattoriKF.jpg

post #12 of 190

Chris was right about the Masanobu not being san-mai, but rather "mono-steel."  I stand by the rest of my critique though.  It's thick (as wa-sujis go), heavy (because of the handle), expensive, and not particularly good -- or at least not for the price.  Korin pushes them pretty hard, and they have something of a reputation among Korin's customers in Europe (where they are absolutely one of the very best sources for Japanese knives) and New York; but otherwise not so much. 

 

That said, it's important to keep context in mind and some semblance of reality.  It's still a very good knife.  At these elevated prices, any knife better darn well be good.  But enough with the fair and balanced.  Let's go back to the whining, it's more fun.

 

Knife context is nothing without a discussion of edge qualities.  They may be the be-all-end-all of knives, but if they aren't, nothing else is very close.  It's easy for a reviewer (or me, for that matter) to make very nuanced distinctions, but not only do most people not sharpen well enough to ever tell the difference, you're taking my abilities on faith.  Further, few of those who do maintain their knives, maintain them at such a consistently high level of performance that absolute edge taking abilities of high-end steel are tested in ordinary home use.  So, how important is it really?  I can't answer for you, but can only say it's of highest importance to me as I use knives, and report my experiences accordingly.

 

The Masanobu is made from a Takefu stainless alloy they call VG-10.  VG-10 is a very good alloy and had something of a reputation as being THE wonder stainless.  At least it was sold that way; and the gospel preached by a number of experts who should have known better.  In fact, it's just one very good stainless among several others including VG-1, VG-5, a couple of the "Swedish" steels, ginsanko (aka G3), etc.  Again, we return to absolute edge taking and holding abilities.  VG-10, hardened to 59 is good stuff no doubt, but edge geometry counts for more. 

 

Some VG-10 knives are quite prone to chipping -- Shun for instance.  I believe Masanobu has that rep as well, but am not sure.  I had lunch today with "KC," a guy who knows a LOT about knives, certainly more than me, we talked about Masanobus, and he was the one who brought that up.  He also used the term "chunky." 

 

The real difference though in a usable edge, providing you have the sharpening skills to exploit it, lies in geometry -- and that's where the lasers like Tadatsuna, Suisun Honyaki, Konosuke, etc., come in.  Provided you can live with the thinness, they are just plain better.  It's hard to talk about sharpness as an absolute, because the term can mean so many things, but, everything else remotely approaching equal, lasers certainly ACT sharper.  That's just how thin is.

 

In my opinion the Hattori Forum Knives are excellent, and the yo-handled FH knives Chris pictured are as good as "yo" VG-10 gets.  What Hattori knows that no one else does, I don't know.  But it's something important.

 

I actually owned four Hiromoto AS knives -- two gyutos, a suji, and a petty.  (AS means "Aogami Super," another wonder steel, but this time carbon.  As Chris noted, the AS is sandwiched between layers of plain-jane soft stainless.)  We bought them a few years ago with the idea of replacing my old Sabatier carbons which made up our "core set."  The Hiromoto handles were short and narrow, nowhere near as good as our au carbones or Nogents, and  neither my wife nor I cared for them.  Their reputation for edge taking was overblown.  Yes they got very sharp, but not any better than my carbon Sabatiers when both were sharpened to similar angles.  While the Hiros did hold their edges longer, they were more prone to chipping and not as easy to maintain.  (Like every other san-mai knife, they felt "damped" to me -- I'm not the only person who feels that way about san-mai -- KC, for instance, compares them to condoms -- but it's definitely a minority opinion and probably doesn't apply to you.)   Moral of the story:  We loved them so much we kept the Sabs and moved the Hiros along.  A lot of people though, absolutely swear by Hiromoto AS.  Who's to say?  It's all very individual.  I just calls 'em as I sees 'em.

 

FWIW, we currently have four "slicers:"  A 15cm SS Konosuke petty -- a "petty" is a 5" - 8" slicer-profile which gets used for a lot of things, and around here that includes a fair amount of trimming; a 6" Nogent slicer(carbon Sabatier), used in the same way; a 10" K-Sabatier au carbone; and a 30cm Konosuke HD, which at the moment, is my most frequently used knife for pretty much everything which isn't way too heavy duty.

 

I'm surprised that Chris doesn't use his slicer(s) that often.  Maybe we just do more trimming, portioning and slicing 'round here.

 

One of the things which makes the Konosuke 30cm suji so versatile is its agility.  Not only does it have a splendid profile, and a handle which suits me to a "t," its light weight (just a skosh over 4oz, compared to 7oz for a Masanobu 27cm) makes me less aware of its length than I would otherwise be.  Another is how easy it is to make and keep sharp.  Sharper than the factory edge -- which wasn't bad.  These are qualities the Masanobu does not possess to anywhere the same degree.  On the other hand, it does have a very pretty handle. 

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/21/11 at 9:16pm
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post #13 of 190

Quote BDL; ...Some VG-10 knives are quite prone to chipping -- Shun for instance. I believe Masanobu has that rep as well, but am not sure. I had lunch today with "KC," a guy who knows a LOT about knives, certainly more than me, we talked about Masanobus, and he was the one who brought that up. He also used the term "chunky." ...

 

You're talking about the guy that posts as "kcma" on Foodie Forum, banned from Knife forum. Determing a knife as "chunky" is hardly an objective professional opinion, nor the qualification for Hiromotos; quote BDL; "...KC, for instance, compares them to condoms". ..

To be honest, having read a lot of kmca's posts in the past on both knifeforums, I wouldn't give 1 cent for his opinion on knives! Above all, he goes on and on, and on, to use only 3 knives, being a yanagiba, a deba and another one that I don't remember. Hardly nimble knives compared to the Konosuke lightweight. He's also the person that quoted that the mass of a knife is very important, hence why he uses his heavy unorthodoxly sharpened traditional japanese knives! This is where my 1 cent goes to as far as kcma's opinion on knives is concerned. Indeed, a heavy knife, like Germans for instance and some of the contemporary Japanese knives, all well sharpened of course, will cut faster and better than a very light knife like a Konosuke and other very thin lightweights.

 

Quote BDL; ...I think Japanese Knife Sharpening, Epicurean Edge and Chefs Knives To Go can all accomodate you. ...

 

If there's one persons opinion I would value very highly, certainly on Konosukes, it would be Jon Broida's from Japanese Knife Imports, the first in the US to sell Konosuke, practically a neighbour of you BDL, I presume, and as you well know, he worked shortly in the restaurant where... kcma works! I wonder why you don't mention Jon Broida to potential Konosuke buyers? Many posters on all knifeforums are very fond of him and his wife and appreciate his knowledge on knives and sharpening in general, his professionalism and his personal service when selling knives.

 

In case readers are interested;

Foodie Forum; http://www.foodieforums.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?6-Fred-s-Cutlery-Forum&s=ebbaed4f63984aba4ece20dd55005f0e

Kitchenforum; http://knifeforums.com/forums/showforum.php?fid/26/

Jon Broida - Konosuke; http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/

  

post #14 of 190

Chris,

 

I not only know Jon but consider him a friend.  Not a close friend exactly, but we've had lunch together, talked on the phone numerous time, waved knives around in parking lots, addressed one another in forums, and we are certainly friendly.  It's funny you should ask why I don't mention Jon to potential Konosuke buyers, when I not only frequently do so here and in other fora, but did a very positive piece on him in my blog (vis a vis Konosuke specifically, and other things too), and consider him to be one of the premier dealers of Japanese knives and stones in the US. 

 

Speaking of friends, Jon's pretty close to KC and respects him a great deal both as cook and a knife maven.  I'd say they share most, if not all, of their knife views.  The reason I didn't recommend Jon's shop to ruscal was because the subject was replacing wa-handles, and Japanese Knife Imports does not (yet) provide that service. 

 

I'm not sure why you felt the need to dis KC, but he's a very close friend and I resent it.   It's not exactly a scarlet letter, but KC was "kicked off" the Knife Forum for rude language and combativeness, not for incompetence.  If competence was a necessity, the site would be depopulated. 

 

KC is a really, really good knife technician, and really does know his stuff when it comes to sharpening and buying too.  While still on the subject, although he's currently using the "trinity" of Japanese professional knives (deba, usuba, yanagiba), he used to use pretty much nothing but gyutos -- Includng Aritsugu "A," Masamoto (wa), and Tadatsuna.  You can never be sure about those sorts of things, but I believe KC's online postings were instrumental to the Aritsugu gyuto's popularity.  After he moved on from Aritsugu, about three years ago, his ginsanko Tadatsuna was the first "laser" gyuto I ever used (at a cooking tutorial for CIA cooking students which he taught and at which I assisted).  FWIW, we don't agree about everything but I certainly listen to KC and respect his knowledge on all things knife.  

 

While I did recommend the Konosuke SS suji as a good knife of its type and price, it's only one among several.  I have no stake in what ruscal ultimately chooses, and just don't feel any sort of validation if someone chooses what I use or recommend -- which usually aren't the same. 

 

I haven't recommended any Konosuke retailers in particular in this thread, because ruscal's thinking hasn't evolved that far -- nor as he evinced any particular interest in Konosukes in particular or "lasers" in general.  If and when the time comes to talk dealers, the recommendation would certainly include, Jon.  But not Dave (your "David Martell").  Dave sells a very limited selection of knives, none remotely suitable for ruscal.  Also Dave doesn't do JKS's handle work as you implied, Stefan Kellar does.

 

By the way, I just got off the phone with Jon.  He, KC and I are in total accord about the Masanobus.  Of the three of us, KC probably likes VG-10 the best, but we all agree that the Masanobus are bad VG-10 -- chippy, and unpleasant on the stones; they're thick; and their absolute edge taking is limited.  Each of us dislikes their geometry -- both edge and profile.  Jon called them very badly balanced.  I think they're graceless, as much a product of their profile as their ridiculously awkward back-weighting.  In any case all three of us agree they lack agility.  They are not knives you'd choose to trim with -- one of the suji's primary raisons d'etre.  Even my Forschner Fibrox cimiter does a better job.  I'd say "one man's opinion," but not only is it three, we all know what we're talking about.

 

It's a sad thing because Masanobus are certainly attractive.

 

Your name came up in the conversation with Jon.  I didn't realize he'd employed you to do some visuals for him in the past. Jon and I agree you are a real talent in that area. 

 

BDL

 

PS.  Ruscal, if you're still with us, apologies for the hijack.


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/22/11 at 1:05pm
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post #15 of 190
Thread Starter 

lol. that was interesting..!!! 

 

 

i'm still here. and i have ordered a suji!!

 

i actually got in touch with Konosuke-Sakai directly and have been emailing back and forth with a very nice chap called Kosuke. at least I think he's a chap. he could be a chapette. apologies Kosuke-san for not knowing which you really are!!

 

anyway, my new pal Kosuke explained that Konosuke can add a custom handle. see pic below for the options and prices.

 

handles.jpg

 

i went for the Wa-Sujihiki 270mm swedish stainless with the special order handle "J" - which is "ebony octagonal handle with a silver spacer (about 2mm width) between ferrule and ebony"

 

it should take a week before they can ship it.

 

so, yes - looks like i officially got to get my cake and eat it too!!

 

 
thanks BDL for the advice. your experience has enabled me to find what i think will be a really great knife!
 
and thanks too Chris - i appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences
post #16 of 190

My suggestion is to find out how much the ebony options weigh compared to an ordinary ho wood octagon with a horn ferrule.  If you make the knife too back-heavy it will become hard to point and a great deal more awkward for both trimming and chopping.

 

I love my Konosukes, and am sure you will love yours just as much.  Make sure you do it in the best of health. 

 

BDL

 

 

 

 

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post #17 of 190

Quote Ruscal; ...i went for the Wa-Sujihiki 270mm swedish stainless with the special order handle "J" - which is "ebony octagonal handle with a silver spacer (about 2mm width) between ferrule and ebony"...

 

I remember Knifeforums organized a groupbuy from Konosuke. Adam, posting as Watercrawl at Knifeforums bought a similar one as yours. There's a few pictures too!

Nice buy, I love that "j" handle!

  

Groupbuy Konosuke thread Knifeforums;

http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showtopic.php?tid/847438/ 

post #18 of 190
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by boar_d_laze

My suggestion is to find out how much the ebony options weigh compared to an ordinary ho wood octagon with a horn ferrule.  If you make the knife too back-heavy it will become hard to point and a great deal more awkward for both trimming and chopping.

 

why would the ebony be significantly heavier than the ho wood? that doesn't make sense to me...?

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium

I remember Knifeforums organized a groupbuy from Konosuke. Adam, posting as Watercrawl at Knifeforums bought a similar one as yours. There's a few pictures too!

Nice buy, I love that "j" handle!

 

 

i can see 13 that have either the B or F handle, and 14 that are either D, E or H, plus 1 I and a couple of K's, but i can't see any J's on that link...?

 

d y'all think i ordered the western style K handle? J looks to me to be real similar looking to the standard ho wood handle...

 

handle%20J.jpg

 

i like that group buy though!! soooo many knives......!!!!!!

post #19 of 190

Oh, you're right Ruscal, I looked at the J-shaped handle instead the J-indicated one on your image.

Still, I like the J-shaped one, makes me think of the fabulous Nenox handles.

Of course it would be so nice of you to post a picture of your new acquisition in due time, ...probably a very sexy looking cutting device!

post #20 of 190
Thread Starter 

thanks chris!

 

i will definately post pics once it arrives. that'll probably take 2 or 3 weeks though... a week for them to send it.. a few days for it to get to the uk... and then a week of it sitting in customs before i can pay the import duties and they release it for delivery...

 

that j-shaped handle K looks pretty cool on the custom knife that your recommended seller Jon at Japanese Knife Imports had made up with Konosuke - did you see it? here's a link:

 

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/konosuke-sakai/gesshin-konosuke-special-edition-285mm-kiritsuke-shaped-sujihiki.html

post #21 of 190

No. I knew exactly which handle you ordered.  Ebony is significantly denser than "ho," which is fairly light.  The metal spacer adds some weight as well. 

 

I'm not saying it's "too heavy," merely suggesting that you check and see what it does weigh.  While I have my own preferences, I don't expect them to be yours.  Nor is it my or anyone else's call as to what is and what is not too heavy or too anything else for you.  You should have enough facts to make informed decisions, though, and you're worth the of my experience and knowledge -- limited as they are. 

 

As it happens, I know someone who got a "J" (or  it could have been an "L") handle for a Tadatsuna and was unhappy with it because the handle's weight changed much of what he liked about the knife to begin with -- not to mention the significant upcharge.  Why should you be poorer and unhappy too?

 

BDL

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post #22 of 190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post
Why should you be poorer and unhappy too?

BDL


exactly why i haven't gotten married yet...(!) smile.gif

 

okay, kewl. thanks for the clarification. i have asked my good pal Kosuke-san what the difference in weight is between handle "C" and handle "J" - and will report back to let you know what he says.

 

what i do know meanwhile is that for Konosuke Suji's the thickness of the blade is the same between the wa-handle and the western handle types. but there is a significant weight difference between them:

 

 

270mm Suji - Western Pakka wood handle type ; 2.2mm / 180g
270mm Suji - Wa Ho-wood magnolia octagonal handle type ; 2.2mm / 110g

 

post #23 of 190
Thread Starter 

so i heard back from Kosuke...

 

handle C: weighs about 33g

handle J: weighs about 70g
 
so if the 270mm Wa-handle Suji with Ho-wood magnolia octagonal handle type weighs 110g
 
then the 270mm Wa-handle Suji with ebony octagonal handle with a silver spacer between ferrule and ebony weighs 147g
 
wow. i didn't expect such a significant weight difference... very interesting....
 
still, on the plus side it is still 33g lighter than the western style handle...
 
if anyone is interested here are a couple of more weights i found out:
F (rosewood); about 45g

I (ebony); about 70g

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by ruscal - 7/30/11 at 12:35am
post #24 of 190

Just under four or just over five ounces.  Neither is exactly a tub of lard, but yes it's a difference. 

 

Are you planning on keeping your knife in a saya?

 

BDL

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post #25 of 190
Thread Starter 

i wasn't planning on keeping this knife in a saya... i have a magnetic wooden thingy which i use for storing my knives... see pic below...

 

photo.JPG

post #26 of 190
Thread Starter 

Konosuke sent me pics of my finished knife today!

They wanted me to check that i'm happy before they send the knife - not sure what "bad" things i'm supposed to look for?

 

Can anyone see anything which is a problem in the 2 pics below??

 

IMG_2113.JPG

 

IMG_2115.JPG

post #27 of 190

Beautiful knife.

 

BDL

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post #28 of 190
Thread Starter 

she's a looker, huh? smile.gif

post #29 of 190

SO good looking.  And I'll bet she performs like a dream, too.


Edited by Wagstaff - 7/30/11 at 7:40am
post #30 of 190

Very elegant and indeed very sexy knife!

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