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Hattori FH

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience with the Hattori FH gyuto? Do you like it/ Is it worth the money? Pros/Cons?

 

I've also been looking at the JCK house brand knives-- Specifically the VG-10 series. From what I can see, both knives seem to be similar with the exception of price. Again, Has anyone tried the JCK house brand -- Pros and Cons?

 

So I guess my question really boils down to: Is the Hattori FH worth the extra money?

 

Any help would be grand,

 

Brandon

post #2 of 14

Hi Brandon,

 

I don't know how much help this is, but I'll contribute what I can...

 

I have both. I have the KG-2 150mm petty and it came crazy sharp...the handle's a bit small but I actually don't find that I notice that to be a drawback at all. I did a fair amount of small prep with it on Saturday (shaving the flesh out of peppers, slicing tomatoes thinly for a salad, etc) and it performed VERY well. I grabbed it because my Hattori HD gyuto wasn't cutting it (pun intended). 

 

I also have the Hattori FH-13C 270mm sujihiki with the cocobolo handle. I actually haven't had occasion to use it (it just arrived on Thursday) but I can tell you that it feels like magic in my hand and I really wish I'd bought the Hattori FH rather than the HD. The HD's great, but the FH is just...indescribable in my hand. Hard to say too much without having really used it, but I have a feeling that it's fantastic. 

 

Also, ordering from JCK was awesome - their shipping method is super fast and efficient and priced very reasonably.

 

Of course, the price difference is significant, so it depends what you're looking for and how much you want to spend.

post #3 of 14

I tried the FH tonight, just for you. Sliced tomatoes like they were nothing (just took a slight slide to get through the skin) and I cut cucumbers so thin I couldn't pick them off the board. Also did a nice job on some gruyere and slot the resultant sandwiches cleanly. All with a really nice feel. 

 

I know it's not much to go on but it's something slightly more than nothing. Only slightly though. 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Okay, that helps quite a bit thankyou!

post #5 of 14

Keep in mind that there's a certain amount of self-validation...sure, I like the knife, but I also recognize that I want to like the knife because I just paid over $200 for it. That's the problem with opinions on these things...

post #6 of 14
Don't confuse what you can get with almost any thin, sharp knife as opposed to what you can get from a specific thin, sharp knife. By definition the differences aren't to be found in tomato cutting.

In that respect the FH is like just about every other thin, sharp knife. If you want to know what makes it different you'll have to learn about how well it takes and holds an edge, it's susceptibility to chipping, its agility, comfort, weight, quality of the workmanship, what the profile's like, and all the other stuff that go into making a knife special. It's a very good knife which competes pretty well in its price range, all things considered; but you can say that about a bunch of knives in the same price range. Right for lots of people? Sure. Right for you? I don't know.

If for no other reason than it won't last very long, it's not a good idea for most people to allow ootb sharpness to be a major factor in choosing one expensive knife over another. Lots of new knives cut tomatoes and cucumber like nobody's business.

BDL
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post #7 of 14

Yes, I meant to say that too, BDL - that it did what I would expect any decently sharp knife to do well.

 

Now, as to your other factors:

 

- susceptibility to chipping - no idea and I hope not to have to find out

- agility - nice and light and moves nicely for a blade of its size

- comfort - very comfortable, great handle (which is in theory, a bit irrelevant with a proper grip), great "hand-feel"

- weight - light but just right - I think it weighed in at about 140g, if I remember the scale correctly (could be 180, though...and I know that's a big difference...I just don't remember)

- quality of the workmanship - over the top great - it's truly wonderful to even look at, much less touch and hold

- profile - see any number of pictures and decide if you like it, I guess

- all the other stuff - depends what that entails for you

 

I have yet to sharpen it (it definitely won't be the first "good knife" that I have that I take to the stones), so I can't comment on its ability to take or hold an edge, which, arguably (even I have come to see this), is probably the most significant thing after simple comfort.

post #8 of 14
Sorry Deputy, I knew you knew... I was really writing to Brandonkill.

The FH is an excellent all around knife, one of very few which has a VG-10 blade actually living up to the VG-10 hype. And it's by-God gorgeous.

Enjoy it in the best of health,
BDL
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post #9 of 14

Yeah, I understood -  the best part was that you actually helped me express my thoughts in a coherent fashion by addressing the specific issues that are more relevant than "it sure did slice stuff good!"

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

@BDL I know, I've been lurking around here long enough to understand that you can't judge a knife on OOTB sharpness only (lol, that sounded a bit stalkerish didn't it crazy.gif), I am looking for a comparison between the two knives so I can accurately guage if the FH is worth the extra $100. I do want to know about the FH's and the JCK's profile, edge retention, weight, agility, finish, and comfort (any insights would be awesome). Like I said earlier, I'm looking for the pros and cons of each knife-- not just the sharpness. On a side note, you say the knife lives up to the VG-10 hype but does it still have the burr issues associated with other VG-10 Knives?

 

@Deputy Thanks for your reply. I hate to bother, but could you give me a little more info (profile, craftsmanship, weight, etc.) on the JCK VG-10?

 

 

 

 

I should have mentioned this before but I currently am using a 210mm Misono Swedish. Great knife but I'm finding it a bit too small so I'm looking to move up to the 240mm and would prefer something non/less reactive.

 

 

Regards,

Brandon

post #11 of 14
I've had some hands on with both knives, but very little with either. Call it "imperfect ignorance." I'll tell you what I can.

The FH and Kagayaki are in entirely different categories. The Kagayaki VG-10 is a big bang for the buck knife, entry level VG-10, with short, narrow handles, and medium F&F. The FH is a top-end offering by a top-end manufacturer, which happens to be gorgeous. There aren't any negatives to the FH. The worst things you can say about it is that it's pricey, you're not a huge fan of VG-10, and you're not a huge fan of Hattori's profile.

From what I hear, the Kagayaki is less prone to chipping than many other VG-10s; but even in that respect is not as well done as the FH. The Kagayaki had a big impact on the knife forums when JCK first released it -- lots of enthusiasm. But it's really dropped out of sight since the CarboNext came out. It's hard not to read that as lack of enthusiasm.

I'm not sure if I said it here or in another thread or even on another board... Everyone I know who's had an FH loved it, and eventually sold it after a year or so to replace it with something more "Japanese." Everyone. What to make of that, who knows? Striking, though. If I were looking for a $200+ stainless, yo-gyuto, there are several I'd take over he FH, including the Gesshin Ginga, Konosuke HD (semi-stainless), Masamoto VG, and Tadatsuna yo-gyutos. The Richmond Remedy is supposed to be very good, too.

If you're already a good sharpener, I think the Kagayaki CarboNext is a far better all around knife and better competition for the FH. Phaedrus (who participates on CT) is a big fan of CarboNext, and if I'm not mistaken owned an FH for awhile. You might consider a PM

It's good perspective to be aware that there's a lot of guess in choosing a knife. Even if you had access to a wide range -- which very few people do -- it would still be very difficult to find the time and produce to meaningfully test them. For instance, how many times do you have to sharpen a knife to say you know it? Also be mindful that there are quite a few knives which will fall into the "best for you" category. At this stage, you need to understand that there's a difference between "bang for the buck" and "near ultimate." If you want and can afford a top of the line knife, you probably won't be happy with a bang for the buck blade no matter how good it is. Once you've decided which ocean you want to sail, we can better help you navigate it.

BDL

PS. CKtG and I have a "commercial relationship." That is, I'm writing technique pieces for CKtG and will be doing some equipment reviewing as well.
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post #12 of 14

I'll just quote myself to give you the same factors and thoughts on the Kagayaki:
 


It does what I would expect any decently sharp knife to do well.

 

Now, as to your other factors:

 

- susceptibility to chipping - no idea and I hope not to have to find out

- agility - nice and light and thin and moves nicely 

- comfort - very comfortable, and the handle isn't an issue for how I'm using mine (as a petty/utility). The handle is a bit small, but I haven't noticed that to be an issue, at all and don't mind in the slightest. The handle is very smooth and well constructed (and it's a cool purple colour). The spine is a bit sharp on the edges, but I haven't noticed that as an issue and didn't notice until I just went and looked at it very carefully for this "review". 

- weight - light but just right - it is a petty after all

- quality of the workmanship - wonderful. No problems at all - the handle is very well done with smooth rivets,tight welds on the bolster, etc. Blade came straight and without visual flaws that I've noticed. Very nice.

- profile - see any number of pictures and decide if you like it, I guess

- all the other stuff - depends what that entails for you

 

I have yet to sharpen it, so I can't comment on its ability to take or hold an edge, which, arguably (even I have come to see this), is probably the most significant thing after simple comfort.


 

So many of the "same" thoughts based on my limited usage to date. I will tell you that I've been very happy with its comfort and performance when using it as a petty. 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
I'm not sure if I said it here or in another thread or even on another board... Everyone I know who's had an FH loved it, and eventually sold it after a year or so to replace it with something more "Japanese." Everyone. What to make of that, who knows? Striking, though. 

 

B - you mentioned this in reference to the KD before. Are you confusing the two or did that happen with both the KD and FH? Can you comment on specific reasons you'd take the other knives over the FH? (not questioning your judgment - just wanting to understand why those others may be better as other people have already asked me about the FH and I'd like to have a more educated viewpoint when responding)

post #13 of 14
Now that you bring it up, I was reporting similar reactions to FH and KD; but those were the reactions. But KD is an ultimate; expensive and almost sacrilegious to use. The KD owners I knew got tired of having expensive drawer queens and wanted something more usable.

On the other hand, FH owners just seemed to grow out it and usually moved on to more "Japanese-ish" knives, without having anything bad to say about the FH. I know a guy who said he got tired of his HC gyuto because it was "boringly perfect" -- maybe the FH reaction expresses similar ennui.

The FH was designed by committee (three or four guys from the Knife Forum aka KF, www.knifeforum.com; plus Hattori-san; plus Koki-san from JCK).com at a time when the Misono UX-10 and Nenox S1 were considered the knives to beat and VG-10 was just emerging as God's anointed alloy. Since then, things have moved on to different steels, including semi-stainless, AEB-L./13C26, and better hardening of perennials like G3 and 19C27. Also lasers and wa handles and the increasing use of traditional Japanese profiles became mainstream with western cooks using high-end Japanese knives. In short, la plus ca change...

It's very common for whatever's "flavor of the month" (especially on the boards) aka "the next knife to save the world," gets reevaluated and understood as merely very good or excellent rather than an individual and revolutionary change in the state of the art.

The FH is still a great knife, but it's not the latest and greatest. I don't want to be too critical of either the KD or the FH, as they're both excellent for their types and deserve respect. You did very well, in my opinion.

BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 2/10/12 at 7:15am
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post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thankyou for all your comments and advice. It is definately a lot to consider. I think I may stick with the FH for now. However, recently I've been looking at a lot of white steel knifes and am starting to lean towards them. So who knows what I'll end up with.

 

Brandon

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