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Moritaka vs Masamoto

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Opinions? Preferably from owners or either/both.I think the Moritaka are the knives with the lacquer so there shouldn't be any patina from use.

 

When a knife shows a patina that is nothing to be concerned about right? It's not going to affect the food being prepared correct? 

 

I'm considering these brands along with MAC and Shun (Premier).

post #2 of 9

My first (and presently only) hand-made Japanese cooking knife, purchased just over a month ago, is a Moritaka — the 210mm Aogami #2 gyuto. I'm still relatively new to the hand-made kitchen knife world (have only been studying it for a few months), but I can say that this blade just sings for me. It is incredibly well-balanced (for my taste in knives, anyway), very light, but still feels substantial enough to demand respect. I really love the rosewood handle, and the fact that the carbon blade is forged to a stainless tang (to prevent damage, corrosion, etc from the inside-out). And, most importantly: it takes a wicked sharp edge, and holds it very, very well.

 

By “lacquer,” I'm guessing you're referring to the kurouchi finish on the blade. This won't prevent a patina from forming (especially on the cutting edge of the blade, where the kurouchi is polished off), but it will slow the corrosive process that leads to rusting of the blade — again, just where the kurouchi hasn't been polished off. The portion of the blade that is “naked,” that being from the edge of the blade up to where the kurouchi begins, is still just as prone to patinating and rusting, and requires the proper care given to any carbon blade (be prompt about cleaning it and keeping it dry; keep a slightly damp and/or dry towel at hand for longer prep sessions).

 

A patina is nothing to be concerned about — in fact, some people work hard to achieve a specific patina. The patina will lessen any negative effect the carbon blade might have on your food (discolouration, foul scent) because it slows the reaction of the carbon in your blade to the acids and other reactive agents in the food. For what it's worth, even without a patina, my Moritaka has never discoloured anything I've cut, including onions and acidic fruits; only caught a bad smell once (mango). It has since developed a lovely, misty patina, and I don't bother polishing it off (though some people prefer to do this). Other board members here can explain global preferences for patinas better than I.

 

Long story short: don't worry about the patina. Practice proper maintenance and care of your carbon blade, and you'll be fine; with time, it will become second nature. It's not really as scary as it might seem (you won't ruin the blade unless you're *really* careless!)

 

I used a MAC santoku recently, and was very impressed with it (very sharp, nicely balanced), though I still prefer the rustic and unique character of my Moritaka (plus, being a carbon blade, it's quicker to sharpen whenever it might need it).

 

I've heard wonderful things about Masamato, too, but haven't had the opportunity to try one myself.

 

(Board members more veteran than I: feel free to correct me if anything I've said is inaccurate!) wink.gif


Edited by cpeters - 5/14/12 at 2:55pm
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. I have been using "throw away knives" (e.g. gets dull...toss). Was considering German knives like Wusthof & Zwilling JR Henckels but heard they don't hold sharpness very well. So more honing and sharpening. 

 

I'll probably consider taking a knife sharpening course offered by my knife/butcher shop (Slice & Sear/The Healthy Butcher, Toronto). Learn to sharpen using whetstones. As I heard some say using diamond abrasives (electric sharpeners) can actually dull the knives. I know Shun makes a "whetstone electric sharpener" that allegedly is used at the factory. So who knows. Might buy one of those instead. 

 

As for Moritaka's and Masamoto's...I'll have to reserve any real judgement till I've had a chance to handle both and use one of at home. Though, I might also end up with MAC or Shun Premiers. Just wanted to hear from forum members regarding the Moritaka's and Masamoto's. Hopefully from personal experience.

 

I am also considering K-Sabatier knives. High quality French (France) knives. Some done in "high carbon" steel (e.g. their Vintage Au Carbone series). They patina too. Holds sharpness very well. You can get them very sharp (unlike the German knives). And they aren't very expensive compared to the Japanese and German knives. 

post #4 of 9
Right on, I ordered my Moritaka from Slice and Sear. Maybe they'll let you try it out? I know they have the 270mm as well.

Definitely agreed re: German knives. Bulky, and a pain to work with (both sharpening and in use) in my experience.

You may know this already, but French knives are generally suited to a different style of cutting than Japanese knives. French knives are often designed with more of a "belly," for rocking motions, while Japanese knives are often flatter-bellied and meant for flat chopping and slicing... if that affects yr decision at all!
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpeters View Post

Right on, I ordered my Moritaka from Slice and Sear. Maybe they'll let you try it out? I know they have the 270mm as well.
Definitely agreed re: German knives. Bulky, and a pain to work with (both sharpening and in use) in my experience.
You may know this already, but French knives are generally suited to a different style of cutting than Japanese knives. French knives are often designed with more of a "belly," for rocking motions, while Japanese knives are often flatter-bellied and meant for flat chopping and slicing... if that affects yr decision at all!

Actually, often the Japanese knives are based on the French profile which is flatter...the German profile is usually the one with the bigger belly (from drinking too much German beer)...

 

Cheers

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpeters View Post

Right on, I ordered my Moritaka from Slice and Sear. Maybe they'll let you try it out? I know they have the 270mm as well.
Definitely agreed re: German knives. Bulky, and a pain to work with (both sharpening and in use) in my experience.
You may know this already, but French knives are generally suited to a different style of cutting than Japanese knives. French knives are often designed with more of a "belly," for rocking motions, while Japanese knives are often flatter-bellied and meant for flat chopping and slicing... if that affects yr decision at all!

Try them out? Definitely. I contacted Mario. He said he would be happy to have the knives ready for me to try. Just need to give him a heads up of course. 

 

Before joining this forum and doing a little online research...I was considering going with either Wusthof or Zwilling JA Henckels. I think they are the "common go to knife" brands for people not interesting in learning about cooking knives. The Sony of the knife world so to speak (not that Sony doesn't make good flatscreens but there are better). 

 

About French knives (e.g. K-Sabatier)...while the traditional French knife has a straight spine and is better suited to slicing/carving K-Sab has yielded some what and does make chef's knives shaped more like German knives. Allowing us to do rocking motions when dicing (if that is our MO). But having said that if I do go with a K-Sab I'll likely go with the Vintage Au Carbone (high carbon, knives with more of a traditional straight spine). They are priced right and can hold a very sharp edge.

 

So will it be Japanese or French? Will have to see when I finally get around to dropping in the Healthy Butcher location and start handling the knives....which actually doesn't accomplish that much. To know which knife you truly like you do have to spend time using them (e.g. over the course of a few months). Too bad we can't "rent" them to try. :)

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinacats View Post

Actually, often the Japanese knives are based on the French profile which is flatter...the German profile is usually the one with the bigger belly (from drinking too much German beer)...

 

Cheers

 

Whoops! Thanks for correcting me on this. I've spent so much time the past few months looking only at Japanese knives, I think my other references must've gotten jumbled… haha!

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post

Try them out? Definitely. I contacted Mario. He said he would be happy to have the knives ready for me to try. Just need to give him a heads up of course. 

 

Before joining this forum and doing a little online research...I was considering going with either Wusthof or Zwilling JA Henckels. I think they are the "common go to knife" brands for people not interesting in learning about cooking knives. The Sony of the knife world so to speak (not that Sony doesn't make good flatscreens but there are better). 

 

About French knives (e.g. K-Sabatier)...while the traditional French knife has a straight spine and is better suited to slicing/carving K-Sab has yielded some what and does make chef's knives shaped more like German knives. Allowing us to do rocking motions when dicing (if that is our MO). But having said that if I do go with a K-Sab I'll likely go with the Vintage Au Carbone (high carbon, knives with more of a traditional straight spine). They are priced right and can hold a very sharp edge.

 

So will it be Japanese or French? Will have to see when I finally get around to dropping in the Healthy Butcher location and start handling the knives....which actually doesn't accomplish that much. To know which knife you truly like you do have to spend time using them (e.g. over the course of a few months). Too bad we can't "rent" them to try. :)

 

Awesome to know they'll let you try them out! I've only dealt with them via their web shop, but they've always been speedy and very friendly to work with.

 

Are you referring to the edge of the French knives being straighter? (I've always seen the top (non-cutting) edge of the knife referred to as the spine, with the cutting edge referred to as the… edge.) I'm just curious as to if they actually changed the spine curvature in addition to the belly or edge curvature.

 

The Au Carbonne do sound like a lovely line! I'll look forward to hearing about your experiences once you've had a chance to try out a few different lines at the shop. :)

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi CP,

 

I was referring to the none cutting edge as the spine. The "back" of the knife. Which the K-Sab Vintage Au Carbone have. Though how straight I don't know.

 

If I end up with K-Sabs I'll definitely come back and tell every one about my experience. But I'm also looking at various Japanese knives like MAC, Masamoto, Moritaka, JCK's Carbonext,...etc.

 

The "home cook" in me would prefer to buy knives from the same manufacturer. Obviously that's not necessary. I think chef's buy the knife that best does the job for them and feels best in their hands. So they usually end up with a collection of many brands.

 

I hope to buy a wood or bamboo block for the knives as I don't want to buy a magnet to afix to a wall. Wouldn't the knives be covered in fine dust? Guess I could get in the habit of rinsing the knives before using...previously I used to just pull them out from the drawer (no I didn't put it in  pile in the drawer with other knives...had a free space...then again I used to use "throw away" knives any how...$20). 

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