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Is there a Hollywood of J-Knives?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 


Bugger, just reached a decision for my choice of a petty and now was wondering about my last piece of equipment that's still missing, a slicer.
I obviously started browsing the forums and an idea formed into my mind that I wanted a wa handled, japanese sujikiri with a carbon or semi-carbon(semi-stainless?) blade, laser-built.


That's when I started looking for brands and user recommendations were really helpful but... something of a trend started to emerge:
1 - a brand/manufacturer is never heard of except for a few aficionados
2 - that brand/manufacturer would be recommended
3 - a hype around it gets generated
4 - increase in people buying it
5 - manifacture flaws start to reveal themselves
6 - customers/fans get annoyed
Examples I stumbled upon: Takeda (epoxy and blade alignment issues), Moritaka (over grinding issue), Konosuke (blade not firmly fixed into handle) and I'm sure you all know a few more.


Now, I'm aware that's a normal pattern in anything human (empires rise and fall, we all know that) but without going too much into philosophy I'm wandering if it's a case of either:
1 - statistical mathematics i.e. the quality on average remains the same, just more knives around
2 - manufacturer can't cope well with increased demand and F&F degrades over time
3 - something else?


I'd be interested to know your thoughts (and if you would still recommend a Konosuke HD :P)

post #2 of 3

I don't have a suji.  Or I do if you count my 210mm petty (it is a short suji, really).  That said:

 

the sorts of problems you describe -- sure, epoxy and blade alignment issues are a drag, or the blade not firmly fixed into the handle is a drag.  Handy folks can fix those.  And more importantly, you can see those right away and return the knife for one that doesn't have that problem. 

 

The overgrind issue is a different category.  You will see those if you're an experienced sharpener and have run into it before.  Or if it's just not subtle.  If it *is* subtle it takes more of a trained eye, is what I mean.  And, on top of that, you can't do anything about it.  (Or... maybe it'll disappear all by itself by thinning the knife if it's just not serious.  Still... a hole in the edge is what you're worried about, and you can't add metal back to the blade).

 

I suppose what that means is that I'd avoid the Moritaka.  I'm completely CERTAIN it's a minority of knives that have the issue, but unless you're very confident in being able to spot it, and spot whether it's a real issue or not, I would stay away.  (I'm sure I've read some of the same posts as you have).

 

I'd still recommend a Konosuke.  For certainty of fit and finish, even more I'd recommend a Gesshin Ginga.  Or a Suisin INOX Honyaki (oops, that's not carbon).  Or a Zakuri Takobiki.  Or, less expensively, a Yoshihro (Gesshin Uraku) -- but that's also not carbon.  Or.... maybe a bunch of things.  Depending on price.

 

I won't speculate on your three "wondering" questions, though.  And that means I'm a drag for not answering the main set of questions you asked. Sorry! I think all your speculation sounds reasonable, and I don't know.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post

...

the sorts of problems you describe -- sure, epoxy and blade alignment issues are a drag, or the blade not firmly fixed into the handle is a drag.  Handy folks can fix those.  And more importantly, you can see those right away and return the knife for one that doesn't have that problem. 

...

Agree with you, Wag, but the problem is that I'm in NZ and although it's a wonderful country there's no artisan that I know of that has experience in replacing/repairing traditional japanese knives' handles. And anything that involves mailing stuff in or out of the country incurs in absurd shipping fees that most of the time are sufficient to rule certain services out (i.e. 35-40 usd for a single knife or a single handle).

Therefore it is kinda important that a manufacturer has a decent history of reputable F&F. Especially when you spend 200 usd +.

I'd really hate to have to resend it back at my expense.

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