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Misono questions / Comparisons

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


A colleague of mine recently received a Misono UX10 Gyuto.  When it came I liked how light and balanced the blade was, but other than that wasn't overly impressed with it.  A few days ago he asked me to sharpen it for him, and today was the first time I've used it since I sharpened it.  There was a noticeable difference in the blade sharpness - it was ridiculously sharp, even sharper then my knives (Kanetsugu Pro-J) series.  


That said, this was just the first time I've used it - I don't know much about the knives and haven't found too much about their edge retention, performance, etc.  Do they hold and edge for a long time, or do they require a lot of maintenance?


However, the UX10 series aren't the cheapest - I'm wondering if anyone knows of any knives that are of comparably quality, but perhaps a bit cheaper.  For instance, how does the JCK carbonext series compare?


Thanks for any help you can provide.

post #2 of 11

A few years ago the Misono UX10 was the knife all the kitchen knife geeks wanted and had to have.   Then something else came along and it became the knife everyone who went to Korin without a plan hated and posted nasty things about.  Now, it's pretty much ignored.


It's an expensive, top of the line, extremely well made knife with excellent F&F.  The profile is very narrow for a new knife which gives it extra agility for a high skilz user; but short life for a frequent sharpener.  Personally, I like the profile but file it under "not for everyone."  Given the advances in the market, I wouldn't buy a UX-10 for myself or as anyone else; but if someone on the verge of buying asked, I wouldn't scream "run away" as I would for a Shun.


It developed the reputation for being difficult to sharpen on the knife boards, but that's obviously BS.  IIRC, the blade alloy is either Sandvik 19C26 or the Uddeholm equivalent.


The CarboNext is a more modern knife.  It's thinner and made from a semi-stainless alloy which takes a great edge easily and holds it well. The alloy has a smooth and pleasant "feel" when you sharpen, as good as some of the best carbons. 


Kagayaki is not the actual maker, Kagayaki is JCK's house brand; the knives are made OEM and rebranded.  The CarboNext is a highly discounted clone of the Kikuichi TKC -- itself an OEM made knife.  The CarbonNexts developed a reputation for shipping very dull.  However, if you're a good sharpener, so what? 


It's a very good knife, whose two greatest strengths are edge quality and bang for the buck.  It would not be a knife I'd choose for myself, largely because even if I wanted another "yo" (that's not likely), I'd not only want great edge properties, but great F&F, a profile like a Sabatier or a Masamoto, and "laser" thinness. 



post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Wow, I don't think I could've imagined a more thorough response. 


Thanks very much, I'm actually looking for another gyuto - I'm not really happy with my Kanetsugu.  It's not a bad knife, but I'm not satisfied with it's edge retention.  Though I do put it through it's paces during a 14 hour shift, I still think I could find a knife which holds the edge better for a similar price.


Regarding the difference between Masamoto and the Carbonext, is the blade width actually noticeable when you're cutting or holding the blade, or is this just a very minor difference between the two?  

Also, concerning their 70/30 edge - do they still hold up well if I adjust it to more of a 50/50 edge?


One more thinking, just looking at the style of the Hattori knives, they seem like a similar style knife.  Are they close to the Misono or noticeably different?


Thanks again for all the help.  

post #4 of 11

I've got a set of 5 Misono UX10's(150 petty, 180 santoku, 210 gyutuo, 240 gyutou and 270 suji) which i'm looking at selling (only just got them last month from Korin). Whilst they are extremely well finished, perfectly balanced (apart from being criticised for being overpriced for what they are)  in my hands they quickly loose their razor edge.  This could be the angle or stones 15 degrees thereabouts (on a 2000 and 5000 stone with stropping on leather)...or perhaps my cutting technique and contacting the board?  Anyway I've got addicted to sharpness and I'm looking for a carbon steel blade so I don't have to consistently pull out the stones.  I

post #5 of 11

I don't have enough personal time with a CarboNext to say for sure whether its better thinness will make a big difference to YOUR cutting.  Put a gun to my head, force me to guess, and I'd say yes.  Holding the knife?  No difference at all as long as you're not putting too much pressure on the spine. 


Hattoris are very well made and very showy.  When it comes to VG-10, Hattori is a stand out maker.  But what does that mean in the greater scheme?  There are plenty of alloys as good or better.  The Hattori chef's knife profile on the longer knives is a little flat and the tip drop a little too much for my tastes, but that's strictly taste. 


I don't like san-mai, western knives in general (they feel "damped"), and really dislike the "Damascus" aesthetic.  But if that's what you want, the HD is probably as good as anything else on the market. 


The only Hattori  I like is the FH.  It's a beautiful knife but a lot of money for the performance.  Everyone I know who bought an FH moved on to something better; usually a wa style "laser." 

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Again, thanks so much for your thorough comment.  I feel the more I learned the more confused I am.


From a personal preference point of view, I'm not a huge fan of the wa style knives.  I generally pinch grip but like a smooth transition between blade and handle.  


So this is where I'm at.  I know I liked the Misono UX10, at least when it's newly sharpened.  I'm looking for a similar nice in terms of feel, or fit and finish, but with a very thin blade.

If Carbonext or Masamoto is very similar to Misono, but a better all around knife, then I'll go with one of those.  Or, if the Hattori FH is similar style, I don't mind paying the extra money for it. 


Essentially I think the Misono is a good knife for me, I did enjoy, but if there is a better alternative that is stylistically very similar, then that's what I'm going to with..

If there's something not mentioned that I should know about, then please let me know.  From what it seems the Masamoto is worth the extra step up in price from the Carbonext, so that's a good choice.  Assuming the Hattori FH is also similar to the Misono, is that worth the additional step up in price, or are we getting into an area where you're paying for style over substance.


Thanks again for the time and patience to answer my questions.


(p.s.  I've only ever used a wa briefly, but after everything you've said am thinking of also purchasing one to try out.  It would make sense, as I work in an Asian restaurant.  Are the JCK White Steel wa's worth looking at?  A japanese sushi chef I used to work with has a blue steel knife that is insanely sharp, I can't remember which model.  I remember it was very expensive - I wonder if the more inexpensive JCKs can compare?)

post #7 of 11

I can tell you're confused. 


Because the UX-10 has a uniquely streamlined profile, there's nothing that's exactly comparable.  If what you like is the profile, along with the great F&F, the particularly comfortable handle and so on, you're stuck with the UX-10.  It's sui generis.  That said, it's also a knife whose time has passed and no longer garners the excitement it once did. 


If you want something with similar (or better) edge properties and a comfortable wa handle, you have lots of choices.  If you want similar F&F and stiffness, you're limiting yourself again.  If you want the same alloy, 19C27, or something very similar, the choices are even more limited but there are at least two or three choices. 


It's clear you were very impressed with the UX-10, but I can't tell from your posts if you're searching for a general set of qualities or something very specific.  Why don't you try describing your experiences with other knives and try writing about what you want instead of trying to compare every other knife to the UX-10. 



post #8 of 11

If you really like the UX-10 shape that much why not buy the Misono Swedish Carbon.  You'll save a lot of money compared to a UX-10 and the edge will hold much longer and sharpen easier.

post #9 of 11

My Masakage Koishi 210 gyutou just arrived, seriously sharp and stays that way with some heavy use on the board.  Whilst my UX-10 doesn't quite have these attributes, what it does has perfect balance, and beautiful ergonomics, which until now, didn't realise how far that really goes when compared to a blade heavy wa-gyutuo.  Anyway would also love to know what has similar ergonomics/comfort but with better edge retention and ability to take a keener edge?  No points for mentioning the Misono Swedish Carbon again.

post #10 of 11

The Misono UX-10 is unique.  There is no good knife as streamlined, and there is nothing remotely close in shape with anywhere near as good a handle.  If that's what you like, it's what you should buy.



post #11 of 11

Does anyone else find they dull pretty quick?

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