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Is my Tojiro DP righty, or just imperfect?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

After much research (reading this forum) I ordered a Tojiro DP 240mm with western handle.  I noticed the bolster is cut lower on the right side, but not drastically so.  Also, the left handle slab is noticeably thicker and when the knife is laid on its spine, the balance point is about 10 degrees off center. 


I thought the Tojiro was supposed to be a true ambi, both bevel and handle.  Is it supposed to favor the right-handed or do I chalk this stuff up to poor quality control?


If I decide I can't live with it, maybe someone can recommend a comparable alternative without going up too much in price?  I went with a 50/50 because I'm a lefty and I don't particularly want to put the time into re-profiling a 70/30.  I'm sure a more skilled wielder with better cutting technique than me could be happy with a 70/30 in a left hand, but I'm not quite there yet.


Blade steel isn't a huge factor for me; I've had great experiences with all kinds.  Also, I'm not afraid to sharpen.  I have a couple different water stones I'm not fantastic with, but eager to get better at it.  I also have a DMT Diafold system I haven't ever used on kitchen knives, but I imagine it'll get a serviceable edge on almost anything. 



post #2 of 9

I have a 210 which has no such flaws.


Could you clarify "..........the balance point is about 10 degrees off"?

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

sorry, that does sound a bit awkward.  If you try to balance it on the spine it rolls to the right.  Putting the tang perpendicular to the counter you can see a weird curve in the handle.  


maybe I'm just being too picky?

Edited by DiegoSchmerber - 2/12/13 at 7:24pm
post #4 of 9

are the rivets flush with the scale?

I have noticed asymmetry on my Tojiro scales, the taper from the full handle width to the bolster section is slightly longer on one side (one side begins after the first rivet, on the other the rivet is part of the taper). Also my scales aren't fully flush with the tang (I've seen this on three Tojiro's that have passed through my hands).


My understanding is that the attention to detail on the F&F on Tojiros isn't great.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

My rivets aren't bad, only standing a little proud in a couple spots, mostly smooth.  Surprisingly, the scales are totally flush.  I was fully expecting to have to sand them down.  


Well based on these responses, sounds like it's not an intentional righty so much as a F&F issue.  


I'll try to get over it.  Or maybe I'll continue obsessively reading knife reviews.

post #6 of 9


a bit of a righty, yes.






i have a tojiro dp, i didn't notice and it doesn't bother me one bit. am a lefty.

post #7 of 9


A slight right handed asymmetry like 60/40 doesn't make the knife a righty, at least not by enough to matter.  So Franz's "a bit" is a fair measure. 


Going deeper into the 60/40 bias, usually 60/40 means the maker sharpened one side to a burr, then sharpened the other side just enough to draw a burr, deburred, and put the knife into the box.  The sharpener has to remove more metal on the first side to get the initial burr, than on the second side to begin the "chasing" process, and that creates the asymmetry.  In other words, 60/40 is faster and cheaper for the maker. 


It's just as easy for a home sharpener to move the asymmetry and make it left handed, by always beginning sharpening on the left side, drawing a burr down the length of the blade before switching to sharpening the right side, and going from sharpening to chasing as soon as (s)he's flipped the burr over.  Of course, the process is even easier if you use your coarse stone to grind a bit on the left side as a precursor to normal maintenance type sharpening. 


If you don't use a coarse stone and just rely on the natural evolution caused by always starting on the outside edge, it won't take more than three or four sharpening sessions to get past 50/50 and into true (but slight) left handedness. 


How asymmetric should you take a knife like a Tojiro DP?  If you don't use a steel as part of your ordinary maintenance, AND if no righty ever touches your knife, something like 80/20 could work well.   If you do steel, I wouldn't push it much past 60/40 - 70/30 range. 


If you're sharing the knife with a righty, try and bias the knife to benefit the person with the weakest knife skills as asymmetry has a slight tendency towards steering.  For instance, when my (right-handed) wife and I (south-paw) were sharing knives, I always sharpened them 60/40 righty.  


The amount of asymmetry.  The only practical way for most people is to look at the knife and visually compare the width of the bevels.  If their ratio is 6:4 with the left side (edge down) wider than the right; that's 60/40.  But since bevels are so narrow and eyeballing is inherently inaccurate it's not easy to meaningfully differentiate between ratios which are close.  That is, 60/40, 2:1 (66/33), and 70/30 will look the same.  Not a huge problem, because they're going to act the same.


As a matter of use, a higher ratio of asymmetry makes for a narrower edge at least as far as the wider bevel extends up the face of the knife.  That creates greater "perceived sharpness," by reducing wedging.  On the other hand, asymmetry makes the edge somewhat more prone to getting dinged out of line, which means it needs more truing but -- ironically -- is less tolerant to the easiest and most effective method of truing; i.e. steeling.


The 60/40 - 70/30 range represents a good balance between sharpness and durability.  If that's your goal, you'll find that bevel widths which eyeball at  2:1 are about right left appropriate  


As to the rest: 

1.  Uneven handles:

Typical Tojiro QC.  Also typical of most Japanese made knives in the price range; so don't feel singled out.  If the knife is comfortable and (assuming you have a good grip) if it points where your eyes look without a lot of checking, nothing to worry about it. 


2.  Won't Balance on the Spine:

Completely unimportant. 


But while we're on the subject of spines, you might want to think about easing the edges so they don't hurt your hand; as well as rounding the back so as not to cut yourself. 


Hope this helps,


post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

 about right left appropriate  




Yes, very helpful.  The practical difference in bevel on mine is pretty imperceptible.  One side does have a slightly higher relief edge, but not by much.  Anyway, I can certainly live with that and correct it in my favor over time.  The only other person in the world who is allowed to touch my knife is also conveniently a lefty so maybe in the future I'll take it a bit further.


Correct, the factory left the spine squared off.  I'll smooth it out.  There's also some sharp corners on the heel I'll take care of although that's not really going to get in the way of cutting.  Not a big deal.  


Thank you all for your input.

Edited by DiegoSchmerber - 2/13/13 at 11:59am
post #9 of 9

everytime i get a new knife that doesn't have the choil or the spine rounded off, i always take sand paper and a file and work on them first before i use the knife. i will never own a knife with sharp corners. only part of the knife that i own that's sharp is the edge. =D


with steeling an asymmetric knife, i would adjust the angle according to the asymmetry. a steeper angle on the back side and a slightly wider angle on the primary side. it works for me. but i rarely steel my knives anymore. i always go for the stones.

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