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Luke Snyder- Bloodroot Blades- 205mm Funyaki Gyuto

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Luke Snyder- 205mm Gyuto 
Saw-blade 63 HRC- Spalted Maple Wood Handle
First Impressions-
When I first received the box I was super excited like a kid opening presents for his birthday. The packaging was simple but effective. The handle on this blade is amazing! Some of the best handle work I have seen, there is no seem between the ferrule and handle itself, just perfectly flush. The blade itself has a very sturdy feel to it. Most knives I own can take some abuse, but this one just seems like It can go the extra mile. The spine is fairly thick, it does taper, but slightly toward the tip.. The spine has a unique feature which its almost like dipped down a bit at the first 1/4 of the blade then resumes. You can really tell this knife is hand forged and that quality Is like no other. 
Now on to the edge; I could feel it was very sharp from touch. I examined it, and was very consistent all the way along the edge. Luke mentioned it was an 80/20 grind and very asymmetric. I cut some onion and ginger and it cut them like butter.  Overall first impression on this blade were very good. Not a thing on the knife I didn’t like or wished were different.  
I was amazed at the skill on this handle. I have had some nice handles before, and this is at the top of them. Its so simple but looks elegant and feels great in hand. Luke left it a bit rougher sand than IM used to however it work well in the kitchen. Often my hands will be wet or have flour and I can pick this up and have a great grip, and not worry about losing control over the knife. A feature I really like whether it was intended for that purpose or not. I also like that the ferrule is wood and not horn, it feels better in hand to me and the contrast of the same wood dyed looks great. Its just the right size for this knife and adds the perfect balance to it. The end of the handle is nicely rounded along the octagonal shape, and the corners on the handle are all rounded, therefor there are not sharp edges digging into my skin. Luke really did a great job on this part of the knife, I think some makers underestimate the importance of a good handle. 
Luke hand forges his blades which is something I admire, and enjoy having something truly handmade. The profile is a funyaki type blade in gyuto form. This particular knife reminds me of a santoku I guess you could say. It is 48 mm at the heel and 205 mm on the edge. The spine tapers a bit but not like a normal qyuto, from fairly thick to thinner at tip, but I like it, because its not as delicate. With the spine being so thick I was worried how it would perform. There is a convex grind on the right side with a flat grind on the back. 
The blades geometry is also very good, the convex grind should contribute to good food release, but Luke also ground the knife very thin behind the edge which is a prominent sign of a good cutter. 
Luke took great care to round the spine completely as well as the choil. It looks as if the choil is polished as well quite a nice touch. I believe the final polish on the knife was around 600-800 grit, not mirror but shiny.  Many people talk about hand forged knives to be rather thick at spine, yet cut extremely well and become tremendous workhorses; I can say with confidence that I absolutely have no doubt that this knife will perform.
Blade Reactiveness-
The knife is made out of sawblade, not exactly sure what steel,  but a carbon steel. I found that the first day it did discolor onions, however no bad smell was given off. The blade took a beautiful blue-purplish patina very quickly. The blade does darken but doesn’t grey over like some so still can see blue patina on the knife.. I always keep my knives dry, but I think the knife would resist rusting for a decent amount of time. The reactiveness of this blade has not really been a huge concern overall. It also has the coolest patina I have ever gotten on a knife before.
Blade Performance-
This is the category I think everyone is most interested in. My first trip to work was a good experience. The blade was extremely sharp and handled everything with ease. My main concern with knives is horizontal cutting ability; that you would need on onions and precise cuts. To my relief it cut like there was nothing there, no drag or sticking at all. Although I did find that if cutting something thats quite hard and tall I would get sticking on the upper blade for instance carrots. You will also notice in the video that on a tall potato it is difficult to make push cuts. As far as slicing onions, celery, apples, and bell peppers I found little to no sticking at all. 
The profile of the knife is very good, flat with enough curve for rocking if needed and a very usable tip. This knife is perfect for the line and I have almost exclusively reserved it for that purpose altogether. Now thats not to say this knife is not capable of handling large amounts of prep. The only thing I find that handicaps this blade is the length compared to a standard Gyuto, but most items I do not notice a difference. With the highly asymmetric edge I found that precise cuts are a breeze; such as taking skin off a mango, bruniose, removing pith from zest, and horizontal cuts. The other feature that I really enjoy about this blade is the weight and thickness at the spine. She feels extremely durable and that is a quality I do miss about French knives as I often grab my sab to cut lobster tails or hard dense items. I decided to take a chance with this knife and it did not chip or microchip at all which was a relief.
The knife performs slicing with ease on almost everything, push cuts are pretty good, unless the item is tall and hard. I tried to change the direction of the teeth while sharpening to see if it improved push cuts, I did notice that is was easier to cut, however still with taller hard food push cutting is difficult.
Edge Retention-
This is a feature I look for most in a knife than any other. With being a professional I use my knives 6 sometimes 7 days a week, and I need to be able to get the job done, if the edge does not hold up then that affects my ability to produce food.
I was rather shocked my second day at work with this knife when I realized the first cuts were hard to make and I could not slice a  ripe tomato. I thought to myself maybe theres a burr on the edge so I lightly drew it through some wood and yet to no avail. Felt the edge and I could feel it was dull. When I put the knife away yesterday it was still razor sharp, I though maybe there was acid on the edge, but theres no rust. Maybe the cardboard sheath is dulling the edge? Anyway I remember reading that the first edge on a knife can be brittle or chippy so I thought maybe it needed a fresh edge. After sharpening, the edge had lasted longer about 3 days. 
This steel is comparable to white steel in that it gets unbelievably sharp but loses that edge rather quickly. I was hoping with the extra hardness it would hold longer than it did. I found the knife responded very well to the diamond strop which is great when im at work and need a touch up. Although this is the only thing I felt disappointed with the knife.  Its so good in other ways I want to use it everyday, however I don’t have time to sharpen everyday either. The solution is to use another gyuto for prep and keep this knife as my line knife which gave me close to a week of a good sharp edge. 
This steel is pretty hard at 63HRC but it sharpens up very easily. I used the gesshin 2k- 4k the first time, these stones cut very fast and I was done with both in just a couple passes. The second sharpening I choose my natural stones, binsui, red aoto, and Taksashima. The knife took a little longer to get a burr but not by much. Burr removal is very easy as well. I would say sharpening experience reminded me of a Masamoto KS.
Summary and Random Thoughts-
My overall conclusion of the knife is that its very good and well made. I really appreciate Luke's efforts to produce a good blade and I think he succeeded. As I have mentioned this steel continues to remind me of white steel and a wide variety of people really enjoy that. For me personally I look for better edge retention, because I use them everyday for extended periods of time. Apart from the edge retention this knife is more than I could have asked for. It has a great profile, feels completely rugged yet refined. 
Simply from a performance aspect I think the convex grind could be improved upon. At the top of the blade you do get sticking that is hard to remove and affects cuts on tall-hard items.
If I had the choice again I would get the same knife in a different steel for hopes of better edge retention. 
Luke’s style is what brought me to order a knife, and he delivered a great piece to me. Handcrafted from scratch, its really impressive overall. This blade shows his skill and artistic abilities. I really like the dip in the spine of the blade, its truly unique and adds character. His handle-work was simply amazing and made the complete package.
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

sorry guys photos not working...


any advice? i use flickr and i tried the img url an the site url no luck. also uploading photos not working? here is a link to a finished review

post #3 of 9

Try the pix again.  You're still new in the system so you were not allowed to do everything. It's  a default to help control spam. I marked you as a trusted user now so it should work normally.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

oh ok i understand, i tried again still cant get it not sure why. 


if anyone would like to upload some pics that would be great 


here is the link to the gallery

post #5 of 9


My, what a pain Flickr makes posting an image here at Cheftalk. Bleah.   Click the Share menu. Click Grab the HTML/BB code.


Copy that code.


Now, here at Cheftalk on Huddler, the site doesn't accept html or bb code in the editor. So you have to paste the code and edit it down to just the URL inside the quotes of img src= which in this case is Use that part inside the post image tool for the URL of the photo.


And it will work.  Hassle though.


Pretty blade.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your help! 


Yes a great knife indeed!


i want to add that Luke delivered exactly what i ordered from him


I'd like it to be about 160-200mm with enough height for knuckle clearance 42-48mm depending on handle size. I'd like it to be thin behind the edge and tip but robust by the spine. I really like the flatish carter profile you have produced. Japanese wa handle preferable.


also never mentioned about steel choice, as i know he uses recycled materials so edge retention was never requested. 


hope this helps, he is a very skilled maker

post #7 of 9

Great review!  You told me everything I needed to know about why you loved the knife, showed me why it would be wrong for me, and kept me entertained along the way.  The Flickr video was also very good.  One thing I didn't understand was your reference to changing the direction of the teeth.  Which teeth?  Which direction? 


And, not that the reference to "saw steel" didn't make sense, but the term covers an awful lot of ground.   Which alloy in particular?  Someone in KKF asked about L6 (makes sense), and someone else confirmed it -- but the someone else wasn't you.     


Sometimes new knives have big carbides along the edge.  It's possible your knife's edge retention might improve when enough sharpening takes you down to fresh, new metal. 


On the other hand, if the "poor" edge retention is caused by burring (impact and corrosion burrs seem a LOT more likely than wear), stropping might be the solution.  You can go unloaded on newsprint, but if you like loaded strops think about 1u Boron or CBN as an alternative to diamond.  You could also strop or "touch up" on a fine or ultra-fine splash and go, like a Naniwa SS 5K or Naniwa Pure White.  The best choice is probably whatever is easiest to shlep to work. 


If lack of edge retention IS related to the teeth, try partials.   



post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

What i meant in referring to the teeth is the direction in which the cutting teeth are pointing, Murray talks about this in a video somewhere, but basically if you sharpen traditonally you will have teeth designed for slicing, if you switch the direction theoretically it would work better for push cutting, and parallel should work for both well. 


Im not actually sure what steel it is specifically, i know from talking with Luke that it is not L6.


Devin Thomas - Saw blade is 15n20 or 15n2 which is the same thing. L6 has chrome and a splash of moly in it along with 2% nickel. 15N20 has 2% nickel. L6 is a tool and die steel and 15N20 is made for saws. A little different.


I have also been wondering if it will get better with time and i will have to report for sure. I have been using my diamond strop with this knife and it responds very well i can keep it going for some time that way but eventually the edge will not come back. 

post #9 of 9

Not that he isn't a terrific sharpener, but Murray says all sorts of things -- some of which are gold and others of which are whack.  Murray sharpens with strokes which combine honing AND stropping movements (how most of us sharpen, these days).  Since he's already got both covered, it's hard to imagine sharpening in "the other direction."  


Making fun of my betters aside, I don't think that whether you choose to hone or strop does much to change the direction or set of the micro-serration.  The serration itself is a continuation of the scratch, and the angle of the scratch is a function of the angle of the long axis of the knife relative to the angle of the action.  Whether you lead with edge or spine is irrelevant.  If you think it through, you'll find that "intuitively obvious."  Another aspect of reality which isn't friendly to Murray's theory is the variety of styles used by actual sharpeners.  For instance, if I hold the right side of my knife at about 30* relative to the action, and the left side at -30*, (60* opposed) what direction are the teeth?


Diamond is a fast, and effective charge.  What makes diamond different from other fast, effective charges like CBN or Boron is that it adds "bite."  Otherwise, fast, effective stropping is fast, effective stropping.  If you want a more slippery edge than diamond gives you have options.  If you like diamond, good for you.  


L6, 15N20, whatever.  When I read your words, I heard "could be 1095."  Doesn't really matter much anyway.  One of the things which sets Bloodroot apart from other makers is it's reliance on "recycled" rather than "flavor of the month."    


I hope you're enjoying your new "do it all," as much as I'm enjoying mine.  



Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/18/13 at 7:43am
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