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Quality of japanese knifes?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone I'm just a home cook that loves cooking and have a knife fetish. I just went from a shun to a real japanese Mizuno Tanrenjo white steel#2 and it seems it is overal cheap? The blade is nicely done but
not as sharp as I wanted ( just smashed a tomato) the handle is unfinished n feels cheap and the package from Japan said the value is $30 I paid $150 but don't feel I got my $ worth. Am I missing something ?
post #2 of 10

With many of these knives you pay for the blade and get the handle for free.  A trip to the stones may change your mind about the knife.  Ho wood - while traditional - may take a minute to get used to.  Yes it looks cheap, but is efficient and has a nice grip when wet.  I used to replace all mine, but I have several knives with Ho handles that I'll leave as is for the time being.  I think the most important thing is to get an edge on that baby and put it to work.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks that puts my mind at ease. I love the hand made concept just felt it wasn't all that ? I'm going to have it sharpened right then learn to do it myself thanks for the info;)
post #4 of 10

Well done white #2 will take a dazzling edge.  The handle is basically disposable on a lower end knife...even on some more expensive ones.  It's understood that you will go through numerous handles in the life of the knife.  Another thing you'll notice on 'real' Japanese knives (unlike Shun and Global that are made for the West) is that they don't necessarily come fully sharpened.  It's understood that the cook using it will finish it with the kind of edge they prefer.  Western cooks are used to knives being sharp OOTB (out of the box); indeed, for many people the only time their knife will ever bee sharp is when it's new.

 

Edge retention of White #2 isn't spectacular compared to White #1 or Aogami.  The former is a little harder and the latter has tungsten added for edge stability and toughness.

 

FWIW I do have one $800+ dollar Japanese knife.  The handle isn't any nicer than the ones on my Konosukes or Moritakas.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #5 of 10

BTW, often a lower value will be declared for customs since many countries will charge a fee based on the cost of the package.  A buddy of mine in S. Africa often is charged a duty of 40% of so for the stuff he imports.  The lower declared value is designed to save you a few bucks.  Of course, that can cause a problem if it's lost since insurance will only want to cover the declared value.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks that puts my mind at ease. I love the hand made concept just felt it wasn't all that ? I'm going to have it sharpened right then learn to do it myself thanks for the info;)
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the info! It clarified all concern. Now I just have to find someone in or near Fresno CA that can sharpen it properly. That is until I learn to do it myself. All the local guys I know of use belt sanders and I'm not cool with that on this one.
post #8 of 10
Be very careful who you send it too. The wrong person could really screw your knife.
I would send it to either
Dave Martel : http://www.japaneseknifesharpening.com

Or Jon broida : http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com
post #9 of 10

Broida is a good guy and a great sharpener.  He can get you fixed up.  There are a few Cali guys here on the forum as well.  I don't know if BDL takes in any strays but he'd be a good one to ask.  I think he's a friend of Jon's, too.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #10 of 10

It's been mentioned but having a good waterstone and learning how to sharpen your knives will improve your experience. :)

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