Originally Posted by ChrisLehrer
I'm hoping folks can provide me with some information here. I've never handled a kiritsuke and am wondering about its properties.
I know it is a long blade, very slightly curved, single-beveled.
Does anyone have opinions or information on:
1. Is it effective as a general-purpose knife? And is that the intention?
2. How does it compare in weight to a comparable gyuto?
3. How steeply angled is the bevel?
4. How well does it expect to tolerate punishment? (Compared to, say, a deba or a hamogiri)
5. Apart from collectors, who would benefit from purchasing such a knife, assuming one already knows a good deal about sharpening and maintenance?
6. What's a good "sweet spot" length for a kiritsuke? (They're commonly offered at 240 to 330mm)
lets see if i can answer these for you...
1. It is not very effective as an all purpose knife in most non-professional, non-japanese kitchens. The knife is designed to combine the functionality of Usuba and Yanaigba. It works well for those types of tasks.
2. It will generally be heavier and more front heavy than most gyutos.
3. The bevel fits somewhere between usuba and yanagiba... rather acute.
4. Not well... again, the bevel angle is rather acute, so it is for more delicate work. Deba and hamokiri are designed to deal with bones, and thus are bigger, heavier, and have less acute angles.
5. Professional chefs and really dorky (i mean no offense with this term... i fit in this category most days) knife nuts. They are fun, but not practical for most kitchen use.
6. 270mm is my preferred size, though 300 is also common in Japan. 240mm is more common here, but its mostly because people misunderstand this knife and think its a chefs knife.
For what its worth, there are also kiritsuke-shaped wa-gyutos (often incorrectly referred to as just kiritsuke) which are exactly what the name implies. This is probably the smarter purchase for those attracted to the style of the kiritsuke, but not looking for the type of knife it truly is.