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Does anyone have any experience with "Konosuke" or "Richmond" "lasers?"

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

I was speaking with someone who says they have a lot of experience as a sushi knife, and they recommended "Konosuke" which they apparently have 2 knives from that are their go to knives (Suji and I Deba I think).

I found what is called "Lasers" http://www.chefknivestogo.com/konosukelasers.html and it seems to be an extremely thin, and light blade.

There are a ton of great reviews on a bunch of these knives, so I am interested if anyone has any recommendations on them?

I am basically looking for a good sushi knife for a gift, but the person is a beginner to knives, but not cooking.

I was thinking probably a 270mm Sujiki Konosuke Laser, but I would like more opinions?

I was given a lot of choices of companies, Suisin, Tojiro, Misano, Togijaru, etc, but he's the first person who mentioned konosuke, and this was the first time I've heard of "chefknivestogo," but someone else I think mentioned it right above his post.

I also have been checking out the house brand of "ChefKnivesToGo" called "Richmond" and they are lasers, and also AEB-L steel which seems to be a very good favorite for a lot of people.

So I'm curious if anyone would recommend these knives, and if they have any preference, as there are a few types of steel I can choose from,....?


Thanks so much for any advice!


Edited by LasagnaBurrito - 6/22/15 at 11:10am
post #2 of 44
I have a 210mm gyuto. They are too short for me. No knuckle clearance. I use it as a long petty.
post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 

short from top to bottom, or from tip to toe?

I've heard they are smaller from tip to toe, butg Idk about height wise.

How light was yours?  Did you lke it's lightness?  What about it's thinenss?

I'm looking at probably a 270mm suji,

post #4 of 44

Good questions. First of all, what exactly do you mean by a sushi knife? I assume you mean either a knife for cutting raw fish or a knife for cutting maki (hand rolls). Or you might have been hoping that there's one type of knife that excels at both. There isn't. Japanese chefs typically use a single-beveled [see footnote] yanagi aka yanagiba for slicing sashimi, which has a narrower profile (shorter from spine to edge) than a gyuto (French-style chef's knife) and consequently excels at making perfectly smooth and straight cuts if the knife is long enough (typically at least 270mm). It also requires lots of practice to use properly, requires constant sharpening, and is not very useful for almost anything besides portioning raw fish. The double-beveled sujihiki (French-style "slicer" profile) doesn't have the single-bevel learning curve and makes almost as smooth cuts for sashimi if kept sharp. It's also useful for more than just sashimi (e.g. trimming meat, slicing meat before cooking aka portioning, slicing meat after cooking aka carving, being used like a gyuto for vegetable prep, etc.). Its narrow blade width (again, I mean from spine to edge) can pose problems for cutting maki, however. A sharp gyuto (French-style chef's knife) should be adequate for cutting maki. I'm not sure what most professionals use. My understanding is that a gyuto's wider blade makes it harder to slice raw fish with one stroke, and you want to make the slice in one stroke to keep the edges of the fish smooth, so a gyuto isn't an ideal substitute for a sujihiki if the recipient of this gift is going to be portioning raw fish often and in a high quality setting. That said, a narrower gyuto like the Konosuke might be able to do that if it's at least 270mm in length.

 

I have a Konosuke HH 240mm gyuto. The HH line is identical in profile and grind to the HD (HD2). It uses a Swedish stainless alloy (maybe AEB-L?) that takes a very acute and highly polished edge with ease. In theory, the HD can reach a slightly higher maximum degree of sharpness (some say almost as keen as white #2), but I doubt I'd see the difference in practice with my current sharpening skills (I sharpen on an Edge Pro with custom stones). In theory, the HD also has slightly worse corrosion resistance and can hold its edge a little longer than the HH. I suspect I might be able to observe those differences in practice, but most people make both out to be pretty slight differences. That said, I kind of wish I had gotten the HD just out of curiosity since its edge properties truly sound carbon-like but without the need to baby it as it passivates.

 

CKtG no longer carries the model I got and seems to be phasing out the HH line in favor of the HD and more expensive stainless alternatives. The HH might still be available from Konosuke directly, but the high shipping costs would make the HD from CKtG a much better value, and possibly even cheaper in absolute terms. I don't see any reason to get the more expensive stainless versions given how amazing the HD's reputation is, but it's possible that there is some crucial insight here to be shed by someone who has actually used those new Konosuke lines.

 

The Konosuke HH and HD run short from heel to tip. My knife is definitely shorter than 240mm. I would have probably been better off with a 270 since (1) mine feels slightly shorter than ideal for me, (2) the 270 is presumably significantly less than 270mm, and (3) the knife is so almost magically light that I don't think I'd really even feel the extra length.

 

I love the lightness and thinness. The lightness makes it so easy to move quickly and without fatigue over a lengthy prep session. The thinness contributes to it being so easy to sharpen, and it also makes the knife perform better than a thicker knife with an equivalent edge angle and degree of polish. After taking it to a 4000 grit stone and stropping with 1 micron diamond paste, I can cut paper thin, transparent slices of a tomato in a plane parallel to the cutting board, with my guide hand behind my back and the tomato just sitting on the board. And I'm not even an experienced sharpener.

 

That said, the knife does need to be kept sharp. A somewhat sharp US$5 knife performs far better than any dull $200+ knife. With light knives, you don't even have the benefit of compensating for dullness with extra power generated by the weight of the knife. If you don't know whether the recipient of this gift knows how to sharpen or is willing to invest in waterstones (or an Edge Pro or Wicked Edge kit) immediately and start learning, you shouldn't even think about buying a Konosuke. A sub-$100 knife plus the serviceable and easy-to-use Chef's Choice electric sharpener would be almost literally an infinitely better gift. A sub-$150 knife plus a sharpening kit that can take advantage of the knife's improved edge taking abilities (such as a good waterstone set or the Edge Pro or Wicked Edge) would be an even better gift, *if* this person wants to invest the time to learn to sharpen. A laser like the Konosuke or Gesshin Ginga plus a good sharpening kit might be an even better gift.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post

I have a 210mm gyuto. They are too short for me. No knuckle clearance. I use it as a long petty.

I can certainly see 210mm being too short from heel to tip as a gyuto, *especially* on knives that run short like Konosuke. But assuming you mean too narrow from spine to edge, maybe you've gotta work on your pinch grip. ;) I hear a soft pinch grip even works for those crazy BBQ guys...

 

I keep my knife hand off the counter so I don't have to worry about knuckle clearance, but I'm pretty sure the Konosuke gyuto is wide enough that my knuckles clear the edge.

 

 

Footnote: By "single-bevel" I mean a chisel-ground knife as opposed to one with a Western-style V-shaped edge. Google if you're not familiar with the difference. "Single bevel" and "double bevel" can also have the completely separate meaning of whether or not you've added a secondary bevel/compound bevel to a knife, and this will almost certainly be in the context of Western-style V-shaped (i.e. "double beveled") knives. Try not to get tripped up if you come across the single vs double terminology in a thread or article that's actually talking about this latter topic.

post #5 of 44
Mine was only 40mm tall. With a pinch grip this is still short. Anyway, for a suji, you don't need height. For a gyuto I want more than that. It's basically exactly what I expected, real thin, real light, great fit and finish.
post #6 of 44

For Maki I also feel the gyuto is a better choice. It stands to reason that the cross-section of the blade that actually comes in contact with the roll is going to be thinner where the gyuto is concerned..  With the suji you are going to be burying the [relatively] thick spine into the roll.

 

As for the Konosuke stainless vs semi-stainless, I would have to think that the semi-stainless can take a keener edge.  It is closer to pure carbon after all.

 

Devin Thomas is a certified Master Bladesmith who is coveted for his work with AEB-L, and 52100 steel as well.  According to him AEB-L does have better edge stability than the carbon steels, meaning it will hold an extremely acute angle better.  So there is possibly a "perceived" sharpness advantage there.

 

 

Rick

post #7 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladius View Post
 

 

Good questions. First of all, what exactly do you mean by a sushi knife? I assume you mean either a knife for cutting raw fish or a knife for cutting maki (hand rolls). Or you might have been hoping that there's one type of knife that excels at both. There isn't. Japanese chefs typically use a single-beveled [see footnote] yanagi aka yanagiba for slicing sashimi, which has a narrower profile (shorter from spine to edge) than a gyuto (French-style chef's knife) and consequently excels at making perfectly smooth and straight cuts if the knife is long enough (typically at least 270mm). It also requires lots of practice to use properly, requires constant sharpening, and is not very useful for almost anything besides portioning raw fish. The double-beveled sujihiki (French-style "slicer" profile) doesn't have the single-bevel learning curve and makes almost as smooth cuts for sashimi if kept sharp. It's also useful for more than just sashimi (e.g. trimming meat, slicing meat before cooking aka portioning, slicing meat after cooking aka carving, being used like a gyuto for vegetable prep, etc.). Its narrow blade width (again, I mean from spine to edge) can pose problems for cutting maki, however. A sharp gyuto (French-style chef's knife) should be adequate for cutting maki. I'm not sure what most professionals use. My understanding is that a gyuto's wider blade makes it harder to slice raw fish with one stroke, and you want to make the slice in one stroke to keep the edges of the fish smooth, so a gyuto isn't an ideal substitute for a sujihiki if the recipient of this gift is going to be portioning raw fish often and in a high quality setting. That said, a narrower gyuto like the Konosuke might be able to do that if it's at least 270mm in length.

 

I have a Konosuke HH 240mm gyuto. The HH line is identical in profile and grind to the HD (HD2). It uses a Swedish stainless alloy (maybe AEB-L?) that takes a very acute and highly polished edge with ease. In theory, the HD can reach a slightly higher maximum degree of sharpness (some say almost as keen as white #2), but I doubt I'd see the difference in practice with my current sharpening skills (I sharpen on an Edge Pro with custom stones). In theory, the HD also has slightly worse corrosion resistance and can hold its edge a little longer than the HH. I suspect I might be able to observe those differences in practice, but most people make both out to be pretty slight differences. That said, I kind of wish I had gotten the HD just out of curiosity since its edge properties truly sound carbon-like but without the need to baby it as it passivates.

 

CKtG no longer carries the model I got and seems to be phasing out the HH line in favor of the HD and more expensive stainless alternatives. The HH might still be available from Konosuke directly, but the high shipping costs would make the HD from CKtG a much better value, and possibly even cheaper in absolute terms. I don't see any reason to get the more expensive stainless versions given how amazing the HD's reputation is, but it's possible that there is some crucial insight here to be shed by someone who has actually used those new Konosuke lines.

 

The Konosuke HH and HD run short from heel to tip. My knife is definitely shorter than 240mm. I would have probably been better off with a 270 since (1) mine feels slightly shorter than ideal for me, (2) the 270 is presumably significantly less than 270mm, and (3) the knife is so almost magically light that I don't think I'd really even feel the extra length.

 

I love the lightness and thinness. The lightness makes it so easy to move quickly and without fatigue over a lengthy prep session. The thinness contributes to it being so easy to sharpen, and it also makes the knife perform better than a thicker knife with an equivalent edge angle and degree of polish. After taking it to a 4000 grit stone and stropping with 1 micron diamond paste, I can cut paper thin, transparent slices of a tomato in a plane parallel to the cutting board, with my guide hand behind my back and the tomato just sitting on the board. And I'm not even an experienced sharpener.

 

That said, the knife does need to be kept sharp. A somewhat sharp US$5 knife performs far better than any dull $200+ knife. With light knives, you don't even have the benefit of compensating for dullness with extra power generated by the weight of the knife. If you don't know whether the recipient of this gift knows how to sharpen or is willing to invest in waterstones (or an Edge Pro or Wicked Edge kit) immediately and start learning, you shouldn't even think about buying a Konosuke. A sub-$100 knife plus the serviceable and easy-to-use Chef's Choice electric sharpener would be almost literally an infinitely better gift. A sub-$150 knife plus a sharpening kit that can take advantage of the knife's improved edge taking abilities (such as a good waterstone set or the Edge Pro or Wicked Edge) would be an even better gift, *if* this person wants to invest the time to learn to sharpen. A laser like the Konosuke or Gesshin Ginga plus a good sharpening kit might be an even better gift.

 


Thanks for the tips.  The user is new to high end knives, but I wanted to get something that would be good to start with, I also am looking for a knife for myself now, so we would have to learn together, since we live together.

I'm not sure if I'm going to get him a Gyuto or a Sujihiki.  I was speaking with someone, on another forum, who said he's been a sushi chef for over a decade, and claimed only "beginners" cut rolls with Gyuto, and that you should use a sujihiki.  He has a Konosuke Gyuto/Suji, and a Yoshihiro Yanagi.

It seems a Gyuto would be better, and since he's a beginner anyways it should be okay... Plus if it's a laser, the Gyuto should work well, but I do like the look of the Sujihiki.  I think I'm going to get myself a Gyuto though....

I want to learn how to sharpen and all that stuff, but I have no clue what stones to get.  Someone recommended Naniwa, but they seem pricey, and might require more of an expertise, so I'm not sure if there are "beginner stones," as well.

I wont get an electric sharpener, and if you want to know the reason please see the thread about them which I think is in this sub-forum, people say they are not worth it at all.


I don't know if the person will invest time learning about sharpening, but I do.  I think it's important to know how to treat the knives well, and I think it would be nice to have an awesome blade to use.   I just want to make sure it will cut through things, and that he could use it for other things, besides sushi.

He is an avid orange/grapefruit eater, so it would be nice for the knife to be able to cut that.  I did however seee someone slice through a pineapple, but who knows how much sharpening he did, and how dull it made the knife.

How often are we looking to Sharpen it?  I was watching someone use a "Richmond" laser and he was scared his edge dulled after about 10 mins of video, if that.  It seemed the knife was still going, but he was using a wood cutting board...

That being said what kind of cutting board should I use?  It seems we shouldn't let the blade hit it at all, but It seems people do from the videos I see.


The thing is CKTG is all sold out basically of the knives, so I don't know when they will come back in...  It seems they are only stocking certain items like Honyaki blades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post
 

For Maki I also feel the gyuto is a better choice. It stands to reason that the cross-section of the blade that actually comes in contact with the roll is going to be thinner where the gyuto is concerned..  With the suji you are going to be burying the [relatively] thick spine into the roll.

 

As for the Konosuke stainless vs semi-stainless, I would have to think that the semi-stainless can take a keener edge.  It is closer to pure carbon after all.

 

Devin Thomas is a certified Master Bladesmith who is coveted for his work with AEB-L, and 52100 steel as well.  According to him AEB-L does have better edge stability than the carbon steels, meaning it will hold an extremely acute angle better.  So there is possibly a "perceived" sharpness advantage there.

 

 

Rick


 I was speaking with someone, on another forum, who said he's been a sushi chef for over a decade, and claimed only "beginners" cut rolls with Gyuto, and that you should use a sujihiki.  I personally like the suji better, b ut I feel the Gyuto would work out better overall in the kitchen, and not just "for sushi."

AEB-L seems interesting, but the Konosuke's don't habve them... The "Richmond" blades do, however, and I'm interested in the "Richmond Lasers."  Someone mentioned that Mark Richmond is the owner of CKTG, so that might be something to look at.  In the one video I saw of the Richmond he was using a laser Gyuto for about 10 mins and was concerned with the edge being dull, granted it seemed to cut through the green pepper no problem, and he commented on that as well.  I don;'t know how long the edge lasts on these knives, but he also hit the cutting board a lot which a lot of people seem to say you shouldn't sdo that... Not too sure if there are special boards to use as well....  He was saying the AEB-L steel is as good as "White #1" with edge retention, but I'm nto too sure what the differences between #1 and #2, and there was no mention of blue, which is interesting that the AEB-L would have such a great edge, while having good SS properties...






Thanks all.

post #8 of 44

I would say... you're overthinking it.  You have no experience using or sharpening any of these steels, so nuances will be lost on you.

 

Just pick stainless or carbon, and pick a maker with good reviews.

post #9 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
 

I would say... you're overthinking it.  You have no experience using or sharpening any of these steels, so nuances will be lost on you.

 

Just pick stainless or carbon, and pick a maker with good reviews.

Possibly....  How do I gain experience without getting knives to test?  Technically I should go with cheaper knives, but I rather not buy multiple knives, and just get great knives we can use for awhile.

I want to learn what I can, so I will check out youtube videos, and ask for advice.

We will see what steel I go with, the AEB-L seems interesting...

The point of this thread it to see if people like these companies or not, and then I wll see what to go with..

Sadly most of the Konosuke's are sold out, so I don't know when they will return.. :(.

post #10 of 44

For freehand sharpening, you'll want at least a coarse stone for occasional reprofiling, a medium-coarse stone for sharpening, and a medium-fine stone for polishing. One of the best affordable examples of the first is the Beston 500, two of the best affordable examples of the second are the Bester 1200 and the Arashiyama 1k, and two of the best affordable examples of the third are the Suehiro Rika (it's 3k-5k depending on mud buildup) and the Arashiyama 6k. CKtG sells a package deal of the Beston 500, the Bester 1200, and the Suehiro Rika. If you can afford even better stones, Japanese Knife Imports sells a package of the Gesshin 400, Gesshin 2k, and Gesshin 6k. Those stones are said to cut faster yet leave a higher polish than other stones at similar grit levels. They have an amazing reputation. If and when I switch from my Edge Pro to freehand, I'm almost certainly getting Gesshin stones.

 

I highly recommend taking that thread about the Chef's Choice with a grain of salt (or less). The negative opinions in that thread were not by people who use the Chef's Choice. If memory serves, they were a mix of people who were speaking from experience with other electric sharpeners eating too much metal and of anecdotes someone heard about someone who used the Chef's Choice improperly and damaged the knife (I think it was the tip). I've heard or read from a number of people who have actually used the Chef's Choice (one who comes to mind is the former CT contributor BDL), and my understanding is that as long as you read the instructions, you are not at any greater risk of damaging your knife than with stones, and the speed at which it eats metal is at the order of magnitude of stones, not of metal-eating electric sharpeners. The Chef's Choice is the one good electric sharpener, and is a virtual necessity if the gift's recipient isn't going to be sharpening knives by some more manual means [1]. That said, the Chef's Choice does have downsides, just not those. The downsides are that it restricts you to one or two preset bevel angles and gets your edge pretty sharp rather than extremely sharp, so it's probably not worth it on premium knives that can take an extremely sharp edge. It's probably more worth it on less expensive high-end knives. That said, if this person doesn't have any means of sharpening and certainly none better than a Chef's Choice, then any premium knife is going to be a waste of a gift unless you also give a sharpening kit. Sharpening is far more important than the knife. Decent sharpening (even a Chef's Choice) plus a $5 Tramontina knife is literally a gift that's orders of magnitude better than no sharpening plus a Konosuke, at least after the first couple weeks go by.

 

If you're dead-set on getting him a high-end knife and not a Chef's Choice (which, again, does seem reasonable for something as high-end as a Konosuke), then you really have to find out if he's willing to learn to sharpen. If not freehand, then you'll really need either to get him a rod-guided jig or get him to get one. The Wicked Edge is the easiest to learn but also really expensive. The Edge Pro has a learning curve but much less than stones. If he won't be getting either of these or some other way to sharpen, then a high-end knife is useless. All dull knives are equal, and dull lightweight knives are even less equal. 

 

 

[1] The only other real option is *if* he lives near someone who happens to be a skilled knife sharpener, then he could send his knives out whenever they start to dull. But that means he won't be keeping his knives sharp unless he intends to pay around $15-$20 a week per knife, which defeats the purpose of a high end knife, *and* he won't be able to use the knives while they're in the shop. Additionally, it might be difficult to even find a real sharpener. Most "professionals" at best run your knife through a Chef's Choice and more likely through something that eats a ton of metal and leaves an obtuse edge with a coarse scratch pattern.

post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info.  Someone also mentioned they really love the "Naniwa" stones that CKTG sells, any experience with them?  I'm not sure what grit I should get for each, does it matter as long as I get the "coarse," "medium-coarse" and "medium-fine" stones?  I know Korin had them listed as such and labeled what each was i.e., 400-1000 is -----.

I'm not sure what would be good to start with?  Would a better quality stone do better for us newbies who don't know how to sharpen, or would it be the opposite?

I also want to stick with one place to buy everything if possible to keep shipping costs low.

As for electric sharpeners, honestly the thought didn't come to mind.  Everywhere I go I see stones for sale, but I guess the sites are more geared towards people who know what they are doing....

The interesting thoughts about the thread was the mentioning that the speed of the metal being chipped away is much greater than a manual stone.  The person was talking about people messing up the "temper" of the knife, by causing too much heat.  Whether that happens is up for debate, but he seemed to know what he was talking about, but who knows.  You also mention the preset bevels and such as well.

You also mentioned
 
Quote:
 I've heard or read from a number of people who have actually used the Chef's Choice (one who comes to mind is the former CT contributor BDL), and my understanding is that as long as you read the instructions, you are not at any greater risk of damaging your knife than with stones, and the speed at which it eats metal is at the order of magnitude of stones, not of metal-eating electric sharpeners. 
So the last part is saying that the chef's choice eats metal at a slower rate than other metal-eating electric sharpeners?

AS for the knives and sharpening, I believe it would be best to get the stones, but I don't know.  It seems the stones are a learning tool, and a way to make it perfect to how you want it.

I am thinking that I will get a knife myself, and I think it's something to learn, but you seem to be steering me away from the stones, is it just because of how difficult it is to work with them, or...?

The edge pro and the wicked edge seem interesting as well.

and as for "professionals" do you mean by someone who is going to be doing a lot of prep, or what?  I would assume more prep would make you want to spend less time sharpening, but if you're doing it for yourself I would assume you would want to use the best means to make the best edge for yourself???


I guess I am up for anything, but the stones seemed to be a good choice... The problem is, some of these stones are pricey, so I'm not sure what's what?  I've seen 10$ stones, and I've seen 100$ stones...

From what I've seen of the Stones, the "Chef's Choice," the "Wicked Edge," and the "Edge Pro" is that I'll be spending at least 150$ on sharpening equipment as well...

If you could give me some more advice and steer me in a good direction I'll appreciate it.  This is all so new to me, and all so confusing, but I figure that now that I'm getting more into cooking I also should get a knife.  The first knife is a gift for my dad, so I am going to be using the same sharpening equipment (for now) as him, so it's something we will learn together.

If stones are something that I should wait on, then I guess I will do that.  Right now we have a knife set that has a honing rod that he uses, but I wouldn't want to use it on a good knife....

There are a lot of options, but what are the most preferred?  It seems stones are big at all of these Japanese knife stores, so maybe it's a Japanese thing?  Maybe us "Westerners" prefer other methods more?

Thanks for all the help and advice I appreciate it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladius View Post
 

For freehand sharpening, you'll want at least a coarse stone for occasional reprofiling, a medium-coarse stone for sharpening, and a medium-fine stone for polishing. One of the best affordable examples of the first is the Beston 500, two of the best affordable examples of the second are the Bester 1200 and the Arashiyama 1k, and two of the best affordable examples of the third are the Suehiro Rika (it's 3k-5k depending on mud buildup) and the Arashiyama 6k. CKtG sells a package deal of the Beston 500, the Bester 1200, and the Suehiro Rika. If you can afford even better stones, Japanese Knife Imports sells a package of the Gesshin 400, Gesshin 2k, and Gesshin 6k. Those stones are said to cut faster yet leave a higher polish than other stones at similar grit levels. They have an amazing reputation. If and when I switch from my Edge Pro to freehand, I'm almost certainly getting Gesshin stones.

 

I highly recommend taking that thread about the Chef's Choice with a grain of salt (or less). The negative opinions in that thread were not by people who use the Chef's Choice. If memory serves, they were a mix of people who were speaking from experience with other electric sharpeners eating too much metal and of anecdotes someone heard about someone who used the Chef's Choice improperly and damaged the knife (I think it was the tip). I've heard or read from a number of people who have actually used the Chef's Choice (one who comes to mind is the former CT contributor BDL), and my understanding is that as long as you read the instructions, you are not at any greater risk of damaging your knife than with stones, and the speed at which it eats metal is at the order of magnitude of stones, not of metal-eating electric sharpeners. The Chef's Choice is the one good electric sharpener, and is a virtual necessity if the gift's recipient isn't going to be sharpening knives by some more manual means [1]. That said, the Chef's Choice does have downsides, just not those. The downsides are that it restricts you to one or two preset bevel angles and gets your edge pretty sharp rather than extremely sharp, so it's probably not worth it on premium knives that can take an extremely sharp edge. It's probably more worth it on less expensive high-end knives. That said, if this person doesn't have any means of sharpening and certainly none better than a Chef's Choice, then any premium knife is going to be a waste of a gift unless you also give a sharpening kit. Sharpening is far more important than the knife. Decent sharpening (even a Chef's Choice) plus a $5 Tramontina knife is literally a gift that's orders of magnitude better than no sharpening plus a Konosuke, at least after the first couple weeks go by.

 

If you're dead-set on getting him a high-end knife and not a Chef's Choice (which, again, does seem reasonable for something as high-end as a Konosuke), then you really have to find out if he's willing to learn to sharpen. If not freehand, then you'll really need either to get him a rod-guided jig or get him to get one. The Wicked Edge is the easiest to learn but also really expensive. The Edge Pro has a learning curve but much less than stones. If he won't be getting either of these or some other way to sharpen, then a high-end knife is useless. All dull knives are equal, and dull lightweight knives are even less equal. 

 

 

[1] The only other real option is *if* he lives near someone who happens to be a skilled knife sharpener, then he could send his knives out whenever they start to dull. But that means he won't be keeping his knives sharp unless he intends to pay around $15-$20 a week per knife, which defeats the purpose of a high end knife, *and* he won't be able to use the knives while they're in the shop. Additionally, it might be difficult to even find a real sharpener. Most "professionals" at best run your knife through a Chef's Choice and more likely through something that eats a ton of metal and leaves an obtuse edge with a coarse scratch pattern.

post #12 of 44

No problem! Keep in mind that I don't freehand myself, so my stone suggestions are just based on what I've heard from people whose knife knowledge I value. I personally sharpen on an Edge Pro using Shapton glass stones for most work, with an Atoma 140 and Nubatama 150 for coarse work. I do want to switch to freehand at some point, and I'm not at all trying to steer you away from it. I was trying to steer your father away from it *if* he doesn't express interest in spending the time to learn since his knives will be dull if he doesn't end up putting in that time!

 

The Edge Pro is great for a full reprofiling+sharpening+polishing progression since it lets you set an exact angle. I find it a pain for regular sharpening and quick touch-ups, though, because you can't just click in the angle by feel as you can with freehanding. You've got to configure the machine to the approximate angle that the bevel is currently at, and then check your results to see if you're hitting the right angle. If I were to freehand and keep my set of stones permasoaked, I could literally pop a stone out of the water and touch up a knife in a minute or two whenever it started to lose its polish. I suspect that that convenience would make the sharpening process feel less like work and more like fun, resulting in me doing it more frequently. If I were to do it over again knowing what I know now, would I have started with stones? Probably. But it does sound like there's more of a learning curve both in holding your hands at a consistent angle and in getting the pressure right. It sounds like you have enough interest in learning to freehand that you wouldn't mind that learning curve. If I'm right about that, then yes, you should probably just start with stones. You'll want to start practicing with a medium-coarse stone (e.g. Gesshin 2k, Bester 1200, or Arashiyama 1k) until you get the technique down. Then you'll want to try your hand at a finer grit (e.g. Gesshin 6k, Arashiyama 6k, or Suehiro Rika) at which point any errors in technique should become obvious. Polishing is much less forgiving than coarser sharpening. Once your technique is good enough for polishing, then you can move on to coarse work like reprofiling or repairing a chipped edge. Coarse stones remove a lot of metal, so you don't want to use them until you know that your sharpening technique works!

 

Regarding the Chef's Choice, yes, it's said to not eat your knives like other electric or pull through sharpeners. No clue about the temper issue.

 

Naniwa makes different lines of stones. Their Chosera stones, for instance, are supposed to be very good (at least at most grits) but very expensive. At that price point, though, I've heard you're probably better off getting Gesshin stones.

 

Choseras are normally referred to just as "Chosera" without the "Naniwa" part, so I suspect you were reading about their Super Stone line. I don't know much about them, but I vaguely recall hearing that they gouge easily and aren't the best value at their price point. From other people's recommendations, I'd definitely recommend going with either the Gesshin set or the less expensive Beston + Bester or Arashiyama + Arashiyama or Suehiro Rika triplet, depending on how much you want to spend. Regarding buying from one vs multiple sites, do you happen to be in the continental US? If so, I believe both CKtG and JKI have free shipping on orders over a certain amount, and that certain amount should be less than the cost of a stone set or knife.

 

Edit: You also asked about whether better quality stones are worth it for a newbie. That depends on the stones and the newbie. If they're unforgiving stones like a good diamond set, then you absolutely don't want to use them. Some stones are more forgiving despite cutting pretty quickly. Jon Broida told me his Gesshins definitely fall into that category. I assume they're no more likely to damage your knives as you learn than a cheaper set, and again, you should start with the medium-coarse stone when you're first learning so that any damage from user error will be minimal and not a problem. And as long as you pay attention and follow good video tutorials, I don't expect you to damage your stones while learning. Do read and watch as much as you can before you start. Whether it's worth getting great stones over good stones when you don't have experience with the latter to appreciate the contrast, well, that's up to you! Is it worth getting a great knife over an entry-level J knife when you won't be able to appreciate the contrast? Is it worth buying a beautiful home before living in a fairly pretty home? etc.


Edited by Gladius - 6/24/15 at 12:56pm
post #13 of 44
Thread Starter 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladius View Post
 

No problem! Keep in mind that I don't freehand myself, so my stone suggestions are just based on what I've heard from people whose knife knowledge I value. I personally sharpen on an Edge Pro using Shapton glass stones for most work, with an Atoma 140 and Nubatama 150 for coarse work. I do want to switch to freehand at some point, and I'm not at all trying to steer you away from it. I was trying to steer your father away from it *if* he doesn't express interest in spending the time to learn since his knives will be dull if he doesn't end up putting in that time!

 

The Edge Pro is great for a full reprofiling+sharpening+polishing progression since it lets you set an exact angle. I find it a pain for regular sharpening and quick touch-ups, though, because you can't just click in the angle by feel as you can with freehanding. You've got to configure the machine to the approximate angle that the bevel is currently at, and then check your results to see if you're hitting the right angle. If I were to freehand and keep my set of stones permasoaked, I could literally pop a stone out of the water and touch up a knife in a minute or two whenever it started to lose its polish. I suspect that that convenience would make the sharpening process feel less like work and more like fun, resulting in me doing it more frequently. If I were to do it over again knowing what I know now, would I have started with stones? Probably. But it does sound like there's more of a learning curve both in holding your hands at a consistent angle and in getting the pressure right. It sounds like you have enough interest in learning to freehand that you wouldn't mind that learning curve. If I'm right about that, then yes, you should probably just start with stones. You'll want to start practicing with a medium-coarse stone (e.g. Gesshin 2k, Bester 1200, or Arashiyama 1k) until you get the technique down. Then you'll want to try your hand at a finer grit (e.g. Gesshin 6k, Arashiyama 6k, or Suehiro Rika) at which point any errors in technique should become obvious. Polishing is much less forgiving than coarser sharpening. Once your technique is good enough for polishing, then you can move on to coarse work like reprofiling or repairing a chipped edge. Coarse stones remove a lot of metal, so you don't want to use them until you know that your sharpening technique works!

 

Regarding the Chef's Choice, yes, it's said to not eat your knives like other electric or pull through sharpeners. No clue about the temper issue.

 

Naniwa makes different lines of stones. Their Chosera stones, for instance, are supposed to be very good (at least at most grits) but very expensive. At that price point, though, I've heard you're probably better off getting Gesshin stones.

 

Choseras are normally referred to just as "Chosera" without the "Naniwa" part, so I suspect you were reading about their Super Stone line. I don't know much about them, but I vaguely recall hearing that they gouge easily and aren't the best value at their price point. From other people's recommendations, I'd definitely recommend going with either the Gesshin set or the less expensive Beston + Bester or Arashiyama + Arashiyama or Suehiro Rika triplet, depending on how much you want to spend. Regarding buying from one vs multiple sites, do you happen to be in the continental US? If so, I believe both CKtG and JKI have free shipping on orders over a certain amount, and that certain amount should be less than the cost of a stone set or knife.

 

Edit: You also asked about whether better quality stones are worth it for a newbie. That depends on the stones and the newbie. If they're unforgiving stones like a good diamond set, then you absolutely don't want to use them. Some stones are more forgiving despite cutting pretty quickly. Jon Broida told me his Gesshins definitely fall into that category. I assume they're no more likely to damage your knives as you learn than a cheaper set, and again, you should start with the medium-coarse stone when you're first learning so that any damage from user error will be minimal and not a problem. And as long as you pay attention and follow good video tutorials, I don't expect you to damage your stones while learning. Do read and watch as much as you can before you start. Whether it's worth getting great stones over good stones when you don't have experience with the latter to appreciate the contrast, well, that's up to you! Is it worth getting a great knife over an entry-level J knife when you won't be able to appreciate the contrast? Is it worth buying a beautiful home before living in a fairly pretty home? etc.


From what it sounds like is that other methods are either a PITA and get it good, or that it's easy, but doesn't get it to "perfect."

I think it would be better to just get into it, but I can see it being a PITA at first, but I think it will be better overall to learn technique.

I don't know if dad will like to sharpen on a stone, but now that I am thinking about getting into it myself, I think I might go with stones, but I can see him possibly getting annoyed by it.  He would probably like the Chef's Choice better because it's "easier" but who knows....  I feel the stones would also feel "like work" but maybe not?  Maybe it will be fun as you describe it :).  Knowing how to do it well can be enjoyable.  I'll have to learn about soaking the stones though, what's that about?

So medium "coarse" is what i want?  Your above post mentioned "coarse" for "sharpening" and "fine" for "polishing...?"    Here you mentioned coarse and polishing, so I was curious about that.

How do you know what you've done is "correct" or "right?"  Just the way it cuts or looks?

Not too sure about the Chef's Choice, I would check out the posts on the last page of that thread, because it was interesting info,  but I cannot verify it's validity.

Most of the stones seem to be pretty pricey (around 50$), but I see the "chosera" stones are being more expensive and labeled "professional."

Someone just mentioned that they have tried a few brands of stones, and that the naniwa ones were superior.

His comment was 

Quote:
 I also have some japanese whetstones - a 1k and 6k King, and 400 grit and 2K Naniwa Super stones. The Naniwa are much higher quality in feel and performance. 
I like sharpening in 3 steps. Where you start really depends upon how bad the edge is, how much you like the current profile, and how long you want to spend at it. You usually roughly double the grit as you move up. The coarse grit is to profile the edge and set the burr, the medium helps refine the edge, and the fine is to further refine and polish up the edge. But that's a whole 'nother thread. 


What do you mean by "gouge easy?"

Also yes, I do live in the USA, so I guess the shipping isn't an issue then...

I didn't want to spend that much on a stone honestly, but it seems I'm left with not many choices hahah.....  Some stomnes are really cheap, others are expensive.

Hmm, yeah I guess I'll have to make another thread or something and get more opinions to see what people think like, but the gesshin stones sound good.  What have you heard about them specifically, compared to others, that makes you want to get them?

I'm just making sure that whatever I get works out well overall, and I definitely don't want anything crappy.  I know a lot of people recommended cheap knives, the last post on another forum said I should be buying a bunch of 50$ knives and trying them out to get "my feel for a knife..."

I feel I rather spend a good amount on a good knife, and get some good stones and just learn my way through it then to get a crap knife, a crap set of stones and it just not working well.  I feel the appreciation for the good knife, and not wanting to ruin it will help with the learning process.

I'm thinking about the Richmond laser, since Konosuke is OOS, we shall see how that works out!


Thank you for your time, I really appreciate it.

EDIT:  I just looked up the Gesshin stones and they are expensive....

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/sharpening-supplies.html

post #14 of 44

All of these stones that you're [correctly] looking at are synthetic waterstones. Different ones are made of different materials. Most need to be wet or at least work much better when wet. Some just need a bit of water splashed onto them ("splash & go" stones). Others work better when they've been submerged in water for a few minutes. Others work better when they've been submerged in water for an hour. Some can be stored underwater without disintegrating. Some can't. Some can be left to air dry without any problems. Some might have problems. You'll need to research the particular stones you're interested in to find out their properties. Off the top of my head I know that the Arashiyama 6k needs to be dried out very carefully or never dried (permasoaked) and the same is true for at least one of the popular Gesshins. The Gesshin set can be permasoaked. Not sure about the Beston, Bester, or Suehiro Rika.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LasagnaBurrito View Post
 


So medium "coarse" is what i want?  Your above post mentioned "coarse" for "sharpening" and "fine" for "polishing...?"    Here you mentioned coarse and polishing, so I was curious about that.

You'll need at minimum three: coarse (400-500 grit with the stones we're talking about--nominal grit count functions very differently for some stones), medium-coarse (1000 or 1200 for most of these, 2000 for Gesshin), and medium-fine (finer than medium-coarse and less fine than, say, 8000). It might be helpful to think of sharpening as a process that includes up to three distinct steps: profiling, sharpening, and polishing. Profiling means, at minimum, cutting a fresh edge bevel. It often includes thinning out a bit of metal behind the edge too. You profile on a coarse stone. If you get a knife that comes reasonably sharp out of the box, you won't need to do this initially. Once you get good at sharpening, you'll probably want to only do this once to thin the edge and/or lower the bevel angle to your liking (trade-off between stability and sharpness--most knives come with a conservative edge that errs on the side of stability) and then once every year or less--whenever you've sharpened off enough metal over the year(s) such that the exposed edge is observably closer to the spine and, consequently, sitting below a slightly thicker bit of metal than it used to. Sharpness doesn't just come from how acute and polished the edge is but also how thin the grind of the blade leading up to the edge is.

 

You'll want the medium-coarse stone for doing the actual "sharpening" phase of sharpening. This you'll do a lot more frequently than (re)profiling (and also every time you reprofile). You sharpen whenever the edge wears enough that it's no longer sharp (the V of the edge will start looking a little more like a U, at least conceptually--you determine this by noticing that the knife doesn't cut or fall through your food as nicely as it did after you sharpened it last). Then you polish the edge with your medium-fine grit stone. Finer stones still abrade metal, but the amount is so small that the main function is just to polish out a lot of the scratches left by the medium-coarse stone. Note that when you put in a new bevel with a coarse stone (profiling), you still follow it up with the medium-coarse stone to remove the coarse scratches from the coarse stone, and then follow it up with the medium-fine stone to remove the finer scratches that the medium-coarse stone left. If you ultimately want to, you can even get very fine stones like an 8000 grit or higher to polish out any toothiness left by the scratch pattern from the medium-fine stone. A small degree of toothiness is better than such a smooth polish for certain tasks and worse for others. But don't even think about going beyond a medium-fine stone for polishing until your sharpening skills take you there. Also note that some jumps in grit level are too big for the finer stones to remove enough of the scratch pattern left by the previous stone. The stone progressions that I've mentioned here (Beston 500 to Bester 1200 or Arashiyama 1k to Arashiyama 6k or Suehiro Rika--or Gesshin 400 to Gesshin 2k to Gesshin 6k) are all close enough to progressively remove the scratches left by the previous stone quickly enough and without needing in-between stones.

 

Since you'll initially practice with the medium-coarse stone, you can technically just buy that now. But once you get the hang of it, you'll immediately want to try your technique on the medium-fine stone in order to give your edge a much higher degree of polish. It will chop a lot smoother, feeling much sharper than what you're used to. You'll also need a coarse stone eventually, so if you can get one in a cheaper set, might as well do that now. If you're buying individually, you can leave the coarse stone for a later purchase.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LasagnaBurrito View Post
 

 

How do you know what you've done is "correct" or "right?"  Just the way it cuts or looks?

Both haha. And if it initially cuts amazingly but then loses the edge in ten minutes, you probably didn't deburr successfully. So there will be a number of factors, but appearance and use will cue you in quickly enough. Basically, if the knife gets sharper instead of duller off of the medium-fine stone, then you're indeed polishing the edge. And if it stays that way for a significant enough period of time, then you polished it and didn't leave a burr aka wire edge. You'll learn all about that stuff once you start reading threads and watching videos on sharpening, specifically the "burr" method of sharpening (it's the technique that involves creating a burr, chasing it, and removing it). Don't worry, you'll spend hours hungrily searching for and absorbing all this information! :D

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LasagnaBurrito View Post
 

 

Someone just mentioned that they have tried a few brands of stones, and that the naniwa ones were superior.

That was relative to the budget brand King, not to the stones mentioned above. If you further research the Naniwa Super Stone series, you'll probably find that my vague recollection of them being too soft and/or not worth the price relative to the other stones mentioned above was rooted in reality. But it *is* possible that I made that up.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LasagnaBurrito View Post
 

 


What do you mean by "gouge easy?"

What do the people who've reported that mean? ;) I assume they mean to cut a hole in the stone.

 

Sharpening is even more important than the knife. If you're willing to pay ~$300 for a Konosuke HD over, say, $185 for a similarly-great-but-not-quite-as-great Mac Professional, then you probably should be even more willing to spend a lot for stones that give good feedback and cut quickly. :D Going with a less expensive knife will also give you more cash for the stones! If you do want a laser and would still purchase the Konosuke if it were in stock, then you should check out the Gesshin Ginga. The quality of its heat treatment, grind, and F&F should be at least as good as the Konosuke. Many would choose it over the Konosuke. If you want a laser and don't want to spend that amount of money to ensure quality, I'd probably go with the Richmond Laser in AEB-L. I think I've heard the grind is better and more consistent than most other Richmonds, although their reputation for not polishing out grind marks on the side of the blade might still apply to the Laser, which you may or may not find aesthetically displeasing. Otherwise, it looks like a beautiful knife. Beautiful profile, beautiful handle options, etc. Do be sure to get it in 270mm though since they appear to run even shorter than Konosukes. A "240" (really 230mm according to CKtG) will require more lifting between cuts, and the knives are almost as light as Konosukes, so the extra length on the "270" (262mm) shouldn't take long at all to get used to.

 

Yes, Gesshin stones are expensive!

post #15 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladius View Post
 

What do the people who've reported that mean? ;) I assume they mean to cut a hole in the stone.

 

Sharpening is even more important than the knife. If you're willing to pay ~$300 for a Konosuke HD over, say, $185 for a similarly-great-but-not-quite-as-great Mac Professional, then you probably should be even more willing to spend a lot for stones that give good feedback and cut quickly. :D Going with a less expensive knife will also give you more cash for the stones! If you do want a laser and would still purchase the Konosuke if it were in stock, then you should check out the Gesshin Ginga. The quality of its heat treatment, grind, and F&F should be at least as good as the Konosuke. Many would choose it over the Konosuke. If you want a laser and don't want to spend that amount of money to ensure quality, I'd probably go with the Richmond Laser in AEB-L. I think I've heard the grind is better and more consistent than most other Richmonds, although their reputation for not polishing out grind marks on the side of the blade might still apply to the Laser, which you may or may not find aesthetically displeasing. Otherwise, it looks like a beautiful knife. Beautiful profile, beautiful handle options, etc. Do be sure to get it in 270mm though since they appear to run even shorter than Konosukes. A "240" (really 230mm according to CKtG) will require more lifting between cuts, and the knives are almost as light as Konosukes, so the extra length on the "270" (262mm) shouldn't take long at all to get used to.

 

Yes, Gesshin stones are expensive!




Thanks it seems I have a lot of work to do for research.  I think it's best I BUY THE KNIFE first, give it to him as a gift, and then talk to him about what choices we have, and then figure out together what's best for us.

I'm looking at this knife now http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kogi24gy.html

Seems very thin, and a good steel.  Really the only Konosuke in stock, he just got 10 of them a few weeks ago.

Another guy I was speaking with was interested in it and might get one himself.


The a few posts
 

 

 
Someone mentioned I might get a "beefier" blade, which he recommended.
 
 
 
Quote:
Ok, here are a couple recommendations for your dad. I think you're right to get him a gyuto as a first, general purpose knife. There are good stainless wa handled knives in your price range that would be a good gift. Modern stainless can get just as sharpe and hold and edge well so I usually recommend them for gifts.
 
This would be what I would like as a gift. It's a really nice knife and I'm shocked it's still in stock. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kogi24gy.html
This is less money and it's an excellent knife. I especially like it for your dad since it's not super thin and it's fully stainless and hand made: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sugi240gy.html
Same with this one. Nice knife, good price, better handle than the other two and made by a little shop in northwest Japan: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/rigilagy24.html"
 
"

 

 
Quote:
maiko    Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:49 pm 
 
 
I have both the first two knives recommended by Mark and would more highly recommend the Sukenari as a first J-knife as it is a bit beefier of a blade. The Konosuke is very thin behind the edge and seems like it requires a bit more finesse. I'd recommend the Ginsan steel too for anyone that likes carbon but wants stainless.
 
 

 

Quote:
 
SteveG    Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:59 pm 
Forum Moderator
 
 
+1 to the Sukenari Ginsan 240 Gyuto. It's a great knife with good performance. As maiko mentioned, it's got enough thickness at the edge as to be a bit more forgiving during use.

 

 
 


Thanks again for all the help :)

post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by LasagnaBurrito View Post
 

Thanks again for all the help :)

 

No problem! Do note that that knife is made of san-mai construction where only the core is made from ginsan steel, and it's sandwiched between two other layers of steel. That keeps production cost down. The Konosuke HD and HH, as well as the Gesshin Ginga and the Richmond Laser in AEB-L, are all made of a single steel. I have no experience using san-mai knives, but do note that some forum-goers find cladding to mute the feedback of the knife against the board. That said, I've heard some Japanese chefs prefer san-mai, and I believe the majority of contributors here find them pretty equivalent.

 

If you've fully committed and set your heart on the Konosuke Ginsan, I won't attempt to dissuade you. It's probably an amazing knife. However, if your mind is still open to other options, I do wish to ask if you'd take the Konosuke HD2 over the Ginsan if it were in stock. If so, I highly recommend looking into the Gesshin Ginga, which should be at least equivalent to the Konosuke HD in almost every relevant way besides the alloy (choice of excellent carbon or excellent stainless--and I'd imagine but can't confirm that the stainless Gesshin Ginga will have at least slightly better edge-taking than the Konosuke Ginsan). I've heard the Gesshin Ginga's grind is impeccable.

 

Having not used the Ginsan, my current calculus is that the Ginga and HD are slightly better performers and the Ginsan a slightly better looker. Even if the Ginsan were at the same price point as the other two, I personally would prefer to buy one of the other two. That said, I'm not you. You said the Ginsan is a little thicker (and a little stiffer?) and you might find that that works better with your cutting technique. Are there more affordable options than the Ginsan for amazing knives that are slightly thicker than the Gesshin Ginga and Konosuke HD? If you're open to carbon, absolutely. The Masamoto HC comes to mind. In stainless I don't know. If you're worried about using a laser, I wonder if you'd be better off looking slightly to the other end of the spectrum and going with something slightly thicker and a decent amount heavier than the Ginsan like the Richmond Ultimatum in AEB-L or the Mac Professional MBK-110. I've heard great things about both, and you will have significantly more leeway with cutting harder food.

 

If you do think the Konosuke Ginsan is the right knife for you and/or your father, you might very well be right. I do just want to make sure you've thought this out, considered other options, and have specific reasons for your decision. I also do think you should strongly consider going with 270mm, and even more so for knives that run short like Konosuke. That "240mm" Ginsan is actually only 225mm, which is really half-way between a 210 and a 240. That's *very* short for a gyuto and will require both more handle lifting and more judicious use of its sweet spot. If your choice is between a 270mm Gesshin Ginga and a 240mm Konosuke Ginsan, I'd personally suggest the former in a heartbeat. All right, done talking for now!

post #17 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladius View Post
 

 

No problem! Do note that that knife is made of san-mai construction where only the core is made from ginsan steel, and it's sandwiched between two other layers of steel. That keeps production cost down. The Konosuke HD and HH, as well as the Gesshin Ginga and the Richmond Laser in AEB-L, are all made of a single steel. I have no experience using san-mai knives, but do note that some forum-goers find cladding to mute the feedback of the knife against the board. That said, I've heard some Japanese chefs prefer san-mai, and I believe the majority of contributors here find them pretty equivalent.

 

If you've fully committed and set your heart on the Konosuke Ginsan, I won't attempt to dissuade you. It's probably an amazing knife. However, if your mind is still open to other options, I do wish to ask if you'd take the Konosuke HD2 over the Ginsan if it were in stock. If so, I highly recommend looking into the Gesshin Ginga, which should be at least equivalent to the Konosuke HD in almost every relevant way besides the alloy (choice of excellent carbon or excellent stainless--and I'd imagine but can't confirm that the stainless Gesshin Ginga will have at least slightly better edge-taking than the Konosuke Ginsan). I've heard the Gesshin Ginga's grind is impeccable.

 

Having not used the Ginsan, my current calculus is that the Ginga and HD are slightly better performers and the Ginsan a slightly better looker. Even if the Ginsan were at the same price point as the other two, I personally would prefer to buy one of the other two. That said, I'm not you. You said the Ginsan is a little thicker (and a little stiffer?) and you might find that that works better with your cutting technique. Are there more affordable options than the Ginsan for amazing knives that are slightly thicker than the Gesshin Ginga and Konosuke HD? If you're open to carbon, absolutely. The Masamoto HC comes to mind. In stainless I don't know. If you're worried about using a laser, I wonder if you'd be better off looking slightly to the other end of the spectrum and going with something slightly thicker and a decent amount heavier than the Ginsan like the Richmond Ultimatum in AEB-L or the Mac Professional MBK-110. I've heard great things about both, and you will have significantly more leeway with cutting harder food.

 

If you do think the Konosuke Ginsan is the right knife for you and/or your father, you might very well be right. I do just want to make sure you've thought this out, considered other options, and have specific reasons for your decision. I also do think you should strongly consider going with 270mm, and even more so for knives that run short like Konosuke. That "240mm" Ginsan is actually only 225mm, which is really half-way between a 210 and a 240. That's *very* short for a gyuto and will require both more handle lifting and more judicious use of its sweet spot. If your choice is between a 270mm Gesshin Ginga and a 240mm Konosuke Ginsan, I'd personally suggest the former in a heartbeat. All right, done talking for now!



Thanks, do you know for a fact this is created as a "san-mai" or w/e, and not one piece of steel?  Is that how the Ginsan works?

I'm not commited at all to this knife, and in reality it is a lot more expensive than the other knives, so it's interesting that you prefer the HD2, which is less expensive (but also less steel).

I'm not worried about using a laser, I think the light blade would be nice, but some people said that a "beefier" knife might be better, but I don't know....

I might just wait for the HD2 Laser to come back in stock, but that's probably 5 months away.  I would like to get my dad his gift, at least.  From what others mentioned they really didn't like the Richmond blades, but the Richmond Ultimatum was created by Konosuke, so I don't know how good they are though.

I have my heart set on nothing right now, but Konosuke seems to be the brand that I'm going with.  There seems to be others, but so far everyone seems to agree it's a great brand, but I'm not 100% if that's what I should get, but looks to be that way :P.

I could always get my dad one knife, and then get the laser at another time for myself, and we can switch knives if need be too.

Thanks for all of the help and advice , much appreciated! :)

Any new advice is also much appreciated.

post #18 of 44
No ginsanko refers to the name of the steel. San=3. Is also called G3 steel. San mai is cladding on 3 sides, the sides and top
post #19 of 44
Thread Starter 

Hmm I see that... "Gin-3" or "Silver-3..."  Boo that sucks...?

So we don't even know what the outer layers are?  Why is this so expensive?

Thanks MillionsKnives...

post #20 of 44
I have a lot of clad knives. Nothing inherently wrong with it. There are a lot of reasons to clad. Maybe for reactivity, for cost, to put on a certain look (ex. damascus patterns), or maybe it's easier to forge straight (that one is a guess, I have no idea about forging)
post #21 of 44

^ What MillionsKnives said. Ginsan aka ginsanko aka G3 is just the type of steel they use in the core. You can tell it's san-mai because of the cladding line in the picture. That's the wavy line by the edge, not that secondary bevel line closer to the spine.

 

I believe only the Ultimatum HD is made by Konosuke. I'd imagine Lamson or some other American OEM makes the regular heavier duty line of Ultimatums.

 

I'd say getting your dad something a little stouter makes sense. If I were in a position like I understand yours to be, I'd probably go with a Mac Pro 270mm (MBK-110) or Ultimatum AEB-L 240mm for the gift, depending on whether my father had an adequate size cutting board or not. Then I'd either wait on the Konosuke HD if I really wanted to try out the semistainless alloy, or I'd get a Richmond Laser or Gesshin Ginga now.

post #22 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks Millions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladius View Post
 

^ What MillionsKnives said. Ginsan aka ginsanko aka G3 is just the type of steel they use in the core. You can tell it's san-mai because of the cladding line in the picture. That's the wavy line by the edge, not that secondary bevel line closer to the spine.

 

I believe only the Ultimatum HD is made by Konosuke. I'd imagine Lamson or some other American OEM makes the regular heavier duty line of Ultimatums.

 

I'd say getting your dad something a little stouter makes sense. If I were in a position like I understand yours to be, I'd probably go with a Mac Pro 270mm (MBK-110) or Ultimatum AEB-L 240mm for the gift, depending on whether my father had an adequate size cutting board or not. Then I'd either wait on the Konosuke HD if I really wanted to try out the semistainless alloy, or I'd get a Richmond Laser or Gesshin Ginga now.


Hmm, I see, thanks.  

I don't really know what a knife "should" feel like, so I'm just guessing what I would like, and he has no real mention when I've asked him.  Why would you choose those 2 kinds?

I don't know if we have a good sizes cutting board I guess I should go out and buy one for him too, it seems wooden ones are preferred.

The Richmonds seem to have mixed reviews on them.

I'll probably wait for the Laser, but Idk what I should get now :(.  I think something super thin would be good still, but Idk about the Richmond knives..

You seem to really like Gesshin :), but they are out of stock in the options I was looking at.

post #23 of 44

I have never used a Gesshin and personally own a Konosuke HH (same as HD but for alloy/heat treatment), but the Gesshin Ginga is by all accounts pretty identical to the Konosuke HH/HD in performance. The two are *far* more similar to each other than the HD is to the Ginsan, for example. Some say the Ginga has more consistent F&F than the Konosuke, but many report both being equally great. FWIW the F&F on my Konosuke was very good but not great.

post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 

What exactly is the F&F on the knife?  Do you like the Konosuke HH Laser?  How does it feel?

post #25 of 44
Fit and finish
post #26 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

Fit and finish

Sorry, I mean to ask what exactly is the fit and finish of a blade??

From Google it mentions "attention to detail" so I guess how well the final product comes out?

There was a mention of the Ginsan 210mm Handle being wobbly of something, which was kind of a concern, which I brought up on their forum.

I'll ask the other guy what his F/F is on his 2 knives from Konosuke :).

Thanks all.



-----------------------------------------------------

 It seems that lot of people enjoy their lasers. Would HD2 be the steel to go with, since they have white and blue #2 steel as well as another one called 

"Konosuke KD Ginkgo" IT seems we have to call up Mr Richmond to find out about those, so i'm assuming priceeeeeeyyy.....

It seems people also recommend going with 270mm over 240mm due to the size being smaller than listed?

 There doesn't seem to be a 270mm Gyuto laser, except for this one

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riul270gyhds.html

I'm not sure how it compares to other Gyuto, it seems to be made for Mr. Richmond, by Konosuke. I'm not sure why it's labeled as such, is it certain specs that he wanted?

There are also 270's in the "HH Stainless" section. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kost.html

I also noticed that it seems the GS knives are restocked.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kogsla.html

Hmm so I guess there are some choices besides the HD2.

 


Edited by LasagnaBurrito - 6/27/15 at 12:11am
post #27 of 44

It's the details.  I want the spine and choil rounded.  The handle should be installed straight and cleanly.  Woodworking should be on point.  The grind should be consistent and not wavy.  The metal is polished good, no weird scratches. Things like that.  If you're paying $200 for a knife, you expect something not crudely made.  You want some craftsmanship pride going into it.

post #28 of 44
Thread Starter 

Thanks....

It seems a lot of people are mentioning the Sukanari as a good choice, but Idk....


So hard to decide lolol...

I feel like I personally would like a Konosuke HD2, and then i'll get a nice handle for it, but for my dad, I don't know....

post #29 of 44

Get the HD2 for yourself.  Let him play with it and gauge his reaction.

post #30 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
 

Get the HD2 for yourself.  Let him play with it and gauge his reaction.

Problem is his gift comes first, and the HD2's wont be in stock for a few months lol :(

I know, you all think I'm crazy....  There's some truth to it.... :P

Knife Crazy, new term. :P


Wait....  Apparently the GS Lasers are also San Mai...  Is the HD2 also, or no?


You guys made it seem like we should only go with what they seem to call "monosteel?"

Thanks :)


Edited by LasagnaBurrito - 6/28/15 at 12:17am
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