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In Search of Good advice for custom Japanese single bevels

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

whats going on guys? Well heres the dilemma, I've been looking for a good Japanese single bevel. The big issue is that i am left handed. I know, shame on me right? the big issue that i have come across is the lack of information i find out there. Much of it is Marketing and Marketing. i tried a Miyabi and was not happy with it because of the slight bevel and grip. Both which are made for right handed people, not a big fan of shun from what i have researched. So my next option is to go with a Company that can fabricate a left handed single bevel knife. but with all this internet stuff, only mainstream knife companies come up in the searches. so my question to you is, "Can you educate me on good companies that do custom knives and of course good knives is what i mean?" I'm not too worried about budget because you get what you pay for. however I'm not looking for a $1000.00 knife either. I am currently using a Kramer by Z-willing. which i traded for the Miyabi. its a nice knife, but its a BIG knife. thanks for any advice, and please give me some knowledge, not just Brands. Thanks again. SEMPER FI!

post #2 of 15

Before anyone can really help you here we have to know what you think you need a single bevel for, ie, what are you intending to use this knife for?  You mention a Kramer chefs, maybe you just want an asymmetric gyuto, which would cover many Japanese knives.  Both japanesechefknives and japaneseknifeimports, amongst others, supply some lefties, and JKI in particular can do some special orders/customs.

 

 

Rick

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 


Hi Rick, 

 

There are two knives I'm trying to get right now, one for prepping vegetables, and just a all around that can replace the chef knife the single bevel has its benefits for your knife cuts once you get used to it, and love the edge they keep for a long time. I think high carbon knives will do that regardless of single or dual bevel. The other knife i want with a single bevel, is for slicing whole fish and whole cuts of beef and pork. I just want something that will be long lasting durable and high quality, given that you care for them properly, and i assure you i do. But on top of all that, i don't want to pay an extra $200.00 or so for the "Brand". thanks for your time.

post #4 of 15

Get ahold of Jon Broida over at [url=http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/] Japanese Knife Imports.[/url]  He's a good guy and really knows single bevel knives.  He can get you fixed up.

"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 15

BTW, I don't think you really want a single bevel knife.  Those are really for Japanese cooking.  If you're doing a ton of precise cuts on fish I could see the utility but for most Western cuisines a Japanese double bevel knife will serve you better.  JMOHO.

"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
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post #6 of 15

Better consider both a gyuto and sujihiki, double bevelled, perhaps with an adapted geometry as you're left-handed. This retailer has them in stock.

 

http://www.knifemerchant.com/products.asp?productLine=44

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

I appreciate the response time guys. I really believed that a single bevel would be the way to go for a slicing knife, but from the replies it sounds like its not the way to go. sounds like a 50/50 is probably the best direction to go in. if theres any other opinions please feel free to put in your 2 cents. thanks again

post #8 of 15
50/50 is marketing malarkey. It's easier to say that than educate customers on asymmetry. If its japanese, it's not symmetric.

One thing I was looking for in sujihiki was no flex and a thicker knife. For protein I dont care how thick the knife is, but I hate flex. That's fpr cutting pork and beef though. Depends on your application I guess.
post #9 of 15
As others have said, your current understanding of chisel edge knives is both incomplete and incorrect. They are not at all more durable than double beveled Japanese knives. On the contrary, they require being constantly maintained to preserve maximum sharpness. Basically, if you don't already know exactly how to use an usuba, deba, or yanagiba and know what specific tasks they're made for, then they're almost certainly not the knives you want to be buying. I second the recommendation of calling Jon Broida from JKI and explaining to him what information led you to think single bevel / chisel edge knives were what you wanted, and let him talk you through why they don't (or do!) match your needs and what knives do.
post #10 of 15

I was going to say much the same as others.  I would add that maybe you would want to include a wide-bevel gyuto or similar to the mix for tasks that especially benefit from good food release.

 

 

Rick

post #11 of 15
But please remember, Japanese knives tend to be made for right-handed. If they allow a great food release, that's fine -- for most -- but not for you.
post #12 of 15

Most Western-style Japanese knives are asymmetrically beveled but many can be converted.  With many of them it really is just the sharpening and they're not really left or right handed til the finish sharpening.  Not all of them, of course.

"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 #13 of 15

Unlike Phaedrus, I don't have extensive sharpening experience, or any experience sharpening Japanese knives other than my own, but I too have been under the impression that many if not most asymmetrical double bevel knives can be converted, and specifically can be converted using a single sharpening angle just by varying the amount of time spent sharpening on the respective sides. However, recently I've seen a number of claims that with most double bevel Japanese knives, the whole blade is ground so asymmetrically that huge steering problems will ensue if you try to change the asymmetry of the edge. Benuser has articulated this on a number of occasions, and I believe MillionsKnives linked to this article by Dave Martell: http://japaneseknifesharpening.blogspot.com/2012/03/asymmetry-real-deal.html

 

Thoughts?

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the suggestions and comments, the biggest issue's I had with the Miyabi i had at one point were two. 1. the bevel was 60/40 from what i was told, and 2. the handle was made to fit comfortably in the cutters hand. Of course only if they were right handed. I went as far as contacting the company directly, and i was stuck with a knife that was not working for me. Luckily the wife purchased it at Sur La Table, and i was able to switch it for that Kramer i have now. I like the knife, but its a big knife. The knife does not necessarily have to be 50/50 or chisel edge. it can be any combination of angles. I simply want them to work for me and what i am doing (Working in a kitchen). It sounds like a gyuto is the way to go? I hand sharpen all my wood chisels and hand plane blades on shapton stones up to 16,000 grit. but a knife is longer so i am hoping i can adapt my experience hand sharpening woodworking tools and turn it over to sharpening knives. Ill probably practice on a wal mart knife thanks for the advice. I mainly wanted this thread to learn about japanese knives. I have used them to cut before, and they take a little to get used too, but the edge retention and level of sharpness you can take it to is pretty awesome. I don't mind putting work into my knives, because they are The tool of the trade. thanks again everyone any other advice or suggestions feel free to post, Gladius, that article you attached was awesome! thank you for that. 

post #15 of 15
I highly recommend the japanese knife imports sharpening playlist on youtube. The first 5 or 6 videos will get you through double bevel sharpening. Make sure your stones are flat or you'll have unintentional convexing. Other than that you can use the same stones. I stop around 6k for double bevels usually. Lower for my butchering knives, much lower for stainless steel.
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