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Kai Shun Tim Malzer 9.5" arrival.... what to expect?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sortof clicked on a click fancy a month ago and have since thought oitherwise


Meant to to cancel but got the dispatch advise Tuesday...


I mainly plan to send it back as have better plans for my knives budget, but there's an extended cooling of period till end of Jan '16 so I have time to play with it


Looking forward to the acquaintance 

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well, it's finally arrived... long one short - it's going back


Getting past the nice wooden box it's the first Damascus I've seen in the flesh and have to say was a little underwhelmed, even the hammered upper part of the blade isn't too impressive


F&F however is first class. No sharp edges or gaps anywhere to be felt or seen. The handle is nice and fits into my big hands well. The OOTB edge is very sharp, sharper than any of my other blades which I have sharpened (must practice more, back to the you tube tutorials)


I thought I would try the knife and so cut some onions and then cust and peeled some raw beetroot which it felt very smooth going through - man the edge looks thin. However, I have now noticed the cladding had very slightly scratched where some dirt on the beetroot has caught it (does damascus cladding scratch that easily?). You can just see it on the collection pic


The other thing I have noticed is handling the blade with my (clean) fingers leaves a greased look on the highly polished clad which dulls the finish completely (you can see a bit of it forming in the bottom pic around the neck


The biggest problem with the knife though is the profile - man is that tip high


For comparison I have


Tojiro Shirogami ITK Gyuto 240 (lowest and needs least lifting)

JCK Original Kagayaki 10" Carbonext (slightly higher, but still comfortable)

Victorinox 8" Chef's (quite high)

Robert Welch Signature 10" Chef's 




Here are some tips in the board shots


The Tijiro needs least lift, and of course the Welch is hilarious. The Kai needs a lot though is uncomfortable on the wrist dicing onion


post #3 of 10
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey Brian, you've Shun bashed enough in your time - my turn :)

post #5 of 10
I'm still composing my thoughts. And please get it right, I don't Shun bash. 😄
post #6 of 10

Okay, now that we have "an understanding" I think I can comment.


First, I actually like Shun and find them a fine option. It's not that they are without fault, but for many the "faults" are quite acceptable. Every cook needs to make up their own mind. What I do bash (if you want to call it that) is the continual drone of bashing as if there is only one or two knives in all of existence that are worthy. If that were true, then German knife forms would have died out long ago and Kai/Shun would be shutting their doors. Neither is happening.


Second, please verify the scratching. I find it incredulous that you would cut dirty beetroot with a knife you were testing and thinking of returning. Come to think about it... I find it incredulous that anyone would cut dirty beetroot at all. Scratching from dirt is possible, but I have never seen it. Are you sure that it is really scratched? What kind of dirt was that beetroot grown in... lava?


Third, I have no idea what your "lift" pics are really depicting. But they are interesting for other reasons so I thank you for them. For the Japanese form blades most folks would never lift them that high. They would use a different stroke than one uses with a German knife form. So as interesting as it is, all it indicates is that there are different strokes for different folks.


I'm very happy that you are trying the various blades to determine what works best for you. The most ridiculous thing I've ever read on knife forums is when someone (and usually it is one or two "someones" rather than the masses) who claim that trying before buying is worthless because one needs to live with a blade before knowing if it will work out.


And for God's sake... please move your grip up a bit on the blade. :lol:


But it sounds like the German profile isn't for you. That is good for you to learn while you are still in the period where a return is possible. There is nothing worse than getting stuck with a knife you'll end up despising every time you look at it.

post #7 of 10

Oh... two more thoughts. Yes, the Shun and many other knives will get dirty when used. It's just going to happen. But it cleans up easily.


And regarding discomfort using a German profile blade when dicing onion (or celery, or carrot, or shallot...) a lot of the discomfort seems to be the result of elementary geometry. Think of the total system - knife form, board size, board height, and cook height. Often I find that a decent board on a normal height counter can make dicing veg a very unpleasant task if the cook is either too short or too tall. In fact, for Thanksgiving I had a 12 year old sous who had that problem using my Shun Premier, but given a Sabatier and suggestion of a different knife stroke it all worked out.


I'm a big believer in the notion that there isn't a single good answer to many questions, if you haven't figured that out, and that it is really difficult to get good answers from asking random questions on the internet and getting random answers from random people. Information gathering is VERY valuable, but one really needs to figure out the best answer for their individual needs and situation.  :)


It seems that you are on the way to doing that for yourself; I commend you.


p.s.  You have a nice collection of knives.  I could live quite happily with those.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

My testing of knives is not going well at all if I've scratched this Shun and can't return it


The Beetroot was rinsed. I guessed it was from some dirt in the root part that didn't wash off. I didn't see or feel it happen, it's only now after rinsing I see it, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't there out the box. My other stainless knife and the 'carbon' (stainless looking) JCK look as new as they did except for a little sharpening evidence right on the edge, but the blade faces are mint and they haven't been baby'd...


As for the lift pics, they are to demonstrate how far you need to lift the handle to get the tip on the block, and I thought I would compare what I have (for the benefit of another in my knife search/journey, that was all), and the belly profile of the Shun which I don't like. I'm not very much past a newbie here (although I have tried a few now and have read a ton) with knives and profiles and such, and used to think my Robert Welch was great until I realised I preferred a flatter profile and could then easily see its limitations


I was also blinded by Damascus which is why I ordered the Shun in the first place, but can now see the hype. Other aspects of the knife I could live with (although I haven't lived with VG-10), so it's not a Shun bash really. My remark was a little tongue in cheek


Thankyou for your comments

post #9 of 10
With VG10 what may be make-or-break for most folks will be sharpening. Not easy. I send them out for sharpening as often as I do it myself.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Phew - panic over. The scratches polished out completely and now the blade is perfect again


Quite a relief now it's gone back

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