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Faux Damascus knives

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm brand new to this board, although I've been stalking your opinions about faux Damascus knives for about a month. I know they're not well thought of, I know you're paying for pretty. I'd still like one. I'm trying to purchase a decent kitchen knife to add to my collection (of 2, a zwilling 8" chef's knife and a tojiro 8" chef's knife) and really like the Japanese Damascus style. I have it narrowed down to a Yaxell Gou 6.5" Santoku, a Mcusta Zanmai Damascus flame 7", or a Kikuichi Warikomi Damascus utility 6.5". I like shorter blades for prep work. Does anyone have experience with/an opinion of any of these? I'm sorry to ask such a dumb question... I'm very new to this, and appreciate your patience. I'd like something to grow and learn with, but also something high quality that will last for many years.
post #2 of 7

Stainless only?


Are you open to Japanese wa-handles?


How are you sharpening your current knives?

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am open to any suggestions. The kikuichi is nickel, says the description on Amazon. I'm open to wa handles, I actually love the way they look. I purchased a norisada knife with a magnolia handle that was beautiful, but the balance was not comfortable (too far up on the blade). Not sure if the problem there was in the lightness of the handle or just the way the knife was constructed. I have Japanese water stones and a ceramic blade straightener. I'm not proficient, but am trying to learn how to use these things.
post #4 of 7

Nickel on those kinds of knives usually just means there's nickel somewhere in the composition of that soft stainless cladding where the faux damascus/suminagashi patterning is. It should be a fully stainless knife.


Are you pinch gripping? Wa-handled knives tend to be blade forward, but I've got 270mm knives with wa-handles I don't find a balance issue with, even with the balance point being almost 2inches from the handle.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Nope, not pinch gripping. Just holding it normally, I think. The blade feels super top heavy, and doesn't balance out unless I hold it about 2" up into the blade. I hope that makes sense.

Thanks for the clarification about the nickel content. This is all new to me, I appreciate that you're willing to explain in terms I can understand.
post #6 of 7
As a function of better control/better knife skills, you might want to learn to pinch grip. It doesn't take long and there are plenty of helpful videos and images. Using a pinch grip also makes wa-handled knives feel light as opposed to unbalanced/terribly blade heavy.

Something like holding the blade around there.
Sorry no opinions or experience in the blades you listed, but I'll widen the pool a bit.
Tanaka VG10 Damascus (pictured), Masakage Kiri Damascus

Though, if even after trying the pinch grip, the blade forward balance really is a deal breaker, veer away from santokus (and nakiris, which tend to be a little heavier because of their extra height) as opposed to utility/petty knives/short gyutos. The tradeoff is knuckle clearance (also something solved by a loose pinch grip as opposed to a handle grip. See a running theme here? smile.gif )
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Loose pinch grip. Noted. YouTube, here I come!! Nakiris are so pretty. I'll definitely check out the Tanaka and Masakage.

If all else fails, and this old dog can't learn to manage a pinch grip, your advice seems sound. I love the look of the wider blades, but for practicality a petty/etc would most likely suit my needs a little better.

Off to practice pinch grips with the Norisada. Thank you so much for your input!! 😊
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