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Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:38 am

Thanks again Adam and Taz for the additional comments, I think a this point I'm leaning more towards the Tanaka Sekiso. I really like the overall design of the knife, the damascus blade, and it sounds like it performs very well from Taz's comments. I'll probably check with Mark to see if the handle can be switched to an oval or octagonal handle.

Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:51 pm

I've changed my mind and I think I'm going to hold off on getting the Tanaka for now. I thought I would go with something a little cheaper and a smaller profile my first carbon knife. I like the Yamashin White #1 Funayuki 265 mm and was wondering if this would be a good choice? My dad's birthday is also coming up in about a month and I would like to get him a good carving / slicing knive (in carbon steel) for a reasonable price. The Fujiwara FKH 240mm sujihiki looks like a great knife at a good price, any thoughts?


Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:51 am

Yes, the Yamashin would probably be a decent knife to get....you just have to remember to wipe it down after use. If you forget(in a rush to entertain and eat) and it gets a little rust on it, no biggy, it's easy to polish it off with a 6000 grit waterstone. Simple actually; even a wet cloth will work in most cases.

FWIW, i've had a Tanaka #2 blue Nakiri for about 4 months now? ...and it DOESN'T hold an edge longer than my twin Henckel + it sharpens alot easier than the Henckel, BUT the Henckel nearly gets as sharp...which to me means, the Tanaka ain't as good 'o steel, or ain't forged as well. Different japanese knives are forged differently from maker to maker...obviously with some being alot better than others at forging and hardening the steel. Henckel uses cold forging.

Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:53 am

Oh, and fwiw - my next japanese knife will be stainless clad.

Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:05 am

I have the Blue #2 Kurouchi Nakiri, Blue #2 Kurouchi Gyuto and the 240mm Sekiso Damascus. All will take a much finer edge than the Henckels I have used and sharpened and will hold it as long. My Nakiri hasn't seen the stones in quite some time, quick stropping brings it right back. Maybe you got a blade with a softer HT or something? I've taken the Tanaka Nakiri up to an Ozuka Asagi finish stone (12K-15K) and the edge it takes is phenomenal.

Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:09 am

It really seems that the Henckel harder to sharpen and also seems to hold longer, although in all fairness i use the Nakiri quite a bit more because i eat more vegetables these days; i mainly use the Henckel for meat. The Tanaka does get considerably sharper...but i'm assuming that's because it's thinner and the angle that i generally sharpen a Nakiri at is steeper than seems appropriate for a Henckel. Nakiri is probably ~ 10-12 degrees? Henckel is probably ~ 18-20...but i can get a 'good' Henckel pretty sharp.

I hone my Nakiri each time before use(I've read it is normal for Japanese chef's to sharpen between each use)...because i love the razor edge it gets for swift vege work. It seems to me that there's some variation in what some people consider sharp from what other's call sharp. After one use...the razor edge is pretty much lost...but it's still sharp...if you know what i mean.

The finest i have is a leather strop(w/compound)...maybe ~ 10000 grit?...but i find the edge i get off of the 6000 stone is hair shaving, paper-push cutting, get a cut finger by lightly rubbing the edge......sharp. I should try working it longer and see what it results in... I'm also looking at aquiring a good 'natural stone(hone)...as the synthetics seem to wear down too fast. I'm always flattening.

Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:09 am

Well, meats can be softer on the blades, especially if you use more of a chopping motion with the Tanaka and have more impact with the cutting board. I got my Nakiri too thin and had to add in a micro bevel because it was starting to chip a little. I flattened the blade bevel and pretty much had the blade bevel going right into the actual edge. Good natural stones would be the Ozuka Asagi Koppa, Shobu San, Hideri Suita Koppa, Jyunsyouhonyama, or Hideri Namito. Look for something in the 8K-12K or so range as a finisher for the carbon steels. 6000 will get a nice edge, but the refinement with the bite of the J Nats is incredible, especially with a little mud going!! Carbon steel especially loves the J Nat stones and the smaller ones or "koppa" size (smaller than normal, may be irregularly shaped) give a low cost way to try these stones out.

Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:09 pm

Thanks desol for your thoughts on the Yamashin (sorry I put 265mm, I meant the 165mm Funayuki). Taz do you have any experience with Yamashin knives? Anyone have any experience with the Fujiwara FKH 240mm sujihiki and know what kind of carbon steel it's made of?

Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:48 pm

I haven't tried the Yamashin knives yet, but they are supposed to be nice. Maybe split the difference between the Tanaka Damascus and Yamashin and get the 210 Tanaka Kurouchi gyuto? 210mm blade, $120, Japanese style Wa handle with the Kurouchi finish. I usually use a 240mm and don't use a 210mm much anymore since I am used to the larger knives (240mm Tanaka Sekiso and Addict 2 in 52100). I polished the blade bevel of the Tanaka and it cuts smoother now, but the Kurouchi finish does increase the amount of friction you feel when cutting through foods that are taller than the blade bevel, no matter what the knife.

I have played with a few Fujiwara Carbon knives. They are supposed to be SK4 steel, similar to the Kikuichi Carbon Elite that I have. Nice carbon steel, but not as pure as the White and Blue steels; some complain of a metallic smell or stinky smell from the sulfur and phosphorus I believe, but it's not that bad. Slicing meats, it will take a nice patina quickly! It is hardened to 60 rockwell according to another place that sells them, so that's plenty hard! I believe the Stainless ones may be a bit softer? I would go for a 270mm Suji at least; I have a 270 Artifex and 300mm White #2 from Konosuke and am trying to make a 330mm one for myself from scratch. The extra length is nice when dealing with larger foods to slice down and because the blade is narrow, it's still very nimble and easy to use at 270mm. If he is planning to use it as a chefs knife, a 240mm gyuto would be better since there is more knuckle clearance and you won't have to hold the handle part off of the board to avoid hitting your knuckles. A friend of mine got both the 270 gyuto and suji and loves them! They also have good sized handles for the length of the blade, too, which is nice for people with bigger hands.

Re: Carbon Steel Knives

Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:46 am

Taz, I was considering the Yamashin 165 mm Funayuki over the Tanaka 210 Kurouchi gyuto because I already have a Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu 8" Chef's knife, so I felt a gyuto in the 210 mm size would be redundant. I thought the Yamashin would be a nice smaller chef's style knife with good knuckle clearance to prep smaller foods. I also looked at the Tanaka Kurouchi 165 mm Deba, but thought it might be a little too hefty. There are also a lot of petty knives in the 150 mm size, but because the blade height is rather short, I didn't think I would use one very much (I already have a good paring knife). I'll probably try to get a Fujiwara in the 270 mm size (it's currently listed as out of stock). At some point I'm still planning to get a Tanaka Sekiso 240 mm gyuto.
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