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Chipping on my Tojiro.

Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:39 am

Today was literally the second day I worked with my tojiro 210mm and I got nicks in the blade! I am so sad. I'm having trouble getting on the forum to ask for advice. What do I do? I am new to Japanese steel. Take it to a professional to fix?


Re: Chipping on my Tojiro.

Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:39 am

Hi Karla,

Don't worry. I will help you. First show me a picture of the knife. I need to see a shot that shows the entire blade so I can get some perspective.

Kind Regards,
Mark Richmond
(608) 232-1137

Re: Chipping on my Tojiro.

Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:11 am

Hi Karla,

All chips can be fixed so no worries :)

Several general rules of thumb with Japanese Gyutos ( assuming that is what we are talking about )

No frozen food.
No hard cheese.
No bones.
No hard cutting boards like glass or ceramic. Use wood or plastic.

Part of the fun of owning these kind of knives is learning to sharpen and customize the edge to your particular style of usage.

A very steep edge will be perceived as sharper, but it will be more prone to damage. A more obtuse edge will still be shaving sharp, but less prone to damage. What is right for you? Only one way to find out :)

If you want to try sharpening to see if its for you, I would suggest getting:


And watch as many vids as you can on the topic. There are tons on this site. There is also a fellow called Murray Carter, a master blade smith, who has a dead easy sharpening method which works great. Google is your friend there.

If you want to dive in in a bigger way, in the sharpening section of CKTG, there are a number of great starter sets of stones, basically combinations which work well together.

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of Japanese knives.

Re: Chipping on my Tojiro.

Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:41 am

there are stone cutting boards as well. so that's a big no-no too. =D

Re: Chipping on my Tojiro.

Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:29 pm

Don't be sad. This is an opportunity to better understand your knife and make it not just repaired, but BETTER than when you got it. Small little nicks or chips will get worked out in the sharpening process. I should also mention that sometimes after the first sharpening or two the edge will be stronger because the edge steel may have been tempered a bit too hard and the next edge or two will be just right.

A pro can fix it. A good one won't make things worse so Don't confuse your local butcher or hardware store sharpener as a 'pro'.

But this is really something you can do yourself. You can probably get by with just a 1k stone for this if the chips are small.


Re: Chipping on my Tojiro.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:14 am


Re: Chipping on my Tojiro.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:20 am

Ok, this is really minor and is a good teachable moment.

I would encourage you to learn to sharpen. You can get 1 stone like this Dragon 800 stone and you can easily sharpen this knife on that stone and it's a good enough cutter to take that chip out with ease. The trick to taking out chips is to ignore them and sharpen the knife like they're not there. Eventually they will be removed after a couple sessions. What you don't want to do is try and grind the chips away. You will end up messing up the geometry of the knife. Here is the stone I'm talking about: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/im800grst.html There is also a video on the page that will show you the stone and give you a quick primer on how to sharpen.

Now, if this seems like too much for you feel free to mail it to my knife sharpener Shaun Fernandez and he'll fix the chips and sharpen the knife and send it back to you better than new. I'll have him contact you.

Re: Chipping on my Tojiro.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:22 pm

KARLA <> I think we should really start talking about how you did this. :geek:

Re: Chipping on my Tojiro.

Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:05 pm

The good news is those knives are thin so sharpening is easy. The bad news is you need to first grind away enough steel to remove the chips.

I would get a very coarse stone (220 grit or lower) and using the side of the stone grind the edge with the blade 90 degrees to the stone as if you were trying to cut it in half. This will quickly remove the metal you need to remove and get you past the chips. You grind the whole edge when doing this so you don't disrupt the blade curve. Once the damage is gone set a new edge and resharpen.

Re: Chipping on my Tojiro.

Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:11 pm

+1 Jason. Time to get out the 60 Ume (very fast) or 150 Bamboo (fast) and use the technique Jason describes. I would call this a medium sized chip :) Get the chip out in one quick session and reestablish the edge with the 150 as well. Then move on to a 1k stone like the 1k Ume to begin to refine the edge. A relatively quick repair with a coarse stone.

Here's a video of the 60 grit stone being used for a tip repair in just a few strokes. Grinding down to the bottom of your chip as Jason describes will happen in no time at all.

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