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Confused about asymetric edges

Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:49 pm

Hello.

Thanks for taking the time for helping me out. I am new to higher end Japanese knives and a little confused. I am looking at the Kikuichi Gold Elite Damascus Gyuto knife. My question is - is it a 50/50 blade? Is that considered a single bevel blade? Are 70/30 and 80/20 - all the specific hand knives considered double beveled? I placed an order with you yesterday for a few things but was hesitant to purchase a chef knife because of my lack of knowledge.

Thanks for help in advance.

Rob

Re: Confused about asymetric edges

Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:01 pm

Hi Rob,

This is a complicated subject for a number of reasons. I'll try and make the explanation simple and clear.

Try thinking about a knife edge with two edges that meet at a point. The angle of the edges, length of the bevels etc can all vary within a range between about 10 and 45 degrees and that will produce an edge that will cut. For most gyutos/chef knives you will find knives with mostly 50/50 edges but often the sharpeners will put a little more grind on one side and less on the edge on the other to give the knife a slight cutting performance enhancement. For most of these gyutos it won't matter if you are a righty or a lefty. You won't be able to tell the difference when you cut with them. You can also easily sharpen your knives evenly on both sides and you wont' ruin the knife.

Now many Japanese knives like Yanagis and Usubas and Debas are ground completely differently on the entire blade of the knife not just on the edge. These knives usually have a concave ground back and they're nearly impossible for a left handed user to use a right handed Japanese knife. The edge is usually ground almost completely on the front side of the knife so it's more like a 99/1 edge where really all you do is sharpen one side and deburr the back side.

So, if you're getting a gyuto don't worry too much about the edge grind.

Re: Confused about asymetric edges

Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:01 pm

I like pictures, so I attached a simple sketch showing an approximate 30/70 grind on a knife that is roughly 3mm thick at the spine.

This is fairly typical for Japanese made gyuto's. Adjust accordingly for 10/90 knives like a honesuki, or 20/80 gyuto's, or....you get the picture.

The idea is that more of the meat of the blade is on the right side of the centerline of the knife. In a 30/70 knife, 70% of the steel is on the right side of the centerline of the knife.

These are all considered double bevel knives as we talk about them here.

I'm not 100% certain why they grind their double bevel knives this way, but I reckon it's because they believe they cut better.

These types of grinds, depending on their severity, can interfere with the cutting for a leftie.

These types of grinds, depending on their severity, must be taken into consideration when sharpening the knife. You can screw with the centerline of the knife if you don't match the original grind of the knife making the knife cut poorly.

Now, if I never told you and you never knew....it's not like it's the difference between cutting with a sharp knife and a dull butter knife...but the difference is definitely there.

Yanagi's, deba's, usuba's, etc. (true single bevel Japanese style knives) are a creature all of themselves and are ground nothing like what I've described above.
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