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 Post subject: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:38 pm
Posts: 225
i'm kind of undecided between a Konosuke gyoto in HD2, and a Moritaka gyoto in AS. i'm basing this off reviews i've read, as i don't have any ownership experience of either brand. i realize the HD is semi stainless. Does anyone own both? i would like to know what the difference between the two steels are, specifically:

performance wise
ability to take an edge
edge retention
wear resistance as it relates to ease of sharpening

thanks for any input

pat



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 Post subject: Re: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:36 pm
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Location: NY, NY; New Haven, CT
I do not own both. What I can say is that my HD2 sharpens quite differently on the two types of stones I have. It is easy in both cases, but it is ridiculously easy on my Shapton Pro stones. I have had no issues with water resistance, at least as regards RUST (my Konos have changed color over time, but there is no sense of detrimental corrosion). While I wipe my knives frequently, I let friends use the Konos and they don't. :)

Edge retention of the Konos has been good, but not as good (I suspect) as AS—others will have to speak to this, although remember that you're comparing a steel at about 61 HRC with a steel (in the Moritaka) that is closer to 63-5 HRC...not exactly a "fair" comparison, so I wouldn't expect this to reflect the quality or toughness of the steels so much as the vastly different characteristics each one posses in this regard.

My Konos take a very good edge. I'm new to sharpening and I can easily slice printer paper with quick, diagonal strokes about 1/4 inch apart about 3-4 inches from where I am holding the paper. While I have other knives that are just as sharp (including a Kono Fuji Blue #2 that is probably sharper), the Konos slice as if they are the sharpest edges of all, probably due to their incredible geometry (incredible for sharpness, but not necessarily the best for your needs in the kitchen, depending). My fuji with Blue #2 feels amazingly sharp, is extremely easy to sharpen, and is also laser thin behind the edge, but it so far lacks the silky smoothness of my older HD2s. Part of this may be that I've worked the edges of the HD2s myself for longer, whereas the Fuji has more of a factory edge that has only been touched up (I imagine it will become more refined as I wear away more metal).

I mention all this because I imagine the characteristics of Blue #2 and AS to probably be relatively similar in these regards, at least in comparison to HD2 steel. Obviously, the knives are all quite different, and I don't think my Fuji and Moritaka would be "similar" as knives—this is just an attempt to describe the wonderful bite and wicked sharpness of the Blue #2 steel versus the silky sharpness of the HD2 which, truth be told, is not always "sharper" on the board. I should mention that I use the same stone progression on all of these, so it is not a matter of polish, etc (although it may be a matter of refinement, as I mention above).

This is probably more than enough. I'll let others speak who have both, since I know they are out there...!!

I should add this: I think you use German steel most of the time, and very old, soft German steel at that (if I am remembering your other posts correctly—I'm too lazy to check!). I think you should give extra thought to how different the transition will be to the slightly softer HD2 steel verses the harder and potentially "chippy" Moritaka steel. Moritakas don't have a reputation for being "chippy" in any worrying sense (as far as I know), but given what you are coming from, you may be a little less accident prone or more comfortable with a slightly more forgiving steel...at least at first. This shouldn't be the deciding factor, of course!



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Ownership experience: Konosuke, Masamoto, Tojiro, Wusthof, Henckels, etc.
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 Post subject: Re: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:22 pm 
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Joe,

thanks for that most excellent reply. i also appreciate the heads up on the issue of transitioning from softer german steels. i have mentioned on more than one occasion that i was sharpening a henckels. i do own other knives and should put my ownership experience in my signature. i sharpen the german stuff often for the sharpening practice. i also have a tojiro gyoto and nakiri in vg10, a tojiro santoku in white #2 and a yamashin funayuki in white #1. but thanks again for the helpful info. at some point i will probably own both the HD2 and the Moritaka, i'm just tossing around which one to get first. thanks again.

pat



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 Post subject: Re: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:09 pm 
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Based on your criteria in selecting which steel to go with, pick based on something else.

Both of these steels are very, very good and you should be far more concerned about geometry, profile, length, finish even.

The differences in performance, edge retention and ability to take an edge of a Kono HD2 and a knife with well HT'd AS are far beyond the skill and equipment of almost everyone on the planet.

The one criteria you're asking about that newbies can easily tell a difference (although many don't know this is where they might be having trouble) is "wear resistance as it relates to ease of sharpening". In this case.....I wouldn't be concerned as both are fairly close. Both are easy to sharpen well in this department.



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 Post subject: Re: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:30 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
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Adam beat me to this but I work too hard writing it not to post it :mrgreen:

I have a Kono, though not long enough to sharpen it yet, and I do NOT own a Moritaka, and at first blush I thought I knew the answer to this question but after some reflection I think you are asking the wrong question.

These knives are more different in other ways than they are in terms of steel.

First, Moritakas are quality hand made knives, Konos are among the highest quality mass produced knives. It may be the case that the maker speaks through the work a little better with the Moritaka.

Second, aesthetics, this kinda goes hand in hand with previous comparison. The Moritaka is loaded with character, it has a rugged functionality to it. The Kono is an antiseptic, clean lined, functional knife. If you wanted to imbue the Kono a more characterful description, try elegant.

Third, profile, grind, etc. I can't speak authoritatively on this one since I have not handled the Moritaka, but no two knives are the same. I do not think these two knives will be perfect substitutes for one another on the basis of their various geometries.

Fourth, steel. Putting this fourth indicates why I think you might be asking the wrong question. Both the HD steel and AS steels are renowned for their performance. Things like grind probably do more to inform performance than steel with regard to food product, edge retention, and sharpening (since grind informs how well the edge is supported, how much steel needs to be removed to establish an edge, etc). The most interesting point of interest, in terms of steel, between these two knives is the relatively high hardness of the Moritakas. The Kono HD is well regarded in part because of their Goldilocks heat treat at 61 HRC. The Moritiakas at ~64 HRC is more daring, offering the prospects of both a steeper bevel angle and more likely chipping.

The upshot of all this is I think you might look at the broader picture and consider what appeals to you, rather than trying to differentiate based on steels. Both have strong reputations, I would not be angry to have either in my collection.


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 Post subject: Re: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:25 pm 
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thanks, Adam and Cedar. i very well could be asking the wrong questions. i'm learning as i go here, and every day brings me a better understanding of things. one thing i know i do prefer would be a knife that lets go of the food easy. is this related to geometry or grind? which of these two knives would be better in that respect? are there other knives you could recommend in this regard, and why?

thank you again.

pat



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 Post subject: Re: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:57 pm 
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Pat - good info here from LaVieestBelle as she has both these knives and describes some of their characteristics: new-post-for-knife-suggestion-t6718-10.html


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 Post subject: Re: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:36 pm
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Location: NY, NY; New Haven, CT
Thanks for your response above, Pat, as well as for correcting me on your current kit!

I was waiting for Adam to chime in with his usual "don't choose based on steel type" mantra (thanks, Adam!). I think this is valuable advice, but I'll disagree with the pack by supporting your original (and revised) questions—I know you've been asking about these knives (and others) in a number of places for a little while, and it seems that you are asking about the steel because you've already considered many other aspects of each knife based on others' previous comments, and you've moved on to the important question of MAINTENANCE, and are using questions about steel to get at this issue. While I agree with Adam (I return to this below), I'll try to address your more recent question.

For basic purposes, geometry and grind are quite similar, as far as I know: both refer to the cross-section of the blade (i.e., like a choil shot, but taken all the way through the blade). The difference is that geometry refers to the entire blade, where as grind usually refers to the active "grind" of the knife, which almost always begins lower down, usually between .5-.75 inch below the spine (at the heel) on a large gyuto (obviously, the grind and spine get closer and closer to overlapping as you approach the tip). Put another way, geometry would include everything from the spine down, while the grind would, on a knife like the Moritaka, really refer mostly to where the large secondary bevel begins.

In my experience with Konos, they do not release wet food that well. They have a seamless transition from the spine through the edge and, although it is "convex," the knife is so thin that the food tends to stick from top to bottom. Furthermore, if the ingredient is quite wet, it often has to be slid off with the hand, rather than merely pushed or flicked. This is not "bad"—it is indeed typical for a knife as thin as the Konos are. I have no idea whether the KU finish on the Moritaka would, in combination with the large primary bevel, make it more or less prone to sticking on larger, wet ingredients that go above the bevel, but I suspect it would be just as bad or worse on shallow ingredients (a carrot julienne, for example), because the large bevel is an even flatter grind than Kono has lower on the blade. That said, I think the difference would be virtually impossible to distinguish in normal use.

I want to return to the issue of "appropriate questions" and ask what attracts you to the profile and weight of these knives. I, too, suspect they are quite different in practice, especially in regards to maintenance, and I'm curious what attracts you to these knives as opposed to other options given how different they are from one another. Have you really already narrowed it down to these two, and it is just a matter of maintenance and/or stickage? Or are there other unresolved issues at bay (profile, weight, corrosion, shoulder thickness, etc)? I'm curious, as I'm sure others are, too!



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Ownership experience: Konosuke, Masamoto, Tojiro, Wusthof, Henckels, etc.
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 Post subject: Re: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:36 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
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There was a thread a few months back where the topic of semantics came up and there was a surprising amount of disparity about the terms people were using. Personally, profile is the knife shape from the side and grind is the cross section. I don't tend to differentiate between the grind below the "shinogi" line and the flats, it seems that even though not ground, the flats matter for some measure of performance of the knife.

Generally there are three ways to get nonstick properties (that I can think of).

The first is convexity. Convexity peels food away as it cuts, if the convexity is severe enough the food will pop off the knife before the cut is complete. Lasers, which the Kono is one do not have enough overall thickness to allow a sufficiently sever convex shape.

The second way to get nonstick properties is surface texture. Since sticksion is a function of surface tension and suction adding air spaces between the food and knife surface decreases the magnitude of the sticksion. Korouchi knives have some non stick properties since they are a bit rough though they vary significantly from one makers finish to the next.

The third way, not really applicable here, it a surface coating. The Moritaka may have a lacquer coating it purpose, as I understand it, is to prevent rust in the short term.


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 Post subject: Re: HD2 versus Aogami super steel
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:36 pm
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Location: NY, NY; New Haven, CT
cedarhouse wrote:There was a thread a few months back where the topic of semantics came up and there was a surprising amount of disparity about the terms people were using. Personally, profile is the knife shape from the side and grind is the cross section. I don't tend to differentiate between the grind below the "shinogi" line and the flats, it seems that even though not ground, the flats matter for some measure of performance of the knife.


I agree in terms of performance (that geometry and grind are both relevant, as is profile, which is, as you mention, is totally different because it refers to the shape of the blade from the side rather than from its cross-section). I just want to clarify that, as far as I understand it, the "shinogi" line often refers to the visible transition from outer to inner steel on a clad blade, and not any visible line higher up on the knife where the grind actually starts (perhaps I'm wrong??). When I say grind versus geometry, I do not mean to refer to the "shinogi" line in this sense. I do think it is relevant to differentiate between the grind and the geometry, as it not only is relevant for performance, but helps to distinguish the work of (in many cases) two different craftsmen, where one is forging the knife, and another is grinding it (or, more universally put, two unique stages in the crafting of a knife, regardless of who is doing the work). A good forging will produce a great geometry that requires minimal grinding, while a lesser forging (or stamping) will require more grinding higher up on the blade, which could be prone to more inconsistencies. I'm not a specialist, but this is my sense of the usefulness of these distinctions. As I hope you know, I love to be corrected and educated, so please let me know if you have any additional thoughts on the matter, Cedar! I don't know of the previous thread, so perhaps I'm using outdated terms.

In terms of the Moritaka (and Takeda) blades, these appear to have rather flat geometry above the actual, visible grind, at least according to choil shots that I've seen, and therefore have a less consistent transition from the grind to the geometry. Konos, as we both suggest, have more of a constant convex from spine to tip, albeit a subtle one.

One thing worth note – and correct me if I'm wrong, Cedar – but Moritakas have a reputation for a very smooth and consistent KU finish, which is likely to behave more like a "regular," non-KU knife in the most generic sense. A rougher KU finish would provide more air and/or less surface tension and be more "non-stick" because it is rougher, which is exactly what Cedar says if I am reading him correctly.



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