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 Post subject: Honest review of the Tanaka 240 Kurouchi
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:21 pm
Posts: 427
My first impressions out of the box were that the handle was junk...This is certainly good for a home kitchen but in a home kitchen the softness of the grain will be a bacterial magnet. The plastic ferrule is not even lined up. The D handle is slightly longer than the ho wood handle on my Kohetsu which is said to be a very average sized shape commonly found on other knives.

I like the D handle width slighter fatter than an octagon, it fits me with my big thumbs well. It's just a terrible handle and will have to be re-done. The factory edge is really rough. The grinding work left a but fat straight line scratch pattern. The edge is very thin but the level of finish is very poor. I've spent a long time on the 1k to remove the factory scratch pattern.

I gave up trying to remove the 1k entirely and moved up to the 5k...I'm slowly polishing the edge. For what this knife lacks in fit and finish it makes up for in grind performance. The spine is thick, the edge is thick and convexed on one side while flatter on the left. The edge has a slightly chisel shape that goes to the right...It's semi flat on one side and rounded a bit more to the right.

This does actually produce very good steering. The thicker convex which tapers down does in fact aid in food release. I am most disappointed that this knife is pictured hiding the grind marks and serious time need to polish it up. The photos on the web-site make it look like it will just be a few minutes on the stones. That is not the case.

I do not feel like this knife should be sold at the 150$ price. I got the forum sale price of 99$...That is more reasonable. I think this knife would make an excellent knife to bundle with sharpening stones for 200...The knife with a 1k and 5k stone would make a fantastic introduction to sharpening japanese knives.

This review may sound harsh but I do have a lot of good to say about the blade. The carbon does not stain food or react too much. The Kurouchi finish is not varnished which to me is a good thing. I'd rather not have varnish flakes in my food. The carbon is not nearly as reactive as thought it would be during service. It gets a few orange rust spots after sitting too long but nothing that doesn't come off instantly with a green pad. Food does not take on a stink as some cheaper carbon knives do...the knife certainly has an odor if you sniff the blade directly but it doesn't go into the food.

Now for the really good. This knife cuts and steers carrots better than the 180$ Kohetsu 240 Gyuto that I own. The best way to describe this knife is like calling it an old tattered vw bug with a bored out porsche boxter engine.

The stock handle is very comfortable. The way way the knife is ground really reduces wedging and helps steer through carrots. All in all this is a great prep work machine, it actually handles better than the Kohetsu even though it isn't as pretty to look at. I think is perhaps a factory second blade but still retains the unique grind you won't get on other knives. For all it's problems it does work pretty good even with a less than beautifully even edge.


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 Post subject: Re: Honest review of the Tanaka 240 Kurouchi
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:19 am
Posts: 313
Good honest write up Umberto, my opinion on the knife is not too much different than yours and Dans. The F&F is below average for sure. My Choil had a bur that was sharper than the knife, the Bevel by the tip was seriously uneven. I do have some harsh grind marks and hammering marks on my blade as well. OOTB sharpness was about the worst I have ever seen on a new J Knife. I posted some pics in dans review of the F&F.

The good, I sharpened it and fixed the profile at the tip with my edge pro, lightly eased the Choil for now and then took the knife through a whole progression of Shapton glass stones followed by stropping with .5 micron diamond spray. The knife got scary sharp and will push cut paper now about 5 inches from where I was holding the paper. And this knife while it has it's flaws is a serious performer! At least I think so. Man I love blue #2. For what it's worth my handle was installed good and has good fit, yes the plastic ferrule that doesn't line up is junk IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Honest review of the Tanaka 240 Kurouchi
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:17 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:00 am
Posts: 678
It's good to see a review that doesn't completely baby a product.

I think the reason it steers better than your kohetsu is simply due to weight. You have more heft in the blade and will take more from the carrot to steer the knife.

Was seriously considering this as my next 240, but I'm glad I resisted the urge. Don't really have the time or patience to work out the grind imperfections and even out the bevel and on top of all that rehandle the sucker.


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 Post subject: Re: Honest review of the Tanaka 240 Kurouchi
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:28 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:21 pm
Posts: 427
No Lunatic, it steers better because the grind. It's the shape of the grind that contributes to the performance of the knife. The bevel of the knife was steep. There are certainly high and low spots but this convex on one side releases food nicely. It also allows thin push cuts. The convex pushes the food away while the edge is at work.

The edge is not perfect nor is the grind. But the design of the grind makes me very happy. It teaches me to appreciate concepts of how knives are ground.

Hutch nailed it. This is one rough blade. But with work it does perform. I just wish Mark would actually emphasize this more to his customers about this particular line of knives. The photos on the website suggest quick fork of the stones will make it perfect that's not the case.

Lunatic...you will be pleasantly surprised. I am not being fanatical about my scratch patterns and refinement...I'm working it little by little. It left a few days ago with a 1k edge and there were still smudges everywhere. Now I have a 5k edge with grind imperfections but a much more fluid cutting.

We sometimes forget to get past vanity and look into the heart and soul of the beast. I do think this knife deserves more discussion and shared experiences on the forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Honest review of the Tanaka 240 Kurouchi
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7895
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Good review! I don't expect you guys to love everything you try, especially with the forum deals. We have lots of stuff but there is only one way to find out and that's to try stuff. ;)



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 Post subject: Re: Honest review of the Tanaka 240 Kurouchi
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:00 am
Posts: 678
Umberto wrote:No Lunatic, it steers better because the grind. It's the shape of the grind that contributes to the performance of the knife. The bevel of the knife was steep. There are certainly high and low spots but this convex on one side releases food nicely. It also allows thin push cuts. The convex pushes the food away while the edge is at work.

The edge is not perfect nor is the grind. But the design of the grind makes me very happy. It teaches me to appreciate concepts of how knives are ground.

Hutch nailed it. This is one rough blade. But with work it does perform. I just wish Mark would actually emphasize this more to his customers about this particular line of knives. The photos on the website suggest quick fork of the stones will make it perfect that's not the case.

Lunatic...you will be pleasantly surprised. I am not being fanatical about my scratch patterns and refinement...I'm working it little by little. It left a few days ago with a 1k edge and there were still smudges everywhere. Now I have a 5k edge with grind imperfections but a much more fluid cutting.

We sometimes forget to get past vanity and look into the heart and soul of the beast. I do think this knife deserves more discussion and shared experiences on the forum.


Ahhh I read incorrectly the first time.

I like to baby my stuff for a couple weeks before it really gets put to work. Then aesthetics get put to the back burner as performance takes the lead role.


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 Post subject: Re: Honest review of the Tanaka 240 Kurouchi
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:21 pm
Posts: 717
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I try not to baby (The Takamura was the exception)

I want to know how it performs, so I'll find stuff to punish it with at work, there's always things to punish the knifes with at this place :D


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 Post subject: Re: Honest review of the Tanaka 240 Kurouchi
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:21 pm
Posts: 427
Last night I was polishing with the 5k and pulled burr through some plywood. I got the brilliant idea to beat on the plywood. I wanted to see just how much metal would fall out it. The blade microchipped a little bit but no large pieces of metal dropped out.

Seriously recommend this knife for a work horse, and even though the tip is not supper duper thin it's good enough to do plenty of tasks such as shallots. I don't know but I like this knife better than my Kohetsu 240. The Kohetsu doesn't hold a 5k with a bite worth squat. The Tanaka takes a 5k and holds a good bite on tomatoes.

All in all I'm very satisfied with this knife. But it certainly needs some refinement on the edge...I'll be buying some polishing accessories soon and giving it the "Japanese Spa Treatment." As Ken Scwhartz calls it...I'd have Ken polish it for me but that would cost almost as much as I paid for the knife...I'm going to see about an Aoto and other high grit polishing stone. I'll use the Nubatama 5k as an intermediate and then go for the gusto on the finishing J-nat...Oooh I can't wait.


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 Post subject: Re: Honest review of the Tanaka 240 Kurouchi
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:42 am
Posts: 114
Its nice to see an honest review on here. Its difficult to decide on a knife when all the reviews are positive. Id love to hear some more comprehensive reviews that are a bit more balanced and touch on what they dislike about the knife. It seems like the only negative thing people are willing to say is about the cheapness of the handle or other small fit and finish issues. Thanks


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