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 Post subject: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:44 am
Posts: 1123
Hello Folks,
Just picked this knife up after a long time looking/thinking about it. Along with the Kanehiro, I picked up several other gyutos at 240. I'm thinking of running a review series on them as I go down the line. This first installment features some photographs of the knife and initial impressions. At this early stage I will refrain from making too many assumptions. I hope to update fairly regularly, depending on time spent on the board with each knife, and free time to type these editions up. I seem to have lost my ruler, so specifications will follow.

Weight - 194 grams


Balance Point - taken while typing this up, haha.
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Profile
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Spine
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Kanji
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Board
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Choil
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Handle
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Out of the box, I was not impressed by the Kanehiro, not at $319. The sharpness was less than average and I found the handle a bit odd. The tip of the knife was slightly damaged. I broke out the sharpening progression, starting at 400, I spent a fair few minutes on that stone beginning with 15 strokes on each side and descending from there. Moving through the progression to 1,000, 2,000, and 6,000 the edge came to life, obviously. The knife sharpened as easily as any other carbon knife I have sharpened. I oiled the handle following sharpening, I do agree that the wood seems to be Cherry. After the oiling, it looks much nicer, in use the handle is not bothersome at all.

Only having the opportunity to use the knife lightly on a pineapple (yes, I did it) and a mango, everything went swimmingly. No reaction at all in the steel to pineapple. But I don't know what it is about blue steels that seems to hate mango, they stink up a storm. I have found that my Tanaka KU, Takagi Honyaki and this knife all immediately discolor and let out the sulfur smell. But, the patina that they get from it is a nice grey/blue. I also put it through a couple onions, did fine.

Newly sharpened, this knife has thrown off its early negatives. Here is hoping I draw the prep straw, to get more use for it to report.



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 Post subject: Re: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
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Dan, there is experience based wisdom in Melampus' often repeated axiom that out of box edges matter little to him. He puts his own edge on almost every knife he obtains and learns over time what edge characteristics work optimally for a given knife - for his purposes.

You'll get to know your new acquisitions over time and refine and evolve your opinions based on use and comparisons to each other and knives as of yet unknown that you'll use in the future. I look forward to your comments on these during this process.


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 Post subject: Re: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:56 pm 
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SteveG wrote:Dan, there is experience based wisdom in Melampus' often repeated axiom that out of box edges matter little to him. He puts his own edge on almost every knife he obtains and learns over time what edge characteristics work optimally for a given knife - for his purposes.

You'll get to know your new acquisitions over time and refine and evolve your opinions based on use and comparisons to each other and knives as of yet unknown that you'll use in the future. I look forward to your comments on these during this process.



Totally, I comment on OOTB sharpness for those who base decisions on that factor. The lack of an impression for me is based on the competition I think. I bought it along with an Anryu Hammered, Teruyasu-Fujiwara, and Kono HD. One of them had to be the "worst."

I also think the packaging a knife comes in has an impact on the impression it leaves, when buying a knife as a gift, well put together and attractive boxes mean a lot. Does it affect the knife in the long run? Absolutely not, but it is another aspect that needs to be offered for consideration.

Looking forward to providing updates for this knife, and the rest of the group.



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 Post subject: Re: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:38 pm 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
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Dan, I appreciate the objectivity in your initial assessment even if OOTB edge isn't much of a factor. I like to hear people being critical, especially when it comes the this forum's perceived Holy Trinity of knife makers (Kono, Anryu, Kanehiro) that for most, can do no wrong.



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 Post subject: Re: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:39 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:25 pm
Posts: 386
Glad to see your review on the Kanehiro ,look forward to your impressions on your other "Top Choice "picks. It is not always love at first sight but I am sure you will grow to like it as you get to know the knife better. The OOTB edges can be all over the map . Interesting that you mentioned the smell and reactivity of the a AS blue steel. I had the same issues with a Kono Fuji blue. I was very reactive initially and stinky until it developed a patina and then calmed down. White steel blades do not seem to be as odiferous when they new. The good news is it goes away! I like the look of the cherry handle! Enjoy the knife! Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:10 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:36 pm
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Location: NY, NY; New Haven, CT
I look forward to more updates on all the knives. I appreciate the "first impressions," especially because they are made with the knowledge that later impressions will be very different. Both matter, at least to me, even though I know first impressions are technically "less important" in the long run, especially when it comes to the edge. Another way of putting this is, I like have my expectations lowered when I know the knife will be superior in the long run. :)

I almost bought this knife days ago. I bought another Kono instead (a 240 Ginsan...obviously a VERY different knife). I'm extremely pleased with the Kono—probably the best knife I have bought, despite being far from the most expensive. But I remain really, really curious about these Kanehiros. I may even cave and try the suji, just to get a sense of the brand (or maybe a petty...I'm aiming for both in the coming months). Point: I really look forward to more comments and reviews of all of your knives, and I hope you are not bashful about conveying changing impressions all along the way.



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Ownership experience: Konosuke, Masamoto, Tojiro, Wusthof, Henckels, etc.
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 Post subject: Re: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:15 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
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Thanks for the preliminary thoughts. I will be watching your further reviews of the Kanehiro and the other knives you received with great interest. What did you find odd about the handle? It looks like the bottom of the handle is narrow and at a slight angle in the choil shot, but I can't tell for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:21 am 
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estayton wrote:Thanks for the preliminary thoughts. I will be watching your further reviews of the Kanehiro and the other knives you received with great interest. What did you find odd about the handle? It looks like the bottom of the handle is narrow and at a slight angle in the choil shot, but I can't tell for sure.



For an octagon handle, it is very unequally cut. More of an "octoval". It has large flat sides (probably 1/2 cm. larger than one would expect) and the 3 faces on the top and bottom are very narrow. It isn't uncomfortable so much as just different. When using a pinch grip, I quickly stop noticing it.



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 Post subject: Re: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:18 pm 
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Height on this knife is 51mm, length is true 240mm. These knives are handmade so they can vary, some Kanehiros have been known to vary wildly.

My final impressions of this knife are - "It's a good knife"

I know, thats a little ambiguous. Over the time I used the knife, I found it to perform well; cuts well, separated ingredients well, maintains sharpness, etc. But I was never blown away by the knife at all. Several knives I own perform at the level of, or better, than this Kanehiro knife for less dollar investment.

That said, I think, If this was going to be a one off, top drawer knife purchase, it isn't bad. In fact, it IS rather a good buy. The edge steel is well treated, it maintains good sharpness for a pretty good amount of board time. The stainless cladding is a convenient feature. The knife has a pretty balanced feel in hand, not too heavy towards the blade or the handle. Balance point is pretty much on the pinch grip for my hand.

The grind is not super thin at the edge, which lends durability to the knife and edge life. The grind has a good convexing to it and is well done on both sides. Some product will exhibit sticking after sufficient amounts of prep (potatoes, even carrots). Don't look for this knife to whip through onions like a Haruyuki SRS-15, or even as well as an Anryu 240mm hammered; it won't happen.

Reactivity is very mild, patina development varied from a silver blue to almost black on a range of products (from mangos, roasted peppers, mirepoix).

The profile on this example is a monster for rock chopping. The knife has an almost continual sweep with a small flat spot, but you can get a lot of board contact with it if you try to.



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 Post subject: Re: Kanehiro AS 240mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:05 pm
Posts: 267
Thanks for the candid review. I was looking at the Kanehiro and the Konosuke Ginsan and wound up going with the Kono. It looks like there is another similar knife now because Mark just got in the Saji G3 Ginsan, which looks almost like a clone of the Kono Ginsan, except that it is a bit longer in the same size (245 vs. 225).


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