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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 3924
Covering the core steel has nothing to do with reactivity it's about saving money. You can use less of the expensive steel and replace it with something less expensive like iron.



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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:08 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:24 pm
Posts: 297
That was my point. Stainless is so cheap that I can pick up a stainless knife for a couple of bucks. If you have stainless that is so cheap do they really need to go with iron (reactive) for a cladding? And on a premium knife like the shimo with such a unique and gorgeous damascus you're only going to get to admire it when you take it out of the box. After that its all brown and blue, not saying that's a bad thing, some like it, but personally I would like that damascus to look as pristine as it was on day 1 before I made my first cut.


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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:27 am 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 1112
Kind of agree. Though the cladding is super thin. The core steel shows through the iron throughout the blade and not sure that could be achieved with stainless. It seems to be very close to a mono with an incredibly sparse application of damascus for aesthetic effect.

To wax poetic a-la melampus, there is something profound about the name, pattern design and cladding selection of the knife. Out of the box, the knife looks virginal, delicate and pure. The name Shimo, as translated by CKTG means frost, which the pattern is supposed to resemble. The imagery of both knife and name evinces freshly fallen snow and untainted purity. However, like nature and, indeed life itself, idyllic and unadulterated things are ephemeral, inevitably changing as they are exposed to the abrasions of the world. Like a child, the blade becomes a product of it's composition and environment. Eventually, not as pristine, but not necessarily any less beautiful.

OK, that was a bit fluffy. That said, the blacksmith is clearly very skilled as this knife is seriously competent. The selection of iron cladding isn't by accident and, given how absurdly thin and nearly translucent the cladding is, doesn't seem like it adds a whole lot in terms of constitution to the blade. Given that, I can only surmise that the decision has some kind of visual and/or artistic/existential purpose.


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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:44 am 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 1:52 am
Posts: 355
Location: Philly
Not wanting iron clad is more of my personal taste preference aesthetically speaking. I just rather have all white,blue, or 52100. I can see where a lot of people like the look of any Damascus pattern but to me if its there only for looks and not for some kind of layered steel improvement then I can do with out it. If the core steel is Damascus layered I don't see the point of a Damascus clad just for the looks. Of course none of that has anything to do with knife performance. Just picky aesthetics.

But I do kind of agree with you guys saying if your going to put a Damascus clad on a core steel just for the looks you might as well make it stainless then as its only reason for being there is looks anyway.



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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:56 am 
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BestCop --> I understand exactly where your coming from. I prefer mono steel blades, one reason I own several Konos and a Masamoto KS. I avoid iron clad knives simply because they are usually more reactive than I like. I have no problem with stainless cladding but prefer a rustic look with it as with the Teruyasu-Fujiwara Nashiji knives and Goko White #1. I am definitely not a fan of Damascus but understand those that are. It definitely all personal preferences when it comes down to it.



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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:11 am 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
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Thought I posted something, but apparently not. Agree generally. As I said a bit earlier, I didn't buy the knife for aesthetics. First two purchases (as this one was) of a TKC and Haruyuki were completely performance/preference driven. With the Shimo, having a beautiful, but in my estimation as it relates to damascus, understated blade, was a bonus. The knife is a serious performer. Indeed, the damascus seems to be completely superficial as the core is exposed throughout the hammer points on the design. All of that got me thinking about the intentions of the blacksmith as everything about the blade is clearly deliberate. If the aesthetics don't interfere with performance, as is the case with this blade, I'm not going to take a stance one way or another. If someone produced a blade that made a konosuke honyaki feel like a machete, but the blade looked like it should be in a skymall magazine, I wouldn't give a shit. I'd buy it.


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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:01 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
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Location: Raleigh, NC
I have no doubt it saves a little money compared to decent cladding steels. The cladding is still subject to forging and grinding, which I can only imagine is worse than trying to sharpen a Walmart special. For the user it also gives a more rustic look and enables very easy thinning.


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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:08 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 1610
There have been discussions in previous threads regarding the advantages and disadvantages of clad knives.

The most compelling reason I have read for cladding it failure rates in heat treat. It is my understanding that mono steel knives made with steels like the Hitachi carbon steels fracture during the heat treat and quench at a much higher rate than do knives produced with a softer cladding.

Design choices such as iron cladding vs stainless vs damascus seem to me an effort to offer varied and competitive products in a market where most manufacturers have made the same fundamental choice in construction.

Monosteel knives, like honyakis, are more expensive in part because if more knife blanks fail during heat treat, then the end user bares the costs of the failed blanks in addition to the successful example they end up with.

Many of the more affordable monosteel knives are mass produced knives meaning the man hours spent on a given knife is comparatively low regardless of whether or not the blank survives heat treatment.


For those of you who are more knowledgeable than I, please set me straight if I got this wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:57 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Central Illinois
Cladding also lowers the manufacturer's cost for the blade as only a small amount of the blade's volume is composed of a more expensive steel. There is an argument that can be made that a laminated structure has more flexural stability than a non-laminated one, but it's a knife not a structural component. To me the main reason a manufacturer clads a stainless steel such as VG10 with a cheaper, softer stainless is purely economic. From a users standpoint I am not a fan of cladded blades as they seem to have deadened feedback, but many disagree with me on that statement.


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 Post subject: Re: Konosuke HD2 vs. Masakage Shimo
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:39 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 1610
I would be very interested to see an accounting of the costs of laminated construction vs monosteel construction. I see the claim made that laminated blades are cheaper due to lower mass of core steel used, but certainly the cost savings of high alloy core steel vs lower alloy cladding steel is offset by the additional costs associated with laminating the steels to begin with.

That is why I find the case for heat treat failure as the principle determinant for clad construction the more compelling answer. If cladding decreases heat treat related failures by x% that saves you x% total materials costs, cladding and core steels, plus x% labor and machine time up until the heat treat.

Desol can yell at me for this point if I get it wrong, but it is also seems pertinent that Japanese blacksmiths draw upon a trade craft heritage rooted in sword making where the structural benefits of softer cladding layers was relevant.

Ultimately, I think it is a valid but cynical perspective to chalk cladding up to a purely margin driven decision. I personally take the more charitable view that cladding is a design choice that reflects a number of variables and begets a number of characteristics, good, bad, and indifferent.


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