This review has been a long time in coming; frankly, I'm somewhat sorry I didn't give a first impression. That is the idea behind the forum sales, after all. I bought this knife as part of the forum sale a few months back and, frankly, I had not put it through sufficient work to evaluate it until this point. Recently, however, as I have seen something of a promotion in my work duties, it has come into much heavier use and I'm able to give a fully considered review.
I originally ordered the 270mm shortly after they had sold out; only the 300mm was left. Mark emailed me and I replied back that I was still interested in the longer knife. I had been waffling, anyway, and this solved the issue for me. This was not my first Konosuke HH. I had bought a nakiri shortly prior on SteveG's recommendation and was still well pleased by it (as I still am). Overall, my initial impression was favorable, but given the standard price not overwhelmingly so. I found it to be a thin, effective slicer at a 290mm length with excellent fit and finish. Despite its length the Konosuke's lack of weight and slightly shorter length leave it with a very nimble character. I found this effective in prep situations, but my more durable and cheaper Fujiwara FKM offers much the same feel and I opt for it on a day to day basis. For a while the Konosuke didn't see much use outside my home, where it terrorized chicken thighs I could have cut just as well with half the knife.
In the past three months, I have started to do a lot more with protein in various arenas. Here I have found this knife's place. When cutting fish and full cuts of meat, this knife is the monster I suspected I had locked in a cage. The extra 20mm makes a tremendous difference in getting through in a single cut. I've found the HH steel to be effective, even in this somewhat lower hardness configuration, at keeping an edge a fairly long period of time. I do need to sharpen it a bit more often than I would some heartier steels, but it's a pleasure to sharpen. The star, here, is how thin the knife is. So long as I maintain even a passable edge the knife shoots through all protein up to and including large fish loins, even if it has some sort of bark or crust on it. The lack of much material to convex proves to fit a slicer well, giving immediate food release, and all the benefits of a thin gyuto ring true. It could possibly benefit from a little more weight to move through the cut, but the ease of cutting and lack of disturbance when moving through the product outweigh this for me. I have never used a knife that drags less.
As for the bad... you'll have to settle for some neutral. This is the first slicer I have used with a Japanese handle. I personally have not gotten much additional benefit out of it, but it's as comfortable and functional as any slicer I've used. The handle's craftsmanship certainly impresses the clientele and other cooks.
All in all, I look at this knife very favorably. Konosuke's tendency to thin blades with as much convex as possible works well for a sujihiki and the steel is world class. Were I buying the knife right now I might opt for the HD2, but I don't feel like it would really change my feelings on the knife very much. I suspect I would personally not like the 270mm as much considering how short Konosukes run, but for home use the 270mm length would be a better choice.
And finally, something of note, the aesthetics. I consider the black ferrule and ho wood handle to be attractive and timeless for Japanese knives. But when Mark offered me this when reworking my order... how could I say no?
I'm the one who got the blonde ferrule. And yes, it is gorgeous.