Switch to full style
We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
Post a reply

Metal choice questions

Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:25 am

1. Are you right handed? Yes
2. What type of knife are you interested in (gyuto, nakiri etc..) 210 mm gyuto and 150 mm petty
3. What size knife are you looking for? see above
4. Do you prefer carbon or stainless steel? Not sure
5. Do you prefer a western handle or a Japanese handle? Japanese
6. How much did you want to spend? Up to ~$600 for both knives
7. Do you know how to sharpen? I have some stones and have dabbled with them a little bit.

I am a home cook looking to upgrade my knives. I was worried that some of the thinner laser type knives would be too prone to damage or chipping for me. So, I have been looking at the Kanehiro knives. There are two metal choices (Aogami super and ginsan) and I was wondering if anyone could give me some details on the differences for the two metal types.

I know that the ginsan is stainless and the Aogami super is carbon and will require a bit more care. I was wondering if there are trade-offs for going with the ginsan in terms of absolute sharpness, longevity of sharpness, or durability.

I purchased a yamashin knife and some sharpening stones last year as an introduction to japanese knives. So far, we have done pretty well keeping the yamashin from rusting. A couple of times a little rust spot has developed, but it was pretty easy to remove. I have tried sharpening it once with so-so results. So, it seems like I could handle the carbon knives if there were advantages of the aogami super over the ginsan. On the other hand, it would be nice to have the ginsan in case we forget to immediately clean the knives after cutting something acidic.

My thinking was to get a gyuto and a petty from the same maker, but that is not an absolute requirement.

Lastly, are there other knives in the same price range that I should be looking at? Some of the other brands I have been looking at are: Masakage Koishi, Kajihara Damascus, Kikuichi Swedish Warikomi damascus, Kamo (currently out of stock), Sakai Takayuki Damascus Wa (a little above my price range, but a beautiful knife).

Thanks for any comments,

Re: Metal choice questions

Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:52 am

Joel - I think those Kanehiro Ginsan models are awesome choices on your part. Kanehiro really does a nice job with both their Aogami Super (AS) and Ginsan steels. The knives are top notch, great performers. Their Ginsan should have a nice balance of sharpness, edge retention, and strength.

As far as chipping or damage, these are not lasers, but they're still thin at the edge and you'll need to exercise proper technique when using them. This basically means no torquing or putting any side ways force on the knife edge when cutting, especially if the knife digs into your board a little, when it's newly sharp, as can happen. Don't cut frozen foods, and try not to let the knife slam through harder ingredients and bang into the cutting board - control your cuts. Don't cut through bones, etc.

Use, wash, dry, store appropriately ---- repeat...

Re: Metal choice questions

Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:44 pm

Hey Joel - I have owned the AS model & had the opportunity to test drive the Ginsan(made the product video). In the hand, they look & feel pretty identical to one another. Which shouldn't be a surprise since they are made by the same blacksmith. The Magnolia wood handles have a pleasantly coarser feel to them as opposed to Ho, ensuring a confident grip in hand, but is by no means rough at all. I think it compliments the stiff characteristic of the blades very well.

They come with serviceable edges, but really should be sharpened. AS is the superior steel in just about every way. If you improve your sharpening skills though, it shouldn't really matter. They are both thin right above the edge, and IMO, that is more important that absolute sharpness. If I was choosing between the two, the deciding factor for me would be if I wanted the benefits of stainless or not over carbon. I have a preference towards carbons for a majority of my work, but it was a pleasant surprise testing the Ginsan and not having to worry about the blade AT ALL!

Re: Metal choice questions

Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:10 pm

Hi Joel and welcome to the forum. The Kanehiro AS are great knives and remember the AS is clad in stainless so the carbon is only exposed at the edge making maintenance slightly less daunting.

Re: Metal choice questions

Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:44 am

Resurrecting this thread as it is addressing a question I have.

I'm thinking about the 150mm petty

So the AS steel is much better than the Ginsan? How so? They are more of less the same price. I currently strop my knives, but haven't learned to sharpen yet (eventually I plan to) so I wouldn't be able to sharpen it immediately and would want it sharp out of the box.

I thought, as Jeff says above, that the AS is clad in stainless steel so the maintenance is pretty easy with it.

Thanks for the help!

Re: Metal choice questions

Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:29 pm

Not all AS knives are clad in stainless, it depends on the specific knife. Some are clad in iron, some have no cladding.

Re: Metal choice questions

Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:59 pm

I was referring to the above knife, Kanehiro AS.

Re: Metal choice questions

Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:27 pm

ROBENCO <> Although extremely similar to the question you posted in the other thread <--link, I will answer this one, as well.

Who said Aogami Super is "better than" Ginsanko, and what in the hell does "better" even mean in this context as it is a subjective term?

AS & G3 are very different steels... neither better or worse in a general context. Quite obviously, Ginsanko is "stainless" while AS is reactive. That is a HUMONGOUS difference, but not better nor worse in a general context. They both have their own specific nuances, but I sincerely & respectfully doubt that you would recognize them in practice. Do you want a stainless blade or a reactive one, is the question between the two.

Re: Metal choice questions

Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:49 pm

Thank you for helping me understand these metals! I posted here because I didn't to high jack that other thread. I appreciate all of your help and now I definitely know I'll be going with the Ginsan. Too bad the price went up so much. Thank you again!

Re: Metal choice questions

Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:05 pm

I would probably focus on knife profile and geometry more than comparing steels. Unless you have had experience with one kind of steel and just don't like it for whatever reason.

Like mel said only steel question is whether you want it reactive or not.

Whether you like a flat or more curved blade or whether you like it to have no stiction etc. Those questions might help you more.
Post a reply