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 Post subject: >> Minamoto 210 B#2 Yo-Gyuto <<
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 10:12 am 
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Posts: 3388
Location: USA... mostly.
{This review is written after having had used said knife but only one shift.}

Impressions:

She is a small knife coming in at 203mm long & 45.5mm tall IIRC; very much in line statistically with an 8" German. Honestly, I had forgot how small an 8" is. For what it's worth, her box is quite nice, and she is relatively light @168grams. Aesthetically, she resembles a Misono UX10, but with a rearward leaning choil instead of forward. The handle has a cutout on the rear of the underside that did improve the grip. At least, as much as it could as I found the handle on the small side even for a small knife, and it's a small knife. For whatever reason, the first thing I thought of when I had her in hand was holding a Glock 19; not that the Minamoto has nearly that much girth, but there's zero room for my pinky & my ring finger barely fits. What of it did fit - is not afforded a secure grip, but admittedly, I have oversized hands. The handle overall had nice fit & finish with pins & pinned bolster meeting smoothly, and the aforementioned cutout is pleasant. Of note, I don't know that the handle is one-piece, but although it is a full tang construction, there is no exposed tang on the underside which implies, to me, it is one piece not two scales. Honestly, I didn't inspect that too closely. Moving forward, the handle tapers into the pinned bolster of which has a 45 degree transition into the blade & finishes with a nice sharp short 90 degree directly into the neck that affords a good grip should you pinch there or have your forefinger rest there while pinching over the top. Speaking of pinching over the top, the finish above the shinogi is a gorgeous sandblasted nashiji tsuchime. The hammering is subtle yet pronounced, and the sandblasting adds a superficial uniformity to the presentation. It has a very clean finished appearance to it. The picture below illustrates these facets quite well, and if you click on it - it will bring you to the photo enlarged on the hosting site. Then on the bottom right of the photo, it will allow you to zoom in even further which will really show you these descriptions closeup. I can't say it offers any nonstick properties, but I have never really found these finishes to so it's no surprise. I was chopping celery paysannes that would walk up the blade and fall over to the left (I'm righty)… cucumber rondelles did the same. It did pass a potato stiction test with flying colors as indicated in the quick cursory video I shot that night because I had yet to see her perform on one & I reckoned I'd utilize the opportunity to show you a few other facets of the knife, as well.

Image



Next, the kanji is engraved.

Spine taper is reverse; meaning it actually thickens slightly fore of the neck. It is quite thin out of the bolster, and then gets slightly thicker continuing statically until it apexes the grind as the spine begins its radius into the tip at which point it thins out therefore.

The overall design employs a large classical primary bevel below the shinogi, a`la Richmond AS Laser or Konosuke Fujiyama, with a simple kasumi finish. It ends at a typically irregular cladding line. The blade path's grind is basically perfectly symmetrical with a slight hump transitioning into the tsuchime upper of which is what I think this knife's potato test nonstick properties can be attributed to. The secondary bevel, aka cutting edge, is asymmetrically finished 70:30... as absolutely unimportant as that ultimately is. It was a pleasure to see though as it was a replica of how I finish all my edges; albeit mine have much wider bevels. The right side has a small but visible bevel whereas the 30% left is tiny. Said edge was interesting. For what it's worth, I judged it at a perfect 2k finish. Meaning it didn't have a particularly polished edge, but it seemed to had got everything out of a 2k wheel. It was sharp, but nothing to wow you. Well, nothing to wow me at least, but honestly I might be a skewed arbiter.

Edge retention could not be tested fairly in only a long shift, but the edge had degraded enough that I had an excuse to put her to the stones. As was expected, the thin B#2 edge, that was not really in poor shape, felt very natural on the stones. I was not adjusting any bevels & like I said it felt like a 2k to start so I touched her up on the green brick of which generated an edge very similar to how she arrived; I did progress to the Rika 5k; and then chose to finish on a Kityama.

I only used the knife for a night, but got a very good impression as I forced myself to only use this one knife. I had received a catering request for maki du jour for 25 with s'mores... because what goes better with sushi than s'mores.?! :roll: Slicing oshinko, cucumber, & tuna into long batonnet for the rolls was a pain-in-the-ass because it's only 203mm, but otherwise it cut very well... cleanly.. precisely. Fine rondelles of green onion to wash and wring out. I had some roasted beets that I thought about using for the vegetarians, but for fear of staining its cohabitants inside a roll I opted to use it for the exterior of an i/o roll. I would normally mandolin a cooked beet in this context, but I wanted to see how the Minamoto performed on creating paper thin slices of the soft cooked & binding red beet. It's thin primary bevel accomplished this though it by no means excelled. Much like slicing the maki; it did it, and did it admirably for a gyuto, but a shorter profile is called for in these applications.

I was then able to use her in a more traditional manner processing raw carrots into micro julienne/medium dice/rough chop, roughly chopped parsnips, celery into med dice/rough chop, onions into mince/med dice/rough chop, bell peppers into allumettes, stripping corn cobs, basil chiffonade, minced parley, large dice raw chicken, deskinning/portioning raw salmon & chilean seabass, etc., etc., etc. She's a small knife so she was limiting for sure, but I had no particular hang ups. The profile rocks well though it can't do much at one time at 203mm. It obviously can't have much flat spot at only 203 mm, but the belly radius is quite smooth so you can roll into a push well. I don't really know what else to add as she was pretty unremarkable... that is a complement as I don't want to think about a knife.. I just want it to perform naturally w/o a fight.

In closing, I'd say from my brief encounter that if you're looking for a small light stainless-clad carbon yo-gyuto that has some looks this knife is a value at $125.

Have fun... 8-)



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 Post subject: Re: >> Minamoto 210 B#2 Yo-Gyuto <<
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 6:02 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
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Awesome write up! Thank you Mel.


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 Post subject: Re: >> Minamoto 210 B#2 Yo-Gyuto <<
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 8:30 pm 
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Location: USA... mostly.
Just a stream of consciousness... but thank you.. and you're welcome.



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 Post subject: Re: >> Minamoto 210 B#2 Yo-Gyuto <<
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 7:05 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 1313
I figured I would add my review here rather than clutter up the review section with another review of this knife.

First off, thanks to Mark for making the knife available and to Mel for arranging the pass around.

Second, a disclaimer before I move onto the knife. This week turned out to be a crap week to put a knife through its paces. I think I only made dinner once. :roll: So my impressions are somewhat cursory.


So, the knife...

My overall impression of the knife is that it is a very good option at the ~@125 price point, but I would be somewhat persnickety about who I would recommend purchase this knife, ie someone small who does not use a pinch grip.

The good part: the blade. The hammered/frosted look is very attractive and not too blingy. Blue #2 is probably my favorite steel though I cannot really vouch for this particular example on account of the limited time I was working with it. The grind is good but not great. The blade is thin behind the edge but has a bit of a shoulder about 1/3-1/2 up the blade that wedges with taller/thicker ingredients. As the knife is not a laser and its competition is more the Tojiro/Fujiwara fare rather than something like a Kono, the wedging is perfectly acceptable. The thinness at the edge gives it performance above its price point.

The bad: the handle. The handle is small and has some odd contouring that likely fits someone like a glove, but I am not that someone. The handle length and circumference are small and I am not. The shape of the bolster and the shortness of the machi (sp?) made the knife rather uncomfortable to hold in a pinch. The scallops in the handle are likely an effort at ergonomics but in a pinch they become negative space where I usually rest my last two fingers. The handle is my biggest reservation in recommending the knife. It is not even that I think it is a bad handle, rather the handle design takes the risk of catering to a small subset of the market and if you are not in it... The last thing, and this is admittedly a picky thing, I do not like the bolster. The cant to the bolster coupled with the fact that it is the most obviously pinned bolster I have handled (not a big sample set, very few yos in the collection) feel chintzy. Like plastic "chrome" accents on a Suzuki car...

The indifferent: the size. Believe it or not this was the first 210 gyuto I have used. It came as no surprise to me when I reread Mel's review and saw it is an undersized 210 at 203mm. As a home user I typically stick to my 240s just because of their universality, ample work space at home, and the fact that even precision work is small volume and doesn't much reward getting a small knife for a single task. That said, I found the small knife to be fun to use. It is very nimble and controllable, its got me considering getting a 210 in the future, but its smallness warrants mention.

BTW I likely would not have noticed the bend in the blade that Mel mentioned in the pass around thread, but it is there and fairly substantial. Mel, you mentioned that this is common for JKs, how common would you estimate it to be? I recently found a bend in one of my knives and have been kicking myself for whatever I have done. Perhaps I am not to fault :mrgreen:


PJ, seeing you sharpen professionally I must apologize in advance for the edge I am sending you, just know I am not proud of it either :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: >> Minamoto 210 B#2 Yo-Gyuto <<
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:15 pm 
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CEDAR <> I'd guess, at least, half of all laminated blades we see in the states are bent to some extent. It's the nature of the beast when you have hagane & jigane inherently prone to contract at different rates. I've had to straighten a lot my clad knives... not the Teruyasu or Kanehiros though! 8-)



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 Post subject: Re: >> Minamoto 210 B#2 Yo-Gyuto <<
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:23 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
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The knife I noticed it on was my Kohetsu. I guess that would make sense then...


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