We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:03 pm
I have gotten the impression that individual blacksmiths prefer to work with certain steels, or even a particular one.
Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:59 am
Konosuke is not a maker of knives per say. They are a retailer who has knife makers make them knives to their specs. So if they had a need for a knife made with Aogami Super, they would find a smith who did so and order knives from him/them.
The Konosuke is likely to be thinner overall. Many of the Takeda's have a thick spine from the forging. However, both will really cut like a laser as even with it's thick spine, the Takeda will have a very thin edge and thin grind overall.
If properly HT'd, it would take a very keen eye and some serious testing to really see a difference between blue #2 and AS.
Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:12 pm
Adam, thanks for your input.... I guess I am now ever so slightly leaking towards the Takeda. There seems to be quite a bit of reviews/feedback on the Takeda nakiri, but nothing that I can really find on the Kono blue #2 nakiri. Hey, at least I've got it narrowed down to two... could be a coin toss that drives the decision from here. Seriously, thanks for the input and help!
Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:13 pm
Himself and Chester,
I can't speak to the differences in the particular nakiris you're interested in, nor to any other nakiri for that matter. Don't use them, you see.
Yes, particular makers prefer to work with certain steels -- and they have their reasons which may or may not have greater or lesser impact on how much you'll like their knives. However, the other question about whether you may be giving too much weight to the specific identities of the particular steel alloys is a little easier. Yes. Yes, you are.
Unless you're an EXTREMELY good sharpener, assuming some given edge geometry, the limits on edge-taking sharpness for any of the Hitachi alloys you're talking about will be imposed by your skill levels and not the alloys themselves. Sharpening skills aside, good geometry from the knife maker typically counts more towards edge taking than the distinctions between extremely good alloys.
Edge keeping is subject to the same sort of confusion. For instance, everything else being equal, White #1 tends to chip more than White #2, but ultimately hardening -- another manufacturer specific -- will probably play a greater role in durability.
While true, the rule that good knives are made from good alloys is not as helpful as it could be because so are so very many lousy knives. Yes, it's tempting to try and predict how a given knife will perform because it was made from this steel or that, but you'll learn more if you just ask about the particular knife itself.
Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:29 pm
I have messed with White #1 from Fujiwara Terayasu, White #2 from Konosuke, Tojiro and Yamashin, Blue #2 from Tanaka (Kurouchi line and Sekiso line), Aogami Super from Kanetsune and Takeda, SK4 from Kikuichi and 52100 in an Addict (HT by Peters HT in Penn.) They all sharpen up nicely and pretty easily on the stones. I can't tell much of a difference between them in use really; I sharpen or touch up before I really need to anyway. On the stones, some may feel harder to grind than others, but it doesn't really bother me that much. I think good carbon if heat treated properly is good carbon. You are splitting hairs between the Takeda and Konosuke Nakiri. I got to play with 3 Takeda's today and sharpened them up. I went up to a Takashima J Nat on the bevel and then did a small micro bevel going up to a Shobu San J Nat for the edge. All got wickedly sharp. The small ground bevel was a bit odd to me cosmetically, especially gives the taller height on the gyuto, but I didn't really get to cut anything other than paper towels with them, so I can't comment on the performance.
If you like rustic, go Takeda. If you want the polished/refined knife look, go Konosuke. Both blade steels should be very nice to work with, sharpen and use! If it was me, I would go with the Kono because I like the more polished look of the knife and I have been digging blue steel lately on my Tanaka's!
Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:00 pm
I haven't experienced using any of the really
nice Usuba's available....but i have tried a Takeda and it was awesome.
Just the profile of the blade and the beautiful finishing on the handle....a really awesome knife. Super light.
+ top grade steel, properly heat treated as well.
You really can't go wrong, that's why they're expensive. Plus, Shosui seems like just a swell guy.
I'd buy one of his knives in a heartbeat. (If i had some spare cash to throw around)
It's still the best knife I've tried(i think?). Konosuke's are nice but are too plain looking for me.
Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:27 pm
See, this is why I love this forum.... Fantastic input from folks who know a hell of a lot more than me....
I use knives a lot and over time, and have truly learned to respect the evolution of the blade and the really cool things that blacksmith are able to do with a pile of iron, carbon and a few other ingredients. My wife and friends think I am crazy when I talk knives or metal, but you guys understand....
In a way I feel sorry for poor Mark b/c I know he wakes up three times a night and hears, 'hey Mark, what knife should I buy... I like to cook and..." (and yes I am guilty of adding to that) but there are some very knowledgeable folks that chime in here and that is really a great thing. (Oh, and hey, Mark, I don't feel THAT sorry for you b/c I've made a few good boat payments to you over the years in knives, stones, etc. and will continue that tradition. Just let me know if you want a 40' ketch or the 50')! That said, thanks to all for the advice.
And hey, BDL, I have followed your prose on cooking and knives for quite some time... You started a fantastic website, but then in trailed off...???? I hope you fire it back up b/c your food writing is a blast, chock full of vignettes and other nuggets of worthiness. Really something that could stand on its own...(don't believe me, check out his recipe on Cesar salad). Really fun stuff. Weren't you going to do a book???? Get on it b/c I would be first in line to buy it. And, btw, you were the dude that got me to try a Sabatier (which I never thought I'd ever want to own based on my bad experience with other European blades... I live in the DC area and am able to seek out the one guy that seems able to grab some of the old-stock Nogents (another BDL great writeup) and some of the newer 4 **** Elephants and physically check them out before I buy them (you know who I mean). I hated the Sabatiers at first, then they hit a sweet spot on my stones and now they share a very prominent spot (along with all of my kid's college-tuition funded knives from Mark) on my knife rack. Impossible to explain, but truly love using them...
Anyhow, thank you all for the input, your advice and Mark, to a wonderful site... Hope to keep learning! And Mark, another order coming....
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