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 Post subject: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2872
Location: CT
I picked up the Yamashin Funayuki before it went out of stock and really enjoyed using it and the blade shape is much more versatile than a 150mm Petty for the type of cooking I do. It lets me do tip work, or use it on the board. Cutting is awesome with it, even slicing down cabbage for cole slaw and stuff like that. Grinds are nice and thin and I didn't notice the wedging and extra friction I normally find in a KU type knife. I decided that it needed an upgrade from the stock handle and made one out of Jobillo and Cocobolo. I saw the Tsutomu Kajihara Kurouchi one and wanted to get it, too. So I figured I would do a comparison of both!

First, the Yamashin is $60 and White #1 steel with a Ho/Plastic ferrule handle in the stock form. The Tsutomu Kajihara is Blue #2 and $85 and you get a Black Pakkawood ferrule and Rosewood handle. The handle on the Tsutomu Kajihara is MUCH nicer than the Yamashin's handle! Similar to a Moritaka or Takeda type handle in materials, excellent F&F on the handle. The Tsutomu Kajihara has a flatter blade profile and is slightly taller. The Yamashin has more belly at the tip and a little finer tip, too.

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The Yamashin is also much thinner in the spine as well:
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Yamashin Choil Shot:
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Tsutomu Kajihara Choil Shot:
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The Tsutomu Kajihara seems to be ground more on the left side of the knife and it almost looks like the right side is slightly concave? I will check that out a bit more since I just noticed it uploading the pics!

Both need the spines and choils smoothed since they are both fairly sharp. The blade road seems to have a cleaner/finer finish on the Tsutomu Kajihara, but the grind seems a bit more consistent/flatter on the Yamashin, especially near the tip. The Tsutomu Kajihara feels like it gets slightly thicker behind the edge at the tip than the Yamashin does. The Ku finish is close on both quality wise.

I know the Yamashin performs VERY well, so I am hoping to test out the Tsutomu Kajihara and see how it does. The factory edge on the Tsutomu Kajihara seems very nice and sharp, no burrs, but the bevel is a bit uneven. I will see if there is any steering or wedging issues when I play with it tomorrow.

For the extra $25 with the Tsutomu Kajihara, you get a MUCH nicer handle and a beefier feeling knife, with a little cleaner blade road finish, but a heavier, thicker knife. Both are good deals, but they both need some smoothing of the spine/choil area as is very common with Japanese knives under $100. Very pleased with both and I will update the post with the cutting results!


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 Post subject: Re: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:51 pm 
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Well, the choil shot of the Tsutomu Kajihara was bugging me, so I got another pic of it:

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Once I did, I noticed something. On the sides of the blade, there is a little hollow that has been hammered into the blade behind where the blade bevel ends. This helps food not stick to the blade. The knife is left side biased, but the other choil pic made it look like it was almost like a single bevel. The right side is beveled, but the left is more strongly convexed, which also led to the slightly uneven edge bevel on that side; the amount of convexity changes towards the tip, so the bevel changes a little.


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 Post subject: Re: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 1:45 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 am
Posts: 625
Location: Philippines
looks like tsutomu is a lefty =D


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 Post subject: Re: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 1:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
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Location: CT
Yeah, my Yamashin Nakiri was similar, too, but it still seems to cut straight with a loose grip.


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 Post subject: Re: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:34 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 am
Posts: 625
Location: Philippines
i don't have trouble with righty grind funi's and gyuto's. and i'm a lefty. you're making me want a kajihara =p


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 Post subject: Re: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2872
Location: CT
The handle on the Tsutomu Kajihara is very nice. The blade grind stuff is fairly minor and most won't even notice it. It shouldn't really affect performance all that much with how minor it is. I've been noticing lately that many knives have a small hollow behind the main blade grind to help break the sticktion that happens with other knives. It's hard to see until you put a flat edge on the blade and really look to see what the blade it doing.

The Yamashin is much thinner and cuts very well, so I am interested in seeing how the Tsutomu Kajihara cuts tomorrow!! Just because it's thicker doesn't mean it won't cut well! The left side is convexed nicely, so food release should be good. I will sharpen both Funayuki's up tomorrow and cut up some sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, onions, mushrooms and see how it does!


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 Post subject: Re: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:39 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 am
Posts: 625
Location: Philippines
good luck and let us know! =D


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 Post subject: Re: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Got the cutting done early this morning. Diced up Sweet Potatoes, red potatoes, red onion, Yellow onion, Portabella Mushrooms and steak to make a hash.

Sweet Potatoes: Yamashin won. It cut with less effort thru the potatoes and straighter, too. The Tsutomu Kajihara cut well, but the blade wanted to curve in the cut.

Red Potatoes: These were pretty soft and both knives cut well. I didn't notice much wandering of the Tsutomu Kajihara in the cuts and food release was a touch better than the Yamashin; the convex really pushed the food away from the blade. The Yamashin may have edged out the Tsutomu Kajihara, but it's difficult to tell.

Onions: The Yamashin again won, due to curving issues with the Tsutomu Kajihara. The Tsutomu Kajihara also turned the onions brown. I can't remember if the Yamashin did this, but the Yamashin has some patina formed on it, which may have helped since I have used it more. The TK seemed to wedge a bit on the Horizontal cuts, but did much better on the vertical cuts.

Mushrooms: Tie on this one, they both cut about the same.

Steak: I think the TK edged out the Yamashin on this one. It seemed a touch smoother in the cut and worked really well trimming off the fat and stuff. The Yamashin worked well, but the TK seemed to melt thru the steak more. The convexing was noticeable and the meat was pushed away from the blade, where it sorta stuck to the Yamashin a bit and wanted to pull with the knife.

So in softer foods, the TK does very well and in the harder foods, the Yamashin does well due to the thinness of the blade. The handle on the TK is MUCH nicer than the Yamashin handle, but they both have sharp spines and choils. Blade wise, the Yamashin cuts very very well, where the TK is going to get some work done to it. The lefty bias is just a bit too strong, so I am going to see if I can even it out some.


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 Post subject: Re: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:29 pm
Posts: 123
Location: San Francisco
That handle makes the Yamashin a completely different knife, at least emotionally!

Looking forward to hearing how the TK shapes up on the stones.


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 Post subject: Re: Tsutomu Kajihara vs Yamashin Funayuki
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
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The TK met the stones over the past 2 days! Nubatama 150, Ohmura J Nat, Bester 500, Latte 400 were all used, some more to play with that to actually thin :) I went at the left side of the blade to flatten out the bevel. I saw it had a pretty strong convex right above the edge, so I wanted to flatten that side out a bit more and grind the right side so it had a little more of a bevel so the edge was more in the middle of the blade. After the coarser stones, I used an Amakusa J Nat (around 1K), Synthetic Blue Aoto, Meara and then the Yaginoshima Asagi on the blade road, and then the Meara/Yaginoshima/Strop on the edge itself. After the previous cutting playtime, I only had 1 red potato and a half of a yellow and half of a red onion, so I sliced up those. MUCH better performance!! With the red potato, it almost cut on it's own weight and I didn't notice any curving in the cut at all, just glided right thru it. The onion was the most telling. It made the horizontal cuts and vertical cuts much cleaner and straighter, with little to no blade wandering in the cut. Slicing straight down to get a dice cut didn't see the blade wander, either. There still is a bit more I can flatten out near the very edge, but I will leave it for now and see how it cuts and see if it needs to be flattened out more or not.

Image

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