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 Post subject: Kajihara Damascus 210mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:54 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 600
So I recieved this knife in the mail from CKTG on this snowy New England day, just in time for dinner (prompt shipping as always, thank you!). I will update this thread with more specifics once I get to use it more, but for now let me get some pictures while it is brand new and provide my first impressions. Hopefully these cellphone photos will do.

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The blade is about 214mm on the edge, with a bit of belly (which I was expecting) but not too much for my tastes. The last few millimeters at the heel curve up just a hair, reducing the length of the flat spot, but it isn't so pronounced as it looks in the picture as I didn't line the ruler up properly.

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The spine is thick right at its base. I don't have an exact measurement right now, but it does taper down to a more reasonable width. The knife is heavy, at least it feels it, and I don't have a scale but could well believe 7.5 to 8 oz. The balance point is in front of a pinch grip. I would normally get a 240 but I think I bet correctly that, at that length, a blade with this much spine would feel a bit unwieldy, at least to me.

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Fit and finish on the handle is nice. The joint between the rosewood handle and ebony ferrule is mostly smooth, both woods have a nice finished feel, the D shape feels excellent in the hand, and as you can see the joint between handle and blade is fairly tight. There are two little gaps I will have to deal with, but the copper reinforcement is a nice touch.

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The knife feels fairly thin behind the edge, and so far the grind seems good. It was relatively non-stick with potatoes. You can tell while cutting that it has some thickness to it, so it doesn't slide through food like a laser. But you really don't have to exert much effort besides what is required to move 7-8oz of knife around. The OOTB edge was good, and would push cut paper without a problem, but I can tell there is more to get out of it.

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The knife is quite pretty, and it certainly feels like a hand-made article. You can tell that human beings had a hand in its creation. So far it does not seem overly reactive, but I will have to chop some onions and report back.

So far the verdict is positive. I think I will enjoy using this knife a lot (and thanks again Mark for your prompt service and great products). However, I will certainly not recommend it as an introduction to Japanese knives unless someone is looking for that thick-spined solidity and weighty feel. I get the sense that it doesn't have the easily understood appeal of a thinner, lighter knife---it seems to perform well, but you have to want to love it; you have to want to feel a big hunk of metal in your hand, and I think a longer length would exacerbate this.

Don't get me wrong, I am a fan. And I don't anticipate further use will change that. But let me put it this way: despite being only a 210, I think the sheer mass of the Kajihara will function to ward off the other people I cook with.


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 Post subject: Re: Kajihara Damascus 210mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:29 pm
Posts: 500
Thanks for posting a review on this. This is a line I have been curious about. Sounds like a good one for someone who is used to German steel and wants to stick with a heavier knife with better steel.


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 Post subject: Re: Kajihara Damascus 210mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:49 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 1833
Interesting read. Thanks for the info.


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 Post subject: Re: Kajihara Damascus 210mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:14 am
Posts: 604
Location: San Ramon Ca.
Those are really an attractive offering. Thanks for posting up your thoughts.



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 Post subject: Re: Kajihara Damascus 210mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7661
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Excellent review Estayton! I'm glad you like the knife. As word is getting around they're becoming more and more popular on the site. Expecially the lower priced kurouchi line.



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 Post subject: Re: Kajihara Damascus 210mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 633
Very nice review, and I LOVE the pics!

They really show how well everything "fits". Very nicely done, and that is a beautiful knife you have there Sir! ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Kajihara Damascus 210mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 600
Thanks for the kind words, and I'm glad to be able to provide some info on this knife. Just a quick addition to better show the blade proflie in terms of its contact with the board.

Image

I am still holding out for further thoughts on performance but I'll add one other quick note: the spine is interesting in that it is actually thinner in the middle than toward the tip. Mine starts at over 4mm right out of the handle, drops to about 2.5mm by the middle of the blade, gets thicker again to about 3mm, and then drops off into the tip. I think this is a result of the compound grind on the right side of the knife. At first I thought my eyes were decieving me but I took a ruler to it and it really does get wider again where the end of the convexing curves up to meet the spine (about an inch to the left of my little finger in the above photo).


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 Post subject: Re: Kajihara Damascus 210mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:34 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 1833
Interesting!


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 Post subject: Re: Kajihara Damascus 210mm Gyuto
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 4218
Good information estayton, thanks.



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