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Which kono Fuji are you most interested in? Each is done by a different blade smith. The b#1 is closer to a laser than it is to the AS laser. From the specs listed on the site the b#2 might be a good comparison?
I have an AS laser and a no handle blue#1 Fuji. Aesthetically the difference is night and day. The Fuji is very pleasing to the eye(my eye anyways) and the AS laser is kind of plain. The spine is quite a bit thinner on the Fuji. I was surprised, but the kono is also slightly thinner right behind the edge .31mm vs .34mm. I haven't had a chance to use the b#1 yet, but am hoping to get a handle I have laying around slapped on. Going to be a busy weekend with the family getting together for the holiday so we will see if I have time or not. I will make a quick post here once I get the handle installed and use it briefly if someone else hasn't chimed in already.
The grinds are very similar and both are laser thin behind the edge. AS Laser has a thinner spine, taller, AS clad in SS. Kono blue is blue steel clad in carbon, thicker spine, shorter length and height wise and the F&F is much nicer (spine and choils are rounded and more polished than the AS Laser). Price difference is big though. Think of the AS Laser as a Budget Kono Fuji
I tested the 210mm AS & 240mm Fuji Blue #2. Not a true direct comparison, but enough to come up with some conclusions.
- The Richmond AS seems to mimic the wide bevel of the Fuji in photos, but in hand, the hard convex actually occurs a few millimeters below the polished area of the blade. I assume it’s purely for aesthetics. - Profile is flatter on the Richmond AS, similar to my Kanehiro, and has the more functional tip. The Fuji isn’t as flat, but is the superior rocker. - Spine on Richmond is pretty thick, with minimal distal tapering throughout, then starts tapering hard closer to the tip. Fuji’s spine maintains thickness throughout, then thins out at the tip, and is thinner overall. - The Richmond handle(wenge) & tiger maple ferrule are extremely well-done and feel great in hand, but the quality feel of the Fuji handle(ebony) & buffalo horn ferrule are unlike any knife I’ve handled. - Balance is forward heavy on the Richmond, Fuji’s weight distribution is closer to 50/50. - Blue #2 is easier & quicker to get sharp compared to Super at their respective hardness levels. - F&F on the Fuji is second to none, rounded & polished everywhere, whereas the Richmond AS could use a bit of sanding on the choil and spine.
To be honest, it is an unfair comparison. Konosuke Fuji knives are in a league of their own, near perfection IMO. I received the Konosuke thinking it could possibly be another over-priced knife, and returned it to Mark believing it was worth every penny. As for the Richmond AS, definitely a solid performing knife, not a laser by any means. It just didn’t live up to the hype in my eyes. The thick spine and thick convex caused slight steering issues when peeling & pitting vegetables. Make no mistake, it can go toe-to-toe with most knives under $300, just can’t touch the Fujiyamas.
CGuarin, did you get a pic of the choil at all on your 210mm? My 240 didn't have the thick convexing near the edge and it was just about as thin as some Fujiyama's I have handled behind the edge. Curious to see a choil shot of a 210mm to compare to the 240mm.
240mm AS Laser choil first run of these knives IIRC:
Kono Fuji blue #2 240mm I think after I thinned it out for Aaron Gibson; it was close to the orig factory grind:
Hey Taz, I deleted the photos I had, but it can be seen in this video at 2:05. Which reminds me I have to take better photos.
The choil shot on your Richmond AS seems a bit thinner throughout than the one I had. Referring to the hard convex(probably too harsh a term i used) near the polish, I wasn't referring to the polish near the edge, but rather the polished upper portion of the blade, as it is super thin behind the edge. Sorry, I do not have my Japanese knife terminology down at all. Choil shots can be difficult to properly assess the grind though. If you run your fingers down the sides of the blade from spine to edge, especially towards the tip on the Richmond, you can get a better sense of what I was trying to describe as the "hard convex occurring a few millimeters below that polish." The knife I tested did come from the latest batch, and also at a different length(210mm), so small differences in detail are sure to occur. Hope this helps.
P.S. That Fujiyama choil shot Sick work on that blade.
Thanks! One thing I noticed on my AS Laser 240mm Gyuto is that from around the top of the faux kasumi finish line to the spine there was actually a concave grind there to keep the spine thinner and reduce the weight. It doesn't show in the choil shot because it starts a little past the choil and the area with the handle covers a good bit of it.
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