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 Post subject: Old school blacksmith Takagi
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 12:52 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:11 pm
Posts: 10
I need some help with a couple knives I just received. Thru some recent post readings I was introduced to Kiyoshi Kato and Takagi knives. Searching further the blacksmith history and skill really intrigued me so I ordered a Kato Nikiri and a Tagagi Gyuto 210 thinking I would keep whichever one I favored. They both surprised me a little how heavy they felt at the blade but I like that and the rustic nature of both as they have a Kurouchi finish which I like. The question now is with the Tagaki being honyaki are there any negatives to this with ease of sharpening or does the blade lack some durability as it is harder as a whole without a softer clading? I just need some extra info and advice to make a decision on keeping it. I do like the length as it is about 212 and 47 mm tall. I am a home cook so nimbleness isn't the most important as I don't make my living by using it as a tool. They both appealed to me because of who made them and I respect the craft and skill that went into their making.
Thanks,
John


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 Post subject: Re: Old school blacksmith Takagi
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 1:55 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:40 pm
Posts: 265
if it were me, I would keep them both... two works of art by two completely different master craftsmen in there own right.. kato is recognized to be one of the best swordsmiths in japan.. as for your question of honyaki being more brittle... yes and no, it has no cladding to help absorb shock to the blade.. however in the consruction of a honyaki knife they harden the steel differentialy, so the edge of the knife is at a higher hardness than the spine, just like in the swords of old, you get a hard cutting edge, that is supported by a softer more durable spine area, idea being that it will be better suited to absorb any shock to the blade without risking a break or fracture.. in the world of steel nothing is indestructible, you are a home user and probably don't need to concern yourself to much with this.. IMO you sir a very lucky man to have 2 knives with so much knowledge and passion for the craft literally hammered into them, they both have soul... that should translate and mean something to the owner... so if a decision you must make.. I say make it based on their esthetic appearance and overall feel for the blade.. not who made it.. both deserve a home in my books


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 Post subject: Re: Old school blacksmith Takagi
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:36 pm
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Honyaki only affects the ease of sharpening in so much as the entire portion of the knife ground when sharpening is hardened. In a serious thinning operation, this can be a royal pain in the ass as it will be very slow going. However, this is no different than any mono-steel (i.e. not clad) knife. In contrast, a clad knife can be easier to seriously thin as some of the ground metal is soft(ish).

During normal sharpening's....i.e. if you're not thinning the knife....a honyaki (or any mono-steel) knife is no harder to sharpen than a clad knife.

Durability....a honyaki would not be any less durable than a clad knife with a core steel of the same material, same geometry and same HT.



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 Post subject: Re: Old school blacksmith Takagi
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 2:30 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:11 pm
Posts: 10
Cheffiec nicely put, thanks. Thanks Adam. when you talk about thinning a knife as the phrase "the knife needs some thinning to reach it's true potential", is it usually the case that the maker is trying to hold a price point so they leave it as is or just as much about personal preference as to the geometry of the blade for a particular user? Or is it performance and most experienced knife users would agree easily when a knife needs thinning?


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 Post subject: Re: Old school blacksmith Takagi
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:44 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
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Location: Raleigh, NC
In the context of every day sharpening, eventually all knives need to be thinned. Some sharpeners thin their knives with every sharpening. As for knives that need thinning out of the box, as you guessed it usually is a question of hitting a price point. Most users would agree that the knife would benefit from some love. More expensive knives with better/more comprehensive grinds will have allocated more time with a craftsman to getting the geometry just right. Sometime needing thinning out of the box is not a bad thing. Something like the Artifex, in a top notch steel in a great design is one of the best knives out there for the cost if you have the time and equipment to get it into perfect shape.


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 Post subject: Re: Old school blacksmith Takagi
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 2:49 pm 
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Thinning is a personal preference, yes. Some people do not like our so called lasers......they prefer a workhorse type knife. Other's want knives that resemble tin foil. :o

However, eventually, to keep the performance the same as the knife came stock (no matter it's stock geometry) a knife will need to be thinned. As you go up the V the knife gets thicker....well, I guess some cheap ass knives don't.....but that's irrelevant here.....so you have to thin to maintain that stock geometry.



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 Post subject: Re: Old school blacksmith Takagi
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 5:01 pm 
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Like the other guys said, the idea behind sharpening Japanese style, is to maintain the grind of the knife over time. Whether you like to touch up the edge periodically and eventually thin, or whether you like to thin every time you sharpen doesn't matter too much. Thinning every time you sharpen however, will maintain the performance of the knife better than letting it get too thick.

As you sharpen (thin) the knife, (one of) the idea(s) is to maintain the beauty and symmetry of the Shinogi in relation to the edge. If you've ever tried this, it's not at all easy (depending on how picky you are). The Shinogi needs to raise with the edge, yet remain perfectly symmetrical to it. On a polished, tight knife...this is incredibly difficult. If there's no Shinogi, you don't really have to worry about it. There's ALOT to sword sharpening, which to a lesser degree falls into knife sharpening (imo)...because the same traditional methods and aesthetics have naturally carried over into knife making.

The legitimacy of Kasumi construction died in the 1800's when sword fighting died, imo. We don't fight with kitchen knives so there isn't any merit to discussing the significance of impact or knife breakage. Honyaki knives aren't clad, because there's no need for knives to be clad. Every sword however, will be. In general, sword construction is actually the opposite of knife construction. A hard outer shell with a softer inner core, with the edge of the hard outer shell being tempered in a certain way depending on a few different things. Hamon was relative to what the sword was likely to encounter.

The Takagi knives look pretty sweet. They kinda remind me of Takeda in looks. I would never pay good money for knife tho, before I had a general idea of the grind. There's no point in paying X amount of dollars for craftsmanship, only to have to spend hours fixing it. :ugeek:

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 Post subject: Re: Old school blacksmith Takagi
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 3:25 am 
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Location: Rockwall, Texas
Whichever one you don't like, just send to me. I will love and nurture it as it deserves to be.



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