This was a forum special that I'm a little behind in reviewing. Mark does a great job with these and I should do my part in a review! Here is the knife http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kobl2pe80.html
The first thing that I noticed was the handle. Chestnut and plastic is not my favorite. If anyone knows me, I like big chunk handles made up of dense lumber so... ironwood, aluminum, and african blackwood, check!
I would rate this knife as a 5/5 for asthetics now. I really dig Nashiji as it I like the rustic look over polish finish. It's a close second to Anryu hammered look as far as best in show.
The fit and finish (is that different than asthetics?) would be a 4/5. There are no hot spots and the knife was well sealed.
The blade would be a 4.5/5 for me. I love blue #2. I think it gets super sharp easily and stays there for a long time. This is no different as I stroped it right out of the box and it's a razor. After use, I sharpened it again and it only took around 5 minutes to get it screaming again. As previously stated it is rigid as hell. Which is good for me because I like the security I feel when using it. The only draw back is that the spine is a little think for a petty of this size. This is not a huge problem unless you're taking down an ox. There might be some wedging if you do that. So don't.
Overall I believe this to be an awesome knife at an awesome price. The handle isn't the best but.. snap! fixed. I have a 120 and 150 petty and this one really fills the "gap" (if that exists, see previous posts about pettys). It fits in the hand and is mobile and fluid. The rigidity is either a positive or negative depending on the user. The steel is amazing and I find it easy to keep sharp and screams through all the prep I sent at it.
Let me know if there are any questions and I'll be happy to post.