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Sharpening a single bevel knife

Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:17 pm

Respectable Mr. Marl Richmond, i am Antonio ,a Brazilian Sushiman and Cook who know your work since a good time.

First of all i would to compliment about what you have been doing since i know your website,because i think is a very well done job with a lot of entrepreneur vision of yours to have such a variety and knowledge about Japanese knives to show here in the western world.
I already have indicated your webshop to a colleague of mine who brought form you (If i remember right) a Tojiro knife and a whetstone,his name is Thiago and we both work in Porto Alegre ,Southern Brazil.

If possible i would ask you two question i have about a knife i now have and i would like to make clear,even thought i know i will take some of your time for free.

One of my ex-employer recently came from a trip to japan and brought me a Moritaka Gyuto 240 Super Steel as a gift,knowing i am a cooking knife aficionado (I already have a Shun Pro Yanagi which i brought in Florence when working in a Sushibar),and i love this knife,i am even afraid to use it,hehe!

So the first question i ask you is about the octagonal handle:i have seen some Japanese handle before,but don't you find this Moritaka octagonal handle a little bigger than those usual?Maybe is just my weak memory.

The second is about the sharpening:The most complete and useful sharpening tutorial of yours is made exactly with a Moritaka 210 Gyuto,and knowing this knife is done as a double edged knife could i ,carefully,sharpen it as were a Yanagiba knife,with the same technique of sharpening with each side?
What i mean is,that a Yanagi knife the blade side is sharpened with the knife transversely positioned again the whetstone ,doing singles forwarding strokes and softly going back and so on,so i thought as i know how to sharpen but not as much as an expert,that if the Moritaka is double edged i could sharpen maybe the same way as a double edged Yanagi.

I know my English isn't that clear ,so if i may confuse something ,tell me and i would repeat my question.
I already thank you for losing some of your time in reading my E-Mail ,and feel free to answer whenever you find it possible.
Thanks again and best regards!
Antonio

Re: Sharpening a single bevel knife

Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:21 pm

I've never found Moritaka's handles to be large.

Not quite sure what you mean about sharpening like a yanagi, but on both sides.

You would sharpen the Moritaka on both sides, yes. It's the same principle as sharpening a yanagi, but you would not lay the Moritaka gyuto flat on the stone like some do with the blade road on a yanagi.

You can position the Moritaka gyuto transversely as you do a yanagi, and repeat for the other side.

Re: Sharpening a single bevel knife

Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:26 pm

Hi Antonio,

I'm happy to answer this for you. Hopefully some of my best customers will add some extra information for you here too.

The Moritaka handles are pretty standard is size and shape and are a little larger than some traditional D shape handles but not much. They are actually transitioning over to some new handles next month and will be makig them with Yew octagonal handles instead of the rosewood. They really look great with the kurouchi finish on the blades since it's a nice contrast.

As for your more important question I hope I'm understanding you correct. If you are sharpening a Moritaka yanagi that knife is two sided and you can sharpen it like a normal two sided knife.

My guess is you are asking me if you can sharpen a traditional single sided yanagi like a two sided knife. If that is your question the answer is no. Many people do it but I don't recommend it.

To sharpen a traditional Japanese blade that is single beveled you need to sharpen on the "face" side almost exclusively. Most good sharpeners will lay the knife flat on the wide bevel called the blade road and will sharpen that bevel until it is one big edge. They then will flip the knife over and lay the knife flat on the back side and do just a couple light strokes on the back at 0 degrees to deburr the knife.

Does this make sense Antonio? I'll post a video of my friend Jason doing a yanagiba so you can see how he does it. It's not that hard but it's different.

Re: Sharpening a single bevel knife

Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:28 pm

Re: Sharpening a single bevel knife

Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:26 am

I really need to redo a yanagi sharpening video, I didn't do bad for my first run ^^ but I'm a bit better now ;)

Re: Sharpening a single bevel knife

Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:48 pm

You're getting a lot of practice. hahaha
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