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 Post subject: Re: should I go wa?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:39 pm
Posts: 3
First off I would like to say thank you for all the advice that everyone has offered. I do have one more question though. Being a chef the handle material is almost as important as the the blade itself. Nothing is worse than a handle that feels slippery. I'm leaning towards the Tanaka Kurouchi 210 or the Moritaka Aogami #2. Looks are really not that important as what they are made of. Thanks again for all your advice

 Post subject: Re: should I go wa?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:13 am
Posts: 3173
Location: CT
The Tanaka KU has a Ho wood/Plastic ferrule IIRC. The Moritaka has a Black Pakkawood ferrule and Rosewood handle and is a bit heavier than the Ho handles and much nicer finished. The Tanaka KU isn't really a thin knife. I thinned my out a good bit and need to do some more thinning. I would very strongly consider the Tanaka Sekiso 210mm instead. It has a much nicer Ho handle with Buffalo Horn ferrule and is much thinner behind the edge with an awesome grind. The 240mm Sekiso is tied with the AS laser as my fave knife, effortless cutting, great edge taking and holding. Spine and choil may need a little TLC with sandpaper, but most Japanese knives need that unless the buyer specifies those areas cleaned up.

Haven't seen the Moritaka, but some say they are fat behind the edge. In my experience, I have found that Western style mono steel Japanese knives will often have thinner blades than a Wa handled KU knife (or dimpled knives from the few I have seen). The Ku finished knives aren't ground as much on the top portion of the knife after it was forged out and the grinds are generally lower height wise on the blade compared to non KU knives, which leads to the blade road still being a bit fat. I have seen this first hand on Tojiro ITK, Tanaka KU 210mm, Tsutomo Kajihara KU, Yoshikane SKD, etc. One of the few thin KU gyuto's is the Takeda's. The KU blades generally will have more convexing and that and the KU finish aids in food release, but they can have more friction in the cut or wedge more than a thinner knife would. It's a trade off.

The Ho handles are often left a bit rougher and also the Ho wood grain tends to stand up when wet, offering more traction. It is part of the reason why Ho wood is chosen because it holds up well with being wet and drying a lot. I find it amusing when people sand and oil the Ho handles and then complain they are too slippery :) I have done up a few knives with factory Moritaka handles for chefs and they don't find them slippery. I have done custom handles and sanded to 2000 grit by hand and again, no complaints about them being too slippery. Some customers ask for a rougher finish, so I stop at 320-400 grit for them usually.

If you want a thin knife, a Kurouchi finished knife will most often not be thin. They can perform very well after the blade road is thinned out, but I find that many KU knives have a strongly convexed blade road bevel, so they take a while to flatten and thin out and you will have less convexity to help with food release and cutting.

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