It's a very good ugly knife. The handle is junk. The factory edge stinks, the scratch pattern is rough and the grinding work done on the blade was obviously fast and sloppy.
With some work on the stones it does cut well. If this knife came with a better handle it would be worth the 150$ price. I do enjoy this knife more than the more expensive Kohetsu. The problem with the Kohetsu is that it's so thin and relatively flat grind. Food release of potatoes is not very good when speed chopping.
I like that the Tanaka retains a toothy edge and can bite into a tomato without too much fuss. I've polished the knife with a 1k and a 5k...I still have factory grind marks on the very edge of the blade....
I think it's a workhorse knife...not intended to be pretty. It's a good knife if you want an ugly rustic piece of metal. The real selling point of this blade to me was owning a traditionally forged blade without spending too much.
I like the way the blades have a thickness then get ground thinner. Oh yeah and the convex...just makes carrots release nicely. If the upper end Tanaka knives feature more refinement with the same style grind I'll probably consider another one.
It's a really ugly workhorse knife with horrible cosmetic flaws. I like think of it as the rusty VW bug with a Porsche engine