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 Post subject: Tojiro DP / Richmond Artifex
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:40 am
Posts: 38
Hi guys!
I managed to snag both the Tojiro DP and Richmond Artifex 210 gyutos demo closeouts.

I have some thoughts and impressions to share.
And if you have the time, some questions to ask as well.

I am coming from a 240mm Yoshikane gyuto, western handle.

I grew up using a chinese kitchen cleaver so a heavy sturdy knife was a natural progression and that 240 Yoshikane is a serious beast of a knife.
My knife skills improved considerably, I wanted to move towards something thinner and lighter.

Tojiro DP Fit/Finish
Neither of the blades came to me razor sharp, decently sharp for sure, but not nearly at the level I am used to.

I was not too impressed with the quality of the Tojiro DP.
There is a small gap on 1 side where the metal bolster meets the plastic.
And the blade spine and heel is not rounded. The instant I picked it up, I didn't like how sharp those edges felt.
While I am only a home cook, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen with my knife. Moving from the Yoshikane with a thick spine and decently rounded edges, I did not like the this.
The handle also isn't "big". Rather, it is quite rounded. I felt it was adequate, but didn't feel like super-stable in my hands.

Richmond Artifex Fit/Finish
The Artifex on the other hand, the moment I picked it up, I loved the knife.
The spine and heel blade edges were VERY rounded, more than most of the knives I have handled.
Somehow, just how the blade transmits vibration to my hand felt better. Like the blade quality was substantial.
The thicker handle was more familiar and just using my last 3 fingers, I could tell it was much more stable in my hand compare to the Tojiro.
I never liked how the Artifex doesn't actually have a bolster, I'm sure it's a cost saving measure which won't affect the performance of the knife.
However, the front of the handle has sharp edges, it does not round and taper down to the blade, rather, the plastic ends abruptly with a cut perpendicular to the metal. It is simply not comfortable.
The Artifiex also has a little patch on the pommel that isn't sanded quite perfectly smooth.

I am taking both up to a 5000 grit edge.
I then use a idahone ceramic rod.

Tojiro Blade
Post sharpening, this is a BEAST, it comes within 95% of my Yoshikane.
It gets a crazy sharp edge. It goes through all sorts of veg like nothing.
However, it doesn't seem quite as good as my Yoshikane through meat. While the difference isn't massive, I did notice it.
Unlike my hammered Yoshikane, stuff sticks to the blade.
This knife is incredible bang-for-buck!

Artifex Blade
It gets decently sharp. But I just can't seem to get this to a wicked edge.
It sharpens well, but somehow the edge just doesn't bite into the foods.
Unlike my hammered Yoshikane, stuff sticks to the blade.

1. What is the best way to round off the spine and heel of the Tojiro DP?
2. There is a tiny gap there between the plastic and metal bolster. What should I fill it with?
3. Am I wrong about the Artifex blade? Should it get as sharp as the Tojiro?
4. What is your suggested method in reshaping Artifex handle and smooth out that rough patch on the pommel?

thanks all!!!

 Post subject: Re: Tojiro DP / Richmond Artifex
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:43 am 
Great feedback and questions!

First of all, the Tojiro, the F & F on the handle isn't perfect, you can fill that with some 5 minute epoxy. You use 5 minute as a filler because it shrinks less. Simply sand smooth with some sandpaper (the less of the mess you made with the epoxy on the previous step, the easier sanding will be, so pay attention at first when filling) the buff the scratches out with finer sandpaper. A buffing wheel helps tremendously, but I'm sure there are other methods of getting polish by hand, I know micromesh works great for that

About the Artifex, the problem certainly isn't the steel, the knife just may need to be thinned behind the edge a little bit, that's all. Go ahead, break out your coarsest stone, lower the angle to around 10 degrees, and go to town. Once you've reached the edge there, simply polish that bevel up a little bit, then go back and add a micro bevel at 15 degrees on top of that. You will get a long lasting edge with a lot more perceived "bite". Thinness behind the edge makes a knife feel sharper, always.

The minor Fit and Finish issues you are talking about are going to be there on a lot of knives in the sub-$100 category. If they were all perfect then they could arguably charge more for the blades since they perform so well. I'm not downplaying your concerns, just more or less addressing the reality of the situation.

For the spine, a belt sander is ideal, but for home use, it will be sandpaper, and probably backed with a hard sponge would do best. Simply turn the knife upsidedown, and run the spine through progressive grits of sandpaper on a table (or some other sturdy surface). The curvature of whatever you are using will knock the edges of the spine down, so it's really just a lot of drawing the knife back and forth. Might take a few minutes depending on force and grit you are using. :D

 Post subject: Re: Tojiro DP / Richmond Artifex
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:40 am
Posts: 38
Hi Shaun,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm going to have to get me some epoxy :)

I have tried taking the Artifex up to a very steep angle like you recommended, while a lot better, it's still not quite as good as my Yoshikane or the Tojiro DP.
I'm using some cheaper stones, perhaps I need something that cuts the steel a bit better?

I have curved out the spine and heel of the Tojiro now. It's a pretty rough job, to hold me over, but lot better than before.

Totally don't regret getting these knives.

 Post subject: Re: Tojiro DP / Richmond Artifex
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:11 pm
Posts: 75
I thinned my Artifex 240, super sharp ( or sharp feeling) now. Much better than my Fujiwara. Best advice ever to thin it. Feels like a monster now.

Gary II

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