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 Post subject: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:29 am
Posts: 327
I find the D - shaped handle kind of uncomfortable in my hand what do people "new to Japanese knives" prefer when they first get JK's?

Jack


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 Post subject: Re: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:48 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 250
I prefer the octagonal style but I use a pinch grip. My wife prefers the smoothness of the D because she holds the knife the traditional American way........Oh well, I guess I'll keep getting stuck with the cutting chores :mrgreen:

Douglas


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 Post subject: Re: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:41 am 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 1569
I really don't like octagonal handles and I'm pretty new to the J-knife thing. I tend to favor a racquet grip, but alternate into a pinch as well. While I don't believe a pinch grip is any more Japanese than the gyuto pattern itself, I think Sharp makes a good point: If you are grabbing more of the handle vs. more of the blade, a D might be more comfortable and vice versa. The reason why so many retailers carry octagonal vs. D is a matter of economics. D grips are handedness specific while octagonal are ambidextrous. Why complicate inventory management? On a more pragmatic note, it seems pro cooks who use Wa grips tend to prefer octagonal to D because they are less prone to slipping. I don't know how true or untrue this may be as I'm no pro cook, but logic would dictate that the angularity of an octagonal grip would make it moe secure in the hand. That said, I think the perfect analogy is in golf club grips. D shaped. Funny that... But this gets back to the notion of how much handle you tend to grip.

EDIT: I was thinking about the golf club analogy and, as I play a lot more tennis than golf, I reminded myself that tennis racquets (both sports where grip, and the ability to maintain one, is highly important) have octagonal grips. Now, in the context of pro-cooks proclivity towards octagonal grips, the difference between handles and sports makes perfect sense. In terms of an instrument, a tennis racquet is far more high impact, sees a wider range of motion and is used with a broader range of force than a golf club. Indeed, I'd expect to describe a Western pro-cook vs. a home cook, or even a traditional Japanese cook, much the same way. Stability, as opposed to ergonomics becomes paramount with the tennis player and Western pro cook, whereas the absence of repetitious high impact and shifting of grips in a home (or traditional Japanese) environment, or on a golf course, allow the the user to enjoy a more ergonomic, but less versatile, grip.

EDIT 2: I'm drunk and finding my inner monologue fascinating at the moment, so bear with me :oops: With an octagonal grip, in sports or in the kitchen, you can simply adjust the instrument to fit the action. Conversely, with a D grip, you must adjust the action to fit the grip. Or, more precisely, you lose a lot of stability when adjusting the grip to fit the action with a D.



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 Post subject: Re: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:30 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:47 pm
Posts: 136
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
All good points Chip. I prefer octagonal handles as they give me the most options for a secure, comfortable grip. I dislike a handle that dictates how you should hold it.


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 Post subject: Re: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:01 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:46 am
Posts: 240
Location: Lake of the Ozarks, MO
we really need to get a conference set up. with a hotel and speakers and the whole bit. what a great new geekfest. I realize there are knife shows but not many are kitchen oriented.


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 Post subject: Re: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:36 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2070
I prefer octagonal.

Most tools and sporting implements I have used have symmetrical grips. If they are oblong they tend to still be symmetrical left to right with the ribbing down the underside. I find d-shaped to be a bit bizarre though I own a few and they are not deal breakers.


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 Post subject: Re: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:29 am
Posts: 327
I think I would prefer a hex handle for the symmetry and grip control. The D has such a small flat spot it feels like it's a "mistake" in the production.


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 Post subject: Re: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2925
Location: CT
I prefer octagons or ovals myself. The D shape is difficult to make to fit the customers hand because everyones hand is different. I try to do a more rounded D so that there isn't a sharp point, but there is a lot of leeway how the D is shaped. I usually have the widest part of the d about 1/3 the way down from the top of the handle to around just over the midpoint heightwise of the handle. I leave them big, try them out in my hand in various grips and then take them down from there. With an octagon handle, I can use a flat platen on my disc sander or belt sander to cut the bevels in and then use sandpaper on a granite reference plate to sand and polish and keep the handle components even and level. D, I actually get them down to rough size on the disc sander by doing one size as an octagon to start and then cutting in 2 large bevels on the other side, usually the right side. Then I go over to the belt sander and round all of the corners and start smoothing it out, but it's more difficult because I am using the slack belt part of the sander, so it's easy to get ripples and stuff. I still have to hand sand the handle, but it's more difficult because I need a somewhat soft backer to get clean rounded areas.


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 Post subject: Re: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:18 pm 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 1569
I was a D-convert after loving the fat, long, traditional D grips on Shigefusas and Tim does a sick job with the pattern. After using his D's it's really hard to go back to anything else. The angularity, and usual small dimensions of most octagonal grips are just uncomfortable for me. If done right, the angle of the D should sit perfectly between the palm and finger and feel very natural. Tim's certainly do.



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 Post subject: Re: D vs Hex shaped handles
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:58 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2070
"After using his D's it's really hard to go back to anything else."

Chip, that does not read as well as you might have thought it...

;)


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