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 Post subject: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:27 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:55 am
Posts: 15
Hello all,

Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto 240mm
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/suzddagy24.html

I'm taking a very serious look at this knife, but given the price, I was hoping for some more first-hand information from any owners. $550 is a lot of scratch to throw down on a knife, and as beautiful as the blade is, I find the handle to be tragically boring.

My background - MAC Professional Chefs Knife for the past 6 years. Maintained on an Edge Pro. I'm about to pull the trigger on the Shapton stones for the EP (looking at 500, 1k, 2k, though I'm open to other suggestions).

I'm not a pro by any means, but I'm not a chump either, so I guess I'm in the putz range. I take care of my knives, but I want something that will not sprout legs and run away if I don't clean it immediately after use by accident, so stainless is probably a must. I sharpen when the knives get dull, which works out to every couple months with the MAC. Ceramic hone for edge maintenance almost every day before use. I use mostly flexible plastic cutting boards, which seem rather soft and easy on blades, but I can justify a better solution based on getting a silly expensive knife, if needed.

I'm going to check out the Japanese Knife Company down in London to test drive some Gyutos, but I don't believe they carry Sukenari there.

Any input from owners? Am I going to reach nirvana when I make my first divine slice, or will I cut out my own heart after dropping over half a grand on something that makes big carrots into small carrots? Also, what grit do you sharpen it up to for the best kitchen results?

Thanks for the help.
Seth


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:01 pm
Posts: 500
Location: ATL
I can't offer any assistance on the Suki, though someone will. You may have more luck with putting this in the knife recommendations section. Hopefully one of the mods will move it for you.
I will offer my thoughts on your stone progression question. Since you are getting ready to pull the trigger on stone upgrades and wondering where is a good place to stop, I'd suggest adding the 4k Shapton and use that as your final stone. Some go higher (I go to 8k), but many feel 4k is a good working edge on quality steel such as the Sukinari. If you need to stick with three stones for budgetary reasons, I'd swap the 500 out with the 4k. You can always use the coarser EP stones for occasional heavy duty work in the short term.


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:07 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2291
I sampled this knife in a pass around, here is my review: sukenari-damascus-zdp189-210mm-gyuto-t7465.html

In summary, there were three big up sides and one ho hum issue.
1) I loved the profile, the pointed tip is very dexterous and the height at the heel is very comfortable for my big hands.
2) The steel was also pretty impressive, it just felt substantial. Now I did not really give it a real test, but early indicators were good.
3) It is a very pretty knife, the profile, damascus cladding, and high polish finish are pretty striking in total. The handle is nice but something blingy could take the knife off the charts.

The ho hum: the knife has a very nice grind so it performs very well, but it is not a laser. This knife will go through ingredients with authority, not drift through them like a wish. So as long as that sounds cool, you will like this knife.

Now this knife is costly, I cannot answer your question regarding whether it is "worth" it, that is pretty personal. FWIW this is one of the few knives I have used as a pass around that I periodically long for.


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2603
Seth - the Sukenari 240 ZDP189 is a great Gyuto, but it's not going to cut your product for you, or wipe your butt for you. It's still just a kitchen tool, albeit a gorgeous, highly functional kitchen tool. The performance potential of a knife like this will be commensurate to the skills you develop when using it. I think it's a great all around Gyuto. It's not a super thin laser, not a big heavy workhorse, etc. IMO it's the kind of knife you can grow with and be happy using in the long term, not wanting for more in most normal prep situations.

The steel is very hard, so good technique is paramount to prevent edge chipping/damage. The steel is also very wear resistant, resulting in great edge retention at the expense of ease of sharpening. The good news is that you won't need to sharpen it very often :-). I would keep it at peak sharpness with stropping and not use a ceramic hone. A Nano cloth or Kangaroo strop used bare or with some fine compound (say 1 micron CBN spray) would work great on that steel IMO.

I'd take this knife to at least a 4K edge, so I'd recommend a Shapton 500, 1K, 2K, 4K progresssion, then stropping. This is one case where it might be worth getting a Nano cloth EP sized strop and using the EP for stropping, since you'll likely not need to do this frequently, depending on your prep volume.

Strop: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/nacl1xforedp.html
1 micron CBN spray: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ke1micbnsp1.html (about 16K grit equivalent). You could go with Ken's 1.5micron spray as well if you want a little more tooth to the edge (about 11-12K grit equivalent).

Ken's Kangaroo EP strop would also be a good alternative, since the Nano-cloth is OOS: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kangaroostrop.html

Note: Ken recommends using a spritz of CBN on stones like the Shapton's to assist in cutting the larger carbides in steel like ZDP189. It's expensive but you won't find a better performing product out there :-). If you're getting a ZDP189 knife, don't go cheap on the proper tools to maintain it more easily.


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2603
Seth - review this thread for more info directly from the horse's (Ken's) mouth :-)

i-have-a-dumb-question-t8412-10.html


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 1435
Location: Raleigh, NC
I would certainly echo a 4k edge minimum on this knife; hard and durable knives like this can get so much out of a highly polished edge that a 6k or 8k finishing stone followed by strops is definitely a reasonable possibility.


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 851
M'Lord<>Just switching to the Shapton stones should have you jumping for joy. I use a 1K-2K-5K-8K Shapton Pro progression on the good carbons. For fine grained PM steels I usually go to diamond films on glass starting around 6u and continue to 0.1u. You may want to consider that method as well as the CBN doping described above.

Be aware that there is a camp that opines ZDP-189 provides best performance at a relatively high edge bevel (>15dps) and coarser finish due to the high carbide volume. I do not have the hands on time with this steel to debate this matter.

Cheers,

Rick


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:55 am
Posts: 15
snipes and Lepus, thanks for the advice. I'll look at some finer stones.

Steve- I was being a bit tongue in cheek with expectations. I know what I knife will and won't do. The info you gave is great, and helps a lot. Thanks

cedar - Great review. Thanks. I guess I need to look now at whether I'm willing to drop $550 on a knife and not get a laser out of it. Since my only experience is with the MAC, I don't know how much I will want a laser until I use one. I think the handle is a huge bummer. I know some people don't care about aesthetics, and I certainly want performance over looks, but at this price range I'd like to see something less plain, even if it bumps the price up more.

I love the look of the Kono Tsuchime http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kots24gy.html, but it's out of stock and I dont know much about how forgiving a carbon blade clad in stainless is with leaving it dirty by accident.

I guess this is my follow-up question, which I can put in a new thread if the knife gods see fit. I have the MAC Professional, which is certainly no laser. If I get the Sukenari ZDP, am I getting something different in my arsenal, or just a much, much better MAC? If I have the MAC, and plan to keep it, should I be looking at a laser?

I hate to say it, but as much as I am concerned with function, I care about form as well. I want a blade with some sort of visual, be it damascus, hammered, or otherwise not perfectly uniform. I'm not looking for any particular handle design (as far as looks, shape I want to try the Eastern Style octagonal), but plain black or plain tan like the sukenari is a bit boring for me. I am willing to but a handle custom made, but I will have to spend less on the knife to accommodate.

Help! The more I look at, the more lost I become


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:51 am
Posts: 217
Location: Austin tX
I will like to say I don't think this knife is worth 550 bucks , My co worker had this knife for awile and never cut as good any of the other knives I have tried or he has tried at half the price of it. I felt it was too small for a 240 mm and the damascus layering was very pronounced. When you cut an onion you can feel the the layers of damascus passing through the onion. Did not help with food release at all. It was just REALLY BLINGY which I felt made it look cheap. Yes the fit and finsh was perfect, For 550 bucks it better. My co worker sold It and bought Suji Ginsan Which Is far better preforming Knife at almost half the price and he loves it. You are basically paying for ZDP-189 which did not impress either of us at all. He sharpen that thing up to 8000 grit and it was very sharp, But went through a little bit of prep and not that sharp any more, Aogami super has far better edge retention and its easier to sharpen. Hell even his ginsan suji holds a better edge through the coarse of a day. If you ant to show alot of bling for 550 bucks go for it. IF you want a practical awesome preforming knife I would recomened anything else....OR maybe two at that price


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:20 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2291
The Sukinari ZDP is very different from the MAC Superiors I have used. I don't think the MAC pro is that much different than the Superiors.


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