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 Post subject: Sukenari Ginsan 240mm
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:33 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 1635
First off, this is not my knife. This knife belongs to Mark (not "Dave" Richmond) who was kind enough to make his personal knife available to forum members for use in a pass-around. Thanks Mark! See details and other member impressions here: sukenari-ginsan-pass-around-t5255.html.

The Sukenari details are available on the product page here: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sugi240gy.html


I have used the knife for 3 dinners in as many nights and some light fruit ninja-ing in between.

The knife has good fit and finish. The knife has a subtle visible cladding line. Kanji is deeply engraved on both sides, five characters on the right side and two small ones on the left. The handle is a basic light wood handle, dark ferrule with clean lines and a solid, no gap install, though the handle is rotated ~5° counterclockwise from square. The handle orientation probably would have gone unnoticed as it does not bother me but it had been mentioned by previous reviewers in the pass-around. The spine has a uniform, well finished radius along its entire length. The choil is also eased though the grind here is less finished and somewhat irregular. While the choil area is not uncomfortable for me as a home user, in time I might prefer to clean the area up more thoroughly.

The profile is a fatter, taller permutation of the KS profile. A first half of the length of the blade is flat then a sweep the remainder of the blade length. The tip is pointed as the spine drops down gradually to the edge rather than the sheep's foot arrangement common to many gyutos. The blade is under length relative to other gyutos I own listed at 240mm. The heel/choil area sweeps back very slightly toward the grip, similar to the Masakage lineup. There is a zero to slight distal taper from the handle to ~75% of the blade length then distal tapers to a fine point in the last 25%. The grind begins about half way down the blade and appears to me to be a symmetrical convex grind. I consider the grind and weight to be a workhorse type construction.

The knife arrived with an edge that would shave hair and still does so, though somewhat less comfortably. I am unlikely to sharpen the blade before passing it forward because it is about as sharp as I would be likely to achieve. Since the blade was sharpened by forum members prior to my receiving it this is a testament to both their skills and the Ginsan steel that it both took that edge and retained it.

Performance has been appropriate for a workhorse type knife. The blade feels very stout and sturdy. The knife presents some resistance in product like onions compared to a laser like the Goko damascus. The eased spine makes lifting back through vertical cuts in onions easier than much thinner knives. Detail work like horizontal cuts in onions, skinning oranges, and mincing garlic are very easy with the thin nimble tip. In fact using the tip has been my favorite part of this knife. Root vegetables, namely carrots are a chore as the blade does wedge fairly badly.

I do regret not having the time to assess edge retention and sharpening properties as I have never used Ginsan steel before and on paper it has promise. In the time I have used it, it seems to compare most closely with either AEB-L, the obvious choice as a stainless, or Blue #2, a less obvious carbon, Hitachi brother.

Overall I think the Sukenari is a good knife. It compares with knives like the Goko Wt#1 and the Anryu Hammered. The Sukenari is more refined than the Goko and more buttoned down in aesthetic than the Anryu. Since the knife is a similar price point to those two knives, it offers a well performing stainless competitor. Ultimately I do prefer the Anryu over the Sukenari for both performance and aesthetic reasons, but the Goko might have more of a fight on its hands. What was interesting is the only KS profile knife I have used much is the Ikeda and I have had trouble loving it. The grind of the Ideda has a pronounced shoulder that has caused wedging very similar to the Sukenari. But while the Ikeda is flat and shorter at the heel with a small tip, the Sukenari is taller which is more comfortable for my large hands.

I will have the knife for another day or two, please post any questions you have and I will try to answer as best I can.

Pictures with a Goko Damascus and Ikeda for comparison. I apologize for being the photographer I am :roll:.

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Choil

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Sukenari left, Goko Damascus right

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Goko left, Sukenari right

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Handle install

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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari Ginsan 240mm
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:07 am
Posts: 371
Another example of why I don't post reviews... I don't articulate nearly that well.

Very nice review! Love the link to the thread and product page. Never would have thought of doing that :)


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari Ginsan 240mm
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:21 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Minneapolis, MN
mark wrote:Another example of why I don't post reviews... I don't articulate nearly that well.

Very nice review! Love the link to the thread and product page. Never would have thought of doing that :)


+1
I can articulate that well but then my inner english major comes out and I fuss over it for 3 days...
So I tend to be blunt and to the point.
Sharp, stays sharp, cuts things.. fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari Ginsan 240mm
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:36 pm
Posts: 266
Location: NY, NY; New Haven, CT
Just read this now since I saw the recent arrival of these knives (again) in the new arrivals selection today and they looked so great (so I did a search). As usual, I find what you have to say really valuable, Cedar. Thanks for the great review.

Isn't it amazing what we can get from a knife in just three days? I mean that completely earnestly—it really is a vote of support for the pass-arounds, etc., that people are doing. And your pictures are great. Sure, they could be better qua pictures, but they do get across good information in a way that perfectly complements your descriptions. I'm glad that this review came up near the top when I searched for the knife!

How do you like that Ikeda? That may just be my next purchase. Seems like a whole lot of good for not very much dough. I'm particular interested in how thin and flimsy it feels at the tip, how the cladding is aging, and if you feel any need to thin the shoulders over time.



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Ownership experience: Konosuke, Masamoto, Tojiro, Wusthof, Henckels, etc.
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 Post subject: Re: Sukenari Ginsan 240mm
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:01 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 1635
Thanks for the kind words.

I have done two of these pass around knives and in each case they were not what I was looking to buy, but they were great knives in their own right and it was really informative to work with them.

The Ikeda is very well made. Aesthetically I like it a lot, but the knife is not my cut of tea. First off I prefer a taller knife. I did not know that until I purchased the Ikeda, which profile does not appeal to me, and it was solidified when I bought the Richmond Addict SLD, which I loved. It is not knuckle clearance exactly, I think I just like the feel of having a bit of height at the handle. As I said in the review above, the Sukenari offers that KS type tip with a more traditional height at the handle, which I liked. Secondly, the knife is thin behind the edge but it is a middle weight at the spine and with so little height to blend the two together there is a shoulder about 1/3 the way up the blade that does cause some wedging. The tip is very nimble and fun to play with, but overall the knife does not see a lot of use.

As to the tip, I do not think it is flimsy, it feels substantial. However, with such a pointed tip and an thinness thanks to the grind the tip does delicate work beautifully.

I am actually considering selling mine, I just have not decided either a, whether or not I am absolutely sure, or b, what price feels fair.


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