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Yamashin Santoku vs. a Roma Tomato...

Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:23 pm

Over the long Christmas "weekend" (5 days! WOOT! lol) I worked on my Yamashin santoku and thinned the blade behind the edge some. I also sharpened it slightly, even though it didn't need it, but I wanted to blend in the flat from the thinning with the rest of the blade.

Tonight, I thought I would see if it would cut slices off a tomato without touching it, as that was kinda the goal. lol The edge would penetrate the skin but then the blade would push the tomato. Well, with these pics you can see that has changed... lol :D


and I checked to make sure the entire blade could do it:


For a minor investment in money and time, Yamashins are awesome knives! With white #1 steel at this price, I'd say buy them to practice sharpening on. Not only is it a great learning tool for both sharpening and thinning Japanese knives, you're VERY likely to end up with a knife that cuts like a champ when you're done! lol

Re: Yamashin Santoku vs. a Roma Tomato...

Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:11 pm

Good achievement - well done!


Re: Yamashin Santoku vs. a Roma Tomato...

Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:08 am

Nice job there Def! How did you accomplish your thinning? I'm always trying to learn how people successfully get stuff done :-).

I was pretty impressed with the Yamashin Nakiri. I could see how some thinning might really bring it to life. The White #1 is great stuff isn't it?

Re: Yamashin Santoku vs. a Roma Tomato...

Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:47 am

So far it's great steel! lol

First round of thinning I mainly thinned the shoulder of the secondary bevel on the left side down a little. It may or may not be evident in the pic but the line of the kurouchi finish is a little higher than stock because of that. I held the knife almost flat to hit the secondary bevel's shoulder and managed to keep enough room to not knock off the rest of the finish. lol I did that to make passage through taller stuff like an onion easier.

The second round which I did one day on my days off for Christmas, I actually thinned it down behind the edge on both sides, taking the cutting edge's shoulders down a bit. Since the blade had a patina on it I could easily see where I was grinding as it was REALLY shiny in those spots. lol I also worked out some low spots in the blade on both sides that were showing but there is still one left. It's pretty inconsequential where it is so I didn't grind it enough to remove it. I don't want to make it too thin. lol I might tackle that after I'm more sure of my thinning skills. As for the angle I used, I just held it a little lower than I would have for sharpening, but not as flat as I was when lowering the left side secondary bevel. I pretty much kept the sharpened edge at the same angle since it is one I am comfortable sharpening with. The issue with the knife wasn't the cutting edge anyway, just the width of the metal behind it.

After removing the cutting edge's shoulders I did a little sharpening to the edge to try to help blend the new shoulder bevel with the edge to make it more smooth and convex rather than just a facet. Lastly I hit the strops to polish out the scratches some and blend everything together. I use a handmade, double-sided stropping stick with a Ryobi emery polishing compound on one side and Ryobi white stainless steel polishing compound on the other. They're sticks made for buffing wheels (like big crayons), but they get the job done well. Just gotta be careful not to use too much or I get a waxy buildup on the leather. The leather allows for a nice blending of the grind lines and scratches on the blade since it gives a little. I also have to home-made balsa strops used with the same compounds to have a harder surface to finish the cutting edge with.

The stone I used is a 240/1k King combo stone. It's cheap and works well. So far I have only used the 1k side. It gets really muddy though. lol I plan on eventually replacing it with some cleaner Shaptons, but for now it works very well and the result speaks for itself. ;)

I'm also thinking about making a new double sided strop and getting some more balsa so I can give the diamond sprays a try. I think they would be MUCH cleaner than what I currently use and might even work better.

Re: Yamashin Santoku vs. a Roma Tomato...

Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:17 pm

Oh yeah, I think I should clarify that when I took the shoulder down on the left side of the blade grind (the right is flat) I essentially made the profile more of a convex, changing angles slightly while "scrubbing" to smooth it out before blending it in with the strops. The original shoulder didn't seem to be convexed at all, and I just wanted the hard angle there gone. lol The strops also polished the kurouchi finish nicely as well. I could see the reflection of my ceiling fan in the black part when I was done... this might just be because the varnish that is still there on that part of the blade was polished, but it was still a cool effect regardless. lol

Re: Yamashin Santoku vs. a Roma Tomato...

Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:28 pm

I did something very similar to the yamashin naikiri I just received. It really makes the knife shine with a little craftsmanship put into some awesome steel
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