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View Full Version : experience at Korin NYC



TheDispossessed
01-15-2013, 12:33 PM
Interested in hearing about others' experience here.
Have bought a couple of knives, a stone and a few accessories from Korin, and so far have slightly less than enthusiastic impression overall.
the staff has always been courteous, and i appreciate that this is a family run store serving a need for japanese cutlery in nyc.
however, i've had a couple of things happen i wasn't too crazy about.
both sayas i have purchased for a gyuto have almost instantly split open when getting a little wet, so i'd say the generic ones they sell kinda suck.
the togiharu 1000/4000combo stone i bought (admittedly an entry level item), cracked all over the place even when i just soaked the coarse side (now i just soak the whole thing, **** it). this stone dishes and loads incredibly fast as to make even quick touch up work a bit of a hassle, not a great product by any stretch.
i bought a yanagiba in tokyo (i'm a lefty and couldn't find a fitting saya at the shop), when i called korin and asked about getting a saya they first said, 'we won't sell you a saya for a single bevel knife you did not buy here.' ***? i mean, if you respect knives, you would want them to be cared for, whether you sold them or not. then at the store they did say, well we can try and order one but if it gets here and doesn't fit you still have to buy it, no returns. wasn't impressed here.
just this week i purchased two of their 'mizuyama' stones, a 2k and 6k only to find when getting home the 2k was so warped and untrue it was unusable, returned both immediately.
i also feel some of the knowledge they share (or lack thereof) relating to the care of japanese knives, and purchasing advice for novice cooks is either out-dated or simply innaccurate.
doing business there has always felt very impersonal and stiff, in stark contrast to the JKI experience.
anybody have similar, different experiences? please share, thanks!

Chuckles
01-15-2013, 12:43 PM
I have had only great interactions with Korin both online and in the store. They took the time to show me some sharpening tips while I was in the store. Showed me how to maintain an asymetric blade I had botched. Very generous people IMO.

echerub
01-15-2013, 12:55 PM
It's difficult to get generic sayas that will fit well for knives that you don't sell. The best I'd expect them to be able to do is to see if any of the ones they have in-stock will fit your knife when you bring it in... and if none of them are close, then you're out of luck there. You'd have to go to someone who makes custom sayas.

Duckfat
01-15-2013, 01:01 PM
Nothing but positive experiences with my purchases from Korin over the last few years. Mari has been very helpful and pleasant right here on KKF finding out any thing I wanted to know. Jon has also been very pleaseant when I've spoken to him. I'm just thankful we have not one but two dealers in the US that ARE this good.

Zwiefel
01-15-2013, 01:30 PM
just this week i purchased two of their 'mizuyama' stones, a 2k and 6k only to find when getting home the 2k was so warped and untrue it was unusable, returned both immediately.

I have the 1k + 5k and have been fairly pleased with them (I'm certainly not the most experienced in this area though). Sorry to hear you've had a few bad experiences, that doesn't reflect my history with them.

TheDispossessed
01-15-2013, 01:46 PM
glad to hear others experiences have been more positive overall. still happy to have such a place here in the city

EdipisReks
01-15-2013, 01:47 PM
stones usually need to be flattened before first use, just how it is.

mhlee
01-15-2013, 01:53 PM
The saya issue - buy it online through them if you can't find another place that sells one. I've bought sayas from them before for my knives that didn't come with sayas.

Chifunda
01-15-2013, 02:57 PM
I've dealt with them only once via an internet order. Service was absolutely first rate.

ThEoRy
01-15-2013, 04:18 PM
This thread should be moved to Korin's sub forum.

bikehunter
01-15-2013, 05:19 PM
I've dealt with them only once via an internet order. Service was absolutely first rate.

My experience as well, but it was several years ago.

ecchef
01-15-2013, 08:06 PM
i also feel some of the knowledge they share (or lack thereof) relating to the care of japanese knives, and purchasing advice for novice cooks is either out-dated or simply innaccurate.

Don't take this the wrong way, but...if you're a "novice", how can you be so sure that their information is "innaccurate" & "out-dated"? What do you base that conclusion on?

Single bevel traditional Japanese knives have changed very little over the course of their evolution; consequently, information regarding the care & use of such knives is not going to be radically different from what you find a year or even 50 years ago.

GlassEye
01-15-2013, 08:11 PM
All I am going to say is that I have nothing but good to say about Korin, the people of Korin, the products I've received, and service.

quantumcloud509
01-16-2013, 03:22 AM
I like korin because they share fun info with us at KKF :) Never bought anything from them, but as the AD continues Im sure I will :)

RRLOVER
01-16-2013, 07:10 AM
All of my dealings with Korin have been great.Sales staff were great to deal with on a "phone" order too.

TheDispossessed
01-16-2013, 07:36 AM
this is awesome actually, everyone's feedback has been so positive. perhaps i just experienced a couple of small quirks, and this has been very encouraging in me continuing to do business with Korin. thank you everyone for your input!

Korin_Mari
01-16-2013, 07:51 PM
Hello hello,
My name is Mari, I'm on KKF on behalf of Korin. I'm very sorry you had such a poor experience with us. May I ask you to PM me your name and either your email address or invoice number, so I can assist you further?

To confirm a few things that several forum members have already mentioned regarding the saya covers. Because each Japanese knife is handmade, it is impossible to ship a customer a cover that will for sure fit their knife. Even knives within the same brand will not fit a cover in a different box in the same style. In fact, at one point we tried to weigh each style for online customers, but we couldn't due to how vastly different each piece was. The best we can really do to ensure satisfaction is for customer to bring in their knife and for us to try to fit it in stores. With that being said, the saya covers are also handmade by a vendor. (I believe there are really only a few places in Japan that still make these saya covers.) Even the general saya covers we carry won't always fit a brand we carry. Sometimes we have to try a few covers and shave it down before one fits. In your case specifically too, Korin doesn't typically carry left handed Japanese style knife covers, which means we would have to import it without knowing if it will fit your knife. The reason we don't accept refunds on saya covers is because there is no way for us to make sure it hasn't been used. This wouldn't be too much of a problem for certain products, but because it is made out of wood and it is going to be used in the kitchen, it would be unsanitary for us to resell. I apologize that whoever spoke to you was unable to clearly explain this bit to you.

I'm actually in Japan right now without much access to the office, so I can't help you directly immediately, but I will have someone in NY contact you directly in hopes we can resolve any issues or by the very least make sure this sort of thing never happens again.

Again, I'm really sorry you had such a poor experience and I really hope I can change your opinion of us. Please let me know if you have any further questions, comments or concerns. I'll be more than happy to help.

- Thanks!