PDA

View Full Version : Nakiri? Shig vs. Watanabe vs Kato



kiefer
04-22-2013, 07:35 PM
I'm a home cook, interested in buying a kurouchi nakiri. I don't really need one, but have an itch that needs to be scratched. I already own a Carter SFGZ which is murderously thin, so I'm looking at beefier models.

Maxim has a few Shigefusas in stock. He also has a Kato on the website that looks rather thick, but is intriguing, given the rave reviews given to the Kato gyutos. Lastly, the Watanabe 180 pro nakiri has always been attractive. I once owned a Takeda nakiri, and regret selling it, so that is on the list as well.

So, what say you, experts of knife forums?

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Von blewitt
04-22-2013, 07:42 PM
I'm a home cook, interested in buying a kurouchi nakiri. I don't really need one, but have an itch that needs to be scratched. I already own a Carter SFGZ which is murderously thin, so I'm looking at beefier models.

Maxim has a few Shigefusas in stock. He also has a Kato on the website that looks rather thick, but is intriguing, given the rave reviews given to the Kato gyutos. Lastly, the Watanabe 180 pro nakiri has always been attractive. I once owned a Takeda nakiri, and regret selling it, so that is on the list as well.

So, what say you, experts of knife forums?

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Maksim also added some itinomonn KU Nakiris which look nice. Not sure about the Kato Nakiris, but my Kato Gyuto which is much thicker at the spine cuts better than my Shig Gyuto. But for me there is something special about Shigefusa knives. They are my favourite.

Seth
04-22-2013, 08:16 PM
I have the KU shig and I had the Nobuyasu that Maxim has on his site, so I really can't comment on a comparison with the ones you are talking about but I really like the shig. F&F is much better than the other one and it is a very thin knife with a distal taper. The KU finish is also very nice on the shigs; not as pockmarked as some KU finishes. Like Huw, I am partial to shigs. (It is hard to imagine the Kato gyutos cutting better than a shig, but now you have me intrigued.)

Dream Burls
04-22-2013, 11:06 PM
I have a Shig kurouchi nakiri that I bought from Maxim. It's a great knife that came razor sharp out of the box. I did get a chip near the tip at one point which I was able to smooth out with my stones. It hasn't happened again, but I understand that the HTs on shigs can vary and some are a bit brittle. If you like to chop a lot of veggies this would be a good choice IMHO.

cclin
04-23-2013, 12:27 AM
I've Watanabe pro nakiri. it is little hefty with tall blade, thick spine & thin behind the edge blade geometry(which I like)......kinda like mini cleaver!! if you're Chinese cleaver kind of people, you'll love it. on the other handle, if you're fans of laser blade, you'll hate it! I love shig's kitaji & kasumi but not kurouchi finished......

labor of love
04-23-2013, 02:19 AM
Dont most Nakiri people prefer super thin blades? Atleast, thats what i would do, hypothetically.

cclin
04-23-2013, 02:58 AM
Dont most Nakiri people prefer super thin blades? Atleast, thats what i would do, hypothetically.

that is why I sold all my Nakiri; but, keeping Watanabe one. it is unique than others & I'm Chinese cleaver kind of person:D

Justin0505
04-23-2013, 03:05 AM
I don't want to turn this into a shig vs kato war, but I've owned a few shigs and gotten to play with a Kato 270 gyuto. My shig Kitaeji was on a different level than the kato. Grinds, thickness bte, and cutting performance where not even comparable on all but a few items. I understand that not all shigs or katos are created equal and there are probably a few that make it out of the shop that arnt up to standard, but IMO the shig is a more nuanced design and polished (literally and figuratively) finished product. If you like white and blue hitachi steels then the shig steel will feel related and familiar, but not the same. It's hard, and has OK edge retention: better than white but not as good as blue super or a tool steel.
The Kato has one of the weirdest feeling steels I've ever sharpened. It feels VERY hard and very wear resistant. It was tricky to sharpen, but not impossible. However, it was the first steel that I've sharpened in a long time that I failed to get a "why would you ever need it to be this sharp?" edge on it. It would easily push cut paper, slice paper towel and passed "functional" sharpness standards no problem, but I couldn't shave with it and touching the edge with my fingers was pretty unimpressive not scary. I dont want to over state my own skill, but this was the first knife out of dozens that posed such a sharpening challenge to me.

I currently own both a 180mm Takeda and a Shig Kitaeji nakiri. The Takea is amazing how thin it is and that its all the procduct of bada$$ forge work and only minimal grinding bte. It push cuts better than anything I've ever used outside of a cck that I thinned and polished about 2" up from the edge.
However, there are few knives that wow me out of the box quite like a shig.. certainly nothing outside of the custom world.
It's a very stout little blade, but it just feels soo niiiice. Fairly thin bte, but the heel is thick enough that it will wedge and snap the last few mm of a thick carrot if cutting sections >3mm or so thick.

I'm still trying to argue myself into keeping both of them, but if I do sell one, it will be the Takeda, which is weird because its arguably better at most of the tasks that youd typically use a nakir for. But the shig has my heart.

But, in answer to your question, I'd go with shig, not because it's better but just because its more different than what you have without being different in a bad way.

stopbarking
04-23-2013, 03:39 AM
I'm going to throw a knife into the gears but as has been mentioned before some like thicker nakiris and mine slices through butternut squash lengthwise like they were butter. As a workhorse, and I mean workhorse (like a case of butternut a day) my Togiharu 150 Nakiri is a beast. Having never tried a laser nakiri I purchased one to fit my station prep needs and could not be happier. Maybe if I went the cleaver route I would change my tone but I know the majority opinion on VG-10, cleavers, and nakiris on this forum and I would recommend this knife. I can draw cut a butternut lengthwise with minimal effort and nothing sticks to it. I only sharpen it up to 5000k. Having tried the exact same Togiharu in 240 gyuto format I would not recommend it at all, but my nakiri is unbelievable.

Perhaps mine is an oddity but given how often I use it I sharpen it about once a month as opposed to once a week for my other knives. I finish all my knives on a suehiro 5k but the nakiri holds up 4x longer than my other knives. These being a thinned Hiro AS, a Yoshikane SKD, and a Hattori Forum knife. The only other knife I have that lasts that long with the same amount of use is my Martell Gyuto. I know these knives aren't quite in the same boat but I love this cheap VG-10 nakiri like some like their vintage Sabs.

I don't know why it holds up like it does given the abuse I give it. It is truly my beater knife but it is a masterpiece to me, even after 3 years of abuse.

It should be noted that Dave has had my Yoshikane and Forgecraft for the past few months which are the other contenders in my kit for the same tasks but I still prefer my Togi for a few case prep jobs.

Flame away.

Justin0505
04-23-2013, 05:15 AM
I'm going to throw a knife into the gears but as has been mentioned before some like thicker nakiris and mine slices through butternut squash lengthwise like they were butter. As a workhorse, and I mean workhorse (like a case of butternut a day) my Togiharu 150 Nakiri is a beast. Having never tried a laser nakiri I purchased one to fit my station prep needs and could not be happier. Maybe if I went the cleaver route I would change my tone but I know the majority opinion on VG-10, cleavers, and nakiris on this forum and I would recommend this knife. I can draw cut a butternut lengthwise with minimal effort and nothing sticks to it. I only sharpen it up to 5000k. Having tried the exact same Togiharu in 240 gyuto format I would not recommend it at all, but my nakiri is unbelievable.

Perhaps mine is an oddity but given how often I use it I sharpen it about once a month as opposed to once a week for my other knives. I finish all my knives on a suehiro 5k but the nakiri holds up 4x longer than my other knives. These being a thinned Hiro AS, a Yoshikane SKD, and a Hattori Forum knife. The only other knife I have that lasts that long with the same amount of use is my Martell Gyuto. I know these knives aren't quite in the same boat but I love this cheap VG-10 nakiri like some like their vintage Sabs.

I don't know why it holds up like it does given the abuse I give it. It is truly my beater knife but it is a masterpiece to me, even after 3 years of abuse.

It should be noted that Dave has had my Yoshikane and Forgecraft for the past few months which are the other contenders in my kit for the same tasks but I still prefer my Togi for a few case prep jobs.

Flame away.

I don't think anyone could ever flame you for that. Sounds like you got quite the special little knife there. I wonder what would cause that vg10 to perform so much better than any other that you've tried (or that I have based on your description). I know that HT makes a HUGE difference, but the knives that you're comparing it too are from makers that are typically regarded as doing the best job with vg10 (hattori on the forum knife). Maybe there's a guy at the Togiharu factory that's got a magic touch, or maybe they ran out of vg10 the day they made yours and used aeb-l or r2 instead.

maxim
04-23-2013, 07:52 AM
I haven't tried any of them, but a friend has a Kato nakiri which he says is good but not 'wow'.

That Kato was not from me, as i just send first Nakiris out today :D
Probably from Japan, witch is whole other animal then mine !

zitangy
04-23-2013, 09:03 AM
That Kato was not from me, as i just send first Nakiris out today :D
Probably from Japan, witch is whole other animal then mine !

IF it is not out of line, may I ask wherein lies the differences between the stock Nakiri from Japan and yours?

rgds
d

maxim
04-23-2013, 09:18 AM
Better FF different geometry, different steel, Different stone finish and different shape :)

kiefer
04-23-2013, 06:33 PM
Thank you for all the replies thus far. They are really helpful.

stopbarking
04-24-2013, 01:36 AM
I don't think anyone could ever flame you for that. Sounds like you got quite the special little knife there. I wonder what would cause that vg10 to perform so much better than any other that you've tried (or that I have based on your description). I know that HT makes a HUGE difference, but the knives that you're comparing it too are from makers that are typically regarded as doing the best job with vg10 (hattori on the forum knife). Maybe there's a guy at the Togiharu factory that's got a magic touch, or maybe they ran out of vg10 the day they made yours and used aeb-l or r2 instead.

I've considered this. It really is kind of remarkable. I think myself lucky. That knife was a spur of the moment add on to an order

Noodle Soup
04-24-2013, 09:07 PM
This tread made me pull my own Shig from the block and start using it again. Very heavy duty knife as nakiri go. Strange as it may sound it has long been my favorite Dungeness crab shelling knife. Crack all the legs etc with the heavy spine of the knife and do the few cuts required with the edge.
My Shig is a great vegetable knife for our normal two person size meals. If I wasn't such a knife nut, switching blades just to try something new all the time, the Shig would be on my list of keepers for a more minimalist kitchen.

Noodle Soup
04-24-2013, 10:17 PM
Another comment about my Shig. While I've been told on this forum that I shouldn't "drop" my wa handled knives into my wood block, the handle on my Shig nakiri came loose like most of my Carters, Wantanbe etc knives have in the past. I quickly noticed on this one I could reverse the D-handle to left hand! It may not be a perfect left-hand but it is a lot better than an all right-hand grip. There is now a bit of super glue holding it on the left hand bias.

cclin
04-24-2013, 10:45 PM
That Kato was not from me, as i just send first Nakiris out today :D
Probably from Japan, witch is whole other animal then mine !

Maxim, if you have time...I love to hear your thought about shig vs. kato Nakiris! I think you are the only kkf member who able handle/play both Nakiris side-by-side.....

Amon-Rukh
04-25-2013, 02:30 AM
When I was looking to buy my first nakiri last year (this was before mayos were an option) I emailed maxim about it and he recommended the zensho nakiri over a KU shig. I went with his advice and haven't regretted it at all! Granted, I don't have a Whig nakiri to compare things to (yet) but I would certainly say that the zensho (the one made by Kunio Isikawa) is something else to consider.

kiefer
04-25-2013, 03:14 AM
Thanks again for all the input. I'm happy to say that I just ordered my first Shigefusa, the 180mm nakiri from Maksim.
Now the wait begins.

Troy G
04-25-2013, 03:17 PM
Maxim, if you have time...I love to hear your thought about shig vs. kato Nakiris! I think you are the only kkf member who able handle/play both Nakiris side-by-side.....

I too would love to see a head to head with the two Nakiris mentioned.

bieniek
04-25-2013, 07:56 PM
I don't want to turn this into a shig vs kato war, but I've owned a few shigs and gotten to play with a Kato 270 gyuto. My shig Kitaeji was on a different level than the kato. Grinds, thickness bte, and cutting performance where not even comparable on all but a few items. I understand that not all shigs or katos are created equal and there are probably a few that make it out of the shop that arnt up to standard, but IMO the shig is a more nuanced design and polished (literally and figuratively) finished product. If you like white and blue hitachi steels then the shig steel will feel related and familiar, but not the same. It's hard, and has OK edge retention: better than white but not as good as blue super or a tool steel.
The Kato has one of the weirdest feeling steels I've ever sharpened. It feels VERY hard and very wear resistant. It was tricky to sharpen, but not impossible. However, it was the first steel that I've sharpened in a long time that I failed to get a "why would you ever need it to be this sharp?" edge on it. It would easily push cut paper, slice paper towel and passed "functional" sharpness standards no problem, but I couldn't shave with it and touching the edge with my fingers was pretty unimpressive not scary. I dont want to over state my own skill, but this was the first knife out of dozens that posed such a sharpening challenge to me.


And that pretty much sums why I like this knife apart from how mine performs ;)

What I mean, is that imho the maker really shites on what you like,

You dont get it your way, if you want that, go to Burger King.

Its brittle and thats the way it is. Its brutal and thats the way it is.
This knife is not made to massage your ego but to challenge you. Isnt that all the fun theer is about a knife??

Same with steel, it is very hard and you have to adjust to the fact because the maker - I am solemnly hoping - will never do.

One of the sharpest wildest craziest edges Ive got, ever. Its not only about the way it feels to the touch, its about how eagerly it cuts.
I thought you could compare Masamotos edge to it, but after some recent sharpening, that holds no truth. I dont really know what to compare it to?

Makes me really really want another one!

Troy G
04-26-2013, 12:30 AM
Sorry Bienek, sir. Are you making reference to the Kato knife or the Shigefusa in your post?


And that pretty much sums why I like this knife apart from how mine performs ;)

What I mean, is that imho the maker really shites on what you like,

You dont get it your way, if you want that, go to Burger King.

Its brittle and thats the way it is. Its brutal and thats the way it is.
This knife is not made to massage your ego but to challenge you. Isnt that all the fun theer is about a knife??

Same with steel, it is very hard and you have to adjust to the fact because the maker - I am solemnly hoping - will never do.

One of the sharpest wildest craziest edges Ive got, ever. Its not only about the way it feels to the touch, its about how eagerly it cuts.
I thought you could compare Masamotos edge to it, but after some recent sharpening, that holds no truth. I dont really know what to compare it to?

Makes me really really want another one!

mpukas
04-26-2013, 12:40 AM
Sorry Bienek, sir. Are you making reference to the Kato knife or the Shigefusa in your post?

I was gonna ask the same question, LOL. He's talking about the Kato (I think).

bieniek
04-26-2013, 12:49 AM
Hah when I come to think about it I think it applies to both but yeah I talked about Kato.

Troy G
04-26-2013, 12:51 AM
Hah when I come to think about it I think it applies to both but yeah I talked about Kato.

So you like the Kato Nakari then and the blade steel?

bieniek
04-26-2013, 01:02 AM
Yes.

But I'm quite sure not everyone does like these.

chinacats
04-26-2013, 02:24 AM
Yes.

But I'm quite sure not everyone does like these.

Just the people who've tried them...:biggrin:

maxim
04-26-2013, 03:33 AM
Well i think that it is 2 very very different knives, even so they wight exactly the same Kato feel somehow more mighty when Shig is more delicate.
Shig FF is of coarse the best and very hard to beat by any makers. Katos steel is much harder and thats why it feels more stiffer. But Shig have taper that i like most.
Kato take better edge and hold it longer. But shig is easier to thin and sharpens quicker.

They both cut amazingly ! So its very hard to say witch is best even for me. If i should choose one i will choose both :O

cclin
04-26-2013, 04:29 AM
thanks, Maxim. nice comment!!

zitangy
04-26-2013, 04:35 AM
It was tricky to sharpen, but not impossible. However, it was the first steel that I've sharpened in a long time that I failed to get a "why would you ever need it to be this sharp?" edge on it. It would easily push cut paper, slice paper towel and passed "functional" sharpness standards no problem, but I couldn't shave with it and touching the edge with my fingers was pretty unimpressive not scary. I dont want to over state my own skill, but this was the first knife out of dozens that posed such a sharpening challenge to me.

.

Hi Justin,

if it is not too much trouble,

have you figured out why it can cut to your satisfaction ( high level) adn yet "couldn't shave with it and touching the edge with my fingers was pretty unimpressive not scary" ?

what are the theoretical possibilities?

thanks and rgds

d

Justin0505
04-26-2013, 01:04 PM
Hi Justin,

if it is not too much trouble,

have you figured out why it can cut to your satisfaction ( high level) adn yet "couldn't shave with it and touching the edge with my fingers was pretty unimpressive not scary" ?

what are the theoretical possibilities?

thanks and rgds

d

There are a few reasons that that knife was a change to sharpen: first I did not sharpen it from the beginning, but only worked it from 4k to finishing shone and then some stropping. So, the edge angle and was not my own. Also, hard / high temper steel is difficult to sharpen and wear resistant steel is difficult to sharpen, and this steel is both very hard and very wear resistant. On top of that it was pretty thick bte so the bevel was fairly wide which means the problem of it needing a lot of strokes to cut was compounded but the fact that more surface area (wider bevel) was coming into contact with the stone on each pass.

I believe Maxim and the others that say that the steel is capable of getting crazy sharp, but all that I was saying is that it's just not a knife that you can expect to master on your first attempt. Nor, do I think it would be nearly as easy to touch up and return to 99% of new sharpness like you can with minimal effort on many other carbon steels.

I think that bieniek brought up a very good point about adjusting to the tool, vs expecting the tool to adjust to you. The balance point is very far forward, so you use more effort on upstroke and less on downstroke, almost like with a cleaver. Theres' a fairly large dead flat space in the profile form the heel forward, which will produce a jarring "clunk" if all the edged comes into contact with the board that the same time, so you need to adjust your angle of attack. -There are lots of things about it which may require you to change your technique if you really want to master it.
As for cutting performance: it had to do with the thickness behind the edge and of the blade in general. Also, the blade is very asymmetrical with the front being fairly convex and doing most of the tapering from the spine to edge and the back is much flatter. Thus, it really cuts much like a single bevel: it does very well with making thin slices as the grind geometry just peels the slice away. However, if you are cutting thick enough slices of something dense and hard where the cut pieces are so thick that they cannot be bent or pushed by the sides of the blade, then it wedges.

It's a knife that I've thought quite a bit about and I'm still not sure how much I like it, but it's very interesting and I'd certainly like to spend more time with it. It's not a knife for beginners or people that have very strict or limited ideals when it comes to what they like, but for the jaded knife knut that has already "been there, done that" with most of the common/popular styles it's something that's sure different; love it or hate it or both, it will still entertain you and give you something to think about.

If I had to describe it in terms of another knife, I would use the Martell gyuto as an example of completely different designed philosophy. The Martell is all about being as good at as many tasks and usable by as many people as possible. It's one of f the most user friendly knives I've ever used. It's all about being "nice" to the user. It's kind of like what Ferrari has become: a super high performance machine that can still be driven and enjoyed and used with good results by non-pros / people without the best skills or knowledge.
The Kato is the exact opposite. It's like some crazy old 3ton muscle car that someone dropped a 1200hp race motor in, but neglected to change out the suspension: Yes, it's capable of really amazing performance but it takes serious skills just to drive it, and the whole time you get the sense that it hates you and would be happy to kill you.

zitangy
04-26-2013, 01:44 PM
There are a few reasons that that knife was a change to sharpen: first I did not sharpen it from the beginning, but only worked it from 4k to finishing shone and then some stropping. So, the edge angle and was not my own. Also, hard / high temper steel is difficult to sharpen and wear resistant steel is difficult to sharpen, and this steel is both very hard and very wear resistant. On top of that it was pretty thick bte so the bevel was fairly wide which means the problem of it needing a lot of strokes to cut was compounded but the fact that more surface area (wider bevel) was coming into contact with the stone on each pass.

I believe Maxim and the others that say that the steel is capable of getting crazy sharp, but all that I was saying is that it's just not a knife that you can expect to master on your first attempt. Nor, do I think it would be nearly as easy to touch up and return to 99% of new sharpness like you can with minimal effort on many other carbon steels.

I think that bieniek brought up a very good point about adjusting to the tool, vs expecting the tool to adjust to you. The balance point is very far forward, so you use more effort on upstroke and less on downstroke, almost like with a cleaver. Theres' a fairly large dead flat space in the profile form the heel forward, which will produce a jarring "clunk" if all the edged comes into contact with the board that the same time, so you need to adjust your angle of attack. -There are lots of things about it which may require you to change your technique if you really want to master it.
As for cutting performance: it had to do with the thickness behind the edge and of the blade in general. Also, the blade is very asymmetrical with the front being fairly convex and doing most of the tapering from the spine to edge and the back is much flatter. Thus, it really cuts much like a single bevel: it does very well with making thin slices as the grind geometry just peels the slice away. However, if you are cutting thick enough slices of something dense and hard where the cut pieces are so thick that they cannot be bent or pushed by the sides of the blade, then it wedges.

It's a knife that I've thought quite a bit about and I'm still not sure how much I like it, but it's very interesting and I'd certainly like to spend more time with it. It's not a knife for beginners or people that have very strict or limited ideals when it comes to what they like, but for the jaded knife knut that has already "been there, done that" with most of the common/popular styles it's something that's sure different; love it or hate it or both, it will still entertain you and give you something to think about.

If I had to describe it in terms of another knife, I would use the Martell gyuto as an example of completely different designed philosophy. The Martell is all about being as good at as many tasks and usable by as many people as possible. It's one of f the most user friendly knives I've ever used. It's all about being "nice" to the user. It's kind of like what Ferrari has become: a super high performance machine that can still be driven and enjoyed and used with good results by non-pros / people without the best skills or knowledge.
The Kato is the exact opposite. It's like some crazy old 3ton muscle car that someone dropped a 1200hp race motor in, but neglected to change out the suspension: Yes, it's capable of really amazing performance but it takes serious skills just to drive it, and the whole time you get the sense that it hates you and would be happy to kill you.



Hi Justin,
thanks for the very detailed insight as to your action plan. Learnt a few new things.

It can be a new challenge and stimulating as we keep on realizing/ learning new things.

IF it is my knife, I will put my own angle, adjust the bevel and at the same time respect the edge profile and in view of the hardness I wld definitely use a coarser stone.

Hardness measured by HRC. This alone is not a good indicator. The hardest VG10 ) all rated around 60 to 61 hrc)or that I have come across is the "Kasumi" brand. Many a times, my starting stone has to be 220 or 400grit. IF it is still sharp, a few light strokes is still necessary. IF I just start on say a 1,000 grit, the end result is not up to satisfaction eventhough I spend much time on the 1K grit stone and polish it afterwords. which makes it more time consuming as I need to go back to the rough stone.

This led me to believe that on some steels.. you just have to use a course stone. May be it is the "freshness " of the edge.


other VG10s is a piece of cake.. literally.

Again, much obliged adn thanks for sharing the detailed insight

Have a nice week-end..
rgds
d

Justin0505
04-26-2013, 02:38 PM
Shun SG2 is the same formulation as VG10 AFAIK, its just a PM verson. It was the first "difficult" steel that I learned to sharpen: very, very hard and pretty glass-like and brittle the way that Shun HT's it. Much more difficult to sharpen than vg10. I noticed exactly what you mentioned though: it is very difficult / next to impossible get get back to screaming, 100% sharp with just finishing stones alone and the edge can get over polished and "slippery" without being particularly sharp or aggressive. Taking a quick step down to a lower grit to add in some "teeth" and expose fresh steel on the entire edge bevel really helps.

However, the steel on that Kato that I played with makes shun's SG2 look like white #1 in terms of sharpening difficulty.

But this is the old trade off between a steel that is very hard and wear resistant and one that is less so. The difficult to sharpen steel will typically last longer, but will take more work to revive once it starts to get dull. The easier to sharpen steel will get dull faster, but will be much easier to touch up. There's no "free lunch" if you want a crazy sharp edge on your knife at all times, you're gonna have to put the work in somewhere.

zitangy
04-26-2013, 03:10 PM
You mean that my observation is right? that's good to know..... Sometimes we rationalize and that can be dangerous as we believe what we want to. We are all prisoners of our mind/ beliefs.

Totally agreed.. The age old hardness versus ease of sharpening, frequency in between sharpening etc there is always a price to pay. I dread when I have to use a low grit on my mirror polished honyaki. Strike a balance and be happy. Being a home user.. sharpening is one of the very few things that I do with my hands and has wired me up differently..

IF the problem/ issue can be overcome or circumvented ot necessarily in the most elegant way, then it is no longer a problem as it can be managed..

Rgds
D

jwpark
04-26-2013, 03:58 PM
long time no post for me but as a nikiri whore, I'll chime in.

I have Watanabe 180mm kuro stainless clad nikiri which I'm fond of. First, it's really tall. It's a bit thick, but the very wide primary bevel make it effectively thin. Just awesome geometry by Watanabe. But one of the reason's I don't grab it as much as I should it because of it's custom handle. The Stefan handle is beautiful, but feels a bit large for my fat fingers.

I also have a Shigafusa kuro nakiri. Don't like this one as much. (Need to sell it, but too lazy) First off, it's shorter at 165mm. I put my pitch grip farther along the blade for more control, but on a 165mm blade, makes it really short. The other thing is it thicker than the Watanabe, and the primary bevel is more obtuse. So cutting a but veggie like a potato requires a bit more force.

I have a Konosuke HD 180mm nakiri. Haven't used this very much, but very thin, but again not very tall.

Jay

bieniek
04-27-2013, 02:40 AM
I think that bieniek brought up a very good point about adjusting to the tool, vs expecting the tool to adjust to you. The balance point is very far forward, so you use more effort on upstroke and less on downstroke, almost like with a cleaver. Theres' a fairly large dead flat space in the profile form the heel forward, which will produce a jarring "clunk" if all the edged comes into contact with the board that the same time, so you need to adjust your angle of attack. -There are lots of things about it which may require you to change your technique if you really want to master it.
As for cutting performance: it had to do with the thickness behind the edge and of the blade in general. Also, the blade is very asymmetrical with the front being fairly convex and doing most of the tapering from the spine to edge and the back is much flatter. Thus, it really cuts much like a single bevel: it does very well with making thin slices as the grind geometry just peels the slice away. However, if you are cutting thick enough slices of something dense and hard where the cut pieces are so thick that they cannot be bent or pushed by the sides of the blade, then it wedges.


If I had to describe it in terms of another knife, I would use the Martell gyuto as an example of completely different designed philosophy. The Martell is all about being as good at as many tasks and usable by as many people as possible. It's one of f the most user friendly knives I've ever used. It's all about being "nice" to the user. It's kind of like what Ferrari has become: a super high performance machine that can still be driven and enjoyed and used with good results by non-pros / people without the best skills or knowledge.
The Kato is the exact opposite. It's like some crazy old 3ton muscle car that someone dropped a 1200hp race motor in, but neglected to change out the suspension: Yes, it's capable of really amazing performance but it takes serious skills just to drive it, and the whole time you get the sense that it hates you and would be happy to kill you.

I was hoping you wouldnt receive my posting as over -pushy.

I wanted to hit this point, to really stress that there is some laws of physics that you cannot just disobey or skip [altough I dont have any clue what they are all about, guess stuff like the bee that theoretically shouldnt be able to fly but it laughs at physicians, theoretical fu*kers LOL]

As to the thickness above bevel - that is another thing about users of the blade. I thin my regularly and I made a comment that it is nearly impossible to keep nice finish on the blade if you are using it in pro setting. Im sharpening it like every week and thin every time.
Since then I learned a little more so Im thinning lengthwise on a diamond plate and a belt grinder if im lazy. That makes it easier to put a 'decent but not any good' finish every time in a hurry.

I agree with Maks and too think Shig is much easier to thin down and thus thinner knife above bevel makes better cutter. So if the Kato was too thick above bevel - theres no chance for no wedging. And there shouldnt be a lot.

And that all brings us to the main point, if you want a low-maintenance easy steel knife its not Kato.
But no pain no gain, as they say.