View Full Version : Need More Help - Distance between heel and handle

Marko Tsourkan
07-05-2013, 04:38 PM
I should probably ask how many like to put a middle finger (no punt intended) in the space between handle and heel when pitch-gripping?

As always, thanks!


07-05-2013, 05:33 PM
The first joint of my index finger gently rests against the back of the heel and choil

07-05-2013, 05:47 PM
A good amount for comfort, a few finger lengths.

07-05-2013, 06:02 PM
I do not use a pinch grip, but my middle finger will occasionally rest in the machi area. The average handle to choil distance on my Japanese knives works well for me.

Marko Tsourkan
07-05-2013, 08:03 PM
On knives that I studied, the distance varied between 12mm to almost 20mm. On most of my knives started doing (after a feedback suggestion) for the width of my middle finger, approximately 15-16mm. This is one part of the knife that I don't fully understand, so than you for your input.


Pensacola Tiger
07-05-2013, 08:25 PM
Marko, I think that 15-16 mm is a good length for the emotu (neck). If it is much less than 12 mm a pinch grip becomes uncomfortable, and over 20 mm the knife feels awkward.

As an aside, not making the emotu long enough is a major failing of many Western to wa conversions.


07-05-2013, 09:45 PM
My middle finger does rest in/under/around the machi area. But my fingers are long and narrow. lanky guy that I am

07-05-2013, 09:55 PM
I measured some of my knives, 14-16mm is about ideal for me. Also, having the emoto and handle about the same width helps with comfort, maybe the handle slightly wider.

07-05-2013, 10:16 PM
I prefer emotu(neck) around 14~16mm, emotu length less than 12mm or over 18mm become uncomfortable for me....

NO ChoP!
07-05-2013, 10:26 PM
I think I probably go for aesthetics over comfort on this one, as I like the thin, slender and long look of the Masamoto machi. Not a fan of a heavy, wide machi. Too long is rather awkward, though. I remember handling a few early Fowlers, and it felt like most of my hand was on steel...

so, it sounds and looks like what you're doing is probably right on the button already.

07-05-2013, 10:56 PM
I agree with Pensacola Tiger on this one. Heck sometimes I choke up so far that my ring finger is in the machi area. I also agree with Chop here, it looks like you are bang on already.

07-05-2013, 11:14 PM
I prefer emotu(neck) around 14~16mm, emotu length less than 12mm or over 18mm become uncomfortable for me....

+1 Charles, Rick & Chris. Long necks are fine on beer bottles, giraffes, and ballerinas; not so much on gyutos.
For me, the 'comfort' distance is inversely proportional to the amount of radius in the transition between heel & tang. Greater radius : less distance; smaller radius : more distance.

Marko Tsourkan
07-06-2013, 07:34 AM
The diameter on the transition is about 1/2 (close to finger's diameter), 14-16mm is distance that allows my middle finger to rest comfortable on the emotu.

Now, how about sujis and smaller knives like petties, petty chefs, hosukis, and others? Those one doesn't normally pinch-grip (unless you position your hand over the edge of the board when cutting). By that logic, I made emotu on those shorter, about 14mm max.