PDA

View Full Version : New Tanaka Advice or Suitable alternative



GWalkaa
07-25-2013, 12:40 PM
So im looking to buy my first 'Proper' Japanese knife. For years I have been using a set of Global's but mainly using a Gyutou style knife as most people do. While they've been good there nothing special and I don't find them comfy in anyway.

So without spending a bomb I've looked extensively at different Gyutou's and I think a Tanaka is what I want. It seems to have numerous positive reviews both on Fit and Finish (Yes there's some shady reports) but the style as well.

Now this is where my confusion lies. I've seen several websites selling 'Tanaka' blades and want to know your advice. Here goes:

1: Tanaka is the blade maker correct? - So any website advertising them should be made by the same team?
2: Which would be most peoples preferred steel. I would like long endurance (hardness) therefore heading towards Damascus Blue Steel but I am worried about the oxidation, does this disappear on veg etc if a proper maintained patina is present?
3: Or would most people prefer stainless for a do it all knife in the home kitchen. P.s I am an OCD sufferer who loves cleaning and treating but who wants SHARPY-SHARP and a long lasting easy to maintain edge. Chipping isn't an issue.
4: What is the difference in quality of the below knives and what would be most peoples preferred choice?

http://*******.com/MM270Gyuto - MetalMaster Damascus Blue Steel 270mm Gyutou

http://*******.com/MM240Gyuto - MetalMaster Damascus Blue Steel 240mm Gyutou

http://*******.com/MM240VGGyuto - MetalMaster Damascus VG10 240mm Gyutou - same for 270mm

http://*******.com/MM240GinGyuto - MetalMaster Ginsanko steel

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tanakagyuto1.html - Damascus Blue - Are they the same?

Or

http://*******.com/330mateTanaka - 330mate Tanaka in a 240-270mm

I appreciate the help and I know its exhaustive but I hope its a 1 post job.

GWalkaa

echerub
07-25-2013, 12:54 PM
Welcome aboard!

1. Yes, Tanaka is the maker - there are different family members who make knives, but the damascus line is all made by the same guy (or at least it's his name on the knives)

2/3. I personally prefer the blue steel versions, but the VG10 ones are okay too. I get a bit of chippiness with the VG10 petty, but the gyuto has been a-ok. The blue steel versions are a bit nicer, I find, but yes you'll get patina on the blue steel versions. Nothing crazy-reactive, and my onions, garlic, etc are okay... I think. I ought to use one of them on some garlic tonight to make sure about that one :)

4. Same knives, but some sellers' versions have black plastic ferrules and others have buffalo horn. Fit and finish on the handles is definitely better on the buffalo horn ones. There is always a bit of a "step" from ferrule to handle on the plastic ferrule ones, but pretty neat and smooth on the horn ones. Not perfect, but quite good.

GWalkaa
07-25-2013, 12:59 PM
Welcome aboard!

1. Yes, Tanaka is the maker - there are different family members who make knives, but the damascus line is all made by the same guy (or at least it's his name on the knives)

2/3. I personally prefer the blue steel versions, but the VG10 ones are okay too. I get a bit of chippiness with the VG10 petty, but the gyuto has been a-ok. The blue steel versions are a bit nicer, I find, but yes you'll get patina on the blue steel versions. Nothing crazy-reactive, and my onions, garlic, etc are okay... I think. I ought to use one of them on some garlic tonight to make sure about that one :)

4. Same knives, but some sellers' versions have black plastic ferrules and others have buffalo horn. Fit and finish on the handles is definitely better on the buffalo horn ones. There is always a bit of a "step" from ferrule to handle on the plastic ferrule ones, but pretty neat and smooth on the horn ones. Not perfect, but quite good.


Good start - Thank you.

About the handles i saw on another forum about the octagonal handles Tanaka offers - Any thoughts?

NO ChoP!
07-25-2013, 01:04 PM
Just a heads up. The different Tanaka knives are all completely different from one another. The Blue #2 may have the best profile, geometry and steel, but many find it to be extremely reactive. None of them will win any fit and finish contest....

GWalkaa
07-25-2013, 01:13 PM
Just a heads up. The different Tanaka knives are all completely different from one another. The Blue #2 may have the best profile, geometry and steel, but many find it to be extremely reactive. None of them will win any fit and finish contest....

That was my concern. But would there be any superior alternatives without compromising on cut?

echerub
07-25-2013, 01:14 PM
It's true, the knives are definitely not same-knife-different-steel deals and if you look at the kurouchi versus damascus lines (and, I suppose the regular kasumi/clad line) they are also different.

I actually like the way the 240 VG10 gyuto feels better than the 240 blue. There's a slight difference in balance that makes the VG10 one feel just a bit more nimble for me.

Unfortunately there's no way to get a sense of these differences looking online without any prior experience with them.

With regards to reactivity, no issues with the food, but yes, I think the cladding itself turns color pretty quickly. Had my wife worried about the damascus santoku after the cladding developed orangey patina on it right in front of her eyes. I checked it out and it wasn't rust, just something in one of the veggies she was prepping that gave it that color.

In comparison to some other knives' cladding, the reactivity is okay. No food discoloration from what I've seen - but if patina on your knife itself isn't your thing, you might go nuts polishing the Tanaka every time you use it ;)

echerub
07-25-2013, 01:16 PM
Oh, and as far as the 240 gyutos go, I think both the VG10 and blue versions are really nice to use. The VG10 one has stainless cladding so no worries about reactivity with anything there.

GWalkaa
07-25-2013, 01:19 PM
Oh, and as far as the 240 gyutos go, I think both the VG10 and blue versions are really nice to use. The VG10 one has stainless cladding so no worries about reactivity with anything there.

Okay and without prior knowledge how much longer would a Blue steel hold its edge for over a stainless and how much easier is it to maintain. Does it outway the reactiveness? - Generally Speaking

labor of love
07-25-2013, 01:19 PM
Ginsanko version has been recieving alot of praise recently. i am about to recieve a pass around in the mail real soon, ill probably share my thoughts about it on the pass around thread.

GWalkaa
07-25-2013, 01:20 PM
Ginsanko version has been recieving alot of praise recently. i am about to recieve a pass around in the mail real soon, ill probably share my thoughts about it on the pass around thread.

I look forward to hearing about it. I havent seen or read anything on them. May do some searches.

echerub
07-25-2013, 01:24 PM
The finish on the ginsanko is definitely more utilitarian than the damascus line though :)

As for edge retention GWalkaa... for home use, which is all I have experience with, both are good. Sharpening the blue is a little quicker and nicer, but Tanaka's VG10 is okay. No real problems with it.

Both are good, with just a slight difference in feel that probably comes down to personal preference.

augerpro
07-25-2013, 08:02 PM
It's true, the knives are definitely not same-knife-different-steel deals and if you look at the kurouchi versus damascus lines (and, I suppose the regular kasumi/clad line) they are also different.

I actually like the way the 240 VG10 gyuto feels better than the 240 blue. There's a slight difference in balance that makes the VG10 one feel just a bit more nimble for me.

Unfortunately there's no way to get a sense of these differences looking online without any prior experience with them.

With regards to reactivity, no issues with the food, but yes, I think the cladding itself turns color pretty quickly. Had my wife worried about the damascus santoku after the cladding developed orangey patina on it right in front of her eyes. I checked it out and it wasn't rust, just something in one of the veggies she was prepping that gave it that color.

In comparison to some other knives' cladding, the reactivity is okay. No food discoloration from what I've seen - but if patina on your knife itself isn't your thing, you might go nuts polishing the Tanaka every time you use it ;)

How does the grind compare between the blue and VG10? My friend has a blue and loves it but he's not sure if he is up for the care required with carbon steel, so he was looking at the VG10. BTW anyone know of a source for the VG10 knife with a wa handle?

panda
07-25-2013, 08:09 PM
stainless version is thick but thin where it counts, pushes food out of the way as you cut. blue version is much thinner and tends to squeeze itself through the cuts instead of bulldozing. stainless edge retention is better, but the blue is a lot easier to sharpen. the 240 stainless profile i dislike, however 270 is wonderful. i have only the 210 in blue so cant comment on the profile.

i like the grind on the stainless better, but prefer the steel of the blue. there is a KU blue version coming out in 240 length which i am told has similar grind to the stainless. i would get one if 270 was available.

augerpro
07-25-2013, 08:12 PM
panda when you say stainless do you mean VG10 or ginsanko? The VG10 looks the same as the blue in the pics, ginsanko is obviously different.

panda
07-25-2013, 08:16 PM
sorry, ginsanko. it's actually very carbon-like in quality. havent tried vg10 and honestly have no interest in it.

VanIsleSteve
07-25-2013, 09:15 PM
FWIW, I just received a 240mm in both the Ginsanko and Blue. I am a novice at home cook, but so far like both. The blue is definitely fit and finished nicer, but that may be because I opted for the ebony handle upgrade, not sure if they pick the nicer finished blanks when they put on the nicer handle? But, it is much better.
http://i1347.photobucket.com/albums/p709/vanislesteve/0197ea90-db28-4927-9ce7-f3c6f43ffad0_zpse0063346.jpg
http://i1347.photobucket.com/albums/p709/vanislesteve/20130721_211116_zps085e6d6c.jpghttp://i1347.photobucket.com/albums/p709/vanislesteve/20130721_211051_zpsb038e5e8.jpg

Carbon in the top shot, ginsanko in the 2nd shot(sorry about the bad quality shots, it is from my Galaxy Note)

echerub
07-25-2013, 09:41 PM
Deliberately used the blue tonight for garlic - hey, it's in the current rotation to be used :) - very slight discoloration on the edges of some slices, but only 2 or 3 of em. No special attention needed for the cladding.

zWiLLX
07-25-2013, 11:43 PM
Agree w panda about the chippiness of the Gin, it is like WS#1 at a high temper. Altho he said VG, I guess not much dif despite the name.. here's VG-10 (http://zknives.com/knives/steels/steelchart.php?snm=vg) composition; its very close to Ginsanko. So then its all cosmetic preference.

I am working on a microbevel angle preference now, with some tests and corresponding large chips that would probably scare some people haha. I will soon be setting up my Gin3 Tanaka Santoku, and will include some sharpening shots. Preliminary opinion is that 22 degree microbevel is ideal

Overall tho, love the temper and edge it will take. Surprising sharpness. For me I'd prefer this Ginsanko over blue all the way up to the level of either super White (Fujiwara) or a super blue steel, or possibly R2 or SKD or something like that. I think you're on the right track until you enter the $300 range.

Altho the Tanakas look kinda clunky in the shots, surprisingly so, they're really thin behind the edge and perform great so far for me. Best cutting knife I've had by far

jai
07-26-2013, 12:10 AM
i use my blue 2 tanaka gyuto in a pro enviroment and what i can say is when i first got it, it felt like **** after i thinned it and rounded the choil and then sanded the handle a bit it feels great for the price it gets scary sharp with minimal effort but the edge retention only lasts maybe 3-4 12-16 hour shifts in a pro enviroment

GWalkaa
07-26-2013, 07:15 AM
Well after taking in all the comments i think all three options would meet my needs but i would definitely opt for the ebony handle.

As one posts mentions the superior 'Super blue' after a very quick search has anyone ever come across this before?

http://www.paulsfinest.com/Moritaka-Supreme-Gyuto-Chef-s-Knife-240mm-9.5-Aogami-Blue-Super-Carbon-Steel.html

Thanks

Timthebeaver
07-26-2013, 07:27 AM
has anyone ever come across this before?

http://www.paulsfinest.com/Moritaka-Supreme-Gyuto-Chef-s-Knife-240mm-9.5-Aogami-Blue-Super-Carbon-Steel.html

Thanks

There's been a little bit of chat about these in the past.

GWalkaa
07-26-2013, 07:31 AM
There's been a little bit of chat about these in the past.

Ahh and from what i see not to positive. Is it one to avoid?

Timthebeaver
07-26-2013, 07:38 AM
Ahh and from what i see not to positive. Is it one to avoid?

If you are considering I'd read this post first.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/1367-Moritaka-how-long/page5

As a point of order the iron cladding on these is crazy reactive, rust-on-sight stuff. I get the "it's traditional/easy to sharpen" thing, but frankly it's just a PITA.

GWalkaa
07-26-2013, 09:45 AM
Interesting no notes on 330mate.

So any thoughts on the differences or preferences between MetalMaster and 330Mate?

Timthebeaver
07-26-2013, 09:49 AM
Interesting no notes on 330mate.

So any thoughts on the differences or preferences between MetalMaster and 330Mate?

Shipping from both takes a long time, e-mail communication patchy at best. I'd definitely pay for EMS shipping.

GWalkaa
07-26-2013, 10:05 AM
Thanks for the advice.

I have contacted MetalMaster asking about the handles. Is there a best way to contact him and also prices? I don't want to be rude but the prices vary from his site to eBay. I'm sure this is to cover the costs of eBay sellers fees. But if someone doesn't mind disclosing how much they paid it would be helpful.

echerub
07-26-2013, 10:10 AM
Metalmaster's prices vary even on eBay. Sometimes he'll have the same item posted twice with one offered at a discount. Note that if you buy from him off eBay, basic shipping is free (if you're in no rush).

330mate's Tanaka knives almost always come with plastic ferrules; it's a few bucks extra if you want horn. Metalmaster's Tanaka knives almost always come with horn ferrule by default.

GWalkaa
07-26-2013, 10:47 AM
This is a great forum. Lots of useful help and im sure i will make my decision very soon. If anyone else does have any other suggestions/opinions or whatever on Tanaka knives or others please chime in.

ar11
07-26-2013, 11:27 AM
FWIW, I just received a 240mm in both the Ginsanko and Blue. I am a novice at home cook, but so far like both. The blue is definitely fit and finished nicer, but that may be because I opted for the ebony handle upgrade, not sure if they pick the nicer finished blanks when they put on the nicer handle? But, it is much better.
http://i1347.photobucket.com/albums/p709/vanislesteve/0197ea90-db28-4927-9ce7-f3c6f43ffad0_zpse0063346.jpg


Carbon in the top shot, ginsanko in the 2nd shot(sorry about the bad quality shots, it is from my Galaxy Note)

how much was handle upgrade? which do you prefer more right now ginsanko or blue?

ar11
07-26-2013, 11:52 AM
I recently ordered two Tanaka knives, one from Metal Master the other from 303. Both took about 10 days to land on the west coast. I've sent emails and questions to both sellers, metal master replies within 1-2 days, 303 took like a week to reply. Confirmed what others have said, the 303 knife had the plastic ferrule. But even with the buffalo ferrule the ho handles on these tanakas pale in comparison to my yusukes.

GWalkaa
07-26-2013, 12:32 PM
I recently ordered two Tanaka knives, one from Metal Master the other from 303. Both took about 10 days to land on the west coast. I've sent emails and questions to both sellers, metal master replies within 1-2 days, 303 took like a week to reply. Confirmed what others have said, the 303 knife had the plastic ferrule. But even with the buffalo ferrule the ho handles on these tanakas pale in comparison to my yusukes.

Good to know - from everything I've read the general consensus is Metal master trumps 303.

riba
07-26-2013, 01:35 PM
I received a Tanaka nakiri vg10 as gift, it is a great little knife and nicely thin behind the edge. Great value for money. I subsequently ordered a vg10 petty for my wife (she likes thin sharp knives, but tends to (ab)use them. with this price, I dont care. we are both happy). i got mine from metal master.

VanIsleSteve
07-26-2013, 02:12 PM
how much was handle upgrade? which do you prefer more right now ginsanko or blue?

The handle upgrade was $50 installed, it is much nicer than the regular handle and is a little heavier, which sends to balance the knife better

As to which i like better, i can't say yet,i haven't had a chance to try either enough

zWiLLX
07-27-2013, 02:30 AM
330mate has a calendar somewhere linked of days he's in a mine mining whetstones, color coded, and informs that his email schedule revolves around that (obviously not by a computer). And, it's a resin ferrule not plastic, also stated.. and there were the upgrade options priced out also in the item description

Just a few corrections.. he has been fine to deal with. a diverse set of offerings and presumably excellent prices. He's hasty, obviously very busy, but that's fine by me. In the past he's responded 100% and I've gotten a couple pretty rare and well priced items. Recently he sent me the wrong knife, a Tanaka 155 petty, and it was obviously dumb to ship it back, he gave it to me for $26, and express shipped the correct knife. I am more than 200% totally fine w that deal. Ordering a razor hone from him tomorrow

anyway I'd hate for him to get a bad rap presumably to his hardworking-ness ...

echerub
07-27-2013, 02:41 AM
I always figured resin = plastic. What is resin then?

Kumar
08-03-2013, 07:00 PM
FWIW, I just received a 240mm in both the Ginsanko and Blue. I am a novice at home cook, but so far like both. The blue is definitely fit and finished nicer, but that may be because I opted for the ebony handle upgrade, not sure if they pick the nicer finished blanks when they put on the nicer handle? But, it is much better.
Carbon in the top shot, ginsanko in the 2nd shot(sorry about the bad quality shots, it is from my Galaxy Note)

Where did you order from?

Timthebeaver
08-03-2013, 08:12 PM
I always figured resin = plastic. What is resin then?

Yep, Resin sounds less "cheap" than plastic, that's all.

Talim
08-03-2013, 09:07 PM
Where did you order from?

Try metalmaster or 330mate on ebay. Metalmaster also has his own website but some knives are cheaper on ebay.