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Salty dog
05-29-2012, 02:34 PM
The restaurant down the street does a screaming business. They sell ill prepared low quality food at a low price. But Fred can still take Doris out on a Saturday night and still be able to enjoy it and afford it.

Do I complain? No, it's just a fact of life. Their customers are satisfied. Mine don't eat there.

I just concentrate on what I do.

bprescot
05-29-2012, 02:45 PM
My hope is that retailers hearing of these problems will address the issue with Moritaka and that Moritaka will listen and correct as necessary.

This will never happen. Moreover, if you'll allow me to get my forum-troll on for a moment, I don't think they should. It seems obvious that they are doing just fine financially, and it seems like they are in the business of moving a large quantities of knives. They aren't craftsman creations, but neither are they stamped. They are priced within reach of a large number of consumers, and they will always be able to find more customers at that price point and for that half-way commodity/artisan product. And they are doing well right now. So, from a business perspective, why should they change? If slowing the process produces less volume and increases the price, putting them in a different league of knives, why should they do that, if only a small number of people are upset with their product? The only reason I could think of would be due to personal feelings of pride and ownership of my products, but I don't think that's the kind of business they are necessarily. I'm guessing, as I've never met the makers and have only spoken with Aoki twice, but that's the feeling I get.


If they don't then my hope is that retailers will put financial incentive behind their concerns that will motivate Moritaka to comply. The retailers hold a lot of power in this situation, they can make this right.

What is "right"? As long as they re-imburse or replace for the people that have an issue, making it as hassle free as possible, couldn't that be considered making it "right"? This isn't a case of a retailer knowingly selling a product with a life-threatening defect. This is a seller selling a product that might have a defect that most people won't notice. I guarantee you that despite learning quite a bit about knives vicariously (for which I'm eternally grateful) my wife wouldn't have noticed the hole in my problem-moritaka. For her, she would have thought that the knife was simply DAMN sharp (which it was) and cool looking. Couldn't the retailer continue to sell the product while STILL pressing the manufacturer and have that be "right"?


Editor's Note: Post is largely for discussion purposes only. If it were my store, I would probably not sell the knives, and if it were my factory, I'd try to isolate and resolve the issue. But just because I'd choose the resolution, doesn't mean it's the only right one...

dav
05-29-2012, 02:49 PM
I brought 2 Moritaka's before I knew of the extent of the "problem" I love the look of them and they perform very well. I may well find down the line that issues arise (I hope not!) and I have had a straight edge to both and at the moment things are OK. I must admit the Kuro-uchi finished petty is much rougher and "rustic" than the supreme damascus gyuto I brought which is a nice knife to look at and use and which exhibits very good fit and finish - I did pay $330 plus post and tax over $400 (I hear the gasps lol) and would hope I've purchased a quality product if not I'm not the type to keep quite lol I will most likely try a Zakuri and Carter and may risk another Moritaka as I do like the profiles and appearance of some of their knives.

I don't know the depth of feeling towards C K T G on here but it does seem a shame that things have gone the way they have and that people can@t forgive and forget "for the greater good" as it seems the knife community is the worse for this?

Mucho Bocho
05-29-2012, 02:57 PM
Something ironic occurred to me when viewing one of Dave martell's sharpening videos. The very knife that prompted him to start this thread (my 165 Moritaka nakiri), is the same knife he made his sharpening video's with. Is that not the very definition of schizophrenia?

So, Moritaka that has been making knives for over three hundred years, multiple generations, has all of a sudden, decided that it was a good idea to lower their quality. Doesn't seem like a very logical business model.

Dave Martell
05-29-2012, 03:01 PM
Something ironic occurred to me when viewing one of Dave martell's sharpening videos. The very knife that prompted him to start this thread (my 165 Moritaka nakiri), is the same knife he made his sharpening video's with. Is that not the very definition of schizophrenia?


I think that was a Takeda nakiri

bprescot
05-29-2012, 03:03 PM
I think that was a Takeda nakiri

Yeah, I was about to post the same.

dav
05-29-2012, 03:14 PM
Mucho Bocho these were my thoughts around the fact that Moritaka has been a well regarded name and seem to have gone down the pan?? I must admit I've done a little research and the previous generation Moritaka was a regarded smith was he not trained by one of the greatest swordsmiths, whats happened lol Jon are youa able to elaborate as it seems they aren't the farming imlement maker which is discussed on here or not solely resigned to the manufacture of these implements. Or maybe some of the sources such as the "reliable" Japanese swordsmith articles/accounts I've come across are inaccurate.

And for the record I don't see the problem with well made traditional tools ( many on here make fun of producers of farming implements) my Gransfors Bruks axes are for me more useful and as beautiful as any knife and are hand forged also.

clayton
05-29-2012, 03:23 PM
And for the record I don't see the problem with well made traditional tools ( many on here make fun of producers of farming implements) my Gransfors Bruks axes are for me more useful and as beautiful as any knife and are hand forged also.

+1 I have a GB hatchet. It is amazing.

NO ChoP!
05-29-2012, 03:33 PM
If extra measures were taken, and the price reflected such, would we buy a Moritaka over a Takeda at like price points? Interesting notion to ponder....

bluntcut
05-29-2012, 06:32 PM
From another angle...

The Moritaka nakiri pictured looks like a knife came from the b/blem bin because the bevel seem well-done albeit wavy smooth. Perhaps, over-grind was to remove cladding black gaps on bevel. To grind that many knives, the maker probably employed a grinding template, which prevent over-grind. Unless the over-grind was done on purpose.

Namaxy
05-29-2012, 09:29 PM
I find myself agreeing with Salty again. Earlier I posted on the frustration of this subject - While my message may have not been clear, In essense I was defending the right of anyone to post either a positive or negative review of any given product and/or retailer, without getting caught up in the politics of the forums. Fair enough...but there is also the notion of not beating a dead horse.

My sense is we're not going to punish an e-tailer enough through any amount of forum flames to get them to change. They are what they are as Salty points out.....We're informed consumers...we can vote with our wallets.

I hope this doesn't come accross as inconsistent. I fully support Dave's customers and people like Mhlee gtting their proper refund/recourse. By the same token, I think getting everyone to agree retailer X is a ****, or getting retailer X to change their policy is aiming too high. Just pick retailer Y in the future.

ifor
05-30-2012, 01:34 AM
I once went to a resto and had some bad food, I tried to tell the owner about it but he threw me out instead. My friend asked me why I would want to improve this resto if the they didn't want to listen to the customers.

These companies will not last if they continue to do things there way. Or they have found their niche and don't want to change or improve it.

tk59
05-30-2012, 03:03 AM
...These companies will not last if they continue to do things there way...I think you're giving consumers too much credit. Anyway, probably 99% of the masses buy Henckels, Wusthof and maybe Forschner. The other 1% buy Shun. Moritaka is probably nothing to a mainstream retailer.

VoodooMajik
05-30-2012, 03:30 AM
I'm a few pages behind now, but I like how this was phrased. Some people care and some people don't. Doesn't matter what you are talking about or where it applies. I'm happy I read this thread, because I almost bought one. I would notice once this issue became evident down the road. I would be aggravated. I expect flaws from something like Tojiro. If I spend $200 on something knowing it's mid grade. It should still do it's ******* job.

Long story short, Thank you for furthering my ability to make educated purchases.


The restaurant down the street does a screaming business. They sell ill prepared low quality food at a low price. But Fred can still take Doris out on a Saturday night and still be able to enjoy it and afford it.

Do I complain? No, it's just a fact of life. Their customers are satisfied. Mine don't eat there.

I just concentrate on what I do.

maxim
05-30-2012, 03:37 AM
The restaurant down the street does a screaming business. They sell ill prepared low quality food at a low price. But Fred can still take Doris out on a Saturday night and still be able to enjoy it and afford it.

Do I complain? No, it's just a fact of life. Their customers are satisfied. Mine don't eat there.

I just concentrate on what I do.

:plus1: on that !
But i think Daves problem is not other restaurant, but the food his costumers bring from that restaurant to his :D
And ask him to make it taste better.

ecchef
05-30-2012, 03:50 AM
:goodpost: That's a friggin' great analogy Maxim.

steeley
05-30-2012, 04:00 AM
:plus1: on that !
But i think Daves problem is not other restaurant, but the food his costumers bring from that restaurant to his :D
And ask him to make it taste better.

=+++ 1

VoodooMajik
05-30-2012, 06:05 AM
Perfect analogy...


:plus1: on that !
But i think Daves problem is not other restaurant, but the food his costumers bring from that restaurant to his :D
And ask him to make it taste better.

Lefty
05-30-2012, 06:06 AM
I'm a few pages behind now, but I like how this was phrased. Some people care and some people don't. Doesn't matter what you are talking about or where it applies. I'm happy I read this thread, because I almost bought one. I would notice once this issue became evident down the road. I would be aggravated. I expect flaws from something like Tojiro. If I spend $200 on something knowing it's mid grade. It should still do it's ******* job.

Long story short, Thank you for furthering my ability to make educated purchases.

The pricing on many Moritakas is right there, just above Tojiro DPs, the last I looked. For the fun of exploring this option, if you could get a knife that was in this price range an it gave you great performance for two years of abuse/service, and then crapped out (the hole came through), would you still buy the knife? Arguably, that's a better "bang for the buck" than many knives we buy that end up getting broken/stolen/pushed into a drawer, isn't it?
I think with this way of thinking, it's safe to call a Moritaka a Hyundai Accent. They look pretty good, are affordable, but we realize it's just going to hold us over until we can get the BMW. However, in the meantime, it's actually a pretty solid little performer with a low initial investment.
If you are curious, I think I drive a Masamoto KS with an ebony handle and dark, two tone buffalo ferrule.

Dusty
05-30-2012, 10:04 AM
Based on that analogy, I drive a tojiro dp gyuto that has been ground down over many years to make a short suji and is desperate need of some thinning. :O

NO ChoP!
05-30-2012, 10:23 AM
My car analogy knife would be nicer than my real knives....but that's a work in progress.

Do twenty inch rims with p-zeros equal a custom handle with mammoth ivory?

Dave Martell
06-01-2012, 06:37 PM
I was just sent this copy of a post made by my old friend Ken. It was posted sometime today on another forum. It's relevance here is that he's addressing the Moritaka issue.



Post subject: Hand forged knives - what to expect


Ken123 wrote....

Well this is my take on the subject. I'm writing this because of the incredible amount of disinformation out there, some quite malicious.

I'll define a hand forged knife as a knife that is entirely made by hand, shaped by hammer blows. The hammer blows can be delivered by a second person, with the force applied and location of each hit determined by the knifemaker. It is typically done by the apprentice or even in some instances by the wife of the knifemaker (yikes, what a job). In more modern times, this hammering is usually replaced by a motorized hammer, with the hammer blows controlled by the knifemaker for force, frequency and location. This is highly skilled labor with EACH hammer blow having an effect that cannot be 'taken back'. This is done in conjunction with a sequence of reheating steps typically with an open faced kiln. The metal is shaped from steel barstock and often the steel core is folded into the knife much like the meat in a pita sandwich. All the while the knife is getting tapered in thickness from the spine towards the tip AND simultaneously from the spine towards the edge. Each hammer hit has an effect and this requires great hand skill and concentration controlling heat, force and timing in a symphony of moves. It is a skill often passed down through generations as a family business. As the metal is drawn thinner and thinner by hammer blows, the knife begins to emerge from the metal as a distinct shape. This is just the beginning , with straightening, tuning and multiple operations even before grinding and shaping the output into what becomes a knife. This whole process influences the performance of the knife, from the period of time for 'resting' and so forth until the finished result emerges, with the handle put on almost as an afterthought. In some instances the firescale is ground off. In other instances this firescale is left on, acting as a somewhat nonstick finish. This is termed a kuroichi finish. This style of knife has been around for centuries in Japan and is considered a typical knife that Japanese use.

It is not, by it's very nature designed to be perfectly formed like something from a CNC machine. If you want this level of perfect shaping, this is not the knife you want. Get a Shun or a mass produced factory knife. But because it is rustic, don't be misled into thinking that it is not a high performance knife. Hand forged knives with their 2 dimensional taper are some of the highest performing knives. They are light, thin and can take an incredible edge. They are some of the best performing knives I own and sharpen. Moritaka and Takeda are two examples of this genre or style of knife. Also Murray Carter, a traditional Japanese technique bladesmith and Watanabe are additional examples. If you were to compare them to cuisines, these are country style knives and excellent ones at that. More precisely made knives are also made in Japan from mass produced Kiya knives, high end exotic custom knives like the ******** knives and even high end medium mass produced knives like the Nenox knives.

So let's focus on the hammer blows for a second. Yes some will land a bit harder than others and yes the surface may vary a bit in depth - especially so as one approaches the edge where more hammer blows have been made to maximally thin this area. So you should expect some irregularity here. This isn't unique at all to just this style of knife. Many yanagis have a concave front bevel since they are ground out on a large wheel. Also kamasori or Japanese razors. Typically, you don't try to flatten these knives completely but gradually over a number of sharpenings. The tradeoff is exceptionally thin knives that take a superb edge. So too with these hand forged knives you need not succumb to insisting on grinding the blade completely flat immediately. Indeed the concavity behind the edge allows an even thinner profile, perhaps an intentional advantage. Eventually as you transition from the initial edge shaping on a large wheel to repeated sharpening on a bench stone you will flatten the edges more, but there really is no rush here.

Now some knife sharpeners, even a few so called experts who have never even been to Japan and really lack a cultural grasp of the topic, may claim that these knives don't meet their standards and have trouble sharpening them too. This represents both an extreme level of arrogance and a fundamental misunderstanding of Japanese culture. It is akin to going to a foreign country and insisting that everyone speak to them in English and being annoyed when they can't comply. You know the type.

Japanese have a very fundamentally different conception of beauty, especially so in their crafts. A perfectly formed teacup is a mass produced item and has minimal value. A hand crafted teacup, even and especially so with say a thumb print in the glazing is looked upon for its uniqueness and this imperfection is considered unique and a mark of beauty. Beauty is seen in imperfection. This is fundamental to understanding the Japanese psyche. Think of the beauty mark on Cindy Crawford's face. There is a story of a tea ceremony master who asked his apprentice to clean up the garden surrounding the tea room. He did so and announced it to the master. The master said it wasn't good enough. The apprentice went out and worked even harder. This happened several times. Finally after arranging each leaf in the garden to perfection he became exasperated with his sensei and exclaimed he could do no more. The master then went out to the garden, grabbed some leaves and casually threw them around in disorder, making a very natural looking setting and said that now it was in order. His idea of beauty was not at all a structured one but one in harmony with the natural order. Lesson learned. In their (Japanese) flower arranging art, you will not see a symmetric arrangement but rather asymmetry and often the flower arrangement is purposely not perfectly centered. Even their knives are often not symmetric. This goes very deep into their thought processes and their view of the world. We, as people who appreciate their craft really need to accept this rather than insisting that Japanese make knives to American tastes. Again if this is what you want, consider a mass produced knife with American sensibilities and missing out on something really special.

In short, these high performance knives should be accepted on their own terms as each being unique high performance tools, closely in touch with the hand of it's maker, not a cookie cutter knife. Some makers who only recently began to know how to cut out a knife from a blank or just get a blank handed to them to sharpen, put a handle on it and grind it down just don't get this concept. They don't even do their own heat treating, having just recently graduated from making cardboard knives. They compare themselves to families of knifemakers spanning generations of tradition. Supreme arrogance and cultural ignorance. Some knifemakers such as Mark have a much broader understanding of what a hand forged knife is all about and bring these knives to us to enjoy this style of knife with it's sense of history in it's construction.

I hope this perspective on knives from Moritaka, Takeda, etc helps to give a sense of appreciation to this style of craftsmanship.

---
Ken

Benuser
06-01-2012, 06:57 PM
I've noticed a bitter tone with your former friend. When i read it on that forum I wondered about it.
To reproduce it here is probably the way to go.

SpikeC
06-01-2012, 07:05 PM
Mark is a knife maker? With an understanding of forging?

mhlee
06-01-2012, 07:13 PM
"Many yanagis have a concave front bevel since they are ground out on a large wheel." Really? I'm pretty sure that concave front bevel is called an "overgrind."

"Now some knife sharpeners, even a few so called experts who have never even been to Japan and really lack a cultural grasp of the topic, may claim that these knives don't meet their standards and have trouble sharpening them too. This represents both an extreme level of arrogance and a fundamental misunderstanding of Japanese culture. It is akin to going to a foreign country and insisting that everyone speak to them in English and being annoyed when they can't comply. You know the type."

Ken's mispronunciation of almost every single Japanese word I've ever heard him say certainly doesn't reflect that he has an understanding of Japanese language or culture. "New - ba - tom - uh." :puke:

I guess since knives like Suisin, Gesshin Hide and other more expensive knives don't have these marks, I guess they're not as "Japanese" as Moritakas. :beatinghead:

Guys, you better return those almost perfect Shigefusas. They're just not Japanese.

Vertigo
06-01-2012, 07:18 PM
It's good to know overgrinds are really just wabi-sabi.

clayton
06-01-2012, 07:20 PM
I understand what he is trying to say but if the alleged overgrind issue is as bad as shown in this thread then Ken's post misses the point for me.

Ain't nothing wabi-sabi about accordion cuts. I am pretty sure they are considered annoying even in Japanese culture.

(Vertigo, HA! Did not see your above post before I submitted this one)

Just like that handmade cup would suck if it had a hole in the bottom.

NO ChoP!
06-01-2012, 07:30 PM
All that statement did was acknowledge a problem.....no solutions.

GlassEye
06-01-2012, 07:34 PM
"high end exotic custom knives like the ******** knives and even..."

" Some knifemakers such as Mark have a much broader understanding of what a hand forged knife is all about..."

A couple of my favorite parts of that. It is unfortunate that some may be led to believe this disinformation.

sw2geeks
06-01-2012, 08:05 PM
Shoot, I was hoping this thread had died out... I like everybody on both sides of this and it got nasty in the old forum.

NO ChoP!
06-01-2012, 08:41 PM
Yes, its the children who get hurt the most from divorce....

ecchef
06-01-2012, 09:00 PM
“Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich starker.”

mhlee
06-01-2012, 09:16 PM
All that statement did was acknowledge a problem.....no solutions.

I beg to differ. A solution was offered. Accept them as they are.

"In short, these high performance knives should be accepted on their own terms as each being unique high performance tools, closely in touch with the hand of it's maker, not a cookie cutter knife."

NO ChoP!
06-01-2012, 09:35 PM
Touche'....

Namaxy
06-01-2012, 10:22 PM
I beg to differ. A solution was offered. Accept them as they are.

"In short, these high performance knives should be accepted on their own terms as each being unique high performance tools, closely in touch with the hand of it's maker, not a cookie cutter knife."

The position taken by Ken and Mark is utterly ridiculous. We're told the knives 'should be accepted on their own terms'. Ie we're not to question the fit, finish or performance. We're being lectured about how they are made. We're told that if we only sharpen them, and don't make them ourselves that we're disqualified from having an opinion. We're told that if we don't spend time in the country of origin, once again we're disqualified from having an opinion. This theme, that the maker is right, and that if the customer doesn't like it he must not understand it, just doesn't ring consistent with most other areas of society today.

On these very forums, their is a coffee thread that references a mnfr who takes back and refurbs grinders if a defect is found. If I buy a $3000 hand made suit, and find something wrong with it, the seller doesn't tell me to pound sand because I don't knit suits myself and haven't been to Italy. They do everything they can to fix the problem. Pick a category......from high end retail like guitars, cars, audio.......to hand made artisan items like clothing, furniture, jewelry....if the customer isn't satisfied the seller makes it right. Of course I'm talking about reasonable people with reasonable issues...I'm not talking the extreme cases where someone complains no matter what. And of course, I'm also against biased piling on of negative opinions.....the issue has to be real and legitimate.

So the question is...what exempts knifemakers, and the retailers that represent them from this standard of care?

Wagstaff
06-01-2012, 10:42 PM
gotta be kidding. If a hole in the edge is a traditional feature that we should celebrate.... how come it's only AFTER learning to sharpen and see the overgrind that it bothers me? As a newb I can't even see an issue. So the more I know the less I appreciate Ancient Wizdom Familycraft Apprenticeceship Wabi-Sabi Imperfectionism Artistry?

And I read Tanizaki's "In Praise of Shadows" when in high school. Attended tea ceremonies, too. I don't need a lesson in Japanese aesthetics to appreciate a flawed knife. That's some seriously condescending chit.

apicius9
06-01-2012, 10:46 PM
“Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich starker.”

+1 :)

Stefan

add
06-01-2012, 11:10 PM
I was just sent this copy of a post made by my old friend Ken. It was posted sometime today on another forum. It's relevance here is that he's addressing the Moritaka issue.

Post subject: Hand forged knives - what to expect


Ken123 wrote....

"Well this is my take on the subject. I'm writing this because of the incredible amount of disinformation out there, some quite malicious...

Really, it's just the hammer's fault...

I hope this perspective on knives from Moritaka, Takeda, etc helps to give a sense of appreciation to this style of craftsmanship."

---
Ken


:D

SpikeC
06-01-2012, 11:16 PM
Takeda seems to be able to make it work. If they have a similar outward appearance, they must be the same, no?

Benuser
06-01-2012, 11:29 PM
As an outsider in this discussion I would say: I can live with the irregulaties of a French carbon's spine. An overgrind issue has to be responded to.

richinva
06-01-2012, 11:31 PM
I don't have a dog in this contest, but I'm still confused.

"By: Chris (No ChoP!)
Milwaukee
I put this knife in a head to head battle with a slew of other gyutos including a Carter; all sharpened the same; It was by far the best cutter of the bunch. The huge bevel,hard AS steel,and awesome grind add up to a super impressive performer. This new profile is agile and versatile. My Moritakas are quickly becoming my favorite go-tos."

What happened?

Dave Martell
06-02-2012, 12:02 AM
He never disappoints, Ken's always good for a laugh :D

labor of love
06-02-2012, 12:18 AM
I don't have a dog in this contest, but I'm still confused.

"By: Chris (No ChoP!)
Milwaukee
I put this knife in a head to head battle with a slew of other gyutos including a Carter; all sharpened the same; It was by far the best cutter of the bunch. The huge bevel,hard AS steel,and awesome grind add up to a super impressive performer. This new profile is agile and versatile. My Moritakas are quickly becoming my favorite go-to’s."

What happened?
nothing happened. No chop likes his Moritakas. I also have the Moritaka KS clone and I like it also.

NO ChoP!
06-02-2012, 12:32 AM
Yes, I've never disputed liking my Moritaka. In fact, I have two, and love them both.

NO ChoP!
06-02-2012, 12:39 AM
I think if you look back in this thread, as well as others, you will see I'm often the lone advocate....

chinacats
06-02-2012, 01:14 AM
I think if you look back in this thread, as well as others, you will see I'm often the lone advocate....

Yes, but you advocate in a legit personal experience kind of way--and I'm sure Moritaka has made some good knives along with the bad ones. Ken's post as quoted somewhere above is just some condescending bs...*&^% him! I know very little, other than having seen some of his sharpening vid's and he is so full of himself I can't stand listening or watching...makes me think everything he says is some made up crap just to hear himself talk...

NO ChoP!
06-02-2012, 01:34 AM
Moritaka has made some awesome knives. As I've mentioned, I love mine. That being said, even I'm not sure if I'd buy another.....
I think damage control is needed, and Kens post was dismissive.

By the way, I'm a chef and I've barely traveled outside the midwest, let alone to Europe....does this make me a hack???

sw2geeks
06-02-2012, 01:43 AM
I like Dave and I like my Moritakas.

But this thread is making my head hurt, like watching a train wreck slowly unfold, I can't stop checking it out when it shows up in the what's new. But the irony is there is nothing new in the post from what happened in the old forum from what I can tell.

When the thread started to die out a quota from the old forum were inserted to keep it going, which I find odd.

I know, I just need to stop looking, but it is hard - especially if you like Moritakas, and some of the negative talk is about owners like me who like them. You want to see what is being said about you and the knives you like.

Whoops, does this put me on a side? Like I said, I like Dave and my Moritakas.

apicius9
06-02-2012, 01:51 AM
AFAIR, Ken is a friend of the Moritakas and has visited them. I still don't like being patronized, but I can see why he would be a bit biased and defensive, I would probabaly feel the same way if they were friends of mine. Not sure it is necessary to mix up factional and personal levels here and 'attack' individuals or classify whole groups of people based on their attitudes toward one single producer/seller.

As for the Moritaka knives, I had a few that I sold and they had looked fine to me (sold for other reasons, obviously), and I am keeping one I really like. I would just assume that their quota of 'errors' might be a bit higher, but I would not expect everything from them to be bad. It can just be a gamble and how it is handled if you lose seems to be sub-optimal.

Stefan

mr drinky
06-02-2012, 02:57 AM
this thread is making my head hurt...

First of all, when sw2geeks and stefan chime in like this, this is the time (in my book) to say "I am done." I trust Dave's opinion on sharpening and I will always watch for overgrinds no matter what the brand of knife.

As for Ken's response, this is a typical 'over' response (as opposed to 'over'grind). I can see why he might make certain points, but every knifemaker is susceptible to overgrinding. Ask Devin, Burke, or anyone else if they ever overground a knife. That 'hammer-is-what-hammer-does' explanation is rather insulting to knifemakers and users. If Devin, Haas, Marr, Rodrigue, Del, Burke, Marko, Mario, Martell or anyone did an overgrind that affected knife performance, we would expect a negative response, and they would likely try to remedy the issue. To give Moritaka a free ride because of the 'hammer' and 'tradition' is misguided IMO.

Before KnifeForums blew up, I asked Dave to sharpen one of my knives with an overgrind, and he flatly said 'no' and explained why he wouldn't do it -- I thought that was pretty honest of him and respected this decision. It was not a Moritaka but a custom maker on both forums. He apologized but refused the work, and it had nothing to do with Ken, CKTG, or Moritaka. Dave understands the difficulty of sharpening a knife with an overgrind, and this needs to be recognized. BUT is this a problem with all moritakas? Probably not. Is it a problem in general: yes.

Just wait until you have a knife with an overgrind and see how you feel.

k.

sachem allison
06-02-2012, 03:08 AM
I think we're done here.

Dave Martell
06-02-2012, 03:25 AM
It doesn't matter what Ken or anyone else says to deflect attention away from the matter at hand because the matter at hand will remain as long as these knives are sold at this level of quality that we're seeing.

Fact - if the problems disappear from Moritaka knives then so will the talk too.

jaybett
06-02-2012, 05:28 AM
The appeal of Moritaka and Takeda was getting a great cutting knife, at a low price. The trade off was a rough fit and finish, and other defects. As prices have risen, it gets harder and harder to brush off, the roughness of the knives.

Part of the problem is the vendor is not setting reasonable expectations for these knives, especially the Moritakas. They are priced at a point that makes them attractive to new users. While these knives are better suited to experienced users, who can work around the issues.

Another part of the problem is Ken's excusing the roughness of these knives as a form of Wabi-Sabi. He has also suggested, in his posts, that people who have an issues with these knives are not precise sharpeners. Whatever that means.

I think I understand, Dave's unwillingness to sharpen an overground knife. If the problem appears while he is sharpening the knife, then he is on the hook to replace it.

How bad is it, if a knife has a hole in it? It isn't something I want to happen. If it does though, I don't see myself throwing the knife out. Unless it happens on a slicer, it seems like it would be a minor annoyance.

Jay

Dave Martell
06-02-2012, 01:46 PM
How bad is it, if a knife has a hole in it? It isn't something I want to happen. If it does though, I don't see myself throwing the knife out. Unless it happens on a slicer, it seems like it would be a minor annoyance.





Hi Jay, I'll take a stab and answer this from my perspective, from what I've seen anyway. remember though, I'm only commenting on what I've actually worked on (sharpened), most I rejected without ever sharpening (I obviously do that so that I won't get burnt again) but most (not all though) of those are simply indicating the potential for a problem during sharpening although many are clearly problematic.

So what happens is that the bevels are ground down too close (and too heavily) towards the edge - this is the overgrind. The hole on the edge can come from Moritaka OTB (like we saw on the nakiri above) or it can be brought on by sharpening up into the blade height (as is natural to do as we sharpen). The hidden overgrind is the tricky situation because it often doesn't show but very little at first, then a little more, then more, and then wham the edge disaapears in this section and this happens (as we sharpen) because there is simply no steel left up above the cutting edge - Moritaka removes too much here and as we all know you can remove more steel but you can't put any back on. The end result shows itself in the food prep, the food will be cleanly cut in some sections and not in others (this is the accordion effect) because some sections (the holes) don't make contact with the cutting board.

The fix for this condition is only afforded at the factory level at the time of production. The maker needs to re-think the way that they approach the cutting edge with the hammer but more so with the grinding wheel. I say the grinding wheel is what's causing the most damage because Moritakas aren't very thin knives above the ground in bevels indicating that they are left thick from the forging stage and then have the bevels ground on thin after the fact. It's my opinion that the person doing the heavy wheel grinding is the cause of these holes being created.

dav
06-02-2012, 03:05 PM
So Dave I'm guessing then that they have a little production line type thing going on then so it might be that one of the Moritaka's does the forging and shaping ?? ( sorry I know very little about the manufacturing sequence) and then the grinding/sharpening is possibly left to an apprentice/semi skilled (or not) worker? As I've said before the supreme Damascus gyuto I have is well made and the finish/grind is to my eyes fine (I've had a square/straight edge all over it lol). Could it be that these more expensive knives are made to a bit higher spec and/or ground/sharpened accordingly. Unless you've seen lots of faults in this line too?

I must admit even after these posts and the obvious problems I'm still attracted to Moritaka knives, I've looked at the other similar knives and will purchase a takeda. Tanaka's aren't always that easy to come by (kurouchi) and it seems can have problems and I've looked at the Zakuri stocked by JKI but to be honest don't find Octagonal handles at all comfortable (the Rosewood D shaped handles on the Moritaka's I have fit perfectly and are another reason for buying), and tbh I really don't like the huge Zakuri logo etched into the knives blades it totally spoils the appearance for me (I know a bit shallow lol).

VoodooMajik
06-02-2012, 03:13 PM
I hear what you are saying. That's why I'd like to research enough to buy a Honda Civic and drive it for 5 years rather then 2. I wouldn't purchase a knife that will develop a hole in the edge any more then I'd Purchase a Toyota with faulty parts.

I drive a miracle blade that I snapped in half when it didn't stay sharp forever.



The pricing on many Moritakas is right there, just above Tojiro DPs, the last I looked. For the fun of exploring this option, if you could get a knife that was in this price range an it gave you great performance for two years of abuse/service, and then crapped out (the hole came through), would you still buy the knife? Arguably, that's a better "bang for the buck" than many knives we buy that end up getting broken/stolen/pushed into a drawer, isn't it?
I think with this way of thinking, it's safe to call a Moritaka a Hyundai Accent. They look pretty good, are affordable, but we realize it's just going to hold us over until we can get the BMW. However, in the meantime, it's actually a pretty solid little performer with a low initial investment.
If you are curious, I think I drive a Masamoto KS with an ebony handle and dark, two tone buffalo ferrule.

Dave Martell
06-02-2012, 03:35 PM
So Dave I'm guessing then that they have a little production line type thing going on then so it might be that one of the Moritaka's does the forging and shaping ?? ( sorry I know very little about the manufacturing sequence) and then the grinding/sharpening is possibly left to an apprentice/semi skilled (or not) worker? As I've said before the supreme Damascus gyuto I have is well made and the finish/grind is to my eyes fine (I've had a square/straight edge all over it lol). Could it be that these more expensive knives are made to a bit higher spec and/or ground/sharpened accordingly. Unless you've seen lots of faults in this line too?


I can't recall a single overgrind in the supreme damascus series. The only problem I had with this line was that one time when I was thinning the blade and the 1/2" tall core popped out of the cladding. I think this series has shown itself to be ground a whole lot better than their standard line is (whatever that's called).




I must admit even after these posts and the obvious problems I'm still attracted to Moritaka knives, I've looked at the other similar knives and will purchase a takeda. Tanaka's aren't always that easy to come by (kurouchi) and it seems can have problems and I've looked at the Zakuri stocked by JKI but to be honest don't find Octagonal handles at all comfortable (the Rosewood D shaped handles on the Moritaka's I have fit perfectly and are another reason for buying), and tbh I really don't like the huge Zakuri logo etched into the knives blades it totally spoils the appearance for me (I know a bit shallow lol).

I personally have sharpened (many) hundreds of Takedas over the years and I love these knives. They're super thin, easy & fun to sharpen, and attractive to my eyes. The only flaws that can be noted from Takedas are that they're often flexible (as in can be bent and stay bent) and the gyutos often have either too flat a belly or too curved a belly. The price point is higher than Moritaka but they're such better knives that they deserve the higher price.

I don't know much about the Zakuri kurouchi knives but if Jon (JKI) carries them I'd have confidence in them.

JBroida
06-02-2012, 04:02 PM
zakuri, like all hand forged knives, will have high and low spots. There's a difference between a high and/or low spot and a hole (read- a really really deep low spot)

dav
06-02-2012, 04:32 PM
I'm very new to this but do love the more rustic looking knives, I'm seriously contemplating the Zakuri knives Jon but (and this is very superficial I know) don't much care for the Zakuri logo/name stamped/etched onto the blades - its not exactly discreet other than that they look like a nice alternative. Although as I said the Moritaka supreme damascus knives "seem" to be much better finished. Thanks Dave for the informative answer!

NO ChoP!
06-02-2012, 10:39 PM
Zakuri is often noted as being thick. Is this accurate? Is it thinner behind the edge? Do they accept custom orders for thinner blades?

Seems these could fill a void....

Johnny.B.Good
06-02-2012, 10:47 PM
Seems these could fill a void....

So do these (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/kochi/kochi-240mm-kurouchi-wa-gyuto.html#).

NO ChoP!
06-02-2012, 11:08 PM
Si

JBroida
06-02-2012, 11:30 PM
i can start a thread on Zakuri in my forum if you would like, but i didnt really want to cloud up this thread. my main point was hand made stuff is handmade... there will be variances in the grind, high spots, and low spots... but at some point, its just an error. There's a difference between wabi-sabi and messed up.

ecchef
06-03-2012, 10:06 AM
Here ya go....
7583
7584
Some nasty surprises turned up while thinning.
A giant divot adjacent to what looks like some heavy handed forging.
Ain't no one can defend this kind of workmanship.

richinva
06-03-2012, 11:09 AM
That sucks, no doubt.

Can a straightedge be used perpendicular to the edge to see some of these defects prior to sharpening/thinning or does any curve in the blade prevent it? Would this be something that the forger would know was going on or could it be caught at whatever QC level there is/isn't?

If the average Joe Schmo didn't ever thin the knife would it ever be noticeable?

Just curious........

mhlee
06-03-2012, 03:29 PM
Guys:

I've been thinking a lot about this from a material standpoint, not that I'm a metallurgist or even a science guy. But, does any of this also have to do with the inconsistent density of the steel in the knife? I would imagine that the more you hammer a steel, the thinner it gets, but also, does the steel get more dense?

I know that overgrinds are hard to detect from personal experience. But, the reason why I'm bringing this up is because if we have, what are essentially, dents in the blade from hammering, are some of these dents/ovegrinds also happening because the steel isn't dense and when you sharpen, it's pulling more steel off than it should? The thing that has surprised me most is that people have been finding this divots when they start sharpening, not initially when they purchase them. And that huge divot from thinning should have been apparent at least somewhat when sharpening, which is when I've noticed overgrinds on my knives.

To me, it would seem that something as large as the overgrind/divot/whatever you want to call it above would have been slightly apparent upon inspection. But if it wasn't, is there something else going on here as well - that certain parts of these knives haven't been hammered or forged well at all, and the steel is weak at certain spots? Because, DAMN, that divot in the second picture is ridiculous.

If what I'm saying is idiotic, please simply :nutskick:.

Benuser
06-03-2012, 04:09 PM
Hammering cannot alter the steel's structure I'm afraid.

mhlee
06-03-2012, 06:31 PM
Thanks.

So really the only two thing that can alter the steel structure is the heat treatment?

Benuser
06-03-2012, 07:05 PM
Thanks.

So really the only two thing that can alter the steel structure is the heat treatment?
I will let to others, more competent, to answer this very general question if you don't mind! All I can say is that for centuries people have believed hammering could create a denser (?) structure and that since at the least the twenties it's obvious nothing happens at that level at all.

Lefty
06-03-2012, 10:32 PM
At Least there are a couple sharpenings left in that knife. Once you hit the hole, see about converting it into a suji, assuming it is a gyuto.

EdipisReks
06-03-2012, 10:35 PM
Here ya go....
7583
7584
Some nasty surprises turned up while thinning.
A giant divot adjacent to what looks like some heavy handed forging.
Ain't no one can defend this kind of workmanship.

jeez!

EdipisReks
06-03-2012, 10:35 PM
At Least there are a couple sharpenings left in that knife. Once you hit the hole, see about converting it into a suji, assuming it is a gyuto.

x2. if it's a Suji, maybe convert it to a cheese wire.

Lefty
06-03-2012, 10:54 PM
Hahaha. Now that's thinking outside the box!

StephanFowler
06-03-2012, 10:55 PM
Guys:

I've been thinking a lot about this from a material standpoint, not that I'm a metallurgist or even a science guy. But, does any of this also have to do with the inconsistent density of the steel in the knife? I would imagine that the more you hammer a steel, the thinner it gets, but also, does the steel get more dense?

I know that overgrinds are hard to detect from personal experience. But, the reason why I'm bringing this up is because if we have, what are essentially, dents in the blade from hammering, are some of these dents/ovegrinds also happening because the steel isn't dense and when you sharpen, it's pulling more steel off than it should? The thing that has surprised me most is that people have been finding this divots when they start sharpening, not initially when they purchase them. And that huge divot from thinning should have been apparent at least somewhat when sharpening, which is when I've noticed overgrinds on my knives.

To me, it would seem that something as large as the overgrind/divot/whatever you want to call it above would have been slightly apparent upon inspection. But if it wasn't, is there something else going on here as well - that certain parts of these knives haven't been hammered or forged well at all, and the steel is weak at certain spots? Because, DAMN, that divot in the second picture is ridiculous.

If what I'm saying is idiotic, please simply :nutskick:.


It's certainly possible to have hard and soft spots from the heat treatment.
It's possible to overheat the steel so much as to lose carbon in a certain area of the blade, especially when working with something this thin.
Grain growth from improper heat cycles could also lead to issues.

but the physical impact of a hammer has nothing to do with it.


a "properly" heat treated blade should have NO soft spots or abnormally hard spots in or near the edge.

EdipisReks
06-03-2012, 10:57 PM
Hahaha. Now that's thinking outside the box!

that's what I'm good for ;)

Vertigo
06-03-2012, 10:57 PM
Ain't no one can defend this kind of workmanship.
Wabi-Sabi baby! **** yeah! :spin chair:

You need to learn to recognize Japanese culture mang. G'damn!

Andrew H
06-03-2012, 11:00 PM
Here ya go....
7583
7584
Some nasty surprises turned up while thinning.
A giant divot adjacent to what looks like some heavy handed forging.
Ain't no one can defend this kind of workmanship.

Wabi sabi, Bro.

Vertigo
06-03-2012, 11:01 PM
^^^ :D

ThEoRy
06-03-2012, 11:11 PM
Wabi sabi, Bro.
Wabi sabi.

EdipisReks
06-03-2012, 11:14 PM
Wabi sabi.

lol. Wabi Sabi explains the spines of many of my Japanese knives, but none of them have Wabi Sabi edges.

Vertigo
06-03-2012, 11:19 PM
Hey Edipis, I think you missed Ken's story that really, clearly, and with startling acuity illustrates exactly how massive overgrinds in the edge of a knife are a byproduct of "wabi-sabi."


There is a story of a tea ceremony master who asked his apprentice to clean up the garden surrounding the tea room. He did so and announced it to the master. The master said it wasn't good enough. The apprentice went out and worked even harder. This happened several times. Finally after arranging each leaf in the garden to perfection he became exasperated with his sensei and exclaimed he could do no more. The master then went out to the garden, grabbed some leaves and casually threw them around in disorder, making a very natural looking setting and said that now it was in order. His idea of beauty was not at all a structured one but one in harmony with the natural order. Lesson learned. In their (Japanese) flower arranging art, you will not see a symmetric arrangement but rather asymmetry and often the flower arrangement is purposely not perfectly centered. Even their knives are often not symmetric.

See? A huge ************* hole in the edge is like leaves in a garden bro.

EdipisReks
06-03-2012, 11:21 PM
oh, oh, now i see! Ken is my new god. Thank you! I will throw my Shigefusa away, now. :)

Vertigo
06-03-2012, 11:23 PM
Heh.

ecchef
06-03-2012, 11:25 PM
To quote my wife: "That's ********. He should be ashamed as a Japanese."

No need to throw the Shig out....just bounce a Dremel off it a few times & give it a whack with a ball peen.

EdipisReks
06-03-2012, 11:26 PM
No need to throw the Shig out....just bounce a Dremel off it a few times & give it a whack with a ball peen.

ah man, good thing Eamon currently has it for making a saya, otherwise i would be tempted!

i would like to say that none of the Takedas i've owned, and i've owned a few, have had these issues. Takedas are special knives, but they cut like mother ****ers if you get them.

mhlee
06-03-2012, 11:45 PM
To quote my wife: "That's ********. He should be ashamed as a Japanese."

No need to throw the Shig out....just bounce a Dremel off it a few times & give it a whack with a ball peen.

LOL.

Did you happen to tell your wife that he's a non-Japanese dude who lives in California? And please show her some of his sharpening videos where he tries to pronounce Japanese words. :begging:

GlassEye
06-03-2012, 11:56 PM
LOL.

Did you happen to tell your wife that he's a non-Japanese dude who lives in California? And please show her some of his sharpening videos where he tries to pronounce Japanese words. :begging:

Do that and report back with the responses, please .

Eamon Burke
06-04-2012, 12:07 AM
I aim to please.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-MdZbIKaI-NU/T8wltnGJE9I/AAAAAAAAAfI/CmWW6TqIOz8/s1024/2012-06-03%2B22.02.29.jpg

Vertigo
06-04-2012, 12:11 AM
Roflcopter. :lol2:

The Jameson's helps with accuracy.

Eamon Burke
06-04-2012, 12:22 AM
I don't judge my customers requests, man.

But I choose how I work.

ecchef
06-04-2012, 12:53 AM
Yeah...my Takedas are fine.
Funny thing about it is that this was a replacement for one I sent back. :bashhead:

ecchef
06-04-2012, 12:56 AM
LOL.

Did you happen to tell your wife that he's a non-Japanese dude who lives in California? And please show her some of his sharpening videos where he tries to pronounce Japanese words. :begging:

She meant Moritaka. I'm sure she would get a good laugh out of the other guy though.

brainsausage
06-04-2012, 03:45 AM
Hey Edipis, I think you missed Ken's story that really, clearly, and with startling acuity illustrates exactly how massive overgrinds in the edge of a knife are a byproduct of "wabi-sabi."



See? A huge ************* hole in the edge is like leaves in a garden bro.

That statement is more zen then the zenness of the leaves in the garden causing the master to teach the student how to understand the ebb and flow of---STOP MAKING F'D UP KNIVES DAMMIT!!!

brainsausage
06-04-2012, 03:51 AM
I aim to please.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-MdZbIKaI-NU/T8wltnGJE9I/AAAAAAAAAfI/CmWW6TqIOz8/s1024/2012-06-03%2B22.02.29.jpg

Is this a pic of the moritaka factory floor?

mainaman
06-04-2012, 09:31 AM
Guys, you better return those almost perfect Shigefusas. They're just not Japanese.
Unless I am totally mistaken Shigefusa might be the most or one of the most hand made knives out there. According to Ken's post though that is not the case since they have no flaws that I have heard of related to the blade craftsman ship. Mentioning Watanabe in his post as example is just laughable, he does not know that Watanabe sell knives made by someone else for them. And lastly, if he knew anything about Japanese and how they do things, he'd take steps to find a reliable stone supplier, one that will find him quality stones not junk (just look at his hakka video for a definition of crappy super expensive stone).

DeepCSweede
06-04-2012, 10:54 AM
I aim to please.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-MdZbIKaI-NU/T8wltnGJE9I/AAAAAAAAAfI/CmWW6TqIOz8/s1024/2012-06-03%2B22.02.29.jpg

You know Eamon - if I have you "FIX" up my Shig I will at least expect you to be drinking Knappogue Castle 1951 and show some proper respect to Shigefusa.

Eamon Burke
06-04-2012, 12:11 PM
Hey you send me a bottle of THAT, I'll do whatever you want to your Shig. I might even send you back a free one.



I can't think of where else to put this, but I have heard from more than a few people that it comes off that I just detest Moritakas. I've actually only handled a handful of Moritakas, and just didn't jive with them--not my kind of knife. I have seen at least one that had what I would call very sloppy(at least not finished) grinding. I also don't think there is an excuse for a bad grind walking out the door for money, IMO--it is the #1 most important quality of a knife. I'd rather use a square piece of metal cut out of a fender with a phenomenal grind than a $2000 American custom with an overgrind.

I do, however, enjoy taking the piss out of anyone I can.

Dave Martell
06-04-2012, 05:30 PM
Another message was just sent to me to check out. This one was posted on another forum in the same thread that Ken posted his Moritaka hammer message in before, it comes from Ken's boss. Like Ken's post this one also addresses the Moritaka issue and I think it's easy to see where their take is on this subject - in my opinion it's certainly not with the maker or themselves. :(



Amazing that our mercurial competitor would go out and bash a small independent Japanese knife maker just because they have a nice friendship with Ken.

I never understood trying to do business by publicly attacking your competition just to make yourself look good. I wonder how that's working out for him....

echerub
06-04-2012, 05:38 PM
They are still operating from the starting point that there are no issues with the knives. One of the two does not profess to be an expert and is relying on what the other one says. That other one has dubious expertise. They aren't going to budge on their position.

Doesn't matter. All we can do here is inform folks of what we see: not that all Moritakas have serious issues, but that many from their "regular" line do, and that it's a gamble & you're on your own and SOL if you get one that has issues.

Dave Martell
06-04-2012, 05:44 PM
They are still operating from the starting point that there are no issues with the knives. One of the two does not profess to be an expert and is relying on what the other one says. That other one has dubious expertise. They aren't going to budge on their position.

Doesn't matter. All we can do here is inform folks of what we see: not that all Moritakas have serious issues, but that many from their "regular" line do, and that it's a gamble & you're on your own and SOL if you get one that has issues.


That's pretty much how I view it at this point. For myself I'll just continue on protecting my interests (liabilities) and when I find a problem I'll just refer the customer to this thread and they can do what they want from there. It's a sad state of affairs though.

WildBoar
06-04-2012, 06:05 PM
That's pretty much how I view it at this point. For myself I'll just continue on protecting my interests (liabilities) and when I find a problem I'll just refer the customer to this thread and they can do what they want from there. It's a sad state of affairs though.I don't understand the issue. When you receive one, just refer the customer to Ken for sharpening. After he eats a few of them maybe he will change his opinion a little?

Dave Martell
06-04-2012, 06:19 PM
I don't understand the issue. When you receive one, just refer the customer to Ken for sharpening. After he eats a few of them maybe he will change his opinion a little?


Great advice! :D

Birnando
06-04-2012, 06:21 PM
Doesn't matter. All we can do here is inform folks of what we see: not that all Moritakas have serious issues, but that many from their "regular" line do, and that it's a gamble & you're on your own and SOL if you get one that has issues.

This caught my attention.
As I am quite new to this site, and the sport as a whole, I was wondering if you could elaborate around this.

I have seen that there is a supreme series and a "regular" with a somewhat lower price tag.
Does the quality issues mainly concern the regular series, or does it also concern the supreme series?
And if so, in the same numbers or more seldom?

FYI, I have a Deba in the supreme series, and this far enjoys using it very much:)

Vertigo
06-04-2012, 08:59 PM
Does the quality issues mainly concern the regular series, or does it also concern the supreme series?
This thread is rather long and exhaustive, so I'll spare you the obligatory "that was answered literally just few pages ago" stuff, and just say that no it does not appear to be an issue with the supreme series. ;)

Birnando
06-05-2012, 10:06 AM
This thread is rather long and exhaustive, so I'll spare you the obligatory "that was answered literally just few pages ago" stuff, and just say that no it does not appear to be an issue with the supreme series. ;)

Pardon me my apparent lack of reading skills, and thanks for the answer.
I have read the entire thread, and I can only find a reference to a Supreme Damascus line, which seems to not have the discussed issues, and the standard line that apparently does.

The third line, Supreme, no Damscus, seems to not be very much discussed in this thread, and that is why I asked..

Dave Martell
06-05-2012, 11:15 AM
http://www.moritakahamono.com/wsj.html :bashhead:

chazmtb
06-05-2012, 11:50 AM
Just breathe Dave. It is what it is.

add
06-05-2012, 01:13 PM
It is what it is.


http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=7584&d=1338728342&thumb=1

http://organictestkitchen.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Images/Cheese%20Swiss.jpg

Vertigo
06-05-2012, 01:14 PM
Pardon me my apparent lack of reading skills, and thanks for the answer.
I have read the entire thread, and I can only find a reference to a Supreme Damascus line, which seems to not have the discussed issues, and the standard line that apparently does.

The third line, Supreme, no Damscus, seems to not be very much discussed in this thread, and that is why I asked..
Ah see, it wasn't your lack of reading skill, but my own. Many apologies!

Salty dog
06-05-2012, 01:26 PM
How long? At least 36 pages.

Dave Martell
06-05-2012, 10:06 PM
How long? At least 36 pages.


LOL :D

Dave Martell
06-05-2012, 10:57 PM
:rant: I was just sent a link to more comments from the other side of the fence. I'll leave out the deflecting ramblings of the mad man but I just have to copy this one thing that his boss wrote. Why? Because it irks me, because I'm not in a good mood right now, but most of all because it's once again showing where they want the issue to be driven to. If you're not in the mood for my rant then please skip over the rest of this post.


Ken's boss wrote....


The real question is why anyone that fancies himself a knife maker would want to spend anytime bashing another knife maker, especially a tiny, family run business? There aren't many of these guys left in the world. Believe me I look.


I used fancy myself a person who owns a small family run business. I used to fancy myself someone who helps other retailers by inviting them into a community, into a forum, with the idea of helping them build up their stagnating online knife store by introducing them to something that I found valuable and something that I helped to create. I also used to fancy myself a trusting person who believes a person when they say that they won't sell stones (AKA compete directly with me) on the same forum that I just invited them onto and introduced them to.

Now, I fancy myself an ex retailer of stones, a struggling knifemaker, and a father of uninsured children who can not provide the care that they need. I also fancy myself someone who's been deceived and someone who's lost faith in the concept of helping others. However, I fancy myself (still) as a person who cares about his fellow man enough not to screw them over for more $$ and I fancy myself caring more for them than I do for the a**holes selling these crappy knives or the makers who are pumping them out.

I fancy myself continuing to tell the owners of these bad knives the truth about why I can't fix them - the truth being that they got hosed by a retailer and/or knife maker who knowingly sold them a potentially defective product. I fancy this behavior because it's the right thing to do - not because it makes me $1 more than I have right now and in fact will likely cost me a great deal more $$ in lost shipping costs, lost time spent screwing around with packaging, inspecting, and communication.

This is not a Dave issue - it's a Moritaka issue - at the core it belongs to them yet it bleeds on from there. I believe that any retailer being aware of potential issues with these knives and yet still continuing to sell them will get what they fancy in the end and likely more. :)

Ultimately what I'd fancy here is for Moritaka to spend 30 mins re-training uncle on the wheel to stop making these mistakes and then for this discussion to be at an end.

Rant mode off>>>

echerub
06-06-2012, 12:01 AM
It's not bashing if there truly is an issue. Irrespective of what was revealed to you in private conversation, at least in public they're sticking to the "there's no problem here!" position. If they and Moritaka stick to that position, this won't go away.

Save who we can from getting screwed over, or at least warn them of the gamble that they may be taking. That's all we can do.

steeley
06-06-2012, 12:59 AM
:knife:The Burr that never goes away .

but Eamon is my new hero

Eamon Burke
06-06-2012, 01:06 AM
I'm just trying to get a simple question answered!! I don't want to be in the middle of this, lol.

tripleq
08-14-2013, 04:38 PM
Well, here is my 2 cents. I was given a Moritaka in Japan. I brought it back and after a little use I was planning on a custom job from them. That was till I sharpened it and realized that I too was an over grind victim. I still have the knife and I abuse the hell it of it. I call it my Mori-ka-ka.

As for Ken, I have had one and only one dealing with him. True to his reputation his information was real snake oil and he tried to manipulate the whole thing to his advantage. I wouldn't trust the guy to do business on the up and up. No better place to buy snake oil than from a snake in the grass.

btrancho
08-14-2013, 05:52 PM
Just so that a noobie to this issue is clear - Am I correct that the "supreme" line that is being talked about here is the "Aogami Super Series" in this link:
http://www.moritakahamono.com/en/hocyo1-3.html

while the "regular" line with the over grind problems is the "Standard" series in this link:
http://www.moritakahamono.com/en/hocyo1-1.html

I was about to order from the Aogami Super Series and want to be sure that I am not going for the problem line of knives.

berko
08-14-2013, 05:59 PM
from what ive read, overgrind issues can affect all those series.

btrancho
08-14-2013, 06:04 PM
from what ive read, overgrind issues can affect all those series.
Then can someone give me a link on their web site that points to the line of knives without the problem? It has been stated a few times in this thread (and I admit to not having read all 37 pages) that the "supreme" line seems to have avoided this problem.

James
08-14-2013, 06:07 PM
from what ive read, overgrind issues can affect all those series.

I think I remember reading that in the thread as well. Best to look at a different brand.

Dave Martell
08-14-2013, 07:39 PM
Then can someone give me a link on their web site that points to the line of knives without the problem? It has been stated a few times in this thread (and I admit to not having read all 37 pages) that the "supreme" line seems to have avoided this problem.

We've seen problems from all of their lines, just a lot less from the high end customs purchased directly from the company, but then so very few people actually have those high end knives vs so many people who have the cheap ones........so.....as far as I'm concerned you takes yer chances with Moritaka and the odds aren't in your favor.

btrancho
08-14-2013, 10:09 PM
We've seen problems from all of their lines~~~~........so.....as far as I'm concerned you takes yer chances with Moritaka and the odds aren't in your favor.
Thanks, Dave. I'll look elsewhere.

labor of love
08-15-2013, 12:38 AM
takedas are pretty awesome. if youre bummed that moritaka has a bad track record just save the extra $$$ and get a takeda instead.

btrancho
08-15-2013, 09:25 AM
takedas are pretty awesome. if youre bummed that moritaka has a bad track record just save the extra $$$ and get a takeda instead.

If I were to be the primary user I'd probably consider the Takeda. However, this is to be a "wifeknife" - My wife wants a new santoku (PLEASE - no editorials here) and I'm trying to bring her around to something better than her current big box store clunker.

Any suggestions for other makers in the under $200 range would be appreciated. I was hoping to try Aogami Super but am open to other carbon steels.

tripleq
08-15-2013, 09:31 AM
If I were to be the primary user I'd probably consider the Takeda. However, this is to be a "wifeknife" - My wife wants a new santoku (PLEASE - no editorials here) and I'm trying to bring her around to something better than her current big box store clunker.

Any suggestions for other makers in the under $200 range would be appreciated. I was hoping to try Aogami Super but am open to other carbon steels.

Hope this doesn't derail the thread but you could look at Watanabe pro santoku. Same rustic look, blue steel. It will run you slightly above your budget by 25$ or so including shipping but you are getting a quality, hand made knife from a well known and respected maker. There are also cheaper options from his standard line which are great knives as well.

ThEoRy
08-15-2013, 09:35 AM
If I were to be the primary user I'd probably consider the Takeda. However, this is to be a "wifeknife" - My wife wants a new santoku (PLEASE - no editorials here) and I'm trying to bring her around to something better than her current big box store clunker.

Any suggestions for other makers in the under $200 range would be appreciated. I was hoping to try Aogami Super but am open to other carbon steels.

Hiromoto.

Chefdog
08-15-2013, 10:40 AM
Hiromoto.

Yup.
Perfect fit for this scenario, and a good value.
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/TenmiJyurakuSeries.html#AogamiSuper

toddnmd
08-15-2013, 11:00 AM
I third the rec for a Hiromoto. That's well below your budget. The one I have is quite thin--cuts very well. Does well directly against a Konosuke HD gyuto.

Timthebeaver
08-15-2013, 05:19 PM
Any suggestions for other makers in the under $200 range would be appreciated. I was hoping to try Aogami Super but am open to other carbon steels.

Zakuri

stevenStefano
08-15-2013, 06:21 PM
I used a Zakuri AS for a while and was super impressed

btrancho
08-15-2013, 10:04 PM
I used a Zakuri AS for a while and was super impressed
To get the thread somewhat back on track...

My wife "surprised" me today by telling me that she ordered the Moritaka on her own, as I had been showing it to her in my effort to get to to abandon her clunker.

I immediately emailed Moritaka and cancelled the order, specifically telling them that I had heard too many bad reports concerned the over grind problem and the fact that it did not seem to have been resolved over the course of time. Their website currently has a message up that their person "in charge" who handles email (I'm assuming from English speaking countries) is away until next week and there won't be any replies until then.

I ordered the Zakuri a few minutes ago. Jon was very helpful with some questions I had prior to pulling the trigger.

Thank to all for the info and suggestions. I'll post any relevant reply I get from Moritaka.

Ruso
08-16-2013, 10:52 AM
Hehehehe, you should have shown her a Shigefusa or Artisugu ;)

btrancho
08-16-2013, 01:58 PM
Hehehehe, you should have shown her a Shigefusa or Artisugu ;)

One step at a time... one step at a time. After 45 years of marriage I know the path. I just took her to Korin and she picked out a Togiharu 210 Damascus gyuto for her "big" knife.

Midsummer
08-17-2013, 12:43 AM
I have two Moritaka knives of the "supreem" series (AS kuriochi), the "KS" model and a santoku. There are no grind issues on the 165mm santoku that I have appreciated. The 250mm KS has three areas (holes/ overgrinds) that concern me. They may "sharpen out", but only time will tell. The first J knife I bought after the Shun's (years ago) were some inexspensive Tojiro ITK. They too have some over grind issues on all four of their knives I bought. Live and learn.

labor of love
08-18-2013, 03:15 AM
sorry to hear about the grind issues. i used to love my moritaka ks. but the thought of losing metal to fix an overgrind on that knife worries me. its already so short at the heel.

alex9635
08-18-2013, 07:02 AM
Long story. 39 pages know. But frankly I don't understand the problem. It is impossible to over grind the Japanese knife. The thinner - the better. I have three Moritaka knives and they are perfect. It's a strange theme. Through 39 pages there is no real evidence with photo. Only just talk about same intangible issues. This is just my opinion.

Timthebeaver
08-18-2013, 07:34 AM
It is impossible to over grind the Japanese knife

***?

labor of love
08-18-2013, 08:07 AM
ignorance is bliss?

ThEoRy
08-18-2013, 09:59 AM
Here's the one of the two that will photograph some of the issues....now try to dispute this....


http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=7406&d=1337804766

Yeah, this picture earlier in the thread never happened apparently.

Pensacola Tiger
08-18-2013, 10:04 AM
Long story. 39 pages know. But frankly I don't understand the problem. It is impossible to over grind the Japanese knife. The thinner - the better. I have three Moritaka knives and they are perfect. It's a strange theme. Through 39 pages there is no real evidence with photo. Only just talk about same intangible issues. This is just my opinion.

It's obvious that you do not understand what an overgrind is, as evidenced by your false assertion that "It is impossible to over grind the Japanese knife", so let me help you to understand the problem. Dave explained it very well in this thread when he said "I'm talking about low spots where a heavy handed knifemaker ground too deep in specific sections on the bevels of the sides of the blades...", but I'll reinforce it with a photo for you.

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/Pensacola_Tiger/Moritaka%20overgrind/file_zpsccab41a3.jpg (http://s758.photobucket.com/user/Pensacola_Tiger/media/Moritaka%20overgrind/file_zpsccab41a3.jpg.html)

Not all Moritaka knives have overgrinds nor is the problem specific to Moritaka - it can happen to any knifemaker - but mistakes like this belong on the scrap pile, not in the hands of paying customers. Consider yourself fortunate that you appear to have three that are not overground.

Rick

bkdc
08-18-2013, 11:30 AM
Any knife that's ground on a wheel rather than a flat sharpening stone has potential overgrinds. That is practically every Japanese knife. It's easy to see when you're thinning the knife on a whetstone. The most overground knife I ever owned was a Yoshikane hammer-patterened SKD gyuto. It was bad enough that I thought it should never have been sold. And it's only ever an issue if the overgrind is severe where the plane of the grind approaches the center midline of the blade.. Both my Carter HG gyutos have subtle overgrinds. No big deal when it's very stuble. The overgrind on that nakiri photo is just so severe, you wonder whether the sharpener was drunk. I've owned quite a few Moritakas over the years (SIX in all) and none of them were overground. However, they were all damascus customs, and likely they were ground with more care by an expert and not some novice.

alex9635
08-18-2013, 12:45 PM
Moritaka knives are the type of knives that sharped by blade path. As the blade sharpening the blade path will become more flat. And initial flatness does not matter. Some overgrind means that you have to remove less metal. There are no problems.

alex9635
08-18-2013, 01:11 PM
Subject lasts three years and there is only one poor quality photo. Maybe it's time to stop dishonoring of good knives.

Pensacola Tiger
08-18-2013, 01:18 PM
Moritaka knives are the type of knives that sharped by blade path. As the blade sharpening the blade path will become more flat. And initial flatness does not matter. Some overgrind means that you have to remove less metal. There are no problems.

Sorry to have to inform you that you are wrong. At some point, the overgrind will result in a "hole" in the edge, as has been noted many times. The only "cure" is to sharpen past the overgrind. It takes a lot of time and effort and you lose a lot of steel.

Rick

berko
08-18-2013, 02:20 PM
The problem does exist. Post 93# describes it best imo.

alex9635
08-18-2013, 02:43 PM
The problem does exist. Post 93# describes it best imo.

It's impossible to make a such hole on the grinding stone.

Timthebeaver
08-18-2013, 03:09 PM
It's impossible to make a such hole on the grinding stone.

Double you tea eff.

tripleq
08-18-2013, 03:15 PM
It's impossible to make a such hole on the grinding stone.


LOL!!!!

jaybett
08-18-2013, 03:30 PM
Moritaka knives are the type of knives that sharped by blade path. As the blade sharpening the blade path will become more flat. And initial flatness does not matter. Some overgrind means that you have to remove less metal. There are no problems.

If is possible to over grind an area of a knife, then it's possible to over grind the edge, which would be a problem.

All knife makers can have issues, not just Moritaka. The only way I know how to lessen the chance of getting a knife without an issue, is to pick up a high end or custom knife. Even then their still might be problems.

The question is does Moritaka have a bigger issue then other makers? A number of well known and respected forum members have reported over grind issues. So the evidence shows there is a problem.

To make matters worse, the price point of Moritaka makes them attractive to new users of Japanese knives. To compound the issue the vendor in the U.S. along with those in his camp deny there are any problems.

Jay

JBroida
08-18-2013, 04:11 PM
18076
here's an drawing of one i had in for sharpening recently.... the outline is not to scale, but it shows the problems. This one was particularly bad. The red circles were overgrinds, but the ones with the blue and green arrows actually caused problems. It could have been fixed by removing a lot of metal, but then it would have been a different knife.

18075

JBroida
08-18-2013, 04:37 PM
also i feel like i should say that the above example just happened to be a moritaka, but i've seen this kind of problem on other handmade knives (heck, i've even seen it on shuns before). Some brands/lines have more of these occurrences than others. As you can see in the lower part of the above image, the overgrinds pass the center of the blade, and in the above case, there was some overlap of how far they went (even though they were in slightly different places). If the overgrinds dont pass the center line of the edge, holes in the edge will not develop, but rather, the bevel will just be uneven. Overgrinds have to be deep and placed just right to cause holes in the edge. These areas could be flattened out over time, but until your edge moves up high enough to pass the point where the overgrinds are deep enough to cause holes, there will be problems with the blade.

Midsummer
08-18-2013, 05:53 PM
If the overgrinds dont pass the center line of the edge, holes in the edge will not develop, but rather, the bevel will just be uneven.

I extracted this part of the quote because the over grinds I have seen have been in the cladding and not to the center of the core steel.

Do uneven bevels cause problems (other than aesthetic )?

chuck239
08-18-2013, 06:48 PM
It's impossible to make a such hole on the grinding stone.

Guys,

I have to agree with Alex. Holes like this in the blade face are not from forging or grinding. They are from shipping knives. The pressurized cabins of planes tend to leave large dents and divots in knives.... Obviously....

-Chuck

Twistington
08-18-2013, 07:15 PM
It's impossible to make a such hole on the grinding stone.

Really?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxng-UTi09E

Dave Martell
08-18-2013, 08:09 PM
Hey guys, if the Wall Street Journal states that Moritaka is one of the "Five Best Chef's Knives" (http://www.moritakahamono.com/wsj_en.html) then who are we to say that they have issues?

JBroida
08-18-2013, 08:11 PM
I extracted this part of the quote because the over grinds I have seen have been in the cladding and not to the center of the core steel.

Do uneven bevels cause problems (other than aesthetic )?

it depends, but usually its just an uneven looking bevel

Dave Martell
08-18-2013, 08:16 PM
It never occured to me before but maybe I'm using the wrong techniques and/or tools to sharpen Moritaka knives with?

I see on their website that they recommend using the infamous Gizmo knife sharpening device.


Moritaka states:

"He (Ken) also makes and sells a sharpener, which lets you precisely control sharpening angles, the Gizmo Knife Sharpener sold at ChefKnivestoGo"

"We strongly recommend purchasing this useful device to obtain extremely sharp edges on your knives."



Hey, if this thing will help me to sharpen overground knives then I'm off to get one....

Dave Martell
08-18-2013, 08:23 PM
Subject lasts three years and there is only one poor quality photo. Maybe it's time to stop dishonoring of good knives.


You go ahead and buy their "good knives" and support them with your honor. The rest of us, who have experience with these "good knives", will stop "dishonoring of good knives" once they start making them "good".

Twistington
08-18-2013, 08:24 PM
It never occured to me before but maybe I'm using the wrong techniques and/or tools to sharpen Moritaka knives with?

I see on their website that they recommend using the infamous Gizmo knife sharpening device.




Hey, if this thing will help me to sharpen overground knives then I'm off to get one....

Funny how a Moritaka would not be able to do what the cleaver in the picture is doing there... :D

Dave Martell
08-18-2013, 08:27 PM
Funny how a Moritaka would not be able to do what the cleaver in the picture is doing there... :D


The only thing that could be better about that picture is if that cleaver under the stool was a Moritaka...but then the stool would likely be leaning from the overgrind. :D

maxim
08-19-2013, 02:00 AM
Sorry to say to you but my moritaka with hole in the edge did not had that problem as described by Jon at all. It was a lot more serious. As always on my own knives i flatten the main bevel totally and everything was fine for a year.

Then one day sharpened/thinned my knife wup and there was a dent/hole in the edge. :dontknow: Like a hard steel hagane only had a bend only. Very hard to describe as the dent was not only on one side but on both in the same place.

Seb
08-19-2013, 02:37 AM
Any idea why Moritaka Hamono have so far failed to heed all of these attempts at constructive feedback? Or is this kind of issue widespread with hand-made knives and are they just being picked on here when lots of other makers do it too?

On a sidenote, I just grabbed my custom-order 260mm 'extra-thin' Blue#2 Moritaka gyuto and peered along its mirror-polished bevels and I can't see any 'irregularities' anywhere near the edge (but I see a lot of 'waviness' higher up the sides) - does this mean mine is ok, or am I just kidding myself? I have had this'n for a coupla years now and used it less than 10 times because I finally realised I don't need/like such a long knife - so I think I can fairly say that I don't really have any skin in this game, I don't really give a wank, to be honest! ;)

JBroida
08-19-2013, 03:49 AM
Sorry to say to you but my moritaka with hole in the edge did not had that problem as described by Jon at all. It was a lot more serious. As always on my own knives i flatten the main bevel totally and everything was fine for a year.

Then one day sharpened/thinned my knife wup and there was a dent/hole in the edge. :dontknow: Like a hard steel hagane only had a bend only. Very hard to describe as the dent was not only on one side but on both in the same place.

yeah, the problems arent always as i described... i was just giving an example of one i had seen recently. I see problems like yours too from time to time.

@seb this happens from all hand made makers, but problems occur most frequently with a few makers... i know of 3-4 that i see on a regular basis with problems like this. I sometimes see moritakas with no problems at all (and to me, a knife with some high an low spots that dont cause problems is still ok). I also see a lot of shun knives with serious grind issues. I think the most important thing is being able to see and recognize problems (learning to do this takes time and practice), or buying from someone you trust. Anyways, the point is that its not just moritaka, but at the same time, its not necessarily unfair to say what has been said for the most part. In all honesty, however, i see just as many if not more problems with shun (7 out of 10 that i see have serious grind problems... none that cause holes in the edges, but serious enough where the bevel looks more than just messed up due to high and low spots... even new ones out of the box).

maxim
08-19-2013, 03:50 AM
I have seen some other knives with that issue. But not as many or as bad as Moritakas. waviness above is very common even Shigefusa KU knives have it so nothing to do with what been shown here.
Many users will just ignore it or live with it (nothing wrong with that)
It will just be a problem when you send knife like that To Dave, Jon or me :D Then we will call up and say hey we can not fix that !
And thats why i think this thread exist

pkjames
08-19-2013, 05:48 AM
I really hate overgrind! it stops me from getting an even kasumi finish, and evening out the bevel takes FOREVER! But it does happen on almost all the grinding wheel finished knives, just how serious the problem is, having a overgrind all the way down to the bevel, IMO, is totally unacceptable.

berko
08-19-2013, 11:15 AM
One of my zakuris had an overgrind near the edge that actualy caused a hole. But it wasnt that big, so i simply sharpened it out. Took like 15 mins on a 1k Shapton pro.

Dave Martell
08-19-2013, 11:22 AM
Just to clarify....

High and low spots are only a temporary inconvenience in appearance, the overgrind that is a problem is one that goes into the edge and grows (gets worse) over time as the knife is normally sharpened to the point where a hole is formned and can not be fixed without modifying the knife into something other than what is was meant to be.

jaybett
08-19-2013, 02:05 PM
...I think the most important thing is being able to see and recognize problems (learning to do this takes time and practice), or buying from someone you trust.


...It will just be a problem when you send knife like that To Dave, Jon or me :D Then we will call up and say hey we can not fix that !
And thats why i think this thread exist

An excellent summary of the problem.

Jay

SpikeC
08-19-2013, 11:01 PM
I don't know why anyone bothers responding to trolls.

Pensacola Tiger
08-19-2013, 11:03 PM
I don't know why anyone bothers responding to trolls.

It was a slow day.

Lefty
08-20-2013, 10:34 AM
Troll or not, this topic needs to be discussed. I'm not saying Moritaka, exclusively (I haven't seen the overgrinds issue in person, after selling a Moritaka, and two more still to inspect). However, this issue needs to be cleared up, in how people are perceiving it. To me, a true overgrind is something a) unintentional, b) one that will cause issues on the primary bevel - immediate or not, and c) a pain in the ass.

As far as I can best explain the issue, it is a low spot that is deeper than what one would normally thin to on the secondary (sometimes primary, but that's an easy fix) bevel. It causes a hole when the overgrind is so deep that it either goes into the other face of the knife (think of the knife as two faces - a left and a right - when looking down the spine and splitting it down the centerline), or when it is almost into the other side, and is so close that it will not allow an edge to hold on that section once the sharpening has hit that spot. For this, think foil thin, on one blade face.

They're very hard to see, because the knives we are discussing are so thin that it can be an overgrind of nothing more than a hundredth (or two) of an inch. However, the end result is a totally unusable position along the blade, often extending up towards the spine, rendering that area useless for many mm's, even a cm. thus, you'd have to take a gyuto with a heel height of 50mm down to (for example) 40mm, just to make it potentially useable. At which point, you'd have to regrind the bevels, and create an entirely new knife.

mainaman
08-20-2013, 11:10 AM
Long story. 39 pages know. But frankly I don't understand the problem.
It's fine it is your money