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View Full Version : masamoto ks--just a project knife nowadays?



chinacats
08-10-2013, 10:38 PM
Having recently purchased a 240 KS for the first time I think my expectations may have been a bit high. Fit and finish is acceptable on the blade--some easing but nothing smoothed, which is cool. Handle has a horn that is slightly larger than the ho wood; that said, the horn is blond with a beautiful dark stripe.

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/P7300628_zps04e079ad.jpg

My bigger complaint is the thickness behind the edge. When I first used the knife--tested on veggies and protein it seemed to me that it lacked a good degree of sharpness. The release was pretty good so I figured a quick sharpening session would take care of things. So to prepare for sharpening I finally gave the geometry a good inspection and found that I am going to have to do quite a bit of thinning to get this knife to perform halfway decent. The original edge wasn't as bad as I had expected though there certainly wasn't any fear of cutting myself with the 3 finger test. Again, the problem wound up being the thickness behind the edge.

I figure I will allow some time this week to work on this, but just curious if others have had the same type experiences with this knife or if I just happened to get a thick bugger. It is definitely not as bad as some knives I've seen posted here (fanatic, etc...) but it is not a pure cutter out of the box.

I am not sure if I've been spoiled by the knives I've been buying from Jon or Maxim and this is more of a norm or if again I just wound up with a bad apple? Have the folks here who love their KS's had to all go through this initially? I kind of like the idea of having to work a bit to make the knife cut to my preference, but the last few nice knives I've bought have been much better out of the box.

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/P8100645_zps8f408ea7.jpg

For comparison a Shig that had a similar thickness through the blade but much better behind the edge imo.

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/shigchoil_zpsa44b6127.jpg



All that said, I get why people say it has the perfect profile--not saying it does, but it sure is nice. :)

turbochef422
08-10-2013, 11:00 PM
I've had a couple actually and the first one was an old one that when new it was pretty thin behing the edge and f&f was good then I got one recently while moving the older one to house duty and the new ones fit and finish wasn't as good and it was a porker behing the edge that needed thinning before making a cut. But then again maybe I'm spoiled too and they were the same only I realized more after having better knives.

Drum N Baste
08-10-2013, 11:49 PM
You are not alone in your experience with the KS. I would be hesitant to purchase one new any time soon; the finish and geometry are proving to be quite inconsistent and lackluster. Glad I got mine three years ago. The last two I handled, purchased by coworkers on my recommendation, were both incredibly poor by comparison and left me making apologies.

The popularity of the profile has spawned a number of clones, and at this point I'd check one of them out before buying another KS.

brainsausage
08-11-2013, 12:04 AM
I keep hearing this more and more often. Sucks, cuz these were a benchmark for a hot minute. Appears they're trying to keep up with supply rather than maintaining some type of standard. Seems to happen all too often across many fields, unfortunately...

brainsausage
08-11-2013, 12:07 AM
Sorry that you came up on the wrong side of a good thing:/

chinacats
08-11-2013, 12:24 AM
Sorry that you came up on the wrong side of a good thing:/

I'm not so much bummed as curious. I got a good deal by snagging this off Rakuten so I kind of feel like maybe I should have to put a little work in; I may not have the same attitude had I paid retail or close.

It would suck to be new to J-knives though, buy one and kind of say meh to the whole deal without trying something else or fixing it. Definitely sounds as if this is a more recent phenomenon with these, kind of sucks.

labor of love
08-11-2013, 12:37 AM
im pretty sure most masamoto ks are going to be thick behind the edge ootb. their geometry is interesting though. if you can preserve the factory geometry while thinning it the food release should be pretty nice. yeah, ultimately they are project knives though. and considering how crowded the market is in the 300-400 dollar range, its really hard for me to pull the trigger on one. plus the fact that theyre not very tall knives to begin with so their lifespan is kinda short, if you sharpen often. ofcourse the awesome rakuten prices can make the knife worthwhile i guess.

brainsausage
08-11-2013, 12:39 AM
Half of the reason I didn't jump on that rakuten sale- it seemed a little too good to be true. These might have been from a extremely less than savory batch. Still doesn't explain some of the F/F issues that seem to be popping up lately.

Ruso
08-11-2013, 12:51 AM
Is not it quite expensive for a "project" knife? 0_o

chinacats
08-11-2013, 12:54 AM
if you can preserve the factory geometry while thinning it the food release should be pretty nice.

Agreed, the food release is pretty good initially so that will be the goal.



Half of the reason I didn't jump on that rakuten sale- it seemed a little too good to be true. These might have been from a extremely less than savory batch. Still doesn't explain some of the F/F issues that seem to be popping up lately.

Not sure though I did notice that they popped up at exactly the same time that JCK got them back in stock. That said, it wouldn't surpise me if they were a 'lower grade', but I'm cool with saving $100 bucks and doing some work myself. Again, I'd have really been bummed had I paid more and received the same blade. I figure I'm already going to wind up rehandling and I think that would've been he case either way--the D-handle is fine, but seems to be made for a smaller knife than a 240 gyuto.



Is not it quite expensive for a "project" knife? 0_o

I don't think so, I paid ~225 with shipping which is quite a bit less than I've paid for any other knife recently. Those knives have all cost more butl been much more badass out of box. My impression initially was that the better knives may need more work to customize but my experience has been different. I know with some tools the final edge is really left up to the user so not much work goes into it, I think that with knives the makers realize that the buyer's expectations are somewhat different.

geezr
08-11-2013, 12:57 AM
I'm not so much bummed as curious. I got a good deal by snagging this off Rakuten so I kind of feel like maybe I should have to put a little work in; I may not have the same attitude had I paid retail or close.

It would suck to be new to J-knives though, buy one and kind of say meh to the whole deal without trying something else or fixing it. Definitely sounds as if this is a more recent phenomenon with these, kind of sucks.

Spine shots of your KS seems thicker than mine which was purchased June 2009.
Also - "Your Masamoto KS-3124 Wa Gyuto 240mm is Honba Duke finished by Masamoto
craftsman already." - requested because I do not know (still) how to thin and sharpen well.
My KS is on Stefan's Handle Gallery - page 33 post 321.
The bottom 2 pics sort of show the spine and choil
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/246-Stefan-s-Handle-Gallery/page33

chinacats
08-11-2013, 01:03 AM
Spine shots of your KS seems thicker than mine which was purchased June 2009.
Also - "Your Masamoto KS-3124 Wa Gyuto 240mm is Honba Duke finished by Masamoto
craftsman already." - requested because I do not know (still) how to thin and sharpen well.


Geezr, sorry for the confusion/ignorance on my part, but not quite sure what you are saying about Honba Duke finished--did you request special finishing on your blade? Very good looking knife btw.

TheDispossessed
08-11-2013, 01:28 AM
I sure don't know a lot, but...
it seems the KS really just has a good profile.
nobody around here likes d handles, or lusts after white #2 with average HT.
Among the Japanese chefs i have questioned, Masamoto is not a brand they recommend with any enthusiasm.
If the KS is a project knife to begin with, because the OOTB geometry kinda sucks, why not just buy an Ashi or Yusuke and modify the profile for a fraction of the price?
It's not that hard to take some belly out of a knife and correct the overall geometry with a quick thinning session, IMO.

cclin
08-11-2013, 01:43 AM
Chinacat, your ks choil shot looks very different than mine. I can't take good picture as yours; however, this is my ks choil shot to compare with....
your ks
http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s482/54cclin/10ed6e90-d00e-43cc-ab37-d87af880b322_zps3af91b20.jpg (http://s1054.photobucket.com/user/54cclin/media/10ed6e90-d00e-43cc-ab37-d87af880b322_zps3af91b20.jpg.html)
my ks
http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s482/54cclin/f1595b2a-e032-4d7b-9c05-82ada47aee30_zps5d0b30d8.jpg (http://s1054.photobucket.com/user/54cclin/media/f1595b2a-e032-4d7b-9c05-82ada47aee30_zps5d0b30d8.jpg.html)

chinacats
08-11-2013, 01:47 AM
Chinacat, your ks choil shot looks very different than mine. I can't take good picture as yours; however, this is my ks choil shot to compare with....
your ks
http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s482/54cclin/10ed6e90-d00e-43cc-ab37-d87af880b322_zps3af91b20.jpg (http://s1054.photobucket.com/user/54cclin/media/10ed6e90-d00e-43cc-ab37-d87af880b322_zps3af91b20.jpg.html)
my ks
http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s482/54cclin/f1595b2a-e032-4d7b-9c05-82ada47aee30_zps5d0b30d8.jpg (http://s1054.photobucket.com/user/54cclin/media/f1595b2a-e032-4d7b-9c05-82ada47aee30_zps5d0b30d8.jpg.html)

Charles, yours looks like it would cut much better than mine. Is it new and have you thinned it or is that stock?

brainsausage
08-11-2013, 01:51 AM
Woah- I'd be hard pressed to admit that was the same breed of knife if I wasn't given the info beforehand.

cclin
08-11-2013, 01:56 AM
Charles, yours looks like it would cut much better than mine. Is it new and have you thinned it or is that stock?
mine is old stock ks gyuto, I purchased about 4 months ago. the F/F is not perfect but very good over all! it is new, never thinned....

JBroida
08-11-2013, 01:56 AM
are the pictures above both stainless knives? carbon knives?

eaglerock
08-11-2013, 01:57 AM
I think the very cheap price from Rakuten got something to do with this.

cclin
08-11-2013, 01:59 AM
are the pictures above both stainless knives? carbon knives?

both are masamoto ks3124(white#2) carbon knives

chinacats
08-11-2013, 01:59 AM
are the pictures above both stainless knives? carbon knives?

Mine is new KS-3124 (white 2 carbon); I take from what Charles is saying that his is the same only a few years older. Grind looks to be completely different 'eh?

labor of love
08-11-2013, 02:10 AM
charles scored a nice ks. ive seen several and none of them looked that nice.

turbochef422
08-11-2013, 03:05 AM
My first was awesome from jck and my second needed thinning and love from rakuten. I didn't really put the two together

Drum N Baste
08-11-2013, 07:25 AM
Chinacat, your ks choil shot looks very different than mine. I can't take good picture as yours; however, this is my ks choil shot to compare with....
your ks
http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s482/54cclin/10ed6e90-d00e-43cc-ab37-d87af880b322_zps3af91b20.jpg (http://s1054.photobucket.com/user/54cclin/media/10ed6e90-d00e-43cc-ab37-d87af880b322_zps3af91b20.jpg.html)
my ks
http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s482/54cclin/f1595b2a-e032-4d7b-9c05-82ada47aee30_zps5d0b30d8.jpg (http://s1054.photobucket.com/user/54cclin/media/f1595b2a-e032-4d7b-9c05-82ada47aee30_zps5d0b30d8.jpg.html)

Well, there you have it. Damn.

WillC
08-11-2013, 07:49 AM
Second one is thin but very flat, mine was both thick at the edge and flat for too long into it. Yours will cut great if you thin it that last half inch into the edge, will have better release than the second one. Still need to sort mine out properly.

bieniek
08-11-2013, 09:46 AM
Woah- I'd be hard pressed to admit that was the same breed of knife if I wasn't given the info beforehand.

Youve never had this situation where you check chick's facebook [or other such website] pictures and even though its same girl youre seeing different person in every photo? Ranging from extremely hot to extremely not? :tease:

I think photo lies a little bit in this case, but the first one sure is a porker. As will said, the last cm needs cracking up.

Chuckles
08-11-2013, 09:49 AM
Youve never had this situation where you check chick's facebook [or other such website] pictures and even though its same girl youre seeing different person in every photo? Ranging from extremely hot to extremely not?

Awesome. :lol2: :doublethumbsup:

chinacats
08-11-2013, 10:41 AM
Second one is thin but very flat, mine was both thick at the edge and flat for too long into it. Yours will cut great if you thin it that last half inch into the edge, will have better release than the second one. Still need to sort mine out properly.

Thanks Will, kind of what I was thinking I saw...keep the convexity and yet seriously thin the last bit. I was thinking more like an inch, but will start with what you and Mike say--last 1/2 in or so. Looks like a very good learning opportunity.

Cheers!

panda
08-11-2013, 11:12 AM
i don't really see the draw of the 'legendary' ks. it's narrow and average steel, too pointy. plus i think the VG series is the one with magical profile.
chinacats i'm under the belief that any new knife needs tweaking unless you bought custom and had them grind exactly the way you want. some just need more initial work than others. but yeah, $300 for a project knife is pretty ridiculous.

NO ChoP!
08-11-2013, 11:33 AM
I love my KS profile. I also am a fan of white steel. The Masamoto isn't the best of the many white steel knives I've had or have. Its retention is lackluster. My KS has been around for a while. I got it from Vertigo, further tuned it, and had Mike slap an awesome handle on it. It's a beast.

brainsausage
08-11-2013, 02:58 PM
Makes me think dropping 50 bucks on a Forgecraft is a steal. Heh!

geezr
08-11-2013, 10:00 PM
Geezr, sorry for the confusion/ignorance on my part, but not quite sure what you are saying about Honba Duke finished--did you request special finishing on your blade? Very good looking knife btw.

My bad - thought those were spine shots, used to seeing choil with some ferrule in the frame. Yes I requested the service. Also checked what info remains for this purchase and it seems there were no additional charges.
This from the vendor:
"Honba-duke Sharpening Service.
Experienced Master craftsman makes final sharp blade edge with hand sharpening process by whetstone. You can enjoy outstanding cutting performance ready to use out of the box when received."
Not sure re. availability of this service today.
On the Bevel Question thread, Post #4 Zwiefel describes what I was told about Japanese kitchen knives. May be different today.

tk59
08-11-2013, 10:29 PM
charles scored a nice ks. ive seen several and none of them looked that nice.+1

chinacats
08-12-2013, 10:17 PM
Trying to do this slowly and smartly...oh well. Anyway, decided to start with my new 600 Gesshin from Jon instead of my 220 that I would usually use. Criticism welcomed as I'm sure there is a much better way, but here goes. I spent a total of maybe 30 minutes using light pressure; depending on how much this helps or hurts I will likely go back for a bit more.

Front to be convexed and thinned:

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/frontsidebefore600_zps685e3165.jpg

Rear side to be convexed and thinned (on this side I thinned to top to help the asymmetry):

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/rearbefore600_zpsbe16c89b.jpg

Not too much removed but I think this should be better...heading to the store now for something to cut:

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/kschoilafter600_zps13ce53ae.jpg

Still looks a bit chubby, but imo this is an improvement at least visually.

EdipisReks
08-12-2013, 10:19 PM
Looks better, but I'd do more!

chinacats
08-12-2013, 11:09 PM
OK, release was good, now better. Eases through food much better--and that's with a 600 grit edge. Already like a new knife and a much better performing one at that.:knife:


Looks better, but I'd do more!

Agreed, I am going to go back at it for a touch more (maybe another 50%), but really wanted to make sure I hadn't made any bad decisions first. Looks like I need to go at it a bit 'right behind' the edge.
:newhere:

Really was a pleasure using the 600 Gesshin...able to thin pretty quickly. Finished by using it to put an edge on and it was a very nice edge for that grit--quite amazing actually.

EdipisReks
08-12-2013, 11:11 PM
I would put the blade flat to the stone, on both sides, for a while, then build some convexity above that flat plane.

chinacats
08-12-2013, 11:16 PM
I would put the blade flat to the stone, on both sides, for a while, then build some convexity above that flat plane.

Thanks, I did that on the back side, but thought I may lose a bit of the convexity potential on the front if I did too much there? I wound up going about 1.5cm on the front.

EdipisReks
08-12-2013, 11:22 PM
Thanks, I did that on the back side, but thought I may lose a bit of the convexity potential on the front if I did too much there? I wound up going about 1.5cm on the front.

You'll gain more in cutting ease than you'll lose in sticktion, as long as you don't do it too much. Thin, cut some food, thin, cut, thin, cut, and you'll know when you hit the right balance.

labor of love
08-12-2013, 11:43 PM
i bet a low grit splash n go is a great choice for a 30 minute thinning session. you dont have to constantly stop to resoak/refresh the stone with water.

chinacats
08-12-2013, 11:53 PM
i bet a low grit splash n go is a great choice for a 30 minute thinning session. you dont have to constantly stop to resoak/refresh the stone with water.

I'm really digging that stone. The first use it's had, but it was very easy to use, cut fast but didn't make huge scratches--kind of confusing. Didn't dish bad at all. Finished thinning and put a very useable edge on the blade--did make a huge burr initially but was easy to remove. I kept it wet, but it was much nicer than using a soaker. I've pretty much decided that I'm working my way to an all Gesshin splash and go lineup. I've got the 600, and 5k already, likely going to fill that gap with the 1200. That will have everything except my most coarse stone (pink brick) as splash and go.

panda
08-13-2013, 12:01 AM
man, i feel even a 400 takes too long to thin, lol.

EdipisReks
08-13-2013, 12:17 AM
i bet a low grit splash n go is a great choice for a 30 minute thinning session. you dont have to constantly stop to resoak/refresh the stone with water.

using water stones is the wrong strategy. this is where diamond really comes into its own. the main work would likely take 10 minutes on an XC DMT, followed by a 320 Shapton Pro and a 1k Chosera, to clean it up. Then redo the finish it as you want. I use sandpaper, usually.

don
08-13-2013, 01:37 AM
chinacats,

Here's my Masamoto KS carbon 240mm from Korin (sharpened by Korin):
http://www.carblicious.com/images/masamoto_ks_choil.jpg

And your old Shig 240mm (my photo of it):
http://www.carblicious.com/images/shigefusa_choil.jpg

And for comparison, a Sakai Yusuke flat carbon 240mm (had a hard time taking this photo):
http://www.carblicious.com/images/sakai_yusuke_choil.jpg

labor of love
08-13-2013, 01:47 AM
using water stones is the wrong strategy. this is where diamond really comes into its own. the main work would likely take 10 minutes on an XC DMT, followed by a 320 Shapton Pro and a 1k Chosera, to clean it up. Then redo the finish it as you want. I use sandpaper, usually.

i destroyed my dmt xc. i think flattening my 5k and 8k with it ruined the teeth perhaps? until i can figure out how i screwed my dmt up im just sticking with another thinning technique.

EdipisReks
08-13-2013, 02:16 AM
i destroyed my dmt xc. i think flattening my 5k and 8k with it ruined the teeth perhaps? until i can figure out how i screwed my dmt up im just sticking with another thinning technique.

I guess that's possible. I have ruined many by thinning the **** out of steel knives, but never by flattening stones.

All of those knives could be thinner, Don. I mean, shoot, my Heijis are way thinner, and they are like 5-6mm at the spine, mostly.

chinacats
08-13-2013, 09:49 AM
using water stones is the wrong strategy. this is where diamond really comes into its own. the main work would likely take 10 minutes on an XC DMT, followed by a 320 Shapton Pro and a 1k Chosera, to clean it up. Then redo the finish it as you want. I use sandpaper, usually.


I too usually use sandpaper. This was really just an opportunity to see how the 600 responded. When thinning with sharpening I would often use a 220, but when just thinning I think sandpaper works great.



chinacats,

Here's my Masamoto KS carbon 240mm from Korin (sharpened by Korin):
http://www.carblicious.com/images/masamoto_ks_choil.jpg

And your old Shig 240mm (my photo of it):
http://www.carblicious.com/images/shigefusa_choil.jpg

And for comparison, a Sakai Yusuke flat carbon 240mm (had a hard time taking this photo):
http://www.carblicious.com/images/sakai_yusuke_choil.jpg

Thanks Don, that's helpful. I'll add a pic of the Heiji as well for comparison:
http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/heijichoil_zpsd970befd.jpg
Obviously very thin behind the edge, but more of a monster through the blade.

Overall, what I'm looking for here is to improve performance while keeping/improving food release. I really do not want a super thin knife. I probably use more force in general than finesse when cutting so stiction is my main enemy. That said, I will still wind up thinning this knife a bit more, but not very much.

Cheers to everyone for their input, Jacob I hope your thumb gets better.

tk59
08-13-2013, 11:57 AM
Nice choil shots, fellows! It's a shame a lot of folks don't keep their choil shots looking like this. :thumbsup:

chinacats
08-14-2013, 12:48 AM
Thought I'd do a quick update on the thinning. I decided to take it to a more coarse stone tonight so I hit it on a 220 (pink brick from ee). I think it's getting a bit better, but it is getting late tonight and I'm heading to the mountains tomorrow so it won't get an edge until I get back. If everything is good I will then proceed to the stuff I don't like so much--making it look nice again. Again, I'm sure I could take it down thinner, but I'm just hoping it retained the way it released food after the 600.

So...original shot:

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/P8100645_zps8f408ea7.jpg

after 600:

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/kschoilafter600_zps13ce53ae.jpg

after 220:

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r585/knifedude/kschoilafter2202_zpscc1c5192.jpg

oddity at very edge is just because it doesn't have one...