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ceramic
06-06-2011, 10:48 AM
Hi all,

Am new to the forum and am looking forward to learning from you all!

I was looking to get a good cleaver for butchering and also cutting up large vegetables. In my search I found the soba kiri to look amazing, and so I would like to get one.

But I am not too sure if it is made in a way that renders its use as a normal cleaver less suitable for the blade itself. Not sure about it, the one that I am looking at is a shirogami blade so I guess it should be more than capable of handling anything.

Again not sure if they are more dull than normal cleavers or not, anyone here can shed some advice on the matter?

mainaman
06-06-2011, 11:05 AM
This is meant for noodle preparation, I am not convinced it will work well for anything else.
I think for butchering you need a meat cleaver, for vegetables you need a vegetable slicer.

tk59
06-06-2011, 11:17 AM
Yeah, like a lot of things, you can probably make it work but I would guess there are very good reasons for the fact that pretty much all knives don't have that kind of design.

99Limited
06-06-2011, 12:41 PM
I guess these knives come in multiple sizes, but the one in this video looks pretty big and it probably has some weight to it. I don't think I'd want to cut up veggies with this one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd2Rw0_tfl0

la2tokyo
06-06-2011, 01:04 PM
The soba kiri is worthless for anything other than cutting noodles. It is thin, fragile, and extraordinarily difficult to sharpen. Even professional soba chefs send them out to be sharpened. I would not even attempt to cut vegetables with mine if you paid me. Because it's SO square, so flat and so thin, if it doesn't hit the chopping board perfectly square on every angle it makes a horrible scraping sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. Many knives are great for multipurpose work but not a soba kiri. It does look very cool though.

Dave Martell
06-06-2011, 02:37 PM
The soba kiri is worthless for anything other than cutting noodles. It is thin, fragile, and extraordinarily difficult to sharpen. Even professional soba chefs send them out to be sharpened. I would not even attempt to cut vegetables with mine if you paid me. Because it's SO square, so flat and so thin, if it doesn't hit the chopping board perfectly square on every angle it makes a horrible scraping sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. Many knives are great for multipurpose work but not a soba kiri. It does look very cool though.



This is one knife that I've never sharpened and I can't say that I want the experience either. :)

Thanks for posting.

la2tokyo
06-06-2011, 03:57 PM
I am a novice at making soba, and I can't speak for many soba chefs, but the few that I know send out their knives to be sharpened. The knife doesn't really need to be razor sharp so it's not something that needs to be done very often. The problem with sharpening a soba kiri is that it has to be 100% absolutely perfectly square. Some soba noodles are under 1mm thick...if there is the slightest gap or chip in the blade, even the thickness of a hair, the noodles closest to the chopping board will be stuck together at that point, and then either stick together when cooking or break apart at that point when you pick them up. When you sharpen an usuba there is a slight arc at the ends that makes sharpening much less exacting...add to that the added length of the soba kiri, all of which gets used with each cut, and you have a sharpening problem that leaves very little room for error. If anyone knows how Japanese professionals do this I would like to know. I wouldn't be surprised if they did it on a machine and then finished by hand.

mateo
06-06-2011, 03:59 PM
I guess these knives come in multiple sizes, but the one in this video looks pretty big and it probably has some weight to it. I don't think I'd want to cut up veggies with this one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd2Rw0_tfl0

Damn... those are some knife skills. Did anyone catch how he was moving the "stick" along the surface of the uncut dough? Was it the knife progression to his left, or was he moving the stick with his fingers via a handle or something?

la2tokyo
06-06-2011, 04:18 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twitd0cRSDA

The knife goes forward and straight down until it hits the chopping board, and then it's pressed into the chopping board as you pivot the handle towards your left hand. This pushes the komaita (the board that you press down on the soba) to the left and the process is repeated.

Now ridiculously fast:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZulwDO-oqnM

UglyJoe
06-06-2011, 05:17 PM
WOW! That's pretty amazing.... Not as amazing as this though:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEq5sDFzBuc&feature=related

Pretty sure this is actually magic.

ceramic
06-07-2011, 06:15 AM
So I take it that replacing a meat cleaver with a soba kiri isnt the way to go. But to be honest, I really was of the impression that remodelling the bevel on it would allow it to function as a cleaver, especially given that it has the require thickness and weight that makes a a medium to full thickness cleaver function in the way it does.

The one that I have is about 15 years old and needs replacing now, what I am looking for in the replacement is more of an aesthetic appeal than improved functionality. Would you guys have any suggestions of good cleavers under or at $300?


I was looking at Hattori and Shun makes but I'd really like to debble in a blade with a unique shape rather than a damascus finish etc.

Jay
06-07-2011, 11:17 PM
Let's get something straight- just because a menkiri is almost completely useless and I will probably never own one doesn't mean I don't want one. :wink:

ceramic
06-08-2011, 12:30 AM
Oh I anticipate the soba kiri to be in my collection- even if it is a birthday present I have squeeze out of a loved one :D

But to do it justice I'd have to get into noodle making, as it stands- I dont really care for strings of carbohydrates >.>

jaybett
06-08-2011, 04:22 AM
Cleavers along with everything else these days have gotten expensive.

The best deal I've seen on a cleaver, was the one Mainaman, custom ordered from Ashi-Hamano. It only cost him $225 which is a smoking deal for a white steel cleaver.

The best all around cleaver, is the Sugimoto #7. Comfortable handle, rounded spine, nice distal taper. They are not much to look at, but they perform. They are going for around $350.

If you want something unique. Andy777 has a cleaver, that he custom ordered from Lloyd Harner aka Butch. It's a slicing cleaver, with a custom handle. It has the best fit and finish, that I've seen. Plus Butch is known for making a very thin knife. Andy has been selling off his collection the past few years, so he might be willing to let the Butch cleaver go. If I didn't already have a Carter and FH cleaver, I'd be hitting up Andy for this cleaver.

Jay

ceramic
06-08-2011, 04:50 AM
I really appreciate the advice Jay, will give Andy a msg and see how it fares. I was looking at the Sugi but wasnt sure about which one would be ideal- never owned a "virgin carbon steel" before. Will probably douse in camellia oil lol. I am making an order for September so I think the cleaver will be obtained around the Feb mark- working on a hobby budget often is slightly frustrating >.>

jwpark
06-08-2011, 04:30 PM
This is one knife that I've never sharpened and I can't say that I want the experience either. :)

Thanks for posting.

Some order a Moritaka Sobakiri and send it to Dave to get it sharpened.

Rottman
06-08-2011, 07:00 PM
Some order a Moritaka Sobakiri and send it to Dave to get it sharpened.

Group buy!!

UglyJoe
06-08-2011, 07:49 PM
Some order a Moritaka Sobakiri and send it to Dave to get it sharpened.

Keep bringing up ideas like this and Dave will shut down the forum.

tk59
06-08-2011, 07:58 PM
Ashi/Gesshin has a cleaver at right around $300, I think.

ceramic
06-08-2011, 09:10 PM
I saw a shirogami on aframes for 180ish I think