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View Full Version : Novice tweaks to a Zakuri funayuki



XooMG
02-22-2014, 09:02 AM
This is my first knife modification post, and I don't know how often I'll get to post, but I have been having a little bit of fun with one of my new knives and kind of wanted to share.

I recently ordered a pair of Zakuri knives: a Tosagata bocho 165mm and a funayuki 135mm. I was going to order through JKI and ask Jon to clean up the edges if possible, but the shipping cost was a bit too extreme for me, so I had to go through a Japanese vendor instead. Good price, but no customization. :(

Anyway, I received them not long ago and failed to fall in love. I mean, they have really nice profiles that are almost exactly what I want, but the rough sharp edges and the kind of gritty-feeling bead blasted finish on the bevel were a bit disappointing, and the funayuki had some grind inconsistency that left a slightly uneven edge. Unlike most folks, I didn't really think the handles were a problem.

So today I had some rare spare time and decided to play a bit with the funayuki since it was cheaper and I wouldn't be devastated if I ruined it.

The main difference one can notice is the bevel has been (mostly) flattened. I'm not a polisher and don't have the right stuff to do a really cool polish with, but you can see it's a lot nicer than the bead blasting on the Tosagata:
http://i.imgur.com/Ku6CTdT.jpg

The opposite side had pretty significant convexing of the edge, so I decided to preserve some of that. After I worked the edge to be relatively clean and even (I may have put a minor bird's beak on, but it'll come off soon), I decided to give the choil a bit of a softening:
http://i.imgur.com/69tjGss.jpg

It isn't super polished, but it feels smooth to the fingers and quite comfy. Last thing to do for now was soften the spine a bit to make it more cozy in a pinch grip. Again, not super-refined, but the Zakuri is not a super-refined kind of blade.
http://i.imgur.com/Mwe6ETf.jpg

I don't have plans to replace the handle myself in the near future, but it might happen sometime. After sharpening a little, this funayuki is now one of my sharpest knives with a really thin grind, and I have to say now I'd be a bit bummed if this knife disappeared or got damaged.

I know it's not all that impressive, but I just wanted to share since I'm quite happy with the improvement so far.

seward
02-22-2014, 11:55 AM
Zakuri is a nice knife, and it looks like you made it a lot nicer. Congrats!

Pensacola Tiger
02-22-2014, 12:02 PM
Thanks for sharing your modifications to a good knife to make it better.

Rick

Matus
02-22-2014, 04:36 PM
You did great job on these. I had Zakuri once and it I agree that they are worth the work.

XooMG
02-22-2014, 09:02 PM
Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I know Zakuri isn't a very exciting brand in a forum full of Devins, Markos, Shigefusas, Katos, Heijis, &c.; so I was a little reluctant to post at first. Still, these relatively simple changes have turned one of my more disappointing knife purchases into one of my favorites.

Getting the edge even was a bit of a chore, since I don't have any dedicated lower grit stones. Had to use a 400-grit diamond plate, and it still took a couple hours to work it out. Pads of my fingers got a bit worn down.

Once it was mostly flat, I cleaned it up a lot on a JNS 1000, then reintroduced a very slight convexity with 15-micron polishing film over a layer of 70gsm office paper before finishing the edge.

The funayuki is a thin grind, and compares pretty well with a Harner knife in a similar size. The Tosagata is thin as well, but not as thin as the funayuki just behind the edge.

I haven't done any tweaking to the Tosagata knife, but my success with the funayuki is encouraging. Perhaps when my fingers heal a bit, I'll start on it and see if it responds as well.

It disturbs me a little that even with a few higher-end knives, a $35 Zakuri with some elbow grease has become a favorite.

cclin
02-22-2014, 09:39 PM
Thanks for sharing. Is that single-bevel or double-bevel funayuki ?? I'm always want to try a ture single-bevel funayuki....

XooMG
02-22-2014, 11:54 PM
Thanks for sharing. Is that single-bevel or double-bevel funayuki ?? I'm always want to try a ture single-bevel funayuki....
My particular example might be a bit peculiar, but it's a double bevel. The side facing the camera is ground all the way to the edge, and has no additional edge bevel. I have added a microbevel to it. The reverse side has an additional steeper convex edge bevel, so it's pretty asymmetric.

In general, it seems that Tosa knives are double-beveled even in variants that are normally not (Zakuri's "yanagiba" is double-beveled). I've been considering a nice single-bevel funayuki like the Sakai Yusuke version, but the spine seems quite thick so I'm holding back. I like thin knives.

Brad Gibson
02-23-2014, 03:03 AM
My particular example might be a bit peculiar, but it's a double bevel. The side facing the camera is ground all the way to the edge, and has no additional edge bevel. I have added a microbevel to it. The reverse side has an additional steeper convex edge bevel, so it's pretty asymmetric.

In general, it seems that Tosa knives are double-beveled even in variants that are normally not (Zakuri's "yanagiba" is double-beveled). I've been considering a nice single-bevel funayuki like the Sakai Yusuke version, but the spine seems quite thick so I'm holding back. I like thin knives.

the funayuki single bevel is supposedly the thinnest single bevel knife to be had. I believe they do not encourage beginner single bevel knife users to use a funayuki because it is extremely prone to chipping.

XooMG
02-23-2014, 04:09 AM
the funayuki single bevel is supposedly the thinnest single bevel knife to be had. I believe they do not encourage beginner single bevel knife users to use a funayuki because it is extremely prone to chipping.
I recall reading that on Korin or somewhere, but they are frequently sold as general-purpose and, in the Sakai Yusuke case (http://www.sakai-ya.com/gin3/g3-f180.htm) quite beefy at the spine (4mm). Might be pretty fine near the edge, and that might cause issues if one puts lateral stress on the blade, but I'm not totally sure I buy into the "advanced users only" thing.

XooMG
02-24-2014, 05:14 AM
Yay, today was my first opportunity to test the new Zakuri...just a few raw carrots, so nothing comprehensive...but enough for an impression.

Wow. This knife is crazy. I guess the thin edge is something to be gentle with, but wow. Almost no resistance in the carrots, and excellent release.

Hopefully I can get the Tosagata to be half this awesome...but man trying to clean up the bevel on a diamond plate sucks. Should I look into a 300-400 stone? Looking at JNS 300 because of shipping, but might consider something else. Not sure how much coarse work I can do to justify it though...

riba
03-01-2014, 07:13 AM
that funayuki looks like fun! would you mind sharing where you ordered them from?

erikz
03-01-2014, 07:52 AM
Maybe get a Beston 500 to work it?

XooMG
03-01-2014, 08:04 AM
that funayuki looks like fun! would you mind sharing where you ordered them from?
I went through a vendor on Rakuten via a forwarder (Tenso). There are a few vendors that ship internationally, but they don't carry the 135mm funayuki if I recall. There's also a 150 and 165 funayuki as common options, both in polish and kurouchi. I'm really tempted to try a 150 polished version.

XooMG
03-01-2014, 08:11 AM
Maybe get a Beston 500 to work it?
I'm considering it, but I think the jump from 300 to 1000 isn't too bad...just don't know what to pad my order with to get free shipping from Maksim. Once I go up to about 1000, I switch to a very subtle convexing using micropolishing film on a sheet or two of paper. Hard to get a very clean even finish for me with stones, but the film seems to do a bit better.

erikz
03-01-2014, 09:47 AM
Never tried film. Should give that a go sometime.

XooMG
03-01-2014, 02:35 PM
Funayuki gets some time in this really awful video of me cutting a carrot for nine minutes. Don't watch if you're afraid of poor knife skills or incoherent commentary...or if you're the kind of person who might think slowly cutting a carrot for more than five minutes is stupid.


http://youtu.be/G63ljKsYD3s?hd=1

Bitter
03-01-2014, 04:41 PM
On thing i'll learn from that movie is that there's impressive carrots in taiwan !