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View Full Version : Tojiro DP is not what it used to be?



dreamsignals
10-19-2011, 03:46 PM
So, a while back JCK stopped carrying Tojiro DP. Not sure why, just read the fact somewhere. Anybody?

Yesterday I was at Korin and they told me they also stopped carrying it, because the master felt their quality had gone down since they started mass producing and didn't feel comfortable selling them anymore.

Has anybody bought a new DP recently?

I was thinking of starting a non-knife nut friend with a couple (probably that 3-set of 210mm+petty+utily), but now am on the fence.

So, this is all hearsay...I have an older DP 210mm gyuto that I really like and trust.

Any comments?

Thanks!

Seb
10-19-2011, 04:00 PM
Tojiro (Fujitora) wasn't happy that Koki was selling the DPs for knock-down, dirt-cheap.

dreamsignals
10-19-2011, 04:20 PM
ah...i see...thanks for clearing that up.

any word on the the knives themselves?

tk59
10-19-2011, 04:23 PM
I have a 2.5 yr old Tojiro and I've checked out a few more recent ones. The fit and finish might have gone down a touch based on those few knives but not a lot. They remain a bit chippy. I recommend Fujiwara, Pro M, Inazuma for cheap stainless.

TDj
10-19-2011, 04:49 PM
also, the DP is no longer made out of that cool mystery-DP steel, right? it's now VG10? and even though they changed the metal, it's still called "DP", from what I recall - so there might not be a great way to tell the old and new ones apart. Can anyone confirm this for me, so it's not like I'm causing rumors?

tk59
10-19-2011, 04:51 PM
As far as I know there is only one "cobalt" steel used in kitchen knives. That is VG10. Anyway, it's chippy like VG10. You know what they say, "If it smells, and looks like it, that's what it is." or something to that effect. :)

dreamsignals
10-19-2011, 05:05 PM
I have a 2.5 yr old Tojiro and I've checked out a few more recent ones. The fit and finish might have gone down a touch based on those few knives but not a lot. They remain a bit chippy. I recommend Fujiwara, Pro M, Inazuma for cheap stainless.

just today i was looking at the fujiwara, pro m and inazuma and they're just not as cheap. not that price is the only thing that matters, but i've never used any of them, so i don't know what the cost-benefit would be...

Eamon Burke
10-19-2011, 05:14 PM
Tojiro is thin stuff, and has hard steel and an integral bolster, and a good profile.they are also impossibly cheap, under 100 bucks. I really cannot figure out their prices. Chippy indeed and bad fit and finish.

EdipisReks
10-19-2011, 06:35 PM
Tojiro is thin stuff, and has hard steel and an integral bolster, and a good profile.they are also impossibly cheap, under 100 bucks. I really cannot figure out their prices. Chippy indeed and bad fit and finish.

not much more to be said about it. the fit and finish, in my experience, relates mostly to the handle, and it's reasonably fixable.

stevenStefano
10-19-2011, 06:42 PM
I never really noticed the fit and finish on mine by that I mean that I didn't notice anything wrong with it really. Perhaps they're a little chippy but I think the edge retention makes up for it when you're paying so little

welshstar
10-19-2011, 07:35 PM
Hi

I just bought one and returned it, the blade was fine and ill defer to more knowledge here on that subject but the F & F for me was terrible. I understand they are under a $100 so they are not high end but they are not exactly throwaway either. I was not impressed at all the handle was badly finished with large gaps and the riveting was done a blind russian crack whore.

Alan

EdipisReks
10-19-2011, 07:37 PM
Hi

I just bought one and returned it, the blade was fine and ill defer to more knowledge here on that subject but the F & F for me was terrible. I understand they are under a $100 so they are not high end but they are not exactly throwaway either. I was not impressed at all the handle was badly finished with large gaps and the riveting was done a blind russian crack whore.

Alan

wood glue and sandpaper could have fixed it, but i can understand not being happy with it.

welshstar
10-19-2011, 07:43 PM
I could have gone that way but i returned the knife and for lower cost I purchased a new Twin Cermax which blows it away in every area

EdipisReks
10-19-2011, 07:43 PM
well there you go. :)

welshstar
10-19-2011, 07:46 PM
Lol

Was not trying to be a smartass !!!

My point is that there are a lot of alternatives at good price points nowadays so theres no need to accept going straight to home depot to fix a new knife.

Dubsy
10-19-2011, 08:20 PM
i had a DP for a long time, 210mm gyouto. i loved it, it was my first j-knife. my only issue was (as everyones) the handle. when the knife fexed, you could see gaps in the middle between the tang and handle. i hated how it was plastic, and it felt really cheap. however, the steel was GREAT. took an incredible edge, and pretty easily too. had just the right amount of flex. id say its a great place to start for a first J-knife

and how did you EVER get a Twin Cermax for less than a DP? they're fairly expensive.

tk59
10-19-2011, 09:09 PM
...and how did you EVER get a Twin Cermax for less than a DP? ...+1

welshstar
10-19-2011, 10:44 PM
Here

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/henckels-twin-cermax/utility-knife-p19686

dreamsignals
10-20-2011, 12:20 AM
Here

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/henckels-twin-cermax/utility-knife-p19686

maybe i'm missing something, but still seems like twice as much...

Seb
10-20-2011, 05:15 AM
Ya, Tojiro was not happy with K using their DP series as a 'loss leader' for his store, especially when they were trying at around that time also to spruce up their overseas image with new lines like the Flash and paying celeb chefs like Heston Blumenthal to spruik for them.

The direction of this thread is interesting... until now, the general feedback has been that the DP's Fit and Finish since the price-hike has been much improved and also the geometry is thinner and the blade more evenly ground than when they first hit showed up on the radar in the West.

On the cobalt steel thing, I've seen mention on the board before of Chinese-sourced cobalt steel on the market that is just as good as the 'real' VG-10. I once asked 'Sjejicap' the ebay Yoshihiro seller whether or not the Yoshihiro stainless Wa lines were made from solid VG-10 - and was told that they are not. Now, the ebay page distinctly stated that they were 'cobalt stainless steel' hardened to 61 (or pretty much to that effect)... so what gives? Mere ebay puffery? Perhaps. Or maybe it's a cobalt stainless that is not, strictly speaking, VG-10.

PS: if anyone still wants to try out the DP, they should get in touch with Keiichi/BWJ who has also been selling them. Keiichi would never knowingly ship a dud knife and he understands what we want in the F&F department.

dreamsignals
10-20-2011, 08:14 AM
Ya, Tojiro was not happy with K using their DP series as a 'loss leader' for his store, especially when they were trying at around that time also to spruce up their overseas image with new lines like the Flash and paying celeb chefs like Heston Blumenthal to spruik for them.

The direction of this thread is interesting... until now, the general feedback has been that the DP's Fit and Finish since the price-hike has been much improved and also the geometry is thinner and the blade more evenly ground than when they first hit showed up on the radar in the West.

On the cobalt steel thing, I've seen mention on the board before of Chinese-sourced cobalt steel on the market that is just as good as the 'real' VG-10. I once asked 'Sjejicap' the ebay Yoshihiro seller whether or not the Yoshihiro stainless Wa lines were made from solid VG-10 - and was told that they are not. Now, the ebay page distinctly stated that they were 'cobalt stainless steel' hardened to 61 (or pretty much to that effect)... so what gives? Mere ebay puffery? Perhaps. Or maybe it's a cobalt stainless that is not, strictly speaking, VG-10.

PS: if anyone still wants to try out the DP, they should get in touch with Keiichi/BWJ who has also been selling them. Keiichi would never knowingly ship a dud knife and he understands what we want in the F&F department.

thanks seb. informative.

now, even if Keiichi/BWJ would never knowingly ship a dub knife, or whichever retailer, the question is if the overall quality went down: if the old F&F problems with the handles have now possibly spilled over to the blade. That wouldn't necessary make the knife a dud, defective....it would just have become a lower level knife altogether...no?

this talk is getting me more curious to see one up close...

so_sleepy
10-20-2011, 09:16 AM
I have a Tojiro DP 210mm purchased in 2006. Its scales are fitted much better than the honesuki I bought earlier this year.

The geometry is so different between the two, I can't really compare the performance of the two steels.

NO ChoP!
10-20-2011, 12:01 PM
Years back I purchased a 300mm Pro to avoid the F&F issues of the DP (pretty flawless knife, BTW), shortly after I purchased a Flash; the handle F&F was horrid. The stainless inserts inlayed into the micarta were very sloppily applied and ill fitted. My coworker has a DP honesuki, and although functional the handle is a POS. after a few weeks, it looked like something that was ran through a dishwasher a hundred times... dull, worn, shrunken and ill-fitted.

dreamsignals
10-20-2011, 02:34 PM
Years back I purchased a 300mm Pro to avoid the F&F issues of the DP (pretty flawless knife, BTW), shortly after I purchased a Flash; the handle F&F was horrid. The stainless inserts inlayed into the micarta were very sloppily applied and ill fitted. My coworker has a DP honesuki, and although functional the handle is a POS. after a few weeks, it looked like something that was ran through a dishwasher a hundred times... dull, worn, shrunken and ill-fitted.
`
do you know when your co-workers honesuki is from? i can't imagine my few-years-back 210mm handle deteriorating like that...

NO ChoP!
10-20-2011, 04:47 PM
He picked it up off of ebay, about a year and 1/2 ago....

But I must attest, it's still a heck of a blade, and for $70, it can't be touched, as most other Honesukis run $150+....

olpappy
10-21-2011, 07:02 PM
Henckels Twin Cermax is still a good deal for ZDP-189.

I have handled 5 or 6 different Tojiro DPs and while the ergonomics of the handle weren't to my liking, there were no F&F issues with them. The handle material is a "green" eco-friendly recycled material, not plastic but nearly indistinguishable from other synthetic materials. IDK how well it would hold up to being run through the dishwasher, has anyone done this?

olpappy
10-21-2011, 08:07 PM
The description of the current Tojiro DPs at CKTG refers to the steel as "cobalt added Swedish steel" which is interesting. If true, that would mean probably not VG-10. Handles are now staminawood, I guess they quit using the old eco-friendly material.

ecchef
10-21-2011, 08:55 PM
Years back I purchased a 300mm Pro to avoid the F&F issues of the DP (pretty flawless knife, BTW), shortly after I purchased a Flash; the handle F&F was horrid. The stainless inserts inlayed into the micarta were very sloppily applied and ill fitted. My coworker has a DP honesuki, and although functional the handle is a POS. after a few weeks, it looked like something that was ran through a dishwasher a hundred times... dull, worn, shrunken and ill-fitted.

I have just the opposite experience. Same knife, DP honesuki, about 8 years old. Tough little bastard. No F&F issues. The scales are a little worn, but not unusually so for a knife of this age and useage. No gaps, shrinkage or cracks. I keep a 99/1 hamaguriba-esque edge on it and it never chips. Can't comment on the newer production runs.

dreamsignals
11-04-2011, 02:22 PM
so, i took the leap and order a 3-knife tojiro set for my buddy.

they just arrived. i inspected them and though the handles are not works of art, they're decently finished and definitely functional. no gaps, no rivets sticking out or anything of the sort.

something i thought was interesting is that the lamination line is more wavy than i've seen in other DPs, meaning the distance between the edge and the line varies more significantly along the knife. i'll compare to my own when i get home.

because i'm giving these to a friend, i'll get to accompany how the knives age (and probably sharpen them). hopefully the handles will not fall apart.

edit: oh, they did not come with the TOJIRO logo on the left side of the blade.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-bEvCFDCkB7E/TrQugl--1NI/AAAAAAAADIc/9SVNRqtYEpA/s640/IMG_20111104_141402.jpg

tk59
11-04-2011, 02:24 PM
Thanks for the info.

Seb
11-04-2011, 05:36 PM
I happened to stop by at a kitchen supplies store near my wife's work and found some re-badged DPs being sold at a pretty good price under the Ice Bear name. I thought they looked superb - geometry from what I could tell was excellent and the F&F was perfect. And then I got into an argument with some aggressive lil bastid there who kept insisting that the Shuns were made from 'damascus'. *cough*

tk59
11-04-2011, 05:45 PM
Did you win or did you end up agreeing to disagree?

dreamsignals
11-04-2011, 05:53 PM
obviously you were both wrong: damascus is made from shuns

Seb
11-04-2011, 10:43 PM
Did you win or did you end up agreeing to disagree?

haha... I went through the usual points - showed them the lamination line and explained about the soft cladding and the hard core - and he said 'whatever dude the rep said the steel is "folded damascus" so what would you know? and anyway are you here to buy something or tell us about knives?' and I said 'no I'm just here to fool around with your stock and waste your time but I buy all my shiet online... have a nice time bs'ing your customers'.

I actually didn't want to antagonize anyone cuz it was such a beautiful day, I had just been offered a great new opp at work and I was going to take my kid to Sydney Aquarium, and I said 'settle yourself down' a couple times but I guess he didn't take kindly to being made to look like a tool in front of the underlings lol.

They had good sale prices on some of the MAC Pros and even had a range of Dojos which I was tempted to buy until I realised that they were not Blue#2 cored but the box read 'cobalt s/s'. Interesting. Good fit and finish though. Another interesting detail - they had that distinctive Dojo logo with the two horizontal lines inside the circle but the box read 'Kumagoro' IIRC so I guess that indicates that the two brands are somehow related.

JohnnyChance
11-05-2011, 05:39 AM
They had good sale prices on some of the MAC Pros and even had a range of Dojos which I was tempted to buy until I realised that they were not Blue#2 cored but the box read 'cobalt s/s'. Interesting. Good fit and finish though. Another interesting detail - they had that distinctive Dojo logo with the two horizontal lines inside the circle but the box read 'Kumagoro' IIRC so I guess that indicates that the two brands are somehow related.

I saw someone note somewhere that multiple factories seem to be using the Dojo name for whatever reason.


How's that for a vague bit of conjecture!?

Seb
11-05-2011, 07:19 AM
Makes sense. I think Kumagoro might be a distributor like Takahisa and Ice Bear, rather than a maker. And that would've been me - I mentioned that GTKC sells the Hayashi Dojos and EE the Kobayashi Dojos.

Lefty
11-05-2011, 05:20 PM
Look familiar?
http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=32466&cat=2,40733,40738&ap=1
http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=66571&cat=2,40733,40738&ap=1

I knew right away which knives you were talking about. Lee Valley carries them (obviously) and it's one of my favourite stores. At second glance, the Dojo might actually be blue steel, but either way, the companies must be related somehow.