View Full Version : Just how fragile is SG2?

11-28-2011, 02:59 AM
I found some knives that I love the look and feel of (Ryusens), and they're on a tremendous Cyber Monday sale. The only thing that concerns me is that they're SG2. Some of the things that I've read act like the steel is so fragile that you should only ever use it to cut butter, and only then if it's warm. Trying to decide if all the warnings are like the ones on the lawn mower--you know, "Don't hold this in the air and use as hedge trimmer", or if SG2 is just that prone to chipping. My head says just stick to carbon steel, but the Ryusens are just so darn comfortable--and pretty, too. :wink: Will it really wreck them if they're used to smash garlic?

Marko Tsourkan
11-28-2011, 08:04 AM
Hmm... SG2 is hard to sharpen (based on my Shun sharpening experience), but other than that, Ryusen with SG2 core is just as durable as any other knife in same construction (Hiromoto AS, Shun, etc). And if Ryusen in question is the same as their Blazen line, they are not super thin. You won't wreck them smashing garlic.

Keep in mind, they are not easy to sharpen on typical water stones.


11-28-2011, 09:09 AM
Those highly alloyed PM steels like SG2 definitely need to be heat treated right. If so, you may have a great knife with very little chipping. If not, it may chip at the sight of anything hard. Can't say if the heat treatment of the Blazen is ideal, but at least it's not bad. Holds a nice edge and isn't overly chippy.

Eamon Burke
11-28-2011, 09:48 AM
I have a vg10 knife that chipped all the time. it dulled via chipping.then I got a boardsmith abd no problems. I put my bamboo board in my daughters play kitchen.

11-28-2011, 01:51 PM
I have the Ryusen/Blazen SG2 270 gyuto f/ EE and have no problems w/ chipping what so ever. I've had problems w/ almost all of my other knives chipping to some degree, but not the Blazen.

For T-Day prep I got a 17lb heritage bird and took all of the meat of the skeleton using a 150 petty and used the carcass to make stock. I was using the Blazen to cut some veg for the pot and realized I needed to break the carcass down further, so I proceeded to cut the spine in half w/ the Blazen. No, I didn't hack at it as would be w/ a meat cleaver - I pressed hard and fast on the spine w/ my left hand. I knida did it to test the steel to see what would happen. There was a slight roll to a small spot, but no chipping. I steeled it on a MAC ceramic rod a couple of times and smoothed out the edge, but I need to take it to the stones for a proper sharpening. The rolled spot will still shave hair.

The SG2 is a bit harder to sharpen than other steels I have and it responds the least well to stropping and steeling. It will get really sharp, but I found just what has been said many times before - it looses it's initial sharpness rather quickly but holds that 80% sharpness for a long time. I love the knife, but don't use it too often - the GF uses it to make her salads and she doesn't chop anything, she mainly slices on the board. It is a gorgeous knife and I really like the solid feeling of it - it's no laser but it's a nice compromise between slim and soild.

I really, really like this line of knives and have considered getting a few others to round out my kit. My 270 even has a great convex grind, but I 2still have sticking issues. The F&F, SG2 steel that holds an edge, SS cladding that doesn't need to be babied, great handles, and size/length/shape options make it a contender for me. I think they're prolly the best line of mass-produced Japanese knives. Saying all that, I don't think they can compare to a true custom.

11-28-2011, 06:21 PM
I agree with the shun SG2 being a pain to sharpen, diamond plates are my recommended tool for bevel setting, preferably on the higher grit spectrum.

11-28-2011, 10:25 PM
I have a Miyabi with SG2 that is quite nice, no chips, but I cannot speak for the Ryusen.

11-28-2011, 11:13 PM
Well, we shall see. I've placed an order. Garlic beware!

I tried a Miyabi, but it just didn't feel right. The Ryusen practically snap-locs into my hand. Hoping to get a custom someday, but need to figure out what I really want first.

The way I see it, my knife budget is a lot smaller than many women's shoe budget. I can always go barefoot.

sachem allison
11-29-2011, 01:32 AM
+1 I can always go barefoot. can I steal this?

11-29-2011, 01:58 AM
I think you'll like the performance of the steel. If it doesn't survive, I dont' expect it will be the knife's fault.