View Full Version : Tanaka Damascus Blue Steel 240mm Gyuto?

02-19-2012, 08:26 PM
Everyone's very helpful on the board, so I wanted to contribute in my limited way. Anyone interested in playing with a Tanaka 240mm gyuto? Light and thin, and pretty fun to cut with. However, there's fit and finish issues - choi is rough and the blade is not 100% perfectly straight. The middle is off by ~0.5mm.








02-20-2012, 05:47 AM
I'm intrigued....

02-20-2012, 09:21 AM
me too

02-20-2012, 12:49 PM
I wouldn't mind trying it out, either.

02-20-2012, 05:32 PM
Are you starting a pass around?

02-20-2012, 05:50 PM
These are worth a try folks. They're fun little knives. If this is a passaround, I highly recommend trying it out if you have no experience with them and can deal with the carbon (they're pretty reactive.)

02-20-2012, 06:50 PM
Yep, would like to pass around the Tanaka. Please use it as you would any chef's knife - patina and sharpening are fine. Once you have the knife in your possession, please post on this thread stating that you have it, enjoy for a week, and then pass to the next forum member.

So far it's as follows:

don -> Lefty -> mhenry -> tk59

I'll send to Lefty on Wednesday.


02-20-2012, 07:21 PM
Nice, I'm in for sure. Tanakas have always piqued my interest.
Thanks for doing this!

02-23-2012, 01:10 AM
Nice, I'm in for sure. Tanakas have always piqued my interest.
Thanks for doing this!

If the line isn't too long, I'd like to jump in on it. I've been very interested to check out a Tanaka.


02-24-2012, 08:52 PM
Mike: Line is not long at all.

All: don -> [ENROUTE] -> Lefty -> mhenry -> tk59 -> Miles

Though, let me know if mhenry and Miles want to go back to back, since you guys are in Tejas.

02-24-2012, 09:06 PM
Sounds good to me. Feel free to move me wherever it's convenient. Thanks! :)

02-24-2012, 09:19 PM
I bought two Santokus from Tanaka via 330mate on Ebay (for wife and brother in law). Apart from some rough edges that needed polishing and a sligthly traumatic delivery (they took 87 days to be delivered and arrived in mangled boxes) they are good value.
Wife still uses the knife daily nand it's her favourite.

Anyone interested in a budget alternative which can take some amount of "normal person use" and still want some bling would be smart to jump on this passaround.

02-25-2012, 12:47 PM
I also would like to try it. Some Love for your new sub-arctic brethren?

02-29-2012, 03:54 PM
I got the knife in the mail (no fees, so WAY TO GO, DON!)
I haven't had a chance to use it, but I took a quick peek and feel of it. First impressions are VERY good! The profile is gorgeous, the Damascus is pretty, and it looks wickedly thin behind the edge!
One thing popped out immediately, however and that is how freakin' sharp the Choil is! You could almost use it to cut on your draw if you wanted to. Other than that, I'm feeling good about this one :)

03-03-2012, 11:05 PM
Alright, a quick little note or two from a little bit of use:
Falls through food...unless it's a product that likes to stick to blades (such as carrots, potatoes, yams, etc). For some reason, in my limited experience with the knife, the stiction is the strongest I have ever felt! I was cutting a carrot and when I pulled laterally, away from my "clawed" hand, the carrot stuck so hard to the blade, that both sides of the blade had half a carrot on them, while I was left holding nothing in my hand!
I'm thinking this must be a result of a flat grind from the edge to at least where the damascus starts. Normally, the texture would aid in release, but thus far, it hasn't for me. I'm going to keep trying, because this knife has a lot going for it!
To be continued....

03-08-2012, 02:22 AM
Before or after TK is fine by me, but mhenry and I do live across town from each other, so it wouldn't be terribly difficult to arrange a handoff.

03-08-2012, 02:37 AM
Updated order to support our brothers up north, and ease tejas shipment.

don -> Lefty [In Possession] -> VoodooMajik -> tk59 -> mhenry -> Miles

03-08-2012, 02:39 AM
Looks good to me. Thanks, don!

03-08-2012, 02:43 AM
Thanks for allowing VoodooMajik to jump in line.

03-08-2012, 02:51 AM
You should run your passaround however you see fit. :thumbsup:

03-08-2012, 02:55 AM
Works for me too!

03-20-2012, 10:03 PM
Thanks for letting me jump in there!

Is it cool if I send it off my first day off after the 30th?
I'm not comfortable enough with my sharpening so it won't touch anything other then my ceramic steel, won't be coming to work.

03-21-2012, 02:04 AM
Sending it off after the 30th is good. Let us know what you think of the knife.

03-21-2012, 08:49 AM
Of course, fill you in once it has arrived.

03-28-2012, 01:10 PM
Recieved, Pretty looking blade. I have a few hours of solo work tonight, so I think I may bring it out for that and let yeah know how she does.

03-28-2012, 03:33 PM
How was the edge? I'm just curious if it's up to your standards.

03-28-2012, 10:20 PM
The edge is pretty damn good, better the I would achieve. I'm still not the most comfortable with my stones though. I put a fresh edge on a Wusthof Grand Prix French knife and it was like night and day. Great for a comparison in steel types (German vs VG 10 Vs White #2 vs Blue #2) Just falls through whatever I put in front of it. Very nice little blade. One of the Sous gave it a run for 5-10 today, Loved the edge and shape but was concerned about the durability during heavy professional use where the handle joins the tang.

03-28-2012, 10:49 PM
I'm glad the edge is working out. I'm trying out c-dawg's technique...or rather, a combo of it and some light sectional. I don't think I'm getting quite the same ridiculous sharpness as I used to, but it's close and I feel it'll be better for my knives in the long run. I guess falling through food is a good thing :)

03-28-2012, 11:37 PM
I'm unfamiliar with the technique (c-dawgs) is there a link floating around? Practice has gotten me a long way, but not far enough to stone another mans blades.

Andrew H
03-29-2012, 11:32 AM

I can't do his method but it's fun to watch.

04-28-2012, 02:26 PM
Sending the knife off tomorrow as express as I can. I havent used it much. had my mental health crash out a bit. How many people are left in line for the pass around?

04-28-2012, 03:04 PM
Sorry to hear about the crash, glad to see you back online.

Here's the current passaround:
don -> Lefty -> VoodooMajik [Shipping Out] -> tk59 -> mhenry -> Miles

04-28-2012, 03:05 PM
Looks like me, Mike and Miles, unless someone else got added to the list. I hope you feel better.

04-28-2012, 03:27 PM
I always seem to bounce back alright. thanks for the understanding.

04-28-2012, 04:45 PM
No worries. Life isn't always easy. That's for certain. Glad to see you back in the fold.

04-30-2012, 06:29 PM
Seriously Chill people around here! ha ha. We have a place that roast coffee in town, So i hope you guys like coffee.

I brought everything in yesterday to realize the post office was closed.

04-30-2012, 09:38 PM

05-01-2012, 09:24 AM
Hope everything is going well, Lionel Richie. ;)
A coffee roaster...free coffee? Dang...why am I not after you! Haha. Just kidding.
One of these days, I'll bang out a little belated review. I can say that overall, I was impressed with the knife...more to follow...sometime.

05-01-2012, 12:54 PM
I went to pick that up at our staff services and they thought that was hilarious. I'm walkin to town in the next 2 hours and sendin it off priority.

05-01-2012, 08:37 PM
I'm Just waiting on shipping info, All packed up. Sorry for the wait, little something for you guys. please pass the rest on to the other guys.

05-01-2012, 09:38 PM
I just resent my shipping info. I'm looking forward to it! :)

05-03-2012, 01:24 PM
She`s on the way! Leaving the post office today. Enjoy

05-10-2012, 10:38 PM
This knife arrived today. I just opened the box to find everything in good shape. Mike, if you can send me your shipping info, I'll get it off to you as soon as I'm finished. :)

05-12-2012, 12:45 PM
Glad it got there in good shape :) I'm gonna have to get me some blue steel though.

05-20-2012, 08:52 PM
As others have mentioned, the cutting performance on this knife is excellent. The steel is pretty nice, as well although deburring is a little more difficult than other blue (and comparable) steel. Edge holding was quite good and sharpness was also very good.

The grind is pretty uneven but there are no problems that get into the edge. There is a large overgrind near the heel where it is essentially flat ground and the sticktion is incredible there. The blade is also slightly twisted and bent. That coupled with the flexibility makes it a little tricky to sharpen nicely. I could feel some odd steering as I cut through larger objects. I also felt some flexing at the machi, as previously mentioned.

With Don's permission, I smoothed out the choil area some. This is an excellent knife if you don't mind a little wonkiness cutting certain objects and a little work smoothing out the rough edges. I could imagine that some of these knives have pretty significant flaws depending on the QC.

Thanks for doing the passaround, Don. This knife is shipping out tomorrow, barring anything unforeseen. Thanks for the coffee, too, VM.

05-27-2012, 11:03 AM
I have had the knife for a few days, and really enjoying it. Great cutter ,and had a fantastic edge on it. I love the profile I was also suprised at how thin it is.

05-27-2012, 11:17 AM
Have you experienced the sticktion?
Other than that, I was more than a little impressed.

05-27-2012, 02:09 PM
+1 on being impressed. The sticktion is bad, but I still like the knife.

05-27-2012, 02:24 PM
...had a fantastic edge on it...Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. If you have any other comments on the edge, please let me know. :)

05-29-2012, 01:19 PM
Woohoo!!! I'm not crazy! I've been a fan of these guys for a long while but they never seemed to get much love. Thought it was just me! Great bang for the buck, just know that the F+F is atrocious. Kinda sucks that the prices have increased so much recently, though :(

06-11-2012, 01:59 PM
Mike just dropped it off to me yesterday. Surprised to see how thin it is. It has a nice hand worked quality to it. It's not a rustic knife by any means but doesn't have that precise machine finished feel to it. I was able to strop it and bring the edge to atom splitting level VERY easily. I plan on using it at work for a few days to see how it handles and holds up. I'll post my impressions when I have more to share. Thanks again, Don!

08-26-2012, 11:10 AM
I wanted to comment here. I got a Tanaka 240mm Sekiso gyuto this week from a seller in the US and so far, it's been awesome. Very little sticktion (if I cut onions fast, they just fly off the blade), blade is a tad thicker than I was expecting (2.85mm at the heel, 2.77mm on the spine halfway down the blade and around 2.2mm halfway from the edge to spine, heel to tip)and it's got a nice convex grind to it. It just falls thru food, and is incredibly sharp OOTB; it actually sticks in my cutting board. Blade thickness before the edge bevel is around .023mm at the heel, .020mm halfway down the blade. Potatoes, onions, mushrooms and carrots were effortless in cutting them. In the carrots, there was a slight snap as the carrot got to the thickest part of the blade if it wasn't thru it fully yet, but the potatoes it just slid through and left the pieces on the board. Blade is straight, bevel is nicely convexed, and there is a little flex and feels stiffer than my other gyutos. It was labeled as a 270mm, but it was really a 240mm long at the edge, 255mm tip to machi, so it's kind of in between. Seller offered to swap it out, but I fell in love with it and didn't want to wait to get another one in!

As for the F&F, the choil was ground smooth, but there was a tiny burr left on the sides, so it felt smooth when you were gripping, but if you put your hand on the choil from the blade direction, you felt a burr. Spine was eased, but not fully rounded. Buffalo horn ferrule showed some grind marks on the front, nicely polished on the sides and nearly flush with the wood handle part; I used it and washed it before I checked the area, so the wood may have swollen from being wet. Where the tang inserts into the handle is filled with epoxy and flat; no epoxy blobs. I would say at least a 4 to 4.5 out of 5 on the F&F due to the burr on the choil and the spine being eased, but not fully rounded.

Cutting performance I would say is a 4.5-5 out of 5, but I need to cut more stuff to see. Except for the carrots, it's been pretty awesome so far!

Tanaka on top, Kanetsune KC122 AS clad in stainless 210mm on the bottom:

KC122 on left, Tanaka on the right:

Tanaka grind:

Kanetsune grind:

Both cut well, but the Tanaka with the heavier weight seems to cut more effortlessly, maybe due to the extra weight. It may have a little more resistance while cutting some foods (onion) due to the thicker blade, but the extra weight and less sticktion than the Kanetsune seems to balance it out.

08-26-2012, 06:50 PM
I have been wanting a Tanaka gyuto. It would round out the other 2 I have from him (santouku, petty) Nice review.

Sounds like you got one of the higher priced knives from him. The choils on the lower priced ones are not ground smooth. The f&f on them too I would give them a 2 if that high. (on your 1-5 scale) So now are you gonna put some new shoes on her or keep the ones you have now?

08-26-2012, 11:10 PM
Oh, it's getting new shoes all right!! Just thinking of what I want to use!! I have a box full of stuff!

Yeah, the Kurouchi Nakiri was pretty rough around the edges, but when I paid only $50 for it, and expected it, that's fine! Now the Nakiri jumped to $85 :(

Which series are your other Tanaka's in and how are the grinds?? Other people got the Blue Damascus from another source and it was flat ground, stuck horribly and was very flexy and not good F&F. Trying to figure out which one is the norm in the Sekiso series!

08-27-2012, 04:21 AM
I got them over a year ago off of ebay. its a damascus overlay on blue can't remember which one though.

here is a bad pic of it before and after I got it rehandled from Mhenry, from a give away a few months ago with Pensicola pete


I will be doing a album here soon hope to have much better pics.