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View Full Version : Watanabe gyuto - really damn quick to sharpen!



echerub
03-04-2012, 01:26 AM
Wow! I got back home recently from a month-long trip, so I kinda got antsy and felt like sharpening some knives for the hell of it. It's been more than a month since I last put metal to stones!

I decided to put my own edge on a new, never-sharpened gyuto in W2 that I've had for a while but admittedly never really put much time into it. I also wanted to put my own edge on a second-hand Watanabe gyuto that I hadn't put on the stones yet.

The W2 gyuto was pretty nice on the 500. I could thin down the shoulders of the bevel pretty quickly and formed a burr reasonably quickly thereafter. Nothing super-special, but thinning down the shoulders was a lot better than I feared it might be beforehand. It was kinda rough on the paper test after the 500, but reasonable. Then I took the knife through 1000, 3000, and 5000. I had thought about stopping at 3000, but it just wasn't nice enough at that point. At 5000, it seemed okay. Nothing exciting to me - at least via paper testing, slicing and push-cutting - but it was decent. I think I'll actually put some more time in with this knife now compared to before.

The Watanabe though? I just started on 1000 since the edge was in decent shape anyways. Holy moly it formed a burr in an instant! I don't think I've had any other gyuto in my hands form a burr *that* fast. Practically two or three forward strokes on the stone for any given section was all it took. Now, granted I'm still a learning and improving sharpener so arguably I've just gotten more consistent on my angles, but I don't think that's the entire story. Moreover, after the 1000 the Watanabe was already going through paper as cleanly and as nicely (or better) than the W2 gyuto after 5000.

I then went on to 5000, then did a quick finish on a natural (to pamper the knife more than anything else :) ), but really I think that Watanabe would have been good to use at 1000.

Watanabe knives don't get a lot of air time on forums anymore because they've been on our collective radar for so long, but the more I use 'em, the more I understand why they're still high up on a lot of peoples' lists on those rare times when discussions *do* mention them.

echerub
03-04-2012, 01:45 AM
Okay, why not do a third knife huh? :)

This time another knife with a blue steel core, a Tanaka that I'm already familiar with on the stones. Formed a burr on the front side also in about 3 forward strokes although a smaller one, and the back side took me longer to get a clean burr all along the edge. Overall took me my "usual" amount of time to get a nice burr on both sides starting on the 1000. Edge isn't as clean on paper testing compared to the Watanabe. It's about my "usual" 1000 edge.

Going to move on in my progression now, but the Tanaka is performing as my other knives tend to.

I think that Watanabe really is something special - it's not just me having some lucky evening on the stones.

echerub
03-04-2012, 02:04 AM
Okay, last update on this. Took the Tanaka through 3000, 5000, and a natural to finish. Paper tests nicely, but nothing newsworthy. Overall experience was "the usual". That Watanabe still really stands out for me. Really impressed with how quickly, easily, and well it sharpens up.

Now I gotta use these knives with food on a board :D Just not right now at 2am :)

SameGuy
03-04-2012, 02:21 AM
Curious what the Watanabe's specs are. I'm not in the market for another gyuto atm but I've been looking at some of Shinichi's other knives -- maybe a petty or nakiri...

Marko Tsourkan
03-04-2012, 08:45 AM
Curious what the Watanabe's specs are. I'm not in the market for another gyuto atm but I've been looking at some of Shinichi's other knives -- maybe a petty or nakiri...

Here you can pick one for less
http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=601
http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=602

It's from the maker who makes "Watanabe" knives

echerub
03-04-2012, 11:22 AM
Ahhh... you mentioned something about this a while back, I think :) I guessed a different "brand" at the time.

Johnny.B.Good
03-04-2012, 02:11 PM
I guessed a different "brand" at the time.

Me too. Glad it's not what I thought it was (and that you like your gyuto, regardless of its origin).

slowtyper
03-05-2012, 11:45 PM
What kind of tanaka do you have?

echerub
03-06-2012, 11:34 AM
That one in particular? One of the basic damascus line blue 2 gyutos.

wsfarrell
03-06-2012, 07:09 PM
Is Shuji Toyama making Watanabe knives? I just bought one from the website and all the e-mails (e.g., asking if I wanted the blade polished) were signed by Sin (Sinichi) Watanabe.


Here you can pick one for less
http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=601
http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=602

It's from the maker who makes "Watanabe" knives

EdipisReks
03-06-2012, 07:10 PM
so what Watanabes are actually made by Watanabe? i want to pick one up at some point, and i would like it to be made by him.

Marko Tsourkan
03-07-2012, 02:30 PM
so what Watanabes are actually made by Watanabe? i want to pick one up at some point, and i would like it to be made by him.

That is a good question.

According to Shinichi, all knives are made by him. I suspect that stainless are made by him (his factory seems to be outfitted for stainless production), but not sure.

M