View Full Version : Greetings from Darkest Renton....

08-02-2012, 03:02 PM
No, I'm not a professional chef (although my Dad was & he taught us all how to cook...) and don't even enjoy cooking all that much as a hobby, but I do <like> to eat decent food - so I cook more out of self-defense, than any great love of the process.

Up until a few months ago we used an el-cheapo set of stainless Chinese Sabatier knock-offs, which gave the appearance of real cutlery with very little danger of actually being able to cut anything - then we stumbled across a Japanese knife and found that slicing tomatoes is easier than splitting kindling ...

Now all the Chi-com horrors live in a box in the basement, and we've a block with these knives by the stove:

210mm Ryusen Yanagiba - a good slicing and carving knife, I think folks buy Yanagibas 'cause they're so damn pretty, but other shapes may be more useful

200mm Tosagata Bunka Hocho - a solid, heavy blue steel blade for whacking cabbages or kings into submission

160mm Ryusen Honesuki - a demon for deboning/stripping poultry or fish

140mm Shun Santoku - slightly thick, a bit heavy, but it's useful, willing, and tenderly made by robots

115mm Shun Mini Chef - a very useful size, thin, sharp, slices and rock cuts beautifully, but soulless

100mm Tosagata Pairing - a brace of these completes the rack, very sharp, pretty, our most often go-to knives

90mm Shun Pairing - sharp, comfortable, but fairly fragile and soulless

Sadly, I'm cheap - there's a lot of Shuns because they're what I found used on Craigslist, the Ryusens came from the Epicurean Edge sale, and the Tosagata's are inherently inexpensive, funky knives of great usefulness.

Not to knock the Shuns, they're very decent knives at knock-down prices, but they're also obviously a triumph of laser-cut, CAD-CAM robotics over inanimate steel. This makes my experience of them very different than that of the Tosagata knives which just as obviously were made by some sweaty, bad-tempered, garlic-breathing individual beating the pooh out of knife blanks until his hangover subsides.

Yeah, it is an aesthetic thing, but I will choose beer-breath over automation for most things, there's just this satisfaction in using the Tosagata and Ryusen knives that the Shuns lack.

Anyway that's my story & I'm sticking to it.....



Here's a picture of the Tosagata Bunka:


08-02-2012, 04:32 PM
You're going to find that the Epicurean Edge generates a gravitational field that will suck you back in on a regular basis...kinda like a black hole for your wallet.


Dave Martell
08-02-2012, 04:48 PM
Welcome Dr_Jim :)

sachem allison
08-03-2012, 12:49 AM

08-03-2012, 01:06 AM
Welcome to the forum!

08-03-2012, 01:53 AM
Hey Jim, and welcome! nice story! ;)

08-03-2012, 09:53 AM
Welcome to the forum!!

El Pescador
08-03-2012, 10:17 AM
Good to have you here.

08-03-2012, 02:12 PM
Welcome, hope to enjoy watching you find more soulful knives! Renton as in Wa or Va or neither?

The Edge
08-03-2012, 03:05 PM

08-03-2012, 05:36 PM

08-03-2012, 05:39 PM
Welcome to the forum, neighbor!

08-06-2012, 06:49 PM
Welcome, hope to enjoy watching you find more soulful knives! Renton as in Wa or Va or neither?

It's Renton, WA - a suburb of Seattle, which I <thought> was going to be an affordable, but dull, place to live - which turns out to be way more interesting than it first appears.

There are three very good places in Renton to buy unusual grub, Viet Wah (large store packed with SE Asian goodies), Uwajamaya (Japanese focused with above average fish), and DK Market (sort of an Exotic Foods Costco, bleak warehouse stuffed with interesting foreign goodies at knock-down prices, has the best Ukrainian Deli in town) - so I'm a pretty happy camper.



Heath Besch
08-07-2012, 05:42 PM
Welcome. With a growing cadre of knives and such great resources at hand, cooking should grow more exciting for you. Enjoy!

08-07-2012, 11:07 PM

08-12-2012, 08:19 AM

Welcome! Fix the tip. :fishslap:

08-12-2012, 11:08 AM
"Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate!" :muahaha:

08-14-2012, 07:51 PM

Welcome! Fix the tip. :fishslap:[/QUOTE]

Yes, this project is well in hand, the tip has been reground like a Bunka Hocho​ with an Edo-style reverse bevel, which I believe was how it was intended to be finished - it looks very much like the knife in this URL:


Still wondering why I can no longer post attachments....?



08-14-2012, 07:58 PM
"Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate!" :muahaha:

But those of us on the American Left Coast, where we're too illiterate to quote Dante Alighieri simply say:

"Arbiet McFries... Ya want 'em Supersized?"



09-05-2012, 04:49 PM
You must be somewhere else because Renton has been fantastically sunny this summer! I'm a knife maker in the east Renton highlands and I love it down here mainly because there are no rediculous hipsters wasting space. I also love viet wah, but not as much as the top of the hill market where Shawn and teds meat market is. There are so many great shops and businesses up here and all so close it's impossible not to love this area, in my opinion at least. It used to take me 25 minutes to commute from magnolia to Capitol hill for work, living in Renton I'm there in 17 minutes. I love it here.
If you're ever in the market for a handmade high carbon steel knife and exotic wood saya, just drop me a line.