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View Full Version : ITK Kiritsuke | A few words and pics



jayhay
08-29-2012, 11:13 AM
Hey all! So I grabbed up one of the Tojiro ITK Kiritsukes and thought I'd give you a few thoughts on the knife.

I was excited to order this blade. I don't make a ton of money (I'm a pasta maker) so I'm always looking for a well preforming knife at a reasonable price point. You know, a good value knife. And this was my first introduction to White steel. I am a big push cutter and my daily beater in the pro kitchen is a Dojo Nikiri. The Dojo is amazing and always serves me well. It will demolish a pile of onions, hold an edge for just about ever and it's butter-easy to resharpen. Love, love, love the knife. So the idea of, in my words, of an over-sized Nikiri with a slight curve in the tip really appealed to me. Here's what I found.

My first impression of the ITK when I opened the box was the kurouchi finish is rough. When I picked it up, the handle and plastic ferrule felt quite cheap. Like $10 wa-handled knife from china town cheap. The factory OOTB edge was quite sharp and cut well. Unfortunately, the grind had several severe high and low spots on the edge. The spine is thick at the handle, around 4mm, but thins out very quickly towards the nose and edge. Very thin behind the edge. I would not call it laser-ish, but it is very thin and doesn't bend. In the hand, it feels light and relatively nimble for it's 240 length.

After using it stock for a day or two at work, the over-grinds were making me hate life. Accordion effect on everything with a skin. The knife literally felt like it had three parts to the edge with a clunky tip-mid-heel transition as you would rock the knife. A word of warning, I have never done what I was about to do. But made sense to me and I like to learn through trial and error, so I went for it. I ground the edge down by holding the knife at 90 degree angle to my 140x diamond plate. I removed the holes in the edge and worked it until it rocked smoothly on a flat surface. It couldn't have worked better. Holes and clunky transitions gone. Then I re-beveled, thinned slightly and sharpened the bastarde. I have the usual 500/1200/5000 bestor/rika lineup with a imanishi 10,000 finisher. Then I strop with 1m Boron Carbide on blasa and .5m CBN on nano cloth. MUCH much better and silly sharp now. I also started to remove the not-so-nice kurochi, which is still a work in progress. And I put an edge on the front spine of the knife. You know, the transition spine that connects the top spine to the edge. With all that work done, the knife is sharp and fun to use. But whoa was it some work hours wise.

In the end, you get what you pay for. And for $80 you do get what you pay for. Good steel, craptastic handle and low F&F. If you want a project knife, this ITK Kiritsuke would fit the bill, as work must be done to it before using it imho. For me, I'm having a great time with it and I'm glad I bought it.

First time I've ever done something like this. hope you all enjoy!

http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/558/img8232y.jpg
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/7800/img8238t.jpg
http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/3563/img8239p.jpg

Marko Tsourkan
08-29-2012, 11:16 AM
Great review, thank you -

M

jayhay
08-29-2012, 11:20 AM
Thanks Marko! Your knives and work are beautiful. I hope to own one one day. Must-make-more-pasta...

obtuse
08-29-2012, 12:01 PM
great review! fixer uppers are a great way to learn, I'm glad it worked out for you.

brainsausage
08-29-2012, 12:11 PM
Great review, thanks jay!

Eamon Burke
08-29-2012, 01:04 PM
Did you sharpen the sword-tip?? You are nuts.

Good review.

jayhay
08-29-2012, 01:07 PM
Did you sharpen the sword-tip?? You are nuts.

Good review.

Yup I did, Burke. I am a bit nuts, love to fiddle. I tried to explain it in the review, but it's hard to describe.

Thanks for all the positive feedback guys.

Crothcipt
08-29-2012, 01:54 PM
Wow love what you did with it. The sword tip makes it interesting enough to want one. So I can buy one and send it to you?


:justkidding:

sachem allison
08-30-2012, 01:42 AM
great job

Johnny.B.Good
08-30-2012, 01:49 AM
Nice work, Jay.

Thanks for the review.

Edit: Off topic, but where (or to whom) do you sell your pasta? I would like to learn to make my own someday.

Lefty
08-30-2012, 10:02 AM
Good little review. I learned a lot about grinding/reprofiling on a couple craptastic knives, as well. Now you'll be looking 15"x3"x3/32" pieces of HTd steel.

I bet the sword tip is used for back-alley fighting, la "Gangs of New York".

jayhay
08-30-2012, 03:10 PM
Here is a new shot of the knife after more work last night. Kurouchi is totally gone, and a fresh sharpen. Polished up a bit too. Hope you all like :thumbsup:


Nice work, Jay.

Thanks for the review.

Edit: Off topic, but where (or to whom) do you sell your pasta? I would like to learn to make my own someday.

Just moved to Philly from Detroit and I'm working at a restaurant downtown. Smallish Mediterranean/rustic Italian joint. Pasta is really quite easy. There are two main types, sheeted and extruded. Extruded is all the box stuff most are familiar with, which is hard to make at home. Usually low-quality stuff, but quite different when freshly extruded and not dried and boxed for years of storage. However, you can find good quality artisan extruded-dried pasta at nicer grocery stores. The sheeted stuff is as simple as flour, semolina, eggs and water. Just need to have one of those hand-crank pasta machines like grandma had (or someones grandma had, mine didn't). Once sheeted its easy to make ravs, agnolotti, tortellini or whatever you desire. You can also simply cut the dough for fresh pasta like linguine, pappardelle or angel hair. Mark Vetri has a fool proof recipe for the sheeted variety, I found it online here,

http://www.sistersrunningthekitchen.com/recipes/pasta/basic-pasta-dough/

And you can find those pasta machines at garage sales all the time on the cheap. Easy peasy.


Good little review. I learned a lot about grinding/reprofiling on a couple craptastic knives, as well. Now you'll be looking 15"x3"x3/32" pieces of HTd steel.

I bet the sword tip is used for back-alley fighting, la "Gangs of New York".

Thanks Lefty! I'd love to learn to do more with knives, basic fab, learning how to rehandle, anything really. Unfortunately, my move has left me garageless and I have no room for equipment. Hopefully one day though.

And the knife makes me feel safer when I'm on the streets of Philly. I go to work with it in a small backpack and the knife is so long the handle sticks out the top. It's Learnado Ninja Turtles easy to whip out haha.

http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/5917/38320337.jpg

Justin0505
08-30-2012, 05:31 PM
Great review and you clearly had a accurate expectations and understanding of this knife. I really like this line as well: I've had a few of the nakiri's and the 210 petty/gyuto. None of mine had holes in the edge, but the grinds where all pretty crude. If you have more knife-refurb time than money, or just want a practice project, these knives are a good way to end up with an outstanding final result after a little cash and a little more time.

I've given away all of my finished Tojiro ITK's and I don't currently have a project knife. Plus, I've never owned a kiritsuke... might need to pick one of these up...

Mike9
09-15-2012, 03:18 PM
I have had the opposite experience with my 240 Gyuto. I don't mine the handle as the only difference between Tojiro and Tanaka is plastic vs horn ferrule. The blade on mine was spot on, the spine was nicely eased and after a good scrub the kurouchi finish is smooth. My only complaint is the sharp choil. I just hope the 210 Gyuto I ordered for a friend is as nice as my 240.

Cutty Sharp
09-15-2012, 04:36 PM
And I put an edge on the front spine of the knife. You know, the transition spine that connects the top spine to the edge.

Just wondering, why'd you do this? For fun/interest, or will you use that edge somehow? (I mean, apart from swordfights with badguys :nunchucks: )

jayhay
09-15-2012, 05:33 PM
For fun. I wanted a knife I could work on, and fool around with. I've seen that portion sharpened on other similar style j-knives, so I thought what the heck, and I added the sword-style tip. I like it. It looks great, adds more thinness and it flies through onions. I could also probably use it pretty effectively in a sword fight lol.

GlassEye
09-15-2012, 05:53 PM
Did you put an actual sharpened cutting edge on the tip or just beveled but not sharp like a true kiritsuke?

jayhay
09-15-2012, 06:01 PM
Once I beveled it, I decided to put an actual cutting edge on it. Just seemed the right thing to do after all the work.

Jmadams13
09-24-2012, 11:10 PM
What was your process for removing the kurouchi finish if you don't mind me asking? I'm thinking of removing it from my Tojiro, was very very rough out of the box

jm2hill
09-24-2012, 11:30 PM
What was your process for removing the kurouchi finish if you don't mind me asking? I'm thinking of removing it from my Tojiro, was very very rough out of the box

just grab a couple of sheets of wet-dry sandpaper from your local shop and rub it away. Takes some manual labour but makes the knife feel way better.

Johnny.B.Good
09-25-2012, 12:45 AM
Mark Vetri has a fool proof recipe for the sheeted variety, I found it online here...

Thanks for the response Jay (I missed it until now).

Bookmarked the link...I'll have to give homemade pasta a shot some weekend.

jayhay
09-25-2012, 09:17 AM
Np Johnny. Hope you enjoy the pasta making. It's good fun and quite easy. And I too removed the kurouchi with 600 grit wet/dry. Works perfectly.

Mike9
10-11-2012, 05:33 PM
I just got one of these today and emailed Mark for an exchange. This one has a 1/16" over grind half way up the blade and an 1/8" at the heel. That's a lot of material to remove and reshape. I've purchased a lot of knives and gear from Mark, but never received one like this. We'll see what kind of man he is - his decision will make, or break this relationship.

Mike9
10-11-2012, 07:13 PM
I did hear back and was told to return it for a refund. I'd rather get another one that isn't so wonky. I don't mind putting work into a new knife, but . . .

These have potential to be nice cutting machines and for $80 it's almost a no brainer. I've been very happy with all of the Shirogami knives I have so far.

jayhay
10-11-2012, 07:35 PM
Yeah, I'm lazy when it comes to shipping. USPS is painful here in philly, so I decided to fix it myself. Good learning experience for me. Glad your issue is getting resolved. $80 knives are $80 for a reason :)

Mike9
10-11-2012, 10:57 PM
I've bought two 210 gyutos, (one is mine now) a 150 petty (sweet knife) and a 240 gyuto and all have been great knive ootb. My 300 yanagi and 180 deba are exquisite knives. So I guess for my needs I get good knives for a decent price. After a rehandle and a trip to the stones they are now excellent knives. The only knives I have that are better are my Tanaka's and Yamawaku - none of which cost more than $170 delivered via EMS.

I'll sleep on it and who knows - I might just grind it flat and re stone it. I hit a deer on the way home then get home to this so I wasn't too happy at the time.

eaglerock
10-14-2012, 06:20 PM
Nice work with the knife jay, now it just need a new handle and it will look awesome :D