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View Full Version : Help me get my 1st yanagi! Becoming sushi chef.



xxitzeugenexx1
09-30-2012, 04:24 AM
Hey guys, I am finishing up school to become a sushi chef and will start working next month. I have a deba, yanagi and a western (bought from school [japanmade]).
I have been reading alot and watching videos on how to sharpen knives. My sensai has told me to make my deba and yanagi one flat bevel from the shinogi line to the edge of the knife (took me about 3 weeks everyday sharpening [45min]), but i've been seeing other people do a different way by keeping the convex. Could someone clear that up for me?
Oh btw, Im left handed :(

What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
300mm

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
I will be using for work, I currently have a yanagi but am wanting to replace with a nice knife.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- looks like a regular japanese yanagi
Edge Quality/Retention- I flattened the bevel (from the shinogi line to edge) and it gets sharp/ doesnt hold edge very well.
Ease of Use- I havent had any other knives so Im not sure how others compare
Comfort- im looking for more comfort

What grip do you use?
pinch/index on top

What kind of cutting motion do you use?
sashimi/sushi

Where do you store them?
in saya

Have you ever oiled a handle?
No

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Plastic/wood

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing
strop

Have they ever been sharpened?
Yes

What is your budget?
600-800

What do you cook and how often?
Japanese/korean/american food, Everyday!

Im looking for a yanagi that would be used everyday at the bar, easy to maintain, holds its edge. I will upload the pictures of my current yanagi tomorrow. Thank you all for your help!

GlassEye
09-30-2012, 10:46 AM
Welcome
The convex bevel or hamaguriba is the correct way to sharpen the knife.
This video from Jon at Japanese Knife Imports is a good place to start for sharpening, all of his other videos are very good as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYZmtDlwDi4&feature=share&list=PLEBF55079F53216AB

For the knife, the Gesshin Hide in blue#! may be what you are looking for, though there are many other options.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-pcj38H0k8&feature=share&list=UUpgJbCAVxzDHKaKYeuGYyOA

Hattorichop
09-30-2012, 11:26 AM
There is a Shigfusa 300mm yanagiba in the B/S/T section right now.

echerub
09-30-2012, 11:33 AM
But he needs a lefty yanagiba... as do quite a number of folks otherwise interested in the Shige :)

xxitzeugenexx1
09-30-2012, 01:11 PM
@Glass, Thanks glass i've watched all of jons videos and learned alot. So i guess my sensai was showing me the wrong way to sharpen, I will practice the hamaguri edge sharpening from now on.
So for the hamarugi; step 1 is to move shinogi up, step 2. is to sharpen from harder metal to edge, step 3 is to uraoshi, step 4 is to blend both bevel together with higher grit stone, step 5 uraoshi again; and for step 6. im supposed to put a micro bevel?
As for new knives; how many strokes would i do for each step? Also for stones would the progression 500,1k,4k,8k be ok?
Also Ive been looking at the gesshins but have not seen many reviews on it yet; still would like some more input on them. Ive been looking at masamoto just so i could start off it and practice sharpening.

@Hattori, yea i checked the BST thread for the shigfusa but its not for a lefty :(

@echerub Ive read so much great reviews on the shigs but sadly... i havent seen any leftys

heirkb
09-30-2012, 02:04 PM
Depending on how urgent it is, I'd wait for Jon to come back and visit his store if I were you.

sachem allison
09-30-2012, 04:38 PM
are you attending the California Sushi Academy in Venice?

stevenStefano
09-30-2012, 09:21 PM
Being a lefty is rather unfortunate when it comes to single bevel knives. Maxim is on holiday I think but I reckon he could get you a good deal on a Yoshikane yanagi. I'd try him and Jon, you have a pretty good budget so between those guys you should end up with something great. You can't really go cheap, especially when you're left handed

xxitzeugenexx1
09-30-2012, 09:29 PM
are you attending the California Sushi Academy in Venice?

California sushi institute in torrance with sensai Andy Matsuda. Probably the best decision i made, its only a 2 month course but it is very intense. I've learned everything from the history and culture of japan, all 5 types of japanese cooking and making rolls within this first month! He is very hands on and cares about every student, hes refined my skills in making 2 perfect kappa makis within 2 minutes. I love going to class everyday and learning more and more about different techniques and sushi! Check them out @ http://www.sushischool.net/home.php

xxitzeugenexx1
09-30-2012, 09:31 PM
@heirkb @stevenstefano, Im going to wait for jon to come back and check out his store and talk to him. Yeah it sucks being a lefty cause the 50% more expense but thats life! Ill check out the yoshikane out. Thanks for your input guys!

Eamon Burke
10-07-2012, 06:13 PM
Japanese Knife Imports. It's going to be your favorite place, I assure you. You need in person expertise, and your boss(sensai) sounds like he has a way of doing things, and it might be best to just do as you are told at work. But if you want to learn more, as I did, Jon will be your guy, and it would be a bleeding shame to not take advantage of his store being in driving distance to you. Sharpening a knife with a Hamaguri edge is a complex topic to put into words, but with a person standing there with you, it can be a snap. I knew a lot about it, but I didn't get good results until a video-call I was on with Jon maybe a year ago. Makes it real easy to just point and show the knife and do it with you.

I find Hamaguri edges to be easier to touch up and sharpen, and help keep the edge profile straight. I have not seen chefs keep a knife with a dead-flat blade road that haven't screwed up their profiles(sometimes in one sharpening session). I am sure they are out there, but I've never seen it.

Getting a good lefty Yanagiba is going to be tough. They are often gimmicky cheapos or $1,000+. But, given his connections, I am sure Jon can help you out.

xxitzeugenexx1
10-07-2012, 06:50 PM
Japanese Knife Imports. It's going to be your favorite place, I assure you. You need in person expertise, and your boss(sensai) sounds like he has a way of doing things, and it might be best to just do as you are told at work. But if you want to learn more, as I did, Jon will be your guy, and it would be a bleeding shame to not take advantage of his store being in driving distance to you. Sharpening a knife with a Hamaguri edge is a complex topic to put into words, but with a person standing there with you, it can be a snap. I knew a lot about it, but I didn't get good results until a video-call I was on with Jon maybe a year ago. Makes it real easy to just point and show the knife and do it with you.

I find Hamaguri edges to be easier to touch up and sharpen, and help keep the edge profile straight. I have not seen chefs keep a knife with a dead-flat blade road that haven't screwed up their profiles(sometimes in one sharpening session). I am sure they are out there, but I've never seen it.

Getting a good lefty Yanagiba is going to be tough. They are often gimmicky cheapos or $1,000+. But, given his connections, I am sure Jon can help you out.

Burke thank you so much for your reply! Now i cant wait for jon to get back from japan so i could head over to his store. I was definetly going to ask him if he could show me exactly how to get a hamaguri edge cause when im reading on it, it is kind of confusing on paper.
My blade road is definetly not flat flat and i did mess up my profile alot... Im guessing hamaguri would be alot easier to maintain and quicker to sharpen plus i wont be wasting as much metal as per flattening my knife.
Thank you so much for your reply!

K-Fed
10-07-2012, 11:57 PM
Tanaka would be good to look into. I picked up a lefty deba from yee who shalt not be named and while the handle is pretty simple and utilitarian ( just a large oval ) the grind both blade road and ura are great. Also, at ~250 bones it left enough loot in my wallet to have it rehandled should I choose to do so.

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l267/LetsKillKevy/536845_452592321428111_373337785_n.jpg


http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l267/LetsKillKevy/IMG_0120.jpg

Eamon Burke
10-08-2012, 02:37 AM
I like my tanaka a ton, but its blue steel, and if I could do it again, I'd want white #2 steel and a permasoaking Sigma Power II 10k stashed away.

keithsaltydog
10-08-2012, 05:20 AM
A- Frames carries some very good yanagi's,I got a blue steel Aritsugu 270 fr. him yrs. ago cut alot of sashimi & sushi topping wt. that blade.

There is nothing like one on one for learning sharpening so if you can get a yanagi(lefty)fr. Jon & learn his tech.,put it to the test & see how it works for you on the job.

Even in Japan all Yanagi sharpening is not the same,some chef's prefer diff. types of bevels.I was taught fingerpads on bladeroad,pushing till it bites into stone,check your spine height & sharpen at this angle,its not a straight line fr. top of shinogi line to blade edge.My polish lines were usually about 3/16 " wide.Also very important not to overwork the hollow grind side of the blade,it is designed for extremely sharp edges & easy food separation.Fattening out the Urashi can reduce it's effectiveness.Best to just remove your burr. on the backside of a quality yanagi.

It is a fragile edge,but screaming sharp,just what you want wt. sashimi & sushi topping.Touch up is easy just a few lite strokes on a polishing stone.Using this tech. My only geometry mishap was on my first Yanagi a Susin white steel,over time the tip became too thin,changed tip sharpening & never had that problem wt the Aritsugu.

When I saw Jon's bevel tech. for yanagi's on video,it was a first for me,another advanced style fr. a Japan sinle bevel sharpener.His burr removal is the same I have been using for yrs.

It's great that you will be on the job using these wonderful blades,they are a joy to use.Just make sure your blade is straight,& is high quality carbon steel,no friggin stainless:bliss: