Misono advice please
My Misono Swedish Sujihiki arrived yesterday, in perfect timing for my birthday. Beautifully gift wrapped as ever by Koki.
The whole thing from wrapping to box to knife was beautiful, then after picking it up and trying to get a feel for it (I am only used to a 210 gyuto so a 270 suji is quite a leap) I noticed something that started to worry me about it. It seems like there is something really weird going on with the bolster, like it was joined on at a slightly wrong angle and also a little too high. This means that there is a slight bump where the bolster meets the blade, and the blade seems to dip downwards. When laid flat on its back it only touches the surface at either end, and judging from what I expected from product photos I have seen, it should be flat along the top until it starts to dip towards the tip. Also the line of the choil is not parallel to the line of where the bolster meets the handle wood. On my CarboNext the knife lies flat on the surface, and the choil/bolster are parallel, and that seems just right.
Upshot is that I am not really feeling very happy with it. If I had bought the FKH and it was like this I probably would have shrugged and said "oh well you should have stumped up the extra $130 for the Misono" but as I was expecting this to be a rather wonderful knife I am a little disappointed. More pertinently I am not very experienced with J-knives so i don't know if I am being too critical and if this is justfairly normal, rather than a fault in the manufacture.
I have emailed Koki about this and he has been, as ever, very helpful and understanding. I have just sent him these same photos but he will be asleep at the moment, but I told him that I would ask in here first before making decision as to whether I would like to send it back or not. Having received a bum Tojiro DP a few weeks back that got returned for a refund I am feeling a little flat about this as it is a birthday present from my girlfriend [and a very generous one at that) and so I really want to love it.
What do you guys think? Attached some photos - this was a really hard issue to photograph as it is quite subtle but once noticed you can't ignore it. The red line on my photo runs in line with the top of the bolster. The white pic is a rotated product shot from a webshop.
This is fairly normal, I imagine the knife is put through a few hand finishing steps and this is the result. A human signature so, to speak. Not all knives are exactly the same ever even on the same line and same equipment. I have seen much, much worse even from custom makers. This my friend is wabi sabi.lol Everything you have pointed out is really a non issue but, with that said, You are the buyer and if you are not happy with your purchase send it back. The odds of you getting another knife that is dead on perfect in every way that you want is really slim to none. None of these things will effect performance, the knife isn't suddenly going to fall apart. The world is filled with sunshine and farts. Today you just happen to have a sunny day with a little tiny itty bitty feathery wisp of a cloud disturbing your otherwise perfectly blue sky.
In other words if you ain't happy send it back and there ain't nothing wrong with it.
If that bothers you you will never be satisfied. You could trade it for another and there will be something else that is not perfect. Son summed it up pretty well I think. Have you bothered to use it yet?
"Wabi-sabi (侘寂?) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), the other two being suffering (苦 ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū?)."
Originally Posted by sachem allison
Maybe that is why there are three marks on the bolster as well? [3rd pic] ;)
Thanks Sachem - I guess this is what I was asking. I didn't think that performance would be affected or that it would break, just wanted to have some opinions on whether what I had was something more experienced people would also comment on. When I posted the DP pics it was almost unanimous that the knife was screwed and I should send it back immediately. I don't want dead on perfect, but this example does suffer next to my CN and the budget rise was supposed to bring me up a level....
I guess I was asking whether this was something that I SHOULD be bothered by.
I am not sure if I will learn to love it - it really seems obvious to me when I pick it up. I may get used to it, but can't tell either way without using it and so rendering it unreturnable. I will mull on it for a day or two and see how Koki replies to my reply to him.
Any more opinions would be very welcome.
I think my friend now that you know it's there it is mocking you everytime you pick it up. You may have other things going on and this knife has become the focus. get rid of it and get a new one. No harm, No foul.
Those three marks look like plier tooth marks, someone was gripping with pliers and the rubber cover probably was worn through or missing and left those marks when they were grinding the bolster.
I don't think that's too unusual, although maybe a bit more pronounced than is typical. Koki will undoubtedly swap it for you and probably hand pick a new one that is the best he has. He did something similar for me a while back, and shipped the new knife to me before he had even recieved the one I sent back.
I say go ahead and ask him to check out the others in stock, and if there's one that's better, ship it to you. Then you won't always think about it when you go to slice something and will be able to fully enjoy your birthday knife.
Are you suggesting that it was lazy of me to ask here whether this was faulty before I rendered the knife unreturnable?
Originally Posted by Mike9
Yes I have every faith in Koki from my dealings with him so far he is one of the most pleasant people to purchase from I have ever come across.
Originally Posted by Chefdog
The "enjoying birthday knife" thing is really important. If I don't love this thing my girlfriend is going to be sad. I will sit on it for a few days.
This is probably very insightful indeed. ;)
Originally Posted by sachem allison