As a few of you likely know, I have been working on/giving feedback and testing some knives made by Luke Snyder, of Bloodroot Blades. Luke has been cursed with the fact that he gained a fair bit of popularity outside of our knife bubble (the biggest and best bubble around, but a bubble nonetheless). Luke likes to use renewable and recycled materials, and his way of thinking is a really cool and slightly different way of approaching things. His knives have a distinct look to them...you can pick out a BB Blade from a mile away. One thing many of you don't know is that he's a lurker here, and he sometimes puts in a few comments, without coming across as one of "those guys". He reminds me of Pierre and Mike, in that he is always thinking about knives and figuring out ways to improve his game. The knowledge here has been applied to his most recent knives, while still holding onto his "different" material choices, etc.
I reviewed a 210 Laser Gyuto that Luke made, and it's been a constant in my rotation since shortly after American Thanksgiving. With his permission, I'm sharing my candid comments/review of this knife. I will be selling for Luke very shortly, and as a result of this, I'm sharing the pics and comments in my sub-forum. Here's the review:
Steel: In use, I was very pleased with the L6 steel. I found it to hold an edge very very well, while being pretty easy to touch up with some stropping and even a ceramic hone. I love the patina it formed and found it to be multi-coloured and vibrant, which is always a good thing. Reactivity seemed to be virtually non-existent, in terms of transference and smell. I would occasionally get the typical carbon steel smell, but overall, it was clean, easy to care for and really good as a kitchen knife. Unfortunately, I haven't taken it to the stones, that I can remember, but I likely will before I send it out.
Grind: the grind seemed almost perfect, to me. I found it thin, while not feeling delicate. It seemed even and consistent throughout the blade. Many makers struggle with getting a nice taper and thin tip, but this had those features, which I feel are very important. Nice job!
Profile: here is one area that I was kind of torn on. I loved the sleek streamlined/aggressive look of the blade, but it almost seemed too flat, until I used it. It is one of those profiles that almost looks recurved even though it's not. In use, it felt nice, but look-wise I was 50/50. It's different, which scares a lot of people away, even though it really shouldn't. All in all, it reminded me of a Fowler profile, and allowed the tip to be utilized in the way a tip should be.
Handle: I love the look of the handle, and I also love the sizing and overall feel of it. My only two issues regarding the handle are that the copper spacer seems to have moved/expanded, or the wood around it has shrunken, which makes the joint somewhat noticeable when in-hand. However, this could be due to humidity/moisture changes between GA and ON, or even a change in the seasons, here. Overall, it looks great and feels good. Perfect sizing, but kind of "rough", yet secure joints....
Also included in the handle section, I'll put my biggest "complaint", which is the angle/distance from the choil that the handle was mounted. The angle felt nice and comfortable, but again, the purists might feel it left the butt too high up. This is a personal opinion thing, and I didn't mind one bit, but some others will, and some won't care one way or the other. With this, I'm including the distance from the choil that the handle was mounted. It felt about 5-8mm too close to the blade, which left my hand looking for space on the handle/tang.
F and F: very, very good. Beautiful edges, and a clean grind and handle. Nice work!
Cutting Ability: I found this knife to be lasery, but not like a Konosuke. It's got a bit more going on when it comes to the grind, and the slight convexing really made it feel like a quality piece that flat out cut. I'd take it over a Kono 9 times out of 10.
Feel: the knife feels and looks great! You can tell that it's a tough knife, despite being thin. I like that the handle is simple, yet refined. It has a certain elegance, without trying too hard. I'd order this exact handle on a custom, from you.
Now, to the grades:
Steel: A (haven't had a chance to sharpen it, so I can't go A+). I think it's a durable and high-performance steel, in the kitchen.
Grind: A+. It felt almost perfect, between its ability to cut like crazy and its nice amount of release. I didn't detect any overgrinds, but a real sharpening session often shows things that aren't easy to spot otherwise. Regardless, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, based on my inspections into the light, with a straight edge. Great job!
Profile: B+. I could see this being really polarizing, and I'm not sure that the tip wouldn't occasionally get in the way. Believe it or not, but it could use a tad more belly, which would raise the tip ever so slightly (and I mean slightly!).
Handle: B+. I love the actual handle, but the expansion/shrinkage is annoying...however, it's likely not your fault. The handle itself gets an A, but the positioning gets a B...sorry....
F and F: A+. You have skills!
Cutting Ability: A. It's a great cutter, but the profile/tip made me go slowly when doing rocking motions. As with all gyutos, heft helps make cuts feel effortless, and so does thinness. It's almost impossible to have both, which would be ideal. I had to apply slight pull or push motions to make cuts, because of it's lack of mass, but I'm good with that, and I actually prefer it. This thing cuts for days!
Overall Feel: A. I love the knife and how it performs. However, the handle positioning made my hand get tired. If you were to push if back 5mm or so, I bet it would have been perfect. It's a very fine line.... Overall, it is obviously made with very good skill and attention to detail. Beautiful work!