First of all, a great big thank you to David (WildBoar) - he graciously lent me his DTITK and Konosuke so that I could try out some knives, given my limited exposure to Japanese Knives, wa handles, lasers, etc. The following summarizes my impressions when running the knives side by side through the paces at home.
First - the lineup.
I included my 270 Zakuri Suji for scale.
I shared time cutting: carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, shallot, beets.
1. I prefered the DT ITK over the Konosuke in almost every task, the lone exception was cutting onions. Kono was pretty darned reactive with onions! But boy did it cut well. I'd need to carefully consider whether willing to wipe before each few cuts - I felt this knife needed it big time. But laser and onions? Yes please.
2. The DT ITK felt like I was doing a much better job of board contact than with the Kono. As David mentioned, there is some adjustment time for longer blades. Not sure why I felt such a difference here, but for pinch grip, push cutting, the DT felt significantly better on my board, and each and every cut felt complete the first time through (if that makes sense). It wasn't sharpness either, it was the board feel on contact.
3. The Kono outperformed the DT, just barely with onions, as I thought a lazer should. However, I could still see a freshly and keenly sharpened DT taking the cake under the right circumstances. I felt the advantage mostly during the initial slices in prep for dicing - once I had the lines cut into the onions, the final push cut was kind of a wash between the two.
4. The way the DT steel felt when it contacted the board - I felt like it was a more complete connection with the board - again, maybe just the profile suits my cutting style - but it was noticable and awesome. The steel felt more sturdy and hard, if that makes sense. The carbon felt a little more razorlike, but not more sharp. Kono almost felt silkier and softer. I spent more time with the Kono andIi think I am seeing the different feel of high carbon board feel vs stainless. Again, not sure if this makes sense or is imaginary, but thats how it felt.
5. Wa handle!! Was a revelation. My only wa handled knife is the heavy 270 suji (Zakuri) and I was shocked how much lighter both of these knives were compared to my Blazen 240! Western vs wa is a no brainer for me moving forward. Still love my Blazen, but what a difference that makes! The Konosuke is a featherweight! However I was not a fan of the Machi on the knife - felt like the edges were awkward on my pinch grip.
6. Balance! DT took the cake. My Blazen balance point is just past the heel where it meets the bolster. The Konosuke was very blade heavy and that took some getting used to. The DT on the other and was nearly identical to theBlazen in terms of the balance point, but wa handled and much lighter. Big fan of this balance point and may explain why I had a tough time with limited exposure to the Konosuke.
All in all, the DT ITK was by far my favorite. I preferred it to my Blazen, to the Kono, and to my other prior non j-nats! Have a Rodrigue mid tech in the mail so am curious to see where it fits. Also learning to sharpen on 12" Dexter project knife from Son. Let me know if I can share any additional info on my limited time with these. Again, thanks David - very generous of you!
Some more pics.
Blazen vs DT
DT vs Blazen