Latest knife, last one for now (the initial binge).
Here is the final piece in my transition from a set of wustofs we got for our wedding 5 years ago. Sold the set and went Japanese. This is an Asai 210mm Gyuto. Epicurean Edge in Seattle sold it to me, and this is their description: "Deeply etched stainless nickel Damascus san mai with SG2 powdered metallurgical stainless steel, Rc 64-65"
I saw it in person and fell in love with the deep etching in the damascus. I have never seen anything like this. It looks and feels like a topographic map. Just so cool. Also, Mr. Asai apparently has terminal cancer, so I opted to jump and get one while I could.
The people at Epicurean Edge were friendly and helpful, yet didn't seem to have the depth of knowledge and overwhelming generosity with their time of Jon at Japanese Knife Imports, where I got my other two nice knives.
The fit and finish on this Asai are top notch. It feels like extreme care has been taken at every step. As opposed to something like a Teruyasu Fujiwara, that feels quite "rough around the edges." (That's not necessarily bad, just different--a Fujiwara 210 Guyto with finger rest is top on my wish list--but its a different aesthetic for sure.)
The geometry is good, although I do prefer the shape of the Gesshin Ginga 240 (white carbon) also seen in the photos. That knife is perfect for my taste in terms of geometry and proportions--slightly tapered handle, nice and thick where the tang goes into the handle, awesome shape and excellent fit and finish (not to mention its really thin, light in the hand and holds a killer edge!). Really gorgeous. The 150 petty pictured is a Gesshin Uraku (this cheaper line is not as nice in terms of fit and finish as the Gesshin Gingas, but has same nice proportions--worth it to step up to Gesshin Ginga). Both of these Gesshin knives are from Japanese Knife Imports, if you're not familiar.
Anyway, this new Asai knife fits between the cheap 180 (mostly my wife's knife) and awesome carbon 240 (she doesn't get to touch that one) I already have, and I can tell it may end up my most used knife. The 210 size seems perfect for what I do. Alright, now I'll shut up. Enjoy the photos!
oh, and credit for knife bar:
And the board is from Dave "TheBoard" Smith, walnut