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Thread: Doing Takeda like Takeda Used to do Takeda

  1. #1
    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Doing Takeda like Takeda Used to do Takeda

    Takeda Hamono used to be known for making some of the thinnest knives that could be found. They were forged with a unique cross section that allows for good food release, great sturdy kurouchi finish, prefect flat bevels that locked onto stones for easy sharpening, and ground so thin at the edge bevel that their knives would simply fall through the food being cut. In the last couple of years we've seen these knives getting thicker and thicker, the bevels ground more convex (not flat) which makes for difficult sharpening, and the kurouchi finish easily wearing off.

    The knife being shown below is a typical new style thick wedgy bevel Takeda. Actually the very edge itself was thin enough but directly behind it the grind is convex and then there's a really thick hump/lump of steel at the shoulder (where the bevel transitions into the blade face). Also, the kurouchi finish shows it's wear here pretty badly. This knife came in for sharpening service but had some edge damage which meant that I had to grind up into the edge bevel to remove the nicks making the edge bevel even more thick. This then meant that I had to correct by raising (grinding) the shoulder of the bevel up into the kurouchi portion of blade face.

    On the nicely ground old stock Takeda gyutos this was an easy and even pleasant task to do but not so here on this new style knife. This simple task, to thin the edge bevel (grind down the hump/lump), took me over 5 hrs to accomplish by hand!! The total sharpening job on the knife was over 6hrs!!!

    Why did I do this all by hand and not use my belt grinder? Because I found a Moritaka style overground section just in front of the heel (something new for Takeda) and this required that I use a gentle touch to which I felt could only be done through hand sharpening on stones. I wasn't thrilled with this but I pressed on.

    In the end I believe that I've modified this knife into one of the best performing Takedas that has ever existed. I am 100% confident that the customer will be blown away when it gets back in her hands. Still though, you can see some pretty deep hammer blow marks at the shoulder (again something new for Takeda) that remain ugly - it's certainly not the prettiest Takeda I've laid my eyes upon - sort of a sleeper (now) ......I guess you could say.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member TheDispossessed's Avatar
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    Interesting. Looks like a definite improvement Dave.
    I, like many, had always wanted a Takeda but came way too late to the party. The two knives I bought (and promptly sold) left me thoroughly unimpressed, especially at the price point. I feel very strongly that Takeda's are phenomenally overpriced and overhyped. You get crazy inconsistent profiles, terrible grinds, a totally unnecessary blob of epoxy (isn't the tang stainless?!), a handle too small, forge scale and lacquer crumbling all into your food. No thanks. Who else gets away with this at such a price? I also take a huge issue with the, "it's handmade so there's all this variability" claim. Really? Ashi Hamono knives are handmade and you could line up a hundred of em and struggle to see the difference, and that's just one shop. Speaking of which I had a (Gesshin) Ginga Gyuto that I worked over 5mm off the profile in three years of use and never once encountered an overgrind or bad spot. This quality issue w Takeda is total BS.
    Sorry for the rant but I've been holding my tongue and waiting for a time to speak my mind about Takeda Hamono.
    I hope the owner is very pleased with the new knife.
    Cheers
    Matteo

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    Very tempting, I have some Takedas

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    Are the stainless clad "new" takedas as bad?

  6. #6
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    I sold mine because I didn't have the fortitude for five hours (if it took you 5 it would take me much more) of labor. I bet this will be a great knife...Really believed mine would've been great once the work had been done.
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  7. #7
    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gic View Post
    Are the stainless clad "new" takedas as bad?

    Oh yeah

  8. #8
    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    I sold mine because I didn't have the fortitude for five hours (if it took you 5 it would take me much more) of labor. I bet this will be a great knife...Really believed mine would've been great once the work had been done.

    Yeah that's the thing, what an enormous amount of work needed to get it to where it should be.

  9. #9
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    I got my takeda in 2011 and I have to disagree. It is easily the best cutter I have, including my customs from several talented master smiths. It is beautifully ground, and extremely thin behind the edge. It takes and holds a wicked edge. No over grinds, no wedging. IMO a great value compared to others, and I own many! Eric

  10. #10
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    I could show you a pic of an ootb Takeda NAS gyuto that is a total abortion. Fortunately I wasn't stuck with it as it. The one I have now cuts well but it seems like the spine and edge are not parallel towards the heel. It doesn't sit quite flat either (you can wobble it slightly by pressing on various spots on the blade, same story but different wobble when you flip it over). Not sure if it was damaged in transport or whatnot

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