Could you elaborate a bit more?
Originally Posted by JBroida
I have been puzzled about the role of machi ever since and I have not been able to find a satisfying answer yet.
I can't imagine how the extra space is helpful for handle installation.
What is the downside of having a tang without the machi?
First let's get on the same page about what the term "machi" refers to. Gator (in his website ) defines it as:
Originally Posted by orange
Machi - Narrow section of metal between the notch at the end of the neck of the blade - L on the Diagram, emoto(K on the Diagram) and the handle, approximately 5mm long. Found on many Japanese knives, never on western knives.
So, if the emoto is flush with the ferrule, there is no exposed metal, and no machi.
So why are handles installed leaving a machi? The hole in the handle is purposely undersize so the tang is burned in to the handle as tight as possible, and leaving a machi ensures that the tang has been burned in as far as possible. If the emoto is flush to the ferrule, you can't be sure it is burned in properly. And, as Jon said, it makes removing and replacing the handle easier.
Note that this doesn't apply to handles that are glued on to the tang, as is common when a custom handle like those from Stefan Keller or Mike Henry are installed. Nor dosed it apply to some of Marko Tsourkan's handles that are painstakingly fitted to the tang with a friction fit.
Rick, Thanks a lot for your explanation.
Originally Posted by Pensacola Tiger
Yet, I am still not fully understood why they have the machi; Please bear with my ignorance;
I am just having a hard time to fully appreciate the functional advantage of having the machi.
Basically, I can't understand why the machi makes the removing and replacing of the handle easier.
And why can't they know if a tang is burned in fully without the machi??
I can appreciate if someone says the cut out of metal from the tang making the notch helps weight distribution, thus, balance.
Even so, I think they can achieve the same goal by adjusting the shape/3-d geometry of the tang.
A Shige yanagi that I have does not have the machi. I don't know the shape of the tang inside the handle (if or not it has the notch)
but apparently they do not think that the machi is needed. How come??
I don't mean to sound rude...just try to understand.
If someone says that it's how they had designed the tang area (tradition), I am fine with it. ^^
So I have no idea why Japanese makers leave an exposed tang (machi) showing but I can tell you from my own experience burning on handles that if you burn the tang so far into the handle (all the way) flush with the emoto(?) blade notch the handle will be loose, as if the slot gets burned and widened too much. If you stop short of full insertion the handle will be snug, then with a light rap on the bottom of the handle it will be well seated and not easily removed and definitely not loose in anyway. So it's possible that they stop short of driving it home so as to get a secure fit but like I said I have no proof of this, just my own experience.
Interesting point. Thanks Dave!!
Originally Posted by Dave Martell
In fact, I read something similar from a different source that when a knife is used its handle may become loose over time. If this happens, one can just tap the bottom of the handle to tightly fit.
But then again, even without the notch (thus, machi), if the tang is tapered, then we would expect the same tight fit, wouldn't we??
It's about finger spacing with how your middle finger fits under the neck of the knife and In between the handle
Yes Jon, I do understand that part.
Originally Posted by JBroida
The question is why Japanese makers cut out the part of metal from the tang resulting the notched area (machi).
I somehow can not relate the cut out of metal to the ease of handle removal/replacement
So, what is the downside of not cutting out the part, thus, no machi??
A Shigefusa yanagi does not show the machi (maybe it's hidden in the handle?).
They apparently did not think of the need to have the machi (the notch) for the space under the neck of a knife for our middle finger.
it is possible to find shigefusa knives with a machi gap fwiw... now days, a lot of stuff for export is made with no machi gap just because they know thats what foreigners like. no machi can present a problem with tang size relative to knife size on certain knives, the wider tang area on knives with no machi can sometimes cause wood to split, the machi helps align the spine of the knife with the handle for comfort, etc.
Nope, Shig done it long time before with machi but now all he makes is without it. To Japanese too
As i understand from him handle is much more prone to crack at the horn when its sits flush without machi. It is nothing to do with export and foreigners
He still sell most single bevels in Japan
i just took a look of some oldest Shig that i have one 30 years old and another 40 they are without machi as well. So i dunno maybe you seen Shigs that was rehandled by other ?
Maybe... there are a number of wholesalers who deal with his stuff, so that might have been it. I've seen more than a few though.