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  1. #1
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Damasteel Review - Open Discussion

    Now that a few people have handled the knife, I've decided it's a good idea to start a thread for us to post our thoughts and questions/answers in one place.
    This should end any confusion with what to do once you have used the gyuto, or where to ask questions regarding it.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  2. #2
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    My Damasteel Gyuto Review

    I'm breaking this review into a few different groups in an attempt to keep my jumbled thoughts somewhat organized!

    Initial package:
    The knife came in very nice little red cloth bag with an edge protector on it. There was also a nice little touch - a certificate with steel type, model, production number, care, etc. I really found this to be a pleasant surprise that I would definitely keep if it were my knife.
    Overall, great presentation and it was a lot fun to open and added to the suspense!
    4/5

    Factory Edge:
    The factory edge on the knife was truly as good as it gets!*
    It was done on a 30000 grit paper wheel and would be equivalent to (I'm guessing by bite, polish, etc) a 6k-8k stone. The edge actually was done VERY nicely with a bit of convexity to it. Hands down, the best factory edge I've seen. *
    5/5

    Fit and Finish:
    This is where Pierre's knives really shine! The F and F is almost perfect, with only the smallest "flaw" in one or two spots. The handle meets up with the spine absolutely flawlessly! It's seamless, smooth and incredibly well done.
    Both the choil and spine are nicely rounded and I have no complaints. Very comfortable and attractive (how can a choil be attractive???)
    The only spot that I noticed anything to note would be where the spacer and bolster meet up. On one side, the spacer is slightly smaller than the one on the opposite. I will admit, this adds to the uniqueness and overall feel of the knife, but if you're a perfectionist and you hate anything slightly out of whack, this will be it.*
    Other than that, f and f is beautiful!
    4.5/5

    Handle:
    What can I say? It was done by a person, not a robot. It is perhaps my favorite part of the whole knife (and that's saying a lot!)
    This part might sound a bit strange to most, but the handle feels warm in the hand and a little bit organic. It's almost as if the knife and handle were grown together in a magical land far, far away! The edges are soft and smooth. It is very close to being perfectly symmetrical, with a bit of 'personality'.
    There are a few spots where Pierre fixed nature's mistakes, and did a nice job of it. Any holes were filled, and made to feel like they were never there.
    The handle has three very attractive mosaic pins, with a great colour match to the rest of the knife.
    The bolster has a beautiful look to it, but might be a bit too squared off for some. Depending on grip style, you might notice the bolster up against your palm, but I had no real complaints.
    Overall, the handle is my favorite so far.*
    4.5/5

    Blade (Profile and Grind):
    The blade is a cross between a western and a j-knife, in my opinion. It's much closer to a j-knife, with a nice amount of flatness to belly.*
    The tip is about halfway between the spine and bottom of the cutting edge and both flow nicely into it. The location of the tip makes it slightly less useable for fine detail work, as a result of the height. However, the tip becomes a non issue once you "get used to it". For people who like a little bit more height at the tip it is great and instills a sense of durability. If you prefer a more pointed tip, just tell Pierre when you order *
    The heel at the cutting edge rises slightly (a millimeter) towards the spine and lends itself VERY nicely to my preferred "French Style" of cutting. The blade profile makes your hands feel fast and the knife is an eager cutter! For pure push cutters, the somewhat raised heel can very easily be flattened out, but it's not an absolute necessity.
    The grind on the knife appears to be above average, but I didn't take my calipers to it...I know, I dropped the ball on this one! The spine appears to be about 2.3ish millimeters at the heel, with a nice distal taper as well as grind to the edge.*
    I'm sure some would thin it out a touch behind the edge, but for me, I'd leave as is. I plowed through sweet potatoes, Yukon Golds and a ton of other product with no real issues. For the sweet potatoes, I used a bit of a guillotine action (think heel of deba on a fish spine) and cut through almost perfectly, with only minor 'breaking' at the bottom of the slice.
    The only produce I noticed any sticking with was fresh button mushrooms...portabellos were fine, but the white buttons stuck to the side, until the next slice pushed it off. It was strange and I can't figure out why, but I have a feeling that once the side of the blade has been broken in a bit and smoothed out through use and washing that this mysterious phenomenon will disappear - though I could be wrong.
    I'm giving the blade a 4/5 because I prefer a pointier tip and some could complain about the edge profile. Even with these slight issues, I am very impressed and part of the beauty of custom knives is that you get to specify your needs and wants, and these become non-issues. For a "generic" shape, it is great, useable and performs beautifully.*

    Edge Retention:
    And here is the one we all wondered about. How will DAMASTEEL hold up in a kitchen???
    I'm sending the knife on to Caddy with absolutely no touch ups from the minute I got it. It cut a lot of product (produce, fungi, protein, arm hair, paper...) and it is still super sharp. I would love for Caddy to comment on its state once he gets a look at it, just to back up my claim of how the edge held. The edge retained its sharpness at least as well as the vg10 (likely better) I have used, and better than my Misono Carbon. I think this steel is great for a home user, and I can't wait to read what the pros have to say in regards to a commercial kitchen.
    4.5/5 (for home use)

    Overall Feel:
    The gyuto has some heft compared to many j-knives, but is not heavy in any sense. It gives a sense of quality and durability.*
    I was trying to think of a knife that I could compare it to as far as weight and balance are concerned, and the closest I can come up with might have to be a Mac Mighty Chef Knife.*
    You definitely feel the gyuto in your hand, but the balance is directly in front of the bolster (perfect in my opinion) which makes it feel much more nimble than most knives in its weight class.*
    I have the feeling this knife would be a fantastic workhorse. It can trim meat, mince and dice garlic/ginger like an absolute champ and slice literally paper thin slices. In my opinion, it would be an awesome line knife! It can put up with the pounding and do the fancy footwork needed for mise.*
    Overall, I'm giving it a SOLID 4.5/5!

    I'm sad to see it go, but I am truly looking forward to reading everyone else's reviews.*
    I was picking on everything I could, and I had only the few minor 'negatives' to mention.
    Beautiful knife. I love the pattern. The handle is terrific!
    To the rest of the guys in this pass around - Please take care of my gyuto. I'll miss it! But, as they say, *"absence makes the heart grow fonder"!
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  3. #3
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    From dmccurtis:
    I got a chance to handle and briefly use this knife today (thanks Lefty!). The only produce I had on hand to test it with was an apple and a garlic clove, so I was by no means comprehensive in my testing, but it was an interesting look. My thoughts echo Lefty's to a great extent. First off, fit and finish was superb, absolutely no complaints there. Any imperfections were simply the nature of a handmade product, and in no way affect the function of the knife. The finish of the handle was the first thing that impressed me, very nicely fitted and polished. While I didn't love the feel of it in the hand, I also didn't notice it in use, if holding it in a pinch grip. I'm a wa handle user though, so my opinion is coloured by my preference. Regarding the blade, the edge as delivered is one of the best I've seen. I'd agree that it is somewhere equivalent to 6000. The polish looked higher, 8K SS-esque, while the edge had bite like a 3K or so. It cut smoothly, but you could feel the knife in the cut. Again, I didn't exactly have ideal product to test it on, so it will be interesting to hear how it performs on other foods. It will also be interesting to hear how it responds to various stones. Profile wise, I like the long flat spot, though I'd like to see the slight rise at the heel flattened. I found the tip too tall, and too radiused. It has no flat at the tip, which I like to have for detail work. The knife is not too tall at the heel, but doesn't narrow much towards the tip, making the knife feel taller than it is. Lefty described the profile aptly as 'snubnosed.' Again, a preference issue. Those who like Watanabes or Shigefusas will probably find it ideal. While I'd like the knife to be thinner behind the edge, the knife has heft to it, giving it good momentum through the cut. Mighty fans will like it. Overall, I thought the knife was exemplary for a maker relatively new to kitchen knives. Craftsmanship is superb, and it seems like the Damasteel is a very decent performer. I'll be very interested to hear what others who use it have to say.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  4. #4
    Just picked up the knife from Matt, here are some photos.










    Last edited by Jim; 05-26-2011 at 04:02 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mattrud's Avatar
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    nice photos Jim!

  6. #6
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Those are VERY NICE!
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member mattrud's Avatar
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    So here is my write up for the pass round damasteel knife. I do not have the knife with me as I am writing this and have not used the knife in a week, so I may miss a couple things and I apologize.

    Off the bat the knife reminded me very much of the euro-style knives. But upon handling it more I felt it was really a blend of both euro and Japanese design. The construction of the knife is very very nice. The handle is flawless. The handle is beautiful in construction and smooth in all transitions, maybe a little big for my taste but barely noticeable. While both the choil and spine are nicely rounded there is a small area right in front of the bolster that is not rounded. This almost happens to be where my finger at times rests so it can become slightly uncomfortable.

    I ended up quite liking the blade profile. I thought at first it might be a bit too rounded for my cutting style but there is enough flat space for a chopping motion. I think a lot of people with really enjoy Pierre’s blade profile. I like the damasteel pattern but for me personally the more I used it the less I cared. It was not a matter of not liking it but I just did not really matter to me. I think it looks great, but not a big concern of mine.

    The knife came with a sharp edge and I went straight to work with it. The knife has good distal taper, I would not call it a thin knife/laser but not beefy at all, not issues with cutting anything or wedging issues. My one issue is that I found that there was a bit of an over grind on the front side blade near the heel.

    Used it for a day then I decided I wanted to put the edge that I normally use on it to compare it for edge retention and performance. I actually had the rare opportunity to sharpen the knife next to 6 other blades, 5 carbon one stainless. So the knife sharpened up similar to many stainless I have done, most similarly vg-10. It took some work to get the knife sharp. On some stones the edge that it left was no where near the level of some of the carbons, EX. The edge after the kitayama was not really all that good. By the time I got to the end of my progression the knife was very sharp. Not the level of my carbons but certainly on the better side of stainless I have used. I would say somewhere between vg-10 and aeb-l, but much closer to vg-10. Burr removal was much easier though compared to other stainless knives.

    Performance after that was what I expected after the stones. Very nice performance and edge retention overall. On the better end for stainless but not carbon or pm steel. Being stainless is obviously also a big plus in the kitchen especially a pro one. Overall it is a really nice knife. Not my personal style but someone that uses a german knife would be beyond blown away. And people that uses slightly heavier knives (not big or heavy just not lasers which seem to be the big thing right now) will very much like this knife. I very much like this knife I am just more of a carbon guy. But I also look forward to trying other steels that Pierre uses especially his cpm154 and s35v, Pierre really knows how to make a nice knife. And the damasteel does have a place in the kitchen.

  8. #8

    My Pierre Rodriguez Damasteel Gyuto Review



    Initial package:
    I do not have the original packaging.
    This knife was handed to me in a nice silk bag with a tie. The knife had a plastic edge protector on it. The knife included a manufactures certificate outlining the construction and materials.

    Factory Edge:
    Not applicable/ has been re-sharpened.

    Weight & measurements:
    Weight- 280 g
    Cutting edge- 250mm
    Tip to butt- 390mm
    Tip to bolster-260mm
    Bolster to butt-130mm
    Balance point- 260mm from tip

    Fit and Finish:
    The knife was obviously constructed with some great effort and skill by Pierre. As a test knife I am not sure how to rate this, for example the makers name is not on the knife, I cannot comment on that, is it going to enhance the knife or detract? There are some small defects/ fitment issues on the bolsters, liners and wood that cumulatively would have me sending the knife back at this (?) price point. One serious issue is the spine is not rounded where you need it most, the first inch and a half in front of the bolsters.


    Handle:
    For my cutting style and preferences, everything that is wrong with this knife is in the bolsters and handles. Not that there is really anything wrong per se, just for me it’s wrong. The bolsters are sharp faced; the handles are slabby and just too deep. The overall weight and poor balance of the knife is primarily caused by the handle. The balance is way behind my pinch grip, making the knife feel dead and unresponsive in the hand.

    Blade (Profile and Grind):
    I like it a lot! The grind is sweet and even, really nice distal taper and thin just behind the edge. The blade thickens quickly as it moves up the knife. Perhaps a bit too quickly. The blade has an ever-so- slight over grind on the left side of the heel. I would imagine this is just starting to show after it was sharpened.
    The contact patch of the edge is a real joy on the board; it rolls cleanly and evenly all the way to the tip. The tip is a little high but not by much, sliming the front of the knife down, taking some metal from the spine down may lighten the look as well as the feel.

    Edge Retention:
    One word- WOW

    Cutting performance:
    The knife works really well on the board, the blade shape is not something I have used before. It bears a resemblance to the Ino, but cuts much livelier. I prepped 50 Lbs of # 28 potatoes for steak fries and 20lbs of onions with it. No wedging at all. The only item that gave me the slightest wedging and steering was when I was shaving apple slices, no idea why though.

    Conclusion:
    While some of my comments could be seen as harsh, I really like the knife, if we could say this is an experiment with Damasteel than we have a successful result. If we are testing a blade shape and design, than we need some small tweaks. If we are testing a complete new knife design -then there are issues.
    I would urge Pierre to recreate this knife with a simple Wa handle, slim the nose and drop the tip just a scootch, raise the grind a little behind the edge, you will have a fantastic knife for me!

    Thank you for the opportunity to use this knife Pierre!
    Last edited by Jim; 06-04-2011 at 06:00 PM.

  9. #9
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Good stuff! I think those are all great points to think about. Thanks again for all your efforts and thorough assessment, Jim.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member mattrud's Avatar
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    I agree with Jim on the blade being slightly handle heavy for me as well. But The profile and blade really is a winner!

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