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Damasteel Review - Open Discussion - Page 2
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Thread: Damasteel Review - Open Discussion

  1. #11
    Could this be cause of the full tang?

  2. #12

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
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    There are tons of full tang blades with good balance points. Westerns are just trickier because there is more metal in the handle. Wood density/weight, size of handle, size of bolster, and grind of the blade will all affect the balance point, so if you have a slightly bigger handle with a thin blade it quickly becomes handle-heavy. A tapered bolster and smaller handle (height wise), which would correct other already stated issues, would also bring the balance point back towards the blade. Kill three birds with two stones.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  3. #13
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    I'd attribute it to having a dense, stabilized handle.
    Balance is such a matter of personal preference, I don't think Jim or Matt necessarily see the balance point as a negative overall, but rather a negative to them. Personally, I like where it balances and found it to give the knife an overall sense of quality and durability.
    Theoretically, to make an extreme point, if the same exact handle were made with ho wood, the knife would become blade heavy, as some prefer.
    I think a Larch handle would look pretty sweet, and be a nice middle ground. Hmmm.
    09/06

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  4. #14

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
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    Lefty is right, if you wanted the same size handle/bolster, a lighter wood would help as well. I don't know how Pierre constructs his handles, but additional holes drilled in the tang can help lighten the handle as well.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  5. #15
    Tangs for info

  6. #16
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Well played, sir! Haha
    09/06

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  7. #17
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, I should say that Johnny is right too. It depends how you want to go about it.
    09/06

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  8. #18

    PierreRodrigue's Avatar
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    Jim, Matt, thanks for the reviews! Nicely done. There have been some points raised, tip, bolster, weight, size of handle, etc, that were ok for some, not so for others. Keep in mind for any one ordering a knife from any custom maker, these points are custom as well. A knife made for Jim, might totally be wrong for Matt, or Lefty. This knife will not be everybodys cup of tea, some will like it. The critiques/reviews are a great tool for me, and likely being read by other makers. They will help refine what myself, and maybe a couple others, work int0 future designs. Thanks for taking the time to write these reviews, I for one appreciate it!

    As for the steel, the main reason this knife made pass around status, sounds like it has a place in the kitchen, I look forward to hearing more about edge retention, ease/dificulty of sharpening etc.

    As to balance point, if I remember correctly, its between the bolster, and the heel. For a pinch grip, where would you guys like to see it? How many like a blade heavy/handle heavy/neutral balance? (Again, points to mention if you are looking to get a custom built.) This has my curiosity, any thoughts?

    Again, thanks so much for putting your time into this!!


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  9. #19

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
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    I prefer the balance point to be between the heel and the bolster. Usually anywhere in there is good. Even in front of the heel a little can be fine.

    When a knife is too handle heavy, it does feel "solid" like was said previously, but I feel like the tip gets "lost" when I am using it. I don't know how to describe it really, but with a slightly blade heavy knife I feel like I have more control.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  10. #20
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    I inserted the Damasteel gyuto into my normal rotation and used the knife for small tasks like cutting apples, as well as for larger whole meal preparation. The knives I compared it to were a Shigefusa kasumi 240 wa-gyuto, Mizuno hontanren 270 wa-gyuto, Konosuke white steel #2 270 wa-gyuto, and a Hattori FH 240 yo-gyuto. Given that the knife was a stainless yo-gyuto, I mainly compared it to the Hattori. The Hattori is the only one of a number of stainless yo-gyutos that I've owned that is still in my inventory, and I think it's a tough, though fair, benchmark.

    Appearance:

    The knife looks quite striking. The handle material is well grained, and goes very well with the pattern of the steel. It looks like a high end knife. My girlfriend is my go to for aesthetic judgements and, after she snarled that I had better not have bought it, she agreed that it was good looking. That's quite the judgement, given that she generally shrugs at this stuff.

    Fit and finish:

    The knife was obviously not brand new out of the box and had some small use scratches, so I can't make a complete judgement on the knife. There were some small flaws with the fitting of the handle liners, as mentioned by Jim, but they weren't functional problems, though it definitely dinged it down a point aesthtically. The scales were well fit to the tang, and I didn't notice any sharp edges in the hand. I would have preferred that the spine be rounded, but I didn't find it to be a particular problem, though I probably would have broken the edges with sandpaper had it been my knife (it was comparable in this regard to my Hattori FH). All in all, fit and finish wasn't terrible, but it wasn't up to the standard of the FH (though both knives had sharp spines), which is the knife I mainly compared this to.

    Handle:

    I found that the handle was too tall for me, and wasn't fat enough. Part of why the Hattori has stayed in my arsenal is because its handle is fairly narrow, top to bottom, and has a generous thickness, which works well going from wa handled knives. I would have preferred the scales and bolsters to be more rounded, but It wasn't a bit deal. The balance was a bit off at first, though I didn't find it to be bad, once I became used to it. I agree with Jim that the balance could be improved by a smaller handle. I have pretty big hands, but I find that tall handles get in the way, as I use a pinch grip most of the time. All in all, I think making the handles narrower, spine to choil would be a good idea.

    Edge:

    The knife arrived shaving keen. I didn't put my own bevel on it (see geometry, below), though I did immediately put the edge through my strop progression (.5 CrO on balsa, .25 diamond on balsa, scant .25 diamond on split leather, raw split leather). The edge acquired a couple small chips during my time with it, which were quickly ironed out on my 10k Naniwa superstone. The steel definitely was easy to sharpen on that stone, though the steel felt a little weird on the stone, almost mealy, if that makes sense. I've mostly been sharpening carbon, so it might just be me not used to stainless anymore. The edge retention seemed to be quite good, and probably better than the VG-10 of the Hattori. The edge never turned, and I never felt that it became dull on me during use. I did run it over my leather strops after every use, as I do with all of my knives, and that maintained it just fine.

    Blade geometry:

    The first thing that I noticed, immediately upon examining the knife, is that it was too thick behind the edge. A normal sharpening session wouldn't have addressed this. This wasn't a problem most of the time, but it meant that the edge angles are fatter than they could be, without removing quite a bit of steel. If this were my knife, I would have thinned the knife to about halfway up the blade and then put tall bevels on. The blade makes good contact with the board, and has a good flat section. The blade seemed tall, but this gave good knuckle clearance. Overall, the blade is quite thin, and has a fine distal taper. The tip might be too high for some people, but I like curve towards the tip, so I didn't find it to be a problem at all. Other than the grind not being steep enough towards the edge, it compares well to the FH.

    Cutting performance:

    The thick edge wasn't a problem most of the time. The knife made quick work of potatoes and onions and apples, and the like, with no or minimal wedging. The good contact patch and fine tip made garlic and shallot mincing easy and accurate. Carrots jullienne and brunoise was easy. The knife made a good meat slicer, and did a good job carving a roast. Most of the time it was a joy to use, and I was pleased to have it on my magnet. However, I find that edge thickness and associated inclusive edge angle has at least as much to do with cutting performance as edge keenness on many foods, and I found that things like soft tomatoes and squash became a little bit squished. I found myself grabbing one of my knives when cutting soft food.

    Conclusion:

    It's a good knife. Make the grind steeper and make the handle narrower top to bottom and a bit more rounded and it'll be a great knife.

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