I haven't seen this reviewed and not sure many people have tried them. I'd been looking at them for a bit now (mainly because of the great price point for a true honyaki blade) so when Maxim put them on sale I couldn't resist. I'll say first experience buying from Maxim, but definitely won't be the last. Simple process and very quick shipping from Europe to US.
The knife is right at 250mm x 46mm and weighs in at 174grams. This is an interesting weight for me, lighter than I'm used to but definitely not a laser. Balance point is at first kanji mark from handle--fairly blade heavy which I like.
Fit and finish was good. Nicely rounded spine and choil. Hamon line is distinct, but somewhat non-traditional--straight line rather than wave. The handle is burnt chestnut which I like for feel/grip. I'm sure it will wind up in burl at some point soon.
The profile is pretty good for me. I like the tip and the belly though the heel could be a slight bit flatter though I can't see it in the not so great pics. Purely a personal thing here, and it really only took a small adjustment to my push cutting motion to get it right. I usually prefer a wider blade but this still feels good in hand and has plenty of knuckle clearance on the board.
Grind is a bit unusual in that both faces are convexed a bit. Almost no wedging with this knife even on big fat onions though I haven't had a chance to cut too many different items with it. It does get some stiction though not too bad. As expected with a knife this thin, it cuts very well with very little effort. The tip is very thin and cuts wonderfully. Overall, this knife feels very nimble in hand.
I broke it in by making a few different batches of fresh salsa (tomatoes, cukes, onions, garlic, corn, chiles, limes and a large amount of cilantro) for a 4th party so it saw plenty of acidic ingredients and the edge held up very well. In fact is would still do the Salty tomato test after a week of use (fairly heavy home use) . It did patina more than I expected as I was under the impression that being honyaki it would be more resistant. That said, there was no discoloration of any of the items being cut and didn't get any of that nasty smell coming off fresh steel. I am getting a bit of microchipping and attribute this to the factory edge, lack of microbevel, and heavy use on acidic items.
So far so good, still a bit lighter than I prefer but getting used to it.
Almost forgot to mention the cool kanji...