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Thread: Gesshin Uraku, what's the steel?

  1. #81
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    You are acting like those aeb-l knives for less than 100$ haven't affected makers here that make aeb l knives because they aren't as good? I fail to see how labeling and categorizing inferior products with superior products just because the steel used was the same, it's not apples with apples, maybe we should just group all knives by price point? We don't do that either, because we 'know' that's not right, so why is just grouping steel right. Hell, you can search knives by the steel on CKTG, that just gets this misinformation circle going.

    This is an interesting debate imo, some interesting points have been brought up, but after using tons of knives in the same steels, and different steels, I can say I wish more sellers were like Jon. You tell him what you are working with, what you want, what has failed to impress, things like that, and he won't let you down. Also, about the welcome to the world of capitalism, I personally think we should not look at big money grubbing corporations for advice on running our small businesses, maybe Jon isn't trying to get rich, but he also isn't trying to get taken out of business either. He needs the advantage he has if he is going to continue operating against big guys that are circling like vultures like Dave said.

  2. #82
    Senior Member Baby Huey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Houston, Tx
    It has been a good debate up to a point. Almost seems like it is being stretched now. Some peoples opinions are just that THEIR opinions. I have not purchased a knife from Jon yet, but plan to in the near future. I plan to purchase from him because of the name he has made for himself. I feel (In my opinion based on other people's opinions) that he is a good example of how more people should run their businesses. That being said I would not deem myself worthy to tell him how to run his business. If we became friends then I could maybe offer advice, but to push it beyond offering would just be rude. What he is doing is working for him and all of his satisfied customers so far.

  3. #83
    And that gets us right back to the issue that you might do that, but there are likely many who wouldn't. How else are certain sites still successful?

    As for apples and apples, I think my comparison was very much that. When shopping woth Jon, you need to know the steel of your knife as much as you need the manufacturer's name/chemical composition of your sharpening stones. It's a false "need". Sure it's nice (I guess), but we don't actually gain anything by it even if we think we do, while those who went and found those specific knives or stones stand to lose by sharing the info that would allow others to sell the same products. At worst, think of giving up that type of access to info as being a necessary evil to keep vendors like Jon around.

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliPepper View Post
    If on the other hand we're saying that vendor A does all the research, invests in his knowledge and comes up with the decision (and risks) to propose a product to his customers, then vendor B copies that choice, contacts the same manifacturer and sells exactly the same product at lesser price... well... welcome to the bitchy world of capitalism.
    This is precisely the problem. There are vendors out there that are simply trying to capitalize on the success of products of other vendors, whether by trying to provide the same knife or product at a lesser price (sometimes at a loss simply to take away market share) or by blatantly selling a similar specification and looking product, although not identical. Many similar knives are marketed by the type of steel. This is fact, not hyperbole.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliPepper View Post
    It might indeed take less to copy someone's choice of stones and sell them for 5 bucks less thus damaging the original seller but you CAN'T sell any knife made of aebl hoping it's the same as one in the same metal made and sold by Devin.
    You obviously haven't seen how many people have bought AEB-L knives because they "want to try the steel" and have heard that "it's a good steel" or how cheaper AEB-L knives are marketed as having "good steel." A newbie doesn't understand the significant difference in quality. But the company selling these inferior AEB-L knives doesn't explain that there's a difference. It's capitalizing on the reputation of the quality of that steel. This is similar to how so many German companies emphasized for years that their knives used X50CrMoV15 and how sellers also did the same. I bought a set of Messermeister Meridian knives for friends of mine in the mid-90's as a wedding present; the seller made a point of how Messermeister used the same steel as Wusthof and Henckels. No one said that the quality of the steel was any different between makers.

    The seller of these cheaper AEB-L knives is capitalizing on the good work of one person in particular. Who is the person who showed knife enthusiasts how good AEB-L can be? That's right - Mr. Devin Thomas.

    In my opinion, and based on what I've seen over the years, Devin nearly singlehandedly made AEB-L an important steel for kitchen knives. I had started seriously researching kitchen about a year or so before Devin made his first batch of ITK AEB-L knives. When these knives came out, there was such an unbelievable demand for them. Batches of his gyutos sold out in minutes. I'm not exaggerating one bit. I think one batch of 10 or so knives sold out in two minutes.

    You're right. People shouldn't think that a cheaper AEB-L knife is the same as one sold by Devin. But, no one is telling the buyer of those cheaper knives that they're any different, and most buyers don't even know that there is a difference.

    And, now, you're even starting to see people complaining about these cheaper AEB-L knives. In the end, this may even hurt Devin or any higher end knife maker that uses AEB-L as more and more people use these inferior AEB-L knives and begin to think the opposite: that AEB-L knives are not good.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  6. #86
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Vancouver, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliPepper View Post
    If on the other hand we're saying that vendor A does all the research, invests in his knowledge and comes up with the decision (and risks) to propose a product to his customers, then vendor B copies that choice, contacts the same manifacturer and sells exactly the same product at lesser price... well... welcome to the bitchy world of capitalism.
    I would still do all I can to support vendor A because I admire dedication, passion and good customer service but that's just me, and the world is a big place.
    (but here we're getting miles away from the original subject which was the importance of disclosing just the type of steel in a knife)
    Business have information that they wish to keep confidential or secret to make it sound more intriguing. It can be pretty basic, such as which items are going to be in the weekly ad. The number of units which they are going to get of a popular product.

    When it comes to purchasing knifes or stones, we often look to trusted members, to get their opinion. In the old forum, there was a period when people were finding new stone makers in Japan, and ordering their product. Dave's business became a testing laboratory. He was buying stones but people were sending him recommendations and stones. One of the anticipated posts were Dave's review of a stone. If it was positive, then the vendors who sold the stone, saw a sudden increase in sales. Ken was an early user of Chosera stones. He was trying to tell people, that Chosera were great stones. When Dave did a review of the Chosera, and reported they were great stones, they became popular.

    Dave's opinion, carries weight and adds value to a product. The stone line up, was a natural extension of his business. Here are the same stones that a professional sharpener uses. The problem is without Dave's recommendation or comments, how do you sell the stones? The vendor isn't just selling stones, he is selling Dave's reputation.

    I don't know in and outs of being a knife maker. But if makers are reluctant to share information on type of steel used in their knives, I'm sure they have their reasons. Maybe they don't want preconceived notions on steel, limiting their sales. Or it could be they are trying to maintain a competitive edge.

    There is a notion that members will pay more to buy a product from a trusted vendor. Human nature is to take the best deal. If two vendors have the exact same product, the one with the lower price is more likely to win.

    I'm a over-sized, under-educated, two onions a month, cutting fool.

  7. #87
    Senior Member ChiliPepper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    New Zealand
    Yeah, I hear you guys and I think that, at the end, we all agree to support people like Dave and Jon because they have invested so much in researching the best and bringing it to us. That doubles up with a unique dedication to customers and this combo is just too precious to be discarded for a few dollars difference as proposed by other "lurchers". I haven't had the chance to deal with such nice vendors because of distance and shipping costs but I trust your opinions/reviews and sincerely hope they continue to have the success they deserve.
    I still think though that keeping the steel a secret is a bit "meh", that's exactly why I'd never buy a mystical magical noo-bah-whateva "black steel" knife. I just feel like the seller is treating me like a brainless moron. Sorry maybe it's just my ego talking.Anyway I'll respect a trustful seller if he decides to keep it a secret and that helps his valuable business.
    That Gesshin Kagekyio, on the other hand...

  8. #88
    Late to the party

    on Dave, Jon and Devin. Same apply to Jnats and synthetic stones ! Thats why i dont bother to write strata, full name and full Appearance. I have been proven wrong so many times that it just dont make sense anymore.
    Same with Steel !

  9. #89
    Bottom line is the vendor has a right to withhold that information for any reason they see it necessary, if you have a problem buying from them then thats your decision. When it comes to Jon at JKI you must be crazy to worry about purchasing from him, i have never had an issue with a purchase from him, but i feel confident if i had that Jon would have taken care of it right away.

    He doesn't sell his products just to make a dime, he is selling them to people who actually need them, he searches for what you need and fits you, not just your wallet. You have tons of members here who vogue for him so if your new, dont get hung up on steel types, contact him and see what he recommends for you, i guarantee you will not be disappointed.

  10. #90
    This thread is longer than it needs to be.

    Business is a learn as you go thing. You learn from your mistakes and it is necessary to adjust so that it doesn't happen again. It is impossible to run a business at the whims of the customer, there has to boundaries set in place to preserve the integrity of the business as a whole.

    Jon/JKI is a great example of how a business should be run.

    Nuf said.

    Love and respect


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