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Thread: new carter kuro uchi funayuki ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member ramenlegend's Avatar
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    Jul 2013

    new carter kuro uchi funayuki ?

    Has anyone had any experience with Carter's newer kuro uchi funayuki? he recently put up a new batch and they are very tempting. The KU finish on them seems very "rustic", and it appears that they have deep grind marks in the photos. Any experience? also, how is the steel on these? taking an edge, edge retention and reactivity.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Minneapolis, MN
    I have an older Carter high grade IP with KU finish and I own / have owned/used a few others in different styles. AFAIK the KU finished, non-stainless gokunan-tetsu blades are the only ones that he completely makes himself (does the lamination). The stainless he buys pre-laminated and then forges and grinds to shape.

    He's only using white #1 these days, and it's a simple, pure, very high carbon steel. He pushes it about as high as it will go in terms of hardness. Ease of sharpening, maintenance (touch ups), and maximum attainable sharpness is all among the best of any steel that I've used, but the trade off is in edge retention and toughness.
    For me, some people bemoan the edge retention, but given the right type of edge geometry and finish, I've had no problem creating and edge that will maintain excellent cutting performance for a day of heavy pro-level use or many days (or even weeks) of home-level use without needing sharpening and will come right back to 95-99% of "fresh" with no more than a few strops on a finishing stone or loaded strop.

    I've also heard reports (but not experienced) that the edge can be kinda chippy at first, but this goes away after a few sharpenings.

    The deep, fugly grind marks are something that I've seen on all of his kitchen knives, from freebies to HG. I'm guessing there's some reason on his part for leaving them (maybe to help release or reduce drag?) but I've slowly removed them as I've gradually thinned and evened the bevels over time.

    Personally, I think that the plain handled KU knives are most "pure Carter" knives that he makes and also the closest to "value" priced (certainly still the cheapest mastersmith blades you're ever gonna get). They're the only type that he currently makes that I'd personally consider purchasing / would be what I'd own if I could have only 1 type of Carter.
    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives).

  3. #3
    So I actually really love the look of the new handle, especially after seeing his recently incorporated custom ones. But I have to ask, whats up with handle having a slight drop off in height when going into the ferrule?

  4. #4
    The ferrule is plastic, The handles are pretty horrible for the price of the knife, easily fixed with a replacement from JNS, JKI or EE.
    In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. Jiro Ono

  5. #5
    i followed the link to check out the other knives and the grind is not very consistent through out the line. I can see the height of where one would stop the polish changing and such but on some it just looks like sloppy work. Shigefusa is my gold standard and his ku knives look like a ruler was used for the grind. I know everyone has a bad day, but....

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Cardiff, UK
    With regard the grind, if it doesn't affect the cutting then IMO it's fine to leave on the cheaper line. I'd rather he make 2 knives quickly than 1 knife slowly, as it means I can afford it. If you want more finishing work look to the HG, if you want more than that the IP.

    It's also something that can be worked out on the stones when thinning. Given a year or 2 of hard use and there will be no remnants of the initial grind marks if you've been maintains it. As a buyer it's also much less daunting thinning a roughly finished carter than a well finished shig, so you're more likely to give it a try.

    I'm also glad he's started offering basic handles on some new knives, everything having a 'custom' handle was a bit frustrating.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Wales, UK
    Mastersmith offers blades for $200 (which everyone knows are great cutters.... I think folk around here forget sometimes what kitchen knives are actually for - they are tools) people find fault and moan. Incredible.

    Lets be honest, given his pedigree (18 years training in Japan and ABS Mastersmith) he is more or less unique as a knifemaker (and obviously in the upper, upper tier).

    Perhaps he should only offer $2000+ westerns made with exotic materials. That'd be better, right?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    May 2013
    I think they look fine. I'd consider one if I didn't have to worry so much about oxidation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brad Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    San Diego, CA
    My KU finished carter is amazing. It took a while to get the edge to where it would last me an entire day at work but it gets super sharp and there is just something special about Carter's blades. They are unique and custom made and they are always a little but different. The cheap ass handle could be replaced and mine is, but I have tried someone else's with the cheap handle and it's not bad. It's his low end knives and they have low end handles. It's kind of fitting honestly
    "A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe." -Thomas Keller

  10. #10
    I'm glad he has a variety of lines, with different pricing. I keep hearing how great his knives are, and it would be nice to try one. I'd rather pay less for the knife, and make my own choice about the handle. (I'm not crazy about some of his HG handles.)

    Personally, I think the uneven KU looks kind of cool.

    There seems to be quite a bit of demand for his knives in his many lines.

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