Kanetsune sujihiki feedback?
My brother is looking to buy a budget sujihiki and sent me this link (please remove the link if not allowed)
The knife is a KANETSUNE SEKI MINAMOTO KANEMASA SERIES SUJIHIKI 300MM. Anyone have any feedback about this knife or other knives within this line? Any other suggestions that hover around this price point for a 300mm suji?
ive talked to a few owners via pm half a year ago and descided against it. i dont know if its ok to post the pms that i received from those guys?
well, some anonymous comments:
"Great profile for a suji and the edge retention is very good as I use it only as a slicer and there's not a lot of board contact. Not reactive at all and mine developed a patina pretty quick. Never had another suji to compare it to but I'm thinking of selling mine only to try something else. Excellent knife for the money."
"It's not stinky, super reactive like the fujiwara, but there will be patina and a slight smell to the blade. I have not noticed any transfer of odour onto food.
I used it on the line to cut crusty protein w/ a lot of char. I went through a lot of hanger steaks, coete de bouef etc......Edge retention was avg I'd say, but again what I cut dulled the knife a lot quicker than cutting fish. I sharpened twice a week, and even then I feel I could've squeezed in an extra sharpening except I was lazy.
I wanted a low cost knife to abuse at work, something I wasn't worried w/ banging the tip. Now, if you want a sexy, ultra thin suji that is all the rage, then this isn't for you.
I do find the tool carbon steel to be harder to get razor sharp compared to my other carbon knives (blue steel 2, aogami super, CCK cleaver)."
"I still have my Kanemasa suji, and I really like it. It took quite a bit of setting up, however. The only other suji that I can compare it to was a tojiro DP, which was sort of in the same boat. Both knives are heavily thinned behind the edge (the Tojiro I bought second hand and it came that way, the Kanemasa I had to do it myself). It wasn't terribly impressive when I got it straight out of the box, so I spent quite a lot of time thinning one side very heavily (bringing it to a 90/10-ish edge).
As far as edge retention, it's about what I expect for lower-tier carbon steel. Not brilliant, but certainly more than what I need as a home cook (especially on a suji, that doesn't exactly see a ton of use). It responds to stropping quite nicely, and never really needs sharpening before my gyuto does. In terms of sharpness, I will say that it doesn't get quite a nice as my Massamoto HC, but is much better than my old carbon Sabatier or carbon Wusthof.
Other notes.. It's quite thin and rather flexible, especially as you get closer to the tip. I preferred the Tojiro for being slightly stiffer in this regard, but it has taught me how to properly draw the knife along it's line rather than using more powerful forward strokes. I make nicer cuts, but it might take a bit longer. These are all mostly my own technique issues, but I thought I would mention.
The last thing about the Kanemasa is the reactivity of the steel. It is quite reactive and it uses a less pure carbon steel with some sulfur in it, so it will stink. It is quite noticeable at first, and something you should be prepared to put up with. I never noticed off flavors in my food, but you can certainly smell the knife while you're cutting. Several forced-and-removed patinas and some general use later, my knife no longer stinks, ever.
To sum it up, I'd say it's a brilliant bargain if you don't mind spending some time to set it up, and want to save some money on a knife you won't use that often. Now I love the thing, it can slice raw and cooked meats beatifully, do a bit of veg/herb prep if I forgot something when I had the gyuto out, and is even flexible enough that it works quite nicely filleting fish if my cheapo-deba isn't around."
"Yes, I still have it. It's a 240 'E' series. It's ok as a slicer....but I prefer something a little less curved. I use it primarily to skin salmon sides and trim out strips & ribeyes where it excells. The steel is somewhat reactive, but takes a nice patina quickly. Easy to sharpen on a 1.2k-5k-8k progression because the steel is slightly soft.
Compared to my other sujis (Moritaka, Martell, Catcheside, and a Sabatier) it is about average. But then, the Martell blows the rest of them away by far. If I could only have one suji, it would be the Martell. I understand that Marko Tsourkan makes a hell of a knife, but I haven't tried one yet."
"I still have kanemasa suji. I don't use suji much, but I have bought three in total: kanemasa 270mm suji, sakai yusuke 300mm wa white steel, and yoshikane sld damascus 270mm. Yusuke was sold about a year ago because I didn't use it much. SLD was bought because of pure awesomeness at a great price from Maxim.
Kanemasa is currently a bread knife and a roasted meat slicer to go through crusty bits. It is not the thinest knife OOTB, and I have been using it as such. Sakai yusuke are yoshikane sld are a fair bit thinner, particularly behind the edge. Edge holding wise, probably not too far off from white steel yusuke. I think it is pretty good for raw meat and soft protein and crusty stuff I am giving it to do the job, but I have sharpen it rather obtuse/robust for the task.
I bought it when it was about 80 US from japan-blades: http://japan-blades.com/chef-knives/370.html At current price, I would go for Fujiwara FKH http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/FKHSeries.html given that I have had a gyuto from the same series and it was quite good for the price.
If you have more budget, have a look at Ashi Ginga Carbon Western handle:
Yoshihiro Carbon Western handle:
Misono Swedish dragon:
I originally bought this Kanemasa 300 suji just to slice steaks and roasts, but it has become my primary prep knife. It strikes a nice balance between having some belly, but not too much belly, takes a great edge, not too reactive to food, not too chippy, and good value for the money. Not so sexy, but gets it done. In my opinion, comparable to the old Hiromoto HC series that used to be the go to recommendation for a first carbon knife. I have converted it to something like 90/10 and it just takes daily abuse. I don't have to worry about it, can easily get a replacement if needed. Just my opinion. Good luck.
edited to add: unlike many sujis, has good knuckle clearance for board work, which is good for me, but may not be what you want.
Last edited by tweyland; 11-15-2013 at 02:03 AM.
Reason: Added comment about knuckle clearance