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Thread: Drinking the Takeda kool aid

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    Senior Member milkbaby's Avatar
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    Drinking the Takeda kool aid

    It seems in the short time I've been interested in kitchen knives, I've caught the collecting bug. As in collecting more knives than I realistically need for cooking in my home kitchen. But it's all a bit of fun.

    I've been thinking of getting a Takeda gyuto AS (non-stainless clad) because it really stands out as it's own thing with the profile and the grind. And it sounds like they are switching to only offering the stainless clad knives? Is there a particular difference in the profiles for the small 210 versus medium 240 gyutos? Or are they all just going to be whatever size and shape they came out on that day?

    Bonus question: Am I just being stupid?

  2. #2
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milkbaby View Post
    It seems in the short time I've been interested in kitchen knives, I've caught the collecting bug. As in collecting more knives than I realistically need for cooking in my home kitchen. But it's all a bit of fun.

    I've been thinking of getting a Takeda gyuto AS (non-stainless clad) because it really stands out as it's own thing with the profile and the grind. And it sounds like they are switching to only offering the stainless clad knives? Is there a particular difference in the profiles for the small 210 versus medium 240 gyutos? Or are they all just going to be whatever size and shape they came out on that day?

    Bonus question: Am I just being stupid?
    The qualitative nature of collecting is a very nuanced and complicated subject. Regarding the Takeda factor, I'd ask why you gravitate towards the AS, and what signifies a proper specimen, and weigh that against just how much you really want one based on price and availability. If you're actually planning on using said knife; that's a whole other conversation.
    The AI does not love you, nor does it hate you, but you are made out of atoms it might find useful for something else. - Eliezer Yudkowsky

  3. #3
    Senior Member milkbaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainsausage View Post
    The qualitative nature of collecting is a very nuanced and complicated subject. Regarding the Takeda factor, I'd ask why you gravitate towards the AS, and what signifies a proper specimen, and weigh that against just how much you really want one based on price and availability. If you're actually planning on using said knife; that's a whole other conversation.
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think the Takeda "mystique" is alluring; both the reputation for how it cuts and the seemingly major divide in opinion on his knives. And I find them very interesting aesthetically, both the rustic finish, iconoclastic sizing of his gyutos, and the grind.

    And yes, one thing that really appeals to me about collecting knives is that they are useful. A painting is useful as decor but that utility is not on the same active level as using a knife. And I find it interesting how different knives perform; that's part of why I am interested in Takeda.

    I suppose the best way to pick one out is in person, but I don't have that luxury where i live. I can only go off pictures and perhaps some education from the knife enthusiasts here on the forum.

  4. #4
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milkbaby View Post
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think the Takeda "mystique" is alluring; both the reputation for how it cuts and the seemingly major divide in opinion on his knives. And I find them very interesting aesthetically, both the rustic finish, iconoclastic sizing of his gyutos, and the grind.

    And yes, one thing that really appeals to me about collecting knives is that they are useful. A painting is useful as decor but that utility is not on the same active level as using a knife. And I find it interesting how different knives perform; that's part of why I am interested in Takeda.

    I suppose the best way to pick one out is in person, but I don't have that luxury where i live. I can only go off pictures and perhaps some education from the knife enthusiasts here on the forum.
    Beyond the choice of steel, the biggest difference in his knives over the last 4 years or so are the grind. A turn for the worse in most people's opinions. I'm of the opinion that he's taken on too many apprentices, and the QC has dropped substantially. If you were to entertain this thought further, I'd suggest trying to find an older piece. Ordering custom is also a possibility, but based on some of the experiences I've read here on the forum, that may not neccessarily yield positive results.
    The AI does not love you, nor does it hate you, but you are made out of atoms it might find useful for something else. - Eliezer Yudkowsky

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    I have had a Takeda NAS Nakiri for just about a year now. It is a wonderful knife, and it is like a short-ish cleaver! My edge profile is fairly rounded though, so it tends to leave accordion cuts if you are chopping unfortunately. But on the other hand, it can push cut herbs and anything else, you can get the knife up pretty high without digging the tip into your board.

    The grind is good, but needs tuning and polishing. Apart from my Konosuke White #1 gyuto, the Takeda is my favorite knife to sharpen. It is so easy to sharpen, like butter on some of my stones, and takes a really nice mirror polish behind/on the edge with some jnats.

    It is flexible! This can be a good thing if you want to correct the knife, but can be a bad thing if you are really putting some stress on the knife everyday. Same goes for any Takeda sizes, in my opinion.

    Anyways, tldr;

    LOVE THAT STEEL. grind is decent. Handle is GORGEOUS. Nice and light. Awesome chops. Hope the gyuto is just as fun.

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    Im not a collector, but I use my Takeda in my home kitchen. I have 5 kitchen knives from various production times/dates and 4 friction folders (bichu no kami). I recently got a chuka (Chinese cleaver).

    I can give you my opinion:

    - other then they way a knife looks there is not much difference in performance of NAS vs classic. The classic or carbon clad knife requires more care. My gyuto seems to be the most reactive, you can see the yellowish cover in the photo. Bartenders friend and its all gone... I prefer the looks of the classic rustic look of kurouchi, but it does wear off.

    - Aogami steel is really easy to sharpen and stays sharp. You dont have to worry about scratching the finish....

    - non of my knives are wedge monsters people talk about. I keep reading about it and think that people expect them to be lasers and maybe some were. I have read that some are thick behind the edge - you can have it reground either by sending back to Takeda or one of the competent sharpeners on this forum. So, I never worried about it and got my knives used. The bunka that I have was purchased by original owner over 5 years ago and was thick behind the edge. He sent it back to Japan it came back very thin.

    - even when you buy a new knife - it does not look 'new'. Takedas knives can take a lickin and keep on tickin. My friends and family think Im cazy for having so many knives and they have no clue as to what they cost.

    I got attracted to them for the rustic look, artistic difference with every knife he makes. I love the performance, in my humble old home kitchen and use them all the time.

    My advice, if you are going to use them in your kitchen buy a used one for a decent price... use it if you like it keep it, too thick? then regrind. Collecting? they are not that rare although the price goes up every few years because of material and manufactoring costs not because of rarity. Im sure there are other knives worth collecting.



  7. #7
    Senior Member milkbaby's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the comments and information. I'm thinking that I'm getting close to rolling the dice and be willing to thin down a blade if I end up getting one that is to thick behind the primary bevel to perform acceptably well for me...

    Thanks for sharing the cool picture, sergeysus. I'm definitely digging the rough rustic lived-in look to your Takeda knives.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DanHumphrey's Avatar
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    FYI, if you want a similar appearance to the Takedas (though in a more normal profile) for less, you can try the Syousin Chiku at K&S:

    http://www.knivesandstones.com/syous...g-by-kurosaki/

    Similar rosewood handle, AS core, stainless KU cladding. It would still benefit from some thinning, as I understand... but it costs 40% less than the Takeda. And probably cuts at least as well. Do you want the profile, or the rest of the appearance? I wanted a Takeda (and still kinda do) but that's the direction I'd go for a "rustic" knife.
    actually named Mike

  9. #9
    Senior Member tjangula's Avatar
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    The kochi at JKI also pegs my cool meter

  10. #10
    Senior Member milkbaby's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up on the Kurosaki and Kochi, both looking pretty good. Kurosaki seems to be very popular and building a really good rep. And the geometry on the Kochi looks intriguing, like maybe an S grind though maybe that's just my eyes playing tricks.

    However, part of why I'm interested in the Takeda gyuto is the non-conformist height, shape, and geometry plus the reputation of the cutting performance. And personally, no other knife seems to have the look. Part of it is also wanting to personally experience the Takeda "mystique" as it were... Too bad I don't have a friend I can just hang out, cook with, and use their Takeda gyuto.

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