Some qualifiers on this review. I've only used the knife twice and it hasn't been on the stones, so no telling what edge retention & sharpening will be like. This is just a first impression. I'm a home cook preparing meals for two, so I just cut things--don't have any radical knife skills (chawp chawp chawp!) Food release isn't as important to me as a knife that's comfortable in the hand and moves effortlessly through the food, although I don't want things sticking so badly that it's a struggle. If it's pretty kitchen jewelry and makes me happy just looking at it, it's a bonus.
When I get a new knife, I'll typically pull out a couple other knives and use them each in rotation--a few slices with each--to do a side by side comparison. Did a little test run on dinner last night--the Maumasi along with a Shigefusa and Rader. Used each one for a little bit on each food item. Onion, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, herbs, and leftover roast pork.
Tonight it was sweet potatoes cut into chunks and assorted seasonings:
I'm REALLY impressed by the Maumasi. The knives have different personalities and strengths, but the Maumasi more than kept up with the Rader & Shige. F&F might even be a little better on the Maumasi. I really, really like the tip on it--great for fiddly work. It has a little bit of flex to it and is really nimble. I suspect it will be hell on wheels removing silverskin from pork tenderloins. Check out the distal taper:
The handle is a little chubbier than the other 2, and I was concerned that it would be too big for my stumpy fingers, but it's really an extremely comfortable knife to use. The choil and spine are nicely finished--no sharp spots to grab or poke you. For those of you who like choil shots, here's a comparison of the 3:
Very little reactivity to anything I cut--it was just starting to show a tiny bit of patina along the edge after the first night (and some nice blue in there), very little the second night. I cut a lime and let the knife sit on the board while I tracked down the camera and took a picture--no reaction. It's the longest knife I own now, but doesn't feel too long to work with, felt balanced in the hand. Didn't notice any wedging on carrots. All 3 knives required some effort to get through the sweet potatoes, but for future use I'd probably grab the Maumasi first for sweet potato prep. (Don't know how it would be on white potatoes, but I love my Shige for that. Slicing potatoes with a Shige is downright sensuous.) As far as food release goes, I didn't notice it--which means for my use it's just fine.
Grabbing this knife was like finding that perfect pair of shoes that feel good the first time you try them on and don't need to be broken in. I think it's going to end up being my go-to knife.