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FS Kato Workhorse 240mm, custom black palm handle
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Thread: FS Kato Workhorse 240mm, custom black palm handle

  1. #1
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    FS Kato Workhorse 240mm, custom black palm handle

    I bought this knife after using a friends and being a bit confused about the grind and the coresteel. I was also interested to check out the handle, which is clearly Rader-inspired.

    The knife was lightly used when I got it and had been responsibly maintained with thinning. However, I've thinned and blended the bevels into a continuous convex to bring out what I felt was the full potential of the knife without changing is fundamental "Katoness."

    It's also, IMO one of the trickiest core steels to get super-absurdly sharp (think shun SG2 but even more glass-hard) but I feel like I finally figured out how to achieve the right balance between hair-popping keenness, bite, and retention.

    I found the stock handle on the other Kato that I used to be a bit light for the blade. I don't mind blade-heavy at all, but I felt that the balance point did not line up with the profile in terms of where it naturally "wanted" to make contact. I think that the slightly heavier and larger custom handle made an improvement in balance and contact point while still maintaining the benefits of blade-heavy balance.
    I'm a pretty vocal critic of handle designs and there are many that look cool, but I feel lack a basic understanding of kitchen knife ergonomics, and it's very difficult to improve on a good WA design. This is one of the few exceptions for me. It makes me think of a cross between a large Rader handle and a half-octagonal WA. I really like it and I think it looks even better in person.

    It took me several months to fully understand the knife and then a few more of carefully tweaking to get it where I think it's at it's best. Now I'm ready to let it go on to it's next home. I think that most of the difficult work is already done with this knife, but it will still require some skill to sharpen, thin, and maintain. It is not for the novice owner, but for a fellow jaded knut who is looking for something unique and a little challenging.

    I also hand polished and then etched the blade using Dave's method. I think it looks great with the black handle.

    The finish is a bit faded and has a few minor blemishes from normal use so, I will either re-etch or hand polish (or do nothing) as per the buyer's request.

    Asking $525 inc shipping and ins. to USA
    International shipping is fine, but you pay the additional (not full) shipping cost.

    I'll take more pics and get full specs for anyone with serious interest that wants them:




    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chefu's Avatar
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    Do you mind if I ask who made the handle? I can't quite tell, does it have a horn ferrule and buttcap?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chefu View Post
    Do you mind if I ask who made the handle? I can't quite tell, does it have a horn ferrule and buttcap?
    I was told Matt Stephens made the handle. The ferrule and buttcap is a different material than the body of the handle (which seem unmistakable as black palm, but I'm not sure what the ferrule and cap material is. IT seems to be black w/ black grain that looks more like wood than horn and makes me think perhaps something like bog oak, but I really don't know. Does seem to be dense, strong, hard stuff though.
    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded

  4. #4
    Yep Bog Oak. And it was Matt who made the handle
    Huw
    In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. Jiro Ono

  5. #5
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    This is a beauty. Matt makes great handles, and I remember discussing the nuances of Rader's handles with him before. I'm guessing he did a nice job of incorporating, but not stealing the design.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

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    I hate to hijack a FS thread with a question, but what is a Kato ?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue108 View Post
    I hate to hijack a FS thread with a question, but what is a Kato ?
    quote from http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com...u/?sort=newest
    These beautiful knives are made by Mr. Kiyoshi Kato, born 1944 in Tokyo. He began swordsmith training in 1964, at the age of 20, and is currently a licensed sword smith. He now uses his incredible collection of very old, and difficult to obtain, Tamahagane steels to form his own sword masterpieces.
    He entered the field of knife making in 1977 by creating his first hunting and kitchen knives, and currently makes knives in his new Hokuto City workshop, found in the Yamanashi Prefecture.
    Mr. Kato uses a special quenching technique, utilizing charcoal and water, which imparts an extra degree of hardness not often seen in regular clad knives.This gives all of his kitchen knives a feel very similar to Honyaki, incredibly stiff with little to no flex!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rogue108 View Post
    I hate to hijack a FS thread with a question, but what is a Kato ?
    The actual brand of the knife is Yoshiaki Fujiwara. The knife maker's name is Kiyoshi Kato.

    Most of the time we call them as Kato.

    Hope it helps.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hbeernink's Avatar
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    holy bejeebus. I'm normally a 'trad-wa' guy when it comes to handles, but I like this one quite a bit. GLWS

  10. #10
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hbeernink View Post
    holy bejeebus. I'm normally a 'trad-wa' guy when it comes to handles, but I like this one quite a bit. GLWS
    Thanks, and I agree. Most wa-to-western conversions never look quite right or "natural" to me, but this one does.
    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded

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