OK, a very short review of a new knife I bought on Maxim's most recent (current) sale. The knife is kurouchi with a pear finish--nashiji? It's listed as white steel, so guessing it's white 2?
I bought this to check out: 1) what people call a line knife and 2) Itonomonn even though this is probably more of an entry level knife than some of the other Itonomonn blades Maxim sells. It retails for ~$115 and now on sale for ~$75. I could've got free shipping has I spent another fifty bucks but really wasn't trying to buy anything else so my total cost with shipping to the states was ~$110!
First the good stuff. Nice feel in hand (123g) with a respectable ho wood wa handle with decent size to it. Even with the handle size there is still a bit of board clearance and my hands are fairly large. The kurouchi finish is very nicely done. The spine is eased and comfortable. The edge is sharp--where there is good edge. There are no obvious over/under grinds and the blade is straight. The handle fits the tang nicely as there are no gaps and the blade is inserted straight.
Not so great stuff next and it's really not bad. The choil could use some easing. The edge bevel is horrible--it ends on the front side about 2 cm in front of the heel. The top kanji mark is too close to the spine so that where it would complete is actually on the spine. The exposed part of the iron cladding has a finish that I don't like (wants to rust).
I'm guessing this series is likely made by one or some younger makers as it sounds like fit and finish is better on some of the other Itonomonn knives.
I'll report back once I put some new bevels on it and give it a few good workouts but I made a stew with it to break it in--I know, but I'm a home cook so it's a lot for me--and it performs well and feels like it may be a fun knife.
I really have no need for a line knife so I didn't want to spend $200 to see what the fuss was about since I don't do this for a living. I may not know exactly what you pros do but I can see where it would be a nice knife to use in a tight space. The only limitation I found was making the first cuts on long carrots which were longer than the knife--the tip worked great. I thought about that being an issue, but the same would apply for someone using a 210 gyuto. The knife feels shorter in hand which to me says something good about any knife.
It's cool enough and such a great value that I am definitely going to clean up the bevels and ease the choil though I can't say if I'll find enough of a need for it to keep it--I already have more gyutos/cleavers than I could possibly use.
Thanks to JNS for a great deal once again! If you are a pro who knows how to sharpen and looking for a line knife I would suggest that this may be a perfect knife for the money.
So I thought I finally had bought one of every brand of knife Maxim offers or has offered (as well as a bunch of rocks) and then I saw this.
Oh and the obligatory:
and with a 240 Kochi (that got some weird light in this pic)