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Novice tweaks to a Zakuri funayuki
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  1. #1
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    Novice tweaks to a Zakuri funayuki

    This is my first knife modification post, and I don't know how often I'll get to post, but I have been having a little bit of fun with one of my new knives and kind of wanted to share.

    I recently ordered a pair of Zakuri knives: a Tosagata bocho 165mm and a funayuki 135mm. I was going to order through JKI and ask Jon to clean up the edges if possible, but the shipping cost was a bit too extreme for me, so I had to go through a Japanese vendor instead. Good price, but no customization.

    Anyway, I received them not long ago and failed to fall in love. I mean, they have really nice profiles that are almost exactly what I want, but the rough sharp edges and the kind of gritty-feeling bead blasted finish on the bevel were a bit disappointing, and the funayuki had some grind inconsistency that left a slightly uneven edge. Unlike most folks, I didn't really think the handles were a problem.

    So today I had some rare spare time and decided to play a bit with the funayuki since it was cheaper and I wouldn't be devastated if I ruined it.

    The main difference one can notice is the bevel has been (mostly) flattened. I'm not a polisher and don't have the right stuff to do a really cool polish with, but you can see it's a lot nicer than the bead blasting on the Tosagata:


    The opposite side had pretty significant convexing of the edge, so I decided to preserve some of that. After I worked the edge to be relatively clean and even (I may have put a minor bird's beak on, but it'll come off soon), I decided to give the choil a bit of a softening:


    It isn't super polished, but it feels smooth to the fingers and quite comfy. Last thing to do for now was soften the spine a bit to make it more cozy in a pinch grip. Again, not super-refined, but the Zakuri is not a super-refined kind of blade.


    I don't have plans to replace the handle myself in the near future, but it might happen sometime. After sharpening a little, this funayuki is now one of my sharpest knives with a really thin grind, and I have to say now I'd be a bit bummed if this knife disappeared or got damaged.

    I know it's not all that impressive, but I just wanted to share since I'm quite happy with the improvement so far.

  2. #2
    Zakuri is a nice knife, and it looks like you made it a lot nicer. Congrats!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for sharing your modifications to a good knife to make it better.

    Rick
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

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    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
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    You did great job on these. I had Zakuri once and it I agree that they are worth the work.

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    Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I know Zakuri isn't a very exciting brand in a forum full of Devins, Markos, Shigefusas, Katos, Heijis, &c.; so I was a little reluctant to post at first. Still, these relatively simple changes have turned one of my more disappointing knife purchases into one of my favorites.

    Getting the edge even was a bit of a chore, since I don't have any dedicated lower grit stones. Had to use a 400-grit diamond plate, and it still took a couple hours to work it out. Pads of my fingers got a bit worn down.

    Once it was mostly flat, I cleaned it up a lot on a JNS 1000, then reintroduced a very slight convexity with 15-micron polishing film over a layer of 70gsm office paper before finishing the edge.

    The funayuki is a thin grind, and compares pretty well with a Harner knife in a similar size. The Tosagata is thin as well, but not as thin as the funayuki just behind the edge.

    I haven't done any tweaking to the Tosagata knife, but my success with the funayuki is encouraging. Perhaps when my fingers heal a bit, I'll start on it and see if it responds as well.

    It disturbs me a little that even with a few higher-end knives, a $35 Zakuri with some elbow grease has become a favorite.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cclin's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. Is that single-bevel or double-bevel funayuki ?? I'm always want to try a ture single-bevel funayuki....
    Charles ***[All statements I made here only my personal opinion and nothing more!]*** & Please bare with me for my crappy English!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cclin View Post
    Thanks for sharing. Is that single-bevel or double-bevel funayuki ?? I'm always want to try a ture single-bevel funayuki....
    My particular example might be a bit peculiar, but it's a double bevel. The side facing the camera is ground all the way to the edge, and has no additional edge bevel. I have added a microbevel to it. The reverse side has an additional steeper convex edge bevel, so it's pretty asymmetric.

    In general, it seems that Tosa knives are double-beveled even in variants that are normally not (Zakuri's "yanagiba" is double-beveled). I've been considering a nice single-bevel funayuki like the Sakai Yusuke version, but the spine seems quite thick so I'm holding back. I like thin knives.

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    Senior Member Brad Gibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XooMG View Post
    My particular example might be a bit peculiar, but it's a double bevel. The side facing the camera is ground all the way to the edge, and has no additional edge bevel. I have added a microbevel to it. The reverse side has an additional steeper convex edge bevel, so it's pretty asymmetric.

    In general, it seems that Tosa knives are double-beveled even in variants that are normally not (Zakuri's "yanagiba" is double-beveled). I've been considering a nice single-bevel funayuki like the Sakai Yusuke version, but the spine seems quite thick so I'm holding back. I like thin knives.
    the funayuki single bevel is supposedly the thinnest single bevel knife to be had. I believe they do not encourage beginner single bevel knife users to use a funayuki because it is extremely prone to chipping.
    "A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe." -Thomas Keller

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Gibson View Post
    the funayuki single bevel is supposedly the thinnest single bevel knife to be had. I believe they do not encourage beginner single bevel knife users to use a funayuki because it is extremely prone to chipping.
    I recall reading that on Korin or somewhere, but they are frequently sold as general-purpose and, in the Sakai Yusuke case (http://www.sakai-ya.com/gin3/g3-f180.htm) quite beefy at the spine (4mm). Might be pretty fine near the edge, and that might cause issues if one puts lateral stress on the blade, but I'm not totally sure I buy into the "advanced users only" thing.

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    Yay, today was my first opportunity to test the new Zakuri...just a few raw carrots, so nothing comprehensive...but enough for an impression.

    Wow. This knife is crazy. I guess the thin edge is something to be gentle with, but wow. Almost no resistance in the carrots, and excellent release.

    Hopefully I can get the Tosagata to be half this awesome...but man trying to clean up the bevel on a diamond plate sucks. Should I look into a 300-400 stone? Looking at JNS 300 because of shipping, but might consider something else. Not sure how much coarse work I can do to justify it though...

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