Hello from Canada!
First some background: I got into knives several years ago thanks to my cousin. He married a Swede and they lived in Northern Sweden for about six years. While there he was exposed to the Scandinavian knifemaking culture and brought back several very nice examples both by local makers, and knives he had made himself.
I thought this was fantastic and set about ordering some scandi blades and doing my own handles and sheaths with quite good results. This has already led to several commissions and I have made somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 customs now, both stick and full tang. None of this has anything to do with kitchen knives so I will now put a sock in it
Several months ago I ordered some Fallkniven blades which are swedish but made of Japanese VG10. This got me thinking 'I wonder what's available for Japanese kitchen knives that would be better than my Globals?'...........
Holy rabbit hole batman!!
So far I have purchased three knives:
Super orange low light photos-
By the way, the cutting board is Larch wood (tamarack) and is made in Eastern Canada. Awesome cutting board!
The Petty some of you will be familiar with. It is a JCK Kagayaki AS 150. It is beautiful with great FF. It gets unbelievably sharp but the cladding is REALLY reactive. If you cut a tomato and leave it for a couple minutes the cladding starts to turn orange!
The Gyuto and Nakiri were purchased at a local dealer in Calgary called Knifewear (check out their site). It is a super cool shop run by total knifenuts. They only carry Japanese knives and stock some seriously cool stuff (they have a huge stone selection and some other kitchen stuff as well but the focus is the knives). They carry even more than what's on the site and they have hand sharpened versions of almost all the knives on mag strips for you to fondle and try out on potatoes, tomatoes etc.
Both knives are from lines which are designed by the owner of knifewear and hand made by Japanese smiths. The custom designed knives are called "Masakage".
The Gyuto is a 210 made by Miroshi Kato San in Takefu and is White steel with stainless cladding. It is much thinner than the choil picture makes it look due to a very thick tang and rapid distal taper.
The Nakiri is a 165 made by a 30 year old smith named Yu Kurosaki also in Takefu. It is White steel with iron cladding. He gets the X pattern by forging with a hammer with a raised X on it. This Nakiri is pretty much Takeda thin and performs awesome. It also is thinner than the choil suggests due to aggressive distal taper. The cladding is less reactive than the JCK and is taking a great patina.
I already had some waterstones for sharpening my scandi's but have added a couple more.
Counter clockwise from top left is a Norton 220 (like abrasive suspended in butter ), next are Bester 700 and 2000 (not bad but a bit too hard and they tend to glaze. Not a problem if you flatten them every time). Next is a Naniwa 4000 but not a superstone. It is sold under the name "Lobster brand" but is made by Naniwa. It is my favorite stone. Feels awesome, wears slow and makes good mud. Last is an Imanishi 8000 which I also really like. Top right is a Norton flattening stone which works great. Strop used daily. Knives are kept sharp enough to fall through phone book pages from the top.
I have been enjoying lurking on this forum and the "other" forum but decided I would join this one as it seems friendlier and drama free. Besides, it looks like most of the knowledgeable folks from there are here now!
I look forward to learning more and possibly having something to contribute with all you other addicts!
P.S. I currently have a Masamoto KS 240 Gyuto coming from JCK but our flippin postmen are on strike!
Sorry about the looong read!