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Thread: Questions for single bevel users

  1. #11
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    i own a Yoshihiro usuba and yanagi, along with a little 120mm Ikeuchi ajikiri, all in white #2. i've gotten pretty good at sharpening and maintaining and polishing the blades, and i'm glad i didn't spend a fortune on knives for learning with. i find myself using the usuba quite a bit, especially for root vegetables, as it just falls through them in a way that none of my gyutos do, even my lasers. it makes carrot brunoise really quick, fun and easy. i would really like a better yanagi (my Yoshihiro yanagi was quite uneven front and back and, while i have it fixed now, it's not quite how i want it and i don't think it ever will be), but i don't cut enough fish to make it worthwhile, and the yanagi i have is very sharp and perfectly functional. i guess what i really want is a better looking yanagi. i'd love a Shigefusa to match my Gyuto, and i have no doubt i could maintain a good yanagi very well, now. not in the budget, though. i use the little ajikiri constantly, as i cook a lot of whole chicken, and the thing helps make short work of portioning.

  2. #12
    for what its worth, i almost never recommend kiritsuke to someone learning about single bevel knives... kiritsuke are hybrids of yanagiba and usuba. Once you can use yanagiba AND usuba well, then a kiritsuke MIGHT be the right knife for you. However, more often than not people want to buy them because they look cool (and i agree... they do look cool). But, at the end of the day, its a more difficult knife to use well and will not help you develop proper technique as much as getting a yanagiba and/or usuba. I say if you're going to just get started with single bevel knives stick to yanagiba, usuba (or kamagata usuba), and deba. Then, once you become comfortable with those, start to look at other shapes and styles.

    @Darkhoek Mioroshi is just yanagiba and deba... not really gyuto at all in my experience. There are some gyuto-like things you can do with it, but i wouldnt call it gyuto-esque. That being said, i'm right there with you on liking that style/shape... 210-240 is just about right for me.

  3. #13
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    Aha, thanks for the insights Mr. Broida! I think I will most likely go in the Usuba direction to start as it will get far more use in my kitchen than a Yanagiba would.

    For a Usuba, what length would you recommend? I can understand wanting to start smaller but I also don't want to have to spend the money twice if I feel like I need something longer later.

    Jon, I was looking at the Suisin Shironiko and Kamagata Shironiko Usubas on your site. They seem very reasonably priced even in the 210 length! Would this be a good place to start? How's the F&F on these and do they come "opened" or is that something I will need to do? *If this is not cool from a vendor standpoint feel free to PM me*

    From what I understand, the difference in shape (regular or Kamagata) is more down to personal preference, however I can see that the regular style, due to the rounded tip, might be less likely to snag the cutting board on not quite level push/thrust cuts. Any thoughts on this?

    Yeah, I'm the analytical type......

  4. #14
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    i have a 180mm Usuba, and it feels just about right in my hand. it's easy to control and nimble, but it is long enough to do everything i want. i tend towards long gyutos, but the completely flat profile of most Usubas means you have much more good blade section to work with even with a shorter knife.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdipisReks View Post
    i have a 180mm Usuba, and it feels just about right in my hand. it's easy to control and nimble, but it is long enough to do everything i want. i tend towards long gyutos, but the completely flat profile of most Usubas means you have much more good blade section to work with even with a shorter knife.
    I hear ya, I currently have a 165 Nakiri and find it extremely versatile.

  6. #16
    I got into single bevels way after I bought one. I got one to use at the sushi bar I got hired at, because it was a job requirement. I pretty much never used it, because my boss told me I had to have a yanagi, but then he told me that I can't cut sashimi. So I would just stare at it, fascinated, while I used my gyuto for everything.

    I tried to sharpen it after it dulled down a bit, and boy did I screw it up. I had no idea what I was doing, and felt like I was running in circles trying to sharpen it. Found out a few months ago when I re-approached it with a new mindset, and the bevel is not dead flat, and it wasn't even enough to be called a hamaguriba. Oh well, that's a $180 yanagi for you. There's still an overgrind way up the blade road, but It'll never affect anything.

    I agree that learning to sharpen them is like re-learning a skill. Once you get to understand the mentality behind why they were made that way, they are so bloody easy to maintain, it's pretty much a non issue. Sharpening addicts who do a lot of kata-ha knives end up with HAD, hone aquisition disorder. There is just so little science in sharpening them that to feed your addiction you become a stone collector.

    As far as which to buy, I'd talk to Jon. He sells really premium stuff too, but he's not the kind of guy to push his own products exclusively. I'd strongly consider getting one of his if you want something more distinctive than straight outta Korin, and you're not looking to cheapskate your way through life like I do.

  7. #17
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    I know what you mean on the sharpening. The first time I took my Scandi grind bush knives to the stones I discovered that flat Scandi ground bevels are very seldom flat. I had to put serious time in with all of them on the 220 to get them actually flat. The wide bevels take a while! I can't imagine what a 330 Honyaki Yanagiba at 64rc would be like if it wasn't flat . Once I got the bevels flat, sharpening was a breeze and they are now very easy to maintain. It's amazing how important it is to flatten those stones as well!

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Maluaka View Post
    I...I can't imagine what a 330 Honyaki Yanagiba at 64rc would be like if it wasn't flat .
    This is the reason why every once in a while Dave will post a thread ranting about death to those who decided really hard honyaki knives were a good idea in the first place...

  9. #19

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    Yeah plus kasumi blade roads look prettier.
    I have to completely agree with this. They are prettier. Most honyaki knives are basically mirror finished, with some being a bit hazier than others. I just don't like that look.

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