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I've used both and as others have said, it's basically the same. Basically.
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I'm also a big fan of the Ichimonji TKC's. I've had a 210 gyuto for several years, and it is a great overall knife, and especially good for tomatoes, onion, etc. My son has spent a couple of years in Japan so I've taken the opportunity to purchase a slicer and a Honesuki while visiting Osaka. They are an easy company to deal with and some english is spoken in the store.
I may have an explanation as to why panda doesn't like his Carbonext. I own one and I didn't really like it either. The scales are not stable and became swollen then shrank after I sanded it. Not too comfortable to hold until I sanded the spine, choil and bolster. The main thing however, is the edge was absolute crap until I had seriously thinned it down and sharpened it 4 or 5 times to remove the weak steel. I don't know if its the heat treat or it got overheated during grinding but until that 4th or 5th sharpening I thought a Tojiro DP was a much better buy. Now it cuts decently and it seems have much better edge stability. I still think a nice carbon steel knife would outperform a Carbonext in terms of sharpness. The Carbonext also feels a bit soft. My Warther 440C has a better heat treat on it I think.
yes, edge retention is horrible! and needs quite a bit of thinning even though it's a thin spine knife. thinning mono steel is not fun.
i used my santoku last night for dinner preparation (onions, lemons, beans, garlic....) this is really a stunning knife for the money. The edge on it can simply be fantastic. I used to carry this and hattori HF 210 in my luggage on long trips, and find somewhere that would let me in the kitchen a couple evenings a week.
Agree that the edge is bad and it comes surprisingly fat. Took quite the effort to get the 300 mm suji into good cutting form. Disagree with bad heat treatment though. Maybe yours was, and if so that is unfortunate. Mine sharpens great, love it's feel on the stones, and holds the edge reasonably well.
I do feel that it may be a touch softer than my tkc, but still not poorly heat treated. I know that it seems that it's an accepted fact that carbonext and tkc are the same blade , but it certainly hasn't seemed like it in my experience. Feels slightly softer on the stones, seems significantly more reactive, and was ground far thicker (again: suji vs. gyuto).
It may well be the same alloy, but to me just about every aspect of the tkc has performed superior.
(Could all be in my head, as more experienced members hear don't seem to agree)
Perhaps there is a large degree of variability among the different production runs of the CarboNEXT as there has been with the Hiromoto AS?
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