I held off on a little review of my Pettysuki, so I could give it a real run through before posting anything "official".
My First Impressions:
The first thing I thought when I finally saw my knife in person was, "Wow. It's even nicer in real life!" The workmanship is classic Pierre, with incredible detail and precision throughout. I think it's obvious, the handle speaks for itself. The mammoth tooth is far more vibrant and intricate than I imagined. It's basically a work of art, that I can actually use (and trust me, I am!)
The blade has a nice amount of distal taper, coming to a very nice tip, with a bit of meat behind it. This is one reason I chose a kiritsuke style tip, and it was the right choice. I find some tips make me nervous, in use, but this one flies through product, but is sturdy enough to kind of beat up on. It's a great combo.
The edge profile was designed in collaboration with Pierre, then tweaked. It went for HT, we tweaked it again, and one final time before it was finished. It's 175mm, with a perfect 70mm of dead flat closest to the heel. With the profile we came up with, I can push cut, rock chop, slice and do fairly fine tip work all with the same knife. The most incredible part is, it does all of these exactly as I would hope, and doesn't lack in a single area.
The edge put on by Pierre was nice and sharp, but a bit too polished for my liking. I only sharpen with a 1k, 6k and then strop with whatever is available...anything from newsprint, to phonebooks, to a dry Suita. Needless to say, I like my edges to be a little bit toothy, and a 25000grit paperwheel doesn't leave much (if any) tooth. I've since "scuffed it up" on the Suita, and I'm impressed. I do plan on bringing it through my thorough (yeah right) sharpening routine, to see just how sharp I can get S35VN. That is, of course ifit ever gets dull enough to bother!
S35VN is still fairly new to the kitchen game, but I really do feel it shows some promise. I don't know if it has the same ability to get scary sharp as my much loved white 1, and white 2, but I'll have to get back to you all on that.
One thing I have noticed is this steel takes an INSANE amount of pounding and comes up smiling. I've really worked it, when prepping meals, and I've almost been a little overly rough on it, just to get a true feel for what it's capable of. I've cleaned chickens, cut through a fair bit of various proteins, grisle, hard veg, delicate herbs, basically a bit of everything and the edge still looks like it did of the suita.
If this stuff can get as sharp as I like my edges, I think we might have a new kid in town, who means business. Ginsanko what??
Pierre put a 60/40 LH grind, inspired by my Carter on my knife, for me and he really did a spectacular job. I do plan on posting pics of the two beside each other to show howimpressive the grind is.
Even with a sharp, but not "scary sharp" edge, nothing seems to be fazing it. Even sweet potatoes don't stand a chance.
I have noticed a slight bit of stiction when cutting whole brown mushrooms, but it hasn't created any real concern, and the shallower blade profile allows anything that does stick to push off very easily, when the next piece bumps it along.
The slight convexity seems to be doing the trick, so "Well done, Pierre!"
As many of you know, I put the most emphasis on feel, and after that, I would have to say grind/geometry, then "sharpness" (meaning ability to get sharp).
Feel encompasses many aspects, including weight, balance, and comfort. For a smaller knife, there is a nice amount of heft, which I attribute to the multiple handle materials and decent amount of height for a petty (40mm, at the heel). The knife feels incredibly well built, which it is, and you can feel the difference of a "custom" when you hold it.
The balance is slightly on the side of the handle. I'd say it sits still about 5-7mm back from the front of the ferrule. For some this might be too far back, but on a knife this size, I think it's to be expected when you think about the handle materials. I'm finding no adverse affects of the weight distribution, and I have never once thought it felt "wrong".
Pierre took the time to fully round the entire spine and choil, and my fingers thank him for it. It feels great!
I'm admittedly a bit biased, because Pierre has become a pretty good friend, to whom I often ask too many questions regarding my own forays into the wonderful world of knife customization. HOWEVER, I am being very honest when I say that I'm more than impressed. Because of the incredible amount of communication and "back and forth", Pierre created exactly what I had in mind, and managed to make it look even prettier than I thought possible.
While the knife truly is a work of art, I'm beating the absolute crap out of it and so far, there are no ill effects. Paring S35VN with what can easily be described as a fancy shmancy handle has given me a pretty spectacular knife. My wife loves having it hanging on our wall, and I love pulling it down and slamming it around. Maybe I should nickname it the "Marriage Expert", because it seems to be pleasing both sides very well.
All in all, I will write this with no hesitation. If you work with Pierre, communicate your wants and needs for a knife effectively, and allow him to do his thing, you WILL be more than pleased.
Thanks for making me such a wonderful tool, Pierre. My food doesn't taste any better than it did before, but my WIP pics of dishes look way nicer, and prepping is that much more fun. I look forward to designing my next knife with you in the somewhat near future.