After about 5 month of waiting it finally showed up (actually waiting for shipping from Alberta was horrible. It felt like the pony express was on strike and the mailman walked instead. 12 days to Philly...)
Anyway my first knife from Pierre Rodrigue arrived. The knife is a 250 gyuto already known from several threads in different forums.
So first some stats:
Total length: 415mm
Edge length: 250mm
Spine thickness over heel: 2.45mm
10mm behind tip: 0.6mm (this is really thin!)
Weight: 175grams (that is same weight as my 235 Carter HG Funy and 10 grams more than the Tadatsuna 240 gyuto!)
Balance point is about 10mm in front of heel
Steel is CPM S35VN
The knife arrived very well packed wrapped in bubble wrap and paper. The knife was also but in a silk bag and had an edge guard on it. Although the silk bag is a nice touch I still prefer a simple box as i keep my knives in a half box in the kitchen drawer. Obviously no biggie.
Blade profile is flat with clear influences of Carter Funy and Masamoto KS. Flat curve and narrow blade. Pierre drew it on CAD and we exchanged like 10 turn arounds before we were both happy with the profile (thanks for the patience Pierre). Slight convex crossection to minimize sticking. Spine and choil is rounded and soft, blade-sides are handrubbed (apparently that was not very pleasant, the steel is very wear resistant. Edit; after a sharpening session i fully understand his opinion!). Due to the relatively small tapering in the back half of the knife there is very little flex until the tip quarter. Very nimble and light. Finish is as least as well done as Shigefusa Kitaeji and Carter HG.
The handle is stabilized dyed maple burl with black G10 ferrule and end cap. I choose a wood piece that has a "scary pattern", by some reason these remind me of "Blair Witch Project". There is a very small mosaic pin in the end cap. Octagonal shape and a slight taper. Sanding is enough to feel smooth, but you can still feel the structure of the wood. My only improvement would have been to flip it 180 degrees to get the red area of the wood facing upward. Again, a minor detail and i'm sure there is a reason Pierre put it on the way it is. Either way, stylish and elegant. Very well finished.
In use the knife feels direct, efficient and very nice. Works very well for normal gyuto use and well as a slicer. Sticktion is somewhat less than with other knives but there is still some there. I would not exclude the possibility that this is due to bad technique.
Steel hasn't chipped, but I rarely chip my knives, so maybe I am just careful. Blade is very thin behind the edge and was sharp at arrival but not scarily so. On the stones it is a b***h. The wear resistance comes through like nothing else. ZDP189 from Spyderco is nothing compared to it. It laughs at my stones (Shapton glass/pros/kitayama/jks10k). It takes a good polish and appears to release the wire edge ok. It definitively takes a good edge. As a home cook i really can't say too much about edge retention but it is higher than what i am used to (carbon steels), not that this is a big surprise. Love the look of a high polished edge and the hand rubbed finish
Altogether i'm really impressed with Pierres work and (kinda obvious since I was part of the design process) I think this knife represents a big step forward compared to the passaround knife that was going on a couple of months back. Bang-for-the-buck is really high and I would really recommend anyone to include Pierre on a short list for custom knives!
Pierre posted some pictures that i think presented the knife better than these , but here are a few more.
Sorry, I could not figure out how to embed the pics...
Bottom line; I love it!