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Thread: Sakai Jikko Akebono Blue 2 by Kenichi Shiraki

  1. #41
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    And a few performance notes would always be nice as well.
    +1. Performance people!!! Let's talk performance!

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by labor of love View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by foody518 View Post
    For those lucky folks who have gotten theirs already, can y'all comment on reactivity of the cladding?
    And a few performance notes would always be nice as well.
    +1. Performance people!!! Let's talk performance!
    This akebono in general is very similar to the the standard white 2 line I tried a couple of months back. Basically the knife is in laser category. For me, I have been using (and keeping only) thicker knives or wide bevel knives, for a while e.g. Kato, Toyama, Shig, etc. For this Jikko in comparison, it goes through food really well, dense food, hard root vegetables. Given that it has just a tiny amount of convex grind, some food will stick on the blade side, but it is not too bad.

    I will still have to see how edge holding is for this blue #2 version, once I put my own edge on. Still on OOTB with just a tiny touch up on natural polishing stone as it seems pretty good as is. Jikko standard white #2 edge holding was fine, for home use. It was typical for which regular weekly touch up for home user would bring it back to life quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicagohawkie View Post
    Ive used my Akatsuki White 2 knife several times now and has showed zero reactivity. I think these may have been lacquer coated. Perhaps James came confirm. Im going to clean mine with acetone tonight and cut up some protein. Will report back any reactivity.
    Jikko comes with a costing which has to be removed. Here was a standard white 2 from a while back.


  3. #43

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    Hello there.
    Last day I finally got the opportunity to put the knife through it's paces properly. Had lot of big prep to knock out.
    My conclusion are the knife for me is definitely in the laseresque category, not the thinnest ones I used, but it cuts incredibly well and thanks to the thicker spine it doesn't feel whippy like some other lasers I used. Thinly slicing Onions for onion Lyonaise was a pleasure with the knife just falling through the produce. Dicing carrot and Celeriac produced no difficulties. Essentially whatever I threw at the knife it performed splendidly. Also have to comment on the edge retention which was better than I expected. After a long session of using the knife on polyboards and the occasional touch up on a strop the knife was still sharp enough that a "sharpness fanatic" like me didn't feel like it needed sharpening. That being said I did put the knife on the stones to see how it sharpens and I can say that it comes back to shaving sharp with little to no effort. Can't really comment on reactivity cause the laquer hasn't worn off completely. This puppy will definitely be my go to knife as far as prep goes.
    Big thanks to James for giving us this knife line to use and enjoy.

  4. #44
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    I've been using the Akebono (home cook) for a bit over 2 weeks now, so thought I should report on performance.

    Before buying, I was able to see (but not use) it next to the Akatsuki.

    The Akatsuki (Shirogami 2 clad in soft iron) was 232mm at the cutting edge, 52mm tall at the heel and weighed 219g. The Akebono (Aogami 2 clad in soft iron) was 242mm at the edge, 57mm tall at the heel and weiged 225g. Both knives balance just on my pinch grip. I was surprised that the Akebono was only 6g heavier, but I checked several times.

    Fit & finish is quite nice for both knives. The Akatsuki has a nicely eased spine and choil and is comfortable in the pinch grip. The Akebono’s spine and choil are more obviously rounded and it does look a little nicer but wasn’t really much more comfortable in a pinch grip (although it could possibly be after prolonged use- I‘m not sure). The octagonal ebony handles look identical and are very nice to hold. The blades have a misty finish and an attractive contrast at the lamination line. A hardwood saya is available (introductory offer had them as complimentary for KKF members) and is attractive and well made.

    Both knives seem quite thin in the hand. The Akebono is 3.2mm above the heel, 2.6 mm at midpoint and 1.9mm 5 cm from tip, tapering to a very thin and usable tip. I didn’t measure the Akatuki, but it looked similar, maybe very slightly thinner. So the spine is not in fact super thin. The knives do taper to be very thin behind the edge. There is a gentle convexity much more pronounced on the right than the left, although the edge self does look fairly symmetrical.

    both knives have a fairly flat profile for the first 2/3- 3/4 of the edge, with a gradual curve up to a low tip.

    I purchased the Akebono rather than the Akatuki because the profile suited me more (I like a longer and taller blade). The differences in the spine and choil treatment and the core steel were not big issues either way in my decision. The Akebono came very sharp OOTB. Reactivity of the cladding seems fairly standard for soft iron clad knives (yes, it does ship with a coating which I removed with acetone). It has developed a subtle bluish patina (I rinse after acidic foods, then wash and dry straight after prep), except at the very heel, which has a dark patina (I used it to peel onions).

    I have compared the Akebono side by side with some of my existing knives (which were all quite sharp when tested).

    Compared to Akifusa 210 gyuto: Similar performance in hard foods (carrots). Both glide through with very little resistance (The Akebono possibly marginally more easily). The Akebono has significantly better food release (on potato and zucchini). Both have very useful thin tips (tested on onion).

    Compared to Kagekiyo 240 K-gyuto: Akebono goes slightly easier through carrots and has substantially better food release. Onion not tested.

    Compared to Shiro Kamo Syousin Suminagashi 270 gyuto: Akebono goes slightly easier through carrots but has slightly worse food release. The Akebono's tip is thinner but both performed well in onion.

    Compared to Yoshikane 240 SKD hammer finish gyuto: Akebono goes significantly easier through carrots but has significantly worse food release. Onion not tested but the Akebono's tip is much thinner.

    Compared to Mizuno Hontanren wide bevel 270 gyuto: goes significantly easier through carrots but has significantly worse food release in zucchini and potato. The Akebono’s tip was thinner and better in onion.

    So, as ever, there is a trade-off between ease of cutting hard produce and food release in wet foods. The Akebono is towards the “ease of cutting hard produce” end of this spectrum, but with quite good food release given this.

    Who should buy one? Someone looking for a carbon steel ‘thin but not quite a laser’ knife which will handle wet produce better than most other thin knives.

    Who shouldn’t buy one: Someone who wants a stainless knife. Someone who wants a thick knife with brilliant food release.

    Should you buy an Akebono or Akatsuki (I’m assuming that he Akatsuki’s performance is similar to the Akebono)? For some, this may be decided by the steel (B2 vs W2) or the profile (the Akebono is slightly longer and significantly taller) or the price. The spine and choil treatment is nicer on the Akebono but the F&F on the Akatsuki is still quite nice and this would not be the deciding factor for me. The upgrades on the Akebono (steel, size, F&F) come at a fair price IMO.
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  5. #45
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    thanks @nemo for the detailed write-up.

    I received a prototype tester to play with but have disqualified myself from discussing it publicly for several reasons, so it is good to see some open discussion.

  6. #46
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    A pleasure Xoo. I think it's really handy for people looking at buying a knife to be able to find out what others do and don't like about it.

    Thanks for your integrity and restraint in not commenting.

    I found it to be a good thin workhorse type knife and I enjoy using it. I sometimes use it in conjunction with a thicker knife that has better food release but only because I can. As I mentioned, food release on the Akebono is actually quite good for a knife that behaves as thin as it does.

    I should mention that edge retention has not been an issue in 2 and a bit weeks of home use (as you would expect I guess). I haven't yet felt the need to introduce it to the strop.
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  7. #47
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    @nemo, your akebono is 57mm tall? I have one also that I've been enjoying for a couple of weeks now. Great combination of thin blade, distal taper, fantastic profile(sold my ks because this profile is more appealing) and yeah for a thin knife food release is pretty good.

  8. #48
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    Also thanks for reminding me about kagekiyo, I used to own one and every now again I want to rebuy one until I realize that wakui Kasumi cut a lot better for much less $$$. That's why I sold it in the first place.

  9. #49
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    Just checked with calipers (used a tape the fist time and was being very careful not to damage the edge). It's actually 55mm tall. Thanks for the pick up.
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  10. #50
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    Half off topic post in reply- sorry. Kagekiyo was my first carbon knife and remains my only Shiroko knife. It was also my first tip repair and the first Japanese knife that caused a nasty laceration. The heel got snagged on a plastic bag full of carrots, I dropped it and reflexively tried to catch it before realizng a fraction of a second later what a bad idea that was. No stitches requred but it was close and the knife lost about 4mm off the tip. I think that means that the knife has claimed me as its owner? I could never find the tip.

    The Kagekiyo is quite thin behind the edge (functionally less so than the Akebono in my hands) and has fairly good F&F. Not to the level of the Akebono except at the choil (I'm not sure if the JKI Gesshin Kagekiyo version has superior F&F to mine). I do find the pretty lacquer handle a bit small and a bit slippery when wet, which is not too much of an issue in pinch grip but could be a problem on the line I guess. The main problem from my point of view is that food release isn't brilliant. Probably just my very average cutting skills showing up there.

    Fully back on topic now, I realised last night while using the Shiro Kamo that I really missed the fully rounded spine on the Akebono, especially in harder ingredients. The Shiro Kamo has an eased spine (I think that James' new upgraded version will get the full K&S treatment) but sill felt a little prominent in comparison.

    I love that there is so much to learn in the knife world
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