I'm fine with either, have both and enjoy both.
"God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney
The more I play with knives, the more I love sanmai
* Protects the brittle core steel
* creates non-reactive surface to knife
What Ive heard is that
* the core steel is more expencive and harder to finish.
I really like my Carter sanmai, however Im having really high expectations to my next sanmai....
Elastic modulus differences. mmmm I won't pretend to know what that is, but imho, a good weld is a good weld, i've never noticed any loss of feel to a blade in san mai. Having said that the layers in san mai are less consolidated than in damascus so extra care must be taken that the weld is good, any flaw will show up on grinding, after HT if not before however. I suspect there would have to be de-lamination to effect the feel of the blade.
Based on my limited experience the way the cladding is on a kasumi knife(mostly on one side only) and the very thin edge provide more feed back than sandwich construction. Can't say why but there is far more feedback from my Kiritsuke than from the Moritaka Kiri-gyuto
I've done a bit of reading about elastic modulus recently (thanks to Larrin), and it also still blows my mind that it's not effected by HT. However, different steels do have different elastic properties... So it doesnt shock me that a blade made of a composite of steels "A" and "B" would have different harmonics and transmit vibration differently than one made of just steel "A".
However, it also seems obvious that factors like thickness, grind, balance point, handle construction and material would all be significant attributing factors to what often gets attributed just to blade construction. Until
Someone makes some knifes that are identical in every way but blade construction, this is going to be just another matter of personal opinion and taste. -but I guess that's really all that matter in the end.