Okay, looks like it's time to send this knife home. It works very nicely, much like a standard Takeda. It is more flexible than I expected but it didn't bother me while cutting. The one thing I didn't like was the curvature right by the heel. That's mainly aesthetic but I could definitely feel that the heel wasn't as low as I wanted it to be. The handle hasn't changed since it arrived. It looks just like it does in Paul's pics. It doesn't need sharpening per se although in my opinion, a little thinning near the tip is in order. Lemme know if you still want it sharpened/thinned. Thanks for letting me test drive it!