So i guess this isn't exactly an NKD because I've given myself a few days at work to get a good feel for her. Firstly for any of you that have been on the fence about a blade from zakuri due the the spine thickness measurements, put your hesitations aside. This knife cuts extremely well. Yesterday shaving paper thin sheets of ginger for my ginger beef and broccoli lunch was effortless. I have began working out the factory media blasted finish on the bevels but it is going to take a bit more work as it seems that the finish extends above the bevels just a touch and I plan on simply working it out over time. This is the first tosa made knife and the first knife that wasn't single bevel with wide flat bevels and I love how simple it is to thin little by little as you go during sharpening, plus its just plain fun. My single beveled blades don't get much use these days and I love having an excuse to play with different finishes.
Core steel: Blue #1- It sharpens up beautifully as can be expected from the hitatchi paper steels and feels hard though not as hard as the blue #2 core steel in an older Mizuno gyuto I once had. Perhaps Jon has the proper HRC number. It's not overly reactive and noticeably more wear resistant during use than the white #2 kono gyutos I had. Simply wiping it dry in between uses will prevent rusting.
Cladding: Material unknown. Probably soft iron or mild steel- It hasn't seemed overly reactive, though it's got a little bit of a polish on it and that helps with keeping down moisture build up in between uses. The Kurouchi finish helps too.
Profile: It's got a nice flattish area for about 1/2 the length of the blade with a gentle upsweep toward the tip. With the heel of the knife flat on the board the tip is 26mm from the board. Definitely not the flattest of profiles but I like a little bit of belly should I feel the need to do a bit of rocking.
Grind: It's a little chunky at the spine but not too think. Thinner than the mizuno as well near the tip. The mizuno was a chunky little beast. The left side bevel was ground in pretty darn consistently with only minor low spots that have pretty much worked themselves out already after only one serious sharpening session. The right side is ground nicely at the heel and tip portions of the knife with what seems to be an under ground section in the bevel just below an over ground section. It doesn't appear to be serious and should work itself out in time. Any advice in this department is welcomed. Regardless, this knife is pretty thin behind the edge and cuts very well with sticking being of little issue.
Handle: Typical octagonal ho wood and black horn handle. Nicely finished with no sharp edges or gaps. It is a little on the larger side. Just a tad smaller than the handle on my 270mm Suisin IH gyuto. A big plus for me as I'm not a big fan of skinny skimpy handles. It just feels right and fits this blade nicely.