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Thread: Novice Knife guy looking in to Japanese Steel Thoughts on Shinichi Watanabe.

  1. #1

    Novice Knife guy looking in to Japanese Steel Thoughts on Shinichi Watanabe.

    I'm looking at my first Japanese knife purchase and felt like there is good value in the 4 pc. set from Watanabe JPY 25,000 or $213.00 US. Does anyone have any experience with these knives and can offer any advice. Thank you so much


  2. #2
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    hes one of the good guys.


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    Senior Member milkbaby's Avatar
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    Seems like a pretty good deal for that price... Three out of the four knives look like single bevel knives though, so may be a bit more trouble sharpening. Definitely don't have any run of the mill kitchen store sharpener work on these.

    Also, the picture shows that the single bevels are all right hand oriented. Are you right handed?

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    Just send him an email if you have any questions.. he is great to deal with answers emails quickly

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    Engorged Member El Pescador's Avatar
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    Tough to go really wrong with Watanabe. Just remember that the maintenance of those knives isn't a suggestion, and you should talk him into selling you some stones to sharpen.
    "So you want to be a vegetarian? Hitler was a vegetarian and look at how he turned out."

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    That set (and moreso the 8 piece set) ... real motley collection of steels and styles at first glance, but it comes together when looking at the actual needs of an enthusiast home cook:

    -SK5 (an inexpensive carbon that still takes on some hardness, monosteel it seems) for a yanagi that will need to be very sharpenable and sharp but won't need endurance or durability since it will probably be treated with respect exactly because of missing routine. Reactiveness likely can be disregarded since that will be fish-only - and an all-hardened monosteel won't be as susceptible to deleterious rust as soft cladding.

    -Shirogami (can be very sharp and thin, and is tough, and will have good edge retention in home use) for both the frequent-use santoku and the knife people will be using for the more infrequent but rougher jobs - the Ai-deba shape looks like a good multi-special-purpose deba/mincer/single bevel chef knife...

    -Now SUS420J2 for the mukimono is an odd choice, you'd expect it to be too soft for something that usuba-like ... but hey, it is very nonreactive (fruit!) and might actually get darn sharp if the HT takes advantage of that steel just not having much in it that could get in the way of a fine edge...


    The 8 piece set probably recognizes that the petty gets a lot of use with home cooks, so good choice for adding something finer looking without driving the price all too high...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Krassi's Avatar
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    Hi!
    Watanabe is the coolest smith in Japan in my opinion and he will answer your mails with good english fast.
    The standard knifes are not worse than the pro ones.. just the pros have more handwork, better finish and handles..

    Ah he will recommend 2 stones his synthetic Ai1000 and the Kitayama.. he is also using them himself. nothing more is needed.

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    Has anyone tried that inexpensive SK5 yanagi, is it as good a choice as an "occasional light use, expecting full performance though" set completion as I'd assume?

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    Should be a nice set. Would you use the more specialized knives? You might consider getting a kurouchi nakiri if you cut vegetables a lot or spend a little bit more for a pro line kurouchi gyuto- if you would use those more, you would get more value in the long run.

  10. #10
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    I bought the left-hand set a number of years ago. Like most "sets" there is only one knife that I use on a frequent bases.


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