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Thread: Request: Worn knife photo

  1. #1

    Request: Worn knife photo

    I am kinda curious on how knife look like after years of use and sharpening. I don't think there is any photo on the web that shows a knife that has been use for ages and worn to the point where it almost at it's last breath.

    i.e.

  2. #2
    These are well over 60 years old


    this was one about 10 years old and i restored it for someone

  3. #3

    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Jon, what can you tell us about those 60 year old blades? Very Very Very cool!
    If "Its" and "Buts" was candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas
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  4. #4
    I saw some similar ones in Japan recently. I visited Tadatsuna, for example, and noticed a few old ones in the display room. I had a look at one, a yanagiba whose blade was sharpened down to about 1/2 of the original size (similar to the '15 year' photo above); wooden handle also had a dulled look. Mr Nagata said it was 20 years old and belonged to a chef, and so it had presumably been used on a daily basis for all that time, in which case you'd have to say it'd stood up well. Maybe there's a little tradition where chefs like this, when their prized knife has seen its day, return it to its maker when buying their new blade. I didn't ask if it was for sale, but guess it was kept there as a curio or to show how their knives would handle heavy use over time.

    In other places I also saw lots of old blades being fixed up and/or rehandled. Some very rusted and neglected blades - home use, I would guess, and lots of santokus. With those in better condition, the kind whose owners maybe cared about them more and used them more frequently, the tangs would seem quite rusted out, in some cases to the extent that I'd wonder how strong they might be when re-handled. (Made me think about the advantages of welded-on stainless steel tangs, for sure.)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seth's Avatar
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    Morimoto's book has a picture of his yanigiba hanging on by a thread.
    Everywhere you go, there you are.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by knyfeknerd View Post
    Jon, what can you tell us about those 60 year old blades? Very Very Very cool!
    i had a customer come in for a sharpening class a while back and these were his fathers blades... he's japanese american and they had been passed down to him. Actually, it was a really cool/sad story. He told me his family cooked for people at manzanar ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manzanar )... so there's a good chance these knives were used there. Right now, one of the craftsmen we work with is refurbing them for him... he saw them while he was out here visiting and decided he waned to help out by restoring them. Cant wait to see how they turn out.

  7. #7


    300mm Yanagi. The two on the right are mine. The one in the middle I used a lot for about eight years.

  8. #8


    Moribashi. Not mine. I don't know how long it takes to wear down an ebony handle by 40%, but I suspect it's a long time.

  9. #9


    Deba, not mine. I think it's been through about ten years of hard work.

  10. #10


    This one is riduculous. I think these are the same size, 330mm? The owner still uses this every day. He is the cheapest bastard I have ever met.

    BTW, Dave, I could use a sharpening tip! How would you shape the tip of this gyuto? It's giving us a little bit of a problem.

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