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Thread: Which knife, Tanaka, Tanaka, Wakui

  1. #1

    Which knife, Tanaka, Tanaka, Wakui

    Questionnaire time!

    Location: Australia

    Knife type: Gyuto, right handed, prefer WA handle, 210-270, prefer 240mm, stainless/carbon not an issue.

    Max budget $300USD, affordable quality.

    Home use, veg/proteins, not breaking down poultry etc as I have Wusthof 260mm and boning/filleting knives.

    Replacing Global

    Pinch grip, push/pull, chop, G&G,rock slice, love tip work.

    Aesthetics barely register as I see the beauty in almost all knives. Looking for cutting/sharpening joy.

    Comfort adaptable, looking for a great cutter with reasonable food release and nice feel on stones.
    Thin tip or just nice taper will save me some thinning.

    Edge retention can be a bonus.

    End grain cutting boards, really enjoy hitting the stones, probably don't need enabling questions such as would you buy sharpening products, what sort of questionnaire is this, lol...


    Have been researching for months, trying a lot of average knives. Have narrowed this purchase down to Wakui and Tanaka. Leaning toward Wakui as I prefer push cutting and chopping, but the New handle on the K&S Tanaka Ginsan pushed me back that way.
    Introductory post generated the question as to wether the Tanaka Blue#2 might be better for me as I value sharpness and sharpening, (thanks Nemo). So I decided to put it out there.

    Thoughts? Have at it you lot...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Southern NSW Australia
    Couple of questions before we start:
    1) There is a tradeoff between thinness and food release. Do you want a super thin knife which falls through tall hard food like sweet potato and carrot but may get stuck in wet foods like potato and zucchini? Or a thicker knife which plows through crates of produce but may wedge in taller hard foods? Or something in between?

    2) If you go carbon, are you happy with an iron clad knife (reactive cladding, will patina) or do you want a stainless cladding?

    You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful knife
    You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

  3. #3
    Senior Member OliverNuther's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Brisbane, Australia
    Gíday mate and welcome

    Iíve got the Tanaka B2 and the Wakui and I canít split them. Food release, ease of sharpening and edge retention all excellent. The Tanaka might have the slightest edge in food release due to the KU finish and wide bevel but thereís honestly nothing in it. I probably reach for the Wakui more often but donít read too much into that. I pulled the Tanaka out for a session the other night and it was like catching up with an old girlfriend; all the good memories come flooding back and you wonder why you drifted apart.

    Anyway, this is one of those situations where you canít make the wrong decision. Buy any one of them, use it for a couple of months then buy the other one. They are sufficiently good knives and different from each other that it is worth having both.

    Edit. Havenít tried the Tanaka ginsan, or any ginsan for that matter, so canít help you there.

  4. #4
    Haha, toughest question first! For the first purchase I think an all-rounder might be good, some sort of middleweight but probably on the thinner side, along with its respective trade-off.
    I have often thought of grabbing a laser and something chunky with great food release, but budget dictates a go slow approach.
    I don't particularly want potatoes to stick, and would love a tip that flies through onions without disturbing them, (yes, I'm just like that). It is really quite problematic that I want a laser with weight and awe inspiring food release, so compromise is the keyword.
    This will be the first, so I can back it up soon with something that covers other angles. I started out thinking laser, but general food release issues have me leaning away, not sure how far. I was even watching a Takeda fly through product and leave it sitting where it started the other day and almost increased the budget! Would it be the best for what I need now? Probably not, I would think.

    Don't mind a patina, especially a beautiful blue. As a home cook I have the luxury of time to maintain a fully reactive knife, but was thinking with the quality semi stainless and stainless clad gyuto around I am flexible. Whatever I own will need to get super sharp or it will get moved on. I am thinking of experiencing more traditional steels before getting into hap40 and the like. Having said that, some of the mono-steel semi-stainless and the like look good.
    I stumbled on an acquaintance with a KS a few years ago and it triggered something of an obsession that I have not fed as yet. May have been the combination of profile, steel and grind.
    Have seen some interesting feedback regarding the feel of different San-mai knives on the stones, especially when thinning, but have no experience as far as iron vs stainless cladding.
    I do apologise, my rambling answers will probably hinder rather than help as there are so many directions in which one can go.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Sydney, Australia
    I have the Tanaka B2 dammy and ginsan in 240 and a 270 wakui.
    The ginsan is a wide bevel, lighter and more nimble than the b2.
    Haven't tried any of the newer versions of the b2, mine was from metal master, years ago.
    The wakui I have, w2 kurouchi , if I remember, is also wide bevel and a really, really nice knife.

    They are all really good knives, couldn't really split them to be honest, slightly different each one.
    Each one will serve you well, but it would come down to personal preference as to which you'd prefer.

    Not much help probably.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the welcome and reply OliverNuther. That is all good to hear as I was only keen on the Ginsan due to its great reputation and the cool new handle at K&S. Blue2 might be the go, just need to hear from someone who has both Tanaka's before pulling the trigger. Still open to suggestions though...

    On another note, how do you like your bunka? I will be tossing up between that and a nakiri before too long...

  7. #7
    Senior Member deskjockey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
    Couple of questions before we start:
    1) There is a tradeoff between thinness and food release. Do you want a super thin knife which falls through tall hard food like sweet potato and carrot but may get stuck in wet foods like potato and zucchini? ...
    A bit or clarification please!

    I hate 'suction' with potatoes and similar but, also hate 'wedging' in sweet potatoes. Is the Tanaka a 'middle of the road' choice that is better for me?


  8. #8
    Thanks kevpenbanc, it all helps.

    And what Sid asked, although I am, as always open to other suggestions...

  9. #9
    daveb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Just outside Tampa
    I own the 240 Tanaka G and like it a lot. Not a great knife but a good knife - will do anything thrown at it, does not feel fragile in any way and with a K&S handle is a looker as well. I've used the stainless clad blue, also in 240 and had a slight preference for it. Both are very good values and could be THE knife for anyone that does not want to go further down the rabbit hole.

    I only know the Wakui by reputation but that reputation is good.

    As said above, not a bad choice amongst them.

    Older and wider..

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    New Orleans, LA
    If you don't have coarse stones for thinning tanaka's bevel, then definitely go wakui.

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