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Gesshin Ittetsu 27cm
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  1. #1

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    Gesshin Ittetsu 27cm

    [I tried to be just honest here]
    I bought this knife second hand. I really wanted this one when it came up, but firstly 500 pricetag was hard to swallow and then it got out of stokc like the first day it came up. So this is the first one Jon sold, I bought it from Josh [brainsausage]. Thanks for nice business Josh.

    Edge length is 259mm
    blade length 275mm
    Blades height 52mm
    Knife came with mustard patina all over.
    Handle is standard octagonal + saya which must be a standard, cause its like too big in every direction. 57mm of blades height would fit in there, and blade 2 cm longer. I guess thats just how it goes.

    First thoughts were the knife is solid. It just gives you the comfortable feeling that it was built for hard-works sake.
    Also that the blade is quite low at heel, which I dont really like, but it doesnt give any negative feedback to cutting with it.
    The profile I like, its flat but rounds up at the tip.


    So lets start with

    The Steel

    Cause this is the department that got me really very impressed.
    The blade is reasonably thin, it was reasonably thick above edge, even though saying edge would be an overstatement. There was no edge. The knife got rammed with honing rod until the point it would have this funny little indentation just after heel from pressing onto the rod.
    I look at it as a positive, at least blade wasnt chipped

    Here is a pic of where the edge shouldve been, but the spot is just reflecting sunlight


    Oh well, no edge? How would I fix it? Lets start with JNS 1k, which i had just cleaned from stainless dirt, which is clogging the stone up really seriously [but this is another story] and started my journey. It was around 6pm and I thought I would finish up and quickly polish the blade around maybe 8pm?
    That was not to be.
    After few passes I decided this knife needs DMT.
    And so I started with the blue side [C] first.
    After few passes I changed to black [XC]
    Mind you that I grind at 8-10 degrees per side, or thats what it seems like.

    But anyway, I started grinding away metal and this stage was just neverending. I was blowed away by how much time I have to use per side to just get any kind of burr on there. And this supposed to be white steel! Not the kind of white steel I have touched before
    So after I got nice burr formed, that was already after 8pm.
    I looked at the bevels, and they are huge man! Like 2mm or higher per side!
    For example shigefusa at same sharpening angles have bevel not higher than 0.5mm

    At this one moment my thought was "oh **** that ****", plenty of thinning ahead.



    So it took me additional 1 hour per side to get it completely not where I wanted. It was pretty late by then and I was about to work from 7 am the next day, and so I just took the sides to jns, then to binsui and repolished the blade with 1200 grit wetpaper.
    Next time I do sharpening, I have to thin it once again, this time to the end result [about 2 hours i think]
    I did improved the convexity on both sides, but again, I think it needs more, epecially inner side.
    One more thing, I happy this is cladded blade

    I was ready to have my first shift with it.

    The edge

    So after that I could more or less hone the edge like I wanted.
    I just took it to jns, binsui with coarse nagura [or is it medium Maksim?] and fine nagura, stropped on leather and did few strokes on muddy red aoto.
    The edge was just about any other of my carbon edges, no complains or problems about it. Nice bite to it and it invites you to more honing actually.
    What is better about it though, is the retention. I could already tell this when I was setting up bevels, that it is quite abrasion resistant steel, and it indeed is.
    I didnt noticed any microchips, not too much of rolled bits or bits missing. I really like that.

    The Retention

    After this first sharpening I have to quickly kill the edge, to have the chance to sharpen again [I think the first sharpening of any new knife is not allowing you to see the full potential.]
    The edge degradation was not all that fast. I dont set microbevels on my chefs knives, yet this one was cutting whole day and would do another, and after that another, though the third day there was no "juice" left in the edge, It would cut, but not at the level I like. Still, I could go to strop and get around 20% of it back.
    If you like to do touchups, then fine, but I dont.

    Im in the process of using it after the other sharpening, and its very good so far.
    I managed not to chip it, yet, it really seems to keep its shite together very well, I wonder how its going to bee when its shigefusa-thin above bevel.

    The Performance

    Well here is just OK. I mean, the knife cuts soft stuff nicely, tomatoes easily, chops herbs very well, Even tough stuff goes quite well, I really like it.
    It feels like carbon when cutting, but also a little bit, mmm, stainlessy-dead?
    Or like a soldier. It doesnt talk back. It takes the shite you have for it, no complains, but no soul either.
    Doesnt give you huge smiles on your face when cutting, is a solid perfomer, but I would say its closer to the price at which I have bought it [350] than 500 dollars when new.

    The Grind

    Now that I have had some thinning done, I can tell you how the grind is.
    And it is pretty much very well ground knife. No serious problems, apart from heel on the left side.
    The left side was a little funky, especially the "around heel" bit of it.
    As for my liking, its ground too flat. The food you cut is not sticking too much, at least on the right side.
    The left side however - when cutting potatoes or onions, a perfect example, it sticks to the product being cut!
    Oh how annoying is that.
    You wanna chop something quickly, but the knife doesnt allow you to do it as fast as you wish. The problem is mostly at the heel.

    Heel shot of Shig, Kato, and Ittetsu




    The Balance

    This knife almost feels too light. For its size, sold as 270, should be little more blade heavy. It doesnt annoy me, but when I pick Kato or shig it just feels more spot on.
    I think more weight would help the knife go through food easier, and would feel more natural, but in the same time, I have always two chefs knives at work, so if I need something heavier, I just take the other one.
    Plus its shorter blades length makes it nicer to use sometimes, when Im on a shorter board, or faster for quick actions.
    Or for more detailed work


    The Conclusion
    Imo this knife is nice and light and could almost fit a person who likes nimble lasers.
    I dont and this is not my primary weapon but I will not sell it, cause at this price range I dont see any other carbon-cladded blades as an improvement.
    I cannot tell you that this needed thinning right out of the box, but mine really was porky behind edge when I got it.


    The Steel 9+
    The edge 8
    The retention 9+ !!
    The performance 6
    The Grind 6
    The balance 8

    Some pics of the fellowship





    Hope that helps

  2. #2

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    i forgot to mention:

    The Reactivity

    very little of that. much much much better than shig. There is some smell and stuff does get brown. For example i was chopping whole bunch of parsley with it for freezing. After a day in fridge it got little brownish around the edges of the cuts .
    After some natural patina its much better.
    Some spots o the blade are getting orange but nothing i would really like to pick up at.

    i give it 8/10

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    That's an entertaining read. Thank you Bieniek. Can't wait till a full report on Kato.

  4. #4

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    its in the making right now, hold on

  5. #5

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    OK after exchaging some msgs with Jon I can clearly see this knife wouldnt need and thinning when new.
    It mustve came from use.

    And I think I really have to thin mine som more

  6. #6
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review Bieniek.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bieniek View Post
    OK after exchaging some msgs with Jon I can clearly see this knife wouldnt need and thinning when new.
    It mustve came from use.

    And I think I really have to thin mine som more
    Did you see a photo of the 270's he has? I'm surprised how much thinning it needed because the new ones I saw were insanely thin behind the edge. Everyone at the WCG got to see them.

    Thanks for the review. I hope we hear your opinion after some more time of using the knife.

    -Chuck

  8. #8
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    heres an image some might find useful... this in no way takes away from the experiences in this thread... i think its a great review and very well done. Its just too bad the edge was in the condition it was when it got to bieniek.

    The following is a side by side shot of a number of 270mm wa-gyutos... from left to right- suisin INOX Honyaki, Gengetsu Stainless Clad White #2, Gesshin Ittetsu Hon-Kasumi White #2, and Kochi V2 Kurouchi



    *the gengetsu seems thinner than it is due to the angle of the picture

  9. #9

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    There is totally no problem guys. I just had a chance to get to know the Ittetsu better, and its fantastic steel.

    I fixed it a little and I will further continue to grind it down, the part of why I am obsessed with all-carbon-cladded-blades is cause I can thin them down and thin them down oh and did I mentoned I can thin them down? with relative ease and it have the good feeling about it and it goes smooth, not like with stainless cladded blades, which I despise to thin.

    So If you think maintenance, theres nothing better.
    Not counting the Masamoto slicer, which funnily thins quite easily and is monosteel [yeah I thinned that too ]

  10. #10

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    I think now you will be allowed to see the choil shots in full size

    [it looks there like the Ittetsu is still little thick, comparig to the other two]



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