Last man to board the plane (there's always SOMEONE)
Knife to go out Saturday or Monday to AndrewH
Sorry, left wenus off the list accidentally. Probably should get sent to him immediately before or after JohnyChai. He will be contacting you about this
I've had the chance to play around with pitonboy's 240 Shigefusa Kasumi gyuto for about a week now and I'm finally ready to post my thoughts on the knife. Like every review, this is based on my opinion and nothing else. I'm going to try and compare the knife to three other knives that maybe some people know. It was pitted against a 240mm Yoshikane gyuto (SKD), 240mm Gengetsu gyuto (White #1) and a 270mm Rottman custom (SB1 / Niolox).
Core Steel and Cladding
As I'm sure all of you know Shigefusa uses a carbon core for his knives. What it is, exactly, is proprietary. It's a nice steel that sharpens well and quickly. It's not noticeably different from really any other simple carbon steel in terms of performance. I can't really judge edge retention after just one week of home use but I would say it is slightly better than the Gengetsu and Yoshikane and slightly worse than the Niolox.
I was much more interested in how reactive the cladding would be. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! The knife did give off an odor when dicing tomatoes, but it did not impart any off flavors to the food and the cladding was not ultra-reactive. I thought I was going to see onion browning type stuff going on and that was not the case.
I'm going to give this section an 8/10.
This is a difficult section because it is so subjective. There is no one perfect grind and we all have different preferences. For my tastes, the knife plays too much towards to food release side of the balance. You do find some slight wedging in large potatoes, onions, etc. The Gengetsu and Rottman both went through these items with less effort than the Shig. The grind is well done, no high or low spots that I could see, and is clearly well thought out. If you really value food release (which the Shig was very good at), you could see this as a fantastic grind.
9/10. I'll take off a point for personal preference, I can't gripe about inconsistencies or anything of that nature.
As long as a profile is usable it's very hard to "rate." The shigefusa has a nice profile that can be used for rock chopping or push / pull cutting. The tip might not be pointy enough for the Masamoto KS crowd, but it is very serviceable.
The Shigefusa takes the cake here. I'm hesitant to use the word perfect, but it's pretty darn close. The spine is rounded all the way to the tip and the choil is also entirely rounded. The handle is beautifully constructed and well attached. The finish on the knife (under the patina) is nice and even. The kasumi was hard to see (patina and a few errant thinning scratches) but I'm sure OOTB it was great. The F&F is better than the Gengetsu (by far), Yoshikane, and is equal to, if not better than, my Rottman.
The Shigefusa performed extremely well. It has a nice heft (227g) that helps the knife move through product efficiently. The balance is good, the grind is very good (if a bit "wedgy" at times) and the steel can take a great edge. I would say it's performance was roughly on par with the Gengetsu and Rottman and above the Yoshikane.
The one question left is: Would I buy one? The answer is I'm not sure. I don't think that the knife is any better than a Gengetsu that costs significantly less, but there's something about the Shig that I really like. I don't know if it's the balance, the aesthetic, the F&F, the really cool electric blue patina it can take, or if it isn't any of those things. I just really like it.
Thanks again, Ben, for doing this passaround. This puppy will be on to the next lucky recipient tomorrow.
Nice review. Being an owner of a shig 240 kitaeji I agree there is something about that speaks to the all around craftsmanship that you just have to admire.
Cant believe I missed this passaround offer. Hate when work gets too busy. Nice review Andrew.