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Thread: Help me get my 1st yanagi! Becoming sushi chef.

  1. #1

    Help me get my 1st yanagi! Becoming sushi chef.

    Hey guys, I am finishing up school to become a sushi chef and will start working next month. I have a deba, yanagi and a western (bought from school [japanmade]).
    I have been reading alot and watching videos on how to sharpen knives. My sensai has told me to make my deba and yanagi one flat bevel from the shinogi line to the edge of the knife (took me about 3 weeks everyday sharpening [45min]), but i've been seeing other people do a different way by keeping the convex. Could someone clear that up for me?
    Oh btw, Im left handed

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
    I will be using for work, I currently have a yanagi but am wanting to replace with a nice knife.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
    Aesthetics- looks like a regular japanese yanagi
    Edge Quality/Retention- I flattened the bevel (from the shinogi line to edge) and it gets sharp/ doesnt hold edge very well.
    Ease of Use- I havent had any other knives so Im not sure how others compare
    Comfort- im looking for more comfort

    What grip do you use?
    pinch/index on top

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?

    Where do you store them?
    in saya

    Have you ever oiled a handle?

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing

    Have they ever been sharpened?

    What is your budget?

    What do you cook and how often?
    Japanese/korean/american food, Everyday!

    Im looking for a yanagi that would be used everyday at the bar, easy to maintain, holds its edge. I will upload the pictures of my current yanagi tomorrow. Thank you all for your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Lexington, KY
    The convex bevel or hamaguriba is the correct way to sharpen the knife.
    This video from Jon at Japanese Knife Imports is a good place to start for sharpening, all of his other videos are very good as well.

    For the knife, the Gesshin Hide in blue#! may be what you are looking for, though there are many other options.

  3. #3
    There is a Shigfusa 300mm yanagiba in the B/S/T section right now.

  4. #4
    But he needs a lefty yanagiba... as do quite a number of folks otherwise interested in the Shige

  5. #5
    @Glass, Thanks glass i've watched all of jons videos and learned alot. So i guess my sensai was showing me the wrong way to sharpen, I will practice the hamaguri edge sharpening from now on.
    So for the hamarugi; step 1 is to move shinogi up, step 2. is to sharpen from harder metal to edge, step 3 is to uraoshi, step 4 is to blend both bevel together with higher grit stone, step 5 uraoshi again; and for step 6. im supposed to put a micro bevel?
    As for new knives; how many strokes would i do for each step? Also for stones would the progression 500,1k,4k,8k be ok?
    Also Ive been looking at the gesshins but have not seen many reviews on it yet; still would like some more input on them. Ive been looking at masamoto just so i could start off it and practice sharpening.

    @Hattori, yea i checked the BST thread for the shigfusa but its not for a lefty

    @echerub Ive read so much great reviews on the shigs but sadly... i havent seen any leftys

  6. #6
    Depending on how urgent it is, I'd wait for Jon to come back and visit his store if I were you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    sachem allison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    are you attending the California Sushi Academy in Venice?
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Norn Iron
    Being a lefty is rather unfortunate when it comes to single bevel knives. Maxim is on holiday I think but I reckon he could get you a good deal on a Yoshikane yanagi. I'd try him and Jon, you have a pretty good budget so between those guys you should end up with something great. You can't really go cheap, especially when you're left handed

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sachem allison View Post
    are you attending the California Sushi Academy in Venice?
    California sushi institute in torrance with sensai Andy Matsuda. Probably the best decision i made, its only a 2 month course but it is very intense. I've learned everything from the history and culture of japan, all 5 types of japanese cooking and making rolls within this first month! He is very hands on and cares about every student, hes refined my skills in making 2 perfect kappa makis within 2 minutes. I love going to class everyday and learning more and more about different techniques and sushi! Check them out @

  10. #10
    @heirkb @stevenstefano, Im going to wait for jon to come back and check out his store and talk to him. Yeah it sucks being a lefty cause the 50% more expense but thats life! Ill check out the yoshikane out. Thanks for your input guys!

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