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Thread: You asked, you whined, now here it is: Kato passaround

  1. #61
    Just read Ben's note. I'll touch it up, but I won't kill it

  2. #62
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirkb View Post
    Just read Ben's note. I'll touch it up, but I won't kill it
    Sorry, I meant to let you know that it needed some time on the stones. I really beat on it to see if it deserved the name 'workhorse'. And it does IMO. I have pretty rudimentary sharpening skills, so I didn't really feel comfortable sharpening it.
    The AI does not love you, nor does it hate you, but you are made out of atoms it might find useful for something else. - Eliezer Yudkowsky

  3. #63
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    Im gonna run it through the paces myself. We have a lot of catering during my week, so it's gonna see a lot of use. Heirkb, after you take it to the stones, let us know what you think again
    "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.. Beer!" -Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck

  4. #64
    I have a bit of an update. Just a heads up, when it comes to things like knives, I'm usually the type of person who makes up my mind fairly quickly about a knife. This could be good or bad, but in my experience, it's been a fairly accurate predictor of how I'll like the knife in the future. I could learn to adjust to the tools, but with tests as simple as splitting an apple or mincing an onion, if the knife doesn't perform the way I want, I don't feel the need to adjust to a $500 tool when others can do the same job better for my uses. I've had experiences where I've compared a knife and found one knife to better cutting than the other for my uses. I then adjusted to the less nice cutter after using it almost exclusively for months, but as soon as I compared it to the better cutting knife again, it would immediately remind me of my first impressions of the knife. Anyways, that was a long disclaimer so that you know where I'm coming from with my opinion...

    I sharpened up the edge on this knife and let me say, this was one of the hardest knives for me to raise a consistent burr on. Don't worry, Ben, I didn't remove too much metal (I'll post a pic of the current edge. I did end up lowering the bevel angle by just a hair I think, so that may have contributed to the issues raising the burr, but still, when I've done such a small decrease in the bevel angle (1-2 degrees probably), I haven't had this much trouble. The final edge is not awesome like a pro-sharpened edge would be, but a definite improvement.

    The knife after sharpening behaved very differently. It shaved hard items much better. It cut semi-soft items (e.g. swiss chard stems) very well with no sticking. It did fairly well on the vertical cuts on the onions. It struggled a bit on horizontal onion cuts, which I'm sure was partly my technique and partly the knife. Finally, the knife struggled a good bit on bigger cuts on anything hard that I tried (e.g. turnips). I've talked a lot with others about this and how technique can improve it. Technique did improve the cuts on harder items, but the knife still struggled much more than my Marko practice gyuto (and more than I remember my Heiji struggling). All in all, there wasn't a single cutting test I did on a range of soft to hard vegetables (no meat slicing, though) where this knife outperformed my Marko gyuto (or my memory of my Heiji). Now this could be too hasty a conclusion, but as I said at the top of the post, I usually get a good sense of how I like a knife after the first few uses.

    A few more things...this knife was not particularly reactive, but it just reminded me of how awesomely unreactive Marko's 52100 is for carbon. The onions I cut with this guy oxidized fairly quickly, but the ones I cut with the Marko gyuto were totally clean. Finally, this thing is HEAVY. Seriously, you've heard it, but you don't get it until you actually have the knife in your hands. Makes my Marko feel like a petty even though it's a 250 gyuto.

    I'll keep this for another day or two just to make sure yesterday wasn't a fluke, but knowing the (perhaps too) hasty way I form opinions about knives, I don't want to hold up the passaround for longer than necessary. Thanks again for the awesome opportunity, Ben. Feeling like I no longer want to buy the Kato is like having a $600 weight lifted

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by heirkb View Post
    I have a bit of an update. Just a heads up, when it comes to things like knives, I'm usually the type of person who makes up my mind fairly quickly about a knife. This could be good or bad, but in my experience, it's been a fairly accurate predictor of how I'll like the knife in the future. I could learn to adjust to the tools, but with tests as simple as splitting an apple or mincing an onion, if the knife doesn't perform the way I want, I don't feel the need to adjust to a $500 tool when others can do the same job better for my uses. I've had experiences where I've compared a knife and found one knife to better cutting than the other for my uses. I then adjusted to the less nice cutter after using it almost exclusively for months, but as soon as I compared it to the better cutting knife again, it would immediately remind me of my first impressions of the knife. Anyways, that was a long disclaimer so that you know where I'm coming from with my opinion...

    I sharpened up the edge on this knife and let me say, this was one of the hardest knives for me to raise a consistent burr on. Don't worry, Ben, I didn't remove too much metal (I'll post a pic of the current edge. I did end up lowering the bevel angle by just a hair I think, so that may have contributed to the issues raising the burr, but still, when I've done such a small decrease in the bevel angle (1-2 degrees probably), I haven't had this much trouble. The final edge is not awesome like a pro-sharpened edge would be, but a definite improvement.

    The knife after sharpening behaved very differently. It shaved hard items much better. It cut semi-soft items (e.g. swiss chard stems) very well with no sticking. It did fairly well on the vertical cuts on the onions. It struggled a bit on horizontal onion cuts, which I'm sure was partly my technique and partly the knife. Finally, the knife struggled a good bit on bigger cuts on anything hard that I tried (e.g. turnips). I've talked a lot with others about this and how technique can improve it. Technique did improve the cuts on harder items, but the knife still struggled much more than my Marko practice gyuto (and more than I remember my Heiji struggling). All in all, there wasn't a single cutting test I did on a range of soft to hard vegetables (no meat slicing, though) where this knife outperformed my Marko gyuto (or my memory of my Heiji). Now this could be too hasty a conclusion, but as I said at the top of the post, I usually get a good sense of how I like a knife after the first few uses.

    A few more things...this knife was not particularly reactive, but it just reminded me of how awesomely unreactive Marko's 52100 is for carbon. The onions I cut with this guy oxidized fairly quickly, but the ones I cut with the Marko gyuto were totally clean. Finally, this thing is HEAVY. Seriously, you've heard it, but you don't get it until you actually have the knife in your hands. Makes my Marko feel like a petty even though it's a 250 gyuto.

    I'll keep this for another day or two just to make sure yesterday wasn't a fluke, but knowing the (perhaps too) hasty way I form opinions about knives, I don't want to hold up the passaround for longer than necessary. Thanks again for the awesome opportunity, Ben. Feeling like I no longer want to buy the Kato is like having a $600 weight lifted
    wow

  6. #66
    It's good to hear different users' perspectives. Very nice writeup.
    Len

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by mainaman View Post
    wow
    Maybe yours is different. Or maybe everyone who has loved Shigs and Katos in the past has had a golden touch with them. Whatever it is, I simply haven't gotten why people think they're such special cutters. Special knives, yes, but as cutters, both my Shig gyuto and this Kato haven't blown me away.

  8. #68
    Just to add a little more of an update in case I hurt a few feelings

    I threw more things at this knife. I'd been talking with another member about good tests for geometry and I agreed with him that mincing onion finely is a particularly good test, so that was one that I weighed heavily. I did a bunch of random cutting of a lot of hard winter vegetables, onion mincing, greens, softer veg...I split hard veg, shaved the hard veg, cut them into different sized cubes, minced onions, shaved leeks, did a lot of rocking with the greens and herbs, and other random things. Sorry, no meat because the meat I ate was braised. In every single thing except one, the Marko gyuto was just a much more effortless cutter. Where the Kato was better was on greens and herbs. I haven't loved really thin-behind-the-edge knives for greens in the past either (felt the same about my Tilman). For those who don't like hearing that I didn't love the Kato, maybe you can console yourselves by thinking that I am an unskilled user and that the Marko is more dumb-user-friendly, but I see zero benefit to buying a less user-friendly knife if another is already literally effortless at cutting (unlike many other knives that I had heard supposedly fall through food, the Marko actually does), has great food release, great edge retention, etc. without any need for esoteric adjustments.

    A few other things...the reactiveness on this knife is nice. Not as nice as the 52100 practice knife, but still nice. There was a minor overgrind at the heel of the knife where the bevel tapered off when I got the knife. I don't think it was a sharpening problem, because the stone wouldn't hit that part of the heel for a while. It seems to have mostly come out after my sharpening, though.

    Thanks again for the opportunity, Ben. I really appreciate having had a chance to try this knife. It will be in the mail tomorrow.

    Here are some pictures:

    very minor overgrind:

    bevels after sharpening:


    kato choil:

    marko choil (can't quite see the grind well in this):

  9. #69
    The Kato went out earlier today (or I guess it's yesterday for us east-coasters), as promised. Thanks again.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Jmadams13's Avatar
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    Was there a tracking number?
    "This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.. Beer!" -Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck

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