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Thread: Wa or Yo Handles?

  1. #11
    From what I've observed, a "yo" handle is a generic term for a western handle. That's all.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  2. #12
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    So, which do you prefer mhlee?
    09/06

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    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    WildBoar's Avatar
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    I like both, but as mentioned above it does not matter much if you do not fully grip the handle. Since I only had western-handled knives until last year, I've been picking up some wa- and hybrid-handled knives. I really like the wa on my ITK 240 gyuto and Pierre 300 suji, and the western on the DM-rehandled 240 Hiro gyuto. From the knives I have handled so far, the wa handles are less likely to be too bulky/ blocky then the western handles used on lower cost j-knives.

    At this very moment, I prefer wa for bigger/ longer knives, and western or hybrid on smaller (paring) knives.
    __________
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  4. #14
    As a unrepentant pinch gripper the only handle I hold "as designed" is my slicer, other than that, wa me.

  5. #15

    ecchef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildBoar View Post
    At this very moment, I prefer wa for bigger/ longer knives, and western or hybrid on smaller (paring) knives.
    Interesting. I generally prefer that as well. One thing I can't get used to is wa handle on big debas. Just doesn't feel secure enough.
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  6. #16
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    My Takeda was my first Wa handle, and I like it a lot, not for the look, butt for the feel. I have fairly large hands and the Wa handle feels more agile to me. I have no problem with Yo(mama?), just really like the Wa(wa).
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    I prefer and like wa handles more(octagonal to be exact), but a western handle is just fine for most knives.

    Even though I don't pinch grip, so my fingers are on the handle most of the time, the handle type really isn't THAT important to me. I think wa handles lend better to gentle grips because of how they feel/fill in the hand.

  8. #18
    I will only buy wa handled knives from now on. One of the biggest deals to me is that they are light and there isn't as much steel in the handle, so the balance point of the knife is usually more forward, something I much prefer in a knife, particularly a longer knife.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Rader View Post
    Great thread. I've been wondering about this for a while. I've exclusively made western style handles and want to start crafting the Japanese-styled blades and handles. So, I know what a wa handle looks like, but, forgive my ignorance, what is a yo handle? Is this the oval or egg-shaped one as opposed to the octagon wa handle shape?
    -M
    Half your question was left unanswered.

    The oval or egg-shaped cross-section handles are commonly called "D-" handles. They've sort of fallen out of favor with us knifenuts since they aren't ambidextrous, although my left-handed wife doesn't complain (much) when she has to use a D-handle made for a right-hander. My opinion is that a D-handle is more comfortable than an octagon.

    I can't wait to see what your wa-handles look like.

    Rick

  10. #20
    Depends on the type of knife / grip. With heavy cleavers, boning knives, I use a hammer grip and prefer a yo-handle. It feels more secure (less likely to slip or twist) and easier to clean. With light grip type knives, I’m not holding the handle, so it doesn’t matter as much. I do like the look of a wa-handle and their ability to magically deter my in-laws (aka the knife killers) from using them.

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