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Thread: Need newbie help: Kikuichi Elite Carbon 240

  1. #11
    Senior Member Miles's Avatar
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    I think the advice you've gotten is pretty sound. Don't worry about forcing a patina. It will come as you use it. That's one of the fun things about carbon knives. Each one has it's own character.
    I'm with Kaleb on the Kikuichi. It's a fine blade. It's not as refined as some, but with a little work, it's just as good as if not better than a lot of the "better knives". I kept one in my kit for three years as my primary. I never found it to be lacking in any way. It was and is a really good blade.

  2. #12
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    Also since you have fine Japan carbon blade now you can pick up some freehand tech.Your King 800/6000 is a good combo stone entirely capable of putting a sharp edge on your Kikuichi.

    A good start is to go to Japanese Knife Imports,and go to the youtube site.Jon talks about carbon knives,creating burrs,alot of good information for free.You are in good company on that site read about knife care & other info. he provides.

    Another option is Dave Martells knife sharpening DVD.

  3. #13

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    I'm glad to hear its not a bad knife! I was under the impression the sk4 steel it's made of is low/mid grade. I figured there might be better knives at that price point but I really wanted a carbon knife and this was the only choice under $200.

    I'm going to go watch the sharpening videos now. I have seen enough to put an edge on the knife without ruining it but I imagine its still dull compared to the standards here. I can cut paper and veg easy enough but it won't fall through a tomato under its own weight.

    A slight patina did form from the blood and it is pretty so I'm at least happy the knife can turn blue/purple and won't be solid black

  4. #14
    Senior Member Miles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airplay355 View Post
    I'm glad to hear its not a bad knife! I was under the impression the sk4 steel it's made of is low/mid grade. I figured there might be better knives at that price point but I really wanted a carbon knife and this was the only choice under $200.

    I'm going to go watch the sharpening videos now. I have seen enough to put an edge on the knife without ruining it but I imagine its still dull compared to the standards here. I can cut paper and veg easy enough but it won't fall through a tomato under its own weight.

    A slight patina did form from the blood and it is pretty so I'm at least happy the knife can turn blue/purple and won't be solid black
    The ultimate test is whether it does the task for which it's intended. If it takes care of business, then you're doing well. If not, then a bit of refinement is required. The nice thing is that it's a forgiving process. You don't have to have the best technique to produce a decent edge. It helps, of course, but with a bit of commitment and focus, as you gain more knowledge and skill, you will develop better technique and better edges.

    For the record, unless they've changed things, they use SK-5 steel. When I inquired a few years back, that was the answer that I was given. Although it has a bit less carbon than SK-4, it's a bit more heavily alloyed and a bit harder which seems to produce better performance than when compared to my other knives which are made of SK-4. Either way, it's not a knife which is super sexy in terms of materials or finish, but a knife which is meant for function. I think it does well in that regard and I think it's a fine blade as an entree into Japanese steel. It can offer a lot of knowledge as you engage with it if you are open to what it has to offer.

  5. #15

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    You're definitely right about sharpening being forgiving! I was surprised by how sharp I could get the knife even though this was the first time I had used stones. I'm positive that it's not as sharp as you guys could get it but it definitely cuts veggies with ease. I'm going to keep learning with it so I can get the feel for what works and what doesn't. That way I won't end up messing up a really nice knife

    The only reason I thought it was SK4 was because http://kikuichi.net/gyutoallpurposek...rbonsteel.aspx but maybe this is outdated. Still, not the nicest of steels but I think it will be a perfect knife to learn on and it fit my price point quite nicely

  6. #16
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    The variety of steel that a knife is made of is one thing that new users can overly fixate on. A knife's performance will be dictated much more by the quality of the grind and the heat treatment of the steel. SK steels (any of them) are good simple carbon steels, and if heat treated properly, I think very few beginner users would be able to tell the difference between, say SK4 and white number 2

    Kikuichi are a reputable maker if they are using SK steels, you can probably rest assured that they nail the heat treatment.

    It's great to see a new user jumping in with two feet regarding sharpening!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty View Post
    ...Kikuichi are a reputable maker...
    It's hard to tell who makes what these days. That said, these knives have been around a long time and have a rep for being solid performers.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    It's hard to tell who makes what these days.
    Yep, fair enough.

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