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Thread: Differences between Tanaka B2 Damascus and KU

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    Senior Member valgard's Avatar
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    Differences between Tanaka B2 Damascus and KU

    Could people who have owned both knives elaborate a bit on the differences between these two? I'm mostly interested in differences regarding the geometry. If there is already such a discussion here in the forums somewhere a pointer would be great.
    Thx,
    Carlos

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    Senior Member khashy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valgard View Post
    Could people who have owned both knives elaborate a bit on the differences between these two? I'm mostly interested in differences regarding the geometry. If there is already such a discussion here in the forums somewhere a pointer would be great.
    Thx,
    Carlos
    Oohhh, good question, +1 from me on the question.

    The one thing I have read a few times is the reactivity of the dammy is noticeable.

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    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    I currently have a 240 of each, I'll upload some pics later this evening along with a few opinions.
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    Senior Member valgard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khashy View Post
    Oohhh, good question, +1 from me on the question.

    The one thing I have read a few times is the reactivity of the dammy is noticeable.
    I've heard (think CC said it) that the new dammys are much less reactive.

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    Senior Member valgard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    I currently have a 240 of each, I'll upload some pics later this evening along with a few opinions.
    thx in advance CC

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    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    OK, so I should've thought to do this before I thinned one of the knives but I'll start by saying that both knives come like any good tool from Japan...you can use it just fine oob but they are made so that you can do your thing and really make them shine. So first thing to say is that the ku needed thinning much more than the dammy oob so I've essentially started the process and am at the stage of using it to see how much more to thin before I semi-refinish it. All pics taken as the knives are today...only thing done to dammy is to ease the spine and choil enough to make it comfortable to use...when I thin it, I will also do a better job on these areas.

    Tips as they are...ku on the left...before thinning it was thicker than the dammy shown on the right...imo these are the most crucial areas to hit on these. The ku will get thinned more and the dammy will get it when the time comes. I remember after thinning my last dammy that this was the area where performance improved the most...I'm a big believer that the more you thin here the more you'll use the knife.



    Choil shots on these have always been a bit strange as they often give the impression of being ground for a lefty and in some weird way they seem to be actually ground lefty on the last inch or two of the heel...but to show the difference here they are as they stand...my personal opinion is to not waste a bunch of time at the heel because I really don't use the heel that often and when I do it seems that it's more for 'power' than finesse so it won't matter--probably says a bit about my not so great skills.

    First is the ku that's been thinned a bit...you can tell that it was quite a bit thicker than the other just over the edge and while I've worked out a bit of that through the edge, the thickness remains in the heel area.



    here is the dammy:



    A couple of profile shots...the ku has a bit taller heel that I'll wind up working out during the continuation of the thinning. Meaning that it needs to lose about a 1/2 cm over the last ~30-40 mm of the blade. It makes it clunk a bit during a push and drives me nuts...the dammy does not suffer the same issue. The pics of the ku give a good idea of my thought process for thinning these...keeping the left pretty flat while trying to maintain that great convexity that helps make these knives such great cutters.





    Pretty sure that Shigeki is the one who grinds the dammy and guessing others do the ku. Both knives seem to have about the same potential but the ku will require a bit more work to get there. Figure I may as well add the kanji now that I've mentioned this...anyone that can tell if the makers name is part of this? Just curious...

    First is a dammy nakiri:



    dammy gyuto:



    ku gyuto:



    Weight is a bit hard to quantify because I've modified the handle on the ku (old Kochi handle) and the handle on the dammy is the plastic crap ho, but as they are right now, the dammy weighs 191g and the ku weighs 192g...again, the ku has been thinned by likely a few grams and it's really an apples/oranges comparison anyway because of the handles. Balance point is 62mm in front of handle on dammy and 56mm in front on the ku...remember this is likely influenced by the handle. Both feel great in hand but on the board the ku will need a bit of profile adjustment to fit my cutting style. The height at the heel on both of these is right at 51mm but remember that the ku is taller than it should be to fit my cutting style so it will wind up a few mm shorter. The dammy is at least a few mm shorter than the last one I owned (53 when I sold it) and that is actually much more of a disappointment than the crappy handle (MM knife). Knife still cuts great oob and if I'd never owned another I wouldn't miss the heel height I believe he's making them a few mm shorter as well...both are right at 240.

    As stated, the reactivity of the dammy is much different than my last one...which was probably a few years old...I bought is used from PT and it was before Tanaka had switched to plastic collars (was horn). I've been using the nakiri a lot on veggies and it's been pretty much nothing but blue without cutting any meat. The gyuto is fighting it a bit currently but only because I really wanted to push it to see if it would turn back to a rust bucket like some of the earlier ones...the last use of this knife was a very large (for home use) fruit bowl...lots of acidic stuff including supremes of citrus...I finally saw a bit of orange mixing with the blue but in nowhere near the way it would've reacted in the past.
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    Senior Member valgard's Avatar
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    Thx Chinacats, very nice comparison.

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    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    One more choil shot--a 165 dammy nakiri:

    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    Senior Member khashy's Avatar
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    Thanks CC. I guess the biggest issue is that the dammy is out of stock at MM and realistically, I wouldn't be able to order from James - shipping cost + taxes will just add up.

    So is the KU worth it in the end?

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    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khashy View Post
    Thanks CC. I guess the biggest issue is that the dammy is out of stock at MM and realistically, I wouldn't be able to order from James - shipping cost + taxes will just add up.

    So is the KU worth it in the end?
    My personal opinion is that yes, the ku is totally with it and the new ones at MM come with ho/horn handles. My only reservation would be that if someone waa not comfortable sharpening/thinning that you should either 1)pick another knife or 2) use this inexpensive knife to hone your skills.
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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