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Karl Dial

Active Member
Oct 27, 2021
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Bardstown, KY
1) I would like to try one truly traditional single-bevel and have been looking at the Yoshihiro Hongasumi B2 180mm kamagata usuba. Please enlighten me on usubas (especially the kamagata). I have a Mazaki nakiri and love it but would also like to try this style. How do they compare? Which length is most useful?
2) Also how does Yoshihiro rate amongst you? I only have one "factory" knife (a Sakai Takayuki petty which I love). I am basically asking how does small factory (Sakai Takayuki, Jikko, Masamoto, Kikumori, Yoshihiro, etc) knives compare against individual 'smith knives and how does Yoshihiro rate amongst these small factories? I know Kikumori is very highly rated.
Thanks in advance!
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I only have an answer for #1.

Usuba is an entirely different animal than nakiri. It’s used for traditional techniques such as making sheets of daikon. For regular western cuisine, a nakiri is ideal as it doesn’t steer, you can bang and chop with it with no fear of destroying an ultra thin edge, and the edge generally survives board contact better than usuba. Vs maz nakiri (which is a glorious knife), they’re almost like plant vs animal.

That being said, I have an usuba I’m terrified of using, but really should get my ass in gear and start learning. I’m a big fan of trying new things, and encourage you to adjust your point of view and most definitely buy one 😁
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