Aritsugu knives

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by vern1, Jun 30, 2015.

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  1. Jun 30, 2015 #1

    vern1

    vern1

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    I recently bought an Aritsugu 8" wa handled deba during a visit to Kyoto. Its really piqued my interest in quality knives

    I have looked at many threads here but there is little to no discussion on Aritsugu knives. I understand Aritsugu is a respected knife maker that goes back to the 1600's. I would like to get a different type of knife like their gyuto (the deba was a spur of the moment purchase and although a beautiful knife I have realized its not the most practical - as you all know)

    I have also found that barring another trip to Kyoto (not planning on it) or a contact in Japan (nope) its not easy to find these knives. Is that why there is not much I discussion on them?

    And are there other places than their website, which doesn't deliver outside Japan, where I can find these knives? I haven't seen any on the websites frequently mentioned here

    Thanks and really enjoy all your discussions on knives (and have bought some sharpening stones to do my own knives!!)
     
  2. Jun 30, 2015 #2

    Dardeau

    Dardeau

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    Aframes Tokyo carries Aritsugu knives
     
  3. Jun 30, 2015 #3

    Keith Sinclair

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    Yep I bought my 270mm Aritsugu Yanagiba from him 8 yrs. ago great blade.
     
  4. Jun 30, 2015 #4

    vern1

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    Great and thanks!! Assuming they ship to Canada I am in good shape

    Am still a bit curious that their name doesn't come up very often esp in a discussion of quality knives....

    But thanks for the direction and on to my next knife!!
     
  5. Jun 30, 2015 #5

    perneto

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  6. Jun 30, 2015 #6

    vern1

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    Thank you for the link. I have been reading up on all the different types of Japanese knives available. Am not stuck on the Aritsugu but the different number of choices is overwhelming. Will keep reading

    Thanks!
     
  7. Jun 30, 2015 #7

    oldcookie

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    Vern1, you just need to email Aritsugu. They don't take foreign order from the website, but they take order via email. I emailed them recently to get a quote for shipping, they responded the next morning.
     
  8. Jun 30, 2015 #8

    vern1

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    Thank you Steve, since we're both in Toronto maybe we could save some shipping costs on our next order! :D
     
  9. Jul 1, 2015 #9

    oldcookie

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    Sounds good. :D
     
  10. Jul 1, 2015 #10

    malexthekid

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    My parents got me a 240mm gyuto from the Tsukiji fishmarkets earlier this year as a 30th Birthday present. I really like it. Not quite as think as my Ginga, but still quite thin. A little on the short side, but it definitely does well with onions and what not.

    And it reacts very well to Jon's diamond stone set.
     
  11. Jul 1, 2015 #11

    Adrian

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    I have a couple of Aritsugu carbon knives in different blade shapes both white and blue and like them a great deal. They are exceptional easy to sharpen. Enjoy your purchase.
     
  12. Jul 1, 2015 #12

    vern1

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    Thanks

    I m focusing in on a 240mm gyuto in carbon steel from Aritsugu with a wa handle. It will be my all purpose knife (maybe a nakiri after that). Any aritsugu suggestions most welcome

    Appreciate all the advice/direction
     
  13. Jul 1, 2015 #13

    alterwisser

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    How's the pricing when ordering from them? Much of a difference from Aframes?
     
  14. Jul 1, 2015 #14

    Bolek

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    I bought mein from MTC in NY.
     
  15. Jul 2, 2015 #15

    oldcookie

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    Quite a bit cheaper price wise. I was asking about 300mm White II Yanagiba, on Aframes, it going for $272.85 USD with Saya which is approx. $365 CAD. From Aritsugu, the knife is 18000 Yen, Saya is 1500 yen. So it would have cost me 19500 yen, with is approx $200 CAD. Shipping is comparable.

    Couple of caveats:
    1. I have no idea if the two, in terms of quality and finish are the same. There is only 1 White II option on Aritsugu site, I am assuming they are at least similar, but Aframes might be getting higher quality stuff.
    2. From what I have read, the knives come completely dull, so you have to be prepared to sharpen it yourself. i.e. It's not like shopping in their stores.
     
  16. Jul 2, 2015 #16

    alterwisser

    alterwisser

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    My wife is going to Kyoto in November ... maybe I should task her with getting me one ... one that is sharp ;)

     
  17. Jul 2, 2015 #17

    oldcookie

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    You are lucky, my wife isn't going to Kyoto, and even if she is, she would never buy me a knife. :p
     
  18. Jul 2, 2015 #18

    oldcookie

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    As far as I can tell from the website, Aritsugu don't have wa-handle carbon gyutos. Wa-handle Gyuto are A-style, which is semi-stainless. The carbon steels(S Steel) on the site are all western handles.
     
  19. Jul 2, 2015 #19

    malexthekid

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    I will say this, they will sharpen them at their stores for you, however they are not the prettiest sharpening job. I gather they are used to doing it for the Japanese Chefs, so the edge is great, but not too concerned with how it looks.
     
  20. Jul 2, 2015 #20

    vern1

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    Thanks Steve, guess I will look at both type of handles. Any major difference between the carbon and the semi stainless other than degree of potential rusting?

    Can you ask Aritsugu to sharpen it before they send it? Do the ones from Aframes come sharpened?

    Thanks
     
  21. Jul 2, 2015 #21

    Adrian

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    Aritsugi will sharpen before they post and they will also bear in mind your finishing requests, but you need to make this clear by email. I bought a kiritsuke for my brother after he was coveting the one I have bought on my last trip. When it arrived it was perfectly sharp and there was no scratching. However, in my experience, if you go for full carbons you must expect some micro chipping to begin with. This will disappear after the first few sharpening sessions.
     
  22. Jul 2, 2015 #22

    vern1

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    Is the micro chipping expected because the carbon is a harder steel? When you say finishing requests are you referring to the bevel angle ie I want 50/50 as an example? What other finishing requests would be possible?
    Thanks
     
  23. Jul 2, 2015 #23

    oldcookie

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    Do a search on A-style or look at zknives.com, pretty informative. Effectively, A-style seems to be harder to sharpen because of high wear-resistance.

    I was confused about the sharpening thing too, which inspired another post I had earlier. But Adrian provided info on it already, which is really good to know. :)

    I am not terribly concerned about initial sharpening cause we are in Toronto. If I screw it up, or just want someone else to do it, I'd just take it to Tosho. :D
     
  24. Jul 2, 2015 #24

    alterwisser

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    I checked with Aframes, confirmed that they are tough to sharpen...
     
  25. Jul 3, 2015 #25

    kpnv

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    it hasn't been mentioned here yet but there are 2 different aritsugu who both use the same kanji. the one based in kyoto lays claim to the history and stuff. they primarily make white and blue steel knives in the 3 classic styles and to my knowledge do not make any semi stainless or stainless knives. the store in nishiki market in kyoto is a really nice little temple to knives. aritsugu tsukiji, like it's name suggests, is based in tsukiji fish market in tokyo. there's 2 shops, one in the inner market (smaller) and another in the outer market. this is the one with the website. https://www.aritsugu.jp/ this is also the company that makes the semi stainless a type line of knives as well as other inexpensive lines plus more pricey white and blue steel knives. my ex-boss was golf buddies with the company president and got free knives from them.

    given that both companies sell oem knives, the quality is high because the stuff that's considered not that good isn't accepted from the various people who make their knives. you pay a premium for the branding as a result. i would also seriously advise against getting aritsugu to open the knives up for you. i got my a type gyuto 5 years ago in tsukiji and it took me a year to get it right again, in part because i was learning to sharpen and in part because it's not easy to sharpen. knowing what i know now, they don't do a great job. i would probably defer to someone else to help me out. of course, mine was done in store, so there might be another guy who's a better sharpener... i can't say for sure.

    regardless, these knives had their heyday quite a ways back, well before i got mine so that's the main reason why no one really talks so much about them, because a lot of great knives in the same price bracket have popped up and are easier to procure nowadays.
     
  26. Jul 7, 2015 #26

    vern1

    vern1

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    Thank you knpv, that's very interesting info. I actually bought mine at one of the large dept stores in Kyoto. It is taking quite a patina so I assume it is one of the carbon steels but have no idea which one (and it was not on any of the packaging - does the kangi indicate or is that just the brand name?). In any event I plan to pick up a 240 gyuto at some point this summer. There are a couple of nice knife shops in Toronto so will probably go check those out before I decide on whether to shop local or go online to Aritsugu or Aframes etc

    This is a great site to gather info!
     
  27. Jul 8, 2015 #27

    oldcookie

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    The kanji in on the left of the knife should tell you what type of steel it is:

    合金鋼 - A-type
    青鋼 - Blue Steel
    白鋼 - White steel
     
  28. Jul 8, 2015 #28

    vern1

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    Very cool, will have a look tonight
    Thanks!
     
  29. Jul 12, 2015 #29

    JCHine

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    Visited Aritsugu in Kyoto late last year and they now do have some stainless clad carbon knives. Picked up quite a nice 150mm petty with brown horn handle.
     
  30. Jul 13, 2015 #30

    rick alen

    rick alen

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    Not to be nitpicky, and I have been completely wrong before, but just for my own edification I thought Aritsugu have not made any knives themselves for many moons, but orders to their specs from various independent Smiths. Yes, no?



    Rick
     

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