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Bryan Raquin Passaround

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bryan03

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he not valued the knife 700usd, he valued the passaround at 700. (edit : and I am ok with that, no judgment from me here. )

he can dip the knife in gold, or swipe it on Kim Kardashian's pantie, it doesn't change the price I sold the knife. :D


and personally, I do not expect anything in particular from a pass around except the opinions of users of one (and only one) of my knives, with specific characteristics.
 
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ian

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I would like to see some carot/apples/thick celery root/squash cutting sessions.
I only care about objective input on performance.
I think Bryan’s objection might include that the only food products you mentioned when talking about your knife analysis were hard fruits and root vegetables, which are not necessarily the items you’d want to cut with a kitchen tractor. It’s certainly useful info, and personally my tastes do skew towards knives that do better on hard product, but there’s a space for knives with an emphasis on durability and food release too.
 
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AT5760

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@Codered, do you realize that if you search the forums, you will see plenty of feedback on Bryan’s knives? You’ll also see that knives that few, if any, of his knives in BST are advertised as BNIB. Not sure where you are getting the impression that these are “collector” knives.

Maybe you should buy one and try it. If it’s not for you, you can see from BST traffic that you’ll be able to sell it pretty quickly.

That said, I’m looking forward to seeing the reviews from this pass around as well.
 

pleue

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This escalated quickly. Can folks do a search on some of the previous pass around a including the very old ones? Some folks dive deep into how they experience the knife, other give a short opinion on what they like and don’t like. Im not going to get a pile of requested vegetables and cut them on scale to measure pressure needed to successful cut 10 identically carrots without wedging with this and all my other knives. Im going to make dinner, probably a couple of times, and tell you what I thought. Maybe you’ll find someone who is willing to respond to your demands but it’d be nice if you framed them as requests. Part of the pass around to me is that it was inherently trusting and about sharing. I get protecting investments, setting a timeframe etc. but please try to not make this not fun.

Ps I object to the 3 day thing for what it’s worth.
 
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Codered

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Sorry if some of you took this personally. I only asked that we get some actual reviews during this passaround as we did in the Kato one. The fact that i asked to get a feel of some actual test with various root vegetables is because I actually use my knives and cook with them and use root vegetables in most cooking. I am interested in all passarounds and for me this is a chance to give the community some actual information on various knives. The fact that some of you see in this an escalation or flame is very unusual for me since I asked nothing out of the ordinary. If you look on sites that review for instance hi-fi equipment such as headphones for the audiophiles, those communities are very open to reviews and nobody has a problem of actually puting the products to a thorough test.
 

Malcolm Johnson

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I just dropped the knife off at the post office and is on the way to the next participant. Sorry for the delays. I have a video I will attach to my review of the Raquin vs my Y Tanaka gyuto on a large carrot. Gonna take some tome to write up a review and add additional pictures. I will say I was very impressed with Bryan’s work and would recommend it to anyone. It lives up to the kitchen tractor name. It plows through everything. Although I admit I would really like it in a longer taller variety.
 

tincent

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Keep in mind only 2 people have even had their turn.
 

Mikeadunne

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FWIW I had the knife for 2 extra days just because @Malcolm Johnson and I arranged to meet in person to pass the knife and I believe that was probably faster than shipping and kind a no brainer since we were that close geographically. I think that saved a day or two off of transit time. And I planned on keeping it for a week bc I just assumed that was what was agreed upon - a chance to use it a few times and really get a full impression of the knife.

That being said I did not take a very scientific or “review-oriented” approach. I took this opportunity as me paying a fee to try a knife out; one that I honestly would not probably get my hands on because I don’t click fast enough and I get really f-ing frustrated taking L’s trying to buy stuff online these days, over it. I will gladly share some of my thoughts but they are merely one man’s opinions. And I must say that although I’ve been cooking professionally for over a decade I have no understanding of half the technical stuff you guys talk about on here (though I enjoy reading and trying to understand some of it).
Due to the wonderful sci-fi covid world we live in these days I have stepped out of restaurant kitchens and am trying my hand in the private chef world. So I got to use the knife professionally in a home environment lol. I was afraid I wouldn’t have any gigs that week I had the knife and the opposite came true and I was so busy and didn’t want to have a knife I was too worried about caring for so I didn’t use it as much as I could have. Ok, enough bs.
The knife looks cool af on Instagram pics and it doesn’t disappoint in person. Bad ass looking knife. The handle looks so damn cool and the burnt oak had fantastic grip even when it got a little wet or greasy during prep. But I think it’s too big, and I mean girth. I don’t have big mitts like an offensive lineman but I’m also not dainty - 6ft 180 and my hands are proportionate. I know this is a preference but I thought the handle was too big, especially considering the knife felt tiny as I like the 230ish range for chef’s knives/gyutos. I did like the profile - I appreciate that it wasn’t too tall. Again, preference, short length and tall heel knives are clunky for me. The knife cuts pretty damn nice - like the way I imagined/wished my TF mab would. Not dainty, with authority, sturdy-feeling. I liked the steel. It stayed sharp through a few hours of prep and as per the last person in line’s request I didn’t want to go near the stones and mess w/ that pretty finish on the bevel. It honestly didn’t need it but I stropped like 10 strokes total on a Shapton glass 4K and the edge came right back to pretty f-ing sharp.
Basically I understand the appeal/hype now and that’s really all I wanted out of this experience. I am not all lathered up and ready to beg borrow or steal to get one though. Maybe it’s just this example - I understand there is variation. Maybe if it had been longer I would have fallen in love. I understand this seems to be contrary to how most professionals feel on this forum but I don’t value food release as the ultimate. I value it for sure, but I HATE wedging. Hate hate hate. And I know bbrrrraappp is kinda the calling card here - proudly cracking carrots with tractors, that’s tight. Not really my jam - again, preference. NOW this knife was not a wedge monster by any means but it did wedge on a couple large onions. You might say this is bc of the shorter heel height you complimented earlier in your post 🤷🏻‍♂️.
I’m thankful to @Jaszer13 for this generous act. Idgaf if he made a couple bucks (I don’t think he did). I liked the knife, for whatever reason I didn’t love it. Would I still buy a longer one or a Suji or butcher if given the opportunity - ya of course, I’m writing a review on a nerdy ass knife forum, no offense I love it here. But I won’t be setting reminders in my phone or trying to enter all my info in or paying over actual cost. Which probably means I won’t be getting one...but I’m not butt hurt about that anymore and again that’s thanks to this awesome opportunity. I wish these knives were more attainable but I get that might not make sense for Bryan financially/personally and also I probably wouldn’t want it so bad if I could get it easily.
 

Malcolm Johnson

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Here are my official thoughts on the Raquin Gyuto that was up for the passaround. I’ll try to keep these thoughts organized and concise as there is quite a bit to cover with this knife.

Build Quality:

This is definitely a more rustic style of knife. The KU finish and the burnt oak one piece handle might make this look almost simple and rough in appearance. Once you pick up the knife… any such thought will be immediately gone. The spine is so wonderfully polished on this knife. The neck/choil is also well rounded. The polishing on these areas in combination with the thicker spine creates a very comfortable pinch grip even after extended use. I’m used to the more squared off edges and thinner spine of my Tsubaya branded Y Tanaka gyuto and the user comfort from the Raquin is head and shoulders above my gyuto. I really wish mine had a thicker spine out of the handle to make long prep sessions at work more comfortable. The signature burnt oak “rough” looking handle will certainly make you wonder why this isn’t the standard for knives. It’s grippy even when wet and just gives off a feeling of warmth. For my personal tastes I would appreciate a thinner handle but I quickly got used to it and didn’t really notice after a short amount of time. The knife feels light in hand thanks to the oak handle, moderate heel height, and shorter length than the 240 gyutos I’m used to using. It balances just slightly above a pinch grip which I was happy to see (I have a picture of the balance point below). I enjoy a more forward balance for a little extra authority on the board. Distal taper is actually not very present on this particular knife (see below for pictures of the spine). It thins out of the handle fairly swiftly but after that it pretty well keeps it’s thickness until right near the tip. The KU flats of the knife are quite textured and are beautiful to my eyes. I’m confident this will age beautifully with further use. Overall I was really impressed with the build quality. Everything is smartly designed and the knife certainly has a warm soul to it.

Performance:

This is what it’s all about right? How does the fabled Raquin Kitchen Tractor actually fare on the board? I am pleased to report this thing lives up to the title. It plows through prep. With soft ingredients it is an absolute pleasure to use. The tip slides through onions in vertical and horizontal cuts very easily despite the thicker looking tip. I was actually surprised how well it did compared to my Y Tanaka since that gyuto has a much thinner tip. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Another absolutely winning feature of the performance for the Raquin is the flat profile. I am a push/pull cutter or chopper all day and this knife was perfect for me. It’s about ⅔ flat spot then has a gentle upsweep to that workable tip. Doing any type of board work with this knife was a pleasure to me. The knife with it’s profile just made everything so easy and enjoyable. The first run with the knife was so easy and enjoyable that I decided to make potato chips along with the rest of my dinner. It worked like a charm. So easy to just swiftly bust out paper thin disks of potato. After I had some fun with soft produce and some cooked beef, I made sure to run over to an asian market and purchased some thick carrots and a few sweet potatoes. One reason I was so excited to try out a Raquin (specifically his KT) was to see how the thicker knife dealt with dense ingredients. The sweet potatoes definitely gave a bit of resistance. I cut one slowly length wise to see how effective the grind was and it wedged quite a bit. When done with typical force it went through without issue. When I moved on with the carrots I was pleasantly surprised that the Raquin was able to slide through with only minor cracking. I will say my Y Tanaka (that I have reground with some convexity) went through the sweet potatoes and carrots with greater ease and with no cracking on the carrot. Overall I was impressed with the performance of the Kitchen Tractor. I only wish it was longer and heavier to aid in it’s ability to plow through dense ingredients. It really shocked me how well the tip performed and I am a total fan of the cutting profile on this thing. It just made prep work a breeze. All I can say is I understand the hype surrounding Raquin’s knives. They are top tier performers in all regards.

Steel:

This was my first experience with 145sc steel and I like it. I received it with a decent edge but wanted to feel the steel a bit. I gave a few small passes on the microbevel with my aoto to see how it was. I did not raise a bur, but did just enough to freshen up the edge and it did so very quickly. The edge on this thing gets serious in a matter of moments. Off the aoto it maintained a very toothy edge and only needed light stropping on a leather strop to keep it plowing through prep. It also seems fairly tough I didn’t do anything crazy with it but did slice up some beef with a fair bit of bark on it and no trace of any type of damage. I did that with a mazaki I had earlier this year and it chipped a bit. The combination of the thicker grind with the steel make for a very confident feeling knife. I was never worried about being too rough on it with the work I put it through.

I’ll also comment on reactivity here. This thing picks up a vibrant, gorgeous patina and does so quickly. It is quite reactive. I removed the patina that the last person left on it and it picked up a new one immediately upon use. It’s the prettiest patina I’ve seen in person.

Conclusion:

If you want a knife that is designed to work, a Raquin KT is a good knife to look at. I personally would look for a longer and taller variety to add a bit more weight and workability, but even this little tractor impressed me greatly. Despite it’s thickness in the tip and general grind it kept up with my gyuto that is much thinner all around and especially at the tip and edge. My favorite parts of the knife were the cutting profile with that long flat spot, comfort in a pinch grip, and the texture of the handle. Everything honestly combines to make up a fantastic knife for someone on the market for a fully reactive workhorse style knife.
 

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tgfencer

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For whatever it's worth to folks, I've owned 3 of Bryan's knives and borrowed another and I prefer his original grinds over the KT knives even though I tend to prefer workhorse/heavier knives on a whole. If this KT wasn't your speed and you prefer thinner grinds and generally lighter knives, the OG grinds might be more to your tastes.
 

Barmoley

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For whatever it's worth to folks, I've owned 3 of Bryan's knives and borrowed another and I prefer his original grinds over the KT knives even though I tend to prefer workhorse/heavier knives on a whole. If this KT wasn't your speed and you prefer thinner grinds and generally lighter knives, the OG grinds might be more to your tastes.
I also prefer Bryan's thinner grind, but to each his own.
 

Chang

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For whatever it's worth to folks, I've owned 3 of Bryan's knives and borrowed another and I prefer his original grinds over the KT knives even though I tend to prefer workhorse/heavier knives on a whole. If this KT wasn't your speed and you prefer thinner grinds and generally lighter knives, the OG grinds might be more to your tastes.
I also prefer Bryan's thinner grind, but to each his own.
another fan of his thinner grinds. Not a fan of the KT. If I'm going in to a long day's worth of prep, I'm not going to be switching from knife to knife, so if its going to "crack" through root veg, no thanks. That being said, Bryan's utilization of the steel, the ku, the profile, and the handles have all been the best of the best. just my two cents.
 

HSC /// Knives

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Blade geometry is the most important attribute in a kitchen knife. Even if the edge isn't sharpened, if the blade geometry is executed well, the blade will cut and pass through food well. It doesn't matter what steel it is. But if it's shaped like an axe, it will cut like an axe. I don't care what fancy name it's given.

If the blade is thick and the bevel grinding is too low, it's going to break apart food.

I cannot see any reason to have such blade geometry... but makers make what they want, and buyers purchase what they want. And that's why we have so many different style of knives and makers.

With that said, the Raquin knives are extremely pleasing visually and exhibit a high level of craftsmanship, and the edge is highly refined.
 

Malcolm Johnson

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Thanks for the very thoughtful review. What are the specs of the Y Tanaka you are comparing against? The profile on the Hitohira website was taken down.
The Tanaka is very similar to the hitohira Tanaka x Kyuzo wide bevel Gyutos. Around 3mm out of the handle, a touch under 230mm edge length, about 180 grams, and about 50mm height. I did, however, regrind the knife to have a convex geometry. So it is a bit different than stock and I found it to perform better than stock.
 

pleue

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En route to the next person on the list in WA.

Some limited thoughts and disclaimers:

Knife arrived well packed. I changed out the packaging to a hard cardboard mailing tube for added protection for its long journey and added a sleeve with some anti corrosion paper wrapped around the blade. It's in a padded knife case that it arrived in.

I didn't get a chance to use it more than twice sadly. Thus, didn't get a chance to sharpen it either. It was usable but not what I'd define as sharp.

Fit an finish was lovely. The handle was larger than I'd prefer (6'1", size L/XL glove size) but the material was really comfortable. I bet cleaning fish out of it would be a ***** however due to the texture of it. Knife felt small because of how large the handle was. I'd expect the size on a tall large 270. It would be pushing it for me on mid height 270 which is where my comfort level is. Felt bigger than my denka 270 or DT 270.

Profile felt really great on the board, natural for push cutting, no clunk, good flat area that wasn't dead flat anywhere for long. Only experience with hard root veg was probably 5# of julienned carrots. I'd say it wasn't exactly wedging but you could feel it resist cutting through the carrots into long slices and strips. If I was cutting slowly, it probably wouldn't bother me much and it didn't a ton overall. I honestly didn't enjoy it for that purpose and swapped to another knife toward the end of the pile. Knife is a good cutter and felt natural going through food besides that. No real learning curve to it, it just felt good to cut with straight away which is significant to me since I don't usually use a knife this size. Didn't notice any discoloration of product going through some onions.

No feedback on retention, sharpening, etc. Had a good time with it. Would get one if it were within my budget and the opportunity arose. I think if I could take my pick, all things considered, I'd want a larger 270ish blade but again that may be preference. Height wise, maybe a 55-58mm would do a better job going through hard product given more room to bring the grind up the blade face. I could see going away from a KT grind in that size, most of my experience is in mid weights and I bet his original grind sings in that sizing. I bet a tall nakiri would be a lot of fun as well.

Thanks for the opportunity!

Sorry I had it too long, I think I may have broken a toe and it hobbled me getting things packed up and errands ran.
 
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Malcolm Johnson

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En route to the next person on the list in WA.

Some limited thoughts and disclaimers:

Knife arrived well packed. I changed out the packaging to a hard cardboard mailing tube for added protection for its long journey and added a sleeve with some anti corrosion paper wrapped around the blade. It's in a padded knife case that it arrived in.

I didn't get a chance to use it more than twice sadly. Thus, didn't get a chance to sharpen it either. It was usable but not what I'd define as sharp.

Fit an finish was lovely. The handle was larger than I'd prefer (6'1", size L/XL glove size) but the material was really comfortable. I bet cleaning fish out of it would be a ***** however due to the texture of it. Knife felt small because of how large the handle was. I'd expect the size on a tall large 270. It would be pushing it for me on mid height 270 which is where my comfort level is. Felt bigger than my denka 270 or DT 270.

Profile felt really great on the board, natural for push cutting, no clunk, good flat area that wasn't dead flat anywhere for long. Only experience with hard root veg was probably 5# of julienned carrots. I'd say it wasn't exactly wedging but you could feel it resist cutting through the carrots into long slices and strips. If I was cutting slowly, it probably wouldn't bother me much and it didn't a ton overall. I honestly didn't enjoy it for that purpose and swapped to another knife toward the end of the pile. Knife is a good cutter and felt natural going through food besides that. No real learning curve to it, it just felt good to cut with straight away which is significant to me since I don't usually use a knife this size. Didn't notice any discoloration of product going through some onions.

No feedback on retention, sharpening, etc. Had a good time with it. Would get one if it were within my budget and the opportunity arose. I think if I could take my pick, all things considered, I'd want a larger 270ish blade but again that may be preference. Height wise, maybe a 55-58mm would do a better job going through hard product given more room to bring the grind up the blade face. I could see going away from a KT grind in that size, most of my experience is in mid weights and I bet his original grind sings in that sizing. I bet a tall nakiri would be a lot of fun as well.

Thanks for the opportunity!

Sorry I had it too long, I think I may have broken a toe and it hobbled me getting things packed up and errands ran.
I agree with just about everything you wrote. Especially with wanting one in 270mm. I just feel the way the knife works would be ideal in 270.
 

Jaszer13

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Unfortunately I can no longer edit the list on page 1.

Here is the latest info on where the knife is and where it's going to next:
User:StatePaid:Received:
1​
@MikeadunneCAX24-Aug
2​
@Malcolm JohnsonCAX2-Sep
3​
@pleueORX16-Sep
4​
@NagakinWAX28-Sep
5​
@SolidSnake03NEX06-Oct
6​
@LostHighwayMNX
7​
@RyndunkMIX
8​
@mise_en_placeILX
9​
@tincentMOX
10​
@TwiggINX
11​
@KeatTNX
12​
@DoubleJJAL
13​
@banzai_burritoTXX
14​
@ColinTX
15​
@BodineFLX
16​
@CliffNY
17​
@UnstoppaboNYX
18​
@ExistentialHeroMAX
19​
@Hz_zzzzzzCTX
20​
@ma_sha1CTX
 
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SolidSnake03

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I received the knife today from USPS, it was well packed and arrived safe and sound. The padded knife case is a nice touch on it. Have a bunch of cooking to do later this week/weekend and will update you all this coming week on performance based things relating to it. I should have it out by Weds/Thurs the latest and will update once it has gone out as well.

Brief first impressions are
"damn it's a thicc boy"
"oh this hand has nice grip....like amazingly good grip"
"these bevels are smoooooootthhhhh"
"Interesting KU finish, kinda splotchy feeling but not weird gluey/sticky like some really cheap KU sometimes ends up"

I'm interested and intrigued that is for sure :D
 
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