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Considering a Teruyasu Fujiwara Denka

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Silky

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Hello KKF,

I have been considering getting a 180-210mm Teruyasu Fujiwara Denka no Hoto as a smaller knife for quick meals at home. I have read on the forums that he has excellent heat treatment on his aogami super lines, and they tend to be fairly tough despite high hardness. I have also read about the terrible f&f on his knives.

So, I live about 1-2 hours from Tokyo where Mr. Fujiwara's shop is and I believe I can go to the shop to hand pick a knife. I was hoping to hear people's opinions of the knives, particularly the core steel of the knives. I am looking at all three lines, but I am leaning towards the denka. What do you think KKF?
 

Marek07

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Can't comment on the Denka no Hoto line because the price jump from the Maboroshi no Meito was way too much for me to consider. The Denka line is AS vs. the Maboroshi's White 1. But I can comment on F&F and sharpness. Everything you've heard about their F&F is true and then some - be prepared to do a bit of work on it. As you're picking up in store, F&F issues might be lessened. One would hope that the Denka line is better due to the asking price but... ? Sharpness is insanely good and really easy to achieve with little effort.
 

Iggy

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Hi,

in 2015 I visited Teruyasu Fujiwara in Tokyo. Since then I own a 210 Denka Wa-Gyuto and tested 2 Yo-Maboroshis (210 Petty and 210 Gyuto). From that perspective, some advices on TF:

- The variation in TF in general is extremly high. When you're in his store you can chose of course between good knives and not so good ones. The variations regarding geometry and weight is high, too. When you order a knife it's kind of a gamble of course. So I would recommend ordering from a vendor you trust and let them chose a good knife for you.

- Regarding F&F... most of their knives are pretty bad in this aspect, especially the Yo-handled ones. The Wa-handles ones can be pretty good. My handselected Denka for example is a (in some areas rough) but overall really nice knife.

- Every TF I tested so far cut great! But sometimes they have grind issues.

- But honestly... my TF Denka Gyuto leaves nearly every other non-custom knife behind regarding cutting performance and edge retention as well (even compared to other AS knives like Takeda or Hiromoto)! :)

- I find that the difference in cutting performance between Maboroshi vs. Denka is not really big (slight advantage for the Denka IMHO) but the edge of the Denka is significantly more stabile and the edge retention is much higher (although the edge retention of TF White#1 isn't bad at all)

So Conclusion... if you get a really good example of a TF Denka Wa-Gyuto, it's can be pretty much one of the best knives you can possibly buy (even compared to other japanese highend knives like Kato or Kono Fujiyama etc. ...). But getting a good one is quite difficult...
 

swarth

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I have no regrets. Steel is amazing. Grind on my 240 Denka has a right hand bias...but you can pick what you like if your at the shop. FF is definitely eccentric.
 

guari

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I fail to understand how a smith putting out knives with such variations can run for such high prices. A denka 240 gyuto on a UK site runs almost for 600£, which is almost a grand in US $.. Not sure if I'm missing something here..
 

Iggy

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I fail to understand how a smith putting out knives with such variations can run for such high prices. A denka 240 gyuto on a UK site runs almost for 600£, which is almost a grand in US $.. Not sure if I'm missing something here..
No, you're not missing something... the pricing for the Denkas at some vendors is just weird... :scratchhead:
 

Godslayer

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No, you're not missing something... the pricing for the Denkas at some vendors is just weird... :scratchhead:
you can get the same thing for 900 cad or 700 ish usd, his us and cad pricing is perhaps set the same and never adjusted it when the cad crashed a few years ago. He can demand such pricing due to his history and the fact like kiyoshi kato he still forges katana, knifewear said he charges upwards of 100k cad for a katana forged from tamahagane with the full polish, sheath and all the other bells and whistles. Basically hes probably a top 10 when it comes to heat treat which is a huge huge part of the blade, they all in my experience take a stunning edge that is almost unrivaled, destroys my kato in raw sharpness and cutting ability(TBH I think kato is more overpriced than fujiwara) but I digress, I dont think his denka line is worth double his maboroshi line but they are very good knives surpassing most us custom makers in my experience where performance is concerned. I played with a maboroshi no meito 210 and a carter kurochi 210 and the maboroshi was honestly better in every regard, if at all possible if ordering online I would ask for images of a few blades of the style you are interested in and go from there, He is also one of only a few smiths who does not buy pre laminated steel such as say takeda or many takefu makers, so some variance is acceptable in my opinion, especially given the fact he does produce a fair number of blades, I am unsure how many helpers he has but generally I think he does good work and I have yet to see a lemon although I am sure they exist, but so do lemon carters which cost even more than fujiwaras.
 

guari

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That's good to know. I'm sure he must be doing something right. I didn't know about his swordmaking history. That's quite cool.
 

Iggy

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@ Godslayer: What I meant wasn't that the prices of TF per se are weird, but the prices of some vendors compared to the prices directly ordered from Teruyasu Fujiwara ;)

Only thing I'll never understand is the huge price gap between a 210 and a 240 Gyuto...
 

miggus

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Yeah, and the 240 denka is 75600 Yen directly from him, so you end up at roughly the same price. His pricing structure will remain a specialty... the 165mm Nashiji Nakiri can be had for as litte as 10800 Yen! The 240 Nashishi will set you back around 30.000 Yen, though. Maybe Fujiwara-San considers them mini-katanas? :D
 

Godslayer

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I agree, I know one of the few items that influence pricing is import duty, I have a friend and a member here who got dinged 38% import tax which is huge, I am unsure how import taxation works in the uk, but I have noticed most vendors in the uk charge exuberant amounts for japanese kitchen wears.The Nashiji line is honestly amazing for smaller blades as you get his sexy heat treat and geometry just with less sexy handles and finishes, I wish hed pump out a stainless clad kasumi line, I would be all over that like white on basmati rice
 

pleue

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My 270 denka might be my favorite knife, definitely one of the last ones I'd ever sell. Cutting ability and edge retention are phenomenal
 

Silky

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Thank you so much for the replies so far. It seems like the general consensus is that the steel and blade itself are excellent despite the f&f problems and prices at some dealers.

I'm still interested in hearing people's experiences with any of his lines, but I also wanted to ask what people thought of a gyuto in 180 or 210. Also, for the people with TF knives in the 210 range, do you ever wish you had gotten a 240-270, price notwithstanding.

I'm a home cook, and I have a number of knives in the 240/270 range. My 240 gyutos are from Sakai, so run a bit short at around 225-230. I'm leaning towards the 210, but I wonder if it won't be much different from the 240s that run short. I want this knife for the meals where I cook for myself (small meal, maybe cut up onions, potatoes, cabbage, pre-cut meats), something I can use on my small home cutting board.
 

CB1968

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I have the 240 Denka and love it, F&F is not to bad apart from handle to bolster transition where it is a little rough but nothing major, grind is very nice as is edge retention, the knife cuts very nicely.
 

labor of love

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I'm sure this question has been asked before but I'm curious if there's any performance differences between the maboroshi line and denka line?
 

supersayan3

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Interesting question. There have to be, white 1 at 64-65, aogami Super at 65-66, nice taste - unfriendly prices, Fujiwara has
(Maybe justified at Denka, me may have high fail rate)
 

labor of love

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Interesting question. There have to be, white 1 at 64-65, aogami Super at 65-66, nice taste - unfriendly prices, Fujiwara has
(Maybe justified at Denka, me may have high fail rate)
Right, but what I meant to say is do these 2 lines cut basically the same?
 

OneS

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Silky, I have his 180 gyuto in the Maboroshi line, and it has put all my petties into cold storage. It has more height than a petty, of course, but I find it incredibly nimble, and see no disadvantages compared to a petty. Every comment about the sharpness and the ease of sharpening I can echo. My favourite small knife by some measure. I ordered direct from the website, incidentally.
 

Badgertooth

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I have a Maboroshi, ordered direct. I think it may have an actual hole in the grind. And yet, along with my Katos, it takes the finest edges and cuts like hell.
 

khashy

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I have a Maboroshi, ordered direct. I think it may have an actual hole in the grind. And yet, along with my Katos, it takes the finest edges and cuts like hell.
A hole, like look from one side, see the other side?

I need to see this in a pic!
 

Badgertooth

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No, it's more a term to refer to an overground area that goes past the middle vertical plane of the knife. Moritakas are fairly renowned for this issue.
 

supersayan3

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I'm very interested in any responses to this question.
I meant the same as well.
Since no 2 single knives are the same, the may have different height, grind etc., I just pointed the difference to the core steel
 

khashy

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No, it's more a term to refer to an overground area that goes past the middle vertical plane of the knife. Moritakas are fairly renowned for this issue.
Right, that deep. On a scale of 1-10 how bad an issue is for a knife? Does it affect its structural integrity or is is aesthetics?
 

swarth

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It won't be a problem until the edge gets to that spot. I would reject any knife with severe over grinds in the core steel. In fact, I am exchanging a TF Denka honesuki for that reason. That said, I can't wait to get the replacement.

My only complaint....JKI doesn't carry the any longer.
 

Iggy

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Right, but what I meant to say is do these 2 lines cut basically the same?
From my previous Post:

... Since then I own a 210 Denka Wa-Gyuto and tested 2 Yo-Maboroshis (210 Petty and 210 Gyuto). From that perspective, some advices on TF:

- The variation in TF in general is extremly high. When you're in his store you can chose of course between good knives and not so good ones. The variations regarding geometry and weight is high, too. When you order a knife it's kind of a gamble of course. So I would recommend ordering from a vendor you trust and let them chose a good knife for you.

- Regarding F&F... most of their knives are pretty bad in this aspect, especially the Yo-handled ones. The Wa-handles ones can be pretty good. My handselected Denka for example is a (in some areas rough) but overall really nice knife.

- Every TF I tested so far cut great! But sometimes they have grind issues.

- But honestly... my TF Denka Gyuto leaves nearly every other non-custom knife behind regarding cutting performance and edge retention as well (even compared to other AS knives like Takeda or Hiromoto)!

- I find that the difference in cutting performance between Maboroshi vs. Denka is not really big (slight advantage for the Denka IMHO) but the edge of the Denka is significantly more stabile and the edge retention is much higher (although the edge retention of TF White#1 isn't bad at all)

So Conclusion... if you get a really good example of a TF Denka Wa-Gyuto, it's can be pretty much one of the best knives you can possibly buy (even compared to other japanese highend knives like Kato or Kono Fujiyama etc. ...). But getting a good one is quite difficult...
 

Badgertooth

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Right, that deep. On a scale of 1-10 how bad an issue is for a knife? Does it affect its structural integrity or is is aesthetics?
Pretty bad. Look how little of the edge is making contact with the stone. It may reach a point when it makes no contact.

 

labor of love

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I've wanted a fujiwara for a long time but they sound like a gamble ordering direct(is that accurate?). Epicurean edge sounds like my best bet. Thanks.
 

khashy

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Pretty bad. Look how little of the edge is making contact with the stone. It may reach a point when it makes no contact.

I see what you meant by a 'hole'.

The only other knife I have seen like that is my 'Okeya' unagisaki which I bought from a place I won't buy again from.
 

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