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heldentenor

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I just heard back from Evan at Strata, and this is what we're looking at for a "true" 240mm with at least 54mm heel height and a more "workhorse" profile with a somewhat thicker spine:

--Cost for Blue #1 with a custom heel height would run approximately $600-$750, depending on cladding (stainless runs a bit more than traditional iron) and finish (mirror polishing is substantially more costly than a kasumi finish). Blue #2 is slightly less expensive than Blue #1. Wrought iron cladding is not an option for a group order. All knives need to be the same steel for this order.

--Ziricote handles with horn ferrules in wider octagonal (as opposed to the thinner Taihei/Khiii style) are definitely an option. We will not be able to choose ferrule colors for a custom run of multiple knives, though.

--Delivery times *should* result in the knives being finished by mid-December, but Strata cannot guarantee that due to the nature of their production. The sooner we can order, the more likely we get these before Christmas/New Year's.

--I'll follow up about whether we can specify the sharpener, but I think we should be prepared to hear that we cannot. It might be a bit of a cultural faux pas to push for someone who isn't Togashi's son to sharpen these. Again, I'll inquire.

Let's try to confirm our orders by Friday of this week (September 17). Please use the format below to indicate your preferences. We'll go with simple majority rules, and then do a final headcount of who wishes to participate once our specs are confirmed. Sound good?

Here are my preferences. I'm in no matter what at this stage, but if I had my way, I'd make:

--Blue #2
--Traditional iron cladding
--Migaki finish
--Full size Ziricote handle
 

RadioEdit

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Extremely interested in this, I’ve been looking at the wide bevel Togashis that Hitohira do for a while now. The only thing holding me back is their lack of height at ~50mm.

The preferences heldentenor states above sound good to me.

$750 is a bit steep.

Just a thought about the heel height, as we know with handmade knives there does tend to be a bit of variation in the final product, it wouldn’t be surprising to end up with a 52 or 53mm height in this case which for me would defeat the whole purpose of this endeavour.

Especially with the longer edge length, would it be prudent to specify a heel height in the 55-56mm range?
 

LostHighway

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Between the Kamon drop, a knife order I have in progress, and another knife I just received a couple weeks ago I'm an unlikely "maybe." However, in the event circumstances fall so I was in:
Aogami 1 or or 2 Zero interest in Shirogami
Iron, wrought iron, or old iron clad
Migaki/kasumi finish
240 mm maximum edge length, prefer 225 to 230 mm actual edge length, not from ferrule
Wide bevel or WH convex, as has been repeatedly noted no concave wide bevels
I'm okay with the 55 mm heel
Ziricote, Cherry, Enju, Keyaki, or Yew handle w/horn ferrule. Hard "no" to Yo handle
I quoted my original response for clarity. The upshot is that I'll probably hold off to see what Strata actually receives.
Per @RadioEdit $750 seems very steep to me based on what his knives have been selling for.
If the knives come in as 245mm x 56 or 57mm that would actually be a deal killer for me. My interest is really confined to 230 - 240mm edge lengths (prefer the shorter end of that range) and 52mm - 55mm heel heights.
Otherwise the specifications you've worked out: Aogami 1 or 2, iron cladding, migaki/kasumi finish (I would not want mirror polish), and thicker WH spine (3.5 - 4.5mm at the heel, 220 - 245g) all seem good. I'm equally good with WH convex or wide bevel grinds but thin tip and not fat behind the edge.. The handle sounds fine but I care more about the balance point (at the pinch, no love here for tip heavy knives) so I'm not too invested in the handle in case it needs to be changed.
 
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heldentenor

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$750 is the very, very top of the range if we chose all of the most expensive options. I think we're much more likely to be looking at something closer to $600.

Based on my (one-time) experience with customs from Strata, the heel height will come in exactly where we want it. I'd say there's zero chance of us ending up with a 52mm or a 57-58mm heel here.
 

tcmx3

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this isnt the sort of knife I would be looking to polish myself. I would, therefore, prefer stainless cladding. frankly, Im potentially out if the cladding is iron on a full convex knife and the price isnt significantly lower.

definitely dont want mirror polish.

I hope people dont have an issue with his son sharpening. the guy is good and the full convexed knife I have from him is really, really nice.

as far as the price, Imma just say this that this is not a cost saving exercise. this is about getting a custom order Togashi with all the boxes ticked. IMO anyway.

wrt steel blue 1 or 2 idc which. I think given we all want a more workhorse-esque knife, 2 makes more sense, since it will likely be treated in a tougher capacity.
 

Receiver52

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I think that it may be somewhat difficult to get a consensus from the people interested. For example, I’m not interested if it is stainless clad. However, I get that a wh in iron cladding may not be ideal for a lot of people. The other large buys have left the knife up to the maker which is probably why they have worked. They were not intended to be a custom order.

Given my comments and the fact that I really don’t need another knife, I’m going to drop out. Hopefully it will work out for everyone..
 
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RockyBasel

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My two cents:

Iron cladding is desirable 1 better resale value for those who may BST. I think better performance as well
Blue 1 is preferable, it’s more rare for Togashi and makes resale a better option ( but I can “live” with blue 2

The heel height is the differentiator - if we can get high heels 👠 (no pun intended) then it’s more desirable

I suggest we put some specs together and see who bites. Then we know if this can be a real possibility

I suggest with go with:
Iron Clad
56-57 heel
240 mm
Blue 1

Let’s see how many takers

Then option 2, same as above, but with blue 2 - let’s see how many takers
 

tcmx3

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Iron cladding is desirable 1 better resale value for those who may BST. I think better performance as well
if you can demonstrate how either of these is true I will straight up, unironically change my mind.
 

RockyBasel

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if you can demonstrate how either of these is true I will straight up, unironically change my mind.
Well, it’s not a scientific data gathering exercise for sure, but if you read the Toyama threads and Wat threads, the iron clads seem to be more in demand and rarer. Also, the prices of the stainless clad in general appear to be lower than the Iron clad - at least on some of the online browsing I did as a small sample

I put the two together

But am open to other opinions
 

tcmx3

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Well, it’s not a scientific data gathering exercise for sure, but if you read the Toyama threads and Wat threads, the iron clads seem to be more in demand and rarer. Also, the prices of the stainless clad in general appear to be lower than the Iron clad - at least on some of the online browsing I did as a small sample

I put the two together

But am open to other opinions
hmm, but in that case Toyama and Wat are no longer readily available as iron clad knives, and a lot of their reputation was built on those old knives.

I will say though, I was around at the height of those and a good friend from KKF turned me on to them, but I dont think theyre better performers than the current crop. certainly heavier though. it's not that the new ones are better, it's just that theyre all really good.

with Togashi the stainless knives carry a bit of a premium which I think we've seen maintained in the BST. but I havent been paying enough attention. could be though.

dont get me wrong, I like iron clad knives, but only when theyre wide bevel. if we're doing full convex, Id rather have stainless. Im not going to put a full convex knife down on my stones, personally.

I happen to have bought this stainless clad shiro 1 knife and I personally would just like this knife but longer, taller and beefier.

IMG_1502 (1).jpg
 

RockyBasel

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hmm, but in that case Toyama and Wat are no longer readily available as iron clad knives, and a lot of their reputation was built on those old knives.

I will say though, I was around at the height of those and a good friend from KKF turned me on to them, but I dont think theyre better performers than the current crop. certainly heavier though. it's not that the new ones are better, it's just that theyre all really good.

with Togashi the stainless knives carry a bit of a premium which I think we've seen maintained in the BST. but I havent been paying enough attention. could be though.

dont get me wrong, I like iron clad knives, but only when theyre wide bevel. if we're doing full convex, Id rather have stainless. Im not going to put a full convex knife down on my stones, personally.

I happen to have bought this stainless clad shiro 1 knife and I personally would just like this knife but longer, taller and beefier.

View attachment 142201
You are right about the bevels. Btw, Your shiro is a beauty - classic Togashi profile. You can just tell by that profile it’s made by him - I have an amazing Togashi-tosa blue 1 Kasumi that yours is a spitting image of. That one is hefty, coming in at 260-270 gm, but it’s a 270

I can be quite happy with a stainless clad - not a show stopper for me either
 

kpham12

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I’ve wanted to try Togashi’s blue 1 for awhile and I’ve been drooling over his knives online. A reason to go for iron cladding might be that I don’t think they’re readily available in blue 1. I was trying to find blue 1 with iron cladding from him, but they all appear to be stainless clad. He does do some blue 2 with iron cladding, but no blue 1 (someone please point out to me if he does do iron clad blue 1 so I can add it to the ever expanding WTB list in my head).
 

Cliff

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Haven't been in on this one, but, just looking at the discussion, the issue for Watoyama is that the older iron-clads were heavier workhorses; the newer, stainless versions are thinner and lighter. It's not that iron is necessarily better or more desirable.
 

heldentenor

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Sorry, one more variable: are more people in for full convex grind or a wide bevel w/shinogi? I'm leaning wide bevel but again, I can go either way on this.
 

RockyBasel

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Do they allow us this much customization? Wow, that’s really cool.

we could also simply ask Togashi-San to simply make his best cutting knife, with general parameters - like height and style(WH, etc.)

thats kind of what we do here in massdrop- we let the knife maker make the best knife for us - with some freedom and not too much micro-management

Just a thought
 

Sdo

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Well, it’s not a scientific data gathering exercise for sure, but if you read the Toyama threads and Wat threads, the iron clads seem to be more in demand and rarer. Also, the prices of the stainless clad in general appear to be lower than the Iron clad - at least on some of the online browsing I did as a small sample

I put the two together

But am open to other opinions
The Toyama petty 150mm with stainless clad is more expensive than the iron clad ( JNS ). However, and agreeing with Rocky it looks like iron clad has more demand, at least here in BST.

Cheers!
 

Alder26

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Tall heel
Blue steel (either is fine)
Nice handle
Iron clad

I’m in as long as it comes in around 600-650$ end of the price range
 

packster

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I like what RockyBasel suggested: "We could also simply ask Togashi-San to simply make his best cutting knife, with general parameters - like height and style(WH, etc.)"

I also have a preference for Blue 1, but Blue 2 would be ok; would specify that. Heightwise, I'm looking for 54-56 ...

Will confirm based on final specs/price. Thanks for carrying this forward!
 

heldentenor

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I just asked Evan to weigh in on whether Togashi would prefer to make full convex or wide-beveled knives for this project, and which cladding he prefers to work with. Will report back.
 

tcmx3

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I just asked Evan to weigh in on whether Togashi would prefer to make full convex or wide-beveled knives for this project, and which cladding he prefers to work with. Will report back.
I think if theyre hollow wide bevels then a lot of folks will drop.

I dont think his son does hamiguriba style wide bevels but instead does them hollow off a wheel.

I mean Id prefer a proper convex wide bevel to anything else but I think it's an open question if that's even an option.
 

heldentenor

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I think if theyre hollow wide bevels then a lot of folks will drop.

I dont think his son does hamiguriba style wide bevels but instead does them hollow off a wheel.

I mean Id prefer a proper convex wide bevel to anything else but I think it's an open question if that's even an option.
Agree entirely--hollow-ground wide bevels aren't an option with this. It's either fully convex grind or a convexed wide bevel.
 

esoo

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For the Hitohira Togashi I just bought (and sold) which is sharpened by his son, I would say they were the flattest wide bevels I've touched (vs Kagekiyo Kiritsuke and Hitohira Ren). Using the edge of a tape measure at several points. I bascially could not see a gap between the rule and the knife
 

RockyBasel

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I’ve wanted to try Togashi’s blue 1 for awhile and I’ve been drooling over his knives online. A reason to go for iron cladding might be that I don’t think they’re readily available in blue 1. I was trying to find blue 1 with iron cladding from him, but they all appear to be stainless clad. He does do some blue 2 with iron cladding, but no blue 1 (someone please point out to me if he does do iron clad blue 1 so I can add it to the ever expanding WTB list in my head).
I have an iron clad blue 1 by togashi and a Togashi blue 1 Honyaki

the iron clad blue 1 is an Aoki Hamono
 

RockyBasel

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Is this the blue 1 ironclad Togashi you bought? My German is nonexistent, but I’m pretty sure this is blue 2?
😂😂😂 yes, it’s blue 2, but he also makes a Aogami Super - which I equated with blue 1

 

heldentenor

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It appears after all is said and done that we have three choices to make here. First, steel. Second, cladding. Third, grind. Handle and dimensions are set.

I'm therefore going to post each option in its own post (two for steel, two for cladding, two for grind). Please vote by Monday at midnight EST for your preference in each category. Majority rules in each category. Feel free to continue discussing merits and drawbacks of each option.
 
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