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Is Shigefusa worth the price?

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Cookin808

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Thinking about adding a 270mm Shigefusa yanagi to the stable of work knives and just wanting to get feedback to see if this knifemaker lives up to all the hype. Or do you think there are others out there in the same price range that are of better quality? Any information is gladly appreciated.
 

jm2hill

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can't comment of other knives in the price range, but I love my shige and it cuts absolutely beautifully.
 

Cookin808

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Also thinking about the Gesshin Hide in Blue #1 as an alternative...any comments on this knife as well?
 

WildBoar

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I have a Shigi nakiri and a petty. Nakiri is Kitaeji probably wasn't worth the $ vs a non-dammy-clad version, but I can say the blade is very nice. The d-handle is decent enough, but not on the level of a custom maker or one of the rehandling guys on this forum. The petty is a kiro-uchi, and was definitely worth the $.

I have not used one of their gyutos, bit the bulk of the info seems to be very positive. In that price range (~$500 for a non-dammy 240?), there are a lot of decent gyutos, yet the owners of the shigis generally indicate it is their best cutter or their favorite.

As far a yanagis go, I have yet to hear anything remotely bad about a Shigi. It's more of a 'if you can afford it then buy it.'
 

The hekler

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Love my shige yanagi... I would spring for the 300mm if I was in your position though. I think out of the entire shige lineup the yanagi is really a step above. For the record I have two shige gyutos and a 300mm yanagi while the gyutos are great knives I reach for my ealy more often but my yanagi I wouldn't trade for the world. To be fair I haven't used any other yanagis so it might not be as special as I think, also I don't see why a yanagi would come in blue #1, aren't the blue steels used in applications where durability and corrosion resistance are favored over strictly the sharpest possible cutting edge like a white #1? Seems for a yanagi I'd wouldn't be worried about corrosion or durability.
 

EdipisReks

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i don't have a Shig yanagi, but my Shig gyuto is wonderful.
 

JKerr

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No experience with Shigefusa yanagibas either, but I use one of his kasumi usuba and I reckon they're worth it. Granted I've never used anything of the same level of workmanship, closest would be either Mizuno or Tadatsuna honkasumi, but there's really no comparison. Personally, if I had the coin to spend, I wouldn't hesitate to grab something else from Shigefusa; kasumi anyway, not particularly interested in damascus.
 

JohnnyChance

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I have a Shigefusa kasumi gyuto and would buy another Shigefusa knife. Perhaps a single bevel kitaeji, if I wanted something fancy. Are they worth it? Well that is something that each purchaser has to evaluate. I bet if you called Jon at JKI, he would have something for you that cuts just as well and you wouldn't have to worry if you were getting a "thick" one or a "thin" one or anything like that. And it will certainly be less reactive than the Shige, haha. You would probably be perfectly happy with it and it would probably be a better value (and you would get it a lot sooner). But if you lust for a Shige, nothing else is really going to quench that.
 

stereo.pete

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Ditto! There's something about Shigefusa that is quite amazing. My 240mm Gyuto was obviously forged by hand but it's build quality is absolutely perfect, no flaws and every taper from the spine to the choil is a work of art. I have a Saya that was made with my Shige and the blade clicks into place perfectly within that saya and stays put without any sort of pin. The handle is incredible well put together or a D Handle, simple but elegant at the same time. I would like to add another one to my collection when the funds are available.

I compare Shige's to BMW M cars, they are amazing performers but they don't have all the bell's and whistles of let's say a top of the line Lexus that parks itself. Shige's are focused on performance #1, and bling has a secondary option with the Kitaeji line.
 

tk59

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For single bevels, I don't think you can go wrong with either Shigefusa or Gesshin Hide. Shigefusa are thinner, according to what I've read. That probably translates into a nimbler knife, if you think that might be important to you. I've personally seen a few of the Gesshin Hide yanagiba and I will say that I was not able to find any flaw in the construction on any of them. I will say that possibly the most surprising cutter I've ever used is a Gesshin Hide gyuto. Amazing performing knife... Anyway, back to yanagiba. The most comfortable and best finished yanagiba I've seen is Suisin densho. I really haven't seen anything else with that level of thoughtfulness put into the user comfort.
 

lowercasebill

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i have a 360 Shigefusa yanigi ... my pride and joy .. and so sharp out of the box .
 

Chef Niloc

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Shigefusa and Heiji are my two favorite J makers, go figure they trained together. Having a Shigefusa's = sexy, functional beauty at its finest. Heiji's knives don't have the sexy curves that shig has but they have there own some what rustic beauty. Both makers have a magical way of just making a knife that "works", they just go about it a different way. I find myself reaching for my Heiji yanigi first, but my shig deba is my goto deba ( don't have Heiji deba).
 

Pensacola Tiger

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Where can you buy Shigefusa's?
They are not easy to find.

Maksim of JapaneseNaturalStones.com has had some lately.

Japan Woodworker had some yanagibas in stock just last week.

Aframestokyo.com has had some for sale in the past.

Put a WTB post on the B/S/T subforums here and elsewhere - you might get lucky.
 

mainaman

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Yes definitely worth it.
Shige yanagis are thinner than usual yanagis, for me that is a nice bonus.
 

add

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I compare Shige's to BMW M cars, they are amazing performers but they don't have all the bell's and whistles of let's say a top of the line Lexus that parks itself. Shige's are focused on performance #1, and bling has a secondary option with the Kitaeji line.
You mean over priced, over engineered, ghastly expensive when it comes to repair and maintenance, and often purchased as a status icon?

:wink:
 

Peco

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Who is this Shigefusa guy :scratchhead: :aikido: :thumbsup:
 

schanop

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Nah, don't get onto the queue.


Then when I need to get another one it would be a bit quicker..
 

andoniminev

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I don't see why people still mention Shigs reactivity. Yes it is very reactive but that is a god thing because it builds patina very quickly and once it has built patina it doesn't react to anything. So for me it is not an issue but rather good feature because it builds patina literally for hours and than you have a hell of a beautiful and laser sharp weapon. The quality is over the top. Worth each euro.
 

Mingooch

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You mean over priced, over engineered, ghastly expensive when it comes to repair and maintenance, and often purchased as a status icon?

:wink:
Dont know what u mean. I am on my 3rd BWM, barely had any issues ever. All held their value, drive well, were reasonable to fix and maintain. Worth every penny to me and I am not rich.
 

Peco

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Saw your youtube video - looks like an awesome sword you got there :D
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Shigefusa is not an optimal knife for professional kitchen or for sloppy home cooks, as it requires maintenance even if you build up a patina (I am referring here to Western style knives in kasumi or kitaeji )

Edge retention is better than White steel, but not as good as AEB-L, 52100, A2, etc.

It is however, one brand that is consistently well finished (I have seen many Shigs) and almost without flaws (very minor if any). Unlike most Japanese makers, Shigefusa pays close attention to details and finish on their knives and their heat treatment is very good - sharpening is very easy.

Whether it is worth the money, it's up to what you are looking in a knife.

If you are looking to get a knife from a very reputable Japanese maker, made in traditional way (forged, heat treated by eye, hand finished, engraved kanji), it might be worth it.

If you are looking for a performance knife that requires minimum maintenance and has a superb edge retention, there are better alternatives for the money.

M
 
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