Ku katos

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by Jville, Nov 15, 2018.

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  1. Nov 15, 2018 #1

    Jville

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    How's the performance of ku katos for those that have used them. I would guess maybe the polished ones might out perform them. They r going for big money it seems based on rarity, but curious if theret are any comparisons in performance. Of course performance has different factors and is somewhat subjective but still interested in thoughts.
     
  2. Nov 15, 2018 #2

    Anton

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    polished perform better in my experience with both, and i much prefer a rounded/polished spine and choil
     
  3. Nov 15, 2018 #3

    Godslayer

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    Rarity, they perform like crap. I used one two weeks ago beside about 50 other knives, and literally just made fun of the knife the whole time, it's rare but honestly a 240 is probably worth $400 MAX and that's with all the labour he does not a valuation based on performance . Performance wise I actually think a tadafusa performs better and a Tanaka is leagues above. :eek:

    Also let the hate flow from the collectors lol
     
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  4. Nov 15, 2018 #4

    Interapid101

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    You earn the name "Godslayer." :p
     
  5. Nov 15, 2018 #5

    Jville

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    This makes sense. The polished ones are obvuiosly extremely stout but very smooth. The ku choil shot seemed maybe overly bulky and having shoulders. To put your comment into perspective are you a fan of the other Kato styles? Some people just don't like katos, I love the standard I have.
     
  6. Nov 15, 2018 #6

    Gregmega

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    Truer words never spoken. Imo, Katos are likely the worst ‘actual’ value on the market at the moment. While I’ll enjoy mine, there’s other knives I’d pick up before a Kato, and at a fraction of their now ridiculous costs. That price tag has zero to do with the knife’s performance, and everything to do with a small handful of people finding that gap in the market (and a handful of other people silly enough to validate) for shady profiteering.
     
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  7. Nov 16, 2018 #7

    Godslayer

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    If you want a Kato, get a catchside or a halycon forge. Both make big meaty monsters and both are A) cheaper and B) way way way better.
    Standard is ok, as is the damascus, I havent played with them a ton but defiantly know they will outperform a ku from my short interaction with them. I still feel they are deeply overvalued and wouldn't buy one at current market prices, if a standard 240 is a K, you can get some really cool knives for that price tag that I know perform better, I had a 180mm workhorse petty and sold it, my ikeda is a far better performer for slicing tasks and was about 400 usd cheaper with a saya. I haven't used a westren one but would give it a shot. I honestly havent spoken with anyone who has a lot of katos who thinks they match the price tag, most people see them as investment pieces not tools.
     
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  8. Nov 17, 2018 #8

    Jville

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    I have standard and really like it. I would/ have definitely been interested in catchside, halycon forge, and also comet. Although I like katos not so sure I would like the ku especially at the extreme prices. Agree that I would not buy another Kato at the inflated prices I'm seeing. Thanks for commenting. Not too many comments on the ku katos performance. I was hoping more people would have something to say about performance.
     
  9. Nov 17, 2018 #9

    Godslayer

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    It's a rare knife, so not too many people have them and most who do are collectors at this point sadly
     
  10. Nov 17, 2018 #10

    Badgertooth

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    Stop the boat. I have one and use the hell out of it. I’ve settled on a geometry that I like and it is at the thicker end of my preference scale but it smokes through stuff. I love polishing it and it’s a vehicle for a lot of my stone testing and it has a value to me in that it’s irreplaceable and sentiment because a friend got it for me before the hype train. Yeah it’s a solid performer. Yeah you need to know how to sharpen and shape to get the best out of it
     
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  11. Nov 17, 2018 #11

    Chicagohawkie

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    Have had 2 ku katos and still have a the KU nakiri. The only thing I didn’t like with the gyuto was a thicker tip. Love the thin tipped standards. The KU Nakiri is hands down my favorite nakiri. The Kato KU treatment is smooth and doesn’t drag through ingredients say like a Koishi. Water still beads off my KU.
     
  12. Nov 17, 2018 #12

    tgfencer

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    I agree with much of what Otto and Chicagohawkie have said. Kato are unique beasts, with grinds and profiles well suited to some things and not so well suited to others. (Just like most/all knives). It's up the user to modify them in accordance to how they wish to have the knife perform. The much debated matter of out-of-the box performance is largely superficial. There are things you can't control like heat-treatment or steel choice, but everything else-grind, tip thinness, thinness behind the edge, profile, fit & finish, etc- a skilled user should be able to alter to their specifications or at the very least pay someone to do it for them. The performance of a knife is what you make it.

    The argument about price vs performance is a never-ending loop. You can have it about honyaki, about western custom makers vs japanese makers, about mirror polish vs kurouchi, about left-handed grinds vs right-handed grinds, etc. I have my limits as to what I would pay for a knife and I have never broken them (though I have changed the limit back and forth over the years....). I've seen prices I thought were ridiculous and prices I thought were absolute bargains, but at the end of the day, if someone's asking more for a Kato or any knife then I'm willing to pay, then that's it, end of discussion.

    Also, if we're going to talk about "KU Katos" let's not do it as a block subject. Just like other makers, Kato is better at some combinations of styles and grinds then others. I have two KU nakiri (165 and a 180) and they are great performers, with the 180 being my favorite nakiri I've owned thus far. Could they be thinner behind the edge or better finished? Yes, but the same could be said for lots of knives and kurouchi knives as a whole tend to have lower finishing levels from many makers then their other offerings. Did I like the look of the choil shot of the 240 KU gyuto on BST? Not particularly and not as much as my kasumi Kato gyutos, but if I owned that knife I would change it until I did.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  13. Nov 18, 2018 #13

    nevin

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    Those points are very well said! There's no such thing as universal knife to suitable to cut anything. Either the knife suits you under certain price point (and your cutting style) or it does not.

    And well.... It seems many people have a nakiri... I wish I can have one!
     
  14. Nov 18, 2018 #14

    Gregmega

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    But would you pay 2200$ for one, Mr Otto?
     
  15. Nov 18, 2018 #15

    Iggy

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    Actually I think the KU Katos are way overrated. Had a KU Kato, 2 Standard Katos and 2 Workhorse Katos. From the grind and profile, the Workhorse Katos (polished) were by far my favorite, the Standard Katos were pretty good as well (but with better steel IMHO, little less pref. profile for me). The KU Kato way significantly lower in performance.

    I cannot understand the prices for these right now...honestly you have to be a moron to pay so much for one of these knives... sorry (by the way... bought my Kato KU Nakiri about 1,5 years ago for approx. 400 USD...)

    Edit: actually, since 180 KU Nakiris are kind of "my thing", I prefer the Shig 180 and Heiji 180 KU both to the Kato... in quite every aspect...

    Best Regards,
    Iggy
     
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  16. Nov 18, 2018 #16

    tgfencer

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    A knife is a cutting tool designed to do a task. As a cutting tool I think you’d be hard pressed to find many people on this forum willing to pay over 2k for a tool when a $200 version of that tool will do the same basic task. There’s little empirical evidence to suggest that such a tool would perform said task 10 times better. Which is probably why the knife in question on BST hasn’t sold.

    But let’s also admit that this forum is made up of knife geeks. Most people would think it was crazy to spend $200 dollars on a kitchen knife. It’s all a matter of perceived value and everyone’s perception is different.
    I for instance find it ludicrous that custom flippers and slipjoints from desireable or hyped makers commonly sell for 1k-2k+, but it happens anyway.
     
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  17. Nov 18, 2018 #17

    Jville

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    Interesting, that's the first I've heard of someone preferring a Shig ku nakiri over the Kato ku nakiri. I have a 180 ku Shig nakiri too and really like it. The grind is excellent. It's not overly chunky and just feels great in hand when you pick it up, pretty flat too.
     
  18. Nov 18, 2018 #18

    Iggy

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    Exactly, my Kato KU was just... "chunky"
     
  19. Nov 18, 2018 #19

    tgfencer

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    They do have a strong convex grind. I thinned my nakiri out slightly while maintaining the convexity. Would love to try a 180 shig sometime though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  20. Nov 18, 2018 #20

    Badgertooth

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    No, there isn’t a knife in existence that I’d pay $2200 for.
     
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  21. Nov 18, 2018 #21

    Spipet

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    Not even a Tatsuo? ;)
     
  22. Nov 19, 2018 #22

    FoRdLaz

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    Only if it comes with a certificate of authenticity
     
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  23. Nov 19, 2018 #23

    Spipet

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    I'll start writing one immediately
     
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  24. Nov 19, 2018 #24

    ynot1985

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    Make sure to mention it was made in 2000-2001 but sign the document for 2018. Even better if you can throw in a story that his son randomly found it at home.
     
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