Like a naughty schoolboy

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
Rationale ...

The Takeda Yanigaba was the standout best performer. Here’s the pics.

04483455-0F9C-48F1-A810-A1290E3070A2.jpeg
63E035C9-7812-4A1D-9AEB-279AA50336B8.jpeg
B0AB521F-4187-4315-9A09-B0CEC87F0940.jpeg


Why did I knock the best performer out of the top 4. Simply because I felt that the blade was too long, thin and flexible to be an everyday user in even a home kitchen. I feel it is actually a sujihiki. It has a 50-50 bevel and san Mai construction.

The winner in my opinion was the Takeda 240 Sasanoha. Here’s the pics:

832479E7-E892-4A80-95D7-AAAF1D9B6060.jpeg
7CD2B590-5E05-4B3F-A8A1-741F90DDD977.jpeg
7029BCFB-3DB2-4EF1-A7B6-A30668A89A8C.jpeg


It’s pure Takeda. A lovely knife to use as a general purpose everyday kitchen regular. My only kick might be the grind which, though delightful to use and sharpen, may not stand the test of time.

Second ... the Xerxes 240 Gyuto. Here’s the pics:

B401A15C-CB93-4194-B194-6DBFA57F5735.jpeg
34395119-27B0-4698-B8FD-941420F255CE.jpeg


Unquestionably the most expensive knife of the bunch, it offered excellent naughty school boy performance while being a knife that will last a lifetime of everyday use in a home kitchen.

Third is the Takeda 240 gyuto. Here’s the pics:

3458F95A-E73B-476B-A730-8D0EBFE3D866.jpeg
4AAFDE66-498B-4FD9-9553-1EBC2F9C0AAB.jpeg


Great performer and an extra tall heel sought by many. Uniquely Takeda offering long life and unmistakable presence. I personally actually prefer the 300 Gyuto myself. It’s a monster. I call it my “cabbage killer”. I recognize though that others might not agree so the 240 gets the pick.

The 4th winner is the large Chinese cleaver. Pics in the next post ....
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
And the Chinese cleaver ...

CC8A713D-60B7-40E3-9E56-193174952A71.jpeg
FE5BBCF3-CC8A-4248-9969-12D80BB4AFF2.jpeg
4923DDA6-A2B9-449F-B744-CA6B5CD5FE18.jpeg


If I had a sentimental favourite it would be the cleaver. When I received it I put all my gyutos away and used the cleaver. It’s amazingly maneuverable, scary sharp and tons of fun to use. Would others agree ... probably not ... but I’m the judge and it’s my rules. I have a Takeda nakiri enroute which might completely upset the potato cart .. if you get my meaning.

My best advice from the big potato shootout ... buy this Sasanoha. If you can fit it in your budget and can find one by the Xerxes. I’m sure there are other knives that will fill the bill ... perhaps even better.

Epilogue ...

Day one of the shootout yielded the biggest pot I have full of Tuscan Sausage and Potato soup. About a years supply! Day two has yielded this ...

D5875DFD-CBFC-4366-9BE5-41419DA81431.jpeg


Let’s see ... a years worth of scalloped potatoes and six month supply of leek and potato soup. I wonder if it’s possible to get potato poisoning?

Next up ... please don’t tell me it’s the hot pepper shootout!
 

Barmoley

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
2,804
Reaction score
3,876
Location
USA
His knives are thin, they get rigidity from height, but his sujis don't have that so you get flexibility. I don't like that, but some might. Craig is right though that in general it is tough to challenge a suji or narrow gyuto for potato slicer crown. Great test, thanks for sharing and I am glad it didn't make a lier out of me:dancingcow:
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
No worries Barm ... it was actually kind of fun. After digging out all of my Takeda’s I’m beginning to think I may have too many knives. In the process I found that I have 3 Mizuno 240 gyutos. I thought that I might have doubled up on them (I love Mizuno’s knives) but 3 is a stretch. They say that the memory is the second thing to go!
 

rob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
269
Reaction score
643
Hi Brian, thanks for your efforts and write up.

PS I have a bit of soft spot for Takedas and would love to aquire one of his cleavers in the future.
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
Honestly his large cleaver is a complete blast to use. I can understand why Chinese chefs use nothing but the cleaver. I wouldn’t use it to chop any bones or hard cartilage but it’s amazingly agile to use. The tip and heel become mini knives of their own and I don’t think anybody would argue with someone wielding a Takeda cleaver. Caressing the “S” grind is somewhat reminiscent of the spot above my first wife’s hips. ... she was my trophy wife! Aaaaaah ... life is good!
 

captaincaed

(____((__________()~~~
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
2,378
Reaction score
2,954
Location
Pacific Northwest
Man what a cool test. I love it when a question inspires someone to do something creative and original. These photos are just great, this is a very cool comparison. I get the sense this is a line I should look into for this specific task... Looks like one more dragon to chase, eh?

With the Xerxes, the cut pieces look like they're further separated than the Takeda piece. Is the Xerxes more of a wedger? (Not necessarily a bad thing in this context).

I feel your suggestion for a little stiffness over the slight edge in performance. That flexibility can be awkward to control if you're not ready for it.

Are you sick of the soup yet?!

Also, out of curiosity, what's your camera and lighting setup?
 

captaincaed

(____((__________()~~~
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
2,378
Reaction score
2,954
Location
Pacific Northwest
Sorry for the delay in reply - on the road travelling, and wanted to be able to sit at a computer to give this proper reply on a big screen where I could see what's going on.
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
Welcome back CaptainC .. . Good catch on the Xerxes. In the French fry cut it did wedge slightly and required a little twist of the blade to get the outside pieces to drop. Not so in the slicing test ... the slices dropped easily in line. I suspect the same would happen with the fries cut if I were doing a volume. The pics were all iPhone 10Smax with the overhead incandescent lighting on hi in my dining room. I used the “magic wand” button on the Apple Pictures editing software to generally brighten the pic. I took lots of pics of each of the knives but just used a few pics of what I thought were the top knives.

The whole test was a lot of fun. As much as I like to sit and admire the knives in my collection I like using my knives more. Maybe we need a new category on KKF .... “Knives in Action”. It would be nice to see pics of guys using their knives for this and that ... strictly food related.

Since completing the test I’ve had a couple of thoughts. The first is that the Takeda petty is a really nice knife. Here’s one of its potato pics ...

EEDD873C-7EA9-457D-BB98-B8304A99236B.jpeg


It didn’t do as well as the larger Takeda blades in the potato test but it was credible and it really is a nice knife to have in the kitchen. I have it in my permanent block of seven knives. This block holds 7 knives and doesn’t rotate. It holds the knives I reach for when I’m serious and want to get things done in the kitchen. I use the Takeda petty for the widest variety of tasks. It’s very light yet stiff and easy in the hand. It, like all Takeda’s, takes a psycho edge easily and is very easy to sharpen. I use a green compound loaded leather strop for sharpening touch ups with a quick progression from 1k to 4k stones when I sharpen the Takeda’s. It was actually in need of sharpening when I did the potato test. All the Takeda’s tested were fully reactive AS blades with a rather heavy and rough karouchi finish. The Takeda’s don’t really have a strong tendency to develop patina which is certainly due to the finish. Takeda has moved to the stainless clad NAS blades for current production and claims that they are superior in every respect. It’s not for me to argue... I haven’t tried them. As Japanese knives go the Takeda’s are in the “moderately expensive” category. The Sasanoha is closest to the normal style of gyuto that are available but the tall heel on the regular gyuto is very nice also. I cut slightly differently with the standard gyuto. More push cutting and less rocking than with the Sasanoha. Logic might dictate the other way around but that’s my experience.

As a bit of an aside I tried several of my other knives on the test. I won’t show the results but suffice to say that all weren’t equally capable when it came to potatoes. No naughty schoolboys with those blades. It would be interesting to see the test pics on some of the knives that have been recommended by others in the thread.
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
riba ... here’s a screen shot of my Tuscan Potato and Sausage soup recipe.

F6486CBB-5FF5-49ED-8B74-3E50EAA44474.png


It is a really easy and tasty soup recipe. The trick is choosing a nice craft sausage. I prefer a Leek and portobello mushroom pork sausage that is made locally but anything would work. I make it in large batches ... as you can see the screen shot was taken of a doubled batch. It freezes well and makes for a nice quick main when served with a chunk of nice bread. Give it a try.
 

riba

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
673
Reaction score
694
Location
The Netherlands
riba ... here’s a screen shot of my Tuscan Potato and Sausage soup recipe.
[...]
It is a really easy and tasty soup recipe. The trick is choosing a nice craft sausage. I prefer a Leek and portobello mushroom pork sausage that is made locally but anything would work. I make it in large batches ... as you can see the screen shot was taken of a doubled batch. It freezes well and makes for a nice quick main when served with a chunk of nice bread. Give it a try.
Thanks a heap! Gonna give it a try the coming period!
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
In my recent Naughty Schoolboy Great Potato Takeda Slapdown the one Takeda that was missing from my test was the Takeda Nakiri ... or as some people call it a “vegetable cleaver”. It was one of the few Classic AS series Takeda’s that I didn’t have in my collection. As luck would have it Brontes decided to part with his AS Series Takeda Nakiri and posted it on BST. About three milliseconds later (or so it seems) I pressed the buy it now button and it was mine.

When it arrived I gave it the thumbnail test for edge and touched it up on my gold compound strop. I peel a couple of large russet potatoes and commenced the “Naughty Schoolboy” test. The following pics record the results.

513C9902-EABA-4EFB-AF3D-86025FAF344E.jpeg
24DB110E-D393-4A4E-ABAE-6A434423ABD6.jpeg
5563B526-12AF-4AFE-961B-14A557614163.jpeg
5237A492-36CA-460E-9942-BA36B9724B91.jpeg


No question in my mind ... the Takeda Nakiri is the new hands down winner of the “Naughty Schoolboy” Potato slap down. Sorry Sasanoha ... you’re now in second place.
 

ian

Not banned
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
10,263
Location
Boston, MA
In my recent Naughty Schoolboy Great Potato Takeda Slapdown the one Takeda that was missing from my test was the Takeda Nakiri ... or as some people call it a “vegetable cleaver”. It was one of the few Classic AS series Takeda’s that I didn’t have in my collection. As luck would have it Brontes decided to part with his AS Series Takeda Nakiri and posted it on BST. About three milliseconds later (or so it seems) I pressed the buy it now button and it was mine.

When it arrived I gave it the thumbnail test for edge and touched it up on my gold compound strop. I peel a couple of large russet potatoes and commenced the “Naughty Schoolboy” test. The following pics record the results.

View attachment 68375 View attachment 68376 View attachment 68377 View attachment 68378

No question in my mind ... the Takeda Nakiri is the new hands down winner of the “Naughty Schoolboy” Potato slap down. Sorry Sasanoha ... you’re now in second place.
Yum. That last pic is very suggestive. Looks like the knife was a good buy.
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
Especially when you consider how hard the AS series Takeda’s are to find. I feel that I was very lucky. Nakiri’ s are among the less popular knives it seems. Fewer out there.
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
No such luck ... the Sasanoha is one of my favourites even if it did fall from 1st place in the potato slap down. It was my first Takeda and really piqued my interest in his blades. When Takeda discontinued his AS series in favour of his stainless clad NAS series I decided to try to collect his complete AS series. My collection is pretty well complete.
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
Agreed ... the grind must have a finite life. How long it will last for me will depend on how often it sees my stones. For me that’s not very often. The core steel, aogami super, holds an edge extremely well and is easily sharpened. The softer cladding will eventually recede to the point that the grind changes. The speculation is that the performance will suffer ... exactly how, I don’t know. Although I sharpen pretty much daily, one of my individual knives my see my stones once or twice a year. The rest of the time I find I can maintain my edges satisfactorily through stropping. Stropping removes very little metal. Given my usage pattern my Takeda’s will last far beyond my lifetime. I have too many knives and am very careful in how I use them. For me it’s not a worry ... I just go ahead and enjoy the cutting performance of my Takeda’s.

But your point is well taken. The grind that is a feature of Takeda’s knives which accounts to some degree for their cutting performance, can also can be viewed as a defect affecting their longevity. At least that’s my understanding.
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
Had an occasion to whack away at another potato yesterday and thought I’d update the Naughty Schoolboy thread. This time it was one of Mert Tansu’s production HVB Gyuto vs a monster russet potato of the type that I love to chop.

Here’s a pic of the result ...

7484FA13-3271-44D4-887B-30F75A53F514.jpeg


The blade got off to a bit of a slow start with a bit of sticking. Nothing major but once the blade was wet the knife was in cruise mode. Sit still and be quiet naughty schoolboy! I was a bit surprised at the result as the potato was a little old and quite starchy. Not quite in Takeda country but very credible and easy to use. This line of knives is really excellent value. I got it from Phillip at Home Butcher. He has an excellent supply of HVB knives at the present time. Great guy as well.
 

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
Was doing up a dish tonight to welcome my Catcheside Gyuto to the family. It involved slicing one of my favourite monster potatoes so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to enter my Catcheside Gyuto into the great potato slap down. Here’s the results.

E1E33228-AB65-4517-B31E-68C5D87560D4.jpeg


Hmmmm ... pretty good results. The Catchside gave the Takeda’s an excellent run for their money. At the start I had to flick the first few slices off with my forefinger, but once the blade got wet it sliced through the potato and made perfect “Naughty Schoolboy” slices. Amazing because the knives couldn’t be more different. The Catcheside is a full 4mm thick at the heel tapering beautifully to the tip but most of the slices were made by push cuts around the belly of the blade. Amazing. All in I think the Catcheside is probably tops for consideration. It did a wonderful job of slicing and doesn’t come with the blade shape issues that may ultimately affect the Takeda’s. Later in the prep did the same slicing job on a sweet potato with the same result and a carrot with more sticking. Here’s some pics.

35288741-03B9-4F00-9647-C5C457AABE05.jpeg
73E29F77-EA8E-4F56-8D9C-A6B2ACF033FA.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Brian Weekley

LIfetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
3,223
Location
Victoria BC Canada
I had occasion to have at another monster potato today with a new knife to me. Bought it last year and just got around to test flying it today. It’s a 215mm Gyuto by Will Newham. 2.94mm thick at the heel tapering to .52mm 1” from the tip. Monosteel, AEBL steel.

Here’s a pic of the potato and Naughty Schoolboy results.

5DDAF4B2-22E6-4B46-8E9E-C93B0F34E40F.jpeg
2EBB493A-DE6F-4EBE-BA03-E448EB2656D2.jpeg


It’s not the winner but it’s a solid 8 out of 10. I was surprised because I had low expectations on foot release from a polished blade. Some of the slices required a flick from my left hand index finger to get them to release but for the most part the very sharp, thin blade just dropped through the potato. The dish I was prepping needed a chopped onion and I can say Will’s Gyuto is the hands down winner of the onion horizontal slice.

Until next time ...
 

btbyrd

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
818
Reaction score
1,279
Location
W-S, NC
Since this thread comes up periodically in Takeda discussions, I thought I'd chime in to note that the grinds on Takedas vary so much from knife to knife that generalizing about whether or not nakiris outperform gyutos or yanagis or whatever is sort of a fool's errand (no offense to the OP). There's no such thing as "the Takeda nakiri." There is only "this Takeda nakiri" and "that Takeda nakiri" and so forth. I have two Takeda gyutos and they're worlds apart in grind. If I ever buy another Takeda, I'm going to try to handle it in person first and see how it cuts or buy used from someone whose feedback on the blade I can trust. That said, I do very much appreciate this thread -- especially the photos and cutting anecdotes. I hope even more knives get added to it in time.
 
Last edited:
Top