Looking for a laser

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zorkieo

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Hey everyone. I'm looking for a laser to add to my quiver. I'm leaning towards stainless or semi stainless but I would rather have the best possible knife then worry about the steel. Would like something a little bit taller(50mm minimum but would like a little more than that.) Definitely willing to spend more on a decent grind. 210mm-240mm. The priority here for me is sharpness (I guess that's why people buy lasers).

LOCATION
USA - San Diego

KNIFE TYPE
Gyuto

Are you right or left handed?
Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
Japanese

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
210mm-240mm - also looking for higher profile 50mm+ blade height

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
No

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
$600

KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
Home

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for?
Delicate and precise meal preparation

What knife, if any, are you replacing?
This would be my second japanese knife. I have a Yoshikane SDK that I love. Now i’m looking for a laser to add to the collection.

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?
Pinch

What cutting motions do you primarily use?
Push cut, slice.

What improvements do you want from your current knife?
I want a super sharp laser that falls through veggies.

Better aesthetics?
don't care. But do like a nicely finished knife

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
Ideally medium to high.

KNIFE MAINTENANCE

Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
I have a rubber board and an HDPE board

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
YES (currently using a king two sided with great results) will upgrade soon if the steel I buy requires it.

thanks everyone!!!!
 

esoo

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Shibata R2 will meet everything except the blade height. The bunka has the height but not the length. But these knives are pure lasers through and through.
 

timebard

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To be honest, it's hard to find a traditional laser that will fall through food better than a Yoshikane, because it's quite thin behind the edge but with more spine thickness above to give it that effortless cutting feel. Good lasers may be thinner but are often so light they still need some help to move through dense/wet product.

Kippington laser and Dalman thin grinds will do it but hard to find. A thin cleaver like CCK1303 will do it for a tenth of your budget. The 'extra height' version of the Ashi Ginga that CKC sold a while ago might work well, though I've not tried it.
 

Delat

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I don’t think you’re missing much with your Yoshi, honestly. I have a Shibata bunka that’s commonly acknowledged to be a laser and it doesn’t fall through food any easier than my yoshi SKD. Some people say the Yoshi isn’t a laser because the spine is a bit thicker, but to me it cuts just like one.

The most common lasers I’m aware of are all below 50mm tall, unfortunately.
 

Infrared

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A Katayama sounds perfect for you.
Very thin and very tall.
Probably the best stainless knife I've used under $250.


Matsubara is another good one. Not as thin at the spine, but a thinner grind than pretty much anything else.
 

inferno

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i have a damascus r2 knife from jck. "vortex damascus", its very very thin, always sticks in the board. its the same series/family as this one. Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan R-2 Damascus Wa Series Wa Gyuto (180mm to 240mm, 3 sizes, Octagon Shaped Red-Sandalwood Handle)

fu-rin-ka-zan-wa-gyuto-fu-rin-ka-zan-r-2-damascus-wa-series-wa-gyuto-210mm-and-240mm-2-sizes-octagon-shaped-red-sandalwood-handle-2547293749345_grande.jpg

157g for a 210 is quite light.
180g for a 240.

a hinoura 240 from the same site is 220g and the 210 is 172g. and these quite middle of the road blades.

also the akifusa srs15 blades are very thin. they almost feel flimsy at first. the akifusas come under several different brand names i think.

both the srs15 and r2 steels are really awesome. they take a killer edge and holds on to it for a very long time. and its stainless.
 

esoo

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157g for a 210 is quite light.
180g for a 240.

Those weights I'd start be be considering mid-weights. Light for a 210 I consider <125g. Both my Kono FM 210 W#2 and HD2 were there, as well as a Takada Ginsan 210. For a 240, a Kono HD2 with Ho wood is at 145g.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
 

inferno

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i have a hammered yoshikane stainless clad. and while the bevel is very thin, the whole blade is actually quite beefy. it feels really solid imo. if you can get one of these you wont be disappointed.

i pimped mine out with a new diy handle.
corian1.JPG
 

Cliff

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I don’t think you’re missing much with your Yoshi, honestly. I have a Shibata bunka that’s commonly acknowledged to be a laser and it doesn’t fall through food any easier than my yoshi SKD. Some people say the Yoshi isn’t a laser because the spine is a bit thicker, but to me it cuts just like one.

The most common lasers I’m aware of are all below 50mm tall, unfortunately.

This is my experience, too. I have two Yoshi's, a 180 Gyuto and a 210 K-tip gyuto. For whatever reason the bigger knife feels thinner behind the edge. It performs as well as anything I have. In the laser category, I have the Shibata Bunka, which is great, but no more laser-y feeling than the Yoshi K-tip. I love the Kono HD2. It feels more solid while still very thin. There too, though, it's no thinner behind the edge than the Yoshi. If anything, it's the reverse.
 

inferno

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Those weights I'd start be be considering mid-weights. Light for a 210 I consider <125g. Both my Kono FM 210 W#2 and HD2 were there, as well as a Takada Ginsan 210. For a 240, a Kono HD2 with Ho wood is at 145g.

yeah you're probably right. wood also makes a difference. ho/magnolia is lighter than some others.
 

Fellax

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I have the Damascus version, but i think you can't go wrong with a Tanaka, and it's well under the budget
 

Jason183

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Murray Carter knives. My best laser was from his apprentice. They make many different kind of profile, some of them have good amount of height too. Mine was a 240 mm slicer with 51mm height.

Laser grind doesn’t always means it’s going to be sharp. Some lasers are thin at the spine but not very thin behind the edge. If you want sharpness then there’s not many makers can do better than Yoshikane because it’s the thinnest cutting edge you will ever tried.
 

inferno

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Laser grind doesn’t always means it’s going to be sharp. Some lasers are thin at the spine but not very thin behind the edge. If you want sharpness then there’s not many makers can do better than Yoshikane because it’s the thinnest cutting edge you will ever tried.

imo the yoshis are "high bevel grinds" that they take to a zero grind and then just step it back with a final edge that is of a higher angle. maybe 30-40 degrees or so in total.

they are not flat though. the bevel is not flat. mine is though. and then it turned into an even more absurd zero grind :)

of course i'm not using at with zero grind edge. because it would be like a 7 degree edge there. and last for like 0,37 tomatos.
 

zorkieo

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Thanks for all the help everyone. Many of these comments make me wonder why do I even want a laser if they will not perform better then my Yoshikane SDK. It begs the question. Why buy a laser? I was thinking lasers would be even sharper and easier cutting but a lot of you are saying this is not the case...
 

ModRQC

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Thanks for all the help everyone. Many of these comments make me wonder why do I even want a laser if they will not perform better then my Yoshikane SDK. It begs the question. Why buy a laser? I was thinking lasers would be even sharper and easier cutting but a lot of you are saying this is not the case...

Laser doesn't exactly mean sharp. Like any other knife, edge coming in varies and it's up to you to make/keep it sharp.

What laser defines is a very thin geometry. Which Yoshikane does pretty well indeed. A laser would be thinner than a Yoshi at the spine, so in some cases of cutting tall, hard, dense and/or moist produces where the whole blade needs to go through there's a positive effect. For a lot of stuff though what Yoshikane does with the bottom half of the blade and BTE is splendidly thin enough. In some cases the flatter geometry of lasers can have the undesirable effect of suction in some produces which hinders cutting through. It's not all black and white.

BTW reason why the greatest part of say recognized lasers out there won't fit your height requirement is that the narrower the better in their case - even lesser resistance is met.

Edit: You can get a Takamura Chromax (same steel basically as your Yoshi if you like that) for a quarter of your budget. It will tell you everything you need to know of a laser experience. You can then see if you really want to shoot 600 bucks this way.
 
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Thanks for all the help everyone. Many of these comments make me wonder why do I even want a laser if they will not perform better then my Yoshikane SDK. It begs the question. Why buy a laser? I was thinking lasers would be even sharper and easier cutting but a lot of you are saying this is not the case...

In a way, it comes down to having different experiences. I have a Yoshikane 165 Santoku and as others have said, it slices far beyond what it's size and shape would indicate. It's a crazy good cutter. Someone discussed the overall geometry of the Yoshi and how the almost crazily thin edge combined with the main grind and wider spine come together to make a really unique experience. It's laser-like performance without being a laser.

But my Akifusa 180 gyuto is considered by many to be a laser, or damn close to it, and it is a completely different animal. It's light and nimble and precise. And, to be honest, I find the edge to be more robust than the Yoshi.

In other words, they both provide excellent slicing performance while providing very different experiences.

I'm really glad to have both. :)
 
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M1k3

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Some tasks can be quite enjoyable with a laser. Which makes them more of a niche. Lasers tend to not have much convexity in the bevel faces, creating lots of friction, which is really noticeable with dense products.
 

Delat

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Thanks for all the help everyone. Many of these comments make me wonder why do I even want a laser if they will not perform better then my Yoshikane SDK. It begs the question. Why buy a laser? I was thinking lasers would be even sharper and easier cutting but a lot of you are saying this is not the case...

The simple answer is that your Yoshi is a laser, so you already have one. I was in the same spot as you last year, with a Yoshi on the rack and wondering if a “true laser” would be even better. So I bought the laseriest laser you can buy, a Shibata. Only to realize that it’s not any better of a cutter than the Yoshi. My Shibata is a 180 bunka and the Yoshi is a 210, otherwise I consider them pretty interchangeable with length being the determining factor when reaching for one or the other.

You might find a laser with a thinner spine than the Yoshi to be better in very tall, dense produce like butternut/acorn squash. But I don’t think you’re missing out on much otherwise.

What’s interesting to me now are heavier, taller knives that cut just as well but have a more robust, substantial feel. Laser-like in the front half, more meat in the back half. Knives from Birgersson, Kamon, Markin are impressive in that regard. For <$500 you should consider trying a Birgersson or Markin for a near-laser feel but with a substantially different cutting experience.

Another one that’s interesting is Myojin / Konosuke FM. Laserish but with a more robust, refined feel vs the Yoshi with better f&f.
 

labor of love

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If you like everything about your yoshi skd but still want something more lasery maybe consider the kono YS, should be the better pure cutter. Lighter thinner blade meets almost no resistance on onions and other dense things.
 

blokey

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If you like everything about your yoshi skd but still want something more lasery maybe consider the kono YS, should be the better pure cutter. Lighter thinner blade meets almost no resistance on onions and other dense things.
Always wondered how those 2 compare, I heard they are very similar.
 

daveb

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Yoshi SKD = Kono YS

(Tried to do greater than or equal but not puter smart)

Maybe the smallest improvement in food release with Yoshi. On a good day.
 

Chicagohawkie

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From what I've seen, the tsuchime Yoshikanes (ie. kono YS) are thicker than the nashiji ones.
My sentiment as well. IMO find your self the best or a good Yoshi nashiji. Best bang for the buck.
 
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