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Hi,

I'm really looking forward to sharing my knife collection here, and what better way to start things off than with the knife that brought me to this forum in the first place!

Sincerely,
Luke

Konosuke Fujiyama Blue #1 Kaiju 240mm Gyuto

Length: 235mm
Height: 53mm
Thickness: 4mm
Weight: 235g

I am so unbelievably happy with this knife. I received it used from a good friend of mine and immediately took it to some potatoes in order to make my wife breakfast for dinner. It feels like a thin laser going into food, but it has the weight of a workhorse carrying it through which is a combination I've never experienced before. As a woodworker though, my favourite part of this knife is the handle. I've seen a lot of Kaiju's but this one's handle really won me over. The zircote handle has the darker portion on one side, and the lighter grain on the other. This would be cool as is, however the buffalo horn ferrule is positioned to match it with a dark marbled side and a lighter blonde side. Maybe it was an accident, maybe the handle maker did it intentionally. Either way, I can't believe how beautiful it is. Back to the blade, the kasumi finish is beautiful and very easy to maintain. After using it I promptly busted out the finger stones that came with it to remove some of the previous owners marks as well as the patina I had just formed from dinner. It was a shockingly easy process and yielded excellent results. In the end, this knife has been everything I'd hoped it would be. I fully expect this to be one of the daily drivers in my collection.

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Hi,

I'm really looking forward to sharing my knife collection here, and what better way to start things off than with the knife that brought me to this forum in the first place!

Sincerely,
Luke

Konosuke Fujiyama Blue #1 Kaiju 240mm Gyuto

Length: 235mm
Height: 53mm
Thickness: 4mm
Weight: 235g

I am so unbelievably happy with this knife. I received it used from a good friend of mine and immediately took it to some potatoes in order to make my wife breakfast for dinner. It feels like a thin laser going into food, but it has the weight of a workhorse carrying it through which is a combination I've never experienced before. As a woodworker though, my favourite part of this knife is the handle. I've seen a lot of Kaiju's but this one's handle really won me over. The zircote handle has the darker portion on one side, and the lighter grain on the other. This would be cool as is, however the buffalo horn ferrule is positioned to match it with a dark marbled side and a lighter blonde side. Maybe it was an accident, maybe the handle maker did it intentionally. Either way, I can't believe how beautiful it is. Back to the blade, the kasumi finish is beautiful and very easy to maintain. After using it I promptly busted out the finger stones that came with it to remove some of the previous owners marks as well as the patina I had just formed from dinner. It was a shockingly easy process and yielded excellent results. In the end, this knife has been everything I'd hoped it would be. I fully expect this to be one of the daily drivers in my collection.

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Is that an island of cladding towards the tip?
 
I’m actually not sure. I’ll admit I don’t know how to tell a used finger stone from an unused one and I never thought to ask!
Thanks! It would be cool to know the feedback on those finger stones.
 
Or where to source one, I have a kono tetsujin and fm that I assume have the same / a similar finish
The finish really isn’t as similar as it may seem. The defining feature of the Kaiju and its value proposition to me is that they are all handworked on stones for the final polish. This means the geometry comes perfect with absolutely no low spots and is ready for easy stone-kasumi maintenance. I can’t think of any other gyuto that comes fully polished like that. Even high end very well ground gyutos could easily need 5-10 hours of skilled work to get to where the Kaiju comes stock.

As for finger-stones, pretty sure they’re just soft Ohira uchigumori. You can get them from a number of sources, but they’re fairly expensive at retail. You can also buy uchigumori koppa and make your own with some patience. They’re handy, but really are just the final makeup of any polish, they won’t effectively erase scratches etc on their own.

Edit - looking back at Kono and Tosho provided info, Ivan spends 6+ hours on each one of these after getting the finished blade from Myojin.
 
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Hi,

I'm really looking forward to sharing my knife collection here, and what better way to start things off than with the knife that brought me to this forum in the first place!

Sincerely,
Luke

Konosuke Fujiyama Blue #1 Kaiju 240mm Gyuto

Length: 235mm
Height: 53mm
Thickness: 4mm
Weight: 235g

I am so unbelievably happy with this knife. I received it used from a good friend of mine and immediately took it to some potatoes in order to make my wife breakfast for dinner. It feels like a thin laser going into food, but it has the weight of a workhorse carrying it through which is a combination I've never experienced before. As a woodworker though, my favourite part of this knife is the handle. I've seen a lot of Kaiju's but this one's handle really won me over. The zircote handle has the darker portion on one side, and the lighter grain on the other. This would be cool as is, however the buffalo horn ferrule is positioned to match it with a dark marbled side and a lighter blonde side. Maybe it was an accident, maybe the handle maker did it intentionally. Either way, I can't believe how beautiful it is. Back to the blade, the kasumi finish is beautiful and very easy to maintain. After using it I promptly busted out the finger stones that came with it to remove some of the previous owners marks as well as the patina I had just formed from dinner. It was a shockingly easy process and yielded excellent results. In the end, this knife has been everything I'd hoped it would be. I fully expect this to be one of the daily drivers in my collection.

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Bravo! Well done.
 
Edit - looking back at Kono and Tosho provided info, Ivan spends 6+ hours on each one of these after getting the finished blade from Myojin.
The value proposition there is unbelievable for the consumer. Having flattened a single bevel in a class with Ivan ages ago, I can tell you its worth every penny to me so I can avoid that labor.
 
Neil Kamimura Damascus San Mai 225 Workhorse Chef

Length: 225mm
Height: 56mm
Thickness: 6mm
Weight: 333g

There aren't many knives that could follow up a Kaiju, but this is definitely one of them. This is my most recent acquisition, Neil's third ever sanmai knife. I saw him etch it on instagram before it was finished and I was immediately stricken by it. I gave him a call to see if it was available, and after a little convincing, he agreed to let me buy it. Over the coming days he finished it off with a stunning koa handle and a mokume bolster from Peter Swarz-Burt. I've owned a couple pieces by Neil and this is easily his best work that I've seen. I especially love that this piece is so classic Neil and Hawaii. His classic western handle shape, beautiful Hawaiian Koa, and mokume from another incredible Hawaiian knife maker. I don't really have a true workhorse in my collection so this is a lovely addition from an incredible maker.

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Catcheside 260 Forged Geometry Gyuto

Length: 260mm
Height: 56.5mm
Thickness: 5.5mm
Weight: 279g
Steel: Wrought Iron/C105
Handle: Tasmanian Blackwood/Sheep Horn

Another recent acquisition which is very interesting because it is the only knife in my collection I really don’t like. I purchased it from a good buddy of mine who felt that of all the knives in his extensive collection, this was one of, if not the best cutting knife he owned. It’s very different from anything else I own so I was extremely interested to try it.

I gave it quite a few try’s, adjusted my cutting technique multiple times and just couldn’t enjoy it. I’m not saying it’s bad”, but it’s definitely not right for me. I can appreciate a lot of different grinds from a single bevel Yanick, to a Kaiju to a Kamimura that most people feel is ground like an axe but I can’t get over how beautifully it cuts. So yea, maybe it’s terrible, or maybe I’m just an idiot that doesn’t know how to use it properly (likely the latter), but either way, it’s not for me.

Another thing which I don’t like about this knife is the handle. Will advertised this as a “Special Edition” handle, and I do not get it at all. It is simply a blocky rectangle with bevels run down the edges. I can appreciate a simple or more traditional handle like on Japanese knives, but this is not that. It is made of luxurious materials, but executed quite poorly.

On the exact opposite end of the spectrum though, wow this blade is gorgeous. The finish and work that goes into his steel is absolutely incredible and I can see why people love his forged geometry and finish so much. I just wish he put the same time and effort into his handles.

At the end of the day, this has been one of my favourite purchases because it has taught me a lot. I’ve discovered what I don’t like for the first time and it’s given me a tremendous appreciation for the work he puts into his blades. Overall, I don’t think this is a unique or bad knife from Will, I think this is just how he does things, and it’s not what I’m looking for.

You’ll likely see this up in the BST in the coming days as it’s simply not a good fit for me.

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Artificery Stainless Damascus Slicer

Length: 275mm
Height: 35mm
Thickness: 3.3mm
Weight: 175g
Steel: AEB-L/CPM 154
Handle: Ironwood

A Will Brigham knife is something I just never thought I'd own. While that was a little depressing, I had come to terms with it and moved on. I had mentioned to couple of my friends how much I would love to own a piece from Will and as I often find, I have better friends than I deserve. My buddy, who I didn't even know had this knife, offered to sell this to me at cost and I don't think I've ever said yes faster. I am as excited about it now as I was the first day I got it.

It is obviously an extremely unique piece, but I see it as a very classic piece from Will. It's his world renowned in house stainless random damascus paired with his classic heavily textured ironwood handle. The elephant in the room however is obviously the hole in the knife. As Will explained it, he was grinding in the hollows and simply went too far. He realized this when he could push on the blade on one side with his finger nail (super cool to see on his IG), and see where he was bending the material on the other. He measured the thinnest point at the centre of the hollow grind at 0.001". While this would normally make the blade a throw away, he instead decided to cut away the entire centre section of the blade, now referring to it as a design choice meant to make the blade lighter and DRASTICALLY improve food release.

Obviously something like this wouldn't fly on a chef knife, but on a big slicer like this which I only really bust out when I have a big slab of meat to serve, it's a really fun and cool knife to use.

Another thing I should comment on is the handle. The texture is remarkable as it's almost like he sand blasted away the softer portions of the grain. He very likely has documented this on his IG, but I haven't seen it so this is my guess. It also has a finish on it which almost makes it feel plastic. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this. On the one hand it feels incredibly solid and like I could throw this thing in a hot sink for an hour and it would come out just fine. So it's nice to have a knife that feels so low maintenance and tolerant of abuse. On the other hand, I prefer a more natural finish where you can feel the wood a bit more I guess. Certainly not saying it's bad, it's just unique.

Anyways, I'm still swooning over this knife and I think I will be for quite some time.

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Yanickiba

Length: 310mm
Height: 30.5mm
Thickness: 4.8mm
Weight: 239g
Steel: 135Cr3 Damascus
Handle: Boxwood/Bog Oak/Ebony

I think I've posted this elsewhere on here before, but it's just so spectacular I want to be sure I document it in my little collection thread. A while back I contacted Yanick about commissioning a damascus yanagiba. To my surprise, he proposed a trade for one of my cutting boards. As you can see, he clearly produced his usual incredible work. My favourite part is definitely the handle which he said was inspired by my end grain cutting boards. To have so much thought put into a knife is incredibly kind and flattering.

Now for the stressful part... I had to make a cutting board fit for the king! After studying Yanick's work and style, I quickly realized that bright and flashy was not the way to go. He likes tried and true materials and shapes so that is exactly what I gave him. Maple, walnut and cherry in a 18"x12"x2" board with all the wood coming from Canada to make it a bit more personal from me.

The board is now en route to France and the Yanickiba is getting plenty of use in my home. My wife likes using it for cutting grapes which is as hilarious to watch as it sounds. Yanick is very happy to hear it is getting lots of use and I look forward to seeing him use his new board.

More photos of the knife when it was brand new here:

https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/show-your-newest-knife-buy.7655/post-918919
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Jailbird - Salem Straub

Length: 280mm
Height: 64mm
Thickness: 2.2mm
Weight: 281g
Steel: 1080/15N20 Damascus
Handle: G10, Ironwood Burl

So I've been finding myself in need of a good beater knife lately so I contacted my buddy Salem and had him whip this up for me. I'm discovering it really excels at cutting through chicken joints (even when frozen) and my wife enjoys using it as kind of a care-free knife she doesn't have to worry about. Obviously that's not true, but it makes me happy thinking about some guy reading that and just getting fuming mad.

I've always been a fan of Salem's work, and for me, his Jailbird pattern was the absolute peak of his creativity and blacksmithing skills. A while back Salem made this sick Jailbird patterned knife which was unfortunately already sold. I made a couple comments on his IG along the build process about how awesome the knife was and how envious I was of the future owner, but left it at that. I hate the idea of cold calling makers asking for work when I know damn well how busy and in demand they are. Except Ben Kamon, I am harassing the crap out of him for a knife right now, and while I doubt he'll actually sell it to me, I've discovered he's a pretty dope guy, so now I'm just enjoying chatting with him. Anyways, that was it, my opportunity had come and gone and such is life, sucks to suck, I did my best to move on.

Then, a couple months later he posts this insane new billet of Jailbird damascus. I of course tell him how awesome it is and that I'm glad to see him making more of this amazing pattern. To my surprise, Salem comments back "One of these billets isn't claimed yet..." Long story short, I messaged him and told him not to play with me like that, and a couple weeks later, I have a jailbird chef on my counter.

If I had to describe this knife with one word it would be THINNN! It is the lightest 280mm western knife I have ever held at 281g and only 2.2mm above the heel. The knife has a delicious amount of flex to it and feels shockingly solid considering. In addition to the crazy thin spine, It also has a substantial compound grind to it which leaves the centre of the blade in the deepest part of the hollow at 0.7mm. This kind of precision is something I'm accustomed to seeing on knives twice as thick and half the length. To have this many crisp lines and curves so precisely executed in such a thin final product is still blowing my mind. Not only that, but the precision in the damascus is like nothing I've ever seen. There are lots of crazy mosaic patterns out there, but I find the lines never really line up which has always bothered me. Every link in this chain is flawless and watching the pattern flow down the blade and distort out at the tip is a thing to behold.

Moving on to the handle, Salem had a pretty cool idea for what he wanted to do, but after a bit of chatting, I had a vision I really wanted to see come to fruition and he was happy to oblige. Sticking with the "Jailbird" them, I wanted to make this knife as jail/prison themed as possible. So I requested some bangin' ironwood burl scales, because... "Iron" and a synthetic frame with a chain pattern engraved down the spine using his pantograph.

The final result just may be the sexiest prison shank chef ever made.

To comment on the total package, this blade just feels so right and has solidified my love of western handles. I've been a big fan of 240/55/4 chefs lately, but what I'm realizing is it is so much more than just the measurements and proportions. This knife is far from my usual, but it has been built so incredibly well that it feels completely natural and comfortable in my hand.

Finally, I should give Salem at least one critique and that is that I had a really tough time working with him. This is because I have been such a huge fan of him for so long that when he actually reached out to me about a knife, I was nervous the whole time that I was going to embarrass myself by acting like a wierdo fan. It took a lot of work for me to contain my excitement, act cool, and not ask for eight more knives which was incredibly challenging to do. So if he could maybe work on being less awesome so I don't like him so much, that'd be great.

Anyways, I'm ecstatic to have this knife in my collection and will be putting it to use very shortly.

And to Salem if you ever read this, Thank you, it was a pleasure.

-Luke
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Pizza Slicer - Balete Blades

Diameter: 75mm
Thickness: 2.9mm
Weight: 261g
Steel: Damasteel/Titanium
Handle: Feathered Siamese Rosewood/Carbon Fibre

An honour, that is how I would describe this piece. An honour to own such an incredible piece of creativity, ingenuity and craftsmanship from Sean Alonzo of Balete Blades. And I should say I usually photograph my knives when they are brand new, use them for a bit, then do a little write-up, but I couldn’t wait with this one. The day I unboxed it, I ran to the store and got all the ingredients to make homemade pizza so that I could give it a proper welcome to my home. So any blemishes and patina you are seeing in the finish are from my use, not Sean’s work.

I’ve been discussing a blade with Sean for a loooooong time. We bounced a lot of ideas around and after a couple years, we finally settled on making the most ballin’ pizza cutter in the world, and he did not disappoint. Sean makes a lot of awesome stuff, but I felt like his pizza cutters really flexed his strengths and it’s always important to me that any custom pieces I receive are examples of the heart and soul of the maker.

The blade and tang are made of damasteel accompanied by titanium arms, titanium screws and titanium dovetailed bolsters. The handle is made of carbon fibre and stabilized siamese rosewood which I provided to him. Sean’s fit and finish is ridiculously good. Of all the knives on my rack, the only maker who may top Sean’s F&F is Will Stelter who to this day makes the most flawlessly finished knife I have ever seen. In addition to it being absolutely dope, it is also a full take down construction which allows me to completely disassemble it for cleaning when necessary. Though after first use it seems that will be rarely necessary. The handle is perfectly shaped for my hands and it not surprisingly cuts crust and cheese incredibly well.

The most important part of this pizza cutter though is how ridiculously fun it is. I absolutely love using it, it’s a real conversation piece every time I bust it out and it just makes me so happy. I am so honoured to add this piece to my collection and plan on making a lot more pizzas now.

I don’t know how anything else I get will top this… but you can bet I’m gonna try!

Have a lovely day everyone.

-Luke

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The Nine Gyutohiki

Length: 275mm
Height: 55.4mm
Thickness: 11mm
Weight: 265g
Steel: Side Stack 1084/15n20
Handle: Ancient Red Gum / Brass

A piece by The Nine is something I’ve honestly never really thought too much about. I should probably put this in the “Unpopular Opinions” thread, but I find this whole wrought clad, kurouchi, black handle thing everybody is swooning over quite boring. Since that is a lot of what Robert does, I have never really been too keen on his work aesthetically. That being said! I have heard MANY people say that his work is “the best in the world”. Pretty bold statement so I was admittedly quite curious and had a bit of FOMO going on.

That being said, when I saw his most recent raffle included this crazy beast I figured this was my chance to try out his work in a style that I can also appreciate. I entered the raffle with low expectations of winning and therefore wasn’t too shocked when somebody else was announced as the winner of the knife. Fortunately for me, the winner decided not to take the knife?!?! Robert did a redraw and crowned me the winner! I, not being a big dummy, purchased the knife promptly of course.

Before I chat about the knife, I should say that Robert is an absolute pleasure to work with. He’s a kind guy and he showed a lot of both professionalism and care in the entirety of the buying and shipping process. If I love this knife, which I expect I will, I will likely try to harass him for another knife in the future. My guess is he will very politely say “no” as I get the impression he is quite busy, but you’d best believe I will try anyways.

Now, the knife. I’m getting sweaty just thinking about it. First of all the fit and finish is bananas. The only knife in my collection which rivals it in terms of F&F is once again my Will Stelter chef. Both of these knives are damn near perfection. The handle is flawlessly symmetrical, comfortably shaped and the finish is a fantastic balance between feeling very well protected, while also feeling quite natural. The handle then does a double museum fit step down with a brass bolster, into the semi integral design. The bolster is not surprisingly perfectly shaped and sanded with an even reveal the entire way around.

The blade is a side stacked damascus and as I look at it now I realize there is also a rippling chatoyance that goes down the blade. It looks similar to a Maumasi damascus I saw back in the day and I believe it was caused by a cross peen hammer being used to to stretch out the length of the blade. Though that may not be the case here at all. The damascus is a tight and subtly etched side stack which Robert says will develop a patina beautifully over time. There is a striking taper out of the bolster which then gradually stretches out to an incredibly nimble tip. The grind is very different from most of my knives in that the convexity seems to be pushed quite a bit farther towards the edge. More like my Kamimura than my Kaiju or Straub so I am very curious to see how this performs. Maybe this is what everybody says makes it the best knife in the world. We will see!

No matter how this knife performs, I can see why people are such a fan of his work. Really incredible to behold and I am honoured to own this knife. Thank you, Robert.

P.S. I've been trying to improve my spine shots and think I finally have a setup I am quite proud of which you can see in my last shot. I just need to have three cutting boards in my shop which has interlay never happened before!

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