owners of miyabi mizu sg2 gyuto

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jsph

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past/present owners of miyabi mizu sg2 gyuto (esp. 240mm/9.5"): comments?
 

vk2109

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i had the 200mm Mizu and i echo nothing special. the blade is handle heavy. I got the R2 takumura and really a great knife. Perfect balance when pinch gripping.
 

HappyamateurDK

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I owned one for a short time..felt pretty bulky and heavy for a Japanese knife. Fit&finnish was pretty good, but one thing bothered me a lot. It was bend about 5 mm to the right. The grind was pretty thick. And those things all together made me sell it pretty fast.

you can get better knives at the price or even cheaper. Takamura R2 is mentioned, and a great choice. But even a Tojiro Dp is a better knife in my opinion.
 

jsph

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thanks, guys. i appreciate it. sounds basically like i was expecting. one of the reasons the mizu comes to mind is because you can get the mizu at 240mm for ~$190usd; the takamura r2 and chromax are great options, but only seem to be either available -- or available at reasonable prices -- at the 210mm length.

also, i got to use a miyabi birchwood 240mm for a while and it was actually a pretty excellent blade; i have a suspicion the mizu is not ground as thin, though, but i don't know for sure; in the same way, i would probably be most interested in trying a miyabi black (zdp-189) [if i could get it at a 70% off discount -- sheesh; no reason a ~240mm zdp-189 should cost _that_ much] but again it seems like it's not ground as thin as the birchwood.
 
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Had Miyabi Blacks and Birchwoods- liked the Birchwoods much more. Lighter and less drag. Keep an eye on eBay the 9.5” Birchwood gyutos pop up at good prices on a regular basis.
 

HappyamateurDK

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I have never tried the Birchwood myself. And I can't comment on it being a good knife or not.

But I would say that at the prices they charge for them. You can get som really nice knives that are far less mass produced.

A quick Google search show that slightly bend Birchwood's are not uncommon. Apparently it is something you can experience with several miyabi lines.
 

jsph

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happyamateurdk: right, yes, that's heard way too frequently, to the point that you have to wonder what is wrong at the factory; many, many people have commented on bent miyabis across most of their lines (though i hadn't heard it for the birchwood and black), and that they were not sold as factory "seconds", either, yet the bends are large and obvious, which means they should have by this point just hired one guy at the end of the whole line who just looks at the thing and straightens them before they go out. it is ridiculous, and it makes it dangerous to buy a miyabi without seeing the actual one first in person, most of all if front-line vendors are selling what would be factory seconds but don't know they're sitting bent in the box.

what's extra weird is that -- unless someone knows more about this and wants to educate us a bit -- i have no reason to expect off-hand that the zwilling miyabis are made by an entirely different crew/factory than the zwilling kramers, and aside from the wood handle problems on the carbon kramers, and aside from their very early production runs, there are no such systematic problems with the kramer blades, certainly not that _very often_ the kramers' blades are bent in that way. someone really needs to just take a look and straighten them before they go out the door, _or_ they need to be clearly marked as "seconds" and sold at a steep discount.

you're right that at their _retail_ price there are many great japanese knives well-known on this list that would be better, but it's also true that precisely because of their retail nature you can find miyabis on extreme sales sometimes from different vendors (e.g., sur la table, zwilling online, cutleryandmore, etc, not to mention misc sellers on ebay, etc) so that you are then sometimes able to get them very cheaply -- and then, if they are not bent, it's not such a bad way for a person to get an, e.g., AEB-L knife ("fc61"), an sg2 knife, or zdp-189 knife, including for family, gifts, etc. ... but the quality control problems combined with the thick grinds on some of their models make it hit or miss. thus my asking about the mizu, when i keep seeing the 240mm at an excellent price, and don't know how it compares to the birchwood blade. i have thought about the tojiro pro sg2 at 240mm, but likewise don't know whether to expect the blade to be thick behind the edge. might even just forget about the whole thing for a while and/or later look at totally different makers and totally different steels (e.g., hd2 or hap40 240mms similar to the tojiro pro sg2). i don't know. it's not like i (or any of us) need any more knives or anything.

michi: thanks re: miyabi black. yes, i think that's the most common comment: that the miyabi black is too thick (and, by extension, that it's too heavy). ... and also that, like the kramer damascus, the etching's way too high-friction. i still would like one someday, i think, or a comparable zdp-189, but it sounds like it would have to have been seriously thinned first by someone who knows what he's doing, never mind a steep price drop. so, mostly imaginary.
 
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what's extra weird is that -- unless someone knows more about this and wants to educate us a bit -- i have no reason to expect off-hand that the zwilling miyabis are made by an entirely different crew/factory than the zwilling kramers, and aside from the wood handle problems on the carbon kramers, and aside from their very early production runs, there are no such systematic problems with the kramer blades, certainly not that _very often_ the kramers' blades are bent in that way. someone really needs to just take a look and straighten them before they go out the door, _or_ they need to be clearly marked as "seconds" and sold at a steep discount.
Just so you know my zkramer carbon was bent and it was extremely difficult to straighten it given it's monosteel super tough 52100. I had to remove the first 1-2 cm from the tip to straighten it.
 

HappyamateurDK

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happyamateurdk: right, yes, that's heard way too frequently, to the point that you have to wonder what is wrong at the factory; many, many people have commented on bent miyabis across most of their lines (though i hadn't heard it for the birchwood and black), and that they were not sold as factory "seconds", either, yet the bends are large and obvious, which means they should have by this point just hired one guy at the end of the whole line who just looks at the thing and straightens them before they go out. it is ridiculous, and it makes it dangerous to buy a miyabi without seeing the actual one first in person, most of all if front-line vendors are selling what would be factory seconds but don't know they're sitting bent in the box.

what's extra weird is that -- unless someone knows more about this and wants to educate us a bit -- i have no reason to expect off-hand that the zwilling miyabis are made by an entirely different crew/factory than the zwilling kramers, and aside from the wood handle problems on the carbon kramers, and aside from their very early production runs, there are no such systematic problems with the kramer blades, certainly not that _very often_ the kramers' blades are bent in that way. someone really needs to just take a look and straighten them before they go out the door, _or_ they need to be clearly marked as "seconds" and sold at a steep discount.

you're right that at their _retail_ price there are many great japanese knives well-known on this list that would be better, but it's also true that precisely because of their retail nature you can find miyabis on extreme sales sometimes from different vendors (e.g., sur la table, zwilling online, cutleryandmore, etc, not to mention misc sellers on ebay, etc) so that you are then sometimes able to get them very cheaply -- and then, if they are not bent, it's not such a bad way for a person to get an, e.g., AEB-L knife ("fc61"), an sg2 knife, or zdp-189 knife, including for family, gifts, etc. ... but the quality control problems combined with the thick grinds on some of their models make it hit or miss. thus my asking about the mizu, when i keep seeing the 240mm at an excellent price, and don't know how it compares to the birchwood blade. i have thought about the tojiro pro sg2 at 240mm, but likewise don't know whether to expect the blade to be thick behind the edge. might even just forget about the whole thing for a while and/or later look at totally different makers and totally different steels (e.g., hd2 or hap40 240mms similar to the tojiro pro sg2). i don't know. it's not like i (or any of us) need any more knives or anything.

michi: thanks re: miyabi black. yes, i think that's the most common comment: that the miyabi black is too thick (and, by extension, that it's too heavy). ... and also that, like the kramer damascus, the etching's way too high-friction. i still would like one someday, i think, or a comparable zdp-189, but it sounds like it would have to have been seriously thinned first by someone who knows what he's doing, never mind a steep price drop. so, mostly imaginary.

My insight in knife making is way too small to give a qualified bid on why Miyabi apparently have a problem with bend blades. But I guess we can say that there quality control is a bit loose. And there typical buyer either doesn't care or doesn't notice.

You mention the Tojiro pro SG2. I haven't tried it, and because I haven't tried the birchwood either. I can't rate them against each other.

But I think they are really different brands. My personal picture of Miyabi is that they are a brand build by Zwilling to compete with shun and yaxell, and to look good on the knifemagnet. Descent knives that are made more to look good in a interior magazine, then to be used every day professionally. And that might explain why many of there buyers apparently doesn't care about or notice bend blades.

Tojiro is cheaper, simpler looking but a better and more honest brand that are made to be used.

I'm sure many disagree 😊
 

jsph

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Just so you know my zkramer carbon was bent and it was extremely difficult to straighten it given it's monosteel super tough 52100. I had to remove the first 1-2 cm from the tip to straighten it.

cripes... that sure sucks. hadn't heard about kramer problems nearly as much as miyabi, except for early on and the wooden handles. yikes... technically, i had heard that the man himself would correct problems like that if they were zkramers sold through his website (e.g., fixing handles, etc), but of course most are not bought through him (at full price, and rarely in stock), and you certainly disrespect the workshop by asking to have him repair one that was bought off sur la table or whatever other shop.

But I think they are really different brands. My personal picture of Miyabi is that they are a brand build by Zwilling to compete with shun and yaxell, and to look good on the knifemagnet. Descent knives that are made more to look good in a interior magazine, then to be used every day professionally. And that might explain why many of there buyers apparently doesn't care about or notice bend blades.

Tojiro is cheaper, simpler looking but a better and more honest brand that are made to be used.

pretty accurate picture of tojiro as good-quality utilitarian and miyabi as over-slick fancy-pants. ... on top of which, a lot of the miyabi aesthetic is actually off-putting, and overdoes what is actually much more understated in those main brands of competition, like shun, global, etc; e.g., sand-blasting those fake bands on to the miyabi koh, mizu, etc, the red spacers and heavy end-caps, the high-friction etch of the miyabi black (and kramer sg2), etc. i just think that within that mess, there are a couple of examples where they make something worthwhile, like the koh at one end and the birchwood at the other -- assuming (1) you get it at a big discount off their retail price, and (2) you don't get one of their many unlabeled factory defects. in the same way, if you get a good price and no defects, the zwilling kramers are also very good for what they are -- the aeb-l version, the 52100 version, and even the sg2 damascus if it could be thinned and the etching polished. what i mean is that, at the center of it, if you get one without defects and a big discount, you can get -- from some of their models, not all -- a decent knife in a decent steel, and i would much rather one of those than a lot of other things in the sub ~$200 category. tojiro, its plain looks i like _even more_, actually, but i don't want to try the tojiro pro sg2 240mm until i have a confident sense of that particular knife being ground pretty thin / thin behind the edge; the same was the concern for the miyabi mizu, and i think i have probably finally given up on the mizu for that concern, even if some day i might try a birchwood again (for the right price, and confirmed not defective) or miyabi black if thinned / polished by someone good.
 

Michi

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thanks re: miyabi black. yes, i think that's the most common comment: that the miyabi black is too thick (and, by extension, that it's too heavy). ... and also that, like the kramer damascus, the etching's way too high-friction.
I own the 240 mm Kramer Damascus, and I like it. Not too thick behind the edge, and the SG-2 core stays nice and sharp for a long time. There is a little friction with the Damascus finish, but less than with the Miyabi Black. And, with use, the sides of the knife get smoother over time.
 

jsph

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thanks, michi. that's good to know. i'm glad you're happy with it. i got to handle that damascus version briefly myself and thought the same about the sharpness and assumed, from its being sg2, the retention would be good.
 

HappyamateurDK

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cripes... that sure sucks. hadn't heard about kramer problems nearly as much as miyabi, except for early on and the wooden handles. yikes... technically, i had heard that the man himself would correct problems like that if they were zkramers sold through his website (e.g., fixing handles, etc), but of course most are not bought through him (at full price, and rarely in stock), and you certainly disrespect the workshop by asking to have him repair one that was bought off sur la table or whatever other shop.



pretty accurate picture of tojiro as good-quality utilitarian and miyabi as over-slick fancy-pants. ... on top of which, a lot of the miyabi aesthetic is actually off-putting, and overdoes what is actually much more understated in those main brands of competition, like shun, global, etc; e.g., sand-blasting those fake bands on to the miyabi koh, mizu, etc, the red spacers and heavy end-caps, the high-friction etch of the miyabi black (and kramer sg2), etc. i just think that within that mess, there are a couple of examples where they make something worthwhile, like the koh at one end and the birchwood at the other -- assuming (1) you get it at a big discount off their retail price, and (2) you don't get one of their many unlabeled factory defects. in the same way, if you get a good price and no defects, the zwilling kramers are also very good for what they are -- the aeb-l version, the 52100 version, and even the sg2 damascus if it could be thinned and the etching polished. what i mean is that, at the center of it, if you get one without defects and a big discount, you can get -- from some of their models, not all -- a decent knife in a decent steel, and i would much rather one of those than a lot of other things in the sub ~$200 category. tojiro, its plain looks i like _even more_, actually, but i don't want to try the tojiro pro sg2 240mm until i have a confident sense of that particular knife being ground pretty thin / thin behind the edge; the same was the concern for the miyabi mizu, and i think i have probably finally given up on the mizu for that concern, even if some day i might try a birchwood again (for the right price, and confirmed not defective) or miyabi black if thinned / polished by someone good.

I know it's quite different from the birchwood. But I was lucky to find a Saji Gyuto in R2 steel and quince burl handle about 3 month ago. I got it at a 40% discount, witch made it cheaper then the birchwood. Maybe you can find it too. 😊

 

jsph

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huh... that's interesting. i'd never really thought too much about the takeshi saji, though heard mentioned sometimes. thanks for the link. i guess i should also be looking a little more frequently at the "knife findings" thread for deals and interesting items. thanks a lot.
 

HappyamateurDK

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huh... that's interesting. i'd never really thought too much about the takeshi saji, though heard mentioned sometimes. thanks for the link. i guess i should also be looking a little more frequently at the "knife findings" thread for deals and interesting items. thanks a lot.

Your very welcome. Always nice with some inputs. 👍
 
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