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Discussion in 'Passarounds & Loaners' started by ashy2classy, Oct 11, 2019.
You have mine it was already sent, address.
I have all of the participants' addresses and payments so I've set the order below.
The knife will start on the west cost and work it's way back east. I plan to get the knife sharpened before sending it to Jon-cal so hopefully that will be sometime next week. If it doesn't get done next week I'll make sure it gets sent the following week. I understand we're going to run into the holidays so I hope that doesn't hold up the process. If anyone has any questions or concerns please let me know. Thanks!
Waiting for some packing material to arrive then the knife is off to https://www.instagram.com/forty.knives/ to get a quick spa treatment before going to Jon-cal. Will keep the group up to date with progress.
Just wanted to jump in late and say that this is a great idea and I can't wait to read everyone's opinion on the knife
Andrew finished the knife yesterday so it should be shipped out to Jon today. Below is a low-res photo he sent me of the knife. When I asked him how the edge was after he was done, he said, "The edge is killer...the heel barely scratched me and it cut deep."
Nice! Can't wait till it makes its way back east and to hear everyone's thoughts.
I received the knife earlier this week. Here are some initial observations after using it for a few days. I’ll post some more as I use it. Edge length is 273, height is 55, spine thickness is 7 and weight is 272g. The edge on this is phenomenal. I’m not sure what Andrew did to this knife and whether is was polished or eased in anyway, but this doesn’t have any fit and finish issues like I was expecting from some of the Jiro pics I’ve seen. The flat spot on this is enormous and while the choil looks pretty righty biased it’s not bad at all as a lefty. Looking at the grind a bit closer with a straight edge it definitely is right biased but certainly usable left handed.
First impression is it’s a nice knife. I don’t understand the hype and price if I’m being honest, but I certainly wouldn’t fault someone for wanting one.
Here are a few photos. Also, pictured next to it are a Watanabe 270 and a Mazaki 270 for fun or size comparisons to more common 270s.
Sounds good so far! I like the look of that flat spot.
Alright, the knife is on its way to Barmoley.
Some parting thoughts.
The food release is pretty solid, even left handed. It does vary a bit along the length but the back 1/3 is especially good. That’s where the cucumbers below were cut and it left them all on the board.
I’ve never seen a KU finish take a patina like this. It’s either very thin, or partially polished off or something. Either way, it’s a pretty cool effect.
Finally, I stropped this on some loaded leather once. The edge as received was crazy sharp but not a lot of bite. I made a bunch of mirepoix one night and cut up steak and chicken few times (for the patina haha). The edge was starting to suffer a bit before stropping brought it back. About what you’d expect for white 1 I guess.
Overall, a pretty cool knife and comfortable to use. It’s well balanced and I can’t really find a whole lot to complain about, except maybe the price. I’m curious to hear what everyone else thinks.
Thanks Kevin for putting this together!
Finally some real world experiences to cut through the hype. Looking forward to hearing what people think.
The knife arrived safely and in good shape.
Thanks, Jon! For what it's worth, these are my exact impressions as well. The knife is very comfortable in the hand, performs well and has really good release.
No more reviews?
I was the next in line and used the knife for about a week. Before I give my impressions I want to point out that I was biased against the knife and Jiro in general because of the hype, how these knives are sold, price and how the main distributor treats questions on Instagram. This out of the way I'll try to be impartial, but see above.
I received the knife in good shape and sharp enough for me not to worry about putting my own edge on it. The knife has good fit and finish for a Japanese knife of this type of construction. Everything is smoothed and rounded. The balance was very good for me, even though this knife is longer than what I usually like it didn't feel much longer than a long 240 in pinch grip. The handle felt smaller and shorter than what I would expect for a knife of this size, but I like smaller handles, so it worked for me. People who like larger handles might not be as comfortable. The profile of the knife is interesting because of how flat it is. I like flat profiles, but this knife being as long as it is and flat spot being most of the length of the knife I felt that it might actually be too flat. For purely chopping it is fine, but it just seems too much since if one purely chops I am not sure this much length is desired and something like a nakiri might work better. In any case, it is not bad, just too much for me, same profile on a shorter knife would work better for me. The grind is good, it strikes a good balance between food release and ease of cutting. The knife is a good all rounder and doesn't really excel in either, but is good in both. All in all this was the basic theme of this knife for me. It is good as a general, do it all main gyuto, but not great at anything really, at least in my use. Edge retention seemed fine and consistent with what I'd expect from WH1 in my use. At the end of the week it didn't cut tomatoes quite as easily as in the beginning, but it was still sharp enough for everything else. I didn't notice any chipping or major rolling, the blade is long so there is a lot of edge to go through. Once again good, but not mind blowing. At the end of the week the knife was still sharp enough so I didn't feel like I should sharpen it. The bevels and grind were even and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, I don't know if this is how it came from the maker or if anything was corrected later, but the knife was fine the way it came to me.
In conclusion, I want to once again point out that this is a good knife, might even be very good for someone, it just didn't blow me away. I didn't find any major issues with it and I was biased from the get go, but to me for a knife to be in this price bracket it needs to be exceptional or at least unique in some way. This knife is good and would be great at half, two thirds the price. Maybe the western version of this knife is just different enough to commend a higher price for those who like western handles and balance closer to the handle.
Thanks to Kevin for letting me try this, I am glad I did.
REMINDER to participants: please post your experience with the knife to the thread so others can read. My hope for this exercise was to provide more public feedback for Jiro knives. Thanks!!!
Any update as to where this thing is? As in previous passarounds, it would be courteous to all involved to comment when you receive and/or send the knife on, as well as providing your opinion and feedback.
Just received it today. I didn't get home until late.
TLDR: The Jiro is a good all-rounder 270. There are better knives at a lower price, but it has character, and Mr. Jiro will get there.
Quick and dirty impressions:
The Jiro cuts reasonably well. Food separation falls between a newer Shig and a Toyama 270 gyutos. Food release falls along the same lines. It wedges a bit, but is heavier than a Shig so it powers through - close to the weight of a Toyama honyo. The edge profile is fine - I prefer a bit more belly. It has a moderately forward balance, which is nice - given the weight. It's tip is thin enough; food release is consistently decent along the blade.
This may seem uncharitable, but it isn't meant as such: it...feels like Mr. Jiro tried to make a Toyama with a slight fuller - and came somewhat close. Give it time, he'll be up there.
It is a good (OOTB) all-rounder, with character.
It could use some thinning - but the knife's weight somewhat mitigates the need. The finish (incl. kuro) is more reactive than I expected - but manageable.
Regarding price: No idea. I would probably buy the western version retail. But...performance-wise, there are better knives at a lower price. And most of my classics feel better.
Regarding availability: No comment. Also, does he sell direct (or under a different name)?
This wasn't a thorough treatment, and I apologize for that.
I have a jiro 155mm petty on the way if anyone wants me to pollute this thread with a different kind of review.
If it comes to Dallas I'd love to see it!
That might require a luncheon engagement (with or without the knife)
Knife reached me today. Both box and knife in good order. I'll write out some impressions once I've had a chance to use it a bit.
First off, thanks to Ashy for the passaround, I think it's a wonderful service to the community. Glad I got to try a Jiro, and now that I've tried it, glad I haven't bought one.
Some basics to start. As folks have mentioned, the profile is quite flat, good for chopping and push cutting with enough belly for some rocking. The steel seems well heat-treated, I touched it up on a mikawa nagura and the edge came back to life easily, as you'd expect from white steel. The KU is a pretty uneven, which some people may dislike for aesthetic reasons. Fit and finish as a whole is fine, nothing mindblowing but nothing irritating. I personally found myself really hating the handle, but I'm not sure why. Maybe because it lacks texture and feels a bit like laminate flooring rather than solid wood?
Jiro received a lot of hype in a very short space of time as a wonderkid newcomer to the "small, one-man shop" category of Japanese smiths. His prices correlate with many Western makers with small outputs and some rarer and higher end Japanese makers. I don't know if he uses prelaminated stock or not, maybe someone else can comment on that.
I guess I'd sum up my impressions like this: The feel, presentation, and performance of this knife is nothing better than your average J-knife, it has little if any of the personality and uniqueness one expects from a custom maker, one man shop, or even just a high-end Japanese knife, but still carries the same high price tag. Another way to describe my feelings toward it would be that it reminds me much more of my Munetoshi than a Shig/Tsukasa Hinoura/Kato/Ashi/etc and frankly, I'd probably say my Munetoshi is an as good, if not better performer and package at a fraction of the price.
I hope I come across cohesively, it's not my intention to be overly harsh or hyper-critical and I'll admit some of my complaints may be a matter of personal taste. I realize that many of my complaints are related to or reference the knife's price and relative value, but to me this is important and unavoidable. Others expectations for what a $800+ knife should be may very well differ from my own. This is a perfectly functional blade that some people may indeed love and cherish, but for me, the overall package at the current price would not be remotely tempting.
I received the knife today. Package and contents in order with zero issues or concerns. Looking forward to testing the knife and posting my thoughts.
I contacted next-in-line last week and have the knife all set and ready to move on to the next lucky participant!
I ended up having to take a working road trip through the weekend so the Jiro will be shipping from Nashville this afternoon (Monday 1/27), with a fresh polish and crisp apex.
Stay tuned- I will post my thoughts on the experience soon.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with this knife and I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. Thanks again to Ashy, KKF community, and fellow participants!
Here’s a few quick pics showing the current condition.
My thoughts and opinions based on about 3 total hours with the knife in hand:
Several who have already posted thoughts have shared some great information that is good for the group and useful for prospective buyers. I hope my contribution does not become too repetitive as my experience reflects similarly to what has already been shared.
I was not able to form any initial impressions objectively. I was really excited about this new maker and I received a lot of the hype openly. Of all the pros/ cons surrounding this maker, price is the most impactful point.
In many ways I think such a high price point will probably hurt this maker in the long run. The “flavor” of these knives is definitely to my liking. I very much enjoy the blacksmith’s finish and tastefully simple handles as worn by this particular blade. The steel is perfectly traditional. The shape is as familiar as Gyuto profiles can be. The net sum of all these factors is a perfectly functional and straightforward tool. Exactly what it needs to be. No more, no less. But also in many ways vanilla and not unlike many scores of alternatives from reputable makers that also deliver at a much more appropriate price point. My take- price is a major bummer because I love this knife!
The knife has a soul that speaks to my heart. Feels great in hand. The balance, feedback, heft, aesthetics, and performance were all ringing my bells and brought me joy in using the knife. I wanted to keep it but I’m a knife whore so I easily fall in love with stuff that makes no sense for me financially or practically. I’m glad it’s not mine and I’m glad I didn’t lay out the change on this one. Because you can get where this one goes for less cash and have leftover funds for some shiny new stones.
The overall performance was good. It’s not an all-star knife. It’s a very well executed Gyuto in a nicely treated White 1. I really wanted to sharpen this knife. Most of all I wanted to sharpen it! So I did.
But sharpening frustrated me because I don’t like the original bevel profile. It has a convexed kireba leading into a more severely convexed primary bevel, finishing out with a micro-secondary bevel at the edge. So you have the effect of a gradual to aggressive curve angle terminating at an invisible edge. Not for me. I like a similarly convexed face/bevel but I profoundly enjoy results of thinning and rebuilding a v-profile secondary bevel (due to much lower sharpening angle). I sparingly lest infrequently micro bevel my double bevel knives. Call me crazy. Sharpening this knife was frustrating because I didn’t want to modify the original bevel configuration. Devil on my shoulder wanted to convert it to a thinner, more delicate cutter, skating the edge of irresponsibly thin. That’s what I enjoy.
The sharpening character of the knife did not disappoint however. The steel felt really good on the stones. I felt like the Nakagawa heat treat was extremely well executed. I was able to build really crisp apexes that responded well to stropping and touch-ups. I felt like I could control easily how much bite/tooth I wanted on the edge. Deburring was pesky but I think that was a result of the unfamiliar high sharpening angle I held to keep the knife in original configuration.
Stones I used:
Sigma ii 3k, 6k
Shapton Glass 2k
Nano Hone 1k, 6k
JNATS- Natsuya, couple Suitas, couple hard finishers Narutaki style
I strop on cBN loaded balsa, 2u or 1.5u
Perceived sharpness was good. Apex stayed crispy for a long time but these edges wanted to roll more than micro-chip so touch ups were frequent and effectively easy. Cutting performance was in line with previous reviewers. But again it’s thick for my preferences.
Obviously I polished the knife. Main reason was I really was curious about the reactivity. And I’m not a patina guy anyway. But that’s why reactivity is important to me. How often/hard would I be scrubbing on this thing? Not as often as most, I found. The cladding is awesome! It reacts beautifully and relatively slowly. I don’t know about this so I’m guessing: it seemed like there was more core steel and less cladding in this blade than what’s usual for any given sanmai. Seemed like the cladding was ultra thin if not wispy at the core junction. Also a few delam spots? The Kurouchi seems fragile too. Like it could be gone in a half year or so possibly.
Overall this knife felt right. It’s a good fit for me. I would love to own this knife. Arguments could be made to justify price and I would especially object less if I thought the maker himself was getting most of it! I intend to create or exacerbate zero controversy, so I emphasize now: all thoughts written here are only my opinions. Opinions can change. Opinions can be wrong.
I cannot emphasize enough how awesome this experience has been. I gained so much out of the time invested, and I am really happy to have had the opportunity to participate. Huge thanks to all involved!
Best review so far. Thank you.
Agreed. Very well written and presented and with a balanced tone.
I didn’t love the knife as much, due to personal preference and perhaps a slightly jaded mindset, but I ostensively agree with most of what was said. Good all around knife, not an all star.
Thank you everyone for posting your thoughts on this knife.
What did you feel about the Taihei handle? I haven't seen another maker using this handle material before, so I'm curious how it feels like in hand and the grip when wet.
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