POLL: How much is a Jiro Nakagawa gyuto worth to you?

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by DitmasPork, Aug 20, 2019.

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POLL: How much is a 240 Jiro Nakagawa Yo gyuto worth to you?

Poll closed Sep 1, 2019.
  1. Less than $250

    15 vote(s)
    21.7%
  2. $250–$450

    35 vote(s)
    50.7%
  3. $450–$650

    9 vote(s)
    13.0%
  4. $650–$850

    10 vote(s)
    14.5%
  5. More than $850

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. Aug 20, 2019 #1

    DitmasPork

    DitmasPork

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    Firstly, knives cost what they cost. One person's bargain is another's extravagance. One person's unicorn is another's donkey.

    Knives by Jiro Nakagawa are arguably the most buzz worthy knives to come along in a while. I'm curious on how KKF members would valuate this knife (specs below)—based on their own buying criteria? In other words, what would you pay if offered one BNIB.


    Though I've been a KKF member since 2012, I'm still learning a lot when it comes to valuation if knives. Based on comments read on BST and other threads, different collectors use different value systems to determine if the "price is right" (for them).

    Reasons why knives are bought might be led by rarity, a particular maker, hype, performance, aesthetics, kitchen needs, an exceptionally good deal, bank account balance, instinct—or simply impulsiveness late at night after one too many beers with the credit card too close at hand.

    SPECIFICATIONS:

    Specifications:
    Jiro Tsuchime Gyuto 240mm Tagayasan Handle
    Brand: Jiro
    Smith: Jiro Nakagawa
    Producing Area: Nagano/ Japan
    Profile: Gyuto
    Size: 240mm
    Steel Type: Carbon Steel
    Steel: Yasuki White (Shirogami) #1, Soft Iron Clad
    Handle: Tagayasan Western
    Total Length: 378mm
    Edge Length: 242mm
    Handle to Tip Length: 246mm
    Blade Height: 54mm
    Thickness: 3.8mm
    Handle Length: 130mm
    Weight: 293g
    Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
    Date of manufacture: June, 2019
     
    playero likes this.
  2. Aug 20, 2019 #2

    Corradobrit1

    Corradobrit1

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    High end of the $250-450 range. Its too new at this point to justify the hype and associated retail price.
     
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  3. Aug 20, 2019 #3

    labor of love

    labor of love

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    Would really love to hear more about how they perform. I know there is a thread floating around that goes over the initial ootb impressions.
     
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  4. Aug 20, 2019 #4

    DitmasPork

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    Buyers' set prices as much as makers IMO.
     
  5. Aug 20, 2019 #5

    DitmasPork

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    Yeah, me too. Won't be from me, I'm too cheap.
     
  6. Aug 20, 2019 #6

    labor of love

    labor of love

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    Someone commented that the profile is somewhat shig looking which perked up my ears. However, I’m not sure I’m ready to pay shig price for something that’s similar to shig in profile.
    If I saw the right jiro wa gyuto available at the right time I would probably take a chance.
    Either way, I just need to know more.
     
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  7. Aug 20, 2019 #7

    Barmoley

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    It looks like it has promise, but I agree that it is too new and untested to have the price it does. It is priced at the level of some very well known and high performing knives. It looks cool and everything, but it has to be something special to fetch the price it does for me.
     
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  8. Aug 20, 2019 #8

    DitmasPork

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    Specialness might be low production output (rarity), aesthetics, that lovely hand written note, cool looking handle.
     
  9. Aug 20, 2019 #9

    parbaked

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    It's not just the handle because his wa-handle knives cost the same as the western handle knives.
    I feel like the price includes a few layers mark-ups for Hitohira and downstream retailers.
    It would be nice to buy one when I'm in Japan for the same price that Hitohira wholesales it to overseas shops....
     
  10. Aug 20, 2019 #10

    labor of love

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  11. Aug 20, 2019 #11

    DitmasPork

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    I think (conjecture) that most knives have similar mark ups. I can't imagine vendors significantly hiking prices on a maker's knives that're available at multiple vendors.
     
  12. Aug 20, 2019 #12

    Barmoley

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    All true. Rarity of a known, high quality, etc item can and does fetch high prices. Rarity of an unknown shouldn't, since rarity is not a benefit in of itself. If I make a knife, I wouldn't expect it to sell for much even though it would be extremely rare. Not comparing myself to Jiro in any way. Like others, I'd like to know more before I spend this much, there are so many excellent alternatives in this price range that this knife would have to really be something to make me buy it for what it is being sold for.
     
  13. Aug 20, 2019 #13

    DitmasPork

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    Perhaps this is where things like hype, mystique, maker's reputation, and marketing works into the equation.

    I think the first J-knife I bought was a Misono UX10—it was influenced in no small part to marketing, hype and a video by a Top Chef contestant back in 2011-ish. I also worked not very far from Korin.
     
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  14. Aug 20, 2019 #14

    DitmasPork

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    yes based on your value system, but it just "is." Jiros sell out the moment they hit the market.
     
  15. Aug 20, 2019 #15

    Barmoley

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    I get it, the price is what it is and good for him. Whatever, Jiro sellers are doing to get these prices they are doing it right, just not for me. He might very well be well known to some, not to me so I won't buy for this price, too many excellent alternatives.
     
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  16. Aug 20, 2019 #16

    Elliot

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    Agree with @Corradobrit1 overall.
    The challenge here is the whole concept of price to performance. Some may disagree, but in my opinion, there is no bloody way a Kato is six to eight times as "good" of a knife to a pretty easy to find Yoshikane. Or 10x a Wakui and so on and so on.

    That being said, my limited knowledge here also suggests that said Kato is far more "handmade" than the Yoshi. So the labor cost to the maker is greater. I understand that the retail markup may not go to the maker, but it's nonetheless a relevant factor.

    Is this a little high priced? Yes. But it's a handmade item from a small shop craftsman operating a one man show. That's pretty much code for high price in all industries.
     
  17. Aug 20, 2019 #17

    parbaked

    parbaked

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    You missed my point. Most knives here have 1-2 layers of mark-ups. You can buy a TF, Wantanabe, Heiji, Halcyon, Dalman, Raquin etc either direct from the maker or from a retailer that the maker sold too. That's 1-2 layers of mark-ups.

    Others makers like Takeda, Ashi, Jikko, Hinoura, Yoshikane, Takefu brands etc sell direct to overseas retailers. That's 2 layers of mark-ups.

    Jiro knives seem to sell exclusively to Hitohira, who then sell the knives direct to consumers or to its network of overseas retailers. That's 3 layers of mark-ups. Hitohira protects its retailers by selling direct to consumers at the same price it sets for its retailers.

    I'm just saying that may be one reason the prices seem high for a new maker....
     
  18. Aug 20, 2019 #18

    labor of love

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    Keeping retail prices up may also keep flipping prices down. If Jiro were introduced to the western market at $650 retail they might just be flipped for $850 anyway.
    Either way they sell out instantly so one way or the other we would likely have to pay $850.
     
  19. Aug 20, 2019 #19

    DitmasPork

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    I'm not a knife seller, which is why I mentioned "conjecture."

    I know that when I sell something made by an artist that's priced at 2K, I take a standard 50% cut. If the artist sells directly to a collector, he/she is not allowed by contract to sell for less than 2K. That same artwork is priced at the same price USD, if sold by a different gallery overseas.

    I assume it's the same with knives, where there's essentially a set price from different vendors. But, it's just a guess since I've never been to Japan.
     
  20. Aug 20, 2019 #20

    Barmoley

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    I wonder what about these knives make them sell out instantly at these prices. New maker, they look cool, but performance is relatively unknown, materials are good, but not unique and nothing is known about heat treat, etc. Profile looks good, but not unique, grind sounds good from the review above, but nothing out of the ordinary... It is always interesting to me that some knives sell out in seconds when similar and sometimes better performing and cheaper ones don't. I have to conclude that as much as we talk about performance, etc we actually care more about looks when choosing among the number of relatively similar knives.
     
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  21. Aug 20, 2019 #21

    Sharpchef

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    I don`t know the blacksmith...

    Prices are like dust in a hurricane... No knife i know can beat the price/performance ratio of a Herder Santoku. Sad but true... I got knifes in the 2k range and they are that 1950€ more worth ?.... I don`t think so.

    Let the dealers like Maxim find them, maybe they will be as o_O good as Shigefusa, or :eek: Kato... And sell with even more profit in the next years....
     
  22. Aug 20, 2019 #22

    Corradobrit1

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    And this is exactly the reasoning why I wouldn't pay current retail price. I would need to know a LOT more before I invested this much in a relatively unknown/unproven bladesmith and knife.
     
  23. Aug 20, 2019 #23

    DitmasPork

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    I generally feel the same about technology, don't like to buy from the very first release of smartphone and computers, like to wait a little for the bugs to be worked out.

    IMO, Jiro makes stunning looking knives, but still seems to be working things out.
     
  24. Aug 20, 2019 #24

    JBroida

    JBroida

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    It’s not like this... depends on the craftsmen and/or wholesaler
     
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  25. Aug 20, 2019 #25

    DitmasPork

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    It's early on in the polling, with a slim majority willing to pay in the "$250–$450" range for a Jiro.

    Though I'd wager that if there was a KKF group buy for Jiros priced at $650, there would by 50 people jumping on it.
     
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  26. Aug 20, 2019 #26

    labor of love

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    theres a no handle Jiro for $660. out of stock ofcourse.
     
  27. Aug 20, 2019 #27

    Corradobrit1

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    Not me. $450 for a Wa handle 240 (Western is too heavy) would be my limit as an early adopter.
     
  28. Aug 20, 2019 #28

    DitmasPork

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    Good to know. As I mentioned, I'm not knowledgeable on how knife retail works, still a mystery to me.
     
  29. Aug 20, 2019 #29

    DitmasPork

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    $650 can get you a very good custom from a Western maker—with a cool handle.
     
  30. Aug 20, 2019 #30

    labor of love

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    $650 also cannot get you a Jiro with a cool handle :p
     
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