(Powdered) knife suggestions?

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by ralpheburns, Sep 29, 2019.

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  1. Sep 29, 2019 #1

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

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    Can you make some suggestions for an enthusiastic home cook who’s never owned great kitchen knives and is seeking to change that? I have carried a folding ZDP-189 Spyderco knife for many years without any chipping, and maintain it to shaving sharpness with a 20 year old 40-degree (included angle) Spyderco triangle sharpener. I enjoy what the ZDP-189 does!

    For the kitchen, I’d naturally seek out more powdered steel knives; those with a good reputation for corrosion resistance with an eye towards resisting citrus juices? Do some knives experience less food stick than others? I’d like to try out two or three shapes and evolve my cutting styles.

    Here are some pointers:
    - maybe one gyuto around 200mm, something around 175mm and a petty about 130mm
    - curious about R-2 and HAP-40 along with ZDP-189
    - Big note is that my hands are quite large with skinny fingers
    - hold pinch or hammer grip.
    - I’ve never used a true Japanese-handled knife
    - Prefer a tapered bolster when holding pinch-grip, but without a bolster extending to the cutting edge
    - thin blade is maybe preferred over thick… but without getting flexy
    - good corrosion resistance
    - I cut right-handed on bamboo cutting boards. I’m pesca / veg.
    - good looks are always great to behold!
    - Looks like I'll have to upgrade sharpening too...
    - budget… let’s say $300 each? I never mind buying used…

    There’s so many! I saw some JCK Kagayaki and Konayuki and also some Takamura Migaki.

    Thanks much! - Ralph in Colorado
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  2. Sep 29, 2019 #2

    Eloh

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    I would try takamura ryusen or sukenari. I personally have good experiences with the hap40 from sukenari.
     
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  3. Sep 29, 2019 #3
    I would talk to Jon of JKI.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2019 #4

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

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    Thanks - there's much to learn!

    My current guess is that for pinch-grip, then my big hands may fit a traditional Japanese handle ok, but for hammer grip I'm accustomed to Western. Most of the HAP40 / ZDP-189 / R2 knives I’m finding are Japanese-handled.

    At the moment I’m looking for suggestions of those steels that are well-executed in Western-handled. The Carbon Knife Co. in Denver is an hour away, so I ought to pay a visit.

    I’m also interested in my next chapter in sharpening. I enjoy pushing my own sense of craftsmanship, but like the idea of reliable guided sharpening.
     
  5. Oct 1, 2019 #5

    James

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    I would send a PM to Andrei Markin. He works with a few different types of PM steel. I'm expecting a gyuto petty set in m390 from him in the next few months.
     
  6. Oct 1, 2019 #6

    Eloh

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    There aren't a whole lot of options unfortunately.

    I would probably get the takamura pro or ryusen blazen, since they have a bit of tapered spine and are more middleweights and have great f&f. You also can find a kohetsu/kohsey western in hap40 wich is more laser-ish. You can also find pm steel western gyutos from tojiro, sabun and a few others.


    But yeah, you can also get a custom knife. I also got one by Andrei markin and he's a great guy to work with. I'm sure he would make you a knife you like.
     
  7. Oct 1, 2019 #7

    parbaked

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  8. Oct 16, 2019 #8

    adam92

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    +1takamura
     
  9. Oct 16, 2019 #9

    daddy yo yo

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    Man, you ask for advice at exactly the right time: https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/blazen-240mm-r2-gyuto.43694/

    Don't hesitate, the knife is stellar. I have one of these myself. You can find so much info on this knife, it has been around for soooooo long. And I would say it fits your requests just perfectly!

    I know you were asking for a ~200mm size, but as you have large hands, I'd get the 240 instead, as usually the handle is slimmer/smaller on a 210 size than on a 240 size. Also, most of us knife nerds settle with the 240 size...
     
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  10. Oct 16, 2019 #10

    Bcos17

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    +1 Takamura.
     
  11. Oct 16, 2019 #11

    LucasFur

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    Thanks bud! It would blow his socks off ...
    OP's call. No pressure.
     
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  12. Oct 16, 2019 #12

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

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    Hello, hello, hello! I love your input. Methinks that Takamura, Andrei Markin, Blazen, Sukenari would all be wonderful to own!

    I reckon my next step is to get my rear end to Carbon Knife Co in Denver. I'm always "busy" with a personal craftsman project, but maybe Saturday.

    I'm actually knife shopping for two kitchens... one kitchen is large and the other teeny, and I'll surely learn from one set and make course adjustments for another. So maybe four or five knives in my future, fun, fun!

    In other news (get ready to cringe. are you ready?), I bought an old model but hardly used EdgePro Pro: https://tinyurl.com/y3k43tkm (you were warned!) I'm a fan of hand craftsmanship, but also a fan of proper jigging. We'll see! I'm reshaping someone's broken knife now, so can practice with abandon!
     
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  13. Oct 21, 2019 #13

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

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    Visited the Carbon candy store this weekend. While there are many fine steels, they had three makers using powdered: Gihei HAP40, Takamura and Sabita in R2. Asking about grinds for food release, I took the sales bait about the flat-to-convex grind of the Takamura.

    A leading contender was the Takamura Hana R2 with the funkier Western-Wa hybrid handle. It filled my long slender-fingered hands ok, tho with a smoothness that might not be great with wet hands. They had a 165 Santoku Hana there to handle. Although the budget red Takamura Migaki might cut the same, I thought that the jewelry Damascus pattern would hide scratches better. My impression of either with the impregnated Pakka wood veneer is that it might not age well? Of course if I went with a traditional Wa handle there would be more choices.

    Finding a 210 Takamura Hana R2 will take some patience? So there isn’t a need to completely decide yet. Another one that keep perking curiosity is Saji R2 costing even more with an even more rounded handle and squared bolster for unknown pinch grip feel. (Hmm ???)

    And then for the teeny galley kitchen, I’m wondering about asking Andrei Markin for a few shorter ones maybe in M390, perhaps 180mm, 165 and 130, with enough heel for my hands. A question would be what handle shape and material would age well?

    Or maybe just start Andrei on a 210 for my regular kitchen instead of the Hana? :) His unique work is cool!
     
  14. Oct 21, 2019 #14

    inferno

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    Kurosaki does r2 really well. imo. also japanesechefsknife.com has their house brand in both western and japanese handles. i have a vortex damascus r2 santoku and its kick ass imo. it basically wedges itself into my board on every cut...

    also akifusa is stainless clad srs15. its another stainless powder hss like r2, not much difference in real life between these 2 steels imo. both are much tougher than one might think. still mode of dulling is by microchipping. and it is what it is. takes and holds a killer edge too imo 4k for both of these is a good stopping point. they respond up to this as opposed to crapola SS.
     
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  15. Oct 21, 2019 #15

    MrHiggins

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    I really liked my Sukenari Hap40, too.
     
  16. Oct 21, 2019 #16

    ralpheburns

    ralpheburns

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    Ahh, choices only if I bust away from Western-handled, hmm... If I did that I might try for Yoshida or Sukenari ZDP-189.... just because I've had that in (softer) folders and loved it!
     
  17. Oct 22, 2019 #17

    Qapla'

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    They absolutely exist with Western handles.

    Western ZDP-189:
    https://www.akifusa.com/products/ohishi/ohishi-zdp189/
    https://www.**************.com/kazdgy21.html

    Western HAP40:
    https://www.**************.com/kohawehakn.html

    Western R2:
    https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/collections/blazen/products/blazen-ryu-210mm-gyuto
    https://www.**************.com/takamura3.html
    https://www.akifusa.com/products/ohishi/ohishi-classic-powder-metal-damascus/
     
  18. Oct 22, 2019 #18

    SeattleBen

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    I believe epicurean edge also carries the Akifusa with a western handle as well as Ai and Om.
     

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