R2 gyuto as daily driver?

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

Nemo

Staff member
Global Moderators
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
4,995
Reaction score
1,069
Location
Southern NSW (Aus)
Thanks for answering stupid questions! On maximum sharpness, I guess you're saying good heat treatment on a R2 can get them to the same sharpness but otherwise a carbon steel blade could get sharper and it's not just a function of hardness?
Not really. Most of the R2 heat treatment is done Ex-factory I believe.

A well heat treated white2 (most non PM steels will be heat treated by the smith) blade will hold a more acute angle than an SG2 blade. The limiting factor for SG2 is that its (numerous) carbides will be pulled out during sharpening at a less acute angle than white2 with its few (mainly iron) carbides. A micro-bevel often helps here.

As long as the white2 has enough hardness to prevent the edge rolling before it reaches this angle (it will if properly heat treated), it will sustain a more acute angle.

Once you get to the pointy end (pun kinda intended) of makinggood knives, you gotta choose between ultimate sharpness and ultimate edge retention. The limiting factor for PM knives is that carbide volume limits your sharpening angle. The limiting factor for simple steels is that lack of carbides limist abrasion resistance.

Final point-the sharpness achievable with SG2 is orders of magnitude better than any common Western stainless knife (due to smaller grain size and adequate hardness to prevent the ege from rolling) and more than enough for kitchen use. You don't see too many SG2 straight razors, though.
 

josemartinlopez

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
270
Reaction score
60
Location
Singapore
Once you get to the pointy end (pun kinda intended) of makinggood knives, you gotta choose between ultimate sharpness and ultimate edge retention. The limiting factor for PM knives is that carbide volume limits your sharpening angle. The limiting factor for simple steels is that lack of carbides limist abrasion resistance.

Final point-the sharpness achievable with SG2 is orders of magnitude better than any common Western stainless knife (due to smaller grain size and adequate hardness to prevent the ege from rolling) and more than enough for kitchen use. You don't see too many SG2 straight razors, though.
Thanks for an excellent answer to a stupid question! I think this wonderfully sums up in the "daily driver" context of the question.
 

Nemo

Staff member
Global Moderators
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
4,995
Reaction score
1,069
Location
Southern NSW (Aus)
I should also point out that higher carbide volume tends to decrease toughness although the ralatinship is comples and certainly is also affected by tempering, hardness and grain size.
 

LucasFur

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
894
Reaction score
238
Location
Toronto, On
I've shaven my face with a takamura R2... gets pretty sharp.

R2 is my steel of choice and I think is somewhat under-rated. And is really more ideally suited to western kitchens ... also because when people use it they don't seek out a better steel, they might even retire from kkf after purchasing a good R2 blade 😂.
 

G8trwood

Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2019
Messages
16
Reaction score
2
Location
St Augustine
I have an old Blazen (0o-05?) and a Kagero western. The Blazen is a much lighter knife with a slimmer handle. They are both beautifully finished. I much prefer the weight of the Blazen. The steels seem similar to me and both are easy to sharpen. The grind on the Kagero has better food release. I had problems with micro chipping early (Blazen) but found that regular touch ups eliminated that problem. Now for that one drop on a tile floor..........

Great edge retention on both. I’m old and I like a lighter knife. Both make short work on veg
 

dafox

Supporting Member
Joined
May 27, 2017
Messages
1,312
Reaction score
375
Location
Colorado
I've shaven my face with a takamura R2... gets pretty sharp.

R2 is my steel of choice and I think is somewhat under-rated. And is really more ideally suited to western kitchens ... also because when people use it they don't seek out a better steel, they might even retire from kkf after purchasing a good R2 blade 😂.
What kind of edge do you like on your R2's, Takamura R2?
 

LucasFur

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
894
Reaction score
238
Location
Toronto, On
For shaving? I go to chromox / .5micron.
In the kitchen my preference is 2-4K.

I do love the core steel, but I also like sharpening so right now they don't get much use. I fully believe when I leave knives the R2 blades will be daily drivers.

I have several R2 blades also.
Shiraki R2
Mr itou R2
Shiro kamo R2
Takamura uchi&red Handle R2
Sold a blazen R2.

Missing a few makers, but really don't feel like I'm missing out on anything really. Tanaka R2/ Sukenari R2/ myabi R2 / shibata R2 ... etc.

People that have left after buying R2 ... can't really think of any, there were a few over the years I remeber just not participating after buying some specific blades, often powdered steel stainless blades.
 

LucasFur

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
894
Reaction score
238
Location
Toronto, On
Shiraki R2 - its a KNS special, shiraki did 2 R2 blades before retirement from my understanding. Steel is defiantly heat treated for easier sharpening, not quite ginsan level, but noticeably easier than others. Edge retention havent played with much, really i polished this knife into a mirror then back to a katsumi, tried to sell, nobody is biting because nobody knows what it is as far as i can tell. Im happy to keep it none the less.
Mr itou R2 - wifes, grind isnt even righty bias and wife is lefty, Heat treat is very good. damascus has texture will probably thin it out and fix that in the next 6 months or so. she loves it. Purple handle, with deep damascus. for me the balance is off, im sure i would get use to it though. Looses initial edge a little faster than the others on this list, but still keeps that keen edge moderatly long. edge geometry has alot to play with this.
Shiro kamo R2 - a daily driver - when i want stainless. - Damascus needed some work, grind is very good after i get use to it a little, has a small wide bevel in the grind, then a concave anti-stick portion above, with kinda a "takeda" shoulder. i think this is how alot of super tall blades are ground. edge retention is the best of the lot, the steel i think is also hardened the most .. so a little more work ... but really ideal for what i want the knife for.
Takamura uchi&red Handle R2 - Taka's are great ... red handle is super thin ... maybe too thin. Uchi has that deep damascus again. I really only keep this knife as a show piece and take out when guests are over. its stainless so i dont worry too much. its an amazing damascus that gets alot of attention, and it is very similar to my other sakai blades, so i dont have toget use to it much. red-handles make all other knives look **** admitedly, but long sessions dont go that well. plus i prefer 240's ... im just use to the lenght and where my hands should be. wife also bought this knife for me for my 25th birthday, so it has some sentemental value there, and it was one of the first couple blades that really captivated my heart when i started.

Why i sold:
blazen R2. - Sold because i got it on trade. and the cladding started to scratch after washing. i figured it would be best to sell before the scratching became deeper, wanted to retain as much value as i could ... i didnt want to keep all the blades above, and this. it was a total performer .... but im constantly trying to pair down the collection. (hence even trying to sell the shiraki above) (itou couldnt sell becuase its wifes/ kamo because i want to have a knife to learn with play with damascus more/ takamura uchi has sentemental value and was a first love ... the blazen had no real "place" and i want to try other things. Im really not missing out on anything performance wise with the collection i have above. Remember in a home kitchen an R2 edge will last a stupidly long time ... your lucky to waste maybe 0.1mm-0.2mm-0.3mm / year maybe being moderately conservative with sharpening, just putting an edge on. lets say blade life is between 5-7mm off the heal. ... your looking at 5-10years of use (which i would argue is the professional life span of a knife daily sharpened, Nvm home use ... still ... i have 10-30 years of R2 daily use in the collection above. I can probably use 1 for my life if im honest .... so thats why i sold.
 

dafox

Supporting Member
Joined
May 27, 2017
Messages
1,312
Reaction score
375
Location
Colorado
Shiraki R2 - its a KNS special, shiraki did 2 R2 blades before retirement from my understanding. Steel is defiantly heat treated for easier sharpening, not quite ginsan level, but noticeably easier than others. Edge retention havent played with much, really i polished this knife into a mirror then back to a katsumi, tried to sell, nobody is biting because nobody knows what it is as far as i can tell. Im happy to keep it none the less.
Mr itou R2 - wifes, grind isnt even righty bias and wife is lefty, Heat treat is very good. damascus has texture will probably thin it out and fix that in the next 6 months or so. she loves it. Purple handle, with deep damascus. for me the balance is off, im sure i would get use to it though. Looses initial edge a little faster than the others on this list, but still keeps that keen edge moderatly long. edge geometry has alot to play with this.
Shiro kamo R2 - a daily driver - when i want stainless. - Damascus needed some work, grind is very good after i get use to it a little, has a small wide bevel in the grind, then a concave anti-stick portion above, with kinda a "takeda" shoulder. i think this is how alot of super tall blades are ground. edge retention is the best of the lot, the steel i think is also hardened the most .. so a little more work ... but really ideal for what i want the knife for.
Takamura uchi&red Handle R2 - Taka's are great ... red handle is super thin ... maybe too thin. Uchi has that deep damascus again. I really only keep this knife as a show piece and take out when guests are over. its stainless so i dont worry too much. its an amazing damascus that gets alot of attention, and it is very similar to my other sakai blades, so i dont have toget use to it much. red-handles make all other knives look **** admitedly, but long sessions dont go that well. plus i prefer 240's ... im just use to the lenght and where my hands should be. wife also bought this knife for me for my 25th birthday, so it has some sentemental value there, and it was one of the first couple blades that really captivated my heart when i started.

Why i sold:
blazen R2. - Sold because i got it on trade. and the cladding started to scratch after washing. i figured it would be best to sell before the scratching became deeper, wanted to retain as much value as i could ... i didnt want to keep all the blades above, and this. it was a total performer .... but im constantly trying to pair down the collection. (hence even trying to sell the shiraki above) (itou couldnt sell becuase its wifes/ kamo because i want to have a knife to learn with play with damascus more/ takamura uchi has sentemental value and was a first love ... the blazen had no real "place" and i want to try other things. Im really not missing out on anything performance wise with the collection i have above. Remember in a home kitchen an R2 edge will last a stupidly long time ... your lucky to waste maybe 0.1mm-0.2mm-0.3mm / year maybe being moderately conservative with sharpening, just putting an edge on. lets say blade life is between 5-7mm off the heal. ... your looking at 5-10years of use (which i would argue is the professional life span of a knife daily sharpened, Nvm home use ... still ... i have 10-30 years of R2 daily use in the collection above. I can probably use 1 for my life if im honest .... so thats why i sold.
Thank you for the write-up!
 

josemartinlopez

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
270
Reaction score
60
Location
Singapore
itou couldnt sell becuase its wifes/ kamo because i want to have a knife to learn with play with damascus more
Why did your wife keep itou and why would you sell it if your wife was not keeping it? Looks like your daily knife is the shiro kamo and you kept the takamura as a "showpiece" knife?
 
Top