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mengosmoothie

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Because it’s the best cutting performance of any knife I’ve ever used now including Kato. My local knifemaker who sells at a similar price level felt up the grind and said, “this guy is good. I can’t do something like this.” Also the 145SC steel afaik Raquin has all of it and is the only one who makes knives with it right now; this by itself doesn’t mean anything but it’s really good steel. Mizuno KS as an example cost just as much and cuts *almost* as well.
Thanks for sharing. It means a lot more when someone from within the trade praises a piece of work as GOOD.

Do you mind sharing a little about the grind? What exactly is special about the way Raquin does the forge shaping.

FWIW, this thread has been entertaining. I am a knife noob compared to everyone on the forum and has definitely got Raquin way up on my radar. Prior to this, I had never heard of him, so very happy I stumbled on this while in bed.
 

GorillaGrunt

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We don’t actually know - someone else on here probably has a better idea and of course Bryan himself is here. As far as Nate could tell it’s not as simple as just as S grind or hollow in the middle; convexity near the edge maybe, the narrow height of the wide bevels but done differently than current Takedas, ???
 

mengosmoothie

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We don’t actually know - someone else on here probably has a better idea and of course Bryan himself is here. As far as Nate could tell it’s not as simple as just as S grind or hollow in the middle; convexity near the edge maybe, the narrow height of the wide bevels but done differently than current Takedas, ???
Thanks, that really piques my interest. Hopefully we can get @bryan03 to share his secret sauce about his killer grind.
 

GorillaGrunt

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Also something I noticed the other day using it: it has as thin a tip as anything, Kato, Heiji, Mizuno, Martell, Tanaka — but it doesn’t feel at all fragile like some of those. Again I’m not sure why, stiffness, spine profile, some combination of factors.
 

pentryumf

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Also something I noticed the other day using it: it has as thin a tip as anything, Kato, Heiji, Mizuno, Martell, Tanaka — but it doesn’t feel at all fragile like some of those. Again I’m not sure why, stiffness, spine profile, some combination of factors.
I can concur, with your findings. I have a Xerxes in SC125, with a very thin tip, 0.5mm at 3mm from tip...
I bought a second hand Raquin as I await for my custom order from Bryan, hopefully arriving in a year or two....I hope!!
Bryan's work is superb, for its sublime simplicity and subtle specificity. I have only used the one and with a 0.7 at 3mm from tip it doesn't feel nearly as delicate as the Xerxes.
I do not judge anyone for liking one maker more than any other, to each their own.....However a Raquin is what I would suggest anyone try regardless of their preferences.....given their budget will allow it.;) it is worth it!
 
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Gregmega

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I can concur, with your findings. I have a Xerxes in SC125, with a very thin tip, 0.5mm at 3mm from tip...
I bought a second hand Raquin as I await for my custom order from Bryan, hopefully arriving in a year or two....I hope!!
Bryan's work is superb, for its sublime simplicity and subtle specificity. I have only used the one and with a 0.7 at 3mm from tip it doesn't feel nearly as delicate as the Xerxes.
I do not judge anyone for liking one maker more than any other, to each their own.....However a Raquin is what I would suggest anyone try regardless of their preferences.....given their budget will allow it.;) it is worth it!
the steel is second to none, tough as nails but the Xerxes is opposite in the finish- Bryan’s are more of the rustic vibe for sure.
 
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alterwisser

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I can concur, with your findings. I have a Xerxes in SC125, with a very thin tip, 0.5mm at 3mm from tip...
I bought a second hand Raquin as I await for my custom order from Bryan, hopefully arriving in a year or two....I hope!!
Bryan's work is superb, for its sublime simplicity and subtle specificity. I have only used the one and with a 0.7 at 3mm from tip it doesn't feel nearly as delicate as the Xerxes.
I do not judge anyone for liking one maker more than any other, to each their own.....However a Raquin is what I would suggest anyone try regardless of their preferences.....given their budget will allow it.;) it is worth it!
custom order with Raquin?

now there’s a Unicorn. Or maybe it’s a Fata Morgana 😜
 

zizirex

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I wish he open order for a custom, but even getting one from his release is almost impossible.
if there's one in BST it would be gone in 5 minutes.
 

madelinez

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If he opened for customs his queue would be 10 years long.
 

alterwisser

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AFAIK he doesn’t like customs ...

and if I were him I would never ever agree to make customs. He makes knives the way HE wants to make them and they always sell out right away. Why would he EVER take on the nightmare of making customs?

Making customs is a PITA because we (the customer) often are 😜😱
 

HSC /// Knives

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AFAIK he doesn’t like customs ...

and if I were him I would never ever agree to make customs. He makes knives the way HE wants to make them and they always sell out right away. Why would he EVER take on the nightmare of making customs?

Making customs is a PITA because we (the customer) often are 😜😱
one of the reasons I think it's useful to take a custom order is because it puts you in touch with the customer...note that I'm not suggesting those who don't take orders are out of touch.
 

alterwisser

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one of the reasons I think it's useful to take a custom order is because it puts you in touch with the customer...note that I'm not suggesting those who don't take orders are out of touch.
if I were a knife maker, I would do max 5 custom orders per year ....
 

alterwisser

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one of the reasons I think it's useful to take a custom order is because it puts you in touch with the customer...note that I'm not suggesting those who don't take orders are out of touch.
i think it really depends on the maker: some are good at being in touch with customers and WANT to be, while making few to no customs. Others make a lot of customs and are really bad at being in touch with customers. Like: AWFULLY bad (not naming names here lol).
 

HSC /// Knives

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i think it really depends on the maker: some are good at being in touch with customers and WANT to be, while making few to no customs. Others make a lot of customs and are really bad at being in touch with customers. Like: AWFULLY bad (not naming names here lol).
right, to clarify, I meant "in touch" with the customer's preferences and desires and specifications.
not so much in terms of communication.
Custom orders also can challenge you to do something different, increasing your skill set.
 

bryan03

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Last time someone asked me for a custom order it seems the guy never looked what I usually do...
It was like a Damascus stainless folding sujihiki with mammouth handle or something like that .

Or specs on demande like 58,64mm at heel and thickness control every 5mm at the shinogi
or the famous « sorry the blade is too small for me , I asked 243mm and it’s only 240mm , I want a full refund «

i stoped making kamisori custom because that , I don’t want to stop making kitchen knife .
So no custom order for the moment and since that I never wanted to kill someone 😂
 

ian

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Last time someone asked me for a custom order it seems the guy never looked what I usually do...
It was like a Damascus stainless folding sujihiki with mammouth handle or something like that .

Or specs on demande like 58,64mm at heel and thickness control every 5mm at the shinogi
or the famous « sorry the blade is too small for me , I asked 243mm and it’s only 240mm , I want a full refund «

i stoped making kamisori custom because that , I don’t want to stop making kitchen knife .
So no custom order for the moment and since that I never wanted to kill someone 😂
Have you thought of doing a deposit system, where we pay 50 euros or something to put our name on a list for one of your standard knives, and then you contact us when one is available, and we forfeit the deposit if we don’t follow through? Perhaps if the deposit was high enough it would be worth your while. I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that I’ll never get one of your knives otherwise.

I certainly understand that things work just fine from your perspective, though, and I’m sure you came up with the current system for a reason.
 

bryan03

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Yes I want to do something like that for a limited number , but now the situation is a bit complicated with the COVID thing...
I can’t works full time ( homeschooling for two
Kids , house works and so ...)
But I have good hope for September...
Will see .
 

ExistentialHero

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Yes I want to do something like that for a limited number , but now the situation is a bit complicated with the COVID thing...
I can’t works full time ( homeschooling for two
Kids , house works and so ...)
But I have good hope for September...
Will see .
You could sell knives for childcare, no problem. I'd do a week for a 270 gyuto :)
 

ian

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Same, as long as I can do it virtually.

Although if trading knives for childcare was really a thing right now, I’d have no knives left.... I’m so desperate.... 😭
 

alterwisser

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You could sell knives for childcare, no problem. I'd do a week for a 270 gyuto :)
you should “charge” way more!

a week of home schooling is equivalent to a full set of: Gyuto, Nakiri, Suji ....

if it’s more than one kid: a Paring or hunters knife for every additional child!
 

alterwisser

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right, to clarify, I meant "in touch" with the customer's preferences and desires and specifications.
not so much in terms of communication.
Custom orders also can challenge you to do something different, increasing your skill set.
Sorry, misunderstood...

not sure I fully agree though.... I think tastes, preferences and especially desires (oh yeah baby!) vary a lot from customer to customer
 

josemartinlopez

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Could I just ask why none of the Japanese masters have examined a Raquin (or the work of a similar god tier non-Japanese smith) or read threads like this, then made a knife that was even more legendary ancient swordsmith-like? I mean, you'd think the Japanese makers would have the advantage of the decades of tradition, pooled knowledge and family pride, plus a handful of cities with a knifemaking industry. Is it simply because the Japanese makers are businessmen too and there's a limit to the amount of time you can spend on a knife before it simply becomes unprofitable (in the same way your grandmother can afford to do things for Thanksgiving lunch that no restaurant could afford to)? Or might there be a Japanese Raquin out there who already has a waiting list of Japanese fans and has no need to make himself known to people outside?

I'm asking because I was intrigued by a very thoughtful message a member here sent me encouraging me to try a Raquin and others in a short list he sent. Same thoughts as this thread... clearly someone who had tried the very best on everyone's wish lists but still said the Raquin is up, up there.
 

Gregmega

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I think (Bryan May probably swoop in on this) it’s because he uses a very fundamental approach to knife making- the techniques he’s doing aren’t revelatory to smiths anywhere in the world, he just does simple things incredibly well. That statement doesn’t mean to oversimplify his work- instead to highlight the rustic and effective nature of his style. Simply put, Bryan makes kitchen tools for use. A lot of those techniques have already been practiced in Japan for generations. Other than materials, there’s not a huge break from the basic foundational knowledge shared by the craft the world over. Some people just make good stuff. Plus, you can’t swing a dead cat in Japan without hitting a remarkably talented crafts-person on so many levels, so inspiration in right out your front door.
 

Don Nguyen

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Here's my take - most makers don't charge enough.

I think Bryan's prices are extremely fair. When it comes to anything above $400, you're definitely hitting the point of diminishing return for performance. After that, hopefully hitting the minimum requirement for performance, you're paying for aesthetics, materials, uniqueness, name, and the maker's bills. Most of the more affordable "alternative" options out there for makers that aren't as well known, chances are they're hobbyists or they're newer. They're still learning, they don't have to pay all their expenses with what they make, and/or they simply can't command the higher price necessary to do it as a full-time thing. They might be making knives that are as good or even better than some of the bigger names out there, but they haven't built the reputation and trust that simply takes years of consistency.

Too many people look at specs on a knife and that's all they see. Simple blade, simple finish, simple handle - it must be cheap, right? Is that how you think of food? What about really well done nigiri? It's just some rice and fish. It's the same concept - refinement of taking those components and putting them together in one cohesive thing that works well. Honestly I love Bryan's aesthetic, because it's well done. The design, flow, visual balance - IMO it's less of what he's using, but what he's not using. It's very respectful that I can scroll through an entire feed of spectacular knives but I stop on a Raquin and immediately know it's his.
 

josemartinlopez

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Think anyone who has mastered something would know that the simplest example of that craft can deceptively be the most difficult to execute at the highest level. I just finished Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential", and one part talks about how deceptively difficult it can be to make a great but simple dish of just 3-4 ingredients. You can have 3-Michelin chefs demonstrating such dishes for home cooks, but you know there is some special sauce when they do it, right? Like the iPhone, simple design can be quite difficult to conceptualize!
 
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