Recommend a stainless bunka

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MetricRG

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Canada



KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chefs knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
Bunka

Are you right or left handed?
Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
Japanese Handle

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
165mm/170mm

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
Yes

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
Aiming for less than $400CAD realistically, but could stretch up to $1,000CAD if it came with a good enough story to convince my wife :p



KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
Home

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
General veggie prep, slicing fruit, general meat prep (no bones)

What knife, if any, are you replacing?
Filling a gap between a 240mm gyuto and ~110mm petty

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
Pinch

What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)
Push, Slice, Drawing

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)

Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?
Love the look of hammered finishes, Damascus can be very beautiful as well (though I've seen some references to it interfering with food release??)

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
Balance a bit blade heavy, lighter knife overall, rounded spine/choil and general comfort for pinch grip

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?
Good food release, can be sharpened without master-level skills (willing to practice and improve), low reactivity

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
High edge retention, low chance of chipping when used with care (not going to hit bone or ice, not going to use glass or other horrible cutting surfaces)


KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
Yes

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes, but could definitely improve

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
Yes - happy to practice/learn

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
I have a series of water stones, exact grit unsure because I just moved and they're still in a box somewhere.



SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS
I have a sort of emergent tradition of getting a new knife each time we move and set up a new home, so looking for something that will last and be used regularly. Interested in a bunka because of the length and I just find the overall look really appealing.

I was looking at Kurosaki and Kato knives, but before pulling the trigger I figured I'd ask to see what people here might recommend. I'm a bit worried about what I don't know. Skimming the forums I've seen comments about 3rd party vendors selling poor examples of these smiths' work, somewhat hidden "gotchas" around whether a knife was rolled or hammer forged etc.
 

tostadas

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Yoshikane SKD is excellent


The teak handle is lighter than the default ebony if you want more forward balance.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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I have the Ittetsu X-Hammer from Sharp Knife Shop and it is a very nice knife but I don't see it listed any more. But they do have some other nice looking ones:


Might give them a call and pick their brains.
 

MetricRG

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Yoshikane SKD is excellent


The teak handle is lighter than the default ebony if you want more forward balance.
I don't see the teak as an option, just two versions of ebony. Am I missing something? Only downside here is I'd prefer a hammered finish because of the aesthetics, but overall a very strong contender indeed.
 

cawilson6072

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I really love my Blue #2 Nakiri from Kisuke Manaka. I don't know that I could part with $400 for a Bunka or Santoku, but I'll say that I didn't understand the relationship between grind and cutting performance until I used my Nakiri and this (albeit an ATS-34 bunka and not a Blue #2 Nakiri) grind at least looks similar in section views that I've seen. Maybe the story isn't quite good enough for $500 CAD. I feel like Chef's Edge was cheaper by a good bit.

 

tostadas

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I don't see the teak as an option, just two versions of ebony. Am I missing something? Only downside here is I'd prefer a hammered finish because of the aesthetics, but overall a very strong contender indeed.
It's available on their regular site knivesandstones.com.au. If it's an option you're interested in, I'd shoot them an email to inquire.
 

Cliff

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I have a Kamo R2 Bunka that fits the bill. I like the R2 -- stainless and it holds an edge a good, long while.
 

K.Bouldin

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Picked up one of these when they dropped, think they sold out in a day. Can say that it was surprisingly taller (5+mm) then the Aogami 2 version by him that I’ve had for a few years now.

That Isasmedjan/Jonas Johnsson posted above look fun!
 

Delat

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Here’s a nice one in BST

Also big thumbs-up to Yoshikane and Shiro Kamo mentions above. Kurosaki and Kato are also great knives in this price range.

Kurosaki, Kato, and Yoshikane are all very thin/light and will probably cut similarly - laserish or laser-adjacent. Shiro Kamo is more of a midweight and a bit tougher overall but won’t slice quite as effortlessly. Kamos are generally quite tall if you like that.

I own one of each except for Makoto (and my Kato is a petty, not a gyuto) and like them all; there’s no bad choices there, IMHO.
 

Delat

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Also I thought I saw a Yu Kurosaki on BST recently, you may want to check and see. They’re often out of stock these days.
 

MetricRG

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Thanks for all the recommendations.

The Yoshikane SKD is super tempting, and I'm in love with the look of the Kisuke Manaka styling. There's also something a bit romantic about him starting from raw materials. Definitely some thinking to do.
 

henkle

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Love my Makoto Kurosaki R2 bunka. Great F&F. Very light laser-like cutting.
 

cawilson6072

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Patience! You need to get on Isasmedjan/Jonas Johnsson's mailing list and wait for one of these to come up again
180 Bunka 14c28n
The price is in the same stratosphere as Kisuke Manaka, but this looks very cool and of a similar mentality. Broad out of the handle with a nice taper with a craftsman/rustic aesthetic. I agree with OP that there is something romantic about craftsmen who are producing in small batches and controlling the total aesthetic and performance from tip to hilt. Does anyone have one of these and can comment on whether the grind is asymmetric starting so far from the edge as it looks in that choil shot?
 

josemartinlopez

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Manaka ATS-34 is good stuff.
 
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