Review: Masakage Koishi Bunka 170mm with Aogami Super

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

Jul 23, 2021
Reaction score
Los Angeles
I'm a casual home cook, mostly Korean, Italian, Argentinian, and American food. Had a Tojiro DP set that needed updating. Got the Japanese knife itch and can't seem to stop researching.

Masakage Koishi AS Bunka 170mm

Purchased over: Nigara SG2 Kurouchi Tsuchime 180mm, Makoto Kurosaki SG2 180mm, Kato Nishiji Suminagashi 165mm, Kohetsu Blue#2 Kurouchi 170mm, Sakai Yakayuki AS Kurouchi Hammered 190mm

Why this was chosen: As my first handmade knife, I opted for something that seemed popular and well reviewed. I wanted to try a carbon knife and Aogami Super in particular.

The first 3 times of use, I cut myself twice and feel a slight tremble when I pick it up. Not because I don’t know how to hold a knife, although very possible, but because I’m scared of using it. It’s stupid sharp. I can't even feel it slice the onion, it just starts moving downward and next thing I know the cutting board stopped the motion. I had to adjust my technique, which until now was spent using force + speed. That's 10+ years of muscle memory, and it wasn't easy to override, but the 2 finger cuts definitely sped things up.

It’s lighter than I thought it would be. Maybe it's the kurouchi and badass k-tip. This knife just looks heavy. Then you pick it up and realize that the handle isn't too heavy at all, this is a pretty well balanced knife with a pinch grip. I’m used to using a Tojiro DP 210mm gyuto as my daily driver and wasn’t sure what 170mm would feel like, but it’s actually really fantastic. Although the handle has the wooden "grainy" feel to it, which might be better for grip, but I'm not a big fan yet.

Since it’s 47mm at the heel, it was an easy transition from my gyuto. A little easier to maneuver, can chop with ease, and is quick to sharpen. I haven’t used stones on it, but running it a few times on a leather strop with some compound gave it a really nice edge. Everything cuts so smoothly that I'm chopping and slicing way more than is necessary for any given meal. My wife, knowing I'm still smitten by this knife, told me she had a surprise for me and laid out the cutting board with vegetables that needed prepping.

I’m not crazy about the aesthetics. This is my first kurouchi and I know it tends to rub off, but I wanted to have one to see if it’ll grow on me. Fit and finish is pretty good but no one went out of their way to make it impeccable. The spine isn’t as rounded as I’d like. The grind is pretty decent. The patina is forming a little bit in the mid section. I like that it starts off with a thicker spine and it tapers into a very thin edge. The choil seems to be sharper on the right side than on the left? I might be tripping but the first joint in my middle finger feels it a lot more on the right hand than on the left. And I'm right handed.

All in all, for anyone looking for an overall great knife with kuroichi, I would recommend this one be a serious contender.