Review: Myojin Riki Seisakucho

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I1.jpg


I was on the market for a 180mm Gyuto and had almost settled down on a Futana S3 Migaki with a super fine tip; but nothing fancy. Then the vendor carrying the Myojin had an event with an especially huge cutoff on it: even there it was not inexpensive, but it made much more sense to me. Trying one of Myojin’s grind was a nice prospect, and I had a certain curiosity towards all the hype surrounding this series, where I myself was not particularly enthusiastic. Curiosity and opportunity got the best of me in the end.

I2Hdl.jpg


My biggest apprehension really was that it’d be a rather soulless knife: Myojin grind on whatever it takes to sell. SG2, now so commonly everywhere that it’s getting difficult just to avoid it, was nothing to convince me to think otherwise. I’ve come to a healthy respect for the steel after like four iterations so far, but I still usually tend to skip it if I can.

I3Bl.jpg


I wasn’t so thrilled at first either, once I had it in hand. Not displeased but rather underwhelmed. The handle was tacky OOTB from I don’t know what excess ointment done to it – a phenomenon I’ve never experienced before. I’m also not a fan of blades that come with a lacquer, which I’ll tend to immediately remove because I don’t trust them with food. But I guess both could be construed as means of extra protection, and what can a guy say against that?

I4Oall.jpg


On the less acceptable side of things, there’s a thin layer of epoxy that seeped from the handle encroaching the neck on both sides, which can be seen in some pictures. On one side there was more of it, and consequently also a gap into the insert where too much had seeped out.

I5LSfin.jpg


All of this is really nothing much to fault the knife. Very neat and excessively groomed overall, not disparaging in its regular price class, and bound to please more than to deter as it comes.

I6RSOallFin.jpg


I removed the lacquer on the blade from the onset using acetone, then washed and buffed the handle until its tackiness was gone. Also had to sharpen the knife – an emergency case since it could not even cleanly cut printer paper OOTB, and made dire work of an onion. Not that I’m expecting brilliant OOTB edges as a general rule, but from Myojin I thought the general consensus was that they did arrive pretty sharp.

I7Lacq.jpg


Before moving on to more interesting points, specs grid:

MAKER/SERIES
Myojin Riki Seisakucho
TYPE & LENGTH
Gyuto 180mm
STEEL & BLADE
SG2 Stainless Clad
FINISH
Kasumi
WEIGHT / BALANCE
147g / 0
HANDLE MATERIAL
Wenge/Buffalo
TOTAL LENGTH​
320​
BLADE LENGTH​
191​
EDGE LENGTH​
176
HEIGHT AT HEEL​
45
HEIGHT AT MID BLADE​
39​
HEIGHT 35mm TO TIP​
28​
SPINE
THICKNESS
HEEL​
2.5
MID BLADE​
2.4​
35mm TO TIP​
2​
10mm TO TIP​
0.9
EDGE THICKNESS
@ 10 / 5 / 1mm over
Average
1 / 0.5 / 0.1
 
R1Start.jpg


The handle is admittedly a superb piece, the grain and pattern exceptional, and under the high-polish it still holds a nice texture just screaming to come more forward at once – or at least, in my ears it does: I prefer coarser finishes. Nevertheless a perfect showpiece of the wood and form (tapering octagonal that is) and that’s really the best I could ask for. Even made non tacky, it is still absolutely impervious to water or other degradation. I won’t make the obvious comment from there…

R4Handle.jpg


R2.jpg

Under the blade lacquer the full “Kasumi” looks lighter and more opaque at once. The gloss of the blade, obviously accented by the lacquer, is still unmistakable once the latter gets removed. There are rather coarse scratches that will more or less show under various lights and angles. The lacquer’s hue did help their camouflaging a little bit as well… making me think it’s not there for protection as much as cosmetics .

R3.jpg


Despite those scratches the polish is quite refined as demonstrated by the gloss. It doesn’t feel like them scratches at all to the touch, and ultimately won’t show them most of the time.

R5Crwn.jpg

Crowned spine and choil – impressive work.

R8Choil.jpg


R7Prof.jpg


The lack of spine taper until the grind hits the tip area might be a bit of a deception perhaps but the grind is aggressive enough to have it taper real fast from there to a rather fine enough tip. Wenge handle gives this one dead neutral balance: perfect size to the blade, neutrality fitting rather well with the spacious neck – there enhanced by the luxurious crowning – into a sure, satisfying grip with a blade just substantial enough to still come nicely forward, adding to the immediate accuracy from the compact size.

R6Tip.jpg


Leaving us with performance…

I was wary of what I’d find when getting to cut stuff with it, and surely the first attempt with the OOTB edge was nothing positive much, but mostly I wondered if the beveling would be too flat, the overall finish too polished, and the edge too brittle from how thin the grind is.

A bit surprising was finding a pretty solid edge there – nowhere brittle like all Yoshikane SKD-12 I had. I’m mostly a rather delicate user so I won’t swear it will sustain heavy stress… only that it’s not particularly problematic like we know some knives series to be. It does also seem unmoved yet of any more abuse I’m inclined to take it through.

And where I expected lots of sticking and a good deal of suction in some cases with the level of polish, what I got was rather seamless behavior with some slight sticking mostly easy to dislodge. There’s even a definite sense of food release overall –a discreet easiness into not being of much bother in that regard, if you will.

Quite laser-ish feel in cutting, but there’s some body and a nice presence behind it, although it’s a much more subtle one than Yoshikane, to establish that easy comparison again. I wouldn’t call myself immediately impressed by it, although it was really good (once sharp); it’s rather that it grew steadily on me as I tuned into its distinctive cutting feel and nice behavior.

Now let’s give some more attention towards geometry. Choil shots in this review have been somehow “displaced” to exemplify the crowned choil mostly. That’s because they are a bit of a liar where geometry is concerned, looking flatter and more wide bevel-ish than the grind actually is. Explanation probably being that indeed, the crowning tends to establish a crisper, straighter outline of it.

R9_Grind.jpg

These pictures might therefore bring a truer, more nuanced assessment home.

It’s been with me for more than three months now. It comes of use pretty regularly, although rather lightly in general. I’ve not had to sharpen it again yet, and you should feel/hear it cutting through fresh celery round side up… I recently put a lot of knives ”aside” for very possibly sending them all the BST way, and the Myojin made it through the rounds without much of any tergiversation.

I guess there’s nothing else to add to that – for now.

RzEnd.jpg


Be well folks!
 
I have the same knife and it’s really grown on me. My impressions are pretty similar to yours. I compare it to my Yoshikane a lot too - the Myojin feels more solid and less fragile overall, but you give up just a smidgen of the laser feel of the Yoshi. It’s a very worthwhile trade, imho, and I find myself reaching for it a lot more than the Yoshi just because it feels more worry-free.
 
Thank you for another excellent review, the grind looks just beautiful, looks more beefy than my Konosuke FM, which I wish was slightly thicker. Kind wonder how it would compare to Tetsujin and other more medium Myojin knives.
 
Thank you for another excellent review, the grind looks just beautiful, looks more beefy than my Konosuke FM, which I wish was slightly thicker. Kind wonder how it would compare to Tetsujin and other more medium Myojin knives.

It's a 2.5-2.6mm stock in the yield. I'd guess any FM to be as thick at the heel, or some. I woudn't pine so much would I own one.
 
awesome review.

i like mine a lot, but it's easier to say what i don't like:
  • i wish the profile were a little flatter (like a yoshikane)
  • the "SGII" stamp is ugly
  • a little too much sticktion, but i assume i could fix that if i dared to refinish it. never done something like that before.
  • why the hell would he put lacquer on a stainless blade? it was a one time annoyance, but really. your theory about it being for "shelf appeal" at the store is interesting. i guess it does give it a little extra luster and a creamier look.
so i guess i'm saying i think it's a pretty good knife.
 
Last edited:
awesome review.

i like mine a lot, but it's easier to say what i don't like:
  • a little too much sticktion, but i assume i could fix that if i dared to refinish it. never done something like that before.

I was really wary of that. Mine seems to be rather nicely behaved in that regard. Not that there isn’t a bit of it as I said in the review.

  • why the hell would he put lacquer on a stainless blade? it was a one time annoyance, but really. your theory about it being for "shelf appeal" at the store is interesting. i guess it does give it a little extra luster and a creamer look.
so i guess i'm saying i think it's a pretty good knife.
Lol my first draft of the review had me complaining about it - almost word for word what you said! 😂

Thanks! Some more nice extra flesh to the review.
 
View attachment 194778

I was on the market for a 180mm Gyuto and had almost settled down on a Futana S3 Migaki with a super fine tip; but nothing fancy. Then the vendor carrying the Myojin had an event with an especially huge cutoff on it: even there it was not inexpensive, but it made much more sense to me. Trying one of Myojin’s grind was a nice prospect, and I had a certain curiosity towards all the hype surrounding this series, where I myself was not particularly enthusiastic. Curiosity and opportunity got the best of me in the end.

View attachment 194779

My biggest apprehension really was that it’d be a rather soulless knife: Myojin grind on whatever it takes to sell. SG2, now so commonly everywhere that it’s getting difficult just to avoid it, was nothing to convince me to think otherwise. I’ve come to a healthy respect for the steel after like four iterations so far, but I still usually tend to skip it if I can.

View attachment 194780

I wasn’t so thrilled at first either, once I had it in hand. Not displeased but rather underwhelmed. The handle was tacky OOTB from I don’t know what excess ointment done to it – a phenomenon I’ve never experienced before. I’m also not a fan of blades that come with a lacquer, which I’ll tend to immediately remove because I don’t trust them with food. But I guess both could be construed as means of extra protection, and what can a guy say against that?

View attachment 194781

On the less acceptable side of things, there’s a thin layer of epoxy that seeped from the handle encroaching the neck on both sides, which can be seen in some pictures. On one side there was more of it, and consequently also a gap into the insert where too much had seeped out.

View attachment 194782

All of this is really nothing much to fault the knife. Very neat and excessively groomed overall, not disparaging in its regular price class, and bound to please more than to deter as it comes.

View attachment 194783

I removed the lacquer on the blade from the onset using acetone, then washed and buffed the handle until its tackiness was gone. Also had to sharpen the knife – an emergency case since it could not even cleanly cut printer paper OOTB, and made dire work of an onion. Not that I’m expecting brilliant OOTB edges as a general rule, but from Myojin I thought the general consensus was that they did arrive pretty sharp.

View attachment 194784

Before moving on to more interesting points, specs grid:

MAKER/SERIES
Myojin Riki Seisakucho
TYPE & LENGTH
Gyuto 180mm
STEEL & BLADE
SG2 Stainless Clad
FINISH
Kasumi
WEIGHT / BALANCE
147g / 0
HANDLE MATERIAL
Wenge/Buffalo
TOTAL LENGTH​
320​
BLADE LENGTH​
191​
EDGE LENGTH​
176
HEIGHT AT HEEL​
45
HEIGHT AT MID BLADE​
39​
HEIGHT 35mm TO TIP​
28​
SPINE
THICKNESS
HEEL​
2.5
MID BLADE​
2.4​
35mm TO TIP​
2​
10mm TO TIP​
0.9
EDGE THICKNESS
@ 10 / 5 / 1mm over
Average
1 / 0.5 / 0.1
 
I was surprised as well with the edge on my Nakagawa x Myojin, my Tetsugin came pretty sharp out of the box maybe a 7/10 so I expected the Nakagawa would be similar but it was at best a 5/10 and that’s being a little generous.
 
was there a thread about this knife where someone refinished it to reduce stiction? maybe i imagined it, but i can't find it now.
 
was there a thread about this knife where someone refinished it to reduce stiction? maybe i imagined it, but i can't find it now.
@tostadas published about such a project but I'm not sure it was the SG2.
I have not experienced stiction issues with any any of my Myojin SG2 (180, 210, 240). You might be thinking about this thread?
https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/...ance-when-cutting-due-to-kasumi-finish.56050/
In a number of my own projects I refinish to reduce drag, but not necessarily stiction. I briefly mentioned it in my Komorebi project linked below, and off the top of my head probably a Matsubara and Manaka I've had previously. You can probably search the posts for those because I can't remember when that was.
https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/review-hatsukokoro-komorebi-a-better-yoshikane.58728/
 

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