Review: Sukenari AS 225mm Gyuto

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jedy617

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Reading this thread gave me brain damage. Regardless, nice review. Handled my friends HAP40 Sukenari hairline and really enjoyed it. Been searching for an aogami super damascus from them, would love to try one out someday.

Anyway, love my Sukenari, great do it all knife with excellent heat treatment and finishing, perfect size as well. I don't buy a knife for the out of the box edge or ability to push cut a certain way. I want good steel, heat treated well, with a good thin grind behind the edge, and good fit and finish.

sukenari3.jpg
 
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I have read all your comments. I’m replying to all of them in general. I’m simply quoting this one for ease… You sound like a pretentious little brat. As if you were a rich teenager whose daddy had a knife collection and showed you a few things and you went off to show the world how great you are. Sad thing is you are probably a grown man, but I can only hope that you are an adolescent, because your comments would make much more sense then. The people in this thread were actually quite patient with you, despite your spoiled brat antics. The things you have commented on make no sense. You also said stuff like “I don’t sharpen.”, yet you want to run your mouth like you are sone type of guru. Even hard steel knives will need sharpening, not that it should even need to be mentioned. Also you made the pretentious statement that people round here only use 58-62 hrc, which is absolutely ridiculous. The collections that people have around here the majority have used and owned knifes harder than that. And your approach as hrc is the end all be all of a knife is ridiculous. Also acting like everyone is going around “modifying” their knifes, and of course, your push cutting rant. Also your continual drop of you talking to Japanese people about knives touting yourself as superior in knowledge, when you don’t even seem to know the basics is hilarious. You remind me of this punk kid I worked with who had a few knifes from Japan when he visited. The kid couldn’t sharpen them properly, so they had become super thick behind the edge. He didn’t even know what type of steel his knives were yet he pretentiously told me his knives were better than mine, because he scoffingly said I got mine on the internet so they couldn’t be that great. You might want to talk to your Japanese friends about sone humility and knowing what the h$&@ you are talking about, before running your mouth. It’s not wrong to have a difference of opinion, but the way you ignorantly ran your mouth is just foolish.
Funny, I actually did the most mature thing I could think of which was walk. Now yall want to kick me? I realized I wasn't going get anywhere, you guys are literally taking turn at taking shots at me. So I'm not allowed to read Japanese apparels and interviews on knives? Do I have to come here and conform to your beliefs to be a person that "makes sense"? Are going to escalate from here or are we going to walk? You call me an adolescent yet your the one dumping. You want to start hooking four letter words like Crenshaw BLVD? BE MY Guest. This "discussion" ceased to be informative, it's now tuned into a 7 on 1. Sorry I wasn't around to entertain, I had other things to do. But if your a true gentlemen then try to PM me instead of calling me names out here. Stay Classy.
 

ModRQC

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Pretty unbelievable.

I didn't call you any name, first and foremost. Until the post you just linked I don't think anyone did.

You know in some cultures, owning up to the mistakes you've made is being a man, and "walking away" not listening nor answering any argument made to you is being childish. Just saying...
 

Nemo

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Maybe we will get this thread back on topic, thanks.
 

rmrf

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Following my last review came a comment from a good KKF member who found himself in doubt about my specs behind the edge (the 1mm BTE measurement precisely). In his sense, mine were too low. He said this from an understandable perspective: more than a few knives I tried he also tried, and also took measurements of. His seemed to consistently be about 0.1mm thicker.

Now, anyone not interested in such a discussion as it arises here can immediately skip to the real Sukenari foreword following the asterisks.

Convergence is always an interesting happenstance of life. As this member made that comment, I had the present Sukenari on its way from KnS, and I had my former Hitohira Tanaka Yohei slowly making its way to its new owner in UK. Indeed, I first started to report BTE measurements when I introduced the specs grid in December 2020 for the consecutive reviews of two knives I had bought at the same time from the same vendor: one a Kawamura Y. Tanaka W#1, one a Sukenari SG2.

https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/review-kawamura-y-tanaka-gyuto.50849/

https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/review-sukenari-sg2-k-tip.50893/

I can clearly remember for the Kawamura review that I wanted to explain how measurements were taken for the sakes of transparency. Then I had told myself: “No one will care about all this – it just gives a ballpark”. So I went with a few precisions underneath the specs grid instead. You can see those in the reviews above, but even that I eventually dismissed at one point, for about the same reasons I had discarded a full explanation of the specs grid when I introduced it.

Now I think is time for me to lay down a few things about my measurements – precisely for sakes of transparency. I’m not trying to prove a point. He may be right, and everybody may think I’m doing this wrong after this, but I’d rather stick with my ways of measuring since these have now covered quite a few blades from quite a few makers – so they are consistent across all reviews for sure. I also have a few reasons to believe my caliper is quite alright with most measurements, cheap as it is.


Une image vaut mille mots – so there you are for the most sensitive measurement:

View attachment 138009


What I do is really simple and was devised in a way that would work for all knives AND would always represent an equal distance from the apex. Back when I started taking these measurements, my Masahiro VC was my most consistent example of a very wide edge bevel on the cutting side for an asymmetrical knife, and it was about 1.5mm wide. And that was from my sharpening, a bit wider than it actually came OOTB. As for the typically symmetrical, typically thin enough knife, the edge bevel would tend to keep around 0.5mm wide. Conclusion: 1.5mm from the apex would work with most knives, and would really represent 1mm above the edge in 95% cases of what I get to review.

I liked that better than the alternative: always measuring 1mm above the edge bevel however wide it is. My problem with that is that any asymmetrical knife with an acute edge bevel on the cutting side would present with thicker BTE specs than how it would feel in cut and how it would really compare with symmetrical knives there.

Obviously, 5mm up the edge became 6.5mm from the apex, and 10mm up became 11.5mm from the apex. From there, I always take 2-3 measurements at each point, and just went with a formula that would always relativize my measurements – even when we’re talking 0.1mm increments. So if a heel height is 46.74mm, I will use 46 in the grid; and if a spine is 3.28mm thick, I’ll make it 3.2; but if a 10mm to tip measurement is 0.83mm thick, I’ll make it 0.9mm… The main idea is to keep things conservative rather than ideal.

When BTE measurements are very low, like in the 0.05mm ballpark, the caliper does go bonkers, and that’s when I use <0.1mm. Perhaps those would really be 0.1mm, and 0.1mm would really be 0.2mm with a better caliper. Then again, probably not so much.

All this doesn’t necessarily explain why my BTE measurements would be lower. Well… I don’t think they are problematic in the slightest. Merely logical: if you look at a Yoshikane choil for example and tell me it’s impossible that the last couple millimeters to the apex can’t be 0.1mm thick… I’ll beg to disagree. You could use a choil shot as a scale, marking the point where it is 1mm thick beforehand so it’s visible in the shot, and even the naked eye would easily discern that the immediately BTE segment fits at least ten times in the 1mm thick segment. Many knives however are a bit thicker at the very heel, hence why I use measurements at Heel + 10mm in the grid.

Also, I am not the only one reporting such measurements for known thin BTE knives. On the other hand, one of the arguments laid out to me was that in that member’s experience, 0.1mm and thinner made for brittle edges. Indeed, as you’ll poke about this forum, you will see a LOT of reports of real thin BTE knives like Yoshikane, Takamura and such to have chipping tendencies. There are other factors into play in a chippy OOTB edge, steel being one and quick belt sharpening another for example, but all in all I can’t see how the chipping argument would prove my specs wrong – on the contrary.

So out of anything much to improve with this system in my mind, I still decided that I should just give an average for BTE measurements from now on, unless a unit presents with interesting taper there from heel to tip – seldom really do. Otherwise, it really is just indicative like a simple choil shot is, and the ballpark average should suffice.

I really loved your description of how you measured BTE thickness! I always have the suspicion that comparing different people's BTE measurements was a load of hooey but what do I know. Anyways, any measurement on a caliper is like +/- 0.03 mm and measurements on the lower end are often problematic. I remember learning that you have to be pretty skilled to get within that threshold. I forget if its easy to get within 2 or 3 thou. I do remember that if you drop your calipers, you might as well throw them away.

If I were you and I wanted to get consistancy in measurements at this high precision, I would look for a set of micrometers. The conventional flat faced ones would probably work, but I think there are also ones with needles on the pads so you can really see where you're measuring. I never used those, however. I think they are harder to use because you need to get the angle just right where the flat faced ones are sort of self-adjusting.

A machinist would undoubtedly be more qualified than me to advise you and there's probably a few on this forum somewhere...

In general, I really love your reviews. I was looking into sukenari for a while but I think you convinced me to wait. I am only starting to appreciate grind now that I f***ed up thinning my own knives 😂 I would ruin the grind and not have enough metal to fix it 🤣

poor @ModRQC
just want to say your detailed reviews are very helpful especially to newbies and I appreciate both you and your posts

unrelated picture:
View attachment 153428

Whew, even when I know this curve exists I still fall into the trap. I look forward to gaining confidence. But to paraphrase Feymann, there's always more room at the bottom!
 

M1k3

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Yea, it's funny. If you view the forum on Safari on iOS, signatures don't appear in portrait mode, but they do in landscape.
Same with Chrome on Android. And pictures always load... :dancingchicken:

But if you use the 'Request Desktop Site' option it'll always show.
 

Nemo

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This was an interesting review. Thanks.

I've had my Sukenari AS 240mm (not a K-tip) for a year and a bit.

I bought it with a handle upgrade- a heart shaped ringed gidgee handle with KnS's new tapered ferrule. I immediately fell for the knife because of the handle . The handle is very nice to hold, kinda just "fitting" perfectly in the hand. It's also absolutely stunning. One of my nicest handles (and I have some pretty good ones). A lot of handle for (IIRC) 200 odd bucks (over the basic KnS ebony).

As @ModRQC mentioned, the blade is not so nice to hold. If there was chamfering on the spine, it was pretty minor. The profile is reasonably flat but not Yoshikane flat. It's neither a super tall nor super short blade. The blade face was finished uniformly but fairly coarsely (maybe 4-600 grit?) And the coarse grind marks were very very prominent (but uniform) underneath. There is little taper to the spine.

I found the initial performance a little underwhelming. It struggled a bit in hard veg. Sharpening at circa 10 dps on Chosera 3k helped maybe a little but it still struggled a little in hard veg. Sharpening was very straight forward, although the steel felt harder on the stones than the Echizen AS I have used. A bit like the difference between a Wat and a Tanaka blue2. The edge was keen and retention was very good.

I decided to see how the Sukenari AS responded to thinning. I thinned on a Choserra 400, not a particularly coarse stone. I was surprised to raise a burr at my (blade flat to the stone) thinning angle fairly quickly. I can't recall exactly how many strokes but if it was more than 30, it wasn't many more. The thinning bevel was refined on Chosera 1k and 3k (I have had good experience with food release at Cho 3k on other knives) and sharpened at probably under 10dps on Chosera 3k.

The difference in performance was immediately apparent, with excellent performance in hard veg. The blade looked quite unevenly finished and I decided that I would fix that at the next Sharpening. I have used the knife as a daily driver for months, waiting for it to need sharpening. Unfortunately, every time it lost a tiny bit of keeness, this was immediately restored with a swipe or two over diamond loaded felt and this refreshed edge would last a week or so. This went on for a few months. Doubtless the best edge retention I have experienced in a carbon steel.

Last weekend, I finally decided that the stropping wasn't doing quite as good a job, so I decided to refinish and resharpen. I also took the opportunity to chamfer the spine and choil, which are now much more comfortable. The finish is a semi-mirror (p3000) which took about 90 minutes, including resharpening and chamfering. A full mirror would doubtless take several times as long and would probably result in worse food release.

My knife was quite usable out of the box but perhaps a bit under-thinned. I might have gotten a particularly thick version, perhaps? It was certainly thicker BTE than my Sukenari YXR7. It had a lot of untapped potential which was fortunately not that difficult to tap into. It was a smallish, but fun and very rewarding project.

The steel is great. I don't mind the Echizen AS but this at another level. A PM steel will stay sharp a bit longer but not THIS sharp. I've had no issues with chipping, even when thinned and sharpened at under 10 dps. Even skinning pumpkin.
 
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