sansho's Knife Journey

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sansho

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i started with nice knives in 2017 when i got a gengetsu ss 240mm from jki. in an ocean of options, i probably bought it because it was being discussed here at the time. not that "famous, original version" that @daveb is always going on about, but awesome knife. truly. love everything about it including the chestnut handle. that knife was all i thought i needed until now.

idk what happened, but this summer, i started reading about knives online again. uh oh!
  1. shi.han petty A2 150mm: i knew i needed a petty, so i grabbed one here. just fell into my lap. basically didn't even know who shi.han was when i got it. dope knife, and i wouldn't mind trying one of his gyutos. but may eventually replace this petty with something else. maybe 180mm? maybe ground a bit thinner? i'd like to try a konosuke sanjo 180mm petty or some kind of takamura sg2/r2 180mm petty. also, the edge retention doesn't seem as good as my gengetsu, but it could be that family members just use it a lot more. i see them reach for it all the time. i think they dig the small size.
  2. Carter Funyun white1 225mm ("perfect model kitchen"): also from here. kind of for the heck of it. intended as an xmas gift to a family member. i'll let him play with it, and if he doesn't like it, i might sell it and get him something fully stainless/semi-stainless instead of just stainless clad with white core. i only cut up an onion with it, but it's a nice knife. maybe you're paying a lot for the name, but i can kinda see why he's famous. it's a real tall knife which also makes it pretty fun to use.
  3. Tanaka "Itadaki Serie" Gyuto 210mm white2: there are so many names in the knife world. i didn't know where to even start. after reading the forums daily since late july, i'm only now starting to feel familiar with the main ones. one that kept popping up was Yoshikazu Tanaka, so i grabbed one of his more accessible offerings from miura. my first knife that wasn't at least semi-stainless in some way. boy is it reactive. i enjoy using it. nothing fancy. i liked it enough to consider trying a higher end offering from him. i'll probably eventually sell this, and someone will get a real cheap tanaka to play with.
  4. Yoshikane SKD Nashiji Gyuto 240mm: the slightly less expensive (but seemingly identical) Hatsukokoro variant from K&S. a gift for a friend, so i resisted the urge to use it beyond a couple of test cuts. very nice! i think however putting an ebony handle on a thin-ish blade like this is possibly a poor choice, or at least not for me. makes the knife seem heavier than necessary, and the balance is too far back for my taste. but it sure looks nice. feels nice too aside from the fact that you can kinda feel the metal spacer (not flush with the handle). aside from the added weight from the handle, it reminds me A LOT of my ss gengetsu. in fact, i would have no problem replacing my gengetsu with some flavor of yoshi skd if it ever got stolen or something. actually, scratch that, i want to get one regardless. i think my favorite variants are the tosho konosuke sanjo followed by the konosuke ys/ys-m. this was actually going to be my next knife buy (was trying to patiently wait for a sale or something), but then other things happened...
  5. konosuke hd gyuto 240mm: i needed a gift for another friend who did me a huge favor, so i lucked out and found one here at a good price. this thing is very nice. now i see why the HD/HD2 line is so popular. after playing with it, i almost want to keep it or give it to a family member and get him something else. sheesh.
  6. Hitohira Tanaka x Kyuzo Blue #1 Stainless Clad Gyuto 240mm: grabbed it here. it's originally from carbon, i guess. people were poo-pooing it a little in the knife findings thread. generated a lot of discussion, but maybe the main complaint is that it's too expensive for what it is. or some people don't like wide bevels. whatever. it checks a lot of boxes for me, and it looks sweet af. couldn't resist trying it. i look forward to receiving it soon.
  7. Naohito Myojin SG2 Gyuto 240mm: managed to snag this from K&S tonight. really descending into degeneracy now with this impulse buy. between the tanaka x kyuzo and this, i might only keep one of them.

other knives i've used (surprisingly found them in a box of crap at my parents'):
  • wusthof classic 8" chef's knife: haven't used it enough to form an opinion. seems ok. i sharpened it up and abandoned it at our summer home.
  • Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8" Chef's Knife: this is my beater knife. not bad at all! sharpens easily and has decent edge retention. not great food release. i made a cardboard saya for it and bring it places with me like when i'm visiting friends with no sharp knives.
  • some kind of made-in-germany SS 200mm cleaver: dunno who makes it because the logo is too worn. i might post a picture and ask later. the heft of it is fun. i'm glad i got a free opportunity to try a cleaver. the edge retention sucks too much to keep it in rotation though.

so that's my "journey" of impulsively buying 7 knives in a few months. i hope you enjoyed this noob's perspective on the hobby.



PXL_20211029_073522514.jpg

(gengetsu ss 240mm, shi.han petty a2 150mm, carter perfect model kitchen 225mm (oiled in plastic wrap until xmas), tanaka 210mm, kono hd 240mm, victorinox 8" travel beater, SS germany cleaver)
 

sansho

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PXL_20211029_073728709.jpg


bonus shot of my victorinox fibrox travel beater in deluxe saya.
i plan to start making and selling these. can probably make them in any size starting at around $30*. get with me after this if you're interested.

* discount available for working cooks
 

Jovidah

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I don't think Takamura makes the R2 series in 180mm petty form... the sizes in that series are pretty limited. It's mostly the 'regular home sizes'; they don't even offer a 240 gyuto!

My Miura Itadaki had the same massive reactivity. Settled down a lot after it got a patina to the point that it's not an issue at all, but that thing basically rusted in front of my eyes when I first got it. I guess part of the problem is also that my blade wiping habbits are frankly quite lacking, since up until then I mostly used monosteels and stainless clad knives that were all far more forgiving. I'm really curious to hear how the cutting performance compares to his more expensive options.

You'd have to ask James about the exact weight differences on the K&S handles but I think the teak handles don't have this weight issue. Never noticed it on mine, so I assume it's lighter. I agree that no matter how nice fancy ebony handles might look I'm not necessarily looking for them; ho handles might be simple but I like how light they are and what they do for a knife's balance.
 

MowgFace

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Great collection! Nice variation. Looks like you just need a bread knife, Suji and parer!

Would love to hear how you feel about the Carter. So much praise for many years, then as he started up his apprenticeship line, a lot less talked about these days. Except for his business model haha.
 

sansho

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I don't think Takamura makes the R2 series in 180mm petty form... the sizes in that series are pretty limited. It's mostly the 'regular home sizes'; they don't even offer a 240 gyuto!

yeah, i see what you're saying. i guess i got it mixed up with their sg2 180mm gyuto offering(s)... which actually might not be bad to try. maybe i'd like that extra height anyway instead of a petty.

Would love to hear how you feel about the Carter. So much praise for many years, then as he started up his apprenticeship line, a lot less talked about these days. Except for his business model haha.

i'll have a chance to play with it more after it gets publicly gifted at xmas.
 

sansho

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ho handles might be simple but I like how light they are and what they do for a knife's balance.

i agree, ho is nice. interesting to see some different styles also.
i've used crappy ones (with plastic ferrules that keep coming loose) on cheaper japanese knives in the past.

this Miura Itadaki was the first nicer one i've used. i don't think my horn ferrule is 100% flush, so perhaps not "deluxe". but nicer materials and fit. mine's rough finished. interesting how it has that exposed fiber feel without feeling dangerous or splintery. instead, it feels kinda soft and pleasant. the fibers do give good grip wet or dry.

the ho handle on the kono hd is the best example i've tried yet. smooth finished with relatively sharp edges. black horn ferrule is tasteful and classy (and actually flush with handle). this one was also a used knife, and i think ho wood ages well. i thought it had been oiled at some point in the past, but now i think it's actually just hand oils and a bit of grime. really just a tasteful handle that continues looking good over time with normal wear and tear.
 

Jovidah

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this Miura Itadaki was the first nicer one i've used. i don't think my horn ferrule is 100% flush, so perhaps not "deluxe". but nicer materials and fit. mine's rough finished. interesting how it has that exposed fiber feel without feeling dangerous or splintery. instead, it feels kinda soft and pleasant. the fibers do give good grip wet or dry.
On the Itadaki I actually reall like the blade finish. The somewhat coarse-ish longitudinal finish is a great work finish that doesn't really show scratches in a way most more polished finishes do. It's one of the few knives I've actually used the scouring side of my sponges on, and it doesn't show at all (unlike on most other knives I did that on).

Handle finish I'd describe as 'on the smoother side, but not over-polished'. My Masamoto handle actually has a really course fiber-ish finish. At first I thought it was just... cheap and crappy, and maybe it is, but I have to admit it's my most grippy wa handle. From a functional perspective it's better.
 

sansho

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On the Itadaki I actually reall like the blade finish. The somewhat coarse-ish longitudinal finish is a great work finish that doesn't really show scratches in a way most more polished finishes do. It's one of the few knives I've actually used the scouring side of my sponges on, and it doesn't show at all (unlike on most other knives I did that on).

Handle finish I'd describe as 'on the smoother side, but not over-polished'. My Masamoto handle actually has a really course fiber-ish finish. At first I thought it was just... cheap and crappy, and maybe it is, but I have to admit it's my most grippy wa handle. From a functional perspective it's better.

haha. the finish on mine is kinda all scratched up. someone got to it with a green scotch-brite scrubber. they couldn't handle the patina, i guess. lol

i sort of want to get a medium grit rust eraser thing and experiment on that knife. maybe improve the finish a little with minimum effort.
 

Rotivator

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i started with nice knives in 2017 when i got a gengetsu ss 240mm from jki. in an ocean of options, i probably bought it because it was being discussed here at the time. not that "famous, original version" that @daveb is always going on about, but awesome knife. truly. love everything about it including the chestnut handle. that knife was all i thought i needed until now.

idk what happened, but this summer, i started reading about knives online again. uh oh!
  1. shi.han petty A2 150mm: i knew i needed a petty, so i grabbed one here. just fell into my lap. basically didn't even know who shi.han was when i got it. dope knife, and i wouldn't mind trying one of his gyutos. but may eventually replace this petty with something else. maybe 180mm? maybe ground a bit thinner? i'd like to try a konosuke sanjo 180mm petty or some kind of takamura sg2/r2 180mm petty. also, the edge retention doesn't seem as good as my gengetsu, but it could be that family members just use it a lot more. i see them reach for it all the time. i think they dig the small size.
  2. Carter Funyun white1 225mm ("perfect model kitchen"): also from here. kind of for the heck of it. intended as an xmas gift to a family member. i'll let him play with it, and if he doesn't like it, i might sell it and get him something fully stainless/semi-stainless instead of just stainless clad with white core. i only cut up an onion with it, but it's a nice knife. maybe you're paying a lot for the name, but i can kinda see why he's famous. it's a real tall knife which also makes it pretty fun to use.
  3. Tanaka "Itadaki Serie" Gyuto 210mm white2: there are so many names in the knife world. i didn't know where to even start. after reading the forums daily since late july, i'm only now starting to feel familiar with the main ones. one that kept popping up was Yoshikazu Tanaka, so i grabbed one of his more accessible offerings from miura. my first knife that wasn't at least semi-stainless in some way. boy is it reactive. i enjoy using it. nothing fancy. i liked it enough to consider trying a higher end offering from him. i'll probably eventually sell this, and someone will get a real cheap tanaka to play with.
  4. Yoshikane SKD Nashiji Gyuto 240mm: the slightly less expensive (but seemingly identical) Hatsukokoro variant from K&S. a gift for a friend, so i resisted the urge to use it beyond a couple of test cuts. very nice! i think however putting an ebony handle on a thin-ish blade like this is possibly a poor choice, or at least not for me. makes the knife seem heavier than necessary, and the balance is too far back for my taste. but it sure looks nice. feels nice too aside from the fact that you can kinda feel the metal spacer (not flush with the handle). aside from the added weight from the handle, it reminds me A LOT of my ss gengetsu. in fact, i would have no problem replacing my gengetsu with some flavor of yoshi skd if it ever got stolen or something. actually, scratch that, i want to get one regardless. i think my favorite variants are the tosho konosuke sanjo followed by the konosuke ys/ys-m. this was actually going to be my next knife buy (was trying to patiently wait for a sale or something), but then other things happened...
  5. konosuke hd gyuto 240mm: i needed a gift for another friend who did me a huge favor, so i lucked out and found one here at a good price. this thing is very nice. now i see why the HD/HD2 line is so popular. after playing with it, i almost want to keep it or give it to a family member and get him something else. sheesh.
  6. Hitohira Tanaka x Kyuzo Blue #1 Stainless Clad Gyuto 240mm: grabbed it here. it's originally from carbon, i guess. people were poo-pooing it a little in the knife findings thread. generated a lot of discussion, but maybe the main complaint is that it's too expensive for what it is. or some people don't like wide bevels. whatever. it checks a lot of boxes for me, and it looks sweet af. couldn't resist trying it. i look forward to receiving it soon.
  7. Naohito Myojin SG2 Gyuto 240mm: managed to snag this from K&S tonight. really descending into degeneracy now with this impulse buy. between the tanaka x kyuzo and this, i might only keep one of them.

other knives i've used (surprisingly found them in a box of crap at my parents'):
  • wusthof classic 8" chef's knife: haven't used it enough to form an opinion. seems ok. i sharpened it up and abandoned it at our summer home.
  • Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8" Chef's Knife: this is my beater knife. not bad at all! sharpens easily and has decent edge retention. not great food release. i made a cardboard saya for it and bring it places with me like when i'm visiting friends with no sharp knives.
  • some kind of made-in-germany SS 200mm cleaver: dunno who makes it because the logo is too worn. i might post a picture and ask later. the heft of it is fun. i'm glad i got a free opportunity to try a cleaver. the edge retention sucks too much to keep it in rotation though.

so that's my "journey" of impulsively buying 7 knives in a few months. i hope you enjoyed this noob's perspective on the hobby.



View attachment 149196
(gengetsu ss 240mm, shi.han petty a2 150mm, carter perfect model kitchen 225mm (oiled in plastic wrap until xmas), tanaka 210mm, kono hd 240mm, victorinox 8" travel beater, SS germany cleaver)
So a couple months later, thoughts on the Hitohira Tanaka?
 
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