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Seeking Advice for My Next Nakiri

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FishmanDE

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Dealing with reactive metals doesn't have to be a headache. Get something stainless clad and just make sure you try to work clean. If you make a whoopsie then just pass on the stone real quick. No problemo.
 

-Kiku-

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@jacko9, is that the picture of Watanabe Pro 180mm nakiri in the attachment above? Whatever it is, I like its appearance. The blade height looks just about right (60-65 mm range), too, from what I can see. If so, then the weight of that nakiri, if it is a nakiri, would be noticeably heavier than the typical nakiri - which is what I am looking for. Something slightly lighter in weight and slightly shorter in height than a full cleaver but noticeably heavier and taller than a traditional nakiri. Sorta a hybrid born from marrying a traditional nakiri to a Chinese cleaver.
 

CiderBear

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EShin

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But at this point, being the minimalist that I am, I think I want to go with fully stainless steel because I don't want the headache of dealing with reactive metals. So I'm leaning strongly towards cutting cores made of SRS13 or SRS15.

[...]

Neither of the nakiri shown above have the finish I want (kuroichi-tsuchime finish) nor the blade height I am looking for (60-65mm), but I am willing to accept that I can't have everything my way.
First of all, I don't have any experience with the two knives you're considering so I can't comment on them.

Have you ever worked with reactive steels? If you've had any bad experiences, then your choice is totally understandable. However, my experience is that stainless clad knives won't cause any headaches - if you want to be able to leave a knife in the sink for hours and put it in the dishwasher, then Japanese knives aren't the way to go anyway. Except for extremely reactive knives, washing and drying the knife once you finish your preparations is nenough. Once the core steel has developed a patina, cutting acidic vegetables or fruits is no problem either. You can also do so before it develops a patina, but a metallic taste might be detectable. So I wouldn't rule out stainless clad knives. Given that performance and edge retention are very important to you, the Watanabe Nakiri that many users here recommended might be a very good choice...

As for Ginsan, it's almost stainless. I've seen people leaving their Ginsan knives wet for hours, without any effect. Cutting acidic stuff is no problem. I don't own a knife made of ZDP189, but from what I know it should be no problem either - I'd worry more about brittleness...
 
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josemartinlopez

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You might not want to recommend R2 / SG2 / ZDP-189 to the OP to start with unless he is having his knife sharpened profesionally while he learns sharpening.
 

-Kiku-

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@EShin, thank you for your well articulated response. It helps to allay much of my concerns with using carbon steel knives.

To answer your question, no, I have not had any prior experience with carbon steels, but I've read plenty of horror stories about them, tragedies that I wish to avoid if at all possible. All 10 years of my experience in the kitchen has been limited to mostly cheap stainless steels (440C, 8Cr13MoV, and VG10/Max?).

It is possible that I may be overestimating the problem(s) presented by reactive steels. If the problem really is minimal as you say, and if enough people chime in as you did, I think I could be persuaded to give carbon steel knives a chance.

Unlike some people, I would never put kitchen knives in the sink along with unwashed dishes. I am usually careful to treat my knives as if they're delicate razor blades, even going so far as to use refined cutting techniques to a point that'll leave minimal impact on the cutting board and on the blade. Knives are tools used for prepping food, and I give them the proper respect that they deserve ... although I have been guilty of leaving my knives unwashed on the cutting board a few times in the past. But that was only because I was using fully stainless steels. Had those been carbon steel knives, I wouldn't dare to be negligent, not even for a minute.

I've had some experience with ZDP189. My small pocket knife, Spyderco Dragonfly 2, is made of this alloy. It glides through cardboards and junk mails effortlessly and I can attest firsthand to its superb edge retention. Being a small pocket knife, however, the kind of force and stress the blade is subjected to doesn't come anywhere close to those of big cutlery knives.

The cutlery bevels are typically much more acute than the secondary bevel on my Dragonfly 2. If I were to prep food with ZDP189 cutlery, my foremost concern would be chipping of the edge due to its brittleness. ZDP189's edge retention may be superb, but the stability of the edge at acute angles is notoriously poor. This is the reason why knife manufacturers such as Rockstead use 30 deg. angle (inclusive) at the apex to minimize the risk of chipping.

My secondary concern with using ZDP189 cutlery would be its critical vulnerability to acids. When ZDP189 comes in contact with acidic food, even a mild one, it will stain rapidly and noticeably. The effort required to remove those stains will be considerable depending on one's response time. Let the stain and juice from a mild acid stay on the metal for not even an hour, and you will be looking at irreparable and permanent damage to the blade in the form of highly visible pitting corrosion.

If it weren't for these two critical weaknesses, I would go out and buy a ZDP nakiri right now. And there are several manufacturers offering ZDP189 nakiri. But given my concerns with this alloy, I question the wisdom of using ZDP189 cutlery. The fact that I haven't heard any stories from others who have tried doesn't help, either.

First of all, I don't have any experience with the two knives you're considering so I can't comment on them.

Have you ever worked with reactive steels? If you've had any bad experiences, then your choice is totally understandable. However, my experience is that stainless clad knives won't cause any headaches - if you want to be able to leave a knife in the sink for hours and put it in the dishwasher, then Japanese knives aren't the way to go anyway. Except for extremely reactive knives, washing and drying the knife once you finish your preparations is nenough. Once the core steel has developed a patina, cutting acidic vegetables or fruits is no problem either. You can also do so before it develops a patina, but a metallic taste might be detectable. So I wouldn't rule out stainless clad knives. Given that performance and edge retention are very important to you, the Watanabe Nakiri that many users here recommended might be a very good choice...

As for Ginsan, it's almost stainless. I've seen people leaving their Ginsan knives wet for hours, without any effect. Cutting acidic stuff is no problem. I don't own a knife made of ZDP189, but from what I know it should be no problem either - I'd worry more about brittleness...
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

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@EShin

To answer your question, no, I have not had any prior experience with carbon steels <insert beautiful woman here>, but I've read plenty of horror stories about them, tragedies that I wish to avoid if at all possible.
This sort of reasoning sounds familiar...oh yeah now I remember...haha worth it

Back to knives. Sounds like you take good care of your knives, just get the stainless clad carbon Wat, try it out for a month, sell it here if you don't like it and get most of your money back. Alternatively buy one used. More than one person has suggested this option and it's frankly near foolproof.

For patina, just supreme a sack of oranges the first day and you'll be good. Reactivity is not a big deal unless you plan on cutting tomatoes and pineapples for 10 hours a day and/or need to constantly step away from the line and are unable to wipe your knife before leaving it out.
 
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EShin

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@EShin, thank you for your well articulated response. It helps to allay much of my concerns with using carbon steel knives.

To answer your question, no, I have not had any prior experience with carbon steels, but I've read plenty of horror stories about them, tragedies that I wish to avoid if at all possible. All 10 years of my experience in the kitchen has been limited to mostly cheap stainless steels (440C, 8Cr13MoV, and VG10/Max?).

It is possible that I may be overestimating the problem(s) presented by reactive steels. If the problem really is minimal as you say, and if enough people chime in as you did, I think I could be persuaded to give carbon steel knives a chance.

Unlike some people, I would never put kitchen knives in the sink along with unwashed dishes. I am usually careful to treat my knives as if they're delicate razor blades, even going so far as to use refined cutting techniques to a point that'll leave minimal impact on the cutting board and on the blade. Knives are tools used for prepping food, and I give them the proper respect that they deserve ... although I have been guilty of leaving my knives unwashed on the cutting board a few times in the past. But that was only because I was using fully stainless steels. Had those been carbon steel knives, I wouldn't dare to be negligent, not even for a minute.

I've had some experience with ZDP189. My small pocket knife, Spyderco Dragonfly 2, is made of this alloy. It glides through cardboards and junk mails effortlessly and I can attest firsthand to its superb edge retention. Being a small pocket knife, however, the kind of force and stress the blade is subjected to doesn't come anywhere close to those of big cutlery knives.

The cutlery bevels are typically much more acute than the secondary bevel on my Dragonfly 2. If I were to prep food with ZDP189 cutlery, my foremost concern would be chipping of the edge due to its brittleness. ZDP189's edge retention may be superb, but the stability of the edge at acute angles is notoriously poor. This is the reason why knife manufacturers such as Rockstead use 30 deg. angle (inclusive) at the apex to minimize the risk of chipping.

My secondary concern with using ZDP189 cutlery would be its critical vulnerability to acids. When ZDP189 comes in contact with acidic food, even a mild one, it will stain rapidly and noticeably. The effort required to remove those stains will be considerable depending on one's response time. Let the stain and juice from a mild acid stay on the metal for not even an hour, and you will be looking at irreparable and permanent damage to the blade in the form of highly visible pitting corrosion.

If it weren't for these two critical weaknesses, I would go out and buy a ZDP nakiri right now. And there are several manufacturers offering ZDP189 nakiri. But given my concerns with this alloy, I question the wisdom of using ZDP189 cutlery. The fact that I haven't heard any stories from others who have tried doesn't help, either.
Horror stories... If you get a Honyaki without having any knowledge on how to use them properly, that could end badly, but since you’re that careful with your knives there’s nothing to worry about. In the worst case, some ugly stains could occur on the reactive edge, but it’s easy to polish them away.

Your concerns with ZDP189 are well understandable. I’d be hesitant myself, but then again, many well-regarded makers such as Sukenari aren’t putting out knives that are practically unusable. But wouldn’t get one without trying it first.

By the way, getting a simple leather strop might be good, as it’s easy to use and will help you retain a sharp edge for a much longer time.
 

jacko9

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@jacko9, is that the picture of Watanabe Pro 180mm nakiri in the attachment above? Whatever it is, I like its appearance. The blade height looks just about right (60-65 mm range), too, from what I can see. If so, then the weight of that nakiri, if it is a nakiri, would be noticeably heavier than the typical nakiri - which is what I am looking for. Something slightly lighter in weight and slightly shorter in height than a full cleaver but noticeably heavier and taller than a traditional nakiri. Sorta a hybrid born from marrying a traditional nakiri to a Chinese cleaver.
Yes that is a Watanabe Pro 180mm Nakiri with the saya that fits like a glove. This one was my second purchase that went to my granddaughter for Christmas. I have one also and it's a great veggie cutter. Great for thinly slicing cucumbers for a German style salad.
 

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milas555

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The best blunt knife sucks!
Personally, I think Kiku should ask himself:
Do I want to learn to sharpen?
If not, I recommend the stainless VG10 - you will sharpen somehow and get used to the not very sharp, but not too demanding knives.
If you are going to learn to sharpen on a stone, buy Wat - for the start of the fun ... (then there are other parameters, such as different steels, their different heat treatment, geometry etc ...)
 

jacko9

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The Wat is a great suggestion for those looking for their last nakiri.
I got a Wat Nakiri and also set my oldest granddaughter up for life with a Watanabe Pro 180mm Nakiri and a Watanabe Pro 180 Gyuto both with Saya's. I have a set of stones for her as well as a strop and after this Covid mess is calmed down I'll teach her sharpening. I also got her a Hasegawa cutting board and since she's a vegetarian that set ups should last her for quite a while.
 

timebard

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This is great advice. When you don't know what you like and don't like yet, while testing out the waters, you really should buy popular knives that you can resell quickly without losing much money on if you decide it's not your cuppa. Many monitor BST for a couple weeks to see how quickly different brands/ smiths sell and learn the trend. A Wat/ Toyama nakiri that you don't like will sell in a blink, a less popular nakiri that you're lukewarm about? Yeah good luck bumping that.
Well put. I hemmed and hawed about buying a Wat 180 vs cheaper nakiri options when I was just dipping a toe into the knife world. Let several pass by at fire sale prices on BST and ended up paying maybe $50 less for a Takefu nakiri that, while perfectly fine and a bit more of a looker, definitely does not have the excitement of knives I've tried since then that are more universally applauded here.

Not to encourage anyone to blow their budget or avoid trying less popular makers, but when in doubt, the wisdom of the crowd here is actually pretty reliable.
 

jacko9

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He recently added a 180mm iron clad white 2 with burnt chestnut handle on the special page. I think it's time for your 3rd Limited custom knives | unique knives from Watanabe blade
I have a tall 150mm Toyama Petty thats more like a Gyuto and a Mazaki 180mm Gyuto but for me I would rather have a longer knife. I do have a Watanabe 210mm Gyuto B#2 Stainless clad and a Toyama 240mm Gyuto B#2 Stainless Clad among others so I think I'll wait for a special Honyaki or the new Fujiyama B#1 Kaiju. I just gave my youngest son my Konosuke 240mm HD2 Gyuto to free up some space.
 

Qapla'

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If it weren't for these two critical weaknesses, I would go out and buy a ZDP nakiri right now. And there are several manufacturers offering ZDP189 nakiri. But given my concerns with this alloy, I question the wisdom of using ZDP189 cutlery. The fact that I haven't heard any stories from others who have tried doesn't help, either.
If you're looking for PM-steel nakiri's, Yoshihiro sells a HAP40 one.

I don't know anything about it, though, as I am not a nakiri-user.
 

timebard

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With Mazaki being a notable exception....... And the W TF being the other.

:cool:
I almost added "(except TF)" to that statement, but having not actually used one I demurred. I've had no complaints with my Mazaki though.
 

4wa1l

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This thread is making want a Wakui nakiri. And the German shop has the iron clad V2 version.
Me too. I had a look at some, but at the shops I could find them the shipping to Australia is too steep and removes the value aspect for me.
 

nexus1935

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Masashi SLD 180



Another sleeper, semi stainless core + stainless cladding, 180mm, amazing grind $160.

Sanjo is just such a great place...
@JDC - I don't know whether to thank you or blame you for pointing out this nakiri, because I just bought it even though I definitely don't need another nakiri, lol! I have Masashi's 210mm and 150mm gyutos and have really enjoyed them - really thin behind the edge, and the way he mirror-finishes near the edge provides a very smooth cut. The SLD has been just like my stainless knives so far too, which makes for easy maintenance.
 

CiderBear

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@JDC - I don't know whether to thank you or blame you for pointing out this nakiri, because I just bought it even though I definitely don't need another nakiri, lol! I have Masashi's 210mm and 150mm gyutos and have really enjoyed them - really thin behind the edge, and the way he mirror-finishes near the edge provides a very smooth cut. The SLD has been just like my stainless knives so far too, which makes for easy maintenance.
😶
 

JDC

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@JDC - I don't know whether to thank you or blame you for pointing out this nakiri, because I just bought it even though I definitely don't need another nakiri, lol! I have Masashi's 210mm and 150mm gyutos and have really enjoyed them - really thin behind the edge, and the way he mirror-finishes near the edge provides a very smooth cut. The SLD has been just like my stainless knives so far too, which makes for easy maintenance.
Haha, thanking me or not doesn't matter, as long as you enjoy it!

I know, that finish looks really cool to me, although less traditional.

To make you feel even better, instead of buying more knives, I bought > $800 natural stones to achieve a similar finish...
 
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RockyBasel

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I have a tall 150mm Toyama Petty thats more like a Gyuto and a Mazaki 180mm Gyuto but for me I would rather have a longer knife. I do have a Watanabe 210mm Gyuto B#2 Stainless clad and a Toyama 240mm Gyuto B#2 Stainless Clad among others so I think I'll wait for a special Honyaki or the new Fujiyama B#1 Kaiju. I just gave my youngest son my Konosuke 240mm HD2 Gyuto to free up some space.
Them are some fine knives you have

I am waiting for my new Wat to arrive next week - my first Wat Gyuto - I have 4 Toyama, but my first Wat - it will be interesting to compare. I have the 210 Wat Pro Nakiri - that is about all from Wat

Are the Wat and Toyama the same in your view? Or so you see differences
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

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I am waiting for my new Wat to arrive next week - my first Wat Gyuto - I have 4 Toyama, but my first Wat - it will be interesting to compare. I have the 210 Wat Pro Nakiri - that is about all from Wat

Are the Wat and Toyama the same in your view? Or so you see differences
not again...
 

jacko9

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Them are some fine knives you have

I am waiting for my new Wat to arrive next week - my first Wat Gyuto - I have 4 Toyama, but my first Wat - it will be interesting to compare. I have the 210 Wat Pro Nakiri - that is about all from Wat

Are the Wat and Toyama the same in your view? Or so you see differences
Actually except for their size they look like they were made in the same shop and they both are amazing cutters. I was able to pick the Watanabe up from Epicurean Edge and I got the 10% KKF discount as well.

I like dealing with Kinichi but EE price was a big discount and free shipping. I don't know how often they have them in stock but when I bought mine they has the 210, 240 Gyuto and a santuko.
 

jacko9

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Them are some fine knives you have

I am waiting for my new Wat to arrive next week - my first Wat Gyuto - I have 4 Toyama, but my first Wat - it will be interesting to compare. I have the 210 Wat Pro Nakiri - that is about all from Wat

Are the Wat and Toyama the same in your view? Or so you see differences
I have some other knives that are worth mentioning as well; a 210 Kato workhorse (my favorite knife because of the grind), 240 KU Kato Gyuto, 240 Shigefusa Gyuto, my first really excellent knife a 210 Kono Fujiyama B#2 Gyuto, a Kono Fujiyama FT grind B#2 gyuto (the best laser ever), a Shigefusa 180mm KU Santkuo (not impressed) and finally one that sits in the back cupboard a T-F 240 Nashiji Gyuto. I also have an assortment of Japanese petty's my wife's favorite size except for my Kono Fujiyama 210 W#2 petty.

Now you see why I'm not in a hurry to just buy another knife (besides my wife might use it on me) ;-)
 
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