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ModRQC

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Here we have a duo review, the happenstance being that I received a brand new Masahiro VC on the very same day that I received a secondhand JCK Deep Impact. The knives are so similar, and yet so dissimilar, that I couldn’t miss the chance to do both in comparison.

Masahiro – VC series Virgin Carbon Gyuto 210mm
328 / 210 / 208 ... 46 / 39 / 26 ... 1.9 / 1.8 / 1.2 / 0.6 ... -5 ... 181g ... **

Long (Total / Blade / Edge) High (Heel / Half / Tip -35) Thick (Heel / Half / Tip -35 / Tip -10) Balance (Chin = 0) Weight Cutting OOTB ( * Poor ** Avg. *** Good **** Any shade of Great)

JCK Natures – Deep Impact Aogami Super Gyuto 210mm
340 / 220 / 213 ... 46 / 40 / 27 ... 1.8 / 1.7 / 1.6 / 0.7 ... -5 ... 180g ... n/a

The Deep Impact, having been used before, couldn’t be truthfully noted here on all points, even by the poor standards I set myself to respect, so it will be sort of tagging along the Masahiro review. As it was going dull when I got it, I simply touched it up on SP2K to give it back some bite and slice - in the same ballpark than the Masahiro, decent enough to do a prep and get an idea of where to go from there.

IMG_5417.JPG


F&F: 2/5

Handle: 0.5/1

Masahiro VC handle is made of laminated wood – and feels just like that. Each scale shows inconsistencies, and they are obviously even more inconsistent one to another. However, the handle feels solid and comfortable enough, and looks impervious to any kind of wear. The Deep Impact micarta handle suffers from a condition of white spotting looking like wear, especially along the angles and behind the bolster, but also to a lesser level on both flat sides. No blame to the seller, I was forewarned. On the good side we have a better shaped handle than the Masahiro, solid and comfy enough too.

IMG_5406.JPG


Bolster/Ferrule: 0.5/1
Masahiro bolster is well proportioned and shaped as an object, but a bit too short, angular and abrupt for best comfort with a knife. Otherwise, tang aligns with the blade showing no important bending, and the bolster tapers evenly from scales to blade. Deep Impact would have got full marks.

Blade: 0.5/1
The blade of the Masahiro shows no irregularity whatsoever. The choil is left a bit rough, and I feel a little more real estate after the bolster would do nicely: with the recessed heel ending just below it I feel space is a bit cramped for a comfortable pinch with the middle finger nestling at the choil, and the fact that the bolster isn’t the most comfortable doesn’t help. I could still adjust with a natural grip, so I cannot say it’s problematic, just something that I feel could be improved upon.

The Deep Impact offers a bit more real estate for finger placement after the bolster, a flexibility extending to the fact that the balance is located just after the taper. Thanks to that, one can use a comfortable pinch grip right around the balance point, and even a more forward or backward grip too without feeling unbalanced or cramped. On the other hand, the choil is just as rough as the Masahiro, and my unit here has that ill-grinded, somewhat jagged area right in the middle of the curve that adds to the discomfort. The blade shows no irregularity.

Spine: 0.5/1
Spine of both knives is your average low end affair, not exactly uncomfortable, polished just enough for use, but the angles are still a bit on the rough.

IMG_5402.JPG


Finish: 0/1
Masahiro is a monosteel finished on the belt grinder. The pattern is quite rough, but quite uniform too. It’s not a problem especially at this pricepoint, but in this specific subcategory it cannot deserve any point either, especially when a 50$ Victorinox looks much nicer. However this is mostly a matter of having all my knives reviewed on equal grounds, and obviously the Masahiro is perfectly alright this way. The Deep Impact is cladded with stainless steel, where we can also find grinder marks, although the pattern is much lighter: it shows mostly at slanted angles under a crude enough light. It would have gotten the average mark here: cladding is polished enough to blend while the cladding line draws most of the attention anyhow.


EXPERIENCE: 4.5/5

Box: 0.5/1

The Masahiro box looks great, the fold of VCI paper is branded with Masahiro (first time I see that, a curioso of no importance) and there’s a carton sheath that follows the design of the box – a little extra security on the blade is always nice. It is all however made of rather cheap, thin and wobbly laminated carton. The Deep Impact would have earned full marks: the box is neat, thick and sturdy, with a full blue felt liner inside where the knife’s handle is securely encased and the blade is cozy, wrapped in its VCI fold and an extra plastic sheath, all this topped with extra foam protection.

IMG_5392.JPG


First Impression: 1/1
Despite the rough finish and laminated handle, there’s a superb vibe coming with the Masahiro. It could almost be mistaken for a cheap western Chef from the hardware store at first glance, but looks fiercely dedicated and has that discreet but powerful identity in being a Virgin Carbon ground almost to a single bevel. It’s a unique knife hidden by the most ordinary, inconspicuous appearances.

The Deep Impact was love on first sight, this dating back to the first time I saw it online. Getting it secondhand didn’t tamper that in the slightest. The first impression is quite different from the Masahiro: the Deep Impact looks sleek and proficient, almost aggressively so, begging of you to use it, to sharpen it, looking restless whenever it’s not in your hand. Within four hours of receiving it, I had touched it up, used it in a prep, and fully sharpened it – AND was still looking for something else to do with it…

IMG_5428.JPG


Geometry, Profile & Grind: 1/1
I like the Masahiro a lot here. Past the average OOTB edge and congestion behind it, it’s a purposeful geometry that will lend itself well to further maintenance through multiple sharpening since it is convexed very consistently and thickens consistently too. While the profile is perhaps a bit more rounded than I actually prefer, it still followed my usual techniques in all preps without having to adjust anything much. For frequent rock choppers it will only get better than my own experience. The spine pretty much is without taper until past the middle point, then there’s a good bit of taper kicking in until the very tip. It’s among the thinnest tips I’ve encountered this far too.

IMG_5399.JPG

IMG_5397.JPG


This point is also one where the Deep Impact hits the right notes. Already relatively thin behind the edge initially, it’s just ready to flow through food. Profile to me is excellent, such a nice flat spot, but it can rock chop with some leverage too. The geometry is nowhere near dedicated as the Masahiro, pretty much the usual V grind that I could observe with so many factory-made knives yet. Grind is on the spot. There’s no distal taper to talk about with this knife. As a whole I would have difficulty giving full marks because there’s nothing exceptional to show for it, but it IS thinner behind the edge than so many knife in this ballpark, and pretty much perfect the way it is.

IMG_5401.JPG

IMG_5393.JPG


First Use: 1/1
The Masahiro was for the most part a joy to use – and the parts that were less agreeable were obviously due to that somewhat bunched-behind-the-edge average OOTB sharpening. A bit of wedging was also expected in denser, taller produces, yet didn’t show as much as I would have thought. Halving an onion – first serious cut with it – was where I experienced the steering most. The correct grip however came naturally the more I went to cut with the knife. The Masahiro was particularly pleasant to use on bell peppers – even made me go back to a fair bit of rock chopping there because it was so slick. Mincing a garlic clove was a breeze with that fine tip.

The Deep Impact went to cut the very same food side by side with the Masahiro, half the stack each. No particular adjustments needed obviously, and with the touch-ups previously done it was just sharp enough to work pleasantly on that one prep. It was a natural, easy and mighty fun knife to work with – full marks would have ensued. It may not have the depth of the Masahiro’s character, but it is an enabling do-it-all that lets the cutter enjoy himself immensely, and often one just wants to use a knife just like that

Maintenance: 1/1
With both knives being carbon, some precautions are in order, but with the Deep Impact that is pretty much to just clean and dry as soon as possible after a prep. The Masahiro is fairly reactive although quite manageable of itself. It will fare better however with a full forced patina; once there maintenance is pretty much the same than for the Deep Impact. Can’t see no reason why both knives wouldn’t get full marks here.


Overall note (Masahiro only): 6.5/10

Personal take:
‘nuff said on both knives to know where I found satisfaction even if the score was not perfect, and know where I truly had a bit of a problem, if any. I’ll say once again that the Masahiro is somewhat of a gem on the rough – or at least unique enough to really be worth buying at that price, especially if you never had anything with such an aggressive asymmetry and want to give it a try.

IMG_5421.JPG


Take care folks!
 

ModRQC

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Masahiro – Add-on

Let me Show my Old Knife now…

I had a somewhat special project for the Masahiro VC – to turn it already into what it’s meant to become.

First off, a bit of a thinning on the cutting side to remove that congestion behind the edge, done with Naniwa Pro 800. Sharpened it and tested it some. Came back satisfied - less wedging, more flowing, better edge seemed enough to make me happy.

IMG_5501.jpg


Then a good sanding and polishing session to alleviate the original grind marks, make them look worn somehow. At the same time erasing food patina and the labors of my thinning session – minimal collateral damages, I was happy with myself. At the same time obtaining a much smoother surface – a “patina” of wear to go with the faded grind marks. At the same time polishing the choil and the angles on the first couple inches of the spine a bit, making them feel just more homey and smooth-old too.

Then forcing a patina until blackened, scrubbing it off “almost” entirely with the back of a sponge, and repeating until I had the desired effect – and a general matte grey patina so tenacious it’s almost a cladding. Used #3000 sanding pad to remove any obvious discoloration imparted by the patina on the bolster and parts of the exposed tang the acidic fumes had tainted too.

IMG_5473.JPG
IMG_5474.JPG


A go with the stones again... mostly cleaning and reviving.

IMG_5440.JPG
IMG_5443.JPG


Then call it a – really fun – day.

Really happy with my cutting side bevel, and the fact I could manage just that tiny slit of a left side bevel consistently, keeping the original ratio intact.

IMG_5491.jpg
IMG_5493.jpg



A sharp old-timer’s knife, as an homage to a sharp old-timer friend.

IMG_5469.JPG
 

tchan001

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New to me arriving today in the mail, an epic knife made by David Broadwell originally custom made for Mr. Magnus whom I have to really thank for offering it to me and letting me have the honor of looking after this masterpiece. Mr. Magnus after receiving the commissioned knife from DB later on had Robin Dalman regrind it for better cutting but the knife has never been used and has only been displayed amongst his collection.

The story of the making of the knife as presented by Mr. Magnus can be found on this thread.

I believe the damascus was probably made for David Broadwell by Delbert Ealy as he had done so in the past.

David Broadwell was once a member of this forum but very rarely do we see his knives on KKF.

David Broadwell 270+mm AEB-L Sanmai Damascus.
Handle made with California buckeye burl, carved spalted maple, tooled copper with hammered texture.


Originally it looks like this (from maker's website)

After the Dalman regrind, it looks like this. The damascus is more subtle now and I like that.

20200731_133552.jpg
20200731_133608.jpg
20200731_133724.jpg
20200731_133918.jpg
20200731_133949.jpg
20200731_134024.jpg
20200731_134207.jpg
20200731_134325.jpg
 
Last edited:

Robert Lavacca

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I dig masahiro VC’s for beaters in the kitchen. I got a 240 and thinned the living **** out of it. Didn’t bother removing the scratches. It’s a beater. At first I hated it. Now I really enjoy it. Took a couple times to really learn how to sharpen that ratio of 80/20. It has decent edge retention for what it is and I don’t feel bad about using it on the poly boards. Definitely a solid beater choice.
 

RockyBasel

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Messages
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Here we have a duo review, the happenstance being that I received a brand new Masahiro VC on the very same day that I received a secondhand JCK Deep Impact. The knives are so similar, and yet so dissimilar, that I couldn’t miss the chance to do both in comparison.

Masahiro – VC series Virgin Carbon Gyuto 210mm
328 / 210 / 208 ... 46 / 39 / 26 ... 1.9 / 1.8 / 1.2 / 0.6 ... -5 ... 181g ... **

Long (Total / Blade / Edge) High (Heel / Half / Tip -35) Thick (Heel / Half / Tip -35 / Tip -10) Balance (Chin = 0) Weight Cutting OOTB ( * Poor ** Avg. *** Good **** Any shade of Great)

JCK Natures – Deep Impact Aogami Super Gyuto 210mm
340 / 220 / 213 ... 46 / 40 / 27 ... 1.8 / 1.7 / 1.6 / 0.7 ... -5 ... 180g ... n/a

The Deep Impact, having been used before, couldn’t be truthfully noted here on all points, even by the poor standards I set myself to respect, so it will be sort of tagging along the Masahiro review. As it was going dull when I got it, I simply touched it up on SP2K to give it back some bite and slice - in the same ballpark than the Masahiro, decent enough to do a prep and get an idea of where to go from there.

View attachment 88825

F&F: 2/5

Handle: 0.5/1

Masahiro VC handle is made of laminated wood – and feels just like that. Each scale shows inconsistencies, and they are obviously even more inconsistent one to another. However, the handle feels solid and comfortable enough, and looks impervious to any kind of wear. The Deep Impact micarta handle suffers from a condition of white spotting looking like wear, especially along the angles and behind the bolster, but also to a lesser level on both flat sides. No blame to the seller, I was forewarned. On the good side we have a better shaped handle than the Masahiro, solid and comfy enough too.

View attachment 88824

Bolster/Ferrule: 0.5/1
Masahiro bolster is well proportioned and shaped as an object, but a bit too short, angular and abrupt for best comfort with a knife. Otherwise, tang aligns with the blade showing no important bending, and the bolster tapers evenly from scales to blade. Deep Impact would have got full marks.

Blade: 0.5/1
The blade of the Masahiro shows no irregularity whatsoever. The choil is left a bit rough, and I feel a little more real estate after the bolster would do nicely: with the recessed heel ending just below it I feel space is a bit cramped for a comfortable pinch with the middle finger nestling at the choil, and the fact that the bolster isn’t the most comfortable doesn’t help. I could still adjust with a natural grip, so I cannot say it’s problematic, just something that I feel could be improved upon.

The Deep Impact offers a bit more real estate for finger placement after the bolster, a flexibility extending to the fact that the balance is located just after the taper. Thanks to that, one can use a comfortable pinch grip right around the balance point, and even a more forward or backward grip too without feeling unbalanced or cramped. On the other hand, the choil is just as rough as the Masahiro, and my unit here has that ill-grinded, somewhat jagged area right in the middle of the curve that adds to the discomfort. The blade shows no irregularity.

Spine: 0.5/1
Spine of both knives is your average low end affair, not exactly uncomfortable, polished just enough for use, but the angles are still a bit on the rough.

View attachment 88823

Finish: 0/1
Masahiro is a monosteel finished on the belt grinder. The pattern is quite rough, but quite uniform too. It’s not a problem especially at this pricepoint, but in this specific subcategory it cannot deserve any point either, especially when a 50$ Victorinox looks much nicer. However this is mostly a matter of having all my knives reviewed on equal grounds, and obviously the Masahiro is perfectly alright this way. The Deep Impact is cladded with stainless steel, where we can also find grinder marks, although the pattern is much lighter: it shows mostly at slanted angles under a crude enough light. It would have gotten the average mark here: cladding is polished enough to blend while the cladding line draws most of the attention anyhow.


EXPERIENCE: 4.5/5

Box: 0.5/1

The Masahiro box looks great, the fold of VCI paper is branded with Masahiro (first time I see that, a curioso of no importance) and there’s a carton sheath that follows the design of the box – a little extra security on the blade is always nice. It is all however made of rather cheap, thin and wobbly laminated carton. The Deep Impact would have earned full marks: the box is neat, thick and sturdy, with a full blue felt liner inside where the knife’s handle is securely encased and the blade is cozy, wrapped in its VCI fold and an extra plastic sheath, all this topped with extra foam protection.

View attachment 88818

First Impression: 1/1
Despite the rough finish and laminated handle, there’s a superb vibe coming with the Masahiro. It could almost be mistaken for a cheap western Chef from the hardware store at first glance, but looks fiercely dedicated and has that discreet but powerful identity in being a Virgin Carbon ground almost to a single bevel. It’s a unique knife hidden by the most ordinary, inconspicuous appearances.

The Deep Impact was love on first sight, this dating back to the first time I saw it online. Getting it secondhand didn’t tamper that in the slightest. The first impression is quite different from the Masahiro: the Deep Impact looks sleek and proficient, almost aggressively so, begging of you to use it, to sharpen it, looking restless whenever it’s not in your hand. Within four hours of receiving it, I had touched it up, used it in a prep, and fully sharpened it – AND was still looking for something else to do with it…

View attachment 88827

Geometry, Profile & Grind: 1/1
I like the Masahiro a lot here. Past the average OOTB edge and congestion behind it, it’s a purposeful geometry that will lend itself well to further maintenance through multiple sharpening since it is convexed very consistently and thickens consistently too. While the profile is perhaps a bit more rounded than I actually prefer, it still followed my usual techniques in all preps without having to adjust anything much. For frequent rock choppers it will only get better than my own experience. The spine pretty much is without taper until past the middle point, then there’s a good bit of taper kicking in until the very tip. It’s among the thinnest tips I’ve encountered this far too.

View attachment 88821
View attachment 88820

This point is also one where the Deep Impact hits the right notes. Already relatively thin behind the edge initially, it’s just ready to flow through food. Profile to me is excellent, such a nice flat spot, but it can rock chop with some leverage too. The geometry is nowhere near dedicated as the Masahiro, pretty much the usual V grind that I could observe with so many factory-made knives yet. Grind is on the spot. There’s no distal taper to talk about with this knife. As a whole I would have difficulty giving full marks because there’s nothing exceptional to show for it, but it IS thinner behind the edge than so many knife in this ballpark, and pretty much perfect the way it is.

View attachment 88822
View attachment 88819

First Use: 1/1
The Masahiro was for the most part a joy to use – and the parts that were less agreeable were obviously due to that somewhat bunched-behind-the-edge average OOTB sharpening. A bit of wedging was also expected in denser, taller produces, yet didn’t show as much as I would have thought. Halving an onion – first serious cut with it – was where I experienced the steering most. The correct grip however came naturally the more I went to cut with the knife. The Masahiro was particularly pleasant to use on bell peppers – even made me go back to a fair bit of rock chopping there because it was so slick. Mincing a garlic clove was a breeze with that fine tip.

The Deep Impact went to cut the very same food side by side with the Masahiro, half the stack each. No particular adjustments needed obviously, and with the touch-ups previously done it was just sharp enough to work pleasantly on that one prep. It was a natural, easy and mighty fun knife to work with – full marks would have ensued. It may not have the depth of the Masahiro’s character, but it is an enabling do-it-all that lets the cutter enjoy himself immensely, and often one just wants to use a knife just like that

Maintenance: 1/1
With both knives being carbon, some precautions are in order, but with the Deep Impact that is pretty much to just clean and dry as soon as possible after a prep. The Masahiro is fairly reactive although quite manageable of itself. It will fare better however with a full forced patina; once there maintenance is pretty much the same than for the Deep Impact. Can’t see no reason why both knives wouldn’t get full marks here.


Overall note (Masahiro only): 6.5/10

Personal take:
‘nuff said on both knives to know where I found satisfaction even if the score was not perfect, and know where I truly had a bit of a problem, if any. I’ll say once again that the Masahiro is somewhat of a gem on the rough – or at least unique enough to really be worth buying at that price, especially if you never had anything with such an aggressive asymmetry and want to give it a try.

View attachment 88826

Take care folks!
Thanks for the really comprehensive and detailed review. Much appreciated
 

RockyBasel

Supporting Member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
231
Reaction score
348
Location
Switzerland
New to me arriving today in the mail, an epic knife made by David Broadwell originally custom made for Mr. Magnus whom I have to really thank for offering it to me and letting me have the honor of looking after this masterpiece. Mr. Magnus after receiving the commissioned knife from DB later on had Robin Dalman regrind it for better cutting but the knife has never been used and has only been displayed amongst his collection.

The story of the making of the knife as presented by Mr. Magnus can be found on this thread.

I believe the damascus was probably made for David Broadwell by Delbert Ealy as he had done so in the past.

David Broadwell was once a member of this forum but very rarely do we see his knives on KKF.

David Broadwell 270+mm AEB-L Sanmai Damascus.
Handle made with California buckeye burl, carved spalted maple, tooled copper with hammered texture.


Originally it looks like this (from maker's website)

After the Dalman regrind, it looks like this. The damascus is more subtle now and I like that.

View attachment 88838View attachment 88839View attachment 88840View attachment 88841View attachment 88842View attachment 88843View attachment 88844View attachment 88845
This one is truly gorgeous and one for the ages
 

NO ChoP!

Old Head
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They wont tell the maker. It is a darker finished nashiji and my example is 243mm x an actual 60mm tall. It is quite nimble, though.
 

ModRQC

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New Catcheside, getting this shipped to me was a bit of a nightmare but many thanks to @F-Flash for helping get it here in the end. Note to Australians, never use DHL unless you want to pay some insane fees (GST + customs + duties + deferment fees).


Note to Canadians too. I’ve always hated DHL on principle. Each time I hear a fee-horror story they’re what’s lurking behind the package...
 

Corradobrit1

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New Catcheside, getting this shipped to me was a bit of a nightmare but many thanks to @F-Flash for helping get it here in the end. Note to Australians, never use DHL unless you want to pay some insane fees (GST + customs + duties + deferment fees).


The fees DHL tack on are criminal. Its the reason I have an Ashi Honyaki still sitting in Japan for the past 3 months waiting for EMS to restart.
 
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