Special or peculiar smiths and knives

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Perverockstar

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Hello, I'm gonna try with a different question given that the last one didn't deliver...

Which japanese blacksmiths or knives do you think that stand out in comparison to others and what makes them to stand out?

I ask given that I want to learn more about what is available and, eventually, being able to curate a personal collection.

I'm thinking on high end stuff that does not go over €1000. Also, not interested in Honyaki knives.

Thank you.
 

tim huang

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to me it will be Makoto Tadokoro, one of the best knife sharpener. not sure if this can explain.
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ian

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Which japanese blacksmiths or knives do you think that stand out in comparison to others and what makes them to stand out?

Maybe the reason the last one didn't deliver is that your question was too vague. Is your question

1) "What knives can I buy now that will appreciate significantly in the next few years, so that I can turn a profit on my collection?"

2) "What knives are very distinctive in appearance, so that I can acquire a diverse collection of unique looking knives that will give me pleasure to look at, and will delight visitors to my house?"

Or is it

3) "What knives have some interesting performance qualities, so that I can enjoy cutting stuff at my house more?"
 

Perverockstar

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Maybe the reason the last one didn't deliver is that your question was too vague. Is your question

1) "What knives can I buy now that will appreciate significantly in the next few years, so that I can turn a profit on my collection?"

2) "What knives are very distinctive in appearance, so that I can acquire a diverse collection of unique looking knives that will give me pleasure to look at, and will delight visitors to my house?"

Or is it

3) "What knives have some interesting performance qualities, so that I can enjoy cutting stuff at my house more?"
It is vague on purpose... The other thread it is delivering though.

Thank you !
 
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Don't forget Fredrik Spåre.

@Perverockstar - if you haven't heard of him check out this:


And if you can get behind the paywall, perhaps this too: BILDSPECIAL: Knivskarp blick för konstnärligt hantverk – Fredrik Spåre tillverkar knivar från grunden: ”Varje mönster blir unikt”
 

Pie

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Takeda and Suzuki uchi hamano. They’re not overly high priced, but they’re sure peculiar, to the point of being a novelty.

Both are characterized by super short, zero grind bevels, forged S grind, and KU covering almost the entire blade. Uchi’s a tool maker, so his knives are finished very roughly but are truly unique - regular shapes (Santoku, nakiri) but single bevel, and no ura on the back, just flat ground with a microbevel. The bevel is heavily faceted, I think they’d be a real treat to pretty up on some stones.

They’re both definitely unique with a cutting feel unlike all (fact check needed) other knives discussed here. Not a collectors item per se, but a curious juxtaposition among ultra thin bte, beautifully finished or polished stuff a la mazascus or y. Tanaka.



Just look at this wild ass choil shot. Cuts way better than it looks, elite food separation due to a literal 5mm lip at the spine.
47638777-DCE0-4400-A0DB-1E2A58750B86.jpeg
 
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Perverockstar

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Takeda and Suzuki uchi hamano. They’re not overly high priced, but they’re sure peculiar, to the point of being a novelty.

Both are characterized by super short, zero grind bevels, forged S grind, and KU covering almost the entire blade. Uchi’s a tool maker, so his knives are finished very roughly but are truly unique - regular shapes (Santoku, nakiri) but single bevel, and no ura on the back, just flat ground with a microbevel. The bevel is heavily faceted, I think they’d be a real treat to pretty up on some stones.

They’re both definitely unique with a cutting feel unlike all (fact check needed) other knives discussed here. Not a collectors item per se, but a curious juxtaposition among ultra thin bte, beautifully finished or polished stuff a la mazascus or y. Tanaka.



Just look at this wild ass choil shot. Cuts way better than it looks, elite food separation due to a literal 5mm lip at the spine.
View attachment 164693

Very wild indeed! How would that Nakiri perform for Katsuramuki? It makes me wonder... You got me thrilled, indeed. I'm highly tempted!
 

Pie

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Very wild indeed! How would that Nakiri perform for Katsuramuki? It makes me wonder... You got me thrilled, indeed. I'm highly tempted!
I’ve never managed to perform katsuramuki successfully, but I imagine it to be not amazing with the curve in the profile. Doesn’t stop one from trying tho!

I only took it to a potato that they had at the shop, *really* nice for making slices, no steering or any weirdness. I was also tempted, but I’m starting to run out of room 🤣
 

Perverockstar

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I’ve never managed to perform katsuramuki successfully, but I imagine it to be not amazing with the curve in the profile. Doesn’t stop one from trying tho!

I only took it to a potato that they had at the shop, *really* nice for making slices, no steering or any weirdness. I was also tempted, but I’m starting to run out of room 🤣
At least I can tell you that I learned to do Katsuramuki with my Shun Premier Chef's knife like 10 years ago xD . Granted, I switched to my Yanagiba wich made it a lot easier (I used to work at a sushi bar).

I have a Kamagata Usuba in my future plans.

It's just that the Nakiri you showed to me really grabbed my attention and I wondered for a moment...
 
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Jason183

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I would recommend the Wide bevel Gyuto/Sujihiki if you haven’t tried those kind of grind yet. A Different/New experience than Yanagiba, Super sharp. I have one of each from Yoshikazu Tanaka. The GESSHIN KAGEKIYO at JKI has higher end version of them.
 

Perverockstar

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I would recommend the Wide bevel Gyuto/Sujihiki if you haven’t tried those kind of grind yet. A Different/New experience than Yanagiba, Super sharp. I have one of each from Yoshikazu Tanaka. The GESSHIN KAGEKIYO at JKI has higher end version of them.
I already have one of those wide bevel Tanaka Gyutos considered :) . I do have experience with wide bevels and I like them a lot. They certainly look quite elegant as well.

Sadly, I'm not willing to import knives from outside the EU or from a store that does not include shipping with the customs covered. I just got bitten today by importing a Makoto Kurasaki and I honestly didn't like it.
 

DitmasPork

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I find them quite overpriced for such fit and finish, to be honest.


I like Wabi-Sabi, many of my knives have imperfections. But if I pay premium, I'm looking for other stuff.

IMHO, TFs aren't overpriced at all, they just cost what they cost, are very good knives, and well worth the $$. The denka and its hallmark finger-notch are among the most distinctive, recognizable gyutos, performance-wise they're some of the best I've used.

When seeking handmade gyutos with a good dose of wabi-sabi, gotta embrace the imperfections, idiosyncrasies, and occasional wonkiness.

Question for you. Have you ever owned a TF?
 

WiriWiri

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IMHO, TFs aren't always overpriced they just cost what they cost, and can be very good knives, well worth the $$ gamble. The denka and its hallmark finger-notch are among the most distinctive, recognizable gyutos, performance-wise they're some of the best I've used.

When seeking handmade gyutos from a maker prone to use the wabi-sabi excuse to cover inexplicable long term consistency issues, you‘ve gotta embrace the imperfections, idiosyncrasies, and occasional wonkiness.

Question for you. Have you ever owned a TF?

Corrected for you.

i like my TFs and some have been fantastic performers, but the wabi sabi crapshoot lottery does still annoy me a little.
 

Perverockstar

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IMHO, TFs aren't overpriced at all, they just cost what they cost, are very good knives, and well worth the $$. The denka and its hallmark finger-notch are among the most distinctive, recognizable gyutos, performance-wise they're some of the best I've used.

When seeking handmade gyutos with a good dose of wabi-sabi, gotta embrace the imperfections, idiosyncrasies, and occasional wonkiness.

Question for you. Have you ever owned a TF?

I have not owned one. And I have no doubts that they are good knives, since many people seem to genuinely appreciate them and I do not think that it is because of some "misticism" or something like that.

Like I mentioned, I like my Wabi-Sabi knives, but I wouldn't pay more than $400 for a knife with such fit and finish. So, for me, they are overpriced. Note that by no means I'm trying to insinuate that my opinion should be final and universal... For many others they are not overpriced, hence why many people buy them.
 
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btbyrd

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That's why I'd put up a WTB post for a used wa-handled denka (or rehandled yo) that's been given a spa treatment. If the work was done by someone reputable, you can sometimes pick them up for cheaper than new with better fit and finish and no real gamble. If I ever get one, that's what I'll do.
 
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Sadly, I'm not willing to import knives from outside the EU or from a store that does not include shipping with the customs covered. I just got bitten today by importing a Makoto Kurasaki and I honestly didn't like it.

Good luck with that because I don't think anyone will cover customs as each country is different. That is the buyers own beer. I was gonna buy a knife during garage sale from knifewear and went to the customs page to see how much it would cost and it was like 150 just customs so that is why I just stick to EU purchases.
 

Perverockstar

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Good luck with that because I don't think anyone will cover customs as each country is different. That is the buyers own beer. I was gonna buy a knife during garage sale from knifewear and went to the customs page to see how much it would cost and it was like 150 just customs so that is why I just stick to EU purchases.


When I order from JCK, I pay either nothing or an incredibly low amount :) .

And yes, some stores that are outside the EU offer shipping rates which include customs, or they charge you the VAT at checkout.
 
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When I order from JCK, I pay either nothing or an incredibly low amount :) .

And yes, some stores that are outside the EU offer shipping rates which include customs, or they charge you the VAT at checkout.

We can go to the Zoll (customs in Germany) webpage and input the value + shipping cost and it will tell us what the import charge will be. I know there is mail that slips by customs for sure but I know the tetsujin metal flow i wanted was like 150 euro just for the import if customs would stop it. They then contact the buyer and ask for the bill and then send you a bill for the charges and then release the item to be delivered upon payment. Most times now a days the shipping company i.e DHL, UPS and so on will take care of the customs portion and send the bill for payment before they deliver it.
 

Jovidah

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With customs it's always basically a lottery. Some stores are better than others at dodging it (either deliberately low-marking the value or omitting it), but it's never a full guarantee.
But even if you get hit by customs it can still be cheaper than buying in EU at times, and some items simply aren't available in the EU. Personally I tend to just run the numbers to see if it's worthwhile even if I get hit by customs and if I don't that's just a nice bonus. At least shipping tends to be cheap from Japan so you don't get double screwed like when you order from US.

FWIW Tanakas can be found in EU, but I also ordered from Miura knives in the past (who offer a good amount of Tanaka) without getting hit by customs.
 
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