Squash Bustin Championship

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Oct 26, 2022
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North FL
After receiving some wonderful suggestions on a 240 gyuto and questioning what constitutes The Ideal Squash Knife, I decided to have a little squash bustin playoff instead of watching my football team get their ass kicked tonight.

I ended up with a Kochi 240 ironclad, a Shigeki Tanaka ginsan 240, and a Hinokuni 210 nakiri. Each got their own squash.

The Kochi is the thinnest behind the edge and cut the cleanest/best, however it's significantly lighter than the other two and felt a bit more fragile. It could just be mental but I was definitely paying more attention to my technique when cutting. Best food release of the group. 1st place*

The Tanaka ginsan was a touch behind in sheer cleanliness/ease of cut on the initial cut-the-squash-in-half cut that can leave many knives stuck and floundering, but the heavier weight and thicker spine give it more power and confidence than the Kochi. It excelled in big cuts and never wedged, but cubes stuck pretty aggressively to the knife though butternut cubes do that to damn near everything. This was also the only knife of the group that wasn't freshly sharpened. 2nd place*

The Hinokuni 210 big boy nakiri has more of a workhorse grind than the previous two. I've never used bigger than a 170mm nakiri so this was fun, it was a hair behind the Tanaka on bisection and cubing cuts, I kept switching back and forth between them to figure out which I liked best. The Tanaka was just a touch smoother, but the Hinokuni feels indestructible. Very confidence inspiring and still would be a great single option, plus it's significantly cheaper than the Kochi or Tanaka. I used my Kyohei Shindo 170 nakiri as a control.

*while the Kochi ranked first in cutting and food release, I think my go-to squash buster will end up being the Tanaka. It still cuts wonderfully but has less distal taper and inspires more confidence, leaving me to save the Kochi for other, finer tasks.