Takamura VS Miyabi? Help me decide

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10160

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Takamura, by A mile 1.6 kilometers. Either R2 or Chromax. I haven’t used Taka VG10 or any good Vg10 (Tanaka, Ryusen, etc) so I can’t comment one way or another on that.

I have nothing against Shun and Miyabi intrinsically but there are better knives available at any of the relevant price points once you know something about knives. Like Starbucks and coffee.

Takamura are, however, laser thin, less than 2mm spine thickness over the whole length. If that’s not your bag you might want to look at something else; if you want a thin blade like that but a heavier feeling knife try a Kogetsu. I just got one right before I had to switch from buying to selling a bunch of things I really didn’t want to; I’ve tried and let go a bunch of lasers but the Kogetsu I became immediately attached to and hope to be able to keep.
looked up kogetsu, looks like the only 2 santokus on the website are white #1 steel and a carbon steel one.
 

10160

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Don’t look at steels. Nor brands. Nor grind. It’s a matter of confusion.

Rather, look at profiles and handles. Pick one that just seeing it you beg to use it. Don’t pick the one that seems « as nice » but somewhat puts you off, for bad reasons like you’re probably not knowledgeable enough to understand what puts you off. If your first quality knife, it should be one that sings to you. Miyabi can do that and they’ll generally cut nicely enough. Takamura could do that too but for more gentle and nimble use overall. Chromax or FC-61 are a safe bet for new sharpeners.
for me the miyabi is miles ahead in terms of its beauty. looks way better. although people are bringing out the pitchforks in favor of takamura all day every day so its making me question that. Objectively it seems like factory edge and grind is better
 

10160

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The Mizu doesn't cut as well as the Takamura because 1. it's thicker behind the edge and 2. it's handle heavy.

1. Being thick behind the edge affects its ability to cut into dense product and makes the sharpening more time consuming. This is usually not tangible for beginners because they are mostly transitioning from knives like Zwilling which are even much thicker behind the edge, and/or they usually don't have much experience in sharpening so they don't know what is easy what is difficult.

2. Being handle heavy makes the knife less nimble especially with pinch grip. It also makes quick chopping a little more difficult because there would be weight center behind your grip when you swing the blade.

Nonetheless, like I replied above, the Mizu could still make one happy. It definitely can cut well enough for meal preparation. It's shiny and well built. And most importantly you like it.
its really not that thick behind the miyabi mizu, its still very thin..
and i think that the super light weight of the takamura might make it TOO nimble if you know what i mean. like its almost harder to control because its so agile. I could prefer it over a period of time but i dont know. I also am coming from german knives with weight on them so maybe its just jarring for me. But i think having some weight behind the knife just feels better for me, like it does some of the work when going through food. wheras if its so light like the taka, i have to put 100% of the muscle behind every cut
 

ModRQC

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Ok. FC-61 - pretty much stainless - easy to sharpen - about toughest conventional Stainless steel period.

Chromax - low alloy tool steel even easier to sharpen, almost stainless.

SG2 - refined SS steel with better edge retention, much harder to shapen, very stainless.

Or rather:

Miyabi: mostly made for rock chopping and abuse. Will cut rather well.

Takamura: made for ligher use. Will go through stuff like it ain’t there. Fussier overall but how it cuts will leave you dumbfounded.

SG2 not my primary choice of both: more expensive for really little noticeable benefits.
 

M1k3

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Takamura hands down. Chromax if you don't need the edge retention of R2. The profile is pretty flat while being a continuous curve. Handle on the smaller side, but, with a pinch grip, it doesn't matter that much. The very tip is quite thin. If you're used to western/German profiles, you'll probably break about .5mm off the tip like I did 🤦‍♂️
 

Jville

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for me the miyabi is miles ahead in terms of its beauty. looks way better. although people are bringing out the pitchforks in favor of takamura all day every day so its making me question that. Objectively it seems like factory edge and grind is better
Perhaps, you might look at another option. Something in between the ultra light Takamura and something a little thinner bte than the Miyabi. I’m not sure what your budget is, but, perhaps, Shigeki Tanaka great value and rather inexpensive. Also maybe an hd2 or something from sukenari.
 

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I'll throw in a few others just to confuse everything:


 

ModRQC

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S. Tanaka is all fine...

But needs be to take some cues in:

-OP seems inclined to rock chopping
-OP prefers more weight wherever its balanced at - although he isn't aware I guess of extremely blade forward Wa handle configs in saying that.
-OP listed choices that are Yo handles
-I would guess overall that some toughness and ease of maintenance are a must, and that OP is inclined with Miyabi's neat looks.

All in all Miyabi isn't a bad choice at all towards such requirements. But what would be a better choice than Miyabi to still fit these requirements?

Deep Impact...
 

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its really not that thick behind the miyabi mizu, its still very thin..
and i think that the super light weight of the takamura might make it TOO nimble if you know what i mean. like its almost harder to control because its so agile. I could prefer it over a period of time but i dont know. I also am coming from german knives with weight on them so maybe its just jarring for me. But i think having some weight behind the knife just feels better for me, like it does some of the work when going through food. wheras if its so light like the taka, i have to put 100% of the muscle behind every cut
But a thin and sharper knife will go through food easier and also there will be less muscle fatigue in the forearm because it will be lighter to lift between cuts. Overall, a light thin knife reduces fatigue. And having less mass reduces its inertia so it can change direction (up-down-up-down, etc) significantly faster. Except for sacrificing some robustness, thin and light is generally advantageous. Of course, there is no accounting for personal taste.
 
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10160

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I'll throw in a few others just to confuse everything:


looks like that deep impact one uses Aogami Super steel. what is the difference between that and R2?
 

ModRQC

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Aogami Super is within the line of Blue steel - which are rather high alloyed Carbon steels. They are all pretty reactive, although by no means so difficult to maintain. Super easy to sharpen. AS is loved for its usually better edge retention and higher hardness against other Blue iterations, although Blue 1 and Blue 2 are also very popular.

Deep Impact are well thought of because they're neat, functional, and because they take Aogami Super to its highest usable hardness range while giving ease of maintenance with the stainless cladding, and a very easy switch from western type to J knives.
 

10160

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Aogami Super is within the line of Blue steel - which are rather high alloyed Carbon steels. They are all pretty reactive, although by no means so difficult to maintain. Super easy to sharpen. AS is loved for its usually better edge retention and higher hardness against other Blue iterations, although Blue 1 and Blue 2 are also very popular.

Deep Impact are well thought of because they're neat, functional, and because they take Aogami Super to its highest usable hardness range while giving ease of maintenance with the stainless cladding, and a very easy switch from western type to J knives.
but what about compared to SG2/R2 steel? Is this Aogami Super just as sharp? Sharper? and how does the edge retention compare?
 

Jville

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S. Tanaka is all fine...

But needs be to take some cues in:

-OP seems inclined to rock chopping
-OP prefers more weight wherever its balanced at - although he isn't aware I guess of extremely blade forward Wa handle configs in saying that.
-OP listed choices that are Yo handles
-I would guess overall that some toughness and ease of maintenance are a must, and that OP is inclined with Miyabi's neat looks.

All in all Miyabi isn't a bad choice at all towards such requirements. But what would be a better choice than Miyabi to still fit these requirements?

Deep Impact...
I was tracking the miyabi handles as wa. A miyabi santoku is not going to be very curvy and conducive to Rock chopping, and Tanaka has sone curvier profiles. If you want a rock chopper santoku is generally not the best option. You can get a heavier wa handle like ebony in a Tanaka and add more weight. Also Tanakas can be quite attractive(although subjective). What I mean is that don’t have the plain looks as sone others. Also they come in stainless, low maintenance. Tanaka also not generally regarded as chippy or needing to focus on a lot of technique, pretty easy for beginning use. And most likely be a better cutter and nicer to sharpen than miyabi. Not saying necessarily Tanaka should be his choice, but he may want to check them out or some other options like I mentioned.
 

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I was tracking the miyabi handles as wa. A miyabi santoku is not going to be very curvy and conducive to Rock chopping, and Tanaka has sone curvier profiles. If you want a rock chopper santoku is generally not the best option. You can get a heavier wa handle like ebony in a Tanaka and add more weight. Also Tanakas can be quite attractive(although subjective). What I mean is that don’t have the plain looks as sone others. Also they come in stainless, low maintenance. Tanaka also not generally regarded as chippy or needing to focus on a lot of technique, pretty easy for beginning use. And most likely be a better cutter and nicer to sharpen than miyabi. Not saying necessarily Tanaka should be his choice, but he may want to check them out or some other options like I mentioned.
looks nice but too expensive. the takamura and miyabi are both just 160
 

Jason183

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Or just buy both, keep the ones that’s more suitable to your cutting styles and things you’re cutting. You can always resell the other one in B/S/T if it’s not suitable for you. I personally don’t have experience with Miyabi, Takamura knives more suitable for delicate works, and I heard the chromax line is tougher than R2, plus most Takamura knives I’ve seen have good resell value in B/S/T.
 
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Delat

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For R2 santokus under $200 I’d also take a look at Shiro Kamo. It’s a midweight and would fall between the Takamura and Miyabi in overall performance. It should be more robust than the Takamura in terms of handling abuse, but won’t fall through food as easily. Probably a better choice for a first j-knife than a Takamura, but then I’m biased since it was my own first j-knife.

Not sure if Y Kato was mentioned. You can get his work either under his name or under Masakage. Just under $200 in VG10 for a santoku at cktg. Kato will be closer to the Takamura in that it’s considered a laser or laser-adjacent. I have a Kato petty and like it a lot, but again I’d be hesitant to recommend it as a first j-knife as it’s quite thin.

Makoto Kurosaki is another good smith with an R2 santoku for around $170 at cktg. Also reputed to be a laser but I have no personal experience with his work.
If going with R2 or VG10 budget $60 for at least one quality whetstone like a Shapton.
 

tostadas

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The miyabi has a pretty comfortable handle. That's probably the only thing I'd put in its favor. Takamura handles are on the smaller side.

However, like all those western brands like Shun, Zwilling, etc, Miyabi has heavy handles which in my opinion balances the knife poorly. The birchwood may be different, but I'm not sure. For cutting performance, the Takamura will be superior.

It may be helpful if you filled out a questionnaire so that we can better understand what specifically you are looking for. If you have your heart set on a Miyabi because it will look good on display, then by all means go for it. But it sounds to me like you have a lot of good questions and are interested in diving deeper than simply picking something out from the department store.

The Takamura was my gateway knife about 2 years ago. At the time compared to what I previously used, it blew my socks off. My tastes have evolved since, but for the price, I still believe that it's an excellent knife.
 

Jovidah

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Is there any good reason you're only looking at a Takamura vs Miyabi comparison? It's a bit like asking 'which car to buy, Ferrari or SUV'.
Also, any particular reason you're looking at santokus? As someone else said you seem inclined to rockchopping, but in that case I'd lean more towards a gyuto.

Regardless of whether you want a santoku or a gyuto, there's a lot of knives in between the Takamura and the Miyabi that might be more up your alley. Consider filling out the knife questionaire.
 

Renzwerkz

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It is really obvious, as for me, as my personal choice despite the pros and cons....
I'll go Takamura R2 all day... 🙂🙂
 

TokushuKnife

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I actually prefer Chromax to the SG2. It has 5% Chromium, and forms patina, but it would be difficult to make it rust. I love the stainless cladding contrast against the patina. At HRC 65 its like an AS stainless clad laser. Its an excellent value, however they are light knives. Best of luck with your choice!

looking to pick up either a Takamura SG2 santoku, or a Miyabi mizu SG2 santoku. Help me decide? Both use SG2 steel and are around the same price. im leaning more towards the miyabi because its much heavier. (226g) vs the takamura which is only 147g. The miyabi also looks so much better to me.

I'm also thinking about the takamura chromax santoku, which isn't sg2 steel.

Pros and cons for each:

Miyabi SG2 Pros: Hammered finish is sexy, heavier.

Takamura SG2 pros: more craftsmanship, better company? more highly rated.

takamura SG2 cons: no hammered finish, extremely light (which i might dislike more and more)

Takamura chromax cons: people say the steel isnt as good as SG2. also prone to rust.

takamura chromax pros: Cheaper, and still highly rated. Hammered finish although not as good looking as the miyabi mizu.

if you have an opinion/recommendation please let me know and include why you think that.
 

adam92

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I tried co-worker miyabi before i got my Takamura. Compare to Takamura miyabi like **** to me. Doesn't cut well, too thick behind the edge, balancing is not good, your wrist feel tired in one single day.

Go with Takamura & you won't disappoint with the F&F & cutting performance, Takamura fine with rock chop as well.

I personally don't feel SG2 harder to sharpen than VG10, VG10 feel tricky to deburr.
 

Ochazuke

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Here's my "out-of-left-field" answer: forget overthinking about steels, HRC, and all that. The fastest way to learn what YOU like is just to get your hands on something different and use it a lot.
If you're coming from cheap German, then pick any larger Japanese brand name - Suisin, Misono, Sakai Takayuki, etc. Grab their entry level Inox or molybdenum, or Aus8 or whatever stainless cheap offering they have. It'll run you around ~$90 - $100. Use the other $60 to get a nice #1000 grit stone and cheap flattener.

Use and abuse it. I think of these as the inbetweeners for Japanese knives and German. They'll feel like significantly better cutters than what you're used to and you won't have to worry about the fragility of more expensive Japanese knives. You'll learn so much about what works for you just by keeping it sharp and using it. Use and sharpen your current knives too. Go back and forth between everything you have. Soon you'll know what works for you and not just what people on the internet tell you.
 

Pie

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Here's my "out-of-left-field" answer: forget overthinking about steels, HRC, and all that. The fastest way to learn what YOU like is just to get your hands on something different and use it a lot.
If you're coming from cheap German, then pick any larger Japanese brand name - Suisin, Misono, Sakai Takayuki, etc. Grab their entry level Inox or molybdenum, or Aus8 or whatever stainless cheap offering they have. It'll run you around ~$90 - $100. Use the other $60 to get a nice #1000 grit stone and cheap flattener.

Use and abuse it. I think of these as the inbetweeners for Japanese knives and German. They'll feel like significantly better cutters than what you're used to and you won't have to worry about the fragility of more expensive Japanese knives. You'll learn so much about what works for you just by keeping it sharp and using it. Use and sharpen your current knives too. Go back and forth between everything you have. Soon you'll know what works for you and not just what people on the internet tell you.
I tried to write something like this, but my words don’t work as good.

This is exactly the idea - try it and see. Likely it won’t be the last knife you buy, and by trying anything at that price point, you’ll gain experience and find out what you do and don’t like. Then you’ll buy another knife. And another. And another. This forum (has, and) will help you. Help you buy more knives, that is 😉
 

Hz_zzzzzz

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its really not that thick behind the miyabi mizu, its still very thin..
and i think that the super light weight of the takamura might make it TOO nimble if you know what i mean. like its almost harder to control because its so agile. I could prefer it over a period of time but i dont know. I also am coming from german knives with weight on them so maybe its just jarring for me. But i think having some weight behind the knife just feels better for me, like it does some of the work when going through food. wheras if its so light like the taka, i have to put 100% of the muscle behind every cut
Have you considered this one? It was once on sale for $199 at CutleryandMore. It's beautiful and heavier (220 gram) than Takamura. It has a better balance and cut better than the Miyabi.

 
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Hz_zzzzzz

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However, like all those western brands like Shun, Zwilling, etc, Miyabi has heavy handles which in my opinion balances the knife poorly. The birchwood may be different, but I'm not sure.
The birchwood is also handle heavy and thick bte, just the grind overall is a little thinner and more refined.
 
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