TF or Watanabe?

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lemeneid

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After doing some research I’ve narrowed down my search to these two knives. I’m looking for a new 240 gyuto and am narrowing it down to these two. Anyone owns both and can offer opinions on it? I’m using a Mazaki Ku 210 now which is great but I’m looking for something longer now. It’s got to have uncompromising cutting power and performance with good food release.

Or is there another alternative knife around that price range or max $450.
 

ashy2classy

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Watanabe. Top quality and performance from a fantastic smith. As long as the profile works for you, you can't go wrong. Check out Toyama from JNS as well. And the grind on the Wat and Toyama is better as well.

TF - get a good Maboroshi and you'll probably love it. But you get more knife for the money from Watanabe, IMO, assuming your preference isn't for a more rustic finish.
 

lemeneid

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It could look like ass and I wouldn’t care as long as it is a joy to cut with.

In any case if I get a Watanabe, I will probably swap out the default handle with a heavier one to bring the balance of the knife back a little. With the TF I would get away with that by opting for the western handle. So the overall cost will end up similar. Decisions decisions...
 

Jville

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The toyama 240s I had we're really nicely balanced maybe just a hair in front of my pinch grip. They were both nimble workhorses imo. Definitely more nimble than my mazaki 240.
 

McMan

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With the TF I would get away with that by opting for the western handle. So the overall cost will end up similar. Decisions decisions...
Western handle might be a crap shoot... I got a western maboroshi where the handle was a dud--had big overgrinds that were filled with black epoxy to square it up to the handle but also just to fill it in. Scales were higher than the tang in places. This was a few years ago, though, so maybe things have changed.
The blade didn't have issues though.
 

fuzion

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I have a denka with western handle and watanabe. The biggest difference to me is one is stainless clad and the other has a reactive iron cladding. The denka is shorter and feels more substantial probably because of the western handle/balance point, otherwise I use them interchangeably.
 

HRC_64

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Wat and TF don't really seem like similar knives to me.
Pick by the profile if you are buying users. :)
If you are collecting, maybe buy both
 

sac36555

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Hands down Toyama for your budget. Powerful knife that falls through food, excellent food release and minimal wedging. He’s a single smith that does everything from start to finish. Also, he’s in his 70s, so his knives won’t be available forever.
 

fuzion

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I don't think I said they are similar knives, especially about the profile. Even just with the difference in cladding, length and handle make them quite different. I would still say both of them are more workhorse gyutos and the tasks you'll use them for are probably similar. I'm happy to use either one of them.
 

lemeneid

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Thanks for the responses everyone. I’m leaning more towards the Watanabe now then the Toyama popped up. I know both are similar knives but what’s the difference between both? All I got out of searching was the master/student relationship they have.
 

fuzion

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In terms of usage there's very little difference between Watanabe and toyama. Toyama may have better collectible value and for Watanabe you can customize since you can contact him directly.
 

valgard

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I own both, Watanabe Kasumi 240, Tanaka 270, and Watanabe 270. All different knives, very different actually. The Tanaka is the lightest of the bunch by a long shot, spine is comparable but it's ground A LOT thinner, cuts great (the more silent cutter of the three) but release and power isn't as good as Watanabe. Steel I am personally a sucker for the Watanabe (or Toyama since it's the same thing lol) but the Tanaka B1 is no such by any means.
The tip of the Tanaka is much thinner than the Watanabe and does better on onions OOTB. Profile on Tanaka has a longer flat spot and higher tip while Watanabe has a lower tip and subtle curve.

The Watanabes might not be the most silent cutters (especially the Kasumi) but the blast the produce without mercy, and some tweaking brings them to the next level (thin the tip, and for my Kasumi I raised the convexity's apex a couple mm, the KU has a nice cutting grind but chubby tip).

The Wats are heavy as axes so keep that in mind. Depends on what you like, I prefer the power and all around feel of the Watanabes personally.
 

Alexec

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Watanabe. Top quality and performance from a fantastic smith. As long as the profile works for you, you can't go wrong. Check out Toyama from JNS as well. And the grind on the Wat and Toyama is better as well.

TF - get a good Maboroshi and you'll probably love it. But you get more knife for the money from Watanabe, IMO, assuming your preference isn't for a more rustic finish.
I think TF could be cheaper if you get it from their website. Or I just didnt find any good prices on watanabe yet
 

Drosophil

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I think TF could be cheaper if you get it from their website. Or I just didnt find any good prices on watanabe yet
The prices for a 240 kurouchi or kasumi straight from Shinichi are right between a maboroshi and a nashiji straight from TF.
 

Alexec

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The prices for a 240 kurouchi or kasumi straight from Shinichi are right between a maboroshi and a nashiji straight from TF.
I thought Maboroshi was cheaper. My bad and thanks for proving me wrong
 

ashy2classy

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Wats are $310 for KU or $345 for kasumi from Carbon Knife Co. Maboroshi straight from TF is $389.50 +/- with currency conversion rates. Toyama is $400+ at JNS. With the quality and consistency you get from Watanabe and Toyama, they're better choices overall, IMO. But like Anton said, you'll only know what you prefer by trying both. Good luck!
 
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Alexec

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Wats are $310 for KU or $345 for kasumi from Carbon Knife Co. Maboroshi straight from TF is $389.50 +/- with currency conversion rates. Toyama is $400+ at JNS. With the quality and consistency you get from Watanabe and Toyama, they're better choices overall, IMO. But like Anton said, you'll only know what you prefer by trying both. Good luck!
Thanks! Is watanabe and toyama same knife? And is it that high quality?
 

chinacats

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I personally preferred Watanabe to Toyoma though they are very similar knives. Either over a TF unless you enjoy shooting craps.
 

Alexec

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I personally preferred Watanabe to Toyoma though they are very similar knives. Either over a TF unless you enjoy shooting craps.
I havent tried watanabe or toyama, tho TF maboroshi, gyuto petty and especially Deba have nice steel treatment and preety nice and easy ergonomic structure
 

lemeneid

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Anyone has experience with Watanabe’s custom work. I emailed Shinichi regarding putting a western handle on the knife and he’s said he wasn’t experienced in western handles.
 

chinacats

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Anyone has experience with Watanabe’s custom work. I emailed Shinichi regarding putting a western handle on the knife and he’s said he wasn’t experienced in western handles.

Yeah, he's a knife maker not a handle maker...but he's a really good knife maker.
 

swarth

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TF. Many detractors, sure. Every TF has the potential to be something very special. I cannot say that for Watanabe/Toyama. Serviceable...but they wont blow you away. That said Sin is extremely helpful and knowledgeable and deserves all the praise he gets.
 

labor of love

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TF is my next purchase. I don’t really like the tip shape on wats and Toyamas also I don’t like their heavier size(although you can get lighter wats). I’m expecting TF to require some work ootb, not sure whether or not it will be a keeper but I want to try one just the same.
 

bruce8088

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I think these 3 are pretty legendary and you can't go wrong with either. I did hear from another forum that Toyama makes the Watanabes (at least the kasumi and honyakis).
 
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