The infamous Masamoto KS

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by AGC8, Feb 13, 2020.

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  1. Feb 13, 2020 #1

    AGC8

    AGC8

    AGC8

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    Some consider the KS to be THE JP Gyuto to own. Why? What makes (or made at one time) this THE "most sought after gyuto..."?? So many other JP Gyuto's with the same general profile, grind...

    Why is it Konosuke hasn't gotten the same admiration? Marketing? Word of mouth? I think they used W#2.

    Some YouTubers said the KS fit/finish isn't what it used to be.

    And we CAN still get the KS ($498 USD at Hocho.com). 8" gyuto. Konosukes seem to sell out fairly quickly like the Masamoto KS knives (not just the gyuto).
     
  2. Feb 13, 2020 #2

    ian

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    It’s the profile that moved a thousand ships, and inspired numerous copycats. The steel seems to be generally regarded as fine, and some people complain about the grind. I’ve never had an actual KS, but I’m a big fan of KS-profiled knives. Also, generally when people here rave about the KS, it’s almost exclusively the 240mm gyuto.

    At this point most of the hype is probably about people wanting to try a venerable classic that made a big impact on the knife world. You’re right that there are lots of comparable knives now for cheaper. (Again, I’ve never tried one though.)
     
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  3. Feb 13, 2020 #3

    Barashka

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    The value it represents isn't really sound when compared to other knives in a similar price range. Its value is now greater than just a knife.

    Over 20 years, or so, KS was ane excellent performer, great grind, great heat treat, very pretty to some eyes .. over the years it created a legacy with other smiths trying to mirror or improve on it.

    It got hyped recently, and many people who bought it truly got the best knife they've ever used up to that point .. because they haven't tried much of anything else. That kept the hype train going.

    Like anything vintage / with a legacy, it will command a higher price then it's pure performance would suggest. It's now a collector item. (see ahem-Shigs-ahem)

    edit: I should add that there's a shortage of ks-style knives in general, there are maybe 8 lines of knives ... so for people looking for monosteel french/ks-like knife there are few choices, and so prices go up.
     
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  4. Feb 13, 2020 #4

    chinacats

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    It's a pretty good $250-300 knife...if you get a decent one...
     
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  5. Feb 13, 2020 #5

    pgugger

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    I wondered the same thing when I played with one in the store for a bit and was so underwhelmed. This was a few years ago when there was a lot of hype and an apparent shortage. Now that I have handled and owned other knives, I have no regrets about passing on it. I guess the hype boils down to it’s novelty when it was first introduced, as others mentioned.

    I can appreciate that some are drawn to the profile but other than that it is pretty generic and the one I held had poor fit and finish (rough handle, visible gap and step between handle and ferrule).

    Konosukes have better fit and finish. I think the HD2 is much nicer to hold, but still not a style I appreciate. Love my Konosuke Fujiyama FM - a completely different knife though.
     
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  6. Feb 13, 2020 #6

    Brian Weekley

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    Got an old production 240, got a new production 240. Both are good knives if a little expensive. There are many Japanese knives eg ... Mizuno, that I like better as I like a little more belly in my gyuto’s.
     
  7. Feb 13, 2020 #7

    Nagakin

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    This. The 240mm is still close to what I consider my ideal gyuto profile, except I prefer a lower tip. Even modded my Forgecraft after it (though it's seen enough use to be considered a very tall suji at this point).

    The shape has been tweaked, and the grind has been improved upon so many times now though, the classic version is almost the worst one. Hard to compete when you're done innovating and other guys are using your shape with better steel and something like an S-grind.
     
  8. Feb 13, 2020 #8

    AGC8

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    I heard when it came out it was a good deal for the innovative design. Iirc it was under $200.. Now it's close to $500 USD. No longer ground breaking. And versions of it from others like Konosuke to choos from if you must own this design. SimilarSspecs... Not sure how similar the dimensions and profiles are.

    Buying a KS now... Serves no purpose other than to be able to say to other kitchen knife fanatics.."...I have a 240mm Massmoto Ks.."...

    The Konosuke I think it's priced similarly.
     
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  9. Feb 13, 2020 #9

    Benuser

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    What was that innovative about the design? From what I understand it's rather the traditional French profile people like.
     
  10. Feb 13, 2020 #10

    AGC8

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    Shrug. Thought I heard it was the first with that profile.

    A fire the Konosuke 240mm gyuto.. It uses MONO HD2 steel... Not W#2... And it's$50 more. Probably hah similar HRC.
     
  11. Feb 13, 2020 #11

    Xenif

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    Don't think Konosuke disclosed the steel they used, HD2 is just a model
     
  12. Feb 13, 2020 #12

    zizirex

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    I heard HD2 steel is very similar to Semi Stainless TKC or Bessaku steel.
     
  13. Feb 13, 2020 #13

    AGC8

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    I guess I'll have to Google TKC and Bessaku steels heh...
     
  14. Feb 13, 2020 #14

    AGC8

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  15. Feb 13, 2020 #15

    Michi

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    The KS is thin and nimble, with a nice grind. (It can slice through a whole watermelon in a single stroke without wedging.) It's easy to sharpen, and gets very sharp. Edge retention isn't terrible, but not that great when compared to blue #2 or a PM steel. The profile is very flat, to the point where you could almost call it a tall sujihiki. (I have a preference for a bit more belly myself.)

    Overall, I'd say it's a good knife, if you like the profile.
     
  16. Feb 13, 2020 #16

    labor of love

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    If there is a Japanese wa gyuto made today with worse edge retention than the Masamoto KS I haven’t found it yet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  17. Feb 13, 2020 #17

    AGC8

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    I'm with you on offeringpr a chess knife or gyuto with more belly. Where the tip is closer to the spine for better rocking. As I don't eat sushi. Or this dishes who's ingredients should be prop with a JP blade (e.g 90/10 offer Singler bevel).

    There are JP knives with that bladder shape.

    I don't believe in an all purpose knife.

    Prefer to push cut out chop? But a nakiri, kiritsuke with a flat where k edge. Or a Chinese Cleaver.

    I asked about the KS it of curiosity. Doubt if buy one. Or that Konosuke.
     
  18. Feb 13, 2020 #18

    chinacats

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    Exactly...
     
  19. Feb 14, 2020 #19

    aszma

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    Bought one earlier this year just to try it. Honestly it was one of those knives that had a ton of hype and i always heard great things about them sense the beginning of my japans knife journey. To be completely honest i didn't get the hype it was a cool knife but i didn't enjoy the profile much prefer toyama and takeda. I dont even understand the hype of the profile as soon as i tried it it just came off as like a french saber
     
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  20. Feb 14, 2020 #20

    Barmoley

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    KS is basically french sabatier profile, but a lot of people like that profile both visually and in use. I like it to a point. I agree with @labor of love though the heat treat of wh2 on it is pretty soft, it sharpens nice and gets sharp, but retention sucks compared to other wh2 knives and that is saying something in itself. When it was ~$270, fine, but for over $400, is just nuts.
     
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  21. Feb 14, 2020 #21

    Nagakin

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    I would assume it's actually less the profile and more the construction. Going from a full-tang, thick sab with a significant taper to a KS was probably a fairly big leap at the time.

    That combined with what Barashka said here:

    is probably why it has the reputation it has.
     
  22. Feb 14, 2020 #22

    Xenif

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  23. Feb 14, 2020 #23

    labor of love

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    Maybe, just maybe the profile is borrowed for Sabatiers but the actual entire blade shape is pretty original. And the taper is very nice.
     
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  24. Feb 14, 2020 #24

    Chuckles

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    It serves a purpose as a reference knife. The standard bearer for mid level, mid weight, middle of the road performance. You can describe knives relative to a KS and people will understand. I am a big fan of the profile. If I were to make a list of overpriced and overhyped knives the KS would not make the top five for me.
     
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  25. Feb 14, 2020 #25

    panda

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    the KS is very dear to me, i love that knife til this day even though i have moved on from it.
     
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  26. Feb 14, 2020 #26

    chinacats

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    The edge profile is nice...but it needs another 8-10mm in the heel to make it work well for me...
     
  27. Feb 14, 2020 #27

    bahamaroot

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    I picked my KS up in 2012. Most of its hype comes from around ten years ago when it was one of the better knives out there. It was pretty unique at the time, ran about 255mm which was popular and had GREAT distal taper. It was the knife that defined distal taper at the time. It had a very thin tip but some meat at the heel for the tougher stuff, it was an excellent knife in its heyday.
    The J-knife world has just come so far since then with so many new offerings the KS has just been passed by. After it disappeared for a few years and then reemerged it was not the same knife either. The newer version is a step down in finish and performance from the older version and not worth the cost it garners today.
    Konosuke used to make its laser in Mono W#2 and HD2. The HD2 became more popular and they discontinued the W#2 to make more HD2s. The scarcity of the HD2 for a time caused the price to spike but that spike has slowed the demand greatly.
    HD2 is a proprietary semi-stainless steel. HD2 is a minor change in the steel of the original HD steel that was sold for only a brief period, one or two years.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  28. Feb 14, 2020 #28

    labor of love

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    I was always impressed with the tip on the KS, it tapers down to pretty thin-but not crazy thin. Not too fragile, just thin enough to have an impact.
     
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  29. Feb 14, 2020 #29

    daddy yo yo

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    With me it was the other way around: I tried one many years ago and didn’t like it. I have a current one and for me it was a step up in finish and performance compared to the older version...

    Let’s always consider that tastes and preferences change.
     
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  30. Feb 14, 2020 #30

    lemeneid

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    I'd take a Fujiyama over KS any day!
     
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