Thoughts on Sukenari HAP40 vs Makasage Zero vs Takeshi Saji AS vs Fujiwara Denka Sujihiki in 270/300mm?

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Rainmaker

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Can anyone compare their experiences with these sujis? In terms of f&f, quality, performance, edge retention, etc. Main use is for slicing roasts.

From what I’ve gathered:
  • the Denkas, despite being the most expensive by quite a margin have variable f&f but the steel is solid and the primary reason to get it. Pricing is way out there and I’m not sure it’s worth it.
  • the Zero and the Saji AS are both made by Saji. The handles are different not sure if the blades are. The Zero does look special though. But quite a difference in pricing.
  • The Sukenari is the only one among these is HAP40. How does HAP40 compare to AS?
I haven’t had the chance to handle any of the above but the Zero seems to be calling me the loudest based on looks alone. Plus it’s the only one available in 300mm I think.

Anyone with experience with these out there? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Thank you.
 

GorillaGrunt

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Out of the lot I’d go with Denka if I was going to spend that much and Saji AS otherwise. I never saw much benefit from the super high carbide steels but I sharpen after each use; if you’re looking to prolong the time between maintenance then HAP will last longer.

I’m sure this will turn this into another TF debate thread: a TF out of the box is said to be a bit of a crapshoot but I don’t see anything wrong with spending a couple hours flattening bevels on something that can last 10 years or more. It’s certainly also a valid position that something that expensive should be perfect and optimized by the time it gets to the user, but personally of the three TF knives I’ve had (two Mab and one Denka) each has been average compared to similarly priced knives out of the box, but above average after a relatively small bit of attention that to me is worth it. I remember hearing a couple years ago that there were some overgrinds (a true defect and not really correctable by the end user) shipped from that shop but I haven’t heard of any lately, and the steel is top notch. 300mm can be ordered direct.

I haven’t used a Saji but he’s got to be an established master for a reason; again only a personal opinion but I tend not to pay extra for handles, finishes, etc. so I’d go with the regular AS over the Zero.
 

Rainmaker

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Out of the lot I’d go with Denka if I was going to spend that much and Saji AS otherwise. I never saw much benefit from the super high carbide steels but I sharpen after each use; if you’re looking to prolong the time between maintenance then HAP will last longer.

I’m sure this will turn this into another TF debate thread: a TF out of the box is said to be a bit of a crapshoot but I don’t see anything wrong with spending a couple hours flattening bevels on something that can last 10 years or more. It’s certainly also a valid position that something that expensive should be perfect and optimized by the time it gets to the user, but personally of the three TF knives I’ve had (two Mab and one Denka) each has been average compared to similarly priced knives out of the box, but above average after a relatively small bit of attention that to me is worth it. I remember hearing a couple years ago that there were some overgrinds (a true defect and not really correctable by the end user) shipped from that shop but I haven’t heard of any lately, and the steel is top notch. 300mm can be ordered direct.

I haven’t used a Saji but he’s got to be an established master for a reason; again only a personal opinion but I tend not to pay extra for handles, finishes, etc. so I’d go with the regular AS over the Zero.
Thanks for the comprehensive reply. Denka’s prices direct aren‘t so bad (relatively) but they still come out significantly expensive. The practical side of me tells me to just go ahead and get the Sukenari. The reason why I wanted the Zero is it will be my only knife used outside the kitchen so a splurge knife wasn’t a bad idea. But at twice the price (almost) of the Sukenari it’s giving me pause.

Thanks again.
 

btbyrd

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If you want Saji bling factor and it doesn't absolutely have to be a 300, Epicurean Edge has an ironwood handled 270 in rainbow damascus clad blue 2 for $510 (without the forum discount). Looks like there are a couple in stock. Knife 1 is a little thicker and heavier, Knife 2 is a little thinner and lighter. Just something to consider.
 

josemartinlopez

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Those are very different knives and I'm not sure what the point of comparison is. I'd pick the denka from that list from experience with the gyuto, and I assume it will be similarly heavy, hard and stiff (the 240mm gyuto and the 270mm sujihiki weigh the same). I also got Itou and Tanaka Ironwood sujihikis over Saji.
 
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Hz_zzzzzz

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I had the Sukenari hap40 suji 270 before and it’s light and a bit flexible. Just something worth considering. Not sure about the other options but denka and Saji are likely very stiff.
 

Rainmaker

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Those are very different knives and I'm not sure what the point of comparison is. I'd pick the denka from that list from experience with the gyuto, and I assume it will be similarly heavy, hard and stiff (the 240mm gyuto and the 270mm sujihiki weigh the same). I also got Itou and Tanaka Ironwood sujihikis over Saji.
The point is to find out what the differences are among them. Like I said I haven’t had the chance to handle any of them so I was hoping those that have could enlighten me.

What is it about the Saji that you chose others over them?
 

bonody

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I used to have a 270mm sukenari ginsan suji from K&S. Although it's not hap40, I can give you some information with regards to the parameters from your original post. F&F was pristine. If you are going to get a Sukenari, I highly recommend going through K&S, their handles are fantastic and their customer service is excellent. Quality wise, Sukenari puts out very consistent product. As for performance and edge retention, I can't comment on their hap40 line. I also have a Sukenari 240mm ZDP-189 gyuto and have been very pleased with every aspect of the blade (within reason). The grind is not as nuanced and the taper is not pronounced but I knew this going into purchasing it.

As others have mentioned, these are all very different knives and choosing one would really be driven by your intended use. The sukenari, being flexible, would be great for softer foods.
 

Homechef

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I recently picked up a Zero 240 gyuto here on BST, so somewhat limited experience with it. My first impression was despite being a 240 that weighs 240g, it's very laser like. A lot of that weight sits in the handle and balance point is basically right at the heel. It feels much more light and nimble than the weight would suggest - not like a work horse.

The AS steel has a nice crispness to it, similar to the Kioshi I used to have.

Handle is pretty nice and comfortable. It's a little skinny for my big hands near the ferrule, almost like it wants to be held in a hammer grip more than a pinch.

The knife looks as good in person as it does in pictures. If you want something flashy, this is a good knife for that.

Hope this helps!
 
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