Tojiro A-1 nakiri

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Jan 23, 2020
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Based on the recommendation from someone here on KKF, I bought a Tojiro A-1 nakiri, model F-300. I’ve had it for a few days and really like it so far. It’s very thin behind the edge and comes extremely sharp out of the box. And it’s cheap.

The thickness behind the edge is similar to my Shigeki Tanaka ginsan 210mm gyuto. It’s significantly thinner behind the edge than another knife that I got at the same time, a Tojiro DP 160mm bunka F-795 (sometimes sold as a kiritsuke).

I don’t have enough experience with J knives to say whether it counts a “laser”, but I can say it cut hard foods like potatoes and apples with significantly less resistance than some other knives I have. The cutting performance is similar to my Tanaka, but it glides through foods more easily than the Tojiro DP bunka, and a Haruyuki Kuma santoku.



As for out-of-the-box sharpness, I don’t know what the bevel angle is, but there is some interesting stuff to see if you look very closely. Here are some pictures I took with a microscope. You can see that the scratches from the stone get close to the edge, but then at the very edge, they go away. (Note that the curvature is due to optical distortion in my microscope/camera setup.)


Higher magnification:


Whatever they’re finishing the edge with is very, very fine. I’ve taken pictures of blades sharpened with a Shapton 12000, and with that stone, scratches are clearly visible (at these levels of magnification). To get it to look like this, where there are no visible scratches, I’ve seen it when a buffing wheel is used with 1 micron green compound. Of course, this doesn’t really matter in the long run, because it’ll be lost with future sharpenings. It is interesting to me, though, and it makes me wonder what sharpening procedure they use at the factory.

The best thing about this knife is that it’s really inexpensive. I got it for $32 at CKTG (they call the series of knives “Tojiro DP bolsterless” instead of A-1). For some reason it’s a bit hard to find stores in the US that sell it, though. It’s cheap enough that I’ve had no trouble convincing some non-knife-nerd friends to get one and try it out. That’s something that’s much harder to do when you’re talking about upwards of $100 for a decent Japanese knife. These are people whose good knives are made by, say, Shun or Global or Misen, and I can’t be sure that if they pick a $100+ Japanese knife because of the way it looks, that it will perform significantly better than what they already have, since the new knife might have a thick grind. But this knife is great and cheap, and might get them into high-performance knives.

I haven't tried any of the other knives in the Tojiro A-1 line, so I don't know for sure that they have the same grind as the nakiri. Does anyone out there know if they have the same grind?
I have the A-1 santoku, same needle like grind, great for the money, it is my guest knife.

Edit: here’s the grind of mine
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Awesome, thanks for checking your knife! Good to know that I can recommend a more normal-shaped knife from this line as well. I do wish they had a longer gyuto -- the one they have is just 180mm.
They probably don’t want it to compete with their own DPs, if they have a 210-240mm A-1 it could be a easy recommendations to any beginners.