Toyama, Mazaki, or Kochi?

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KOA

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Hi I’m looking to purchase a mid-weight to workhorse 240 gyuto. Based on current stock and budget I‘m deciding between Toyama SC, Kochi Ku, Mazaki Ku vs Migaki. For reference my current gyuto line up is Yoshikane Skd, Myojin Metal Flow, Takada Suiboku. All bring a smile to my face when using. Will any of the above do the same?
P.S. I am willing to just buy a toyama damascus if that is the obvious choice and will end my search sooner…
 
Good research effort. All knives you own or you mentioned are great. I think Toyama SC or Kochi won't provide a big enough contrast with what you have though. Mazaki Ku would be my choice if I just want to try something with a thick spine and strong distal taper.
 
Mazaki will definitely provide a different cutting experience than your other knives, nice heft and feedback when it hits the cutting board. But, if you wanted to splurge a bit on Toyama Damascus, I don’t think you would be disappointed either.

New Mazaki at Bernal Cutlery looks a little heavier and a little less triangle shaped than most of the ones available right now.

https://bernalcutlery.com/collectio...-kurouchi-finish-wenge?variant=43413992997085
 
Mazaki will definitely provide a different cutting experience than your other knives, nice heft and feedback when it hits the cutting board. But, if you wanted to splurge a bit on Toyama Damascus, I don’t think you would be disappointed either.

New Mazaki at Bernal Cutlery looks a little heavier and a little less triangle shaped than most of the ones available right now.

https://bernalcutlery.com/collectio...-kurouchi-finish-wenge?variant=43413992997085
Keep in mind that the wenge handle weighs like 20-35g more than the ho/walnut handle at CKC, and it's within the margin of error compared to the listing at CKC.
 
The Toyama will be the most different from the ones you already have. The extra heel height and forward balance is very nice. I'd call it more of a medium grind rather than workhorse simply because it's still very thin behind the edge.
 
Keep in mind that the wenge handle weighs like 20-35g more than the ho/walnut handle at CKC, and it's within the margin of error compared to the listing at CKC.
Ah, I didn’t know wedge was that much heavier, I’ve only had one knife with a wedge handle and it didn’t feel too heavy. Ebony handles are where I start thinking it really messes with the balance of the knife.
 
Ah, I didn’t know wedge was that much heavier, I’ve only had one knife with a wedge handle and it didn’t feel too heavy. Ebony handles are where I start thinking it really messes with the balance of the knife.
Wenge density is around 900kg/m3
Macassar Ebony density is around 1100 kg/m3
Magnolia density is around 500kg/m3

Also depends on the actual handle size, but the wood itself is maybe around 80% denser than your standard ho wood.
 
The Toyama will be the most different from the ones you already have. The extra heel height and forward balance is very nice. I'd call it more of a medium grind rather than workhorse simply because it's still very thin behind the edge.
Thanks for the feedback everyone! Regarding this recommendation in particular: SC, Damascus, or either will provide a different but great experience.
 
The weight on these wenge handles (assuming it's the same one appearing on a bunch of other knives... looks the same-ish to me) is about 60g, slightly heavier than the KNS ebony official specs. (based on me shucking one) and significantly heavier than Taihei ebony (which are just smaller overall in the cross section)
 
i would say mazaki is the most WH out of this bunch. his knives can vary quite a lot, he's changing with every batch. had a migaki gyuto that was very thick, currently have ku 240 gyuto, 180 petty and 270 suji. i really love his work, the petty&suji both on fav list.

the kochi is very well made blade, nice taper and very good tip. its more like a mid weight, i have one from the older batch. this newer ones much thinner(confirmed by Jon).

i would say toyama are great cutters, love the steel. very consistent. really love his work, it would be my personal pick out of the three. on the other hand, it can be brittle, they are very thin behind the edge. i wouldn't called it a pure WH because of this aspect.

you might want to consider Heiji or even Gihei. both nice WH options.
 
I have occasionally used my Mazaki 270 ku suji for boardwork and was pleasantly surprised by it’s authoritative feel. However, the W2 seems to need more maintenance, at my novice level of sharpening, in this application.
i guess it’s between Mazaki ku, Toyama SC vs Damascus.
 
I love mazaki, but I'm not sure I'd call them workhorses. I actually find them more comparable to yoshikane, at least the recent ones. That said, I'm talking about the Migaki version, not the ku.

I'm a bigger fan of 270 toyama than 240. I think the extra length and weight makes it a bit more fun. They're thinner than I thought and the food release on my 240 wasn't as good as I expected so it lives in its box.

If you want to try something budget, I like munetoshi. Pretty durable and good food release. I like his steel better than mazaki but I dislike ku and mazaki has a nice distal taper.
 
On the workhorse side of things, I've really enjoyed my Togashi KU in blue 2
https://hitohira-japan.com/products/aaa-026-05-fa240?variant=28786895192117
They're out of stock in the link I sent, but they may be available elsewhere (I got mine from a shop in Singapore).

I'd also put my vote in for a Toyama and mizaki KU. I'm a huge fan of kochi, but it's not a workhorse.
 
I love both the Toyama SS and Toyama Dama I've tried. Out of all the more hyped J-knives I think Toyama's wow'd me most with the performance.
 
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If you'd like to see the toyama and kochi cutting side by side, let me know what you want to see cut and I'll throw a short vid together for you. FWIW I'm also trying to get a Mazaki back, I owned one and regret getting rid of it. I think all three are very good.
 
Can’t really go wrong with any of these… Toyama is the tallest and has a gentle curve along the profile. Great grind, more like a midweight here (smooth cutter and not wedgy at all) but the extra height pushes it into WH territory in terms of weight. Cons - food release is nothing special, the tip is not the thinnest, can be a bit chippy depending on how you sharpen and use it, and doesn’t have a proper flat section like your Yoshi for instance (I mostly push cut these days and it’s not my most used knife).

Mazaki is the more workhorsy of the three but still tapers to a thin tip and thin BTE section. A forum favorite and probably the one that will give you a more unique experience given your current set.

Kochi is the thinnest and lightest of the bunch. Middleweight for sure, but feels stiff. I love mine, probably the more versatile of the three but also the one that will overlap the most in your case.

I’d go with the Mazaki or maybe the Toyama if the curvy profile is not an issue. Toyama Damascus are a bit thicker than SC so that might fit your WH criteria better.
 
If you go down the mazaki path, KU > migaki. My migaki is still a little chunky, but the extra meat on the KU should provide some heft.

Keep in mind they feel a bit weird, whispy at the tip, strong taper and big spine thickness coming out of the tang makes for some unorthodox hand feel. Kinda like one of those lumber carts with 3 pairs of wheels. You can whip it around easily but get it rolling and it’s got some momentum. Enjoyable. (Early 2021 batch)
 
K-tips also usually have flatter profiles, so a shorter knife can feel like a longer one. When space is limited they can be good, but the tip can be more fragile.
 

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