Wanting your thoughts and comments about choosing a new Sujihiki

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passionisto

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Am currently using a Masamoto VG10 270 mm Suji with a western handle and am looking for something with better edge retention, easier sharpening and a wa handle. I have looked at Kurosaki, Kato and Yoshikane all in AS and stainless cladding but I seem to be drifting towards the Masamoto KS white #2 series and maybe the less expensive KK series with the same steel. Most important is performance for slicing raw fish and beef (e.g.carpaccio), slicing cooked meats, while essential, is secondary. Am trying not to exceed the price of the Masamoto KS and finding the best value under $500.
 
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Here's one in BST that you could ask the seller about. Pretty approachable price.

I agree that shirogami is not likely to offer more edge retention than VG10 but it should sharpen like a dream.

 

Jovidah

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Yeah... in my experience white steel gets a really good edge really easily, but won't hold it spectacularly well.
 

Jovidah

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Both have their virtues, I just think that one shouldn't deceive oneself about the edge retention on shirogami. Whether that's a problem or not all depends on what you're looking for.

I'm starting the countdown for Dave to come in and mention his HSC in Z-wear... ;)
 

adam92

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Sujihiki don’t touch much cutting board as the gyuto, I don’t think carbon will be problem, in fact I liked carbon for sujihiki.

I have two sujihiki at the moment, fujiwara FKH 240mm & Heiji 300mm SS. I liked them both very much.
 

blokey

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Kind reminds of this Marco Pierre White video I saw few days ago, not sure he’s using a long petty or short suji tho.

 

Nemo

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A cheap option with good sharpenability, a decent grind and decent edge retention is Shiro Kamo AS (mine is the Shinko Selian from knives and Stones).
 

passionisto

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Thanks for all your comments. I need to add that at this point I am more influenced by what I have read rather than experienced. My draw towards the Masamoto KS is influenced by what it has in common with the yanagiba of that line which seems to be a classic. One question in this regard is whether there is a better value like the Ashi Hamono white 2 for instance.
 
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daveb

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I'm starting the countdown for Dave to come in and mention his HSC in Z-wear...

And here I am. And yes the ZWear has the best retention of any suji I've ever used, not so easy to sharpen but cutting 400# of protein at an event makes it a great suji for me.

I concur with most that has been said about white but for the OPs application, the white would probably be fine. Raw protein, fish especially, is not going to dull a blade like a crusted, cooked protein would. And folks have used white for yani's forever - it gets sharp readily even if it needs it frequently.

I have a Gengetsu suji in stainless clad white that I've never faulted for lack of retention in any home application. If you like the Masamoto then give it a try.
 

passionisto

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A cheap option with good sharpenability, a decent grind and decent edge retention is Shiro Kamo AS (mine is the Shinko Selian from knives and Stones).
I have looked at this along with AS versions of Kato, Hinoura, Kurosaki and Yoshikane. While I like the idea of AS I wonder how the use of these cladded knives and their various finishes would compare to the clean Masamoto mono steel. E.g. the relatively heavy Yoshikane tsukime seemed like not delicate enough for slicing sashimi. I might be all wrong and missing out on better options and this is why I am asking for your input.
 

Jovidah

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Kind reminds of this Marco Pierre White video I saw few days ago, not sure he’s using a long petty or short suji tho.


If I remember correctly he uses a Mac 240/250 suji. Seems to be his main go-to knife instead of a suji; shows up in almost all his videos.

And yeah I'm agree that white isn't necessarily a bad choice and white steel is perfectly servicable in the majority of applications, it's just not what comes to mind when someone says 'I want more edge retention'. Whether that matters or not depends on what and how much you're doing with it; I'm just a home amateur so for me white steel is perfectly fine.

Ashi suji usually runs a bit cheaper than the Masamotos. No clue how they compare in performance though.

When it comes to 'Masamoto mono'... my experiences based on the gyuto: Cutting feedback is different because it's a monosteel (very 'direct' hard feedback; personally I really like that), also feels less delicate as a result, quite low reactivity compared to iron-clad - but you won't mistake it for a stainless clad or a stainless blade. Apart from the profiles that always had a certain aesthethic appeal to me there's nothing special about its looks and both blade finish and handle are rather mundane.
 

passionisto

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All your comments, that I find very insightful and helpful, made me realize that I may have suggested a suji that is well suited for raw protein would automatically also work well for me carving and slicing cooked boneless and bone-in meats that I actually do a lot of. At this point I feel I need to educate myself a bit more on options in blue steels and stainless steels.
 

Nemo

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All your comments, that I find very insightful and helpful, made me realize that I may have suggested a suji that is well suited for raw protein would automatically also work well for me carving and slicing cooked boneless and bone-in meats that I actually do a lot of. At this point I feel I need to educate myself a bit more on options in blue steels and stainless steels.
Think about semistainless. Almost as sharpenable as carbon, much more corrosion and acid resistance than carbon, longer edge retention than most carbon.

Yoshi SKD, Gengetsu SS and Sukenari YXR7 are great examples.

YXR7 is pretty tough stuff. It's the knife I feel most comfortable useing on crusty roasts, despite it having a pretty thin geometry.
 

HansCaravan

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If I remember correctly he uses a Mac 240/250 suji. Seems to be his main go-to knife instead of a suji; shows up in almost all his videos.

Good catch. If you pause the video at 6:05 you can see MAC on the blade.
 

passionisto

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Think about semistainless. Almost as sharpenable as carbon, much more corrosion and acid resistance than carbon, longer edge retention than most carbon.

Yoshi SKD, Gengetsu SS and Sukenari YXR7 are great examples.

YXR7 is pretty tough stuff. It's the knife I feel most comfortable useing on crusty roasts, despite it having a pretty thin geometry.
Been looking at the Sukenari YXR7 for a while, especially as a suji/long petty option at 240mm. I like the geometry, the thin blade and the clean finish. Your comment is what I needed to give it a try regardless of whatever else I choose.
 

passionisto

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Kind reminds of this Marco Pierre White video I saw few days ago, not sure he’s using a long petty or short suji tho.


Thoroughly enjoyed the video. Don't do this style of cooking very often anymore. But did a ratatouille not too long ago with this level of attention to detail and it was all worthwhile.
 
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I have several suji’s, mostly carbon. They generally come to use when entertaining with either friends or family. Pre-Covid, I would often take a suji to a friends dinner party to do the carving chores.

Here’s what I’ve settled on that works for me and why.

324E031F-B11F-4174-AAC2-DB9BDC9D2161.jpeg


B817CB54-34DF-435A-8D53-FF04A85B3E9F.jpeg


It’s a 300mm Damascus Suji from Mert Tansu from semi stainless RG2 steel complete with a fitted leather lined saya. No pin required … the saya is friction fit.

Here’s the logic … first the overall knife.

My suji comes into play before friends, family and strangers. I’m known as a bit of a knife person. The previous carbon suji that I dragged around was heavily patinae’d. Though it was razor sharp it impressed nobody. People would think … knife guru … hmmm … is that the best he’s got? The suji is the most displayed knife I’ve got … it should look the part. For show … 300mm is the only way to go … 330mm even better.

I’m a bit of a nut about cleaning and drying my knives immediately after using them. I don’t know how many times the rush of service hasn’t left time to clean and dry my carver. Worse yet, in mid meal the host or occasional guest goes to the kitchen and uses the suji to carve another couple of slices from the roast. Of course the carver is left uncleaned sitting in a pool of meat juice. Patina forming heaven. What’s one to do … make a fuss … don’t you dare use my knife! How about delay the meal to service the blade or worse jump up mid meal when it’s clear someone else (generally the host) has helped themselves to your knife. Nope to both … that’s how knife nuts become knife NUTS! The answer is a semi stainless blade that can more easily weather lack of immediate attention. As an aside I’ve noticed that most friends (family or hosts) are not inclined to help themselves to a 300mm - 330mm blade, where they have no qualms with helping themselves to, a 240mm - 270mm blade. The intimidation factor of the longer blade is that much greater.

A friction fit saya is also a must. Even in a knife case a saya is necessary to protect your blade. The saya, made from some exotic wood, amplifies the overall impression of the “guest carver” experience. You must be a knife expert when you gently correct your guests that this exotic case is NOT a sheath … but a saya … much more impressive and elegant. Why friction fit? … simple … scientific research has shown that 92.5% of saya pins are lost whilst travelling and attending meals away from you home. A twist tie is not an adequate replacement for the lost pin. Friction fit it is … preferably with a leather lined Saya.

Is it possible that you can’t step up to these rarified specifications? Go to your local knife emporium and pick out the best German stainless serrated brisket carver you can afford. They work just fine. I know … I used one for years with a home made cardboard sheath. That was, of course, before I became a knife NUT.
 
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SirCutAlot

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@work i use 2 different kinds of Sujihiki Steels. 1.2008 (Filesteel, comparable to Shirogami/52100) and HAP40.
I don`t think the HSS steel is more usefull at all. I like the knife but have to admit, it will not stay really sharp longer without much board kontakt. For allready roasted meat i prefer VIC Konditorsäge...

SirCutALot
 

passionisto

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I have several suji’s, mostly carbon. They generally come to use when entertaining with either friends or family. Pre-Covid, I would often take a suji to a friends dinner party to do the carving chores.

Here’s what I’ve settled on that works for me and why.

View attachment 166764

View attachment 166765

It’s a 300mm Damascus Suji from Mert Tansu from semi stainless RG2 steel complete with a fitted leather lined saya. No pin required … the saya is friction fit.

Here’s the logic … first the overall knife.

My suji comes into play before friends, family and strangers. I’m known as a bit of a knife person. The previous carbon suji that I dragged around was heavily patinae’d. Though it was razor sharp it impressed nobody. People would think … knife guru … hmmm … is that the best he’s got? The suji is the most displayed knife I’ve got … it should look the part. For show … 300mm is the only way to go … 330mm even better.

I’m a bit of a nut about cleaning and drying my knives immediately after using them. I don’t know how many times the rush of service hasn’t left time to clean and dry my carver. Worse yet, in mid meal the host or occasional guest goes to the kitchen and uses the suji to carve another couple of slices from the roast. Of course the carver is left uncleaned sitting in a pool of meat juice. Patina forming heaven. What’s one to do … make a fuss … don’t you dare use my knife! How about delay the meal to service the blade or worse jump up mid meal when it’s clear someone else (generally the host) has helped themselves to your knife. Nope to both … that’s how knife nuts become knife NUTS! The answer is a semi stainless blade that can more easily weather lack of immediate attention. As an aside I’ve noticed that most friends (family or hosts) are not inclined to help themselves to a 300mm - 330mm blade, where they have no qualms with helping themselves to, a 240mm - 270mm blade. The intimidation factor of the longer blade is that much greater.

A friction fit saya is also a must. Even in a knife case a saya is necessary to protect your blade. The saya, made from some exotic wood, amplifies the overall impression of the “guest carver” experience. You must be a knife expert when you gently correct your guests that this exotic case is NOT a sheath … but a saya … much more impressive and elegant. Why friction fit? … simple … scientific research has shown that 92.5% of saya pins are lost whilst travelling and attending meals away from you home. A twist tie is not an adequate replacement for the lost pin. Friction fit it is … preferably with a leather lined Saya.

Is it possible that you can’t step up to these rarified specifications? Go to your local knife emporium and pick out the best German stainless serrated brisket carver you can afford. They work just fine. I know … I used one for years with a home made cardboard sheath. That was, of course, before I became a knife NUT.

That is one impressive knife. Thanks for sharing your experience in settings of its use and your criteria for choosing this beauty, and for making it entertaining.

You made clear why you chose semi stainless for this knife. Can you comment on how it compares performance-wise to your carbon sujis?
 
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That is one impressive knife. Thanks for sharing your experience in settings of its use and your criteria for choosing this beauty, and for making it entertaining.

You made clear why you chose semi stainless for this knife. Can you comment on how it compares performance-wise to your carbon sujis?

In my view nothing sharpens up as nicely as high carbon steel but I wouldn’t push back hard against anyone who disagrees with me. In my use (home cook) stainless is completely satisfactory over many meals. In commercial use … say at a carving station, a carbon blade would likely perform better over a period of time. Here is a pic of my new Tansu Sujihiki along side my old standby slicer.

B7F84F30-0890-4A0F-B7C9-45803D0F86B2.jpeg


To illustrate the point I tore out a couple of pages from my telephone directory to illustrate their cutting performance. First up was my old standby slicer.

C7E61DC7-1344-4E93-8E81-0B092574194B.jpeg


Second up was my new sujihiki.

5152B54A-23CA-435C-BFD5-F8C5FD34627A.jpeg


Study the edges of the paper cuts. The new blade cuts are more ragged. IMO it’s not as sharp, despite having been used only a couple of times. I could touch it up but the ootb edge is satisfactory for its present home use.

The carbon steel in my old standby slicer is clearly sharper and reduces the paper to confetti with ease. Though I find the carbon blade easy to touch up, I can’t recall when I did more than strop this blade. It’s easily handled a couple of dozen roasts and has never seen the stones … and needs nothing now.

Yet the reasons for moving to my new Tansu suji remain. In a home setting, serving and entertaining family, friends and guests I’ll reach for my new semi stainless blade. Left to myself where I can be sure the blade is properly cleaned, dried and oiled after use … I’ll probably reach for my old standby slicer.
 
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passionisto

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Before I read your comment, I noticed that at least one piece from your new slicer was more ripped. While I think that both white or blue steel would work the same, I am just curious to know which you chose for your standby.
 
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Before I read your comment, I noticed that at least one piece from your new slicer was more ripped. While I think that both white or blue steel would work the same, I am just curious to know which you chose for your standby.

Exactly … and that is why I included the picture. Keep in mind that the new knife is perfectlycapable of carving a roast In home use. It also offers the ootb edge from a well qualified maker. I could probably put a better edge on it but it’s adequate for its intended use and I really don’t enjoy working with stainless as I do high carbon.

My backup, standby and first choice will always be that scruffy, patinaed slicer shown. It’s razor sharp and easy to touch up. But for the reasons I listed in my original post its not my first choice among friends, family and guests. I don’t even know what steel it is. It’s a Japanese, mono steel … probably not very expensive … and much more suited for volume work.

FWIW I have a couple of suji’s incoming. One is from master blade-meister Bjorn Birgersson and another from the indescribably great Will Newham. Stay tuned and make sure your socks are on tight.

To answer your direct question I would probably choose Aogami Super if I had a choice but either white or blue would work just fine IMO.
 
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