Watanabe blade types

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jacko9

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I have purchased a few knives from Watanabe in the past year 2 each 180mm Pro Nakiri's and one 180mm KU Gyuto. Now I have been thinking about buying a 240 or larger Gyuto from him but reading on here about various preferences for iron clad vs stainless clad, KU finish vs polished finish, and then there is the issue of blue steel vs white #2 or #3 steels being offered.

I'm wondering if there is some old inventory being sold out and that new production is being limited to certain types?

Is there a grind difference between the iron clad vs stainless clad?

Is Shin still producing Blue steel knives?

Are his current offerings different from past production?

I keep thinking that I'd like the 240 Gyuto in Blue/Stainless clad OR I'm not sure so I'm asking these questions before I buy anything else and hoping that some folks on here have a bit more knowledge about his products than I do.
 

Hz_zzzzzz

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I don’t know much about all the different versions of Watanabe but I really enjoy using my 240 ss blue 2 (newer 210 gram version).

I usually prefer laser-ish knives but using Wat puts smile on my face. It is thin behind the edge. Has good food release. The middle-to-heavy weight feels comfortable and nimble on hand. Compared to a laser, the stiffness and extra weight help cutting the condense produce when you don’t have expert knife skills as it won’t twist and stuck. The tall and flat profile is practical and nice to use, too. The only thing I might want to change is the thickness of the tip area. It could use some thinning there.
 

ian

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His standard pro line is blue #2, stainless clad. He has a few other things on the “specials” page, but if you don’t have very specific tastes just get one of the standard ones.
 

CiderBear

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He doesn't "make" "professional" KU gyutos anymore (as opposed to "special" ones), so that's out of the picture.

In the same vein, he doesn't make iron-clad gyutos anymore, so the only thing you can get from him right now is stainless clad.

That being said, I don't believe there is a huge difference between his iron-clad (no longer in production) and stainless-clad Professional (current flagship line) gyutos in terms of grind.

Keep in mind I'm talking about anything 210mm+.
 

jacko9

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He doesn't "make" "professional" KU gyutos anymore (as opposed to "special" ones), so that's out of the picture.

In the same vein, he doesn't make iron-clad gyutos anymore, so the only thing you can get from him right now is stainless clad.

That being said, I don't believe there is a huge difference between his iron-clad (no longer in production) and stainless-clad Professional (current flagship line) gyutos in terms of grind.

Keep in mind I'm talking about anything 210mm+.
I don’t know much about all the different versions of Watanabe but I really enjoy using my 240 ss blue 2 (newer 210 gram version).

I usually prefer laser-ish knives but using Wat puts smile on my face. It is thin behind the edge. Has good food release. The middle-to-heavy weight feels comfortable and nimble on hand. Compared to a laser, the stiffness and extra weight help cutting the condense produce when you don’t have expert knife skills as it won’t twist and stuck. The tall and flat profile is practical and nice to use, too. The only thing I might want to change is the thickness of the tip area. It could use some thinning there.
I don’t know much about all the different versions of Watanabe but I really enjoy using my 240 ss blue 2 (newer 210 gram version).

I usually prefer laser-ish knives but using Wat puts smile on my face. It is thin behind the edge. Has good food release. The middle-to-heavy weight feels comfortable and nimble on hand. Compared to a laser, the stiffness and extra weight help cutting the condense produce when you don’t have expert knife skills as it won’t twist and stuck. The tall and flat profile is practical and nice to use, too. The only thing I might want to change is the thickness of the tip area. It could use some thinning there.
The professional 240mm Gyuto stainless clad blue steel sounds like the knife I'm looking for since i want something heftier than my Konosuke Fujiyama B#2 with the FT sharpener. I have toyed with the idea of asking him to make me a 240mm Honyaki Gyuto but, it would have to be in a white 125 SC steel and I don't have any idea of how that would compare to his regular professional clad knife. Anybody have any experience with his Honyaki Gyuto's?
 

jacko9

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Update - I bought a Watanabe 210mm Stainless clad Blue #2 and like it very much. I would have ordered a 240mm version at the same time but, I already took advantage of the JNS April sale and bought a Toyama 240mm Stainless clad Blue #2 which is almost identical except for length.
 

Hoppy

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Update - I bought a Watanabe 210mm Stainless clad Blue #2 and like it very much. I would have ordered a 240mm version at the same time but, I already took advantage of the JNS April sale and bought a Toyama 240mm Stainless clad Blue #2 which is almost identical except for length.
out of interest which of the knives you purchased do you prefer?
 

JayS20

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Update - I bought a Watanabe 210mm Stainless clad Blue #2 and like it very much. I would have ordered a 240mm version at the same time but, I already took advantage of the JNS April sale and bought a Toyama 240mm Stainless clad Blue #2 which is almost identical except for length.
How long did it take from orderig to receiving the knife? I guess you didn't ask any special requests? How much did you oay? Heard it's not hard to communicate with him, did you feel the sam?
 

jacko9

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How long did it take from orderig to receiving the knife? I guess you didn't ask any special requests? How much did you oay? Heard it's not hard to communicate with him, did you feel the sam?
The 210mm Watanabe I bought I got from Epicurean Edge but, I assume you are talking about direct purchases from Watanabe and in that case my last three purchases from him have taken about 2 weeks for something he had in stock.
 

jacko9

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I'm partial to the 210mm length and the Watanabe feels good in my hand but, I'll need to use it some to see if the edge holds up to some of my other knives.
Well after using the 210 Watanabe as sent from the maker with almost no micro bevel (and screaming sharp) for a week the extreme edge started to break down a bit so I took it to my 1K stone put a small bevel on it and then refined it with my 8K Kitayama stone. It is now cutting like a charm and I suspect that I will only need to strop it once in a while. The 210 is my favorite size at home on my mid sized cutting board. This knife has a great grind and the food release is outstanding.
 

McMan

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In terms of Wat thickness, KU > Iron-clad > SS-clad. As @CiderBear said, this is somewhat of a moot point, considering Watanabe sells only the SS-clad at the moment. KU and iron-clad would have to be a BST hunt. I think the KU Wats were overlooked--they're hefty beasts and the grind is very convex. I've got a 270, and it weights five or six pounds!
 

M1k3

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In terms of Wat thickness, KU > Iron-clad > SS-clad. As @CiderBear said, this is somewhat of a moot point, considering Watanabe sells only the SS-clad at the moment. KU and iron-clad would have to be a BST hunt. I think the KU Wats were overlooked--they're hefty beasts and the grind is very convex. I've got a 270, and it weights five or six pounds!
Or 6 months of bugging him, for iron clad.
 

M1k3

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Not me. I forget who but someone on here said they bugged Watanabe for 6 months before he said yes to iron clad
 

J.C

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Did you get your knife yet? If so is there a thickness/grind difference between the KU and the Stainless clad knives?
Not yet. It will take around 5-6weeks to make one.
there will be substantial difference in thickness, weight and grind. Especially when i order a bit taller (245x56) hopefully it will come out as what i want.
 

jacko9

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Not yet. It will take around 5-6weeks to make one.
there will be substantial difference in thickness, weight and grind. Especially when i order a bit taller (245x56) hopefully it will come out as what i want.
Last time I communicated with Shinichi he said that he only has SC125 steel. Is that what you are getting clad with iron? I keep thinking I want to get one custom from him but, I can't decide what to order. I like every one of the four blades I got from, him so far but they are pretty much his Pro offerings.
 

J.C

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Last time I communicated with Shinichi he said that he only has SC125 steel. Is that what you are getting clad with iron? I keep thinking I want to get one custom from him but, I can't decide what to order. I like every one of the four blades I got from, him so far but they are pretty much his Pro offerings.
My one is KU iron clad gyuto with blue steel core (either b#2 like regular one or b#1 that he has a few stock left) Im not sure which one he decide to go with.
I paid extra for the knife, wasn’t cheap but worth it.
Will be hard to persuade him to make a custom. Either he will charge you a lot more or he just politely decline up front
 

jacko9

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My one is KU iron clad gyuto with blue steel core (either b#2 like regular one or b#1 that he has a few stock left) Im not sure which one he decide to go with.
I paid extra for the knife, wasn’t cheap but worth it.
Will be hard to persuade him to make a custom. Either he will charge you a lot more or he just politely decline up front
Actually I did get a quote from him that seemed reasonable since I have communicated with him several times with my purchases so I just need to decide if I need "another knife". I gave a Pro 180 KU Nakiri and a Pro 180 KU Gyuto to my granddaughter and was thinking that she might need a longer blade so I got a 210 and a 240. However she says that she doesn't need a longer knife! I guess I'll have to wait until my youngest granddaughter moves out on her own and starts to cook.
 

J.C

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I have bought more than 7 knives from him. His price has went up twice since 2017.
If you have the chance to get custom, why not?
 

jacko9

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I have bought more than 7 knives from him. His price has went up twice since 2017.
If you have the chance to get custom, why not?
Probably because I have purchased 21 Japanese knives in the past four years - "addition" no but I keep looking for that "one perfect" knife (right - no addition ;-) Most of my purchase have been laser like from Konosuke Fujiyama, Toyama, and Watanabe with a few a little heavier like my Kato Workhorse and my Kato KU. I think if I get a Watanabe custom it will be a Honyaki Gyuto but you're correct it is going to be expensive.
 

J.C

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Probably because I have purchased 21 Japanese knives in the past four years - "addition" no but I keep looking for that "one perfect" knife (right - no addition ;-) Most of my purchase have been laser like from Konosuke Fujiyama, Toyama, and Watanabe with a few a little heavier like my Kato Workhorse and my Kato KU. I think if I get a Watanabe custom it will be a Honyaki Gyuto but you're correct it is going to be expensive.
Nice collection you have there.
For some reasons i try not to touch the unicorns area, some say there will be no turning back after you pass a certain point.
Lucky me, as a professional who work in the kitchen, i get to buy more knives than you as i have “reasonable excuses”. But now i try to keep only knives that i will actually use in the kitchen, the rest probably will go to BST soon.
If you can get watanabe to make honyaki, go for it. He probably will not make honyaki anymore and the price will double up soon.
 
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daveb

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Did you get your knife yet? If so is there a thickness/grind difference between the KU and the Stainless clad knives?
I have a stainless clad 240 gyuto on bst and was asked for the weight. The stainless clad Wat weighs in at 214g. FWIW my traditional 240 Pro Kurouchi Wat weighs in at 253g. Beast.
 

jacko9

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I have a stainless clad 240 gyuto on bst and was asked for the weight. The stainless clad Wat weighs in at 214g. FWIW my traditional 240 Pro Kurouchi Wat weighs in at 253g. Beast.
I got two new Gyuto's a Wat Pro 210 Stainless clad blue#2 and a Toyama 240 Stainless clad blue #2. I'm going to have to wait for a Honyaki for now.
 

jacko9

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I think the real question is: Did he ever produced them?
If the blue steel knives were produced by someone else why would they be sold by Watanabe? Was there a master/apprentice relationship that produced the knives or produced by another and finished in house at Watanabe? I guess I really don't care now since I own a few of them but, I'm curious since he tells me that he doesn't have blue steel in house.
 

Hz_zzzzzz

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I thought most people here believe Wat in blue 2 core is made by Toyama?

I have a friend who owns both 240 Wat and Toyama (blue 2 ss clad) and believes they are made by the same person. According to him, the item labels on the boxes of 2 knives, which says "blue 2 wa gyuto / 240" in kanji are clearly hand-written by the same person.
 

jacko9

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I thought most people here believe Wat in blue 2 core is made by Toyama?

I have a friend who owns both 240 Wat and Toyama (blue 2 ss clad) and believes they are made by the same person. According to him, the item labels on the boxes of 2 knives, which says "blue 2 wa gyuto / 240" in kanji are clearly hand-written by the same person.
Perhaps thats not bad as the blades are first rate and have excellent qualities. I also have three Watanabe KU blades; two nakiris and a 180 gyuto which are also excellent and they are made with blue steel. Perhaps I need to buy a honyaki with SC125 steel to get a Watanabe made knife? I'm really tempted and may do so shortly as the examples of the Watanabe iron clad KU knives seem to be excellent.
 
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