Watanabe handle upgrades?

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by CiderBear, Jun 10, 2019.

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  1. Jun 10, 2019 #1

    CiderBear

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    Hi everyone!

    I have been toying with the idea of getting a Wat Pro nakiri, and I'm curious about their handle upgrade options. I'm not a huge fan of the plastic ferrule, and I don't want to go through the process of rehandling later, therefore I'm interested in your past experience getting handle upgrades directly from Watanabe.

    If you could post pictures of your knives with upgraded handles, and tell me how you feel about the F&F on them, compare them to other handles you have, etc... it would be great. Thank you very much for your help!
     
  2. Jun 10, 2019 #2

    DitmasPork

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    Far as I know, Wat Pro comes with horn ferrule. Best to just send Shinichi an email. My Wats have very good handles, keyaki.
     
  3. Jun 10, 2019 #3

    CiderBear

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    I believe the stock Wat Pro nakiri comes with a nice burnt chestnut handle and a not-so-nice plastic ferrule :/

    May I see some pictures of your Wats and their handles?
     
  4. Jun 10, 2019 #4

    chinacats

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    Yep...
     
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  5. Jun 10, 2019 #5

    parbaked

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  6. Jun 10, 2019 #6

    CiderBear

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    Hi pat baked, thank you. Yes, I was aware of the options. I wanted to know what the upgrades actually look like and what people (who's gotten the upgrades) think about them. Apologies if I wasn't being clear enough in the OP :)
     
  7. Jun 10, 2019 #7

    DitmasPork

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    Two Wats:
    [​IMG]


    The handles on the site look like horn. As I mentioned, best to do is send Shinichi an email.
    http://www.kitchen-knife.jp/pro/santoku.htm

    From his site:
    Octagonal shaped Enju wood with water buffalo horn hilt
     
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  8. Jun 10, 2019 #8

    CiderBear

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    Beautiful knives, thanks so much for the picture - do you know which is which? I have already contacted Shinichi, but I wanted to get some other views on the handles is all.
    (also he does say on the website for his 180mm nakiri, the default is a plastic ferrule http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/pro/nakkiri.htmhttp://www.watanabeblade.com/english/pro/nakkiri.htm
    Handle: D-shaped burnt chestnut wood with plastic hilt)

    Are keyaki and enju wood the same thing?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  9. Jun 11, 2019 #9

    BoostedGT

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    I just ordered a Nakiri with the Enju handle, will arrive on Wednesday, I can post pictures when I get it.
     
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  10. Jun 11, 2019 #10

    childermass

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    I always upgrade my Wats with burnt chestnut handles with horn ferrule. Some of them are a little twisted, but that’s not noticeable in use. Transition between horn and wood is very well done on all of them and the finish is good.
    I can take a few pictures for you later when I get home.
     
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  11. Jun 11, 2019 #11

    childermass

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  12. Jun 11, 2019 #12

    CiderBear

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    Thank you. I'd really appreciate it. When did you get yours? Last I asked, Shinichi doesn't offer the option anymore
     
  13. Jun 11, 2019 #13

    childermass

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    Got my Kaibou and Suji in 2014, the Mioroshi Deba in 2016 and Kaisaki two months ago. The latter has the worst handle of all four, but it’s also really thin to suit the intended purpose and I guess he might not have had many to choose from. Maybe he’s out of stock for the more standard sizes.
    He didn’t offer burnt chestnut on the website in 2016 but I asked and got it.

    I also got my hands on one of the Enju handles and these really look and feel great.
     
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  14. Jun 11, 2019 #14

    DitmasPork

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    I've never held enju, but Wat's keyaki is one of my fave handles. F&f not up to par as the really good custom handle makers, but no matter, Wat's are working knives, utilitarian, want them comfortable and not too pretty.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  15. Jun 11, 2019 #15

    CiderBear

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    Woah, that's a lot of Wats. I'd love to see pictures of them when you get home - thank you very much for the offer.


    I see. I agree that they're utilitarian knives and don't need to be too pretty - in fact, I'm not a fan of shiny fancy custom handles at all - but I do like nice, comfy basic (well, maybe not too basic) handle with a nice flushed ferrule.
     
  16. Jun 11, 2019 #16

    childermass

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    Yes, I got a thing for Wats and I really like to deal with Shinichi as I enjoy his direct marketing approach. I also got a standard Nakiri and 120 Ajikiri but both with a Ho wood handle with horn ferrule.

    Here you got a group shot. The horn is pretty flush with the wood on all of them and you can only slightly feel the transition if you really try. All handles are lined up nicely with the spine, the twists, if any show when you look at the choil. The things I enjoy the most about these is the textured surface and the grip when wet.

    IMG_3314.jpg

    Some details (sorry for the poor lighting.

    Suji (the nicest of the four)
    IMG_3317.jpg
    IMG_3318.jpg

    Kaibou
    IMG_3320.jpg
    IMG_3321.jpg

    Mioroshi Deba
    IMG_3322.jpg
    IMG_3323.jpg

    Kaisaki (as I said, awful looking handle but nothing to realize in use)
    IMG_3324.jpg
    IMG_3325.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  17. Jun 11, 2019 #17

    CiderBear

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    @childermass Thank you very much for the pictures!! Wow, that suji truly does have a really nice handle - I love the grain on it. Can I see the ho wood ones as well ^^?
     
  18. Jun 11, 2019 #18

    DitmasPork

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    By the way, plastic ferrule shouldn't dissuade you from buying a Wat. They're really great blades, some of my fave. You can always upgrade, or get it re-handled if you fancy.
     
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  19. Jun 11, 2019 #19

    childermass

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    Sure!
    IMG_3327.jpg

    I rehandled the Nakiri myself, got the handle from Shinichi for free. Unfortunately the handle was used and I had to use epoxy to fill the gaps left and right of the tang:
    IMG_3329.jpg
    IMG_3328.jpg

    The Ajikiri got a nice d-handle upon my request:
    IMG_3330.jpg
    IMG_3331.jpg
     
  20. Jun 11, 2019 #20

    Kevin Sykes

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    I went with the octagonal ho/horn for my wat nakiri and am pleased with it. Not a fan of some of the more blingy handles but appreciate the simple elegance of this one.

    Some pics:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  21. Jun 11, 2019 #21

    Kevin Sykes

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  22. Jun 12, 2019 #22

    CiderBear

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    Thank you so much! How long did it take from when you ordered until the knife arrives tomorrow?

    @childermass and @Kevin Sykes thank you both for the pictures. It looks like the F&F on most of his handle upgrades are good, even when the handles don't look flashy (which I prefer anyway)
     
  23. Jun 12, 2019 #23

    Ryndunk

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    Wat nakiri with enju handle. Received this about 3weeks ago. I had asked him for a chestnut and horn handle but he told me that wasn't an option.
    20190522_142342.jpg 20190522_142221.jpg
     
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  24. Jun 12, 2019 #24

    CiderBear

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    Thank you so, so much. This is exactly what I was looking for. This is the 180mm with the upgrade, correct? Shin also told me burnt chestnut+horn wasn't an option

    Overall, how do you feel about the Enju handle? To me, the color seems a lot lighter than his stock pictures for the upgrade & knives in the "Special" section with enju handles, almost as light as normal Ho wood? What do you think?
     
  25. Jun 12, 2019 #25

    Ryndunk

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    Yes, its a 180 with the enju. The handle is nice, nothing really special if that's what you are looking for. It is definitely a bit darker than the ho wood. I've never seen one of his chestnut and plastic handles but I imagine it's a nice upgrade from that, and a small upgrade from a standard ho wood handle.
     
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  26. Jun 12, 2019 #26

    BoostedGT

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    I just got this 180mm Pro Nakiri today, I got the Enju handle as well, really impressed, it is nicely done, simple and nice.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Jun 12, 2019 #27

    CiderBear

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    @BoostedGT and @Ryndunk thank you both so much for the pics of the Enju handles. They really helped me with my research

    Now, one last request, if it's not too much (more) to ask: if you have any random knife with a Ho wood handle, could you picture the Enju and Ho next to each other? I'd like to be able to see how much more brownish-yellow enju is compared to Ho wood :)

    Also, does anyone know if Shinichi ever offers blonde horns on his handles? I'm thinking enju+blonde horn would make a simple yet nice contrast to the kurouchi finish ;)
     
  28. Jun 12, 2019 #28

    Ryndunk

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  29. Jun 12, 2019 #29

    CiderBear

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    Thank you so much @Ryndunk!! This really shows me the difference in color and grains between the 2 handles. The enju is beautiful :)
     
  30. Jun 13, 2019 #30

    krx927

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    Here are some pics of keyaki octagonal. I really like it:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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