Watanabe handle upgrades?

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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!
 

DitmasPork

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

CiderBear

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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.
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?
 

parbaked

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CiderBear

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Watanabe packages the Professional 165mm Nakiri & Santoku with his "best" Enju / buffalo handles.
http://www.kitchen-knife.jp/pro/santoku.htm

The 180mm Pro Nakiri is priced with the chestnut / plastic handle and the option to upgrade to ho or Enju wood.
http://www.kitchen-knife.jp/pro/nakkiri.htm

This is why the 165mm nakiri is Y1000 more expensive than the 180mm nakiri...
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 :)
 

DitmasPork

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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?
Two Wats:



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
 

CiderBear

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Two Wats:



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
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.htm[URL]http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/pro/nakkiri.htm[/URL]
Handle: D-shaped burnt chestnut wood with plastic hilt)

Are keyaki and enju wood the same thing?
 
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BoostedGT

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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!
I just ordered a Nakiri with the Enju handle, will arrive on Wednesday, I can post pictures when I get it.
 

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.
 

CiderBear

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

childermass

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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
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.
 

DitmasPork

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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?
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.
 
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CiderBear

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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.
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'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.
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.
 

childermass

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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.

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
 
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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 ^^?
 

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.
 

childermass

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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 ^^?
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
 

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:



 
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CiderBear

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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.
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)
 

CiderBear

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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.
View attachment 54749 View attachment 54751
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?
 

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.
 

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.









 

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 ;)
 
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