What tier is konosuke?

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I rotate between two main gytos: a Marko Tsourkan and a Konosuke Fujiyama blue #1. Both are fantastic and create fear amongst the vegetables.

I purchased them a few years ago but I don't really see konosuke fujis get mentioned much in comparison to some of the other top makers (yanick, kippington, etc).

I'm getting an itch to add a new knife but am I already in a top tier for home use or is there another level? I'm not sure if it's just a different flavor of the week or if I'm actually missing out.
 
I would not think of knives as having "tiers".

There's no magic Kipp or Yanick can do, they're still just knives. Yanick has nice wrought, and Kipp makes a very functional knife, but if you're paying double, or you expect the wrought of Yanick to cause some performance miracle, you will be disappointed.

I know some people might say these knives are so much better than everything else, but it has not been my experience that hype correlates with anything other than being hard to acquire. Nice, for sure, but there's no secret sauce here.
 
I got one FM b2 at CKTG, honestly for the price I paid back then they are really good knives, tho these days you saw them on BST for ridiculous amount when same smith and sharpener combination can be had for much less
 
Knife wise, if it works it works. Konosuke is a Sakai based retailer, I think they opened their own sharpening workshop but I'm not sure. In Sakai, retailers, wholesalers, or if they're well-versed enough, people contract work among the craftsmen. Craftsmen tend to stick to working with trusted people though, and are good at certain things or styles. Konosuke mainly does Sakai based stuff but they do contract work from outside of Sakai too. . . The Fujiyama is a Sakai forged and sharpened knife though (for the most part . . . Not sure if the sharpening work is done in myojin workshop or in Sakai)

Anyhow, it's a good knife made in that style. It's thin where it needs to be, and the heat treat and steel is good.

A "higher" tier is mostly. . . . Jewelery. You can get a heavier knife, a thinner knife, a certain grind or finish. . . If you're a professional and demand edge retention then there are western makers with modern steels. . . There's a recent trend of wrought iron, which is usually more abradable than regular iron. Its mostly an aesthetic thing, and for people who like polishing on stones . . . Again a jewelery kinda thing. There's mirror polishes and honyaki. . . Been there, it's not absolutely better.

Kinda funny, but I'm lazy sometimes nowadays that I use a gesshin 90mm paring knife only to prepare a meal for myself. It kinda sucks to be honest, haha, but I don't gotta wash much
 
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I might think about tiers as being related to price points, not performance. Are there higher tiers in terms of price points than what you use? Certainly. But are you going to see meaningful performance benefits above a good Tsourkan or Kono Fuji? Probably not much. Those are - by my measures, anyway - both great knives. But in higher price tiers you get different things. Fancier steel. More fit and finish. Damascus patterns. And so on. In my experience, above the level of knives you have results in more fun and fancy stuff, but is not really reflective of materially better performance. But enjoyment of such blades can be really, truly subjective. Does it bring you (spark) joy, to take a line out of Marie Kondo. That is where certain higher "tier" knives assuming it relates to $, could be different. But performance of your knives is excellent and different knives both above and below your knives in terms of price will/can have a wide variety of characteristics. My two cents.
 
I would even argue - for a home cook looking for performance and potentially convenience, SG2, ginsan or even VG10 can be quite good. You don't even need to learn sharpening yourself if you only cook a handful of meals for two people each week. When time comes for sharpening which is probably 1-2 times a year, just pay a shop $30 bucks.
 
I don’t think there is really a “higher tier” that is going to blow your mind but other makers have different philosophies/approaches to their work that could be fun to use. Marko has a very distinct style and is a bit old school, his spines tend to be thinner compared to other “workhorses”. You could try something like Eddworks where you got a really thick spine with a strong distal taper, thinner behind the edge than a Tsourkan. Or go with a low bevel workhorse like a Halcyon Forge. Some of the low bevel stuff has a slight hollow above the bevel which is nice for food release. Based on my personal experience, I loved my Tsourkan but there’s a lot more out there to experience on the workhorse side of things. Hard to say if it will be worth the money if youre looking strictly from a function perspective.
 
FMs are pretty hyped and hard to buy, but they are kind of yesterday's news here
Based on my personal experience, I loved my Tsourkan but there’s a lot more out there to experience...
There’s definitely been a big evolution in styles/tastes/trends (at least on KKF) since the heyday of FM and Tsourkan. Generally people are drawn towards extreme distal taper and dramatically thick spines/thinness BTE while at the same time lightweight knives with shorter heel heights and more conservative geometries have fallen out of favour.

if you're paying double, or you expect the wrought of Yanick to cause some performance miracle, you will be disappointed.

I know some people might say these knives are so much better than everything else, but it has not been my experience that hype correlates with anything other than being hard to acquire.
I have way less experience than most of those who have commented above me, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that I did absolutely find it eye-opening trying a Kipp or a Bidinger for the first time. I still really enjoy going back to classics like a Kagekiyo wide bevel or a Wat Pro nakiri, but I also do think it’s a revelatory - maybe even miraculous - experience to feel what a more cutting edge knife can do to an onion or sweet potato.

For me, chasing that joyous feeling of having my mind blown when I thought I already knew what an amazing knife felt like is what’s fed my addiction. As a “next tier” contrast to a Tsourkan and a FM, looking for a long and tall Kamon wouldn’t be the worst place to start…
 
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There’s definitely been a big evolution in styles/tastes/trends (at least on KKF) since the heyday of FM and Tsourkan. Generally people are drawn towards extreme distal taper and dramatically thick spines/thinness BTE while at the same time lightweight knives with shorter heel heights and more conservative geometries have fallen out of favour.


I have way less experience than most of those who have commented above me, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that I did absolutely find it eye-opening trying a Kipp or a Bidinger for the first time. I still really enjoy going back to classics like a Kagekiyo wide bevel or a Wat Pro nakiri, but I also do think it’s a revelatory - maybe even miraculous - experience to feel what a more cutting edge knife can do to an onion or sweet potato.

For me, chasing that joyous feeling of having my mind blown when I thought I already knew what an amazing knife felt like is what’s fed my addiction. As a “next tier” contrast to a Tsourkan and a FM, looking for a long and tall Kamon wouldn’t be the worst place to start…
Admittedly, I've never tried a Bidinger, but I feel like the FM and Kipp are closer than the Kipp and any wide bevel knife.
 
I feel like the FM and Kipp are closer than the Kipp and any wide bevel knife.
Yes, that’s definitely true. It was a bit irrelevant to bring up the Kagekiyo or Wat Pro.

I guess I personally never got that “Wow!” feeling with my FM (or Tsourkan, for that matter) in quite the same way I did the first time I tried Markin or Kipp or Bidinger (or a few others), so at least based on my minuscule sample size, I think it’s very possible the OP will find something that brings them even greater joy than their current favourites…
 
I would even argue - for a home cook looking for performance and potentially convenience, SG2, ginsan or even VG10 can be quite good. You don't even need to learn sharpening yourself if you only cook a handful of meals for two people each week. When time comes for sharpening which is probably 1-2 times a year, just pay a shop $30 bucks.
So much depends on individual preferences. Mine run to the esthetic feel of sharpening and cutting. I have no Ginsan knives, but my SG2 and VG10 knives are purely utilitarian. They feel numb, but they get the job done. Carbon steel has a feel to it, when cutting and sharpening. I feel more of the cut back through my hands, and that pleases me a lot; it involves me with what I am doing. It feels like the essence of why I have gotten involved with kitchen knives, and why they are more to me than just tools -- they are tools that are a pleasure to use. I don't feel that way about my screwdrivers or saws. That pleasure has transformed my cooking from a chore I get through because I want to eat a dish, to something fun and interesting.

As you might imagine, with that perspective, I can't imagine handing one my knives off to someone with a belt grinder. Besides, a knife can get really sluggish in 6 months of cooking a few meals a week. We discuss really excellent knives here, but one of the things we offer is that you will have a much better experience with your knives. I think that has to mean learning to sharpen them yourself, right when they are no longer fun to cut with.
 
'm getting an itch to add a new knife but am I already in a top tier for home use or is there another level? I'm not sure if it's just a different flavor of the week or if I'm actually missing out.
From my perspective, what you're missing is not a Gyuto, but a really good Chinese cleaver. That is another level, and I am grateful that so many wonderful ones are being made. Certainly if you're itching for something different, I can promise you that it would be different.
 
So much depends on individual preferences. Mine run to the esthetic feel of sharpening and cutting. I have no Ginsan knives, but my SG2 and VG10 knives are purely utilitarian. They feel numb, but they get the job done. Carbon steel has a feel to it, when cutting and sharpening. I feel more of the cut back through my hands, and that
I can see the sharpening thing.

But the cutting thing on the cutting board, I 1000% believe is purely placebo.

I mean. I'm not saying there is something wrong with enjoying a nice carbon steel blade. And if something makes you happy, then thats great. I think people should be able to enjoy their knives

I just see a lot of mysticism attributed to things, that I don't think needs to be there to enjoy it still.
 
I can see the sharpening thing.

But the cutting thing on the cutting board, I 1000% believe is purely placebo.

I mean. I'm not saying there is something wrong with enjoying a nice carbon steel blade. And if something makes you happy, then thats great. I think people should be able to enjoy their knives

I just see a lot of mysticism attributed to things, that I don't think needs to be there to enjoy it still.
I have maybe 12 knives with different steels. None over $225. All of them have different feels, strengths, and weaknesses and I enjoy them all. While it would be cool to try some higher-end knives to experience them, I'm not certain I could notice a huge difference from the ones I have. Then again, once I had the opportunity to have a meal at a 5-star restaurant in NIce. When the cheese course came the server told me that only French people liked one of the cheeses I selected. I said bring it on. Unfortunately, of the four or five cheeses I selected, they all tasted the same to me. I guess my palate was not sophisticated enough to appreciate the subtle differences. Perhaps it's the same for knives for me???
 
I have maybe 12 knives with different steels. None over $225. All of them have different feels, strengths, and weaknesses and I enjoy them all. While it would be cool to try some higher-end knives to experience them, I'm not certain I could notice a huge difference from the ones I have. Then again, once I had the opportunity to have a meal at a 5-star restaurant in NIce. When the cheese course came the server told me that only French people liked one of the cheeses I selected. I said bring it on. Unfortunately, of the four or five cheeses I selected, they all tasted the same to me. I guess my palate was not sophisticated enough to appreciate the subtle differences. Perhaps it's the same for knives for me???
With kitchen knives, you won't know it until you tried it. Before, for me, it was just the cutting and sharpening that I enjoy. But now that I do some thinning and polishing on knives too I gain an appreciation for knives that has geometry I can maintain over time over knives that cuts well but has messy polishing geometry.

My point is, the more you try, the more your tastes change.
 
I tried a thick, non-Kaiju Fujiyama at Tosho once. It's a pretty rare and desirable knife at the time, and I was on the Fuji hype train too. At the time I still owned a Toyama SS and a Yoshikane gyuto.

After trying it, it didn't give me that 'wow' factor when using it that the two knives I own didn't already give. I promptly fell off the Fuji hype train soon after.
 
I rotate between two main gytos: a Marko Tsourkan and a Konosuke Fujiyama blue #1. Both are fantastic and create fear amongst the vegetables.

I purchased them a few years ago but I don't really see konosuke fujis get mentioned much in comparison to some of the other top makers (yanick, kippington, etc).

I'm getting an itch to add a new knife but am I already in a top tier for home use or is there another level? I'm not sure if it's just a different flavor of the week or if I'm actually missing out.

One of the things to realize is that the forums are very fickle. What is popular for a few years, becomes forgotten the next few as people get their fill and look for the next item to collect. You also have a lot of confirmation bias going on - "I spent a lot of money, so this knife is great"

Konosuke put out some decent knives at a good price. Personally I find the MM in my top tier (although the handle could be better). The YS is up there as well. The Fujiyama FM was a step below. Konosuke has also fallen off the radar somewhat as they have produced very few knives in the last few years.

What make a knife top tier? Is it the fit and finish? The steel? The grind? The handle?

Every knife is a trade-off. Something top-tier through one product may suck through another.
 
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So much depends on individual preferences. Mine run to the esthetic feel of sharpening and cutting. I have no Ginsan knives, but my SG2 and VG10 knives are purely utilitarian. They feel numb, but they get the job done.
Ginsan and AEB-L brought me back from pure carbon collection. They're both enjoyable and very rewarding to sharpen. It's nice having something that doesn't suffer edge degradation during peak summer season when I'm cutting loads of tomatoes, peppers, and onions but still brings a a lot more joy on the stones than SG2.
 
I can see the sharpening thing.

But the cutting thing on the cutting board, I 1000% believe is purely placebo.

I mean. I'm not saying there is something wrong with enjoying a nice carbon steel blade. And if something makes you happy, then thats great. I think people should be able to enjoy their knives

I just see a lot of mysticism attributed to things, that I don't think needs to be there to enjoy it still.
I disagree. Nothing mystical or even particularly subtle about it. Stainless steels, or at least the ones I've used, are more slippery than carbon steels, so of course they feel different when cutting.
 
I have maybe 12 knives with different steels. None over $225. All of them have different feels, strengths, and weaknesses and I enjoy them all. While it would be cool to try some higher-end knives to experience them, I'm not certain I could notice a huge difference from the ones I have. Then again, once I had the opportunity to have a meal at a 5-star restaurant in NIce. When the cheese course came the server told me that only French people liked one of the cheeses I selected. I said bring it on. Unfortunately, of the four or five cheeses I selected, they all tasted the same to me. I guess my palate was not sophisticated enough to appreciate the subtle differences. Perhaps it's the same for knives for me???
I'll go into more detail on what I mean.

So different knives can feel different while cutting for sure. I would say that isn't up for debate. And I think trying them out is worth it.

I don't think the kind of alloy you are using is going to make any difference in how it feels when you contact the board or anything. I think a lot of things might have some effect on that, but whether or not it's carbon steel isn't one of them.

I think handle type, geometry and a bunch of other things are more likely to cause any difference in feel with board contact.
 
I disagree. Nothing mystical or even particularly subtle about it. Stainless steels, or at least the ones I've used, are more slippery than carbon steels, so of course they feel different when cutting.
I doubt, this is actually true or perceptible. Not to say there is no difference among knives, but the difference you are feeling is more than likely due to other factors, grind, weight, balance, finish, handle angle, etc but not due to the alloy used.
 
I'll go into more detail on what I mean.

So different knives can feel different while cutting for sure. I would say that isn't up for debate. And I think trying them out is worth it.

I don't think the kind of alloy you are using is going to make any difference in how it feels when you contact the board or anything. I think a lot of things might have some effect on that, but whether or not it's carbon steel isn't one of them.

I think handle type, geometry and a bunch of other things are more likely to cause any difference in feel with board contact.
Hmmm, we may be at cross purposes. I agree with you about board contact. I'm only talking about the feel of the knife going through the thing you're cutting, not how it feels when you strike bottom. It's all about the contact between the sides of the knife and the food. That's why slipperiness vs. a bit of grip makes such a difference. Maybe this doesn't matter to most; it matters to me, for enjoyment reasons, not results reasons.
 
Hmmm, we may be at cross purposes. I agree with you about board contact. I'm only talking about the feel of the knife going through the thing you're cutting, not how it feels when you strike bottom. It's all about the contact between the sides of the knife and the food. That's why slipperiness vs. a bit of grip makes such a difference. Maybe this doesn't matter to most; it matters to me, for enjoyment reasons, not results reasons.
I think its fine you enjoy it. And i think i can say I have my own enjoyment along similar lines.

I just don't believe the this thing about alloy being felt in this way while cutting is true.

I could be wrong. And maybe there is something I don't know about that would cause this other than placebo, or other things unrelated to alloy type.

I think i should say we agree to disagree after this, or your response to this if you choose to. Just so we wont make the derailment of the thread (i caused with my reply) any worse.
 
Is it a Fujiyama or an FM? What size is it? Do you like this size or prefer a different size? Do you prefer thin knives, wide bevels, work horses, lots of taper?

A great read: https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/konosuke-fujiyama-a-history.40726/

What a fantastic read on the history - I had no idea it was this complex. It was listed as a konosuke fujiyama blue #1 with khii ebony handle (240mm) on tosho's website from which I ordered directly but from the info above, it's most likely an FM. It was purchased in December of 2018.

As for all of the other replies - I very much appreciate everyone's input. I'll probably end up with a Yanick at some point just because I'm drawn to them and I don't think I'll be able to hold off forever. This forum is such a wealth of good information!
 
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