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What's the deal with Takeda knives?

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PappaG

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I have a short, but tall petty. I really like the knife. I find it crazy thin and crazy light. Sharpens easily and great for a home cook. Can't speak to whether a professional would like it, but for my use its a enjoyable, light thin knife to use..
 

spaceconvoy

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From my point of view, he was popular over a decade ago when there were fewer boutique knife makers and rustic kurouchi was considered exotic. His prices keep rising so he must still have a following, but I've never seen the appeal.
 

xxxclx

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Takeda 165mm Funayuki Choil.png


I have the Takeda Funayuki and I like it quite a bit, especially for quick and small kitchen tasks. Sharpens nicely and does hold the edge pretty well. I probably wouldn't buy their larger offerings though.
 

Hz_zzzzzz

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Looks like a lefty, but the food release seems good in left hand use though.
 

McMan

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Takedas evolved crazily... The old ones bear no resemblance to the new one, aside from the stamp. The old ones had tall bevels, were thin (but not too thin) and stiff, and were awesome. Then there was a mid-phase where the blade road was really, really low, and the sides were slabby--and the knives were really inconsistent if not flawed. Then Takeda dialed that in and added more of a forged hollow, which is where we're at now--a forged S-grind, thin with some flex. That choil shot above tells it all. Good, but not great, food release. The change in grind/manufacture was pretty profound and coincided with Takeda getting very well known. I've tried old and new--the old version in B#1 was one of the first Japanese knives I bought--and very much prefer the old ones. Still, the new ones are fun. The gyutos are crazy tall. They don't come cheap though, and I'd be hard-pressed to ever pay full retail for a new one. It's a knife I'd put in the "mandatory to try" category.
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

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Thanks for the replies. So far I've got: thin knives, S grind on the newer ones, good steel...

But still, speaking in terms of 165mm nakiri (the standard knife I compare brands with since that's usually what I'm after) the AS Classic is at $290 (CKTG, Chubo) compared to a TF Mab at $260 (direct), a Shig KU at $250 (Strata), a Mazaki Kasumi at $180, M. Hinoura at $230 (JCK), etc.

I'm still unclear what makes them worth it. Do they come with girls like these? Because if so, I'm definitely getting on the Takeda train.

Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 4.23.07 PM.png
 

pgugger

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Takedas evolved crazily... The old ones bear no resemblance to the new one, aside from the stamp. The old ones had tall bevels, were thin (but not too thin) and stiff, and were awesome. Then there was a mid-phase where the blade road was really, really low, and the sides were slabby--and the knives were really inconsistent if not flawed. Then Takeda dialed that in and added more of a forged hollow, which is where we're at now--a forged S-grind, thin with some flex.
Do you recall which years were each of these phases?

My "medium" gyuto (255 mm) is about two years old I think (stainless-clad AS), and it's great. Unparalleled food release. Really light and tall, so great for chopping and doubles as a bench scraper. Well made, easy to sharpen. It is true that it can crack carrots or wedge a little in hard food, depending, but my thought has always been that is a calculated tradeoff for food release. I think the Kippington hook grind thread goes through various related tradeoffs, and Takeda's geometry seems like one reasonable solution for the height of the bevel, thickness at the wide point and behind/above it, edge angle, etc... even if not necessarily everyone's favorite!

But still, speaking in terms of 165mm nakiri (the standard knife I compare brands with since that's usually what I'm after) the AS Classic is at $290 (CKTG, Chubo) compared to a TF Mab at $260 (direct), a Shig KU at $250 (Strata), a Mazaki Kasumi at $180, M. Hinoura at $230 (JCK), etc.

I'm still unclear what makes them worth it.
Whether a Takeda is worth it depends on what you want. I like to try different styles, so for me it was totally worth it and I still have mine and use it among many other knives.
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

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@pgugger That is true. I dislike the aesthetics but do want to try one now.

Also, given that they sometimes wedge, do people regularly thin them or turn them into quasi-wide bevels?
 

pgugger

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Also, given that they sometimes wedge, do people regularly thin them or turn them into quasi-wide bevels?
I have read of people thinning the widest point to help avoid wedging. But, it seems that would also have the effect of reducing food separation. Not sure what you mean about wide bevels...
 

labor of love

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You will recognize a “good” takeda by the shinogi Location not being next to the edge but more like 25-35mm Up the blade. They used to be something to rave about 10 years ago. Also people had much more modest tastes back then.
 

pgugger

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You will recognize a “good” takeda by the shinogi Location not being next to the edge but more like 25-35mm Up the blade. They used to be something to rave about 10 years ago. Also people had much more modest tastes back then.
I have never tried the old ones, but it seems to me that if the shinogi was so high then it would no longer serve to separate food on most short foods. I can understand if that's not important to some people or in many circumstances, but food separation seems like something that Takeda knives excel at.
 

Chicagohawkie

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Is Takeda taking a break? Seems mostly out of stock at most of the usual locations.
 

McMan

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Do you recall which years were each of these phases?
There was this thread about when the old to mid-phase transition happened, and its from 2014.
I got my first old one somewhere between 2005 and 2007, so say 2006. I got a few others from him after that, figure 2008. IIRC, the transition (from old to first version of new grind) was about ~2010. Then the latest version of the new grind kicked in about five years ago? Maybe others can chime in? My recollection of exact years is fuzzy.
 

Hassanbensober

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Big nakiri fan here. If I could find another Takeda AS super nakiri just like the one I bought 6 years ago I would gladly pay more than retail for it. Thinnest grind I’ve ever seen I hope they still make them like that.
 

labor of love

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Big nakiri fan here. If I could find another Takeda AS super nakiri just like the one I bought 6 years ago I would gladly pay more than retail for it. Thinnest grind I’ve ever seen I hope they still make them like that.
He will do custom knives for the same price as retail. I had takeda make me an “old school takeda” last year.
 

Geigs

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I have a 270 Gyuto, new grind. I really like mine- good food release, I like the height, it's really light and maneuverable for a large knife. Holds an edge really well and is not too hard to sharpen. Not the cheapest knife, but I still reach for it a lot more than some of my other knives. And for things like cabbage or melons it excels.
 

ma_sha1

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I don’t get Takeda’s appeal either, thin & light is not my thing, the tiny bevel looks weird, especially on a knife seems unreasonably tall. But the old school ones do sound like the better version.
 
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