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whats the verdict on zdp?

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inferno

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Just wanted to know if this steel is regarded as good by the owners or if one should avoid?
 

Chicagohawkie

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Edge lasts forever! Have to spend a little time and have patience when sharpening. Most or all is pre lam, not sure if anyone is true hand forging.
 

lucabrasi

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It is an excellent steel for kitchen knives. Can take an hold a very refined edge, isn’t as hard to sharpen as some maintain, certainly easier than a lot of the over the top stuff in the pocket knife community, and as long as you know you need to treat it like a steel hardened to 65+ (TF white, Watanabe blue) it is perfectly suitable to kitchen tasks.

It’s going to hold its edge far longer than any of the hitachi carbons, and quite a bit longer than something like r2. That isn’t necessarily the most important thing. Most of my knives are white/blue/ginsan. But zdp has some excellent attributes.
 

inferno

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Edge lasts forever! Have to spend a little time and have patience when sharpening. Most or all is pre lam, not sure if anyone is true hand forging.
I think/would guess its impossible to forge without it severely cracking or some kind of carbon segregation/banding. at the very least. also most forgers dont like SS at all since its "impossible to forge" and I guess this one is one level above that. But personally i think there is no real need to "forge" steel since the mill does it way, way better than the smith ever will be able to do. in a very controlled enviroment.

I like forgiig for artistic touch and the fact its handmade from the ground up but for pure performance a guy with an air hammer or sledgehammer will not outperform an industrial machine develeoped continously for like 300 years. no way. not gonna happen.
 
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inferno

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It is an excellent steel for kitchen knives. Can take an hold a very refined edge, isn’t as hard to sharpen as some maintain, certainly easier than a lot of the over the top stuff in the pocket knife community, and as long as you know you need to treat it like a steel hardened to 65+ (TF white, Watanabe blue) it is perfectly suitable to kitchen tasks.

It’s going to hold its edge far longer than any of the hitachi carbons, and quite a bit longer than something like r2. That isn’t necessarily the most important thing. Most of my knives are white/blue/ginsan. But zdp has some excellent attributes.
I think r2 and srs15 is "hard to sharpen" comparatively that is. Its slow no matter what stone. compared to like vg10/aus-8/blue2 etc etc. not hard to get a good edge on though. its just slower.

I noticed the failure mode of my kurosaki r2 was microchipping, not that severe for individual chips but they were all over the blade, hundreds (and I'm guessing this is one of the premier makers of this steel all over). not really complaining but it was chore to restore it, from just "dull", took me maybe 15 minutes or so. I have a good arsenal at hand though.
 

lucabrasi

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I found zdp in the kitchen to be similar in performance attributes to TF white steel. Way harder and less pleasurable to sharpen, but would microchip in similar scenarios. It would just keep its edge way longer. I just like to sharpen so this isn’t necessarily a huge plus for me.

Oddly enough I’ve never tried r2/sg2. Though I’ve recently become pretty fixated on either Makoto sg2 or a Kurosaki r2, and I expect I’ll sell something to fund one soon.
 

Michi

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I find that ZDP-189 is a little bit more prone to chipping than SG-2. Cutting seeds on hard crusty bread or other hard ingredients will cause micro-chips.

You need patience when sharpening because the steel is so hard. But it sharpens fine. The swarf sort of gums up; the slurry looks quite different from the pretty much uniformly coloured and homogeneous slurry I get when sharpening carbon steel.

Edge retention is great, a little better than SG-2 (which is no slouch in that department), and I can get it stupidly sharp after finishing on a 5000-grit stone and stropping with chromium oxide.
 
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_THS_

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Have to say that I just tried a Yoshida hamono zdp bunka, so I'm not sure how well heat treated that is... but: I find it very difficult to grind and thin, due to the wear resistance, once thinned tho sharpening become fairly easy, not much harder that other hard steels, and the deburring is better than every other ss I tried due to his hardness. Bonus point is that it get extremely sharp, I compare it to Watanabe or Munetoshi in term of sharpness capabilities
 

captaincaed

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Pretty OK in a home kitchen so far. I rotate thru knives, occasionally resharpening. The two I rarely resharpen are the TF Denka and Sukenari ZDP. I choose softer knives for hard and crusty materials. Match the pen to the paper.

In fact I don't always get the reaction "it chips on hard food". We're knife nuts here and have options. Maybe not a great rec for a beginner, but ...?

PITA sharpening I get though.
 
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Cyrilix

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Pretty OK in a home kitchen so far. I rotate thru knives, occasionally resharpening. The two I rarely resharpen are the TF Denka and Sukenari ZDP. I choose softer knives for hard and crusty materials. Match the pen to the paper.

In fact I don't always get the reaction "it chips on hard food". We're knife nuts here and have options. Maybe not a great rec for a beginner, but ...?

PITA sharpening I get though.
I would guess that some knives are chippy, even for enthusiasts. We try to push everything to the limit.
 

Huntdad

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Have ZDP, Hap40 and YXR7. Love them all. Hold great edges. I don't find them hard to sharpen. So for me ZDP is great in my home kitchen.
 

captaincaed

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Have ZDP, Hap40 and YXR7. Love them all. Hold great edges. I don't find them hard to sharpen. So for me ZDP is great in my home kitchen.
I have a HAP40 on order. Any qualitative differences between it and ZDP? I'm sure I'll learn soon, but I'm always curious what to look for
 

lemeneid

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When people mention pain in the ass sharpening, what exactly makes it difficult?
 

captaincaed

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When people mention pain in the ass sharpening, what exactly makes it difficult?
I have sharpened another very hard PM stainless steel, and I resorted to a new, more aggressive stone because my older, softer stone cut so slowly. Also didn't feel like I got an edge that lasted as long as it should have given the hardness of the steel. I found that diamond was the best cutter (but somewhat unpleasant to use), followed by a stone designed for hard steel. Just seems to take a lot of patience and fussy, controlled hand motions. One of My favorite steels to sharpen (Murata blue 1) seems to take an edge whenever you wave it over a stone. Harder PM seems to take diligence, focus, mental exertion and very controlled motions. Hard to explain without handing a knife back and forth between us.
 

refcast

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I have the Gihei forged hap40, and I find it's reasonable to sharpen. It just never gets hair popping sharp though. It's harder, tougher, and longer-lasting in retention, but not sharper . . .

Sharpening it feels almost like ripping small pebbles out from dry ground, if you've ever done it. You gotta push a little, and then the steel comes off.
 

Keith Sinclair

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Don't find R2 or srs15 hard to sharpen at all. Both have ability to get very sharp. Watanabe blue#2 and TF white #1 are hard steels and easy to sharpen too.

ZDP can be sharpened just takes a little more effort in my experience. Thus consider it over rated and expensive.
 

Nemo

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I have SRS15, R2 and HAP40. All are fairly easy to raise a burr on. I think that the main issue in sharpening these steels is deburring. I find SRS15 easier to deburr than R2, which is easier than HAP40, at least in the heat treatments that I have sharpened. Stropping on diamonds and Dave Martell's double sharpening technique seem to help here.
 

captaincaed

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I have SRS15, R2 and HAP40. All are fairly easy to raise a burr on. I think that the main issue in sharpening these steels is deburring. I find SRS15 easier to deburr than R2, which is easier than HAP40, at least in the heat treatments that I have sharpened. Stropping on diamonds and Dave Martell's double sharpening technique seem to help here.
What's the double sharpening technique? I'm trying to learn my way around PM steels
 

captaincaed

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Seriously thank you. That's the kind of thing I've been working on to refine my edges. I feel like I do OK, but edge retention isn't what it could be
 

rick alen

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I have SRS15, R2 and HAP40. All are fairly easy to raise a burr on. I think that the main issue in sharpening these steels is deburring. I find SRS15 easier to deburr than R2, which is easier than HAP40, at least in the heat treatments that I have sharpened. Stropping on diamonds and Dave Martell's double sharpening technique seem to help here.
Geesh, srs-15 is so easy to deburr you can hardly call it deburring, and r2 is not much worse.
 

loopback

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I've been using a Sukenari ZDP-189 Gyuto for general kitchen use for a year now, and have been happy with it. I haven't had any issues sharpening it, and think it holds up fairly well. It's the knife I let my wife use, so it gets plenty of abuse.
 

pentryumf

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Am I tool ate to the partay?

Sukenari 160mm petty, my wife's favorite, she beats on it and it stays true. I found that a slightly higher angle to help with micro chipping, however it's pretty thin behind the edge so the higher angle doesn't kill it.
I think most zdp offerings are San Mai, except for g.sakai is carrying a solid zdp line called shiden issen. I picked up a 125mm as a small detail pairing, great little cutter.
http://www.gsi-japan.com/shop/html/products/detail.php?product_id=245
 

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