Who does the best Kurouchi?

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Blumbo

just a normal dude
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Seeing my Moritaka’s Kurouchi wash out like Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye on a hot day got me thinking, there must be a lot of ways Kurouchi finish is done. Some are craggly and super dark, some look smooth and painted on, some are resilient and some end up looking spotty over time. Who in your mind does the best Kurouchi and what makes it different?
 
I lean rustic but I love Kyohei Shindo's. It's got a rich, dark color and has been very durable in my experience over several of them. It's on the smoother side.
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I also quite like the rugged, textured nashiji-ish KU of Munetoshi and Okubo. Both have been durable in my experience, though I haven't had the Okubo long enough to speak to longterm durability and I feeeeel like I read somewhere about Munetoshi washing off but it hasn't been my experience on the 2 below. Okubo 3rd pic.
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Mazaki's is very distinctive, no idea how it holds up long term but it's cool as hell.
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On the opposite side I'd say Kochi (Wakui?) Ironclad KU is the most elegant, subtle KU I've come across. It's more grey than black and with a subtle texture, though not enough to grab towels like the Okubo. It held up well in the time I had. Just a lovely package, I miss holding mine.
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All this should be noted that I use a fairly soft vegetable brush on my knives and don't scrub on the KU as I don't really ever need to. Also am aware I got carried away and listing favorite KU finishes at large, but I would tell you if one was fragile!
 
I lean rustic but I love Kyohei Shindo's. It's got a rich, dark color and has been very durable in my experience over several of them. It's on the smoother side.
View attachment 286798View attachment 286799
View attachment 286801

I also quite like the rugged, textured nashiji-ish KU of Munetoshi and Okubo. Both have been durable in my experience, though I haven't had the Okubo long enough to speak to longterm durability and I feeeeel like I read somewhere about Munetoshi washing off but it hasn't been my experience on the 2 below. Okubo 3rd pic.
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Mazaki's is very distinctive, no idea how it holds up long term but it's cool as hell.
View attachment 286808
View attachment 286809

On the opposite side I'd say Kochi (Wakui?) Ironclad KU is the most elegant, subtle KU I've come across. It's more grey than black and with a subtle texture, though not enough to grab towels like the Okubo. It held up well in the time I had. Just a lovely package, I miss holding mine.
View attachment 286803


All this should be noted that I use a fairly soft vegetable brush on my knives and don't scrub on the KU as I don't really ever need to. Also am aware I got carried away and listing favorite KU finishes at large, but I would tell you if one was fragile!
Munetoshi's KU has been pretty durable for me. It's only warn away some where I pinch grip.
 
I lean rustic but I love Kyohei Shindo's. It's got a rich, dark color and has been very durable in my experience over several of them. It's on the smoother side.
View attachment 286798View attachment 286799
View attachment 286801

I also quite like the rugged, textured nashiji-ish KU of Munetoshi and Okubo. Both have been durable in my experience, though I haven't had the Okubo long enough to speak to longterm durability and I feeeeel like I read somewhere about Munetoshi washing off but it hasn't been my experience on the 2 below. Okubo 3rd pic.
View attachment 286802
View attachment 286800
View attachment 286804

Mazaki's is very distinctive, no idea how it holds up long term but it's cool as hell.
View attachment 286808
View attachment 286809

On the opposite side I'd say Kochi (Wakui?) Ironclad KU is the most elegant, subtle KU I've come across. It's more grey than black and with a subtle texture, though not enough to grab towels like the Okubo. It held up well in the time I had. Just a lovely package, I miss holding mine.
View attachment 286803


All this should be noted that I use a fairly soft vegetable brush on my knives and don't scrub on the KU as I don't really ever need to. Also am aware I got carried away and listing favorite KU finishes at large, but I would tell you if one was fragile!

Wow how pretty, thanks for sharing! It’s cute that your dog has a similar color palette to the knives ^^
 
‘Best’ is highly subjective, probably 90% of my gyutos are kurouchi. Aesthetics come into play more than anything, since ku has no affect on performance. I love and appreciate the range—from fragile ku that slowly wear off, to the more solid ku. Some that I continue to marvel at are Yanick, Jiro, Bryan, Y Tanaka, TF, Morihei Hisamoto, Kikumori x Nakagawa, etc.
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Was about to mention Hinoura as well.
I have a M. Hinoura Ajikataya gyuto, awesome texture as well.
I just stole this pic from the interwebs:
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Mine is also the textured variety; the durability of it as well as it being able to be applied after the spine and choil rounding has been completed are the things that put it over the top for me.
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I beg to differ. I find there is less stiction with a Ku finish vs a fully polished/migaki blade and this is one of the primary performance attributes. Could be a combination of the roughness of the blade surface and the properties of the Ku itself contributing to food release. Personally I prefer a rustic aesthetic, combined with a Jnat kasumi and some blue patina and the visual appeal is off the charts............ 🍆💦
 
I beg to differ. I find there is less stiction with a Ku finish vs a fully polished/migaki blade and this is one of the primary performance attributes. Could be a combination of the roughness of the blade surface and the properties of the Ku itself contributing to food release. Personally I prefer a rustic aesthetic, combined with a Jnat kasumi and some blue patina and the visual appeal is off the charts............ 🍆💦
The rougher ku does seem to have less stiction—but not to the extent that it sways me one way or the other. Interestingly, the ‘metal flow’ finish on my Tetsujin had some drag that annoyed me, so I fixed it by sanding it off with sandpaper, worked much better after that. I like the look and feel of ku, the rusticness, but sometimes end up buying it just because it’s the cheaper option.
 
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For me the Jiro finish is flawed and confected. For that reason I am not interested in owning one. Some might like the disappearing Ku act but I find it unappealing that I knife has the potential to change its factory finish after every use.
 
Is that a 240 Okubo gyuto, a custom from Knife Japan? That looks great!

I've been looking for a great low-medium level KU gyuto for a while now.
Yep it is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorites. 256x57 mm, 242 g. Probably best food release of all my knives.
 
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