Why should I have a TAKEDA NAS ...pros and cons

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I am a new member of this forum, so forgive me if I am being redundant or brash. I have six Japanese Chef knives, I have been looking at and pining for a Takeda NAS. I have the opportunity to get one.

To those of you who have one or want one, what are the pros and cons of these knives?

Talk me out of it or convince me I need a Takeda and why.

Thanks
 
It is not a great one-and-done, but, for what it does, it's best in class. Which one are you looking at? You won't find better food separation, and they have a wonderful combination of light weight and power, due to the height. The steel is great, too. If you cook a lot of potatoes and onions, you will not find a better knife. If you mainly dice apples and do precision work with, say, carrots, look elsewhere.
 
I am a fan of the Nakiris. I would say bulk kitchen preparation would be the focus, not detail work. How are they to maintain/sharpen, I would say I am average at it? Takeda seems to have a cult following and I was wondering specifically why. I use my knives, but do appreciate the aesthetic.
 
Didn’t love the takeda I tried. I only had it a few days but it really didn’t jive with meve had the same experience with knives, we are all build differently and have varying cutting techniques. Anything in par
I know I have used knives others have loved and found them not to fit my cutting style or my anatomy. Anything in particular with the Takeda?
 
I have two, a 210 NAS gyuto and 240 Classic gyuto. I love them dearly but they have a very defined role in my kitchen workflow and can be quite ingredient-dependent to truly shine.

Pros: steel has very impressive edge retention and hardness, and the zero grind allows for a really unique cutting feel with improved food release compared to 99% of other knives (excluding draw cuts). Also a very lightweight knife, which combined with the great food release, makes cutting through most soft ingredients feel fast and almost frictionless since there's less stickage onto the side of the knife. The steel also takes a great bite and sharpness, so it's been reported to stick into cutting boards by multiple users, and I almost exclusively pull-cut with mine to prevent it -- could be a con but I see it as a pro. This is my ideal knife for short stacks of ingredients like green onions or fine juliennes of anything.

Cons: Grind can be inconsistent between individual knives, and even a good specimen can wedge on taller, denser ingredients as a function of the zero grind. You can thin out a worse grind, but it's a chore. This plus the light weight can make the takeda struggle on harder or taller ingredients. However, get through those first 1-2 cuts, and the takeda will begin to shine. For example, my takeda 210 often struggles to get through a large carrot without wedging, but once that step is done, I can easily shave off thin slices and make a fine dice, and the food release keeps these slices on the board instead of on the knife, which speeds up my workflow considerably. Longer takedas might have some flex, but shorter ones tend to be stiffer. An important consideration is that some have been reported to irreparably snap at the tang by multiple users, but most haven't had this issue.

A potential con can be sharpening and deburring the zero grind can be tricky given the hardness of the steel and geometry, but it sounds like you have enough sharpening experience with your other J knives to be able to figure it out.
 
I have two, a 210 NAS gyuto and 240 Classic gyuto. I love them dearly but they have a very defined role in my kitchen workflow and can be quite ingredient-dependent to truly shine.

Pros: steel has very impressive edge retention and hardness, and the zero grind allows for a really unique cutting feel with improved food release compared to 99% of other knives (excluding draw cuts). Also a very lightweight knife, which combined with the great food release, makes cutting through most soft ingredients feel fast and almost frictionless since there's less stickage onto the side of the knife. The steel also takes a great bite and sharpness, so it's been reported to stick into cutting boards by multiple users, and I almost exclusively pull-cut with mine to prevent it -- could be a con but I see it as a pro. This is my ideal knife for short stacks of ingredients like green onions or fine juliennes of anything.

Cons: Grind can be inconsistent between individual knives, and even a good specimen can wedge on taller, denser ingredients as a function of the zero grind. You can thin out a worse grind, but it's a chore. This plus the light weight can make the takeda struggle on harder or taller ingredients. However, get through those first 1-2 cuts, and the takeda will begin to shine. For example, my takeda 210 often struggles to get through a large carrot without wedging, but once that step is done, I can easily shave off thin slices and make a fine dice, and the food release keeps these slices on the board instead of on the knife, which speeds up my workflow considerably. Longer takedas might have some flex, but shorter ones tend to be stiffer. An important consideration is that some have been reported to irreparably snap at the tang by multiple users, but most haven't had this issue.

A potential con can be sharpening and deburring the zero grind can be tricky given the hardness of the steel and geometry, but it sounds like you have enough sharpening experience with your other J knives to be able to figure it out.
Thanks, that helps a lot. I read about the breaks, no knife can ever be defect free all the time. There is probably enough resources out there to get through the sharpening. I was looking at the Nakiri, but I guess you can never have enough Gyutos!
 
I have a 210 NAS. It’s a fun, unique kind of knife. But it has some serious drawbacks. Low bevel so wedging is an issue, and no weight behind it to assist in moving through product. So thin and light it kind of feels like a toy. I like having it for variety, and it really excels at food release, but it’s far from my favorite knife. Doesn’t make it into the top ten. Pretty much all I use it for is pineapple nowadays, it does that better than any other knife I have.

#FreeEThompson
 
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I have the small (210'ish) gyuto and the large cleaver. The large cleaver is an amazing prep machine if you have any kind of volume. It's light, maneuverable, and plows through bulk prep. Once you understand how to sharpen them, they are quite easy to maintain.

ETA Newer versions, especially, tend to have lower shoulders, and they can wedge in hard product. This is not the best for hard squash. But there's a world of soft product out there. If you have boxes of mushrooms, potatoes, onions..., this will get it done. The height makes up for its light weight.
 
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I have the small (210'ish) gyuto and the large cleaver. The large cleaver is an amazing prep machine if you have any kind of volume. It's light, maneuverable, and plows through bulk prep. Once you understand how to sharpen them, they are quite easy to maintain.

ETA Newer versions, especially, tend to have lower shoulders, and they can wedge in hard product. This is not the best for hard squash. But there's a world of soft product out there. If you have boxes of mushrooms, potatoes, onions..., this will get it done. The height makes up for its light weight.
Thanks for the input, I was wondering about the cleavers.

I saw one knife sharpener who put a micro bevel on the Takeda's and talked about some difficulty maintaining them. I am sure there is plenty of experience on this and other forums to help with sharpening issues.
 
The cleavers are very expensive, but I love mine. Takeda recommends a zero edge, so you thin as you go. You can learn about them in Jon Broida's video's about single-bevel sharpening -- this is related but different. I think most people end up putting at least a small micro-bevel on them.
 
The geometry of the grind is unlike most other knives I've come across. They have a low, wide, nearly flat bevel, and then a forged hollow for the rest of the blade. So what you end up with is good food release, and light weight for the size. For the gyutos, the extra light weight is awkward to me because the you get less assistance from the weight of the knife, but the wide bevel requires additional cutting force to counteract wedging.

The cleaver on the otherhand is an outlier because by nature it has more mass than the gyutos, and doesn't suffer from the light weight issue. I highly recommend trying one if you like cleavers and food release.

Some other makers that do similar low wide bevel include Catcheside, Raquin, Yanick, Milan. However, none of the examples I've handled had quite as thin of a midblade as the Takeda.
 
It is a love-hate proposition. But I'll add a couple of pro's: A unique combination of light weight with power and maneuverability, great steel that's easy to sharpen and holds its edge for a very long time.

ETA - I'll throw Moritaka and Heiji in there for low bevels, but they're not remotely similar in terms of feel and aren't s-grinds.
 
They are certainly unique. Not my favorite as all rounders, but fun when you do pick them up. I have a teency NAS ko-bunka for quick herb/fruit prep, and a 250 Classic gyuto (santoku) that is good for soft foods, (as others have already mentioned). One other thing I've found they're surprisingly good at: cutting through big blocks of sticky cheese like blue, or feta.
 
There's nothing like Takeda, including other Takedas. They have a lot of personality, for better and worse. And every Takeda is a unique snowflake, as they're among the more inconsistent knives out there. Some are great cutters, while others have big low shoulders that make them wedge monsters. My 210 was so chunky behind the edge that it was borderline dangerous doing horizontal cuts with onions. It was miserable. My 300 was great, but that was a freakshow knife that was perhaps more fun than it was useful in day to day cutting tasks. I had both of them thinned by District Cutlery and they did a tremendous job. The knives were much better performers after the fact. Some people go so far as to have DC completely knock the shoulders off so that the grind is more conventional, but part of the beauty of the shoulders is that you get a knife that is both very thin and has very good food release. At least in theory. Taking them all the way off turns it into a totally different knife as far as I'm concerned.

The profile on pretty much all Takedas is a continuous curve with no flat spot. It can take some getting used to if you're used to classic push cutting and chopping, as it requires a bit of a gentle rock to prevent accordion cuts. The blades are tall, which I like very much, and they're very thin (which I also like). The gyutos tend to be tall enough not to have much flex, but that might be a concern with a shorter sasanoha. The choil and spine are rustic, sharp, unrounded which is sort of surprising considering how expensive they are. And they've gotten even more expensive recently. I don't know that I'd play the Takeda lottery again, but if you come across one with a good grind at a fair price, it's worth a shot if you think you might be interested.

Now here's a video of the 300mm fresh back from the thinning and sharpening. Good god that thing was a beast...

 
I recently got my first Takeda NAS because I was also curious about them and their love/hate reputation. I got a Medium Sasanoha because I don't really like how tall their gyutos are. I'll echo what others are saying, it's kind of unique, it excels in food separation and release, but tends to wedge in hard vegetables when making thick cuts (like halving carrots, potatoes, onions).

It's very lightweight, but doesn't fall through produce like my other thin, lightweight knives, so it takes extra effort to use. It's made me notice where I could improve my technique, like using more slicing motion. With good technique, it's incredible through softer ingredients like tomatoes and peppers that would otherwise stick to or ride up my other knives. It's decent when making thin cuts of harder stuff like carrots where wedging isn't really an issue, but it does steer on me when making thin cuts. The blade flexes easily if I flex it with my hands, but this hasn't been an issue in use for me.

I feel like it's just something you have to try for yourself to know. At worst, they seem pretty easy to resell without taking a huge loss.
 
There's nothing like Takeda, including other Takedas. They have a lot of personality, for better and worse. And every Takeda is a unique snowflake, as they're among the more inconsistent knives out there. Some are great cutters, while others have big low shoulders that make them wedge monsters. My 210 was so chunky behind the edge that it was borderline dangerous doing horizontal cuts with onions. It was miserable. My 300 was great, but that was a freakshow knife that was perhaps more fun than it was useful in day to day cutting tasks. I had both of them thinned by District Cutlery and they did a tremendous job. The knives were much better performers after the fact. Some people go so far as to have DC completely knock the shoulders off so that the grind is more conventional, but part of the beauty of the shoulders is that you get a knife that is both very thin and has very good food release. At least in theory. Taking them all the way off turns it into a totally different knife as far as I'm concerned.

The profile on pretty much all Takedas is a continuous curve with no flat spot. It can take some getting used to if you're used to classic push cutting and chopping, as it requires a bit of a gentle rock to prevent accordion cuts. The blades are tall, which I like very much, and they're very thin (which I also like). The gyutos tend to be tall enough not to have much flex, but that might be a concern with a shorter sasanoha. The choil and spine are rustic, sharp, unrounded which is sort of surprising considering how expensive they are. And they've gotten even more expensive recently. I don't know that I'd play the Takeda lottery again, but if you come across one with a good grind at a fair price, it's worth a shot if you think you might be interested.

Now here's a video of the 300mm fresh back from the thinning and sharpening. Good god that thing was a beast...


And...that 300 is a beast!
 
I recently got my first Takeda NAS because I was also curious about them and their love/hate reputation. I got a Medium Sasanoha because I don't really like how tall their gyutos are. I'll echo what others are saying, it's kind of unique, it excels in food separation and release, but tends to wedge in hard vegetables when making thick cuts (like halving carrots, potatoes, onions).

It's very lightweight, but doesn't fall through produce like my other thin, lightweight knives, so it takes extra effort to use. It's made me notice where I could improve my technique, like using more slicing motion. With good technique, it's incredible through softer ingredients like tomatoes and peppers that would otherwise stick to or ride up my other knives. It's decent when making thin cuts of harder stuff like carrots where wedging isn't really an issue, but it does steer on me when making thin cuts. The blade flexes easily if I flex it with my hands, but this hasn't been an issue in use for me.

I feel like it's just something you have to try for yourself to know. At worst, they seem pretty easy to resell without taking a huge loss.
Good input on your experiences, I figured if I pick one up I can offload pretty easily.
 
Had a 240 NAS Sasanoha and found the sharpening to be a pain in the butt due to the extremely low angle to keep the same geometry, which was already wedging.

In order to take the wedging out, I would have to bring the shoulders up, which meant an even lower angle or send it to district cutlery

Lastly was that the metal was so flexible that it quickly became crooked

I will vouch that his AS gets insanely sharp and is at the same level as TF for metal treatment
 
I’ll throw my 2 cents in. I’ve had 7 Takedas total. 4 cleavers, 2 nakiris, 1 petty, 1 classic 240 gyuto. Although Takeda is one of the most polarizing brands out there. One of the most dissed makers out, while highly praised by others.

I never understood how people could not absolutely love them. My rectangles were amazing. Champions of food release, light weight nimble, and excellent cutters. I never thought they were wedgy and disagreed with the haters. My experiences did not relate with theirs… until I got my hands on the classic 240 gyuto.

All of sudden my Takeda nightmares came to life. It was everything hated about Takeda. It was very wedgy even on vertical onion cuts. It was flimsy. My other knives were elite onion cutters, champs.

So my current stance is the rectangles are phenomenal and get you one if you can. If you can get a Nakiri, don’t wait go get it. When I look back I rarely see people hate on the rectangles except Chicagohawkie. I believe he hated his cleaver because of the curve. And there are probably others that would say the same. Also some won’t like them because they are light, which that will be a personal preference.
Most of the hate you see comes from the gyuto owners. Perhaps, some will get on here now and trash the rectangles, which is cool get the party started. Also everyone says Takedas are very curvy, which I would have somewhat agreed with but my nakiris really weren’t very curvy and those were owned more than 5 years ago. But my classic cleaver and my 1st large NAS cleaver are both curvy. I let the NAS cleaver go, because I figured I could get one later. I really like that cleaver though, I just needed cash at the time.

I saw the cleavers getting harder to get and within the last 2 years 🤔 I went back and grabbed a large NAS and a small NAS cleaver. And wow 🤩, I’m glad I did. They are phenomenal. Distal taper is epic, haven’t seen it this dramatic on a cleaver yet. They also aren’t curvy. No one would call them a very curvy profile like Takeda has often been known for. They have a pretty flat profile with a gentle curve so they aren’t dead flat, which is good. They aren’t Moritaka flat. They are also very consistent between the large and small even though I got them from different vendors at different times. They also have nice thin grinds on them, which sometimes the NAS versions are passed on for the supposed better ground classics. They are some of the coolest knives I have owned. On a final note, I haven’t used the new cleavers enough to really speak about their all around capabilities, but I think they would be great daily drivers. I have used my small older AS classic cleaver a lot, and it is absolutely a great all around knive. It would be one I would keep if I could only have a few. I’ve put it through sweet potatoes etc. great all around cutter. So I don’t think they have to be these speciality knives like others do (with the caveat that you have the right one). My nakiris were also great all rounders.
 
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One of these days I plan to get a big Takeda rectangle. I really should have gotten one of those instead of the 300mm gyuto. But c'mon! That 300mm gyuto was *FUN*.

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I’ll throw my 2 cents in. I’ve had 7 Takedas total. 4 cleavers, 2 nakiris, 1 petty, 1 classic 240 gyuto. Although Takeda is one of the most polarizing brands out there. One of the most dissed makers out, while highly praised by others.

I never understood how people could not absolutely love them. My rectangles were amazing. Champions of food release, light weight nimble, and excellent cutters. I never thought they were wedgy and disagreed with the haters. My experiences did not relate with theirs… until I got my hands on the classic 240 gyuto.

All of sudden my Takeda nightmares came to life. It was everything hated about Takeda. It was very wedgy even on vertical onion cuts. It was flimsy. My other knives were elite onion cutters, champs.

So my current stance is the rectangles are phenomenal and get you one if you can. If you can get a Nakiri, don’t wait go get it. When I look back I rarely see people hate on the rectangles except Chicagohawkie. I believe he hated his cleaver because of the curve. And there are probably others that would say the same. Also some won’t like them because they are light, which that will be a personal preference.
Most of the hate you see comes from the gyuto owners. Perhaps, some will get on here now and trash the rectangles, which is cool get the party started. Also everyone says Takedas are very curvy, which I would have somewhat agreed with but my nakiris really weren’t very curvy and those were owned more than 5 years ago. But my classic cleaver and my 1st large NAS cleaver are both curvy. I let the NAS cleaver go, because I figured I could get one later. I really like that cleaver though, I just needed cash at the time.

I saw the cleavers getting harder to get and within the last 2 years 🤔 I went back and grabbed a large NAS and a small NAS cleaver. And wow 🤩, I’m glad I did. They are phenomenal. Distal taper is epic, haven’t seen it this dramatic on a cleaver yet. They also aren’t curvy. No one would call them a very curvy profile like Takeda has often been known for. They have a pretty flat profile with a gentle curve so they aren’t dead flat, which is good. They aren’t Moritaka flat. They are also very consistent between the large and small even though I got them from different vendors at different times. They also have nice thin grinds on them, which sometimes the NAS versions are passed on for the supposed better ground classics. They are some of the coolest knives I have owned. On a final note, I haven’t used the new cleavers enough to really speak about their all around capabilities, but I think they would be great daily drivers. I have used my small older AS classic cleaver a lot, and it is absolutely a great all around knive. It would be one I would keep if I could only have a few. I’ve put it through sweet potatoes etc. great all around cutter. So I don’t think they have to be these speciality knives like others do (with the caveat that you have the right one). My nakiris were also great all rounders.
Good insight into rectangles. Yes, I am looking at the large Nakiri, so your input is encouraging. I saw two different cleavers online, I was wondering about them, pricey but tempting.
 
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