Yanagiba vs sujihiki for raw fish

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by dafox, Jul 14, 2019.

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  1. Jul 14, 2019 #1

    dafox

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    I'm wanting to get a dedicated knife for this. Intuitively it seems like a thin sujihiki would work well but yanagibas were developed for this use. Which one do you use?
     
  2. Jul 14, 2019 #2

    M1k3

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    Are you portioning, doing sashimi type cuts or breaking down fish?
     
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  3. Jul 15, 2019 #3

    Hbeernink

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    Single bevel for me, but a friend of mine who is a well respected sushi artist (professional chef) prefers a short suji for service, where he’s doing 90% nigiri and sashimi. Go with whatever works best for you
     
  4. Jul 15, 2019 #4

    KenHash

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    Yanagiba. But I know Japanese chefs who use a Sujihiki. The Yanagiba is traditional, but really a personal choice.
     
  5. Jul 15, 2019 #5

    ojisan

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    Either works. Just note Yanagibas require some sharpening skills as they are single beveled. Sujis are much easier to maintain.
    Also decent sujis are generally cheaper than decent yanagibas. Maintaining a cheap (kasumi) yanagiba is sometimes like hell (it warps).
     
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  6. Jul 15, 2019 #6

    dafox

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    I'm thinking of using it for sushi and sashimi final cuts.
     
  7. Jul 15, 2019 #7

    gman

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    i have both and prefer the yanagiba for sushi. it's easier to get screaming sharp, and the lower blade height works better for the diagonal cuts for nigiri.

    now if you were also going to be prepping things like scallions and cucumber with the same knife, a shorter suji could definitely be an option, as it is more versatile and wont steer on you.
     
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  8. Oct 15, 2019 #8

    adam92

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    If for nigiri and sashimi, single bevel is better because less surface touching the protein.

    Single bevel knife get warps, just be aware don't use hot water or cool water to wash the knife, warm water work fine.

    If prepare vege, multi-task suji is better.
     
  9. Oct 24, 2019 #9

    T85

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    Hello ojisan! What do you exactly mean by it warps? Thanks
     
  10. Oct 24, 2019 #10

    adam92

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    Blade easily to warps if you wash by hot water in winter or cold water in summer sometimes .
     
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  11. Oct 24, 2019 #11

    dough

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    I will second ojisan
    I lean toward suji because the price for a decent one is less and much easier to maintain.
    If your really trying to wrap your head around single bevels don’t get a cheap one and I think they are better to pick out in person.
     
  12. Oct 24, 2019 #12

    Elliot

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    Not saying anything super different here. Ultimately, not a huge deal if you're not a professional sushi chef. Even then, I know professional sushi chefs who use a gyuto for the cuts.

    I enjoy single-bevel knives for the romance. However, like others have said, don't buy cheap single-bevel knives. You can get a cheap-ish suji from a decent shop and have a great knife. Go too cheap on a yanagi and you could easily have some challenges coming your way.
     
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  13. Oct 24, 2019 #13

    ian

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    Interesting. Why would a single bevel be more likely to `warp' under temperature changes? Is the metal under stress somehow? Are you just talking about san-mai, or also about honyaki knives?
     
  14. Oct 24, 2019 #14

    ojisan

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    The back of a single beveled knife is supposed to be flat and when you put the knife on a flat whetstone, the whole back should contact the stone. This is important to get a fine uraoshi and edge.

    For some reasons like residual stress, retained austenite, grinding, and potentially tempalture changes, a kasumi knife tends to warp/twist as time passes. You realize a knife is not straight when it no longer has clear contact to the stone.

    Some cheap (and sadly some expensive) knifes are not flat out of the box. You can still deal with warped knives, but that's not so fun.
     
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  15. Oct 24, 2019 #15

    ian

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    By kasumi, you mean san-mai? (I seem to remember some knowledgeable people using it that way, but I ignorantly just use kasumi to refer to the type of finish.) So if I understand correctly, single bevels don’t warp more easily, it’s just more of a problem if a single bevel knife warps than if a double bevel one does?
     
  16. Oct 24, 2019 #16

    Chefget

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    I was under the impression that the back of a yanagiba is concave, no?
     
  17. Oct 24, 2019 #17

    M1k3

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    Kasumi is a "misty", hazy finish. San-mai means three layers.
     
  18. Oct 24, 2019 #18

    ojisan

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    No, kasumi in this context is the normal two layered single beveled knives. You use kasumi when exclude honyaki. As @M1k3 mentioned, kasumi itself means hazy finish, and it's used to refer the composition that can get the hazy finish (you don't get kasumi on honyaki).

    Cladded double beveled knives are symmetrical as they are usually sanmai (3 layers). It's more stable than two layered cladding.
     
  19. Oct 24, 2019 #19

    ojisan

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    You are right the back of a yanagiba has concave, which is called "urasuki" or "hi". What I meant by "flat" was that the entire "uraoshi" (the edge of the back) is on a single plane. "Straight" might fit better here?

    You can see a good example here:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Byo_zxElUCX/
     
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  20. Oct 24, 2019 #20

    ian

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    Oh, fantastic. I never realized that nonhonyaki single bevels were two layer instead of three. (Never owned one.) So many things make sense now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
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  21. Oct 24, 2019 #21

    adam92

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    Ojisan haved answer everything you need to know, the reason I'll choose yanagiba because single bevel less contact with the food/ not easily stick to the blade. Especially when, slicing fish.

    Even Honyaki knife will warps in long term use, depand on which blacksmitch making the knife.

    Expensive yanagiba = less problem/ less high spot & low spot, better urasuki, which is extremely important for an single bevel knife.

    If you're home cook, I would recommend sujihiki.

    For sharpening yanagiba like Honyaki, you need very good whetstone due to the HRC of knife.

    If you decide to try out single bevel knife, better go with white two steel(白二) for practice.

    Enjoy the knife .
     
  22. Oct 24, 2019 #22

    adam92

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    Yes, Metal under stress easily get warp due to temperature. However , warps can be fix if you have the tools.
    That's why i only use warm water to clean my knife.

    San mai is for the double bevel like gyuto, sujihiki, petty & etc.

    Single bevel knife with 2 steel, Hard steel ( urasuki side ). Honyaki= 1 steel.

    Before you get to single bevel knife should watch some video from jon which is very useful for you to understand single bevel knife.
     
  23. Oct 24, 2019 #23

    ian

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    No plans to get one myself anytime soon: no use for one here. Just learning. Hopefully I didn’t derail @dafox’s thread too much.
     
  24. Oct 24, 2019 #24

    adam92

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    No worries, we're here to learned, improve knowledge is good thing.
     
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  25. Oct 25, 2019 #25

    dafox

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  26. Oct 26, 2019 #26

    T85

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    Ojisan! Thank you for your answer, I learn something new. Since you know about Yanagiba, what do sellers mean when they say no low spots?
     
  27. Oct 26, 2019 #27

    ojisan

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    Low spots would mean something called "Ekubo" (dimples). When they give the initial edge to a knife, they use a large rotating wheel and it can leave some low spots.

    Here is an example. Maybe you can imagine how the wheel contacts the blade.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bnj_Wq_gU9l/
     
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  28. Oct 27, 2019 #28

    Keith Sinclair

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    Home cook suji. is fine. Used Suji & cheap yanagi at work. As my fish cutting duties increased bought first quality yanagiba. For cutting large platters of sashimi for brunch, banquets etc. Yanagiba way superior. Cutting fast, laying lines of cuts on a platter. Sushi topping too makes you really appreciate a quality yanagiba.

    Now retired my prized fish knife stays oiled in a drawer, only brought out for family parties.
     
  29. Oct 27, 2019 #29

    dafox

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    What suji and yanagi did you use at work, what is your prized yanagiba now?
    BTW, what did you use to keep your yanagi looking good, metal polish, BKF, rust eraser, baking soda?
     
  30. Oct 28, 2019 #30

    Keith Sinclair

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    My Suji were Masamoto carbons. I had three quality yanagiba over 15 year period. Two suisin white steel & Aritsugu blue#2 all were 270mm my favorite size for slicing lots of fish.

    Gave away my worn suisin fish knives. Had a nice Stefan curly koa handle on the Aritsugu that I was using when retired. Sold it on BST here some years back.

    I keep a smaller 240mm white steel that use on occasion.
     

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