Yoshikane SKD nashiji; my few thoughts

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Jovidah

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Figured I'd at this to the pile... had this quite a while already but I never got around to it. At this point these knives have a justifiably good reputation and I don't want to detract from that, but I figured I'd add a few points that stood out to me. I have the 240 with teak handle and saya that originally came from K&S.
About the woodwork; top notch. The sayas are definitly a step up from the usual el-cheapo ho-wood sayas. All really nicely done and luxurious.

In general about the aesthethic... I don't know how they make or grind them but the knife has a certain 'factory-made' feel to it in it's consistency. Bevel that is flawlessly executed, the way the finish looks, etc. Now that doesn't mean it IS factory-made, but if you're looking for a certain wabisabi or 'handmade' rustiqueness; look elsewhere. The knife looks great, but it's borderline boring because of its execution.

The steel is great; it's definitly in the more semi than stainless category - which I like, and as a result it sharpens easy. Keeps an edge well too. No complaints... but if you're looking for something that's really really stainless because you expect it to sit overnight being dirty, this might not be it.

The grind itself is the main selling point. It's really thin behind the edge and so it's great on any root vegetables and cuts awesome out of the box. Personally I'd describe this knife as a bit of a 'laser with a fat spine'. So you get laser-ish performance, while still having a more comfy grip because the spine isn't so skinny.

The profile is.... either an acquired taste or something you have to get used to. It's definitly not something you want to rock with, and others already mentioned that it feels a bit dead flat on the heel. If you're struggling with that I'd say loosen up a bit on the rear fingers on your grip, and then it didn't bother to me.

Personally I only really have 2 negatives on the knife. One is that I think people really overstate the sanjo taper. Yes, it has a nice fat neck, and if you look at spine - center blade - 1 cm from tip values it looks awesome. But it's not a linear taper. After the fat neck it pretty quickly narrows down, which is fine, but then keeps that thickness until really late in the blade. There isn't really much spine taper until the last few cms near the tip.
So it's a lot like my Y. Tanaka where whatever taper you have near the tip is simply from the grind coming up to the spine. Which still looks good in the numbers and works fairly well because they're both thin behind the edge, but whenever your tip reaches some depth you notice there's some drag because there's not that much taper 5 cm from the tip. My Masamoto KS's tip vastly outperforms both these blades in that aspect because it starts tapering down earlier.

Last issue for me is that the knife feels 'delicate'. I don't know if this is justified; this is largely a psychological thing, but due to the combination of thin behind the edge, hardness and sanmai construction the knife has a delicate feel for me. Subconsciously I start babying it a bit, because the cutting feedback isn't as confidence inspiring. As a result it's not a knife I really hammer away with as quickly as some of my other knives.
 
Nice write up. Mirrors my experience with the nashiji pretty well.

Mine has maybe a little more taper than my Tanaka Nashiji (which has none) but I agree that the taper is mostly due to the thick spine at the heel.

It is definitely thin behind the edge, so I can understand your instinct to baby it.
 
It's not just because of the thinness behind the edge though. I have other knives that are similarly thin that don't give me this feeling. But most of those are monosteels and slightly softer; I guess their haptic feedback is different.
I can't really put my finger on it, it's entirely possible this is completely in my head... but it's hard to get it out. ;)
 
its pretty accurate IMO, i sold mine a year ago. like you said its almost "perfectly made or flawless. the steel is nice, easy to touch up and gets very sharp.
the bevels were bit sticky, kind of flat grind i think. overall feels too delicate for my liking, even when compared to lasers like HD2 or Shibata AS. although i never chipped it but i didn't liked the feel. also the profile is way too flat for my liking and needed adjustment.

overall its good knife but not in my hands.
 
Yeah I forgot to mention that... the food release isn't stellar. This is likely because of the rather polished bevels. I've actually considered roughing them up just to see if they'll stick less... but it hasn't bothered me enough yet.
 
I've had 2 Yoshi nashiji (White 2 and SKD) and the experience is the same, thin and flat grind with a delicate-feeling edge and kinda sticky with minimal food release.

Maybe some older versions had that convex grind that was advertised over the forums, but the recent nashiji versions are mostly flat. It's a good knife, but kinda boring to use.

My newer HD2 was a better cutting experience than both Yoshi Nashiji I've used, a bit thicker BTE and more robust, yet smoother cutting along with better food release.
 
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Pretty much are my thoughts as well. Adding your opinion is not redundant: a database of different members agreeing is more telling than a single opinion or even a maker’s rep.
 
I think that sums it up really good, I am in the camp of loving the flatness, cuts really well. Kochi line is said to be have much better taper and Im waiting to try it.
 
It's not just because of the thinness behind the edge though. I have other knives that are similarly thin that don't give me this feeling. But most of those are monosteels and slightly softer; I guess their haptic feedback is different.
I can't really put my finger on it, it's entirely possible this is completely in my head... but it's hard to get it out. ;)
Monosteel knives feels heavier and more solid than their actual weight suggested in my limited experience. Mine gives great feedback on the board.
 
Really good description of this knife, @Jovidah ! I got one of these (in the 210 length) for my son, and you hit the two qualities I noticed: it has a wickedly sharp edge that does feel very laserish for a knife with a spine as thick as it is, and it does have a factory feel in that its so uniformly tapered and ground.

I found the flat spot near the heel to be a bit beyond what I like, but my son really liked how it felt when push-cutting and chopping. Quite a nice knife!!
 
I think that sums it up really good, I am in the camp of loving the flatness, cuts really well. Kochi line is said to be have much better taper and Im waiting to try it.

I recently got a Kochi V2 and didn't find this to be the case - tip is fine but not amazing. Here's a (not great) shot of the last 3ish" of Kochi 240 (left) next to Yoshi 210 (right). Yoshi definitely thins out faster in the last inch. Kochi feels sturdier, not like a laser with extra spine.

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I recently got a Kochi V2 and didn't find this to be the case - tip is fine but not amazing. Here's a (not great) shot of the last 3ish" of Kochi 240 (left) next to Yoshi 210 (right). Yoshi definitely thins out faster in the last inch. Kochi feels sturdier, not like a laser with extra spine.

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Thanks! I also got a Kochi on the way, waiting to see how it compares.
 
Honestly, I would't characterize it as a fat spine, because of the false taper you mentioned. It's more of a regular midweight spine.
Somehow I don't feel the delicate thing. Don't know why though. The edge definitely has the most flex of any knife I've used.
 
Koshi is so much alike Wakui, including the typical box liner. Belying this would be increased heel height for Gyutos and generally a tad thinner grind from this.

I also find that it's not just with Yoshi, but many makers, that the taper is usually "stabilizing" somewhere before mid length until reaching much nearer to the tip indeed. Continuous taper I've consistently found with Y. Tanaka forgings, albeit not as "exaggerated" as with Sanjo heel area so doesn't come out as impressive, and also less of it somewhere in the mid length area still.

Yoshikane is none too bad in my book - telltale average. My Wakui is on a little bulkier side of pretty nice as well - if one looks carefully, it is close to continuous once the more exaggerated heel thing is done with.

Super aggressive continuous taper is more of a Western makers thing, or at least they more consistently go the whole way compared with most J-Knives. @HSC /// Knives made real good stuff for me that way. Shi.Han on an even bulkier side than the Wakui, is pretty continuous.

Ironically without getting super thin forward, Victorinox Chef blades have a pretty continuous taper. Both a 20cm and 25cm are 2.5 / 2 / 1.5 / 1 (Heel-Mid-35mm to tip-10mm to tip)

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I recently got a Kochi V2 and didn't find this to be the case - tip is fine but not amazing. Here's a (not great) shot of the last 3ish" of Kochi 240 (left) next to Yoshi 210 (right). Yoshi definitely thins out faster in the last inch. Kochi feels sturdier, not like a laser with extra spine.

View attachment 182691
Just got the Kochi, you are right, the tip is not as thin as I’d hoped. It is a good knife, but not quite stand up to Watanabe SS I also just got.
 
Koshi is so much alike Wakui, including the typical box liner. Belying this would be increased heel height for Gyutos and generally a tad thinner grind from this.

I also find that it's not just with Yoshi, but many makers, that the taper is usually "stabilizing" somewhere before mid length until reaching much nearer to the tip indeed. Continuous taper I've consistently found with Y. Tanaka forgings, albeit not as "exaggerated" as with Sanjo heel area so doesn't come out as impressive, and also less of it somewhere in the mid length area still.

Yoshikane is none too bad in my book - telltale average. My Wakui is on a little bulkier side of pretty nice as well - if one looks carefully, it is close to continuous once the more exaggerated heel thing is done with.

Super aggressive continuous taper is more of a Western makers thing, or at least they more consistently go the whole way compared with most J-Knives. @HSC /// Knives made real good stuff for me that way. Shi.Han on an even bulkier side than the Wakui, is pretty continuous.

Ironically without getting super thin forward, Victorinox Chef blades have a pretty continuous taper. Both a 20cm and 25cm are 2.5 / 2 / 1.5 / 1 (Heel-Mid-35mm to tip-10mm to tip)

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Lovely profile on that Yoshikane, looks like it has much less of a flat spot than mine, which is 60% all flat.
 
It’s 210 mm version and in such length such flat rarely seen OOJ OOTB.
 
For what it's worth mine is neither convex nor flat... it's actually slightly hollow ground. Basically the usual 'flat bevel ground on round wheel' situation. Profile wise it's actually not 100% flat. It's like... Very flattish but not entirely.
 
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