Yoshikane... white vs SKD?

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Jovidah

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For my next knife purchase I've narrowed it down to a few, and the strongest contender right now is to try a Yoshikane. Living in Europe the most obvious candidate is to just get a Kashima Sanjo from Cleancut since it's the cheapest option and seems to be positively regarded by anyone that touched them. But I can't keep myself from wondering 'but what about their SKD knives'. Is there anyone who has tried both Yoshi's white and their SKD who can give a fair comparison?
I know the one is carbon and the other is semistainless, but what about edge retention? Ease of sharpening? Since they're both stainless clad anyway I'm rather agnostic about the difference in rust resistance; I'm wondering more about any practical differences that were noticable during longer term usage.

And no, I will not just get both. At least not yet. ;)
 

Runner_up

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Get the SKD if you already have other knives in white steel. Easy to sharpen and the edge lasts for a long time. I really like my SKD Yoshikane
 

Benuser

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esoo

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I've never tried the Yoshi White #2, but have the Amekiri in SKD. Love the grind and the cutting on it.

In general I've preferred the "tool" steels over the other simpler carbons due to their edge longevity.
 

timebard

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I have both the hammered SKD and Amekiri white #2. While I haven't been able to rigorously test the latter yet, I can say you won't be disappointed with either steel. SKD will give you a longer lasting toothy edge than the white and is still quite easy to sharpen--it's highly praised for a reason. The white gets stupid sharp in a hurry but doesn't seem to have any better retention than your average white #2. If the price difference isn't big, I'd take the SKD every day.

IMO the Amekiri is a slightly nicer overall package than the hammered version, although the ebony handle is too heavy for the knife.
 

Cliff

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I don't have an apples to apples comparison. I have the Yoshi SKD in a 180 Gyuto and a bunch of knives in white #2. The Yoshi is great, and I'm sure their treatment of white no. 2 is terrific. We're talking about fairly small differences, but I think the SKD shines with a toothier finish and stays functionally sharp longer. My white #2 knives tend to do better with a finer polish. I think of SKD and AS as being broadly similar in terms of taking great, crisp, fine-but-toothy finishes.
 

GorillaGrunt

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SKD is one of my favorite steels and Yoshikane’s implementation of it is top notch. Then again I’m sure they also do well with white, but it’s hard to imagine that one being better. The SKD sharpens up really easily, especially because the edge is so thin, and definitely has better retention than any white steel.
 

daveb

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Three Yoshi.

White Amekiri 198g
SKD Amekiri 212g

Both flat. Both thin. Both great cutters.

( + Maxim's Zensho 210 from awhile ago. My unicorn is 240 Zensho)

20210615_125941.jpg
 

M1k3

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SKD will have better edge retention, especially for acidic foods. White will be ever so slightly easier to sharpen. I'd get the SKD one personally. The Kashima is a nice knife though.
 

daveb

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Had the Kashima as well. Almost identical to the white Amekiri. The handle on the Amekiri was the reason I kept it and parted with the Kashima. Yoshi makes knives like they were tailor making them for me.
 

Jason183

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White#1 was my favorite steel until I tried the semi stainless SKD12, I have to go with SKD12, my favorite steel for work ATM.
 
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McMan

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I've tried hammer finished SKD and Kashima Sanjo in White (as well as an Amerikiri during a PA)--and all are really good. Yoshi makes good knives. Period. You'll be happy with whatever you choose.

Personally, if I could only choose one, I think I'd go Yoshi SKD. In many ways, Yoshi SKD is an exemplar of doing that steel well. Plus, I think Yoshi hammered SKD is a classic--and a mandatory knife to try...

Not that there's anything lacking with their treatment of White--it's solid and sharpens easily--but it's just that there are so many good knives in White and so few in SKD.

One thing to keep in mind is blade thickness. The Kashima Sanjo is very thin. Hammered SKD is thicker. Then, if you can find one in the EU, there's the hammer-finish KU in White, which is even thicker.
 

ampersandcetera

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Another vote for SKD here. Tough, holds a nice toothy edge that's usable for a long time, super easy to sharpen and touch up.
 

daniel_il

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i have 240 skd and it's my best cutter, very good edge retention and nice on the stones.

i guess you can't go wrong with either, especially if you like this kind of flat profile.
 

Jovidah

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Thanks for all the feedback so far. I already gathered that you can't really go wrong with anything coming out of Yoshikane's kitchen (unless you hate flat spots). Seems like there's somewhat of a consensus for SKD?

Does anyone know of a source within the EU that actually sells SKD gyutos? I can find white steel gyutos, I can find semi stainless bunkas, santokus, nakiris and other jazz, but I can't for the life of me find a SKD gyuto.... Found it at 2 retailers in the UK but ever since Brexit that's essentially equal to buying it from Australia.

Considering there's a significant pricegap between the Kashima Sanjo and any SKD gyuto if it has to come from abroad... is it really worth a significant premium? It would probably end up costing about a hundred bucks more (Kashima Sanjo with handle upgrade would probably cost me around 260 euros to my door, SKD from K&S or any of the other retailers would end up costing at least 350 euros from the looks of it).
 
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Runner_up

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Just figured I should post a pic of my SKD amekiri. Such a good knife. Sorry I'm not helpful about where to buy in EU
 

PineWood

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I was in the same boat, I wanted to buy the Yoshikane SKD but couldn't find one in Europe. I ended up buying this one. It is White #2 but different from the one Cleancut sells because it has a stainless clad nashiji finish and an upgraded wengé handle. So there seem to be different product lines for different countries.
Anyway, I am very happy with it, it cuts like a dream. I think the maker is more important than the steel, and for home use, edge retention doesn't matter that much. Not for me anyway, because I like sharpening! I wouldn't want a knife in ZDP-189 or HAP40...
Yoshikane 210.jpg
 

daveb

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I prefer the SKD because of the steel. If there's a difference in profile/geometry it's too nuance for me.

But I owned the white for a couple three years before the SKD and was completely happy with it. Prefer the expected increase in edge retention and not having to fuss with it while working.

Short answer - I would not pay much of a premium to get the SKD over the White.
 

Jovidah

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Cheers; appreciate the insight.

@PineWood Yeah I already found the one on Meesterslijpers. They've really started expanding their assortment of J-knives in the last few years, with quite some good stuff in there, and the prices aren't too terrible. I think they're just trolling me by only selling white steel gyutos and a SKD bunka. ;) Personally I don't think I necessarily like their version much more than the Kashima versions cleancut has, at least not enough to justify the premium. Their price is also starting to get dangerously close to what it would cost to get one of K&S's a la carte customized offerings out of Australia.
James should really get a K&S depot in Europe going; he has an annoying habbit of selling stuff that ticks all my boxes but doing it from the wrong side of the world. :p
 

ModRQC

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SKD. Just because you can get White #2 from hundred of makes. SKD-12 is not so broadly used, and is certainly the most interesting steel of the two. Yoshi grinds them so thin BTE that you can basically blow on it to a burr. Which can also cause minor bending/chipping problems, as a few KKF users could tell from experience with the OOTB edge. But which is totally amazing, too.
 

tcmx3

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Nice knife nice nice looking board.

IMO you made the right choice. I prefer white steel to pretty much anything personally BUT only if it's iron clad. I dont really like the stainless/carbon combination unless Im never going to thin the knife myself.
 

Benuser

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Veel plezier! We krijgen uiteraard een uitvoerig verslag, nietwaar?
 

Jovidah

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Nice knife nice nice looking board.

IMO you made the right choice. I prefer white steel to pretty much anything personally BUT only if it's iron clad. I dont really like the stainless/carbon combination unless Im never going to thin the knife myself.
The board is actually surprisingly cheap... 45x35x4cm... think I bought it for like 30 or 40 euros almost 10 years ago. Apart from the few cracks on the right from a time when I basically neglected it and didn't oil it for like 1,5-2 years it still looks and feels basically brand new. One of my best purchases. Only thing I'd really change about it is that I eventually want a larger one.

Regarding the steel; I think in the end I'd probably have been happy either way, but I do like the idea that I can be somewhat 'lazier' with this. ;)

Veel plezier! We krijgen uiteraard een uitvoerig verslag, nietwaar?
I'm not promising a super extensive review with all the measurements that some people here provide, but I will write down my impressions in a while when we've had some time to get to know eachother. Sort of the 'things that stood out the most' like I did with a few other mini-reviews.
 

McMan

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Having tried Yoshi in SKD and White, here's my thinking:
SKD. No doubt.
There's an embarrassment of riches for knives in White. Yoshi White is very nice--but so are many other knives in White. In other words, you've got more room to move.
Not only are there not many in SKD, but yoshikane sets the bar. The hammered SKD is a classic for good reason.
Their White is, predictably, easier to sharpen. But SKD isn't a chore. SKD holds an edge longer, which is to be expected.

As to Kashima Sanjo... They're a pretty nice deal. I have one with the heart-shaped handle--incredibly comfortable and well-crafted. The Kashima is the thinnest Yoshi I've seen. The spine and choil are quite sharp ootb, which is surprising. I was also surprised at just how thin the knife was.
 
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