ZK Meiji

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Knifefan

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Just saw the new ZK Meiji on the SLT website. I'm intrigued by the looks. Anyone out there to comment on performance?
 

Von blewitt

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Yeah, a 52100 option would be nice
Nice looking knives though
 

marc4pt0

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I have been waiting/hoping for a meiji carbon version for quite some time. I was kind of sad to see this stainless Damascus version. Still curious to see one, but as of now it looks to be online sells only. Sigh
 

aboynamedsuita

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Saw these a little while ago, I personally like the looks of the Meiji more than the Euroline, may check it out if it becomes available in Canada, but would also prefer carbon
 

Mucho Bocho

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I have a 6" from the WS Meiji line with SG2 cores. Love the knife. Would consider an 8" SLT Meiji if I get a coupon or see them discounted close to a $200 price point. The profile just works, the handle is comfortable for righties, its decent for a production blade. I don't know much about the FC61 steel though.
 

marc4pt0

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I remember reading here somewhere that it's a fancy name for AEB-L. Don't know if that's true or not though
 

MAS4T0

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Too bad for the lefties out there :(

They look neat otherwise
I'm not sure. As a lefty, I prefer to use d-handles fitted for right handers.

If they decided though to go with an asymmetric grind on these then I would be sad.
 

MAS4T0

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I was curious about the profile on these (and had some free time) so I cut out and rotated the image of the 10" chef's knife, and laid it up under an image Salty's custom profile (using Photoshop, not paper and glue).

I've not uploaded an image as I'm not sure if it would upset the owners, but the knives I'm referring to are shown here.

http://saltyskitchen.blogspot.ch/2010/05/knifeforums-protoype.html

http://www.surlatable.com/product/P...nckels?expiredSession=true&_requestid=6953784

The result was surprising; with the handles and spines aligned, only minor re-profiling would be necessary to recreate Salty's profile.
 

richard

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I have a 6" from the WS Meiji line with SG2 cores. Love the knife. Would consider an 8" SLT Meiji if I get a coupon or see them discounted close to a $200 price point. The profile just works, the handle is comfortable for righties, its decent for a production blade. I don't know much about the FC61 steel though.
The coupons that SLT offers out always have Zwilling and Miyabi listed as an exclusion. They will rarely, but sometimes have one-day sales or the like on the Zwilling Kramers, but to really catch them, you have to join their mailing list...but that's how I was able to get a ZK Essentials 10" Chef for $200 (reg. $250) back in December. As for FC61 steel, it's a good if somewhat of an oddball one. Relatively lower in carbon %, but if heat-treated properly (and the ZKs are), it can achieve good hardness and edge retention, and also the very fine grained steel takes a very keen edge. This video is a good one to learn more about various steels:

[video=youtube;jkLsLst8qMc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkLsLst8qMc[/video]
 

aboynamedsuita

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There's been a number of other threads elsewhere that it is very likely AEB-L. Also hearing Bob Kramer describe the steel used in the Zwilling Kramer Essentials line in this Youtube video definitely makes it sound it's AEB-L he's describing.
Here's an excerpt of the description of FC-61 from the Zwilling Canada page:

A professional special steel was selected, the hardness, sharpness and strength of which has proved its worth on a number of razor blades.
I'm no expert but sounds like AEB-L may be a likely candidate.
 

MAS4T0

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Has anyone seen one of these in hand; if so is the damascus pattern 'deep' like on the SG2 range?

I'm thinking of ordering one of the gyuto, but I wasn't keen on the dragging feeling the SG2 ones had when cutting through thicker produce.
 

richard

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Played with the ZK Meiji 10" chef today at SLT (and also briefly handled the 8" chef). Wow! Very nice knife...to answer your question, the damascus pattern is "deep", so I can feel it when brushing my fingers against it. I didn't cut any bigger items, but it felt really good cutting the celery and carrot they had at the demo station. Geometry is excellent, and it feels very light, nimble and balanced in the hand.
 

420layersofdank

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I'm digging it!!! Richard, what was geometry and grind like? S grind, hollow, convex, flat? Super curious but obviously kind of over priced . No?
 

Knifefan

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Has anyone seen one of these in hand; if so is the damascus pattern 'deep' like on the SG2 range?

I'm thinking of ordering one of the gyuto, but I wasn't keen on the dragging feeling the SG2 ones had when cutting through thicker produce.
The ZK stainless damascus has an etched blade finishing. That's what could cause the dragging. The Meiji doesn't seem to look like an etched finish. If it's deep, like richard mentioned, then they probably did a polish over an etched blade. If so, there shouldn't be the dragging you noticed on the SG2 blades.
 

richard

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I can't speak too knowledgeable on the construction of the damascus cladding, but as seen in the photo below, the vertical lines that run along the height of the blade...those are the features I could most distinctly feel with my fingers. There is definitely some texture to the cladding...not unpleasant though, actually it feels very nice gripping it in a pinch grip.

 

richard

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I'm digging it!!! Richard, what was geometry and grind like? S grind, hollow, convex, flat? Super curious but obviously kind of over priced . No?
Unless I'm mistaken, it appeared to be ground the same way my ZK Essentials chef knife is...which is mostly flat, but slightly convex and with a very gradual distal taper. I've posted a so-so pic of my ZKE (best I could muster, shadows and lighting are kind of terrible) for you to see. As far as I can tell, it is ground symmetrically, but the edge is about 80/20 or 90/10 with 10 deg per bevel.



As for being over-priced...well, it's in the same range as some other popular knives like Konosuke HD. For $350 for the 10", you're getting a knife with very good ergonomics, great performance, flawless fit and finish and very pretty to boot. If it's a bit beyond your budget, consider the ZK Essentials...great knife for the money.
 

richard

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it feels very light, nimble and balanced in the hand.
Want to clarify my previous comments...they still apply, but I meant to say it feels very light and nimble for a Kramer, and for a very large knife! (The height is quite tall, around 60 mm like other Kramers and it feels closer to a 270 mm than a 240 mm). I wasn't able to weigh it, but my ZKE 10" Chef's weighs in at 10.0 oz, so my best guess is the ZK Meiji 10" weighs 9.5 oz (270 g) or less. The balance point is also a bit forward from my ZKE, on the Meiji it's about 1" in front of the bolster. You can definitely notice the lighter handle in the Meiji, though it's definitely not as extremely blade-heavy as some other wa-gyuto's I've handled. The D-shaped asymmetric handle has a very pronounced ridge on the right side. If you don't pinch up on the knife, you definitely notice that ridge in your hand, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's uncomfortable. But when you hold the knife in a pinch grip, the D handle with that ridge makes it feel very secure and feels very good in your hand, especially combined with the balance point being perfectly between your thumb and forefinger and the fact that the blade surface is textured from the damascus.

(Replying to a previous comment from MAS4T0: I also held the knife in my left hand, and it's also comfortable...though the shape reversed in my left hand encouraged a slightly different way of holding the knife. In short, lefties may not be screwed. As far as I can tell, the grind is symmetric — someone please correct me if I'm wrong, so all that would need to be done is convert the edge to symmetric or lefty)
 

turbochef422

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I bought a 10" but haven't gotten to use it much yet. The paper it comes with says it has a sg2 super steel core but the blade says fc61. It seems to have a flat grind without much convex and not as pronounced taper as the zk kramer. The zk seemed heavier too but not as thin behind the edge. I don't have my zk 10" anymore but it's from what I can remember the zk seemed more substantial in hand. However the Meiji handle is incredibly comfortable and I think I like the profile a bit more. I'll have to really give it some use and chime in again.
 

MAS4T0

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Thank you Richard, that's very helpful.

The shaping of the handle looks similar to Marco's D-handles. I've been using one of those (fitted for a right hander) for about the last year and it feels great in the left hand.
 

SolidSnake03

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Alright....I might have to check one of these out!

My ZK Essential 8' was one of my best all around knives, regret selling it but then again I am kinda an idiot so I'm not surprised I did so
 

aboynamedsuita

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Alright....I might have to check one of these out!

My ZK Essential 8' was one of my best all around knives, regret selling it but then again I am kinda an idiot so I'm not surprised I did so
Do I recall you also had a 10" 52100 at some point as well? If so how do you think the 8"&10" compared in terms of profile and usage? I may be getting a very special 8" ZK in the fall, but they almost seem not long enough (I really liked the 10" one with its big flat spot), but the particular ones are only available in 8".
 

MAS4T0

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Do I recall you also had a 10" 52100 at some point as well? If so how do you think the 8"&10" compared in terms of profile and usage? I may be getting a very special 8" ZK in the fall, but they almost seem not long enough (I really liked the 10" one with its big flat spot), but the particular ones are only available in 8".
The main difference between the 8" and 10" is that the 10" has a longer flat spot before the curve to the tip begins.

I had one and used it a lot but I didn't ever really adapt to the high tip, it felt like I had to lift the handle too high to bring the tip in contact with the board. I also found that I needed to either roll the knife with each cut or grip it very loosely in order to avoid accordion cuts. It was a very enjoyable knife to use, but it did require some technical adjustments (for me at least).

What makes this particular one you're looking at "very special"?
 

aboynamedsuita

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The main difference between the 8" and 10" is that the 10" has a longer flat spot before the curve to the tip begins.

I had one and used it a lot but I didn't ever really adapt to the high tip, it felt like I had to lift the handle too high to bring the tip in contact with the board. I also found that I needed to either roll the knife with each cut or grip it very loosely in order to avoid accordion cuts. It was a very enjoyable knife to use, but it did require some technical adjustments (for me at least).

What makes this particular one you're looking at "very special"?
Hmm, sounds like the 8" wouldn't be all that bad then, assuming I got it correct that you had the 10" as well. My only real complaint with the 10" was I always seemed to dig the heel into my cutting board, but I was able to adjust for this.

If it works out, I'll be getting the ZK Euroline Limited Edition II Carbon Damascus with Karelian Birch handle. Probably the closest thing I'll ever get to a real Kramer.
 

SolidSnake03

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Regarding the 8'' and 10'', yes I did have both and honestly the 10'' profile didn't suit me nearly as well as the 8''. The 10'' had a very large flat spot that seemed to make me hit the heel a bit too hard into the board. I'm not a huge fan of super flat stuff and the 10'' just had way too much flat for me. The 8'' was a nice blend of flat and curved that just worked for me. With the 10'' I found myself hitting the board with a heel a bit, probably because I'm not overly comfortable with or adjusted to such a big flat spot on a knife (cleavers excluded from this, hold/grip those totally different which makes it all work fine)

Further, the 10'' really is a big knife and just wasn't suited to a 1 bedroom apartment kitchen. I had no problem wielding the knife and controlling it effectively but it was just impractical to have that large of a knife in such a small kitchen space. I have the same issue with 270mm gyuto's, really can't go bigger than 240's otherwise it just gets kind of silly trying to find space to even put the knife down safely..
 
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