What classics to try?

We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
LucaBrasi
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:39 pm

What classics to try?

Post by LucaBrasi »

Lately I’ve had the urge to re engage with the kitchen knife world. My collection has been pretty static for many years, with the exception of swapping my iron clad Watanabe for a stainless clad. Been spending my time and money on other types of knives I have far less use for. And watches: always watches.

I’ve run through a great many of the great ones: have had Kono Ginsan wide bevel, Syousin Sakura, Kagekiyo, TF Nashiji, Kono Fujiyama white 2, Kurosaki as...probably others. But settled on a collection of 4 main gyutos excluding an Artifex and a Victo: Masashi Kobo sld, Kochi stainless clad white 2, Watanabe, and Kurosaki R2.

But i feel like there are many icons I’ve never encountered. Never a Takeda, no TF Maboroshi, no Kato, and no Shig. Am I missing out? Is aiming for one of these the road back in? Are there others I’m missing? I haven’t really paid attention to the seemingly recent Mazaki craze.

What do we think, which of these should be a priority? I prefer tall, heavy spined power houses mostly. And have mostly gone away from pure carbon but could see myself back there I suppose.

Also just want to talk knives so contribute whatever you’d like, don’t worry about staying on topic.

cliff
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:54 pm
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by cliff »

On your list, I joined the Mazaki bandwagon, but I did right before a recent price jump. It fits the same kind of bill as your Watanabe -- though, depending on the vendor, the profile will be different. I can't speak to the TF, Kato, Shig. Prices got away before I got in. Takeda was my first really good knife. I still use it a lot, but I tend to gravitate towards different profiles. I would likely be an in-betweener for you. It's not as laser as true lasers, but nowhere near as hefty as Wat, though it does have the tall frame and awesome food release.

cedarhouse
Posts: 4636
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:12 am
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by cedarhouse »

I too am pretty out of the loop these days. Having been poking around the forum for just a week or so now, one name I've seen several times with glowing reviews is the Shibata stuff. These had just shown up around the time I stepped back from the form.

Takeda is one of the more unique experiences I've had. I love my Shig but I think there is more to the knife in its construction and mystique than in its performance.

This is lower brow than the names you have listed but I hope you've played with some Tanaka stuff. It is kinda blue collar but his stuff has been among my all time favorites. Course the only Tanaka I own at the moment is a fairly high dollar R2 damascus wa-handle that is outstanding.

cliff
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:54 pm
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by cliff »

cedarhouse wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 1:47 pm
... Course the only Tanaka I own at the moment is a fairly high dollar R2 damascus wa-handle that is outstanding.
Out of curiosity, any thoughts on what's driving price here? It looks to be a terrific version, but it's so much different than the rest of the line and other near competitors -- I'm thinking Kamo.

LucaBrasi
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:39 pm

Re: What classics to try?

Post by LucaBrasi »

I have his Ginsan petty and gifted my brother a Ginsan 240 gyuto. Last time I used that one I was a bit surprised by the thickness of the grind. Not as good of a performer as I would have hoped when I gave it to him. I’m sure the blue would be different, but last I looked his profile seemed to be drifting smaller and lighter. I feel like we used to see 55mm Sekisos: they now seem to be around 50mm.

User avatar
Jeff B
Posts: 12126
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Has thanked: 152 times
Been thanked: 136 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by Jeff B »

Sounds like the newer Konosuke Fujiyama FM would be a good fit for you. 4mm spine, 54mm tall and over 200gms.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

Nmiller21k
Posts: 2721
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:55 pm
Location: Minnesota
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by Nmiller21k »

You’re honestly set.

Kato is a beefy knife like the Watanabe if you like that go with a Toyama instead.

Kono been there
You’re good you’ve tried a lot of styles. There’s not mind blowing about the new konos over a Kagekiyo

I’d suggest takeda everything else will be 85% the same as what you have had or have tried

Nmiller21k
Posts: 2721
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:55 pm
Location: Minnesota
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by Nmiller21k »

Knives I like over new Kono:
Kanehiro AS
Kagekiyo
Toyama it’s ao different but cuts so much better

jacko9
Posts: 2031
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:51 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, Ca
Has thanked: 61 times
Been thanked: 17 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by jacko9 »

The newer Watanabe's and Toyama's Stainless clad look and feel like they were made in the same shop and they both feel like lasers. I like my Kato Workhorse from JNS and my Kato KU from cktg as pretty sturdy knives. I don't have any experience with Takeda (wish I did) but the Watanabe Pro KU Nakiri is a great knife. I have three Kono Fujiyama's and I love all three and I have signed up for the 270 Fuji being made right now. I have a T_F Nashiji Gyuto but if I were going to his brand I would go for one of his other brands (most likely a Denka). I have one Kagekiyo a 270 Sujihiki and while it's a great knife I don't think I'm a Sujihiki fan.

Qapla'
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:21 am

Re: What classics to try?

Post by Qapla' »

What is your budget?

Is this only about gyuto's, or are you considering other blade types?

cedarhouse
Posts: 4636
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:12 am
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by cedarhouse »

cliff wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 2:23 pm
Out of curiosity, any thoughts on what's driving price here? It looks to be a terrific version, but it's so much different than the rest of the line and other near competitors -- I'm thinking Kamo.
No insight at all.

I think I recall Mark saying something about a high loss rate in QC. Since, as far as I am aware, this is Tanaka's only PM knife, that makes some sense. The R2 I have is head and shoulders about the other Tanaka knives I've seen in fit and finish. Most Tanaka knives way out perform their price point but skimp on fit and finish. The R2 I have is first rate. It is definitely another tier.

Out of curiosity, since Mark doesn't have these anymore, where are you finding them?

Kalaeb
Posts: 2694
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by Kalaeb »

cedarhouse wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 8:19 pm
cliff wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 2:23 pm
Out of curiosity, any thoughts on what's driving price here? It looks to be a terrific version, but it's so much different than the rest of the line and other near competitors -- I'm thinking Kamo.
No insight at all.

I think I recall Mark saying something about a high loss rate in QC. Since, as far as I am aware, this is Tanaka's only PM knife, that makes some sense. The R2 I have is head and shoulders about the other Tanaka knives I've seen in fit and finish. Most Tanaka knives way out perform their price point but skimp on fit and finish. The R2 I have is first rate. It is definitely another tier.

Out of curiosity, since Mark doesn't have these anymore, where are you finding them?
The R2 is hard to find, western ironwood R2 almost impossible. Knives and Stones sometimes has the wa in stock.

Kalaeb
Posts: 2694
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by Kalaeb »

Surprised not to see Masamoto on the list. You never know, you may be able to do a temporary trade with some members to get a good feel for some of the classics without having to buy.

LucaBrasi
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:39 pm

Re: What classics to try?

Post by LucaBrasi »

jacko9 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 6:58 pm
The newer Watanabe's and Toyama's Stainless clad look and feel like they were made in the same shop and they both feel like lasers. I like my Kato Workhorse from JNS and my Kato KU from cktg as pretty sturdy knives. I don't have any experience with Takeda (wish I did) but the Watanabe Pro KU Nakiri is a great knife. I have three Kono Fujiyama's and I love all three and I have signed up for the 270 Fuji being made right now. I have a T_F Nashiji Gyuto but if I were going to his brand I would go for one of his other brands (most likely a Denka). I have one Kagekiyo a 270 Sujihiki and while it's a great knife I don't think I'm a Sujihiki fan.
My stainless clad Watanabe is modestly lighter than my iron clad was, and the grind is basically identical. Laser isn’t in the conversation, at least as far as mine goes. I believe my iron clad was around 250 grams, my stainless clad was something like 230.

LucaBrasi
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:39 pm

Re: What classics to try?

Post by LucaBrasi »

Gyutos only. The other niche knives I have pretty well filled out. Gyutos are what I collect and rotate.

LucaBrasi
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:39 pm

Re: What classics to try?

Post by LucaBrasi »

I suppose I feel like a Takeda would be the biggest departure from what I’ve had. I just don’t like how light they tend to be.

I sold my TF Nashiji because it was early in my...career?...and I felt off put by how rough it was given what I paid. But nostalgia has me feeling like I’m missing out on that magic white 1. Have heard the Maboroshis can be a bit better finished. But recently I saw one in the classifieds that appeared to be a full on laser grind which I have no interest in.

I definitely need more knives.

User avatar
lsboogy
Posts: 1335
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:23 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 31 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by lsboogy »

Try to find a Richmond Ultimatum HD - original Kono HD. I took advantage of an opportunity to get a 270 and the thing is a kitchen beast. I like it better than my Kono HD2 stuff, maybe it's psychological, but it seems a bit of history. Kind of like my Hiromoto AS that Jen has adopted as her go to in the kitchen - I thought it would be a peice of history being as Hiromoto has passed, but it's a "being used" peice of history now - she loves the thing and it's about all she grabs right now - except an occasional short knife. I love the Ultimatums (havea few) but this one is a 270 and has been a go to for large items lately. Even cut up the garlic with it for dinner on Tuesday

thetoe
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 6:53 am
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 18 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by thetoe »

Takeda, take your pick.

User avatar
Jeff B
Posts: 12126
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Has thanked: 152 times
Been thanked: 136 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by Jeff B »

If a workhorse or a knife just on the heavier side is your interest then Takeda is NOT what your want. They are thin and on the lighter side. Takeda is a love or hate relationship and from your described interest it would be more hate. I wasn't impressed with Takeda at all and it was hate for me.
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

User avatar
Altadan
Posts: 1371
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:15 pm
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: What classics to try?

Post by Altadan »

I second the Tanaka Shigeki rec.

If $200 knives are "blue collar," hahaha... then we've all be outta the loop for a while :lol:

I've owned the Sekiso (240), and currently own the VG10 Nashiji (210).
I've also had the R2 (both 210 and 240) on loan, and they were just great. Could do anything with aplomb. It's worth mentioning they are more curvy than your Watanabes
Caveat: some of his iterations do better with some modification.
Last edited by Altadan on Sun May 24, 2020 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
“If we conquer our passions it is more from their weakness than from our strength.”
― François de La Rochefoucauld

Post Reply