Shiro Kamo R2 210

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Chefspence
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Shiro Kamo R2 210

Post by Chefspence »

I've recently had the chance to try the 210 of this line after having used the 240, which I really enjoyed. This knife was no different in enjoyment other than one big thing, the Damascus cladding which I will get to.

I borrowed the knife from Gopher to try before deciding to buy, and I thank him for his generosity. First, the knife is an older version that still has the ho/horn handle on it. I don't know how old that makes it, but it's definitely used. F&f was great all around. The handle was still good with no noticeable gaps or steps. The choil and spine are very comfortable as well. The profile is one of my favorites. It has a good flat at the heel with a slow sweep I'd say and has a small flat area towards the tip. You can rock, chop, etc just fine. The knife is thin, yet sturdy with a very nimble feel. The grinds from Kamo are fantastic allowing for good performance, though not lasery, but who cares...it's not a "laser". Food release is good enough. Having used a Takeda, nothing lives up to that, but the release is better than many flat knives I've used. Al in all it's a fantastic all around package of a knife. The edge was very sharp and smooth. I don't know what Gopher did to it but it obviously takes a crips, clean edge. I didn't do nearly enough to test retention, but it's R2, so I'm sure it's great. I didn't sharpen or touch it up at all so no comment there. The appearance of the knife is still pretty, though it did lose its shininess over time. The Damascus was a bit dull. The only area that detracted from its attractiveness is the cladding itself. As I said earlier, the cladding was not smooth at all like the 240 I used. It was very rough and grippy which created detectable drag through ingredients. I will say it still performed well. When I noticed that it seemed to have the feeling of resistance in some cuts, I put it side by side with my ps60 just because that knife has no cladding and is very smooth. Even though the Kamo had a better edge, the ps had less resistance. I ran my fingers over the Damascus and it felt rough. I put both knives over the sink and got them a little wet, then ran my fingers over each in sort of a pinch like you would feel the thinness of an edge. Even when wet the Kamo had this serious drag to it where as the ps was basically slippery and smooth. For this reason, and his reason alone, I could not purchase his knife. If it were new I doubt this problem would exist and it would probably be in my roll. Not having extensive use with Damascus, I can't say if this is normal, and would ask someone to chime in on this subject. I can say I've used some Damascus knives and they did not have that issue. Still a killer knife. Thanks again Gopher, and thanks for reading my first official review
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Kit Craft
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Re: Shiro Kamo R2 210

Post by Kit Craft »

Thank you for taking the time to give your thoughts on this knife, Spence. I have heard others talk about drag with damascus before. I don't like damascus in general so I avoid buying it however some other finishes do this as well. KU, Nashiji etc.
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Altadan
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Re: Shiro Kamo R2 210

Post by Altadan »

This is a rather old post, but why not:

I recall the Yoshimi R2 to have a similar drag, and someone suggested giving it a nice 400-800 grit sandpaper treatment.
Obviously, that sounds very scary for someone holding a new knife, or anyone who's never modified a finish before. However, it's pretty easy to do (though takes some patience, and slow, thorough swipes to make it nice), and can highly improve penetration to such knives. To retain visibility of damascus, I'd recommend mounting the sandpaper on something hard but flexible, like an eraser or something. Then, passing it from the spine towards the edge, till the whole blade has a uniform scratch pattern.
Beyond 800 grit things start getting shinier (which is pretty) and stickier.
Etching, apparently, is also much easier to accomplish, and is not an expensive endeavor at all ^_^
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Radar53
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Re: Shiro Kamo R2 210

Post by Radar53 »

This is my first knife review, so please gentle with me. I’ve just got one of these in the last few days, so figured I’d add my initial thoughts. This is a very dramatic looking Damascus knife and having a bit of a soft spot for Damascus, I guess I was drawn to this and it's good rep. The knife arrived a few days ago, less than 7 days from Madison USA to my door Auckland NZ, just a testament to Sue and her team in these trying times.

It was well packed and presented, and it certainly lives up to it’s “look at me” persona. It is actually the knife pictured on the updated webpage here <https://www.chefknivestogo.com/shkar2gy21.html> so what’s there is the actual knife specs, profile, balance point etc. I have 3 or 4 Damascus knives & all have great looks, but none are this much in your face. Great fit & finish, nice blade grinds (as per the pictures fine towards the edge with definite convexing on the RHS), pretty damn sharp OOTB with a great edge, nice flat towards the heel and I definitely prefer the rosewood and buffalo horn handle.

I’m no great knife weilder, but in use so far it is balanced, seems to do everything well, rock, push, pull G&G haven’t really done any chopping with it as yet. As chefpence said above, it’s not technically a laser but I felt like it did cut pretty much like one and also has a fine tip for detailed work. It is a bit stiffer and more authoritative than some / most lasers. Food release is good compared to other lasers that I have, aided no doubt by the great RHS convexing, blade grinds and the very “textured" etching. Can’t help but notice the drag with any cut made ~ the resistance is chalk and cheese greater than any of my other 15 ~ 20 knives. Certainly way more than my other Damascus knives and even my Takeda Classic and Moritake full carbon knives with kurouchi finishes. It’s not really a problem as I’m only a home cook, so I won't be trying to dress it out. It’ll be interesting to see how it weathers over time.

In summary, colour me very happy.
Cheers Grant

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Robstreperous
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Re: Shiro Kamo R2 210

Post by Robstreperous »

Hey Radar! Nice to hear from you again. First review but I’d say you pretty much matched exactly what I would have written.

I’ve heard people write about the drag from the damascus but honestly I can’t say I’ve noticed it on mine. Maybe there’s something different about the ironwood western handled versions. I’ll need to. dig mine out and give it another try to see if I feel it.

Anyway.... nice to hear from you again and thanks for posting up.
Radar53
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Re: Shiro Kamo R2 210

Post by Radar53 »

Thanks Rob. I find that I can feel the extra texture on the blade directly, when it's dry. It does feel smoother when wet. But where I notice it most is in the cut. I'll be interested in what you find.

Anyway, as I say I'm not dicing 20+ kgs of anything in one sitting, so no drama for me.

Keep safe
Cheers Grant

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Jeff B
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Re: Shiro Kamo R2 210

Post by Jeff B »

Very fair review Grant. It's very consistent to what I experienced when test driving this knife when they first came out to nearly every review I've read about this knife. A great performing knife but with noticeable drag from the finish. Some report the drag corrects itself over time(coming from those in a pro stetting) to others saying they sanded the sides with a 2k+ sandpaper, used a metal polish on it or stropped the face to calm the drag faster.

I personally thinks it's an excellent knife and you will enjoy it for many years to come!
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Radar53
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Re: Shiro Kamo R2 210

Post by Radar53 »

Thanks Jeff. For now, I'm very happy to leave things be and see how it ages. If the etching becomes uneven over time due to wear patterns, I will see what remedy might work in terms of getting back to a nice Damascus finish that would be longer lasting. Apart from PCB's 50 odd years ago I have no experience with etching, so might have to investigate that as one of the options.

I already agree with your last comment and I can see this knife being in my rotation often.
Cheers Grant

Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not going to get you!!
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