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I've discovered the joy of Japanese Knives

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,966
Thanks Tristan.

I've been studying, learned a ton, and finally bought my first two J-knives.
They are high-carbon steel, NOT stainless steel, so I have to be very careful to wipe and dry them often during use to prevent rust.
They will soon acquire a dark uneven patina that will horrify the uninformed who is accustomed to the always-new look of stainless steel.

The blades are extremely thin and of a hard pure Hitachi White #2 steel so they are brittle and I have to be careful to not throw them into the sink.
The reason I'm willing to put up with the hassle is knives with this steel can be very very thin while still supporting and retaining an incredibly sharp edge.
Selecting the right knives for you is quite personal and complex - but the results are worth it.

To say they are sharp is an understatement.
They are like laser beams. SCARY!
Even thick raw carrots yield like warm butter.
Imagining your knife falling through a raw carrot as if the carrot were overcooked.
That is the surprising sensation of using these thin knives.
I cannot express how different the sensation is cutting with these knives.
There is an odd smooth sucking sensation, as if there were some force in the food pulling the knife through the food.

Mine are not even very expensive as good J-Knives go.
The large one was $206 and the small one was $105.
They are made by Konosuke.
The large one is a 240mm Gyuto. (like a chef's knife)
The small is called a 120mm Petty. (like a paring knife)

You can spend TONS more but these are IMHO the near the least expensive fine knives of high carbon steel, especially for a noob.
The handles are of the most simple wood and buffalo horn.

I also invested in an end-grain mahogany chopping block.
End grain blocks do not wear down knife edges as fast as conventional cutting boards.
They also self-heal better, providing less of a home for bacteria.

Here are my two new treasures on some Kimono cloth I bought from a traveling Kimono exhibit.



Close up of the signature on the blade:

ii.png

m.png
 

kelpie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
2,362
Oh gorgeous! I agree warm butter is an apt description for someone who has never used a Japanese steel blade before. May your cooking experience be elevated to another lever.
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,565
The knives are beautiful, and the kimono is TDF. I love kimonos.
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
995
Welcome to the club Kenny. Glad you made it to the party :)) As they say - better late than never.

You describe it well. Imagine when you acquire the skill to realise such an edge, and better it through sharpening. That is a quest worthy of undertaking. It is the minutiae of obsessive hobbies that tick all the boxes of people who seek intellectual stimuli in all that they do. I think you're definitely one of them, so I knew you would enjoy the sensory disconnect using these tools if all you've been used to are the departmental store type knives.

Dave Martell will fix any errors you care to make or accidentally create, so when the time comes I hope you just go for it and sharpen away.

You DID pick lasers. Konosukes are well known for being just that. Be careful of what you cut with them, the edges won't roll, they'll just chip if you abuse them. But I'm sure you know this at least as well as me by now.

You went to the BoardSmith for your mahagony board?
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
995
ETA: Please please please warn your SO about them, and also about the care and utility of them if he has access to these things.

My dad saw my knife and asked about them. Before I could answer him, he was running his thumb along it to "thumb" the blade to see how sharp it was.

You can imagine what happened next... argh. It was a mess. You can't touch these things with anything other than the lightest pressure.
 

Jennifer W

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
1,958
Kenny, these knives are incredible. I have a bad, sad story though. I dropped mine. On a flagstone floor. I can confirm that they are indeed brittle (and that most insurance companies aren't getting the concept of 'like for like' when it comes to replacing them). ;( Treasure them, they're amazing!
 

Jennifer W

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
1,958
TristanC|1314080308|2997195 said:
ETA: Please please please warn your SO about them, and also about the care and utility of them if he has access to these things.

My dad saw my knife and asked about them. Before I could answer him, he was running his thumb along it to "thumb" the blade to see how sharp it was.

You can imagine what happened next... argh. It was a mess. You can't touch these things with anything other than the lightest pressure.
OMG. My father did this. On Christmas day (I got the knife as a gift). We ended up at the local hospital, having his hand glued back together.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,498
Kenny...those knifes are so cool looking! Please be careful with them!

(And I seriously hope this new hobby doesnt cut (pun intended) into your diamond budget :cheeky: !)
 
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