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  1. #166
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    Paul, if you are getting cold feet on the Wantanabe, leave it for now. Unlike some of the other older knife makers, he is still young and will be making knives for many more years, so you can always come back to that option another time.

    That Hiromoto Aogami Super steel knife is very good value and I would be very surprised if you weren't very pleased with it. Only thing to watch out for is that western style handle; don't let it deceive you into thinking it is attached to a soft western steel blade...

    --------

    From your last post it sounds like you are ready at least the AS Hiromoto.

    You probably don't need the following on knife care, but someone else might.

    I had a look at some of the YouTube videos on care and sharpening J-knives and they are a mixed bunch. So, I have selected out a few that I can recommend.

    To see a master sharpener at work view the 2 minute and 10 sec segment between 8min 30secs and 11min 40secs into the following video; that is how long it takes Master Misao Hirano to take a blunt knife through three grit levels to be fully sharp. Mr Hirano works too quickly and the camera angles are not helpful to observe his technique in any detail, but note how frequently he adds water to his waterstones. Also, he looks like he is running his fingers along the blade to check for sharpness (he is NOT), he is checking for a raised burr and and his fingers are pulling off the edge, not along it!

    Master Hirano

    And, for a detailed explanation on knife sharpening, here are some excellent videos from John at Japanese Knife Imports:

    How to hold knife

    Hand movements while sharpening

    Care of knives

    Stay sharp.

    Neil

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  3. #167
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Brisbane
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    44

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilS View Post
    Paul, if you are getting cold feet on the Wantanabe, leave it for now. Unlike some of the other older knife makers, he is still young and will be making knives for many more years, so you can always come back to that option another time.



    That Hiromoto Aogami Super steel knife is very good value and I would be very surprised if you weren't very pleased with it. Only thing to watch out for is that western style handle; don't let it deceive you into thinking it is attached to a soft western steel blade...

    --------

    From your last post it sounds like you are ready at least the AS Hiromoto.

    You probably don't need the following on knife care, but someone else might.

    I had a look at some of the YouTube videos on care and sharpening J-knives and they are a mixed bunch. So, I have selected out a few that I can recommend.

    To see a master sharpener at work view the 2 minute and 10 sec segment between 8min 30secs and 11min 40secs into the following video; that is how long it takes Master Misao Hirano to take a blunt knife through three grit levels to be fully sharp. Mr Hirano works too quickly and the camera angles are not helpful to observe his technique in any detail, but note how frequently he adds water to his waterstones. Also, he looks like he is running his fingers along the blade to check for sharpness (he is NOT), he is checking for a raised burr and and his fingers are pulling off the edge, not along it!

    Master Hirano

    And, for a detailed explanation on knife sharpening, here are some excellent videos from John at Japanese Knife Imports:

    How to hold knife

    Hand movements while sharpening

    Care of knives

    Stay sharp.

    Neil
    Excellent post and thank you very much.

    That first video is great, so fast!! It's funny how much water he uses as well. I've watched a few videos on the subject and they all seem to be different, I would assume this is because of the stones.

    A bit of trivia, I own a very similar Nakiri to the one used in the 2nd video by John. All 3 of those videos were good and informative.

    Regarding the actual knives, I think I'll wait until I have enough money for the Watanabe Santoku and then make a decision about whether or not to get it or one of the Hiromoto's. I'm more confident about caring for one after watching that last video.

    Cheers again

  4. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnickrapon View Post

    That first video is great, so fast!! It's funny how much water he uses as well. I've watched a few videos on the subject and they all seem to be different, I would assume this is because of the stones.
    That's right, Paul. The stone dictates the amount of water required. Most naturals only need a light sprinkle, while some compounded stones need a long submerged soak before use (which would kill a natural), and some 'ceramics' beg to be frequently splashed, which is what I expect Mr Hirano is using in that video.

    Neil

  5. #169
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    Jun 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    159

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    I feel the same about most anything I think is just too expensive, in general, whether crackers ($3!), smart cell phones (> $60!), knives, etc. So I was quite pleased to find that my old friend 330mate_com had several white steel knives listed on ebay. His store of chef knives is at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Mik...item5afc6ba747 . I bought a Santoku and nakiri from him some months ago with which I'm quite pleased. Granted, it's possible that a more expensive knife would have better balance and/or eye appeal; but I'm happy to have paid about $50 each shipping included. And, his knives that I bought have houchou Japanese style handles, D-shape. Hah!

    Pam

  6. #170
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    Jan 2002
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    I've bought from 330mate without difficulty but other forum members have unresolved disputes with him.

    Paul, the VG10 knives I was talking about were actually very good value for money. Tanaka Nakiri and Petty knife in Damascus steel at around $50 each IIRC. They don't keep their edge was well as better steels but they're by no means shabby, and I'm playing around with a quick refresh on a 1" belt sander with 15 micron abrasive and that only takes seconds when done in a batch. But even a waterstone is quick enough if you don't let the knives get too bad (or too close to the ham-fisted). Certainly the blue steel Watanbe outlasts them noticeably.
    Cheers, Ern

  7. #171
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    Jun 2007
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    Austin, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    I've bought from 330mate without difficulty but other forum members have unresolved disputes with him. ...
    That's a bummer. All I can say is that I've been buying from him for more that 10 years, probably 12, with no problems whatsoever - fast deliveries (mostly woodworking tools), as described, and pretty cheap as these things go. My only complaint is that I've been unable to convince him that I'm a woman.

    Pam

  8. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam View Post
    And, his knives that I bought have houchou Japanese style handles, D-shape. Hah!

    Pam
    Yeah, they make a difference don't they? I was surprised at how easily they sit in the hand compared with western handles. That said many traditional Japanese holds involve fingers on the blade as well.
    Cheers, Ern

  9. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    Yeah, they make a difference don't they? I was surprised at how easily they sit in the hand compared with western handles. That said many traditional Japanese holds involve fingers on the blade as well.

    Oh, yeah, very comfortable. I've never studied knife holds. Where is this info hidden?

    Pam

  10. #174
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    In the book cited above Pam.
    Cheers, Ern

  11. #175
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    Oct 2010
    Location
    Broome, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    The only book I have is Japanese Kitchen Knives: Essential Techniques and Recipes by Hiromitsu Nozaki with Kate Klippensteen.
    And wonderful book it is Ern...not at all what I was expecting. But a nice book indeed.

    Justin

  12. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by desert oak View Post
    And wonderful book it is Ern...not at all what I was expecting. But a nice book indeed.
    Thanks, guys, I've put it in my cart for a "real soon" buy. Don't know how I missed it first time around.

    Pam

  13. #177
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    See post #158 Pam re its emphasis.

    Perhaps like Justin, I was expecting it to focus on the hardware rather than techniques and recipes.

    And cooking is of course the real point of having a good kit. But I'm not going to spend several years practising how eg. to use a Nakiri in all the ways it can be. My cooking lacks many of the subtleties that Japanese food displays and I'm happy to eat out for those.
    Cheers, Ern

  14. #178
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    Austin, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    ... My cooking lacks many of the subtleties that Japanese food displays and I'm happy to eat out for those.
    Same here, I've never learned to cook Italian or Chinese because we like to eat out/bring in something different. Of course, these days with all the crap in normal food I'm much more hesitant to eat out at all, only when we have to.

    Pam

  15. #179
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    Feb 2014
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    Brisbane
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    See post #158 Pam re its emphasis.

    Perhaps like Justin, I was expecting it to focus on the hardware rather than techniques and recipes.

    And cooking is of course the real point of having a good kit. But I'm not going to spend several years practising how eg. to use a Nakiri in all the ways it can be. My cooking lacks many of the subtleties that Japanese food displays and I'm happy to eat out for those.
    Forgot to thank you for this earlier. It's ordered and in transit.

  16. #180
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    In case it is of interest to anyone (perhaps Gnickrapon), I have found another Blue II steel knife with SS cladding at a very good price. The maker is Tadafusa and they are currently on sale at Aframes in Tokyo. eg the Santoku is selling for US$74.

    I have explained before why I consider that Blue steel edge and SS cladding to be such a good combination.

    And, my opinion of the blade makers from Sanjo, in Niigata, will also be known by now.

    The Nashiji (Nashi pear skin) finish on the SS cladding helps release the off-cuts from the knife. Smooth finishes tend to cling.

    Neil

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