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Miyabi Japanese Knives

r
roycey Feb 22, 2010 09:13 PM

Hey everyone,

I am looking to buy my first japanese knife and I am deciding between Miyabi and Hattori. I couldn't find much information on Miyabi since it looks to be quite new, but Henckels is a pretty well trusted brand, so I have relative confidence in their quality. However, the Hattori look to be more "authentic" since they are all hand made.

Has anyone had any experience with Miyabi and can they comment on the comfort of use and performance as well as quality/durability. I am looking at the damascus blade line, as that is a feature I am really wanting for my first set.

Thanks for any help!

  1. Chemicalkinetics Feb 22, 2010 10:20 PM

    Hi Roycey,

    Many people here can help you.

    I think you pretty got it right. Hattori has its root in Japan, but many Hattori knives that I know of are Western knives made with Japanese steel and technology. Gyuto, petty, santuko ... are Japanese adaption of Western knives, not traditional Japanese knives. Moreover, traditional Japanese knives are made of carbon steel and not stainless steel.

    Can I ask you that what are your major reasons for considering a Japanese knife? It is the steel strength, the fit and finish, the single bevel or the weight?

    I will say if you are going to Miyabi, then try to avoid the 5000S. In my opinion, 5000S has little to offer. 7000D and 7000Pro are made of stainless steel CMV which I am not sure, but some think it is very close to VG-10 and is harden to HRC60. I think so as well. 7000MC and 7000MCD are made of powder steel. For information on Miyabi, you can go to its homepage at:

    http://www.miyabi.eu/miyabi_fx.html

    I think only Hattori KD knives are hand-made in a traditional sense, not the other Hattori knives, and KD knvies are quiet expensive. Miyabi 7000D seems to be on the same price range as Hattori HD, and they are probably made of very similar steel and harden to similar HRC, so there is not a huge price advantage for one over another. Miyabi probably offers a better warranty, but in term of the damascus look, Hattori ones look more authnetic and not that factory-stampe look. In addition, I read several people mnetioned the blade of the Miyabi knives are quiet thick and heavy compared to other Japanese made knives. The bevels are sharpened at an angle higher (19o-25o) than many Japanese knives (~16o). So, the Henckels Miyiba knives are more Western and less Japanese, in my opinion. It does not mean it is bad. It depends what you want and what you need.

    By the way, are you sure you want to get a set?

    13 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
      r
      roycey Feb 23, 2010 05:15 AM

      Wow, thanks for the thorough answer!

      I am looking at Japanese knives for the strength and the weight of the weight mostly, but also because they are just so nice :) As for the set, I didn't mean a whole set, but maybe 1-2 to start off with.

      Other than Miyabi and Hattori, I see that there are loads of other brands as well. Are there any other damascus-bladed brands that you would suggest that are around the Hattori HD/Miyabi 7000D price range? Thanks :)

      1. re: roycey
        Chemicalkinetics Feb 23, 2010 08:03 AM

        Your welcome.

        Sid Post is correct. If you absolutely love hand made knives, then Watanabe knives are good choices because of the relatively low price.

        The steel in the Miyabi 7000D knives are just as hard and strong as the Hattori HD, but the Hattori HD knives have thinner blade and sharper edge. Most Japanese double bevel knives have ~16o edge angle, whereas Miyabi knives are 19-25o. The edge angle is less of an issue, because you always have the option of putting a new edge. The blade thickness is more difficult to adjust. Because the Miyabi knives have thicker blade (so I read), they will be steadier but won’t cut as nice, while the thinner Japanese knives can slide smoothly into foods like tomatoes, potatoes, onions., but they won’t be as tough.

        Tojiro knives have very good reputation in term of being affordable and solid quality. Tojiro DP Damascus and Tojiro Flash may interest you:

        http://www.cutleryandmore.com/tojiro.htm

        I think a 8.25” Chef’s knife for $120 is not bad:

        http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU=15457
        Kanetsune is another choice. I bought my brother a Kanetsune. Eiron here also has two Kanetsure, so he can tell you more if he drops by. The J.B. Exclusive version of Kanetsune knives are sold at very reasonable price. Here is an example, a VG-10 (59-60HRC) Damascus pattern 8.3” Gyutou for $80.

        http://japan-blades.com/chef-knives/2...

        A 59-60HRC put it a touch softer than the typical 60-61HRC Japanese made knives, but still stronger than typical Henekels and Wusthof (56HRC). I understand you like good appearance and the Kanetsune knife has 17 layers of Damascus and Tsuchime (hammered) finish. By the way, a Gyuto has a very similar shape as a French Chef’s knife. It has a thinner blade, especially at the knife heel, but the outline is similar.

        Fujiwara knives are nice but I don't think don't care for Damascus appearance.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
          Chemicalkinetics Feb 23, 2010 11:35 AM

          *Correction*

          Fujiwara knives are nice, if you don't care for Damascus appearance.

      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
        cowboyardee Feb 23, 2010 09:08 AM

        The 7000 MC[D] series is reputed to be ZDP 189, which is really top of the line for powdered steel. ZDP 189 will hold a fine edge for an extremely long time, which is good because it's a pain in the ass to sharpen.

        Every once in a while the Miyabis come up on knifeforums, but most people just claim to dislike the aesthetics of them or to not trust Henckels, so the series never gets reviewed.

        1. re: cowboyardee
          Chemicalkinetics Feb 23, 2010 10:07 AM

          Cow,

          Thanks. I saw a few discussions on Miyabi, but not much. It i s great to know ZDP189 is the steel because I had no idea what the huck is MC66. MC probably stands for microcabride and 66 must be HRC 66. Pretty silly name. Afterwall, what if I hardened this "MC66" steel to 65HRC, is it no longer a MC66 anymore? Is it MC65 now?

          My guess is the steel is fine but I, perosnally, have concerns of the blade thickness and weight. The way I see it is that a very strong steel can support a sharp edge and thin blade. So I fail to see the point of using a hard steel to make a knife with wide edge angle and thick blade.

          If I want a meat cleaver, then I want a meat cleaver made out of very tough steel and not very hard steel.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            cowboyardee Feb 23, 2010 12:02 PM

            Chem,

            Here is the only decent and in-depth review I could find of one of these knives - it is of the santoku.
            http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktk...

            Just FYI, this dude's site is one of the best resources I know of for information about kitchen knives. Take a look at his steel charts.

            He holds that Henckels uses the name "MC66" so that they can change steels without rebranding as long as the HRC stays the same - for example, say next year Cowry X is less expensive than ZDP-189. News to me, but it makes sense.

            "So I fail to see the point of using a hard steel to make a knife with wide edge angle and thick blade. "
            Such a knife will hold its edge forever and a day, as long as it's not used for chopping through bones and other high-impact stuff. But I agree - it just doesn't have the same appeal.

            1. re: cowboyardee
              Chemicalkinetics Feb 23, 2010 12:28 PM

              Cowboy,

              Yes, I have been through his site maybe a few times and I like his chats especially I can lay one steel over another steel on the same chart. Thanks for the information. I still don't like the name of MC66 because it no longer specifizes the steel.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                cowboyardee Feb 23, 2010 12:51 PM

                Agreed on the name MC66. I guess Henckels doesn't think its consumer base would know one steel from another.

          2. re: cowboyardee
            d
            Dave5440 Jan 5, 2011 06:17 PM

            "for powdered steel. ZDP 189 will hold a fine edge for an extremely long time, which is good because it's a pain in the ass to sharpen."

            Sharpening is a breeze with an Edge pro apex

            1. re: Dave5440
              cowboyardee Jan 5, 2011 07:07 PM

              I like the edge pro. But it doesn't make a hard abrasion resistant steel any less hard or abrasion resistant. Take comparably dull Tojiro DP and Miyabi 7000 MC series blades to the edge pro, and the ZDP-189 will take a LOT longer to sharpen.

              What knife do you have in ZDP-189?

              1. re: cowboyardee
                d
                Dave5440 Jan 6, 2011 07:17 PM

                I have the 7000mc gyuto , sure it takes a little more time but not much for how long it holds the edge. I think it's a great knife , I just hope they expand the line to include a deba as I clean alot of fish

                1. re: Dave5440
                  c
                  columa Feb 5, 2011 09:15 PM

                  Dave,
                  I'm new here so I hope this question is not too far off topic. Can you tell me why you like a deba knife to clean fish? I fish in the Gulf of Mexico so we clean a lot of fish in the 10-40# range and usually use an electric carving knife since fish dull steel knives so fast.
                  I have just bought my first high quality knives. A Shun Elite chef and some smaller Tojiro DPs for cooking.
                  Thanks.
                  You think these would hold up better than electric?

                  1. re: columa
                    d
                    Dave5440 Feb 6, 2011 05:41 AM

                    Good choices on knives you will love using them, I'm not sure about an electric i've never used one, i've seen them used but assumed it was because they are so fast on fish. They seem to leave alot of meat behind(again just what i've seen) and a deba in the hand of someone that knows what they are doing is something to see and they are very stout knives . Try youtube for some videos

        2. Sid Post Feb 23, 2010 05:09 AM

          I have extensive experience using Japanese knives. I really like the larger Gyuto's where are similar to a "French" chef's knife. The lower tip then a German chef's combined with a longer length makes a rocking cut easier on my wrist and a chop/cleave is easier on something large or long. Japanese knives are thinner and have more acute edges so, they will cut easier and can chip if you use them wrong (for example prying or cutting frozen things). They will also slice your finger open if you toss them in the bottom of sink of soapy water.

          I have spent a lot of money here: http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/products.html and have never been disappointed with their service or speed of shipment. I can get a knife from them shipped out of Japan faster then I can get the same knife shipped domestically/CONUS.

          I have several truly handmade knives from various bladesmiths. I recommend this one for people who are new to handmade Japanese knives because he and his relative communicate in very good English and his knives are very high quality and a very good value considering the price. http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/

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