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Jan 18, 2011 08:33 AM

Did I buy at Left Handed Knife by mistake?

Yesterday I went to Korin!! I love this store; their selection is unmatched. I bought a 7" Misono UX10 gyuto and brought it home happy. This morning when I was admiring it before work, I noticed that If I hold the knife in my right hand the word "Misono" is facing me. This is different then my MAC and Tojiro Pettys. I am worried that this indicates that I bought a left handed knife by accident. I know that the handedness determines sharpening angles and don't want to make errors. Any advice knife experts? I want to know if I need to return it and so shouldn't use it as soon as I arrive home from work.

Thanks for your advice.

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  1. According to their website,left handed knives are usually more expensive than right handed knives That's one way to check.Give them a call,I'm sure they can help you out.

    1. Yes, like Petek said, a left-hand knife is more expensive. As far as I know the UX10 logo should be facing away from you, so it is possible that you got the wrong handiness.

      If you don't live too far, I would just bring the knife to the store and ask for an exchange. The sooner the better. This way, the store knows you only got it for a day and two, and you are not messing with the store I am sure Korin understands a honest mistake. Be nice and calm about it. Don't yell at them.

      The upside is that you may even get some money back -- because you paid for the more expensive left-handed knife. :)

      23 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Thanks for your response Chemical, I didn't pay more for the knife according to the website. I think that when the girl went to the back and got out a new one for me, it was a left handed knife in a right handed box. I emailed Korin and asked for an answer.
        I'm not mad at Korin, just disappointed that I will have to wait to receive a new knife to play with.

        1. re: gbednarz

          :) In that case, it was Korin's fault. It should be very easy for an exchange then.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Chem, I'm in need of a boning knife and, as a solidly left handed person, who's never owned a left handed knife, just pruners and scissors, I wonder what the advantage is? Is it due to the type of bevel, I guess that would be the obvious thing, or something else? Why are so many Japanese brand knives available for left handers, over European brands? I was looking at a Shun classic left handed boning knife for not much more than I want to pay for a decent ambidextrous European brand. Are there other Japanese knives, usuba, santuko, or even a paring knife, that are better suited for left handers, over and above a boning knife? Cost aside, of course.

            I consider myself to have excellent knife skills and don't feel that ambidextrous 50/50 grind knives have hindered my ability to perform cutting tasks in any sense, but now I wonder if my knife skills, after all these years, could have been even more accurate, less stressful on the hand and wrist, generally better. I'm not planning on slicing sushi, btw. It seems that, from what I've read, a left handed serrated bread knife makes the biggest difference for proper left handed slicing technique, over a chef's or paring. I have to say I wonder about that. I have seen inexperienced left handers slicing bread, for example, rather badly.
            Maybe it's just that I've adjusted, as a left handed living in a right handed world...

            So what do you say?

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              I remember you said your boning knife is getting really old and are in need for a replacement. I thought you were going for the Wusthof boning knife :D

              You asked a good question, but there seem to be a more complicate/confusing answer here. I will be as brief as I can.

              For the very traditional Japanese knives, like usuaba, deba and yanagiba, they have pure single bevel. The handiness of these knives makes huge impacts, just like what you said of a bread knife. They can be ground to favor a left handed person or a right handed person. Technically, traditional Japanese knives are ground on both side, but not in a way that is easy to described, so I will put a diagram:


              For Westernized-Japanese knives, some have pure 50/50 symmetric grind and bevel. I believe most of the Shun knives and Global knives are as such. Shun Elite and Shun Elite 2 have single bevel as mentioned earlier. Again, they can be ground to favor a left handed person or a right handed person. Other Westernized-Japanese knives have asymmetric grind and asymmetric bevel, which sit in between a pure single bevel and a pure 50/50 bevel. For example, a 70/30 bevel is common:


              You may wonder why Shun Classic offers left and right handed knives when Shun Classic knives have 50/50 symmetric bevels and grinds. This is due to their handles. Shun Classic knives handles are asymmetric. They have a D-shape cross section and they are offset. Not all Shun knives are like this. The Shun Elite knives are symmetric - both the handle and the bevel.

              Many people argue that an asymmetric bevel makes the knives sharper, and an asymmetric gind makes it easier for food to fall off. Asymmetric handles are supposed to allow a tighter grip and offer more comfort. So if we are talking about Shun knvies, then the advantages is at the handle. It won't make you cut more accurate.

              As for boning goes, the Japanese version of a boning knife is called Honesuki. They look like these:


              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Well, I haven't gotten the Wusthof yet, you know, ongoing rent too damn high issues, but now that I see another boning knife option, I wanted to explore it before committing to one or the either, as least mentally. I do like the Honesuki style, but the price is beyond me at this point. I would like a boning knife with a small amount of flexibility, but it appears that the Shun is not very flexible either.

                This is the Shun I mentioned. It has decidedly European styling, compared to the Honesuki:


                The original choice:


                Since it's just the handle that makes any difference, and I do now need more comfort in the grip for my hands, this might be a good option for me. Let me know what your think about this model in general.

                As always, thanks greatly for your input. Hope you're well.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  "ongoing rent too damn high issues,"

                  Ha ha ha. Rent is too Damn High. :) NY Governor race.

                  I cannot look at the link you have right now because of internet blocker. I will do so later. Thanks.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Now I see the two knives you are talking about. Yes, the Shun boning you mentioned is the Shun Classic and it is a rigid (not flexible) knife. The Shun handle is pretty comfortable to hold, but this is very subjective and you should see if you get to play with one at Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, Bed Bath and Beyond... etc.

                    Shun knives are going to be harder than most Wusthof and Henckels knives, but some people worry that Shun knives do not have the toughness to handle tough jobs. However, most people who bought it (from various websites) seems to have no problem of this concern.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Good advice for trying it out physically first. I'll see if I can locate a kitchen store in BK that carries Shun, just to get the ball rolling on a final descision. I do like that Tojiro Honesuki, though, but I'd have to handle that, as well.

                      As far as tough jobs are concerned, it's just pork, chicken and some minor beef butchering I do these days, no more breaking down sides of anything.

                      Thanks again, chem, I appreciate your advice.

                  2. re: bushwickgirl

                    bushwickgirl, I've never used a boning knife, so my comments should be regarded as highly suspect. :-)

                    Since I've never used this kind of knife, having the full bolster travel down the rear of the blade (like the Wusthof) seems like a nice safety addition when your hands are greasy. Is that anything to consider?

                    Have you tried the Shun Classic lefty handles? I don't know what you've already got in your collection, but some people can't stand them. As a righty user, I love their smaller handle diameters but not their larger diameters (on their santoku & chef knives). I would definitely suggest the Shun Classic to you for its lefty handle, but you're paying quite a bit extra for the VG-10 blade & demascus style clad.

                    If you really like the honesuki style of boning knife, you can get the Tojiro DP model for as little as $59.95:

                    1. re: Eiron

                      Wow! $60 for that Tojiro honesuki is a great deal,and it looks like they only have 1 left. Get it while you can.

                      1. re: petek

                        They were even a better price a few years back. I got one from Korin on sale for under $50. I use my honesuki a lot for breaking down chickens and other large hunks of meat. Easy to sharpen and with that 95/5 asymmetric edge they are really sharp

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          Nice! I'm buying my first honesuki(Moritaka) this week.Unfortunately I'll be paying more than double what you paid,but wadda gonna do.
                          Can't wait!
                          Sorry wrong photo

                            1. re: petek

                              That is a very nice looking honesuki. Hope you like it.

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                Thanks cowboyardee. All I need now is a few cases of chickens and racks "o"lamb to break down :)

                            2. re: petek

                              I thought Moritaka family mainly make Aogami (bluepaper) steel knives with a traditional Wa handle. Are we talking about a different Moritaka?


                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                That is weird, just a minute ago, it was the wrong photo, but apparently you corrected the photo awhile ago....

                                Anyway, great looking knife. I thought of getting a Moritaka Nakiri. Maybe one day.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Hey Chem. It's actually aogami #2 blue super carbon steel,not the top of the line,but still super sharp and sexy.
                                  Great bang for the buck.

                                  1. re: petek

                                    Where are you getting your Moritaka from? Looking at Mark's photos from Chefknivestogo, those may be the Aogami #2 as well. Let's us know later if you like it or not like it. Thanks.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      I'm buying from a local store called "Knife" here in Toronto.
                                      He carries a great selection of Moritaka"s.I purchased my gyuto from him a few months ago.Great guy to deal with(loves to haggle about price).
                                      Lucky to have a shop like that in the city.

                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Thanks to your post, I've finally gotten to the bottom of this . . . I received a left-handed Shun Classic Chef's Knife as a gift but couldn't figure out what distinguished it since the blade looked evenly beveled. Thank you!

                    3. re: bushwickgirl

                      Hi bushwickgirl.

                      I am also left handed. I have a right handed Tojiro DP honesuki that you mentioned liking. For my purposes, it is a great knife, but there are a few issues. The edge on that knife is very asymmetrical - something like 90/10 - and it's got a pronounced right handed convex blade grind as well..

                      95% of the time I use the knife, it's to break down or bone chicken and fish. And for that purpose, I can't think of a better knife design - you can put it through bones with no major effect on the edge, yet it is still very nimble and sharp, with a narrow tip that's great for work in tight joints. The thing is, I use it with bone on the left, cutting meat into my right hand. I know you are a very experienced cook, so you may have formed habits that don't work like that. Works great for me.

                      Also, it will steer if you use it like a utility knife on any firmer foods. Slicing carrots with a standard right hand claw on a board, it will steer away from the food. That said, even if you were right handed, it would steer towards the food - the knife is just too asymmetrical and thick behind the edge to be an ideal utility knife.

                      More damaging, it is also a pain to use for removing silverskin or skinning fish. Again, because it either steers into the skin or else you have to cut towards your body, which isn't what I'm used to. For me, I use either my gyuto or a cheap tosagata petty for that stuff, so it's not a big issue. I don't know if I would use it on silverskin and to skin fish if it were left handed. Never got to play with a lefty honesuki.

                      It also seems to work great for boning red meat, but I do less of that personally. If that's mainly what you are looking for, you might also consider a hankotsu - a very cool looking but surprisingly robust knife that's especially good for boning red meat. Most are very asymmetrical with the same issues as honesukis, though like honesukis, some are less pronounced than others.

                      Also to look at (in the Japanese style) is a garasuki. It is essentially a larger honesuki. Typically a bit more expensive, but I figured I'd mention it. You can put it through some decent sized bones if that interests you.

                      All in all, Chem's advice to try a knife before buying is probably best for someone like you who already has a technique and habits down. Hope this helps guide you in your search though.

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        Jeez, this thread has opened up a can of worms for me. I must try out a few of the recommendations, the Shun, Honesuki and possibly the Hankotsu, which I was actually eyeballing earlier today, cool looking, before I make the final choice. I'm certainly curious to see if a left handed knife would give me different prep results.

                        I'm looking for a basic boning for chicken dissection, pork and beef bone removal, rib separating, occasionally boning out a leg of lamb. It would be great if I could fillet fish with the knife as well, as that knife in my kit needs to be replaced as well, must be 25 years old.

                        I cut with bone on the right, and push the meat away to the left, but remove silverskin away from me, towards the left. I have a few flap laceration scars on the anterior of my right hand index finger from boning towards me, before I figured out that boning in that direction wasn't the best technique.

                        I still work with a pretty firm grip on a knife, need a comfortable handle, who doesn't, and like a high degree of control over a (shorter) blade. I work closely, almost directly, over whatever I'm chopping and don't experience much steering at all, I think, for that reason.

                        As I posted upthread, my next step is to get to a shop, perhaps Kirin, which is not too far into the city from me, and try a few out. I appreciate your advice and suggestions, and will post back when I make my purchase.

                        I f I was richer than I am, I'd get both the Shun and the Honesuki, just for fun...a woman can never have too many knives.

              2. I figured out that I wrote this post incorrectly. The word Misono faces away from me. From looking at pictures online I believe that I in fact have a right handed knife. I was laying out my knives to look at them (as we are wont to do) and realized that if all my knives had their brand name showing, the misono's handle would be pointing the wrong way. This fact led me to believe that I may have received a left handed knife. I now believe that the Mac and Tojiro likely have their brand written in Japanese on the same side that the misono has english. Can anyone confirm this?

                8 Replies
                1. re: gbednarz

                  What makes a knife a right or left handed knife is asymmetric bevels. The smaller bevel should be on the side facing the food item. In a right sided knife the larger bevel is to your right while holding the knife on the board as if cutting. If it's a 50/50 bevel then it shouldn't make much difference. If you have doubts take it back and talk to them. Let them explain the differences.

                  1. re: gbednarz


                    I have a Tojiro at home, so you are correct. When I hold the knife on my right hand, the left side (facing toward me during cutting) has the English logo, while the right side (faceig away from me during cutting) has the Japanese Kaji logo.

                    If you hold your Misono knife on the right hand, the logo "Misono" should be on the right or so called the front side, just like the Japanese Kaji on Tojiro. That said, this is not the definite proof. Like scubadoo said, one of the two bevel should look larger, and the larger bevel should be facing away from you when you hold your knife.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Thanks guys,

                      I have spoken to Korin and am now pretty certain that I purchased a right handed knife. I know that the bevels are different which is why I was concerned that I had bought the wrong knife. Thanks for your help and answers. I am excited again to go play with my new knife and that I have had the oppurtunity to talk to some of you guys whose discussions I have followed in the past.

                      1. re: gbednarz

                        Let's us know if you like Misono in a week or two. Best wishes.

                    2. re: gbednarz

                      Ok, I'm gonna try to explain this, since the larger/smaller bevel advice is generally correct, but misleading in a way. It's not always the case.

                      There are three things that can make a double beveled knife such as a gyuto left or right handed.

                      1. The handle. D-shaped handles are designed to favor the grip of a left or right hander. Shun classics are the most well-known examples. A right handed handle will be more convex on the right side of a knife that is pointing away from you. Some left handers adjust to a righty version of this type of handle with no difficulty and others find it a pain in the butt (myself included). It depends on how you hold a knife. This is the main design feature of a righty knife I would advise a lefty to beware of. The Misono UX10 does NOT have this issue.

                      2. The grind of the blade - not talking about the edge yet. Almost all Japanese made knives have this to some extent. A right handed knife will be more convex on the right side of the blade (again holding the knife with it pointing directly away from you, edge down). And flatter on the left side of the blade. This has a minimal but appreciable effect on whether food you're cutting falls away from the edge or rides up the side of the blade. It may also lead to some minor steering of the blade when cooking foods that are prone to wedging (squash, potatoes, other root vegetables). But I must say I am a left hander who has for years used a right handed knife with a pronounced righty convex blade grind, and I've never experienced any steering at all. It may be more of an issue if you hold the knife more tightly than I do. This type of grind also necessitates, in a way, issue #3.

                      3. An asymmetrical edge. This is what the talk in this thread has centered around. What it really means is that the edge is closer to one side of the knife than the other. That's all. It's not really about edge angles (though if you get into reprofiling or knife making, this becomes important). The other guys are right that the right side bevel will generally be larger than the left, but even that is not necessary. This is what I mean (I'll try an illustration - this might take an edit or two).
                      ..... /
                      ...... v

                      All of those edges are asymmetrical (and all right handed if you're looking down the edge of the knife from the heel). But not all of the right side bevels are bigger than the left sided ones. If you look at enough real knives, you will see asymmetrical edges in each of the above patterns (though most will look like the topmost diagram).

                      The misono UX10 has a very slightly asymmetrical edge. For the most part, this is to thin the knife behind the edge and improve performance. In general, lefties adjust to a mildly asymmetrical righty edge (and vice versa), but again I have seen occasional complaints posted, probably from people who hold the knife tightly.

                      At most, using a lefty double bevelled knife (with an ambidextrous handle, anyway, and not a super extreme grind like 90/10) will have a very minor effect on performance if you're right handed. At most.

                      The other thing, though, is you mentioned that you are particular about your sharpening angles. If you're gonna use Japanese knives and you want to maintain the geometry as is (recommended for the time being, BTW), you're gonna need to find the edge and secondary bevels and sharpen at those angles, left handed or no. That means either clicking onto the bevel (for the secondary bevel) and finding the edge by tilting the spine of a blade up while pushing the edge forward on a flat soft surface until the edge catches. Or the magic marker trick. Just something to keep in mind - if you're wary of sharpening a left handed knife you're not necessarily any better off with a right handed knife.

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        Great explanation and illustrations CBAD.

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            Look like that nickname is starting to stick.