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Dec 12, 2011 03:11 AM

Haiku Knives

I'm in the market for a new knife.
I'm sure I want Japanese rather than European.
I've tried a Global and am not keen on the feel of the handle.

I was thinking of a Kai Shun 20cm but the price at £120 is somewhat prohibitive.
I have now found a Haiku 17cm Fluted Santoku Knife which I like the look of.
It is two thirds the price of the Shun.

Has any body got a Haiku and good advise if this is a good buy?



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  1. I have absolutely no experience with these knives, but I did find this 2 yr old review:

    So it looks like the (2 yr old) answer is, "No, these are NOT a good buy."
    Of course, the next question is, "Has Chroma done anything to improve these knives over the past 2 yrs?"

    1. I haven't handled one of these. Just from pictures, the profile of the Haiku blades worries me. It looks like most of their edges curve continuously right up to the heel. Makes me think the company cares more about making their knives look distinctive than making them cut well. Even German knives usually have a little bit of flat in em near the heel. The review Eiron posted didn't make it look too promising for the money either, especially since the reviewer seems to know what he's talking about.

      It's always a little hard to recommend Japanese knives to someone in the UK since I don't know quite what is available over there. I will point out that the Tojiro DP damascus series seems to be selling in your price range on Amazon UK
      I would think there are better deals yet available, but like I said, I don't really know what's available in the UK.

      10 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        Thanks for your responses Eiron and Cowboy.
        You've both confirmed what I suspected.
        I'd be better off paying the extra and going for a good knife like the Shun rather than trying to compromise and save some money but end up with something I'm not happy with.

        1. re: Paprikaboy

          There should probably be a better deal than the Shun though. The Haiku just probably isn't it. Over here there are several knives that I feel are better deals than a Shun, knives that are as good or better but cost less. And the Shun is even more expensive for you than it is for us.

          1. re: Paprikaboy

            There should be other options for you, that are excellent knives, and yet more reasonably than the Shun. You should check with Mark at and see if he can do anything for a UK customer, or if not, what his thoughts are.

            I also agree that Tojiro is worth your consideration. I don't own one but there is no doubt that they make a very good knife.

            You didn't specify if you would prefer a Japanese handle or a western handle. Both choices are avaliable, though not necessarily from all manufacturers. Also, you can choose a stainless core steel or a carbon steel.

            There might be a specialty knife store somewhere near you that carries more options in traditional Japanese knives? So that you can get some "hands-on" and see what you might like better?

            No matter what good knife you decide on, you will also need to consider some kind of sharpening system to maintain it. There have been a fair number of threads with all sorts of information on these lately.

            Lastly, you MIGHT be able to get a decent deal on a japanese blade at an asian market. Some of these will carry decent blades and some will only carry fairly standard fare that isn't special.

            1. re: jkling17

              Pretty much agree with cowboy and jkling here. Shun knives are good, but there are less expensive options if you like to save some money.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I'll add my 2 cents in on the Tojiro brand , I got my order today 210 gyuto in VG10, well made knife, nice and sharp(can shave with it on about 80% of the blade), thin blade, downright bargain at 79$ US

                1. re: Dave5440

                  ?? Another Tojiro.... I thought you got the shirogami (white steel) Tojiro along with some knife, was it a Tojiro DP? I thought it was with another knife, not Tojiro DP.

                  As for the original post, I am sure there are knife shops in UK. He just need to look around ... maybe. Alternatively, I strongly recommend knives from Japanesechefsknife because the shipping fee is very low.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I was going to get my stepson the shirogami wa-gyuto , this one
                    But then I knew he would let it get rusty, so I happen to find this one
                    It's VG core and wrapped in more stainless so I went with that one. I was going to get myself one at the same time but I decided to wait till I saw what the brand was like first.

                    1. re: Dave5440

                      I have the same Tojiro DP knife but with the Western handle. I don't think you will be disappointed, especially for its price. It is, unfortunately, that you have to buy the knife across the border. I also notice that Japanese knives are pretty expensive in UK too, at based on the

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Ya that's why I figured he could order one here, the other place you listed has some pretty expensive knives, although I haven't spent much time on their site lately to see any lower end stuff

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I just checked CKTG website and they do ship to the UK , starts at 32.95. If the OP can wait for it to arrive he/she probably will save a lot by buying it over here