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Knife Review: Kobayashi Dojo Nakiri

jkling17 Feb 7, 2012 09:24 PM

As some of you know, this review has been a while in the making. But i wanted to really put this knife through it's paces and then some, before completing a full review.

We eat a lot of veggies, so the flat blade profile of a nakiri holds a lot of appeal. I have quite a lot of knives but my go to knife for quite a while has been an entry level carbon tosagata santoku. It takes a very sharp edge but ... doesn't hold it so well. So I really wanted some seriously good carbon steel that also would provide edge retention.

I had considered the Tojiro white carbon nakiri but had been concerned that it would be more of the same as my current santoko. I now believe that it is more likely that the steel (and/or) hardening process of my tosagata is probably not what it could be. I have no real evidence per se, but I suspect that a white steel Tojiro nakiri or santoku would hold it's edge quite a bit better than my tosagata.

I had emailed quite a bit with Mark at cktg and this was one that he recommended. One thing that really caught my eye was the "Aogami super steel core". As I understand it, blue steel is usually classified as blue #1, blue #2 or super blue (the latter is exclusively manufactured by Hitachi). The latter has small trace elements that help to make it a bit more resilient. Most knives with super blue steel cores are pretty expensive. So ... for $80 ... a super blue nakiri? Ok - sign me up - I'll try that!

It’s also pretty thin. The back is only 1/16" and tapers gently all the way to the very edge, where there is a very tiny micro-bevel. In this photo, micro-bevel just really isn't visible - but it is there, right at the very edge - and it's merely a fraction of 1 mm. So the blade itself is quite thin right behind that area. Think pretty thin - that’s this nakiri. I'll try to get around to posting another shot, where you'll be able to really see the micro-bevel. Full disclosure: the micro-bevel is likely a tiny bit larger than when I first received the knife, as a result of my sharpening.

Please see the attached photo. It really is one pretty attractive knife. I sent this over to Mark at chefknivestogo as the stock photo really doesn't do this knife justice and he agreed so it's now the one that they use as well.

It turns out that the core steel in this knife is probably NOT Aogami super blue. A few weeks ago, I decided to do some additional research on this knife. There isn't a lot out there. And I could not find any reference for "aogami super blue" connected with this particular nakiri - or the rest of the Dojo line - outside of cktg. I decided to email the folks at japanwoodworker.com, as they also carry it, to see what I might be able to find out. And, after a few back and forths, I managed to get this:

I can not tell you any more than what our rep in Japan said.
"Regarding the item 11.011.03 the knife is made of blue steel #1. We
have asked the maker for details about the blue steel. However, the
maker was saying the information is their business secret . The only
thing we are sure about the steel is that it is the super quality blue
steel." ... He has been making these same knives for over 15+
years, and the quality has been consistent.

So it would seem that the core is actually blue steel #1, rather than true aogami super blue (Hitachi). In any case, this is really good steel. Honestly, I am not bothered in the least and have been VERY pleased with the knife in nearly every respect. I have yet to share this info with Mark but will do so shortly.

I've been using this knife now pretty much daily for a few months. It came very sharp out of the box and it has held that edge quite well. Slicing and chopping ... I’m very pleased. Even hard winter squash like butternut is no problem at all, with little or no wedging resistance. Onions ... just no challenge at all. Brussels sprouts? Those wonderful little morsels with their complex internal structures offer some challenge for a knife. Part of them are a nice clean solid veggie core and the other part a more resilient "mini cabbage kevlar". They do try their best to resist a nice easy clean fast cut and have been known to ruthlessly employ combined techniques like wedging and "giving" instead of just getting chopped, cut and sliced like a well-behaved veggie should. The dojo nakiri makes prepping these a real pleasure. This is a darned good knife!

Retention and sharpening?
I really wanted a blade that would not only take a great edge but also hold it really well. And this knife delivers. I used it constantly for a week and it finally needed only a quick touch-up with my DMT 8000 (xx-fine) grit stone. Only a few few light swipes are needed to bring it back to being able to do pure "push cuts" through paper along the entire edge. If I use it a LOT, without honing, then I'll first do 3-5 light strokes with the DMT 1200 (x-fine), get my burr, reverse it then finish on the xx-fine. IMO, it is very easy to maintain the edge on this knife. Perhaps the flat profile helps?

Ok ok ... but what don't I like?
The negatives? Well this is a more subjective thing. The feel of the knife is really quite decent. I usually use a pinch grip or modified pinch grip. Bottom line - the handle is "fine" and is "reasonably comfortable" and suited to it's function. But, if I could have my true preference, it would be to match this blade with a traditional Japanese handle. My Tosagata has this knife beat in this one respect - the handle is awesome. Again, this is personal taste.

In summary - the Dojo nakiri is one great knife. I hope to someday be able to really compare it to another really good carbon steel offering but this has completely replaced my tosagata santoku as my "go to knife for everything that used to grow".

Jeff (email available on my profile)

  1. Chemicalkinetics Feb 7, 2012 09:42 PM

    Good job, J. It is a nice review. Unlike most people, I don't hang up too much on Aogami #1, #2 or super. It is not that these are not important information, but they are all very good steels when you compared them to the standard Wusthof/Henckels steels. I knew this knife will hold its edge well. Aogami #1 gives you a bit better toughness anyway. As we have discussed before, your Tosagata shirogami santoku probably wasn't tempered correct, so it lost its hardness. I hope you don't give up on the shirogami knives.

    If you ever into the market for some aogami knives again, then Watanabe is pretty good. Takeda has great reputation, but a bit too expensive for many people.

    A very informative review.

    1. BiscuitBoy Feb 8, 2012 06:23 AM

      "But, if I could have my true preference, it would be to match this blade with a traditional Japanese handle."

      Ironic, as this handle I really like...full tang, riveted, durable and sturdy looking. Lots of Japanese handles seem cheap to me. It could be I'm just more comfortable with blades that are more like "SUV"'s than "sportscars!"

      5 Replies
      1. re: BiscuitBoy
        Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 07:55 AM

        They are both durable. If medieval warriors can use insert stick weapons to bash shields and cut armors, then it is untrue to claim kitchen knives need to have the full tang riveted design to be durable. It actually does not make sense from an engineering point of view. There are a lot of misinformation floating around due to marketing. Many claim that knives need to made with a forged bolster to be durable, but if you ask them, they won't able to explain why. This is because it is not true. Think about it. Of all the kitchen knives, the meat cleaver is the one take on the most abusive jobs, yet meat cleavers are usually made without a bolster.


        The insert design with a stick tang is very durable. Ironically, the riveted design came about due to modern machining because a machine could automate the riveted design, but the insert design required a craftsman. It was invented to be the cheap alternative. Modern machining can now handle both.

        Let me quote Chad Ward:

        "In fact, it wasn't until after World War I that a full tang and slab handles even became practical, much less desirable in the kitchen. Stainless steel was introduced in England in 1914 , but it took several years to work the kinks out (well, that and there was that pesky World War to deal with). Until that time, and for quite a while afterward, knife blades were made of carbon steel. Carbon steel rusts and corrodes readily. The last thing you want is a way for moisture and goo to get inside the handle. That's a big reason hidden tangs were de rigueur, there was only one entrance point, the juncture between the blade and handle. A full tang with riveted handles provides the equivalent of valet parking all the way around the perimeter of the handle for crud to work its way between the tang and slabs."

        So I will argue that the stick tang insert design (often associated with Japan) is in fact the more traditional, durable SUV approach. Now, don't get me wrong. I like the modern full tang riveted design just as much -- ask Dave5440 and he can vouch for me.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
          BiscuitBoy Feb 8, 2012 09:02 AM

          yeah, meat cleaver, good point. And general knife work such as breaking down poultry, or lighter meat fab...that's where I'm more likely not pinch grip, but rely on a robust handle for leverage and heft....and those knives usually always have a beefy handle. Plus there's an excuse to own a few different kinds of knives. The handles of the couple of "hidden tang" or "stick insert" blades I've had a chance at, felt a bit loose to me, could be they were abused.

          1. re: BiscuitBoy
            Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 07:24 PM

            Got it, BiscuitBoy. Sorry about coming somewhat strong on this.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              BiscuitBoy Feb 9, 2012 06:45 AM

              No, not at all...just dudes talking knives

              1. re: BiscuitBoy
                Chemicalkinetics Feb 9, 2012 07:14 AM

                :D Male bonding! Yeah!

      2. scubadoo97 Feb 8, 2012 07:44 AM

        thanks for the great review Jeff. How is the food adhesion with this knife? Any sticking problems or does food release quickly?

        1 Reply
        1. re: scubadoo97
          jkling17 Feb 8, 2012 10:53 AM

          Thanks Scuba,

          So far, there has been very little food adhesion. If I'm prepping a LOT of stuff, the occasional piece will try and "hang on" to the right side of the blade (I'm right handed) - but it'll get knocked off with my next chop/slice - and that next piece doesn't try to do so as well.

          I use it pretty much exclusively for all veggies, and the occasional piece of cooked chicken, when I'm too lazy to get out the santoku merely to slice up one cutlet.

          Most of what I prep very regularly with this knife includes a lot of winter squash: butternut, spaghetti, kabocha (awesome), and sometimes acorn. Also a LOT of brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, and onions. We also really like korean squash (see photo). But most of these are prepped via my spiral slicer ... which will be a different review.

        2. d
          Dave5440 Feb 8, 2012 05:21 PM

          Great review Jeff, you sure put it through its paces, I was sold untill I looked at the pic, gorgous blade but the handle's a deal breaker. I'm thourghly sold on traditional J handles, Chem may be indifferent but not me. I also (not intentionally) don't own one kinfe with a full tang and rivets, well other than my G-ma's machette that she made in the late 50s, I think the style/looks never appealed to me without being concious of why.
          For breaking down chicken I just use the tip of my gyoto or deba there's no call for leverage for that task and cutting meat same gyoto.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Dave5440
            jkling17 Feb 8, 2012 07:08 PM

            I understand and no offense taken. The blade is GREAT. It is vastly superior to all my other knives - even the santoku immediately after a sharpening just doesn't compare. The Dojo is in a league of it's own in my knife block. The others must bow down in supplication on a daily basis.

            The handle is nice enough - I do LIKE it but I don't LOVE it. All my future knives will have the Japanese version. But I am very happy that I bought the nakiri!

            I did look around a fair bit before pulling the trigger and I couldn't find a blue steel core nakiri for anything even close to $80. If you know of something that I don't ... please don't be shy!

            1. re: jkling17
              Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 07:19 PM

              Tanaka nakiri. I have that one. Blue steel core cladded with traditional iron.



              eBay sometimes has very good deal, but currently I cannot find it.

              1. re: jkling17
                Dave5440 Feb 8, 2012 07:24 PM

                Yes that is a steel for blue#1, and I mean no disrespect as to your choice it sounds and looks great, but I couldn't get past the handle, I find it odd that they wouldn't make it with a wa handle as well. I wonder how hard it would be to install a J handle on it. I think I will start looking for a knife with a full tang at some pawn shops and see if I can change it. CKTG sell a few cheap ones to try with, as it is pretty easy to install once the tang is cut to fit.

            2. g
              GH1618 Feb 8, 2012 05:45 PM

              Here's a link to a better picture, if this is the same knife:


              1 Reply
              1. re: GH1618
                Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 05:52 PM

                Of course here is another one:


                Any reason to believe that there are two lines of Dojo? One for Aogami #1 and one for Aogami Super. Doubtful, but possible

              2. cowboyardee Feb 8, 2012 07:28 PM

                Great review, JK.

                Interesting that you found it may be blue #1. As I mentioned to you before, I have the Dojo paring knife (probably the nicest non-custom paring knife I've seen). The steel on that knife never felt quite like the AS steel on my Hiromoto gyuto. A bit different while sharpening, doesn't patina quite the same way - that kind of stuff. If this knife is in fact blue #1, it's arguably even a better bargain - it's quite hard to find a knife in blue #1 in that price range.

                Glad to hear that it's nice and thin behind its edge (as nakiris should be, IMO) and that you have a nice flat bevel to work with. Those were my worries before you bought this knife. If Dojo's quality control is pretty good, they look like a great buy for the price range.

                A few basic questions:

                Is the edge asymmetrical at all?

                Where is the balance point?

                Any feel for edge retention yet?

                21 Replies
                1. re: cowboyardee
                  jkling17 Feb 8, 2012 08:44 PM

                  Hi Cowboy,

                  Really? I would have thought that Aogami Super Blue was "better" than #1 ... but I really don't know about those subtle distinctions. I can read all I want about it but ... it's academic at some point. Really good steel is still just that. I seriously doubt that I would personally be able to tell, even over long use, much of a difference between blue #1, #2 or super blue. About all that I really knew for sure is that $80 for a blue core nakiri seemed to be a decent deal. And that I trusted that Mark's recommendation would be solid.

                  >> Is the edge asymmetrical at all?

                  I don't believe that it was. My recollection is that the original micro-bevel was even (and quite small - it still is, but slightly larger than the original). I COULD be mistaken. It was so small that I wouldn't have necessarily picked up on a slight difference. In any case, it is certainly even now, as that is how I keep it with the same number of passes on each side. I guess that I could make the micro-bevel asymmetric but I don't see why I would wish to, but I'm an "enthusiastic home cook" and not a pro that works a line. The large gentle primary bevel is symmetric. This is from the back of the knife all the way down to the very edge.

                  >> Where is the balance point?

                  That's a darned good question ... I never tested it to figure that out. It always felt pretty comfortable. I'll have to get back to you on that.

                  >> Any feel for edge retention yet?

                  Yes. Retention is really quite excellent. At least to my experience (Mundial & Wusthof santoku's, Tosagata carbon, Henckles, etc). Retention was a primary desire and I am thoroughly pleased that it holds up so well. Because of this requirement, I have waited these many weeks to write-up my review. So I used it every chance that i got since mid-December. I'll know more as time goes on, of course. But I finally felt that I had a "reasonable feel" for how long the edge stays at "ludicrously sharp" vs "Hmmm, it's really sharp but let's cut some paper and find out what's changed".

                  Before I do a touch-up my my stones, I first do some quick paper push and slice cuts - to figure out where the edge is still "awesome" and where I should give it some love. It really takes very little time or effort to bring it back into the scary sharp zone.

                  A perfect world to me is paying the same or even up to $20 more to have this blade with a Wa handle ... oh the bliss ...

                  1. re: jkling17
                    Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 09:08 PM

                    "I would have thought that Aogami Super Blue was "better" than #1 "

                    Different, but not better. That being said, Aogami Super steel is more expensive.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      jkling17 Feb 8, 2012 09:18 PM

                      Yeah ... they are all really good, right? I think that only someone who works a line with these knives would really be able to get a feel for one vs. the other. I can't possibly prep that much for us at home to tell.

                      I would relish being able to drive a really good white steel nakiri for quite a while to see if I could tell edge retention vs. my Dojo but who knows if that'll happen ...

                      1. re: jkling17
                        Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 09:24 PM

                        I think the general (very general) difference is that Aogami super has better wear resistance, and Aogami #1 has better toughness.


                        Of course, as you know, the same steel grade can turn out different knives based on the heat treatment too. A $50 Shirogami knife is unlikely to be the same as a $500 Shirogami knife. So the steel grade is important, but it does not dictate everything. It does give a general idea nonetheless.

                        "I would relish being able to drive a really good white steel nakiri..."

                        Sound like you like the nakiri style. So at this point, how do you like the nakiri knife compared to the santoku knife (something you have been using for a long time).?

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          jkling17 Feb 8, 2012 10:22 PM

                          >> Sound like you like the nakiri style. So at this point, how do you like the nakiri knife compared to the santoku knife (something you have been using for a long time).?

                          Oh yes! I love the long flat edge! A slight curve like my santoku is great when I'm slicing pounds and pounds of beef to prep for my dehydrator to make jerky. I did 6-7 pounds this past weekend and used my santoku. But that slight curve isn't "as ideal" for prepping loads of veggies. I can instantly tell that the nakiri is much better suited to prepping winter squash and brussels sprouts.

                          The dehydrator will get it's own review in time ... I bought the Excalibur 9 slot. We LOVE Kale chips ... OMG! So good!

                          1. re: jkling17
                            Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 10:33 PM

                            "The dehydrator will get it's own review in time"

                            Can't wait. A dehydrator is somewhat on my list, but not very high. I like the idea of making my jerky, but on the other hand, I notice that I don't eat that much jerky to begin with....

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              jkling17 Feb 9, 2012 02:40 AM

                              We like having certain snack foods but the healthy ones are pretty darn expensive. Usually like $4 a bag for very little weight. So, I think that it will probably pay for itself inside of a year without question. More importantly, it gives us a lot of flexibility for healthy snacks that are very "on the go" friendly. It'll take a while before I'm ready to write it up. But ... I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it already. It is shockingly easy to use and clean. And the energy consumption is nominal. I can do about 6-7 pounds of jerky for about 60-75 cents of electricity. My next experiment ... salmon jerky!!!

                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        cowboyardee Feb 8, 2012 09:21 PM

                        I didn't realize that Aogami Super is more expensive. I was operating on the (perhaps faulty) logic that since it's even rarer that I see an affordable knife (>$300) in Aogami #1, that it must be more expensive. But I don't know what the steel itself costs.

                        Do you know of any makers who make essentially the same knife in AS and blue #1? (you know how a lot of makers of, say, yanagibas offer options for white #2 and blue #2, etc)

                        1. re: cowboyardee
                          TeRReT Feb 8, 2012 09:51 PM

                          I don't know any mainline ,makers, but when I was visiting the knife market in kochi where I bought my knife in Japan, they had the same knife in yellow, white, blue and super blue, i don't exactly know which white it was or which the other blue was but I know that the super blue was priced the most, but after a 30 minute discussion with the maker we decided that the super was best for my needs so i went with it and have been happy with it. I think next I will purchase a nakiri,not sure if it will be white or blue. Definitely the next 2 knives, 1 will be nakiri, 1 will be white, they may end up being the same knife

                          1. re: TeRReT
                            cowboyardee Feb 8, 2012 09:56 PM

                            My impression (which, again, could very well be wrong) was that, price-wise, white #2 > blue #2 > blue super > blue #1

                            Of course, price varies by maker and all that. I'm less familiar with blue #1 and white #1 than with the other varieties.

                            1. re: cowboyardee
                              Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 10:06 PM

                              "My impression (which, again, could very well be wrong) was that, price-wise, white #2 > blue #2 > blue super > blue #1"

                              You probably meant the other way around.

                              In term of your previous question, I don't know. I just assume. :P

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                cowboyardee Feb 8, 2012 10:09 PM

                                You're thinking in terms of math, I'm thinking in terms of arrows. Cuz I'm stupid sometimes.

                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                  Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 10:11 PM

                                  Oh. I see. Got it.

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  JBroida Feb 8, 2012 11:08 PM

                                  just to help clarify in this thread, here is how the hitachi paper steels work out:
                                  JIS SK steel is the cheapest and Aogami Super is the most expensive (that would be blue super)... JIS SK Steel (SK4, SK5, etc.) is a simple carbon steel with moderate levels of sulfur and phosphorus in it. Yellow steel is a more pure version of the SK Steel. Yellow 3 has the least carbon, 2 has more carbon, and so on. White steel is a more pure (less sulfur and phosphorus) version of yellow steel. White #3 has the least carbon, white #2 has a bit more, and white #1 has the most carbon. Blue steel is white steel with added chromium and tungsten. Blue #2 has the same amount of carbon as white #2, and blue #1 the same as white #1. Blue super has a bit more carbon, chromium, and tungsten than blue #1.

                                  When comparing the steels normally found in kitchen knives, this is how it breaks down... within white steels, white #1 is the most brittle but has the best edge retention and can hold the keenest edge, while white #3 has the greatest toughness and resists chipping. Blue steels will not take as good of an edge as white steels across the board. However, blue steel has greater edge retention. Blue #2 has the greatest toughness, while blue super has the best edge retention at the expense of often being brittle and not taking quite as keen of an edge (larger carbides due to the alloying elements).

                                  Take this for what it is... a general guideline. Mileage may vary depending on the maker/heat treatment.

                                  1. re: JBroida
                                    Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 11:15 PM

                                    Very helpful, Jon.

                              2. re: TeRReT
                                TeRReT Feb 11, 2012 05:08 AM

                                Tomorrow I'm going to Kochi Sunday market again, same place I bought my utility knife in October. Could be dangerous, may end up getting an inexpensive white #1 nakiri to play with. Apparently its a pretty famous area for making knives, I know there were a lot of stalls and stores last time I was there. Didn't expect to be going back so soon but my birthday is in 2 weeks so I should be able get an early birthday present :P

                                1. re: TeRReT
                                  Chemicalkinetics Feb 11, 2012 06:36 AM

                                  "Could be dangerous, may end up getting an inexpensive white #1 nakiri to play with. "

                                  The real dangerous part is that you may end up getting an EXPENSIVE knife.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    TeRReT Feb 11, 2012 07:29 AM

                                    Thats very true, but I do want to try a white steel knife and typically they are less money, so unless i see a beautiful knife in blue i should be ok, but chances are i will spend more then i should regardless

                          2. re: jkling17
                            cowboyardee Feb 8, 2012 09:34 PM

                            "I would have thought that Aogami Super Blue was "better" than #1 ... it's academic at some point. Really good steel is still just that."
                            You can see my response to Chem above. Until you pointed out that my Dojo might be in blue #1, I didn't think I had ever handled that particular steel.

                            But you hit the nail on the head with those last two sentences. After a point, good steel is just good steel. My favorite knife is in white #2, even though I have knives in blue #2 and blue super (which are generally more expensive).

                            I'm also wondering if the knife as a whole is a little asymmetrical. If the face of the knife (the right side of it) is a little more convex than the back of the knife (the left), which might be a little flatter.

                            As far as balance goes, I'm not super picky myself. But it's one of those things that is nice to know about a knife. Most nakiris seem to have their balance point a little forward.

                            BTW, for a little while we had a little trend where we'd illustrate the balance point of a knife by taking a picture of the knife balanced on the spine of another knife. Not saying you should. Just pointing it out cause it was kind of funny. There were several shots in this thread:

                            Thanks for the additional info.

                            1. re: cowboyardee
                              jkling17 Feb 8, 2012 10:24 PM

                              >> I'm also wondering if the knife as a whole is a little asymmetrical. If the face of the knife (the right side of it) is a little more convex than the back of the knife (the left), which might be a little flatter.

                              It seems symmetrical to me. I could be wrong but that is still my impression.

                              >> BTW, for a little while we had a little trend where we'd illustrate the balance point of a knife by taking a picture of the knife balanced on the spine of another knife. Not saying you should. Just pointing it out cause it was kind of funny. There were several shots in this thread:

                              Yes - I will do so, hopefully in the next few days! As well as a few macro shots of the micro-bevel, albeit after it's been touched up several times.

                              1. re: jkling17
                                Chemicalkinetics Feb 8, 2012 10:31 PM

                                Notice that Eiron has not replied to you yet. This is because Eiron requires everyone to balance a knife before he comments on it.

                        2. j
                          jkling17 Feb 9, 2012 11:55 AM

                          Ok here you go - more photos ... I hope that these do a decent job of showing the micro-bevel and balance point.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jkling17
                            jkling17 Feb 9, 2012 12:01 PM

                            One more shot of the micro-bevel. It is really quite tiny. I have found that it's pretty tricky to try and get the correct lighting to show the whole edge in one clean shot. Please be assured that the micro-bevel is quite even along the entire edge. My photographic skills are just not matching up accordingly.

                          2. Eiron Feb 9, 2012 12:07 PM

                            Whew! Can I comment now?! ;-)

                            Thanks for the review. The handle reminds me of MAC in appearance (I don't own any MAC knives), & millions of folks love those knives! I especially appreciate the description of cutting the brussels sprouts (I love them & don't get them often enough!).

                            I'm not familar with the DMT system. Are they all diamond-based sharpening stones? (sticks? rods?) I get the impression from your earlier posts that it's a fixed system with pre-determined angles, but I'm not sure I've got that correct.

                            Your picture of the micro-bevel is after you've sharpened it, correct? How much wider would you say you've made it at this point? Also, what's the patterning on the top half of the knife?


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Eiron
                              jkling17 Feb 9, 2012 01:00 PM

                              Hi Eiron,

                              >> Your picture of the micro-bevel is after you've sharpened it, correct? How much wider would you say you've made it at this point? Also, what's the patterning on the top half of the knife?

                              That is correct. But - the nakiri DID come with a tiny micro-bevel - that is not something that I added. I merely maintain it. It is reasonable to think that the current one is "slightly" larger than the original.

                              I have no idea of what the patterning is. Perhaps it is merely ascetic or perhaps it also helps to keep food from sticking? I really don't know. But I personally think that it looks nice.

                              >> I'm not familiar with the DMT system. Are they all diamond-based sharpening stones? (sticks? rods?) I get the impression from your earlier posts that it's a fixed system with per-determined angles, but I'm not sure I've got that correct.

                              DMT makes a lot of diamond-based stones. There is some break-in period when using the stones (when new they are more aggressive). So, it's important to be gentle with them. As you know, diamonds are vastly harder than the hardest steel. They make just about everything that one could imagine, from tiny cards that fit in your wallet to portable kits to bench stones: 6", 8", 10". I know that they do make one rod but their stones are clearly their big market, and appear to be very popular among sharpening and woodworking types. Even people who are advocates of using real whetstones and waterstones often will own one DMT stone, if only to flatten their other stones.

                              The DMT kit that I own is called the Aligner. For $40 I got 3 stones (1x4") and the aligner guide itself. I also bought the x-coarse and xx-fine, to augment the system. If I had to do it all over again, I'd perhaps skip the x-coarse - it's really only useful for doing a full re-profile of a primary bevel.

                              The DMT aligner itself is some kind of resin/plastic guide with 7 adjustments. I initially had no confidence in my ability to hold stones at a particular angle so that's a key reason why I bought this setup, along with it's reasonable purchase price. I have more recently figured out that freehand sharpening - at least for touchups - is really not all that tricky. But I'm glad to have the aligner, for sure! I think that it really helped to train my eye-hand coordination.

                              Here's the DMT stuff ... there's a lot of it!

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