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Kikuichi Warikomi Damascus Santoku

I've been eyeing this knife for a while, having done some homework last year.

Does anyone know if this:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kikuich...

Is the same as this?
http://www.cooking.com/products/shpro...

This looks the same as well, tho' is supposed to be a WS exclusive:
http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

And has anyone used this knife?

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    1. re: kattyeyes

      All 3 knives are the same by the looks of it.A co worker of mine recently purchased this knife from WS he had a $100.00 gift certificate + they gave him an extra 10% off due to a minor defect on the knife so he got it for just over $100.00.It's a nice piece of steel and I've heard a lot of good things about Kikuichi,but $250.00 is too much to pay for this santoku in my opinion.

      1. re: petek

        Thanks, looks like your friend got lucky! I've read many recommendations for Kikuichi, too.

        I'm guessing the handmade (engraved/sharpened/hammered) elements escalate the price, is that it? I figured if I was gonna have that one, special, for a lifetime knife, it may as well be beautiful, too. Is it just the price you pay for "that look?" Because I do like that look!

        Minus the aesthetics, I was considering this, based on other recommendations:
        http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tkcsant...

        ETA, the second link in the OP is $216. Still too much for this knife, you think?

        1. re: kattyeyes

          'ETA, the second link in the OP is $216. Still too much for this knife, you think?"

          You'll always pay more for a Damascus knife regardless who makes it.
          Here's some other options,maybe not as pretty,but very good knives for the money. You can check them out at.

          http://www.chefknivestogo.com/santoku...

          kikuichi performance TCK 175mm semi stainless-$151.96
          Misono Swedish santoku 180mm carbon steel-$148.00
          Moritaka AS carbon steel(I have this one very rustic,not every one's cup of tea)-$152.00
          Miyabi 7000 5" $89.99(5' might be on the smallish size for you

          )

          I'm not trying to steer you away from your original choice,just pointing out some other options..and there's still a ton of other great knives out there too many for me to point out.
          hope this helps..

          1. re: petek

            Appreciate your input, thanks. You're also helping me validate my homework as the Misono had come up, too. From what I read, its tendency to rust quickly scared me off. The Moritaka is nice looking! I've never had a knife with a handle like that. Hmm.

            ETA--and your Kikuichi performance TCK is the same one I linked above. Again, at least I know I'm on the right track, so thank you for weighing in.

            1. re: kattyeyes

              From what I read, its tendency to rust quickly scared me off. The Moritaka is nice looking! I've never had a knife with a handle like that.

              All carbon steel knives will rust quickly or stain(until they develop a patina) if left wet or dirty for too long.For home cooks this is not a huge problem.Just wipe it down after you use it,hand was only and keep it dry in between usage.

            2. re: petek

              As pretty as they look I shun Damascus knives. It elevates them to art status instead of work tools. I don't want to be afraid of sharpening a knife because at the end of the day they are nothing more than work tools.

          2. re: petek

            Do you know if Kikuichi VG-10 core knife has a better reputation than other VG-10 core knives? Slightly expensive it is.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I'm sure it has to do with it being "Damascus" and "hand hammered"...

              1. re: petek

                Even then... it still is a bit more, no?

                Ryusen Hammdered Damascus Santoku is $150:

                http://japanesechefsknife.com/RyusenT...

                Shiki's one is $140:

                http://japanesechefsknife.com/SHIKITs...

                Maybe Kikuichi VG-10 Damascus Hammered is better and well deserve the price. I just don't know.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Those are both great looking knives Chem(at at a great price as well)I'm glad you posted the links as I'm far too lazy today :-D
                  They're both VG-10 as well so I'm not sure why the Chukchi.is more expensive..

                  1. re: petek

                    I agree. I had my eye on them when Chem posted about them previously. Still, there is something about that Kikuichi!!!

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Chem, was it you who liked the Ryusen as an alternative to other Damascus-style knives? I have it bookmarked.
                    http://japanesechefsknife.com/RyusenT...

                    Looks very similar to the Shun Classics to me--you think?
                    http://www.amazon.com/Shun-DM0718-Cla...

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      OOPS, Chem, you posted while I was typing to/about you. I thought it was you who had liked/recommended the Ryusen.

                      Maybe it's just Kikuichi's reputation. If anyone does know about--or has used--a Kikuichi and can chime in, that would be great to know about the cost justification.

                      1. re: kattyeyes

                        I did post Ryusen and Shiki to another poster. I believe strangemd bought the Shiki one.:

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7978...

                        Kikuichi does have a good reputation, and not all VG-10 knives are made to the same quality, so it is possible that the Kikuishi knives are made better.

                        P.S.: I agree with Eiron. Shun Premier is the one probably looks more like the rest:

                        http://www.amazon.com/Shun-Premier-Sa...

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          YES! That was the discussion I recalled.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Great memory, Chem. I bought the Shiki for my daughter and she loves it. I was up visiting her 2 weeks ago, and even after 6 months of daily use, the Shiki has stayed sharp and is a pleasure in the hand.

                            1. re: strangemd

                              "Great memory, Chem"

                              Your story is particularly good.

                              "I was up visiting her 2 weeks ago, and even after 6 months of daily use, the Shiki has stayed sharp and is a pleasure in the hand."

                              Great. Also good to hear that your daughter still likes it.

                              How is your Takeda? I remember you were seriously thinking about a Takeda.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I have a Takeda 140mm Petty which I love. Super easy to sharpen, retains the edge for a very long time, and fantastic for delicate work with fruits and vegetables. I haven't pulled the trigger on the Takeda Gyuto yet--$300 when I don't really "need" it is tough to justify with all these school tuitions I'm paying. Along the way I got a Shun Premier santoku as a gift, and I've been enjoying the use of a knife style I had never previously tried. It also showed up sharp enough to push-cut paper, which shocked me for a "commercial" brand.

                                1. re: strangemd

                                  "I haven't pulled the trigger on the Takeda Gyuto yet--$300 when I don't really "need" it is tough to justify with all these school tuitions I'm paying"

                                  Perfectly understandable. I just thought if you have one, then you can tell me more about it.

                                  "which shocked me for a "commercial" brand."

                                  Shun knives are good knives. There is nothing seriously wrong with Shun knives. Most of the criticisms are that there are equally good knives as Shun knives and cost less. The Shun quality was hardly an issue. In fact, Shun quality on its handles is extremely good.

                                  I am not surprised that it can push cut paper. My Shun bread knife can do it too.

                                  Good to know both your daughter and you enjoy the knives.

                  3. re: petek

                    Interesting. I clicked through to see prices of what I'd originally considered vs. my final decision and noticed the Williams Sonoma price is currently $199.95. I did think it was more before--and now your response above confirms it. VEDDY INTEDESTING INDEED.

                  4. re: kattyeyes

                    By the way, Katty, What kind of knives are you looking at? I know it is Santoku and Damascus pattern. Anything else? Carbon steel vs Stainless steel? Western handle vs Japanese wa wood handle? Hammered pattern or no Hammered pattern?

                    There is another site which I visit from time to time. Japan Blades. I bought a knife there for my brother, but I have never tried it myself. Regardless, this knife looks very similar to the photo you have attached.

                    http://japan-blades.com/big-seller/25...

                    Japan Blades sometime offers some good deals and here is the list of Santoku:

                    http://japan-blades.com/category/chef...

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I was leaning toward carbon steel with a Western handle. I really do like that hammered/tsuchime pattern--not just for aesthetics, but to keep things from sticking to the blade.

                      I agree--the first knife you posted above looks VERY much like my coveted chrysanthemum Kikuichi (minus the flower and half the price!). That's a strong contender! How does your brother like it?

                      Because my wrists are small, I thought the santoku might be more "my size" for daily/go-to use than a chef's knife. And to be completely honest, when I read such good reviews of Kikuichi elsewhere, then saw the chrysanthemum pattern in addition to everything else that was important, I thought, "Wow, that really is meant to be my knife because that flower is my birth month flower." :) I know that's a little quirky, but it's the whole truth.

                      As I said before, I didn't mind spending up if Kikuichi was somehow superior, but since you have all given me SO MANY great options...I must say, at this moment, that $98 Kanetsune (K-lookalike) is lookin' mighty sweet. Decisions, decisions.

                      1. re: kattyeyes

                        Kattyeye,

                        I bought him a different knife. Unlike me, my brother does not cook. I bought him under the assumption that he will be cooking more -- it didn't work. In short, I think he likes it ok, but not that he really uses it.

                        "Wow, that really is meant to be my knife because that flower is my birth month flower."

                        That actually is not a bad reason.

                        All of these knives we have been discussing are stainless steel knives, not carbon steel. If you are into carbon steel, then JCK Original Aogami Super Santoku looks very good for its price ($153 Sold Out). Unfortunately, it has the Japanese wa wood handle.

                        http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAK...

                        If I think of a good carbon steel knife with a Western handle, then I will let you know.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Oh, GEEZ, Chem--a blonde moment here (must be the highlights, DUH!). When I first set off on this quest several months ago, I did think I wanted a carbon steel...then the other recommendations I followed ended up being for stainless.

                          Is the rule of thumb that stainless retains an edge longer/better than carbon?

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            Kattyeeyes,

                            Yeah those highlight can get into the brain. :P (just kidding)

                            There are good stainless steel and good carbon steel knives. For the same price point, carbon steel knives usually are higher performance and sharper. However, stainless steel knives are easier to take care of. Some professional cooks find it is too much work to upkeep a carbon steel knife even if it is sharper. Petek is a professional in the food industry and he has recently switched from a high level carbon steel knife to a semi-stainless steel knife.

                            If you are a home cook, then I think either knives are good. If you have never used a carbon steel knife before, then maybe it is safer to go with stainless steel Japanese hard steel knife -- so there will be fewer changes.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Truly re your first sentence! HA HA HA!

                              Yes, just a happy home cook here. I agree, probably safer to stick with stainless, at least for now. I can't wait to figure out what I'm buying!

                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                Carbon is really not such a big deal. You hopefully will get into a habit of washing and drying your knife directly after use whether it's carbon or stainless. It doesn't take long to adopt this habit.

                                I had issues with a couple of low end carbons were onions were turning black after being cut. I thought this was expected with carbons. With my Tojiro Shirogami white steel #1 this doesn't happen and blue steel is suppose to be even less reactive.
                                I now use my carbon for most anything and it is my preferred knife.

                                When I've done a lot of board work with wet ingredients I sometimes use my stainless since I started to notice a small amount of color developing on the side of the Tojiro carbon knife when used for a prolong period of time.

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                "Petek is a professional in the food industry and he has recently switched from a high level carbon steel knife to a semi-stainless steel knife."

                                Don't let this dissuade you from purchasing a carbon steel knife.As a home cook,all it takes is a little extra diligence and care to prevent rusting on your blade.I still use my carbons at home,just not so much now at work.

                    2. Katty, thanks for posting that! I'm making a few purchases including knives and love this, though I'm searching to see if it's available without the western handle.

                      1. Hi kattyeyes,

                        I've not used or handled any Kikuichi knives, but I'd say all three of your original links are for (essentially) the same knife. There might be a slight cosmetic difference for the WS version, but I seriously doubt if there's any materials or performance difference.

                        I agree with the others, there are equally functional tsuchime damascus santokus available for less money. I'm fond of Shiki products in general, so my vote is for that model. The Ryusen model is also very nice, & quite different from the Shun version. Shun's handles are "D" shaped, so you buy them for either right or left handed use. Ryusen's handle appears to be a symmetrical obround shape, so it shouldn't matter who uses it. Also, Shun's profile is very Euro, with a lot of curvature to the cutting edge, while Ryusen's is the flatter profile typical to Asian style knives. Finally, the Shun Classic line is not tsuchime, but their Premier line is.
                        http://www.amazon.com/Shun-Premier-Sa...

                        I think it's extremely valid to value your knive's appearance, assuming it doesn't negatively impact it's function or performance. There's nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy looking at something you use so much! For example, when I bought my custom bicycle, I paid extra for the special designs the builder put into it, as well as for the special paint color. Neither feature makes the bike ride any better, but both continue to delight each time I'm on a ride!

                        I gravitate towards the natural wood & smoother polished appearance of the Shiki model, but that doesn't mean much if you prefer the linen micarta & heavier dimpling of the Ryusen.

                        Good luck in your decision!

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Eiron

                          Thanks kindly for your input, Eiron. I'm drawn to the Shiki knives, too. If this weren't sold out, lemmetellya, it would be already on its way to my front door. LOOK AT THESE BLUE MICARTA HANDLES! :(
                          http://japanesechefsknife.com/SHIKILi...

                          The only one left is the Petty 120mm, which doesn't seem like it'd be a good choice for an all-around, daily go-to knife. But damn, it is ART! Or make my day--tell me it could be a great workhorse in my humble home kitchen 'cause it sure is a stunner!

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            LOL, as much as I'd love to make your day, you already know the answer to the question of all-around usability of a 120mm petty. But don't let that stop you from buying it for any number of other reasons. ;-)

                            As I mentioned, I prefer the look of natural wood, & my favorites are the quice burl wood ones.
                            http://japanesechefsknife.com/SHIKIDa...
                            But I must admit, I like the red-lined accent between the bolster & blue micarta handle; very sharp! Koki is very responsive to questions, so I'd strongly suggest emailing JCK & asking when they might expect more of the blue micarta santokus in stock. You never know, it might be Monday! :-)

                            1. re: Eiron

                              "so I'd strongly suggest emailing JCK & asking when they might expect more of the blue micarta santokus in stock. "

                              I agree. Sometime, Koki expects to get restock in a week or two, and something a few months. I think information like this can be very helpful.

                              1. re: Eiron

                                Have I told you lately I love you guys? :) I'm on it!

                                ETA: That lovely quince burl wood is reminiscent of the dashboard of a car I'll never own. ;)

                                1. re: Eiron

                                  UPDATE from Koki's e-mail to me:

                                  "We apologize for current availability of SHIKI SDM-3 Santoku 180mm.

                                  Maker of SHIKI has plan to make new batch of SDM-3, but we apologize Maker of SHIKI still can not inform next available time of SDM-3.

                                  But if you can wait the item with patience, we will inform you update by Email as soon as new batch of SDM-3 to be finished and available next time.

                                  We can also recomend other beautiful SHIKI knives if you are looking for beautiful and fine hand made Damascus kitchen knives."

                                  So this gives me time to think hard about Shiki vs. Kikuichi in the meantime. THANKS, EVERYBODY for helping me out! It may be awhile given the information above, but I promise to let you know my final decision.

                                  Your friend,
                                  The soon-to-be-fancy-knife-wielding kat
                                  >>^..^<<

                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                    "but I promise to let you know my final decision."

                                    :) You should also let us know how you like the knife after getting it. Thanks.

                            2. You might want to check out the prices at JB Prince for the Kikuichi - It looks like the prices are lower, though I only compared a Santoku. You have to add the item to your cart to see the prices.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lilgi

                                Oooh, yes! Nice call, lilgi! I love shopping with all of you. :)

                              2. Katty, I saw the Kikuichi today, with and without the hammered Damascus pattern. I wanted to make sure that if you hadn't seen it yet in person and you have the opportunity to do so, please do!

                                I was dissuaded and am leaning towards the plain blade, but I'll explain further. The Kikuichi knives were displayed right next to a hammered collection of Tamagahane with wooden handles which were stunning. The other hammered styles there were the Shuns. When displayed with the other blades the Kikuichi's blades appear much more dull and grey, and the pattern not nearly as attractive as the other ones displayed. But the other contributing factor for me in choosing the plainer blade is because I was also looking at the other end of the spectrum - what I would call "ugly knives".

                                The differences that I saw may or may not dissuade you, because from what I understand - (and please, if I am mistaken about this, feel free anyone to correct the information, as I'm only relating what I read, and later on confirmed by the very knowledgeable "Knives" vendor I spoke to) - that the Kikuichi is one of the very, VERY, few places where the knives are completely handmade - and you probably know this already. This could be why this style looked considerably different from the rest of the bunch. I wouldn't be surprised if this is why the knives cost a bit more, besides that this is supposedly a vey small company, but again, this knowledge is from a discussion I had with the vendor and what little I read.

                                I am still sold on this company - I need to have that emperor's seal on my knife! but for reasons unknown to me I'm still looking into getting them with the more traditional handle. The one I'd like to purchase first is the 9 1/2" Gyuto which I had the pleasure of using today.

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: lilgi

                                  Lucky lilgi! I really appreciate your post.

                                  I don't know where to see the Kikuichi in person here in CT. You got to try out the Gyuto in the store? Is this it? If so, the reviews are hyper-enthusiastic on CTKG. Dig the video, too:
                                  http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ictkcgy...

                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                    Katty, I think the one I tried is the 9 1/2" (240-mm) GOLD Gyuto but I'm not entirely sure. I'll call tomorrow to double check. I recall that the characters on the knife were engraved as they are in that particular model, and not black as in TKC and Molybdenum. Additionally the price was $300, unless they're charging way more for either of the other brands.

                                    I don't know where you are in Connecticut, but you can see them at Chef Central on Central Avenue near White Plains (Hartsdale area of Westchester). Btw I wasn't expecting to find them and I had to do other shopping there, so you can imagine my jaw dropped!

                                    1. re: lilgi

                                      That's a bit of a road trip for me, but thank you for the suggestion (it COULD happen!). I'm jealous you got to see the Kikuichis in person. Very interested to hear how your shopping is coming along. This one is starting to look more and more like the one:

                                      http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ictkcgy...

                                      I know, I know--it's not tsuchime, Damascus...but the video and the guy cutting the onion--makes vegetable chopping a whole lot more fun than it ever has been for me--look, I'm making confetti, CHOP, CHOP, CHOP--WHEEEEEE! I HATE chopping onions with my Wusthof. Are you still leaning heavily toward the Gold?

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        Katty I wish I knew, so many factors involved. I need a good stainless steel knife right away, ideally soon after, I'd like to start a small collection of carbon steel knives, so still weighing my decision on the stainless - I'm leaning towards the Kikuichi Swedish stainless gold normally priced at around $300 for the 9 1/2" gyuto, cheaper at JB Prince by about $35 roughly, but shipping and tax gets added. The TKC that you posted looks wonderful but it's resistant or semi-stainless and I'll be getting carbon steel later on.

                                        Me thinks that if I do the Kikuichi semi-stainless I'll probably end up with the molybdenum which I can get for about $100 for the 9 1/2", much less than the the TKC knife even though that one is probably better, OR I'll get a stainless Hiromoto for about $150. I became a lot more open-minded about the western handles so that's no longer an issue - although I found one that I really want that's in my price range so that one is a possibility as well!

                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                          Forgive me but I forgot to mention this; even though the hammered look on the Kikuichi is much more rustic looking, the knives were still very charming. I don't know if I conveyed that before, just in case you don't get to see them up close.

                                          Now, the info that was relayed to me was that with the other hammered styles, the dimples get formed after the metal is smooth which is in a much more decorative fashion, whereas with the Kikuichi, the hammering is simply stopped after a certain point. If this is what actually happens I guess it would explain why the knives have a much more rustic feel. If you're smitten with the Kikuichi hammered damascus go for it, but it would be even better if you have a chance to look at them up close. Btw, I still haven't ruled those out either even though I am leaning towards a plainer style.

                                          1. re: lilgi

                                            Thanks again for your input, lilgi. Maybe I need to take a ride to White Plains. :) I agree it would be best to see the knives in person and see how they feel in my hand.

                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              yw! I'm probably going to surprise myself when I finally make the decision :)

                                    2. re: lilgi

                                      Watanabe cutlery has an excellent reputation for custom to semi-custom knives:

                                      http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/...

                                      I was able to request the knife thickness, and others have requested for specific length, handle preference, ...etc

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/794677

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        Thanks! You've provided lots of great links and I've enjoyed browsing through each one.

                                        I''m still feeling the Kikuich first, though I want to see other handle options with that knife. If it doesn't happen I'll definitely let you know which one I went with, chances are my choice will be from any of the links you posted ;)

                                        1. re: lilgi

                                          No problem. Kikuchi looks good. I am just throwing some options out. Good luck.

                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          I pulled mine out yesterday just bath it and admire it

                                          1. re: Dave5440

                                            Good to hear. No rusting problem I hope. I remember it is a blue steel deba. For others who may not know. This is the deba knife:

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7941...

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              No , no rust issues but it started to delelope a patina if I left it in the paper sheath in the box, I cleaned it with stainless cleaner and put it back in the box, and nothing since

                                      2. I came across this clip today - I think this gives a much better visual than any of the photos on the net. The woman speaking is annoying to the extreme - and she doesn't say much at all lol.

                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLeQhR...

                                        31 Replies
                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            hahaha how did I miss that!

                                            The only place I saw the Warikomi he was referring to were at Knife Merchants, but if they're overpriced what the hey!

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              HA HA HA, yes, he did! And I didn't even catch it when I had seen this previously as I was more interested in the tsuchime ones then, which--by the way, according to the Williams Sonoma link I read--are indeed VG-10 not VG-5:
                                              "Damascus-style blade is forged from 16 layers of incredibly dense VG-10 “super steel” to provide precise control while maintaining a razor-sharp edge."

                                              "I'll hafta look it up..." Yes, what a concept--to have an idea WTH you're talking about before posting an "informational" video. ;P

                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                Kattyeyes,

                                                I agree. It is most likely to be VG-10, and not VG-5. He probably should try to get that video off from youtube. :)

                                            2. re: lilgi

                                              You see this one? I am getting geekier about this with each passing day.
                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0BtDf...

                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                  "I am getting geekier about this with each passing day."

                                                  As some friends of mine like to say,
                                                  "Resistance is futile..."
                                                  :-)

                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                    the geekiness is catching on here as well, pretty soon I'll be booking a ticket to Japan!

                                                    1. re: lilgi

                                                      WHOA! Really? That is SO exciting! You must take video clips and post for us as I now know you'll be touring the Kikuichi factory. I think I hate you now. ;) J/K! Very happy to read!

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                        Japanese knives are indeed impressive.

                                                        I started off believing that Japanese knives are overrated and that German knives are the gold standard. After comparing a Henckels, a Wusthof against a few Japanese knives, I was then convinced that the reputation of the Japanese knives are well-deserved.

                                                        The steel, the geometry and the overall philosophy of modern Japanese kitchen knives are just better for today's home cooks.

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          I cannot wait to feel that difference day to day in my home kitchen!

                                                          I think I know the knife I want now, btw (believe it?)--the Kikuichi Warikomi Damascus Gyuto 210mm. I'm just a bit perplexed why what appears to be the same knife (same part number: WGAD 21-08-0sp) is varying wildly by price.

                                                          Aren't many (you, included?) fans of CKTG? I found the same knife on two sites I don't know for up to $40 less...and therein lies my confusion...check this out:
                                                          http://www.cooksjunction-janus.com/in...

                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                            CKTG offers a wide selection, but by no mean the only good site for Japanese knives. If you find the same knife for a lower price, then go for it. CKTG does offer free shipping for $60 or above purchase.

                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                              I'm starting to lean towards the hammered gyuto after looking at them again. That's a good price for it too, they didn't have the larger one for me but I'll keep looking.

                                                              eta: btw there are some places that will offer engraving for an extra charge.

                                                              1. re: lilgi

                                                                "btw there are some places that will offer engraving for an extra charge."

                                                                And some places offer as a standard service. :P

                                                                I bought a knife from bluewayjapan (a very well respected eBay merchant for Japanese knives), and he offers kanji engraving as part of the purchase. I took advantage of it and has my last name engraved. It looks very professionally done.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  I only saw one place that offered it for that knife, I think Just Knives 101; they charge for engraving and the knives are at full retail price, haven't seen it anywhere else.

                                                                  I imagine it will be harder to get a good deal when you're looking for something specific and looking for a place that does the engraving as well?

                                                                  1. re: lilgi

                                                                    "I imagine it will be harder to get a good deal when you're looking for something specific and looking for a place that does the engraving as well?"

                                                                    Probably. Because most stores do not engrave knives, as they send the knives out for the service. Maybe the knife stores can recommend... I don't know. The good things about buying knives from Japan is that the merchants can easily find someone engraves the knives for you. Here, in the US.... not so much.

                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                      There's a local address for Kikuichi company. I wonder if they would consider sending it out for engraving after purchased (no matter where from). I can't imagine how much they would charge but it's worth an e-mail.

                                                                      1. re: lilgi

                                                                        Just to be clear.... are we talking about laser engraving with English names? I think a lot of stores do that. Or are we talking about Japanese character engraving through hand chiseled?

                                                                          1. re: lilgi

                                                                            Oh, that's tough. :P

                                                                            I got mine (as mentioned) from the Japan online store Bluewayjapa, but I don't know any good place does that around here.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                              yeah, would be nice though :) Btw, now that you asked I have to wonder if that's what they do at just knives. I didn't think it would just be your name in print.

                                                                              1. re: lilgi

                                                                                Well, usually if the service is for "Japanese Kaji", then it will be chiseled engraved:

                                                                                http://new.uniquejapan.com/engraving/

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  ah, yes but they indicated they'll only do their own. That's why I thought I might e-mail Kikuichi locally to inquire, maybe later this week. I'd contacted the rep last week on a different question and he was quick to respond.

                                                              2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                The cooksjunction-janus.com storefront is "not really set up." I just called the store itself, the man who answered the phone didn't even know Kikuichi...I said, "Well, no wonder it's such a great price for the knife--you don't even have it!" OH MY, MY, MY.

                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                    I'll keep searching on my end now that I'm closer to making a choice (hopefully the dutch oven won't get in the way, I'll have to wait longer for that one).

                                                                    "It will be ours...oh yes.."

                                                                    1. re: lilgi

                                                                      :) Quite the shopping dynamic duo! :)

                                                                  2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                    Oh kattyeyes you got the bug real bad. People here are such enablers, hehe

                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                      Yeah, like you folks were just aching for a new club member and HAD to jump me in. HA HA! I'm wearing my pledge pin proudly!

                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                  No trips to Japan anytime soon Katty, but watching the video makes me REALLY wanna go :(

                                                          2. I bought it--the Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime 8" Chef Knife! $235.99 includes shipping and is on its way to me from The Kitchen Clique. YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

                                                            I will soon be armed and extremely dangerous. :) Can't wait! You're next, lilgi!

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                              Congratulations! I'm a couple of weeks away yet, PLEASE post a photo of your new baby! I'm going to do a bit of window shopping at Kitchen Clique :)

                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                Yippee ki-yay, Mother....

                                                                Please update your experience. Best.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  Chem, along those same lines, absof**kinlutely! ;)
                                                                  And lilgi, you bet I will! Very happy window shopping!
                                                                  To think I'm actually looking forward to chopping vegetables--FUN! Whattakick!

                                                              2. DING-DONG, my knife is here! What a happy day! :) Shame it's the middle of a workday and I have no pressing need to chop something. I can't wait to use it and tell you all about it!

                                                                It reflects like mad, so it was challenging to get a few preliminary shots to show you what it looks like (without ME or the camera in the reflection). Maybe I'll have to slice onions for my sandwich at lunch just to give it a whirlygig. I am more excited than a kiddo on Christmas morning, lemmetellyou!

                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                17 Replies
                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                  Simply beautiful! Great photos Katty, can't wait to get mine!

                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                      Damn, that's a pretty knife. Thanks for the photos and enjoy the heck out of it.

                                                                      A word of caution. Watch your fingers and make sure your claw technique is good. I will occasionally shave a knuckle when slicing fast but haven't sliced a finger in a long time.

                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                        Very nice..I like :-D. Congrats and enjoy!!

                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                          Thank you all! I did hafta run it through an onion at lunch just to DO SOMETHING with it. It's sharper than anything I've ever held, so I'm gonna go slow and really make an effort to work on my knife skills now.

                                                                           
                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                              Really nice looking knife kattyeyes. As sharp as you think it is now you can make it a lot sharper. It makes prep work so much more enjoyable

                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                Thanks, scubadoo! I need to get smart about sharpening as well. I would love to be like Mr. Knife Fanatic, effortlessly chopping an onion into confetti!

                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                  Make sure you have a practice knife for learning knife sharpening. It really helps.

                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                    Some much information here and elsewhere and many eager to help you.

                                                                                    I would start with a strop which will help keep your current edge sharp and it will help to build muscle memory when you do move on to stones or if you want something that's easier an EdgePro

                                                                                    BTW, you got the confetti part down already

                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                      :D BIG smile from this kat re the confetti! ;) I made some more today--even smaller!

                                                                                      You guys are the best! I've been poking around old threads and watching videos on YouTube. Starting with a strop is a good idea and seems a harmless way to put a toe in the water.

                                                                                2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                  Yippee!!! Mine is on the way too ;D

                                                                                  I bought the 9 1/2" (240mm) tsuchime gyuto for $239 not including shipping so I think I did okay - total $251.78. A different website was offering the same price including shipping, but seemed a bit sketchy.

                                                                                  1. re: lilgi

                                                                                    EXXXXXCELLENT!!! You're gonna LOVE that knife! Congrats and many years of happy chopping to you!

                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                      teehee thanks! No more clunky knives, and mashed onions!

                                                                              2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                ...........That is really quick.... Please let update us after you use it. It does look very nice.

                                                                                1. All right. See what you've started?! Now that we know what the hell one is, for your viewing pleasure: THE BALANCE SHOT. Not my hand. :)

                                                                                   
                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                    And this, too. Now I really need to get going on something that requires lots of chopping so we can get back to serious business with this thing! Happy weekend! >>^..^<<
                                                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f_TgO...

                                                                                  2. I love this knife so much I also snagged the paring knife from CKTG--arrived in my mailbox yesterday. And I have a magnetic knife rack on order so I can proudly display these beauties. :)

                                                                                    27 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                      Katty,

                                                                                      Thanks a lot for your update. It is always good to get feedbacks (good or bad). As you may know, there is another thread which the poster is asking about this knife series.

                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                        Hi, Chem--yes, thanks! I saw the redirect here and thought it might be a good time to share my new purchase. The only negative (not really a negative, just a caution, and one we will fix soon): the HEEL of my chef's knife is SO CRAZY SHARP I have cut myself more than once just washing it/handling it/putting it away.

                                                                                        It has made chopping vegetables a delight. Amazing how the right tools make all the difference. :) This is a recent pic of all my chopping to make homemade giardiniera, truly a labor of love.

                                                                                        ETA: Oh, EXCEPT for the carrots, chopped with a crinkle-cutter per family tradition.

                                                                                         
                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                          I am the poster who is interested in this series. I was looking at their chef's knife from WS: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc... . I have little experience with knives, so please excuse any basic questions.

                                                                                          I have baby-sized hands and wrists, and while I found plenty of 8" knives comfortable, in general, the 6" and 7" knives feel more like an extension of my hand. This meets that criteria, as well as a few others, so it made the short list. Based on your experience:

                                                                                          1. How is the drag/veggies sticking to the blade? I was hoping the dimpled finish would minimize this. Does it?

                                                                                          2. What method have you devised to clean and handle the knife, given the sharp heel? I will be slicing myself every time I touch it, I know.

                                                                                          3. I find a western handle slightly more comfortable than a japanese one...if you can speak to this, I would be interested in your take and experience.

                                                                                          Happy slicing!

                                                                                          1. re: E_M

                                                                                            <I found plenty of 8" knives comfortable, in general, the 6" and 7" knives feel more like an extension of my hand>

                                                                                            Obviously, I am not katty, but I do want to weight in a bit here. There are two reasons why a person may prefer a 6" over a 8" (or a 8" over a 10"). First, it is the length. When a knife is too long, it can feel difficult to control. Second, it is the weight. Naturally, a longer knife is heavier, and a heavy knife can be difficult to control.

                                                                                            Japanese influenced knives are by in larger significantly lighter than its Western counterpart. As such, you may or may not prefer a 6" Japanese influenced knife -- depending if you were limited more by the length or by the weight.

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              Most people tell me that one should buy the longest knife I can handle, and if I find them uncomfortable, I just haven't found the right one. The people I spoke to scoffed at anything less than 8". I am finding this search to be very frustrating.

                                                                                              1. re: E_M

                                                                                                <Most people tell me that one should buy the longest knife I can handle>

                                                                                                Generally speaking this is not a bad advice for the all purpose knife.

                                                                                                <The people I spoke to scoffed at anything less than 8">

                                                                                                Only you know for sure what you like. If you don't like 8", then you don't like 8". Keep in mind that you may not like the 8" because they are getting too heavy for you, in this case, it wasn't the length, but the weight which caused the trouble. You may also have a relatively small cutting board, in which case, a long knife can get in the way.

                                                                                                Like you said, you get to test the Kikuichi in the store. By the way, there is difference between a 6" Santoku vs a 6" Chef's knife. Katty bought a santoku I believe.

                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                  Nope, I was originally looking at a santoku, but I have the chef's--9" worth. And I don't have adult wrists, either. :)

                                                                                                  ETA, I measured 9" from heel to tip with a measuring tape. Guess that's not the right way to measure since what I bought was said to be an 8" knife. Whatever the case, there we go!

                                                                                                2. re: E_M

                                                                                                  OK, I'll jump in here. (And I'll reply to E_M in this thread 'cuz this issue isn't brought up in the other thread.)

                                                                                                  When I bought my 8.3" Kanetsune gyuto, I quickly discovered that it "cuts longer" than its measured length. The profile of the cutting edge is straighter/flatter than that of a typical Euro knife, so I actually have more usable edge than if I bought a "common" (traditional?) 10" chef's knife. I also have a 6" Forschner santoku that I use all the time & love for the way it handles on the cutting board.

                                                                                                  Here's a thread where I posted several sets of comparison pictures of both blades & handles:

                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/687113

                                                                                                  The point of this is to say that a Japanese 6" gyuto or 5" santoku will give you more usable knife edge than what you're used to using. Don't listen to the "bigger is better" crowd!

                                                                                                  :-)

                                                                                              2. re: E_M

                                                                                                Hello, E_M:

                                                                                                I am by no means a knife expert, so no question could possibly be too basic. :) I have little wrists, also, so perhaps I can be your hand model with this knife. HA HA!

                                                                                                1. Veggies still stick to the blade. I'm not sure there is any knife that makes them magically fall off, but I'm sure we'll both learn otherwise right after I post this. :) Doesn't bother me a bit, however. I can make confetti out of an onion with ease unlike I ever did with any previous knife. And you saw that immense bowl of vegetables I posted upthread--it truly makes chopping fun, with picture-perfect results.

                                                                                                2. For right now, I'm just being very mindful of that heel. Soon, someone sympathetic to my cause is going to grind the edge of it down for me. Part of my learning curve is I never had a really nice knife that was this sharp, so till now, I didn't have to be quite so careful. Maybe you will be luckier (and not get wounded) now that you know to be on the lookout.

                                                                                                3. No experience with Japanese handles.

                                                                                                I could not be happier with this knife. I had long admired Damascus blades and know this is my "forever" knife, so it was worth the wait. I hope you love it, too.

                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                  On the chefsknivestogo website there is a youtube video showing the Kikuichi knife in action, and the chef is NOT keeping the tip on the cutting board, he is chopping at the tomato like he is wielding a cleaver. Still, none of the slices are sticking to the knife. HOW does he do that??

                                                                                                  I poked a hole in my thumb with a fork once. There is no hope I will be safe from the sharp heel.

                                                                                                  1. re: E_M

                                                                                                    Share, please...tomato chopping? Hey, it's not knife theater in my kitchen. I know my limits. I have never chopped a tomato with mine. Now you're making me wonder.

                                                                                                    No, did you really poke a hole in your thumb with a fork? Maybe this knife's not for you. ;) Serious biz, someone could help you as someone will be helping me. I'm sure it's not hard to dull the heel down to prevent bloodshed.

                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                      As for the heel, you can lightly dull it using a sharpening stone. If you don't have a sharpening stone, you can use a sandpaper, bottom of a ceramic cup, or honing rod.

                                                                                                      As for the tomato video, I am guessing that E_M meant this one:

                                                                                                      http://youtu.be/5COpxDWFoXM?t=7s

                                                                                                      It is strongly believe that a slightly convex or even concave knife help release foods.

                                                                                                      As for the reason why the tomato slices in the video are not stuck to the knife blade, there are several potential reasons. Most noticeably, the tomato slice are not thin. Thinner slices have a stronger tendency to stick than thicker slices. This is because thicker slices are heavier. In the extreme case, if you are to cut the tomato in half, you are not going to have half of a tomato sticks to the knife. :)

                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                        Ahhh, I remember that video now! For whatever reason, his cutting the broccoli stuck more in my mind than the tomato. Maybe if you said the video that played "Rollercoaster" in the background, I'd have gotten there quicker. Notice when he cuts the leek, it sticks to the knife. I do think that's just normal. Notice also, it doesn't slow that guy down a bit. And his video demonstrates paper cutting just as nicely as ours. HA HA!

                                                                                                        With you on the thin slices--that makes sense. And now that I can refine my cutting/chopping, I do tend to slice thinner as I think it looks nicer (and because I can!). The visual in your last sentence made me chuckle, however.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                          No, that wasn't it. I can't find the video now. It was only about 40 seconds, anyway.

                                                                                                          A half of a tomato is too big for my sandwiches.

                                                                                                          1. re: E_M

                                                                                                            If you want a knife that food doesn't readily stick to, you're looking for a fairly specific kind of edge geometry. Unfortunately, you'd be best off looking into custom knives, if that's the case. Here is a short video that shows the difference geometry can make:
                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF2VFo...

                                                                                                            I will say that among non-custom knives, the Glestain has a pretty good reputation for keeping food from sticking. You'll also notice that it relies on its surface texture, but also has much more dramatic recessions than a hammered finish or damascus clad knife:
                                                                                                            http://korin.com/Shop/Glestain

                                                                                                            Beyond that, a lot of it is just cutting technique. With most knives, there is no way to completely avoid sticking, but with practice and technique, you can manage it pretty well to stop it from slowing you down.

                                                                                                            1. re: E_M

                                                                                                              I found the video! Although, it is for a Tojiro:

                                                                                                              http://youtu.be/nyZqks4ojFg

                                                                                                              I was trying to straighten a slightly askew prong, except that my hand had grease on it and slipped, and now I have a 1 inch scar on the side of my thumb.

                                                                                                              1. re: E_M

                                                                                                                YIPES, showoff (video)! Makes me wanna go buy a tomato right now and give it a try, but I never slice/chop/whatever THAT FAST. :)

                                                                                                                Well, accidents happen--I'm sure we all have a few battle scars from the kitchen. It's the price of admission to keep playing the game!

                                                                                                      2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                        "Soon, someone sympathetic to my cause is going to grind the edge of it down for me."

                                                                                                        I think I recall you saying that you have a (local) friend who can do this for you? If not, I'd be happy to modify it for you (no charge).

                                                                                                        :-)

                                                                                                        1. re: Eiron

                                                                                                          Very kind of you, thanks, Eiron! The other hand in the video is good at such things and has me covered. :)

                                                                                                      3. re: E_M

                                                                                                        Hi E_M. Choosing the right chef’s knife can be a bit overwhelming, but hang in there…its’ worth it

                                                                                                        <Most people tell me that one should buy the longest knife I can handle>
                                                                                                        +1 on getting the longest length Chef’s knife that you and your workspace can handle. In general, longer blades are more efficient, but also heavier and harder to control. As Chem said, the apprehension with longer blades may not be the actual blade length itself as so much as the weight of the knife. The increased weight needed to counter balance a longer blade length is much greater with German than Japanese chef’s knives. There’s also significant difference in overall weight of a German vs. Japanese knife. ie. a 8” or 210mm j-knife weighs ~ 1/3 less than 8” German (full bolster/ handle heavy) knife.

                                                                                                        <The people I spoke to scoffed at anything less than 8">
                                                                                                        Yup. For most folks, a less than 8” chef’s knife is less than ideal b/c it’s not long enough handle many larger everyday items. I also feel there’s not enough flat cutting edge length for onions, peppers, etc when a Chef’s knife is compacted or shrunk into a less than 8” length. If you want a less than 8” chef’s knife, look for one with a modestly curved or mostly flat cutting edge, or look at a Santoku or Nakiri instead.

                                                                                                        <How is the drag/veggies sticking to the blade? I was hoping the dimpled finish would minimize this. Does it?>
                                                                                                        I did a willy-nilly experiment with a couple of Shuns and didn’t notice any more or less stick-age. For cucumbers, potatoes and other sticky foods, try using a draw stroke with the tip of the knife.

                                                                                                        <What method have you devised to clean and handle the knife, given the sharp heel? I will be slicing myself every time I touch it, I know.>
                                                                                                        As Chem said, just knick or round over the heel point.

                                                                                                        <I find a western handle slightly more comfortable than a japanese one...if you can speak to this, I would be interested in your take and experience.>
                                                                                                        It’s a matter of personal preference on how you like to grip the knife. Myself, I’m very selective about handle comfort and security with something like a cleaver as I use a very firm hammer / tennis racket style grip with them. Conversely I’m indifferent with pretty much everything else as I mostly use a pinch-grip.

                                                                                                  2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                    The knife knerdiness continues: new rack arrived yesterday. Of course, it looks sharp!

                                                                                                    And Chem, that's my fun Kuhn Rikon Safari Leopard Paring Knife as discussed long ago in some kinda "fun in the kitchen" cookware thread.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                      <Safari Leopard Paring Knife>

                                                                                                      Heh heh heh. Hey, I also see that you have two Kikuichi knives. This must mean you like the first one (the gyuto/chef knife) very much.

                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                        I really do and hope anyone who's considering one feels the same.

                                                                                                      2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                        OMG.. "Knife Knerdiness." That is classic; I love it.

                                                                                                        I think you gave birth to a new chowhound phrase.

                                                                                                        1. re: E_M

                                                                                                          :) HA HA!

                                                                                                          Now, what are your thoughts? Are you leaning toward a Kikuichi, or have you decided on another knife that better suits your needs? I know you had lots of information to digest over the past week. It took me a while to make my decision, too.

                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                            I am the mistress of indecision. Chem's comment about how the size of my cutting surface will influence my comfort level with a knife size was insightful. Now, I need to go back to the stores and pay attention to their chopping block sizes. However, since a proper butcher block isn't in the cards for me at the moment, well...gee whiz. I may NEVER make a decision at this rate.

                                                                                                            How do you decide which paring knife to use? Do they feel/work differently?

                                                                                                            1. re: E_M

                                                                                                              I only just got the Kikuichi paring knife this week--it will be my go-to paring knife from here on out.

                                                                                                              The two knives are completely different. The Kuhn one is like a toy--plastic handle, utilitarian to get me by until I got my real knife. Don't get me wrong, it's a good little knife for what it is, but it's night and day to the Kikuichi--that handle has a nice weight and it's in a completely different league. The Kuhn has been great for slicing strawberries each day. No reason to retire it completely. Plus it looks cool on the rack. :)