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Apr 30, 2012 03:35 PM

Masahiro guidance.

Found a 7" Masahiro in a thrift store and it has seen many a stone in its day and needs a proper resharpening.

From looking at new Masahiros it should be flat on the left and beveled on the right but to what angle?


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  1. Jim, looking at the handle, I'd say this is similar to their curent MV series & intended for customers wanting a western style gyuto. The 220 would indicate original blade length (8-3/4"), so if it's been shortened to 7" it's either seen a lot of sharpening or (more likely?) the tip's been broken off once or twice.

    I don't have a Masahiro, but judging by your pictures I'd give it nice 16°-18° bevel on each side & see how it holds up.

    Nice find! Others may have more/better info for you. :-)

    1. I agree with Eiron. Man, this knife does have a very unfamiliar look to it -- further suggests it is a vintage knife.

      My guess is the same Eiron. If you want to put an even bevel, then try 16-17 degree on each side and grind them equally.

      Many of the Masahiro knives on the market is 80/20. Keep in mind that there are different ways to achieve the so-called asymmetric bevel. For Masahiro knives, the angles are the same for both side. The difference is the extend of which they are ground.

      "What we mean by 80/20 asymmetrical is that 80 percent of the edge is ground on the right side of the blade and 20 percent is ground on the left side. "

      Here is a diagram:

      1. Honestly, I'm having a hard time telling exactly how that knife was originally designed. I'm inclined to agree with Eiron that it was likely designed as a double beveled knife, but I couldn't tell for certain from the information provided. It looks like an older knife, and I don't think I've seen any older Masahiros. But new Masahiros come in a variety of styles, some of which are single beveled while others are double beveled.

        I might be able to give you a better idea with a few more pictures. Especially of the right side of the knife.

        4 Replies
        1. re: cowboyardee

          Left and right 20X micrographs.

          The larger bevel is on the right side. Whatever it has is long from the original.

          It is only 7" or 177mm so if it started as 220mm that is a large loss.


          1. re: knifesavers

            "Whatever it has is long from the original."
            I was mainly looking to see if there was any evidence (secondary bevels) on the right side that would indicate that the knife had originally been single beveled. I don't see any such evidence in your pictures. I'm still thinking it's a double beveled knife.

            Looks like what you've got right now is an asymmetrical double beveled edge - probably somewhere around 70/30. That's not a bad edge for that knife. You might be able to just follow the existing geometry, though I can't tell if the bevels are flat or if the profile is off or if the knife has gotten thick behind its edge and needs some work. If it has been sharpened from 220 mm down to 180mm, then there are likely to be profile or thickness problems. The first picture you posted made it look like the heel of the knife was lower than the rest, but the subsequent pics didn't confirm this, so I can't tell.

            As far as angles go, for an asymmetrical edge the back side of the knife is usually a little more acute than the front side of the knife. Not always, but usually. Something like 15 degrees on the right side and 12 on the left (you'll wind up doing more of your sharpening on the right side). The exact angles don't matter that much - just as long as you make an edge that performs well and is sufficiently robust.

            1. re: cowboyardee

              The heel is way too low and clunks on the board losing about 3-4" of cutting edge not touching the board.

              Very seldom is any thrift store find not jacked up in some way.


              1. re: knifesavers

                "Very seldom is any thrift store find not jacked up in some way."

                Here are a couple older threads about fixing that kind of problem:

                Apologies if you already know how to fix this kind of thing, but they're interesting reads anyway.

        2. No clue, but I am interested in seeing what you do with it. My only masahiro is an M3 cleaver.

          1. My Masahiro was listed as being ground at 70/30 from the factory. To me it looks basically flat on the left side. I'd guess the right side at 15°.