New arrivals: single bevel heaven

The last weeks I have received quite a few single bevel knives (and more on the way!). I don’t know what it is with single bevels, but for me they feel a bit more authentic and are (more?) fun to sharpen and polish. These knives will be featured in more detail later, but I would like to share in the fun of getting new knives already.

Fudo Kuniyuki Kiritsuke

As some of you may know, knives by Genkai Masakuni are one of the focus points of my collection. The first and second knife I received are both forged by him. The first one is a Fudo Kuniyuki kiritsuke (please also see here for more Fudo goodness). As they are no longer being made, it is a knife that has spent some time in storage.

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Blog update: cutting videos, wiki and cooking!

I didn’t have much time this week to prepare lengthy articles and (somewhat) nice photographs, so I thought I’d write a short update on what I did this week and what is to come in the next few weeks. By the way: if there is anyone who wants to contribute to this blog by writing stuff, reviewing knives or shooting videos, let me know!

The past week I cooked elaborately twice, for some colleagues and friends. This made me want to write a bit about the things I cook, even though I’m just an amateur cook that really hasn’t got much of a clue. Anyway, here you will find several pages on the food I make that I will update regularly.

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Coarse synthetic whetstones: a comparison

After the great success of the three 1k grit stones written by Carlos, we decided to combine our thoughts and stones into another stone comparison. This time, we will review some coarse synthetic stones, as many people are (still) searching for the ultimate low grit stone (fast cutting, good feedback and dish resistant). Of coarse (see what we did there…) this such a stone is a myth, but we hope that this guide will help people to make an informed decision.

The criteria used to compare the stones are some of the characteristics that define a good or bad whetstone. Keep in mind that much of this is subjective and that no rigorous scientific experiments have be done to compare these stones . We will try to give each stones a 1-10 mark with 10 being the best and 1 the worst, but again, this is very subjective and dependent on every person’s reference point. Also, these ratings are only compared to the other stones tested in a specific group, and cannot be used to compare these stones with stones that have a different purpose (e.g. polishing stones).

This review is written by Carlos (KKF handle: valgard, IG: cev_valgard), Otto (Toishigram) and Peter.

King 300, picture courtesy of Otto
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New arrivals: one knife and some stones

The end of 2018 was an exciting time for me, if we are talking Japanese knives and stones. Earlier in December 2018 I showed a couple of new arrivals, but December 2018 has proven to be an excellent month as a result of the following new arrivals.

Knife!

In the knife department, I had a knife arrive that I eagerly awaited for a couple of months: a Fudo Kuniyuki fuguhiki, in a whopping 335mm length. The knife is brand new, as can be seen from the back of the knife, which has not been sharpened. However, the knife has been stored for quite some time, and developed a couple of (hopefully) superficial rust spots.

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A duo of kurouchi Kiyoshi Kato gyuto

There has been a lot of talk and controversy about kurouchi gyuto by Kiyoshi Kato recently. They were (and still are) being sold for over two thousand USD, and some people have questioned their cutting ability.

Being the lucky owner of two KU Katos, it seems to make sense to show how these knives cut, and speak a little bit about (the difference between) these knives.

Workhorse (top) and Standard (bottom)
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30.000 followers!

Last night, my Instagram account passed 30,000 followers, and this blog reached over 40,000 views in its first year! 

Thank you!!

I am very happy and grateful that so many people seem to enjoy the pictures I feature and short reviews I write, and I want to thank everyone that contributes such great content and allows me to share their amazing pictures and videos. A special thank you goes out to Carlos, Daniel and Otto for writing stuff for this blog!

I am working on a giveaway and lots of new and exciting content in the near future to celebrate this milestone. To give a small hint:  it is made out of wood and will be very pretty! Unfortunately it is not quite done yet, so stay tuned! 

Some new stones: part 1

This month (and yes, it is only the 8th, don’t you just love the holidays) I received five new stones. There are a couple more coming from my friend Otto, who runs the @toishigram Instagram profile and wrote a review on a Narutaki Asagi on this blog. I can’t resist but give a little teaser below:

Since I have quite a few new stones incoming, I thought I’d give a quick tour of the new pieces, and do it in two parts. The first stone, and coincidentally also the biggest, came from JNS and was bought during the sale. It is a huge (230x115x30) Hideriyama suita, level 2.5. This hardness level should make it a muddy finisher, and a quick test indicated that it is indeed muddy and perfect!

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New arrival: Shigefusa KU ajikiri

I don’t fillet fish often, but I think a deba is a knife that cannot be missed in a collection of knives. Thats why I have bought a Genkai Masakuni deba before, which i actually use to butcher (because that is how bad my skills are) fish!

However, when filleting small fish, which is most of the fish I do due to living in a 2 person household, a full size deba looks a bit ridiculous and is totally unnecessary. In order to fix this ‘luxury problem’, I went on the hunt for a good small deba that would fit in with the other knives in my collection.

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Knife review: Orca by Shiro Kamo

A link to this knife review has been posted on KKF and KMS.

Intro – Through a mutual friend I was introduced to a Swiss knife vendor, Marco Röllin, who runs  https://www.japanische-kochmesser.ch and has a shop in Switzerland. Marco wanted to bring a certain knife to my attention and was curious to hear my thoughts on this knife. According to Marco, this would be one of, if not THE, smoothest cutting knife I would have tried. Of course this spiked my interest, because it is a big claim! Also, the first Japanese knife I ever bought was made by Shiro Kamo.  So I agreed to take a look at the knife and write this review.

First a few words of dealing with Marco, as a lot of my readers (a lot may be an overstatement given the amount of views I get…) may not be familiar with him. I have found Marco to be extremely responsive through e-mail, very clear in his answers and explanations and very friendly. Also the knife was shipped quickly, very well packed and arrived super sharp! All in all I can only fully recommend Marco and his business!

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Sakai Takayuki visit

The last few weeks, I went on holiday to Japan and Hong Kong. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Sakai Takayuki, one of the major players in the knife industry.

This visit was arranged by James from Knives and Stones, who happened to be in Japan at the same time. I have been buying knives from James for a while now, and I am still amazed at the range of knives (and excellent service!) he offers. If you haven’t had the pleasure of buying a knife from him, I fully recommend to do so (not getting paid to say this)!

I will not beat around the bush for much longer, and let the pictures do the talking, but this was an amazing experience. I am ever grateful to James and Sakai Takayuki for allowing me to visit and their hospitality.

The last thing I want to note is that it was very insightful to see the amount of skill, dedication and effort Sakai Takayuki put into making their knives. As a collector I think we sometimes forget this, and it has really brought me a great admiration for the knives Sakai Takayuki produce (so much so, that I already ordered another one from James!). Beautiful pictures are courtesy of James.

Sasaki-san, traning under Itsuo Doi-san

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