Three popular 1000 grit stones: King Hyper 1000, JNS 1000, and AI 1000 (Watanabe)

This is a brief comparison of three popular 1000 grit stones (JNS, AI, and King Hyper standard). The criteria used to compare the three 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 . I’ll try to give each stones a 1-10 mark with 10 being the best and 1 the worst but this is very subjective and dependent on every person’s reference point so bear that in mind. Also, these ratings are only compared to the other 1k stones tested, 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)

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Review: Watanabe Nakiri Pro KU 180 mm

Before even talking about the knife I think it is worth mentioning that Shinichi was great to deal with and provided an awesome service. The knife is a gift from my wife and has a special engraving on the left side of the knife, besides the normal kanji on the right side.

Out of the box impressions and Fit & Finish:

Very sharp OOTB, ready to cut, pretty hefty knife. Finish on the blade was nice overall, spine was eased and sorta polished while choil seems to have been only chamfered a bit (see pic), however it doesn’t have a sharp edge and I didn’t find it uncomfortable in use (albeit only used for sessions 1h or less and then rounded it).

Chamfered choil

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New stone day is also the best day!

New knife day is a good day. This was actually pretty hard to carry home on my bike through the (somewhat) busy streets of Amsterdam.

From left to right: Narutaki and Uchigumori koppa (top), Naniwa hibiki #3000, Arashiyama (#6000), Narutaki kiita, Chosera #400, Shapton M24 #120

Really looking forward to giving these a proper test. If you want to hear about my experiences with any of these stones in particular, let me know on instagram!

Knife review: Tanaka 240mm gyuto

A link to this knife review has been posted on KKF (click here).

The blade – Last month I got a 240mm Yoshikazu Tanaka that is sold in Japan by Tsubaya. As it is not really that easy for non-Japanese speakers to buy from Tsubaya, I actually bought mine from Hitohira, which was a very pleasant experience. He answered all my questions and provided for some of the fastest shipping out of Japan I have ever experienced!

I have seen these knives pop up with just about everone on Instagram, so I had to check them out for myself!

The line of Tanaka knives currently sold by Hitohira consists of  whole range of knives: 120 and 150mm petty, 180mm santoku, 210, and 210, 240 and 270mm gyuto. The 210 and 240mm also come in a K-tip version.  Another reason for buying this knife was that I didn’t have any kurouchi gyuto in my collection (because I sold my cheap ones…) so I definitely had to get a new one.

The price of this knife is around 500 USD and qualifies for free international shipping, which always feels nice to me :).

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New arrival: Hinoura 210 gyuto

Have been terribly busy at work. However, to reward myself I bought a knife from a vendor I have never bought from before: cleancut! For non-Swedish customers like myself, I recommend sending them a message on instagram.

The knife is a Hinoura Ajikataya 210mm gyuto, and the first impressions are good! The finish looks nice, and due to its wide bevel grind it will probably be a dream to polish… (please let there be no huge low spots)!

Next up will be a review of the Tanaka and this beautiful knife!  

Kaeru 210mm gyuto

A link to this knife review has been posted on KKF (click here).

The blade – This month I got one of the new Kaeru blades that have been introduced by JNS. These knives have been pretty hyped up on KKF, and are relatively cheap, so I had to check them out. I have no idea why they are called Kaeru (蛙; apparently ‘frog’ in Japanese), if anyone has any clue I am more than happy to hear it!

The line of Kaeru knives currently consists of a 90mm paring knife, 150mm petty, 270mm sujihiki and a 210 and 240mm gyuto. Because I like smaller knives and only had one 210mm gyuto in my collection (I know, it’s sad really), I opted to go for the 210mm gyuto. The price of this knife is 125 USD (ex. VAT) and unfortunately does not qualify for free shipping (add a JNS 300 stone or Kaeru pairing knife and it will ship for free).

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