Does anyone have any experience with "Konosuke" or "Richmond" "lasers?"

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by lasagnaburrito, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Hello all,

    I was speaking with someone who says they have a lot of experience as a sushi knife, and they recommended "Konosuke" which they apparently have 2 knives from that are their go to knives (Suji and I Deba I think).

    I found what is called "Lasers" http://www.chefknivestogo.com/konosukelasers.html and it seems to be an extremely thin, and light blade.

    There are a ton of great reviews on a bunch of these knives, so I am interested if anyone has any recommendations on them?

    I am basically looking for a good sushi knife for a gift, but the person is a beginner to knives, but not cooking.

    I was thinking probably a 270mm Sujiki Konosuke Laser, but I would like more opinions?

    I was given a lot of choices of companies, Suisin, Tojiro, Misano, Togijaru, etc, but he's the first person who mentioned konosuke, and this was the first time I've heard of "chefknivestogo," but someone else I think mentioned it right above his post.

    I also have been checking out the house brand of "ChefKnivesToGo" called "Richmond" and they are lasers, and also AEB-L steel which seems to be a very good favorite for a lot of people.

    So I'm curious if anyone would recommend these knives, and if they have any preference, as there are a few types of steel I can choose from,....?


    Thanks so much for any advice!
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  2. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I have a 210mm gyuto. They are too short for me. No knuckle clearance. I use it as a long petty.
     
  3. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    short from top to bottom, or from tip to toe?

    I've heard they are smaller from tip to toe, butg Idk about height wise.

    How light was yours?  Did you lke it's lightness?  What about it's thinenss?

    I'm looking at probably a 270mm suji,
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  4. gladius

    gladius

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    I can certainly see 210mm being too short from heel to tip as a gyuto, *especially* on knives that run short like Konosuke. But assuming you mean too narrow from spine to edge, maybe you've gotta work on your pinch grip. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif I hear a soft pinch grip even works for those crazy BBQ guys...

    I keep my knife hand off the counter so I don't have to worry about knuckle clearance, but I'm pretty sure the Konosuke gyuto is wide enough that my knuckles clear the edge.

    Footnote: By "single-bevel" I mean a chisel-ground knife as opposed to one with a Western-style V-shaped edge. Google if you're not familiar with the difference. "Single bevel" and "double bevel" can also have the completely separate meaning of whether or not you've added a secondary bevel/compound bevel to a knife, and this will almost certainly be in the context of Western-style V-shaped (i.e. "double beveled") knives. Try not to get tripped up if you come across the single vs double terminology in a thread or article that's actually talking about this latter topic.
     
  5. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Mine was only 40mm tall. With a pinch grip this is still short. Anyway, for a suji, you don't need height. For a gyuto I want more than that. It's basically exactly what I expected, real thin, real light, great fit and finish.
     
  6. rick alan

    rick alan

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    For Maki I also feel the gyuto is a better choice. It stands to reason that the cross-section of the blade that actually comes in contact with the roll is going to be thinner where the gyuto is concerned..  With the suji you are going to be burying the [relatively] thick spine into the roll.

    As for the Konosuke stainless vs semi-stainless, I would have to think that the semi-stainless can take a keener edge.  It is closer to pure carbon after all.

    Devin Thomas is a certified Master Bladesmith who is coveted for his work with AEB-L, and 52100 steel as well.  According to him AEB-L does have better edge stability than the carbon steels, meaning it will hold an extremely acute angle better.  So there is possibly a "perceived" sharpness advantage there.

    Rick
     
  7. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thanks for the tips.  The user is new to high end knives, but I wanted to get something that would be good to start with, I also am looking for a knife for myself now, so we would have to learn together, since we live together.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to get him a Gyuto or a Sujihiki.  I was speaking with someone, on another forum, who said he's been a sushi chef for over a decade, and claimed only "beginners" cut rolls with Gyuto, and that you should use a sujihiki.  He has a Konosuke Gyuto/Suji, and a Yoshihiro Yanagi.

    It seems a Gyuto would be better, and since he's a beginner anyways it should be okay... Plus if it's a laser, the Gyuto should work well, but I do like the look of the Sujihiki.  I think I'm going to get myself a Gyuto though....

    I want to learn how to sharpen and all that stuff, but I have no clue what stones to get.  Someone recommended Naniwa, but they seem pricey, and might require more of an expertise, so I'm not sure if there are "beginner stones," as well.

    I wont get an electric sharpener, and if you want to know the reason please see the thread about them which I think is in this sub-forum, people say they are not worth it at all.

    I don't know if the person will invest time learning about sharpening, but I do.  I think it's important to know how to treat the knives well, and I think it would be nice to have an awesome blade to use.   I just want to make sure it will cut through things, and that he could use it for other things, besides sushi.

    He is an avid orange/grapefruit eater, so it would be nice for the knife to be able to cut that.  I did however seee someone slice through a pineapple, but who knows how much sharpening he did, and how dull it made the knife.

    How often are we looking to Sharpen it?  I was watching someone use a "Richmond" laser and he was scared his edge dulled after about 10 mins of video, if that.  It seemed the knife was still going, but he was using a wood cutting board...

    That being said what kind of cutting board should I use?  It seems we shouldn't let the blade hit it at all, but It seems people do from the videos I see.


    The thing is CKTG is all sold out basically of the knives, so I don't know when they will come back in...  It seems they are only stocking certain items like Honyaki blades.
     I was speaking with someone, on another forum, who said he's been a sushi chef for over a decade, and claimed only "beginners" cut rolls with Gyuto, and that you should use a sujihiki.  I personally like the suji better, b ut I feel the Gyuto would work out better overall in the kitchen, and not just "for sushi."

    AEB-L seems interesting, but the Konosuke's don't habve them... The "Richmond" blades do, however, and I'm interested in the "Richmond Lasers."  Someone mentioned that Mark Richmond is the owner of CKTG, so that might be something to look at.  In the one video I saw of the Richmond he was using a laser Gyuto for about 10 mins and was concerned with the edge being dull, granted it seemed to cut through the green pepper no problem, and he commented on that as well.  I don;'t know how long the edge lasts on these knives, but he also hit the cutting board a lot which a lot of people seem to say you shouldn't sdo that... Not too sure if there are special boards to use as well....  He was saying the AEB-L steel is as good as "White #1" with edge retention, but I'm nto too sure what the differences between #1 and #2, and there was no mention of blue, which is interesting that the AEB-L would have such a great edge, while having good SS properties...






    Thanks all.
     
  8. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I would say... you're overthinking it.  You have no experience using or sharpening any of these steels, so nuances will be lost on you.

    Just pick stainless or carbon, and pick a maker with good reviews.
     
  9. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Possibly....  How do I gain experience without getting knives to test?  Technically I should go with cheaper knives, but I rather not buy multiple knives, and just get great knives we can use for awhile.

    I want to learn what I can, so I will check out youtube videos, and ask for advice.

    We will see what steel I go with, the AEB-L seems interesting...

    The point of this thread it to see if people like these companies or not, and then I wll see what to go with..

    Sadly most of the Konosuke's are sold out, so I don't know when they will return.. :(.
     
  10. gladius

    gladius

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    For freehand sharpening, you'll want at least a coarse stone for occasional reprofiling, a medium-coarse stone for sharpening, and a medium-fine stone for polishing. One of the best affordable examples of the first is the Beston 500, two of the best affordable examples of the second are the Bester 1200 and the Arashiyama 1k, and two of the best affordable examples of the third are the Suehiro Rika (it's 3k-5k depending on mud buildup) and the Arashiyama 6k. CKtG sells a package deal of the Beston 500, the Bester 1200, and the Suehiro Rika. If you can afford even better stones, Japanese Knife Imports sells a package of the Gesshin 400, Gesshin 2k, and Gesshin 6k. Those stones are said to cut faster yet leave a higher polish than other stones at similar grit levels. They have an amazing reputation. If and when I switch from my Edge Pro to freehand, I'm almost certainly getting Gesshin stones.

    I highly recommend taking that thread about the Chef's Choice with a grain of salt (or less). The negative opinions in that thread were not by people who use the Chef's Choice. If memory serves, they were a mix of people who were speaking from experience with other electric sharpeners eating too much metal and of anecdotes someone heard about someone who used the Chef's Choice improperly and damaged the knife (I think it was the tip). I've heard or read from a number of people who have actually used the Chef's Choice (one who comes to mind is the former CT contributor BDL), and my understanding is that as long as you read the instructions, you are not at any greater risk of damaging your knife than with stones, and the speed at which it eats metal is at the order of magnitude of stones, not of metal-eating electric sharpeners. The Chef's Choice is the one good electric sharpener, and is a virtual necessity if the gift's recipient isn't going to be sharpening knives by some more manual means [1]. That said, the Chef's Choice does have downsides, just not those. The downsides are that it restricts you to one or two preset bevel angles and gets your edge pretty sharp rather than extremely sharp, so it's probably not worth it on premium knives that can take an extremely sharp edge. It's probably more worth it on less expensive high-end knives. That said, if this person doesn't have any means of sharpening and certainly none better than a Chef's Choice, then any premium knife is going to be a waste of a gift unless you also give a sharpening kit. Sharpening is far more important than the knife. Decent sharpening (even a Chef's Choice) plus a $5 Tramontina knife is literally a gift that's orders of magnitude better than no sharpening plus a Konosuke, at least after the first couple weeks go by.

    If you're dead-set on getting him a high-end knife and not a Chef's Choice (which, again, does seem reasonable for something as high-end as a Konosuke), then you really have to find out if he's willing to learn to sharpen. If not freehand, then you'll really need either to get him a rod-guided jig or get him to get one. The Wicked Edge is the easiest to learn but also really expensive. The Edge Pro has a learning curve but much less than stones. If he won't be getting either of these or some other way to sharpen, then a high-end knife is useless. All dull knives are equal, and dull lightweight knives are even less equal. 

    [1] The only other real option is *if* he lives near someone who happens to be a skilled knife sharpener, then he could send his knives out whenever they start to dull. But that means he won't be keeping his knives sharp unless he intends to pay around $15-$20 a week per knife, which defeats the purpose of a high end knife, *and* he won't be able to use the knives while they're in the shop. Additionally, it might be difficult to even find a real sharpener. Most "professionals" at best run your knife through a Chef's Choice and more likely through something that eats a ton of metal and leaves an obtuse edge with a coarse scratch pattern.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  11. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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  12. gladius

    gladius

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    No problem! Keep in mind that I don't freehand myself, so my stone suggestions are just based on what I've heard from people whose knife knowledge I value. I personally sharpen on an Edge Pro using Shapton glass stones for most work, with an Atoma 140 and Nubatama 150 for coarse work. I do want to switch to freehand at some point, and I'm not at all trying to steer you away from it. I was trying to steer your father away from it *if* he doesn't express interest in spending the time to learn since his knives will be dull if he doesn't end up putting in that time!

    The Edge Pro is great for a full reprofiling+sharpening+polishing progression since it lets you set an exact angle. I find it a pain for regular sharpening and quick touch-ups, though, because you can't just click in the angle by feel as you can with freehanding. You've got to configure the machine to the approximate angle that the bevel is currently at, and then check your results to see if you're hitting the right angle. If I were to freehand and keep my set of stones permasoaked, I could literally pop a stone out of the water and touch up a knife in a minute or two whenever it started to lose its polish. I suspect that that convenience would make the sharpening process feel less like work and more like fun, resulting in me doing it more frequently. If I were to do it over again knowing what I know now, would I have started with stones? Probably. But it does sound like there's more of a learning curve both in holding your hands at a consistent angle and in getting the pressure right. It sounds like you have enough interest in learning to freehand that you wouldn't mind that learning curve. If I'm right about that, then yes, you should probably just start with stones. You'll want to start practicing with a medium-coarse stone (e.g. Gesshin 2k, Bester 1200, or Arashiyama 1k) until you get the technique down. Then you'll want to try your hand at a finer grit (e.g. Gesshin 6k, Arashiyama 6k, or Suehiro Rika) at which point any errors in technique should become obvious. Polishing is much less forgiving than coarser sharpening. Once your technique is good enough for polishing, then you can move on to coarse work like reprofiling or repairing a chipped edge. Coarse stones remove a lot of metal, so you don't want to use them until you know that your sharpening technique works!

    Regarding the Chef's Choice, yes, it's said to not eat your knives like other electric or pull through sharpeners. No clue about the temper issue.

    Naniwa makes different lines of stones. Their Chosera stones, for instance, are supposed to be very good (at least at most grits) but very expensive. At that price point, though, I've heard you're probably better off getting Gesshin stones.

    Choseras are normally referred to just as "Chosera" without the "Naniwa" part, so I suspect you were reading about their Super Stone line. I don't know much about them, but I vaguely recall hearing that they gouge easily and aren't the best value at their price point. From other people's recommendations, I'd definitely recommend going with either the Gesshin set or the less expensive Beston + Bester or Arashiyama + Arashiyama or Suehiro Rika triplet, depending on how much you want to spend. Regarding buying from one vs multiple sites, do you happen to be in the continental US? If so, I believe both CKtG and JKI have free shipping on orders over a certain amount, and that certain amount should be less than the cost of a stone set or knife.

    Edit: You also asked about whether better quality stones are worth it for a newbie. That depends on the stones and the newbie. If they're unforgiving stones like a good diamond set, then you absolutely don't want to use them. Some stones are more forgiving despite cutting pretty quickly. Jon Broida told me his Gesshins definitely fall into that category. I assume they're no more likely to damage your knives as you learn than a cheaper set, and again, you should start with the medium-coarse stone when you're first learning so that any damage from user error will be minimal and not a problem. And as long as you pay attention and follow good video tutorials, I don't expect you to damage your stones while learning. Do read and watch as much as you can before you start. Whether it's worth getting great stones over good stones when you don't have experience with the latter to appreciate the contrast, well, that's up to you! Is it worth getting a great knife over an entry-level J knife when you won't be able to appreciate the contrast? Is it worth buying a beautiful home before living in a fairly pretty home? etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  13. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    From what it sounds like is that other methods are either a PITA and get it good, or that it's easy, but doesn't get it to "perfect."

    I think it would be better to just get into it, but I can see it being a PITA at first, but I think it will be better overall to learn technique.

    I don't know if dad will like to sharpen on a stone, but now that I am thinking about getting into it myself, I think I might go with stones, but I can see him possibly getting annoyed by it.  He would probably like the Chef's Choice better because it's "easier" but who knows....  I feel the stones would also feel "like work" but maybe not?  Maybe it will be fun as you describe it :).  Knowing how to do it well can be enjoyable.  I'll have to learn about soaking the stones though, what's that about?

    So medium "coarse" is what i want?  Your above post mentioned "coarse" for "sharpening" and "fine" for "polishing...?"    Here you mentioned coarse and polishing, so I was curious about that.

    How do you know what you've done is "correct" or "right?"  Just the way it cuts or looks?

    Not too sure about the Chef's Choice, I would check out the posts on the last page of that thread, because it was interesting info,  but I cannot verify it's validity.

    Most of the stones seem to be pretty pricey (around 50$), but I see the "chosera" stones are being more expensive and labeled "professional."

    Someone just mentioned that they have tried a few brands of stones, and that the naniwa ones were superior.

    His comment was 
    What do you mean by "gouge easy?"

    Also yes, I do live in the USA, so I guess the shipping isn't an issue then...

    I didn't want to spend that much on a stone honestly, but it seems I'm left with not many choices hahah.....  Some stomnes are really cheap, others are expensive.

    Hmm, yeah I guess I'll have to make another thread or something and get more opinions to see what people think like, but the gesshin stones sound good.  What have you heard about them specifically, compared to others, that makes you want to get them?

    I'm just making sure that whatever I get works out well overall, and I definitely don't want anything crappy.  I know a lot of people recommended cheap knives, the last post on another forum said I should be buying a bunch of 50$ knives and trying them out to get "my feel for a knife..."

    I feel I rather spend a good amount on a good knife, and get some good stones and just learn my way through it then to get a crap knife, a crap set of stones and it just not working well.  I feel the appreciation for the good knife, and not wanting to ruin it will help with the learning process.

    I'm thinking about the Richmond laser, since Konosuke is OOS, we shall see how that works out!


    Thank you for your time, I really appreciate it.

    EDIT:  I just looked up the Gesshin stones and they are expensive....

    http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/sharpening-supplies.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  14. gladius

    gladius

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    What do the people who've reported that mean? ;) I assume they mean to cut a hole in the stone.

    Sharpening is even more important than the knife. If you're willing to pay ~$300 for a Konosuke HD over, say, $185 for a similarly-great-but-not-quite-as-great Mac Professional, then you probably should be even more willing to spend a lot for stones that give good feedback and cut quickly. :D Going with a less expensive knife will also give you more cash for the stones! If you do want a laser and would still purchase the Konosuke if it were in stock, then you should check out the Gesshin Ginga. The quality of its heat treatment, grind, and F&F should be at least as good as the Konosuke. Many would choose it over the Konosuke. If you want a laser and don't want to spend that amount of money to ensure quality, I'd probably go with the Richmond Laser in AEB-L. I think I've heard the grind is better and more consistent than most other Richmonds, although their reputation for not polishing out grind marks on the side of the blade might still apply to the Laser, which you may or may not find aesthetically displeasing. Otherwise, it looks like a beautiful knife. Beautiful profile, beautiful handle options, etc. Do be sure to get it in 270mm though since they appear to run even shorter than Konosukes. A "240" (really 230mm according to CKtG) will require more lifting between cuts, and the knives are almost as light as Konosukes, so the extra length on the "270" (262mm) shouldn't take long at all to get used to.

    Yes, Gesshin stones are expensive!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
  15. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thanks it seems I have a lot of work to do for research.  I think it's best I BUY THE KNIFE first, give it to him as a gift, and then talk to him about what choices we have, and then figure out together what's best for us.

    I'm looking at this knife now http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kogi24gy.html

    Seems very thin, and a good steel.  Really the only Konosuke in stock, he just got 10 of them a few weeks ago.

    Another guy I was speaking with was interested in it and might get one himself.


    The a few posts
     

    Someone mentioned I might get a "beefier" blade, which he recommended.

     
     
    Thanks again for all the help :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  16. gladius

    gladius

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    No problem! Do note that that knife is made of san-mai construction where only the core is made from ginsan steel, and it's sandwiched between two other layers of steel. That keeps production cost down. The Konosuke HD and HH, as well as the Gesshin Ginga and the Richmond Laser in AEB-L, are all made of a single steel. I have no experience using san-mai knives, but do note that some forum-goers find cladding to mute the feedback of the knife against the board. That said, I've heard some Japanese chefs prefer san-mai, and I believe the majority of contributors here find them pretty equivalent.

    If you've fully committed and set your heart on the Konosuke Ginsan, I won't attempt to dissuade you. It's probably an amazing knife. However, if your mind is still open to other options, I do wish to ask if you'd take the Konosuke HD2 over the Ginsan if it were in stock. If so, I highly recommend looking into the Gesshin Ginga, which should be at least equivalent to the Konosuke HD in almost every relevant way besides the alloy (choice of excellent carbon or excellent stainless--and I'd imagine but can't confirm that the stainless Gesshin Ginga will have at least slightly better edge-taking than the Konosuke Ginsan). I've heard the Gesshin Ginga's grind is impeccable.

    Having not used the Ginsan, my current calculus is that the Ginga and HD are slightly better performers and the Ginsan a slightly better looker. Even if the Ginsan were at the same price point as the other two, I personally would prefer to buy one of the other two. That said, I'm not you. You said the Ginsan is a little thicker (and a little stiffer?) and you might find that that works better with your cutting technique. Are there more affordable options than the Ginsan for amazing knives that are slightly thicker than the Gesshin Ginga and Konosuke HD? If you're open to carbon, absolutely. The Masamoto HC comes to mind. In stainless I don't know. If you're worried about using a laser, I wonder if you'd be better off looking slightly to the other end of the spectrum and going with something slightly thicker and a decent amount heavier than the Ginsan like the Richmond Ultimatum in AEB-L or the Mac Professional MBK-110. I've heard great things about both, and you will have significantly more leeway with cutting harder food.

    If you do think the Konosuke Ginsan is the right knife for you and/or your father, you might very well be right. I do just want to make sure you've thought this out, considered other options, and have specific reasons for your decision. I also do think you should strongly consider going with 270mm, and even more so for knives that run short like Konosuke. That "240mm" Ginsan is actually only 225mm, which is really half-way between a 210 and a 240. That's *very* short for a gyuto and will require both more handle lifting and more judicious use of its sweet spot. If your choice is between a 270mm Gesshin Ginga and a 240mm Konosuke Ginsan, I'd personally suggest the former in a heartbeat. All right, done talking for now!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  17. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thanks, do you know for a fact this is created as a "san-mai" or w/e, and not one piece of steel?  Is that how the Ginsan works?

    I'm not commited at all to this knife, and in reality it is a lot more expensive than the other knives, so it's interesting that you prefer the HD2, which is less expensive (but also less steel).

    I'm not worried about using a laser, I think the light blade would be nice, but some people said that a "beefier" knife might be better, but I don't know....

    I might just wait for the HD2 Laser to come back in stock, but that's probably 5 months away.  I would like to get my dad his gift, at least.  From what others mentioned they really didn't like the Richmond blades, but the Richmond Ultimatum was created by Konosuke, so I don't know how good they are though.

    I have my heart set on nothing right now, but Konosuke seems to be the brand that I'm going with.  There seems to be others, but so far everyone seems to agree it's a great brand, but I'm not 100% if that's what I should get, but looks to be that way :p.

    I could always get my dad one knife, and then get the laser at another time for myself, and we can switch knives if need be too.

    Thanks for all of the help and advice , much appreciated! :)

    Any new advice is also much appreciated.
     
  18. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    No ginsanko refers to the name of the steel. San=3. Is also called G3 steel. San mai is cladding on 3 sides, the sides and top
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  19. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Hmm I see that... "Gin-3" or "Silver-3..."  Boo that sucks...?

    So we don't even know what the outer layers are?  Why is this so expensive?

    Thanks MillionsKnives...
     
  20. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I have a lot of clad knives. Nothing inherently wrong with it. There are a lot of reasons to clad. Maybe for reactivity, for cost, to put on a certain look (ex. damascus patterns), or maybe it's easier to forge straight (that one is a guess, I have no idea about forging)