Get out your salt shaker! Another review!

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by phaedrus, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I just got my Moritaka KS today! Normally I don't think it's a good idea to post a review of a brand new knife but I've used and sharpened enough Moritakas that I think it's safe; in this case I know the knives very well, I'm just basically looking at the geometry/profile.

    As I mentioned in a review I worked up, I got off on the wrong foot a bit with the KS. Originally I wanted an Ultimatum but both the SS & Carbon were out of stock. Since I'm a fan of Moritaka and they're supposed to be basically the same grind I figured I'd buy it instead. But after I ordered the KS and before it arrived, the RU's were back in stock! [​IMG] Briefly I considered asking Mark if I could return it and get the Ultimatum but I decided against it for a couple reasons. First off I have really been wanting to try this one and secondly I'm gonna get a RU anyway when the M390 comes in. At any rate, I'm really glad I kept the Moritaka!

    Right out of the box this is a dead-sexy knife! The handle has the nicest figuring/grain I've yet seen on a Moritaka. Fit and finish was great with a couple exceptions. The knife wasn't quite straight, which is really pretty common and not a big deal. The factory edge was pretty poor for a Moritaka. I don't care a whit about that as I always sharpen a new knife before use but someone that doesn't have 50 water stones might be a bit bummed by the the OOtB edge. The issue that was a bit irksome was a pretty noticeable "under-grind" of the heel. I'm not sure what a nOOb would have done with the knife; it would have been tricky to fix if you'd never seen it before. Of course, on the other hand I work on a lot of knives. I notice things that your average home cook doesn't, so maybe a casual user wouldn't have cared.

    But once I knocked the heel down things stared to get really good. I sharpened it up with the following progression: Atoma 140 > Shapton 320 > Leather belt > Chocera 800 > Chocera 2k > Chocera 3k > Chocera 5k > "Snow White" > Chocera 10k > CKtG (JNat) Jyounsyunhonyama > Yaganoshima Asagai > 'Roo leather. Wow! As with other Moritakas and Aogami knives in general it took a spectacular edge. The convexity really eliminates nearly all the stiction. While it's no laser it's thin enough behind the edge to be a great cutter.

    And certainly the profile is DEAD ON! I absolutely love the very large flat spot on this beauty. After one day of use I can tell this is the profile I've been searching for for years! It's about like my Akifusa but with a bit more knuckle clearance.

    Aside from a couple minor QC items peculiar to this one specimen it's hard to imagine how this one could be improved upon. The KS is an awesome blade! As good as it is in it's own right it makes me even more excited to get my hands on an Ultimatum, which should be a very similar grind, in M390 and/or 52100.

    The general caveats apply:  CKtG pays me $1 mil a year to love these knives, plus a company Koenigsegg Agera R.  Your swag may vary./img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  2. the meal man

    the meal man

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    Phaedrus, Thanks for the feedback on the Moritaka. After your feedback I went an looked at my AS 180 Nakiri. Just noticed that the first two inches on my heel was a little under-ground too. Also, good to hear about the KS profile. I have a few HD's but the closest thing I have to that prifile is a nice little think Yusuke 210 Wa-gyuto. I'm also waiting in line for a RU 390 from Mark too. All I can say is that you better be fast with the mouse when that e-mail comes out. ;)
     
     
  3. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    Hahaha!  I will have some tricks up my sleeve to get there first!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif   And if that doesn't work I'll pitch a fit, then pretend I didn't want that stupid knife anyways!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
     
  4. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    BTW, with under-ground at least you have the chance to fix it (if you don't eff it up).  Overground is a truly special breed of headache...
     
     
  5. the meal man

    the meal man

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    I told Mark I wanted to be the first person to review it over you and BDL and salty. When I last checked with Mr mark he said that they were in the heat-treat phase. So i'm assuming they'll be out soon. I'm looking forward to that KS profile for fast chopping/prep. something that I can make a little more board noise with but not worry about having to touch/strop so much. Curious is the 390 steel is even better thatn the other two flavors? Do you know anything about this M390? Goole just comes up with the manufacturer and same description as mark has on his site.
     
     
  6. duckfat

    duckfat

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    That's a bit of an understatement. There was a thread on Dave Martell's forum talking about the problems that Moritaka had with that issue. Buying a Masamoto KS may be the most cost effective option if you wind up with a headache that got out due to lousy QC @ Moritaka. Worse yet it sounds like the company wasn't very receptive to making things right for those who got burned.

    Dave
     
  7. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I think Dave doth protest too much about the Moritakas.  Or at least his luck has been worse than mine.  I've owned, used and/or sharpened quite a few of them and I've run across no more issues with them than any other handmade knife.  The rare issues I've seen have been fairly easy for me to fix, and they're really terrific knives.  The HT always seems to be great, and every one I've seen takes about as good an edge as I've seen on Aogami.  Of course, to each his own. 

    The Masamoto really isn't a very good option is you want Blue, though.  All of them are White, IIRC.  It also costs half again what the Moritaka does.  The customer service of Moritaka is irrelevant if  you buy from CKtG.  I have every confidence that Mark will make sure you're taken care of in the rare event that you get a lemon.

    I'm often torn; I love white for the ease of sharpening but blue seems to hold the edge longer for me, especially at work where we have poly boards./img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
     
  8. mano

    mano

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    Dave sharpens knives for a living and has sharpened many thousands of them, so his experience with Moritaka's is pretty deep and vast.  Thus, his refusal to work on them because of the high percentage of unfixable overgrind problems.  He guided me away from them a while back because of the grind problems, but said the profile and steel was good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  9. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I can't comment on Mr. Martell finds unfixable.  I can only say I haven't run across one yet that I couldn't fix.
     
  10. kitchen beast

    kitchen beast

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    I got a Moritaka ks and I like it alot actually. If "grind issues" worry you this much check with Mark about inspecting one for you before he ships it. He told me I could return mine for a refund if I was unhappy with it. Ive never used the Masamoto ks before so I cant really compare the 2 but Ive used enough white steel in my day to know that I much prefer Augami Super steel or Blue steel for gyutos. At this point I feel like slicers and sujihikis and pettys might be great for white 2 due to the ease of sharpening and superior sharpness but my gyutos take a pounding on both work poly boards and my home cutting boards and white steel gyutos cant keep up. The difference in edge retention really is night and day.
     
  11. duckfat

    duckfat

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    A lot of users have had problems with the Moritaka so it's not as simple as one person complaining a bit too much. It shouldn't happen on a knife like this at all and with Moritakas response I just avoid this brand. There's just too many other  choices at this price point to gamble. This sort of thing is exactly why foreign buyers can be reluctant to try new knives. I'm not a fan of linking to other forums but in this case it may be beneficial to others.

    Dave

    http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/5881-Moritaka-strikes-again
     
  12. kitchen beast

    kitchen beast

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    The last comment on that link may be the most important.
     
  13. kitchen beast

    kitchen beast

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    Sorry, I meant no chops last post on the second to last page.
     
  14. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Moritaka is not exclusive to a single vendor or e-tailer so I think that post was probably moot to the OP who was in Denmark. Others were able to get them swapped out by Moritaka but wound up with similar head aches on the replacement.

    Dave
     
  15. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I would agree that a Moritaka isn't what I'd recommend for somone's first J-knife.  The Moritaka KS is pretty badass, though.
     
  16. mano

    mano

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    In my experience, Mark at CCTG gives excellent customer service.  But the issue here is the higher than average potential serious grind problem on an otherwise very gook knife.
     
  17. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    It will minor enough that I didn't feel it was necessary to send back.  Obviously not everyone would feel the same.  One issue for me is that, in my experience, other makes of handmade knives exhibit the same rate of "quirks" as Moritakas.  If you're not comfortable with this fact, either stick to machine made factory knives of deal with a vendor that will support the product.  CKtG certainly falls into the latter group.  That said, I also think it's a good idea to learn how to fix some of this stuff yourself unless you are content to avoid getting off the beaten path.