Hattori FH or Konosuke HD2 or something else?

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Hi every one !

I've been reading posts on this forum for quite a long time now (especially BDL comments - no offense for the other members!), as I had in mind the purchase of a lifetime knife set.

I'm here today to get the final feedback before my purchase - can't wait for it !

To summarize my needs: I'm a home cook who cooks for my familly, and for familly meetings.

I'm mainly cuting vegetables (quite a lot of them, as I have a nice big familly), especially in the week end as we do lots of familly meetings (at leat twice a month). As I am "the guy who chops veggies" in my familly, I'm often on duty for prep work (we ususally cook for 15 persons).

I have a Wüsthof Ikon set for a couple of years now, but from the start, I had the idea to buy myself a set of lifetime japanese knifes, as I did not feel my german knives holding their edges long enough, or becoming very sharp compared to videos I saw.

I was decided to buy an Hattori FH set, but I read that VG-10 (which was once praised) is now outclassed by new steel types. As this investment represents quite a huge amount of money, I'll prefer to make my choice once and stick with it.

So I considered moving to a Konosuke HD2 set, but it's sold out nearly every where.

I'm now a bit confused about the choices I should do, could you please give me some advises?

The important things for me in my choice are: 

- Should be a "once in a life" investment

- Should have a set available on the same range (pairing, petty, santoku, gyuto, deba, boning, nakiri) (sound silly, but it's important for me). To be honest, the most important knife of the set would be the gyuto for me (eventually replaced by a Nakiri as I cut lots of veggies)

- Wa handle or western handle are fine

- Can be very sharp

- Hold the edge consistently (should not be stoned every week, but as my usage is less intensive than a pro, once in a month would be the good frame for me)

FYI, I'm using wetstones for sharpening for one year now. I take great care of my stuff. Knifes are maintained as well as my skills allowed to, and never stay wet or dirty.

Thanks a lot for your advises !
 
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A couple of quick things - I would not  eventually replace a gyuto with a nakiri. Maybe only for a Chinese cleaver eventually. But there aren't so many of those that are in full sets of knives...

The nakiri's length limitation hurts in some usages, especially if you are cooking for a lot of people and have big bunches of veggies you want to bunch together to prep. And they just don't make longer nakiris :( Just the other week prepping lots of green leafy vegetables for 6 I would have run into this issue using a shorter knife.


Depends on if you are truly okay with the the utter lack of a point and moderate size reduction.

Do you mean a true single beveled deba? Those need to be sharpened differently than the rest of the knives, and you may have a harder time finding a line that makes a full set of knives plus single beveled blades. 

Hattori FH will feel different from Konosuke HD2 because the Konosuke tends towards 'laser' type of thickness (or thinness). Even disregarding the steel, I don't know if it's appropriate to compare the two. First, if you can, try to establish what feel you want to have from these knives/if you are okay potentially buying 'lasers'.

Because of the size of the purchase and the price range you're looking at, I'd almost be inclined to suggest just buying 1-2 knives first, making sure you absolutely love them for the 'lifetime investment' kind of purpose, then if so, buying the rest. That's a lot of money to drop. And there's not necessarily a guarantee that if you like the gyuto from a certain line, that you'll like their boning or santoku. It all depends on how each of them fits your cutting styles and usages. 

Edit: pics
 
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Hi Foody, 

Thanks a lot for your feedback !

I think I did not explained properly what I meant with the Nakiri: I did not want to say that I will not buy a Gyuto if I buy a Nakiri, I meant replacing in term of usage: I'll probably use the Nakiri more than the Gyuto in everyday's duties. I totally agree that the Gyuto is the most important knife in the kitchen.

I totally agree with you when you propose to buy 2 knives to get a better idea of a knife line, that's what I intended to do (a 270mm gyuto and a petty for a start, and the rest after a couple of weeks of usage).

To be honest, I've never used a lazer knife before, but I tend to accomodate myself easily to a new type of knifes, that's why looking after the Konosuke was not a big deal for me.

Regarding the set, I once again totally agree with you, it's a general consensus that knives lovers prefers to have a "one of" of different brands in their arsenal, I admit that this is irrational from me :)

Last point: regarding the Deba, I know that the single bevel blade is very different from a double bevel, especially regarding sharpening, but I used Deba knifes a couple of times for fileting before, and I really enjoyed using them.

In fact, the purpose of this post is to know if I won't regret buying FH series knives, as it already seems to be outclassed by more recent alloys, steels etc. To be honest, I do not see why I will not like a lazer, as knife weight is not a crucial point for me. The most annoying thing would be to find the Konosuke, as all shops seems to be out of stock since a couple of months.
 
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Thanks for the clarifications. Seems like you're thinking about this in a smart way.  

My personal experience - my shorter knives go mostly unused because I just leave a massive 240-270mm gyuto accessible for my daily prep :) 

Deba - just make sure you watch good videos on learning to sharpen it, and keep your stones very flat :)

So if you think of the steel compositions as 'stats', some years back, there used to not be many good stainless alloys that could 'out-stat' VG10, if you will. But by now, that the fervor of it being one of the best stainless has died down. And with some of these stainless or semi stainless alloys like the tool steels and improvements in making knives with powdered metals cores (like SG2) not exceedingly brittle, most of those now have better stats with decent stain resistance but feel closer to carbon steels on the stones (for the case of what I think Konosuke HD2's steel is), or can reach higher hardness and have markedly more impressive edge retention. The Hattori knives are generally regarded as one of the few VG10 that don't present extra difficulty compared to other stainless in sharpening and deburring cleanly. But personally, when I use my VG10 knives, I don't think "man this knife has a lame outdated steel." They continue being able to cut how I need them to :)

I don't think you'd regret owning the FH unless you plan on going the crazy knife maniac route buying lots of things and comparing and contrasting and critiquing :). There's nothing about them that's changed that has made them anything less than quite good knives. The price range they occupy is just now much more saturated with good choices than it used to be.
 

Yeah...I don't know when you're going to amass a set's worth of HD2s because they seem to be always sold out. Have you considered some other options? If you're okay with stainless clad carbon, the Itinomonn knives from Japanese Natural Stones are pretty excellent. They have in-stock most of the knives if your ideal set. They even have a deba /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 
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"But personally, when I use my VG10 knives, I don't think "man this knife has a lame outdated steel." They continue being able to cut how I need them to :) "

THUMBS UP! [emoji]128079[/emoji][emoji]127997[/emoji]
 
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The demand for Japanese knives has been huge, not many makers are keeping up with demand.  Konosuke has a line of western handled knives that I German supplier had in stock not too long ago, I can look him up if you're interested.

Itinomon are a little thicker at the spine than a lazer but very thin at the edge where it counts.  On top of being reasonably priced they are available at Japanese Natural Stones.  Stainless clad but reactive V2 steel.

A while ago I was looking for a 240 laser suji, couldn't find a Konosuki or any other I wanted so got a Takamura Migaki 210 gyuto as an "interim" knife as it is a laser and of the R2 steel I really wanted.  For the fine slicing I intended it for it does just what I need so it is no longer an interim  knife.  

A lot of Geshin Gingas, easily a match for Konosuki, are back in stock, along with the Ikazuchi, 

https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/collections/gesshin-ginga
 
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Joined Feb 20, 2016
Thanks a lot for your feedbacks !

If you consider that I won't be disapointed with VG10 (now, or in 10 years), I'll probably buy myself the Hattori set I'm dreaming of, adding eventualy a Konosuke in the future to have a lazer in my kitchen.

I'm giving myself an extra week to think about that, and I'll order these wonders if my choice does not change.

Anyway, any other feedback in the meantime will be welcome ;)

I have another question regarding the sharpening stones: I have at the moment Chosera stones exclusively: 400, 1000, 3000, 5000 (you got it, I like having the same brand on a set). Is the 10 000 stone really a big plus compared to the 5000 alone? (as this particular grade is far from cheap).
 
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i also have the 5k. Totally agree with Benuser. It's a stone i rarely use anymore.

And for a home cook, going all the way to the #10.000 is killer. More stones, more angle mistakes. 
 
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Use anything above 2-3k just for stropping and deburring, or deburring only. All that edge refinement by full sharpening is rarely needed.
Forces you to improve technique when learning to sharpen though! :D And you get a feel faster for those different stones.

The Snow White 8k is a good stone. I also have a Naniwa Fuji 8k that I like and is cheaper than the Snow White from the Tools From Japan website. Two somewhat different feeling stones though.

2-3k to 8k jump should be fine, as well.
 
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Joined Feb 20, 2016
Hi guys, 

After one week of research on the internet, I'm adding the Akifusa and the Ryusen Blazen into the competition with the Hattori FH.

Does some of you pocess these knifes? how do they compared with the FH? (I've read that the powder steel can not be sharpen as sharp as a VG-10 blade, but keep its edge a lot longer). 

As I am not a pro, I can probably leave with a litle less sharpness, but the extra durability of the edge could be usefull?

(Again, these knifes are very hard to find, all shops seems to be out of stock...)

I also saw some feedback about the Nenox, do you have any comments about them?
 
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The Akifusa is a branded blade from an OEM who sells to several other brands.  I have the Geshin version of it and I am very impressed with the steel.  It's SRS-15 steel is not as fine-grained as R2, but it is still exceptionally sharp for stainless, has much better edge retention and is not as chippy as R2, once you work past the factory edge.  Still if you are going to do real board work a microbevel of 30+ inclusive is a good idea.  On both steels I just use light stropping strokes to get the microbevel, after finishing the initial angle with stropping strokes at about 10deg/side.
 
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Forgetting about the Nenox, you could round out your PM steel choices nicely by adding the Kohetsu HAP40, and the Takamura Migaki if you're OK with a 210, to your considerations.
 
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I alluded to the Kagero farther up as "the Geshin version" of the Akifusa, but admitedly should have used its name.  And also I'd take the Geshin Kagero over any of it's cousins, Jon's knives are always to his specifications, are always worth the few extra dollars sometimes charged, and you get a neat padded case with the Kagero's.

Rick
 
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Hi every one !

Finally, after very long thoughts, I sticked to my first idea: I ordered my first Hattori FH knifes (a 240mm Gyuto and a 120mm pairer) and I received them today ! To be honest, I still do not believe that I picked the 120mm instead of the 150mm... Excitement could lead to bad decisions sometimes...) 

I finally though that VG-10 knifes, even if they could be outclassed today by more recent alloys, would still be just fine for an home cook like me.

I've been dreaming of these knifes for something like 4 years, it really feels unreal to have these on my hands today !

The things that I can say so far:

- The packaging is absolutely gorgeous, knifes are carried with extreme caution in a very delicate box filled with satin-like cloths.

- The fit and finish is very high level. After a very close investigation, I have absoluetely nothing bad to say about that.

- The handle is an abolute marvel: by far the best handle I've experienced so far.

- Even if out of the box sharpeness is not a big deal for me, these little jewels were crazy sharp out of the box.

- Last but not least, and I specially wanted to stress this point: JCK has a very, very good service. The communication is excellent, the shipping is fast (these knifes have travelled 4000 km in less than a week...), and the ower/team is extemely nice.

All in all, I do not regret my choice, I am very very pleased with my purchase. After a couple of month of usage, I'll deceide wether I buy other blades from the set or move to something else.

Thanks a lot, to all of view, for your advises in this topic.
 
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Congratulations! It's always fun to finally get something you've wanted. Enjoy; I can't wait to hear your future comments as a user!!
 
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Congrats on the new gear!  I think you will be surprised how much better you can make the edge over the out of the box one.
 
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Huge congratulations!

It's really impressive how fast JCK gets stuff shipped internationally :)

Enjoy the knives! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif
 
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Joined Feb 20, 2016
Hi everyone !

After several months of use, I decided to update a review about the Hattori FH, as there are quite a lot of topics that are asking for advises, but not too many feedbacks of the writers after purchase. Here is mine:

I kept my Gyuto and Pairer for a month and a half before extending the Hattori Family in my kitchen.

Edge retention: to be honest, even for a home cook (very) enthousiast person, the edge retention is very good to say the least, and I would not really need a better edge retention, as my knifes are doing just fine (I sharpen them with wetsones only every month, and they only need little maintenance from "sharp" to super razor sharp. I could easily wait for another month before sharpening them again, but I prefer regular maintenance over big ones).

Sharpness: very;, very good, cutting veggies like butter with very little effort. Just after sharpening, these tools could really get extremely sharp compared to my previous set (Wusthof Ikon), there is absoloutely no possible comparison about the sharpness result between these two.

Profile: I can not stress how much I like the Hattori profile. I was used to the german profile before, and the FH seems so nimble, so agile, so precise compared to the german. This was a kind of revelation to me. It is hard to explain, but the knifes feels alive in your hand... 

Handle: just perfect. I was not sure about liking the wa handles, so I decided to stick to a western handle for the moment, and the Hattori handles are just fantastic. I've used a Shun a few weeks ago at a friend's home, and it felt so weird compared to the FH, even uncomfortable I would say. The thing is: I don't know if can will enjoy another knife line after this one...

Service: Again, perfect. JCK owner is such a nice person, very client oriented, helpful, answers emails extremely quickly. Shipping from Japan took a few days (3 to 4), nothing bad at all to say about the shop itself, I would highly recommend any potential customer to purchase at this store.

After a few months, I've loved this line so much that I decided to buy other knifes from the FH line. I am now the proud owner of a 240mm Gyuto, a 160mm Santoku, 120mm and 150mm petty, 70mm pairer, 165mm western Deba, 300mm slicer, and 150mm boning knife. If I had to do the choice again, I would definitely buy the same knifes. I was concerned about VG10 versus modern alloy performances, but for a home cook, VG10 is definitely enough to enjoy everyday, in terms of edge retention and sharpness, and the FH line is truely great for profile and handle.
 

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