Masakage Koichi vs Ikazuchi vs Syousin Chiku KU

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Hello folks! 

I am looking for options for my Gyuto, I am used to 210 but may buy a 240 since I am getting a new, bigger, cutting board. Anyway, as the title hinted I am looking for opinions/educated comparisons between these three guys mainly but I am also open to sugestions. Some aspects I would like to know about include thinness above the edge (I am looking for more of a laser performance) and at/near the tip, resistance to wear of the Kurouchi finish (for the Koichi vs Chiku), OOTB sharpness (although not as important), profile of the blade (looking for some flatness that doesn't feel unnatural) and fit and finish.

Thx 
 
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Laser thinner including at the tip - Ikazuchi

OOTB sharpness - get JKI to put an initial edge on the Ikazuchi

high fit and finish - spine and choil are eased on the Ikazuchi, comfy handle, everything is flush that should be

The 240mm weighs in at right around 5oz

How will you be sharpening your purchase?
 
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Hi Foody, thx for your answer. I have a 1000/6000 grit whetstone. Truth be told I am just learning to use the whetstones since before I had used only some rough ones to work with softer steels. I currently have a Masakage Kiri santoku by Kato and I must confess that I scratched the pattern of the blade when I messed up sharpening it for the first time.

Do you have any comments on any of the other two knives?

Thx again
 
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I insist in asking about the other two because there is no availability of the Ikazuchi 240... and I am seduced by the KU finish :). But not crazy enough about it that I would sacrifice much for having it.

Btw, I know who the smiths are for the Koichi (Kato) and Chiku (Kurosaki) both from Takefu but who is the smith behind the Ikazuchi.
 
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Hi victorero , good to hear you've got whetstones. I did the same to my first damascus patterned knife I sharpened on while just starting at sharpening, no worries. 

On the wide beveled knives, consider sharpening the wide bevel as well as the primary/microbevel at the very edge for your routine sharpening.

I don't have comments on the other two that aren't speculation. Just try and get a good idea (as you are doing) of what you are looking for and are okay with dealing with. 

It's worth contacting JKI and asking about timetable of restock and any other questions that may be able to be answered about that line. I don't know some of those details either, aside from that if you are looking for a laser-y knife with an admirable amount of stiffness, this performs up to task for that.
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/s...n-Kagero-Wa-Handled-Knives?highlight=ikazuchi

Also, I've found the Knifewear guys to be responsive to questions as well. If you're curious about distal taper/tip thinness on the Koishi 240mm, overall weight, durability of the KU finish, and other such factors, those are certainly questions worth directing to folks who see those knives regularly :3

Note that generally on these KU knives if you accidentally miss the wide bevel and slide up and grind the blade face, that KU is going to get at least a little scuffed up and it ain't coming back. As an example of what I mean, here's my polishing practice knife of ugliness 

 
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Thx, that's helpful. I was planning to go to knfewear and check the Koishi for myself while asking my questions about it since they have a store here in Calgary (where I got my Masakage). Also, is the Ikazuchi wide beveled?
 
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@victorero   Ikazuchi is absolutely not wide beveled.  It's thin the whole way up.  Wide bevel knives have to be thicker.

THere's no exact definition for this stuff but it is generally agreed upon 

Laser ~ thin from the edge to spine.  Doesn't taper very much from heel to tip.  They tend to be shorter knives.   As in short vs tall not short vs long

They were very popular 3-4 years ago and now knives that are thin behind the edge but are more significantly weighted, and taller,  are more popular.  There's no right or wrong it's just preference.  I have a konosuke collecting dust...

FWIW the syousin chiku looks like it has a nice grind.  Also the kurouchi cladding is stainless so I don't expect it will sharpen off too fast

 
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Thx, that's helpful. I was planning to go to knfewear and check the Koishi for myself while asking my questions about it since they have a store here in Calgary (where I got my Masakage). Also, is the Ikazuchi wide beveled?
No, it's not. But the other 2 knives look to be - meaning that as you sharpen and thin over time, your thinning should effectively hit everything under the KU finish.

Going to knifewear sounds like a great idea :)
 
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@victorero   Ikazuchi is absolutely not wide beveled.  It's thin the whole way up.  Wide bevel knives have to be thicker.

THere's no exact definition for this stuff but it is generally agreed upon 

Laser ~ thin from the edge to spine.  Doesn't taper very much from heel to tip.  They tend to be shorter knives.   As in short vs tall not short vs long

They were very popular 3-4 years ago and now knives that are thin behind the edge but are more significantly weighted, and taller,  are more popular.  There's no right or wrong it's just preference.  I have a konosuke collecting dust...

FWIW the syousin chiku looks like it has a nice grind.  Also the kurouchi cladding is stainless so I don't expect it will sharpen off too fast

Thx, what makes this a nicer grind than  the one on the Koichi? I can see that the Koichi is more of a 50/50 bevel while the Chiku looks flatter on the left side (right in the pic) which is

similar to my Kiri to a certain extent but if there is something more please feel free to educate me, that's what I'm here for anyways :)

b217c57a7b0fdc8c19cb751498906011.png

 
FWIW I think this knife fits right in with what you like.  They go out of stock fast, if you see one in stock jump on it

https://www.japaneseknifeimports.co...240mm-kurouchi-stainless-clad-carbon-wa-gyuto
Looks like a nice suggestion (gorgeous knife) although sadly out of stock and a bit stretching my budget (up to ~250) as I was hoping that the Koichi would be the highest I would go in terms of price but I'm not set in stone there (Knitwear has the Koichi for what would be around 255 USD). I think I'm inching away from the Izakuchi if anything because it doesn't seem to have much of a flat spot at all. On the other hand, deciding between the Chiku and the Koichi may take me quite a bit longer, specially because I can only go and hold/try the Koichi while having to go by pictures and opinions on the Chiku. Ugh, decisions decisions...

Thx again.
 
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Nothing i just couldn't find a picture of the koichi choil.  I don't think you can go wrong with any of those 4 choices.  The nice thing about buying from a brick and mortar store is you can check if it's warped, uneven grind, any problems with the handle etc and just grab another one.  These things are hand made so there is variation knife to knife even in the same batch.  
 
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The Ikazuchi has a well done continuous curve kind of profile that works fine for push cutting with some horizontal glide-through.


Let us know when you have a chance to see the Koishi and put it to a board to see what the curvature and flat spot there is like.

If you can hold off for a month, the Koishi will be discounted 15% in Knifewear's February Masakage sale.
 
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Great tip about the Masakage sale! I can definitely hold myself for a while. I am actually quite busy right now but when I have a chance will go to knifewear and take pictures of the Koichi on a board for you guys. May be in a week or so if I can squeeze the time because it takes me ~2h of commute (non-driver here) + the long time drooling over their knives :).  Btw, your Ikazuchi looks gorgeous with the patina on. 
 
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@MillionsKnives  I attached a picture of the Koichi choil but I don't have permissions to post pictures so it didn't show up. They have one at Knifewear (can't post external links...). I  also feel like it's nice to go to a local store if it's possible but the other options are also very interesting. With the sale mentioned by @foody518 the Koichi is even more within my budget so it's gaining some traction.  
 
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Thinness at the tip end is nice in regards to a distill taperthere of about 3.5",  but really only comes in handy when doing horizontal cuts through onion.
 
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Thinness at the tip end is nice in regards to a distill taperthere of about 3.5",  but really only comes in handy when doing horizontal cuts through onion.
Thats exactly what I want the thin tip for, onions are probably the number one item that my chopping block sees...even for my breakfast eggs (omelet, shakashuka, scrambled...). 
 
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Great tip about the Masakage sale! I can definitely hold myself for a while. I am actually quite busy right now but when I have a chance will go to knifewear and take pictures of the Koichi on a board for you guys. May be in a week or so if I can squeeze the time because it takes me ~2h of commute (non-driver here) + the long time drooling over their knives :).  Btw, your Ikazuchi looks gorgeous with the patina on. 
I think I found a choil shot of the Koishi online and it looks pretty good if you can pick out one with that thin grind. There's about a ~60g weight difference between it and the Ikazuchi. Just keep thinking on if you are wanting to try laser or something with a bit more weight

Thanks! Looks cool as a contrast to the fairly polished blade face.

Rick - thin tips are nice for super easy tap chopping mushrooms too!
 
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Yeah, when I get to Knifewear I will be looking at that but in their choil shot it looks comparable in terms of thinness to the Chiku. TBH I am still on the fence with respect to weight but I guess picking the knife up will help me in that regard.
 
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And... I couldn't wait and dropped by Knifewear, here are the pics of the Masakage Koichi 240... mostly, and then the 210 and the 210 and 240 Masakage Yuki. After taking them in my hands and looking closer the Koichi doesn't have a super thin tip and the balance point is about 3/4" in front of my pinch grip so it's not supper nimble but I really liked the feeling. Coming from a big german knife I think it felt somewhat familiar. I've got the distinctive feeling that I will get the Koichi 240 and perhaps the Yuki 210 (if I can) to go along with the Tojiro Petty 150 I already ordered and my Kiri Santoku.

Sorry that the pictures aren't very good but I had to improvise in-store.


Koichi 240


Koichi 210


Yuki 240



Yuki 210



As you can see, very similar profiles and no flat spot at all but I have come to terms with that. Maybe in the future I will experiment with a laser or near laser.
 

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