Tamahagane San Tsubame Knives vs. Robert Welch vs. Wusthof Ikon Creme -

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by tommybluez, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. tommybluez

    tommybluez

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    Hi there!

    I was close to getting Robert Welch Knives... I just like the looks of them and read some good reviews.  However, I think they're a bit light (I tend to prefer a heavier knife)

    I ran across the Tamahagane San Tsubame Knives... 

    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/tamahagane-san-tsubame-pakkawood

    I think they're gorgeous... however, I cannot really find any thoughts/reviews on them.  I found a review of the plain Tamahagane San (non patterned blade, little different) -- their complaint was the blade was a bit thin and slightly flexible and the knife was lighter.  According to the description on C&M, the Hammered Blade tapers less and is heavier so I'm wondering if that would fix that issue.

    Anyone have experience with them?

    I also ran across a review of the Wusthof Ikon Creme - which basically said they're a great knife.

    I want something that looks a little different than the usual, which is another reason I think I'm drawn to these three.

    I would appreciate and welcome your comments and thoughts...

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. tommybluez

    tommybluez

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    anyone?
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    It looks like they used a lesser steel to drop the prices and keep the look of hand crafted steel.

    I think the Tamahagane San Tsubame knife series has the hallmarks of marketing looks over substance at reduced prices.
     
  4. tommybluez

    tommybluez

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    The more I'm slowly finding from searching, I think you're right.  They're thinner and don't seem worth the money, other than being pretty.

    The Wusthof's from what I've learned on this forum are solid, decent knives, but for the price nothing spectacular.

    Does anyone have any experience with Robert Welch Signature Knives?

    How about a recommendation for a Chef's knife (8-10") -- I don't necessarily have a preference over Western/Japanese.  

    I want something that will perform well for a home chef.  hold a good edge, and something a little unique/different.  I don't really care for the very standard/old school wood/etc. handle w/ the three rivets.  I realise I may be sacrificing a little usability for 'good looks' but am willing to do so, a little bit.

    Oh, budget wise --- $100-200 for the chef's knife.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    If you want something that looks different but still performs well, the Ikea Slitbar VG10 Damascus clad 8" chefs is a surprising performer for $50.00. I just wish they made it in a 10"

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90131068/ 

    Others will likely be along with other suggestions of higher quality.
     
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I don't have any experience with the particular Tamahaganes, but hear they're decent value for the money.  I think you may be confusing which knife is heavier and stiffer -- it's the patterned knife which has less taper and is heavier. 

    The Robert Welch knives are decidedly unspectacular.  I hate their handles and ridiculous profiles, of course that's ultimately a matter of taste.  Who knows?  Don't let the DIN specs they give fool you.  They're made from the same X50CrMoV15 so many German knives are made from, but less well hardened.  FWIW, the Ikons (of any handle color or material) are made from X50CrMoV15, are better hardened, have a more streamlined and agile profile than typical German knives.

    Most skilled cutters prefer lighter to heavier knives for regular duty cutting.  "Heft" nearly always feels better in the store, but loses its charms after even a few minutes on the board.   Heavier knives might have a slight advantage over lighter knives when both knives are very dull, but lighter knives tend to be thinner, and thinner knives at least act sharper -- everything else being equal.  That's not to say there's something wrong with you if you prefer a heavy knife with a German profile typical of German makers over the new trend to lighter, French profiled knives as made so well by Japanese makers.

    Good knives begin with good sharpening.  Have a plan.  Don't waste your money on a good knife if you can't do a good job of sharpening.

    BDL
     
  7. deputy

    deputy

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    These are really neat knives and gret value. Just have to really look though them to check them out for decent F&F as that can be lacking in what I've seen.
     
  8. deputy

    deputy

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    To add to my poorly spelled (thank you, iPad keyboard) statement above...the Slitbars also seem to react in a "carbon" kind of way...either that or I just didn't wash it well enough (although I'm pretty sure that I couldn't have washed it much better). The knife left a bit of "residue" when I cut cheese with it...like it made the food look dirty. Wife didn't like that so it went back really quickly.
     
  9. exerie

    exerie

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    Actually, that's a load of crap, I've used that exact type of Tamahagane for near two years now, I've never been as pleased with any knives, and when it comes to materials, they're superior by far, I've had to sharpen them only three times, with a usage of 2 - 5 hours/3-5 days a week.
     
     
  10. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Interesting, tell me more.

    2 years @ 3-5 hours/day = 2,190 to 3,650 hours of use

    Divided by 3 = 730 to 1,217 hours per sharpening, that is fabulous!

    What do you use to sharpen with?
     
  11. samual jake

    samual jake

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    I am an owner of the Robert welsh box set and have used them in mitchlin kitchens and so have the head chefs. I'm aware of the other knives you are talking about but I can assure you they will make the grade. Happy cooking , live the dream.
     
  12. samual jake

    samual jake

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    Also the Robert welsh font give you the rough skin most knives like golble will give you
     
  13. joaquin robles

    joaquin robles

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    I own several Japanese knives.  I own the 8" San Tsubame, 10" Kikuichi and several different sized Shun.  My Tamahagane isn't the most expensive knife I own, but it's the one that I grab for first.  It was recommended to me by a knife designer in Santa Monica.  I was in need for a good knife, he assured me that this was a quality piece.  At that time I was starting culinary school and wanted something that would stand up to the abuse of school kitchen.  I'd already had some experience with Japanese knives and after seeing the knife I loved the handle shape and material and the steel of the hammered blade seemed fantastic.  About that time I got a full time job as a prep cook where I used my Tamahagane everyday.  At first I wasn't very happy with it, it didn't seem to cut like my other knives, it didn't seem as sharp.  I took it down to Japanese knife imports in Venice, CA where Jon the owner thinned the blade out a little and gave it a good sharpening, from that point on I have been in love with this knife, as of the time that I'm writing this I'm in the market to buy a couple more of Tamahagane line.  As an ancillary benefit, everyone who picks up my San Tsubame tells me how much they like it.  I've even had a couple of "knife experts" compliment it.
     
  14. tallman

    tallman

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    My wife just bought me a Tamahagane san Tsubane for Christmas. It drops through food like it's not even on the table. The weight is awesome and well balanced. I also have a Bob Kramer 8" chef. It was almost $400 and I think it's less responsive than the tamahgane. I highly recommend it, especially at that price point.
     
  15. rick alan

    rick alan

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    You Gotta love these 1 post wonders.
     
    millionsknives likes this.
  16. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    My carbon steel Sabatiers make me happy.

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/laser.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif
     
  17. benuser

    benuser

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    I don't know why, tonight I just use my Nogents after straightening on Cr2O3. Inclusive edge some 50 degree.
     
  18. vlad40

    vlad40

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    I just started purchasing the Miyabi Artisan (6000) series of knives and have been extremely pleased with looks, cutting performance right out of the box, great balance, and superb grip comfort.  If you have a Sur la Table or similar kitchen store in your area, I would recommend going there and "test drive" a few different brands and styles and see which ones feel "right" to you.
     
  19. foody518

    foody518

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    A shame that close to none of the nice knives I own can be found in your typical brick and mortar kitchen store.
     
  20. foody518

    foody518

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    Wow. I looked back on this and realized how arrogant that could be taken.

    My meaning - Can't really buy carbon steels knives at most brick and mortars. I largely can't hold in my hand things made by small scale operations or individual craftsmen. Big limitation. In a way I'd say a false limitation in a way, and kind of insulting to people who want more choices. Considering how many quality knives are out there but just not in a typical kitchen store in the US, it's a crying shame how much we can't 'test drive'.