Tanaka 240mm Sujihiki - Experience and opinion?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by vlad40, May 13, 2016.

  1. vlad40

    vlad40

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    Does anyone here have any first-hand experience with a Tanaka Sujihiki?  I am specifically looking at the Tanaka 240mm (R2).  I can't seem to find any reviews on this knife crafted by Mr. Tanaka.
     
  2. foody518

    foody518

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    http://www.knivesandstones.com/tanaka-240mm-gyuto-r2-ironwood/ Reviews on the gyuto. It's a line that has sold well whenever it was stocked at certain e-tailers. I suppose some of the lack of reviews now are from sellers that used to have listings for the knives but don't stock em anymore so they look the listing down.
     
  3. vlad40

    vlad40

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    Ahhhh!  That could well explain things :)  I've had similar results when looking for more info on the Saji R2 Sujihiki.
     
  4. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    There are many many reviews on the Tanaka R2, maybe not on retailers, but certainly on forums.  It's well regarded but pricey.   Certainly is a looker
     
  5. vlad40

    vlad40

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    Thanks, MillionsKnives.  I'll start searching other forums.  I am in no great hurry to buy and want to make sure I don't regret whatever purchase decision I make one week or one decade down the road. 
     
  6. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    My only comment is that for what I use a sujihiki for,  240mm is too short
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  7. foody518

    foody518

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    Honestly that's probably why the 240mm sujihiki is still in stock. 270mm and 300m seem to be the more popular sizes.
     
  8. foody518

    foody518

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    I'm guessing you're into bling? Keep looking through knivesandstones. Great craftsmanship gorgeous handles.
     
  9. vlad40

    vlad40

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    MillionsKnives/Foodie518,

    The more I ponder thoughts on the knife length, the more I am in agreement that 240mm may indeed be too short to cover the full range of what I may be slicing - all the way from 6lb hams to 20+lb turkey.

    I was looking at the 240mm because I tend to use the smallest, most nimble tool for whatever job is at hand.  

    Back to the proverbial drawing board.  :)

    ........... and I actually strongly dislike "bling".  The set I am replacing is 25 y/o Zwilling Professional S.  I am looking for knives that comfortably fit my hand (which eliminates the standard German handles because they feel like I'm gripping a machete), low maintenance and will last me for the rest of my life.   
     
  10. foody518

    foody518

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    Ah. I said that because it seems like you found the 'bling' kind of knives - the Miyabi Artisan and the Tanaka R2 (faux Damascus pattern with R2/SG2 steel, more elevated above a standard handle).

    You could consider something like this
    http://m.ebay.com/itm/381356223535?_mwBanner=1
     
  11. vlad40

    vlad40

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    Very interesting!  I haven't tried using a knife with a traditional Japanese handle (wa?).  Hopefully I'll know more after my foray to the "big city" tomorrow.  :)

    1.  Are there any sanitation issues or special handling concerns with this type of construction?  

    2.  Is this style typically blade-heavy like their German counterparts?
     
  12. foody518

    foody518

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    It's what I thought of as a big alternative to big Western knives with western handles.

    Just wipe the blade and handle totally dry, paying some care to where the blade enters the handle. Apply some mineral oil to the handle if you find it feels dry or is feeling a bit 'hairy' to you (the wood fibers, when wet, may feel raised)

    My understanding is the German knives run more towards handle-heavy than blade heavy, with the construction of the handle and bolster/fingerguard area. Japanese knives, especially those with these wa-handles made of a lighter wood, tend to be quite light overall, but the balance point is at or forward of a pinch grip. Maybe a different balance for Sujihiki but no personal experience- I own mainly gyutos.

    Edit: Or, if you are okay with some additional maintenance (don't leave blade wet/with juices on it, wash and dry promptly, light coating of oil if storing for a while) and the look of a crazy patina (from meat juices), get yourself a dragon Misono Swedish Sujihiki  :)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  13. foody518

    foody518

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    You know, with sujihiki, you're probably just doing long slicing motions anyways, probably with the hand gripping the handle as opposed to a pinch grip on the blade. I don't know how much balance matters in that usage.
     
  14. vlad40

    vlad40

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    Great point!  I hadn't thought of that.  I know that with most of my cutting, the balance point within an inch of the handle (the choil?) seems to be the most comfortable for me, but in slicing work (drawing motion) a somewhat blade-heavy knife makes perfect sense. 
     
  15. foody518

    foody518

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    Also, it's probably not a knife you'll use for a long time at a time. Nor are sujihiki heavy. That Sakai Yusuke I linked earlier is like 4 ounces. 

    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/SwedenSteelSeries.html#SwedenSteel Even with a less laser blade construction and the western full tang handle, the 270mm sujihiki is like 6-6.5 ounces.

    I'm thinking balance point isn't worth worrying about much in either way when discussing sujihiki, but am still trying to puzzle out your 'German knives are blade-heavy' remark, unless you're a handle gripper and not a pinch gripper for general knife/prep usage.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  16. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I use pointer grip
     
  17. vlad40

    vlad40

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    I tried a couple of Japanese knives with wa handles last weekend.  I really liked the light weight of the knives I handled, but I'm still not sure if I am all that sold on the traditional Japanese style handles.  

    I am a handle gripper and point with my thumb or index finger when I cut.  And my fingers never touch the blade below the spine with any grip.  

    My Henckels larger knives have the balance point >1" forward of the handle/bolster.  With the 290g chef's knife I find it difficult to be as precise as I would prefer.  It just feels awkward.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/surprised.gif
     
  18. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    This is the grip.  You would have little control holding it by the handle.

     
    foody518 likes this.
  19. carlmills

    carlmills

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    Hi y'all , I'm new here and this is my first post.

    I agree with you re the traditional Japanese style handles. I've tried every kind of handle possible including German style and much prefer handles with balance. I don't understand the appeal of handles because they're unbalanced.

    When I was rookie in the armed forces, we had machines to cut vegetables but sometimes cut by hand using knives that we had laying about.. needless to say, we didn't have anything of quality like can be bought these days so cutting was hard and long and blades were blunt. Over the years I have come to prefer knives with weight balanced evenly between the handle and blade so that my cutting rhythm flows so I find traditional japanese handles bad.

    I own several Henkels and like the handles but find they tend to break carrots rather than cut them. These days I prefer Gyuto and Santuko knives with modern handles. I like the combination of western style handles with balance and the thin, lightweight instruments from Japan.
     
  20. foody518

    foody518

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    @CarlMills  Isn't that also  a function of where one grips the knife?