What's so bad about the Sakai Takayuki Hammered Damascus?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by vic cardenas, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    I just got a christmas present from my wife. I'm sure you remember my Nakiri/Usuba thread I made about a month ago. Well, the wife got me the Sakai Takayuki Nakiri....


    I've seen a few posts saying it's not a great knife. I'll admit, it has a few minor F&F issues.... nothing that really bothers me. It's a little heavy. Again, not enough to bother me. It's made with vg-10. I know most people here aren't too crazy about vg-10. But is this a "bad company" for vg-10? (meaning is the heat treatment good?)

    But, despite all that, I love the knife. It's edge wasn't super sharp OOTB but I never sharpened it yet, only honed it, and it still slices paper well. I've gone almost 2 weeks of professional use with it and have gone through quite a few onions and several pineapples and the edge is still quite sharp (OMG, I even use it on a poly board). It still goes through a tomato great. Although, I think it is time to put an edge on it, after all that. 

    Everybody at work seems to love the knife too.  

    Now, I'm not really looking for reassurance from a forum about my knife. I love it. Nothing would change that. 

    I'm just mainly asking what's so bad about it? Should I be really careful not to chip it?

    I think I'm considering buying the wa handled Gyuto version of this knife I like it so much.  

    PS... Also, are Yoshihiro knives on Amazon the same (re-branded) as Sakai Takayuki? Or, are they knockoffs?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  2. benuser

    benuser

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    If I remember well BDL found it very thick. Even if that were the case with yours, that isn't too dramatic. With some fine tuning a originally thick knife can perform greatly. As with every blade, you will have to adapt it according to your kitchen and sharpening skills. Nothing to really worry about. Just enjoy it - it's a gift from your wife afterall.
     
  3. ordo

    ordo

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    Time ago, i bought a 240 mm. gyuto Togiharu Hammered Damascus, which, as I know, is the same blade as yours. I liked it so much that I bought a nakiri, a santoku and a petty. Here they are:


    I've been using them for some years now. They are good blades. The very minor FF details were easy fixed with a little dry-wet sandpaper and epoxy (tiny gaps in the bolster, where the blade enters the handle). The steel is a snap to sharpen and touch on strop, but on the soft side of hardness, 57-58 I guess. So, you can't expect too much edge retention in a pro environment but not easily chipped also. Blade geometry is great and tapers beautifully. Concerning the look, I love it. It's rustic and refined at the same time. Hope you enjoy your knife as much i'm enjoying mine.
     
  4. benuser

    benuser

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    One more remark on VG-10 if you don't mind. In the most cases not the steel, nor the maker or its HT are to blame, but the sharpener who should reconsider his procedures, especially on deburring. Don't expect VG-10 to behave like 1095. The burr won't get loose by itself. It has to be abraded. Once you master this your sharpening of ANY steel will have become much better.
    Please remember most knives perform much better once the factory edge has been removed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  5. franzb69

    franzb69

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    those also look a lot like yoshihiro hand hammered damascus knives. which they probably are.

    i like the hand hammered texture aesthetically. and yes the fit and finish is lacking, super pointy spine and choil. i sanded it down and now feels a lot better. the bolsters rust if you're not watching out for it. 

    edge retention kinda sucks as well, my tojiro dp is better at edge retention and they're both vg10.
     
  6. alacarte

    alacarte

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    Sorry to revive a zombie thread did a search n found it, i just recieved a sakai takayuki santoku in the mail today, not bad for the sale price of $111 from cktogo, paid for it 8 days ago and recieved it, from the states (im in australia) first thoughts is its nice and light and quite thin compared to kramer zwilling ive been currently using, factory edge is quite sharp too, it feels very nice, a lil cheap compared to my head chefs kikuichi which i wanted but cant afford 300 atm lol.. ive got a 9 day week at work starting tommorrow so will give it a good flog and see how it compares with the kramer for heavy duty chopping, but to be fair, i bought it mailnly as an in service knife to have on my board for small tasks like slicing micro herbs for gsrnish, slicing chicken to order etc...
     
  7. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I haven't noticed this thread but all I can say to this is....FI-NAL-LY, let's please end that crap that vg10 depends on the maker and the heat treatment. I couldn't agree more with you, Benuser. Once you know how to sharpen vg10 (and any other steel) and deburring it thoroughly (especially steels like vg10 and the other steel like those Fujiwaras FKM are made off), you will end up with a stunning knife. I have a lot of vg10knives and I like them all!

    And I have another similar knife like the Sakai for years now, a 210 mm to be exact, here in the company of a Hattori 240mm. My idea of those Sakai types; well worth every cent;

     
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  8. raibeaux

    raibeaux

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    "Once you know how to sharpen VG10".....

    Could someone be more specific, please?  I have one (RyuSen Damascus honesuki) and would like to know the correct procedure, and how it's different.

    Thanks.
     
  9. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    Yup, when I sharpen this knife I tend to sharpen at a 50/50 and a pretty acute angle. I run it through a cork to de-burr. I then strop it at a much higher angle to get sort of a microbevel and it helps to de-burr it further. It gets pretty dang sharp like that and holds it's edge quite a bit better than some of my other knives. I've never really had the problem of getting a wire edge with this knife with that method. I tend to get worse wire edge problems with my AEB-L knife, believe it or not. But, I sharpen that knife differently. 
     
  10. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    When sharpening VG10, I now use my 1k/6k King combo stone in complete sharpening sessions, plus my coticules for deburring or for a quick tuning between those complete sharpening sessions.

    I start on the 1k with the usual kind of downward pressure. When one side is done, I then several times drag the knives very gently through a piece of soft pinewood. Same for the other side and keep doing the same procedure until you obtain a nice cutting edge (you will feel the knife plunging deeper into the pinewood when deburring).

    Then further on the 6k using a lot less downward pressure and still dragging the knife through the pinewood as much as I like. I then end on the coticule natural stone (around 8k) using very little downward pressure. Again dragging the knife through the pinewood several times. You will end up with a stunningly sharp knife. And, a must when sharpening, do try to keep consistently the same angle on the stones.

    Maybe something on the pressure you use when sharpening; the more pressure, the more burr you are producing, the more you need to deburr. I'm all for using a lot of pressure on coarser stones and using very little pressure on finishing stone. Simple and very logical imo.
     
  11. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Your honesuki may be a sharpened on just one side like many other honesukis! I have a Fujiwara FKM honesuki which is also sharpened on just one side. I sharpen the same way as I just explained but obviously on just the one side but I do deburr also on the other side; as usual, sharpening on side A produces burr on side B of the knife. So, I always end up with a 99/1 or most likely a 95/5 sort of angle distribution.
     
  12. raibeaux

    raibeaux

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    Hi.  Thanks for the reply.  My knife is 50/50 double beveled.  Maybe 60/40, I suppose, but not advertised as such.  Would there be any difference in sharpening technique in this instance (double bevel)?
     
  13. benuser

    benuser

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    Start somewhere behind the edge, raise the spine little by little until you raise a burr, repeat at the other side. So you won't have to worry about angles and proportions, unless you want to change anything about the existing geometry.
     
  14. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Maybe something on the pressure you use when sharpening; the more pressure, the more burr you are producing, the more you need to deburr. I'm all for using a lot of pressure on coarser stones and using very little pressure on finishing stone. Simple and very logical imo.
    [/quote]


    Have to agree with your method, and maybe this being part of my normal technique is why I have enjoyed anything VG10 that I have sharpened including many Tojiro DP.

    One thing I do differently is once above 1k I reduce pressure against the stone as I progress towards the end of strokes on it.

    Then on the final stone sometimes also increase the amount of lighter strokes as well.

    One other thought that could be helpful beyond de burring on Pine (or other suitable soft wood) is to visually and physically feel or check for a wire or burr etc.

    For some it's all visual and can be helpful to have a decent jewelers type magnification glass, and others it's all feel and can be done on a fingernail or a super soft touch with a strop type pull etc against skin. NEVER EVER TRY THAT IN THE REVERSE DIRECTION OR EDGE FIRST! YOU WILL HURT YOURSELF!

    From my experience the problem for beginners (I'm guilty at one point in the past as well) is being able to identify the burr, and knowing how properly remove for the type of steel your working.

    Personally I found softer steels more of a problem due to larger burrs and extra time to grind them away (most seem to be the opposite though ) but found the harder to detect smaller burr more common with harder steels easier to deal with.

    Also curious if you guys with more vg10 experience find it more or less difficult than the other tool type steels?
     
  15. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    VG10 takes indeed more time and attention to sharpen than other steels. Carbon steels are so much more simple to sharpen.

    I believe you need to take more time with VG10 on the coarser stones (800- 1200) to really produce enough burr. And you're right Lenny, detecting burr is something that needs to be learned, especially on steels like VG10. I remove that burr systematically as I already explained. That means you have to be able to "feel" that burr first. I gently run a few fingertips close to the side of the edge while my hand stays very close and parallel to the side of the knife. One absolute must; do keep the knife absolutely still!!!!! Run your fingers along the edge, never drag the knife along your fingers or you will cut yourself.

    Don't proceed with sharpening VG10 before you produced some burr over the whole lenght of the blade and have removed it completely. Then go to polishing the edge on higher grits (4000-8000), using very little pressure, but do keep feeling for burr and keep removing it if any.
     
  16. lennyd

    lennyd

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    Chris its likely my next purchase will be carbon steel (still need to decide on type and blue, white, #1, #2 etc) but I think a bit part well be to be able to compare the sharpening and edge retention etc.

    I know the VG10 blades I have done are not as easy as the molybdenum steel In the Fujiwara FKM, and no comparison to the combo steel in the Konosuke HD, but still easier than the softer steels in Henckel or other knives I have done in the past.

    I have to admit the idea of being easier or more pleasant to work with than the HD is very intriguing, but I'm also contributing the cause to be partially from both the HD and carbons I'm considering top all be more expensive knives.

    Do you believe there still still be a advantage with less expensive ones?

    On a positive for vg10 I have a few people they I handle their sharpening for and most use the daily, but I'm only doubt them 1 or 2 times a year. Sure they really need to be done when I get them but that's more than acceptable for edge retention.

    Then again I am a fan of vg10, and even picked up a pocket knife with it, but it's waiting to get is first sharpening and the factory edge had a burr so can't wait to see if I can't make that issue go away, but for the price point I find the steel in general a real value.
     
  17. benuser

    benuser

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    What makes VG-10 interesting for non-knifenuts is its dulling curve. It gets crazy sharp right from the stones, loses that sharpness very quickly to remain almost forever at a sharpness level that will do for all kitchen tasks.
     
  18. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I have one vg10 knife, a Shun, and I have tried all the techniques here except using pine to deburr (cork is useless here), and after a dozen sharpening's this is how it goes:

    I sharpen to a fairly acute angle, and check to see that it easily whittles a hair (vg10 will certainly take a better edge than the German x50cr stuff).  There is no sign of a burr, obviously.  Then I take a few cuts through a steak and, low and behold, a huge honking burr appears.  It's maddening to me, really.

    I will try deburring the invisible burr on pine and let you know what it does for this particular knife.

    Rick
     
  19. benuser

    benuser

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    There's some plasticity in that steel. It may take some time before a burr pops up. Abrade it. No pressure please. Don't expect it to come off. If it does though, it leaves a damaged edge behind.
     
  20. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Well I'm hoping that ripping off the burr right after sharpening will leave behind perfect, unfatigued metal that will then hopefully take a proper edge. I've tried to abrade it as you described without success.  But really I feel this knife is hopeless (Phatch has come across similar shuns), even though I will continue to use it as a dedicated steak knife.  It has a meaty handle and shape that just seem to fit the use, the honking burr actually responds to steeling with just a few very light passes, and given the limited use it stays sharp long enough.

    Rick