Which knife might be closest to my ideal bunka?

Joined Dec 2, 2016
Hello, another newbie here:

I've been using Tojiro DP a friend bought 18 months ago, and finally decided I deserve a good knife (after 45 years!). I cook at home with some basic prep experience, poor technique (never had a class) but lots of practice (can handle knife without cutting myself).

What would be the closest to my ideal knife?

Shape like Kotetsu R2 Bunka 180mm


of HAP40 steel like Kohetsu HAP40 Wa Bunka 175mm


with Tsuchime finish like Kurosaki R2 Wa-Bunka 165mm


or  Kosey HAP40 Tsuchime Santoku 180mm


Here's why:


Grew up in Chinese restaurant and comfortable with Chinese cleaver (worked front of house, but also helped bone chickens and chop veg by the case). Gyuto and santoku shapes a bit pointy and narrow for how I'm used to shoveling masses of food around.


Love the upgrade to Tojiro DP so am excited about HAP40! Would happily choose R2 / SG2 steel but concerned about toughness -- read somewhere a blade was bent slicing sausage that had a tough tendon / cartilege, with chipping, and tips broken pretty easily? Also saw feedback that after flexing SG2 boning knife a little, it doesn't always go back into shape? Not that I'd be flexing a blade like this, but was surprising to read.


Food sticks to Tojiro DP, and tired of stuck veg accidentally re-chopped, or shoving food away after slicing. Anticipate entertaining more frequently for about 6-8, so volumes increasing.

? Are R2 / SG2 blades so easily bent and fragile, despite careful use?

? Does food stick to Kohetsu HAP40 Wa Bunka 175mm or Kotetsu R2 Bunka 180mm?

? Does Tsuchime on Yu Kurosaki work like "magic" as some claim?

I almost purchased Yu Kurosaki R2 Wa-Bunka 165mm (sadly now out of stock), but found thread about fragility of SG2 / R2.   Its a beautiful finish, right shape, and not had problems with equally-fragile Tojiro DP, but now wondering whether a HAP40 is wiser for longevity, due to increased toughness?

So which of the 4 knives I've discovered so far, or if there's another, that might be closest to my ideal goto bunka?       I do have other knives, found bargain clearance of Top Gourmet made by Solicut, bought about 7 for less than £15 each  :)
Joined Dec 18, 2010
I completely agree with Millions. For the task and the issues expressed either a Chinese cleaver or any decent knife and a bench scraper might be more effective. I run into the same concern (mostly when shredding cabbage for sauerkraut making) I use one of those options. The most useless (for me) knife buys I ever made was a "usaba/nakiri" style knife: too short and not enough carrying capacity when lifting food off the board and into the bowl.
Joined Dec 2, 2016
Many thanks for thoughtful comments and links, everyone! 

@MillionsKnives,   you're right, 165mm is too short, good thing it was out of stock!  Will stick with at least 180mm or so. 

Thanks for cleaver links and will seriously consider. 

My cooking has changed - not so much Chinese, and have been happiest grabbing the Tojiro for most everything. I'm wondering how much of my decision for a "good" knife, is the sheer joy of using such an instrument  :) .    

@BrianShaw,   recently picked up bigger scrapers and hadn't thought to use, what a great n simple suggestion!

@foody518,  will pick up inexpensive cleaver to mess around with, while out-of-stock. When I thought of a Chinese cleaver before, my reaction was  . . .  mmm...meh.  I realize now, that the cleavers I grew up with were genuine works of art, hand-hammered and kept seriously sharp -- not appreciated having grown up with them (was my grandmother's brother in kitchen)

Every time I pick up the Tojiro, I appreciate it.

New technology I can resist  . . .  but Uh oh, this can be habit-forming!   :)
Joined Nov 15, 2012
A small bunka or tall petty of high-tech steel is very handy if you do a lot of fine slicing of smallish product like cellery, garlic, shallots, broccoli stalks, etc.  I find you can go much faster with the small knife, and when you're chopping super-thin on the board your knife receives lots of wacks, so speed and edge-retention are key.  I have a special petty for the purpose and even though it's not tall it doesn't matter for the knuckle clearance because I am very good at using a modified pinch grip.

From what you are saying it does look like what would make you happiest is a nice gyuto.  You have the DP for spitting hard squash and such (still need god technique though, no twisting or slamming into the board), so maybe a laser like Takamura Migaki or Ikazuchi



But this Koshey might be a nice one, don't have any info on it at the moment


Knives from cktg aren't always the best craftsmanship, the Kohetsu line in particular.
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