(Another) Hattori kitchen knife review

Oct 3, 1998
I have previously reviewed a Hattori Santoku. You can see the knife
here: http://www.fallkniven.com/shop/hattori-produc/sk170.htm
To refresh your memory, the Hattori kitchen knives are constructed of
a san mai style steel, with VG-10 as the inner layer to form a hard
cutting edge, and stainless damascus out layers.

THE GOOD: The knife is absolutely beautiful. It also handles very
well. The convex edge is extraordinarily thin. Plain and simple, it
easily outcuts any kitchen knife I've ever tried. Even my
mother-in-law, who never notices knives, insisted on strictly using
the Hattori after she tried it. It doesn't seem to get dull.

THE BAD: After a few weeks, I noticed some very very tiny chips in the
VG-10. Then I handed it to a friend who carved a turkey with it, and
hit some turkey bones with reasonable force a few times. No other
chefs knife I have has had problems with this, but the Hattori chipped

THE CONCLUSION: The Hattori Santoku is a gorgeous, very well-done
piece that cuts astoundingly well. However, its duties should be kept
to cutting vegetables on a cutting board, tougher jobs can cause

Tom at Laganet then contacted me and offered to let me look at another
Hattori knife, seen here: http://www.fallkniven.com/shop/hattori-produc/th150.htm

It has a thicker edge, and Tom wanted me to try this out for more
general kitchen usage.

Regarding aesthetics, production values, and handling, see my old
Hattori review. This knife matches the Santoku: absolutely beautiful,
excellent fit & finish, handles like a dream. In use for everything
from chopping veggies, cutting meat, carving meat, it cuts like you
won't believe. Yes, the edge is thicker than on the Santoku. But it
remains fairly thin and performance continues to be outstanding. The
edge keeps from rolling or getting dull like no kitchen knife I've
used. The best news on this knife: no chipping! The slightly thicker
edge on this more general-purpose model has held up to everything I've
thrown at it.

My mother-in-law wasn't around, but my wife (who similarly has no
appreciation for knives) commented on it immediately, and how much she
loved cutting with it. I am constantly throwing new knives into the
block, and this is the first time she's ever commented on one (beyond
"What? Another new knife?").


These Hattori knives are expensive, especially for production knives.
However, even going with customs, you'd be hard pressed to see great
improvements in aesthetics or cutting performance. My recommendation
for the Santoku continues to be: use it as a veggie cutter only, not a
general chef's knife. The knife I just evaluated (What is it? A
chef's utility knife?) works very well for more general purpose
kitchen usage. It's a little small for a chef's knife, so if you're
interested in a Hattori chef's knife, ask Tom or James Mattis if any
of the big Hattori chef's knives have the thicker grinds.

Excellent followup Joe, can someone clarify the price - I did a quick conversion based on the comments in Joe's last review and the price on this blade comes out to about $210.

The Santoku would be $169US and the heavier Honesuki would be $196US at the exchange rate for wed.5/17/00>>1$US=9.1679$Swedish Krona< The US Dollar is HIGH right now in Europe$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$...Barry

[This message has been edited by Spim (edited 05-18-2000).]
Ouch! That's at full retail, I wonder if James Mattis is selling at discount? Even at discount, we're talking serious bucks.

Originally posted by Joe Talmadge
These Hattori knives are expensive, especially for production knives.
Yes, if it's hand made, that's only to be expected.

The knife I just evaluated (What is it? A
chef's utility knife?) works very well for more general purpose
kitchen usage.

"One of the most used knives in the Japanse kitchen is this honesuki which is used for lighter boning and polishing." (approximate translation from the web site)

... if any
of the big Hattori chef's knives have the thicker grinds.
Some of them do. But then we're talking quite a bit more money... one of them, the heaviest, is about twice as much.

Thanks for the review! I was quite influenced by the original review which noted the chipping and was waiting for a test of a thicker blade. This is very good news to me

Why would you want a less striking blade? How do these Hattoris compare to expatriate Canuck Carter's Japanese knives? I think at least one of his lines is relatively ordinary looking, but I have not seen them for sale on the net.
In that case, you better be careful about criticising the cooking, or the cook
Originally posted by Cliff Stamp:
Do they offer blades with similar performance but are not as visually striking?
I don't think so. I guess it depends on your taste, but actually I think the ones we're discussing <strong>are</strong> the less visually striking ones. The other series doesn't just cost <em>several</em> times more, they look like they do too.

Urban Fredriksson
Latest updates Al Mar Falcon Ultralight, Moki Hana, Fällkniven WM1 neck sheath

"Smooth and serrated blades cut in two entirely different fashions."
- The Teeth of the Tyrannosaurs, Scientific American, Sep 1999
Not much traffic on this thread at KF, so...

My wife bought me a Hattori Santoku for my birthday last month, and I've been using it since.

First - using a top quality stainless damascus kitchen knife is incredibly luxurious, and an experience I highly recommend. Thanks, hon!

Cliff - Less striking? Really? Can I get that Lamborghini with just primer? I can't stand bright, shiny clearcoat.

Now - As for the thin edge. Yup. Verrrry thin. Felt it the first time I struck cutting board. It definitely takes some "technique" to use a knife this thin and sharp. But easy enough - you make sure your movements are straight up-and-down or back-and-forth, and you've got no worries.

I have not seen a chip yet, however I have not done any serious meat cutting that involves bone. I have chopped a seemingly infinite number of carrots, though, and carrot chopping requires enough pressure where repetitive slamming into the cutting board could cause some chipping. None here!

The knife has been a sheer pleasure to use on vegetables (and the steaks, pork chops and boneless chicken breasts I've cut), and with the help of a Firestone wheel sharpener next to the cutting board, continues seperating matter like a friggin' laser.

I think that in looking at this knife, you really have to consider it a "for purpose" knife, specialized for a task - vegetable cutting. IMHO, it has proved itself not just adequate, but superior for this task. It has also prompted me to desire a second Hattori for the more "manly" tasks. I have no doubt that, for it's own purpose, it will be just as much of a pleasure to use.

Honestly, this thing is the Rolls Royce of kitchen cutlery. If you have the means...

AKTI Member #A000832

"Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, the bear eats you."

Thank you for taking the time to review the Honesuki. I'm glad you like it, too bad the moter-in-law missed out.

Sorry for not jumping in earlier, I've been away from any electronics for a little while and didn't catch the thread.

I gave the full line to Carol Heath to take photos of them for my web site and planned catalogue and I hope to have them this week. I'll post the pictures of the full line with detailed measurements as soon as I can.

Carol is George Tichbourne's wife and from the previews I have she has a real eye for detail with an artistic flair. I have great expectations.

I'll repost as soon as I get the site up.


[This message has been edited by LagaNet (edited 05-28-2000).]
I stopped by a local Japanese Tool and Hardware store today,(Hida Tool,in Berkeley) They sell mainly cutting tools for woodworking,the kitchen and flower arrangment..mostly woodworking. I asked about Hattori Knives. The woman said they didn't carry them but knew about them "They make hunting knives, not kitchen knives" I said I didn't know that and had only seen the kitchen knives..

She pulls out the Hattori Catalog the shop owner had gotten on his last trip to Seki city in Japan...She opens it and it looks like a Randall catalog!
Pages of GREAT looking knives! pages of super looking knives!!!! Hunting Knives, Randall #1's,every kind of working knife. Beautiful stuff!!!

In the Kitchen section there was more super stuff..The woman said "Wow I didn't know they made these, and WOW! they are very expensive" She points out a Kitchen knife 4.5cm long, 150,000 Japanese yen.....1420 US$ at todays rate! BUT IT WAS NICE!
Originally posted by Spim:
In the Kitchen section there was more super stuff..The woman said "Wow I didn't know they made these, and WOW! they are very expensive" She points out a Kitchen knife 4.5cm long, 150,000 Japanese yen.....1420 US$ at todays rate! BUT IT WAS NICE!
You'll find photos of them in their web site at http://www.hattori-hamono.com/ .
Follow the links in the left frame, one by one, and you'll come to the kitchen knifes.

Thanks, Thats them!!!!! I'm going to see if i can get my Win 98 to read in Japanese

OK. I finally bought two of these amazing knives: the TH150 and the TK180. The 150 is unique in having a distinctive shape and increased thickness in a bulge towards the middle down the length of the blade. The 180 is a longer and more conventional shape. Both are laminated VG10 and stainless damascus. I chose these knives rather than the 150 based on the very helpful reviews posted here, one of which is supra. The danger of chipping was my main worry.
These knives and the full selection are shown on the Hattori/Laganet site www.laganetlimited.com/Hattori-Main-Page.html
I haven't had enough time with these knives to give a proper review, but after a couple of weeks of light use I do have a few comments:
These knives are really, really beautiful. They would make a great gift. But noone in my house can touch them: they're mine, mine, MINE!!! At least until the initial testing is over. And are these knives sharp? Great Googley Moogely!! These my be the sharpest knives I've ever had!
One final comment for now. I met with Tom, the man who distributes these beauties and other Fallkniven knives up here in Toronto, to discuss and choose blades. A nicer and more helpful fellow you will probably never meet. He certainly deserves a very positive mention in the Good, Bad etc. forum and I should be posting there shortly. I think he can be contacted thru the Laganet site which can be reached thru the link posted above.
We'll see how they withstand use and abuse chez moi, but so far - wow.

Thank you, I'm blushing. Sorry it took so long to reply, I've been out of touch over the weekend.

Glad you got the Honesuki.

Look forward to your comments.


Here's a short update on the TH 150: I came home from a party tonight and to my hooror I found that my son, who must have had some kind of mental attack, used my beautiful, delicate, expensive damascus/VG10 Hattori to punch about 20 holes in a couple of soup cans. I won't detail the disciplinary aspect of the story, but to my amazement, the knife was completely unmarked. I have not yet even had to sharpen it. A great knife in every way.