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Help me pick a Sujihiki

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by the possum, May 27, 2017.

  1. the possum

    the possum

    Jul 31, 2002
    I've been wanting to try a Japanese style piece for a long time, just to see what they're all about. I've never used a traditional one, so if I eventually get one, I want the full experience. There are plenty of sushi knives to choose from, but it seems the double beveled sujihiki are less common.

    It must be very long- primary use would be slicing big cuts of meat when I butcher. I'm using an ~11" blade right now for that, and don't want to go much any shorter. A bit longer would be fine.

    I want carbon steel at high hardness. Preferably 63+ Rc. I already have plenty of softer knives, and some stainless; this would be to try the higher end of the spectrum.

    Specific steel type is not as important. White or blue, clad core, etc., would all be acceptable, just so the maker knows what they're doing with it.

    I could go full polished or forged/ kurouchi, as long as it's tastefully done either way. The aesthetics may just depend on what strikes my fancy when I see it.

    I want a traditional Wa handle. NOT a western style riveted handle. Like I said, half the point is trying out the Japanese style- I already have enough western ones.

    This should go without saying, but it must have good grinds and very thin edge geometry. I don't mind having to knock down some harsh corners or stuff like that, but I'd rather not regrind the whole blade. I would, if it came to that, but I'd rather not. If it came with a saya, (or I could get a generic one that would fit), that would be a bonus, but not a firm requirement.

    Price? I dunno. I haven't looked into this market enough to really know what's possible. I was hoping to stay around $100, but can't seem to find anything in that range. So I guess I'll bump it up to $200 for now. I might be convinced to go higher for the right piece, but then it will be longer before it's in my hands.

    So, what do you guys say? Got any recommendations I should give a look? Any particular makers/brands to stay away from?

    One potential candidate that turned up in my searches was a blue steel Gekko:
  2. milkbaby


    Aug 1, 2016
    I think it might be difficult to find HRc 63+ at $100-200 price point for a long 300 mm suji.

    I've actually bought a 165 mm bunka from that ebay seller that brands his knives as "Gekko". It's a kurouchi clad aogami core, and I was pretty happy for the low price of $65. It arrived not very sharp which I've heard is common for Japanese kitchen cutlery, but it was easily sharpened. It's nice and thin behind the edge which was a bit of a nice surprise. A very good deal.

    On the downside, you get what you pay for: the knife is quite rustic. There is some wavyness in the forging and the grind. I haven't used and sharpened it enough to say whether the overgrind will be a big issue or not. The edges of the spine and choil are not rounded or relieved at all, but a little time with sandpaper can fix that. I'm 90% sure this knife was forged then stamp profiled, i.e. cut through a template to shape. Not that there's anything wrong with that as it leads to more consistent profiles.

    Having said all this, I think this ebay seller may be buying from multiple blacksmiths and/or collectives and branding the knives as "Gekko". So I'm not sure if my observations are true in general for everything he sells.
  3. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    You might be surprised or even shocked at how many high end hand forged Japanese knives are stamped or trimmed to final profile. ;)

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