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Honsho-Kanemasa or Minamoto-Kanemasa?

Dec 12, 2009
I'm trying to decide on one of these two petty knives (Honsho-Kanemasa or Minamoto-Kanemasa) as my first carbon knife for use in the kitchen. The difference appears be 2N or SK4 steel. I believe the SK4 is slightly harder and a little more prone to patina. The general consensus that I read was that home cooks should go for the 2N (Minamoto) for convenience sake. I'm not overly concerned with maintaining carbon steel. I'm inclined to believe the SK4might be the way to go. I'd love to hear what others think.
SK-4 has a more pungent smell when cutting acidic foods than other popular carbon kitchen steels. Aside from that, it's great stuff. Okay, even with that caveat, it's great stuff.
SK-4 has a more pungent smell when cutting acidic foods than other popular carbon kitchen steels. Aside from that, it's great stuff. Okay, even with that caveat, it's great stuff.

Thanks thombrogan. I think I may try the stinky stuff in a larger gyoto where I won't be cutting acidic foods then and use the 2N carbon steel for the petty that will touch a lot more fruit.
NP jhakken. Hoping that choice works out for you. If you find yourself peeling and prepping all of your veggies and fruits with a gyuto in the future, you can get all oldschool French and clean your blades with baking soda or double-action baking powder.
I have ordered the Minamoto-Kanemasa 120mm petty. I will provide a review after I've had a chance to test it. I'll probably make some comparison to the one Shun and one Global that I already have. I'm just beginning this journey with Japanese kitchen knives. I'm honing my sharpening skills on these less expensive models. I'll be looking for suggestions on my first single bevel knife next.
Congrats on ordering your new knife. Here's hoping it's everything you want and more.

Which sorts of single-bevel knives do you want? Epicurean Edge and AFramesTokyo have some entry-level versions that get good reviews (they could be worthless, useless pieces of crap that disgrace the whole idea of eating food, but they do review well).
Before I decide on the vendor or the manufacturer I'd like to figure out which type of knife (e.g., ussuba) would either be most beneficial to have as a single-bevel or one that might have the easiest learning curve. I understand that techniques are slightly different with single-bevel knives but I'm not very familiar. I've seen the knifeforum links to a list of videos that includes some cutting techniques but I'm not sure I know enough yet. I've included a link to that page because I think it's an excellent resource.

For those that haven't seen these, enjoy!

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Initial Impression
I was very happy upon inspection. The grinds were fairly even except at the tip and heel. Hey, they have trouble sharpening the same spots I do. One scale had an uneven bevel at the bottom of the handle (knife pointing up). But it was smoothed over with finish and won't present a problem. Everything else lined up and looked nice. I was just able to shave hair on my arm. Overall, a nice knife for not too much money. I won't worry when I de-bone something with this petty.

Interesting Factoid
I couldn't read the Japanese on the box, but I could read the English Kanetsune. Kanemasa is one of Kanetsune's lines.

Stay tuned for a usage report.
Filleted some striped bass tonight for 6 adults, salmon for the 6 kids with some curried rice, asparagus, and brocolli & cheese. I used the petty for all of it. Last knight I butchered a rotisserie chicken. Found my wife cutting some hard cheese with it. No harm, but I explained that that that lateral twisting force isn't the best for the edge. Fortunately this knife had a pretty obtuse edge for a japanese knife. It's as stout as 1.2 mm knife can be. There isn't much blade flex at all. Im not gourmet but I am the cook of the house and we host a meal with friends and neighbors at least once a week. Thanks for asking. How about you?
I don't have one, but my Moritaka gyuto has been portioning meats and chopping veggies for the slow-cooker.


Don't worry. That fuzzy guy isn't one of the proteins.

Not yet at least.
Those Moritakas look great. I love the rustic finish. Your's has taken a great patina. Had they carried a 120mm petty I probably would have splurged and gotten one. How do you like the Moritakas?

The cat had better be careful. I've heard that Japanese knives are so sharp you can get cut just by looking at them. :D
Had they carried a 120mm petty I probably would have splurged and gotten one.

Send an email to Mrs. Akiko Moritaka with what you want and her family will make one for you. The gyuto you see is 260mm blade that's 60mm high at heel by request. They also made a 90mm petty for me.

They usually look much darker than in that photo, but I scrubbed a lot of the oxide scale off that one because LumberJ did so with his Moritaka kiritsuke and it looked so darned cool.

That knife is in Blue #2 hardened to RC60 and has a microbevel to survive my stupids. They harden their Blue Super knives to RC65 and they're surprisingly less brittle than the other Blue Super knife (Takeda) I've used.
Very cool. I thought you had done something to the finish. Time will only sweeten your knife. I'm going to hone my sharpening skills a little more than pull the trigger on something like a Moritaka. I like the sound of the RC65 too. I'm in an experimental stage learning what I like. Having a lot of fun. Those kiritsukes are pretty sweet looking. I currently use a french chefs knife. Any thoughts on a gyuto v. kiritsuke?
Any thoughts on a gyuto v. kiritsuke?

Get used to the lack of belly before the knife even enters your kitchen. If you try using the tip section of your French chef knives more like this:


it'll help get you ready for a kiritsuke or a gyuto.