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Outstanding knives

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by neelesh, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. neelesh

    neelesh Founding Member

    be nice to see some really outstanding knives. You know what i mean, that ONE knife in your collection you would protect unto death. Only one knife photo per person please
  2. hbeernink

    hbeernink Founding Member

    I have two. can I cheat?

    here's one of them - a 240 Hide aogami #1 mizuhonyaki gyuto, forged by shiraki-san and sharpened by Hideaki Yamamoto. Second picture shows the 'clouds' in the main blade surface, basically the subtle differences in crystallization of the hagane (hard steel) - it's rotated, so apologies if the background doesn't make sense..... There is an evident hamon on the blade which you can just make out in both of the pics, although it's faint due to the overall hardness of the jigane. The blade is unreal - I use it quite a lot and love it.

    I could show another that's perhaps an equally special blade....

  3. MattS

    MattS Founding Member

    Just plain old fashioned workhorses here. If it comes to my knife or my death....they can take the knife. (But really its my DT that my kids will fight over when I get tossed in pit)
  4. turtle

    turtle Founding Member

    To me they are tools so I guess I have a different attitude toward mine. Respect but not worship.

    all of my knives are utilitarian cutlery not works of art.


    That (bad) attitude can change easily :)

  5. neelesh

    neelesh Founding Member

    cant really see the hamon, assume the light was low when u took the photo., but looks really nice
  6. neelesh

    neelesh Founding Member

    i dont have anything to post yet. Am waiting for a couple of exceptional knives to come in, been waiting forever seems like. One is a Bill Burke river of fire damascus blade and the other is a custom damascus 8" with ebony handle, a 21k gold plated ferrule and a gold plated balancing pentagram on the rear of the handle.
  7. gavination

    gavination Founding Member

    Did you get that on one of your trips to Japan, Hans? Order it I mean. I assume it's a custom?
  8. timthebeaver

    timthebeaver Founding Member

    That awesome Hide was a JKI special order I believe.
  9. hbeernink

    hbeernink Founding Member

    Yes it was, Jon commissioned this directly- from what I've seen most of this kind of stuff is special order with the smiths and sharpeners.

    Some of the shops in Japan have really cool stuff and you'll occasionally find something pretty rare or unusual, but I've never seen anything like this for sale. You do see some of the chefs using some pretty badass blades now and then- but often times even the top chefs in japan are using standard western style knives.
  10. hbeernink

    hbeernink Founding Member

    It's pretty faint- in either pic, if you look just on the edges of the bright spot (reflection from the ceiling lights) you'll see the wavy line of the hamon. It's not as pronounced due to the hardness of the jigane, which gives less contrast than what you'd normally see. Here's another pic that Jon took- you can maybe see it better here- the hide is on the right (the left one is a white #2 sujihiki)

  11. hbeernink

    hbeernink Founding Member

    I should also point out that I think Jon will have another one of these for sale soon....
  12. gavination

    gavination Founding Member

    So it's not a true hamon? Or did they differentially harden even though it's a clad knife? Also, do you know what it's clad with to be so hard?
  13. hbeernink

    hbeernink Founding Member

    It's not clad, it's mono steel made with hitatchi blue paper #1 (aogami), and yes it's a true hamon (mizuhonyaki means - it's water quenched when differentially hardening). there's an active thread on what makes a hamon on the other forum (but there is some misinformation there as well...) but basically a hamon is simply the boundary defined by the different hardness of steel in a differentially hardened monosteel knife. It's made by insulating part of the blade during heat treatment and quenching, usually by using a clay, so that cooling during quenching occurs at different rates in the blade. Differential hardening gives the blade a very hard cutting edge, and a less hard spine (think of it like a shock absorber of sorts)- when polished or etched in certain ways, the boundary becomes visible as the hamon, but sometimes it's very difficult to see. Makers have learned ways to make the hamon a distinctive part of the knife as a visible sign of quality/artistry- one way is to make the clay shape a ripple or wave and that's what is typically seen in traditional honyaki. But there are honyaki that have straight hamon that can be very difficult to see- some nenohi honyaki are like this, as are the singatirin honyaki that maksim has. They're true honyaki, despite the difference in hamon.

    I really enjoy using a honyaki- they have a different feel, but they're still just a knife and there are clad blades that I like just as much. The hamon is a mark of the artistry, much like Damascus in that sense, and can be a signature characteristic from the smith
  14. timthebeaver

    timthebeaver Founding Member

    No, it is a hamon. It's not a clad knife - it's a mizu-honyaki. Hamon are less pronounced on aogami (vs. shirogami) honyaki as the steel is deeper hardening.
  15. gavination

    gavination Founding Member

    Haha I forgot the mizuhonyaki part since it's been so long since I read the original post. It makes sense. Haven't come across jigane being used in reference for honyaki blades hence my confusion. However it makes perfect sense since it's still the softer part of the knife. I assumed the jigane was always clad. Thanks Hans!
  16. hbeernink

    hbeernink Founding Member

    I guess I should also say that I'm using the terms hagane and jigane to indicate the hard and less-hard areas of the blade, irrespective of whether or not it's a clad knife or honyaki. Maybe that's not technically correct: most of the time hagane and jigane refer to the core (hard steel) and cladding (soft steel/iron) of a clad knife, respectively.
  17. gavination

    gavination Founding Member

    Bad Hans! Confusing me like that. :lol:

    Good to know. :)
  18. Bill Farrell

    Bill Farrell Founding Member

    Nicely stated. You said Jon is getting another one of these---should be under a hundred bucks, right? :)

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