Posted By: Ben P
- verified customerI'd first heard of Sakai Takayuki Knives a couple of years ago, but they've been remarkably hard to track down. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I saw them on Chefknivestogo. Not only did Mark stock the slightly more available Inox series, but the hammered damascus series as well! So ordering it was a bit of a no brainer.
The shipping was super fast. I ordered it over the weekend, selected standard shipping and was basking in its beauty in time for Wednesday's dinner.
And I do mean beauty. This knife is a true looker. VG-10 core, with a pretty damascus pattern about half-way up the blade, transitioning to non-damascus hammer (tsuchime) finish. Add on a handsome pakkawood handle and you've got a nice looking knife! The fit and finish was rather good for a hand-made knife at this price. The only thing that I could really mark it down for was a bit of unevenness around the Ferrule.
Well, that and the weight. Don't be fooled by the short length, this knife has some heft to it. It easily weighs as much as some of my 165mm Debas. I don't have a scale, but I'd say around 250-300 grams. The balance is very good, so it doesn't feel terribly heavy to me, but if you are going to be using this all day, that might make a difference to you.
The Nakiri came with, what I'd call a moderately sharp OOTB edge. I'd say it was better than most Japanese manufacturers and about on par with say a Henckels but far from its true potential. If you are able to, take this edge to the stones! It sharpens very nicely, especially for a VG-10 which can sometimes develop a tenacious wire edge. I thinned it somewhat and took it down to about 6 degrees per side, for an included angle of 12. And suddenly this thing was a laser and held that phenomenal edge for about a week and a half of solid home use. Literally, with the exception of deboning and carving, I used this knife for everything, including a 20 person dinner. And after that week and a half, all it took was a light visit to the 8K and then a quick strop and it was right back where it started. Truly, this was a JOY to use, at least, for most tasks.
As beautiful as the hammered finish is, there is a downside to it. Throughout the tschumine section, the blade doesn't taper. It starts at about 2.5mm thick at the spine, and remains that way for just shy of half the height of the blade. Only when you reach the damascus pattern does it really start to taper. The result is that on large vegetables you get some wedging issues (Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage). This issue occurred on pretty much anything dense and thick. That said, for a sweet potato, a nakiri isn't my knife of choice. And for the things I WOULD grab a nakiri for, it performed fantastically.
Bottom line, if you're looking for a great looking nakiri with good fit and finish at an affordable price, and don't mind a bit of sharpening and a bit of heft, you should seriously consider this blade.
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