Posted By: Andrew RomigFirst, I want to echo Mr Hernandez's review comment that the blade is indeed lacquered INCLUDING the edge. When I pulled mine out of the box, I was frankly disappointed with the apparent factory edge, but I set it on my honing rods just to see what I could achieve. Just two swipes on each side were enough to remove the lacquer, revealing an outrageously sharp factory edge hiding underneath. What a treat!
Second, mine had a couple major ergonomic faux pas(es?) out of the box:
1. A very substantial 1mm tall burr all along the KU portion of the choil on the left side that I had to spend several minutes grinding down with a coarse diamond stone.
2. The tang doesn't in any way blend where it meets the handle, so there are sharp 90 degree corners on both the top and bottom of the tang. I had to sandpaper these thoroughly to achieve a comfortable pinch grip (which, believe me, with this much forward weight is the only grip you'll be using).
And finally from the department of negatives, I must point out that my blade also has a mild to moderate warp to the left on the forward 1/3rd of the blade. It's severe enough that it's definitely noticeable, but not severe enough to affect sharpening or use in my opinion.
Moving on, not a *negative* per se but I was surprised how forward-heavy this knife is. I knew from the stated weight it was going to be beefy for its size, but I didn't anticipate the weight distribution. From a handling standpoint: think cleaver, not gyuto (although the edge geometry somewhat splits the difference, making it very usable for either role).
So, okay, with all that in mind - "Why 4 stars?", you may ask. Because after 45 minutes of elbow grease addressing the lacquer on the edge, the biggest choil burr I've ever seen, and a somewhat poorly blended handle interface, I have a wicked sharp semi-cleaver with a very nicely finished and comfortable handle (particularly compared to those found on CCKs twice the price), nice smooth spine and kurouchi finish on the blade, and an interesting and versatile blade shape/geometry that I don't have to worry about beating on a bit because hey, it's only $40. It's a honey of a minor project knife and the end result is really, really satisfying.
If nothing I've described scares you away, it's absolutely worth the pick up.
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