|Trying out the Oohira shiro suita|
|Oohira asagi ready to go|
|Devin Thomas 240 vs cabbage|
|Hiromoto 240 vs cabbage|
|Shigefusa 270 vs cabbage|
|From top: Nakayama nashiji kiita, Oohira shiro suita, Nakayama karasu, Oohira asagi|
|Shigefusa potato slice :o)|
|Shigefusa reacting to cabbage|
To sum this up I had several favourites during the test and a few disappointments. None of the knives were consistently best at everything, and most knives were fairly good at most tasks. However, the Shigefusa stood out clearly in the cutting department. There was something about how the Shigefusa just slid through the food totally effortless that was very close to magic. It felt like cutting soft butter with a warm knife. So as far as pure feeling of cutting goes I would have to declare the Shigefusa as the winner with the Devin Thomas 240 as a close runner up.
|The knives resting out with the final results|
One HUGE drawback I experienced with the Shigefusa was that it is exceptionally reactive to several kinds of vegetables, particularly the cabbage and onions in my selection. This reactivity resulted in discoloured food and steel and an ugly sulfur like smell from the blade. I really don't understand Tokifusa Iisuka's choice of cladding steel for this knife, as the core steel is like something out of this world.
Taking the heavy reactivity to food in to account, the gold medal will have to be passed over to the Devin Thomas 240. An exceptional knife in every way. Well balanced and beautifully made and a wonderful all round performer. I particularly liked that it gave a very distinct feel of the structure of the food I was cutting. I could almost feel the freshness of the tomatoes through the knife. The Devin Thomas knives are relatively easy to sharpen but quite sensitive to the choice of finishing stone. Both DT knives were a disaster on my Oohiro shiro suita, but matched very well with the softer Nakayamas and took a very keen edge.
The Hiromoto was a good overall performer that did absolutely nothing wrong and that will satisfy a lot of users. It is very comfortable to use and very well balanced. It was easy to sharpen and to get sharp. To my satisfaction, my trusty old Takagi held its ground against these race horses as far as sharpness and cutting goes, but I sadly came to the conclusion that it is actually way to light for my preferences, and I will probably in the market for a somewhat heavier knife pretty soon. I really liked both Devin Thomas knives, and the Hiromoto was also a very enjoyable aquaintance. The Shigefusa, no matter how magic and beautiful, had this issue that was very hard to ignore.
I had a lot of fun doing this test. Thanks again to Øyvind who trusted me with his precious knives.
Next blog post will be "How to force a patina on Shigefusa kasumi gyuto" ;o)