by: Aaron Gibson
Steel: Carbon/stainless to HRC 61
Weight:152 grams/5.35 ounces
Handle: Either octagonal ho or Western
Kikuichi Performance TKC:
Steel: Carbon/stainless to HRC 61-62
Weight: 206 grams/7.25 ounces
Impressions of Konosuke HD:
Well, seeings how this would be my fourth Konosuke knife, I really knew what it was I would be getting into for the most part. I knew that the fit and finish would be very good, and out of the box it would be really good as well. The edge I feel is about a 1/2k finish then stropped, (once again this is what I think so I might be wrong) but none the less, it was what you would expect from Konosuke, a nicely rounded spin and choil. Light weight and nice and thin just weighting in at 152 grams. It comes in either a Western style or octagonal ho wood handle, which is nice if you prefer one over the other. The one I purchased was the ho wood model as I really do prefer it over Western since I use my gyutos for some 7 to 9 hours a day, I feel that those style of handles are more comfortable. Every Konosuke I’ve ever purchased, I have used at work on the box edge with only stropping to bring it back after the days work, (all work is done on poly boards) for a week before I’ll go ahead and put my own edge on it, (same stones and strops are used for both knives) which is finished on a Kitayama 8-12k stone and final stropping done on a split leather loaded with .05 Colloidal silicas and makes for a spooky sharp edge, (much keener than just stainless since the addition of the carbon) But, even after pounding on poly boards for hours on end, at the end of the day alls that is needed it to be taken through my strops, (which starts with 3 mic diamond and either .1 diamond or the .05 depending on what I feel like) and the edge comes right back and ready for another day of work. Speaking of sharpening, it goes very easy. Taking the edge from my 400 grit stone to finish is about 10 minutes. When I first went to use it, I was already well used to my Konosuke white #2 gyuto, so using the HD was like a slightly beefier version, (the white is much thinner and even lighter) but it was like shaking hands with an old friend. The handle, balance point and over all feel was just how I like it. Taking down anything from cabbage, (which it does very well since how thin it is so it doesn’t wedge a ton) or mowing down onions of all shapes and cuts and I use it for taking down on the average 30 + pounds of strawberries a week as well as normally 80 kiwis, (which are also peeled with the same knife) and about 30 or more pineapples, (once again also peeled with the knife as well). There isn’t much in the way of veg or furit that I haven’t taken down. Also, I would like to note that the knife also has no problem going through a five pound bucket worth of butternut squash. I would also like to note, that, as far as how fast this knife will develop a patina, well it’s really slow. After having and using it on a ton of fruit and vegetables, I can’t even really begin to see the patina developing. So, reaction is very low.
• Thin and light weight • Nice out of the box edge • Two different handle styles • Ease of sharpening • Slow reactivity • Good edge retention and easy to bring back
• Price is more than the TKC • Thinness isn’t for everyone if you prefer a heftier knife
Impressions of TKC:
When I had first purchased this knife, it was my first carbon/stainless knife, and since I do a ton of fruit which can have a funny reaction to carbon, (along with some smells) I figured that this would be the best of both worlds, the keenness of carbon and it’s edge retention, which the addition of the stainless would cut down on the rusting issues that carbons have. Since that this knife wasn’t brand new, I can’t comment about its out of the box, but from what others have said, it’s your standard edge. So I took it right to the stones, (which is the same as the HD goes through) and I will say that the HD is easier to sharpen, (I think because of the thinness of it) but with only a little more work the TKC gets hair splittingly sharp. I will say that it is a bigger knife, not only in weight but in the handle which is only offered in a Western style, there being about a 52 gram difference in weight between the two. Now, it might not sound like a ton, but if you are using a knife for a very long time, that extra weight can make a difference in hand fatigue. Fit and finish are good, but the spin and choil aren’t really rounded a lot if any so it has some more sharp corners on it, and if you have smaller hands, than you might find the handle a little big. But if you want you can always do a little DIY and round it more and either replace the handle with your own or have someone else make it for you, (not that you couldn’t do so with the HD either on the handle) While I was doing the sharpening I decided to also lower it to 10 degrees preside, (as the edge is thick to me personally) so thinning it out did improve sharpness and penetration and the edge would last about a good week solid on poly boards, (the same fruits and veg were done with this knife as was the HD) The extra thickness does tend to lead to more wedging through things such as cabbage, carrots, squash or onions than the HD. But, I did and do find that the TKC edge lasting isn’t as good as the HD, but it will come back to very close to full sharpness when taken through the strops after a days worth of work. As with reactivity, it does develop a patina a lot faster than the HD, and was kind of odd when I lent it out to one of the cooks and he used it to dice some eggplant. When he was finished the blade was stained with spot. Now, he might haven’t wiped it off or such as much as I do, but I did find it a little odd, but it easily came off with a polishing of Turtle wax car polish and Flitz.
• Less expensive than HD • Heavier if you are looking for a stout knife • Good retention and comes back from stropping easy
• Thicker and heavier than HD • Not as good Fit and finish • Wedges more than HD • Only one handle choice • Patinas a lot faster than HD and can stain on some foods
So, when all is said and done is there a winner for me personally? Yes. If you were to give me a choice between the HD and TKC, I would pick the HD any and every time. Now, that is just my preference because I do prefer a thinner and light weight knife, but if you have bigger hands and like a heavier knife then you’re really like the TKC. If you are looking for a semi stainless/carbon knife then either the Konosuke HD or TKC performance are two knives to look into.