Miyabi 34373-243 Chef's Knife
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- G2 micro-carbide powder steel
- Authentic thin Japanese blade profile
- Hand-honed using the three-step Honbazuke process to a 9.5 to 12 degree edge
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Top-of-the-line MIYABI Birchwood is a work of culinary art. Both blade and handle are crafted from the most precious materials, which shape their striking appearance. More than meets the eye, the potent core of SG2 micro-carbide powder steel is protected by 100 layers of steel. MIYABI's innovative, ice-hardening process locks in the long-lasting sharpness of the CRYODUR blades. Beneath its beautiful exterior, the flower Damascus pattern provides added durability. The scalpel-like blade is complemented by an equally striking Karelian (Masur) Birch handle. A prized material for knife handles, Karelian Birch is also the only wood ever used in a Faberge egg. Exquisite and ergonomic, MIYABI Birchwood knives feel as good as they look. Handcrafted in Seki, Japan
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If you are going to spend the $230 (compare to hand-made shipped from Japan for anywhere from $600-$5000) then you need to learn to maintain a knife as nice as this. Get a water stone and learn to use it, for this knife I recommend either 1000/6000 grit or 3000/8000 grit. DO NOT assault this knife with a diamond steel or an electric wheel and complain that you can't get an edge. Every time someone does that to a nice blade a kitchen angel bursts into flame. My next step is stropping which gets it to where it will slice phone book paper, not held in the hand but simply folded so it's tall on a cutting board with a straight downward swipe. Obviously knives this sharp will go straight through whatever you set them too, including newbie's finger-tips. Honestly probably not the best "My first kitchen job" present, but for someone who loves to cook, this is something very special. -Mario B.
As for the performance of the knife, I am in awe. It is a pleasure to wield (see the aforementioned balance) and the cutting edge is a thing to fear. I held up a wet washcloth and brought the knife to it (sideways - gravity was not helping the knife). No slashing was needed; I simply rested the knife blade against the cloth in mid air and could feel it bite into the spongy fabric. I pulled back on the knife and could feel no resistance from the cloth as I watched it fall away.
This is now the only blade I use in the kitchen (this and a matching paring knife). Over the years I have had many knives as part of knife block sets or general cutlery sets and they now all reside in a container hidden in a low drawer. Meat, fish, vegetables all slice apart effortlessly now. It was advised not to cut through bone with this knife as it could damage the blade, but a chef's knife is not for that in the first place. I think the only knife sharper than this kind is the Korin with carbon steel blade but it requires a lot more care and cleaning around acidic food (like tomatoes). This blade is more corrosion resistant though and still unbelievably sharp.
You get a nice knife box that it comes in (I'll take pictures and edit this post) and instructions to hand wash only with a mild detergent, and then wipe dry. This is no grocery store knife, this is a work of art.
All that being said, this knife is not for everybody. It costs a lot, so if you are a student or now starting out there are knife sets you can get from reputable brands that might be more value for you. If your knife handling is sub par, then stay far away from this blade. If you are a professional chef you would likely know better than me or already have a favorite knife. However if you spend a lot of time preparing food or you know someone who does and if you/they have the money for it, then it is an excellent choice. Miyabi has other knife styles and blade materials but this one gets my recommendation.
This review is for the 6-inch SG2, and its just as great as the 3.5" paring knife I also reviewed.