Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

See what's happening with current or completed "Pass Arounds". Forum members occasionally send knives or sharpening stones around to a hand selected group of participants for short term use and feedback/reviews.
Chefspence
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Chefspence » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:18 pm

Lepus wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:45 pm
I have the knife. This thing is serious business.
I'd really be interested in a comparison with this and the Gihei b2. That's the main reason I wanted to try the yahiko.

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jbart65
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by jbart65 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:21 pm

Very different knives, Spence. Very different.
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Lepus
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Lepus » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:30 pm

The only real similarity is a passing resemblance in the profile at the heel and the tip. This knife is actually an excellent example of what I have suggested I would have liked out of the Gihei: a tip that can tap chop, a heel with some chopping power, and a relaxed belly in between. The tip is quite low. Unlike the Gihei the Yahiko has an upward slant on the edge, which lets it taper out into a tiny tip and keep a flat belly.

Otherwise it is pretty dissimilar. It is not entirely dissimilar to a KS profile. I'll compare it to a few other Sanjo knives.

Chefspence
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Chefspence » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:08 pm

Well, shoot... I absolutely have to try this one. If it's got a couple more deft, subliminal characteristics than the Gihei then I know it will be an instant love connection. I loved that Gihei. There were very few things I didn't like about it, and as my first, really J knife, I have an affinity towards it. Can't wait to try what's beyond it. Thanks Lepus

Lepus
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Lepus » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:46 pm

I have been using this knife and I'm not quite sure what I think of it. I've fluctuated between wanting to badly buy one and writing off the line. It is definitely a good gyuto in that it performs well in a general sense, but I'm not sure if it's a by-the-numbers knife that is made with a lot of skill and little thought or something a bit more remarkable. In some ways it is a tough knife for me to get a feel for because the profile is so flat. Most of the length can be used for push cuts and chopping, so I've found myself thoughtlessly using the center of the knife and the heel interchangeably, even while cutting the same onion. In that sense it's an easy knife for me to use, but if that's all it brings, the knife is a little pricey for what it offers.

In some ways, it's kind of like that suggestion that a person ought never meet his heroes. In many ways this knife is something I had been asking for and I like all the parts as parts. The grind moves fluidly through most everything. The tip is thin and nimble. The profile is magnificent for push cuts, letting me rocket through quite a lot of food at once. The finish is among the best nashiji I've seen and felt. Nicely tapered to the tip. I will admit I had hoped it would chop a little more gleefully considering the outrageously long flat spot, but it's too light toward the tip for that. It is fine for using with a lighter hand, but it's not a monster like a Wanatabe or the like despite having a better profile for the task.

I plan to send it out tomorrow evening and I'm going to try to give it one last good pass of prep to see if I can figure it out for good.

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jbart65
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by jbart65 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:41 pm

I can't articulate what I like about a knife as well as you, Rob, particularly given my lack of experience with Japanese knives in comparison to your own. A pro also uses a knife a lot more and gets a better sense of how they perform.

Yet there is a reason I have never offered the Yahiko as a first option to any pro cook looking for a knife. Personally, I would take a Kanehiro or Kamo R2 or Kuro AS or even a Sekiso despite its relatively big belly.

The very flat heel and midsection obviously make it harder to rock or mince herbs if that's part of your station. It rocks better - really a slide rock - than another very flat knife of mine, the Tetsuhiro Hammered. But it's doesn't really want to rock.

And the Yahiko is not a heavyweight like a Watanabe or my preferred bruiser, a custom-handled TF. I never reach for the Yahiko, for example, when I have a lot of hard root vegetables to chop. A few carrots, sure, but come butternut or sweetie time it's always something else.

Heck, my Tet is shorter than the Yahiko and weighs about the same, but it chops in a more powerful manner while retaining no small amount of grace.

The Yahiko, in my view, is better suited for a home cook. I call it my comfy knife. I use it when I particularly tired, or relaxed, and not in a hurry in the kitchen. It's an excellent chopper on soft and semi-hard ingredients of lower height. A dream of a pusher. Graceful toward the front. Feels good in the hand and looks mighty nice.

I tend to think of knives like wines. My ideal wine shows power and finesse. It's bold and restrained. It can go with a wide range of foods, in any weather, and suit all sorts of occasions. No surprise then I often reach for Burgundies or pinots from Oregon.

The Yahiko is not that knife - few are. The Kanehiros, a remarkably underrated brand, comes close. The aforementioned Kamo. But both of those have a bit too much curve in the back to suit me perfectly.

The search for the holy grail goes on. As with so many other things, it just may be that the perfect fill-in-the-blank is impossible to find. Or that the hero is not really what you thought he'd be.
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cwillett
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by cwillett » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:25 pm

It is interesting seeing others perspectives on a knife that I use and like. For me, the long flat spot makes the knife a dream to use. I don't really rock anymore and find myself push/pull cutting and chopping the majority of the time. Herbs are not the knife's strong suit for sure, but cutting a tightly rolled or bundled collection into a chiffonade with the heel is pretty easy. Hard ingredients don't seem to faze it very much, or at least I didn't notice any resistance the last time I cut up sweet potatoes or a butternut squash with it. Then again, as a home cook I'm cutting up a couple of pounds of sweet potatoes into half inch dice, or peeling a single squash, not processing a case. I cut up a lot of cabbage (a favorite vegetable) and the Yahiko is great for that. I also sliced insanely thin roast beef for marinated Italian beef sandwiches, something I can't do with my other knives. And I even dig the looks!

keithmarder
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by keithmarder » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:34 pm

Looks like a beast

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jbart65
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by jbart65 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:29 pm

cwillett wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:25 pm
Hard ingredients don't seem to faze it very much, or at least I didn't notice any resistance the last time I cut up sweet potatoes or a butternut squash with it. Then again, as a home cook I'm cutting up a couple of pounds of sweet potatoes into half inch dice, or peeling a single squash, not processing a case.
I don't mean to suggest the Yahiko can't handle the hard stuff. It most certainly can. I tend to push instead of chop on hard product. It's just that I have a few other knives such as my TF that chops with more ease on tall, dense ingredients.

I probably use it more than any of my other knives at the moment. Unless I have a herb-heavy dish, the Yahiko is what I usually reach for. The flat profile is what enticed me in the first place.
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Chefspence
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Chefspence » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:31 pm

Received just now package and knife in excellent condition. It's definitely different than the Gihei, which I was wondering about. Much more sleek. Will keep up to date soon. Thanks again Jeff

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jbart65
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by jbart65 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:55 pm

They are quite different, Spence. I like them both, but the Yahiko better suits my preferences on weight and profile. I wouldn't mind if it were a mm taller, but no real complaints.
Jeffry B

Chefspence
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Chefspence » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:50 pm

Haven't been able to do anything, but the nashiji is fantastic! It's got the character of a rough KU like the Takeda NAS, but in a rough silver color like a silver nugget. Way more character than any other nashiji I've touched. Really attractive. It's more...pointy...for lack of better words. More saberish than the Gihei. Not as upswept at the front 1/3 as the Gihei. More svelt than I expected.

The closest I've got in my hands is the Kuro Megumi, but the grind is smoother and it seems like the intent was a well balanced half-workhorse, half all-rounded knife if that makes sense.

I'm no experienced connoisseur of fine knives so disregard my lack of knowledge, but this blade seems like exactly what I've been after since I tried the Gihei. Something less beefy, less hefty, more nimble. We shall see how my opinion forms after I use it.

I've been very intrigued since taking it out of the box. It seems like more of a tweener. The Gihei is definitely a bruiser and like a log splitter, but cuts dreamy.

Since I fell in love with the Gihei I've asked the forum what I should try next and this was one of the suggestions. I think it's gonna tickle my fancy quite well.

Enough talk, time for some work :D

MisoSatisfried
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by MisoSatisfried » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:12 am

I always dismissed this based on height, but you're all making me wish I had maybe tried this one out!
I'm Dave. I don't take myself too seriously and you probably shouldn't either.

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jbart65
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by jbart65 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:21 pm

Sounds like you want in on the passaround, Dave.
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Chefspence
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Chefspence » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:22 pm

The weather has been a bit harsh here today. I will get this knife out tomorrow.

Chefspence
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Chefspence » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:57 pm

On its way to Ed

Lepus
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Lepus » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:27 pm

I did get a chance to use this knife one last time after my previous post and it was informative.

When I started using the Yahiko, I was cautious with it. My first passes suggested it isn't particularly good at anything. With the exception of cabbage, the knife just seemed mediocre. Too light to chop well, too flat to rock well, too thick to slice well, too heavy to dance around the board well.

I mentioned before that the knife does cut well at all points on its length, so that didn't make any sense. I've never used a good cutting knife that was mediocre across the board. On the last day I pushed the knife, harder than I usually do these days, to see what I could force it to do well. Firm, guided direction was the ticket. When used more aggressively, it is a rocket. It is just thin enough, just curvy enough, just heavy enough, and just light enough for anything. This thing's versatility is exceptional, I think competitive with the KS.

With regard to steel, I think this knife should have been made with aogami or even a PM steel. It sharpened nicely, but considering how I would like to use the knife myself, as a one-size-fits-all that sees a lot of time on the board, I would like better retention, even if that meant its sharpest was a little less sharp.

Regarding ergonomics I think the neck is a little too short. I would want the handle installed Tokyo style. The blade can do well with a variety of grips and I sometimes grip up past a typical pinch grip, which felt a bit cramped.

I think this knife will appeal most to people with above average knife skills. It would work well as a default knife, like I think Jeffry largely uses it. I also think that except for edge retention this knife is ideal for use in a fine dining kitchen in the hands of someone who is doing a broad variety of tasks. It would adapt readily to any menu or dish.

gastro gnome
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by gastro gnome » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:24 am

I have received this safe and sound. I used it a bit last night. The flat at the heel is noticeable as is the pronounced convex grind. Most of 240s are > 50mm so it felt a wee bit short, but I didn't notice any issues in use.

The edge was keen and it performed well with just a bit of a workout. I look forward to using it more and adding more impressions over the course of the week.

Chefspence
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by Chefspence » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:58 am

Lepus wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:27 pm
I did get a chance to use this knife one last time after my previous post and it was informative.

When I started using the Yahiko, I was cautious with it. My first passes suggested it isn't particularly good at anything. With the exception of cabbage, the knife just seemed mediocre. Too light to chop well, too flat to rock well, too thick to slice well, too heavy to dance around the board well.

I mentioned before that the knife does cut well at all points on its length, so that didn't make any sense. I've never used a good cutting knife that was mediocre across the board. On the last day I pushed the knife, harder than I usually do these days, to see what I could force it to do well. Firm, guided direction was the ticket. When used more aggressively, it is a rocket. It is just thin enough, just curvy enough, just heavy enough, and just light enough for anything. This thing's versatility is exceptional, I think competitive with the KS.

With regard to steel, I think this knife should have been made with aogami or even a PM steel. It sharpened nicely, but considering how I would like to use the knife myself, as a one-size-fits-all that sees a lot of time on the board, I would like better retention, even if that meant its sharpest was a little less sharp.

Regarding ergonomics I think the neck is a little too short. I would want the handle installed Tokyo style. The blade can do well with a variety of grips and I sometimes grip up past a typical pinch grip, which felt a bit cramped.

I think this knife will appeal most to people with above average knife skills. It would work well as a default knife, like I think Jeffry largely uses it. I also think that except for edge retention this knife is ideal for use in a fine dining kitchen in the hands of someone who is doing a broad variety of tasks. It would adapt readily to any menu or dish.
Agreed in large. This knife I thought, though was noticeably nimble. Coming from a big Gihei fan though!

J david
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Re: Yahiko Nashiji 240 passaround

Post by J david » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:26 pm

The knife arrived in good order. I'm putting it to good use this weekend.

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