First off a couple of apologies
I am sorry but I completely forgot to take any measurements and before I could get to it...the post lady had taken it away.
I have taken a couple of fun shots but nothing too serious. I tried to get a choil/edge shot but the darn thing is so thin I could not get a good one!!!!
OK...so here goes.
Review of Tim Johnson K-Tip Gyuto.
The knife arrived about 2 weeks ago. It was packed really well in a die cut foam insert inside the box.
All knives should ship this way.
First impressions, visual:
Great looking blade. I love K-tips and this one had that great look down perfectly. The overall shape was quite unusual in that is is shorter than many of the breed and is quite tall.
The first thing that grabbed me was the patina.
I am not a forced patina guy. Actually I really dislike it in most, but not all, circumstances. It has to look natural in a old knife way...not a forced way.
This is the latter. BUT...it is really cool. It has an almost damascus look to it. Not much color. But the patterning is really attractive. Mark that one down as a success.
Fit and finish were top class. Nicely rounded choil. All up to Tim's high standards. So all good there.
The next thing is the handle.
I did not like it so much.
I guess I am in the minority here as all the previous users have raved about it. This is a very personal and subjective issue...but it did not ring my bell visually.
Regardless of my subjective opinion, overall it is a very attractive and unusual looking knife package.
First impressions, performance:
When the knife arrived I happened to have a very ripe tomato on the board. What better way to give it a first spin round the block.
I was in the middle of prepping something with the toms so I changed blades and.....nothing. It would not even puncture the skin at all. What!!!!
However much I tried, it refused to slice the darn thing. Just squash it. I tried a couple of other knives and it was no problem at all.
It was late and I had things to do so I put it away to try the next day.
Next day I started in earnest to test the beast.
First off...this is so light it feels like it might not get through some stuff....but that is an illusion.
I did not sharpen it I just started using it as it had arrived. Carrots. Wow. No problem at all. No wedging or resistance of any kind. Longitudinal or across grain...this thing just cut 'em up. Barely any sticking.
Then it was onion time.
I find one of the best test for me is to horizontally cut an onion. This thing passed with flying colors. No, better than that. It sang through the onion like few blades I've used.
I thought I had accidentally discovered a new method of performing this task as I could not believe the results so overshadowed all my old attempts. Again, food release was exceptional.
I wonder if this is the patina or the slightly convex grind...or both?
For the next week I used the knife exclusively and enjoyed every minute of it. It cut, chopped and sliced as well as anything I own or have used.
The most outstanding thing about it was the tip.
It is a laser...literally. Thinest tip I have ever used. But not fragile at all. It felt very secure and strong. But it just dispatched ingredients with consummate ease and total control.
Some knives that cut so laser like can feel a bit twitchy and insecure. Not the TJ.
So back to the tomato.
Oh my, it still skided off the skin!
I don't like sharpening other people's knives. I am not confident in my skills yet. Probably really silly but there you go.
Plus this blade took care of every other ingredient like magic. What could the issue be ?
It felt so sharp doing everything else I was wondering if the edge was so polished it had lost it's tooth.....sorry if this sounds like and amateur speaking...but that's what I am!
I spoke to Tim and he suggested I just get on with it and sharpen the darn thing! I thought it would not hurt to give it a strop. So I gave it half a dozen light pulls across my 3k Chosera Pro.
OMG...........it sliced the next tomato like I've see in the videos. How could that be? I barely touched the stones and it transformed the knife into the most razor like implement I have ever used.
What a revelation. I've often marveled at the recuperative effects of a light strop on a blade's performance, but this was so different because the knife never felt blunt in the first place.
Tim kindly let me keep it for my only big prep session I do in my home kitchen. A bi-monthly venison stew pot for my dog Sevin. We make enough for about 2 months of his daily diet.
Everything from sweet potato to cabbage. Carrots, zucchini, broccoli etc. And lots of venison offal.
While doing that I also used another true laser..a Konosuke HD2 Kiritsuke Gyuto, for comparison.
In many ways they were very similar in terms of abilities. They both sliced and chopped their way through over 25lbs of veggies in short order. (OK pro chefs...I know that you're laughing at me now....25lb must be like a day off for you guys!)
The performance of the knives was similar but in a different way. The Kono had a "click" to the cut while the TJ felt more soft cutting the ingredient. Very subtle but definatly different. One was not better than the other..just different.
Until it came to the tip. Now, the Kono is no slouch in this department. Especially with it's kiritsuke tip.
But the Tim Johnson tip performance almost defies description...to the point that I am reduced to hyperbole trying to share my thoughts and experiences.
No knife I have ever use goes through an onion horizontally like this one does. It's just like the onion is not there!
Every ingredient fell victim to this weapon of mass cutting ability with such ease and speed I kept finding myself giggling like a child.
This is, hands down, one of the sharpest and most effective slicer, cutters I have ever used.
My initial thoughts were very positive, but following the light strop....Hallelulia! After that initial strop I never needed to return to the stone at all. The edge held up very well.
But what is it:
The mystery steel is still a mystery! I have no idea what it is. But it did not behave like a Hitachi paper steel nor did it feel or respond like 52100 as another reviewer opined. Quite the opposite. Yes it had that hard sharp feel of 52100 but I do not believe that's what it is. Aside from anything else, the blade showed no signs of corroding on either the face or edge. 52100 in my house rusts immediately. Edge retention after stropping was stellar. The patina was completely stable. So your guess is good as mine. Could it be a PM of some kind?
It has a belly. So in my hands it accordions. When Tim first showed us the outline on the forum, I mentioned that I would rather have a flatter profile than what he was planning.
And this try-out confirmed that feeling.
I'm a push cutter not a rocker, so I had to adjust my style to prevent some issues with that. But I am happy to report that with this change of style and bit more concentration, I overcame this hurdle with almost 100% success.
Could I live with this...absolutely yes.
And then there's the handle.
I remember the last TJ gyuto I tried. Love at first slice but not for the handle.
I found them both to be a bit too large for me and this one, way too square. However I must stress that it in no way affected my enjoyment of the knife or it's stellar performance. Like I already stated...this is super subjective, like most people's opinions on custom handles are. It certainly matched the blade as far as weight and balance are concerned.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that this is one of the sharpest, most fun to use knives I have experienced.
My wife will kill me but I have to have one.
It ticks every box for me.
Amazing performance. Feels strong. Great looks. Easy to maintain. Fun to sharpen. And light as a feather. And very competitively priced I believe.
This is a great knife and I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to partake in this pass around.