Tanaka vg10 210 western

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: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Chefspence » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:25 pm

Ok. This is confusing coordinating four of these at the same time. I need your help. I sent you all the info for who to send the knife to next, except for my address. Those who are last, just ask me when you're time is up. Stay in touch with each other and double check that you have the right address to send it to. The order of participants is still the same as listed, just make sure the next person is still able to participate when it's their turn. Please keep us all posted when you send and receive the knives. I don't want to have to chase everyone down as that adds more confusion

Again, follow the rules. Be courteous. Take good care of the knives. I usually use USPS when I ship, though you can use what you like, just keep things in their original boxes and package them well. Please insure the knives for over their original worth. I shipped mine with insurance from200-300$ depending on the knife. Write a review everywhere you can on cktg and the forums. And of course, have fun! Thanks

jmcnelly85
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by jmcnelly85 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:50 pm

“Everything you know is wrong, black is white, up is down, and short is long. All you need to understand is everything you know is wrong.”
-Weird Al Yankovic

Spence was kind enough to pass around this unique knife, to return the favor I decided to put it through a proper workout. Initially, there was some minor tip damage, and the edge itself seemed like it had a few miles under her belt. Tip repair was as easy as anticipated; however, due to my experience sharpening vg10 knives, sharpening turned out to be exponentially easier than I could have ever imagined. The only two other vg10 knives I’ve sharpened are a shun sumo santoku and a shun vegetable cleaver, neither of which are a walk in the park which gave me a false mindset that I was going to be in for a struggle. I started with six sectional strokes on a 320 stone and checked for a burr. Lately, I’ve been trying to phase burr formation out of my routine; however, after the six passes I managed to raise what I would consider a noob sized burr. Sorry about that one. Once having a big ol burr, I flashed back to” that burr that won’t die” experience the sumo gave me and again, thought I was going to be in for a struggle. Not only did the burr release incredibly easily, but I was left with one of the better 320 edges I’ve ever produced. I moved up to a 1.5k to a green brick to newspaper and couldn’t help but notice how talkative the steel is on the stones. Sharpening this knife is a very pleasant, almost conversational ordeal. The edge at each stage was somewhere between “not too shabby” and “noticeably better than a fair number of knives I’ve sharpened.” It could’ve been a particularly Zen session; however, from a sharpening standpoint, I have nothing but high grades for this steel. Well done, Tanaka san.

Once the tip was fixed and the edge was good to go, I started trying to figure it out before use. It’s a tall 210, enough height that I don’t have to worry about nipping my pointer finger if my pinch grip gets lazy. The profile is a wildly effective good flat gently swooping up towards the tip, reminiscent of the Kanehiro 210 profile I loved, only taller. The balance point happens just in front of the handle perhaps where the bolster would be if it had one. The exposed partial rat tang into unfinished coke bottle western design is as odd as it sounds, only more boxy; however, with the shorter rat tail stopping where it does, it seems to leave the weight dutifully in hand using a pinch grip. The coke bottle design seems like it’s either completely useless, made for people who keep their hands as far away from the blade as possible, or potentially have hands the size of an average cuttlefish. Even scooting my grip back to clear larger masses of product shifted the weight into a peculiar position, coke bottle be damned, this knife is pinch grip or bust. I feel like with a good bit of filing and sanding, there is a very comfortable handle hiding inside there… somewhere.

I used this at work for four shifts, two prep, two on the line. The first thing on the list was a case of baby red potatoes cut into 6 pieces in mini jojo fashion. I usually pull cut to split an entire cutting boards worth of potatoes and tip draw on a bias repeatedly, which I thought was going to give me a good indicator of its non-stick properties. Had this been my only stick test, I would’ve believed this was an incredibly non-stick knife. I vertically chopped some, pushed some, pulled some, and tried all sorts of ways to split em and nothing stuck, not once, not ever. I was impressed. After the potatoes, it was on to two gallons of mirepoix. I started on carrots. The carrots aren’t particularly big or small, just, kinda, carrots… I have never had as many carrots stick to a blade in my life. Blade climbing, second hand suctioning frustration as my perfect little boxes start jumping the great wall of spine to land into my batons… man its annoying. I got frustrated enough that I actually tried a tip draw through one of the biggest carrots and audibly had a “holy shit” moment. I have never met a knife that treats carrots like celery. The weirdest part about how frustrating carrots were was how effortlessly they were cut. This knife moves through carrots on par with the Richmond skd11. Things this effortless shouldn’t be frustrating. I’m not even too particular about non-stick properties on knives, and 20 minutes before this I’m running over in my head different manners of praising its non-stick properties. Ill chalk this up to I dunno and move on… Celery was cut like celery, and onions were no problem, there was a hint of onion launcher, but nothing too extreme. From there it was on to julienning I’m guessing only 35 lbs. of onion (one full Cambro), I don’t ask for much out of 210 profiles, just enough of a flat to chop a whole onion with my over exaggerated pinch grip, but this knife actually had two discernable sweet spots to use with enough space to hold the knife comfortably. Heaven… From there onto cauliflower. I absolutely love stiff blades with thin yet solid tips for this task. I really wish I had a Toshi Hiro Wakui to compare side by side to see which one I’ll have more fun killing a case of cauliflower with, but either way I’m holding onto those two knives in my head as my favorite for this task. From there it was on to random little tasks of no interest, some shallots, some apples, some fish, dice more onions, nothing too significant to mention in any direction; however, at this point the chef dropped on me if I had time to split and cook two cases of mini heirloom tomatoes. Whenever this is on my list, I usually get it out of the way early while my edge is still fresh. Using the rough split “line em up and have your hand on top of a bunch” trick, the knife’s working edge was still able to move through the first batch without a touchup; however, I did touch it up on a Suehiro 3k just because it wasn’t moving quite as quickly as I had hoped, but all in all I’d put initial edge retention somewhere in the “not too shabby” category. Had I been using the same edge on a blue 2 Kohetsu or an AS laser and doing the same projects, the results would’ve been surprisingly consistent. This VG10 is a legitimate steel.

On the line, she held her own, the shifts weren’t too crazy and I was worried about the thinness of the tip, but using a knife capable of an edge of this quality that I didn’t have to treat like carbon is a really nice experience. The Damascus did catch the eye of a dishwasher, but all he said was “whoa that’s cool” and then kept walking. All in all, I’d call it pretty pro friendly.

I have her all boxed up and ready to ship off, I finished by touching it up with a Kohetsu 2k, Shapton pro 5k, 1-micron balsa, newspaper progression. It does seem to lose tooth at high refinement, but I was still able to push cut phonebook paper at just under an inch. I’m really impressed by this knife. Top notch cutting with bizarre food release properties and a top-notch steel with a bizarre handle. Its cutting ability puts in in the realm of “knives in suits” and its ability to retain a middle grit working edge is on par with Aogami Super, (caveat, I am unable to test how long it can go before needing a coarse stone again) perhaps with some sandpaper experiments I’m guessing some of the stiction issues could be remedied for a knife that punches well above its price point. If I ever make a transition to stainless steel for work knives, I’m definitely going to consider picking up the J handled version carried here. All in all, this has been a wonderful experience and a tremendous knife, thanks again to Spence for making this happen. Ill pm some shipping info once I have her out the door.

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jbart65
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by jbart65 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:33 am

Got the Tanaka. Nice edge put on my JMc. Rarely do I come across a knife that can rapid chop paperthin wafers of radish. Normally I pull or push cut even with my sharpest of knives. More later after I use it a bit.

Of course I was disposed to like the Tanaka VG10. My Tanaka Sekiso 240 is my single favorite knife from CKTG. My top all rounder and one of the best rockers on the site. Chops and pushes exceedingly well, too. My Tanaka ginsan is also a splendid knife. Thinner than the Sekiso and has a more agile tip.

The profiles on the three Tanakas are somewhat similar. The Sekiso is beefier, but all three have some sweep from mid blade to tip. The ginsan and VG10 have more of a beak tip profile than the Sekiso and are thinner at the edge.

Tanaka seems to create a bump at midblade. When I run my fingers over the blade, the knife seens thinner at the top of the blade and toward the bottom. Perhaps that's why separation is so good.

If I get a VG10 knife, I am pretty sure this will be the one ...
Jeffry B

jmcnelly85
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by jmcnelly85 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:40 am

Glad you got it safe and liked the edge. I think edge quality and retention were easily the two biggest surprises I came across playing with it. Although I have no idea how it'll hold an edge up that high. I'm looking forward to hearing more thoughts.

Chefspence
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Chefspence » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:10 pm

Nice review Mcnelly. I also had a little trouble with food release. It bad, but the Kono w2 I used was definitely better. The Tanaka is a great cutter and flows very well though. I enjoyed the little additional height offered with this knife as well. Nimble as hell! Definitely a good knife overall.

jmcnelly85
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by jmcnelly85 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:54 pm

Overall it really was great. I couldn't put my finger on exactly how good or bad it's non stick properties are. I'm assuming it's great properties come from the grind but it's poor properties come from the finish... or vice versa? On potatoes it was as good as my wusthof (I know a lot of people find wusthof's sticky but for whatever reason mine is possibly the most non stick knife I've used) yet on the carrots it was terrible. I really can't figure it out. Certainly nimble, yet felt authoritative and confident. I really liked how it balances right in hand too. Certainly fun, opened my eyes to what vg10 can be when done right.

Not to derail, but how's that kohetsu treating you?

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Kit Craft
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Kit Craft » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:12 pm

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:54 pm
Overall it really was great. I couldn't put my finger on exactly how good or bad it's non stick properties are. I'm assuming it's great properties come from the grind but it's poor properties come from the finish... or vice versa? On potatoes it was as good as my wusthof (I know a lot of people find wusthof's sticky but for whatever reason mine is possibly the most non stick knife I've used) yet on the carrots it was terrible. I really can't figure it out. Certainly nimble, yet felt authoritative and confident. I really liked how it balances right in hand too. Certainly fun, opened my eyes to what vg10 can be when done right.

Not to derail, but how's that kohetsu treating you?
That is interesting to hear. Carrots sticking? I can't recall ever having that issue with any knife. Maybe I just don't recall.

jmcnelly85
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by jmcnelly85 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:25 pm

Yeah, batons that wouldn't shake off and needed a second hand, didn't matter if I was pushing, guillotine and glide, pulling, or moving vertical. The tip draw didn't stick.

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Kit Craft
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Kit Craft » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:46 pm

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:25 pm
Yeah, batons that wouldn't shake off and needed a second hand, didn't matter if I was pushing, guillotine and glide, pulling, or moving vertical. The tip draw didn't stick.
Did they brush off easily with your second hand? I know some knives when something decides to stick, it is stuck. :lol:

jmcnelly85
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by jmcnelly85 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:49 pm

If I have to use my second hand, it happens quickly and with force, I can't really comment on how easily they came off. Stuck enough to not shake off sometimes, I guess. I'm not the most gentle guy at work.

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Kit Craft
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Kit Craft » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:47 am

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:49 pm
If I have to use my second hand, it happens quickly and with force, I can't really comment on how easily they came off. Stuck enough to not shake off sometimes, I guess. I'm not the most gentle guy at work.
Hah okay, thank you.

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jbart65
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by jbart65 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:10 pm

My review:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2584

Shorter take: I like this knife! Mr Tanaka is a formidable smith.
Jeffry B

Chefspence
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Chefspence » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:34 am

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:54 pm
Overall it really was great. I couldn't put my finger on exactly how good or bad it's non stick properties are. I'm assuming it's great properties come from the grind but it's poor properties come from the finish... or vice versa? On potatoes it was as good as my wusthof (I know a lot of people find wusthof's sticky but for whatever reason mine is possibly the most non stick knife I've used) yet on the carrots it was terrible. I really can't figure it out. Certainly nimble, yet felt authoritative and confident. I really liked how it balances right in hand too. Certainly fun, opened my eyes to what vg10 can be when done right.

Not to derail, but how's that kohetsu treating you?
I haven't had a whole lot of time to use it, but quick thoughts... this thing feels like a bruiser. I don't know if it's because I've been using lighter knives lately, or if it's just the handle, but it has a stout feel and lends confidence in hand when facing down its foodly foes! Nice edge that cuts well, though I find it a little behind on fluidity through certain foods. For some reason it reminds me a bit of my artifex b2 in that regard, though certainly better. Again, could be the knives I've been using lately. The edge holds up well, though I need to tune it up a little after use. It's also received a thumbs up from my wife and sous whom I've let try for a day, though he still prefers his Mac...this was his first j knife and gift from me, so I understand the sentiment. I wish it were taller, not to knock it, jut a preference. If I were to speak of the knife in just functionality and toughness as a line knife, then this one gets two thumbs up. If you don't mind, I'd like to keep it for a little while longer. I gashed my ring finger on my cutting hand and haven't been doing much this past week and a half. Sorry :(

jmcnelly85
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by jmcnelly85 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:20 pm

Dude, take your time, you sent out a whole rolls worth of knives and had to get back in the kitchen. You can hold onto it til knives come back. I was just curious how it was doing.

Chefspence
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Chefspence » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:26 pm

jbart65 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:10 pm
My review:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2584

Shorter take: I like this knife! Mr Tanaka is a formidable smith.
This one still in the mail?

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jbart65
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by jbart65 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:47 am

In the mail. Cutuu's hometown got flooded by Irma and he was without power for a bit, so I shipped a bit later than expected.
Jeffry B

Chefspence
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Chefspence » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:00 pm

Shit that's right. I'm sorry! Thanks for the update. Dang how are you cutuu?

Cutuu
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Cutuu » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:47 am

Chefspence wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:00 pm
Shit that's right. I'm sorry! Thanks for the update. Dang how are you cutuu?
I got it. Im all good now Spence, thanks

bigwoolymammoth
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by bigwoolymammoth » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:10 am

i'm gonna have to drop out at the last minute. bad juju on the homefront i think i will be moving. i dont trust my roommate and dont have a different address yet. sounds like im missing out but so goes life. thanks for the opportunity chef

Chefspence
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Re: Tanaka vg10 210 western

Post by Chefspence » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:18 pm

Sucky...thanks for the heads up though. Hope that works out for you.

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