My colleague loaned me his old usuba for me to practice some katsuramuki at home. I was actually a little sick so I couldn’t touch it until today, when I peeled a carrot pretty ok. Didn’t have the patience to keep at it and promptly went knife ogling online instead. It’s like I wish I was playing a ninja rpg or something.

My favourite knife shape at the moment, is probably the Mukimono knife. Actually, mukimono refers to the decorative art of food carving and the knife types and shapes can be varied although it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the general use one is kinda like an usuba but with a pointy tip. Functionally, it’s pretty much the same, with a flat profile, single bevel edge. The Shigefusa below would be a suitable example. North of $600 and at least a year’s waiting time.

For my next gyuto, I’ll probably step up to like a pricey post $300 laser or somesuch. But for my fantasy kop, it would no doubt be a kiritsuke. Gotta run with the mystical single bevel yanagi/usuba hybrid knife that you’re only supposed to get once you attain mastery in both knives. It’s not a replacement for either or a gyuto sub. It’s a Prius. Sorta. Actually, the Keijiro Doi forged Sakai Takayuki one below is a pretty sweet deal at about $330. Pity it’s something I can’t use.

As we progress onto slicers, I want a few really. For now, I’m actually considering plumping for a yanagiba/fuguhiki/takohiki in the nearish future. The most practical being the yanagiba. The fuguhiki is just a thinner version of that and the takohiki has a long, flatter profile and is really better for sashimi than sushi. But for fantasy, I’d love a sakimaru takohiki just for kicks. Like this Suisin Hayate. Forged by Keijiro Doi, starting at about $1000. More a sword than a kitchen tool.

Actually, this might be my next gyuto if I can get my hands on one and if it’s not too expensive. It’s a prototype by a newish knifemaker in the States, Don Nguyen. I just like the combo of modern facet style form with the Japanese traditional motif and a handle that’s not distinctly Western in style. It’s also kinda pared down, which is not something you’d find with most American knives. Too bad, the same dude is a one man show who can’t make too many at all at the moment.

This other relatively subdued American knife is also a beaute, even with the Western style handle and whatnot. A Michael Rader creation. Pity it’s another cost fest and I get the nagging feeling I’ll hate the handle anyway. That hamon (blade pattern) though is absolute sex.

Is it too much to ask that your knives look cool and are actually affordable as well as useable? Why do I have to be stuck with gyutos and pettys? I want a big ass sword sharper than the other guys big ass sword to wave around in the kitchen and compare lengths and profiles and pretend like I’m better.

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