The Sakimaru from Findking has an SKD11 core and comes with an outer softer stainless steel cladding. The cladding is very visible and adds to the aesthetics of the knife. The knife also comes with a traditional Wa-handle with an octagon shape.
Knife Rockwell Hardness and Core Material
The knife Rockwell hardness is specified with a Rockwell of 62 plus or minus 2. But during my testing, the Rockwell was close to 63. SKD11 has excellent stainless property, so you don’t have to worry about rusting. Because it is a single bevel knife with a high Rockwell, you need to be delicate with the edge. It means that you can only use it to slice through soft produce like boneless salmon and tuna.
If you put the knife flat at the Shinogi line, then the knife has a 10-degree Shinogi face. However, they lifted the blade by two degrees, so you get a 12 degrees single beveled edge. The flat side has a concave and is sharpened at 0 degrees. In other words, completely flat.
Blade aesthetic and food release
The knife has some layered Damascus patterns, which only adds to the aesthetics. However, if we look at the Shinogi line, we see multiple layers, which help to create air pockets for food release. If you also look closely, the Shinogi line also has a slightly convex face. This convex face is extremely important and, therefore, should not be removed. With this in mind, I understand why Findking did not go for a 10-degree angle but added 2 degrees to the Shinogi face to create a separate single beveled edge.
Keep in mind that this is a Sakimaru and not a Yanagiba, it means that the blade profile is pretty much completely flat. It has the correct profile for specialized tasks. If you work in a sushi restaurant and you need to prep tuna, you know that we create even rectangular sizes. This knife is excellent for that purpose. And here, you can see the Tuna prep work and how we cut rectangular sizes. As for nigiri slices, a Yanagiba is better for that task because of the gently curved profile. With the Sakimaru, you need to adjust your slicing style to accommodate the straighter profile for nigiri slices.
Knife balance point
The knife balance point is at the logo area, which makes the knife front heavy. Since this is a Sakimaru, you hold the knife with a fingertip grip, and you let the knife do the work. So use the weight of the knife and the complete length to preserve freshness. Every sushi chef will tell you to slice and not to crush, and that is why Sushi knives are long, narrow, and single-beveled. The front-heavy knife will force you to use the knife’s weight and length to do the work for you, so you don’t have to apply any extra downward force of your own.
Plunge Cut VS Slicing motion
In this example, we use a plunge cut versus a slicing motion. You will see that the plunge cut is tearing the mango flesh, and the slice is a lot cleaner. And therefore, the mango will stay longer fresh after it has been cut. As you can see, the left plunge cut has torn fibers, and the right side has a clean cut.
The traditional Wa-handle is an octagon handle, which is a well-balanced design for comfort and grip. The handle comes with Ebony wood in the middle and Sapele wood at the top and bottom. You also have copper dividers and a copper finish at the top instead of glue. When the handle feels dry, you can apply a thin layer of mineral oil from time to time.
Fit and Finish
The fit and finish are excellent, from the concave at the back and the convex Shinogi face with the added 2 degrees beveled edge. They have added everything that you can expect from a specialized knife and more.
Weight & Distal Spine Taper
The knife weight is around 280grams. The knife comes with a spine taper with 3.7mm at the heel, 3.2mm at the middle, and 2.0mm at the front. The knife is very stiff, and there is no flex during use.
Suitable for home cooks or Professional Cooks?
This knife is highly specialized, and therefore it is not suitable for home cooks. Even for professional cooks, this knife limits usage and is primarily used on a specific task like tuna prep work. While it also works for Salmon prep work, I prefer a Yanagiba over a Sakimaru for Salmon. It is a highly specialized knife, and even going through Ebi tempura will increase the chipping rate on the blade.
Maintenance and Care
Since this is a single beveled knife, you should never use a honing rod on this knife. You should also never sharpen this knife flat on the Shinogi’s face. Since the Shinogi face area has a slight convex, you destroy the added convex’s purpose and eliminate the layered lines that create air pockets. It is advisable to lift the knife, and not sharpen it flat on the Shinogi’s face. It would be best if you always preserved the concave on the flat side of this knife. Without the concave, the knife is destroyed. Therefore your stone should always be completely flat if you sharpen the single beveled knife or only remove the burr on the concaved side but do not add an angle. This knife is only suitable for delicate use. Going through anything semi-hard like an Ebi tempura will increase the chances of chipping.
Wooden Box and Saya
I like the added Saya, but I’m not entirely sure about the wooden box. I wish that they included a cheaper alternative by excluding the wooden box.
As a specialized knife, I’m very impressed with what Findking is delivering, and that is for an unbelievable price point. Despite the lovely and fantastic price point for what they deliver, the Sakimaru is a highly specialized knife. Therefore, it is not suitable for domestic use and is only ideal for a select few professional cooks specializing in Japanese cuisine. A Yanagiba is more versatile, so I advise the Yanagiba over the Sakimaru unless you do a lot of specialized prep work like tuna.
🛒S H O P:
Findking Yanagiba Prestige:
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In the past, I have had some problems with Octagonal handles and therefore I avoided buying them from a Chinese-made manufacturer. It seems like the quality control has been improved but I can only review based on what I got. This Sakimura from Findking was straight and not twisted and was not affecting any performance.
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