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Kisuke x Zahocho Gyuto Review

Zahocho Knives Tokyo is the first online shop that offered the Kisuke Manaka-sans knife with a stainless clad over the standard Iron clad line. Wich Kisuke Manaka-san now also provides in his newer standard line. However, it is the requested specifications of the Kisuke and Zahocho collaboration that makes this Gyuto unique. The specification that Zahocho requested shows you exactly what Zahocho has intended for the knife without changing the philosophies and style of the blacksmith. Wich is to make a sturdy beginner-friendly knife that is easy to use and won’t chip easily.

Kisuke x Zahocho Choil Shot
Kisuke x Zahocho Choil Shot

Aesthetic

The Kisuke by Zahocho Gyuto has a blade length of 235mm on my review sample and it comes with a polished hammered finish (Tsuchime finish). It comes with a stainless cladding and the core material is an Aogami #2 steel from Hitachi Metals which is a non-stainless steel type.

Hitachi Metals, LTD
Hitachi Metals, LTD

This steel type will discolor after multiple uses which we call a patina layer which is a natural protective layer that will rust-proof your knife over time. However, you still have to reduce the exposure to moisture until you have built a strong Patina.

Kisuke X Zahocho with Patina
Kisuke X Zahocho with Patina

It comes with an octagonal rosewood handle and the logo is stamped onto the blade.

Kisuke X Zahocho Gyuto
Kisuke X Zahocho Gyuto

Kisuke x Zahocho Specifications

Before we do a deep dive into the specifications of the Kisuke by Zahocho Gyuto I want you to know that these specifications are based on my review sample. Kisuke Manaka-sans knives are entirely handmade, and he laminates the knives in-house instead of buying pre-laminated steel. This means that the specifications of each knife will differ slightly.

Kisuke Manaka
Kisuke Manaka

The knife weight

The knife feels quite hefty in the hands due to its weight of 223 grams. However, due to the overall balance and knife design, the knife is very easy to be controlled and feels very comfortable in your hand, you won’t notice the hefty weight during use. And the added weight will make cutting meat a lot easier.

Kisuke X Zahocho 230mm Gyuto
Kisuke X Zahocho 230mm Gyuto

Gripping Style & Balance Point

The point of balance is under the Zahocho logo. The most comfortable grip is the pinch grip, but to accommodate the balance point and overall comfort your middle finger should be under the choil.

Kisuke X Zahocho Point of Balance
Kisuke X Zahocho Point of Balance

Knife Handle & Comfort

The handle is made from an octagonal rosewood handle. What you will notice is that the octagonal handle is a bit smaller, narrower, and more rectangular compared to others which feel very comfortable around your fingers and adds extra grip to this knife design.

Right side is the Kisuke X Zahocho Handle
Right side is the Kisuke X Zahocho Handle

Sharpness & Edge Retention

The knife on my review sample is sharpened at around a 15-degree angle per side. Along with the Aogami #2 core material that is hardened around 63 on the Rockwell scale. This knife will last you around 8 months with regular honing sessions before you need a whetstone maintenance session if used at home.

Aogami #2 Steel HRC:63
Aogami #2 Steel HRC:63

Blade Profile

The blade profile is quite flat but still versatile to do all the tasks you expect from a Gyuto. It is great for a forward down and up motion and you can still rock with the knife.

Kisuke X Zahocho Gyuto Blade Profile
Kisuke X Zahocho Gyuto Blade Profile

Distal spine taper & Fit and Finish

The knife thickness at the heel is 3.7mm, 2.1mm in the middle, and 1.0mm at the front (measured 1cm away from the tip). You will notice that the spine at the heel is quite thick which adds extra grip when you pinch around that area. The added thickness and the rounded spine and choil add to the overall comfort of the knife. The blade is also nicely sealed into the handle. The Kasumi mist-like finish is also nicely done with a visible contrast between the core material and the cladding.

Kisuke X Zahocho Spine Taper
Kisuke X Zahocho Spine Taper

Blade Grind (Kiriba)

The Kisuke by Zahocho Gyuto has a subtle convex grind. This type of grind adds extra durability and strength to the knife.

Blade Subtle Convex Grind
Blade Subtle Convex Grind

Tsuchime Finish & Food Release

The hammered side creates air pockets and therefore reducing any vacuum effect or drag onto your blade. But the effect of the food release will only be noticeable once the food reaches that part.

Food Release
Food Release

Knife Height

The height of 54.5mm is what makes this knife a joy to use along with the gripping style and balance point. It comes with control of a shorter Gyuto without sacrificing the length. And the taller blade that does not taper down to a point but rather gives you a rounded front makes the knife less daunting and easy to use.

Santoku like front
Santoku like front

Key Takeaway & Recommendation

The Kisuke by Zahocho Gyuto is a very well-made and beautiful knife. With a weight of 223 grams, it is quite a hefty knife however due to the overall design specifications the knife does not feel heavy and is well balanced. The intention of this Kisuke by Zahocho is immediately noticeable, it is catered to be beginner-friendly by giving you total control over the blade out of the box. You will feel like you have used the knife before, and that without sacrificing the length of the knife. Despite having a length of around 230mm the knife performs and feels like a shorter knife due to the control you get. Besides the out of the box control, the knife has been reinforced with a slight convex grind. This adds extra strength and drastically reduces the chipping and fracture rate due to improper usage. The Kisuke by Zahocho is a very unique knife that is well built. It is catered for either the home cooks or professionals. The added comfort of having a taller knife throughout the entire blade length makes the tip a bit wider and less pointy than normal.

Kisuke Manaka: 5th generation Blacksmith
Kisuke Manaka: 5th generation Blacksmith

Warning

While this Kisuke Manaka- sans knife is built to be durable and beginners friendly don’t go hammering on bones. And definitely don’t twist your blade to break off food.

Don't chop bones with the Gyuto!
Don’t chop bones with the Gyuto!

Zahocho Knives Tokyo Online Shop

Zahocho Knives Tokyo made a very unique Collaboration and I’m looking forward to the new Zahocho Originals and Collaborations. They also shipped the knife very fast and the knife is well protected with enough padding around the box and in the box. Visit Zahocho.com for more unique Japanese-made knives.

Zahocho
Zahocho.com

Kisuke Manaka-San High Demand

Kisuke Manaka-Sans knives are entirely handmade, his knives are already of such a high standard that they can only get better and probably more expensive. Also with the high demand and popularity of the Kisuke Manaka-sans knives, you may need to wait more than a year before you can get your hands on a Kisuke Hamono.

Kisuke Manaka X Zahocho Knives Tokyo
Kisuke Manaka X Zahocho Knives Tokyo

🛒S H O P:
Zahocho Knives Tokyo Official Website
Kisuke X Zahocho Gyuto from Zahocho Knives Tokyo

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Hi, I'm ChefPanko, I have worked for multiple restaurants and have decided to share my experience with you guys. I will share recipes and techniques that I have learned, taken, and improved from the French, Japanese restaurants that I have worked for. I will also explore other cuisines with you guys.

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