Maker & Type: Sugimoto Sujihiki
Steel: Stainless (Chromium/ Molybdenum)
RC Hardness: 58-63
Blade Length: 270mm
Blade Height (at the heel) 38mm
Blade Width: 2mm
Handle Length: 135mm
Bevel: Double Bevel 1/99 Right Handed
Upon arrival, my initial impression of the Sugimoto 270mm Sujuhiki was that is was a substantial knife. Contrary to what I had expected, the knife had significant heft to it. I usually think of a sujihiki as a thin and delicate knife. This was thick and heavy. Also, the taper of the spine only began at the last 1/3rd of the blade. The initial edge seemed very coarsely ground. There was scratching along the edge from the heel to the tip, and the tip was bent for about the last 1-2mm. The handle, however, was very well done. Great fit and finish and very comfortable in my hand. In testing the initial edge, I found the out of the box sharpness to be lacking. Whereas most of my knives can shave hairs with no pulling or irritation whatsoever, the sugimoto did not remove any hair, but rather pulled and caught on everything it touched. And so off to the stones it went. One quick thing to note about the knife is that it is not a clad knife. It is essentially “honyaki”, or one single piece of the same steel.
The edge took a while to regrind. I was using a set of large Naniwa bricks (I don’t have any more info on them… they were gifts from my chef in
). I reground on a 220 grit stone and re-profiled the edge. Then I took it up from 200 to 1000 to 2000 to 6000 to 8000 and finished on a 10,000 naniwa superstone. It took a good edge, but it took a long time to get there. The metal seemed pretty hard, but not too brittle. I’m guessing in the 61-62 range. I used this as my main knife for about 3 weeks. In fact, I did just about everything with it. It held an edge pretty well, though the initial “fresh off the stones” feel was lost really quickly. 3 weeks later, with moderate use both at home and some professional kitchens, I could still slice through tomato skin pretty easily. I touched it up on a Chromium oxide charged strop a couple of times. Overall, I thought it was a good knife. Good, but not great. The knife is substantial… not too heavy, but enough to feel comfortable for someone who is used to German knives. The 270mm length felt comfortable for me… not too long, not to short. My biggest gripe with the knife was its thickness and the taper. Plus, it is pretty thick behind the edge. This causes it to wedge in some more crisp foods (i.e. onion, apple, etc.). As I said before, I expect a slicer to have a much thinner profile. The thickness also leads to no flex in the blade at all. Another problem with the thickness was that I could not use a press-cut technique. Push-cut and pull-cut worked just fine. The blade is nonreactive, so I had no problems with acidic foods or leaving the blade a little wet after cutting.
Overall, on a scale of 1-10 I would rate this knife a 7. If I were looking for a beast of a knife to do everything I might need during a lunch or dinner service, this is a knife I would use (as my only service knife). However, simply as a sujihiki, I think there are better options out there (i.e. Kikuichi elite carbon sujihiki or for nearly the same price, a Takeda or tadatsuna).