Kikuichi Sujihiki 270mm Carbon Review
There are a few attributes I look for when I consider a slicer. The first is length and for me the longer the better. This knife is 270mm long. I actually use my slicers as chef's knives sometimes because I found it to be easier to use one knife when I worked in restaurants. Next, I inspect the knife right out of the box. I was impressed by the blade considering the price. It had a few minor flaws in the handle but I am being really nitpicky. I use all my knives and I'm not looking for a showpiece. I am looking for a workhorse of a knife. The edge out of the box was serviceable but any knife can always be sharper. Then I use the knife as it came for a wide variety of tasks In this case, I chopped and sliced onions and vegetables and I sliced cooked and raw meats. It performed just as a quality slicer should. The blade is pretty thin and narrow. It did take me a little while to get used to the handle but once I found a comfortable grip the knife was like an extension of my hand. I really don't know why I didn't buy this knife sooner. I always like to use a knife as it comes before I sharpen it to get a feel for the knife. I don't know why but that's the way I do it. I guess I like to understand what the maker or designer might have been intending before I decide to change anything. I thought this knife could easily be thinned out a little at the very edge. So I sharpened it on a 1k grit stone and just stropped it on a piece of leather with diamond spray. This improved the edge very much. I feel like with even more sharpening the knife will just keep getting better and better. I will definitely continue to thin it a little each time I sharpen it. With a slicer, you can definitely go for a slightly thinner edge.
The knife has plenty of length without feeling awkward or too big for home or professional use. The steel in the Kikuichi Knives is pretty easy to grind. It was definitely one of the easier knives I have sharpened. A lot of Japanese knives are so hard they are a pain to sharpen. Sometimes you want a knife that is easy to use, easy to sharpen, and is tough enough to stand up to whatever you throw at it. I am actually thinking about getting a gyuto from the series.
As with most carbon steel knives there is some maintenance required. I really love the performance of carbon opposed to stainless and don't mind any of the precautions you have to take. I consider it part of my regular routine to dry a knife off after it gets wet or to wash it after it gets dirty. I thought the knife reacted well to acidic ingredients like onions and tomatoes. I have seen plenty of knives rust in front of my eyes while using them. This knife wasn't one of them. A simple wipe of the blade with a dry towel and I was ready to go back to work.
I would rate the edge retention on this knife good. It is not going to hold an edge as long as a lot of the harder Japanese Knives out there but for a slicer, do you really need it? I think this would make a great knife to take to a restaurant for your shift or to be the main slicer at home. It can take the abuse of a professional kitchen and, if need be, it can hold up a thinner edge for making paper thin slices of meat at home.
I'd rate the Kikuichi as follows:
Overall finish of the knife and handle: 8
Comfort ability while using: 8.5
Edge retention: 7
Bang for your buck value: 9