Sunday, August 8, 2010

The sharpest damn thing I have ever seen...?

So, my pals at Sur La Table sent me a coupon for $10 off my next puchase last week. The mailing was very nice and flattering declaring that "You are one of our best customers." It must be the 5 or 6 people I have sent their way looking for Emile Henry, Staub and Le Creuset. That must have triggered the flatter... that and the fact that I bought some Emile Henry, Staub, and Le Creuset.

So I walked in the door during lunch hour on Thursday. One of my favorite sales ladies grabbed hold of me right away, asking what she could show me today. I showed her the coupon, and said I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just rummaging around looking for sales.

She basically dragged me over to the knife section to show me the Miyabi knives. As strongly as she could, she urged me to grab the 7 inch Santoku. The normal price is supposed to be $129.95, and it is on sale for just $89.95. It will soon be going up. She explained all of this too me as she grabbed a new one out of the lockup cabinets.

I wasn't too thrilled by the notion. I have a lot of knives. I had just added a marvelous Misono 155mm utility knife to my kit, and I was thinking about the Misono Gyuto next. Still, I wanted to give that knife a whirl; hold it in my hand; give it a test cut or two, and see if there was any substance to it.

The knife was extremely sharp. It handled well. It had a very nice weight and balance to it. I like the Kullens. Hollow grinds are my specialty. I was doubtful. I am not a particular fan of J.A. Henckels. I am a bigger fan of Wusthof. Miyabi is owned by Henckels. This is their 'full market capitulation brand.' This is the one Iron Chef Morimoto endorses, but does not use. Have a look.

Even at this moment, I am not exactly sure why I caved in and bought it. Value was on my mind. The knife cost a total of $86.00 out the door. That is precious little for a knife like that. The Santoku is my favorite knife design. It's the best knife for just about anything. I also love the hollow grind. As I walked out the door with my new Miyabi Santoku, I basically slapped myself, saying "That was stupid! You already have two excellent Wustof Santokus, a Kyocera coming back in the mail, and now this? With such an acute edge, how are you going to sharpen this thing?"

Well, here we are a few days later. I am pretty damn glad I bought this knife. Cooking with it for the first time was something else. I had some nasty trials for it as well. I made celery root mash, turnip mash, and hash brown potatoes. All of these roots pose interesting problems for a blade.

The blade fell through a large yellow Spanish onion like it was going through air. For those who don't know about Celery root, that is one tough root. I had to press the Santoku to get it through, but it sliced the celery root without a lot of effort. I have seen others, including Alton Brown, really fight with these things. Alton uses Shun, by the way. He even brought out the dreaded hacksaw, although he quickly switched to the Santoku (smart substitution there).

Turnips are usually tougher, but it was easier chopping turnips than the celery root, for this particular blade. That was shocking. Surprisingly enough, the simple russet potatoes were the most problematic. These things formed a vacuum seal with side wall of the knife that was surprisingly difficult to break.

I am trying to be conservative here, and remember back 3 years ago when my Kyocera Santokus were brand-new. However, I want to say that this Miyabi may well be the sharpest damn knife I have ever seen. I don't say that lightly. I have fucked around quite a bit with knifes. I have Wusthof, Misono, Cutco, Kyocera, Victorinox, F. Dick, and Shun in my collection. I am not talking about the lesser series either.

At this moment, the Miyabi is the sharpest thing I have in my collection, with the Misono UX-10 150mm petty knife coming in 2nd place.

I have been stuck in a mild state of amazement and perplexity for the past several days. Why don't more people know about this? Why isn't there a buzz?

I decided to have a look on the internet for some information in this regard. I found it. This is the highest rated link on Bing and Google regarding the Miyabi 600D Fusion Morimoto Edition. If you read what this gentleman expert has to say about it, I think you will find it quite an eye opener.

He was asked by Henckels to participate in the beta tests of these blades. Yep, that's right, they asked him for some help. He requested and received a Miyabi 255mm Gyuto. Although the knife was extremely sharp right out of the box, he decided to re-touch the edge himself with a diamond impregnated strop and some fine film.

He tested it against a Nenox S1 Karin Gyuto. That is a $600 blade from Japan. Even the Nenox G-Type are $300 blades. So far, this gentleman believes the Miyabi 600D is the top gun. He claims it is far sharper than Shun. Wow... I mean wow...

So you can see, dear people, it isn't just me. Some professional experts are also impressed by these blades. To think the edge can be further refined and get better still is shocking. To think I walked out the door with an $86 edge that can out-perform a $400-$500 custom knife makes me very happy indeed. Now that is value, and I always love a good value.

Word of advice to Sam Bradford. Now that you have that big contract, and will be outfitting your first home, go over to the Sur La Table website and order a set of Miyabi 600D Fusion knives. You will get glad you did. It won't cost you much of the guaranteed money, and you basically can't get better. As Favre says, you can pay more, but you won't get more.

This way, when either mom or a girlfriend come over and cook for you on an off-day, they can be very impressed with your cutlery.