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Kogatana Deluxe Knives


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Dear all Maestronetters.

I would like to buy a Kogatana knife. Howard Core & Dictum sell them.

The standard Kogatanas are around €20. Then there is a deluxe version at €50 (Dictum) or $80 (Howard Core).

Does anybody here have the Deluxe version, and are they really worth all that much extra?

I know Japanese knives have a bit of a reputation for chipping. Do the deluxe versions chip less, and hold an edge better? They seem an awful lot more expensive...

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2 hours ago, xraymymind said:

Dear all Maestronetters.

I would like to buy a Kogatana knife. Howard Core & Dictum sell them.

The standard Kogatanas are around €20. Then there is a deluxe version at €50 (Dictum) or $80 (Howard Core).

Does anybody here have the Deluxe version, and are they really worth all that much extra?

I know Japanese knives have a bit of a reputation for chipping. Do the deluxe versions chip less, and hold an edge better? They seem an awful lot more expensive...

I bought a wide selection of kogatana (more precisely, "kiridashi") blades direct from Japan (via eBay) a few years ago, along with a variety of gouges and saws.  The blades that I got for using in a Murphy handle look identical to what Core is offering, but cost a fraction of their price.  I've had no problem with chipping.  If you look around, Japanese tools don't seem to be hard to find.  :)

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I have both standard and de luxe Kogatana versions, but I only use them for the soundpost and in the single bevel version, so the testing field is a bit narrow. The difference is there, but it's not that big. The standard version works well, but loses sharpness faster, especially if the angle is around 20° or less, at more open angles I think the difference is less noticeable, but with more violent use (roughing) it could become evident, I don't know.

Obviously the de luxe version is much prettier with all the steel veins in evidence, one of the reasons why I couldn't resist buying it. :wub::lol:

I also have a John Schmidt knife for the same task (single bevel for soundpost) and they work equally in cutting quality, but I have to say that Japanese steel knives are more difficult to sharpen, takes more time.

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2 hours ago, violins88 said:

Davide,

Do you have the O1 or PMX knife?

 

john

PMX

In addition to the single bevel one for the soundpost, I also got two with double bevels, a thin one for the bridge cut and a wider one for the bridge foot.

I must say they are excellent:)

Only aesthetically does the Kogatana deluxe beat them.:lol:

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5 hours ago, violins88 said:

David,

It looks like it will be January, 2023.

Ah, thats a shame. I have seen and tried your knives but own none. But I'm glad you're prioritizing your happiness; those of us wanting blades can wait.

Regarding Japanese tools writ large, I like them a lot for Japanese woodwork. For violins - a western tradition - I find western tools generally better suited. I must make an exception for Japanese saws. The notion of cutting on the pull stroke is simply superior and the availability of excellent modern steel Japanese saws at affordable prices should not be ignored. 

For knives, if you cannot get a JP Schmidt (the par excellence of knives for this business), making your own of modern tool steels is best. it is time consuming to shape blanks without harming the temper, but picking up a used (if possible) or even new Starrett "hi-speed" power hacksaw blade and having it cut by a shop with a water jet pays dividends - the blanks you don't need can be sold on the luthier exchange. Heck, I would buy some. One can never have enough blades. 

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On 5/17/2021 at 6:24 AM, Davide Sora said:

I also have a John Schmidt knife for the same task (single bevel for soundpost) and they work equally in cutting quality, but I have to say that Japanese steel knives are more difficult to sharpen, takes more time.

I am a happy owner of one of John Schmidt knives and it is the one I most use.

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10 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Ah, thats a shame. I have seen and tried your knives but own none. But I'm glad you're prioritizing your happiness; those of us wanting blades can wait.

 

No, the man has a Karmic duty to fulfill his higher purpose. Happiness be damned. :P

The PMX knife blade I have from John is probably the best blade I have ever used.

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Thanks David. I will have to Google Karmic duty. I am Quaker, but I don’t think that means I can’t fulfill my Karmic duty. Shipping costs to NZ are high! ! !, plus I have only 3 square meters of shop space, which is currently being used to make a violin, with only minimal tools.

To Jackson Maberry, to shape hardened steel, without losing the temper, we can now use CBN grinding wheels. The heat is absorbed by the aluminum wheel. They are a game changer.

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35 minutes ago, violins88 said:

 I will have to Google Karmic duty. I am Quaker, but I don’t think that means I can’t fulfill my Karmic duty. Shipping costs to NZ are high! ! !, plus I have only 3 square meters of shop space, which is currently being used to make a violin, with only minimal tools.

IMHO, Google "Puruṣārtha" instead, and give David a "St. Jacob's Salute".   :lol:  One must be balanced in these things.  :)

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17 minutes ago, violins88 said:

Viola, thanks. I found Puruṣārtha, but not St. Jacob’s Salute. Help, please.

"Bugger off!", with an [in]appropriate British hand gesture.  :ph34r::lol:

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1 hour ago, violins88 said:

Thanks David. I will have to Google Karmic duty. I am Quaker, but I don’t think that means I can’t fulfill my Karmic duty. Shipping costs to NZ are high! ! !, plus I have only 3 square meters of shop space, which is currently being used to make a violin, with only minimal tools.

To Jackson Maberry, to shape hardened steel, without losing the temper, we can now use CBN grinding wheels. The heat is absorbed by the aluminum wheel. They are a game changer.

Yes! I do use a cbn wheel and it's amazing. I made my own variable speed DC grinder, and I love it.

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I think due to their cost, maybe not many here own one, so I don't think you are going to get a lot of opinions on them.

I have one of the less expensive types with a single bevel, which I thought would be good for cutting soundposts, which in a way it is, but the hollow ground into what would be the flat side, really puts me off.
This is more me than the knife, it stays sharp for a good length of time, and I haven't had any issues with chipping so far.

Though slightly unrelated to your question, I bought a 4mm version to work on bridges, and use this without a handle. Every time I use this, it makes me feel like superman because the shaft bends so much in use. Over the years it has become quite curved along the length, like a banana!

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1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

I think due to their cost, maybe not many here own one, so I don't think you are going to get a lot of opinions on them.

I have one of the less expensive types with a single bevel, which I thought would be good for cutting soundposts, which in a way it is, but the hollow ground into what would be the flat side, really puts me off.
This is more me than the knife, it stays sharp for a good length of time, and I haven't had any issues with chipping so far.

Though slightly unrelated to your question, I bought a 4mm version to work on bridges, and use this without a handle. Every time I use this, it makes me feel like superman because the shaft bends so much in use. Over the years it has become quite curved along the length, like a banana!

In fact I have eliminated the concave surface on my single bevel Kogatanas for the soundpost, grinding them on the stones because otherwise I found them unusable.

As for the bridge cutting, I have never been comfortable with the Japanese blades, especially in tight curves I have never been able to make smooth cuts. I also find that due to the soft metal they are made of (apart from the central hardened steel part) they are not tough enough to obtain a thin and stiff tip, essential for bridge cutting. I have 6mm and 4mm Kogatana blades (not de luxe) that I dedicated exclusively to the more delicate work of f-holes cutting, for which they are excellent. Due to their pliability, I think these thin blades are not suitable for jobs where it is necessary to apply force and force the grip if you use them without an handle as I do.

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I bought a set of ice bear Kiridashi knives years ago for a fraction of the price of the ones (Kogatana) mentioned in this thread. What is supposed to be the difference in quality? Ive used mine daily for over 15 years and found them excellent but they can chip   when careless or sharpened at a shallow angle. They are still only £10- £15 GBP  each in the UK

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Thanks all for the advice so far!

I wonder if anybody has experience with these Kogatana knives vs. the old Gold steel German knives. How do they differ? I'd imagine the Gold steel would be much harder, given that it was HSS.

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1 hour ago, xraymymind said:

Thanks all for the advice so far!

I wonder if anybody has experience with these Kogatana knives vs. the old Gold steel German knives. How do they differ? I'd imagine the Gold steel would be much harder, given that it was HSS.

I have a couple of very old Gold steel blades, compared to the Kogatana they hold the sharpening better but they are extremely hard and it takes a long time to sharpen them. Even the Kogatana is not very fast to sharpen, from this point of view John Schmidt's PMX steel blades are unsurpassed.

From the point of view of cutting efficiency, all three are excellent blades.

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