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Old 12-26-2010, 03:41 PM   #1
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Are Shun Kaji knives good for lefties?

We have a some new (thus far unused) Shun Kaji paring knives in the house. Last night a dinner guest mentioned that they are ideal for right handers, but not lefties, as the blades are sharpened only on one side. Now, this guest is not afraid to offer opinions on things he doesn't know enough about, so the question is: Is he right? I'm right handed, my wife isn't, so it matters. Looking at the knife, I can't see what he's talking about. Thanks for any help.

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:55 PM   #2
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I clipped this description from Amazon.

Our Shun Kaji Fusion Utility Knife is the perfect all-purpose knife to have in your kitchen. Use it for slicing, chopping, dicing, you'll find unlimited uses for it in your kitchen. Whatmakes the Kaji Knife Line THE choice in your kitchen? Made with SG-2 powdered steel, the Shun Kaji knives have a higher density and grain structure, with no imperfections or weak points, holding a 64 Rockwell hardness. These incredible knives have the ability to remain hard, but remain flexible enough to hold a razor sharp edge without chipping. The SG-2 blades have superior edge retention and are sharpened easily. Beautiful with it's pattern Damascus, the Kaji line is clad with two different kinds of steel, a nickel alloy and a high-carbon stainless steel, which have been folded together to provide additional strength and resilience, giving you the sharpest blades with the hardest cutting edges, yet remarkably resilient to chipping. Three different metals are used in the Kaji line, the folded nickel alloy and high-carbon stainless steel blend, and the SG-2 cutting core. Each knife has a full tang, rivets, and Pakkawood handles. Designed to be easy use and to care for, Shun has kept a knife return that is clear of the bolster, an important factor when it comes to sharpening the blade. Both right handed and left handed users will find these knives comfortable, regardless of hand size. Each knife is capped at an angle, and features the Shun logo. These knives are beautiful in and out of the knife block! Hand washing recommended; limited lifetime warranty.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #3
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Thanks, Andy, I saw that as well. But it seems the comfort aspect refers to the symetry of the handle. My question was about the blade orientation.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:44 PM   #4
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Right, but they probably would not mention left handed comfort if a lefty could not use the knife.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:25 PM   #5
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A right or left hand specific knife will have the blade ground on one side only (like a chisel) instead of the typical V of western knives. I think the KAJI is a western style edge.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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Usually an "either hand" knife will have a symmetrical handle. A "right or left hand only" knife will have an asymmetrical handle suitable for just one of your two hands.
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:18 PM   #7
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Shun Kaji knives

Hello!

Shun's Kaji knives are sharpened on both sides of the blade. The handle is ambidextrous...so you're fine.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Usually an "either hand" knife will have a symmetrical handle. A "right or left hand only" knife will have an asymmetrical handle suitable for just one of your two hands.
Not necessarily so.

The "D" shaped handle is purely for user comfort, and is not related to whether the blade is single bevel or double bevel. In fact I can't recall seeing the "D" handle on a single bevel knife as all of mine have octagonal handles.

Other chefs in my kitchen have Gyutos which are double bevel and come with the "D" handle.

The other thing about the "left" and "right" handed singlr bevel blades is that it also depends on how you use them. My head chef and I are both right handed but he uses a left handed yanagiba on fish and I use a right handed yanagiba, it comes down to the techniques we were taught when younger.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:59 AM   #9
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IIRC the Kajis are symmetrically beveled. They're as good for a lefty as for a righty. However, I don't care much for them for either hand! I don't care for the German shape they have- too much belly. However edge retention is really good, probably due to the 61 RC SG-2 powdered steel hagane. It's a little bit hard to sharpen due to abrasion resistance of SG-2 but once sharp it'll go quite awhile between touch ups.
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