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Old 02-17-2008, 11:10 PM   #1
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Unhappy Kyoto Utility Knife issue

First thing, I know I get what I pay for. I really like the style and shape of the blade so when they were on sale at Kohl's, I picked a couple up. The other day the inevitable happened, I dropped it on the floor.

The good news was it landed on the back end of the handle and the blade did not suffer any damage.
The bad news is it landed on the back end of the handle and the handle split. I notice this is common in the larger handles of the other ones in the store. The grain is running the long way and must not be very stout.

Do I try to send it back and since the line was not on the Chicago Cutlery website would it get repaired or replaced? Outside of not dropping them, how can I make sure this does not happen again? I am thinking of a shot of superglue to stabilize the crack. Or possibly a handle replacement surgery?

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Old 02-17-2008, 11:41 PM   #2
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Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Contact the company/retailer and see what happens. The worst thing is they can tell you to jump in the lake. Go for it. Certainly if you don't do anything, nothing's going to happen.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:04 AM   #3
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I'd probably try to get it replaced under warranty. I'm a bit surprised- the Kyoto's have a metal cap on the end of the handle and feel quite sturdy. While I have a pretty good assortment of more expensive Japanese knives, I also bought the block Kyoto set at Kohls just to try them out. For the price I am favorably impressed. They're no Shuns but nice for $125 for the entire set. After I sharpened them all on waterstones they cut well and seem to retain the edge pretty well, too.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:09 AM   #4
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That handle shouldn't be splitting from a drop on the floor...unless you're 12 feet tall and have a floor made of spinning slabs of solid granite.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:36 AM   #5
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What's the handle made from? Are you putting them in the dishwasher?
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:48 AM   #6
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I'm the dishwasher. and the handle hasn't even been dunked in the sink once, the slick shiny blade is easy to clean. I have a 25 year old Dexter I salvaged from oblivion that someone (not me) sent to the dish washer and knicked the blade. I managed to remove it from the trash and fixed it.

It is some kind of straight grain wood. Or a dyed laminate like diamondwood which I have turned pens on a lathe with. It dropped about 4 feet and impacted on the end cap at a slight angle. Not normally enough impact but it may have had a stress fracture hidden from it's construction, or a compression fracture from the drop. I noticed the handles at the store on the larger knives had cracks on 60% of the samples.

I was surprised that such a minor drop did this.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:07 AM   #7
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If other handles had cracks, it's a manufacturing issue. Sounds like the wood they are using has not been dried properly or they are putting too much stress on the handle during assembly.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:06 PM   #8
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It's Pakkawood. And you really shouldn't wash them in the dishwasher- it's very bad for them. Even so it's unlikely to split when dropped. I think the Kyoto line has a good warranty. I still say take the bad one back and exchange it for a new one.

Btw, how do you like the Kyoto knives overall? After sharpening them on waterstones they have a good edge and seem to hold up well. I keep my Kyoto block out on the counter to prevent anyone from using my Shuns.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:10 PM   #9
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I only bought the Utillity knife since I am not a fan of the Santokus and I like the shape of the "sashimi"/utility knife. I have a small one of that style I got years ago at Williams Sonoma with a wood sheath that has gotten lots of use. This is just a larger variation of that little knife. So far it has been good and sharp for every thing I have used it for. The Kyoto was a definite deal while on sale for 50% off after the holidays. Not that it was that expensive to start with.

I may not have been clear but when I say I am the dishwasher, I meant my hands and a sink. I don't have an automated dish washer. Never felt a need for one.

Pakkawood and Diamondwood are similar processes I think the later is made of multi colored veneers where the former is one color. Both are resin impregnated so my super glue crack fill should work fine. I am guessing stress from when they attach the end cap with the drop being the nail in the coffin.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:52 PM   #10
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I use Gorilla Glue on all of my many things that get damaged.. It forms a stronger bond than any other glue on the market and just a tiny amount will do the job. If you can not get yours replaced this is what I would do
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:39 AM   #11
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I'd rather have a replacement, but I guess the glue option is worth a try. As you say, it's not an expensive knife.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:11 PM   #12
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The adhesive depends on how your fixing it.

First, SuperGlue? No. .... Just no.

Gorilla Snot? It's a foaming urethane and the best choice if you can clamp the crack closed during curing. Urethane glues are waterproof. If you can't clamp it closed the foam will leave pits for contamination to gather. See any one of the thousands of threads on sanitation. And Snot is not meant as a filler so unless it's clamped you won't get much strength. (PS: Use food service/ latex/ pvc gloves if your hands appearance is important)

I would use a 2 part epoxy intended for filling.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:17 PM   #13
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Super glue makes a good small crack filler especially on polyurethane type finishes or resin infused wood. It is water proof, buffable and pretty good at building up cracks. It hasn't any mechanical bond strength but in a hairline crack it is just the ticket. The trick is to make sure the wood is dry or another crack may appear close by. GG would not be a suitable glue and epoxy would work if it was a clean two part fracture, no way to force it into the tiny fissure.

I have used super glue on electric guitar repairs especially to fix dings and chips on the heavy poly finishes they use nowadays. If it were a natural wood finish I would not use super glue but with a resin infused wood I see no problem.

Having said that on further inspection all three of the utility knives have developed tiny hairline cracks so it is a manufacturing defect of some kind. Two of them have not been used yet.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:33 PM   #14
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I have retract my previous comments- after reading about the cracked knives you have I went thru my Kyoto block. Sure enough, several of 'em have very fine, hairline cracks in the handle. None have been dropped or otherwise abused, and a couple of cracked ones have never even been used!

All in all, even though they initially made a favorable impression given the low price, I'd have to give them the big thumbs-down. Even at $125 for the entire set with the block, one should be able to expect better.
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