SharpEdge ZDP-189 Bunka Kitchen Knifesearch

SharpEdge ZDP-189 Bunka Kitchen Knife

SharpEdge ZDP-189 Bunka Kitchen Knife

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Ugh.... Just got a "this is going to ship late" notice......was expecting to have it for christmas 😩 @sharpedge Do you have any more info than what MD provided as to the nature of the delay? Or realistically if it can still be expected before christmas, or if i need to make other plans now?
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Hey @Mattwest and @Kavik, good news! The knives have been cleared and will be delivered this afternoon to Massdrop’s warehouse. I dont know how much time Massdrop will need to prepare single packages and send them to you, but it shouldn’t take very long. @kyleemj, do you know approximately when can they expect to receive the knives? I hope before Christmas? Thanks!
sharpedge
Excellent, thanks for the additional follow up 👍
I'm a little late to this drop, but hopefully my review can provide some value if/when this drops again! Happy cooking - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj0Cf2usorc
justinkhanna
I had watched that one, but aside from that one review, had a hard time finding any other info on this knife outside of MD or the manufacturer's site. Bit of a gamble on this one at this price, $250 isn't exactly high end prices in kitchen knives, but it can get you a lot of knife from other known manufacturers and sellers, so, crossing fingers that it's all it's hyped up to be!
Kavik
We'll make sure Bunka gets more exposure and independent reviews next year, plus we will add option to post a review on our website, so it's a bit more transparent. Thanks for the input!
Can the bunka replace a traditional 8" chef knife as a "go to" or all purpose knife in the kitchen? Are there any tasks that an 8" chef's knife can perform where the bunka cannot?
zb217
Hi Zach - thanks for your question. Bunka is a multi-purpose knife that can definitely replace a Chef's knife in a professional kitchen. A lot of our customers are pro chefs that use it as their main knife. Here's one recent review of the Bunka from a chef, I hope it will help! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj0Cf2usorc Best, Grega
sharpedge
I also think it’s worth noting this knife is not a rock and chop style knife. It has a fairly flat profile and is made for push cutting. If you typically rock I would consider getting a Kramer or something with more of a rounded belly
Finally a high quality knife with a fantastic steel and a interesting profile! Please continue to put quality chef knives on massdrop! Maybe a Shibata Kotetsu bunka next?
csaplala
Glad to hear you like it!
I was looking around for more information on this knife and reviews of it and found the original sellers website and it was exactly the same price as it is here. I dont know where you pulled the 320 dollars price tag from but on all the sites i found it wasnt that price at all
Rhopegh
Hi! Grega here from SharpEdge.  Thanks for your comment and the research you done on our Bunka! I can provide some insight on the $320 price tag. In this promotion, available only to Massdrop community, the Saya (wooden knife sheath) comes with the Bunka knife by default. We found that knives of our customers will remain sharper longer, and will have much less chance of damage, if they store the knife into the sheath when not using the knife. Together with Massdrop we decided it was better to only offer the Bunka with the Saya included. On our website we offer to purchase the Bunka without a Saya too. The price of only the knife itself is today approximately $285 (or exactly €250 in Euros, since our prices are by default in Euros, as we are from Europe). Saya costs additional $30 (€26), but we offer 15% discount on Saya if you purchase it at the time you purchase the Bunka). So the total price without any discounts for a Bunka knife + Saya is €276, or around $315. Dollar was getting stronger in the last month, and this $5 dollar difference is a result of determining the prices at the beginning of the planning of the drop. At that time, the value of €276 was approximately $320. It's our fault for not correcting this, but I hope you can forgive us this mistake. :) We think the 22% discount on the Bunka + Saya is very good, and for these next 5 days you won't find this bundle any cheaper anywhere else. It's a long story, but I hope it clears out the price point issue. :) Thanks, Grega
sharpedge
I actually wish we had the option to drop the Saya for a discount here... But I get it's easier to just offer one package
@sharpedge Can you clarify a couple of things from the description for me? "Western-style kitchen knife inspired by Japanese tradition" Since the shape of the blade and handle are clearly not a Western style at all, are we to assume that just means this is a 50/50 grind and not a single bevel? Very oddly worded for such a NON western looking knife. "The steel is laminated with multiple layers, so the external layers make it easier to sharpen when it comes time" First, can you tell us the type of steel used in the outer layers? Second, how does that have anything to do with making it easier to sharpen? In my experience, best case scenario is that it has no effect at all on sharpening, since the lamination line should be well above the edge. Worst case scenario, once you've sharpened the knife enough times that you start losing blade height, you then have to thin the blade to push back the lamination line away from the edge again. If it's a good, hard enough steel, then this is no different than thinning any monosteel knife. But if it's a softer steel, it can be a hassle as it gums up the stones. Neither is a huge deal, it's just part of maintaining a knife, just curious to know which it would be ahead of time.
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Great, thank you! Now I just need to decide about the timing, and the price, considering I just joined 2 other knife drops the day before this showed up lol This knife hits so many of the points I've been looking for (wanting to try a bunka for ages, WA handle, forged, hammered kurouchi finish), but to be honest, this one is about $100 more than the ones I had been looking at, due to the higher priced steel. Decisions are fun 🙄 lol
Kavik
We cant agree more, haha. There really is no ultimate best knife, so there are always pros and cons. We’ve been offering the Bunka for several years now, and our customers appreciate the low maintenance for such a delicate piece of work. It depends what one prefers. Some like a reliable workhorse, while others enjoy taking more care of their knives, which rewards them with uniqueness in the form of a patina. Both options sound nice, and thats what we tried to capture with the Bunka. ZDP-189 steel delivers a long edge retention, and the kuro-chi finish gives every knife some uniqueness. As for the shape of the knife, we simply just love the bunka shape, both visually and functionally. 🤓 Whatever you will eventually choose, any of the options you are considering will get you a very solid knife, Im sure of that!😊 Cheers, Grega
Three questions: First question: Since this knife is laminated with a ZDP-189 core, what are the laminate metals, and how much of it is the core? Second question: What angle approximately is this sharpened to on each side? Third question: it is stated the handle is of walnut, is the ferrule made of buffalo horn, or just darker stained walnut? Great looking knife, btw. Until ZDP-189 came out I have been an SG2 user for my 10" chefs, Honesuki, Nagiri, and paring knives. I won't touch VG-10 as it is just too brittle and ZDP-189 is apparently as tough as SG2 with a higher rockwell!
Experimental
Hi Nicholas, thanks for your questions, and the compliments on the knife! It seems like you're loving your SG2 knives :) Here are the answers: 1) I'll need to check with the blacksmith what exactly is the laminated metal, but it's a stainless softer steel to protect the outer layers, like it's common with san-mai clad. I'll come back to you on this one. The ZDP-189 core represents around 30% of the total "sandwich". These are all approximations, as the cladding is done by hand. 2) It has an asymmetrical angle (70/30) towards right-handed users, and the angle of sharpening is at around 16°. 3) The ferrule is made of wood and epoxy mix to get that needed strength. No buffalo horn was used for this ferrule. Cheers, Grega
sharpedge
Hi Nicholas, I just received an answer from the blacksmith regarding the type of steel used in the outer layers of the Bunka. It's SUS410, steel that is commonly used to laminate powder steels, which provides good corrosion resistance properties. Thanks for endorsing the Bunka! Grega
Hi guys, I see there is an interesting debate happening that I can miss:) I am a professional full-time sharpener at SharpEdge and I sharpen daily a lot of different knives, also a lot of ZDP-189. In fact, I gave this Bunka to my wife last year and I can explain some simple facts. First, about the brittleness. It is brittle, and my wife would be the first to tell the tale, as she doesn't care much about the proper usage. She opens cans, cuts through bones, basically all the things you shouldn't do.. :) Probably because I can (and do) repair her knife all the time..But still. comparing it to other, shirogami and similar steels, it's actually not so terrible, like VG-10 or so. The knife is still here and holds an edge:) Sharpening - I sharpen the Bunka by hand on whetstones, steel rods are out of option (think ceramic rods), but on stones, there are no problems. With normal sharpening stones of medium/high quality and basic sharpening knowledge, there are no issues sharpening it. 20% of Chromium should be more than enough for normal steels to get it pretty much stainless, but with powder steels, like ZDP-189, it's a little bit different. With normal use, this Bunka will not develop a patina. In more extreme situations it can get a very light patina, but only with chefs like my wife, who truly ignore all knife maintenance tips. Let me give an example. My wife's Bunka got some small spots after cleaning the fish on the beach in a bucket full of a salty water, and then she left it overnight not wiping or cleaning it at all !!!:( Also, after cutting a large number of lemons, we didn't clean it too... But don't worry, I just cleaned the knife and rubbed it with a cloth and it was nice and shiny again. In short, we abused the knife and we didn't get to see it rust. And one more thing about the ZDP-189 steel and its performance. I sharpen all the knives from our kitchen arsenal, but this black beauty stays sharp looong. Very long. And that's the beauty of powder steels! Try it. Luka
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Hi guys, Just got home and found the knife in the kitchen sink all wet and dirty:):) Here are som photos, its basicaly no patina,n the only tine i got so shame spots was after the whole night salty water incident. On the photos you can also see kurochi black part of the blade worn a little bit after about 1,5 year ob abuse.
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lukisan
That is a very pretty knife. As a Chef, and a follower of all things kitchen knife related, I am going to endorse this! Why? Well, it is made out of the new super premium ZDP-189, it is made in Japan by a small group of actual craftsmen, it's rustic finish and overall shape provide an amazing aesthetic, and by these pictures, the junction from the blade to the handle looks perfect even after 1.5 years use. All that with a heavy discount including saya and free shipping.
65-67 HRc??? Are you sure Massdrop? If so this knife will be incredibly brittle. That's almost ceramic hardness
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It's definitely an odd duck of a steel. Extremely hard and has more toughness than you would expect at extremely high hardness but it's also far less stain resistant than the high chromium content would suggest. I'm certainly no smithy or otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts, but I believe I've read that the large dose of chromium and carbon work together to allow the relative toughness while still holding a very fine edge at high hardness, but the chromium is bound up in the carbides and therefore not very stainless.
Thanks for the reply!