Do You Own a ZDP189 Cutlery?

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by -Kiku-, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. -Kiku-

    -Kiku-

    90
    Aug 13, 2020
    For the past few days, I've been searching for user experience from owners of ZDP189 cutlery. I haven't been able to find any, and I find that odd... ZDP189 has been around for quite some time so surely someone out there must've had experience with this steel in cutlery applications.

    I am currently in the market to purchase a professional quality nakiri in the near future. Currently narrowed down the choice of blade materials to either SRS15 or Aogami. SRS15 is considered a very high-end super stainless steel known for its excellent edge retention -AND- toughness. Aogami is a Japanese high-carbon blue steel known for excellent edge retention (and excellent toughness as most high-carbon steels are) and is highly prized among professional chefs. But pending the number of stories and feedback I hear from others who have had used ZDP189 kitchen knives, I could add this super steel as an alternative option for my next knife.

    ZDP189 is somewhat notorious for its brittleness and edge instability at acute bevel angles. Many kitchen knives have acute bevel, hence the concern whether ZDP189 is appropriate for cutlery applications.

    There are several manufacturers out there offering ZDP189 kitchen knives. But I believe that if you're crazy enough to make it, there will always be someone crazy enough to buy it. So the fact that ZDP189 cutlery are available doesn't mean much of anything by itself. But your user experience with this steel does. Hence the inquiry.

    Do you currently own or have you used ZDP189 kitchen knives in the past?
    If YES, please share your side of the story. I would very much like to hear about YOUR EXPERIENCE.

    What brand (Sukenari, Akifusa, Yoshida Kyusakichi, etc.) and type (gyuto, usuba, deba, etc.) of knife is/was it?
    How long have you owned and used it?
    How well did you maintain the blade? e.g. Did you always wipe the blade clean after each use?

    Have you had any issues with the blade chipping, particularly when chopping some of the bigger and harder vegetables?
    Have you cut fruits and/or limes/lemons or anything acidic with it? If YES, why? And what was the result?

    Thanks.
     
  2. dirc

    dirc

    Jan 31, 2018
    can't say I have ever owned any, but from the data, both 'official' & forum members who use zdp189 in standard pocket knives generally say:

    they are chippy... sure, the edge retention is top notch but imho there is no 'balance' with this steel choice

    do you really need that trade off? (for me, the answer is definitely no for kitchen use)
     
  3. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    I use a William & Henry ZDP folder in the kitchen. I use it for anything, lemons to chicken deconstruction. No chipping and it holds an edge like no other. It's a stainless clad blade but corrosion on the exposed 1/4" hasn't happened. I use a Sharpmaker with a 15 degree per side edge for the rare sharpening that it never really needs. I've had it about 7 years.

    I think some of the supposed ZDP problems are the product of poor heat treat, poor grinding or abuse. I've never read of any problems with W&H ZDP.
     
    tiguy7 and -Kiku- like this.
  4. KenHash

    KenHash

    Sep 11, 2014
    Post your question over at KKF for an answer. BF is mostly sporting knives fixed and folding, vintage knives with just "some" culinary.
     
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  5. -Kiku-

    -Kiku-

    90
    Aug 13, 2020
    Thank you for your input, @brownshoe. But I was hoping to find out what brand/model of kitchen knives (rather than folding or other type of hobby/recreational knives) forum members use to cut their fruits with. Nevertheless, it's reassuring to know that you haven't encountered with any problems yours throughout its seven long years.
     
  6. -Kiku-

    -Kiku-

    90
    Aug 13, 2020
    I did post several questions over at KKF forum. I was initially met by several members who seemed eager to give out recommendations and suggestions. But when I asked them questions in effort to better understand the reasons behind their recommendations, they quickly turned hostile. They seem to be of the mindset that all newcomers must accept their recommendations and suggestions without question. Or maybe it was the way I asked those questions (English is my 2nd language). But I don't think my English skill was the issue.

    They were clearly being elitist snobs who take turns to ridicule and make sarcastic remarks towards newcomers who ask questions. Not exactly conducive to discussion forum where people gather to exchange ideas, discuss relevant topics and hopefully teach one another and learn something in return.

    And yes, @KenHash. BladeForums seems more geared towards hobby knives rather than cutlery. I am not seeing much traffic here in the subforum.
     
  7. KenHash

    KenHash

    Sep 11, 2014
    Knife forums are, while terrific places to obtain and exchange information are also places where some (not all) posters simply enjoy touting off their knowledge, or in some cases lack thereof. When it comes to "recommendations" nearly all of it is (1) personal preference and/or (2) what everyone else seems to recommend. So asking for reasons behind a recommendation is really pointless as there is often no answer that can be given. And that may lead to hostility by those who feel they are doing a newbie a favor by imparting their knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, that is not unique to that particular forum.
    That said, KKF has more hardcore kitchen knife users, both professional and home chefs than any other similar forum.
     
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  8. Spideyjg

    Spideyjg

    316
    Nov 7, 2017
    The Cermax line from Henckles was made with zdp189, I sharpen them for a chef and they get stupid sharp, when he brings them back after a few months they aren't chipped up but are a beotch to resharpen.

    I'd say 5 times as long to resharpen than a Victorinox from similar dullness.
     
  9. -Kiku-

    -Kiku-

    90
    Aug 13, 2020
    @Spideyjg, thank you for the insight. I inquired several Japanese manufacturers and they all assured me that their ZDP189 line of cutlery should perform without chipping as long as their knives are used as intended. At first I thought they were just sales pitch, trying to sell me their knives. But perhaps they were telling the truth.
     
  10. Spideyjg

    Spideyjg

    316
    Nov 7, 2017
    You want chips, Shuns VG10. I see those chipped and with pepper flake pitting hand over fist. Mac are a good in between German and Japanese characteristics.
     
  11. -Kiku-

    -Kiku-

    90
    Aug 13, 2020
    @Spideyjg
    Uh oh... I thought VG10 is a reliable stainless steel. Reliable as in durable, fairly chip resistant. Have you seen other brands of VG10 cutlery that also tends to be chippy or has it been limited mostly to Shun's VG10?

    What you said worries me because the other day, I ordered a bunch of knives online. One of them was a ZDP189 nakiri from Sukenari, and another nakiri made of VG10 (Tojiro DP) to serve as a backup in case something happens to the ZDP189 version and gets sent out to be serviced.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  12. -Kiku-

    -Kiku-

    90
    Aug 13, 2020
    @KenHash
    Perhaps language really is part of the problem (my problem). English really is my 2nd language. Although I've been using it for many years, I am still having much difficulty with grasping the grammatical structures and its highly contextual meanings, among other things.

    To me "recommendations" is something more than merely being an 'outcome' based on a set of personal preference(s). The actual recommendations and the reasons behind those recommendations need not be mutually exclusive/disparate. If I were to recommend something to someone, and if that person were to ask me why I made those recommendation, I would provide the reasons if and when appropriate (as is usually the case in discussion forums where things often need to be explained in detail). And my reason isn't going to be, "Oh, that's just my preference". Because if that's the only reason, then it wasn't a recommendation at all but a personal opinion. To me, "recommendations" and "opinions" aren't the same.

    When I request for recommendations, I am more interested in the reasons that went into formulating and finalizing those suggestions. This is especially important to newcomers such as me, who often start out with next to zero knowledge on the subject of interest. Without knowing the reason(s) as to why that person recommended the so-and-so, those 'recommendations' become a bunch of random and disconnected info. And I don't/can't process seemingly random and disconnected facts, especially when those recommendations seem to be in contradiction to what I just read somewhere online.

    When something isn't clear, those who are genuinely interested in learning the material usually ask questions. I ask questions, not to question the authority of those who make recommendations but in effort to understand why they made those recommendations so that I can 'connect the dots', all to help me better understand the topic. If I don't ask questions, then the chances are fairly high that there's no meaningful learning taking place.

    When presented with questions from someone who is obviously inexperienced, one can choose to respond in one of two ways:

    1. Carefully and patiently explain what was asked,

    2. Turn hostile and make snide and sarcastic remarks at every turn instead of answering the questions to a newcomer.

    At KKF, the latter happened. Not all KKF members who responded to my questions did so in a helpful manner. There were a very few who provided some meaningful insight to which I am grateful. But most simply tossed down their recommendation or two without even so much as an explanation (at the very least, a sentence or two would have sufficed). But no, they couldn't bother to do that, which is fine with me. But they sure as hell didn't do me any favor by any stretch of the imagination. But they aren't the real problem, either.

    What disgusts me is a small handful of individuals who decided to view my inquiries as a personal attack/challenge. So they congregate and decide to respond with lots of snide remarks and sarcasms. Not exactly conducive to discussion forums. Those individuals with such shit poor mentality and attitude, I can do without.
     
  13. Spideyjg

    Spideyjg

    316
    Nov 7, 2017
    I don't know what the issue is with Shun. Have not seen as many other Japanese knives overall to say it is strictly Shun, their process, or VG10 the steel but through the grapevine, people say it is a Shun issue. One issue is anyone dealing with Japanese blades will use a ceramic honing rod but Shun sells a steel one.

    Seen several Tojiro DP but not chipped up badly. Smaller sample size though.

    https://www.williams-sonoma.com/pro...PutndoUydzVSKA4JvFDfEBUIahcw5Q7UaAvjBEALw_wcB

    How much pepper flake pitting can be blamed on caustic dishwashing agents who knows, but no knife should ever go into an automatic dishwasher. I don't work for Shun so figuring out what the problem is isn't my job to do.

    Take proper care, no dishwasher, ceramic rod, don't whack it expecting durability like a German blade and you will likely be fine.
     
  14. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    VG10 is a great steel that can be made to exhibit many different properties. As in all things cutlery, you cannot go by the steel nomenclature alone. The hardness and geometry will also be significant factors in how it performs.

    At lower hardness, say 58Rc VG10 can be a fairly durable steel, but when you start pushing past 60 it starts getting more fragile. If the hardness is very high and the edge very thin, then it will not be overly robust.

    But even this isn't enough to draw firm conclusions for your uses. Shun is a very, very popular brand with easy accessibility, lots of celebrity endorsements and a price tag that is just high enough to suggest first class but often just low enough (not all lines) to be accessible. What that means is, this is a knife brand that ends up in a lot of kitchens that may not understand that they are prone to being chippy if used on glass cutting boards, against bone, tossed in the dishwasher, etc. You just can't treat or use them like a softer, more forgiving "western" style knife and steel.

    Millions and millions of people use high hardness Japanese style knives every day. That wouldn't happen if they were overly chippy or somehow bad. But, when you start talking about true Japanese brands and makers, the people buying them also tend to have a firm grasp on all of these things and choose and use accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  15. -Kiku-

    -Kiku-

    90
    Aug 13, 2020
    Thank you, Eli. That does put my mind at ease.
    Pretty soon, I'll be able to form my own opinion of authentic Japanese knives based on my own firsthand experience.
     
  16. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    I have several Shun kitchen knives. No problems with chipping or pepper spots. Mine are fairly recently made - past 5 years or so, and use Shun's VG-MAX steel, whatever that is, though some of them are SG2.

    However, I use a decent technique with them, use good wooden cutting boards, and they are hand washed and dried after use.

    It's pretty much all in their instructions, including how to cut with them. People who don't follow the manufacturer's instructions and just do whatever the heck they want, and then complain that they have problems with the knives, have only themselves to blame. https://shun.kaiusa.com/use-care
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  17. Spideyjg

    Spideyjg

    316
    Nov 7, 2017
    Many people do not follow those instructions and I see the results.

    Treat J knives properly and you shouldn't have problems. Treated harshly they will not endure that treatment like a German.
     
    jc57 likes this.
  18. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I have EDCed a Willam Henry folder with a ZDP-189 blade for 20 years. I use it in the kitchen and elsewhere. No chipping, no corrosion. It is hardened to 67HRC. It sharpens easily on Shapton Glass Al2O3 stones. Being harder than metal steels, I don’t use them on this knife. I have ceramic steels, but I prefer to “steel” on the sides of ceramic knife blades. They are hard as a rock and as smooth as glass.
    I wonder if the Cermax blades, mentioned above, have a ceramic material in their composition which would make them harder to sharpen.
    William Henry made ZDP-189 kitchen knives, but they were quite expensive.
     
  19. -Kiku-

    -Kiku-

    90
    Aug 13, 2020
    That's what I figured. I noticed that those who complain about their J-knives seldom provide readers with a reasonably complete picture to help me make informed and objective opinion. But thanks to quality inputs from everyone here, I think I now have a fairly good idea of what to expect with my Japanese knives.

    My Tojiro DP Nakiri arrived in the mail today. Inside was a small pamphlet of Care & Maintenance instructions, written in both Japanese and English. Here it is:
    [​IMG]

    Ack. Not sure why the photo link isn't working.

    Anyway, here's just some of the word-for-word verbatim among the list of things NOT to do to the knife (written in broken English) in the pamphlet that came with the knife:
    • Please not use knife on hard material like steel or stone.
    • Please not use knife for can opener or tag opener.
    • Please not roast knife or keep it near to fire. It would cause burn or bad sharpness of knife.
    • Please cut frozen food after melt it perfectly.
    Had I seen such a bizarre list of use & care instructions prior to I became a member here, I would have laughed at such ridiculous list. Only after having seen and heard of others' mistreatment of their knives did it put things in perspective. Frankly, I am not sure why others would treat their knives in such manner, but I guess not everyone treats their tools with respect that they deserve.

    20 years is a long time. I hope my Spyderco's Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 lasts just as long, if not longer. Preferably a lifetime. I don't use my tiny folder in the kitchen, however. But since you already do, I am guessing your folder is much bigger and better suited to cutting and slicing big vegetables? How big is your folder if I may ask? And aren't you worried about juices from meat/vegetables seeping into pivots and joints in your folder which can potentially cause problems later on (in terms of corrosion and hygiene)? From convenience standpoint, I don't think folders are well suited at all for daily kitchen tasks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  20. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    I routinely use a 3-4" folder in the kitchen. They are very well suited for the kitchen, but they have useful blade designs. A folder is basically the size of a paring knife. For some things, such a spreading peanut butter and jelly or dicing onions, a folder is a poor choice.
     

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