SharpEdge ZDP-189 Bunka Kitchen Knife
SharpEdge ZDP-189 Bunka Kitchen Knife
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Product Description
ZDP-189 is a specialty steel typically reserved for high-end pocket knives. Here it plays the starring role in a Western-style kitchen knife inspired by Japanese tradition ... Read More

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14themoney
711
Jun 1, 2019
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The problem with knife collection is that when I think I'm good, I see something that piques my interest. Here is another knife in the same steel, a gyuto. https://www.chefknivestogo.com/suzdp189gy21.html. I really like the geometry on that one.
(Edited)
Jun 1, 2019
Nipp
3
Apr 12, 2019
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@sharpedge I want to try to get this knife to "competition"-level sharpness. Yet, I want to use it, very carefully, in daily jobs. I don't want to convex it. So, what geometry can it safely take? Lowest I can go is 6DPS. Thank you.
Apr 12, 2019
Nipp
3
May 27, 2019
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Hello again. Some more feedback and observations. The edge retention is exactly what I would expect from ZDP-189. It's just amazing. This thing does not dull. I did couple VG-10s in a same time as Bunka. Now all other knives need some touch-ups, while Bunka doesn't show any wear at all. I kept the factory geometry, since misses loves it bit too much, to keep it as a showpiece :) While I can't get it to HHT level with 14 degrees per side, it's plenty sharp for any kitchen work. Word of caution - without the convex edge, it is bit brittle. Here is what happens, when overly-enthusiastic and bit too drunk guests try to impress everyone with the bladework around the t-bone.
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(don't worry, I repaired it already).
May 27, 2019
sharpedge
100
SharpEdge
May 27, 2019
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Hi @Nipp, Thank you for sharing your feedback now that you got to use the knife a bit longer! We're glad to hear constructive feedback, either good or bad, but it's always nice to hear someone else likes the knife we designed! :) We're also happy to hear your misses uses it a lot - that's a great sign of a good knife! "Happy wife, good knife", hahaha :P. The showing off can indeed create small chips, but it's good to know they are already fixed! All the best, Grega
May 27, 2019
Dan-the-Man
3
Mar 21, 2019
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Does anyone know how far the blade tang extends into the handle? This is a major factor in if the knife will have to eventually be rehandled. A full tangled blade is much stronger but some prefer the balance of a partially tanged knife at the expense of handle strength.
Mar 21, 2019
sharpedge
100
SharpEdge
Mar 22, 2019
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Hi Dan, thanks for your question. As with most Japanese knives with traditional wooden handles, this Bunka also has a partial tang, it extends to around 3/4 of the handle. You can see size of the partial tang on this photo. Best, Grega
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Mar 22, 2019
Dan-the-Man
3
Mar 22, 2019
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Thank you very much. This was most helpful.
Mar 22, 2019
pendle616
34
Mar 21, 2019
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I’m a huge kitchen knife geek. Have spent and sold thousands in my search for the best. That search ended awhile ago, but that’s another story. One thing I will say is that ZDP is a pain to sharpen. And it will need sharpening. No edge lasts forever. No matter the steel or HRC. Besides that though... why isn’t there more defining shots of the spine/distal taper(if there is one, and there should be btw. Distal taper effects performance greatly...), choil shots, tip shots, and handle circumference specs? The spine is dreadfully thin for sustained comfort over long cutting periods if one is utilizing a pinch grip. I’m guessing it’s ground so thin as to give the illusion of better performance- the ‘drop through product’ effect. Without the above pics and a better idea of the grind, this seems like a ridiculously over priced knife across the board. I can think of a number of readily available kitchen knives in this range of specs, from respected Japanese makers, that are much cheaper and will presumably outperform this in many respects.
(Edited)
Mar 21, 2019
sharpedge
100
SharpEdge
Mar 22, 2019
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Hey @pendle616, Great to hear you found your go-to knife, it can indeed be a long (and expensive) search to find a perfect knife for ones needs. It's a bit like the search for the holy grail, haha :) I do have to say that it is impossible to find a perfect knife that will suit everyone - Michael Jordan is definitely the GOAT in basketball, but he's not the best in swimming, if you catch my drift. There will always be different knives for different users and their preferences, and I guess the knife market confirms this, having so many makers and different shapes/designs. I definitely agree that every knife will eventually need to be resharpened, and I hope no one is stating that in their marketing materials... Regarding the ZDP-189 steel. This steel is known for being more difficult to sharpen, however for it's hardness and for edge retention it has, it's easier to sharpen than one would expect, especially when we talk HRC levels or around 66. The important part of making knives of ZDP-189 steel is the heat treatment, and here I have to say that Yoshida Hamono does a great job. They forge and treat the steel themselves with the process they developed, so their ZDP-189 knives sharpen quite nicely and without too much effort. They are also one of the rare blacksmiths that make honyaki ZDP-189 knives, which Im sure you know are a very rare breed (and very expensive too). Of course, knives from high-carbon steels will always be easier to sharpen, but as said before, every knife (and steel) has its advantages and disadvantages. We definitely like powder steels, and we run a lot of knife sharpening services for beginners who own ZDP-189 Bunka knives - they all manage to sharpen it in our 2.5hr class. We also made a video guide for knife sharpening beginners. Which ZDP-189 knife did you own and had a bad experience with sharpening it? As for a little cherry on the top of the ZDP-189 steel - here's a video of one of our customers who put the Bunka under the microscope. It's not in English, but Im sure you'll understand what's it about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cefKxL7i6TQ I'd have to disagree regarding the price - a quick google research of ZDP-189 kitchen knives will show that this price is quite a bargain for this expensive steel. For the grind, spine and thickness photos - yeah, we could add those to the product page, although these details are difficult to photograph, plus there will always be small deviations as these knives are ground and sharpened by hand. Please find attached some photos I made today of one random Bunka I picked from our stock. You can see a spine thickness of around 2.1mm, then a concave long bevel grind, and a short micro flat bevel whetstone sharpening finish. The photo of the tip is also included.
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Cheers, Grega
Mar 22, 2019
Kavik
3987
Mar 22, 2019
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Considering the steel, the fact that it comes fully sharpened, and has more than just a cheap ho wood handle....if this is "ridiculously overpriced", I'd really like to see where you're finding better for less, given your list of criteria in a like with these specs? Seriously, not being a smart ass, i want to know what those better and less expensive knives are. I've seen smaller bunkas in cheaper steel go for way more than this. And any gyuto with a k-tip always seems to carry some huge premium for no apparent reason. This one isn't cheap by any means, but I think ridiculously overpriced is a stretch... My only real complaint after some use : given the price, I think we could've expected to see some easing of the spine and the choil. But that's easy enough to remedy with some sandpaper
Mar 22, 2019
kangster
73
Mar 20, 2019
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Interesting review about the steel used (zdp-189) https://www.reddit.com/r/chefknives/comments/620e3v/_/dfuqyk9/
Mar 20, 2019
Craigaa22
1
Mar 11, 2019
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Beautiful
Mar 11, 2019
mdd423
17
Jan 16, 2019
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Well this showed up today!
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(Edited)
Jan 16, 2019
Shawnf146
7
Mar 20, 2019
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What do you think of it so far??
Mar 20, 2019
mdd423
17
Mar 20, 2019
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Love it. It's been my go to knife for just about everything
Mar 20, 2019
ricerocket
6
Dec 27, 2018
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Just want to make sure this isnt a D handle? From elsewhere there is a D version? https://huckberry.com/store/japanese-chef-knives/category/p/54197-bunka-knife
Dec 27, 2018
Kavik
3987
Dec 27, 2018
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The one I got here is definitely octagonal, not D shaped That's weird that the pics in that link show a D shape, but the description there specifically mentions octagonal for both right and left hand use
Dec 27, 2018
Kavik
3987
Dec 27, 2018
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For those looking at the new drop, a couple things of note : Take a minute to read down through the comments below for more info on cladding material, bevel angles, the fact that these come fully sharpened and ready for use, and one other thing that hasn't been mentioned so far: the handle is already coated. Not sure in what, a wax of sorts? But it keeps the handle clean and seals the gap at the tang nicely @sharpedge or @lukisan can you speak to the finish applied to the handle? Feels similar to one's I've coated in a mineral oil and beeswax blend, but I didn't want to pick at it to confirm lol
Dec 27, 2018
sharpedge
100
SharpEdge
Dec 27, 2018
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Hi Kavik, thanks for your note! Indeed, the handle is coated with the mix of beeswax and mineral oil - we'll need to check with the supplier of handles what is the actual mixture, but Im glad you asked and didnt pick at it, haha!
Dec 27, 2018
Kavik
3987
Dec 27, 2018
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Thanks Grega! I wasn't expecting a ratio, but that would be cool if you can get it 😁 I haven't quite nailed a mixture I'm happy with, but this one feels like it cures a little harder than what I've made so far. Even after washing with warm (not HOT) water, it doesn't feel tacky 👍
Dec 27, 2018
kyleemj
496
Buyer
Dec 17, 2018
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Hey everyone. Thanks for your patience as we work with SharpEdge to get your orders out ASAP. The nature of the delay was due to the knives being stuck in customs. The order was received at our facility Friday 12/14, and will begin to ship tomorrow, 12/18. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone who made this drop successful.
Dec 17, 2018
Kavik
3987
Dec 18, 2018
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Thanks kyleemj. Got my tracking info last night. (after @Mattwest and I continued commiserating over the delay, didn't notice this message till this morning, woops)
Dec 18, 2018
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