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Miyabi Birchwood SG2 Chef’s Knife is a beautiful knife. It uses a damascus blade and a marbled birchwood handle. I can think of few who can rival how stunning it looks. The metal that they use is also top of the top. SG2 is a powdered steel that is usually hardened to a rockwell hardness of 63 plus. This gives you a superior edge and retention. However, one single chef’s knife can cost upward of 200 plus. Is it really worth it? This review will take a closer look at the design and feature of Miyabi Birchwood Chef Knife.
Miyabi Birchwood SG2 Chef’s Knife Review Quick Summary
|Miyabi Birchwood SG2 Chef’s Knife
|101 Damascus with SG2 Core
|Place of Manufacturer
|Seki City Japan
|A beautiful knife that is functional. However, this knife is made extremely hard. If you cut hard things like bones, be prepared for it to chip. It is better suited for delicate task like vegetables. While it does hold the edge well, dont use it as a workhorse knife.
|Miyabi 34373-203 Chef’s Knife, 8-inch, Birch/Stainless Steel
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History of Miaybi
I honestly cannot find much information about the history of Miyabi. From what I can gather, Miaybi is a brand under Zwilling, a german cutlery manufacturer. If anything, Zwilling just started this brand to appeal to the growing Japanese Knife trend. The knives are touted to be truly Japanese but it is owned by a German Company. Having said that, their knives are made in Seki City Japan. A renowned city known for their cutlery manufacturing. However, if you actually look at some of the company other offering, they actually share quite a bit of similarities with their other knives, i.e. Kramer by Zwilling.
Miyabi Birchwood SG2 Chef’s Knife Design
This section will discuss the design and features of Miyabi Birchwood SG2 Chef’s Knife. We will go over handle and blade design.
The handle uses a Karelian Birch for that beautiful finish. While wood is a great choice for a handle, they can rot overtime. For that reason, you should always take care and dry the handle after use. While there are no known issues with the birchwood, I will still take care of it.
It uses a D shape handle, which is quite common with Japanese knives. This design is suited more for the right handed users. However, people who are left handed should be able to use it without much issue.
Interesting enough, there is no information online about the tang of the blade. They call if a concealed tang on their website. A full tang blade usually means that the blade runs through the length of the handle. If anything, this would be a half tang where it is only held at the hilt of the handle. Generally, you want a full tang handle for durability. They are less likely to snap and fall out. Although, there are no known issues with this knife.
While most Japanese knives are mostly flat. Miyabi Birchwood Chef Knife has a pretty pronounced belly. Much like how a European knife would be profiled. This forces you to rock chop to ensure that things are cut properly. Interesting that they went with this type of design.
In terms of thickness, they made it really thin like a typical chef knife. This helps you slice things instead of wedging like most european knife.
At the spine and heel, it is rounded off to improve comfort and ergonomics. Lesser knives will usually leave it unfinished and that edge will eventually dig into your hand. It is quite nice that they took the extra step to give it comfort.
The blade uses a half bolster design. These are better than the full bolster blade because you can sharpen the whole length of the knife. In the past, a full bolster design usually denotes that its forge and of higher quality. That is not true anymore. Half bolster blades are just as durable and they do not get in the way.
Angle and Hardness
In terms of angle of the knife, they call it the Honbazuke edge. Which translate to around 9.5-12 degree. This is inline with most other Japanese knives. At this angle, the blade can become very sharp. However, the knife needs to be a certain hardness or else it will dull rapidly. Luckily, it has a Rockwell Hardness of 62-64.
There are two major issues with knives at this hardness. First is that knives at this hardness is prone to micro chipping. While they might not be readily noticeable, if you take a closer look at the blade. You can find micro chips throughout the edge. You need to be very careful with what you chop or else you might chip of more than you wanted. On my Kramer knife, I never chopped hard things like bones or squash and it still got that chip.
The second issue is that the harder the knife is, the more difficult it is to sharpen. If you send it out to sharpen, then you do not have to worry about it. However, if you do it by yourself, I recommend you have some practice before trying it.
The supposed metal uses a sg2 metal, the same one that the Kramer Damascus Line uses. Their marketing for these knives are quite similar as well. They use a 101 layer steel on the exterior to make that beautiful damascus finish. Some say that it helps promotes non sticking. But really, its just there for looks. The core SG2 steel is what actually makes the knife so great.
They polish the blade to a mirror finish. Much like how chrome use to look. In my opinion, I think it looks tacky and cheap. Although taste will differ, I much prefer a duller look so that it does not look like a toy…
Miyabi Birchwood SG2 Chef’s Knife Thoughts
Overall Miyabi Birchwood SG2 Chef’s Knife is a beautiful knife. The sg2 steel means that it can maintain a wicked sharp edge. However, this knife is better suited for delicate task like vegetables. I would definetly NOT use it as a kitchen workhorse. If you go hacking chicken bones, you might end up damaging it. I doubt the manufacturer will honor any warranty if that happens. While it is beautiful and performs beautifully, be aware of what its designed for.
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