Monday, October 4, 2010

The Ninjato

Here’s the next little knife that I would like to review that I call the Ninjato.

This blade shape is quite popular among knife makers and is actually the shape of the first knife that I purchased back when I started my adventures into the carving world.  Let’s look at the handle first.  As you can see from the picture, the handle is my favorite dolphin shape.  This shape really gives you a firm grip while allowing you to hold the knife with the blade edge towards you or away from you without giving up comfort. 
Tip from the Stump:  choose a knife handle shape that allows for multiple gripping angles without giving up a comfortable fit in your hand or the loss of a firm grip.
Like the Katana, it is made out of an oak and poplar lamination, only this time the lamination runs perpendicular to the blade.  I still wish that I would have used two woods that had stronger contrast.  Oh well, you live and you learn.  And you know what, the aesthetics of the handle don’t really make a difference in how the blade works, which is why we use a knife in the first place.  Now, on to the blade description and critique.
The cutting edge of the blade is just over 1-1/2” long which places this guy in the all-purpose category of carving knives.  The wedge shaped tip of the blade is the feature that sets this style apart from other knives.  This little spear point really gets into those corners and makes chip cuts a breeze.  It also works fairly well for making stop cuts.  The flat cutting edge encourages one to make slicing cuts which, as we discussed in a previous post, you should really be doing anyway.  I have tried to use this knife for detail work with limited success.  In my opinion, it works well in the all-purpose category that it belongs to, but doesn’t really cross over very well.
As good as this knife is I do not use it for roughing out.  All in all, I give this knife a score of 8 out of 10 for its overall performance.  Now let’s sum up.
·         Great for corners
·         Great for chip cuts
·         Good for stop cuts
·         Must use slicing cuts
·         Not a good cross over

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