Japanese Knife Buyers Guide

The Steel
Let’s start by the ranks of the forging process and the steel. From the top are the ones with the most “kirenaga” or durability.

Honyaki (ao-ko) – Forged out of a single material of high carbon blue #1 steel. This is the highest grade of best japanese kitchen knives. For the true professional only because of the skills needed to sharpen and maintain it. Only used for delicate work like sashimi. Since honyaki’s are the hardest to forge, requiring high level of skills and experience, it is the most expensive. Prepare to fork out at least around $1200 USD (minimum!) for a 33cm yanagi of this rank.

Honyaki (shiro-ko) – Forged out of a single material of high carbon white steel. Just like the ao-ko honyaki but without the tungsten and other additives. It is notably softer and easier to sharpen compared to the ao-ko honyaki. Still, it is very hard (around 63 HRC Rockwell scale) and again, only for the professional due to the skills needed to sharpen and maintain it. As this is a honyaki, it is costly. Prices vary from maker to maker but it usually starts at around $800 USD for a 33cm yanagi.

Kasumi (ao-ko) – All kasumi’s are forged with 2 kinds of steel, solid high carbon steel sandwiched between soft iron. This rank of steel are reserved to experienced chefs who want more durability out of their knives. When it comes to kasumi ao-ko’s, there are 2 grades of it. The harder and more durable blue #1 or sometimes called super blue and the latter blue #2 or ao-ko. Most chefs will argue that the blue #2 is rather the same or just a hair above a good kasumi white steel knife. So how much does it cost you may ask? For a 33 cm yanagi forged with the blue #1 steel (super blue), it may set you back around $500 USD while the blue #2 of the same length around $400 USD. Please do note that some makers refer their blue #2 knives as different names. This is the case with Mizuno Tanrenjo. Their blue #1 knives are called ao-ko deluxe and their hontanren series are blue #2. Make sure you get sufficient information from your maker regarding this grade before you make your purchase.

Kasumi (shiro-ko) – For the novice and professional alike, easy to sharpen and maintain. As mentioned above, all kasumi’s are forged with 2 kinds of steel, solid high carbon steel sandwiched between soft iron. Although this is the lowest rank, it is divided further into a few sub ranks. Names vary between makers but it usually goes like hon-kasumi, kasumi and shiro-ko. Prices and durability vary greatly between makers but I would say anything over $400 for a 33 cm yanagi is not worth getting.

You might notice me repeating the same length for the yanagi’s. Well, that’s the most often used length for professionals when it comes to yanagi knives. Most first time buyers make the mistake of getting a short one because it feels right in the shop and regret later because they wear out fast and it’s too short to make a nice clean cut for sashimi. For Deba (fish cleaver), try getting something at least 21cm. If you have a lot of chopping to do, get the hon-deba. If you have a mix of chopping and filleting, try out the ai-deba. Ai-deba’s are thinner and lighter compared to hon-deba’s. If it’s all about filleting, get the oroshi-deba.

Basically, there are 2 types of steel used in the forging process. The shiro-ko and the Ao-ko (white steel and blue steel). The latter being more superior (and expensive). The difference between this 2 is the tungsten additives in the Ao-ko which makes it notably harder and durable than the shiro-ko. In terms of sharpness, if done properly, the white steel (shiro-ko) can be sharper than the blue steel, this is due to the smaller carbide size of the white steel of around 0.2~0.25 microns. There’s also the damascus if you’re purely into aesthetics. Damascus knife’s are true work of art, it is forged in a way that you can see the intricate patterns along the length of the knife, the sharpness vary due to the many types of steel that can be “damascus” forged.

The choice between the 2 types of steel (shiro-ko and ao-ko) when selecting a knife all depends on what type of abuse you are putting it into. A professional sushi chef won’t have the time to sharpen their knife’s a few times a day so it’s important to have a durable knife that can last him a full day.

All the price range listed here is from Mizuno Tanrenjo, although I get nothing from them for promoting their knife’s, it is still my favorite knife forger after working with different kind of brands in numerous restaurants and hotels from Tokyo to Fukouka. Masamoto is another maker worth checking out. Of course there are lots of great knife forgers out there but this 2 is just my personal favorite.

Anything but walk in park

IT HAS become part of the Australian Grand Prix tradition.Mercedes-Benz boss Horst Von Sanden writes a very large cheque to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and, in return gets an empty, pristine grand prix circuit for one day – a motoring utopia called Albert Park. Into this place they bring 34 sporty AMG production cars worth around $7.6 million and assemble a collection of AMG owners and enthusiasts, celebrities and motoring journos. As well, they bring together 34 racing drivers, including Australian motorcycle legend Mick Doohan, to act as tutors/overseers to the drivers.

Picking a string of cars to drive in the allotted hour is like picking the finest dishes from the menu of an exclusive restaurant and my selection looks like this: for an appetiser the stately S63 with 5.5 litre, twin-turbocharged V8. For entree a red C63 station wagon powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2 litre V8 and main course is a delicious and quite rare CL 65 AMG worth a mere $519,000 (give or take). Dessert? A CLS twin-turbo V8 flown in especially for the occasion.Understand that this is serious business and not for the faint-hearted. Helmets are chosen, footwear checked, nervous visits made to the loo and then we are off, our driving instructors Birmingham barking instructions at us. Acceleration is atomic, braking brutal. Eyeballs push forward as the heavy cars are slammed from 220-230 km/h to 60-70km/h at the end of the main straight.Bodies are then pushed back into seats under huge acceleration as drivers pick up throttles midway through that corner and keep winding on the power until the next command to “Brake!-Brake!-Brake!-Turn-in, roll-onto-throttle-ease it-ease it-now full power!-Go!-Go!-Go!” is given.On a mild day in an air-conditioned car we sweat, big time. It ends as quickly as it began and the stories start to flow as we try to one-up each other with tales of bravado and speed.Me? I’m just happy that I went fast and stayed away from the walls. You see, no one remembers the quick guys, but they never forget the bloke who manages to bash or bury a half-million dollar car on a special day in Melbourne. 

How to Repair Your Roof

Repairing a damaged roof is probably the most dangerous task of home renovation and maintenance. Falls can prove fatal, even from low heights, and injuries are common. The biggest causes of roof leaks are defective flashings and poor installations, which is why it is important to make sure any work done on your roof is done properly. Flashings could be the chimney, apron, stop, or the valley where two roofs meet. If roof leaks are not fixed, dampness can rot the frame of the house and cause serious structural damage.

Some Important Tips

Checking your roof regularly for any damage or potential leaks is very important. A good time to do this is at the end of spring, as this means any problems can be fixed before the bad winter weather of snow build up and ice.

Repairs are most easily detected in spring, but you should also check your house and roof after any major storm to ensure there is no structural damage.

Before beginning any roof repairs, make sure the roof is clean and free of any rubbish and debris. Don’t use a high pressure washer, as this can cause further damage to your roof, especially if it is a shingle roof. If you suspect there is damage to your roof, it is better to call a professional roofing expert rather than trying to look yourself. This is safer and will result in better quality repairs.

Although doing any repair work on your roof yourself may save you money, in the long run it is not always better. Hiring a professional will result in higher quality work that will probably last much longer, and it is also much safer. Flat roof repairs is especially dangerous as any fractures in singles allow water to get underneath and potentially damage the structure of the entire house.

How To Select A Roofer For Roof Repair

Selecting a good roofing expert is very important, as there are many fraudulent workmen who simply pretend to be qualified professionals but are only interested in money. The work they do tends to be of poor quality, if they finish the work at all. You need to make sure the person you hire has a good reputation and has the proper certification and training. Check their references and documentation, and compare prices with other roofing firms. But don’t hire someone just because they are the cheapest as price is not the only thing to think about. Because roof leak repair Perth can be expensive, you want to make sure you are getting good value and quality workmanship for your money. Once you decide on roofers in frederick md, get everything in writing and make sure you read and understand the contract before you sign it.

Improving Company Image Through Printing

Special finishing processes & embellishments can really make your business stationery & marketing documents really stand out and help keep your business ahead of the pack.

Marketing Stationery


Adding special finishing processes and appropriate embellishments to printed marketing stationery can really improve its presentation.

The most cost effective & simplest improvement is gloss or mat varnishing. This is a ‘print on’ process so it’s usually applied on the same run as the printing. Not only does it increase the look & feel of the document it also protects it against scuffing. Scuffing is where the surface of the paper or the ink ‘scuffs’ when rubbed with fingers or when rubbing against other documents.


Mat or gloss laminating is a better option than varnishing as it does look and feel better however it’s an ‘offline process’ therefore it costs than varnishing.

Laminating is where a thin film of laminate is bonded to the stock through either a cold or hot bonding process.

Embossing & Debossing

Embossing or debossing adds style to any marketing document and is usually restricted to a logo or other graphic. Embossing means the area that’s embossed is raised and debossing means the area is a relief.

Spot Varnishing

Spot UV varnishing is a process whereby a specific area of the document is to be highlighted by a gloss varnish. By using UV (ultra violet) varnish and the silk screen printing process, a very thick layer of high gloss varnish can be applied to the document.

When this process is combined with a mat laminate, the end result can be quite dramatic.

For example, the front cover of an annual report or corporate presentation folder that has a photo of a city scene and a particular building in the scene needs highlighting. The whole of the front cover can be mat laminated and the building can then be spot varnished.

This really draws attention to the area that you want the readers to notice.

Hot Stamp Foiling

Foiling is another option for enhancing specific areas of a document. It’s a process whereby foil is heat bonded to the stock.

The foil is available in many colours including white & clear and is even available as a holograph. Foiling can be used for highlighting certain areas of the document or your logo can be foiled only without the need for any printing

Die-cutting & Scoring

Die-cutting is a process where selected areas of a document are ‘cut out’ & stripped away. The die can be made in any shape to suit the situation and the document can be scored so that it folds in a predetermined position.

Printed, paper based promotional items, presentation folders, brochures, business cards, shelf talkers, hand outs, etc are all documents that lend themselves to die-cutting & scoring.

Business Stationery

Special finishing and embellishing can be used for business stationery but on a restricted basis.

For example all company letterheads are printed on a laser printer or an inkjet cartridges  printer. Laser toner will not bond to a varnished sheet and the laminate on a laminated sheet will melt from the intense heat of a laser printer.

As for an inkjet printer, the ink will not dry sufficiently on either a varnished sheet or a laminated sheet.

The same heat issue applies to letterheads that are foiled. The heat of the laser printer can cause the foil to lift off.

Running foiled letterheads through an inkjet printer will not cause any problems whatsoever.

Running die-cut letterheads through a printer is not recommended as the cut-out can cause the sheet to jam is it runs through.

Embossed or debossed letterheads generally run through a laser printer or inkjet printer.without any problems at all.

A Good Company Profile Can Go Places

Yes, as the business owner, you have the limitation of being present at one place in one time. However, this is not the case with company profile, which is better known to have the ability in going to different places. Besides, because this profile can be in the different places, it helps in having a complete influence over existing and potential customers.

When you register a company, never forget to create a good company profile, because it is the one that effectively, succinctly and clearly outlines everything about your company. The usual business practice is to print the profiles in paper and subsequently send to others. In order to have a great impact on your readers or viewers, it is recommended that you make use of software such as illustrator, fireworks, Photoshop, etc. because these software are very technical in nature, it demands sufficient expertise in dealing with them. Therefore, use of PowerPoint becomes the natural choice for many.

In this reference, the role of a prospectus deserves a special mention. The essence of it should be such that it must appear more of an invitation offering meant for the public. The issue and drafting of it is dependent on various rules and regulations framed in this regard. For instance, before it is issued to public, it ought to be registered with registrar of companies.

There is an interesting reason why the prospectus comes into the scene after company registration Australia or anywhere else. Whenever a company wishes to get desired degree of investments from public, it becomes very necessary for them to let the investors know that purpose for which the investments generated is intended to be used. Such a voluntary disclosure of facts becomes very necessary to bring around sufficient degree of transparency. Because this a valid legal document, it is expected lead retail as well as institutional investors rightly. It contains many unique statements that clearly spell out the distinct and unique features of the company.

The Driving Test in Australia

Driving test standards vary the World over. In a European context the Driving Test in Australia, while improving and continuing to evolve has a long way to go before it reaches Premier League status.

One of the biggest problems with the Irish Driving Test is that there is currently no stipulation regarding the necessary level of tuition to be taken before sitting the Driving Test. In most European Countries there is a mandatory tuition requirement before being allowed to sit the Test.

Since anyone with a Provisional License in Sunshine coast may apply for and sit the Driving Test, the large numbers of applicants that are totally and hopelessly unprepared for the Driving Test has lead to an ever lengthening waiting list .This waiting list is now approximately one year in most Test Centres and despite efforts by the Ministry for Transport it is unlikely to be reduced in the next couple of years.

Why so? Well the increasing level of immigration from all corners of the Globe but primarily from within the Australia, means that the list just continues to grow and since the number of Driving Test Examiners is not growing to meet the demand the waiting list gets longer by the day.

Candidates that have not bothered to find out what is required to pass the Irish Driving Test continue to turn up in droves at every Test Centre every day of the week. Also many candidates with an appointment just fail to turn up at all! This of course means that the list keeps on growing and the frustration level amongst genuine candidates with a pressing need for a full license has reached breaking point.

There is a growing world wide acceptance that a certain level of mandatory driving lessons in Coventry and supervised driving is the only way to reduce the horrendous level of young driver fatalities and that by imposing such restrictions on Learner Drivers the message will eventually get through that the process of learning to drive is a serious one that requires a serious approach and a lot of hard work.

As a final comment on this explosive subject it is worth mentioning that the standards in Germany are ones to be applauded where a learner Driver has to complete fifty hours of Tuition , both Theoretical and Practical before being allowed to sit a Driving Test. In addition it must be pointed out that the Driving Test is only the beginning and not the end of the learning process. Most professional Driving Instructors will go way beyond the scope of the Driving Test in their Blacktown driving lessons with learner drivers and will attempt to pass on decades of experience which has been learnt the hard way. In Australia we have a very specific set of road, weather and driver demographics that require in depth study if one is to remain safe and accident free!

Driving Test Centre Routes

Driving Test Centre routes do vary considerably around the country. In general the distances covered will be uniform approximately six miles but the experience can be very different. Let us look at the differences and then examine whether or not you should contemplate booking a Test at a Test Centre further afield that appears to give you a better chance of passing first time.(It Won’t!)

Firstly let’s get the main stumbling block to passing a Driving Test out of the way. The overriding factor in the poor first time and subsequent Driving Test pass rates is lack of preparation. You have to have built up a fairly high standard of driving competence before you commence your Driving Test preparation. It’s no good trying to learn the basics two or three weeks from your Test appointment because it will take all the effort and time you can muster to cover all the Driving Test preparation activities. These would include getting to know the area where your test will take place and covering every road and junction in the vicinity at different times. Reversing manoeuvres poorly carried out lose many candidates valuable marks and so should be practised until you can do them in your sleep!

WoodView Test Centre . Limerick. It’s a Busy Car Park.

The Driving Test Centre routes are not available to download or to buy in text form so there is only one way to get a detailed knowledge of your local Test routes and the particularly difficult hot spots and that is by taking some instruction from a qualified Driving Instructor who already knows all (or almost all) of the variances in the Test routes.  Particular Hot spots that can and do cause great difficulty to Learner Drivers on their Driving Test need to be practised thoroughly so that you get a good idea of what to expect and don’t get caught out or tripped up. Being prepared is the best way to ensure a Driving Test pass. This takes time; effort and outlay.

Hot spots badly handled will lead to failure on the Driving Test even if you regard yourself as a moderately competent Driver. Feedback from Pupils that have taken their Driving Test is the method by which Instructors learn about the Driving Test Centre Routes. Driving Instructors do not follow candidates on their Driving Tests but they do keep their eyes open in order to recognise Driving Examiners that are obviously undertaking Tests.

There are notices posted in the waiting rooms of Driving Test Centres requesting driving school coventry not to be practising on Driving Test Centre routes during normal business hours. While this is an admirable attempt at leaving Test routes free of drivers who are practising so that Test candidates are not distracted, it is not really possible to avoid being on Driving Test Routes during the day. It is a free country after all and not every Learner Driver can take lessons at night after the Test Centres are closed. In any event, Test preparation should be carried out in daylight because this will replicate the Driving Test situation more accurately.

Castlemungret Test Centre Limerick.

A Custom built Centre handling MotorBike and Truck Tests for the whole Region. Despite the Sign, Learner Drivers continue to ignore the instructions and make life difficult for Test candidates by driving through the Gate and practising! We often have to point this out to Learner Drivers. Completely ignoring requests and being totally ignorant of the whole system shows why the Driving Test results are poor for many Candidates. If you can’t be bothered to park your car away from the main activities and investigate on foot you don’t deserve to be even sitting the Driving Test!

In small Towns there may not be much of a choice of suitable Driving Test Routes but having said this, with the growth of the economy and the increase in Traffic on Irish roads over the last five years it is still a formidable obstacle to gain a first time pass in a smaller location.  Small towns quite often have just one basic Test Centre route with a few minor variations. This does not mean that the Test is any easier to pass in a smaller urban locality; in fact unless you are practising regularly in your chosen location, booking a Driving Test in an out of the way location is likely to give you some nasty surprises.

Traffic intensity varies with the day of the week and the season and of course the time of day. In a Provincial City such as Limerick or Galway the traffic is likely to be heaviest on a Friday after lunch and into the evening as Truck Drivers, Company Representatives or Executives head home for the weekend. Heavy Truck traffic is the norm on Friday after lunch and if your Test is scheduled for this day of the week you will need to spend extra time during these periods to both practise and to take Tuition. Heavy Traffic means extra lunatic drivers to have to cope with.

A Driving Examiner is not the slightest bit interested in excuses because someone else behaved badly on the road. You need to be learning about the levels of competence of other drivers and how to recognise them and then how to expect serious mistakes and errors and to be able to deal with them adequately. This is the real world and this is what you are being Tested upon.

Going into a Driving Test having mastered every basic and some advanced skills is an absolute essential if you are going to Pass first time. With your in-car skills finely tuned such as correct gear; correct speed; correct distance; correct steering wheel position; correct use of brakes, you will be able to focus on the real world around you, way beyond the vehicle in front or immediately behind you.

The difference between a test route in a small town and those in larger towns or cities will be primarily volume of traffic. However in smaller rural locations there will be the ever present elderly driver who lives out of town and only ventures in occasionally. These drivers are usually totally unused to today’s traffic volume and still attempt to double park outside their destinations causing huge disruptions. They are also likely to be very indecisive and pottering along looking for somewhere to park. In addition you will have the latest clutch of younger Drivers who have never taken any lessons and you need to be on the look out for these as well.  They can be recognised by generally driving older cars. Any sign of indecision from a driver in front of you (or behind for that matter) indicates a seriously suspect and inexperienced Driver. These require careful scrutiny as many have never taken a Driving Test and do not have the skills required for driving in today’s climate. You will meet these on your Driving Test and will need to deal with them competently.

In the Capital City there are numerous Driving Test Centres usually on the outskirts of the City Suburbs. Traffic is likely to be fairly constant at all these Test Centres so really the time of day and day of the week are the prime considerations here. As a candidate you don’t have any say in the day of the week of your proposed Test so get some insider secrets from a qualified female driving instructor Melbourne and LISTEN to what she or he says .Then carry out your own practise and Driving Test preparation.

CastleMungret Test Centre. One car just back from Test(ours) Two candidates waiting to go out on Test. Note the two different parking techniques:-

We don’t recommend surfing through the Test Centre details on the Government web site looking for quieter locations or those with a shorter waiting list. You will not have the time to be venturing across the country to practise, unless it happens to coincide with your summer holidays. You will also be encountering those drivers that we mentioned in an earlier paragraph. Believe me the Devil you know beats the Devil you don’t. Get used to your own locality and Practise- Practise- Practise.

Modern Wedding Photos

Photography is considered the most essential factor to possess inside a wedding. The photos assists as great remembrances for each smallest moment that happened throughout a bride and groom’s big day. Because you will find many wedding photography services which have sprouted out through the years, selecting which to employ can be very hard to do.

The very first factor that you desire to request on your own is regardless of whether you want traditional wedding photos or modern wedding photos. Before it can be done, you ought to be informed of methods one is different from another.

In traditional photography, the topics from the photo are needed to pose just like a mannequin, by standing or doing nothing. The folks are requested not to move, and merely smile once the digital wedding photographers Melbourne Australia Noosa states “cheese!” This style is quite common in the past, due to the fact people think it exudes of sophistication and truthfulness. However, some think it is boring and monotonous. That’s why modern wedding photos have grown to be popular through the years.

In modern photography, people can move about and pose in whatever position they need. They don’t have to face like soldiers lined up. They are able to move, walk around, bend over, rely on one another, and much more. This style produces a far more relaxed and comfy atmosphere to anybody searching in the photos. You’d certainly have the ability to get a concept of how everyone was feeling throughout the marriage ceremony.

Obviously, when you are performing either types of Cairns photography, exactly the same teams of factors continue to be likely to be put in consideration. The sunlight, sharpness, contrast, expensive, along with other things still apply. A digital photographer who’s well-trained and experienced in this craft would have the ability to know which configurations to regulate in the two cases.

So, perhaps you have made the decision which photography style to make use of in your long awaited big day? For those who have, now you can begin searching for photography enthusiasts and photography services around the phone book or Online. You will find many of them available, so thinning lower your selection is dependent in your taste and budget. Remember that the most crucial factor to complete on your wedding event would be to enjoy your lover within this very memorable occasion.

Where To Not To Find Ideas For Remodeling Your Bathroom

Just mentioning that you are going for bathroom renovations on a budget will invite all kinds of ideas and advice.  You may get ideas you like and ideas you don’t like, regardless of whether or not the idea giver is qualified.  Some people think they know everything just by watching something on television about it.  Those shows can help give people ideas and suggestions, but actually doing the renovations is another story.

Here are a few things to avoid when you are looking for ideas for remodeling your bathroom.

Anywhere Alcohol Is Involved

People used to visit the local pub to find a good renovation specialists Auckland.  They would purposefully sit in there knowing potential customers would be looking for them there.  Only contractors looking for work would stay in the bar and wait.  Nowadays, no respectable builder or contractor drums up business this way.  Even getting ideas in the bar is a bad idea.  After a few beers, however, even ideas like replacing the shower unit with an elephant and a bucket start to make sense.

Anyone Who Ends With “Trust Me”

You should have a hard time trusting anyone who says “trust me”.  It is not a comforting statement. That phrase has really changed from something meaningful to a warning over the years.  A coworker, friend, or loved one could offer you some remodeling advice, but if they say “trust me”, you have to question their real experience.

Contractors Don’t Wear Suits

Someone with real experience getting down and dirty in bathroom renovations Sydney project is probably not going to be wearing a suit.  The person may have previously been a renovation contractors, so they could give some useful ideas.  Their ideas could be looked into, but be sure that the building codes or material prices haven’t changed since they were remodeling bathrooms. If the person in a suit is an architect, completely ignore all of their ideas for remodeling your bathroom. They have history to keep in mind – not your bathroom.

Pet-Owner Social Networks and Cat Freindly Living Room

Pet-Owner Social Networks

Indeed, there are pet-owner social networks to be found in the Internet and all pet parents are encouraged to join them. Becoming a member could prove to be fun, informational, eye opener, or even life changing! Know however that there are various types of these networks. Some of them are for finding friends or a place for knowing about pet shows and other pet social gatherings. Other networks are for pet-owners to find dates, partners, and even life companions. Yet other pet-owner social websites try to gather members so they can discuss about pet food, accessories, and anything else related to animal companions.

Aside from this, there are general websites that cattery south London to all kinds of pet owners while others only serve dog owners, cat owners, bird owners, and so on. There are also free sites and paid ones. All you have to do then is choose among these social networks and join the one that you can benefit from the most.

Cat-Friendly Living Room

The living room is usually where people receive their guests. If you have a cat though, the mess they can do to your living room can be quiet embarrassing. Worry no more however, because here you will find various ways to make your living room cat-friendly!

For starters, understand that cats like to climb high places and jump over things. So it is best that your tall furniture pieces are stable enough. Additionally, it is best that you remove any breakable items from the room as your feline friend can easily swipe them off their places. Aside from these, you should make sure that your flooring and furniture are scratch and stain resistant. Hardwood flooring, rugs, leather couches, metal or stainless steel chairs and tables are good things to have in your living room. Lastly, make sure that your living room does not contain objects that can cause choking hazards and intestine problems for your cat.

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