In the Wild: Mcusta Zanmai Beyond Bunka


In the Wild: Mcusta Zanmai Beyond Bunka

Our first 'In the Wild' of 2021! 

Both Marcus and Liv had a chance to use this amazing Beyond Bunka over the course of 2020. Liv loved it so much that she refused to bring it back for about six months, but she wanted Marcus to see what all the fuss was about, too. Now Bri is getting a turn with the knife and so far she's loving it.  

We thought it would be interesting to write a review from three different perspectives, especially from three people who have very different cooking/eating habits. 

Liv and Bri also had a little photoshoot at KNIFE. They made a simple pico de gallo to go with their lunch and got some gorgeous photos, too. Enjoy!


Bri sets up her station.



I knew almost immediately after seeing the new Mcusta Beyond's that I was going to love these knives. I'm a big fan of the bunka shape, so when Eugene told me I could take the Beyond Bunka home I was really excited. It's always a fun time when we get to take home knives to try out and the Beyond didn't disappoint. I was so in love with this knife that I refused to bring it back for almost six months! 

During that time I got a lot of use out of this knife. This was also back at the beginning of the pandemic when the shop was closed, so I was home all the time like most people. I should also mention that I've been vegetarian for about eight years now; this means that when I'm cooking, almost everything I cut is some kind of vegetable or fruit.


Dicing is a breeze with a knife this sharp.


The first thing I cut with this knife was, of course, a tomato. Tomatoes are always my test food when using a new knife or to see how sharp my knives are, and boy did the Beyond exceed my expectations. Tomatoes weren't the only thing I used this knife on, though. While most of my cooking consists of vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, kale, onion, and garlic, I did try this out on some heavier stuff, too. I'm a big fan of sweet potato so I definitely used the Beyond to cube those up, but one thing I will note is that I used an old beater knife to make my initial cuts. After I got the sweet potato into more manageable pieces, I got back to cubing with the Beyond. The reason I did this was to protect the Beyond from chipping or warping. This knife is definitely considered all purpose, but it does need to be treated with care and not be used to hack away at anything that's a bit too hard. That's why it's always good to have a knife or two hanging around that you don't care about too much and can be used for more heavy duty work.

That being said, the Beyond cut through that tomato (and the other produce) like cutting through air; it was incredible, and that super fine and sharp edge lasted for months. I had actually been saying I'd bring it back when it was dull, but that Aogami Super would just not dull out. By the time I finally brought it back to the shop it was still sharp and only needed a little touch up before I passed it along to Marcus. 

Sharpening the Beyond was incredibly satisfying, too. There's nothing like sharpening a knife that is made with such care and expertise, not to mention a super high grade carbon steel. I can't wait for more of these knives to come back to the shop for sharpening - they're truly that nice!


The Beyond glides through tomatoes like butter.



Before I had used the Beyond Bunka I had sharpened it, and let me tell you, it sharpens up like a dream. The knife is so damn thin that you meet little to no resistance while on a stone. It's actually kind of scary. You know what else is scary? How damn sharp it gets. I finished it on a 6K Naniwa Traditional before I  brought it home, and it kept a crisp edge for the entire time (three months) with no touch ups at all. A testament to a well tempered Aogami Super steel.

As much fun as I had sharpening this knife, I had even more fun using it. Flying through piles of veg like butter and meat like samurai on a tameshigiri. I had no problems with the cutting edge and I was excited to use frequently. However, I will say I felt the knife is a little delicate and was always very weary of the tip while using it, cause this knife is THIN! That being said, we don't want you to be afraid of using this knife or others like it. Thin knives are super fun to use and just require a little extra care and attention, especially with carbon steel.


Dicing onions like the pro she is.


You can't have pico without lime.


Wiping down a knife like the Beyond is very important to prevent rusting, especially after cutting high acidity foods!



Just like my fellow coworkers, I was very enticed by these knives. The mere thought of being one of the first people in Canada to use this knife was a huge excitement in and of itself. At first look, these knives are very sleek; they have a great weight to them despite the fact that these are one of the thinnest blades I have seen in the shop. I'm partial to using smaller knives as I find I have more control; that and they tend to fit in my hand better. To me, the size of the Beyond is perfect for my every day all-purpose knife. My current all-purpose chef knife is a 180mm santoku, so the push-chop motion that you would use with a knife that shape is the same as you would with a bunka. The transition for me was very easy and almost instantly the range of motion I received with the Beyond was incredible. I had recently tested a carbon steel nakiri from the shop at home and I realized very quickly that it is ideal for me to be able to use the tip of a knife when cutting and chopping. One of the most amazing features with this knife is definitely the tip! This made chopping and slicing through large amounts of veg a complete breeze. If you are not a cleaver or nakiri person like myself, then consider giving this a try as your "breeze through dinner prep" knife. 


The tip of the Beyond is one of our favourite features - perfect for delicate and precision work. 


Mincing garlic by hand is not only super easy but also very enjoyable with a knife this thin and sharp.


Finely chopping herbs is also a breeze!


The height of the blade is perfect for scooping up whatever you've been chopping, too. 


We hope you enjoyed reading about this incredible Mcusta Zanmai Beyond Bunka from each of our perspectives. I think it's pretty obvious that we all love this knife, and we think that anyone who gets to use it will, too!

Thanks for reading,

Liv, Marcus, & Bri

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