Should I "upgrade" my all-wood 5-ply Kiso Hinoki?

It is worth knowing that Hinoki is a kind of Cypress. :)
Yep, it is indeed. I did do a whole lot of reading the past 3 months or so. Kiso hinoki would be "the best" among cypress, wouldn't it? Good grief, if all cypress are similar, then I just wasted hours each day for the past 3 months searching and reading those articles.

I kinda feel like kiso is soft(er) yet dense(er). To compare the 2 blades I got, 5-ply all-wood, the mixed(?) cypress vs the all Kiso (supposedly), the H-II is stiffer and harder, less spinny, although less dense (feels "hollow" less "full"). Would this be correct? At least, in general?


Would higher quality Kiso Hinoki (older?) have more of that catapult effect?
 
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Very nice review...

The HC-5s looks very similar to Yinhe Kiso 5. I've had to clean the handle everyday, trying to keep it clean. I didn't varnish it, previously, on my Jonyer H-II, the lacquer yellowed after 5 years (my mistake for choosing the wrong varnish, it said acrylic-based spray paint, but looking at the result after 5 years, it might've been nitrocellulose). I'had been applying oil on the Yinhe, a drying oil I extracted and processed myself (it won't yellow as much as linseed), it's just that I should've waited 3 days for it to cure properly, but I couldn't help not playing with it.
I'm moving on to an oil-based varnish now, a satin one, feels pretty good, not too slippery.

View attachment 28013

Anyways, I managed to play for half an hour with the 7p-2a carbon, and this thing feels so soft, very spinny. I can't really say much further than that till I get to play more with it, it's a different beast. The build quality is excellent. Mine still has the old label though, the core is almost half as thick as the outer plies.
Interesting. Your 7PC is the old version. How old is it, do you know that? Darker uses a much thicker core and thinner outer plies in the new one. Yours is probably even softer than the new one since the carbon sits deeper.

Attached a foto of the new version.
 

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Interesting. Your 7PC is the old version. How old is it, do you know that? Darker uses a much thicker core and thinner outer plies in the new one. Yours is probably even softer than the new one since the carbon sits deeper.

Attached a foto of the new version.
Haven't got a clue. Though from the posts I could find, 2015-2020, thicker outer plies, the same logos. It does feel very soft. I feel like this blade is even much softer than my 5-ply full cypress/hinoki blades.
 
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Haven't got a clue. Though from the posts I could find, 2015-2020, thicker outer plies, the same logos. It does feel very soft. I feel like this blade is even much softer than my 5-ply full cypress/hinoki blades.
Yours is certainly the older version. If I had to guess I would say it must be at least eight years old or even older. Maybe Darker has changed the composition of the 7PC with the introduction of the plastic ball, but who knows.

Darker has only two lenses/ logos which they randomly use for their 2a hinoki blades. The blue one and the dark green/gold one. I have three new version 7p-2a Carbon blades, all have the thicker core, two have blue lenses, one (which I have bought just recently) has the green/gold one.
 

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Yep, it is indeed. I did do a whole lot of reading the past 3 months or so. Kiso hinoki would be "the best" among cypress, wouldn't it? Good grief, if all cypress are similar, then I just wasted hours each day for the past 3 months searching and reading those articles.

I kinda feel like kiso is soft(er) yet dense(er). To compare the 2 blades I got, 5-ply all-wood, the mixed(?) cypress vs the all Kiso (supposedly), the H-II is stiffer and harder, less spinny, although less dense (feels "hollow" less "full"). Would this be correct? At least, in general?


Would higher quality Kiso Hinoki (older?) have more of that catapult effect?

What you may also want to be considering is Yinhe's level of craftsmanship and the quality of the materials they use vs Butterfly's.

However, if you want a real experience with Hinoki you should be trying something like a Darker Speed 90. Nothing feels like a 1 ply Hinoki blade. They are expensive and they break easily. But that is the real HINOKI FEEL thing. Any multiply blade with Hinoki in it is nothing in comparison to a good quality 1 ply Hinoki blade.
 
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What you may also want to be considering is Yinhe's level of craftsmanship and the quality of the materials they use vs Butterfly's.

However, if you want a real experience with Hinoki you should be trying something like a Darker Speed 90. Nothing feels like a 1 ply Hinoki blade. They are expensive and they break easily. But that is the real HINOKI FEEL thing. Any multiply blade with Hinoki in it is nothing in comparison to a good quality 1 ply Hinoki blade.
Maybe yes, but 1ply hinoki blades have, apart from being very expensive and fragile, too special properties for most players (chunky, very fast, high throw, very bouncy).
 
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Yours is certainly the older version. If I had to guess I would say it must be at least eight years old or even older. Maybe Darker has changed the composition of the 7PC with the introduction of the plastic ball, but who knows.

Darker has only two lenses/ logos which they randomly use for their 2a hinoki blades. The blue one and the dark green/gold one. I have three new version 7p-2a Carbon blades, all have the thicker core, two have blue lenses, one (which I have bought just recently) has the green/gold one.
There's another one, a gold one, with kanji (?) characters below their logotype. That could be an even older one? Since the posts I found dated 2015 through 2021 have the blue lenses. The 2021 I found had thicker core, similar to yours.
https://forum.tennis-de-table.com/t/darker-7p2a-carbon/2180/9

Yeah, you could be right, they may have changed the composition for the plastic ball. Mine came in a very dark blue box, so if we can find out when they start using that box, we may be able to figure out when they started making thicker cores. The one on the french forum had a royal blue box... ... ... Or I'll just ask the seller tomorrow morning -.-'


What you may also want to be considering is Yinhe's level of craftsmanship and the quality of the materials they use vs Butterfly's.

However, if you want a real experience with Hinoki you should be trying something like a Darker Speed 90. Nothing feels like a 1 ply Hinoki blade. They are expensive and they break easily. But that is the real HINOKI FEEL thing. Any multiply blade with Hinoki in it is nothing in comparison to a good quality 1 ply Hinoki blade.
True... There are several other aspects that I consider as well, besides the fact that the finishing quality is higher in Butterfly's, such as endorsement fees, advertising, labor, handle designs etc. The Joyner H-II was about USD 28, had Yinhe sold one, should only cost a mere USD 18, perhaps? Had Butterfly produced a Kiso 5-ply, out of the same material that Yinhe is using, it could easily be sold at USD 60, instead of the USD 42 that Yinhe is being sold at. So I'm thinking that I did upgrade my blade from a 28 bucks blade to a 60 dollar one, and it kinda did feel that way. There was this "rumor" I found from OOAK forum, I think, from 2014, that Butterfly outsourced their manufacturing in Taiwan. He suspected it's Yinhe, if that's true, then the manufacturing quality shouldn't lagged that far behind, I guess.

It's just that Butterfly surely wouldn't be making a full Kiso blade out of a, say a 100 year-old wood, as what I suspected Yinhe did. Which is the sole reason I wanted to own a higher quality Kiso blade...well, other than how gorgeous those Darker blades are lol. Though I am a tad disappointed with mine, the logo on the handle and on the bottom of it, the J.T.T.A stamp, and the misaligned top of the handles FH and BH side. But overall, a much better finish than the Jonyer H-II.

I've read plenty of your comments about how fragile those one-plies can be though, hence I stayed away. The Speed 90 is way too expensive for me, I was also tempted to get Nittaku Miyabi instead, but considering how soft these Kisos are...nope.

I've really enjoyed the Yinhe Kiso 5, though. I'll settle for a multi-plies Kiso, I guess. Trying to figure out how this 7p-2a carbon actually behaves, whilst also hoping to find more infos on the actual properties of the Kiso itself.
 
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My blades had the same glossy dark blue box. It's Darkers standard box for their blades now, all the new non-hinoki blades come in this box, too. I bought my first 7Pc three years ago. One from Nishoi and one from TT11. But that doesn't tell very much. They might have been in their stock for some years before I purchased them.
 
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I have used a Darker 7p.2a.7t. It is really nice. I am sure the 7p.2a is as well. If you want a Hinoki blade that has plies, you can't go wrong with Darker. They specialize in making Hinoki blades. And their craftsmanship is really top notch. In my opinion, better than Butterfly; as good or better than any other blade maker I can think of and their niche is Hinoki blades.

I think Butterfly does outsource all or most of their blades. The one thing to understand with that, they still are in control of the design of the blades and the blades have to pass their quality control standards. One of the things with a brand like Yinhe is that, it is possible they let a lot more go through their quality control even if they are making a similar product. It sounds like you got a good blade that you like though so that is all that really matters.

So if you like the Yinhe blade, trust that. And there is much more than the wood that goes into a multi-ply blade. The glue, the gluing process, how they age the wood, if they treat the wood in any way. There can be many reasons why two blades made of the same material would feel very different.

An OSP Virtuoso + is the same wood ply construction as a Butterfly Petr Korbel but the two blades feel night and day different. There are so many instances of this kind of thing so I am just using one example. But the important thing is what you like and what works for you.

Good luck.
 
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well the Kiso Hinoki 5 has an intense but good to control trampoline effect,some shots or chops are just magical,and What I ecxprérienced is that if you play effortless not so boneheaded on speed a nd killshot mentality,the more you got magicaml shots or chops.
I really can´t descripe it,but some people i played against,where just staring and wondoering how to anticipage the setup.
Glayzer 2.1 on bh and Xiom J&H V47.5 on Fh,
Sometimes you overshot,but some ts were incredible.
I guess with a one ply you have more of that "magical Hinoki touch" but i guess that the trampoline effect from one ply is hard to place.
The 5 Ply is tamer nut man i tell yoiu,some of those shots were almost as if ghe wood would guidd you arms to play beatiful but deadly shots.
i vividly remember a chop session,where i would let the ball jump on the net and it nrolloed mon top of the net for almsot 10 cm,but it dropped on my side.but when your oponent and yourself afre in disbelief of ehat happened,it is the beauty of table tennis.(altought 2 secs later,i was pissed that i didn´t make the point,but that is me,lol)
 
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From what I've read hinoki and cypress are related but not exactly the same wood ( hinoki is also called false cypress).
Kiso hinoki has been cultivated in central Japan and thrives in relatively cold climate. It has predictable properties unlike cypress species in general which may differ significantly and be soft or hard.
Taiwanese cypress is known to be different and not only due to the warmer climate. Botanists treat it as either a variety of the same species (Chamaecyparis obtusa) or as a separate species altogether belonging to a different genus (Chamaecyparis taiwanensis).
There are two kinds of this tree in Taiwan - "yellow hinoki" which is closer to kiso, and "red hinoki" which differs from kiso and is closer to sawara. All in all, as hinoki aficionados say, taiwanese "hinoki" is harder than kiso and plays differently. I can't confirm or deny it.
So I gather, what we get with Darker is authentic Japanese kiso hinoki with predictable wood properties unlike some other brands that can label it "hinoki" or even "kiso hinoki" but in fact it is some kind of cypress wood with different properties.

(Here we ignore the fact that different blades are made from different parts of the tree with different properties, but from what I've read Darker here is pretty consistent as well).
 
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I prefer the Taiwanese hinoki ( Ariex brand ). It has greater killing power. Me liek HULK SMASH!
I prefer less Kiso Hinoki ( Darker brand ). Less killing power, more spinning power. I am a man in a hurry, I don't wanna waste time play loopy-loopy. One shot one kill is my game.
 
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One shot one kill is my game.

Incidentally Darker hinoki 7P-A2.Hypercarbon is said to be geared for your playing style.
It's a fast OFF+ outer carbon blade produced exclusively for the Chinese market.
There's also Hypercarbon+ and Hypercarbon 600 which is claimed to be made from 600 y.o. trees, so it should feel harder and closer to Taiwanese. (I'm not sure if it's actually true, as I've heard that such old trees are protected in Japan)
I guess you prefer 1-ply though...
.
Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 11.20.22.png



Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 12.11.22.png
 
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Incidentally Darker hinoki 7P-A2.Hypercarbon is said to be geared for your playing style.
It's a fast OFF+ outer carbon blade produced exclusively for the Chinese market.
There's also Hypercarbon+ and Hypercarbon 600 which is claimed to be made from a 600 y.o. trees, so it should feel harder and closer to Taiwanese. (I'm not sure it it's actually true, as I've heard that such old trees are protected in Japan)
I guess you prefer 1-ply though...
.
View attachment 28035


View attachment 28037
Wow! The inner EJ kicks in imediately 🤣🤣
 
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says Buttefly Forever!!!
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Incidentally Darker hinoki 7P-A2.Hypercarbon is said to be geared for your playing style.
It's a fast OFF+ outer carbon blade produced exclusively for the Chinese market.
There's also Hypercarbon+ and Hypercarbon 600 which is claimed to be made from a 600 y.o. trees, so it should feel harder and closer to Taiwanese. (I'm not sure it it's actually true, as I've heard that such old trees are protected in Japan)
I guess you prefer 1-ply though...
There is nothing you say nor do that can make me part with my Avenger MK 1
IMG_7758.jpeg
 
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I think I ask Sergio to make me a 3ply Kiso Hinoki with Koto Top veneeer and call it "Cypress Hill".
And everytime I make a point I shout "Shots from th Pong" instead of Chu or Chore.
Now which overpriced rubbers will fit my imaginary Skilllevel.
It has to be at least a H3 Player edition ,Dignics,or some overpriced ESN tensor Hyperselectf course.and nothing under 52.5shore scale
 
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My blades had the same glossy dark blue box. It's Darkers standard box for their blades now, all the new non-hinoki blades come in this box, too. I bought my first 7Pc three years ago. One from Nishoi and one from TT11. But that doesn't tell very much. They might have been in their stock for some years before I purchased them.
I asked the seller, he doesn't know the production date, said that it arrived recently, but could be from 2015-2018. The oldest post I could find that had thicker core was from sept '20. The oldest post for the thinner core was from april '17. I really wasn't aware that they changed the core thickness.

I have used a Darker 7p.2a.7t. It is really nice. I am sure the 7p.2a is as well. If you want a Hinoki blade that has plies, you can't go wrong with Darker. They specialize in making Hinoki blades. And their craftsmanship is really top notch. In my opinion, better than Butterfly; as good or better than any other blade maker I can think of and their niche is Hinoki blades.

I think Butterfly does outsource all or most of their blades. The one thing to understand with that, they still are in control of the design of the blades and the blades have to pass their quality control standards. One of the things with a brand like Yinhe is that, it is possible they let a lot more go through their quality control even if they are making a similar product. It sounds like you got a good blade that you like though so that is all that really matters.

So if you like the Yinhe blade, trust that. And there is much more than the wood that goes into a multi-ply blade. The glue, the gluing process, how they age the wood, if they treat the wood in any way. There can be many reasons why two blades made of the same material would feel very different.

An OSP Virtuoso + is the same wood ply construction as a Butterfly Petr Korbel but the two blades feel night and day different. There are so many instances of this kind of thing so I am just using one example. But the important thing is what you like and what works for you.

Good luck.
I couldn't find 7t here, though I did recall that you mentioned about preferring to have the thinner 7p-2a, 6.2mm, than the 7mm 7t. Yeah, at least from what I can see on the outside, Darker's quality is indeed top notch.

Yep, less QC would mean less production cost. The much cheaper H-II has considerably better finish than the Yinhe Kiso. The grains on the outer plies, H-II is 2-3.5mm, the Yinhe is 0.5-1.5mm, the Darker is much tighter at 0.3-0.7mm. I guess that at least, in a way, I am getting higher quality hinoki (older hinoki wood). The Yinhe I got is indeed a good one, I'll be on the lookout for a 5-ply Darker hinoki if they ever gonna release one in the future.

Right, wood is wood... The cut from the same tree could and would feel different, let alone thin cuts from different age and trees. I guess I was just trying to get a general sense of these differences. I play pool as well, in a way, Predator build their shafts that way, is to somehow create cue shafts that won't vary that much from one another. So perhaps, the multi-plies used in table tennis blades is also meant to produce the same properties.

Yeah, I am satisfied with the 7p-2a carbon I got. I'm rather slow to adapt, I may need like 20-30 hours to get a good feel on a new blade.
 
well the Kiso Hinoki 5 has an intense but good to control trampoline effect,some shots or chops are just magical,and What I ecxprérienced is that if you play effortless not so boneheaded on speed a nd killshot mentality,the more you got magicaml shots or chops.
I really can´t descripe it,but some people i played against,where just staring and wondoering how to anticipage the setup.
Glayzer 2.1 on bh and Xiom J&H V47.5 on Fh,
Sometimes you overshot,but some ts were incredible.
I guess with a one ply you have more of that "magical Hinoki touch" but i guess that the trampoline effect from one ply is hard to place.
The 5 Ply is tamer nut man i tell yoiu,some of those shots were almost as if ghe wood would guidd you arms to play beatiful but deadly shots.
i vividly remember a chop session,where i would let the ball jump on the net and it nrolloed mon top of the net for almsot 10 cm,but it dropped on my side.but when your oponent and yourself afre in disbelief of ehat happened,it is the beauty of table tennis.(altought 2 secs later,i was pissed that i didn´t make the point,but that is me,lol)
The Yinhe I got most likely is of lesser quality than your Butterfly, but yeah, I had that same feeling when playing with the Yinhe. To basically not "think" when playing, just focus on making good shots, the feel and control was indeed amazing.


...
There are two kinds of this tree in Taiwan - "yellow hinoki" which is closer to kiso, and "red hinoki" which differs from kiso and is closer to sawara. All in all, as hinoki aficionados say, taiwanese "hinoki" is harder than kiso and plays differently. I can't confirm or deny it.
So I gather, what we get with Darker is authentic Japanese kiso hinoki with predictable wood properties unlike some other brands that can label it "hinoki" or even "kiso hinoki" but in fact it is some kind of cypress wood with different properties.

(Here we ignore the fact that different blades are made from different parts of the tree with different properties, but from what I've read Darker here is pretty consistent as well).
Looking at the much wider grain on the top plies of the Joyner H-II, the Yinhe Kiso 5, and 7p-2a carbon I got, I am suspecting that the H-II is taiwanese, the Yinhe is a much (?) younger Kiso than the Darker.

Yep, I am indeed looking for more infos on these so-called predictable properties between different "hinokis". Coz I feel like this 7p-2a carbon (yeah, I know, I shouldn't be comparing composite to all-wood), is not as linear, is much softer, feels less stiff, and have a higher throw angle.

In a way, hoping that I could get more infos, so that I can adapt faster with this new blade.
 
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I asked the seller, he doesn't know the production date, said that it arrived recently, but could be from 2015-2018. The oldest post I could find that had thicker core was from sept '20. The oldest post for the thinner core was from april '17. I really wasn't aware that they changed the core thickness.


I couldn't find 7t here, though I did recall that you mentioned about preferring to have the thinner 7p-2a, 6.2mm, than the 7mm 7t. Yeah, at least from what I can see on the outside, Darker's quality is indeed top notch.
Okay, thanks for asking. So maybe Darker has changed the blade around 2018/19? The 7PC is quite an old blade. I have found pictures of it in Darkers 2005 catalogue, so nearly 20 years or perhaps even older.

The 7P-2A is also 6.5 mm btw.
 

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