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Equipment & Gear: Kitchen Knives
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Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: CA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Let's all whip our's out and see whose is longer. Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
This forum is worse than sports talk radio. I LIKE WUSTOF! You're ignorant, Obviously it's Shun! THose are both mediocre, I have a $1200 Masamoto Honyaki Gyokuseikou Kyoumen Sushi knife which I like to rub obsessively on a damp stone for hours a day until I can see myself sitting alone in the blade edge.

I agree. I am tired of hearing people declaring certain lines as the best. I misspoke in my previous post when I used the words "superior to". I meant to say that they work better for me. My bad, I got carried away...

What is the purpose of the italicized "alone" in your comment? Is it a joke or is it meant to belittle the knifenut who spends many hours polishing their sushi knife by saying no one would want to be around them?

Sam wrote:
I thought the anonymous commentfrom the guy who worked as a professional chef were quite insightful and showed a level of character and respect for the opinions of others that is rare these days. Yet in the next post he was berated for assuming he had something to offer because he worked with kitchen cutlery every day. How colossally arrogant!

Frankly, I found it typical of "I'm a chef" comments that heavily weigh being a professional yet really don't offer much more experience than the average home cook or department store salesperson.

Anonymous came in claiming that he might be able to help our emotional confusion because he a chef. I have a few issues with that statement.
1) I do not think that there is any emotional confusion on the subject that needs help.
2) If there was confusion that needed help, using knives everyday in the workplace would not be sufficient criteria to make me think one has the experience to help. It takes a passion for using good knives that drives one to seek out the best. Being a chef only lets me know that the person is most likely sufficiently skilled with a knife.

What is wrong with pointing out that when someone says they are a chef I don't assume that they are a knife expert? I don't think anonymous was scolded angrily at length. I simply told him that I find most chefs to know very little about knives so it will take a lot more than being a professional to earn my respect. If that is colossally arrogant than that is truly what I am.

I did assume that anonymous is a chef so perhaps I am wrong there. I am also assuming that anonymous is a he

Sam wrote:
Next thing I know, my auto mechanic will be suggesting I do something to maintain my car. I don't think I'll listen, however, because he isn't the engineer who designed it. In fact, he probably never designed any car.

In order to listen to your mechanic he has to have met some sort of criteria that allowed you to pass him off as someone with valuable advice to offer about maintaining your car. Same thing with with a chef and advice about knives. It all depends where we set our standards as to how helpful the advice will be.

Sam wrote:
I hope my point is getting through; sarcasm tends to be a tricky thing with text. The reason forums like this are even slightly useful is because people like to try to help other people with advice. Let's ease up a bit shall we? The world does not begin and end with Cowry X

I will do my best not to come off as a knife elitist jerk off in the future. Looking back at this post, I'm not sure if its actually possible...

I would also like to see this forum become a better resource.

Sam, those are some big words you are touting...Cowry X, Masamoto Honyaki...any chance I know you from another forum and/or you actually have some of these to play with?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:26 am    Post subject: It was a joke Reply with quote

I apologize for the somewhat coarse tone of my previous post. It was quite late in the evening when I wrote it, and I tend to become more irritable as a result. The italics for "alone" was a joke about spending too much time talking to your knives and not enough time doing anything else. I didn't mean it to be too terribly offensive, but I tend to forget that when I write to online forums, I am talking to people who not only can't see me, but don't know me and can't hear me. I tend to be a wise-ass in person, but I smile a lot and people know I am joking. Writing like I speak can get a person in trouble though. Also, while I have only recently become interested in kitchen cutlery and am currently without anything respectable in my kitchen. (Christmas should remedy this. I'm getting's Master Home Chef set as a starter.) I have had a long love of pocket knives and edged tools of other sorts and the joke about seeing your lonesome reflection in the knife certainly applies to me.

On to your recent comments on my comments on your comments on some other guy's comments.

"In order to listen to your mechanic he has to have met some sort of criteria that allowed you to pass him off as someone with valuable advice to offer about maintaining your car. Same thing with with a chef and advice about knives. It all depends where we set our standards as to how helpful the advice will be."

This is the central dilemma surrounding advice forums such as this one: who's giving the advice? Personally, I find these forums the most useful when they provide insite into the reasons behind "why" so-and-so thinks their favorite brand of knife or bike frame or car tire is the best. That was why I liked what the professional knife-user had to say. I don't agree with everything he said, but he made some good points.

Japanese knives are amazing. The metallurgy and craftsmanship are simply incomparable and I am greatly looking forward to owning some myself, but they are a bit more finicky and require more care. By definition, this is a disadvantage in a tool. A sturdy forged stainless german knife will still cut a garlic clove, (which seems to be the only thing people use their knives for on this forum) and it won't complain too much if you don't wipe it off right away afterward. The question becomes: How much do I value a really, really sharp knife?

I like sharp knives. It appeals to my sense of propriety and rightness, that a knife should be as sharp as it can be. Going to greater lengths to maintain a japanese kitchen knife would not be a hardship for me; Heck, I'd sharpen my current kitchen knives to whatever they could stand if they weren't abyssmal stamped, serrated Farberware (wedding gift from off the registry) Seriously, a stamped, serrated 8" chef's knife? It's awful! However, I also have an old stamped ekco chef's knife with a partial tang that I absolutely love. It has a wonderful wooden handle which fits my hand, it's very light, and it curves to one side slightly for some reason. It is also a lousy knife in relative terms, but it works just fine for carving a roast or slicing a melon, so it is an effective tool. Plus it was free. So, in terms of food prep per dollar that knife is the clear winner in my kitchen.

My point is there are those people who use knives as tools and nothing more. They want something cut and that's it. For them the best knife is the one that does the job and can then be forgotten. It is transparent in it's extension of their designs. These people would be happiest with the most worry free knife they can find, even at the expense of cutting performance. They are the reason Henckels, Wustof, and Messermeister have been successful for as long as they have.
Then there are people like you and me and many of the other's who read and contribute to this forum. We look at these knives as more than just tools. The knives become an end in themselves, a testament to mankind's technical prowess. They are talismans, symbols of perfection, and using one fills one with joy because of the rare ease and accuracy with which they perform. Sharpening a knife is almost a religious experience, penance paid which makes the use of the knife that much sweeter. These are the people who buy the japanese knives.

It's like anything else, from Harley's to fishing rods to carburetor's, some people look at what something does and some people look at what it is. What is important is to realize that both views are necessary, and valid.

I haven't joined or even contributed to any other knife forums; I am familiar with Cowry X powdered steel and the Masamoto Honyaki Gyokuseikou Kyoumen simply through my own research prior to buying a knife or two of my own. I'm in my senior year of mechanical engineering and I like to know everything I possibly can about whatever I buy when I make purchases. I also like the name of this forum. Beyond that, material properties and metallurgy are interesting to me, hence the career choice. Sorry I got so long winded, normally somebody would have told me to shut up by now.
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Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: CA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam, great post! I also apologize for the tone of my previous posts. I like your joke and would welcome more jokes and sarcasm in the future. I won't be on the defensive so you don't have to worry about how they will be received by me in text form. I do spend as much time as possible rubbing knives on damp stones. Unfortunately that is usually only once a week and my fingers give out in a few hours as I can't seem to keep them from rubbing on the stone. Anyways, no worries about a lengthy post...please keep the insightfulness flowing...the forum needs it

I hope you enjoy the Master Home Chet set. Be sure to let us know how well they function for you.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:06 pm    Post subject: knifesafe Reply with quote

Big smile

I had to laugh when I read this

...well worth the cost. if you have kids make sure you keep them in a "knife safe" by lamsonsharp.
ths thing can take a finger or two off in a secound so be careful....

Hmm... doesn't sound very safe, or like a good place to keep a kid, but if you say so...
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Sharpening Reply with quote

Sharpening is an art form that can be learned, just like cooking well can be learned.

Might I suggest going to Razor Edge Systems for the proper equipment and technique.

Razor Edge has been serving the meat packing industry for some time.
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Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:21 am    Post subject: Don't! Reply with quote

an anonymous reader wrote:
Any feedback or comments on the new Furi Rachel Ray knives. They look beautiful.The handle is the tang.Coppertail. Fairly expensive. What do you guys think?

Stay away from these knives. I made the mistake of purchasing the two knife set. They are inferior knives in my opinion. There is not a kitchen knife I own that does not do a better job of cutting carrots in particular. There was a bamboo case with the two knives that was poorly made.

I also do not recommend doing business with Chef's Resource.

If these are the same knives that Rachel Ray actually uses I would be very surprised indeed.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About those Rachel Ray knives...I looked at the other forum that was mentioned and, sadly, I'm actually an engineer, so I didn't find the comments there all that definitive/helpful. I could have been more persistant, I'll admit, but I actually came here because I was looking for more objectivity and hard data and I think this forum offers that better than the others. So I'm hoping to get a little more of that: what's wrong with the Furi knives? I saw where someone here said they were junk, can you offer specifics? My wife wants one and if I get her something else...well, I'm going to want to back it up... Thanks!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ jagstyle

WOW !!

i felt in love with youre deba, what is it?

i´m in search of real knifes like that,

i do use for sashimi a kansui (in europe sold as kobayashi) yanagiba 300mm,
i sharpen my self see here:

thanks for answer :-)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:02 am    Post subject: Wannabe Knife Reply with quote

Hi , I have been reading and getting ready to make the jump to Japenese knife I have ordered this knife as a start, it is a Santoku by a small firm in Japan
I have read what Jag posted about Wanabe knife and I will later order this Gyuto from him
This ling shows a Takohiki (Sushi blade) but the Gyuto should look like it.
Here is the back side of the knife
I was just wondering what you guys thought and also between single or double bevel what is the diference and also by size of grip.
Any suggestions or thoughts that could help are welcome.
Many thanks
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:21 pm    Post subject: sharpening Reply with quote

Hi, i love reading all of these posts. I have been working in kitchens for years. About 14, and remember my fist knife well. I still have it. A german 9 inch chef knife the brand isn't important so i won't mention it. It is completely unusable now, from incorect sharpening. The knife mabe unusable excet for a spear point, but i learned alot about what i liked and didn't like in a knife. My advise to anyone considering buying a good knife for the first or second time is, buy a set of Water Stones First. I happen to have a ridiculous number of them, (i just like to buy them) but you really only need a few. If you buy a knife and it is sharp, keep it sharp with a 1200 grit or so and polish with something higher, i use a 5000 to finish. You really don't need to go any higher unless you are sushi chef cutting fish all day. {coarse stones are usefull to get out chips, but use them sparingly, you can take off alot of metal} You will also need to keep them flat (coarse stones are good for this too) this can be done with sand paper or a specialty flattening stone, its easy if you do it often. I have found Wood working sites, to be very usefull for stone and sharpening info.

Personaly, I hate knives with blosters, they are hard to sharpen for me. If I had it to do all over again I would have started with an inexpensive forchner chef knife; learned good sharpening skills, then move on. For me in a busy kitchen, I love my Mac mightly 10.5 it seems to hold a good edge. I also have a few others including a Global, foschner, Misono, and a few Masimoto's. They are all great for what they are, the key is finding what you like and need. Just remember the most expensive knife in the world is useless, unless you can keep it sharp.
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Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

$10 Farberware forged knife. I modify the handle for comfort and sharpen it up nice. It works as great as any expensive knife. I have two, one for meat and one for non-meats.
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Family Chow Hall

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:40 pm    Post subject: knives Reply with quote

This is really good advice. Instead of searching for a particular brand, now I know specifically which qualities I want a good knife to have. Thanks!
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Jimmy Tenacious

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we all have extended ourselves too far in this forum. Let me ask all of you… did you come to this page wanting to find out just about cooking/knives/sharpening/etc…etc? Why have we all become those people from Vogue forum? Why can’t we all just help out each other with each others’ questions?
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Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A chef giving advice on knives is not quite the same as a mechanic giving advice on cars.... a knife is our primary tool (as opposed to the subject of our study), and almost any chef will tell you that a knife is like underwear... it's a personal choice that everyone feels differently about. I spend 7 hours a day with my knife in my hand... I think I have fairly good insight into what makes THAT knife work for ME, and also into what might make a knife work (or not work) for someone else. I also know what I want to be able to do with my knife, but most people will never want to lathe-turn a 1 inch chunk of carrot into two feet of ribbon.

Things to think about when considering knives:

Hardness of steel: softer steel takes a sharper edge but won't hold it. Harder steel isn't quite as sharp but holds its edge. Find your balance, but remember that you will lose part of your knife every time you have to sharpen.

Handle shape: Ignore how 'pretty' it looks, it needs to feel good in your hands. This is a good place for the underwear comparison. Find what works for you.

Blade shape: Santokus are very trendy right now, and some people love them. Others love the old-style chef knife. The chef knife lends itself to rocking cuts, the santoku is better for choping cuts. What's your style? How much curvature do you want in your cutting edge?

Edge style: There are some wonderful single-edge Japanese blades out there. the blade is super sharp, but a bit brittle... are you willing to baby a knife for the ability to cut raw potato so thin it looks like glass? Hollow-ground blades are sharper than regular, but hard to keep up.

Maintanance: there really and truly are knives you can run through the dishwasher. And there are knived you need to rub with oil after every use. Watered steel (like the Shuns) need to be wiped dry after they are washed. Carbon steel will rust. How much work are you willing to put into keeping your knife 'happy'?

Style: Seriously, there are plenty of people who want the 'look'. You want people to say 'wow' about your knife. This should be a tie-breaker, but don't discount how much you'll learn to love a knife that makes people think you're a bad-ass in the kitchen.
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Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taamar wrote:
Hardness of steel: softer steel takes a sharper edge but won't hold it. Harder steel isn't quite as sharp but holds its edge. Find your balance, but remember that you will lose part of your knife every time you have to sharpen.

What properties allow softer steel to take a sharper edge? Are we talking about the same steel with different heat treatments or steels that are generally treated to a lower hardness vs steels that are generally treated to higher hardness?
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