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Jul 23, 2009 10:12 AM

Chef's knife and Slicer - hollow ground or no?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of hollow-ground blades on chef's knives or slicers?

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  1. i've used both and i haven't noticed that the hollow ground knives stick less

    1 Reply
    1. re: chuckl

      Thanks for the response. Do the dimples cause any problems that a regular chefs knife wouldnt? Even though you don't really see them as an asset, are they ever a hinderance?

    2. I have been toying with investing in a Japanese brand of dimpled knife, Glestain. You can find them on the and Korin. These have so many dimples that I have to believe that potatoes and the like will just fall off them rather than stick. The one hollow ground I do have now is a Shun Classic nine inch slicer, but I don't really thinking sticking is an issue when carving a ham. It doesn't really seem to make a difference, but then again there is only a single row of hollow dimples (compared to Glestain) and I'm not cutting potatoes with it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RGC1982

        I have a Glestain santoku knife with those huge dimples covering the whole blade. They really do work. It's my "go to" knife for slicing potatoes and onions.

        1. re: tanuki soup

          I am happy to hear that they work. I do find sticking potato slices to be annoying while prepping for dinner. The Glestain seems to have a ton of deeper dimples.

      2. Not to be too pedantic, but hollow grinding is a method of forming an edge that leaves the bevel slightly concave. It's good for straight razors, not chef's knives. Grantons, on the other hand, are the little dimples that are supposed to break the surface tension between the food and the knife, thus reducing sticking.

        In my experience, most granton blades don't work particularly well. The dimples are too small, too far apart, and too far from the edge to provide much in the way of an advantage. The Glestain slicer rocks, though. I've used one and I covet it.

        The disadvantage is that after years of use and repeated sharpenings, the bevel will get into the grantons and the knife will have to be replaced.

        3 Replies
        1. re: alanbarnes

          So, to make sure that I am using the correct terms:

          The Shun 9" Classic Slicer is not "hollow ground" (which is what they called it in the store), but a "Granton"?

          The Glesain text simply mentions "Dimples" -- probably because they are in more than one row.

          1. re: RGC1982

            That is correct. I did a Google search to come up with an good diagram of a hollow-ground blade. It's on the top left of the attached image. Here's more info; look under the section titled "Edge":

            But Google also revealed that while knife geeks and custom bladesmiths consistently use the term correctly, many mass-market manufacturers (including Shun) misuse "hollow ground" to describe a dimpled blade. <rant on> With so many perfectly good words to use (Granton, scalloped, dimpled, Kullenschliff, etc.), why do they have to pick a knife-related word that means something else entirely? <rant off>

            ETA: Great. Chowhound doesn't like images that aren't square, and you can't edit a post to change a picture. Double-click it and you can see the whole thing.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Thanks -- I couldn't get the picture to open, but the explanation is clear.

              At least Misono and Glestain call them "dimples". I can only guess that their customers demand more precision in their descriptions.

        2. I have a regular Henckel 10" chefs knife, and a Henkel 8" with a scalloped blade. I prefer the smaller one all around, but does it stick less? Like to cheese? Not in a noticable way, but I suppose having a bit of air between the food and the blade would make less friction.