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CCK KF1303 Knife Experience Update

Chemicalkinetics Feb 1, 2010 02:12 PM

I just got my two Chan Chi Kee carbon steel Chinese Chef's knife KF1303. One for myself and one for a friend. I took it out of the package and they are amazingly light and amazingly thin. I took one and started slicing tomatoes and onions. Naturally, I try to cut them horizontal, parallel to the chopping block and the knife just slided in the tomatoes with almost no resistance. There is resistance in the onion but much less than any other knives I have. Technically, the CCK edge is not sharper than my Dexter because it does not seem to cut paper better or shave my arm hair better, but because of its very thin profile, it just cut very well. Now, I suspect it does not have the strength as the Dexter and already I see the knife has two dented area. One at the tip of the spine which has no affect on performance and the other one at the tip of the heel.

I will start to cut meat and vegetable using this knife (no bone of course) and see how well it holds up as a all-purpose knife.

The knife does not have great finish. As mentioned, the tips are already bented.

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  1. cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 2, 2010 05:39 AM

    Thanks for the review. I think I'm gonna have to try out a chinese cleaver, since I've gotten to the point where an upgrade to my chef knife/gyuto collection would cost more than I'm willing [read: able] to spend.

    Did the knife have the dents when it arrived, or did they show up after you put it through its first prep session?
    Is this your first carbon blade, chem? If so, wait till you try sharpening it. The main reason I like carbon steel so much is because of how it sharpens up.

    17 Replies
    1. re: cowboyardee
      Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Feb 2, 2010 08:15 AM

      Cowboy,

      I still bet you are able to spend >$2000 for a knife, but you are just not willing.

      This is a thin Chinese chef's knife, so this is not the one which people refer as the all-purpose Chinese chef's knife. It is better at slicing than my Dexter Chinese chef's knife, but it does not have the muscle. You should consider getting one just for the heck of it. Afterall, it is only what? $35-37. Ok, for people who like to spend $60 for a set of Ginsu 10-12 knives in a wooden block, I guess this seems expensive, but it is a great deal for a quality knife.

      Well, I got two CCK knives last night. One has no dent but with a very small crack on the handle, 1/8". The other one is this one. It has two small dent/bent on the two corners but with a perfect handle. I figure I know I can deal with an imperfect blade better. Yes, the dents were there from the start. It could have been there from the factory and it could have due to shipping. I can take a picture later when I get home later. Yes, this is my first carbon steel. I just sharpened it up last night after the original post. It does get sharper a bit, but I still think its very thin blade profile is its real advantage (as well as its disadvantage). Out of the box, this CCK cutting edge is probably less sharp than my Dexter, but it just slides into big item foods better because of its thin blade. In other words, it does not seem to cut better for small items like meat or aspergus, but it cuts onions or tomatoes better. My Dexter would effortlessly cut into my onion for 1/2" to 1" and then there will be good amount of resistance and now thinking back, it has nothing to do with my Dexter cutting edge, it has to do with the onion pushing against the side of the blade -- wedging. This is most noticeable when I cut the onion sideway -- parallel to the cutting board.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        rosetown RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 2, 2010 12:15 PM

        By dent (bent) do you mean a nick? The finish on my 1301 is fairly rough on the edges and top of the blade. The bottom 1//2 inch is milled (not polished) to the bevel. The bevel and edge are good. I was lucky enough to buy in person and was able to examine the blades. My handles are fine. I've been thinking about coating them in mineral oil to keep them from shrinking and thus cracking. I don't know if this a good idea.

        1. re: rosetown
          Chemicalkinetics RE: rosetown Feb 2, 2010 01:10 PM

          Ok. I am very jealous that you were able to buy it in person. My CCK knives do not have the great finish as typical German knives, but honestly, I cannot complain about the performance end. Whatever the imperfect are, they have little or no impact on the performance.

          By bent, I really mean a bent. A nick is more like a indentation, a notch, right? Like something is missing. Mine are bents. One at the tip of the spine and a very small one is at the tip of the heel. The corners are still there but no longer pointing straight.

          The bent at the heel is almost gone after I sharpened my knife last night. As for the bent at the spine, I took a hammer and a cloth and banged it straighter -- it is still there, but not too bad. I am really talking about a small bent of the size of a 1/16" or 1/8"

          It is a very cool knife to use, but I cannot objectively say it is a much better knife than my Dexter-Russell Chinese chef' knife. Not yet. This KF1303 seemed to do a much better job for many small jobs, but I felt the Dexter was better when cutting the tough end of the asparagus. You know how the root end of asparagus is very tough. I usually chopped that off. Dexter appeared to do a steadier job at that. The CCK seemed wobbly. I then chopped up the rest of the asparagus in 1.5 inch in length and the CCK did great at that.

          I put 100% tung oil in all my knife wood handle. I did that to my Dexter Chinese, Dexter boning, Dexter paring, and doing it now to this CCK. I also did that to my Blackwood Ikon but that is a moot point because the blackwood is very nonporous.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            rosetown RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 2, 2010 01:39 PM

            You are indeed a very brave man, taking a hammer to carbon steel.:) Personally, I prefer the primitive finish to the polished, and as you say, it has no effect on performance. Excuse my ignorance, but why tung oil as opposed to food grade mineral oil?

            1. re: rosetown
              Chemicalkinetics RE: rosetown Feb 2, 2010 02:05 PM

              Sorry. I forgot to mention. I layed the knife flat on my counter and then put a cloth on top the knife and then hammered it and I wasn't really banging it very hard.

              Mineral oil is great if you want to maintain the wood texture and some people prefer that especially for cutting board. Mineral oil in wood prevents water coming in, but you need to constantly reapply mineral oil because mineral oil will leak out slowly and will come out a lot if the wood is washed. Tung oil usage is a different philosphy. Tung oil is a drying oil. It basically polymerize, harden and turn into plastic like texture inside the wood. Once that happens, the wood is largely water proof. The advantages of using tung oil is that you don't need to reapply forever and the wood does not feel "oily", rather more "plastic-like". You can always sand the wood if you like -- which is advantageous for something like a cutting board. If you use mineral oil, then the oil is never dried in the wood and it can be difficult to sand an oiled cutting board.

              I used 100% pure tung oil because I originally purchased it for my chopping block and I want to keep it as near food safe as possible, but for a wood handle on a knife, you can use any grade. There is no reason why the tung oil on your knife handle has to be more food safe than tung oil on wooden chair, right? I know many other people use linseed oil for similar philisophy.

              However, you should not use tung oil if you are allergic to nuts because tung oil is from a nut.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                Eiron RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 3, 2010 03:48 PM

                I think part of your oil choice should include your location. Since I live in a "semi-arid" location with an average relative humidity level of 10%-15%, I prefer white (clear) mineral oil for my kitchen wood items.

                It's common here to see piles of cutting boards on store shelves that are clearanced due to splitting. A wood sealer doesn't help; I've tried. The same thing happens here with knife handles; the wood splits at the rivets, or shrinks & then forever rattles on the knife. Sealing the wood with tung or linseed oil doesn't provide enough "wet" to the wood in this climate. It seems to act as a one-way coating, preventing moisture from entering the wood but not preventing it from leaving.

                Yeah, it's kind of a PITA to have to re-apply it every now & then, but I've been able to salvage a few cutting boards by stopping early splits with repeated mineral oil applications. My favorite board is a nice, heavy maple board that was given to us as a wedding gift. When we got it, we lived near the beach in SoCal & I never used anything on it. It started to split within five years after moving here. Mineral oil saved its life.

                I do prefer tung oil as a finish to good furniture, but most of that wood has already been well-seasoned & dried before being built into something.

                1. re: Eiron
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: Eiron Feb 3, 2010 04:18 PM

                  Eiron,

                  Drying oil is not a complete seal, but it does slow moisture in and out. It appears to do a better job of preventing water in because most people do not dip their cutting boards or wood handles in water 24 hours a day, while they do leave their cutting boards out in dry air for extensive period of time, so it appears as if a one way street.

                  I have experience working with fresh whole pine wood as my chopping and it is very tough to prevent it from cracking. Here.

                  http://www.chow.com/photos/420502

                  I had to use tung oil and beeswax. It still cracked slightly, but I use beeswax to fill the crack. The cool thing is that afterwhile this wood splitting and cracking will stop.

                  1. re: Eiron
                    d
                    Dave5440 RE: Eiron Jun 26, 2011 07:43 PM

                    Eiron--Since I live in a "semi-arid" location with an average relative humidity level of 10%-15%,

                    Where do you live? Arizona?

                    1. re: Dave5440
                      Eiron RE: Dave5440 Jun 27, 2011 08:00 AM

                      Northern Colorado. I'm in Loveland, about an hour north of Denver.

          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
            cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 3, 2010 11:15 AM

            "I still bet you are able to spend >$2000 for a knife, but you are just not willing."

            Chem- what I meant was that I don't see the point of buying a $2000 knife just to have the wife take it in the divorce settlement that would almost certainly follow. She doesn't care for knives but loves poetic justice.

            1. re: cowboyardee
              Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Feb 3, 2010 12:24 PM

              Tell her that you spent $2 for that $2000 knife. If not, tell her the knife is still under mortgage so if she takes it, she will actually have to pay the mortgage.

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
              s
              spinblue RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 3, 2010 01:41 PM

              Hi Chemi,
              Do you happen to have a link where you got your 1303?

              TIA

              1. re: spinblue
                Chemicalkinetics RE: spinblue Feb 3, 2010 01:44 PM

                Spinblue,

                I demand you send me $1 for that information. :P

                Here:

                http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cckclea...

                I think if you are planning to buy a lot of CCK knives, then buying from CCK directly is good. Otherwise, chefknivestogo has a very fair price for individual purchase, certainly on the KF1303.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  s
                  spinblue RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 3, 2010 02:09 PM

                  Excellent!

                  Your demand is my command. :O
                  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

                  Thank you!

                  1. re: spinblue
                    Chemicalkinetics RE: spinblue Feb 3, 2010 02:26 PM

                    Spineblue,

                    Ha ha ha. That is a huge dollar. Well, I think it is amazing that part of the knife description is: "CCK Cleavers are made in China and have a cult following among some knife forum members."

                    Apparently, if you buy the knife, you belong to a cult. :P

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    i
                    i3078 RE: Chemicalkinetics Aug 8, 2010 01:39 AM

                    spinblue,

                    Here is another site:
                    http://www.cookwarekitchenware.com/kn...

                    All of CCK's knives that can find this site.

                    1. re: i3078
                      Chemicalkinetics RE: i3078 Aug 8, 2010 07:59 AM

                      Thanks. This is an impressive list of CCK and the knife prices are inexpensive. $23 USD for a CCK KF1303. What a deal! However, it has a high shipping cost as it appears the knives will be shipped from a foreign country. In addition, it only accpets an purchase over $100. I think this is a grood option when buying over 3-4 knives.

            3. Soop RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 3, 2010 08:27 AM

              CK, the two dents in the blade: I understand that some manufacturers have a process to test the individual hardness of a knife without leaving a mark - but do you think in this case that's what your dents could be? Testing the knife hardness during manufacture?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Soop
                Chemicalkinetics RE: Soop Feb 3, 2010 01:51 PM

                Soop,

                I don't think so. I think I described wrong. They are not dents, like small indentation on a flat surface. They seem to be the results of the tip got hit hard or bented or something and you cannot get that from a hardness test. In a hardness test, the knife is layed down and a "point" object is pressed against it until it make a permanent mark, so it should leave an circular identation in the middle of a knife, not a bent at the corners.

              2. Chemicalkinetics RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 12, 2010 07:14 AM

                After applying the wood handle with tang oil daily for almost two weeks, I found out yestersday, there is a hair line wood crack along my CCK KF1303 handle. It is very shallow and superficial 1.5" long crack, but it is freaking me out now. I am certain this is new because I have not seen it before. Unfortunately, I noticed it after I cooked yestersday which means it could have developed because of the water from my wet hands or the constant oiling.

                Either way, I will update if this crack develops into something bigger.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  Soop RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 12, 2010 07:18 AM

                  Don't worry too much; the handle is obviously important, but I'd rather replace the handle of a knife rather than the knife of a handle ;)

                  It might be covered by warrantee too.

                  1. re: Soop
                    Chemicalkinetics RE: Soop Feb 12, 2010 07:22 AM

                    Soop,

                    :) CCK is one of those inexpensive practical knife which has excellent review, but I doubt CCK has warrenty on any of its knives. Also, the knife cost $37 at full price, so it probably will cost me more to replace it than to buy a new one, and I have thought about buying a new one, but I think that is too much of a perfectionist thinking. As long as, it is a superficial marks. I shouldn't worry too much. I will keep my eyes on it for a week and I will know.

                    Have you considered getting a Chinese chef's knife? If so, a CCK 1303 is not a bad start. Only $37 US dollar. Beware, it is a light weight thin chef's knife, not the normal Chinese chef's knife which is thicker.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      Soop RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 12, 2010 07:31 AM

                      I've considered many things. At one point I was looking at a gyuto, but in the end I felt that I really wanted a German chef's knife. I got the santoku later, and I am still pleased with my choice.

                      The one thing I do wonder about however, is because of the increased thickness of my knife, what the trade-off is in cutting pressure from a thinner Global (I initially wanted a G2).

                      I think the trade offs (increased durablity, comfortable handle) outweigh any cutting benefits. But it would have been nice to get a Pro...

                      One thing that I might one day consider is a Chinese cleaver, but I'm not sure it would be justified. A regular cleaver would probably be more practical.

                      1. re: Soop
                        Chemicalkinetics RE: Soop Feb 12, 2010 12:27 PM

                        Soop,

                        Are you talking about real meat cleaver. I have a thin blade Chinese chef's knife (CCK), a medium blade Chinese chef's knife (Dexter) and I have a regular convex (really obvious convex) ground meat cleaver. I don't get to use the meat cleaver very often and most people don't, but it is nice to get a cleaver. There is little reason to get a really expensive cleaver. First, you probably won't use it very often. Second, a cleaver thickness is more important than its edge retention ability. A cleaver cut by pure momentum, so a real sharp edge is not necessary. A tough inexpensive cleaver is better than a hard steel cleaver, so get yourself a $5-15 thick cleaver. It really won't hit your pocket book too bad.

                        Yes, there is a tradeoff between a thicker blade vs thin blade. A thin blade will slice in and out of foods very easily, while a thick blade will have the what it takes to go through squashs, melons and others.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          Soop RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 12, 2010 02:22 PM

                          I'd probably get a cheap heavy cleaver for brute force tasks like beaking bones.

                          For me, unfortunately, it wa either/or with my main knife - but I'm happy :)

                          1. re: Soop
                            Chemicalkinetics RE: Soop Feb 12, 2010 02:52 PM

                            Soop,

                            Oh yeah, you definitely want a cleaver for breaking bones and not your chef's knife. Even if you think your chef'f knife can do it, it is better to preserve your chef's knife edge for finer tasks.

                2. Chemicalkinetics RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 12, 2010 09:04 PM

                  Finally, uploading the photo which demonstrates the "bent" at the tip of the knife spine. Here.

                   
                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    d
                    Dave5440 RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 26, 2011 07:49 PM

                    Now I see what you mean, could you just sharpen it out losing some length? By the way banging it shouldn't do any harm, where did you pick them up from? or did you order them?

                    1. re: Dave5440
                      Chemicalkinetics RE: Dave5440 Jun 26, 2011 08:04 PM

                      I don't know, maybe I could, but I didn't. It is mostly cosmetic. The bend only occurs at the very front of the spine. The edge is completely straight.

                      I ordered it online from Mark Richmond's Chefknivestogo. It will be much easier for you Canadians to buy one because CCK actually has a real store in Toronto.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        d
                        Dave5440 RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 26, 2011 08:10 PM

                        Figures I learn that from someone in PA, I never knew there was a store there. From the videos I've only seen chinese chefs chop with them
                        Edit
                        I just realized how old this thread is

                        1. re: Dave5440
                          Chemicalkinetics RE: Dave5440 Jun 26, 2011 08:16 PM

                          Actually it is Markham, not Toronto. Not they are not too far way from each others.

                          http://www.chanchikee.com/toronto.htm

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            d
                            Dave5440 RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 26, 2011 08:21 PM

                            Markham is far enough from me ordering from CKTG would be cheaper, but if I find myself up there , I will check it out, assuming I put it in my gps for local reference

                            1. re: Dave5440
                              Chemicalkinetics RE: Dave5440 Jun 26, 2011 08:23 PM

                              Do you live in Toronto? Or is it Petek? Or maybe none of you two.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                d
                                Dave5440 RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 26, 2011 08:35 PM

                                Petek is toronto i'm in Gretzky's hometown,

                  2. Chemicalkinetics RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 17, 2010 09:11 PM

                    I have reprofiled the CCK knife edge into 10/15 compound bevel. 10o back bevel with 15o primary bevel -- some call it micro bevel. Needless to say, it cut well. Anyway, the important point is that after preparing my foods today, I realized much of the new bevel turns bluish. I heard about this, but didn't really expect it to happen. The CCK carbon steel knives are all laminated, so that it does not rust until the laminated surface is removed, such as putting a new bevel.

                    One may call it rust or patina, either way I use some Bar Keeper's Friend (acidic) to remove essentially all of these bluish stain.

                    P.S.: I understand red is red rust and black is controlled rust or patina. No idea what the heck is blue.

                    25 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 17, 2010 09:25 PM

                      Blue is patina. Patina can be black, blue, gray, brown, orange-ish, or mottled. As long as it's not rust, don't worry about it.

                      I also wanted to tell you that I went and got a CCK 1103.

                      It's a lot of knife - more than I bargained for perhaps. It's my first real foray into Chinese cleavers. So far it does not feel natural in my hand, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm not used to Chinese cleavers or if it's because I got such a big one.

                      On the other hand, I love the geometry of it - nice and thin, very gentle curve, lots of board contact. Mine had no weird dents, no bent spine. Fit and finish was respectable for the price. The factory edge was okay - definitely could use a once-over on the stones. Unfortunately I haven't put it to the stones yet, so I can't speak to its edge taking. Or its edge holding. Time will tell.

                      1. re: cowboyardee
                        Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Feb 17, 2010 10:07 PM

                        Cowboy,

                        Oh thanks. By the way, I know many people like patina or at least not stop it from forming. On the other hand, I believe most Japanese chefs do not let patina or control rust develop, is that right?

                        CCK1103? That is a huge knife. It isn't longer than most Chinese chef knives, but it is much wider (spine to edge). Most Chinese do not use a knife that big. The wider blade allows you to scoop a lot of food up really fast. However, the huge spine to edge distance also makes it difficult to control. I wanted to get the CCK1103 in beginning because of the nicer finish, but then I simply do not think I can control it nicely.

                        Yes, I do like the blade geometry more than say the Shun Chinese chef's knife. CCK got the curvature correctly. Fairly flat, just slightly curved -- making it easy to push-cut and provides a lot of board contact as you have stated.

                        My CCK 1303 edge holding seems to be ok, but not super excellent. If I use it as a pure slicing/cutting knife, it seems ok, but if I tried to do fast chopping dicing, then it seems to dull the edge. That is why I put a new edge on to see. Another thing I don't like the CCK 1303 and probably 1103 is that they are very light knife. I have a hard time using it to smash garlic or ginger. Edge taking seem reasonable me. Good enough to shave my arm hair.

                        Let me know your experience after sharpening.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 18, 2010 12:47 PM

                          I'm not sure what the standard logic is in Japan, but I can say what I've seen. I know that some sushi chefs in expensive restaurants keep their carbon steel knives completely free of patina. But that is probably because
                          A) Sushi chefs often use their knives in full view of customers, and...
                          B) if you spent $1000 on a knife, you'd probably keep it sparkly too.

                          I've also seen photo montages of the tsukiji fish market (because it was pretty cool, I tried to find the link but couldn't - it was someone from knifeforums that posted it). Most of the knives in that montage had deep patinas, and were even often rusted.
                          From a cleanliness/taste standpoint, I believe that once a patina is formed, you'll no longer find a metallic taste when cutting acidic ingredients - that only happens with steel that is still highly reactive (no patina), and even then is pretty subtle.

                          I just gave my CCK its first major workout. I hacked through a bunch of butternut squash, some beets, onions, shallots, garlic. cooked chicken, some other stuff. The edge held up well. It's still rough but no detectable deformities - after all the squash I was expecting a bit more wear and tear. I'll probably sharpen it up this weekend and see how it performs with a polished edge.

                          Still struggling a bit with control - or rather I controlled it pretty much fine, but I kept on changing up grips and it never felt like an extension of my arm like my other knives. This is probably just part of the process though since my cuts were acceptable. Even though it's taking me longer than normal to get comfortable, I'm still liking playing around with so much knife. I already had a nakiri and wanted to really feel the difference. Blitzing through an onion and then shoveling the whole thing into a waiting saute pan with one motion is pretty thrilling, regardless of whether I still feel a bit clumsy with it.

                          Edit: i used the 1103 to smash some garlic and nothing bad happened. As long as you're not bashing on the edge itself, I wouldn't worry about the thinness.

                          1. re: cowboyardee
                            Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Feb 18, 2010 01:51 PM

                            Cow (yes, I am going to nickname you Cow).

                            Agree with Sushi chef remark and agree with fish market people remark. My point is that in Japanese culture, a shiny knife is cool. Patina is only for people who cannot maintain their knives. In America, patina is cool.

                            Everything makes sense about CCK, except butternut squash.... Really? I would be worry with that thin blade. Yes, scooping the entire board of food is really cool. I personally don't think I can get use to a big knife like this, not anytime soon.

                            I have used mine to smash garlic and ginger too. It works and I weren't worry about bashing the edge. What I meant is that the knife is so light, there is not enough momentum. With my much heavier Dexter, I can smash my garlic and ginger easily with a small swing. For my light CCK1303, I have to swing it fast. I believe you are an engineer/scientist, so you know what I mean. I mean: p = mv and since my "m" is very small with this CCK1303, I have to increase my "v", so it just doesn't feel right yet. Maybe CCK1103 (your knife) is better because it is not as light and small as my CCK1303. It is like smashing garlic with a paring knife. Ok, not that bad, but you get my point.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              Eiron RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 18, 2010 02:29 PM

                              I think it ought to be C.BAD ... :-D

                              1. re: Eiron
                                Chemicalkinetics RE: Eiron Feb 18, 2010 02:38 PM

                                Eiron (greg),

                                I don't get it. What is a C.BAD? like Carbon Bad? or Chinese BAD? What does "C" stand for? :)

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  Eiron RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 18, 2010 02:50 PM

                                  "C"ow
                                  "B"oy
                                  "A"r
                                  "D"ee

                                  1. re: Eiron
                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: Eiron Feb 18, 2010 03:15 PM

                                    Ha ha ha.

                                    1. re: Eiron
                                      cowboyardee RE: Eiron Feb 19, 2010 07:20 AM

                                      I sorta like CBAD. And a few months down the road, if CBAD has caught on, I can start demanding everyone call me C-Biddy.

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 19, 2010 07:28 AM

                                  I didn't realize the Japanese look down on patina. I'll take your word for it.

                                  Ah, the real issue is not the size of the knives - we use different methods to smash garlic. I lay my knife on the clove and then smash the knife with my palm.

                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Feb 19, 2010 08:08 AM

                                    C-BAD,

                                    That is my impression, but I could be wrong on the Japanese view on patina.

                                    Oh yes, I used to lay the blade flat on garlic and then smash my hand on it, then I have switched to just swinging the entire knife on the garlic, but now I am switching back because the knife is lighter.

                            2. re: cowboyardee
                              Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Dec 29, 2012 07:12 PM

                              Cowboy,

                              I went to the CCK store in Toronto. It was awesome. The selection is huge. Anyway, I bought a CCK KP1103 like you did. I don't know if you know this. 1101 is the largest, then 1102, then 1103. I was comparing 1102 and 1103 and notice 1103 fits my current preference, but I also expected that 1102 can grow on me. So I asked to buy 1102. The sale noticed that I took a long time to compare the two and asked if 1102 is in fact the one I feel most suitable, and I said no, and told her what I think. She convinced me otherwise. Long story short, I got the 1103 like you did. The good thing is that the knife looks nice and feel good. The bad thing is that I bought the same one Mark Richmond has, and it wasn't cheaper. :P If only I bought 1101 or 1102, then I would have something different. :)

                              Oh yes, I bought two more other CCK knives for my friend. One is the same (real) cleaver I got from Vancouver. The other one is the stainless steel version of CCK KP1303 (the small slicer). I will probably try the stainless one and let you know later.

                              Other note, I bought a Konosuke HD2 (2nd generation) petty.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 31, 2012 03:16 PM

                                Thanks for the update Chem.

                                I did not know that CCK made even larger thin-style cleavers than the 1103. Must be one heck of a big knife.

                                How are you liking the 1103 compared to your old 1303? Which one do you think you'll wind up using more often?

                                I'm also curious how the stainless version is. Did it seem as thin as the standard carbon version? Or did you not get much of a chance to examine it? Also wondering how it sharpens, though you probably didn't get a chance to try that out.

                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Dec 31, 2012 03:35 PM

                                  <I did not know that CCK made even larger thin-style cleavers than the 1103. Must be one heck of a big knife.>

                                  Yeah, 1103 is the smallest in the series. When I hold the knife in the store, the dimension seems alright, but the 1102 started to feel a bit big. I don't know, may be I should have gone with 1102. Who knows.

                                  I have not tried to use 1103 yet. I purchased 4 knives from Toronto, Canada and sharpened them up last night. I will test the stainless one first. It is the KF1912,

                                  http://www.chanchikee.com/ChineseKniv...

                                  which is about the same size as KF1303 (the small slicer which I have and the one which Mark Richmond sells).

                                  It seems a tad thicker at the tip, just a tad. The carbon steel KF1303 has a <1 mm spine thickness at the tip, the stainless steel KF1912 has a >1 mm spine thickness at the tip. The stainless one (KF1912) weights a bit more. 283 g for KF1912, and 273 g for KF1303. It is definitely thin regardless. It does seem to take on a good edge, which I am pleasantly surprised. I just assumed the stainless steel one is not very good, but I wanted to buy a stainless steel one for my friend. The factory edge was barely good enough to push cut printer paper. I thinned the knife at 10 degree (on both side), and gave it a 15 degree double bevel edge. It was finished on a 5000 Naniwa super. It has no problem push cutting a printer paper. I also tried to cut a yellow page phone book with it and it worked out fine.

                                  I wrote down all these information of my various knives last night - before sharpening. :)

                                  Oh I guess I didn't get to tell you this. All the CCK stainless steel knives are sold at a higher price point than their respective carbon steel counterparts. The carbon steel KF1303 was about $43, and the stainless steel KF1912 was $53 Remember the cleaver I bought from Vancouver?

                                  http://www.chanchikee.com/KauKong1.jpg

                                  The carbon steel version was sold at $43, but the stainless steel one was sold for >$60.

                                   
                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 31, 2012 04:05 PM

                                    Thanks Chem.

                                    How are you liking the Konosuke petty, by the way?

                                    And how many phone books do you have? ;)

                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                      Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Dec 31, 2012 04:22 PM

                                      The Konosuke HD2 (2 nd generation :P) sharpened up nicely. It formed a very pronounced burr during sharpening -- not subtle at all. The knife blade is thin. I sliced up a ginger just to test, and it seems to work. I am not so sure what to use a petty knife for -- beside using it like a paring knife :P

                                       
                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        petek RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 31, 2012 04:47 PM

                                        "The Konosuke HD2 (2 nd generation :P) sharpened up nicely"

                                        Sweet little knife ya got there Chem!!

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 31, 2012 04:51 PM

                                          I like the petty for a lot of the same things you'd use a paring knife for, but also for things like trimming meat and cutting up mangoes and other large fruit.

                                          Do you know what changes konosuke made with their second generation HD knives?

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                            TeRReT RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 31, 2012 05:15 PM

                                            Yeah I pretty much use it for things that are small like cutting fruit or for things like butchery that requires a tip as it is my only knife in Japan that has a tip. And I broke the tip off it :/ not much, just the tiniest bit at the tip when i slipped while sharpening and it went off the stone, most people would not even notice the tiny tiny missing tip which will disappear with sharpening, eventually, but I do

                                            1. re: TeRReT
                                              Chemicalkinetics RE: TeRReT Dec 31, 2012 06:06 PM

                                              Thank, Pete, cowboyarde (CBAD)e and TeRReT,

                                              I don't know exactly what got changed in from HD to HD2. It is said to be a very subtle change according to Ivan from Tosho. On the web, it is rumored to have slightly better edge retention, but no serious statement. Yeah, I can see it being useful for trimming meats...etc. It is definitely too thin to double as a boning knife. Thanks again. Oh yes, of course, I got the white buffalo horn ferrule. Ivan opened the box and saw it is white, and asked me if I am ok with it or if black is better. I said black. Ivan then basically said "I can exchange the black for you, but the white ones are very rare."

                                              P.S.: Also the price point for HD and HD2 are about the same, so I just went with HD2. In fact, the HD one has a more expensive handle, so I would have to pay slightly more for the equivalent HD. :)

                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                              j
                                              JavaBean RE: Chemicalkinetics Jan 1, 2013 10:42 AM

                                              < I am not so sure what to use a petty knife for>

                                              I hate to be that guy, but petty knives are useless.  Just kiddin. I can't be without one and you scored a real nice one. Personally, I use mine as a paring knife, for fruit, and just about anything that a gyuto is to big for.  

                                              1. re: JavaBean
                                                Chemicalkinetics RE: JavaBean Jan 1, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                Thanks Java and others. It does look like it will be good for a paring knife-task job. It is just that when I was in the store (Tosho). Ivan and I talked a bit. I said that I like the smaller one because it is more like a paring knife, but at the same time I heard that people think the longer ones because they are versatile and useful. Ivan replied that he agreed to this general statement and advise me to get the longer one (150 mm, I think). So now I that I did get the longer one, I wonder what I can do with it that a paring knife cannot. :) I hope this may set some backgrounds for my original question.

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                  j
                                                  JavaBean RE: Chemicalkinetics Jan 1, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                  For me, a petty can do everything a paring knife can, but also can be used as a small suji or gyuto against a cutting board. I think pros use them for Garde manger (sp?) work, garnishing, etc.

                                                  1. re: JavaBean
                                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: JavaBean Jan 1, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                    <used as a small suji or gyuto against a cutting board>

                                                    Thanks. I noticed that when I was cutting a ginger a couple days ago. I think it is because the knife has a notice heel, which provides some knuckle clearance. Unfortunately, my knife garnish skill is zero. :P

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                      j
                                                      JavaBean RE: Chemicalkinetics Jan 1, 2013 01:44 PM

                                                      Here's a pro using one.
                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpdC2o...

                                                      Yeah, my garnishing skills suck too :(.

                                2. Chemicalkinetics RE: Chemicalkinetics Mar 8, 2010 01:57 PM

                                  Recently I have reprofiled the CCK knife again. This time I put a 10/15 double bevel. 10o back bevel, and 15o edge bevel. The edge bevel is made by just a few passes, so it is small -- I think. Well, that is beyond the point. The point is that the knife is sharper now and I ran into a situation which leads me to question: "Can a knife be too sharp to be practical?"

                                  Seriously and I don't mean chipping or cracking the blade. What I noticed is this following. I use a push cut motion. Before the reprolfing, I cut/sliced through my food and the knife will touch the chopping block, cut in just a little bit and slide forward. A very smooth motion. Now, I cut through the food and the knife will cut into the chopping block and literally jerk my hand. It is like putting a brake and making the entire cutting experience less smooth. I have to tip-toe my cutting motion.

                                  Anyway, notice this?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    b
                                    benjamin23 RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 26, 2011 04:18 PM

                                    Funny - I just received my first CCK 1301 about a week ago, and just got around to reprofiling the blade (factory edge was OK for a while, but seemed like it was single bevel, so performance was a bit 'meh'). I gave it a 10/20 degree back/edge profile, and afterwards it was beautifully sharp. Cuts through tomato now like it's not even there. But yes: I have noticed that it bites into the board quite sharply on a forward stroke. Makes me wonder if there's a better technique to use, particularly with the Chinese knives (since they have more metal towards the tip of the blade and therefore more weight) - perhaps Chinese chefs cut more on the pull stroke than Anglo chefs do..?

                                    1. re: benjamin23
                                      Chemicalkinetics RE: benjamin23 Jun 26, 2011 04:55 PM

                                      "factory edge was OK for a while, but seemed like it was single bevel, so performance was a bit 'meh'"

                                      I will be very surprised if it was a single bevel knife.

                                      http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/gra...

                                      Chinese are not custom to single bevel knives. Maybe you meant it did not have a back/edge bevel?

                                      "I have noticed that it bites into the board quite sharply on a forward stroke...perhaps Chinese chefs cut more on the pull stroke than Anglo chefs do..?"

                                      I have since lighten up my cutting technique and my CCK knife do not get "grabbed" by my wood chopping block. I think that has a lot to do with the cutting pressure and the cutting board. I was used to duller knives and was custom to use more force, but now I learn to use less pressure.

                                      Chinese chefs in general do more push than pull stroke compared to Anglo chefs. For Western Chefs, the draw cutting (cut and pull) technique is used more often especially for slicing meat. In fact, that is one of the many reasons for the shape of a Western Chef's knife. The curved tip help the rock chopping as well as draw cut.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        b
                                        benjamin23 RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 26, 2011 05:39 PM

                                        Re: single bevel - My bad. You're right, I should have said that it lacked a back bevel.

                                  2. cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 18, 2010 09:52 PM

                                    Just in case Chem (or anyone else interested) hadn't seen it, I wanted to post this link:
                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzVSWu...

                                    There you have it - a CCK 1303 is fully capable of passing Salty's tomato test. Back to work on the stones anyone?

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                      Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Nov 19, 2010 05:32 AM

                                      I cannot watch it right now, but I will watch it later this evening. :)

                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                        Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Nov 19, 2010 11:17 AM

                                        I watched it. For some reasons, I thought I read that you made the video, so when I watched Salty. I was like... Cowboy = Salty?! Then I read your post again and realized that you didn't make the video :)

                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                          Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Nov 20, 2010 03:54 PM

                                          I watched the video again. Excellent. I didn't expect him to strop the CCK with these felts with micron compounds. Also it looked to me that he was sharpening the knife at a relatively high angle. 20o at least on the "front" or "right" side of the blade.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                            cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 21, 2010 06:40 AM

                                            Yeah I noticed that too, Looked a little lower on the other side (more exaggerated than the front/back angle difference on my CCK). Still I was a bit surprised - for practical purposes, I've been liking my CCK with a slightly lower edge angle but finished at 1000 grit or so. Of course, Salty is pretty good with his stones.

                                            I'm pretty sure the high degree of polish is what makes the tomato test work (notice he has to move towards the heel of the knife for the last chops because the middle of the knife has already lost its just-off-the-strop edge).

                                            1. re: cowboyardee
                                              m
                                              mateo21 RE: cowboyardee Nov 21, 2010 10:00 AM

                                              He mentions in the video (1:08-1:15ish) that he's sharpening at the same angle as all his other knives, which is a 70/30 60/40 asymmetrical bevel. I have also been looking into grabbing a cleaver... but I was going to go for the 1102, rather than the smaller 1303...

                                        2. cannibal RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 19, 2010 06:31 AM

                                          This cookware board scares me sometimes. I have been looking at getting a 1303 in the last couple days and this morning, like magic, this old post shows up as if to tell me to get the knife already! It's not the first time something like this has happened on this board either :P

                                          Chem, do you remember what the original edge angle is on the knife before you put the back bevel on it? And do you strop this knife?

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: cannibal
                                            Chemicalkinetics RE: cannibal Nov 19, 2010 07:13 AM

                                            :D It is a sign, you said?

                                            Well, I think the original edge was close to 20o. What I do know is that when I started putting a 15o edge, I noticed the new bevel was wider than the original bevel, which of course means the original edge is higher than 15o.

                                            Recently, I have thinned the blade close to 5o and put on a 13-15o edge angle. I tried to put an edge of 10o a few times, but the edge chipped easily. When I thinned the blade at 5 degree, I also noticed that it couldn't take an edge at 5o. No burr whatsoever.

                                            That said, cowboy have mentioned that he has good success putting a edge at 10o without any chipping. It is possible that CCK 1103 is of higher quality than CCK1303, as cowboy has CCK1103. Although I think it can just be knife variation. One knife is just not going to be exactly the same as another.

                                            I dont' think I do real stropping like you guys. I just slightly drag/swarp the knife on a leather belt. It seems to work ok with me in term of removing the final burr.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                              cannibal RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 19, 2010 09:27 AM

                                              Thanks for the detailed reply Chem!
                                              I can't wait to get my hands on this knife. I was going to go with a nakiri at first but decided the cleaver would be just as good for cutting veggies and even a little more versatile.
                                              Do you find yourself using the cck as often as the dexter? I think the cck might be alright for the extensive veggie cutting i do, but it's hard to tell without getting my hands on it.
                                              Do you sharpen by hand or with a system? I have a hard time getting consistent edges at the shallower degrees by hand. Really I think I just need to buy more knives to practice on ;)

                                              1. re: cannibal
                                                Chemicalkinetics RE: cannibal Nov 19, 2010 09:43 AM

                                                :) Yeah, practice really help. Yes, it can be difficult to get really consistent angle with free hand and I have much to improve there, but that is part of the fun. Overall, the way I see it is that I do not have to be absolutely dead-on like a machine. A 1-2o angle on and off is not going to kill me.

                                                I use CCK much more than Dexter now. The CCK 1301 you mentioned is a thin blade Chinese knife. Dexter-Russell ones are medium blade knives, so they perform differently. For almost everyday task, like cutting vegetable and slicing meat, the CCK provides better control and precision -- assuming you reprofile the knife just a little put on a lower angle than 20o edge angle.

                                                For heavier or rougher jobs, like cutting/break chicken bones or mincing meat with a knife, then the Dexter is better.

                                                http://images.imagestate.com/Watermar...

                                                Nakiri is fun to use too. I recently bought a Tanaka nakiri: an aogami steel (blue paper steel) for $39. Not a bad knife to play around.

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7256...

                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 19, 2010 10:01 AM

                                                "That said, cowboy have mentioned that he has good success putting a edge at 10o without any chipping."
                                                ____
                                                My edge is about 12-14o or so. I've had no major chipping issues at this angle. On the other hand, back when the edge was closer to 20o, I tried chopping through a couple chicken bones and the edge chipped like crazy, so I haven't done any impact work with it since.

                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Nov 19, 2010 11:12 AM

                                                  Cowboy,

                                                  Good to know then. I have my knife at about the same angle as you then. I find angles at or below 10o are a bit unstable for daily works. I wonder what is the hardness of this knife. Do you happen to know? Probably no one knows.

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                    cowboyardee RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 19, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                    Yeah - my Hiromoto is a bit below 10o/side, but that AS steel is something else.

                                                    I don't know the hardness of the CCK steel. I'd guess around 59 or 60 just from sharpening it, but that's obviously a pretty inaccurate way of gauging.

                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                      Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Nov 19, 2010 11:30 AM

                                                      Cowboy,

                                                      Yeah, I am guessing the hardness at that level too. I know it is harder than the 55-56 HRC Dexter for sure, so I was guessing around 58-60 -- pretty much what you said.

                                                      I don't have the Hiromoto. However, I notice my inexpensive Tanaka Aogami (not super) had a better edge retention at 10o degree than my CCK, so the CCK is most probably softer than the Tanaka. (Eventually, I put a 15o edge bevel on the Tanaka, but that is neither here nor there).

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