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Feb 28, 2011 08:05 PM

New Kitchen Knife Resource

After some (to say the least) drama over at KnifeForums, Dave Martell has started a new Kitchen Knife Forum in the last couple of days. It is gathering members rather quickly as Martell is quite respected in terms of knife sharpening.

Anyhow, the site is just getting populated, but the focus on only kitchen knives, sharpening supplies, cutting boards etc. will be nice. Most knife forums have only one small section for kitchen issues, but this one has a variety of subforums that will be handy for a serious foodie looking for good knife kit.

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  1. That was fast! He must have had something in the works before the sh@t hit the fan over at knifeforums.Looks good though,nothing wrong with another forum for us knife nerds.

    1 Reply
    1. re: petek

      I was tracking the changes on Dave Martell. He was setting the forum up shortly after the incident. It actually took longer than he had hoped for. "Sh@t hit the fan" is the correct phrase here. SaltyDog voluntarily left and his goodbye message was immediately removed. I read it, but I doubt many did. 4 other people also got the boot.

    2. Wow, that's up quick.

      I wonder whether that site will get enough traffic to make it a worthwhile hangout/forum. Though Dave's sharpening experience and Salty's videos alone make for good enticement.

      As for knifeforums... they seem to be still chugging along with plenty of active members. I guess I have some nagging doubts about the whole mess that went down there. From reading the (now locked) threads, it is obvious that Dave took a few cheap shots and low blows. Fine. What I wonder is the extent to which his more basic criticism is true - that the site has gotten too cozy with their vendors, to the extent that it hurts objective discussion.

      I'm tempted, mischievous troublemaker that I sometimes am, to start a thread in the main kitchen forum objectively weighing the pros and cons of Ken's gizmo (an expensive, Edgepro-like device that Ken designed and sells - it came out as a contentious issue). Not to smear mud or piss Ken off, but just to see whether it's tolerated there. Of course, right now is too soon, and everyone is too heated. Maybe someday.

      Still, the seeming conflict of interest at knife forums is troubling. Not that Dave's new forum will necessarily be any better. Could be worse. Depends on how they handle it.

      9 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        I was surprised the EdgePro didn't have a patent which excludes Ken's design because the two gagdets are so similar. It is possible that EdgePro patient has ran out. I don't know.

        I don't even know why Ke's toy matters because it is not competing with Dave in any way. I did suspect the JKS 10,000 was a major issue. If you remember, at one point, Dave stopped selling his stuffs and claimed he does not like to lie to sell his product (read the lines in between?)

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          "I don't even know why Ke's toy matters because it is not competing with Dave in any way."
          The argument got very heated and a little hard to follow. But the implication was that Dave thought the product was either defective or a rip-off and that knifeforums moderation/administration stood in the way of anyone saying so directly (BTW, I have never tried the product and cannot substantiate said implication, though I can speculate as to why he would think so). There was also apparently some ongoing subtle back-and-forth argument where Ken stated that hand sharpening couldn't compete with machine accuracy (his gizmo), and Dave took this as a personal attack on his business. I am unsure whether this was a reasonable assumption on Dave's part because I missed the context.

          Dave basically framed the issue as him standing up to vendors selling bad products or using parasitic business tactics (relying on Dave to make recommendations and then stocking those products and carefully undercutting him on price). Whether that story is valid or he was just booted for taking low blows and being contentious (which is certainly at least partially true), I don't know.

          1. re: cowboyardee


            I think the Ken thing was the last straw, but I think there were more hidden tension between Dave and Mark -- certainly from a business point of view. Dave is very well respected as a craftman and artist, but Mark is a good businessman able to come with the same products and sell at a much lower price point. Dave most likely has misbehaved based on the previous posts, but I thought knifeforum handled this badly. Kicking a bunch of people off and locking and removing threads (ok, I understand why some posts was locked, but many did not deserve to). The most surprising one was removing Salty's goodbye post and then Andy wrote that no one can say bye anymore -- just go.

            I think Dave should sell things and he is well-respected for his opinion. He should have done what he did on the JKS stone. Basically, find a good product and try to have an exclusive right to it, but something fall out of that.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Man am I glad I stumbled across this thread. I've been in Asia the last couple of weeks and had no idea what had happened except that Dave was gone from KF and the forum was looking quiet. It would have had me scratching my head and maybe making a post looking for answers only to get deleted.

              It's been fascinating to watch the explosion of high quality artisan products as well as a much better selection of knives at better prices that have arrived over the last couple of years and KF had a lot do with that.

              Sad but true how there seems to be an ebb and flow with specialty forums that seem to reach a critical mass and then implode/explode with some fairly raw feelings.
              Dave's new site looks great and I wish him the best of luck. I remember a time when he would not sharpen Japanese knives as they were too tricky for him! He has really come on strong in the last year and you have to admire a guy who takes a straightforward business and builds upon it.

        2. re: cowboyardee

          It would be nice to know some of the story. There are a lot of threads hinting at problems, but I think business pressures put a lot stress on Dave. Mark's rise was fast and a lot of people started asking Dave for advice and then buying from Mark and others. Then came all the exclusive deals like HandAmerican working through CKTG, exclusive knife deals, and then even sharpening packages when you buy knives through CKTG. I'm not saying that all of that is necessarily bad, but the Ken/Dave thing probably broke the back. I regularly use both CKTG and Dave, and I will continue, so I don't really favor one over the other.

          I just hope the new site does take off. It is much better organized and I think it is time to have a specialized kitchen knife forum. The cooks in this world need more than a 'corner' of a forum.

          1. re: smkit

            "even sharpening packages when you buy knives through CKTG"

            You mean Dave used to be the one sharpening knives for CKTG?

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              No, Murray Carter sharpened/thinned a batch of Aritsugu a-types. Now I think Ken is doing a new batch w/ the gizmo.

              A-types come mostly unfinished from Aritsugu, hence the combo.

            2. re: smkit

              Before anybody gets me wrong (not that you were) I'll say that I've gotten nothing but good products and good service from Mark/CKTG, and to my knowledge no one has accused his business of anything that, to my mind, constitutes more than standard capitalism.

              If anything troubles me, it is knifeforums allowing vendors to push other vendors out of the forum or disallow objective criticism of products or sellers on the forum. But again, I don't know if that's what actually happened, or just a smokescreen left by an angry, banned poster or two.

              1. re: cowboyardee

                I agree. I haven't had any experience with any of the vendors that advertise on knifeforums but the attitude and implications approach a company forum or board. Objectivity and critique is desperately needed in that type of forum. Without it, it borders on an infomercial setting.

                Undercutting and benefiting from someone's work and effort may work for a while but it creates a lot of ill will in the process and loyal customers may take sides based on loyalty and gratitude versus price alone.

          2. Seems like problems on forums cycle. Foodieforums had a fall out a few years back with a lot of folks leaving. Now Knifeforums. I suspect Kitchenknifeforums will have it's day

            1 Reply
            1. re: scubadoo97

              Yeah, maybe you are right.

              With that said, I find it interesting that a lot of the 'retailers' remain on KnifeForums and the artisans have migrated to Kitchen Knife Forums -- at least for the kitchen knives that is. These vendors have a lot of respect/support for each other, so I wonder if that will provide some added 'glue'. Reseller/retailers seems to upset that balance along with forum advertising.

              And if you don't want any vendors, try Salty's forum. He has great videos, also left KF. Not much traffic yet but refreshing in many ways. I think it may become a more personal boutique knifeforum. But then what do I know.


            2. And I didn't even know it until just now, but KnifeForums has splintered into two different forums.

              Kitchen & Knife Forums in general has the other half of knife forums that didn't migrate with Dave, and it is moderated by the same person as the the "In The Kitchen" forum at KF.


              6 Replies
                    1. re: smkit

                      We are talking about Saltydog leaving KnifeForum, right? He decided to leave Knifeforum shortly after Dave's incident. He even wrote a goodbye post on Knifeforum and it was immediately deleted. It was pretty ugly, here:


                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I understand that the news about Salty leaving KF was not new, but the site he set up (that I linked to in the post) was just set up by him yesterday. I thought that was related to the OP, so I also added the link.

                        It wasn't about Salty but his new site. I guess I wasn't clear. Sorry.

                        1. re: smkit

                          I see. Thanks. I guess I was reading into the "And yet another from the KnifeForum FALLOUT" and regarding the act of leaving is more of fallout than the act of setting up a new website.