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The knife rack goes high end

petek Jun 15, 2011 06:49 AM

Interesting article in the NYT

www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/dining/the...?

  1. Kagemusha Jun 15, 2011 07:52 AM

    Thanks, petek.This strikes me as another nano-trend amidst the larger cookware/kitchen design fetish thing that's making so much moolah for hi-end retallers and suppliers. The co-branded Kramer blades tell all: not enough scratch for a custom Kramer? Relax, let Zwilling help you out! Call me cynical but this is just more of the "cookware as decor" conceit and amounts to conspicuous consumption. Friends buy this stuff only to have bragging rights--it reflects less knowledge than affluence--among cronies who axiomatically equate goodness with price. Sadly, we know that hi-end blades are also hi-maintenance and few newcomers realize their performance depends on knowing how to keep them sharp. Reminds me also of friends' audio rigs: crazed music collectors with wonderful troves of recordings played on so-so equipment and audiophiles with cherry-picked, boring demo discs and LPs designed to showcase equipment, not musical performance.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Kagemusha
      r
      RGC1982 Jun 15, 2011 09:22 AM

      Hi Kag,

      Your response is very close to what I may have been thinking when I first read this post, (well, without the audio analogy, as that is not my thing). However, I have been cooking for nearly 40 years, and I started out in my first apartment with decent, cheap stuff that looked a little better than what my mother and grandmother used, mostly because it was new. It was purchased without much knowledge of construction, materials, etc. What I can say is this: Cheap knives are often frustrating. They often end up being difficult to use because they don't hold an edge well. Their handles are often crap. My cooking life changed radically when I got rid of my initial cheap set, which had a pseudo-German name and came in a cool knifeblock, and started buying decent German and French knives. I did these one at a time, as they were much more expensive than what I had. Imagine spending $100 or more on a chef's knife when the old set cost that much just a few years earlier -- it was hard to do.

      However, it sure was worth it. Twenty or even thirty years later, I still have those knives. And while I have occasionally added a new toy to my collection, such as a Japanese blade or a historical carbon steel forging, the knives I use for most tasks are those replacement models I started buying when I got tired of using junk. It was practically a revolution in my kitchen.

      Could I have gotten by with cheap, food service quality knives with white handles? Probably, but when a friend of mine, who formerly owned a restaurant, recently came to my home to cook with me in my kitchen, he was in love with my knives. His kitchen was still populated by the cheap restaurant leftovers he took home when he closed his restaurant. It does make the experience better when you don't have to work so hard to breakdown a large brisket or cut up pounds and pounds of potatoes.

      Do I think you need to spend $300+ for a knife? No, of course not, And I have yet to reach that number. I am currently looking at dimpled Japanese blades like Glestain, but mostly because I would love to be able to cut certain food and not have it stick to the blades. When you do spend money for esthetics, like a dragon logo or a beautiful handle, it is an investment in decor for many, but not for all. After considering this a bit, the only people I feel any cynicism for are those who don't use the stuff - like your friends with the expensive audio equipment. They are buying decor and not function.

      1. re: Kagemusha
        p
        pabboy Jun 15, 2011 10:30 AM

        Does anyone really need a Ferrari or Bentley? A Corolla can get you from point A to B cheaper and with less maintenance. You just won't be doing it with the same speed and panache. If it was free, I'd take the Ferrari every time.

        1. re: Kagemusha
          petek Jun 15, 2011 10:54 AM

          Call me naive,but it looks like Bob Kramer is 100% really into this new venture with S la T and Zwilling.It also looks like he's trying to educate the unwashed masses on the joys and maintenance of carbon steel(check out the Sur la Table website for his instructional videos).From all accounts I have read,his clones are getting good reviews from some of the knife knuts on the various forums.

          Bragging rights? For sure there's going to be a percentage of people buying them for that reason,but there's also people with some knife knowledge who would like to see firsthand(kinda) what a real Kramer is all about.

          Hopefully this will be good for all the other custom knife makers that are relatively unheard of outside the world of knife "aficionados".Look how fast Joel Bukiewicz from CutBrooklyn got to jump on the bandwagon.

          1. re: petek
            Eiron Jun 15, 2011 11:26 AM

            "knife knuts" - I like it! :-D

            1. re: petek
              Kagemusha Jun 15, 2011 11:32 AM

              "Bragging rights? For sure there's going to be a percentage of people buying them for that reason,but there's also people with some knife knowledge who would like to see firsthand(kinda) what a real Kramer is all about."

              Whether aesthetes, cooks or knife knuts(good one, petek, equal to my Bluto pix), the hardcores are pre-sold. The grail is turning knives into an aspirational object for a broader market. As it stands, Kramer's custom blades are like Birkin bags. The Kramer-Zwilling merch is equal to designer pret-a-porter: accessible to consumers smart and flush enough to know what they're buying. You'll know this strategy's winning when Kramer-like knock-offs start showing up. Hope it works out for the small guys.

              1. re: Kagemusha
                petek Jun 15, 2011 01:46 PM

                "Hope it works out for the small guys " Agree.

                Hopefully all this media will turn consumers onto some of the fine Japanese blade smiths out there as well.

                And as much as I'd like to take credit for the term "knife knut" sadly I cannot.I usurped the name from one of the knife forums.

          2. Chemicalkinetics Jun 15, 2011 02:42 PM

            Nice article. Thanks.

            36 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              buttertart Jun 17, 2011 09:40 AM

              I was amused to see the nakiri featured - we're ahead of the curve once again...

              1. re: buttertart
                Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 09:47 AM

                :) I know, butter. The article predicts that Nakiri will be the next big thing. Originally, there was only the Chef knife for an all purpuse knife among Americans. The choice was only between German style vs French style. Then, the Santoku was introduced to US and gained a lot of popularity due to its smaller and nimbler size. Recently, the Japanese gyuto is gaining something, but I don't think it will do what the Santoku did.

                I always thought Nakiri will be the next big thing -- if there is one. The reason is that Nakiri is a good all-purpose knife and, in Japan, it is the knife which rivals Santoku.

                P.S.: Have you gotten hold a Nakiri you like? I remember you were looking for an authnetic Nakiri a few months ago.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  buttertart Jun 17, 2011 10:54 AM

                  I thought of you the second I saw that. I haven't bought one yet. I'd like one with the Japanese handle - do you have brand recommendations? Would like as long a blade as possible. Thanks, ck!

                  1. re: buttertart
                    Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 11:39 AM

                    Feel free to make a separate post for a Nakiri recommendation. I know many people here knows a lot about Nakiri. I have a Nakiri, but it is carbon steel. I remember you like a stainless steel, right?

                    For a stainless steel Nakiri with a traditional Wa-wood handle and for a relatively inexpensive price, I think Tojiro is a good choice.

                    http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toshsa1...

                    I don't have a Tojiro Nakiri, but I have a Tojiro gyuto, so I know its steel quality is sound. The blade is not long though.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      buttertart Jun 17, 2011 12:19 PM

                      That looks like what I'm after, ck. Thank you very much.
                      Am I correct in thinking they come with a longer blade, though?

                      1. re: buttertart
                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 12:40 PM

                        Hi butter,

                        There are longer blade Nakiri from different vendors, but I don't think Tojiro offers longer.

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    petek Jun 17, 2011 01:33 PM

                    Chem:I doubt I could break down a case of whole chickens, clean a case of tenderloins then peel and dice a box of butternut squash with a nakiri.But I could with my gyuto or santoku.How's that for a versatile knife? :D

                    1. re: petek
                      buttertart Jun 17, 2011 01:38 PM

                      It's not for the versatility, I just want it. Have a couple of santokus, a gyuto is also on the want list.

                      1. re: buttertart
                        petek Jun 17, 2011 02:00 PM

                        I was just breaking Chems balls a bit..It's like me wanting a single bevel deba.Versatile? hardly.But i still want one :)

                        1. re: petek
                          buttertart Jun 17, 2011 02:12 PM

                          I know, and I know I'm waaaaay in the deep end of the pool here with the Olympic swimmers, but I have a thing for knives.

                          1. re: buttertart
                            petek Jun 17, 2011 02:23 PM

                            Although there are a few Olympic swimmers here on CH(I'm still a tadpole),might I suggest you dive into the waters over at Kitchen Knife Forums and swim with the sharks for a bit.You don't have to post,you can just lurk if you want to.But the information one can gain on the world of knives is astonishing,if not a little overwhelming..

                            1. re: petek
                              buttertart Jun 18, 2011 08:55 AM

                              A daunting prospect. I'm already enslaved to this board...

                          2. re: petek
                            Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 09:04 AM

                            "I was just breaking Chems balls a bit"

                            What are you talking about? There is no a little bit of pregnant, and I don't know if there is a little bit of breaking my balls. Ok, maybe there is. :P Just kidding.

                            Kidding aside, why do you think a nakiri cannot do what a santoku can do? A nakiri has a straighter profile, but many nakiri also has a pointy/corner tip, like your Moritaka brand:

                            http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4010/4...

                            It is my understanding that Chinese Chefs have used Chinese chef's knives (better known as Chinese cleavers) to do all kinds of things, so I imagine that a smaller and narrower Nakiri can achieve that as well.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              buttertart Jun 18, 2011 09:06 AM

                              ck, your performance judgement based on type of steel makes a lot of sense to me. Just sayin'.

                              1. re: buttertart
                                Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 09:14 AM

                                Thanks Butter, but you have to admit that those conversations are very funny. :)

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  buttertart Jun 18, 2011 09:18 AM

                                  Quite amusing, yes. You men!

                                  1. re: buttertart
                                    petek Jun 18, 2011 02:20 PM

                                    "You men!"
                                    Some of the best ball breakers I know are women,all of them Chefs naturally.
                                    It's environmental not gender based . :D

                                    1. re: petek
                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 02:22 PM

                                      "Some of the best ball breakers I know are women"

                                      No kidding, but there is good reason for that. They don't treasure what we treasure.

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                petek Jun 18, 2011 09:08 AM

                                Ever tried cleaning a tenderloin with a nakiri??

                                1. re: petek
                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 09:14 AM

                                  Nope. Chicken tenderloin, yes, but I am doubt that you are not talking about chicken. Can you explain to me a bit why a gyuto or a santoku is better than a nakiri? Is it the curved blade or is it the pointy tip? Just curious. Thanks.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    petek Jun 18, 2011 01:37 PM

                                    "Can you explain to me a bit why a gyuto or a santoku is better than a nakiri?"

                                    They're not better,just more versatile in my opinion.Especially in a pro kitchen.I could use my gyuto or santoku exclusively, all day in the kitchen,no matter what the task,I doubt that I could do that with a nakiri.Braking down primal cuts of meat or cleaning silver skin off of beef,pork or bison could be done with either the gyuto or santoku(they wouldn't be my first weapon of choice) with good results.Not so with a nakiri.The pointy tip makes a big difference.
                                    The nakiri is a fine style of knife,just not as versatile as the other 2.

                                    The End....:-D

                                    1. re: petek
                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 01:57 PM

                                      Thanks. Just curious if it is the pointy tip or the curved blade.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 09:35 PM

                                        In case I wasn't clear, you have answered my question. I meant to say that originally I didn't know if you meant the pointy tip or the curved blade, but now I do know.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          petek Jun 19, 2011 06:32 AM

                                          Glad to be of any assistance doctore..
                                          I hope you weren't offended by my "The End..." comment. I meant it as a closing to my somewhat long and boring explanation,not an end to our conversation.

                                          1. re: petek
                                            Chemicalkinetics Jun 19, 2011 06:44 AM

                                            No, I wasn't offended. I think it can be mistaken, but I didn't detect any negative feeling in your writing.

                              3. re: petek
                                d
                                Dave5440 Jun 18, 2011 07:51 PM

                                Get the deba petek, from what I've heard they are the butchers workhorse.

                                1. re: Dave5440
                                  petek Jun 19, 2011 06:42 AM

                                  Dave5440:

                                  I'm gonna,just gotta decide which one.Because of my decision to purchase locally (Knife)or domestically(PaulsFinest),my options are fewer than that of our U.S brethren.

                                  1. re: petek
                                    d
                                    Dave5440 Jun 19, 2011 07:03 AM

                                    my options are fewer than that of our U.S brethren.

                                    They sure are!

                                    1. re: petek
                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 19, 2011 07:12 AM

                                      But what about buying it directly from Japan like what Dave is doing.

                                      As I told you that I talked to a close friend of mine during the last scientific conference, she has moved to Canada and she said that she has seen huge price mark up for scientific equipments between those sold in US and those sold in Canada.

                                      So you could be saving money by buying oversea. Of course, you won't be supporting your local business, but then why support a local business which possibly is trying to take huge advantages of you. I say possibly because I am not entirely sure of the reason of the price mark up. Maybe it is something they cannot control like a high import tax.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        d
                                        Dave5440 Jun 19, 2011 07:20 AM

                                        By the way, I still don't know why the prices are higher. I don't know if it is lack of competition or a very high tax rate.

                                        I'd like to know the answer to that to, Our basic stuff is outragous compared to the US, milk 1 gal 1.99 tops in buffalo , my metro 4.99 for 4lL then there's gas 3.55 in buffalo 4.95 for 3.8 L at my local esso

                                        1. re: Dave5440
                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 19, 2011 07:41 AM

                                          Well, if the high prices are due to a high tax rate and transport costs...etc, then I can see the argument for buying local because the local businesses have higher costs and have to sell the goods at higher prices.

                                          If the high prices are due to lack of competitions, then the local vendors are buying at the same price point as the foreigner vendors (say US), and simply decided that they can charge more due to a "strong demand, weak supply" situation. This is all perfectly fine and nothing wrong. It is part of the free market principle. However, in this case, the customers should not feel they have a moral obligation to buy local anymore. The customers should also follow the free market principle just like the vendors do, and buy from the less expensive sources. Just a thought.

                                      2. re: petek
                                        s
                                        smkit Jun 19, 2011 09:16 AM

                                        Whatever you buy, at some point you should get a custom blade from Pierre Rodrique. He has very reasonably priced custom knives that are made by a countryman.

                                        http://www.rodrigueknives.com/

                                        1. re: smkit
                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 19, 2011 09:19 AM

                                          Sorry. I am saving my money for the possible Eiron's knives. :P

                                          1. re: smkit
                                            petek Jun 19, 2011 11:03 AM

                                            "Whatever you buy, at some point you should get a custom blade from Pierre Rodrique"

                                            I'm slowly but surely working my way up to the world of customs,and Pierre's knives are beautiful and very reasonably priced.
                                            I'm still a bit paranoid about bringing such a nice piece of steel into a pro kitchen,although I know more than a few KKF members use their customs at work.
                                            smkit: Do you own any Rodrique knives? And if so,what do you think of them?

                                            1. re: petek
                                              s
                                              smkit Jun 19, 2011 07:12 PM

                                              Not yet, but I have 2 on the way and possibly one more. I wouldn't probably use them in pro kitchen either.

                                              1. re: petek
                                                s
                                                smkit Jun 20, 2011 06:10 AM

                                                Just FYI. Here is a little gallery of some of Pierre's recent work from KKF.

                                                http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sho......

                            2. BiscuitBoy Jun 15, 2011 03:18 PM

                              nice looking knives...curious how they feel

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: BiscuitBoy
                                petek Jun 15, 2011 04:09 PM

                                Which ones,the Kramers? If you're down in the States pop into a Sur la Table and check one out and then report back to us A.S.A.P :D

                                1. re: petek
                                  BiscuitBoy Jun 16, 2011 08:04 AM

                                  yeah, the kramers...they look very curvy and flowing, like the feel of a lady's hips when dancing with her. Not to say a fine german or japanese blade isn't a pleasure to use and hold, but the kramer looks more, say, "sensuale" instead of "achtung!" I will have to handle it myself (the knife) to verify

                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy
                                    petek Jun 16, 2011 08:22 AM

                                    Ha! Well said. Who doesn't love a sexy knife?

                              2. cowboyardee Jun 15, 2011 06:41 PM

                                Thanks for the article, Petek.

                                Like others, I wonder which consumers are really driving this trend in expensive kitchen knives. Certainly there seem to be more of us knife Knuts than there used to be. More and more of the professional cooks I see (and almost all of the successful professional chefs on television) use Japanese knives.

                                On the other hand, if the article is right and the Cronidur is selling well at ~$300, we can safely assume there is an element of conspicuous consumption by people who don't know too much about knives (yeah, I'm a big damn biased snob and I hate the German profile), I wonder how the whetstones are selling at SLT and Williams Sonoma - that would tell us something (WS only has two, and they're not well chosen or well priced - doesn't bode well).

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 15, 2011 07:36 PM

                                  "the Cronidur is selling well at ~$300, we can safely assume there is an element of conspicuous consumption by people who don't know too much about knives"

                                  I agree. Either people who bought these don't know too much about knives or they have really different priority than you and I.

                                  "I wonder how the whetstones are selling at SLT and Williams Sonoma - that would tell us something"

                                  Actually, I have to agree with you. I think the sale of waterstone is a better indicator of knowledgeable knife users. Unfortunately,as you have suggested, a knowledgeable knife owner would probably buy the waterstones elsewhere.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    cowboyardee Jun 15, 2011 07:49 PM

                                    "a knowledgeable knife owner would probably buy the waterstones elsewhere."
                                    _____
                                    Good point. Not much sense in dropping $225 for a michel bras whetstone (1k/3k combo) at WS when there are plenty of online retailers with much better options... and prices - have you ever seen a 3k synthetic go for $200+? FFS, a Chosera 3k is only $120. How awesome could that combo stone actually be? Jeebus.

                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 15, 2011 08:02 PM

                                      "Not much sense in dropping $225 for a michel bras whetstone (1k/3k combo) at WS"

                                      Oh man, I didn't even check the price out... that expensive huh? In that case, the sale volume of waterstone in WS would actually point the other way. The more knowledgeable the customers, the less likely they will buy the stones from WS. Consequently, the sale volume of the WS waterstone should be inverse of the knowledgeable customer population.

                                2. Jay F Jun 16, 2011 06:34 AM

                                  A question for all of you: which 6" or 8" carbon steel chef's knife, steel, and stone would you recommend? I know enough to keep the knife clean and dry, and though I currently think of myself as being not particularly good at sharpening knives, I would love to learn to do it right. I'd prefer not to spend as much as one of these Kramer/Henckels knives cost, and have seen some Sabatier knives that look nice on The Best Things. http://thebestthings.com/knives/sabat...

                                  However, I have another concern: the knife callous on my right index finger, formed by my Wusthof knives, hurts now after doing only a little cutting, which was not the case years ago. I wonder if using a Japanese knife would help take the pressure off.

                                  33 Replies
                                  1. re: Jay F
                                    petek Jun 16, 2011 07:14 AM

                                    How much are you looking to spend in total? If you're getting into stones I think you can skip buying a steel.

                                    A 6" "chef knife" is what's called a petty/utility knife,great for some jobs,but I'd go with an 8"-10" chef/gyuto.Much more versatile(unless you have small hands)

                                    What kind of grip do you use(pinch grip,hammer grip)? That might be causing the painful callous more than the type or make of knife you use.And sometimes,no matter what,a painful callous can't be avoided.

                                    1. re: petek
                                      p
                                      pabboy Jun 16, 2011 07:19 AM

                                      "If you're getting into stones I think you can skip buying a steel."

                                      Really? I hone with steel/ceramic before every use and whetstone 3-4 times a year.

                                      1. re: pabboy
                                        petek Jun 16, 2011 07:34 AM

                                        It depends on the hardness of steel.Softer steels will benefit from honing on a steel,harder ones,not so much.

                                        What kind of knives do you use pabboy?

                                        1. re: petek
                                          m
                                          mateo21 Jun 16, 2011 08:16 AM

                                          Not to mention if you're taking a blade to a high-grit stone (8K+) then your ceramic rod is putting a coarser finish on your edge than your stone (actually I'd say closer to 4-5K is still finer than most ceramic rods). In that case (and this is what I do) you touch your knife up on the high-grit stone once a week, or every two weeks to keep the edge keen, rather than using a rod.

                                          1. re: mateo21
                                            petek Jun 16, 2011 08:26 AM

                                            +1 A few passes on my highest grit stone(6

                                            ) or some light stropping and she's good to go.I hear glass rods are great for harder steel,but they're pretty spendy.

                                            1. re: mateo21
                                              toodie jane Jun 16, 2011 08:33 AM

                                              ...have there been any threads here about steels& stones for SS knives that might be illuminating to novices?

                                              I have Henkels knives that I try to keep sharp since hunny passed away. I use an old oil whetstone (don't know the hardness, probably medium) about twice a year, and a metal steel after every use. Am I doing anything right? Gram was a butcher in London but she died before I was old enough to learn anything from her. I do remember her lightneing-fast flashing blades when steeling, though.

                                              --tj

                                              1. re: toodie jane
                                                cowboyardee Jun 16, 2011 09:37 AM

                                                That's a fine way to sharpen an old Henckels. But the real question is whether the results are sharp enough for you.

                                                Don't try to imitate Gram's lightening fast swipes though - most people will get better results going slower and carefully.

                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                  toodie jane Jun 16, 2011 09:33 PM

                                                  no, I can't swipe as fast, nor want to, but do follow her technique, steel held facing up and out, knife blade at about 15 degrees, edge moving lightly down the top side, then down pressed up against the bottom side, about 6 times. I've been told any more is overkill.

                                                  I find my knives feel sharp enough for a month or two (my test is a red pepper skin) then it is sharp enough for most anything else for several more months.

                                                  I have gotten pretty good at not rolling the blade when sharpening. At first it gave me fits. But since I taught myself how to sharpen my Felco pruning shears by holding the file angle still, I just reversed it for knives, holding the blade at the same angle through the swipe. Because I could see it on the larger scale, I could maintain the eye-muscle coordination with the smaller knife blade.

                                                  I just cleaned and sharpened all my late hubby's pocket knives. It was highly satisfying, though cutting sisal twine is sharp enough for me, no hair-splitting needed.

                                              2. re: mateo21
                                                Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 03:14 PM

                                                Agree, mateo. I think most ceramic rods are about 1K or even lower.

                                              3. re: petek
                                                p
                                                pabboy Jun 16, 2011 01:42 PM

                                                Mostly Global & Henkel Pro S. I use Henkel TWIN Stone Pro (250/1000) and Finishing Stone Pro (3000/8000).

                                            2. re: petek
                                              Jay F Jun 16, 2011 09:43 AM

                                              I see the Sabatier 8" for $100, and the stone Bob Kramer was using cost $60 on the SLT website. Those are acceptable prices for me.

                                              I don't know the difference between the "pinch" and "hammer" grips, actually. My index finger goes under the handle. I don't extend it over the knife, the way you sometimes see on TV and in the movies. I don't know if that's the answer to your question or not.

                                              My grip hasn't changed any, however, in the last 20 years, and I think this callous is about that old. But I'm not sure. I only noticed it a few years ago, when it became painful.

                                              1. re: Jay F
                                                petek Jun 16, 2011 12:27 PM

                                                Jay F:
                                                Here's a picture of someone using a pinch grip.
                                                A hammer grip is exactly how you would hold a hammer(sorry no picture)

                                                 
                                                1. re: petek
                                                  Jay F Jun 16, 2011 01:02 PM

                                                  Thanks, Pete. I am a pinch gripper.

                                                  1. re: Jay F
                                                    petek Jun 16, 2011 01:20 PM

                                                    Then cowboy's recommendation to round the spine is an excellent idea.

                                                    1. re: Jay F
                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 03:16 PM

                                                      I agree with both Cowboy and Petek. Round your knife spine using a sharpening stone.

                                                  2. re: Jay F
                                                    BiscuitBoy Jun 16, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                    hammer grip

                                                     
                                                    1. re: BiscuitBoy
                                                      Jay F Jun 16, 2011 01:35 PM

                                                      I don't think I ever hold my knife that way. Should I?

                                                      1. re: Jay F
                                                        petek Jun 16, 2011 01:44 PM

                                                        You should hold your knife whatever way feels most comfortable for you.

                                                        I use a pinch grip most of the time,but will occasionally switch to a hammer grip when I'm prepping a ton of onions.Whatever feels right for you.

                                                        1. re: petek
                                                          Jay F Jun 16, 2011 02:41 PM

                                                          I'll have to try that. Thanks, Pete.

                                                2. re: Jay F
                                                  cowboyardee Jun 16, 2011 09:09 AM

                                                  JayF - here's the good news: you don't have to spend $300 to get a very nice carbon knife.
                                                  The bad news - there are too many good carbon steel knives to even start recommending things without more information.

                                                  ?s for you:

                                                  -Price range
                                                  -Do you want some insurance against rust and stains, like maybe a cladded knife or a less-reactive carbon one? Or do you not care?
                                                  -Do you rock chop when cutting?
                                                  -Do you want to use a chefs knife to cut through chicken bones, frozen food and such, or are you willing to switch to another knife for iffy tasks?
                                                  -Any preference in terms of handle? Big hands, small hands, prefer contoured, like it simple?
                                                  -How do you feel about a thin, slightly more delicate knife that cuts exceptionally well? This might help your callous since you won't have to apply much pressure at all while cutting.
                                                  -Any experience, positive or negative, with Japanese knives?

                                                  Here's a little tip for you BTW - if that callous is bothering you, take a look at the spine on your Wusthof. Chances are, the spine is square with relatively sharp corners. It will be much more comfortable for you to use if you rounded the spine, which is surprisingly easy to do. There are a lot of ways to do it, but here is one. Get some wet/dry sandpaper from an autoparts store, maybe 80 or 150 grit. Clamp the knife in a vice, or even just between the pages of a phone book that you prop up or hold between your knees, with the edge down and the spine up. Grab the ends of the sandpaper with each hand and rub it over the spine in a shoe shine motion. Continue until the spine is rounded. It will take about 10 minutes. You can pretty it up if you like using higher grit sandpaper afterward.

                                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                                    BiscuitBoy Jun 16, 2011 09:46 AM

                                                    good tip

                                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                                      Jay F Jun 16, 2011 09:56 AM

                                                      Cowboy, here goes:

                                                      PRICE RANGE: I see the Sabatier 8" for $100, and that the stone Bob Kramer was using in the YouTube videos costs $60 on the SLT website. These are good prices for me.

                                                      http://thebestthings.com/knives/sabatiercarbon.htm

                                                      http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                                                      RUST AND STAINS: Not an issue. My first knife was carbon steel and I was pretty compulsive about keeping it clean and dry.

                                                      ROCK CHOP: Yes

                                                      CUT THROUGH CHICKEN BONES AND FROZEN: Not necessary. I have a lot of stainless knives already (Wusthof), and frankly, I don't freeze much food.

                                                      HANDLE PREFERENCE: I don't know. I have used Wusthof knives exclusively since the early '80s. They're really all I know. I don't have big hands, that's for sure. Not small, either, though.

                                                      THIN, MORE DELICATE KNIFE THAT CUTS EXCEPTIONALLY WELL: That's certainly something I'd like to feel in my hands, and maybe cut an onion and a tomato with.

                                                      I have never used a Japanese knife. Never even held one in my hand. When I was buying knives, the choices seemed to be between Wusthof and Henckels, or Sabatier if you wanted carbon steel, though actually, carbon steel seemed terribly out of fashion in '83 (I bought mine in 1979).

                                                      I only became aware that there was something out there besides German knives a couple of years ago. I keep my knives sharp, so I've never perceived a problem with them, but it's hard not to pay attention to all the choices that now exist.

                                                      1. re: Jay F
                                                        cowboyardee Jun 16, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                        The intersection of easy to rock chop and thin, high performance blade is probably the Shun Classic. It's not carbon steel (though vg-10 offers 98% of the sharpening performance of carbon steel if you take care not to chip it) and it's not the best deal IMO at $140 for an 8 incher. But it's the only major Japanese blade with a lot of curve to it.
                                                        http://www.amazon.com/Shun-DM0706-Classic-8-Inch-Chefs/dp/B0000Y7KNQ
                                                        The SLT down at the South Side works would have em (you're in Pgh, right?

                                                        )

                                                        The Sabatiers have curve for rock chopping as well and are a bit cheaper, but can't compete with the Japanese in terms of edge retention, cutting performance, or edge taking (can't go as acute without the edge quickly folding over anyway). They have a pleasant feel to em that many traditionalists love and won't be a huge transition from your Wusthof. The full length bolster presents problems with sharpening and will eventually need to be ground down. One problem is that a lot of the 8 inch Sabatiers have so little knuckle clearance that they feel almost more like long utility knives than chefs knives - most people who use them use 10 or 12 inchers, and those are more costly. I think these are also as SLT.

                                                        With a bit of practice, you can still rock chop with most Japanese gyuto style chef knives, though it requires a bit more control (and should you choose to go this route, I still recommend push cutting for the most part, if you can learn it). This opens up a lot of doors. I have no problem at all rock chopping with my Hiromoto gyuto, since it still has a bit of gentle curve for most of its length - an 8 inch is $140, while a shorter santoku is $109. It's cladded with stainless to make it easier to take care of, but the carbon steel at the edge is seriously amazing stuff - takes an absurd edge, holds it very well, forms a non-reactive and cool-looking patina very quickly with use, easy to sharpen. You probably won't be able to demo one though.
                                                        http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hiromotoknives.html

                                                        For more of a budget knife, there is the Dojo 7.5 inch gyuto (even though it looks more like a santoku). Great steel for the money, sharpens very well with excellent edge retention - I have their paring knife. Fit and finish is mediocre. Not positive how the grind is, but it is doubtless thinner than the Sabatier and Wusthof. Not a lot of curve, so it would be an adjustment to learn to rock chop with one. Also wouldn't get to demo one. Hard to complain under $70 though.
                                                        http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dojogyuto180mm.html

                                                        There are doubtless many other options I'm leaving out.

                                                        Stones are a whole nother can of worms. I refer you to this thread:
                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7873...
                                                        ...starting with the permalinked post

                                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                                          Jay F Jun 16, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                          Is push cutting inherently easier than rock chopping? Is it hard to learn, or more a matter of unlearning what I am already so used to? At this point, my hand gets so tired when I rock chop (I have arthritis as well as the callous), learning something new could be a great relief.

                                                          Also, what do you think of this knife? http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                                                          1. re: Jay F
                                                            cowboyardee Jun 16, 2011 11:14 AM

                                                            It's not 'easier' unless you have a very flat edged knife like a lot of Japanese knives are. It is, however, easier on the knife edge, which is one of the reasons to use it with finer-edged knives.

                                                            The knife you linked to is probably quite comparable in performance to other shun knives. More curve than most Japanese knives, less than German knives. Same core steel (VG-10), which will perform very well, though it can get chippy if you're not careful with it. It costs even more per inch than the other Shun knives though, so be aware you're paying extra for novelty and looks. A 5 incher is probably too small for most adults to use as their main chefs knife.

                                                            Also, just so you know, the shun knives mostly have d-shaped handles which can be a minor PITA for left handed people.

                                                          2. re: cowboyardee
                                                            d
                                                            DougRisk Jun 16, 2011 10:59 AM

                                                            "But it's the only major Japanese blade with a lot of curve to it.
                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Shun-DM0706-Cla..."

                                                            Hey, that's my knife. I love it.

                                                            1. re: cowboyardee
                                                              petek Jun 16, 2011 01:24 PM

                                                              +1 on the full bolster problem.I have a 10" sabatier slicer,and it;s a P.I.T.A to sharpen on stones.

                                                              1. re: petek
                                                                Jay F Jun 16, 2011 01:37 PM

                                                                My utility knife (6") has that kind of an indentation from my using a Chef's Choice too frequently some years back.

                                                          3. re: cowboyardee
                                                            d
                                                            DougRisk Jun 16, 2011 10:58 AM

                                                            "Do you want to use a chefs knife to cut through chicken bones, frozen food and such, or are you willing to switch to another knife for iffy tasks?"

                                                            +1

                                                            Great Question.

                                                            As a sort of addendum, it always makes me cringe when I see people on TV using nice knives and they cut onto a porcelain/ceramic plate.

                                                            1. re: DougRisk
                                                              Jay F Jun 16, 2011 01:07 PM

                                                              My cutting boards are butcher block and soft-ish plastic.

                                                            2. re: cowboyardee
                                                              Jay F Jun 16, 2011 10:58 AM

                                                              cowboyardee: "if that callous is bothering you, take a look at the spine on your Wusthof. Chances are, the spine is square with relatively sharp corners."

                                                              Yes, it is a 90-degree angle. I'm going to try the sanding procedure. Thanks for that suggestion. I've kind of fantasized about a slope at times as I've cut stuff over the past few years. Is one sheet of the 80 or 150 grit wet/dry sandpaper enough?

                                                              1. re: Jay F
                                                                cowboyardee Jun 16, 2011 11:37 AM

                                                                Depends on how far you want to go. First off, cut it in long strips just 2 or 3 inches wide to make it easier to use and to get more out of it. Even one sheet will take the extreme sharpness off those angles and make it more comfortable. That said, I've bought a knife that was very well finished by the maker and it had a completely round smooth edge. That is very nice to cut with. But it would take a while and a good bit of sandpaper. Though power tools would make even that pretty easy and quick.

                                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                  Jay F Jun 16, 2011 01:08 PM

                                                                  I think I'll try the sandpaper before I buy a new knife. Thanks.

                                                          4. s
                                                            smkit Jun 16, 2011 04:57 PM

                                                            Last weekend I tried out one of the Zwilling Kramers. I must say I liked it even though it wasn't that sharp (though the sales lady thought it was very sharp).

                                                            When I asked how they were selling, she said the only people buying the new Kramers are people who already know a lot about knives.

                                                            25 Replies
                                                            1. re: smkit
                                                              cowboyardee Jun 16, 2011 05:32 PM

                                                              Thanks for the report. Have you ever handled the shun Kramer to compare?

                                                              "I must say I liked it even though it wasn't that sharp (though the sales lady thought it was very sharp)."
                                                              _________

                                                              I said this in the first thread about this knife - SLT really needs to figure out a way to keep their high end demo knives sharp. Just think of the 'wow' factor they could get by letting their average customer try one of these things sharpened up to its potential. I have to assume they're losing a few sales because of it.

                                                              Same goes for having salespeople who really know their equipment. Though that's not quite so easy to fix.

                                                              1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                petek Jun 16, 2011 05:42 PM

                                                                cowboy: maybe you should offer them a knife sharpening service deal,perhaps with a 50% discount for you and your family.... :D

                                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                  s
                                                                  smkit Jun 16, 2011 07:56 PM

                                                                  No, I haven't handled the other Shun Kramers. I have to admit that I didn't think I would like the Kramer profile so I never tried them out. It was mainly the steel that interested me and got me to try them out, and I was pleasantly surprised about liking the profile.

                                                                  The SLT that I went to did not have the 10 inch in yet, so I only got to handle the 8 inch, but I would probably consider getting one in the future. But then again, I just got a Carter in this week and I have four customs in the queue. Maybe I don't need any more blade in my life.

                                                                  1. re: smkit
                                                                    petek Jun 16, 2011 08:20 PM

                                                                    Which Carter did you get and what customs are you waiting for? If you don't mind sharing that is.

                                                                    1. re: petek
                                                                      s
                                                                      smkit Jun 16, 2011 08:26 PM

                                                                      I got a Carter 6.7 sun Funayuki. He had his 25% off sale during the Blade Show with free shipping. I couldn't pass it up. Now I just got to get it rehandled.

                                                                      My customs: I have 2 parers coming from Pierre Rodrique (out of Canada), a suji coming from Devin Thomas, and a 240 gyuto from Dave Martell. Technicallty, Dave didn't do the heat treating, so it is more mid-tech, but he is going to put some amazingh handles on his knives.

                                                                      1. re: smkit
                                                                        petek Jun 16, 2011 08:37 PM

                                                                        Sweet! Is Dave going to do the re-handle on the Carter?

                                                                        1. re: petek
                                                                          s
                                                                          smkit Jun 16, 2011 08:41 PM

                                                                          I'll send it to Dave to do, but I already have a Stefan handle purchased that I am going to have him put on.

                                                                        2. re: smkit
                                                                          cowboyardee Jun 16, 2011 08:49 PM

                                                                          Holy crap dude. You know you can't come on here telling us that you have these knives ordered and then not review them when they arrive, right? That would not be tolerated.

                                                                      2. re: smkit
                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 08:40 PM

                                                                        "I have to admit that I didn't think I would like the Kramer profile"

                                                                        Interesting.... many people said that. Kramer profile is also not my preference, but I am very adaptable, so I know I can learn to like it. Still, at this very moment, the Euro Kramer profile does not interest me.

                                                                        Congratulation on Carter. Can you tell us more about your Carter knives? Are they shirogami (white paper steel) or aogami (blue paper steel)?

                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                          s
                                                                          smkit Jun 16, 2011 08:48 PM

                                                                          It is my first Carter, so the verdict is still out. The blade is white steel with stainless laminate. It is very very light, so it feels strange in my hand right now, that is why I can't wait to get the new handle on it. I like the size 205mm. I was wanting something a bit smaller.

                                                                          1. re: smkit
                                                                            petek Jun 16, 2011 08:52 PM

                                                                            So a sun Funayuki is like a smaller gyuto?

                                                                            1. re: smkit
                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 08:53 PM

                                                                              Smkit,

                                                                              I have to second cowboy. You should write reviews for these knives, even if just 3-5 sentences. We would love to hear your thought. If I am correct, Carter stays very close to his Japanese training/root, thus his knives will feel more Japanese and therefore light in blade and especially light in handle. You may grow to like this style. Give it a week or two and see if you really want to put a heavy/dense handle.

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                s
                                                                                smkit Jun 16, 2011 09:17 PM

                                                                                That's true. I will be sending a lot of stuff off to Dave in about 4 weeks. I have plenty of time to road test it.

                                                                                The Funayuki I think is one of Carter's most traditional knife styles, and if I am not mistaken, I think funayuki has something to do with fisherman, but Carter's shape is very similar to a gyuto. It is a thin double bevel knife. Maybe it is a pit 'pointier' but still a general purpose kitchen knife.

                                                                                1. re: smkit
                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 09:35 PM

                                                                                  "if I am not mistaken, I think funayuki has something to do with fisherman, but Carter's shape is very similar to a gyuto. It is a thin double bevel knife. Maybe it is a pit 'pointier' but still a general purpose kitchen knife."

                                                                                  See. You are already writing an early review. Use the knife for a week and two, and we are here waiting for your reviews.

                                                                                  I don't know much about Funayuki. Like you, I understand it is a thinner and longer version of a Deba and evolved to be an all-purpose knife. Many of the Funayuki I know are single bevel. Beyond these, I really don't know a lot of Funayuki.

                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    smkit Jun 16, 2011 10:01 PM

                                                                                    Yeah, well you don't even want to hear about my new yanagiba with saya and fancy silk bag from Japanese Knife Imports ;)

                                                                                    1. re: smkit
                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 10:05 PM

                                                                                      :) Why won't I want to hear about your yanagiba? Of course, we all do want to hear about it. Get ready to write your knife reviews.

                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        smkit Jun 16, 2011 10:35 PM

                                                                                        I was just joking. It is a 270 Yoshihiro.

                                                                                        Here is the knife. It isn't particularly expensive.

                                                                                        http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/k...

                                                                                        Just took a sushi course last weekend, so once I start cutting up the fish, I'll let you know. I also need to brush up on single-bevel sharpening.

                                                                                        1. re: smkit
                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 10:41 PM

                                                                                          For a yanagiba, it is actually inexpensive. (As a knife, $200 is not cheap, but yanagiba are at the expensive ends of knives).

                                                                                          I want you to do a comparison of this yanagiba to your regular gyuto or Chef knife and see how they perform for cutting fish filets. In other words, does the yanagiba offers you the advantages that a gyuto cannot -- your perspectives.

                                                                              2. re: smkit
                                                                                cowboyardee Jun 16, 2011 09:13 PM

                                                                                How's the initial edge? Carter has a pretty good reputation as a sharpener.

                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                  s
                                                                                  smkit Jun 16, 2011 10:23 PM

                                                                                  Out of the box, the edge was very, very sharp. I've done nothing to the edge yet, not even stropping, but it was probably the sharpest out of the box I have ever gotten.

                                                                                  It is hard to detect even a bevel though. The back 1.5 inch has a tiny noticeable bevel, but it disappears in the middle of the blade and then reappears at the tip. So there is some modulation along the bevel, but once I take it to the stones there will be a lot more variation from my 'mistakes'.

                                                                                  Since the edge is so good, I am just going to see how long the edge lasts with just stropping prior to use.

                                                                                  Just as an example, I could easily drop a piece of paper and slice through it mid-air on its descent with the OOTB edge.

                                                                                  1. re: smkit
                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 10:30 PM

                                                                                    "Just as an example, I could easily drop a piece of paper and slice through it on its descent with the OOTB edge."

                                                                                    :) Now that is another method for testing knife sharpness.

                                                                                    1. re: smkit
                                                                                      cowboyardee Jun 16, 2011 11:09 PM

                                                                                      Thanks. I suspected Carter's sharpening should live up to the hype - a lot of the knife forum guys seem to dislike him, but even they'll typically admit he's quite a good sharpener.

                                                                                      Are you saying that the primary bevel is blended into the secondary bevel, that the knife is so thin behind the bevel as to make the primary bevel necessarily tiny and hard to identify, or both?

                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 11:13 PM

                                                                                        "a lot of the knife forum guys seem to dislike him"

                                                                                        Really? That, I didn't know. They don't like his knives or they don't him the person? I have heard something about his strong opinions.

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                          cowboyardee Jun 17, 2011 12:42 AM

                                                                                          They bitch about his handles, for one. But any real animosity seems to have more to do with him mixing strong opinions with his business. There are various threads on KF about it if you're interested.

                                                                                          Also, in the interest of fairness, most accounts of knife guys who meet him personally say he is very nice. And like I said, the worst of his detractors seem to readily admit that the dude can sharpen.

                                                                                        2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          smkit Jun 16, 2011 11:33 PM

                                                                                          If I understand you correctly (bevel terminology can get confusing sometimes), I would say yes. The primary bevel is pretty much unnoticeable in the middle. It is blended in almost like a very, very thin convex edge. It just goes to a point, but towards the tip and heal you can see a tiny micro-bevel. But I am also using magnification and the bevel I do see is still very thin and hard to see. I just like to examine the OOTB edge before I mess with it, and it was just something I noticed.

                                                                          2. Chemicalkinetics Jun 16, 2011 11:35 PM

                                                                            Petek,

                                                                            I don't want to set another post. I realized that Joel (from Cut Brookyln) is set to launch a knife line with Williams Sonoma. That is definitely a good success for Joel. I, then, decided to look up what some of the most respected knife enthusiasts think about the Cut Brookyln knives. My gosh, they beat the crap out of his knives on KitchenKnifeForum:

                                                                            http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sho...

                                                                            I have never loved CB knives (nor hate) and didn't expect them to really love Cut Brooklyn knives, but I was surprised by their displeasure reactions. Several of them really dislike the knives.

                                                                            106 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                              cowboyardee Jun 17, 2011 12:57 AM

                                                                              I'll hold off most of my judgement on his knives themselves.

                                                                              I will say that I agree with the forum guys in one respect - his price is too high for his advertized features. There are too many other makers making knives that are just as good or better ON PAPER for less money, and as such there is little impetus to buy one unless you just love the look of it.

                                                                              1. re: Kagemusha
                                                                                s
                                                                                smkit Jun 17, 2011 07:31 AM

                                                                                One thing I would say in KKF defense is that a lot of the people that post there are steel freaks too and have a strong preference for knives made with certain types of metal, and they also prefer Japanese style knives. And the number of knives that some of them have tried is staggering.

                                                                                It doesn't surprise me that they would prefer certain shapes, handles, steels. IMO people who are really into Japanese cutlery, would likely prefer Joel's knives less especially considering the cost and other options on the market.

                                                                                Btw, Cut Brooklyn knife profiles sort of remind me of Haslinger's. See these links:

                                                                                http://cutbrooklyn.com/artwork/1578512_Prospect_240.html
                                                                                http://www.haslinger-knives.com/images/newgeneration-chef-8-koa.jpg

                                                                                The other thing about Cut's blade steel is that he uses CTS-XHP, and I don't know of any other kitchen knifemaker using this steel (but I could be wrong). That steel can be hardened over 60 HRC, which is good and it is stainless so it won't rust. He also puts a convex bevel on his blades (which I personally like). It sounds promising.

                                                                                With that said, the styling and 'tippy' blade profiles don't appeal to me with his prospect line. I do, however, like his journeyman line. They have a retro Sabatier look with forced patina. They are pretty cool looking.

                                                                                http://cutbrooklyn.com/artwork/171158...

                                                                                I just wish Joel would send a couple of his knives out for a passaround on one of the knife forums. I'd be interested in some feedback on the CTS-HXP steel. Devin Thomas brought AEB-L into mainstream high demand, maybe Joel could do the same with CTS.

                                                                                1. re: smkit
                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 07:38 AM

                                                                                  "a lot of the people that post there are steel freaks "

                                                                                  That is what I am getting at too. These people have played with many different kind of steels and have a good handle of the strength and weakness of different steels.

                                                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                petek Jun 17, 2011 06:28 AM

                                                                                Chem:

                                                                                Not everyone on KKF is bashing CutBrooklyn,most noticeably Dave Martell,founder and CEO of KKF.While they have some valid points,no in-house heat treatment,his choice of steel(1095),weird looking handles(to me) and a $600. price tag,until you get a chance to actually use and handle one, it's not really fair to pass such harsh judgment..

                                                                                Kinda reminds me of the "Moritaka Incident" on KKF where someone who actually handled and noticed a flaw with the knives(Dave M),reported it and all of a sudden people who don't own or even used a Moritaka started bashing the knives,calling them the Yugo of the knife world.You can imagine how pissed off I was.Everyone has a right to an opinion,but try to make it an informed one if you can or don't bother. OK now I feel better :D

                                                                                It also seems to me(and I could be way off here) that some people on the knife forums are pissed that this new kid from Brooklyn is getting so much media hype,while some of their most beloved makers are still relatively obscure outside the knife forum world.You can't begrudge him because of this new found success,like I said earlier,maybe it will be good for all blade smiths

                                                                                1. re: petek
                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 07:06 AM

                                                                                  Petek,

                                                                                  I know. I remember Dave spoke kindly of Joel even before the KKF forum -- when they were still at the KF. I thought most of the KKF guys were very harsh but they did stick with what they know for sure, like price point and steel choice... let's face it... the price is very high for a mid tech knife. I really don't need to use every 420J steel knives to know what they are. Once you use a few 420 or 420J, you know what you will get. Now, 420HC is a bit of a tricky beast, so I will not lump them together.

                                                                                  Yes, the "Moritaka incident" has prevented me from buying the knives. I don't know what is a "Yugo" of the knife, but I am scared to spend over hundred of dollars to get a badly ground knife. I can fix a few things here and there, but a badly ground knife can be a tough job and there are only so much can be done. Let just say, it is much easier to fix a broken knife tip than fixing a badly ground knife (in my opinion).

                                                                                  I got the Tanaka knife instead. While it was not perfectly ground, it was inexpensive. It was like $30-40, I think, and I was able to fix the overgrinding.

                                                                                  It could be that some knife forum guys just don't think Joel deserves that level of attention. I cannot say. I thought it was funny that somone talked about and compare to the Ken Onion Shun knives: good business model but subpar products. I guess I am just a bit surprised by the overall reactions. It wasn't even about Joel knives alone. If you read between the lines, it was also about Joel's admirers and customers, and that is a bit rare. Think about it. Even in your case of the Moritaka knives, no one in that thread talks about the Moritaka customers. Give that thought a minute.

                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                    petek Jun 17, 2011 01:09 PM

                                                                                    Yugo= cheap, mass produced car, prone to a myriad of problems, manufactured in one of the former Soviet bloc countries during the 70's and 80''s

                                                                                    I realise Moritakas are low-tech knives,but I love em just the same :)

                                                                                    1. re: petek
                                                                                      buttertart Jun 17, 2011 01:40 PM

                                                                                      Just as the Yugo had a damn good heater (for obvious reasons), so do cheap knives have their sluttish appeal and uses.

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                        petek Jun 17, 2011 01:57 PM

                                                                                        Ha! I'm all for sluttish appeal ;)

                                                                                        1. re: petek
                                                                                          buttertart Jun 17, 2011 02:11 PM

                                                                                          Well, I am butter...tart after all.

                                                                                      2. re: petek
                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 02:52 PM

                                                                                        Moritakas are low-tech knives? I thought they have a few handcraft steps.

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                          cowboyardee Jun 17, 2011 02:55 PM

                                                                                          I thought so too. Certainly have that look. Could be wrong. Or maybe we're using low-tech in a way that Petek didn't mean it.

                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                            petek Jun 17, 2011 03:10 PM

                                                                                            Oh ya,Moritakas are low-tech knives compared to a lot of the other maker out there.The rustic kiroutchi finish,the way the blade is welded to the handle(tang).
                                                                                            But that's what attracted me to these knives in the first place.Low-tech doesn't always = bad IMHO

                                                                                            1. re: petek
                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 04:19 PM

                                                                                              I guess I was thinking about "Custom, Mid-tech, Production" knives. Needless to say, custom knives are most artistic and most expensive, and production knives are high volume and less expensive. For midtech knives, Devin Thomas knives are getting good reviews for their great quality and low price:

                                                                                              http://www.devinthomas.com/midtech.cfm

                                                                                              http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dethmid...

                                                                                              By the way, this is the knife which those KKF guys were compared to Joel's Cut Brooklyn knives.

                                                                                              I guess I wasn't sure if you mean low-tech as custom due to least automated machinery or low-tech as in production due to least attention.

                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                petek Jun 17, 2011 04:43 PM

                                                                                                "I guess I wasn't sure if you mean low-tech as custom due to least automated machinery or low-tech as in production due to least attention."

                                                                                                A bit of both I guess.I'm not saying they look sloppy,but compared to some of the other knives I've seen they're not as "polished" or refined which is not a bad thing.

                                                                                                1. re: petek
                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 09:50 PM

                                                                                                  I am seriously reconsidering Moritaka. They are made from excellent steel, reasonable price point, very traditional Kurouchi finish (which I really like) with several traditional steps. Every knives are slightly different from another one due to the hand making process, making them all unique.

                                                                                                  Well, I will still have to think about it. Aside from the potential overgrinding issue, the Moritaka knives have slightly narrower blades than I like. I like knives with some width to them (the distance from spine to edge).

                                                                                                  Man, but these Moritaka knives do look very nice, don't they?

                                                                                                  http://www.moritakahamono.com/en/hocyo1-3.html

                                                                                                  http://www.moritakahamono.com/en/hocyo1-3naki.html#kn-165

                                                                                                  That being said and all, a Watanbe knife looks just as good if not better. Just look at how beautiful it is. Excellent steel with great reputation:

                                                                                                  http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/...

                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                    petek Jun 18, 2011 06:46 AM

                                                                                                    I'd still recommend Moritaka to any friend or co-worker,even with the potential ovegrind issue.If my knives have that flaw,they still perform like rockstars,so it doesn't bother me in the least.

                                                                                                    The Watanabe are good looking knives indeed,but I have enough Kirouchi,time for me to expand my horizons. :)

                                                                                                    1. re: petek
                                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 09:15 AM

                                                                                                      "The Watanabe are good looking knives indeed,but I have enough Kirouchi,time for me to expand my horizons. :)"

                                                                                                      I am not really suggesting you to get one.... I was really talking to myself. :P

                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                        Dave5440 Jun 18, 2011 08:05 PM

                                                                                                        I think I'm drawn to Watanabe because it's a custom,,,that I can afford

                                                                                                        1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 08:27 PM

                                                                                                          So have you gotten or placed your order yet? I would like to ask you about the a question. I am looking at this nakiri:

                                                                                                          http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/...

                                                                                                          It is beautiful and at a reasonable price (for me), but I also know Watanabe nakiri is slightly on the thicker side (so called mighty). If I am to ask Mr. Watanabe to make this nakiri just a touch thinner -- just a touch. Do you know if he will able to do so without charging significantly more? I guess I should actually ask him, but just in case you know.

                                                                                                          As far as I know Watanabe knives are full custom knife (all in house, no outsourcing), right?

                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                            Dave5440 Jun 18, 2011 08:40 PM

                                                                                                            From what I have researched, yes he is full in house everything. He will do whatever you ask him to as long as it doesn't affect the performance of "his" knife. Yes I think I ordered a deba , I didn't mean to I was asking a question(probably after a few vodka/grapefruints) about what the finish would be / handle, thickness of the blade, when he replied I noticed it said "re your order" so I used the wrong form to ask, but now that I have one knife left I'm jonesing for a companion for it.

                                                                                                            This is it , but with a different handle(I think that's what he said) and 15mm shorter, 5.5mm thick

                                                                                                            http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/...

                                                                                                            1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 08:48 PM

                                                                                                              Yes, Watanabe is very particular about what he believes to be a good knife -- so the rumor says so. If you ask him to make the knife too thin in his opinion, he will just say no.

                                                                                                              So you accidentally ordered a deba? I guess you could have canceled if you really wanted to, but you probably wanted it deep in your heart. I hope at least he is making the deba up for your specifications, and that the specifications were not affected by your grapefruit vodka. :)

                                                                                                              What's up with Petek and you wanting Deba? I thought most people like yanagiba because it looks more sexy and people like to make sushi (at least like the idea of making sushi).

                                                                                                              "but now that I have one knife left"

                                                                                                              What is the only knife you have now?

                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                d
                                                                                                                Dave5440 Jun 18, 2011 09:03 PM

                                                                                                                Yes I want it , real bad D'oh wrong chat box , no really I've wanted one(Watonabe and deba) for a long time so no I'm not canceling . I thought I would like a yanagi and I would but the chances of me making "sushi" are pretty slim it would just end up getting used to carve the turkey once a year, as getting sashimi grade anything here is pretty slim(that's all I eat when I can get it), I break down a lot of chicken and fish and the deba excels at these tasks. You should try skinning fish fillets with a single bevel, magic,

                                                                                                                1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 09:23 PM

                                                                                                                  Oh ok. I thought you were buzzed and ordered something you don't really want. Good to know you actually want the knife.

                                                                                                                  No, I have not skinned a fish with a single bevel knife. Strangely, I actually have problems skinning my fish with a very sharp knife. With an ok-sharp knife I can cut slightly toward the skin (15-30 degree) and the knife won't able to cut the skin and will just cut the meat instead. So the knife slides along the skin. With a very sharp knife, however, the knife will just cut right through the skin.

                                                                                                                  Watch from 0:52 min that is how I skin my fish. My very sharp knife will just cut through the skin. I suspect yours will too.

                                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWHvCf...

                                                                                                                  I assume I will need to adjust my fillet technique with a very sharp knife probably lower then cutting angle, but so far I don't skin fish that much and still rely on my bong/fillet knife. Any suggestions?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                                                                    Dave5440 Jun 18, 2011 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                    With single bevel all you do is lay the knife flat and slid it accross, no thought no effort as fast as you can slide it, it just goes cleanly. I forgot to say all I have left is the miyabi, furi-gone, global-gone,cutco fillet-gone,ceramic paring-gone,cutco butcher-gone. But the airline did say today someone will contact me in the next 30 days

                                                                                                                    1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 09:41 PM

                                                                                                                      "With single bevel all you do is lay the knife flat and slid it accross, no thought no effort as fast as you can slide it, it just goes cleanly. "

                                                                                                                      That makes much more sense now. Thanks.

                                                                                                                      Oh yes, is that what you meant by all your knives are gone. I knew you lost some knives, but I didn't know you lost that many.

                                                                                                                      Contact you in 30 days? 30 days!? This must makes you very disappointed.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                                        Dave5440 Jun 18, 2011 10:08 PM

                                                                                                                        Yes I am a bit pissed off, but not as much as I should be, they where junk but they were MY junk

                                                                                                                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                      cowboyardee Jun 18, 2011 09:41 PM

                                                                                                                      I generally manage it with a sharp but thin and slightly flexible knife (my yusuke works fine), using essentially that method with a minor adjustment. Cut straight down to the skin (lifting up the tail and sort of scraping the knife forward just a bit as you get close to the skin helps you get there without cutting through it). Keep the tail lifted and scrape along the skin like you're shaving your face until you have enough space to lay your knife flat. Then don't angle the knife down, just lay it flat and press the side of the blade down and cut along the skin.

                                                                                                                      One of the upsides of buying a lefty ground knife is that it seems to make this easier, less steering upward.

                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 09:44 PM

                                                                                                                        "...until you have enough space to lay your knife flat. Then don't angle the knife down, just lay it flat and ..."

                                                                                                                        Ok, this is helpful because I have been doing wrong for a long time. I have so far maintain at least 10-20 degree toward skin all along and that works perfectly fine for a semi-sharp knife, but it does not work with a real sharp knife as you can imagine. Thank Cowboy and Dave.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                                        Dave5440 Jun 19, 2011 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                        Re U-tube fish video
                                                                                                                        If you watch the video , once he is down to the skin he does lay the knife flat, but he does leave a lot of meat on the skin(my dogs would love having scraps like that) but I do like his portion size on that tenderloin

                                                                                                                        1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 19, 2011 08:42 PM

                                                                                                                          Yeah, it looks that way. I think I developed a bad habit from a semi-sharp knife. I angled the knife throughout the whole cut. The benefit is that I can really get most of the meat.

                                                                                                                          To be honest, I don't really skin fish all the time for three reasons. First, the fish skin tends to hold the fish meat together during cooking, so I often leave it on for fishes like salmon fillet. Second, fish skin supposed to be very healthy, right? Third, I don't really hate the crispy fish skin and often enjoy it.

                                                                                                                          I think only remove the fish when I want to make fish nuggets or something along that line.

                                                                                                                          Yes, his tenderlion is very "tall" or "thick". :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                            cowboyardee Jun 19, 2011 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                            I've heard that before - that some people like to skin fish with a (relatively) dull knife. Probably got used to doing it the way you do, more or less. I just can't be bothered to keep a dull knife around just for that purpose.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                              Dave5440 Jun 19, 2011 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                              Yes the skin is very good , good for you? not sure wouldn't matter to me either way but my dogs I can't risk giving them fish because of the bones, so they get fried skins, But sometimes I come home with 20~30 perch so there's a lot of skin to go around

                                                                                                                        2. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 20, 2011 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                          Dave,

                                                                                                                          Hey, I just got a quote from Shiniki for the custom Nakiri. I asked him to put a slightly thinner blade from the original "4.5 mm tapered to 1.5 mm" to "3.5 mm taper to 1.0 mm". He is all ok with it and requires an additional $50 for the customization which is very reasonable to me. I asked him if the handle is symmetry or D shape and wrote that I prefer symmetry. Shiniki replied it is D shape, but he can put an octagonal handle for additional $70. This, I have to think about, as you know I don't focus too much on handle, but it would be nice to get an octagonal handle. Oh well, much to decide.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                            petek Jun 20, 2011 08:54 PM

                                                                                                                            Chem: I find a D-shaped handle to be very comfortable.Unless you're a "lefty,I don't think the extra $70. surcharge would be worth it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: petek
                                                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jun 20, 2011 08:58 PM

                                                                                                                              Petek,

                                                                                                                              I know. In fact, I like the look of the standard burned chestnut wood handle too:

                                                                                                                              http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/...

                                                                                                                              I am leaning toward not getting an octagonal handle. I don't dislike D-shape handle really, as I like my Shun knife handle. I just like the idea of "symmetry". $50 for customizing the blade thickness is pretty cool, I think. :)

                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                petek Jun 20, 2011 09:03 PM

                                                                                                                                I think you're getting yourself a real nice custom nakiri there doctore :).Keep us updated.

                                                                                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                              Dave5440 Jun 20, 2011 08:59 PM

                                                                                                                              That sounds good what is the base price? I'm thinking about a Honesuki now to replace my boner, hahaha I couldn't resist

                                                                                                                              1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Jun 20, 2011 09:01 PM

                                                                                                                                Dave,

                                                                                                                                Base price is $200 (a long time ago was $160). $50 for a customized thinner blade and $27 for shipping. If I get the new handle, then it will be another $70 which will be $347. I am leaning toward NOT getting the new handle.

                                                                                                                                Were you the one who started the boner joke a year ago, or was it some one else?

                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                  Dave5440 Jun 20, 2011 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                  Oh it must have been someone else, I think I would hold off on the handle switch but I'm not sure what a different one would be here$

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Jun 21, 2011 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                                    Hey Dave and Petek (and others),

                                                                                                                                    I need one more suggestion and this one is tougher than the handle one (which I was leaning not to get the new handle). As you know I have placed an order for the kurouchi nakiri from Mr. Watanabe:

                                                                                                                                    http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/...

                                                                                                                                    Many people love that beautiful smooth kurouchi finish of the Watanabe blade, me included. Here is the challenge. In order to customize and thin out the blade, they will have to remove the kurouchi finish and give me a shiny polish blade. I am slightly leaning toward one way, but I won't tell you.

                                                                                                                                    What would you choose? The beautiful kurouchi finish? Or a thinner blade which you originally desired?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                      cowboyardee Jun 21, 2011 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                      I say get the thinner blade. That was the driving reason behind you looking for another nakiri, no? I thought you liked the tanaka one but wanted to try something thinner.

                                                                                                                                      Anyway, watanabe nakiri without the kurouchi finish would be a slightly more unique knife, which is sorta cool.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 21, 2011 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                        "That was the driving reason behind you looking for another nakiri, no? I thought you liked the tanaka one but wanted to try something thinner."

                                                                                                                                        Wow, you read my mind.... are you Charles Xavier (X-Men)?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                          petek Jun 21, 2011 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                          I agree with cowboy.The kurouchi finish is mostly visual,but going for a thinner blade will be more functional for you.
                                                                                                                                          Sometime sacrifices must be made and it's still gonna be an awesome looking knife :D

                                                                                                                                          1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Jun 21, 2011 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                            You two read my mind. I was thinking exactly the same way. While I really like the Kuruochi finish, it is mostly visual. More importantly, I already have a slightly thick Kurouchi Nakiri by Tanaka group, so getting another medium-thick Nakiri for the sake of the Kurouchi won't be a good idea.

                                                                                                                                            So while I didn't make up my mind when I wrote the above entry, I was leaning toward keeping the thin customization and forsaking the kurouchi finish.

                                                                                                                                            It is pretty cool that we all converge to the same conclusion.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                              petek Jun 21, 2011 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                                              So how long will it take for you to get your new knife? Can't wait to see it!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Jun 21, 2011 02:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                :) Don't know yet. I am waiting for Shinichi Watanbe's reply.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                  Dave5440 Jun 21, 2011 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I would also go with the thin blade, just because I'm not fond of the kurouch finish. He is/did ship mine today and said it should be a week

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Jun 21, 2011 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Please do a short review about your experience with the deba.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                        Jay F Jun 21, 2011 05:07 PM

                                                                                                                                        I've never had a knife in this shape. What would I be able to do if I had one?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                          petek Jun 21, 2011 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                                          A Deba is a traditional style of Japanese knife,used mostly for breaking down fish and poultry.It's usually a single beveled blade but there are some double beveled Deba's.It has a thick spine which makes it a very hearty/robust knife,almost cleaver like.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                            Jay F Jun 21, 2011 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                                            I've never broken down fish before, but I'd like to learn/teach myself. I have all Wusthof knives now (chef's 8 & 10 inch, boning, slicer, utility, paring), plus what looks like a long boning knife from an unknown mfr. Is any of these up to the task?

                                                                                                                                            I'd like to be able to clean a whole salmon, bluefish, or red snapper (those're what I eat most).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                              Dave5440 Jun 21, 2011 06:06 PM

                                                                                                                                              Nice choice of fish , where do you live to get snapper

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                Jay F Jun 21, 2011 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                Pittsburgh, PA. There's a good fish market here, Penn Avenue Fish Company.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                petek Jun 21, 2011 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                Good technique and a sharp knife will do the trick so any of your knives should be fine.A single beveled deba is a specialized knife with a learning curve for both using and sharpening.
                                                                                                                                                Watch a bunch of youtube videos and practice,practice,practice.. :D

                                                                                                                                                1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                  Jay F Jun 21, 2011 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, Pete.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jun 21, 2011 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                                              Hi Jay,

                                                                                                                                              Like Pete said, deba bocho (knife) is a traditional Japanese knife for breaking down fish, but it can be used for poultry and other meats. I was looking for some youtube videos on Deba and I found many, but I thought this one is particular insightful because she spoke of the truth on 0:29 min -- I know. Anyway, enjoy the video:

                                                                                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Oakn...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                Jay F Jun 21, 2011 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                And thanks, CK. That's an excellent video.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                  Dave5440 Jun 21, 2011 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Here's another good one,this guys knife is really sharp
                                                                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl826I...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                    petek Jun 21, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Wow! That's some crazy knife skills.Break down a whole yellow fin in under 3 mins
                                                                                                                                                    Nice.I noticed he holds the deba with his index finger on the spine of the knife.I think it offers more control with single bevels,so I've heard.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                                                                      Dave5440 Jun 21, 2011 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I noticed that with a lot of people using J-blades almost all have their finger on the spine, have you seen the u-tube of the cut skills comp, where the fish is still whole and he tips it so the fillets fall off

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 21, 2011 09:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                        So I heard too. Surgeons often hold their knives with the index along the knife spine as well:

                                                                                                                                                        http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-image...

                                                                                                                                                        I like the fact that he somehow dismantle the fish head and the guts at the same time at 0:32 - 0:35 min

                                                                                                                                                        It also looks like he was using a deba-bocho in the beginning and switch to a different knife at 1:06 min. I cannot tell what it is. It kind of look like a gyuto, but when he put it down at 2:45 min, the knife look narrower than a gyuto.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                          d
                                                                                                                                                          Dave5440 Jun 22, 2011 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I thought it looked like a very large yanagiba

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Jun 22, 2011 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Nah, it looks like a double bevel knife and it looks thin (thinner than single bevel knives). Freeze it at 2:45 - 2:46 min at the video.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                                              Dave5440 Jun 22, 2011 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                              We might be looking at different videos, I haven't seen it in a while

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Jun 22, 2011 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Hey, I just saw this video (one of the suggested videos based on the previous one). Now, this is some knife.... what the heck is that? A kitchen knife or a short sword?

                                                                                                                                                                http://youtu.be/r-H7Ql_FhU4

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                  petek Jun 22, 2011 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I think they call it a Tuna sword.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                petek Jun 22, 2011 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                "Nah, it looks like a double bevel knife and it looks thin"
                                                                                                                                                                I think you're right Chem.I looks like a really sharp gyuto.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                                  cowboyardee Jun 22, 2011 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  '"Nah, it looks like a double bevel knife and it looks thin"
                                                                                                                                                                  I think you're right Chem.I looks like a really sharp gyuto.'
                                                                                                                                                                  _____
                                                                                                                                                                  The best look you'll get at it is at 1:35. And from that shot, it actually doesn't quite look like any Japanese knife I've seen, It looks like a Western full-length bolster knife, though nothing I recognize.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                    petek Jun 22, 2011 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Western style handle for sure.Whatever it is, it sure is sharp.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                                                                                      Dave5440 Jun 22, 2011 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      It looks like one of these to me,
                                                                                                                                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hancho_h...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 22, 2011 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Dave,

                                                                                                                                                                        As for the tuna knife, I thought this entry in wikipedia is very funny. Here
                                                                                                                                                                        "To those unfamiliar with Japanese knives they may be confused with Japanese swords. However, they are not a weapon but a tool, although they have been used as weapons by Yakuza."

                                                                                                                                                                        Hope you see the humor in it.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                          d
                                                                                                                                                                          Dave5440 Jun 22, 2011 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I did laugh at that straight away,

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 22, 2011 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, it does have a bolster like thing there. There is definitely a heel, but it seems shorter than most Chef's knife or even gyuto. Nevertheless there is a heel in that youtube. I am going to put the link up again, so we know which video we are talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl826I...

                                                                                                                                                                      It may still be a Japanese knife because the poster for that youtube video responded this: "This knife is "菊一" [kikuichi] nara japan."

                                                                                                                                                                      I think he was referring the second knife, but maybe he was referring the first knife. No idea.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                                                                                        Dave5440 Jun 22, 2011 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I actually didn't notice he switched knives halfway through, I was watching his technique. Does look like a western style though being in mexico might be more accesable. Check this out
                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPkimS...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 22, 2011 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Holy cow.... That tuna is big and the announcer claimed it can get much bigger. I just want to say that I will never ever encounter a situation where I need to breakup a 300-600 pounds tuna. No way. That giant knife in the beginning is pretty cool. It is very neat that they cut up the fish and sold the pieces right there. There seems to be a lot of strong feeling against killing bluefin tuna -- based on the comments.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                                                            Dave5440 Jun 22, 2011 07:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            There's some debate over wether or not they are, most likely they are on their way out, like hundreds of other spiecies

                                                                                                                                                                            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/07/060724-bluefin-tuna.html

                                                                                                                                                                            And the US version

                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43194638/...

                                                                                                                                                                            And at up to a million + a fish, you know who is going to lose

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jun 22, 2011 08:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              :) The two links look exactly the same.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                d
                                                                                                                                                                                Dave5440 Jun 22, 2011 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                And I did it again, now corrected

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                        petek Jun 21, 2011 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Good vid Chem! That Misa's a real hottie :-

                                                                                                                                                        never sharpen your knife in front of your date" Ha!! Truism eh Chem.... :P

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 21, 2011 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                          "That Misa's a real hottie :-"

                                                                                                                                                          I don't know. She was giggling as she was sharpening the deba. Some people may not think that is hot. Not you or me, of course. :P

                                                                                                                                                          "never sharpen your knife in front of your date" Ha!! Truism eh Chem.... :P"

                                                                                                                                                          In fact, don't even 'talk' about sharpening knives in front of your first date. :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                                            Dave5440 Jun 21, 2011 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                            She does have nice moves, and slow enough to see what she's doing, Good call on the sharpening she must know chem

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                            Jay F Jun 23, 2011 06:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Oakn...

                                                                                                                                                            In the very opening of the video, Misa's sharpening her knife, but only on one side. Should I take that to mean it's a single-bevel knife? Also, can anybody ID the exact knife? It looks as if it's carbon steel.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jun 23, 2011 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, it is a deba-bocho. A deba is a single bevel knife. Usuab, Deba and Yanagiba are all single bevel knives. That being said, it is very common to at least take one swipe on the flat side at the end of the sharpening process. I am surprised that she didn't do that.

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, it is definitely a carbon steel knife. I can read the Japanese characters on the knife, but it does not remind me of any well-known brand. Japanese cutlrey culture is a bit different than its European counterpart. While there are big manufacturers in Japanese knives, there are many small ones as well, so it is not uncommon to see many knives of different brands.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                Jay F Jun 23, 2011 07:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I think I'd like to buy a carbon deba knife and a stone. I've seen lots of prices. Someone put up a link to a place where the deba knives cost more than I can actually afford to spend at this time, but the first two of these look nice, at $112-115: http://www.knifemerchant.com/products.... What do you all think of these carbon deba knives from Masahiro?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 23, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  JayF,

                                                                                                                                                                  I certainly have heard of Masahiro brand. It is not a no-name brand. Here, Chefknivestogo offers the Western knives of Masahiro. That being said, I am not sure what kind of carbon steel is being used for this line of Masahiro knives. You may want to drop an email and ask for the carbon steel grade. Traditionally, shirogami (white paper steel) and aogami (blue paper steel) are considered the better steels. As long as these knives are made of the two steels mentioned above (mostly likely shirogami), then I don't see any problem of getting them for the listed prices.

                                                                                                                                                                  Chefknivestogo offers some deba knives in the same price range, like the Tanaka Kurouchi Deba (aogami), Tojiro Shirogami Deba .. etc.

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.chefknivestogo.com/deba-knives.html

                                                                                                                                                                  Japanese woodworkers also offers some inexpensive deba:

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=13166&s=JapanWoodworker

                                                                                                                                                                  Finally, there is the respected Masamoto brand and it offers a relatively economic line:

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KKS...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                    Jay F Jun 23, 2011 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks, CK. I'll check these out.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                      petek Jun 20, 2011 09:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Dave: I think you'll be happy with a honesuki great knife for butchering.

                                                                                                                                                      Sometimes the old boner just doesn't cut it anymore :-D

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 20, 2011 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                        :D

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                          d
                                                                                                                                                          Dave5440 Jun 20, 2011 09:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Hence the Love Shop, you've got at least one Honesuki don't you

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                            petek Jun 20, 2011 09:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Yup.I've got a 150mm Moritaka.Great little knife,goes through chickens and tenderloins like butter

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                                              Dave5440 Jun 20, 2011 09:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like I need to start another quest

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                                petek Jun 20, 2011 09:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Don't get me wrong,I'm not shilling for Moritaka but I do highly recommend a honesuki style knife.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: petek
                                                                                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Jun 20, 2011 09:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Room temperature butter or frozen butter? I tell you that they have very different feel. :P

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                  Dave5440 Jun 18, 2011 08:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I meant to ask you what is the steel your carbo is made from? Is there a buzz word they use for it? I/you might be able to locate it on Zknives steel chart

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Jun 18, 2011 08:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Dave,

                                                                                                                                                    Actually, I am not sure what the steel is made out of. I believe JCK means to make it more of a mystery. This is the webpage for CarboNext:

                                                                                                                                                    http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KAG...

                                                                                                                                                    I don't see any ingredients being mentioned, like vanadium or something.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                                                                      Dave5440 Jun 19, 2011 08:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I sent Gater an e-mail asking if he had any idea what it is

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                                                                        Dave5440 Jun 19, 2011 09:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I cut this from another forum
                                                                                                                                                        Hi Koki. Someone on XXXXXX Forums posted your new line KAGAYAKI CarboNext (ES) Series

                                                                                                                                                        You may recall from my recent email that I have the Kagayaki VG10 Wa gyuto and has become my favorite knife and the one I reach for most of the time. I have a friend who likes it too, but he is a carbon guy at heart and is very excited about this new line but.....his first question was...do you think they will ever have a Wa handle in this CarboNext line? Also, someone on XXXXX Cutlery forum asked the same question. So...do you think there might be a Wa handle in the future?

                                                                                                                                                        I also like this new line. I have a Yoshikane SKD tool steel, which I like VERY much. It is not really "stainless" but the edge takes a beautiful "oil in water" type of patina. Could this tool steel in the new CarboNext line be similar to SKD. As always thanks for your attention.

                                                                                                                                                        Quote from Koki:

                                                                                                                                                        Dear XXXX

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you very much for your interest and confirmation.

                                                                                                                                                        Yes. We recently added new products "KAGAYAKI CarboNext Series". Total 10 kinds of blades are being available in CarboNext Series.

                                                                                                                                                        So far, we don't have plan to add Wa Gyuto items in this Series. But in future, if there is possibility to make Wa Gyuto items in this line, we would love to add Wa Gyuto items.

                                                                                                                                                        We expect SKD Tool Steel means Carbon Steel SK-4 or SK-2 which are major Carbon Steel materials in Japanese knife market.

                                                                                                                                                        CarboNext Series knives have very good rust resistance if we compare to SK Carbon steel materials, CarboNext Series knives also get Patina as other Carbon steel knives.

                                                                                                                                                        We hope above information will help your confiramtion and shopping.

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you very much again for your new inquiry and interest.

                                                                                                                                                        Best Regards

                                                                                                                                                        Koki Iwahara
                                                                                                                                                        JapaneseChefsKnife.Com

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dave5440
                                                                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 19, 2011 10:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Dave,

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks a lot. This is useful. Well, at least we know Koki is denying that CarboNext steel is the SK-2 and SK-4 tool steels.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                                            pabboy Jun 17, 2011 03:46 PM

                                                                                                                            I have been to CB. I have tried out his knives. Journeyman (German style) and Prospect (more Japanese style) come in either carbon steel or stainless steel. No customization other than color and material of the handles. I like to purchase items from a living person who actually produced the item even if it does cost more i.e. local farmers market or watch maker. That said, I don't love CB knifes enough to pay the $600. Maybe if it was $400 or $500. On the other hand the novelty factor of saying I bought a knife, produced locally in Brooklyn, from a cool guy who gave me a tour of his shop is pretty awesome.

                                                                                                                            1. re: pabboy
                                                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                              What about Devin Thomas midtech knives? Still more custom than Cut Brooklyn. Devin tempers his steel and has more hands-on steps. More importantly... cheaper:

                                                                                                                              http://www.devinthomas.com/midtech.cfm

                                                                                                                              Yeah, I think that is why the KKF guys were complaining about Cut Brooklyn.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                                                                                                                pabboy Jun 17, 2011 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                I read the CF thread on KKF. It seems like only Marko Tsourkan is hard on Joel. Yes people have issue with CF using 1095 steel but Marko's issue is Joel does not tempter his own steel there by making him not a true craftsman. My take is Marko is jealous of or threatened by Joel's popularity. Marko's operation is based in Westchester which is very close to Brooklyn.

                                                                                                                                Anyways I'm a novice when it comes to kitchen knives so I'm learning as I read this and other threads. Devin Thomas's knives look interesting. CF's advantage is he's only a few miles from me. Korin, where I've spent hours drooling, is also a only a few miles away.

                                                                                                                                1. re: pabboy
                                                                                                                                  petek Jun 17, 2011 09:15 PM

                                                                                                                                  Korin is a wicked store. I'm sure you could pick up something real nice there for$600.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: pabboy
                                                                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                                    Pabboy,

                                                                                                                                    Agree to some extends because I thought several others people were also hard. Rockbox and Lefty certainly so. Rockbox more or less went after people who buy Cut Brooklyn by implying that those people shelled out money without understanding of good steel from bad. Lefty also said something.

                                                                                                                                    I don't think Marko is the only person who questioned about the steel tempering/treatment. It is an important point because you are buying a very generic steel. Like you said, the real customization is the color and the materials of the handles.

                                                                                                                                    The question is... to be honest: Is a midtech knife made with 1095 steel with generic heat treatment worth $600+. It is a personal choice. I can go after the reasons why Cut Brooklyn is far from my choice, but there were enough said on the KKF already.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                      p
                                                                                                                                      pabboy Jun 17, 2011 09:52 PM

                                                                                                                                      It seems to me that a good percentage of CB customers are Brooklynites who want to support a local business. It's located in an industrial part of Brooklyn. You will not see many rich Manhattan folks venture to that area. CB knives used to be sold at The Brooklyn Kitchen. Another place you won't find Manhattanites venturing to. There are chefs that use CB knives and rave about them. When I was there, a local chef was begging Joel to make a set of custom knives. End of the day, if I want to shake the hand of the person who makes my knife without venturing 500+ miles, by default Joel would be the guy. That's the reason he's so popular in NYC and Brooklyn in particular.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: pabboy
                                                                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2011 09:56 PM

                                                                                                                                        True. If you live in Brooklyn and want to support a local knife maker and want to able to shake his hand at the end of the day, then Joel is certain a good person for you. I cannot debate against that. Have fun with your future knives.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: pabboy
                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                      smkit Jun 17, 2011 10:00 PM

                                                                                                                                      I don't think Marko is jealous or feeling threatened. He is very skilled, somewhat of a perfectionist, and believes in mastering all aspects needed to make a product. He does very high quality work and is highly regarded in the knife community. Joel and he just have different ways of doing things and compete in different markets. I wouldn't read too much into things.

                                                                                                                                      Rockbox and Marko are just now starting to make their own knives and heat treating them, so they find this aspect important to control the final product. Others choose to outsource heat treating -- to each his own business/knifemaking model I guess.

                                                                                                                                      I think Chem (and others) have said it best, and at the end of the day, one has to decide if a Cut Brooklyn knife is worth $600+ considering the steel, style of blade and handle etc.

                                                                                                                              2. The Chowhound Team Jun 18, 2011 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                                Folks, we'd prefer not to lock this thread, but we need people to ease off on insulting each other's posts and preferences. If you have an opinion on these knives, please feel free to share it. If you have an opinion on someone else's opinion, please don't.

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