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CarboNext 180mm Santoku - a delayed review

Summary:
A wonderful knife for the price, but not to my preference for ergonomics.

Background:
Earlier this summer we had a small group pass-around of Chemicalkinetic’s then-new santoku. It’s from a relatively new line of knives dubbed “CarboNext” & marketed by JapaneseChefKnives.com as one of their “JCK Original” lines.
http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/KAG...

Chem’s original quick-review is located here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785892

cowboyardee was a participant in the pass-around & has reviewed the knife. His review is located here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810866

I was also a participant in the group. Besides using the knife myself, I let one of the chefs at a local Rocky Mountain Inn use it for a day, just to get a different perspective from my own. I enjoyed reading Chem’s comments regarding his new knife, but I haven’t yet read CBAD’s review, as I didn’t want to think about whether I agreed or disagreed with his opinions. :-) Ok, on with the show….

I compared the 180mm CarboNext santoku to my 180mm Forschner Rosewood santoku (plain edge, NOT granton edge) & 210mm Kantesune KC-102 gyuto. The chef at the Inn compared it to her Wusthof Culinar santoku, which I sharpened for her prior to the comparison.
Forschner Rosewood santoku:
http://www.cutleryandmore.com/victori...
Kanetsune KC-102 gyuto:
http://japan-blades.com/chef-knives/w...
Wusthof Culinar santoku:
http://www.cutleryandmore.com/wusthof...

Specs:
I measured a few areas of the CarboNext santoku, then measured the corresponding areas of my Forschner & Kanetsune. These measurements are not performance-bearing characteristics; they are simply an attempt at convenient comparison spots.

CarboNext santoku -
Weight: 160g
Blade length: 180mm
Handle length: 120mm
Blade height at heel: 46.0mm
Blade thickness:
2.1mm (spine, above heel
)2.0mm (spine, 70mm away from heel)
1.1mm (spine, 26mm from tip)
Handle height:
18.7mm (bolster, at heel)
22.1mm (front rivet)
23.9mm (max center)
23.6mm (min rear)
Handle width:
16.2mm (scales, behind bolster)
17.0mm (front rivet)
17.0mm (continuous to end)

Forschner santoku -
Weight: 100g
Blade length: 180mm
Handle length: 121mm
Blade height at heel: 45.4mm
Blade thickness:
1.7mm (spine, above heel)
1.6mm (spine, 80mm away from heel)
1.1mm (spine, 26mm from tip)
Handle height:
28.0mm (scales, at heel)
21.0mm (ahead of front rivet)
25.7mm (max center)
21.1mm (min rear)
Handle width:
14.0mm (scales, front)
14.1mm (scales, rear)

Kanetsune gyuto -
Weight: 150g
Blade length: 210mm
Handle length: 120mm
Blade height at heel: 45.6mm
Blade thickness:
2.1mm (spine, above heel)
2.0mm (spine, 68mm away from heel)
1.2mm (spine, 26mm from tip)
Handle height:
18.1mm (bolster, at heel)
22.1mm (front rivet)
23.4mm (max center)
23.4mm (min rear)
Handle width:
15.6mm (scales, behind bolster)
16.0mm (front rivet)
15.0mm (taper to end)

Appearance:
The knife is just as pretty as you’d expect a new knife to be. (Well, assuming you’re a knife knerd…) Overall fit & finish is very good. The handle, rivets & tang all feel smooth. The blade has a very nice looking “industrial” finish to it; sort of a “heavy satin” final finish grind rather than being completely polished out. The outlines of the knife’s profile look balanced & properly proportioned (to me) for a santoku, & there’s a nice, gentle curve to the cutting edge.

Feel:
Out of the box, the handle, the balance & the weight were the first things I noticed. As you may (or may not) know, I’m nuts about ergonomics in my knives. (Seriously – it’s a sickness.) I wasn’t fond of the square shape of the handle. This shape is common among nice Western knives, & most people don’t find it offensive. I’m not a fan. To me, it felt too “blocky” & a bit too bulky. (By comparison, the Kanetsune is a bit narrower & has a slight taper towards the rear of the handle. The “plain slab” sides of the Rosewood handle of the Forschner is also more comfortable to me, most likely due to the much narrower sides and slightly more comfortable contouring on the underside of the grip.) As has been mentioned in various threads before, humans are amazingly adaptive creatures; I’m sure I could get used to the CarboNext’s handle within a reasonably short time of using it.

The balance was also off for me. Again, many folks don’t mind if the balance-point of a knife is ½ inch one way or another. This knife balanced right about the middle of the bolster, showing that the handle was quite a bit heavier than either of my own santoku or gyuto. That should make the knife “sit” in the hand a little better, & it should also be a nicer feel for someone who uses a full grip on the handle rather than the pinch grip at the heel of the blade.

Although the overall weight of the knife wasn’t far from my favorite gyuto, the shorter profile (180mm santoku vs 210mm gyuto) & shifted balance-point made it feel heavier than it was.

Cutting:
Chem had put a wicked edge on the knife before he shipped it out, so there was no issue with sharpness. For cutting performance, I thought the CarboNext worked fine on softer items. A slight draw or push on meats & “watery” veggies (tomatoes, peppers) produced cuts just as effortlessly as with my Forschner & Kanetsune. Harder veggies (carrots, potatoes, onions) felt more difficult to cut when compared to my own knives; even drawing the blade while cutting required harder downward force to push through these items. I was getting more resistance, but I couldn’t really tell why.

The chef at the restaurant had similar comments when comparing it to her Wusthof Culinar santoku. Here is her comparison of the cutting performance of the two knives:
“The CarboNext works great on softer items & vegetables, such as peppers, garlic, meat & cheese.
My Wusthof Culinar works a little smoother on harder veg, such as carrots & cucumbers; it slices smoother & better overall.”

After thinking about it, I wish I’d taken measurements of the CarboNext’s blade thickness behind the edge at several points up the height of the blade. I think this is probably creating the difference in cutting feel between this knife & my own. (Of course, I may change my opinion after I read CBAD’s review.)

Sharpening:
This knife was wonderful to sharpen! Compared to the VG-10 of my Kanetsune (& my two Shun Classic knives), this CarboNext took an edge more quickly & with less effort. Feedback was amplified to the point where I could almost tell how the edge was progressing without any close-up inspection. It was a nice balance between the hard steel of my Kanetsune & the soft steel of my Forschner. I’d love for all of my knives to sharpen with this level of feedback & ease!

Conclusion:
This is a very nice knife; it has good workmanship & sharpens beautifully. It’s not flashy in appearance, but that helps to keep costs reasonable for an authentic Japanese knife of this quality. Add to all of this the “Honko” (“Real Tool Steel”) easy-care carbon steel blade material, & this should be a serious consideration for anyone looking to spend $100 on a santoku. (For example, if you’re already considering spending $80 on a Calphalon santoku, I think you’d be much happier spending the extra $20 to get the CarboNext santoku.) The only detractions for me were the ergonomics (weight, balance, handle shape); but as I mentioned, most people probably wouldn’t notice these points.

 
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  1. Nice review Eiron,took ya long enough..:P

    2 Replies
      1. re: Eiron

        Eiron,

        I think petek was waiting for your review before deciding if he should get a carbonext knife, so your opinion is highly sought after. :P

    1. I haven't read through it, but let me first say: Holy crap.... is this an op-ed piece?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Continue:

        Very nice review. I think you are correct. I think probably it has more of a sticking or wedging resistance than your other knives. On the other hand, I would think that affect larger items like potatoes, cucumbers, and not so much on carrots.

        Now that I look at the blade cross section. The CarboNext Santoku has more of an overall grind like number 2 and the Tojiro gyuto has more of a grind number 3.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gro...

        Exaggerated description of course, but the blade thickness of the CarboNext is increasing slowly from edge to spine. I have to take a closer look later.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          "Holy crap.... is this an op-ed piece?"

          :-D
          I have lots of thoughts that compete for attention... It usually takes me a while to get things internally organized before I can actually get them externally organized... :-P

        2. It was worth the wait, Eiron. A few thoughts:

          Impressive that we can both write so much about something so simple as a knife and still only have a little bit of overlap in our reviews. I like your ergonomics and design-heavy perspective.

          I'm wondering just out of curiosity what exact stones you use in your sharpening progression. Also, your preferred method of deburring. I had some issues with deburring, and I used soft wood (pine) for the actual deburring and stropping strokes alternating sides to weaken the burr.

          The main thing I'm left wondering about in your review was that you had issues cutting through firmer vegetables, whereas I didn't notice this as much. Now, most of my knives are sharpened to an edge below 30 degrees included, and I tried to consider that in comparing one knife's performance to another, but even then I'm quite surprised the Carbonext performed worse than the Wusthof Culinar. I can only brainstorm a few reasons why you noticed this problem and I did not:
          - Since the knives I use most are the Yusuke and the CCK cleaver (both of which really shine on firm vegetables), I'm basically spoiled and just don't even notice small differences betwee thicker knives anymore
          - I cut with a different motion than you do, specifically, more toward the heel while using a very high pinch grip, so I don't notice the resistance as much
          - You sharpen the knife fairly thoroughly with your highest grit stone, whereas I deliberately leave the edge kind of coarse, even though I go up to 8k. Because of this, my edges cut more aggressively into foods with a gentle pushing motion, whereas you are left mainly with axe-like cutting of a more slippery edge (I've never sharpened the Culinar - perhaps it's one of those steels that you either didn't polish because it wasn't worth it or else it naturally stays kind of coarse?)
          - I'm a lefty comparing the fairly ambidextrous grind of the Carbonext to the more distinct righty grind of the Hiromoto, and to a lesser extent, the Tojiro, the Global and a bunch of other knives that I have sharpened and used for brief periods. Though the Carbonext is perhaps a bit thicker, the ambidextrous grind compensated when a lefty like me used the knife.
          - The spine on your other knives were simply more rounded than the spine on the Carbonext. After rounding off a spine recently (quickly with a file during the middle of a prep session, without touching up the edge) I was struck by how much of a difference it can make in terms of perceived resistance from foods. A cool effect of one of those ergonomic concerns.

          I suppose some or all of these might have been factors. Or maybe I'll never know why I didn't notice. Hmmm...

          You're really upping the ante on the balance shots. Next I'm going to have to balance a knife on the tip of another knife. Sounds dangerous. But you pushed me into it.

          I've got another carbonext knife to review, btw - the 270 sujihiki, I intend to test it out for a few more weeks first, though,

          31 Replies
          1. re: cowboyardee

            Ok, Eiron and cowboyardee,

            Due to the depth and insight of Eiron's review, I tested the CarboNext knife again tonight -- I was cooking anyway. I quickly sharpened the Tojiro DP gyuto, CarboNext santoku and the CCK Chinese cleaver on a 5000 stone. I tested the knives on some pork and a firm vegetable. I alternated the knives after every 10 cuts or so.

            I could not really tell a big difference between using the Tojiro DP and the CarboNext. I tried both straight up and down cutting motion, as well as slide the knives forward cutting motion.

            I could clearly tell that that the CCK Chinese cleaver feels much sharper than the two. To be clear, I was dicing up the veggie. As I was making the early big cuts, the CCK has the least resistance. As the cut became smaller and smaller, the difference felt less.

            That being said, I really have to try cutting up the onions and potatoes to see. In addition, I can visibly see a difference in the overall blade grind difference between the Tojiro DP gyuto and CarboNext santoku, so this can make a real difference.

            "You sharpen the knife fairly thoroughly with your highest grit stone, whereas I deliberately leave the edge kind of coarse, even though I go up to 8k. "

            Actually, Eiron was using the CarboNext after I sharpen it, so maybe my sharpening skill has more to do with this. I remember bring the knife up from 1000 bester to 2000 super naniwa and then 5000 super naniwa, and finish with a quick 1-2 swap on an old leather belt. It was sharpen enough to cut through paper using the straight up and down motion.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              i suppose another possibility is that I have just vastly underestimated the grind of the Wusthof Culinar.

              Let me know how the carbonext does (comparatively speaking) with the onion when you get around to it.

              As for the edge - didn't occur to me that you had sharpened it last before Eiron used it. Note that even IF this was a factor, I'm not questioning your sharpening skill or the fineness of your edge, I'm just wondering if you normally polish your edge more than I do and whether that affects how aggressively the blade cut when Eiron used it. As I noted in my review, I make a fairly sizable jump from 2k to 8k in my progression. The idea behind that is to refine the 2k edge a bit (and also allow for a truly tiny microbevel) while at the same time, not fully polishing to 8k - leaving some of those aggressive 2k 'teeth' intact. In fact, I've found that over the course of a several weekly touchups on 8k, my edge slowly gets smoother and more polished until it can shave my face comfortably but no longer cuts foodstuffs as aggressively as I like. If you spend much time on your 5k stone, your edge would actually likely be more polished than mine, and better at push cutting paper. But it might not bite into a carrot quite as much when cutting with a gentle forward slicing motion.

              Actually, you're in the best position to say - I sharpened the carbonext to that semi-refined edge I like before sending it to you. I've never seen one of your knives directly off the stones, so I'm speculating. Could be completely wrong.

              1. re: cowboyardee

                It's too late for me tonight, but I hope to get around to answering some of these questions this weekend.
                (otherwise, it won't be until during the week sometime)

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  Ok, cowboyardee,

                  Today, I made a Korean dish called Doenjang jjigae and cut through some vegetables including onions and cucumbers using my Tojiro DP gyuto and JCK CarboNext santoku.

                  http://www.chow.com/photos/711204

                  I have lightly sharpened the two knives on 5000 grits stone for 1-2 minutes each. I did not notice a difference in cutting performance. There are three possibilities for the difference in observation between Eiron, restaurant chef, you and me. (1) I didn't do a good job sharpening the CarboNext before sending to Eiron, but it is unlikely because he did not have trouble with the smaller and softer items like meat. (2) CarboNext did not hold its edge as well as the others. Therefore by the time Eiron and the restaurant chef tested it, it was duller than the other knives. Again, I have trouble with this explanation because Eiron and the chef mostly had trouble for larger items. (3) Although I did a few "straight up and down" cut, most of my cut involved a slightly forward motion. (4) The grind on Tojiro DP gyuto is not quiet as good as the Kanetsune gyuto and the Wusthof Culinar santoku, and therefore they notice a difference which I did not.

                  Yes, I have received the CarboNext sharpened by you, and I noticed it is very nicely sharpened, but had a different feel. It slice-cut well, and it push cut (straight up and down) paper fine, but it did not push cut paper as smooth I expected from a 8K stone. I think it is the slightly teethy edge. Still, I am talking about something fairly subtle here.

                  I will try to test my CarboNext a few more time against other knives (probably still the Tojiro).

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    All of the possibilities you list are plausible. Like you, I also doubt possibility #2 unless you had a wire edge issue, because it seemed to me like the Carbonext holds its edge quite well at the angle you had set it, and I would expect it to outperform the other knives in terms of edge retention. I'm sort of wishing I had easy access to a Wusthof Culinar santoku to compare - I wouldn't have expected the Wusthof grind to compete, but I can't say I've played with that particular knife before. I would expect the Kanetsune to have a fairly thin grind behind its edge, and likely enough thinner than the Carbonext. If both knives are thinner behind the edge than the Carbonext, case solved.

                    "Yes, I have received the CarboNext sharpened by you, and I noticed it is very nicely sharpened, but had a different feel. It slice-cut well, and it push cut (straight up and down) paper fine, but it did not push cut paper as smooth I expected from a 8K stone. I think it is the slightly teethy edge. Still, I am talking about something fairly subtle here."
                    __________
                    I think you noticed correctly. My thought is to leave a 2k scratch pattern (and teeth) that is only partially refined by the 8k stone. I wouldn't expect it to push cut paper quite as well as an edge where coarser scratch patterns had been fully polished out by an 8k stone. I like the end effect of that kind of scratch pattern for a general purpose kitchen knife - I think it is more stable and better at 'hammer chopping' than just sharpening to 2k, much more aggressive slicer than fully polishing on an 8k stone, or even than fully polishing up to, say 5k... But this is also possibly one of those cases of me talking sharpening voodoo. You may remember maybe a year and a half ago (your memory is impressive) me talking up highly polished edges on kitchen knives - who knows what I'll prefer and what little bits of voodoo I'll incorporate into my sharpening in another year and a half.

                    However, my speculation was that your edge was just fine, but fully polished to 5k... And that polished edge PLUS the slightly more obtuse 30 degree included edge made it so that Eiron could feel the 'wedging' resistance when cutting firmer vegetables, but didn't have the benefit of a little more bite from a coarser edge - which the other knives may have had. It seems to me that the lower the angle of the edge, the more you can and possibly even should polish it without sacrificing some cutting 'aggression.' The problem with the Carbonext and a polished edge, if I'm right, is that you can't really sharpen the edge below 30 degrees included, so a polished edge will be experienced as a little more cutting resistance for some specific foods.

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      Unrelated, but my usuba has arrived. The postal office tried to deliver it, but I wasn't at home. I just have to pick it up tomorrow. It is crazy fast. The seller (bluewayjapan) sent the knife to me on Jan 6, and it is here already.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Congrats chem. I'm sorry - I don't remember reading what usuba you were buying. Which one did you go with?

                        In any case, I'd certainly like to see a review once you've had some time with it.

                        1. re: cowboyardee

                          I was deciding between the Yoshihiro white steel usuba and the Saki white steel usuba. At the end, I went with Saki. Just a gut feeling. Either knives is more than sufficient for my entry skill level.

                          http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...

                          http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...

                          By the way, I just tested my CarboNext santoku against my Tojiro DP gyuto again. There was not much of a difference when I slice cut an onion, but when I bring the knife straight down -- not chopping with momentum -- I just place the knife and press down. The CarboNext has noticeably more resistance. I didn't sharpen either knives. It may have to do with behind the edge. I don't know.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            At what angle (approximately) do you sharpen the tojiro? Any more acute than the carbonext?

                            1. re: cowboyardee

                              They should be the same at 30 degree inclusive (or 15 each side), or nearly the same.

                  2. re: cowboyardee

                    "i suppose another possibility is that I have just vastly underestimated the grind of the Wusthof Culinar." I do seem to recall that the blade was fairly thin overall, so I think that might help in its perceived cutting ability. I didn't play with it at all after I sharpened it, so I have no personal experience for how it compared to either the CN or my two knives. _______________

                    Yes, even though I have a large jump between stones (like you do), I fully polish the edge. Again, maybe this is now moot for this review, but this is how I've always sharpened my Kanetsune.

                    I do like the idea of trying out the micro-bevel. Now that I have the 3000 grit stone I can give this a try. I'll let you know if/when I do this, & what sucess i have with it.

                  3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    "I remember bring the knife up from 1000 bester to 2000 super naniwa and then 5000 super naniwa, and finish with a quick 1-2 swap on an old leather belt."

                    Now that I've got the 3000 grit Ohishi stone, I'm looking forward to my next sharpening round. My plan is to keep everything in good enough condition to start on the 3000 & then finish on the 6000, & only using the 1000 if I'm moving a repaired knife off the belt grinder or if I've let something of my own go too long between sharpenings.

                    1. re: Eiron

                      "f I'm moving a repaired knife off the belt grinder "

                      I thought you only bought the parts for a belt grinder and that you don't really have a belt grinder yet.

                      Yeah, I notice that I almost never use the 1000 grit stone just because I sharpen on a relatively regular basis (not super regular.... about once every three weeks or once a month). Sometime I just hopped on my 5000 grit stone.

                      Come to think of it, I might not have use the 1000 grit stone right before I sent you the CarboNext knife. I might have only used the 2000 and 5000 stones.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Last spring (2011) I bought a nice 1"x42" small belt grinder for sharpening & repair. If you remember those repaired knife pictures I posted at the end of summer, that's what I did all of the repair work on.

                        The big grinder I'm working on now is for 2"x72" belts. This one is going to shape the blades from raw strip steel stock, where the small one would take forever to do that.

                        I was going to build my own 1"x42" as well, but the cost difference wasn't worth it. The nice small grinder cost me about $250, & it was going to cost me $150 to build my own. The equivalent quality big grinder costs $2,000, so building my own for about $500 (& lots of short lunch-time work periods) is well worth it to me.

                        1. re: Eiron

                          "If you remember those repaired knife pictures I posted at the end of summer, that's what I did all of the repair work on. "

                          Oh yeah, now I do remember -- after you reminded me. Are you going to be both a knife maker and a knife sharpener at the same time? Or are you going to focus on the knife making?

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            I'll do both, at least for a while. If the knife-making business gains enough momentum at some point in the future, then I might curtail/eliminate the sharpening. Creating something is really what I want to do, so that's where the motivation to make knives is coming from.

                            Don't get me wrong; it's really cool to get feedback from someone who's never had a really sharp knife before! But the creative aspect is much lower for sharpening a knife than it is for crafting a knife.

                            1. re: Eiron

                              On the 1X42 Eiron is that the Viel? You mentioned being an oil geek, what the best oil to use on the upper wheel?

                              I use mine quite a bit and so far Tri Flow seems to work best.

                              Jim

                              1. re: knifesavers

                                Jim,

                                The Viel was the one I was going to buy to build my own, but I decided to go with the Kalamazoo instead. It came with a better motor (Baldor TEFC) than what I was going to use, & it came ready to rock & roll.

                                TriFlow is a great oil. What kind of bearing does the upper wheel have? I can't tell from the pictures.

                                Greg

                              2. re: Eiron

                                "If the knife-making business gains enough momentum at some point in the future, then I might curtail/eliminate the sharpening"

                                I think so. I also think knife making is probably more profitable. On the other hand, knife sharpening probably will get your name out faster and get your business started easier.

                    2. re: cowboyardee

                      OK, finally back to answering a few things here...
                      ______________

                      "I'm wondering just out of curiosity what exact stones you use in your sharpening progression. Also, your preferred method of deburring."

                      This info may be moot, since you've already realized Chem did the sharpening, but here's my progression for having delivered it to you:
                      1000 grit Suehiro/Splex
                      6000 grit Suehiro (lower grade 6000)
                      CrO waxed elk hide strop (dermis side)
                      Bare elk hide strop (dermis side)

                      This is what I've been using on my Kanetsune & Shun clad VG-10 knives.
                      As received, the CN was nicely sharp. It would readily grab at my arm hair w/o having to scrape the blade against my skin. I tried to return it to that degree of sharpness before sending it along to you, but I don't recall if I succeeded or not.
                      ________________

                      "I've never sharpened the Culinar - perhaps it's one of those steels that you either didn't polish because it wasn't worth it or else it naturally stays kind of coarse?"

                      To be honest, I don't remember which stones I used to sharpen the Culinar. It's possible that I used my two Spyderco ceramics (medium & fine) rather than the Suehiros, but I don't think I did. If I did, it would've left the edge less polished than the CN, as the Spyderco fine stone leaves a satin finish. Of course, that still leaves my Kanetsune & Forschner. The Forschner always gets sharpened on the Spydercos, with the CrO strop finish.
                      ________________

                      "After rounding off a spine recently (quickly with a file during the middle of a prep session, without touching up the edge) I was struck by how much of a difference it can make in terms of perceived resistance from foods. A cool effect of one of those ergonomic concerns."

                      Really?! That's cool! I never knew that. Is this due to pressing your finger against it & not being dug-into by the sharp edge?
                      _________________

                      "Next I'm going to have to balance a knife on the tip of another knife. Sounds dangerous. But you pushed me into it."

                      LOL, hey, we all need that extra little push every now & then; that's what friends are for! :-D

                      1. re: Eiron

                        "It would readily grab at my arm hair w/o having to scrape the blade against my skin"

                        You have thick arm hair. :) Just kidding, if so, the edge is refined enough to shave. So whatever difference you felt is probably due to the blade thickness and not the edge sharpness. As mentioned earlier, I did finally notice that CarboNext gave me more resistance when I cut the onion straight up and down comparing to Tojiro DP. I didn't feel any difference when I slice the knife with a slight forward motion.

                        "After rounding off a spine recently (quickly with a file during the middle of a prep session, without touching up the edge) I was struck by how much of a difference it can make in terms of perceived resistance from foods. A cool effect of one of those ergonomic concerns."

                        An very interesting point cowboyardee has bought up.

                        "we all need that extra little push every now & then; that's what friends are for"

                        Other people will think we are crazy for balancing knives.... and then take photos of them.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          "You have thick arm hair."

                          Yes, I do! I once heard someone describe himself as "swarthy" when he referenced his need to shave almost more frequently than daily. I think I fall into that same category as well... :-D

                          Yes, I did see your final comments regarding the resistance of the CN. My food-prep skilz leave much to be desired, which is why I thought it would be interesting to let a restaurant chef use it & hear her comments. I have now idea how she was using the knife (cutting methods).

                          Who thinks we're crazy?!? We should form a posse...

                          Actually, I get more of the "don't make any quick moves around this guy" looks when I talk about motor oil than I do when I talk about knives! :-D

                          1. re: Eiron

                            "I get more of the "don't make any quick moves around this guy" looks when I talk about motor oil than I do when I talk about knives! :-D"

                            Am I confusing you with another person who are very much into coffee and coffee preparation? If it is you, then do people get scared when you talk about grinding coffee?

                            I know nothing about coffee, but I heard an interesting piece on NPR. The guest basically said the biggest impact (therefore most useful) you can make for coffee is roasting the coffee on your own. A hot air popcorn popper will do great, he said. I believe he is in the business of selling customers green coffee beans.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Yes, that was Tom from Sweet Marias. They do sell green beans, as well as several home roasters.
                              http://www.sweetmarias.com/tradition.php

                              I am one of those coffee geeks, too! :-O I try to only engage people who initially show an interest, so they have some (minimum) tolerance to the exhibited geekery. My wife actually heard that interview & said I should use her air-popper to roast coffee. But when I pointed out that it would render the air-popper useless for popcorn (unless you want coffee-flavored popcorn), she was less enthusiastic. I have roasted my own before, but only on the stove, in a frying pan.

                              The problem I have with Tom is that he tends to make difinitive statements based on HIS perceptions formed during HIS journey in coffee drinking. ("Not that there's anything wrong with that...") IMO, there are LOTS of "biggest impact" steps to be experienced in coffee. For me, roasting your own would be wa-a-a-ay near the end of of those experiences. Grinder, brewer, & quality coffee would all come before in-house roasting. (For example, I don't see the point to roasting my own if I'm using a blade grinder & a sub-optimal brewer.) But that's just MY opinion...

                              1. re: Eiron

                                "But when I pointed out that it would render the air-popper useless for popcorn (unless you want coffee-flavored popcorn), she was less enthusiastic."

                                Hmmm... she loves you, but only loves you so much. :) Just kidding. Can't you just get another air popper? They like what? $30?

                                "For me, roasting your own would be wa-a-a-ay near the end of of those experiences."

                                Wow, really? That is different from what Tom said I think. Maybe he didn't say roasting is the most important.

                                I probably incorrectly paraphrased him. He might have said that roasting is the easiest thing you can do to have the biggest impact. So it could be that grinding is more important, but it takes much more money to get a high quality burr grinder (whatever it may be), then to just get a $30 air popper.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Well, my wife came to me with nearly the exact same statement as you did. So if he didn't say it, he at least said it in such a way that it had that interpretation to both of you.

                                  But it's finding an adequate air popper that is the problem, I guess. At least, that was another thing my wife mentioned from the interview.

                                  Y'know, Tom's one of those people who LOVES all of the little intricacies of his hobby. He can spend hours (literally) baby-sitting some process or another because he's THAT into it. And that's a great thing if you're another one of those people. Or if you're looking for a specific detail to something that's not working quite right.

                                  But for most people, they just want something better. That might be as simple as buying binned coffee from the grocery store, rather than another tub of Folgers or Maxwell House. Or finally getting rid of the $20 whirly blade grinder & spending $80 on a refurb Baratza burr grinder. Or replacing an inconsistant brewer with a very consistant one.

                                  But to jump into green beans, & air roasting, & degassing, & all of the variables associated with roasting your own? That's more "into it" than the average person needs to be to see a dramatic bump in brew quality.

                                  Of course, as always, this is just my opinion...

                        2. re: Eiron

                          Thanks for writing back to me. At this point, it seems that the difference you experienced in the knife when cutting firm vegetables probably has little to do with the sharpening. Still, I enjoy hearing about your sharpening methods. I had been speculating on exactly how you sharpened it before sending it to me, anyway - I think that was on my review of the Carbonext.

                          "Really?! That's cool! I never knew that. Is this due to pressing your finger against it & not being dug-into by the sharp edge?"
                          __________
                          That's pretty much why. Gentler sensation on your hands is perceived (at least by me) as needing less pressure to cut. If you have a knife with a sharp spine, give it a try.

                          "LOL, hey, we all need that extra little push every now & then; that's what friends are for! :-D"
                          _________
                          I'll be sure to include a pic of the toe I sever along with my exquisite balance shot on my next knife review.

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            "I'll be sure to include a pic of the toe I sever along with my exquisite balance shot on my next knife review."

                            Yikes!! Nobody wants to see that! A 270mm sujihiki? Sounds dangerous - wear 2 pairs of shoes!
                            :-D

                            1. re: Eiron

                              Yeah, no one want to see cowboy's big toe.