HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

A (legitimate) excuse to buy a new knife! Help me find one!

sherrib Jun 28, 2012 04:56 AM

So, I've starting making spaghetti squash recently and have fallen in love with this vegetable. The problem is cutting it raw. I know I can cook it whole, but I like cutting and seeding it before cooking. I've stopped cooking butternut squash (another favorite vegetable) for the same reason. It's just too difficult to cut through. My knives aren't up to the task (my largest knives are an 8" chef's and a 10" chefs). I'm beginning to think I need a cleaver type knife. If a $100 one will do a better job or keep a better edge than a $30, then I'm willing to shell it out. If there's a $30 one out there that will do a great job, then I'm all for it. FYI, although I own some Wusthof's, I reach for my Forschner Victorinox all the time. I like that they're great knives and that they're cheap enough that I won't feel terribly if I do something horrible to them (either while chopping or attempting to hand sharpen on my own.) Tell me what type of knife I need and point me to a good one!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Chemicalkinetics RE: sherrib Jun 28, 2012 06:39 AM

    I have only cooked spaghetti squash once in the last 5 years, and embarrassingly, I have to admit that I do not remember which knife I used. I have cut butternut squash many times and I remember using my thin blade Chinese cleaver and some other knives as well. Although it is called a "cleaver", it is actually thinner than German style Chef's knives and even thinner than most Japanese gyutos. What I like about using a Chinese style knife is that the blade width is very width, so I can tap the knife through if it get stuck.

    Conversely, I remember using my thick butcher knife to cleave something as well.

    If you can get hold of a CCK 140X knife, then it is worth a try. It takes a good edge and holds it. It has not problem cutting young coconuts, so it can handle spaghetti squash -- I assume. It is carbon steel, so that may not be what you like.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/850869

    It may sound weird, but if you are going for the thick blade cleaver routine, then you may want to consider getting a mallet. It is not a must, but something to think about. The reason is that you don't really want to hack your spaghetti squash with a full swing. You aren't really trying to chop wood here. Once the knife get into the spaghetti, it is better to tap is through either with your hand or a mallet -- assuming if it get stuck.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
      j
      JavaBean RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 28, 2012 07:27 AM

      Hi,
      Plus one. My knife of choice for thick/ dense winter squash, rutabaga, etc. is an Asian veggie cleaver (CCK –1303 or similiar). It has a very thin blade that doesn’t wedge like thicker blades do and (if needed) is tall enough to use your other hand to push down on the spine of the knife to power through the cut. I stopped using my narrower/ thin bladed knives on very dense things. I once got one stuck in a rutabaga, had to sort of twist the knife free and was lucky to not torque enough to hurt it.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        sherrib RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 28, 2012 04:15 PM

        Hi Chem,

        Thank you for your suggestion. I like that a thin cleaver would be just as effective as a thick one. I don't do any butchering on my own quite yet so I don't think I need a thick cleaver. A chinese cleaver, on the other hand, has been on my wish list for a good long time (I'm always always chopping vegetables.) Would I also need a mallet for a thin cleaver?

        1. re: sherrib
          Chemicalkinetics RE: sherrib Jun 28, 2012 04:48 PM

          A mallet is not required for a cleaver. You can tap the knife spine with your hand if needed. Of course for people who regularly cut hard objects, then a mallet is nice to have.

          http://www.recipetips.com/quick-tips-...

          Swing a mallet against the knife spine is much safer than trying to swing a cleaver.

          Now, I would say that it is probably much easier to get hold of a thick blade cleaver (real) instead of a thin blade Chinese slicer.

      2. jpf55 RE: sherrib Jun 28, 2012 07:03 AM

        This may be of some help: http://www.ehow.com/video_2346670_cut...

        6 Replies
        1. re: jpf55
          sherrib RE: jpf55 Jun 28, 2012 04:17 PM

          Hi jpf55,

          My chef's knife kept getting stuck in my spaghetti squash (and I mean STUCK!) Mine also wasn't as yellow as hers appears. I wonder if hers is more ripe than mine was??

          1. re: sherrib
            jpf55 RE: sherrib Jun 28, 2012 06:23 PM

            Ever since I purchased this knife, I find that certain foods like squash, potatoes etc don't stick as much to the blade. http://www.amazon.com/Sanelli-315618-...
            It obviously has to do with the air pockets and it does make it easier but it is not a miracle knife and I don't there is such a thing. I sometimes wet the blade and it sticks even less depending on the veggie. It also has a confortable handle for my big hand. I find I am slowly using the chef knife less and less. One last thing, you shouldn't need an excuse to buy a new kitchen utensil. ;-)

            1. re: jpf55
              sherrib RE: jpf55 Jun 29, 2012 05:20 AM

              jpf,

              I buy way too many things without an excuse. It's just nice that this time, I actually have one ;)

            2. re: sherrib
              Chemicalkinetics RE: sherrib Jun 28, 2012 07:06 PM

              Yes, getting a knife stuck is a common problem for cutting many hard squashes. The knife get wedged due to the thickness of the blade. One challenge of the typical German style knives is that they are usually somewhat thick, but not thick-thick like a meat cleaver. This intermediate thickness actually makes it more challenging as cowboyardee has nicely pointed out.

              A thin blade Chinese style slicer/cleaver has less resistance due to its thinner blade. Here is a video of the Devin Thomas thin blade Chinese cleaver cutting butternut squash. If I am correct, it takes on a lot of the same features as the CCK 1303 Chinese cleaver. (most Chinese cleavers you see in the stores are the medium blade, not the thin blade).

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

              You can see the knife essentially sliced through the squash. Even had it got stuck, the knife blade is so wide that the knife spine would be exposed and you would able to tap the knife through the squash.

              Alternatively, the thick cleaver is a great efficient method as well, as you can see from this CHOW video:

              http://youtu.be/4ERTrfA4760?t=24s

              What you do not want to do is to swing the cleaver toward the squash. Yes, you can do it if you are skill, but most people have less control than they think and they usually miss their marks, which makes it dangerous:

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

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                sherrib RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 29, 2012 05:22 AM

                I would definitely lose a finger (or two.)

                1. re: sherrib
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: sherrib Jun 29, 2012 06:43 AM

                  <I would definitely lose a finger (or two.)>

                  You mean if you swing the cleaver, right? Yeah, it is good option if you know what you are doing. Otherwise, it is much safer to tap the knife spine with a hand or a heavy object like a mallet.

          2. cowboyardee RE: sherrib Jun 28, 2012 07:10 AM

            I basically agree with what Chem says. You either want an exceptionally thin knife (especially a knife that is thin behind its edge) or a very thick heavy knife... and nothing in between. I'm partial to the very thin option myself. Personally, I use a very thin gyuto to cut winter squash. There are a few gyutos that feature the kind of super thin geometry I like for this (and many other) jobs. The Konosuke gyutos (the HD gets especially good reviews), Sakai Yusuke (which I have), Suisin inox Honyaki, Tadatsuna and a couple others are good examples of this kind of extreme geometry. Thing is, they're expensive knives, and they also are less forgiving in sharpening than other options, if you're not a veteran sharpener (it would be an easy job to botch for someone newer to sharpening). Still, they can make splitting butternut squash feel only marginally more difficult than cutting a potato.

            I like Chems suggestion that you try a CCK. They sell both big, heavy duty cleavers that you could use to split squash with brute force and also very thin cleavers that you could more easily push through the squash. In either case, the height and length of the knives would allow you to tap on the spine with a mallet if you need help to get through the squash. They aren't super expensive either, which is a plus. They are often made of carbon steel, but aren't super hard to take care of as carbon steel knives go.

            http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cckclea...
            That's their thin-bladed cleaver, and it's a great knife and a great buy in general. You might find many uses for it beyond winter squash.

            http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cckbone...
            This is one of their thick choppers. Maximum carnage guaranteed.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cowboyardee
              Chemicalkinetics RE: cowboyardee Jun 28, 2012 08:27 AM

              <You either want an exceptionally thin knife (especially a knife that is thin behind its edge) or a very thick heavy knife>

              Very well put -- much better than I did. Yes, I like to re-iterate your points. A very thin knife can slide through these food items with less resistance. A very thick knife, on the other hand, can split the food items as it enters -- almost like you pulling them apart. When I use the thick cleaver, I can often see the dense foods crack/open below the knife edge -- which supports the idea that the thickness of the blade was parting the food.

              Strangely, the medium blade knives give the most trouble because the wedging results in great resistance, but the wedging is not enough to split the foods like a very thick cleaver.

              1. re: cowboyardee
                sherrib RE: cowboyardee Jun 28, 2012 04:33 PM

                HI Cowboyardee,

                I don't mind springing for the pricier knives. I'm just not there yet as far as sharpening goes. I'm still definitely a novice sharpener so, until I get better at it, it might be better for me to stay away from knives that chip easily. The one and only reason I haven't gotten the cck 1303 is that I don't trust myself to care for a carbon steel knife. I'm kinda the "leave it sitting there until I have time to wash it later" sort of person. That's why I have hundreds of everything. What's involved in the care of this knife? I know I should constantly wipe it as I use it. I also know it should be washed and dried right away when I'm done with it. Anything else? Would I need to season it or anything like that? Would it rust just by sitting around in a drawer? The aesthetics of a patina wouldn't bother me. I really only care about function.

                1. re: sherrib
                  cowboyardee RE: sherrib Jun 28, 2012 05:17 PM

                  The CCK is fine as long as you wash it and dry it after each prep session. Basically, don't leave it wet or covered in food for hours. And no dishwasher. No seasoning needed unless you feel like spiffy-ing up the handle. Not especially high maintenance as carbon steel goes. It's a very rustic looking knife, so a little patina won't hurt the aesthetic. Most of the face of the knife is non-reactive anyway.

                  If you do get the 1303, just be aware that you can't hack away at bones or take swinging chops with it - it's not that kind of cleaver. But it will be fine slicing through winter squash, other vegetables (not coconut shells), and boneless meats.

                2. re: cowboyardee
                  petek RE: cowboyardee Jun 29, 2012 05:12 PM

                  <I'm partial to the very thin option myself. Personally, I use a very thin gyuto to cut winter squash.>

                  Thin is in!! :-D

                3. Duppie RE: sherrib Jun 28, 2012 07:18 AM

                  "My old ones are dull" Works for me.

                  1. m
                    mike0989 RE: sherrib Jun 28, 2012 10:01 AM

                    My knife of choice for squash has always been a serrated bread knife. In this case a Henckels. It starts easily and is stiff enough that I can lean on it to get through. I’m also not concerned about dulling my Chef this way.

                    1. j
                      jljohn RE: sherrib Jun 29, 2012 06:13 AM

                      I share your frustration with cutting squash. Up until recently, I used a Henckels Pro-S 8" chef's knife for such tasks, but this winter, I cut myself badly trying to remove my wedged/stuck knife from a squash. After my ER visit, I decided to fix the problem. I'd been eyeing a nice Japanese 'laser' for some time, which I figured glide right through the squash, but i didn't want to drop the cash on it yet. So I decided to try the Victorinox 10" Chef's knife as a stop-gap. The Victorinox is easily less than half as thick as the Henckels, and it slices right through a squash. The extra length also makes a big difference for me. Plus, I seem to be able to get it and keep it sharper than the Henckels. I will probably upgrade to a Japanese knife at some point, but for me, finding a thinner, longer, blade (that I was able to keep sharp) made all the difference in the world.

                      Hope this helps a little.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: jljohn
                        Chemicalkinetics RE: jljohn Jun 29, 2012 06:48 AM

                        <I cut myself badly trying to remove my wedged/stuck knife from a squash>

                        I am sorry to hear this. Am I correct that the damage actually occurred when you tried to pull the knife out of the squash instead of pushing toward the squash?

                        Beside recommending a knife, I also want to point out a dangerous part in cutting a squash. When a knife is stuck, it is actually safe in the stuck position. What is not safe is when one tries to loosen a stuck knife. It is really like playing "tag of war" with your squash, expect you two (the squash and you) are playing with a knife instead of a rope.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          j
                          jljohn RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 29, 2012 07:12 AM

                          Yep, I was trying to un-wedge the knife. As I recall, I tried pulling up on the knife handle, which didn't work, so I held the squash with one hand and pushed down on the handle. The pinch point (i.e. the fulcrum) being in the squash, caused the knife's tip to come up, and as it did so, my hand on the squash slipped. Ouch. And very stupid. My new approach to squash is either a sharp, long, thin blade, or an axe. :)

                          1. re: jljohn
                            Chemicalkinetics RE: jljohn Jun 29, 2012 09:54 AM

                            Ounch. I hope the cut wasn't so bad that you need to go to an E.R.

                            <My new approach to squash is either a sharp, long, thin blade, or an axe. :)>

                            Get an axe. It will be the talk of the party when you use the axe to cut your squash.

                        2. re: jljohn
                          sherrib RE: jljohn Jul 12, 2012 03:08 PM

                          jljohn,
                          It WAS a 10" Victorinox that was STUCK in my squash. I think the spaghetti squashes I buy aren't as ripe as they should be.

                        3. John E. RE: sherrib Jun 29, 2012 08:30 PM

                          If I were you I'd go to a restaurant supply store and buy a reasonably priced Chinese cleaver for about $30 (or less) and a cheap rubber mallet at a hardware store, (or a Harbor Freight store if there is one in your area they have a lot of cheap hand tools).

                          Edit...wow I am impressed with myself. ; ) I wrote this post without reading any of the replies. I just got done reading Chems post and at the end there is the recommendation for a rubber mallet. Imagine that. ; )

                          (I'm not trying to be a smart ass, I meant the above comment as respect for Chems knowledge of knives and cutting utensils in general).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: John E.
                            Chemicalkinetics RE: John E. Jun 29, 2012 08:49 PM

                            <there is the recommendation for a rubber mallet. Imagine that. ; ) >

                            Good to have your independent support. :D

                            <I'm not trying to be a smart ass>

                            Everyone knows you are a nature man.

                          2. f
                            FriedClamFanatic RE: sherrib Jun 29, 2012 10:28 PM

                            there's another thread on here about a person who wants to update their knioves from the $8 set of three they got. For Squash..here's what I do:

                            I HAVE an old $8 or so Knife. Big, long, sort of Chef Knife....lousy at keeping an edge. I also have a meat mallet or hammer, depending on which is closer. I know you're gonna scream but.......I just hammer that knife through the squash ( and also frozen foods like sausages)....on a piece of wood of course. Only reason I still keep it

                            Do NOT, boys and girls..try this at home with your Expensive Chef's Knife! Get an old clunker at a flea market or yard sale and use it like a cleaver.......withouth worrying about sheering off your fingers trying to hit the squash with one massive karate blow. Even light taps will make progress and you can make sure of where your fingers are...especially if something "slips)

                            1. sherrib RE: sherrib Jul 12, 2012 03:09 PM

                              So, I finally got a CCK 1303. I'm a little intimidated by it. Do I need to do anything special to this knife or just start using it? Wipe while using. Clean and dry right away to avoid rust. Anything else?

                              28 Replies
                              1. re: sherrib
                                Chemicalkinetics RE: sherrib Jul 12, 2012 03:19 PM

                                <I'm a little intimidated by it.>

                                I believe CCK1303 is one of the smallest knives offered by CCK.

                                <Do I need to do anything special to this knife or just start using it?>

                                You can do a light sharpening if you like. I think CCK knives out of the factory are ok sharp, but not as sharp as they can be. I find pinch grip works very well with this knife, and the knife will felt lighter and smaller if you use the pinch grip. Believe or not, the CCK 1303 slicer is actually safer to use than more knives because of the very tall/wide blade. Even Saltdog said that he feels it is safer. Unfortunately, I think his youtube video was deleted during the rebellion phrase of knifeforum.

                                <Wipe while using>

                                I don't go too crazy about it. I just wipe at the very end of the cooking or if you think the knife will go idle for more than 10 minutes. I really don't do this "wipe every 3 minutes" thing.

                                <Clean and dry right away to avoid rust>

                                Clean at the very end, and wipe it dry. If there are minor rust, then just use Bar Keeper Friend with a soft dish brush to remove the rust.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  sherrib RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 12, 2012 03:45 PM

                                  Chem,
                                  I'm AMAZED at how light weight it is! I held a couple of dexters in my hand earlier this week and they felt too heavy to me. I was hoping that the CCK wouldn't come in as heavy as those and am glad it didn't.

                                  1. re: sherrib
                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: sherrib Jul 12, 2012 04:21 PM

                                    I agree with cowboyardee's below comment. Often you will see people use a 3 fingers pinch grip vs a 2 fingers pinch grip for Chinese cleavers. Yes, the CCK 1303 is really slicer. The Dexter Russell S5198 Chinese chef's knife belongs to the all purpose vegetable category, but even then, it is on the thicker side of the all purpose knives.

                                2. re: sherrib
                                  jpf55 RE: sherrib Jul 12, 2012 03:22 PM

                                  You want to see intimidated, next time there is someone at the door, go answer with that beast in your hand...LOL

                                  1. re: jpf55
                                    sherrib RE: jpf55 Jul 12, 2012 03:47 PM

                                    LOL! My suburban, soccer mom lifestyle is not exactly conducive to enormous chinese style cleavers. I may have to keep it hidden when guests come over.

                                    1. re: sherrib
                                      jpf55 RE: sherrib Jul 12, 2012 03:50 PM

                                      WOW, Dexter and cleaver in the same topic is scary

                                  2. re: sherrib
                                    cowboyardee RE: sherrib Jul 12, 2012 03:55 PM

                                    Enjoy.

                                    Nothing much you *need* to do before using it. Try it out. If you haven't already looked into it, just note that the grip most people use with a Chinese cleaver is a little different than what most people use with a chefs knife. More of your hand is usually on the blade to help control it - think of it as an extreme kind of pinch grip. Here's one example, but modify as needed to make the knife comfortable for you.
                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBN9J7... Around the 25 second mark, there's a decent shot of his hand.

                                    As I mentioned before, the maintenance isn't too bad. Wipe or wash after a prep session, but wiping every couple minutes like you might with some sushi knives isn't necessary.

                                    The factory edge on the two new CCK cleavers I've used were both pretty obtuse, so I ground in more acute edges. Not strictly necessary, and nothing you have to sweat soon if you don't feel up to the job. Just an FYI that these knives do well with a low-ish edge angle (maybe 12 deg/side - I'm estimating).

                                    1. re: cowboyardee
                                      l
                                      linus RE: cowboyardee Jul 13, 2012 09:55 AM

                                      i noticed in the video you linked to the gentleman steels his cleaver, which leads to a nagging question or two i've had for a while whilst reading this forum.
                                      1) in general, are the japanese-made knives discussed here (gyutos, santukos, nakiris, etc.) steeled before use?
                                      2) are cleavers generally steeled before use? is there a difference in steeling practice between a chinese cleaver and a japanese-made cleaver?

                                      many thanks.

                                      1. re: linus
                                        j
                                        JavaBean RE: linus Jul 13, 2012 10:38 AM

                                        Hi. I believe the answer to your question has more to do with the hardness of the blade - less to do with the type of knife. As I see it, the main purpose of honing / steeling is to straighten or realign a deformed edge. With softer (more opt to bend than chip) blades, their edge will bend or fold over quite easily, so honing / steeling them before (and during) usage is a necessary practice. With harder blades & most j-knives, some users (myself included) feel honing / steeling is not necessary and may do more harm than good because they are more opt to chip than bend . Personally, i never ( i did it once) hone / steel my harder blades; i use a strop.

                                        1. re: JavaBean
                                          Chemicalkinetics RE: JavaBean Jul 13, 2012 10:42 AM

                                          <I believe the answer to your question has more to do with the hardness of the blade - less to do with the type of knife. >

                                          I agree. Great explanation.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                            l
                                            linus RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 13, 2012 02:04 PM

                                            thank you for your replies. since i'm an ignoramus when it comes to metallurgy (and a bunch of other things, but that's another show), how can one generalize here?
                                            for example, would you say older carbon steel knives probably could use a steel, whereas your newer japanese carbon steels are harder, and therefore don't require it?

                                            in my current situation, i have several old sabatier carbon steel knives, and a couple cleavers, which i assume, from your answers, need a steel.
                                            on the other hand, i have a japanese chef's style knife that's about 12 to 15 years old that's carbon steel. i have always steeled it. am i wrecking the thing?
                                            i've never noticed a chip, but then again, i've never looked for one.

                                            1. re: linus
                                              Chemicalkinetics RE: linus Jul 13, 2012 07:29 PM

                                              In general, you are cirrect. Most older carbon steel knives from Europe could use a steel. While most carbon steel knives from Japan would not need one. There are always exceptions, but exceptions afterall are exceptions.

                                              For your Japanese chef's knife, it really depends who made it. If it is a Japanese style knife made by a French company, then it probably has softer steel anyway.

                                              I don't think you necessary wreck the Japanese knives, but they do not need steeling. The chance to harm it is greater than the chance to enhance it.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                l
                                                linus RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 14, 2012 09:29 AM

                                                thank you. the japanese knife was definitely made in japan. it has a little pine tree trademark, and i can still make out some letters i believe read "takayuki". on the other side of the blade are some japanese characters.

                                                y'know, looking at this blade, it's in dire shape. the edge is very uneven. obviously, i'm going to have to deal with this. may be time to send it out.
                                                i think i'll stop steeling it, too.

                                                1. re: linus
                                                  j
                                                  JavaBean RE: linus Jul 16, 2012 08:28 AM

                                                  Hi Linus. There are a lot of variables involved with determining whether or not to steel a knife, some of which include the hardness of the knife itself, type of honing rod, etc. IMO, your Sabatier as well as most Western, German, Chinese made knives commonly have softer blades (tempered or hardened to ~52-56 HRC. Since their edges tend roll over on to itself through normal use & will ding / dent if stuck against a hard object, steeling is needed and beneficial.

                                                  Japanese knives, for the most part have harder blades ~58–65HRC. Since their edges are less prone to rolling over through normal use & will chip if stuck against a hard object, I believe steeling provides little benefits and may cause them to chip. However, I believe there are honing rods – made of fine ceramic or borosilicate glass that a suitable for harder knives. Bear in mind, hard edges do not respond well to striking a hard object or lateral pressures and will require a much more gently technique. DO NOT do this… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syvvxx...

                                                  1. re: JavaBean
                                                    l
                                                    linus RE: JavaBean Jul 16, 2012 09:09 PM

                                                    i dont do that. thanks for your help.

                                                    1. re: linus
                                                      Chemicalkinetics RE: linus Jul 16, 2012 09:15 PM

                                                      linus,

                                                      I agree with JavaBean (man, I have been agreeing with him all the time. :))

                                                      It is more useful to steel a softer blade knives like those made by typical Chinese factories, Victorinox, Henckels. It is questionable to steel a Japanese hard steel knife. In theory, you actually can hone it with a steel. In practice, you run the risk of damaging it. So I just do not think it is worth it when there are better alternatives.

                                                      I absolutely agree with Bean on the Ramsay's video. You really do not want to do that, especially to a Japanese knife. I would also question if that is even good for European knives really.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                        j
                                                        JavaBean RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 07:10 AM

                                                        LOL Chem. I often say ”Yup and ditto!” from many of your postings as well. We need to disagree from time to time – otherwise folks will think we’re in cahoots.

                                                        1. re: JavaBean
                                                          Chemicalkinetics RE: JavaBean Jul 17, 2012 07:17 AM

                                                          <otherwise folks will think we’re in cahoots.>

                                                          Yeah, we need to disagree more, otherwise people will get us confused. :D

                                                          Petek knows this. I confused Petek and Dave05440 when they first joined. They both joined at about the same time, both Canadians, and they agreed with each others very often. So I confused who exact said what. :D

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                            l
                                                            linus RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 09:45 AM

                                                            i will resolve to stop steeling my japanese knife. examining the blade closely, i can see it is "stepped," or has long chips in it. i'm going to have to take it to a professional.
                                                            i've had the knife for close to fifteen years, and it's been a great knife. i bought it before the vogue for japanese knives made information by you fine people so readily available, and it looks like i've paid a price for carelessness.

                                                            i won't even tell you what a supposedly professional sharpener did to some of my other knives. yikes.

                                                            1. re: linus
                                                              k
                                                              knifesavers RE: linus Jul 17, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                              Since you are in the LA area take your japanese knife to Jon at Japanese Knife Imports to get fixed.

                                                              He has many videos on youtube on doing japanese blades and is a wealth of knowledge. He can set you up with some killer stones also. He doesn't sharpen western knives though.

                                                              Make another thread and post pics of your damaged western knives. They may be fixable. I see lots of bad sharpening damage that needs fixing.

                                                              Jim

                                                              1. re: knifesavers
                                                                Chemicalkinetics RE: knifesavers Jul 17, 2012 11:05 AM

                                                                Jim,

                                                                Where do you live? Maybe linus can get them to you too. I know you cannot advocate your own business, but I can -- since I don't know you on a personal level. Based what you have written here, you certainly come across as a very knowledgable person for these double bevel Japanese knives.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                  k
                                                                  knifesavers RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                                  Thanks Chem I'm in San Diego. Jon at JKI in Venice is the expert when it comes to all things Japanese knife. I am waiting for him to get in some 6K Gesshin stones and make another trip up there to absorb knowledge from him.

                                                                  I specialize in fixing seriously jacked up western knives. Bolster reductions, chipped edges, broken tips, uneven edges etc. Well I do handle just dull ones also. ;)

                                                                  Jim

                                                                  1. re: knifesavers
                                                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: knifesavers Jul 17, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                    It really does not sound like linus' knife is in dire situation. I am sure either Jon and you can easily handle it.

                                                                    What so especial about Gesshin 6K? I heard good things about Gesshin, but is it head and shoulder above other 6K like Naniwa Super or Suehiro. Anyway, good lunk with the trip and I would love to hear your review/feedback from your Gesshin stone.

                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                      l
                                                                      linus RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 02:59 PM

                                                                      the japanese knife situation isn't dire...the edge probably just needs to be re-ground before it is sharpened.
                                                                      i apologize for exaggerating; only two of the western knives are damaged, and those beyond repair.
                                                                      my sabatier paring knife, a very cute little vintage knife, had so much metal ground off it came back with a completely different blade shape, kind of a long rectangle with a slight downward curve at the end.
                                                                      i also had a decent stainless steel contemporary chef's knife -- six inch, also from sabatier -- that came back with a blade shaped like a very long right triangle.
                                                                      this was a few years back. i took them to a place recommended by a chowhounder. obviously, i'll never go there again, and if someone mentions the place again on the l.a. board, i'll probably pipe up my big mouth.

                                                                      venice is a hike from where i'm at. i used to go to a very good guy in beverly hills, but i think he's gone. i may try ross cutlery this time.

                                                                      thank you for your suggestions and the info about the dude in venice.

                                                                      1. re: linus
                                                                        JBroida RE: linus Jul 17, 2012 11:14 PM

                                                                        yeah... the knife store in beverly hills closed a while back. Ross cutlery seems ok for western knives, but they use belt grinders on everything and that doesnt work too well on japanese knives.

                                    2. re: sherrib
                                      j
                                      JavaBean RE: sherrib Jul 13, 2012 09:44 AM

                                      Do I need to do anything special to this knife or just start using it?

                                      Hi. Great choice. Although the one I got was ready to go, I opted to a) apply a couple of light coats of tung oil on the handle to seal out moisture and dirt, and b) round over the spine and sides of the blade. Since I use a three fingered pinched grip, i like the area around the bolster to be really smooth. I also did some knife nerd / OCD things like a) reset the edge to lower angle and made the bevel more even, and b) polished out the coarse grind marks on the lower inch or so of the blade.

                                      BTW, i was very deliberate to remove as little of the lacquer coating as possible. Removing the lacquer leaves the blade more prone to rusting and reactive to acidic foods.

                                      1. re: JavaBean
                                        Chemicalkinetics RE: JavaBean Jul 13, 2012 10:30 AM

                                        <I opted to a) apply a couple of light coats of tung oil on the handle to seal out moisture and dirt, >

                                        Hey, I do that too.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          j
                                          JavaBean RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 13, 2012 10:48 AM

                                          Awesome, we knife nerds need to stick together !

                                    3. sherrib RE: sherrib Jul 20, 2012 07:14 PM

                                      I wanted to let everyone know that I managed to slice through FOUR spaghetti squashes today using my CCK 1303. It did a WAY better job than any other knife I own. I have not sharpened it myself yet, so I used it out of the box and it did great. It did get stuck at times so all I did was cover the spine with a dish towel and banged at it with my fist. After the four spaghetti squash, I diced two large onions, chopped some mushrooms, minced some garlic and even used the face of the blade to loosen up a bag of frozen chopped spinach.
                                      I don't know enough about carbon steel knives to know if I can hone it on a regular steeling rod or should I avoid honing it altogether?

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: sherrib
                                        Chemicalkinetics RE: sherrib Jul 20, 2012 07:32 PM

                                        <I wanted to let everyone know that I managed to slice through FOUR spaghetti squashes today using my CCK 1303. It did a WAY better job than any other knife I own>

                                        I am glad to hear the knife is working out for you. I also cut some so called Japanese pumpkins, and my CCK worked out as your did. Japanese pumpkins are much small than our American pumpkins, but they are "denser".

                                        http://www.freshchannels.com/image/na...

                                        <It did get stuck at times so all I did was cover the spine with a dish towel and banged at it with my fist>

                                        Yep, the long/wide blade made it easy to tap the knife spine. If it was a narrow blade, then the spine would have be buried in the squashes.

                                        <I don't know enough about carbon steel knives to know if I can hone it on a regular steeling rod or should I avoid honing it altogether?>

                                        What kind of a honing steel do you have? Typically speaking, I would say no for the CCK1303 unless you have one of those ceramic rods in which you can do it gently. Our friend Paul owns a stainless steel CCK and he seems to be happy with it:

                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6796...

                                        However, most of the praises of CCK knives are the carbon steel knives, not the stainless steel ones.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          sherrib RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 21, 2012 04:44 AM

                                          Hi Chem,
                                          I own a regular steel rod, a ceramic rod and also a leather strop that has hints of chromium oxide and is awaiting an amazon shipment of a chromium oxide crayon. So, I'm guessing I can use either the ceramic rod or the leather strop, right? Does that mean that this knife is more prone to chipping than my other (western) knives?

                                          1. re: sherrib
                                            Chemicalkinetics RE: sherrib Jul 21, 2012 05:56 AM

                                            <So, I'm guessing I can use either the ceramic rod or the leather strop, right?>

                                            Yes. I think those are better choices.

                                            <Does that mean that this knife is more prone to chipping than my other (western) knives?>

                                            Based on my experience, this knife does not seem to chip easily, especially for a thin knife. It certainly does not chip like the very hard steel Japanese knife. However, this knife also does not seem to roll its edge readily neither. The benefit of a honing steel rod is to straighten a rolled edge. If the edge is not rolled, then honing it can only damage it. To directly answer your question, yes, it is more prone to chipping than the softer western knives.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                              sherrib RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 21, 2012 06:17 AM

                                              Chem,
                                              Your reply suggests that this knife has the best of both worlds. And, for the price point, I now see why it has such a cult following.

                                              1. re: sherrib
                                                Chemicalkinetics RE: sherrib Jul 21, 2012 10:53 AM

                                                Sherrib,

                                                In my experience, you should not experience much chipping with the factory edge. I believe the factory edge is about 20 degree on each side. The knife can support 15 degree each side without any trouble, which is currently what I have. I have also tried (twice) to bring the edge to down 10 degree on each side, but I noticed the knife became chippy at the 10 degree angle.

                                                Long story short, the vulnerability for this knife to chip depends on the edge angle it has.

                                      Show Hidden Posts