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Thinking about a carbon steel knife for a birthday gift (for myself). How is this one?

Westy Sep 12, 2013 06:52 AM

Thinking about getting a new knife. I saw this and was intrigued. I am not a knife afficiandao, but am willing to sharpen (I have one of those sharpening devices that has a coarse and fine slot. You drag the knife through it and supposedly it gets super sharp).

Will it need much more to keep it sharp?


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  1. BiscuitBoy RE: Westy Sep 12, 2013 07:17 AM

    As long as you know about the extra care needed vs the mass market stainless knives. You'll find a carbon blade is easier to sharpen, tho I wouldn't run any of my knives thru that gizmo you describe, but if it works for you, so be it. A honing steel is a good idea to keep the edge aligned and performing it's best.

    If you're looking for a chef style knife 7-10 inch, and looking at their pricing, I think you could do better. The handle/ferule construction strikes me as cheap, and personally I prefer a full tang in a knife (blade steel continues thru the handle, and riveted).

    Considering their return policy, as long as you don't actually use it, you can send it back if it's not for you...tough thing is you'll know best only after a test drive

    1. k
      knifesavers RE: Westy Sep 12, 2013 08:05 AM

      "(I have one of those sharpening devices that has a coarse and fine slot. You drag the knife through it and supposedly it gets super sharp)."

      Please do not ruin a quality knife with one of those.

      If you are going to use one of those gadgets, get a knife with no bolster.

      A bolster will prevent you from touching the whole edge and turn your chef knife into a boning over time as the blade shrinks but the bolster stays the same size.


      2 Replies
      1. re: knifesavers
        Westy RE: knifesavers Sep 12, 2013 08:09 AM

        Is there a better solution?

        1. re: Westy
          Chemicalkinetics RE: Westy Sep 12, 2013 10:11 AM

          You can ask someone (a knife sharpener like Jim or whatever) to remove the bolster for you.

      2. s
        Sherri RE: Westy Sep 12, 2013 01:24 PM

        I bought my first Sabatier chef's knife in France c1962, adding several knives over the years. They're all still going strong. If you don't mind washing and drying the knives frequently and understand that acidic foods (think lemons) will discolor the blade, this is a good knife for the money. Is it the 'end-all-and-be-all' of the knife world? Probably not but I would carry these out of the house in case of fire. Happy Birthday!

        NB: I should note that my knives have survived commerical kitchens and rearing two boys. Both sons were gifted with Sabatiers when they left home to live on their own. So far, so good.

        1. Sid Post RE: Westy Sep 12, 2013 07:19 PM

          I don't want to rain your parade. There are better knives out there for similar or less money. Also consider your cutting style? Do you really want a bolster, if so why? Do you want a thick knife or a thin one (i.e European or Japanese)? Do you want a high tip (German) or a lower one (French and Japanese)?

          1. tim irvine RE: Westy Sep 13, 2013 05:58 AM

            A Nogent is not the be all and end all but it is a piece Of history and a light easy to use knife. If it were mine I'd get it sharpened once or twice a year, steel before each use, and use it all the time.

            1. g
              grubstreet RE: Westy Sep 13, 2013 06:20 AM

              After taking a knife sharpening class and learning how to use a whetstone, I went onto ebay and bought an old LL Bean carbon steel chef's knife for about $25.00. It sharpened up beautifully and holds an edge really well.

              By the way the instructor looked at my old Henckel's knife and told me it had been ruined by an electric sharpener -- precisely the bolster problem described below.

              3 Replies
              1. re: grubstreet
                knifesavers RE: grubstreet Sep 13, 2013 08:12 AM

                The bolster problem from electric sharpeners doesn't ruin the knife. What it does is keep the full blade from reaching the board so your useful edge shrinks as the edge wears away and the bolster remain untouched. It can be reshaped into a useful item.

                I have had chef knives that I had to buzz that thing back 1/8-1/4" and reshape the blade. It is not a task you would use a stone for unless you pack a lunch, dinner, and breakfast.

                I have about 10-15 different belts specifically for major repairs.


                1. re: knifesavers
                  grubstreet RE: knifesavers Sep 13, 2013 10:40 AM

                  Yes, thanks for that. I'm going to get it reground soon so I can use it again. Right now it's pretty useless.

                  1. re: knifesavers
                    BiscuitBoy RE: knifesavers Sep 13, 2013 11:00 AM

                    True....I just recently ground a bit off my wusthof chef to thin and shrink it. Even if using stones for sharpening, the bolster gets in the way eventually

                2. j
                  JavaBean RE: Westy Sep 13, 2013 10:06 AM

                  Nice pick. Those Sabatiers are supposedly authentic, 60+year old, New Old Stock knives. 

                  Sabatier chef's  knives have a French profile (narrow, mostly flat cutting edge) ; very nimble and works best with a slicing or push cutting motion.  The carbon steel blade will need to be cleaned and dried after usage, but aren't prone to rust or very reactive to acidic foods.  They're very easy to sharpen, and get pretty sharp, but dull and bend easily.  You're going to need a good honing rod for regular upkeep. 

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JavaBean
                    Westy RE: JavaBean Sep 13, 2013 11:05 AM

                    Any such thing as a tool for honing (I have no faith in my ability to get the correct angle using a honing rod)?

                    1. re: Westy
                      JavaBean RE: Westy Sep 13, 2013 11:34 AM

                      I'm not aware of one, but you can get a pretty consistent angle by holding the rod upside down, with the tip against the cutting board.

                      Keep the rod straight up and down, hold the knife against the rod at 15 degrees or whatever angle, make your honing stroke, then repeat on the other side of the blade.

                      Use the least amount of strokes as needed and just let the knife gently slide along the hone from heel to tip.

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