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Shun Vs. Global Santoku - Page 2

post #31 of 66

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mabel Ang View Post

Santoku means three (3) virtues, the santoku is utilized in aisan cooking, primarily for fish, meat and vegetables.  The price is dependant on the range/quality of the knife.  Upmarket santoku cuts through hard vegetables like carrots as if you are slicing through butter.

 

 


Much of what you say here is true in a rather limited sense. Let's be precise:

 

1) Santoku certainly means "3 virtues," but it is not clear which set of three virtues is intended; you will find at least four lists presented as gospel truth if you search hard enough. One set is a classical formulation of three Buddhist virtues. One set is a kind of modernist re-statement of those same virtues, such that thrift enters into it. One set is a list of foods (usually, but not always, fish, meat, and vegetables). One set is a list of things a knife does (chop, slice, mince is, I think, the usual set, but that's from memory). Since nobody that I am aware of has ever successfully tracked down the original advertisements that named this knife "santoku," it's all pretty much a guess at this point. Bear in mind that the same knife is equally commonly called bunka-bochou, which appears to be at least as old a name and has nothing whatever to do with three virtues.

 

2) By "Asian cooking" one presumably means Japanese, since it's not extensively present outside Japan.

 

3) Price is partly dependent on quality. With this knife more than most, outside Japan at least, price is also very largely dependent on advertising. A lot of folks have this general impression that Asian or Japanese knives are supposed to be better, and then the santoku gets pushed at them as the best thing ever. Since the market will in this case bear a lot of high prices, the prices are often grossly inflated.

 

4) A really sharp knife of almost any kind should go through a carrot easily. A santoku has no special virtues here over other knives appropriate for cutting carrots.

post #32 of 66
Mable and Chris I believe you both give a good if slightly different explanation of the use and beyond of the santoku.

What I really have trouble understanding is why so many either dislike or discount this knife.

I think it is very good for a few different things including the seemingly older more popular being a housewives knife. Please don't that as sexist but only to be about seeming to be a good fit for the many claiming to want a smaller knife that is not as intimidating as say a 270mm gyuto etc.

Personally I have had a odd relationship with this style knife. Before finding my way to Japanese knives while I was still primarily using either Henckels Pro S or Mundial the Pro S santoku was the sharpest in use due to the thinner blade, and therefore saw more use than ever expected. I still used the chefs and slicers, but the santoku did see some of the jobs normally seen by the others.

Even now that I had previously sold off the Henckels and have built on my original entry level J knives, and even have moved up the quality and price scale with the addition of a Konosuke HD gyuto (which is great btw) I still use the Tojiro DP santoku often.

I find it great for a few different things and especially when working cramped or on a small board or even just for a small job. I do some small dishes often and if you just need to cut up a couple potatoes for a side to eggs over like this morning, slice some lemons or limes for drinks like the other night etc and really have no need to be using and then cleaning your large board etc just grab a small bar size board and be done with it.

I have found I prefer one for some of the jobs like cutting lemons etc over the smaller petty (sorry not sure why lol) and even when I have had larger jobs to cover like over the holidays it gets used as the extra chefs because it is so much better than the Mundial I keep for guests etc.

Will it replace my gyuto? Of course not, but that is how I was trained years ago and am comfortable, but I am sure if for some reason it was all i had available it would do just fine except the odds times you really need something longer.

Still I agree completely that this is not where someone should be spending crazy money, but I tend to seek out value or maybe call it frugal lol.

 

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Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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post #33 of 66

Lenny, I for one do not discount or dismiss the santoku. I think it has its place. My sole objection is to the strong push some companies make to get western wannabe gourmet home chef types to buy these knives at very inflated prices on the ground that they are "traditional Japanese" whatever.

 

You are dead right: a santoku is very good in a confined space. If you have ever seen the kitchen layout of the average Tokyo housewife, you know she's working in a teeny space. I presume there are standards for countertop depths and stuff, but so far as I can tell those standards must be shockingly shallow. If you've only got 14" to work in, and a wall or lip at the back, a long knife with a sharp point is not your friend. Furthermore, if your kitchen habits are like most people's, and you leave stuff lying around, a long knife on a shallow, low counter is not a good thing where children and pets might be involved.

 

To top it off, I am of the opinion that a French chef's knife (gyuto, whatever) shouldn't be under 7" at the bare minimum. I just don't think they work right. I'd be a lot happier about 8" minimum. So if you need a workhorse around 6.5" long, I'm going to push a santoku.

 

The thing is, most Americans at least do not need a knife that size, because of countertop standards. And I am very skeptical that you could ever convince me that a $150+ santoku would ever be a sane purchase for anyone but some kind of collector or hobbyist. Yet I have no trouble applauding the lunatic (like myself) who drops twice that much on an 11" Masamoto gyuto. I think there's a sort of upper limit on the santoku, is one way to put it.

 

But mostly my point in the previous long post was to clarify some historical confusions about this knife. (A few of those confusions arise from and are perpetuated by deliberate fabrication, too, though this is certainly not the case in the post to which I replied here.)

post #34 of 66

I'd choose the Kasumi Damascus knives over Shun any day. Testing done by America's Test Kitchen, Consumer Report, and NSF all found that the Kasumi has a harder blade with an edge which stays sharper longer than the Shun classic. The Kasumi also sports a more solid, thicker bolster & tang than Shun, Its handles are also securely held in place by rivets AND glue. Shun handles, on the other hand, are glued to the knife without any riveting. This makes them susceptible to breakage if dropped. I am speaking from experience as a former Shun owner whose knife broke after an accidental fall off a 2nd story balcony. Whenever a company like Shun uses enclosed handles on their knives, it's most likely because they're trying to hide an inferior tang. Having a metal end cap just so that you can engrave a name, or crush garlic really isn't much of a criteria to use when shopping for a high end knife. Quality always beats quantity. Simply put, Kasumi is a better constructed knife in every way. Advantage: KASUMI

post #35 of 66

Would you please provide links to the testing performed by America's Test Kitchen, Consumer Report, and NSF on Shun Vs Kasumi? Does Kasumi warrant its knives for 2 story drops?  Just curious...

post #36 of 66

Since some believe the narrow handles on some Japanese knives (e.g. Global, Shun) might be fatiguing...what about knives with "western handles" like MAC, Zwilling JA Henckles, Wusthof....etc. 

 

Some one on this thread didn't like Wusthof...can you tell us why?

 

And yes...I do realize it will come down to how the knives feel in my averaged sized hands. Just looking for some opinions from those who have used or handled the above mentioned knives. I've been using "throw away brand" knives (e.g. get dull...toss...not worth paying to get them honed/sharpened). 

 

Thanks.

post #37 of 66
Quote:
Since some believe the narrow handles on some Japanese knives (e.g. Global, Shun) might be fatiguing...what about knives with "western handles" like MAC, Zwilling JA Henckles, Wusthof....etc. 

Global and Shun have very different handles. Globals are western shaped, While Shuns tend to have something "sort of Japanese," or -- with a couple of lines -- "ergonomic." In addition, Shun has many types of handles, not many of them are particularly narrow. Quite a few people use too much force with their grips, and that's where fatigue comes in.

Many people find Globals to be slippery, and squeeze too tight to compensate. However, most "overgripping," seems to come from a combination of poor skills and dull knives.

Typically, the better your grip (and the rest of your skills), the less important you'll find handle designs. That doesn't mean though that some will be more comfortable others. While I mostly use octagonal, Japanese handles, I find all your referenced knives very good.
Quote:
Some one on this thread didn't like Wusthof...can you tell us why?
Don't know whom you're talking about, but most Wusthofs are heavy and the chef's knives are designed with the clumsy (too much belly) German profile. In addition, like most other German made knives, they dull very quickly. Heavy and dull does not describe a good knife.
Quote:
And yes...I do realize it will come down to how the knives feel in my averaged sized hands. Just looking for some opinions from those who have used or handled the above mentioned knives. I've been using "throw away brand" knives (e.g. get dull...toss...not worth paying to get them honed/sharpened). 
Throw away knives aren't much fun.

Allow me to say though that for the vast majority of cooks, learning to do one's own sharpening is by far a better option than sending one's knives out.

BDL
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post #38 of 66

Thanks for your input BDL. 

 

Does make sense. Perhaps people owning certain Japanese knives for the first time see the narrow handles (e.g. some Shuns, Kasumi) and assume they need to grip tighter. So from their experience they generalize. Narrow handle = fatigue. 

 

As I said I definitely plan to handle some knives before i buy. Of the Japanese knives I'm guessing I'll end up leaning towards the MAC's. Japanese blade German handles. Like to see how heavy Wusthof's are. 

 

You mentioned you use Japanese knives with octagonal handles. Any particular reason why? Just feels best to you? What is the brand?

 

And regarding sharpening...while using stones and working on one's sharpening skills is good (maybe the best). I don't think we're all that devoted to knife care. I'm planning to buy a sharpener with stone wheels...which you use water with...supposed to do a decent job as long as you keep your blade vertical. 

 

The knife shop in my city usually pairs stones or sharpeners with the knives they sell. Depending on whether the blade is German or Japanese. 

 

Any opinions on K-Sabatier knives? Any one?


Edited by BDD8 - 5/8/12 at 1:55pm
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post

 

And regarding sharpening...while using stones and working on one's sharpening skills is good (maybe the best). I don't think we're all that devoted to knife care. I'm planning to buy a sharpener with stone wheels...which you use water with...supposed to do a decent job as long as you keep your blade vertical. 


 

Any opinions on K-Sabatier knives? Any one?

 

 

One opinion on any carbon Sabatier is that if you plan on sharpening the way you are speaking of and don't want to involve yourself in knife care, then avoid them or any nice Japanese blade...stick with dull, heavy German stainless knives that it won't matter how you treat the steel...eek.gif

 

As to K-Sab, they are very nice knives as are ****/Elephant Sab's.


Edited by chinacats - 5/9/12 at 11:11am
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post

...

 

Any opinions on K-Sabatier knives? Any one?

 

I have a K-Sab. Just one 10" carbon chef's knife I bought last year and I'm pretty new to all of this still, but there you go. In terms of my knife right now, it's pretty great but it requires a good deal of honing and it's been a labor of love. I had an issue with the blade coming to me bent, sent it back, they straightened it and sent it back. It still wasn't perfect IMHO, but that's life. The OOTB sharpness and profile was pretty terrible for me. I've thinned behind the edge quite a lot so far and obviously redone the primary (cutting) bevel completely. I've also slowly worked away at the finger guard and it's now a little behind the edge and doesn't clip the stone during sharpening. There is also one seam where the scale doesn't quite touch the tang. It's a decently heavy knife at 261 g, though not as weighty as a similarly long German knife with a full finger guard. The profile is great. The steel was quite reactive at first, but even when I remove the patina and start over now it seems less reactive. Even when I switch over to Japanese for my main knife it'll still be quite handy when a sturdier knife is called for (i.e. winter squash and the like).

post #41 of 66
I'm not sure how many French carbon knives I've got, but it's enough to be a collection, so let's say "beaucoup." I've got a few carbon K-Sabs, including au carbones and Canadians. The last au carbones I bought were around Christmas from the regular online store (not the outlet), for my wife. But I've got more than a few which are quite a bit older. While I've never experienced the quality control issues described by wunderbier, his post isn't the first time I've heard about them. It's probably fair to say that QC there is less than perfect. How bad? I can't say.

My experience with really bad sharpening and edge profiling is limited to T-I. All of the knives I've had from K-Sab have been at least pretty good. It sounds like wunderbier may have got a "Friday afternoon" knife. It happens. No excuse, but it happens. If I received a bent knife with visible gaps around the handle I'd sent it back for a replacement -- including appropriate sharpening -- if possible, as repairs to the bend aren't good enough. A new knife should be straight, period. The handle should fit. And the knife should have enough of an edge that it doesn't need immediate profiling.

Personally I don't care much about factory edges -- I usually get rid of the same day I get the knife (couple of days at most), and re-profile and re-sharpen with an edge more to my liking. However, I'm not the typical buyer and you should insist on an adequate factory edge. Fortunately French carbons are VERY easy to sharpen as long as you use appropriate tools. French carbons are relatively soft, typically around 55-56ish RCH, and they will need fairly frequent truing. I profile mine to roughly 15* with a bit of asymmetry, very similar to how I profile my Forschners, find they need about the same amount of steeling, but that the Sabatiers take a better edge.

I've sharpened my Sabs on oil stones, water stones, loaded strops and with an EP equipped with a set of Choseras. You can get a great edge with any of those; but I find the longest lasting edges come from my oil stone set of India stones and Arkansas stones. If you're going to stick to knives made with soft, tough alloy you might want to consider a set like that. On the other hand, if you're planning on moving on to the sorts of strong, hard alloys Japanese knife makers use, and you're not going to keep multiple sharpening kits, you'd do better with decent water stones.

The best all around "steel" (aka rod hone) on the market at any price is the Idahone Fine (aka "1200"). At under $40, it's not very expensive which makes it double good. For the little it's worth I use two steels, a fine Henckels made much finer by years of use, and an HA borosilicate. The glass rod is really something special, but it's not much of an all-arounder. Steeling technique counts for a lot when it comes to maintaining the sorts of alloys used in carbon Sabs. Too many strokes or too much pressure is counter-productive and leads to ever more frequent steeling and sharpening.

As a sort of overall conclusion, French carbons are excellent working knives as long as you understand how to keep them sharp.

BDL
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post #42 of 66

Thanks again BDL. I was just curious about K-Sabs. I'm assuming the K-Sab's the local shop do sell will be true. As they have a good repuation as a knife shop as they do the quality of meats at their butcher shop.

 

If I go with MAC's (like how they feel in my hand) I might still just buy a quality sharpener to start with (that can hone and sharpen). Not sure I'll spend the time to "hone" my knife sharpening skills on wet stones. Though, my specialty knife shop (also owns one of the top butcher shops in the city) also happens to hold knife sharpening classes with wet stones. So who knows. 

 

The name of the shop I will likely buy from is called Slice & Sear (www.sliceandsear.com). Good selection. Professional people. 

 

Also, does any one have experience with Shun's "Reserve" line of knives? They have German handles. Bit more expensive. Or any of the other Shun lines. I think their Premier line has a bump in the handle to help keep your hand in place...plus the handle is tear shaped. Do all Shun's have tear shaped handles?

 

In the end, I'll decide when I handle some Japanese knives with both types of handles (Japanese or German). See which feel the most balanced to me and not heavy (e.g. Wusthof...wonder if the Zwilling JA Henkels are also as heavy...Pro or Pro-S series).. 


Edited by BDD8 - 5/9/12 at 12:10pm
post #43 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post


 

The name of the shop I will likely buy from is called Slice & Sear (www.sliceandsear.com). Good selection. Professional people. 

 

Not sure what knives these are, but they are not K-Sabatier...the stamping is completely different...they may be Sabatier, but that says nothing...seems these people are selling k-sabs without the "K"?

 

This link is for the real K-Sab au-carbone knives...

 

http://www.sabatier.us/kitchen-knives_15_au-carbone-vintage_.html


Edited by chinacats - 5/9/12 at 9:40pm
post #44 of 66
I'll bet they're just bad with uploading updated photos. Those knives also say Stainless on them. I'd be shocked if they're sending those out to people who order au carbone. A call or email would provide assurances.
post #45 of 66
The knives with diamonds on the marque aren't K-Sabatier but Sabatier Diamant. I assume someone at the website got things garbled. I'd certainly call before you buy to make sure you're getting what you expect.

I was under the impression that K-Sabatier didn't sell to the US through any outlets but their own; but I wouldn't be shocked to find that impression wrong.

BDL.
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post #46 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post

Thanks again BDL. I was just curious about K-Sabs. I'm assuming the K-Sab's the local shop do sell will be true. As they have a good repuation as a knife shop as they do the quality of meats at their butcher shop.

If I go with MAC's (like how they feel in my hand) I might still just buy a quality sharpener to start with (that can hone and sharpen). Not sure I'll spend the time to "hone" my knife sharpening skills on wet stones. Though, my specialty knife shop (also owns one of the top butcher shops in the city) also happens to hold knife sharpening classes with wet stones. So who knows. 

The name of the shop I will likely buy from is called Slice & Sear (www.sliceandsear.com). Good selection. Professional people. 

Also, does any one have experience with Shun's "Reserve" line of knives? They have German handles. Bit more expensive. Or any of the other Shun lines. I think their Premier line has a bump in the handle to help keep your hand in place...plus the handle is tear shaped. Do all Shun's have tear shaped handles?

In the end, I'll decide when I handle some Japanese knives with both types of handles (Japanese or German). See which feel the most balanced to me and not heavy (e.g. Wusthof...wonder if the Zwilling JA Henkels are also as heavy...Pro or Pro-S series).. 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post

Thanks again BDL. I was just curious about K-Sabs. I'm assuming the K-Sab's the local shop do sell will be true. As they have a good repuation as a knife shop as they do the quality of meats at their butcher shop.

If I go with MAC's (like how they feel in my hand) I might still just buy a quality sharpener to start with (that can hone and sharpen). Not sure I'll spend the time to "hone" my knife sharpening skills on wet stones. Though, my specialty knife shop (also owns one of the top butcher shops in the city) also happens to hold knife sharpening classes with wet stones. So who knows. 

The name of the shop I will likely buy from is called Slice & Sear (www.sliceandsear.com). Good selection. Professional people. 

Also, does any one have experience with Shun's "Reserve" line of knives? They have German handles. Bit more expensive. Or any of the other Shun lines. I think their Premier line has a bump in the handle to help keep your hand in place...plus the handle is tear shaped. Do all Shun's have tear shaped handles?

In the end, I'll decide when I handle some Japanese knives with both types of handles (Japanese or German). See which feel the most balanced to me and not heavy (e.g. Wusthof...wonder if the Zwilling JA Henkels are also as heavy...Pro or Pro-S series).. 

If your fortunate enough to have a local source for learning to sharpen properly I saw at least give it a shot as IMHO there is no better way than sharpening and maintaining your own knives, and having someone to point out your errors and show you the correct way is a major advantage.

That applies no matter which knives you decide on.

I also had wished I would have been able to handle and just check out the Knives I was considering deviously as well, but also have learned that a lot of the importance is beyond what you will find from a quick handling (steel, actual use etc) and now know I may have actually made decisions that would not have been as good as I did "blind" due to having very different opinions and knowledge from owning the knives I originally purchased

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #47 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinacats View Post

Not sure what knives these are, but they are not K-Sabatier...the stamping is completely different...they may be Sabatier, but that says nothing...seems these people are selling k-sabs without the "K"?

 

This link is for the real K-Sab au-carbone knives...

 

http://www.sabatier.us/kitchen-knives_15_au-carbone-vintage_.html

Sorry. Didn't notice BDL's link (different color lettering) at the time. S&S (my local store) is selling only the high carbon steel knives. And as was pointed out they used photos of Sabatier Diamant knives instead for certain knives (got it right for other knives). Not sure why. 

 

But, before I head to the shop I'll make sure to tell them to have the high carbon versions for me to handle (along with some MAC's and Shun Premiers).

 

As I said. This is a fairly respectable shop in Toronto. Honest mistake with their website photos. 


Edited by BDD8 - 5/12/12 at 2:32pm
post #48 of 66
Don't know why you don't see the icon. Your Toronto shop is showing pictures of the Sabatier Diamant classic series. Those are stainless knives. Sabatier Diamant doesn't make carbon steel blades at all. So the picture doesn't match the description. I don't think taking anyone for a ride is at issue. They just have a confused and confusing online catalogue. I'll bet the words are more trustworthy than the pictures, but you should definitely check with them.
Edit - you should see the diamonds on the knives from the link BDL provided. That's the Sab Diamant site. The link DuckFat provided is to the K-Sabs, which have no diamond logo. Or icon. Or marque. That's the whole issue. Description on the Toronto shop's site says K-Sab carbon. Picture is Diamant Sab, stainless.
Edited by Wagstaff - 5/11/12 at 10:36am
post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post

But, before I head to the shop I'll make sure to tell them to have the high carbon versions for me to handle (along with some MAC's and Shun Premiers).

 

As I said. This is a fairly respectable shop in Toronto. Honest mistake with their website photos. 

Just to clarify...high carbon can be stainless...when people here refer to carbon knives they are speaking of knives that are not stainless (they will rust/patina).  Most knife companies use the term high-carbon to refer to 'high' quality knives...this may be what is misleading as these knives are usually stainless--and often not of the highest quality...kinda confusing myself now:>)

 

I think there is a thread around here that explains what percent carbon is required to be called "high carbon," but that is often less than half of the amount found in most 'carbon knives.'  What I do remember is that the percentage of carbon is usually less than 2% in most knives...my old Henckels are around a 1/2 percent and I think most of my carbon knives are around 1 to just a little more. 


Edited by chinacats - 5/13/12 at 8:58am
post #50 of 66

Hi chinacats,

 

I don't think carbon knives can be stainless. I think they just mean that these "carbon" knives have enough chromium to stop them from rusting. The percentage ratio of carbon to chromium. I was reading about this recently and watching a few YouTube videos from credible chefs and retailers. Now I have to go back and make sure which brands/series won't rust. I think K-Sab's "Vintage" line will rust (patina) but not their Elegance line. 

 

The Shun Premier line uses their VG10 steel with "stainless Damascus" on the sides. So these knives shouldn't patina. 

 

And even when the knives do patina I guess it shouldn't be anything to be concerned about. As in the case of K-Sab Vintage Au Carbone knives.

 

Now, LennyD mentions that K-Sab has "carbon" and "high carbon" knives. I briefly looked on the K-Sab website and thought I only saw SS or high carbon. Looking forwards to the photos LennyD. Which product lines are "only" "carbon"?


Edited by BDD8 - 5/14/12 at 1:02pm
post #51 of 66

I had wanted to post a pic or two of a brochure I have picked up from the K Sabatier distributor in SC, but the site wants a link so I will try to upload the pics some place I can link to later.

 

In the brochure they show carbon steel, and high carbon steel.

 

If I am reading it correctly the high carbon is referring to the SS knives.

 

Too bad this is a santoku thread as there is a building amount of info on the French knives :)

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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post #52 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD8 View Post

Hi chinacats,

 

I don't think carbon knives can be stainless. I think they just mean that these "carbon" knives have enough chromium to stop them from rusting. The percentage ratio of carbon to chromium. I was reading about this recently and watching a few YouTube videos from credible chefs and retailers. Now I have to go back and make sure which brands/series won't rust. I think K-Sab's "Vintage" line will rust (patina) but not their Elegance line. 

 

The Shun Premier line uses their VG10 steel with "stainless Damascus" on the sides. So these knives shouldn't patina. 

 

And when they say a knife will rust some say it's actually a good thing. Gives the knife character. Would that not make the knife not usable? As rust flakes or particles would be constantly coming off the knife. No? :) 

 

Also, why "chinacats"? :) Are you Chinese? Or do you like Chinese cats? :)

steel = iron + carbon (plus an assortment of other goodies)

chromium makes steel stainless

all steel knives have carbon

rust does not = patina

rust = bad

patina = good

chinacats == yes, i like chinese cats (krazy ones w/ eyes peeking through lace bandana like a 1 eyed cheshire, like a diamond eyed jack :>))

post #53 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post
The link DuckFat provided is to the K-Sabs, which have no diamond logo.

 

 

Ooopsie. I wouldn't mind seeing that link. lol.gif

 

Dave


Edited by DuckFat - 5/17/12 at 9:40am
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post #54 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinacats View Post

steel = iron + carbon (plus an assortment of other goodies)

chromium makes steel stainless

all steel knives have carbon

rust does not = patina

rust = bad

patina = good

chinacats == yes, i like chinese cats (krazy ones w/ eyes peeking through lace bandana like a 1 eyed cheshire, like a diamond eyed jack :>))


Indeed. Maybe BDD8 would find this steel guide illuminating.

post #55 of 66

Thanks for the link Wunderbier. Good primer. 

post #56 of 66
Steel by definition is iron + carbon. So, all steel has carbon in it. By definition, "high carbon" steel is any steel with greater than 0.50% (by weight) carbon; although some people -- including those who write the ads for German knives -- set the bar at 0.45%, particularly to define X45CrMo15 as "high carbon." This is the alloy you most often find in inexpensive Asian or South American knives advertised as made with "German, high-carbon steel."

"Stainless steel," by definition, is any steel which has a chromium component equal or greater than 13%. For instance, the "15" in X45CrMo15 stands for 15% chromium.
Stainless steel may be high carbon or not. Some steels with some but less than 13% chromium are referred to as "rust free," "rust resistant" or "semi-stainless."

We knife guys often use the term "carbon steel" to differentiate it from steels which have a large amount of chromium.

Steel makers formulate steels with various elements in order to maximize certain characteristics and minimize others. The more carbon in a steel, usually the "stronger" it will be; but there are limits to how much carbon is practical. Until fairly recently, using enough chromium to make a real difference in stain and rust prevention meant knives that were difficult to harden and sharpen, etc. Very modern stainless is much better than stainless formulated even twenty years ago.

My semi-stainless Konosuke HDs (about 9% chromium, I think) have excellent toughness, are hardened to 61RCH, have great sharpening and edge holding characteristics, are very pleasant to sharpen, etc. I could maybe squeeze out a little extra sharpness from a really good carbon like Shirogami #2 or 52100, but it would be at the expense of a lot of maintenance. On the other hand, French carbons will take a vastly better edge than almost any Euro stainless knife. That's partly the blade alloy and partly a bunch of other things.

When we're discussing how the materials properties of knife alloys affect performance, we also have to acknowledge the importance of other factors, especially hardening.

Different alloys, designs, and techniques do different things. The pleasure I take in using Sabatier carbons is not a criticism of Wusthof, Henckels or even Sabatier stainless any more than my affection for Parker fountain pens is a criticism of disposable ball points.

Hope this helps,
BDL
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post #57 of 66

@ BDL. What do you figure (any) Sabatier's current carbon steel is? I was guessing the other day that it might be something straightforward in the 10XX series, but I have no reference points to back that up. It was just conjecture based on the knives being relatively inexpensive and not marketing the type of carbon steel. Thoughts?
 

post #58 of 66
I don't know the right number for Sabatier carbon offhand -- whether classic or modern. Most estimates put it right around 0.5%. 10xx series steels tend to run towards more carbon, and in most respects other than hardness and hardening the Sabatiers -- or at least those with which I'm familiar -- act a lot like other 10xx knives I've used.

A couple of things making them attractive are edge taking, and the way their softness makes for easy maintenance. In other words, they're neither overly tough nor strong (using those terms in their strict, "materials" sense), but balance the two quite sweetly.

When you throw in the incredibly good chef's knives profile and their well proportioned handles, you end up with something very special.

BDL
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post #59 of 66

Thanks for your help guys (BDL). Which knives I end up getting I have no idea yet. But will be either French (K-Sabatier Vintage Au Carbone) or some Japanese knives (e.g. Shun Premier, Masamoto, MAC...etc.). Will depend on my quick handling of the knives. Too bad you can't borrow them for a test run at home for a few weeks first. :) I'm in LA now and won't be back home till the end of the year.

 

I am leaning towards a brand/series that makes a few of the "essential" knives I'm planning to start with (e.g. chef's, bread, utility and slicer...plus fork). And of course steak knives. Knowing of course no one says you have to buy all of the same brand. I'm sure you ex-chef's don't do this and have a mix. Which ever brand knife does the job best for you. I would just prefer it this way. The Shun Premier is one. MAC makes the "essential" knives just no steak knives.

post #60 of 66
I suggest that you leave Shun Premier off your list. They feel a LOT better in the store than they will on your board. There's a lot of good in terms of fit, finish, guarantee, and so on. But the chef's knives are handicapped by a really lousy, exaggerated German profile. Just going with your list, either MAC or Masamoto will probably serve you better in use. Plus... there are a ton of other knives out there. The trick -- such as it is -- is narrowing down the world of choices to a very small group which best reflects your priorities.

BDL
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