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ChefTalk Knife buying, selection and care guide - Page 4

post #91 of 123
Tsk. You should be able to recognize them. Let's see how I do.

Top left (top to bottom): wa handled single bevel yani -- about 240mm; wa-handled deba about 180 mm; plastic handled 6" utility (or posibly flex fillet)

Top right (top to bottom): 10" cimiter (Forschner blue fibrox -- "B"); 8" breaker (B), 6" semi-stiff boning (B); Chinese-style vegetable chopper (very cheap, carbon steel, Dexter/Yan/Chen or maybe even cheaper).

Far top right: Meat cleaver.

Bottom (left to right): 12" cake/bread slicer (Forschner); 12" German profile ("GP") Chef's (probably used as a "lobster cracker" and other heavy-duty); 10" GP Chef's; 8" GP Chef's; 8" German bolster shape ("GB") slicer, 10" French Profile chef's; 8" FP chef's; 6-1/2" desosser shape ("D") fillet/boning (Lamson?); 6" GP chef's; 6" GB utility; 6" GB D boning; tomato knife (not too sure about that one, actually); 4" GB couteau office shape ("O") parer; 4" plastic handled O parer; 3" parer (I forget the name for the shape, similar to but not called a desosser, looks like it's been sharpened a lot though); 3" O parer; 3" parer (bec d'oiseau aka tourne); 180 mm usuba/nakiri; 180 mm santoku; 130 mm (?) santoku; bayonet (aka straight) cook's fork; pot/carving (aka curved) cook's fork without a pot button.


post #92 of 123
Since it's show and tell I thought I'd have some fun, so I dug up my old knives. I've never been much of a tool whore so my collection is small but adequate. Sure a nicer knife may help me do my job a little easier, but a lesser knife isn't going to stop me from doing it either.

This was my bread and butter kit for years. It's all I've ever really needed. I like to travel light. I bought that Connoisseur french knife for $12.95 in 1983. That was the first knife I bought as a young salad guy. If that knife could talk. I still use it sometimes. The German stuff I've had since about 1988.

This is a kit I got few years back. A perk of being chef. It's nice and I use it but it doesn't have near the miles as the above kit. But it still has some stories I'm sure.

post #93 of 123
Yeah, that photo looks quite similiar to my collection. Remember now, we eat starting with the outmost cutlery first--pot roast fork for oysters, cook`s fork for salad, and the cake knife to spread butter on the rolls, boning knife of course is used for dessert....

Still use my first knife, a 10" Henkels "Zwilling", bought over 25 years ago, it's shrunk considerably, same for the "bird's beak" turning knife, my cook's fork's tines has been straightened out a few times (had an eejit d/w who used it to break apart frzn spinach blocks once to many times...) "used to" have some nice "office'' (paring) knives, Driezack (Wusthof) I think, but they're buried in the garbage somewhere during the aspergaus season. These have been replaced by (hush now and cross your heart) Ikea stuff..well, they`re cheap and they don`t cost a fortune to replace.

Among my "Monsters" is a Victorinox "Schlag Messer" weighing in at 820 grams (a bit under 2 lbs) with the blade almost 13`` long and 3``wide, (handle is another 5``long) it does alot of the same things a cleaver can do. I keep it in my chocolate room and use it to take out my frustrations on those 5 kg slabs of rock-hard couveture. The other is an F Dick meat pounder. This thing is massive, over 2 lbs and all cast with an offset handle, done many a schniztel and paillard with that thing.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #94 of 123
Show and tell?

恵守 世羽棲知安

恵守 世羽棲知安
post #95 of 123
I think I cut myself just looking at that knife salty dog..

anyone have opinions on ceramic knives? I've been thinking of getting one.
post #96 of 123
They're too fragile to be really useful on the line. Like all knives, they eventually dull, and can't easily be resharpened. For a discerning home user, it might take four months to dull. But what's that on the line? Three or four weeks? By and large they are an expensive and unreliable solution to a non-problem for anyone who can sharpen their own knife.

On the other hand, there are some relatively inexpensive Chinese ceramic knives which have moved into the market in the last few years. I've also heard, anecdotes to the proposition that ceramics can be resharpened using diamond "honing" paste, but not from anyone I trust enough to count them as "information."

Also, my viewpoint might be clouded because my go to gyuto is much longer than the ceramics, I own quite a few good knives, am good enough at sharpening them to make them as sharp as a ceramic, and enjoy it enough that it isn't a chore (isn't that always a key?).

Bottom line: I've never known a working pro who's been happy with a ceramic for more than a couple of months. If you can afford to fool around with something that has a lot of issues, you should. But at the current SOTA (state of the art), it's just a gimmick. As the SOTA changes, everything else may change as well. I think you're better off spending the money on a couple of Shapton GS stones, your first, really good Japanese knife, or maybe even an old, carbon steel Sabatier like mine.


PS. I'm told there have been complaints regarding non-pros posting in this part of the forum. FWIW, I'm ex-pro, line, catering, and teaching; but don't want to change my identity to "ex-chef" because I feel the word "chef" means something I was not. Maybe Nicko can give us an "ex-chef d'partie," "ex-line slave," or "taught a few classes" classifications to select from.

PPS. All you pros, take a look at my blog and leave some comments please. Even though the book isn't directed at you, I appreciate the perspective. Thanks, BDL
post #97 of 123
Thanks for the input BDL, thats what I was afraid of with them. The only pro i'd ever seen using them was Ming Tsai (but my view into the pro world involves the very small kitchen I work at where both the more trained cook and the chef use their knives from culinary school... and TV), and he seemed to have an endorsement deal, so I wasn't sure.

I think I'm going to get either a MAC or Kangetsu Pro M, sharpen up my parents old sabatier (years of no sharpening + dishwashing make for a very dull knife! I have to figure out how to sharpen off enough steel to return its point too.. they really took bad care of it!) and as far as sharpening stones, what grits would you recommend?

Thanks again,
post #98 of 123
Yes. He's got a deal with Kyocera, and has for ages. He also has some of the best knife technique ever. That guy can flat prep.

MAC Original, Superior and Chef, Kanetsugu, and any Sabatier can all be effectively sharpened on oil stones (as opposed to water stones). Oil stones are less expensive and far easier to maintain than waterstones. So, I think they're best for the direction you're heading in.

You're going to need to reprofile the Sabatier -- assuming it can be saved. Knives which have gone through the diswhasher frequently have such major handle issues it's not worth repairing their blades. That means having a coarse enough stone to handle that task -- but it's a surface you won't use very often. So, I hate to spend a lot on it, or waste a lot of space. The alternative is to have something just coarse enough to profile, but fine enough to use as the first sharpening surface. The equivalent of a fine Crystolon or medium India if you know Norton stones.

That you're even discussing freehand sharpening on stones indicates an interest in a well finished edge -- so you're going to want your final surface to do more polishing than sharpening. Assuming, these are good guesses, here are two recommendations.

Hall's Commercial 8" Wet Hone ($48 -- three surfaces) Commercial Knife Sharpening Stones Commercial Knife Sharpening I recommend the Commercial over the less expensive Home Tri-Hone because the Commercial stone holder can go into the dishwasher, stones and all. More about specific maintenance issues if and when you decide to use oil stones. Suffice it to say, they do need to be cleaned frequently, but don't need to be prepped ever, and only very infrequently flattened. The Norton equivalent has a better rough stone, a better box, not nearly as good a soft Arkansas, and costs double.

Four surface, mixed set: Norton 8 x 3 x 1 coarse India; Norton 8 x 3 x 1 fine India; Hall's 8 x 3 x 1 soft Arkansas; Hall's 8 x 3 x 1 black Arkansas. This is the set I use for almost everything (about $150).

Here's a different way to go...

Four surface, Japanese set: Norton 220/1000 and 4000/8000 combi water stones. The set comes with a flattener. You'll need to add a stone holder and a nagura prep stone. (about $150, altogether). Not the best waterstones in the world, but not the worst. More polish than you need, but you can't beat the price with a good 220/ 1000/ 4000 set plus flattener -- so you might as well start here if you decide to go the waterstone route.

Most professional sharpeners will "fix" a broken tip by reprofiling the knife completely. If you're good enough to recreate the old profile, you're also good enough to know it's not worth what the customer will have to pay for your time. It's not a cheap repair, and it's important for the customer to have a very definite idea of what (s)he wants so as not to overspend. If you have somebody else do it, make sure they take off enough to form an entirely new point rather than savying the old, and tell them you don't care about retaining the old blade's shape.

If you do it yourself, the best way to take care of a broken or highly deformed tip is to create an entirely new point without trying to mimic the old geometry. And usually the best way to do that is by sharpening down from the spine, rather than up from the edge.

First create the point, by holding the spine square to the stone and slowly abrading a new tip. The farther back towards the handle the more like a "spear" and regular French profile the knife will look. The farther away, the more like a sheep's foot or santoku. There's a common Japanese profile that splits the difference -- which is what you'll probably end up with. Start grinding about 3/4 to 4/5 of the way to where the tip is going to have to be and don't worry too much about curving. Start gradually, then increase the degree of arc as you near the point (by lifting the handle).

Once you've established a point that meets healthy edge, you can start profiling it -- still from the spine until it's got a shape you like. Take your time, it's a lot of work and you won't want to go back. Then, take care of an outstanding issue you didn't even know you had. That is, round over the spine in the inch or so closest to the hande. This will make the knife a lot more comfortable to handle.

Finally, profile sharpen and polish the edge. Whatever's still left of the edge is not only dull, but probably pitted from dishwasher detergent, and wildly inappropriate for someone who can sharpen her or his own knife. If the old Sab is a carbon, I recommend a flat bevel, with 50/50 symmetry and a 15 deg edge angle (30 deg included angle). That's how I usually sharpen mine, anyway. If it's stainless, we'll take it out at about a 20 deg edge angle.

If and when you get there, I'll give you some very specific instructions for how to do the point and edge profiling, and the edge sharpening and polishing. Not to mention how to hold the proper angle consistently, and how to use and take care of your stones. Right now, I'm just trying to let you know you can do a good job of it.

post #99 of 123

Now, now children.

Let's not bicker.

As far as knives go, when I went to CHIC/LCBP (The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago Le Cordon Bleu Program), they gave us Messermeister kits. Not good knives. Within a month I bought a 12 inch (!!!) Wustie LCB chef. Great knife. Thin blade, flexible enough to fillet, and no bolster to get in the way of sharpening. I still use it. However, I got a new job recently, and the fish guy uses this six-inch Sabatier 5-Star that is from the 60's and is all carbon, with no belly what so ever. I am in love with that knife. I found a few on Craigslist and Ebay. Now, all I use are old Sabs. Great knives.
Bork Bork Bork!
Bork Bork Bork!
post #100 of 123
My experience with knives are that no matter what brand you buy it will never be your last set. Good expencive knives will last a long time most likely keep their edge longer, but everyday use in the kitchen will wear them out. My advice to you being a culinary student is to go to a culinary store and handle each knife. Find the one that you like and see how well it fits your hand. Ask yourself if its comfortable can you hold it for 8,10,12,14 hours a day. Is it balanced? I myself use Le cordon bleu knives. They are not very expencive and they hold an edge, but I also recommend with the cheaper knives to hone them on a steel after every 10 minutes of constant use. not much just a couple of passes. By doing this you will keep a good edge and wont have to place your knife on a sharpener which will have you replacing it sooner. I hoped this helped you even though I didnt compare all brands and give differences between them. Remember a good knife is the one that you make your living with not the brand name.
post #101 of 123
Bryan and Smokey -- Were you responding to any particular posts or just doing general knife recommendation?

Nobody's bickering. It's a conversation.

The LCB line was such a wild success Wusthof's decided to discontinue it awhile ago. If you like them -- deal time if you can find them. They were very nice knives. They actually have a bolster, but it's "cut down" in the sense the finger guards are gone. If I'm not mistaken, Ikon and Classic Ikon are Wustie's only lines still featuring the cut down bolster.

AFAIK, there is no "5-star Sabatier." You presumably were momentarily confused by Henckels Five Star, and meant "**** [4-star] Sabatier." At any rate, 4-star was absorbed by Thiers-Issard Elephant Sabatier who are still making carbon knives in the same way from more or less the same steel. I have two modern Thiers-Issard **** Elephant Sabatier (desosser, and couteau office) and they're about as good as my older Sabs. Definitely recommended for someone who wants European carbon knives.

Thiers-Issard has some "New Old Stock" blades from the late twenties and early thirties which they sell as "Nogent." They used to have quite a bit, but a lot has been sold and some shapes are gone. I've got three Nogents. These are very good knives as well, although the handle which is just a block of ebony might be impractical for a modern commercial environment. With that and the European carbon caveat, again highly recommended.

Both the new Thiers Issard and the old Nogent are sold online by The Best Things. Sabatier Kitchen Knives at The Best Things

K-Sabatier still makes the same au carbone knives they've been making since the late fifties. I bought my first in the early seventies, and have bought a few since. Wonderful knives. As far as I can tell the last ones I bought in 2001 are just as good as the first ones I bought. Kitchen Sabatier Knives : French cutlery from Thiers

There are a series of NOS carbon Sabatiers made in Canada which are sold by both K-Sab ("Antique") and The Best Things ("Massif"). Also great knives. Thiers Issard's story is that the knives are early 20th Century, and K-Sab says they're from the fifties. I think they're both selling the same knives, and if I had to guess, I'd guess sixties -- because I have three of them which were given to me in the early seventies by my executive chef at the Blue Fox, who'd bought them new and had them for a few years but hadn't used them -- or so he said. At any rate they were unused (and duller than snot) when i got them in '72ish.

And let's not forget Mercier et Cie and their various labels. Fantes sells them, and other places too. These are good knives, but my impression is that they roll and wave a little easier than the K-Sabs or the **** Elephants because of different surface hardening.

About half of my knives, pretty much all of the regularly used ones are new, old, vintage or antique Sabatier carbon of one sort or another. Every one of them is a great knife. That said, I never recommend carbon knives to anyone who hasn't either already expressed an interest or wants to know "everything."

They'll out perform even very good stainless steel (better than Wusthof) in almost every way. But honestly, there are better knives for the price. Setting aside my emotional commitment to the knives I learned on, and their historical interest -- if I had to buy again, I'd still buy carbon but I wouldn't buy Sabatier, I'd buy Kikuichi Elite, Togiharu, or Masmaoto HC (first choice, but more expesnive).

One of the advantages in good carbon steel, and Sabatier in particular is how easily they sharpen to a great edge. That said, the prospective buyer should beware that most "new" and almost every "old" Sabatier is going to come to you needing quite a bit of work to get that edge. If sharpening isn't your thing, a carbon Sab is probably the wrong knife for you. Buy something that's sharp out of the box, and won't break your heart when it gets scratched up by your pull through sharpener or the service you take it too. In other words, don't worry about buying the best knife -- try and find the best knife for you.

Anyway, to keep some perspective, all of the knives mentioned are very good and the performance differences are very slight. I think carbon steel is generally a better choice for a cook who really enjoys knife work and doesn't work in an environment where the benefits of the steel outweigh the extra care required. But it's just an opinion, it's not like I read it off of stone tablets.

post #102 of 123
Smokey -- Were you responding to any particular posts or just doing general knife recommendation?

I was just responding to the original posted thread. There are people way more qualified to reccommend knives than myself. I was just giving a little advice on choosing a knife.
post #103 of 123
Solid advice, IMO.

post #104 of 123
Yeah, you're right I was slightly confused. I was just continuing the knife advice by offering my experience. That's all.
Bork Bork Bork!
Bork Bork Bork!
post #105 of 123

Serrated Knives

I'm looking for suggestions on good serrated knives- not necessarily a bread knife, more of like a 8" utility knife with an offeset handle. I've used a Forschener, which an old chef swore by, but it dulls and it's not worth sharpening. He suggested throwing it out and buying a new one ( they're less than $20), but it seems like a waste of a good knife and $20 every year or so. Any suggestions on models and manufacturers would be appriciated.
post #106 of 123
i have a 8 in off set henkels that i found at a marshells for 20 dollars. i have the straight handle version too. both good knives, i dont really use serrated knives that much so they dont get that much of a workout. i have seen shuns with the off set handle but there around 80 or 90 dollars. personaly for a pro kitchen i would go by what you chef says use it till it dull then toss it. unless your doing alot of bread and need serrated then i would go with the 10 in mac bread knife. and i can cut anything better else better with a non serrated edge so...
post #107 of 123

offset serrated knives

i always thought the offset serrated knife felt better than the
straight serrated knife. my preference.

that said, you might be able to try the dexter-russell 9" offset
serrated knife. the softgrip model is very comfortable for long
sessions of slicing stuff. doesn't cost much either.

funny how dexter-russell knives show up in more commercial
kitchens that almost any other brand but nobody seems to
recommend them? cheap enough, light enough, sharp enough,
comfortable enough ... great for learning knife skills before
going on to something else.

anyone who has read "kitchen confidential" by anthony bourdain
MUST have come across his mentioning a 7" offset serrated knife
by f. dick from their "pro-dynamic" series. i bought one, then also
the 9" model of the same knife. then a similar offset model by icel.

either of these three models are sleeker than the dexter-russell
which seems massive by comparison. all four knives cut cleanly,
stay sharp for quite a while and are cheap enough to own.
(they must be ... i was able to buy them all myself!)

anyway ... my two cents.
post #108 of 123
people dont mention them because there straight edge knives suck. dont know what kind of steel is used in a dexter but iv never seen a sharp straight edge knife. There serrated is ok but thats about it. forchners are lots better for the money and the low end japanses for a few dollar more blow forchners out of the water.
post #109 of 123


it simply seems illogical to me that if the dexters suck that badly,
they wouldn't be showing up in all those commercial kitchens as
often as they do.

granted, forschners often are a better choice, but then again,
dexters are not the slouches you say the are either!

i own a set of fourteen fibrox forschners and also a set of twelve
sani-safe dexters (among other knives) and i take the dexters
when i go to public places where things seem to "walk off".
i have never had a problem with dexters being sharp enough to
do the job at hand, although they certainly don't hold an edge
over my hand beaten japanese ao-ki blue steel knives.

HOWEVER! for a beginner looking for something a little better
for little money, to me it makes more sense to get dexters
(or forschners, or boker arbolitos) and get a few extra shapes
to work with and cheap enough to practice sharpening skills.
after all, if you don't know how to sharpen properly, would you
REEEEAAALLLY want to practice on a new $120 wusthof 10" chef
knife or a $28 dexter??
post #110 of 123
why no use a 10 in wusthof, you have to learn some how to sharpen. if you learning how to sharpen and you mess up you just start over and learn from your mistakes your not going to ruin the blade. you couldnt mess up a wusthof unless you grind it down on a belt sander or try an reforge it somthing which would be stupid. now i dont think a wusthof is the best knife in the world but it beats the dexter. if your using japanese blue steel knives and why would you still you a dexter, knives only walk off if you leave them lie around plus i would never work in a place that theres a chance of a knife walking off. if theres someone shaddy i would just keep a closer eye on my stuff and make sure all my stuff is in place before every one leaves.

btw you can get wusthies for about 60 to 70 buck on ebay, i would never pay retail on a german knife.
post #111 of 123

many knives, many reasons

===== seems i don't like german knives either. sold all of my
wusthofs except for one and bought all japanese and chinese

i have read many many many posts on knives on this website and so
many seem to think you can only own one or two knives. heck ...
most people i know own lots of different clothes (casual, dress, sport,
formal, etc.), lots of different hammers (tack, claw, ball peen),
and my wife (bless her heart!) owns 19 pairs of black shoes!
different things for different reasons!

all i am saying is ... variety is the spice of life! get a couple of
good but cheap knives, some nice but more expensive knives,
and maybe one killer sweet knife. if you want to learn how to sharpen
a knife on a good knife, fine, but i just think it is more prudent to
learn on a cheaper knife.
post #112 of 123

reading thread

Folllowing the thread (and enjoying it) I spotted Henckels Ad popping up on new page sometimes. That brings my memories back.. Henckels were predominant by number at most kitchen I've seen as well as on Ebay recently. Chefs most often suggested them to students and starters. You could leave them behind and nobody would steal them because everybody around had them already :lol:
They did pretty good job too. Now I wonder if anybody else noticed steel imperfections in knifes that been around last 5-6 years? I seen it a lot, even started checking around for more - and it was more. Mostly it was cavities or impurities that surfase when you sharpen knifes constantly. Edge often crumbled if you go near 20 degree bevel.
That was happening to virtually every line, 4 stars, Classic, TwinSelect, ProS, 5 star, old ones, new ones, Friodur or others. I'm pretty sure it's not in Cermax now but what that makes you think of? Dawn of brand? Imported ingredients? "Too many Hyundais recycled into european steel industry lately" as one jokes?
post #113 of 123
What is going on is people are trying to imitate their japanese knife weilding friends and sharpen at more accute angles. The soft and mediocre quality of steel from Solingen isn't holding up. It doesn't make sense in some ways though. America has the propensity to make high level kitchen knives. Warthers are hard 58-60 hrc and a few custom makers make good knives, Butch harner is making me a custom carbon blade from O1 steel. For some reason the germans are still using outdated stainless that says high carbon but is aproximately 60% of what others designate as high carbon.

I would say they are saving money but the steel they use isn't cheap, it's just of a lower quality. They must divert all the money from R&D to Ad and PR.
post #114 of 123
I'm looking to buy a new knife now that I'm in culinary school. The knives they give us are ok at best, and I am kind of obsessed with having a really sharp edge on my knife all the time.

Santoku style knives are what I use the most, and what I'm currently looking for. I found a 170 mm HD-5 Santoku by Hattori for $135 on It's a high-carbon VG-10 core blade at 60-61 HRC, so I'm thinking that it will be a good choice for me.

It's also a beautiful blade.

Any thoughts? H
post #115 of 123
Sharp is a good thing. The first thing you should do is learn to sharpen. That said, there's a limit to how sharp you can get and keep the type of knives most schools have (or sell) for their students.

Personally, I don't care for santokus in a professional environment unless you're working on a very, very small board. You'll get a lot more production out of a 10" chef's (either 24cm or 27cm) than a santoku; plus as a student you'll have the opportunity to learn to use a chef's without the pressure "learn while you earn" puts you under.

Additionally, a santoku is something of a "girl's knife," and the reputation is one more unnecessary thing to deal with -- even (or maybe especially) if you are a girl.

Bottom line: To each his or her own. If a santoku makes a big difference in your productivity, a santoku you should use.

Really bad choice for a school knife because it's way too nice. The fake damascus on the outside will get absolutely trashed in no time; worse, the odds of the knife being stolen are ridiculously high. You understand there's a reason you don't wear your best clothes to play footbal, right?

The most obvious school choices are lower-mid level knives like the Fujiwara FKC, MAC Superior, Misono Moly, and the Togiharu Inox. You can take any of these to a level of sharpness far beyond a typical school knife. The edges can be maintained on a steel, too.

The next step up, if you're committed to spending the money, is something like a MAC Pro. Although it's a bit on the homely side (in my opinion), it's very robust and about the stiffest Japanese knife you can buy. It's among the best choices for a work environment and for someone coming off western knives. You'll have to keep a pretty close eye on it though. There are a number of other excellent choices in a similar price range, like the Masamoto VG (Cook's Illustrated No. 1 at the price), and the Togiharu G-1 (almost a clone of the Masamoto, almost; but cheaper).

It doesn't matter what brand you buy, it's worth repeating that if you want a truly sharp knife you'll either have to learn to sharpen yourself, or develop a plan in which someone does it for you. The way students flog their knives, figure a week tops before it's got to go to the stones. On top of that, Japanese knives often come with mediocre edges from the factory. Sharpening is something you want settled before buying the knife.

post #116 of 123
I've been cooking (not professionally, but very seriously) for over ten years now, and for the most part I've used a 24 cm chef's knife; I first tried a santoku about four years ago, and fell in love with the shape immediately.
It's a really small school, I always keep a close eye on my knives, and I have a locker where I lock up my tools at the end of the day, so I'm not worried about it being stolen, really. Also, I'll probably be bringing it home with me every day, so I can use it at home too. So that's pretty much a moot point. Besides, I'm a pretty big and intimidating guy when I want to be, and people know not to touch my tools. :D
I should probably have phrased it differently. I'm not buying a knife to use just when I'm in school, but when I'm at home too. Price really isn't that much of an issue; I'm prepared to pay anything up to $250 for a decent knife made from good, hard steel. I just thought that $135 for a Hattori was a really good deal.
post #117 of 123
Not a good deal at all -- just retail. JCK sells them $122.50, and charges less for shipping than almost any e-bay vendor.

Hattori HD is a nice knife series, but -- trust me on this -- the "damascus" (suminagashi actually) pattern will not stand up to hard use. Better than Shun's, yes; but still not very good.

Considering your price range, there are better knives. If you want a VG-10 santoku, take a look at the Togiharu G-1 from Korin. It's not as pretty as the Hattori, but it's more knife. You might also want to think about the Hattori FH. Expensive for VG-10, but about as nice as mass produced knives get. Again -- significantly more knife than an HD.
post #118 of 123
Alright, thank you very much, I'll take a look at those knives. :)

EDIT: Wow, $221 for the VG-10 FH-4 Santoku, and a very classy looking blade it is too. I think I just found my knife, especially considering the dollar exchange rates these days. If I order it online, with shipping and all I'll still be paying at least $50 less than I would in a store here in Sweden, for a similiar knife.
post #119 of 123

sharpen: these knives have a convex grind. use the following @ a 20 degree angle to sharpener on each bevel
(light hone..brings back razor sharp edge):

The 10" Diamond Knife Sharpener is perfect for a quick and easy razor sharp edge on your knife.

  • The 10" length will sharpen any size knife, long or short.


Below are the specifications on the most awesome cutlery knives. They are not German nor Japanese made knives.They are the highest quality at a fair price. Hand made in the USofA!

100% American Made:
Warther knives use all American made materials and make all their kitchen knives at a plant in Dover, OH. Warther does not outsource any work overseas! Anyone is welcome to stop in and visit the plant in Dover, OH for a tour of the knife shop, where you can watch the knife making firsthand.

Knife Making:
Ernest "Mooney" Warther began making knives in 1902 because he couldn't find a knife that would stay sharp while carving hard materials like walnut, bone and
ivory. He researched what was the best steel to use and he created his own techniques for grinding the steel blade so it would keep its sharp edge. Warther's still use the same specifications and techniques Mooney created. Combining these techniques with today's steel, Warther's is able to create a superior quality knife.

American made high carbon tool steel that is rust resistant. The steel is hand-rolled on an old-style hand-operated mill. This type of steel allows them to temper it to a high degree of hardness (58 - 60 Rockwell C) without being brittle. Other qualities of the tool steel include the ability to stay sharp, keep its polished finish, and remain highly rust resistant.

Grind and Polish: (Warther trademarks)
They grind and polish each knife to a convex grind, which can only be accomplished by hand - no automated machinery is used. The purpose of the convex grind is its ability to retain a razor-like edge with just a light honing. This method was common in the early 1900's but has been lost by most knife manufacturers today.

When Mooney started making knives, he wanted a finish that would not show wear. So he came up with the idea of "spotting" the blade. The more formal term for this process is "Engine Turning". It creates a fine swirl design on the blade by grinding a concentric circle pattern on the surface. The "spotting" is smooth to the touch, makes the knife look newer longer, and gives the knife a distinctive look. This tooling design is created
by hand and has become a Warther registered trademark.

Knife handles are made from Vermont birch wood which is treated in a resin to make it more durable than regular wood. Note: The natural birch wood does vary in color. The handles are riveted onto the blade at two points. The blade extends all the way through the handle creating a strong and balanced knife. After riveting, the handles are sanded and buffed to a smooth and lustrous finish.

God Bless The United States of America and Warther's Cutlery.

post #120 of 123
I get that you're enthusiastic but it would be helpful to have something more specific than ad copy from Warther's online catalog. 

Warther makes very good knives for the price, but they fall short of perfect. 

The whole thing about the convex edge grind is overblown, inaccurate and somewhat misleading.  There is more than one mass produced, line of convex beveled, kitchen knives in the marketplace.  Convex beveling is not a lost art -- in fact it's something of an automatic consequence of using a flat belt.  Many modern sharpeners create and maintain convex bevels by using something called "the mousepad trick."

Convex edges don't deform as easily as flat bevels, but eventually need maintenance.  Unfortunately the most common maintenance technique "steeling" on a rod hone, flattens the convexity.  Convex edges wear (dull) just as quickly as any other edge geometry, and need regular sharpeneing.  Even though there are techniques for an end user to sharpen a convex bevel -- very few of us use them; and very few of us have the time or patience to send a knife to the factory and wait for its return to be sharpened -- not four times a year, anyway. 

Since the knives will end up with whatever bevel we give them the value of a factory convex edge is very limited.         

Considering the nature and quality of the blade alloy a 20* edge angle is a something of a waste of time.  A 15* flat bevel (on both sides, obviously) would be a lot better.  A 15* over a 10* double bevel would be more like it; as would a 20*/10* "micro-bevel."

Edited by boar_d_laze - 2/27/10 at 9:30am
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