or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Knife Reviews › High Carbon Knives and Pro deal on knives for pros
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

High Carbon Knives and Pro deal on knives for pros

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My brother runs a knife company and we're beginning designs for a sicko, foodie fanatic knife. We're looking at developing a high carbon knife but are trying to feel out the actual interest among pros. The prototype we've got looks gnarley. Like something from my Dungeons and Dragons days. The tool steel core edge has a light, constant layer of rust on it, because of the high carbon content... the external layers of steel are stainless, so it's just the edge below the grind line. Does anyone use this kind of high carbon blade, and do you notice that it gives your food a metallic flavor? I've heard the occassional rumor and wanted feedback. The thing is definitely the sharpest knife I've ever used. Feedback is nice before we bet the farm though...

Also, if you're looking to try a new knife... you should ask my brother about his 'pro rate.' If you're a pro or culinary student he offers a really great deal. It's New West Knifeworks. If you contact him at his site and ask about it you can get the details.

Pros seem to really like the Fusionwood Chef (if you like a knife with some heft), the Phoenix 9, and the chopper. My personal favorite, and the knife I use more than any is the Phoenix petty. Maybe I'm a wimp. But I like the size and the thing takes a serious edge because it's so thin. But the folded steel seems to give it good durability...

To the webhosts... I will not abuse my membership here and start blabbing on like a spammer. I won't mention the pro deal again.
post #2 of 4
Yoshikane makes a knife with tool steel clad in stainless. Its hardened to 64 hrc though. Ikeda does as well I think. They a both available a Epicurian Edge.

If you go this route, you'll need high performance because thats the appeal of clad non-stainless knives.

A thinly profiled french knife is a safe bet. If you're looking to push the envelope with style, I had a thought... Shape the tip to the blade like a Shun Ken Onion and go with a wood handle that looks very simplistic like a western take of the traditional Wa handles of japanese knifes.

Clad knives are "in" now.

Btw- the fusionwood line looks unappealing from a visual stand-point. The handles make the knives look like cheap flea market fare. Just my opinion though.
post #3 of 4
Alot of "real estate" on those fusionwood handles is taken up with the seam of where the wood plate meets the handle. From many a professional's point of view this translates into much higher odds of bacteria/crud lodging in the seams...
...."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 #4 of 4

There's always room for good, lightweight, high quality knives with good, usable geometry and good looks.

I've used carbon steel forever, and have no complaints about off taste. Furthermore I appreciate the toughness/strength ratio that enables carbon at a given hardness to sharpen more easily, hold an edge better, and be more easily maintained with a "honing steel" than a stainless knife of the same Rockwell hardness. (IMO a Rockwell number is more hype than information when it comes to culinary knives.)

The extent that steel plays a role in ultimate sharpness is pretty much limited by the regularity and ultimate size limitations of the particles in the matrix. As a matter of fact, "sharpness" is nothing more than edge width -- so there's nothing magic about carbon there.

Does any carbon steel have a future? It may well be an idea whose time has passed. Many Japanese manufacturers market san-mai construction with tool steel cores -- and often as lower level lines. These knives just don't have the cachet of powder steels or other exotics like Hitachi Aogami Super. Your brother's company has, so far, actually been fairly conservative in terms of materials innovation. But, I'm not sure this is the way to go -- since presumably you're looking at something along the lines of SKD tool steel or something similar -- all of which have been around around for a long time.

One problem is that from a technical standpoint you may not do much more than duplicate the Tojiro DP line. This raises a marketing problem. What can you offer to convince me to pay $200 for your knife when I can buy a Tojiro for $60?

Referring to your brother Corey's current product line: He's great with blade geometries -- no question about it. But there are some shortcomings in what's offered. The most glaring is the lack of chef's knives in the real pro length range of around 10". Size matters. Another is the lack of a boning knife. What makes a boning knife special, whether desosser, or garasuke, is a tip geometry which allows the cook to use the knife nearly perpendicular to the meat. Yet another, which you may not realize, is that the kullenschiffs (dimples) on the Phoenix chef's make it pretty much of a right-handed knife. That means the longest chef's you offer for left-handed cooks is an 8" Fusion. That's unacceptable if you really want to appeal to pros. Also, there may be a niche market for left-handed kullens. As far as I know no one makes them yet -- of course there may be a reason.

As good as carbon is in modern san-mai culinary knives like the Hiromoto AS line for example, the future is probably in stainless. The VG-10 market is fairly well saturated. I'd be looking at high-end strip steels like Uddeholm AEB-L, Sandvik 14C28N and Sandvik 13C26. They're great steel and the Rockwell hardness can be pushed over 60 (as a marketing point). So far those steels are still relatively unexploited except for the disposable razor blades they were designed to make and high end customs.

One smallish Japanese maker, Takayuki, manufactures AEB-L knives and I've heard good things. What may interest you and your brother is that even hardened to the 60ish level, they supposedly take a great edge very easily on India and Arkansas stones or ceramic "hones." It's all very well and good to sell a knife as the "sharpest ever," but when keeping it sharp require enormous effort or a very expensive set of stones it's not much good to the customer. It would be nice if manufacturers, including you and Corey, would put realistic sharpening and maintenance instructions on your websites -- including bevel angles; and either sell or recommend effective products.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Knife Reviews
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Knife Reviews › High Carbon Knives and Pro deal on knives for pros