or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Wusthof Ikon - Page 2

post #31 of 57
No freehand sharpener will maintain the same angle session to session, and there's even some variation stroke to stroke. It's just the nature of the technique and humans. Some can hold it very closely, but they still vary. Over time, that edge will become convex through this technique. IMHO, people stress out too much over holding a precise angle. Close (within a few degrees) is good enough and produces a quality working edge. The convexity isn't anything to worry about.

It won't be as convex as a stropped edge or someone who intentionally puts on a convex edge. It's fairly well accepted principle on the knife forums such as bladeforums.com and knifeforums.com, even rec.knives on usenet.

The sharpmaker also includes slots for use as a benchstone for freehand sharpening. Spyderco sells ultra-fine rods. I have two sharpmakers I used early in my sharpening career. I got mine wholesale so they were about half of the standard retail price. They're fairly idiot-proof, but not real fast as you point out. When CI reviewed sharpeners, they were really down on the Sharpmaker and preferred the motorized Chef's Choice. To me it was clear they didn't understand sharpening well enough to get what the Sharpmaker can provide as fast as it can provide it. It's slower than some techniques but not that slow. I wouldn't let any of my knives near one of those motorized pre-set angle nightmares.

As with free hand, the sharpener must adjust the orientation of the blade to the sharpmaker as the blade curves to keep the edge perpendicular to the sharpening stroke. This is tricky in a knife with a lot of curve towards the tip (or a recurved blade). Because of this, there is a great propensity to round off the tip with the Sharpmaker and the usual trick is to start the stroke at the tip rather than at the tang end of the blade.

Sharpmakers won't put on a waterstone polish, but that's not necessary in the kitchen. You can, however, create a pretty amazing edge with one with practice and increasinlgy light strokes. Sal Glesser talks about this a number of times on the above mentioned forums and on the spyderco forum at Spyderco.com It's my opinion that as the swarf builds on the stones during a sharpening session, they effectively become finer and finer grit.

Most of the knife knuts at the forums deviate from the included instructions to handle the burr issue. Rather than alternating each stroke, they'll work one side to develop the burr, then the other to remove it, same as for a stone. In the chisel grind instructions, Spyderco again touches on removing the burr with a slightly angled very light stroke on the flat side. A similar technique is often employed with standard V-grind blades.

Many people use the sharpmaker to take off the shoulder on worn knives, a form of reprofiling. They usually lay a diamond stone on the rod. The rod sets the angle and the diamond stone does the cutting.

To me, the great weakness of the various crock stick styles for sharpening kitchen knives is that they're not long enough to use easily on long knives. 8 and 10 inch blades are much easier to sharpen on longer stones than the Sharpmaker or even than many freehand stones are.

While I convex all my pocket knives and hard use knives, I actually do most of my sharpening of kitchen knives on a fine diamond stone free hand. It doesn't produce an edge as sharp as I can get with other techniques, but the kitchen doesn't require them. The sharpmaker does the serrations on my bread knife--which would be easier on longer stones....

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #32 of 57
Thread Starter 
Ok, so what does that mean in English? I think what you were trying to say to me is that one side of the edge is a 75 degree angle, and the other is a 15 degree, which is offset to one side (70/30) rather than in the middle (50/50).

If I was to re-profile the edge to a 50/50 edge, what angle should I use? I figured 15 degree angles on both sides wold work quite nicely.

All in all I can see why Misono's are known for their sharpness and edge retention, and offset edge will take more abuse that a straight edge, yet it can still achieve a high enough angle to be considered "sharp".
post #33 of 57
Actually, that message wasn't to you; it was to Phil who speaks trig and (hopefully) wasn't confused. The way you understood it wasn't what I meant, the knife is shipped with both edge angles set at 15*.

First: You're right that 15* on both sides is good.

Second: Even though the stock symmetry is 70/30, the stock edge angle already is 15* on both sides. The 70/30 asymmetry means the edge isn't exactly centered but pushed over to the right -- and has nothing to do with the angles.

Another thing Misonos are known for is shipping knives that are not completely sharpened. This is common in Japan, where knife shops put the final edge on for the customer. You're lucky Misono sends its knives out about 80% sharp instead of plain dull. If you're handling a knife that feels a little disappointing, that's why. The bevels are shaped, and polished, but no one's ever pulled a wire and sharpened it off yet.

You're right that with 15* on each side the knife will "feel" plenty "sharp" -- that is, as long as you keep it actually sharp. I'm really glad you put "sharp" in quotes. There's an objective definition for "sharp" related to how narrow the edge is. For a culinary knife, 3/1000" is sharp; 1/1000" is VERY sharp.

Let me give you an example. I have a 12" K-Sab carbon that I use for heavy duty stuff, like breaking chickens, slabs of ribs and son on. The knife is sharpened with a double bevel of about 20* edge angle on the primary bevel and 25* on the secondary. So, with 25* on each side, the edge doing the cutting has a 50* included angle. I was using the freshly sharpened knife to break a chicken when someone called me. So I rested the knife edge on one of the wing tips, and looked up for a second from what I was doing, I must have pulled the knife a little, because when I looked down the tip was sliced off half way between joint and end. The knife cut through the tip without any more pressure than the weight of the knife. Sharp? You tell me.

Some edge geometries make a sharp knife feel sharper, some make a knife easier to sharpen, some perform better at certain tasks, etc. A 50/50, 15*, flat-bevel edge geometry is ideal for chopping which is something you do a lot of; it's also ideal for maintaining with a steel; and has some other strengths as well.

An asymmetric edge has less of a tendency to "wedge," when you're doing thin slicing chop-stick size pieces of soft proteins, and/or you need glass smooth surfaces. For most cooks who prepare western style food, 50/50 is the ideal edge angle. If this was a dedicated sashimi knife, or even if you were the fish chef de partie at a big deal haute cuisine, it would be a different story -- although under those circumstances you'd probably use a yanigaba instead of a gyuto. Your UX-10 is thinner, and made with steel as fine-grained as my old carbons, most of which I sharpen to 15*, 50/50, and I don't have any trouble at all making smooth cuts on fish, 2mm slices of pork, and anything else for that matter.

Anyway 50/50 is something you'll feel confident about maintaining; and sharpening your knife after the edge has worn, and keeping your knife sharp after a few hours of whacking it on the board does more than any exotic geometry.

BDL
post #34 of 57
Hiromoto AS knives are hardend to Rockwell C Scale 60-62. Aogami Blue Super can easily be hardened in the 65 range but to do so increases the likelihood of chipping. The tougher steel at the lower hardness also makes it easier to sharpen.
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #35 of 57
Buzz,

Ever tried the UX-10 on Arkansas? Doable? I'd guess, as a practical matter, not.

BDL
post #36 of 57
I have not. The UX-10 has such a good reputation that I'm surprised I've never owned one. I trashed my Arkansas stones a few years ago after I started using water stones.

Buzz
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #37 of 57
Thread Starter 
All in all it's amazing that this thread was started on a question I had on my newly purchased Wusthof Ikon... and now its talked about all sorts of stuff, and the current debate is on sharpening.

Although I will say that this thread convinced me to buy a UX-10, and since then I haven't looked back. The knife is simply awesome, I'd prefer if it had an angled handle like the Ikon, but all in all I don't really care cause its a flawless knife.
post #38 of 57
Threads of any medium seldom produce a straight line. You have chosen a fine knife. Enjoy.
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #39 of 57
Thread Starter 
As a matter of fact I enjoy it so much that upon receiving my next paycheck I'll probably purchase the 10.5" slicer and the 6" petty.

I was looking for a good straight edge slicer anyways, and before I met Misono I was probably going to get this Kershaw Shun Shun Classic 12-in. Hollow Edge Slicing Knife - Kershaw Shun Carving Knives & Forks.

As for the utility knife, even though some people think they are useless... I don't. When your working in cramped spaces, e.g. on the line, you need something relatively compact that can slice through just about anything and be easily stowed out of the way. I find most of my big blades are cumbersome when stashed on station and quite frankly can cause injuries to someone who doesn't see it. Usually I hide mine underneath a cutting board, which seems to avoid most accidents, but needless to say I work with some cooks who are less than intelligent... and it doesn't surprise me to see someone still manage to cut themselves all the while screaming at me like its my fault... but thats another story.

All in all building a knife kit was something I wanted to do over the summer, because I'm making money hand over fist... something that won't keep up in the winter once school eats up the majority of my schedule. So with a decent amount of disposable income coming my way, investing in a quality set of knives and stones is something that with proper care will last me most of my life; an easy decision.

On a side note, does anyone know a decent flexible fillet knife? One of the cooks I work with, has a snazzy Global set he won from our corporation. In that set it had this Global 8-in. Flexible Swedish Fillet Knife - Global Boning & Fillet Knives which is a nice knife, I just thought I'd ask for some other opinions.
post #40 of 57
There you go. First hand experience in pushing a forum thread off topic. :smoking:
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
Buzz - with a Short Pilot Story

One day, long, long ago there was this Pilot who, surprisingly...........
was not full of crap....
But it was a long time ago.... And it was just one day. The End
Reply
post #41 of 57
Chef of the Future:

If the flow at your station is like mine were when I worked saucier/saute you need a chef's, a slicer (for portioning, if for no other reason, a bread, and a petty. You don't have to justify the petty to me. Some people like having a small knife with an easy to control point and a high enough heel for chopping such as a santoku, small gyuto, or usuba. I agree with this for a home block, but unless you have a very spacious station that's getting to be a lot of knives.

When it comes to the Swedish style, you're venturing away from most Japanese manufacturers. Of those there are Global, Shun and MAC. The MAC is wonderful and cheap. Some people don't like Globals for working with raw meat because they feel the handle gets slippery. This isn't my experience, but may have something to do with the way I hold a knife and my particular hand size. Some people love Shuns. Not me, for a lot of reasons.

The shape is used by sportsmen a lot, so some of the sporting knife manufacturers make really good ones. Knives of Alaska might be the best. Rapala are very good and very cheap. The problem with the Rapapla and most other fishing knives for restaurant work is that they're made with steel which has a lot of chrome to resist salt water corrosion, but that effects performance in other areas. The Alaskas use better steel and don't have this problem.

The Warther is a great knife. Quirky, cute, great steel. Can you live with not-quite stainless? Everyone should have one Warther.

Forschner fibrox/rosewood is good, but not as good as a MAC. Cheaper though.

.Then come all the German usual suspects. IMO you do a mistake to dismiss these out of hand for specialty knives -- They're very good knives and you're talking about a shape that's not going to get the use of a gyuto. Plus all of the top lines will take and hold a 15* angle.

Speaking of shapes, I use a French profile for filleting. A French profile is the same as a slicer or a utility, but is very flexible. Compared to the Swedish shape, it doesn't gut quite as well, fillets slightly better, skins A LOT better, and portions A LOT better too (both because you can run the edge on the board). I use my 10" K-Sab, which is a medium flex, for large fish. And also use an 8" "Nogent" handled fillet sold by Thiers Issard Sabatier at The Best Things. It's an excellent knife -- but carbon. I sharpen to 15*

For pure stainless function, I very highly recommend the Forschner utility shape fillet knife in the Fibrox/Rosewood line. I've had a couple of these over the years which I've used for cheese and other table uses, as well as fish. Extremely easy knife to sharpen. Sharpen to 15*

If I were buying a Swedish style, I'd buy a Warther, an Alaska or a MAC. If I were buying a real knife, I'd buy one I already have -- Sabatier carbon or Forschner Rosewood.

BDL
post #42 of 57
Thread Starter 
Forschner seems to be the way to go with Fillet knives. I almost completely over-looked them too. I bought a Fibrox offset serrated knife a while ago, and completely loved, so it was an easy sell to buy a fillet knife from them.

I noticed that they have a "Forged Professional" series which is described as "Made in Solingen, Germany and then polished, finished and sharpened in Switzerland. Made of high carbon stainless steel - Molybdenum/Vanadium (X50CrMo V15 steel), providing maximum sharpness and edge retention. Ice tempered to create a hardened blade that will sustain its sharpness longer and give desired effect when re-sharpened. Traditional hot-drop forging creates a superior steel product with increased elasticity and maximum internal strength." To me all that sounds eerily similar to the more well known Wusthof lines. I haven't used any Forged Professionals yet, but I figured they would be pretty darn close to Wusthof's. What do you think?
post #43 of 57
The Forschner Forged are no better or worse than any of the good "Germans" (which aren't actually all German). Knives in the top lines made by F. Dick, Henckels, Lamson, Messermeister, Wusthof, Victorinox and Viking are distinguishable only by handle. They sharpen the same, work the same, balance about the same, have very similar blade profiles, edge profiles, and are immaculately finished. Choose one over the other by cosmetics, your affection for a given handle, and sale price -- those are the only real differences.

There are only two types of steel popular with these jokers, X45CrMoV, and X50CrMoV. The X50 is a tiny bit stronger, but a tiny bit less tough. All the manufacturers use proprietary hardening processes, but they all net out about the same 55-57 HRc. Wusthof has the big name in the US, largely because Henckels had some quality control problems in the eighties, and lost their lead as a result. The other companies, for one reason or another, never got the market penetration and the favorable reviews. Henckels solved its problems long ago. But just trust me.

Use a Lamson 10" chef's in a commercial kitchen for a week, then a Wusthof, then an F. Dick. You'll sharpen the same number of times with the same results. Your arm and wrist will feel the same. Your cuts will look alike. Your no. 1 pan of mirepoix times will be equal. As the friendly lady once said, "No mattah. Alla time same same."

In my opinion, these are all excellent knives. Not my choice, no. I think these knives are clumsy and heavy. But some people like the heft, the radius, the belly. Certainly valid choices for a lot of people -- home and pro.

BDL

PS, You mentioned you'd like the UX-10 handle offset. Are your knuckles too close to the board? I suspect a grip problem that can be rectified with a little practice. Could you describe where your thumb and forefinger go when you hold the knife?. How tight you hold your little finger when you're chopping? How much room there is for your little finger on the handle?
post #44 of 57
Thread Starter 
It just took some getting used to, thats all. I use the pinch grip, and I had to "choke up" on it a little before I was able to use it efficiently. The only thing I had to get used to was where to rest my fingers along the bolster, because the UX-10 has a unique bolster that likes to stick out against the natural position of my hand. Now after learning how it likes to be handled, its comfortable. In comparison to my Wusthof Ikon, I'd take a better steel then a better handle any day. It's a shame Wusthof hasn't at least attempted to counter Henckels Twin Cermax line. It'd be interesting to see them produce an Ikon like knife with Jap steel.

In all honesty, every knife needs some "getting used to". For instance one of my sous chefs doesn't like the UX-10, because he says its "too light"... he prefers his sysco knifes... a typical professional answer if you ask me. All too often I find chefs looking to get things done as cheap as possible. To each his own.
post #45 of 57
the closest alot of chefs come to touching there knives on stones is a diamond steel. when i first got my hiromoto gyuto the sous chef ask how i would keep it sharpened when it dulled, my response was on my sharpening stones just how i keep my wusthofs sharp. alot of chefs never will sharpen there knives or learn to sharpen.
post #46 of 57
Thread Starter 
So very true. In my knife kit, I have this Wusthof Hand-Held Knife Sharpener - Wusthof Knife Sharpeners I got it free one with a knife order over $99 or something like that; I actually have three of these. I gave one to my Sous chef because he didn't know how to sharpen his knife, despite his refusals saying "but you need this." When I explained to him that sharpening a knife on a stone is the only way to maintain a knife, he looked at me dumbfounded... hence my gift to him.
post #47 of 57
It's not just the shape of the handle and the bolster, but the blade shape too. You're about 80% there with the choke up. The rest of it, which you may already have (or not) is to relax your little finger. Your hand can arch a little more over the blade when you do.

It's weird but this will put control of the whole blade in your pinch. The good part is the edge stays long -- from point to heel, but the spine gets short because you're over the top. It also helps straighten your wrist. The point stays in line with your forearm. Shorter top line, straighter wrist, intuitive aiming = excellent point control.

You'll also have even better control of the rest of the blade for chopping partly because you're using a softer grip, and partly because you have your hand in a power position over the heel.

Since you're working with the knife, it probably won't take more than a day or two to get used to it. It takes a home cook about three weeks to become second nature.

Try it, you'll like it,
BDL
post #48 of 57
Thread Starter 
I think both of us are on the same page with this subject. I like big blades because I choke up a little, so I don't sacrifice the overall effectiveness of the knife but I do have control over it. With the UX-10 it was just modifying my current grip to suit that particular knife.
post #49 of 57
Thread Starter 
One of my friends is a huge fan of Shun knives, mostly because he thinks VG-10 is "Super Steel" which he thinks makes it the best knives on the planet.

I couldn't remember but someone was talking about good VG-10 knives, I just couldn't remember what they were.

Also, I noticed Wusthof started expanding the Ikon line, they came out with a 10" Chef's knife as well as a few others.
post #50 of 57
It was probably me, and probably in reference to the Masamoto VG, which is, IMO, a much better line than Shun Classic. Actually, better IMO than anything Shun makes in western shapes.

The Ikons are made from X50CrMoV steel, which is used by quite a few European manufacturers. The steel itself is good, but not in the same tier as VG-10. Of course the handle (if you like it), overall feel (if you like heavy knives), and wonderful quality control of the Ikon line go a long way to make up for the blade-steel's deficiencies. It's such a matter of individual taste, isn't it?

While X50CrMoV isn't, VG-10 is an excellent all-round stainless for kitchen knives. And within the range of "excellent all-around stainless," it's one of the four best along with Hitachi's Gin3, Sandvik's 13C26 and Uddeholm. There are a number of qualities important to knife makers (and users), the four most important are toughness (resistance to chipping, tearing and breaking), strength (resistance to permanent deformatin, includes "hardness"), edge taking (how easy to sharpen, how sharp can it get), and edge holding (combination of wear resitance, and resistance to rolling and waving). You can intuitively see that there's a great deal of interrelationship. What makes the four "best," so good is the way they balance the four qualities at such high levels. None of the qualites are forced to give up much for any of the others.

A lot of people love Shuns. By critiquing them, I in no way mean to say that they aren't good knives and shouldn't be loved. Shuns are made by laminating a VG-10 between two layers of soft stainless in what's called san mai construction. The outer layers are a damascus-look called suminigashi in Japanese.

VG-10 doesn't need the complicated construction. It functions better as a naked hagane (the cutting steel), without any cladding (jigane). The usual purpose of jigane is to protect a brittle hagane from chipping and tearing -- but VG-10 is fine without it. Another reason is that a soft jigane is easier to sharpen than a hard hagane. Again, not an issue. Sometimes the core isn't stainless, so a stainless cladding makes the knife easier to maintain -- not an issue. And so on. In the case of the Shun Classic, the construction is either pure marketing, or a way of getting the suminigashi pattern on the knife.

In that case, it's pure cosmetics. No performance advantage. While Shun claims it has non-stick properties, that's pure BS. What it is, is pattern welded steel with the pattern revealed by an acid etch. The pattern is very easily damaged and obscured by normal use, so for most of the knife's life it's barely visible.

Another problem with the Shun Classic is the long straight, topline and high point. This makes point work less easy than it should be -- and some very common tasks, like pre-scoring an onion before making dice, require weird angles. A knife should not get between a man and his mirepoix. N'est ce pas?

There's an ongoing discussion in another forum (Fred's Cutlery Forum in Foodie Forums) about different levels and kinds of "feel" you get form vairous knives and types of steels. I think the consensus is that compared to other knives in the same range, Shun's feel particularly numb. While I agree with the sentiment in spades, it's all very subjective and probably too subtle to take seriously. I've got a few other issues, but am getting awfully close to running down a perfectly good knife just because it isn't my favorite.

Like the Ikon, it's a beautiful knife with an idiosyncratic handle, and great F&F. Handle ergonomics aside, the VG-10 core makes it a better performing knife than any Wusthof -- unless you're particularly fond of the Wusthof's handling and weight. Choosing a knife comes down to weighing a lot of factors -- some totally subjective.

The Masamoto VG, like all western styled Masamotos is simply a knife without any issues. There may be things you like better in some knives, or some knives you like better -- but I've never heard anyone say anything bad about a Masamoto. Maybe not "perfect," and maybe not even "the best." But definitely, "not a thing wrong with it." If I had to replace all of my knives tomorrow, the heart of my new set would be Masamotos (although HC, virgin carbon; instead of VG, stainless.)

I'd also rate the Takayuki Grand Chef well above the Shun. And the Hiromoto G as slightly better. The Hiromoto AS uses a carbon core and really isn't comparable because of that.

Anyway, those are some of my knifely thoughts,
BDL
post #51 of 57
Thread Starter 
See for me if I had to rebuild a knife kit I would still choose Misono. Easily the finest knife I have ever used.

It may not be the most comfortable for me, but it has every quality a good knife should have.

Also, I agree with your opinion of Shun. They seem to be the new "it" thing in regards to knives. They are what Global once was. The Shun's I own are nice knives, but compared to Misono and others all they are is eye candy. My sous chef looked at my knife roll and was complimenting me across the board... when he asked what my favorite was, I responded the Misono. To his dismay it wasn't the Wusthof, or the Shun, or the Global, or the Victorinox, but some knife he's never heard of.

I said quite simply, when you know what a good knife is... you'll own a Misono (that should be a slogan somewhere).

Anywho in response to the Masamoto knives, they look fantanstic. In reviews they seem to be 1 step behind Misono as the best Chef knife you can buy (albiet it's up for debate, and they only reviewed stainless). All in all at this stage with my knife collection, I'm looking at specialty cutlery... non-essential items, but stuff that do a job so well they merit being bought, e.g. a 12" hollow edge slicer with the rounded tip, or a short serrated blade. Being my two default brands, I found the Wusthof Ikon 5" serrated utility, and the Shun 12" hollow slicing knife. Both seem to be nice, however lacking in overall quality... I know that theres something else better out there. Any suggestions?

P.S. - I've noticed you've come to love carbon knives, simply asked... why?
post #52 of 57
Why I love carbon knives... There's one big reason and a lot of little ones, as well as the way I hit port on my voyage of discovery.

But before getting down to it let me say there's some lousy carbon in this world, and that's not what I'm talking about. All of my core knives are antique, vintage or just plain old Sabatier from two of the best Sab makers -- K-Sabatier and Elephant (Thiers Issard) Sabatier.

Starting with the big reason -- carbon is more sensitive and feels better when you use it. Good carbon feels better than the best stainless in the cut. Stainless always feels as though you're an extra layer between you and the food. Even mediocre Japanese carbon like Hiromoto HC is comparable, in this respect, to very good stainless. Unless you're very involved with food preparation you probably wouldn't notice this. If you work pro, "fine dining" and prep a lot of fish, you wouldn't have to think about it -- you'd feel it without any question. Whether or not it would make the extra BS that goes with carbon worth it is a different question.

Then we get into some of the more mundane aspects, good carbon has a relatively tight grain structure, takes a great edge, and takes it relatively easily. Most of the better carbon steels trade a little bit of strength for toughness -- so for any given hardness, they're relatively ductile -- and this means that if they've got a symmetric European grind they can be maintained on a steel. That saves a lot of wear and tear -- plus it takes less time than truing on a stone. It also means they don't chip like some high end stainless knives. Yes, carbon requires some extra care in terms of frequent wipe downs and NEVER leaving a knife without rinsing and drying it.

Over the years, I've ended up with something of a collection. But, if I had to buy all new knives tomorrow most if not all of them would be carbons -- for the "feel."

So, here's the story. When I was cooking in restaurants in the mid seventies I ended up with three each Sabatier chef's, slicers, boners and 5" paring knives. One set I bought for my self. One set was a gift from a cousin -- when I got my first job. The last was a gift from my first head chef when I was promoted to saute. Two were K-Sab and one was "Canadian" K-Sab (same knives, different bolster and finger guard). When I moved from the Bay Area to Southern California, I bought a set of the new professional stainless that was becoming so popular -- Henckels Four Star Professional; gave away one set of Sabatier and put the other two in boxes.

I had a little catering company for a while, so it's not like the Henckels didn't see some pretty solid duty. I liked them. I liked their heft, I liked their balance. I liked the quality and comfort of the handles. I liked how easy it was to maintain them -- no polishing with baking soda and cork.

Years later, I was going through the garage looking for something and ran into those knives. I cleaned up the Canadian, sharpened it, tried it -- and my God! It was so much better than the Henckels. They were light, they went where they were pointed without thought, they were so sharp, just everything. Love.

At the time I was teaching cooking classes a couple of weekends a year, and a big part of what I had to offer was knife technique (including sharpening). That meant I was fooling around with a lot of knives, students called to ask me questions, invited me to see (and sharpen) their new knives, etc.

The difference between those old Sabs and my Henckels and all of the other knvies I was using (a lot of Wusthof Classic, let me tell you) when using them back to back was incredibly obvious. But it hadn't seemed that obvious at all, all those years before in the knife store where I bought the Henckels. (One of the reasons I'm kind of down on "trying knives at the store," I guess.)

I ended up giving the Canadians to my daughter, and keeping the K-Sabs; but I've added a few more carbons to the basic set while rotating a lot of stainless knives in and then out. Just don't like them as much. Right now I've got a 12" K-Sab chef, 10" K-Sab chef, 10" K-Sab slicer, 7" Canadian flex fillet, 7" Nogent chef (shallots and other small tasks), 6" Elephant boner, 6" petty, a 5" prototype Thiers-Issard carbon paring knife from a line they never manufactured; and a stainless Henckels bread knife that refuses to die. (I've also got a few small, special purpose Forschners on the mag bar -- along with some more carbon.)

In the meantime, I've also tried a lot of Japanese knives. A consequence of still giving the occasional cooking class -- to groups of lawyers. They (we) have a tendency to buy expensive and trendy toys. That translates as the opportunity to pick up quite a few and chop an onion or two.

The longer I've stayed with the Sabs and the more Japanese knives I try, the more I dislike the German style in comparison. Let me clarify that though. There's nothing wrong with the German style, some great knives, excellent fit and finish, I understand what people like about them, etc. It's just that lighter, more agile knives, which get and stay much sharper suit me better personally. There are some Japanese lines with such poor quality control, uncomfortable handles, or design issues that I'd much rather have an F. Dick, LamsonSharp, or Wusthof instead -- Tojiro DP, Global and Shun to name three. But to each his (or her) own. As much or as little as I know about culinary knives -- one thing I don't know is what suits YOU.

Along with all the Japanese stainless I've tried over the years, I've tried some newer western style Japanese carbon that I do like -- Masamoto HC and would also like to try some Japanese style knives -- but I have to order left handed knives specially and they're prohibitively expensive unless you know going in that you're going to like them. I talked to Linda about buying five or six Masamoto HC. She said, "fine," but with the proviso that "her" knives stayed on the counter. "Her" knives being my old knives with which she also fell in love.

She's got a point because we've already gone through a 24cm Hattori HD which I bought for her, and she didn't like as much as the Sabs; and three Hiromoto AS (24cm gyuto, 18cm santoku for her, 27cm gyuto for me). We liked the Hiromotos a lot -- just not quite as much as the Sabs. So, when my son asked whether they worth the money, we forced them on him. For the time being, I guess I'm stuck with knives I really dig. What a pity.

BDL
post #53 of 57
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if the Shun Pro 2 line is any good, I was looking at the yanagiba and nakiri they have.

I came across a lot of different brands and designs but the thing in common I saw was the price. Some of the knives I saw were over one thousand dollars.

If I am going to buy some traditional Jap knives, I'd buy stuff that gets the job done, but is noticeably cheaper. Ideally I'd go for something around the $200-$300 range, which the Shun's do fit.

The workhorse of my kit is the Misono UX-10's I own, so these knives would be there mostly for specialized tasks.
post #54 of 57

If you want wa-knives, then ...

If you're looking at traditional Japanese designs, I'd suggest visiting Fred's Cutlery Forum and starting "Another Newbie with Questions" thread over there. http://ecsmeet2.peerx-press.org/ms_f...t_0_k1jc37.pdf They've got a lot of people who know far more about those knives than the two or three guys over here who have a clue. Amazingly few posers, for that matter. All the advice you get may not necessarily agree, but that's the nature of the beast.

My not terribly informed opinion is don't consider the Shuns for a minute. There are MUCH, MUCH better in your price range. But, definitely check in at Fred's and start asking.

BDL
post #55 of 57
Thread Starter 
I checked out fred's forum and for some reason I can't register to post. I'll figure it out eventually, but until then I'm still going to post here.

So BDL, I saw your post about knife sharpening advice, and it was pretty sound, I just wanted to ask how to best sharpen a Misono with its biased edge. Right now I use, a Spyderco tri-angle sharpmaker, and it works quite well... however I feel my knife can be sharper than it is.

Mostly I think its my own lack of skill with sharpening that has led to my unsatsifactory results, so I wanted to get an idea of how to correctly sharpen a biased edge.

Eventually I'll by the edgepro, but until then I'm kinda stuck with the sharpmaker.
post #56 of 57
I don't think there's a really good way to sharpen your Misono on an SharpMaker. You can use it as a kind of stop gap to keep it from going completely FUBAR but you'll never be able to make the knife as sharp as it should be.

Here's a link to a thread with a long post I wrote that should give you some insight into the asymmetric (biased) bevels appropriate for your Misnono... Best sharpening angle for Hiromoto AS gyuto? - Foodie Forums

The method is appropriate for rod guided systems like the Edge Pro and stones. I don't own stock in either method. Don't forget that Edge Pro is not the only rod guide -- just the best (and the most expensive).

I use and prefer stones as a more flexible system with wider application. Difficulty learning is overrated. It takes some practice, but it's no harder than learning to bone out a chicken for example. After you do it a few times you'll start getting consistent. Then fast. Then good.

That said, a rod guide system eliminates a lot of the anxiety and uncertainty in learning. Once you get the concept of "touch" down, you won't have any trouble putting an edge on, and you won't worry if the angles are right.

If you decide to go with stones, a decent set (including a flattener) which can handle all your knives, including the Misono will run you about $125. The appropriate Edge Pro system is a little more. But you can get a good Lansky kit -- not as good as an Edge Pro, but a lot better than a Sharp Maker, for a lot less.

In any case, the sooner you make up your mind, the sooner you can start enjoying that $200 knife of yours.

BDL
post #57 of 57
i read over on knife forums that the traditional japnese shuns are actualy double bevel were true traditional knives are single bevel. if your looking for good traditional single bevel knives the hon kasumi at epicuran edge has some good reviews about it. im going to pick some up in the next few weeks, way better than shuns but are carbon steel.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Equipment Reviews