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Plastic knife blades?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any experience with the plastic knives chef Ming Tsai uses? He seems to be able to cut just about anything with them. I did a search on the site and didn't come across any other discussions about this.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 9
Those are ceramic as I recall. Look in the closing credits of the show (Tivo would be helpful here)

But this also looks like what he's using on the show:
Kyocera Advanced Ceramics
post #3 of 9
ming used to use ceramic kyocera knives but now he uses shuns on his new show. although, he stills sell kyoceras on his website, Kyocera Advanced Ceramics

i've personally used those ceramic knives and they're sharp but have a "dead" feel. also, it's meant to be used only for veggies and light tasks because ceramic has a tendency to chip.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
How about that. I thought they were plastic. What do you mean by dead feel?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 9
hmmm, not sure if i can describe it... kind of like there's less feedback and feel when you cut things...

anyway, boar d laze should be here in a couple of minutes to answer any knife question :lol:
post #6 of 9
:smoking::lol:

The "dead" feeling comes from two properties of ceramic. First, it has a lower frequency of fundamental resonance than steel. That means when you tap it, a ceramic knife would vibrate at a lower speed than steel. So when the blade hits the board, as when you chop through something, it doesn't give a lot of feedback.

Second, ceramic blades don't supply a lot of feedback in the cut, either. I'm sure it's not entirely a matter of resonance, but not certain what it is. I think it's the lack of flex. At any rate, compared to a good steel knife, ceramics are black-holes when it comes to supplying information. An example of why this is important comes when you're making a very thin slice -- it's important to be able to "feel" the outside of the meat.

FWIW, the whole "feedback" thing is at issue with regular steel knives as well. Some are better than others.

Finally, good ceramic knives are expensive and fragile. They actually do dull (although it takes a lot of time), and sharpening is a major PITA, usually involving sending them back to the factory. They break when you drop them. If you're an occasional dropper -- say more than once every three years -- you're not a good candidate. It's very hard for me to recommend one to anyone for any purpose -- other than to just see what they're like.

Celebrity chefs such as Ming Tsai are paid to endorse and use cutlery. Don't put too much stock into what they use. Currently, the hot "pro" knives include a wide range of mid-priced to expensive Japanese lines. Very few knife oriented pros choose German knives anymore; in fact the "department store" Japanese lines like Shun and Global are passe as well (and for good reason).

It's easy to get lost in the minutiae of knives. All those subtle differences seem so important when you're researching. A good knife is one you can get and keep sharp. Everything else is secondary.

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #7 of 9
I have never heard the term "dead feel", but as soon as I read it I knew it!! You are so right, it is in some steel knives also, wow would have never thought of a word to describe the different feeling,
thanks,
Nan
post #8 of 9

Too sharp?

I talked to on chef who said that the ceramic blades were too sharp for his taste. Though he liked them for gutting fish because those knifes normally go dull too quickly.
post #9 of 9
A knife can't be too sharp. The sharper the knife, the better the cutting, control and ease of use. People fearing a sharp knife usually have bad knife technique in my experience.

Now, if you want to get into edge geometry and materials discussions, there are edge angles that aren't appropriate for the material and some might mean that when they say the knife is too sharp. But I don't think this applies in the case of the ceramic blades.

Phil
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