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Global knives breaking/snapping issues??

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm in the market to upgrade a few new knives (getting married and registering, looking for a chef's, paring, and probably utility and a sashimi). I went to store and tried a few and I really like the light feel of the Globals and the all-steel construction, but I've read from a few posts that some people have had the blade snap off at the handle and that has me a little scared... even though I always take good care of my knives (never dishwash them or anything).

So I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem or do these people just not know how to take care of knives? I have to admit I was thinking about getting a magnetic rack since I like the idea of my knives being right in front of me, but I've heard this can weaken the knife from repeatedly pulling it off.

Thanks for your input!
Scott (new to this forum!)
post #2 of 6
Considering the way most people cook, the best basic set is:

1. Chef's knife in the 8" - 11" range. A longer knife works better with better skills. If you're comfortable with a pinch grip, get a 10" knife. If you're wife wants something shorter, get her her own. If you're not comfortable with a pinch grip, or have never heard of it, and don't care enough about knife skills to find out about it right away -- stick with the 8" as a good start. It's not a compromise, it's the right knife for now.

2. "Petty." You've probably never heard of a petty. From a profile (blade shape) standpoint, it's a short slicing knife. From a use standpoint, it's a cross between a medium length utility and a shorter parer; roughly the longest knife you feel comfortable with holding the blade still, and moving the prodcut; the knife you'll use for nearly all your point work. The longer your chef's knife, the longer the petty you'll need (and want). If you use a 10" chef's, you'll want a 6" petty. Your petty will double as your paring knife unless you do a lot of paring, need a short knife with a specific profile for decorative work, or your wife likes something short. You can get good, short paring knives for very little money -- under $10, even. Because they're so cheap, it's worth getting a 5" or 6" petty and adding a parer as a separate knife to the basic set if you want something shorter.

3. Slicer. I suppose this is what you mean by "sashimi" knife. They're really isnt's such a thing a sashimi knife. The traditional Japanese knives for sashimi are the yanigaba, takobiki and fugubiki. The Japanese name for the traditional European slicer profile, "sujibiki." It's a more versatile profile than any of the specific "for fish" slicers; and sujis are usually made to stand up to rougher use. When you start making a living with fish or kitchen knives become a passion -- that's the time to think about a sashimi knife. In the meantime, a good 9" - 11" slicer will do the trick.

4. Bread. If you cut a lot of crusty bread you need a bread knife. Crust is very tough on smooth edges; without a bread knife you'll be sharpening constantly. Bread knives are also much better for other routine baking tasks like splitting cake (you'll get a "cake knife and cake server" as a wedding gift, separately and inevitability). You'll find yourself sharpening the bread knife about once every five years. So, not to worry. There is a "best" bread knife; and that's the 10-1/2" MAC. It's on the high-end of reasonably priced, but worth it. If you don't want to spend the money on a MAC try a Forschner Rosewood.

The problem is exaggerated. In any case, Globals come with a lifetime guarantee and a huge dealership network. If a knife fails, it's easy to get it replaced. A

s it happens I like Global although I don't own any. Global and Shun are the most available Japanese knives, but they are not the best. There are (a) better knives for less money; (b) much better knives for the same money; and regarding Global in particular (c) almost everyone who uses a Global chef as his or her primary knife becomes disenchanted with the handle and complains of slipping and/or pain.

On the other hand, Globals are extremely agile and a pleasure to point. They sharpen and retain their edge fairly well; and can be effectively steeled to help maintain the edge -- something that's important to me.

Brands I recommend over Global include Togiharu, Kanematsu, MAC, Sakai Takayuki, Hiromoto, and Misono, to name a few. On a personal note, I own a lot of knives but my entire working set is made up of antique (or at least very old) Sabatier carbons. They're great for me, but need love. I don't suggest them to many who aren't already interested in carbon; and certainly not an entire set.

If you remember this response for one thing, the best recommendation I can make is to plan how you'll sharpen and maintain your knives before investing in expensive blades. No matter how good a knife is when it's sharp, all dull knives are equal. All knives dull eventually; some slower than others; but they all need sharpening. If you cook a lot, even the longest wearing edge on a chef's knife will need to be sharpened three or four times a year. No matter what anyone says, you cannot get a good edge on a "sharpening rod" or "sharpeneing steel." You can't get a good one with a "roll sharp," "pull through" or any of the carbide steel "V" sharpeners either. While a few of them will produce an adequate edge, most are blade destroyers. Ceramic "V" sticks like the Spyderco Sharpmaker, the Idahone, and the Lansky Crock Stick, are helpful in maintaining an edge, but are way too slow for effective sharpening once the edge actually wears.

The good alternatives are freehand sharpening on an appropriate stone set; a rod-guide system; or whichever Chef's Choice machines have appropriate angles for your knives. We can discuss whichever alternative, good or bad, interests you; but I'm not going to post a 30 page chapter on knive maintenance here.

A fine honing "steel" or "rod" is a fast and useful way to keep most edges going for a long time; but for many reasons their coarser and/or diamond impreganted bretheren do not make good sharpeners -- with the exception of a few knife shapes.

That's what we call a "false dichotomy." Let's just let it die a quiet death.

I suppose it might be possible if you did everything wrong; but you'd have to struggle to make it an issue -- something some people do. If you remove the knife from the bar by beginning with a sliding motion you won't put strain where the tang joins the blade. A mag bar is not as good as an appropriate block (I have and use both). Avoid the racks with visible bars and get one with "super-conducting" mounted beneath the surface of the wood (or whatever). They hold better, look better, and will keep your knives from getting stained. No drawbacks.

Welcome to the madhouse.

Hope this helps,
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Wow! That's quite the introduction - Thanks a lot for all of the info, I appreciate it!

Funny you mention the Forschner bread knife, I actualy have that in the registry basket (if someone is going to buy me a $120 knife I'd rather it be a chefs knife than a bread knife!)

I've actually spent the last few hours checking out a lot of these Japanese cutlery and I'm hooked.

The only problem is that none of those brands are sold anywhere I'm registered. Bed Bath and Beyond has Global and Shun and that's it for Japanese and its always nice when someone else pays for it! I think I might go try out the Shun's and if I like those register for a Shun chef's knife and a paring knife. If I don't get them (or even if I do) I think I'll pick up a Guyoto from Hatori or Tagiharu.

Right now I have a Analon chef's knife and I sharpen it on a stone, but I'm sure I'll have to relearn the right way to sharpen a Japanese knife.

Thanks and I appreciate the help!!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I took a 7 week international cuisine cooking course, which is why I went out a chef's knife. So the first few times I held it wrong I was scolded by the teacher and now the pinch grip is second nature. I've only used a 8", but thats what I have so maybe I'll go check out the 10".

Thanks again!
post #5 of 6
I've used an 11" Global chef knife for 9 years in a professional kitchen with no problems. I've heard about the breaking problem before, though.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
post #6 of 6
The only knife I ever broke was an ancient Sabatier flexible boning knife. A mentor gave it to me when I was an apprentice butcher, and he gave it me because it was basically worn out as far as he was concerned. Very thin and worn from nearly daily sharpening, as professional meat cutters are wont to do. The thing had amazing flex, but I bent it a bit too far working on a piece of meat close to the bone and it went. It was it's time. It seems to me that a fairly new knife, or even one that's old but well cared for and not worn out, isn't going to snap unless it's being abused. They're knives, not pry bars. I wouldn't worry if I were you. The magnetic bars are not a problem in my opinion. I keep all my knives on stainless bars I got from Ikea and they're all carbon steel knives. Mostly all Sabatiers and other carbons but I do have some great and inexpensive hand made Tosagata knives I got from The Japanese Woodworker catalog. Great steel, cheesy handles. A little epoxy and they're good to go.
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