New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Your feelings on ZDP-189

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
As we have discussed, my company does testing and sharpening on newer products. As of this date I have not done much of anything with knives made from ZDP-189 in any knife configuration.

When Spyderco first released their clad ZDP-189 folder with that homely maroon handle, I bought two them, but they went to clients.

I am not above taking a sporting knife and using it as a paring knife if I get the chance to "cut, dull, sharpen, repeat" a few times for testing.

Spyderco has now released an expensive folder called the Stretch. It sells for 339 bucks, but my supplier gets me one for 169 dollars. Not cheap, but not out of the range for testing.

Given this, is there a cheaper kitchen knife--already out in ZDP-189--which might also be available for tests?

BTW, for this example we're learning about the use and abuse of the alloy. I don't want to buy a 1,000 dollar version unless a client already wants that knife.
post #2 of 20
There are a few ZDP kitchen knives around. In fact, Koki carries the Sanetsu line of incredibly tarted up blades with ZDP cores. Take a look at: SPECIALS Japanese Knife,Japanese Kitchen Knife,Japanese Cutlery,Japanese Chef's Knives.Com

Considering these are in the same price range as the Spyderco and have considerably more and better cosmetcs, they should be interesting to you. I know you like knives with a lot going on.

Further down the page, there's another Sanetu ZDP-189. It's relatively plain, 165mm santoku, which Koki's selling for $163. Seems like a good choice for a test knife.

Just ranting, but... Powdered metallurgicals pretty much suck all 'round. For one thing, although they're not that difficult to sharpen, they're nearly impossible to profile. They also don't do rod hones well. To my mind, a knife which requires regular, easy maintainenance is preferable to a knife which is difficult to maintain no matter how seldom it needs maintenance if everything goes as planned. For another, that a knife as hard as 63+ can't hold an edge angle significantly more acute than 15* is very frustrating. Yet they can't, because the carbides fall out. Ridiculous.

BDL
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link. Nice stuff, a tad pricey for a test mule.

As for "powdered" products I assume you mean Crucible alloys. But I'm not having any problems. Nor am I getting complaints from clients. Even on reprofiling.

Two of my first S30V knives were from Graham and Strider. Considering the pounding those knives take from their clients a problem should have surfaced. I sharpen mine all of the time because they are rotatation EDCs.

I do know that Crucible now offeres an alloy called CPM-154CM. I've heard that this alloy is devoid of vanadium, a source off larger carbides. It appears they are reacting to some market information.

As for reprofiling, I owned Strider's large AR folder. I sold it to another sharpener, a guy who is a wilderness camper. He reprofiles everything, but he also reports that this Strider, "cuts like a lightsaber." His quote.

My opinion is that these knives react to tools used to sharpen them. For example, my little circle of tinkers use stones (including the 5, 8, 12, and 30K grit Shaptons) and glass and paste. Almost all of our laminates are mirror finished.

To that end, older Emersons were made from Hitachi ATS-34, and if an alloy was going to show carbide issues, that would be the alloy. High magnification shows that alloy appears to be "gummy worms and ball bearings swimming in peanut butter."

Jon Graham is going to make me a Gent's Folder, and I have requested one made from CPM-154CM, as I do not own a knife in that alloy. All of Jon's stuff goes through Paul Bos for HT, so I anticipate no problems.

But like I said, I'd be more comfortable having tested some knives before I carry them as stocking inventory for my clients.
post #4 of 20
Did you see the $163 santoku down the page? If you're selling kitchen knives as opposed to folders, I'd think it would be a much better test mule -- and even after postage, it's about the same price as the Spyderco pocket knife you're talking about.

FWIW, I think that Artisan, Ryusen Balzen and Bu-rei-zen, and Akifusa all have ZDP 189 cores. You should be able to find something in your price range.

Finally, Daido's CowryX is supposedly a very similar formula to Hitachi's ZDP 189. It's chippy as all h*ll, but I hear ZDP is much tougher. Goes to show something, but I'm not sure what.

BDL

PS. Here's a link to a review of one of the (damascus) Sanetu gyutos. Note the comparison to Hattori KD -- which is not only darn apt, when you think about it but puts the price in perspective. Sanetsu ZDP-189 Gyuto 270mm(10.6") Japanese Kitchen Knife Review
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yes, I did. Unless that picture is a poor one, that sure is a crappy looking knife. However, as a test mule it does suit my purposes.

I have to be honest with you, however. I'm not a big santoku fan. It might be because Raechel Ray beat the genre to death or it's because my normal sphere of clients are not big santoku users. My wife doesn't even use hers, and it's a brand she sells. She uses the knives I sell.

But it is a lead, and I'll have to do some additional research. Perhaps I can find a nice 6-inch (pretty looking) gyuto I can afford to sacrifice.

With a Spyderco folder I could liquidate that knife within a few telephone calls.
post #6 of 20
I'm not a santoku fan either. I tried quite a few, they don't suit my technique. In fact, they were so very much "not right," that for quite a while I simply didn't understand their appeal to other people. Eventually I asked around and got an a lot of really good answers from people who do like them and were most definitely not swayed by Rachel Ray. Anyone who likes, would like, and/or uses or would use a nakiri is going to like a santoku. In fact, if you think of a santoku as a kumagata nakiri, and you pretty much get it.

From a design standpoint, it's a good chopping knife with plenty of knuckle clearance, and a usable point. Because it's so short it doesn't require much technique to keep the blade square or aim the tip. And because the edge is so flat you don't actually lose that much chopping length.

It's not usually a knife of choice for people with solid knife skills -- but there are exceptions. When I was asking people who liked them why, they almost always referenced "prepping a few veggies." Almost to a (wo)man they liked the way the wide tip made the knife an effective "scoop" (i.e., bench knife).

For non-professionals who aren't interested in taking months to learn and develop a grip and knife skills, they make a lot of sense. I think it's easy to overemphasize knife skills for the non-professional cook. The truth is you can be an extremely good cook with out them.

Then there are the pros who love santokus. Makes no sense to me, but live and let live I say. I've got a 7" "Nogent" chef's knife that does double duty as a shallot specialist and sort-of deba for smaller fish -- which most often gets used "just because." Besides, every time I throw my glass house it always hits a stone.

Or something,
BDL
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Oh, I believe you and I've seen many of the same beliefs and excuses.

But I've also seen my wife sell many Pampered Chef santokus. But I've never been in a restaurant kitchen where one was being used.

First of all, Madison, Wisconsin considers a falafel stand to be "unique ethnic dining." There are only three restaurants I would consider good enough to make it in a cosmopolitan market. Good grief, the 'street' is still abuzz with the news you can buy black angus burgers--and in the third pound variety, as well! But then I've also heard the phrase "black anu$" so go figure.

If you were to track down all of the "nice" Japanese knives I've sold you would find that about half have gone to food hobbyists, not chefs.

Back to the original thought, I don't mind paying a bit more for a mule if I get good info and I can sell the knife in its used condition. I'm not sure I can sell a ZDP-189 kitchen knife until I do research, and I cannot do research if I cannot recoup most of my major costs.
post #8 of 20
Tourist, do you have your own(business) website for my perusal?

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
No, sir. I am a local knife dealer and sharpener operating only inside of the eastern side of the Dane County area, and reselling only under the parameters of my Wisconsin Cutlery Resellers License.

In other words, to be my client you have to be a cheesehead I can find on less than a half of a tank of gas. I will sharpen for all USA clients, but that's more of a winter thing.

Yes, I have friends in the rest of the states who collect knives. When I send them a knife, "Chico" the person does that, not the CEO of Bada Bing Cutlery Emporium--no invoice.

It's a retirement job. I'd rather ride in the summer. But come to the local Harley dealer any Saturday morning for free hotdogs. Talking's free. Ignore my friends, they're bikers...:D
post #10 of 20
Have you ever checked out the BRISA knifemaking website that's based in Finland? It's offerings may interest you.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. I must tell you, I am a tinker, not a polisher or a cutler.

A cutler and a polisher go to work. Tinkers sleep late, very late.
post #12 of 20
I've considered buying that ZDP santoku, came close many times, but I have the same issue- not enough use for a santoku to buy another one (I have a Shun and a Tojiro already). Too bad they don't offer a gyuto in the same style (or lack thereof) for a comparable price. The suminagashi ones they do sell are very spendy and horrifyingly tacky to look at, and the handle shape is terrible.


I don't think any of those use ZDP, or at least they don't claim to. The Artisan & Akifusa (both Ikeda) use SRS-15. While there are probably some similarities, the best info I can find cites the latter as being comprised of more five times more vanadium and three times more molybenum, with maybe less tungsten. It's hard to be more specific since they seem to keep the exact composition pretty close to their vest. IIRC SRS-15 isn't made by Hitachi, either. Most of the Ryusen/Blazen & Bu-rei-zen are made of either SG-2 or SG-1, and maybe the older ones are comprised of some type of V-Gold.

ZDP is pretty expensive and not used in many kitchen knives that I've seen. It probably has it's uses when hardened appropriately and heat treated well but there aren't enough knives out there for me to really have a firm opinion of them.
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #13 of 20
You're right about ZDP-189 not being in Akifusa, Ryusen Blazen (and Bu-Rei-Zen), and Artisan. I had a brain cramp. Akifusa and Artisan are SRS-15, The Ryusen Blazen is Takefu SG, and the Ryusen Bu-Rei-Zen is SG-2. Obviously the Blazen and Bu-Rei-Zen lines are made by Ryusen; Akifusa is made by Ikeda, and there's speculation that Artisan is also.

As long as I'm doing my mea culpas, SRS-15, the SGs, and the Crucible PMs were the powdered metallurgicals I had in mind when I wrote about carbide size limiting edge angle acuity. This may or may not be true for ZDP-189, the Daido Cowrys, R2, etc. I don't have any particular information, although I expect it's true to some extent for all PMs.

BDL
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
This is my concern. But if there was a superior ZDP-189 kitchen knife, and you could settle this issue with some real world empirical observation, the knife would almost sell itself.

Phaedrus, one of our mutual friends from Wyoming is all wound up about M-4 steel. The stuff is tougher than the hinges of he!! but he loves the alloy. I like the quality of the cut and durability, but it's still nice to have a cutting instrument that's fun to use and pretty to look at.

I'll dig around, perhaps find a smaller ZDP-189 petite knife.
post #15 of 20
I've never heard of M-4...what is it? Some type of tool steel? You've piqued my curiosity.

I wonder why Sanetsu only sells a santoku? Obviously ZDP is an enthusiasts steel- Rachael Ray ain't gonna feature that one in her magazine!;) And by and large the kind of knife-nuts that would buy one are probably more interested in a gyuto, even a suji.

Who knows though, it does seem to be the only reasonably priced ZDP kitchen knife out there. I may break down and get one eventually.
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
M-4? I thought you knew Locutus. He has a few of these knives, I don't. He claims they are hard to sharpen, and almost impossible to re-profile. But once sharp...

(I believe the proper nomenclature is CPM-M4. Go to the Spyderco website.)

Ya' know, I'm probably about to alienate a whole bunch of folks here at CT, but then again, that's my job.

I have two santokus here at Chez Harley. I cannot find a single use for the smaller one. I only use the bigger one to cut up doggie treats because we tossed out the faux cleaver that came in a block of faux Chicago Cutlery.

I don't like "one size fits all" products of any ilk. They usually fit no one, and better things can be purchased with a little research.
post #17 of 20
Rex M-4 is the new wonder steel that's going to save the world. It's probably more often referred to as "Rex," than as "M-4." But there you go.

Actually, M-4 isn't new at all. What's new is Crucible's use of powder metallurgy to tweak M-4's composition and for formation.

AFAIK custom makers are just starting to produce knives with it; and I'm not aware of any culinary types yet produced.

Anyway, here's a link to the spec sheet:
Crucible Selector - REX® M4

BDL
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
BDL, thank you for the link, I had never seen so much info on that alloy before.

It looks as if 'REX' should have vanadium carbides the size of a VW micro-bus. I wonder if that's the reason we have not seen it used for kitchen knives.

My buddy says that his knives don't even take a good polishing. Granted, much of that is for cosmetics. However, if the bevel doesn't shine chances are the leading edge is rough, as well.
post #19 of 20
Ah, yes. I recall Locutus going on about a certain crucible steel in pocket knives but I admit to not paying much attention to folders. I have a really nice Kershaw Leek and a SOG (a Flash, I think)...both were gifts from my Dad. Nice knives but I just keep one in my pocket for breaking down boxes (not gonna do that with my gyuto!) and I can't say I could even guess what the steel is.:o
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Locutus and I always seem to have our heads in knife forums and catalogs. We're always in search of that perfect knife--or the stone that can make all of our knives perfect.

Having said that, I'm kind of throttling back on my "wants." Autumn is coming and I have motorcycle customizing to plan. Locutus is looking at Shapton stones, and I'm looking at go-fast parts and chrome.

I just got my new Blue Ridge catalog yesterday, so my slant this week is folders. Not much new, I'm afraid to report. I'm hoping the kitchen stuff picks up when folks are planning their Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

I'm not even sure if I sharpened a Japanese knife this week. I may have...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Knife Reviews