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Which Sabatier is Which Sabatier? What's a Sabatier Anyway?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
This topic jumped up in another thread, but I thought this was of sufficient general interest that it deserved its own.

Petalsandcoco was browsing the Lee Valley catalog when she, It's not dumb at all. A lot of people share it; moreover, there's good historical reasons to be a little bit leery of knives represented as "Sabatier."

First, the name "Sabatier" isn't actually a single brand -- at least not in the way we think of brands. It was first licensed in the early 19th Century to a knife maker in Thiers. Interestingly enough, the second licensee was also named Sabatier but wasn't a relation.

The license was given in such a way that all of the Sabatier families' members and local competitors could use or steal the name. Everyone and his brother in the Bellevue/Thiers area started using it -- and if you're interested in that sort of name there's a wonderful collection of Sabatier marques from the area.

By the latter part of the 19th C., appropriation of the Sabatier license had spread to other parts of France as well.

By the mid nineteenth century the Sabatier name was diffused among a number of French makers. Fast forward to the late-middle of the twentieth century, and some of those makers sold or licensed the name to "international" makers and a lot of poor quality "Sabatiers" started coming out of one part of Asia or another.

When buying a Sabatier it's important to know the identity of the individual maker. Three examples of still notable, French Sabatiers, well distributed in North America, are K-Sabatier, Thiers-Issard, and Mercier et Cie . I feel good about all three of these especially; also about the NOS "Nogent" knives; the recently uncovered stocks of "Canadian" and "Massifs;" and about a few others too. There are too many ins and outs to cover in a CT post.

When it comes to determining which manufacturer made a specific knife, the first thing to look for is engraving -- whether on the handle or the blade. Unfortunately, many Sabatiers made by the best makers during the 20th Century weren't engraved with the maker's name, but only silk-screened.

There's no way to know for sure who made them, as most popular Sabatiers followed the same few venerable French design schema (although the "Canadian" aka "Massif" knives are actually fairly distinctive -- their finger-guard bolsters are a byproduct of martinet forging).

In any case, with older knives, ultimately quality will out -- whether it's a good knife or a bad one is something you discover empirically. Use it long enough to require a couple of sharpenings and you know everything about its use, sharpening and maintenance qualities. If you have one and like it -- it's a keeper no matter who made it.

Several of the Sabatier marques, including the three I mentioned are still making high-quality "carbon" (non-stainless) knives that are very much the same appearance and alloy quality as knives in the fifites. These are the last of the mass-produced carbons and are very desirable knives. In my opinion, they compete well with similarly priced Japanese carbons -- giving up some ultimate sharpness and strength for toughness, comfort and impeccable French geometry.

During the period extending from the mid-sixties to the early eighties, German knives -- especially Henckles and Wusthof -- drove the Sabatiers out of the high end of the North American kitchen cutlery market almost completely. That was due in part to lousy French fit and finish and, as stainless increasingly dominated, because French stainless of the time was even worse than the German.

Since then, modern French stainless alloys are substantially the same as the Germans', and French F&F has improved to a similar level as well.

Most of the major Sabatiers even make a "German profile" line as one of their offerings. If you're going to buy a German knife, you're better off not getting a French clone. The Americans, Swiss and Germans do a better job of it. On the other hand, if you want a French profile, look to the French and the Japanese.

When buying a new "Sabatier," no matter which marque, don't under any circumstances buy anything that isn't made in France.
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post #2 of 33
Sadly a few years ago I saw Chinese made knives labled Sabatier at Wal-Mart.:laser: It's a shame to see such a proud name hanging on a piece of junk.
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post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
True dat. But they're not really any worse than a number of other junk knives -- Henckles International, for instance.

BDL
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post #4 of 33
I had a similar experience recently at Bed Bath and Beyond. In fact...see here.
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post #5 of 33
Really? I'd have figured the Henckels was a 'cut above' so to speak. Henckels has their really, really low end knives, but their top of the line are at least as good as Wusthof. Of course, I've never used a Wal-Mart Sabatier, just saw them in the clamshell/blister pack. Seems like they're about $15-20 for an 8 incher...
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post #6 of 33
In years past Henckels were the equal of Wusthof. What has become of Henckels is just plain sad.
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post #7 of 33
That's a shame. For many years they were among my favorite Germans, pretty much neck-and-neck with Messermeister.
"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
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post #8 of 33
I agree with you ....


Chef BDL,


Sorry for the delayed response, circumstances.....


Thank you for taking the time to expound on the question. I had no idea that the name “Sabatier” had so much history, let alone the trademark involved.
You would think that the family who forged this knife would have taken greater pains to preserve or get the licence. But as you said , different ones got involved , thus making things a little more complicated............oh those French.....:)
I know a Chef here in Montreal who operates a terrific restaurant called “Chez Levesque” (on Laurier St. in Outremont), a few years ago we had this discussion and much to my surprise he could not tell me much about the topic “as he held a Sabatier in his hand”. He did have “le marque” “diamant” if I recall. My knives only say , Made in France, then “Sabatier”.
I am interestested in knowing about the knives that were uncovered, “Canadian” and “Massifs” also the three types you spoke about, especially “Nogent”.
I own a set of Mac and to be honest with you, I tend to also enjoy Japanese knives.
“Sabatier knives sold in Walmart”, I could not believe what I read.....what is happening ?


“In any case, with older knives, ultimately quality will out -- whether it's a good knife or a bad one is something you discover empirically. Use it long enough to require a couple of sharpenings and you know everything about its use, sharpening and maintenance qualities. If you have one and like it -- it's a keeper no matter who made it.”


My knives have seen some pretty good years, they serve a great purpose and they have become an extension of my hand (left in particular) . Would I trade them in ? Never....would I concider buying a few others ? Yes, as I lost two a year ago.

I look forward to more info...
Un Gros Merci

Petals
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post #9 of 33
What is the difference between a "K" in front of Sabatier and Diamant ?

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post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Chef Petals,

You wrote, Here's a link to a litle blurb in French on just that subject: Sabatier - frabricant de couteau - fabricant de couteaux forgés - Sabatier : Le diamant du cuisinier

Hope this helps,
BDL
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post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Regarding Henckles:

"Henckles International" is neither The End of Western Civilization As We Know It, nor is it the Wreckage of a Once Proud Brand. It's just that there's money to be made selling inexpensive knives, and Henckles is in business for that purpose.

Henckles has several major lines they sell worldwide. The one with which most of us are familiar is the "Twin" line. As always they are made in Germany. They blades themselves have always been fully forged, but during their many generations of production sometimes the handles were blocked and sintered to the blade at the same time the separately forged bolster was sintered on.

Another line is the "International." Henckles has been making International knives for more than a generation. They are by and large made outside of Germany in several factors -- the largest of which is in Spain. Internationals are not forged, they are blocked (i.e., stamped) instead. In the greater scheme of things, forged knives aren't always better than blocked but Internationals are at the bottom of the Henckles heap.

Internationals tend to be flimsy, which along with a soft, blade alloy (often the Euro equivalent of 420J2) makes them difficult to keep sharp and to resharpen without using some sort of machine. I Internationals, the Spanish knives are usually good enough to bother resharpening while the Asian knives aren't.

A third, major line is "Miyabi." Miyabi are made in a Japanese factory, and just like Twin and International their output can be divided into several model lines as well. Miyabi knives, available in metallurgical powder or VG-10 (which Henckles calls "CMV-60") are currently Henckles' highest quality and most expensive offerings.

The Miyabi knives seem to have German level fit and finish, which is a good thing. Lousy cosmetics, though. I imiagine Miyabi is Henckles attempt to meet and beat Shun, and Wusthof Ikon too. In that sense, the CMV60s have better blade alloy and slightly better than Ikon, and the same alloy and much better geometry than the Shun. Personally, I wouldn't buy any of them -- but don't let that dissuade you.

Worldwide, withal International, Henckles has a better reputation for quality than Wusthof. For instance, the Japanese, who are probably the most brand conscious consumers in the world, revere Henckles Twin as the premier European knife and find it very desirable; Wusthof, much less so.

Even in Europe, "Zwei" (referring to Henckles' Twin logo) is more highly prized than "Drei" (referring to Wusthof's pitchfork). Go figure.

The difference in Euro-Japanese and American perspectives implies a great deal about how cultural norms influence our attempts to make objective distinctions. "What a piece of work is man," eh?

BDL
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post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Chef Petals,

You wrote, I'm a little confused by what you mean about "the three types," but I'll give it a shot -- and along the way see if I can't pick up "Canadian," "Massif," and "Nogent."

We've already established that "Sabatier," is not one knife company, but a lot of companies which, one way or the other, trace their origin back to France; and which may or may not have much of a connection with those origins.

The three Sabatiers with the strongest presence in the U.S. are probably K-Sabatier, Thiers Issard, and Mercier et Cie. All of these, at one time or another, have sold knives in the US under different labels -- whether by themselves or under license to resellers.

K-Sabatier:

K-Sabatier has a direct line back to the first Sabatier, and until recently was run by family descendants. They've always made good knives and continue to do so. They're the company that came up with what's now considered the modern "classic" French knife including the full tang, tubular, aluminum "bolster," forged finger guard, triangular shape, mid-line point, POM handles, and so on.

I'm not sure if they originated classic French chef knife geometry. However, their knives have always exhibited it, going back as far as I know about -- which is the late 19th C.

Thiers-Issard:

TI has old connections, but mostly as a razor maker. They didn't become an important knife maker until they started buying knife makers after the first world war. Their most important acquisitions were Sabatier Quatre Etoile and Sabatier Elephant. The TI knife logo includes the **** and Elephant symbols and sometimes the more modern knives are referred to as Sabatier **** Elephant to give them an historical context and separate them from the various companies before they lost their independent existences.

In terms of quality, TI knives are almost identical to K-Sab. That is, they are the very best France has to offer. Depending on the given time, that can either be a very good or a very bad thing. Both companies -- indeed, nearly all of French culinary knife making -- went through an extended period of poor quality control during the seventies and eighties.

A few years ago, TI moved away from POM handles and went to stabilized wood for most of their best knife lines. I think TI would like to claim generally higher QC than K-Sab, but they're kidding themselves. It's the difference in handles that's the major distinction in most of their offerings; and since both handles are excellent, there's not much difference at all.

Mercier et Cie:

They're sold under a few names, but their highest quality offerings are sold under the Mercier et Cie name. They fit right in with the other two manufacturers. One difference though, is they use a slightly different hardening process than the other two. I'm not sure what that means with their stainless knives, but their carbon knives seem a bit softer than TI or K-Sab, and to my mind slightly less desirable for it.

Canadian and Massif:

K-Sab sells "Canadian," TI sells "Massif." Although TI claims the Massifs date from around WWI, and K-Sab speculates the "Canadian" knives were made after WWII, they appear to be the same knives, purchased from the same source at about the same time.

I suspect (only a suspicion, mind you) that K-Sab is more right than TI in terms of actual provenance and dating. In any case, these knives are high quality carbon steel, full tang, and have true ebony (unstabilized) handle scales. Construction was by true martinet forging.

A lot of people who don't know better would say that they don't have bolsters because the finger guard comes right up to the handle. However, the finger guard is not only THE bolster, it's a "true bolster," in that it's an artifact of forge shaping the knife by hammering a single piece of steel; not a ferrule that was drop-hammer forged onto a blank in the German way or an aluminum ferrule added later, as is more typical of French knives.

The knives were made in France -- probably by several companies -- specifically for the Canadian market. Why they were made with the old style design -- anyone's guess. Maybe, as TI asserts, it's because they were made a long time ago. Maybe, maybe not. Why they ended up in Canada, again -- anyone's guess. Maybe it's because the no-ferrule design was considered "rusticated."

I have a little evidence of my own for dating, in that I was given a set in the early seventies which had been purchased "new" (as opposed to NOS) in the early or mid sixties.

In any case -- excellent knives which appear to have been forged from a very high quality steel alloy before "international steel," brought the standard down.

Nogent
:

Another antique Sabatier made by who knows whom. TI tore down a warehouse in Bellevue in the late nineties and discovered a huge stock of knife blanks (partially ground, no edge, no handle) apparently acquired in the thirties, and apparently by TI itself as opposed to one of the companies they later acquired.

TI claims the blanks were purchased from various companies who fell on hard times in the thirties, and were then misplaced and lost until rediscovered. For a lot of reasons, this explanation doesn't make a lot of sense. What seems more likely to me (and again, this is a suspicion -- not fact, not accusation), is that TI hid a lot of production from the pre-war French steel drives, and kept it hidden from the *****. And hid it so well behind a bunch of other stuff, that the secret was lost during the war. Rather than admit to hoarding, they invented a less inculpatory story.

The handles are ebony wood -- sourced fairly recently from God knows where -- in the antique shape. They look blocky and clumsy but are incredibly comfortable. In the style of their time, even the small knives have full-sized or nearly full-sized handles. To my mind (and hand), that's a wonderful thing.

The blades are extremely good also. Pretty much as good as anything currently on the market in the same price range. They seem slightly thinner than more modern production, which is a good thing. They take a very sharp edge, and hold it fairly well. As is common with old knives, they seem to have hardened a bit during storage -- so their true hardness may actually be better than modern production. Hard to say.

I currently own two. Both came from the factory with poorly ground edges that required a lot of work, but once properly profiled and sharpened were excellent.

Be aware, they come from old blanks which were not particularly well stored. Once discovered, they seem to have been sharpened and had their handles attached in a hurry -- prossibly anticipating a buying frenzy that never quite materialized.

The North American distributor for TI, and the only North American source for Nogents, as far as I know, is the e-tailer The Best Things. If you're interested in buying a Nogent, I suggest calling The Best Things (very nice, very accomodating people) and making sure that the particular blade(s) you're purchasing have straight tangs and otherwise good fit and finish. Anticipate that the edge will require profiling, and be ready to do it yourself or pay someone competent to do it for you.

They're the knives used by all the most famous cooks of the early and mid 20th Century, including Julia Childs, Pellaprat, Mme St. Ainge, you pick 'em. In addition to owning a great knife, you own a little piece of culinary history. Wonderful knives altogether.

As I recall, the MACs you own are from the line with holes for hanging in the blades. They're very light, very agile, very comfortable. On the other hand, they're a bit too thin and whippy for some people, and something of a beyotch to freehand sharpen -- but can be made very sharp indeed -- partly as a consequence of being so thin. I prefer something stiffer, don't own any myself, but do like them quite a bit. Excellent, no BS choice for a working professional.

Lots of wonderful knives to choose among. Your Franco-Japanese cutlery duality doesn't make it easier.

BDL
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post #13 of 33
Chef BDL,


Just about one of the most interesting pieces of information on knives I have read till now. (both posts )

I have just printed this off so I can read it and study it.
You will hear back from me as soon as I can "block out some time" just for this.

I am running on "two hours of sleep" so bear with me.

FWIW , I am also going to send a copy of this to my friend (translated to French), he will be absolutely amazed at reading this as I am right now.....astounding .....and the history.....In fact , 2 other Chefs will get this info.

Merci Tellement,

Petals
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post #14 of 33
I cant even read the handles of my Sabatiers now. After 20 odd years, all thats left is SAB and across the blade,what looks like xoni???
I'v a Gustav Emil somewhere, I suspect in one of my son's knife wraps.
I do enjoy my knives. They get better with age
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post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
Just like you.

BDL
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post #16 of 33
Cheers x x
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post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 
xoni :lol:. Forgive me. You're reading it backwards. It's "inox," the internationalese jargon term for "stainless."

BDL
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post #18 of 33
...learned something new !


Chef BDL,




Thank you so much for guiding me with all the information. I went to “The Best Things” and found that their Sabatier “Nogent” Ebony 12” looked great. Everything about the Nogent suits my fancy and I will be purchasing it. I don't mind if the edge requires profiling, I will have someone do that for me.
Owning a piece of history, well I am all for that.


While they seemed sold out of the 10” , I then went to the Canadian Massif page and thought the Chef de Chef 10” was a good second knife....opinion ? Or try to get a Nogent 10” ?

Note: In reference to “ Thiers Issard “, the French suppliers refer to the misalignment issue as a “feature” of handmaking knives (as opposed to a “defect”) Some might argue that fact but to each his own as they say....I think you mentioned that.


Sabatiers might weigh alot more than the Japanese knives but I am forever switching according to what I have to cut. The Mac can split a hair in half , the blade is that thin yet I have better control with the “Sab”, go figure ?!


In that Lee Valley Catalogue the “Maitre de Cuisine” had the Thiers- Issard look....maybe the logo through me off. It had the Sabatier Quatre Etoile and the Sabatier Elephant and right under it another logo....are the Frenchies trying to pull a fast one ? Hard to say.


I checked the site you posted in French on the difference between the two Logo's and it was full of information. Its a great read for any Sabatier enthusiast.


Don't hesitate to correct me if I am wrong on anything.....its a FreJap thing going on.


Encore,
Thank you,

Petals
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post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Chef Petals,

12" is a lot of knife. It's not so much the skill required to control the tip, as the extra pressure the length puts on board management.

If you need a special purpose big knife for things like portioning spare ribs, a 12" chef's knife is great to have. I have a 12" K-Sab as an all-round BFK (big darn knife) *** chef de chef, and wouldn't part with it for the world. I'm not sure if a 12" Nogent would stand up to splitting birds and lobster, though.

Well, if you can make use of another 10" chef's, I'd definitely call The Best Things and see if they've got any Nogents at the size. I took a look at the web page and was unsure whether they're out, or just didn't post a picture.

As to the chef de chef, it's nice to have one -- but it's not an all-round chef's knife. Too heavy. You sharpen a chef de chef in the same way you'd sharpen a cleaver -- very durable and obtuse angles. Not the thing for brunoise at all.

Just tell The Best Things you expect a straight knife and see what they say. They are very good at customer service, and strive to please.

Wait til you try French carbon -- it gets as sharp as most Japanese stainless and they're far lighter than German stainless (as well as getting MUCH sharper). The Nogents are especially light.

With good French carbon, there's not much need to change knives unless and until you get one of the "super" Japanese knives, which get as sharp, act sharper (because they're thinner), hold an edge better, and handle as well. On the other hand, I'm still using the Sabatiers.

Speaking of carbon knives: At the risk of restating the obvious, Nogents are carbon and require carbon care. It's not so much that there's more care, but that you have to do it when you have to do it. This means a certain amount of running to the sink to give the knife an extra rinse and wipe during prep; and it also means not leaving a wet or dirty knife on the counter -- ever.

As long as you're looking at Massifs and Nogents, take a look at the K-Sabatier site and have a gander at the "au carbones" and the "antiques."

No fast one. The "Maitre de Cuisine" is a TI line. Lee Valley says it's TI's top of the line, which is true in a way. More precisely, it's one of several stainless models of equal quality and price. The Maitre de Cuisine are stainless with French geometry, a French bolster and may be had with red or light (olive-wood) wood handles. The Best Things carries them as well.

TI owns the Elephant and **** labels -- if you see them, it's a TI knife. No worries there.

Et la!
BDL
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post #20 of 33
It's a bit sad that the Pro series is now in the Twin line IMO. There was not much difference between the Professional series and the Wusthof classic in years past. The twin series today for the most part is just a knock off of other knives, most of it directly related to Wusthof.
Twin cuisine = Wusthof Ikon etc.
Poseidon might take exception to a pitchfork. "Drei" or Dreizack is a Trident.
You summed up the International line (junk knives) quite well. They can be found at any Wallyworld.
The Myabi series is another whole beast. Henckels is likely just chasing the ace and trying to soak up some of the market share of J-knives. Morimoto was fronting for them recently and there is speculation that his new line will be made by Myabi much to the chagrin of some.

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post #21 of 33
Chef BDL,

I went back to website again this morning and took "another good look" and you are right. I had to ask myself a few questions .....Is this a knife I would "use" everyday ? NO
Cutting ribs and things.....well , I have my butcher do most of my cuts.
So , that would mean "not" a good choice for my needs. Chef de Chef is out unless you suggest another knife ???? (which I don't mind)


On the other hand, I am glad you looked at the site, there was a quantity option in the box but no picture so I was not sure if they were out of stock or what ? I will call them up just them same and get the 10" Chef "Nogent"


I was "relieved to say the least" when you mentioned that the French carbon are very light as well....it was getting to be a bit frustrating switching between knives so this will really make a difference for me.

As far as maintaining them, I will "have" to do so. Later today when I get back I will take another look at the "K Sabatier" line.

The feedback on their service was excellent.

Un gros merci,
à plus tard....

Duckfat: thank you for the link, I will check it later today when I get back.

Petals
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post #22 of 33
This is a very interesting thread! I remember when I was a small boy in the late 60s/early 70s, we lived in France, and my father always told me that Sabatier knives were better than German knives.

I have two questions.

First, I have some knives purchased from Dehillerin in Paris. A chef's, a couple of slicers. Any idea who made these? Their only markings are Dehillerin (and those markings are wearing off).

Second, I'm thinking about buying a Sabatier Nogent 10" chef's. Suppose I am fortunate and get a straight one. To what angle(s) do you recommend I profile the edge? I ground my Victorinox/Forschners, Henckels, and "Dehillerin" knives to 20 deg each side, just a single bevel. Would that be okay for the Sabatier?
post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 
John,

You wrote, No idea whatsoever. They rebrand cutlery from all sorts of makers. You could write them, I suppose, with a lot of other information such as whether the knife was stainless or not, the handle POM or wood, the bolster French or German, the profile French or German, the date the knife was bought -- and you'd get a shrug for a reply, with maybe a whiff of Gitane smoke.

The Nogents are old carbon. Over the years the steel sort of "settles in" and the surface and interior hardnesses actually increase. They'll hold a more acute edge than a Forschner, fo sho.

I've got my 7" chefs and 6" slicer (petty) sharpened to a "V" edge at around 10* edge flat bevel, with a slight right-handed asymmetry on the little chef's (Linda righty, me lefty), and roughly 50/50 symmetry on the petty. Yes, I'm as surprised as you are that the edge doesn't collapse immediately.

Still, that's probably too actue for a chef's you'll (depending on technique) pound on the board everyday. I'd try 15* edge angle (30* included angle) to start with. Then if that works, go a little more acute.

When my knives arrived, one was kind of sharp out of the box and the other wouldn't cut jello. The edge geometry was pretty lousy on both, too. So I thinned both knives down to about 10*, then sharpened a 15* primary bevel over that. This worked well on the petty; but the chef's seemed to have a carbide crystal caught right on the edge. When it eventually came out -- after three or four aggressive profilings and sharpenings -- the knife got very sharp.

I really like both of mine, and hope you like yours as much.

Get a really good, fine "steel" if you don't already have one. The knife will need frequent truing, and you'll want to preserve as much of the polish as possible.

Speaking of which, you'll want to take your knife to somewhere around 5000# or 6000# polish. In oilstones, that's the equivalent of a black or translucent Arkansas; and there are a lot of really good waterstone choices too.

BDL
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post #24 of 33
Good to hear, on the feasible angles. I'm looking forward to Santa.

I think I will get the stone you mentioned, and also a smooth (ungrooved) steel. My steel is grooved but I usually use the ungrooved bit right after the handle.

My first baby step into Japanese knives is planned for next year, too. So I will do a lot of learning in the coming months!
post #25 of 33
Would you recommend a 5000-6000# oilstone, not too expensive, 8" long?

Thanks!
post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 
Be glad to. However, instead of making it easy I'm leaving it as the final paragraph of a huge blog post at: http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/blogs...-arkansas.html

More than you ever wanted to know.

Have fun,
BDL
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post #27 of 33
That is a terrific answer. Comprehensive and clear. Thanks very much.
post #28 of 33

Sabatier vs. Japanese weight

I've got a Mercie & Cie. chef's knife that is about the same weight as the lighter of the Japanese gyutos. I've only got T-I nogent parers, but I'd think they'd also be in the same weight-league as the Japanese equivalents.
post #29 of 33

TI Nogent Stainless?

Chef BDL,

Thanks for the great info on the TI nogents. Your theory on how and why they were "lost" actually makes them more interesting, if a little less old.

Does anyone know anything about the stainless nogent knives from TI? Did they produce anything larger than a paring knife? I see that K-Sab has some olive wood handled ones now, but only parers.
post #30 of 33
More on brands...

I'm looking at stainless (I already have some carbons, but I can be a bit absent-minded), and ran across the Diamant Sabatier lines.

sabatier.com/gb/aujourdhui/gammes.html

Does anyone know about these, and how they compare to K-sabs? On a side note, the Constance line looks just like the old Cuisine de Chef commercial line.
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