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Home Chef needs advice on Knives - Page 3

post #61 of 79
Hello boar d laze,

I am new to this sight and have much left to explore, but in the few days that I have been a part of it, I must say that your insight and advice on knives is very detailed and impressive. The detail and obvious thought that go into your responses is very much appreciated, especially for at home cooks that are truly passionate, but are rather lack the knowledge of knives. I did research for weeks before deciding upon my first high end knife and I confess that the more I learned, the more I felt as though it would take years to master a relatively erudite knowledge of knives, their maintenance and care. Just wanted to let you know that your advice and knowledge are really appreciated.

bleugirl
Life is too short to eat bad food...Cook and enjoy...
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Life is too short to eat bad food...Cook and enjoy...
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post #62 of 79
Bluegirl,

Thank you. That was soooooo nice.

You made my morning,
BDL
post #63 of 79
" We're talking apples and oranges on a lot of this"

Perhaps, however I think it may well be benificial to those who do understand what the net result of using a grinder like this is on a knife edge Vs other sharpening methods. To that end I think it's a worthy discussion and that's what the forums are here for unless it's just another marketing tool.
The short sweet take for me is that buying a high end knife like a Mac, misono etc and putting it on a grinder is a total waste of $. OTOH for those who do not want to attempt other sharpening methods and want the fastest easiest way to get a knife with a reasonable working edge this is one option. Not the best by any means but certainly an option.
Spending $100+ on a knife that is going to be maintained on a grinder like this won't accomplish much as each knife will only get as sharp as the grinder allows. There is no gain to be had by putting a Mac or other fine knife on one of these grinders Vs a Forschner or sani-safe etc. All will be equally "sharp". The biggest issue I have with these grinders is the way they re-profile the edge. You can see close ups of that on the CC web site. While they advertise this as a plus (it may be for some) for those who want a truely sharp knife and are willing to buy a quality knife to get there this is the wrong direction to go for a sharpening plan. The only thing making a knife seem sharp that is run through a grinder like the CC is the micro-serrations that get ground in to the edge.
While we agree as much as we disagree there's nothing wrong with that and it's to be expected. If that were not the case forums like this, Fred's or In the Kitchen would not exist.
The only thing I really disagree with here is the notion of using a CC grinder in a professional kitchen where simply put they have no place at all.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #64 of 79
Afternoon, boar d laze,

Thank you for sharing and was happy to hear that it made your morning.

bleugirl
Life is too short to eat bad food...Cook and enjoy...
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Life is too short to eat bad food...Cook and enjoy...
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post #65 of 79
Hello DuckFat,

Rest assured, I had no intentions of putting the Misono to the grinder. I knew prior to purchasing it that I would send it out to be professionally sharpened properly.

Thank you for the info.

bleugirl
Life is too short to eat bad food...Cook and enjoy...
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Life is too short to eat bad food...Cook and enjoy...
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post #66 of 79
Question for "those in the know", are Chef's Choice powered sharpeners really "grinders" or are they more along the lines of "powered rocks"?

IOW, are they equipped with "grinding wheels" or "sharpening ceramics/stones" set at specific angles?
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #67 of 79
They're "powered rocks ... set at specific angles." No grinding wheels.

BDL
post #68 of 79
Semantics. It's a grinder no matter how you slice it. (pun intended)
Those "powdered rocks" are diamond abrasives according to the company that makes them. The exact surface that most here warn every one to keep their edges away from.... with good reason.
Any one suggesting the abrasives in these units is not a disc or wheel has clearly never used one. If it wasn't a grinder with wheels there would be no need to plug the thing in. The fact that these grinders remove enough metal from an edge that the manufacturer recommends taking the thing apart once a year to clean out the metal says a lot more about it being a grinder than we could here. They also leave a lot of wear marks and marring the side of knives that get run through them.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #69 of 79
Have you received your replacements yet?
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #70 of 79
Duck,

You wrote, It was probably just a typo, but in case it wasn't, the word was "powered," not "powdered."

Yes, Chef's Choice Sharpeners do use diamond abrasives. Diamond has its purposes. It's not my favorite, but it does a pretty good job for Chef's Choice, not to mention Atoma, DMT, EZ Lap, etc. And for what it's worth, Chef's Choice Diamond sharpening stone is an excellent stone. As good as DMT.

The two things I like least about almost all diamond stones is that they're expensive and they wear out too quickly; but not because they're harmful. Diamond "sharpening steels" on the other hand, are anathema.

Also, It doesn't have wheels. You can take a look at the descpription and pictures of the design at Patent Storm (free to register), the patent no. for the basic sharpening design is US Patent 5,005,319.

More, Jeeze Duck! I clean and flatten my waterstones after nearly every sharpening; and not only scrub my oilstones with a brass brush after every sharpening session, but run them through the dishwasher almost that often. Don't you? How often do you clean your stones?

Frankly, I'd clean a home Chef's Choice at least every six months to prevent the stones from clogging. Heck, I clean my honing steel with Comet every few months, too.

Edgecraft (Chef's Choice's real name) also makes "commerecial sharpeners" with removable sharpening modules for ease of cleaning and maintenance. IIRC, they recommend cleaning those every couple of weeks.

And, Yes, they will put some scratch on the face just above the edge on knives that get pushed too hard through the slots. They're pretty easy otherwise. And that's another, "Jeeze Duck!" You're telling me you can sharpen a knife on a coarse India or Crystolon without running scratches up the side? Maybe you can, but not many others.

Finally, in answer to the question of whether a Model 15 would be a good choice for Pete's professional kitchen; I don't know enough to guess out loud.

It's probably getting boring to read this yet again from me, but to be really darn clear: They aren't the best sharpeners in the world. You can do a better job freehanding with decent skills and an appropriate stone kit, and with an Edge Pro. What they are is fast and easy. The three stage hones with a strop (Model 15, e.g.) actually do a decent amount of polish. No one's going to confuse it with a Naniwa SS 10K or a Kitayama, but it compares favorably with a Norton 4K or hard Arkansas. In other words, very usable.

BDL

PS. IMO, this topic has been done to death in this thread.
post #71 of 79
Trying to suggest there is a difference between a grinder wheel and a grinding disc is just silly to the tenth power. The only practical difference is that a disc is thinner. Which simply means it wears out quicker.
Twice as absurd if your stance is that all sharpening stones are in essence grinders.
A CC is just an electric grinder, nothing more, nothing less.
There are a LOT of products that get labeled "commercial" or "professional" etc and they never see the inside of a true professional or commercial kitchen.
Instead of commenting further I'll leave a link to a video. Others can see the grinding wheels (discs). Pay close attention to the knife at the beginning and then look how marked up it is about 3/4 of the way through a single sharpening.
I have knives that I have been running on stones for 15 years that aren't that marked up. I'd wager you do as well.
Hey don't get the impression I'm CC grinder "hater"! :lol:
These units have their place and work well for many home cooks.
I just think if this is the sharpening plan you sure don't need (or even want) to spend the big bucks on a knife like a Mac etc. when a Forschner, Dexter, Sani-Safe etc will perform every bit as well and be just as "sharp". ;)

Using the Chef's Choice Electric Knife Sharpener Video




BTW This conversation of grinders reminds me of how I used to sharpen my knives as a kid. There was an old abandoned hunting camp behind my dads house with a grinding wheel about two feet in diameter mounted in a wood frame. God only knows how old that thing was. You had to peddle the wheel to make it turn while you sharpened your knife.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #72 of 79
Thanks for the conversation DuckFat and BDL. Getting opposing information can leave others with some good reading. Thanks :)


Within all of this I just wanted to express how easy it's been to learn to sharpen on the EdgePro. I just recently bought my first decent kitchen knife a few months ago. When I was looking for advice I did a lot of reading and posted some questions as well.

I ended up buying the knife and a month later I got an EdgePro Apex3 kit, as a gift from my wife (what timing :) ) If I were to do it again I think I'd reverse the order buying the EdgePro first.

I am using the compliment of EdgePro stones that came with the Apex 3. So I've got a good amount of stones, no polish tapes and nothing for a fine polish. My experience with the EdgePro is that's it's so easy to use correctly, which makes it quite effective. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the EdgePro system for newbies that don't want to learn another hobby (freehand sharpening).

dan
post #73 of 79
I'm glad to hear that the Edge pro is working so well for you! IMO for those who do not want to learn to free hand or send their knives out the Edge Pro Apex is exactly what the doctor ordered! :thumb:
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #74 of 79
Thread Starter 
I meant to update this thread over the weekend but didn't have the chance until tonight to do it. Here it goes -

I first want to say that the reseller I bought the knives from offered to make things right but at the time I had already talked to MACknife USA so went that route instead. The advice I would give to anyone buying a MAC knife mail order is to ask if the reseller can check the handles for fit/finish prior to shipping. I think most MAC products are fine but a little extra precaution should make sure there are no issues.

Mac Knife shipped me two knives (bread and pro santoku) to replace the two with the so-so handles I had received. These knives were packed well and had tons of information on their use and they made it very easy to send my returns. They arrived late last week so quick shipping also.

The bread knife handle felt fine on the replacement and it is sharp. I sliced some rolls the other day with the Mac superior bread knife and was amazed how clean the cut was. I can say though that if anyone has any pointers as to the best way to use this knife when cutting it would be greatly appreciated.

The Santoku handle also feels just right on the replacement and it's plenty sharp also. I used it to cut up some vegetables for a tray and had to keep stopping/slowing down because it was almost effortless to keep cutting with it and I rather not lose a finger.

The only knife I have any questions is the 3 1/4" paring knife and it's sharpness. I talked MAC support which helped me with test it and felt things were fine with this knife. I know they are there if I still feel this knife is not up to par and need help.

So if you're wondering am I happy with my purchase of MAC knives I can answer in one word: YES. Also Mac support was impressive in their handling of matters and I am glad to know such a good product has good support/warranty.

As for the Cutco I decided to take back their Santoku which though a decent product wasn't at the same level of sharpness/design as the MAC in my opinion. I had no problems returning the knife. The steak/table knives we are going to keep, they work well enough for everyday meals and I like the fact they have a strong warranty considering these knives may not always be treated as well as they should.

I want to thank everyone on here for their suggestions, advice and opinions, it helped me a lot with my purchase and I'm looking forward to future conversations on here.
post #75 of 79
Thread Starter 
Ok two more things I'd like to get storage and board-

Currently have a plastic cutting board which from research is ok but a true wood cutting board is better. Should I avoid bamboo and go for a maple endgrain cutting board?

Also currently either using the case the knives came in or my old wolfgang puck knife block which doesn't fit the 10.5' bread knife. Does anyone have a recomendation for a block that could take 6-8 steak knives, 6.5 santoku, 10.5 MAC bread knife, 3.25 paring knife, shears and possibly a 8-10" chef knife?
post #76 of 79
Plastic cutting board: what kind? Irritatingly, it matters. Sani-Tuff is almost as good as end-grain wood, but it's technically some kind of hard rubber. Your standard nylon cutting board is OK on knives, but not great; side-grain wood would be better. Then there are plastic cutting boards that are almost as bad as glass.

If you've been basically happy with your plastic board, I suggest that you consider retiring it for situations when you want to run your board through the dishwasher. Then buy a wooden or Sani-Tuff board for everything else.

As to the type of wood and such, the basic problem with bamboo is that although it's a good wood for the purpose and is perfectly sustainable, it is usually bonded with a hard glue that is brutal on knives. So what then?

Well, the first thing I think is to decide on a budget. Then you want a BIG cutting board -- it's hard to imagine a board being too big. (Mine is 18x24, and I love it -- can't imagine how I lived with a littler one all those years.) Then you probably want wood, and Sani-Tuff isn't so cheap. At this point you will be narrowing in on relatively few choices, and can decide based on appearance and things like that. A really big end-grain maple board will NOT be cheap -- but if you treat it at all right, it should last a lifetime.
post #77 of 79
Thread Starter 
What I'd really like is an island/cart with four legs with lockable casters cutting/chopping block. Prices I see for one that would work are a bit more than I want to pay at this time so figure get a decent end grain maple board. Thanks for the ideas!

Any advice about knife storage blocks?
post #78 of 79
I need a new Chefs Knife
Has to be good and one thats under 60 quid. Please help. Its the knife we use most and mine strugles getting through Bacon also info on a decent sharpener would be good.
post #79 of 79
Thread Starter 
I just thought I'd update this thread with with the new additions

Mac Pro 6" paring/utility knife. So now my collection has 1 superior bread knife, 1 Pro Santoku, 1 pro 3" paring knife and the new 6" pro.

I ordered an end grain maple block.

I also put into use a new Henckels 22 knife block where the steak knives go in horizintal. I wanted to get all eight of the cutco table/steak knives in there and also wanted something that can accomdate the MAC bread knife. This block accepts the Mac 10.5" superior bread knife just fine. Only two issues, one the knives due to their size and sitting horizontal don't can move around a bit if touched and I need recomendations for other knives I should add because the new knife block looks sparse right now.
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