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The "Chopper"

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi gang, just thought I would share some thoughts on the knife I just won from the Cheftalk Tag drawing. You can see the company specs here:  http://www.newwestknifeworks.com/store/fusionwoodknivesitem/chopper

 

 

Ok, just to get this out of the way. It's pretty, I usually have issues with pretty knives cause that almost instantly means to me that it has to be a bad knife. I am going to say that for this knife being pretty is just a bonus.

 

When I got this knife it came with a leather sleeve over the blade (nice) and a little card from the company with a warning saying it was extremely sharp. Oh really? well after a little thumb test of the edge, it does feel sharp. A quick pass along the edge of the warning card and a little curl of paper is indeed drifting to the floor. Hmmm, quick pass on the forearm and I have a small bald spot, a close shave. Take it to the kitchen and quickly julienne carrots,  dice an onion and start shaving a potato into see through pieces. This knife does come sharp, real sharp.

 

Aside from being pretty and pretty sharp, it's comfortable. the handle is long enough for a good grip, it has a full tang and feels well balanced  and light in my hand. I really enjoy the shape of the blade. This knife is about as close to owning a Santoko as I wish to come. The difference being it has a point and the curve of the blade lends itself to a rock chop fairly well in spite of the shortness of the blade (5.5"). With alot off smaller knives I usually notice a little sideway flex in it when chopping or cutting through thicker veges. Not so here, this knife stays straight and true and even laying it sideways and flexing off the tip it didn't budge.

 

Overall I have to say I like this little knife and would suggest it to anyone interested in a good knife for Pantry work.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #2 of 14

It looks like a pretty extreme hollow grind. Does it bind up on deep cuts, say halving an onion or large potato? Or does a large carrot break just before you complete the cut?  Be interesting to see hot it does on a hard squash, like a butternut or spaghetti. with that grind.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

I would say that it looks more extreme then it is. While the back ridge is fairly thick for a small knife it doesn't seem to cause a break in the vege when I was cutting and I just went and double checked with some potatoes. Guess whats for breakfast?  I will keep an eye on it as it dulls and see if it starts causing a break. Also let you guys know how it handles next time I take it to a big squash, so, more later.

 

 

update: went and found my biggest onion about twice the depth of the blade with the ends trimmed. The last  inch was torn after the initial chop, so it does or can cause a break on larger veges.


Edited by Gunnar - 5/21/10 at 2:07pm
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #4 of 14

watched the video and it looked horrible... it is clearly too short for the guy doing the demo. length aside, it seems nice.

post #5 of 14

It's a knife

                  hmmmmm

          I am of the school of thought every cut can be done from a good chef knife.

 

The skill is in the hand of the beholder.

 

 

Gypsy

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #6 of 14

Too short.

 

Too much arc.

 

To each his own.

 

Toujours gai,

BDL

post #7 of 14

I think for smaller tasks such as peeling fruit it is perfect. I also think that for someone with much smaller hands it is probably more comfortable.

 

The more I look at it the more I think it would actually make a great knife for you pack for the camp kitchen.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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post #8 of 14

Gunnar, it would be great if you would post a review of the product. I have added it to our product list here:

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/products/new-west-knifeworks-fusionwood-chopper

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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post #9 of 14

Hmm. From watching the demo... a curved blade is for a rocking cut, chopping herbs for example. A short, curved blade for chopping doesn't make much sense to me. (40 seconds in... perfect example. Check the carrot slice that he has to remove from the knife by hand, or the awkward motion he uses to slice the tomato)

 

Beyond that, I haven't held the knife in my hands, obviously, but I have yet to find a single knife that came with a proper bevel. They all get sold with an extremely narrow bevel to make them seem ultra sharp right out the of the box, but they never hold up to use.

 

The Chef's knife is the perfect knife for most kitchen work. It's a time tested design, and it remains, because it works.

 

But... knives are fun. If this one works for you, then more power to you. It wouldn't be my choice, but I'm not you.

post #10 of 14

Gunnar -- Please tell us more about the knife. 

  • Has your opinion evolved since first posting? 
  • Have you adapted to the rocking motion the shape imposes?
  • What impressions have you formed in terms of maintenance and sharpening?   For what tasks is it your first choice?
  • How often do you find yourself reaching for it, as opposed to your regular chef's and petty?
  • Would you rather have The Chopper than a petty and/or a small chef's?
     

 

FWIW:

 

The blade has far too much belly (arc) to resemble a santoku.  Santoku profiles are relatively flat.  If anything The Chopper looks more like a ulu than a santoku.

 

To my eyes anyway, the edge does not appear to be "hollow ground" (at least not in any of the several normal meanings with which I'm familiar).  Rather, the blade seems to have a relatively thick spine, then a crisp transition to a "blade road," which in turns leads to the edge.  Perhaps the transition to the blade road fools the eye? 

 

The transition from the spine at the handle, no matter what you call it (often called a choil when it's limited to the area next to the handle) is fairly common in non-kitchen knives and seems to be something of a hallmark with New West Knifeworks knives. 

 

For one reason or another very few of the New West profiles appeal to me for my own use, but they are obviously very well and intelligently designed and I'd certainly like to know more.  It would be nice to add some new knives to the usual suspects I recommend.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 6/2/10 at 9:05am
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

To tell the truth I still think it's a good knife and would still recommend one for pantry use or herb chopping and such. It's staying sharp and isn't crushing tomato's or bruising cilantro. yes the the spine does get a bit thick but I like the stiffness of the blade that it provides.  It's short enough yet has enough depth I can grab it by the back of the blade and use it like a pairing knife for removing potato eyes or bad spots and stemming  tomatoes. The handle is awesome, the clean ridge of the Choli (I'll use your term) helps that index finger stay in place and gives good control for movement and the handle is long enough it allows my pinky to have a place to grab and the heel of my hand to lever on instead of just grasping air or push with the ball of my hand which is what happens with a lot of short knives, they have short crappy handles.  The more I use it the more natural the needed rocking motion becomes to use the full length of the blade. It's more of a modified push cut action I guess you could say.

 

When it comes to doing a lot of chopping of potato (potato salad) or onions(French Onion Soup) I would still reach for my chefs instead of this one. For a couple potatoes for breakfast or a quick dice of onion I would reach for the Chopper. I have just left it on my kitchen counter and have been using it for just about everything and my wife and my mother both like it cause it is sharp and light and easy to control.  not the best knife for soft cheese, the blade does tend to angle away or into the cheese giving you odd wedges. same for meat carving while I can and have used it to remove chicken breast from bone and parting out a chicken it could have been a bit longer which would have made it easier .

 

it's a quite functional knife if a bit odd shaped and does take a bit of time to get used to, more wrist motion on a chop, tip is higher up when pulling through lettuce so again more wrist action to lower the tip but this does give plenty of edge to go through a thick head of romaine or iceberg, when using as a pairing knife my ring and pinky fingers are the only fingers on the handle. Haven't sharpened it yet, trued it up a bit on my steel, no issues there really as it isn't crap steel .  Hope this helps.


Edited by Gunnar - 6/2/10 at 11:32am
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post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

I finally watched that video, that dude should be fired. I don't think he could move anyone's favorite knife (not that this is my "fave") in a decent fashion......that or he hasn't  had to chop anything in such a long time that he was taken by "surprise" when making that vid. Holy whatever you want to regard as Holy, I could do better with an Ice Skate.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #13 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post

I finally watched that video, that dude should be fired. I don't think he could move anyone's favorite knife (not that this is my "fave") in a decent fashion......that or he hasn't  had to chop anything in such a long time that he was taken by "surprise" when making that vid. Holy whatever you want to regard as Holy, I could do better with an Ice Skate.


Yikes! Now I've watched it too. What the heck is that guy doing to those carrots? The pieces are all different sizes, and then he's got this big piece sort of hanging on the heel of the knife because he didn't finish the cut.

 

I also find it very peculiar the way they're advertising this. Basically it goes, "a chef's knife is better, but you might be afraid of it, so in that case this thing isn't too terrible." The only thing they say actually positive about it is that it's sharp.

 

Just think, truth in advertising: "A chef's knife is great, but if you're scared of one, and if you don't mind your vegetables being mangled the way this moron does it, you might consider this knife. After all, it's got a funny-colored handle!"

post #14 of 14

To me this does not seem like a knife most guys would use in a professional kitchen. This does look like a great knife for someone like my wife with smaller hands who is not going to want to work with a large heavier chef knife. 

 

I think for small pantry tasks (like Gunnar said) like peeling fruit etc this is a great knife.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
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