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Fear of Sharpening Stones and Freehand Sharpening - Page 2

post #31 of 76

Thank you, Lenny, for your very sound and sage advice.  After watching the first 8 videos that were recommended here, I don't feel as nervous now.  I guess my fear came from thinking that I would need to use an electrical sharpener, hence my worry about taking the knife steel down to much and not getting a good sharp edge.

 

From what I see on the video, he holds it at a very slight angle, does 6 to 8 forward and backward passes, turns the knife over and does the same thing, building up a burr.  He then either uses another stone to keep fine tuning the edge, and so forth; or deburrs it by running the knife at an angle to the stone.  I ended up going to the Mac website, and found out that my knives have a 15° angle on them, so I figure that is the same angle I should be working towards, no?

 

Also, I can't agree with you more, Lenny...self birthday presents are the BEST sort of presents.  :-)  Spoken by a woman who has received far tooooo many DVD's.  lol.

 

Now I'm only waiting for BDL to log back in, take my hand and lead me through the waterstone wonderland.  lol.

 

~Yvonne

 

 


Edited by gastrorgasmic1 - 9/19/11 at 2:42pm
post #32 of 76
Thread Starter 

It sounds like your going to have fun with this, and you have not even seen the other hundreds of sharpening vids on you tube yet :)

 

 

Quote:
Now I'm only waiting for BDL to log back in, take my hand and lead me through the waterstone wonderland.  lol.

Just be careful, he is a southpaw you know :D

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #33 of 76

Hi Yvonne,

What might help is to make little samples of a 15 degree angle out of wood or cardboard and check on a regular base if you are keeping that angle. One of the most important things is to keep the angle the same at all times (more important than whether you sharpen at 15 or 17 degrees)

Also be sure to use a magic marker so you can see what you have been doing.

Both these tricks made sharpening easier to me.

And don't go to the next stone before you are finished with the first.

Good luck!!

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post #34 of 76

Hi Guys, 

 

I'm in Yvonne's boat, I guess my "fear" is where to start- being new to knife care and knife purchasing there is just so much variety out there one can easily become a deer in headlights. I loved watching the CKTG videos Mark did, they break things down and make the info more accessible.

 

I come form a snowsport retail background so I tend to see things in a categorized format ie: this snowboard/ski is good for: racing, park-jumps, powder-backcountry, all mountain. This snowboard/ski is a beginner, intermediate or advanced. Pricing and Brands are other factors but don't necessarily mean something is made better then the other. 

 

So I guess I'm looking for "filters" to cut down choice and guess work on sharpening stones. Is this a helpful format delve into or a losing battle?

 

Beth

post #35 of 76
Beth and Yvonne,

This isn't a bad place at all.

There's nothing very complicated about sharpening or even learning to sharpen. But there are a lot of things you need to know and do before you'll have any success. And even though taken one by one they're all simple things, when they rush at you at the same time it can feel confusing or very overwhelming as you learn.

Holding a constant angle is just one of those things. Butzy's method of modeling the desired angle is a very good one.

Yvonne, the best way to know if you've sharpened one side of the knife on a given stone's surface is by feeling for the burr, not counting strokes. There's nothing magic about eight.

What I'm getting to is that having a gestalt in your mind will make the whole thing easier than taking pot-shots at whatever issue we (those who want to help) found particularly problematic when we started out.

There's a FAQ by Chad Ward on E-gullet which is very helpful describing something I call the "burr method." Short of Chad's book, that's probably the best introduction. Not to mention it's online and free. Speaking of which, you might also want to read (my) post 14 in this thread. It would not only prevent the writing the same thing twice, but prevent repetition and redundancy as well.

While you ladies take an opportunity to look at those, I'll answer any questions you have and try to make the whole thing more understandable and practical.

Let me leave you with one last thought: Freehand sharpening on stones is one of the very best ways to sharpen; but it's not the only way, nor necessarily the best way for either of you.

Horses for courses,
BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/24/11 at 1:06pm
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post #36 of 76
Thread Starter 

Chad Wards FAQ is a good read/

 

Have been through those pages a few times myself, and the below has to be one of my favorite quotables

 

 

Quote:
Finally, your knife is not a can opener, a screwdriver, a pry bar, box cutter or hammer. There’s a special place in Hell reserved for people who abuse their knives this way

 

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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post #37 of 76

Thanks for the reading material BDL,

I have taken notes on the process and I understand the concept behind sharpening I guess the next step is and what I need most help with is the Purchase. Dun Dun Dun... So I understand there are different Grits and different speeds of stones, soaking times, and a tool to flatten your stones.

 

Sounds like I need to start off with:

 

-- medium grit stone: 1,000 to 2,000

-- med-high grit stone: 4,000 to 6,000
What brand to choose?  Norton corse/fine India, Chosera, Bester, Rika, Halls soft/hard Arkansas, surgical black arkansas

Correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds like Norton's and Halls are comparable but I don't know where the others fall in.

 

-- honing rod (Idahone fine grit ceramic rod 12" or 10" depending on my knife length)

-- Flatten Stone tool (drywall screen or Diamond plate DMT xxc)

 

 

 

 

post #38 of 76

I am interested in sharpening and have a few questions.  I did a quick search but did not find he answers.

 

I currently sharpen my own straight razors and use a progression of 1K to set the bevel then 4k, 8k and then finish on either Japanese Natural, Coticule or Thurnigan these naturals seem to be in the 12k range.  I do also have a set of Naniwa Superstones in 3k,8k and 12k.

 

Are these stones to fine for most knife sharpening?  What level do most of you finish on?  Are diamond or Cr02 pasted strops of any value?

post #39 of 76

I have four different sharpening kits:  Oil stone, Water stone, Strop, and EP (Chosera).  With the exception of a few of my knives which don't sharpen well on oil stones,  I seldom choose one or the other because it's "better."  The selection is based on amusement more often than not.  Some purposes call for a coarser edge than others, some knives won't hold a high polish long enough to make it worthwhile. 

 

I don't know about you, but a lot of my stones weren't first choices but "just happened."  They came along when there was a need at a good price, and voila!

 

Knives are not razors.  You're going to have to learn and unlearn a few things.  Fortunately, the most important skill, knowing what sharp is, transfers beautifully. 

 

Oils stone -- Hall's Surgical Black Arkansas, my finest oil stone, for almost everything.  I think I might buy a translucent Ark this year.

 

Water stone -- Naniwa SS 8K, or Chosera 3K.  I've used a Naniwa SS for a long time.  The stone is a lot of trouble and there are quite a few now on the market which are better.  This last one is worn out, and I'll be replacing it with something from Japanese Knife Imports -- probably the Gesshin.  The Chosera 3K is a good stone, but is too expensive for what it does.

 

Stropping compounds -- I usually strop on balsa loaded with compounds, then finish with un-charged leather.  My coarsest compound is 1u boron, which is actually a fairly versatile finish.  My next finer is 0.5u chromium oxide.  I used to use and like CrO, so bought more when I got this new strop kit; but I don't like it anymore.  Too shiny and smooth for kitchen work.  I also have 0.25u diamond which makes for a well polished edge with enough tooth to be efficient.  But honestly it's not just overkill, it's silly overkill.   I'll use it on both my carving knives for Thanksgiving but only because I'm a nerd.    

 

EP Chosera -- The 3K and 5K stones cover most of the finish bases.  The 5K is quite good as a final finish.  The 10K is a lot like a Naniwa SS 8K.  It's more finish than you need, but whatthehell. 

 

What else?  I think a coticule edge doesn't work well in the kitchen.  There's something about that finish which allows it to cut hair very easily but not flesh.  Like CrO, probably not toothy enough.  No experience with the Thuringian, so no comment either beyond that I hear it's more for razors than knives as well.  Which J-Nat? 

 

There are a lot of really good finishing stones.  Your best choices depend on what you want, and how much you're willing to spend.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/20/11 at 9:41am
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post #40 of 76

Oh I know there will be a learning curve to knives.  It is funny in the straight razor community we always have knife guys coming in who can sharpen knives but struggle with razors or assume the same technique crosses over.  I hopefully was smart enough to know that there will be significant difference

 

I am hoping to not have to spend anything right away.  My current stone inventory is

 

King 1K

Chosera 1k

Naniwa SS 3k

Norton 4K

Norton 8K

Niniwa SS 8K

Naniwa SS 12k

 

Natural

Chinese 12k (not really 12k but that is what we call it in shaving community as it is a natural it can be anywhere from 8k-12k)

2 Coticules

1 Thurnigan

1 Asagi

 

Strops

several Leather strops ranging from English Bridle, Latigo.Russian Leather mixed paddle and hanging

.5 Diamond pasted hard felt paddle

.25 Diamond Pasted Hard Felt

CrO2 on Balsa wood, hard felt and also one on leather

 

 

The only thing I see needing is something below 1K maybe 320.

 

I guess my real question is there any gain taking a knife up past 4K?  Or is that level of sharpness sufficient for kitchen use

post #41 of 76

Yes, you'll need something coarse for profile and repair.  As a general rule, you want to use your coarse stone only when necessary.  As a beginner you don't want to use it at all until you're very sure of your angle holding.  Coarse stones have consequences.  Coarse stones are frustrating.  They either don't last, dish like crazy and need several flattenings to thin a single knife, are too slow, scratch the heck out of your knife face, clog in no time, or, more usually, all of the above.  It helps to think not in terms of which one you like most, but which sucks least.  There's a coarse Gesshin (Gesshin 400, buy only through JKI), new to the market, which generating fantastic buzz, but is also very expensive ($75).  I haven't tried it, but have enormous respect and trust for the retailer/importer as well as a few other people who have written about it.  If I were in the market for a $75 coarse stone, I wouldn't hesitate.

 

However, I use a Beston 500.  500 sounds kind of fine, but trust me, the Beston is fast enough and the least sucky coarse stone I've ever used.  $45ish at toy stores everywhere.

 

Your stone kit is pretty good for now.  Other than the coarse stone, you have all the bases covered and don't need more.  You may want to make replace some of your stones with different ones of similar grit levels, but there's certainly no hurry.  Take it FWIW, you'll probably use the Naniwas more than their Norton equivalents; the Nortons are wonderfully consistent, but not cheap, not much reach and a bit slow.   On the other hand, Naniwa SS have their own issues.   

 

There are a lot of good reasons to go past 4K.  The right finish depends on you, the knife, its uses, and your maintenance routines.  Some people like a coarse edge, some a fine, some (like me) want "horses for courses," and some people never use a good, sharp knife in their lifetime.  Don't pity them too much, it doesn't stop them from giving advice.

 

BDL 


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/19/11 at 9:14am
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post #42 of 76
Thread Starter 

Derrick I am curious to what knives you will be sharpening?

 

It seems you have a good assortment of stones (minus the coarser range as previously discussed) that would cover a broad range of sharpening needs.

 

One of the first things I learned here (well besides I would benefit from different knives made of improved steels that would actually hold the edge we put so much time and effort into) is that blade steel and intended use plays a really big part of what level you want to polish an edge to.

 

There is a point where the "juice is not worth the squeeze", and to share my experience I was wasting much time and effort on my German knives as the steel would just not hold onto it long at all.

 

 

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #43 of 76

Posted by LennyD View Post

There is a point where the "juice is not worth the squeeze", and to share my experience I was wasting much time and effort on my German knives as the steel would just not hold onto it long at all.


 thumb.gif  Well put.

 

BDL

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post #44 of 76

Right now I have a couple of Henckles that I have had for 20 years.  it probably has been that long since they were sharpened too....  I am just considering a career change and based on that buying some new knives this week.  Henkle are probably the most available in my area but am really looking for most bang for my buck right now.  We have a mall in Toronto's with a CCK store or am trying to see if I can find Boker locally at decent price.

 

Either way I will be working with what i hope to be decent knives

 

 

post #45 of 76

Don't buy Boker kitchen knives. 

 

Don't throw away your Henckels.  Start by using them to practice sharpening.  Old Henckels have a relatively low "scratch hardness," and won't hold on to a polish of more than 3K - 5K for more than a couple of cuts.  Several of your old knives will probably be valuable additions to your new kit.

 

I know it's hard to let go of the idea, but "try before you buy" is not terribly helpful with knives unless you have a very good idea of what you're looking for and are educated to the problems with first impressions when it comes to kitchen knives.  More often than not, first impressions are false impressions.

 

Check out Paul's Finest online.  Paul's is a Canadian retailer and will save you the agony and duty of importing already imported Japanese stuff from the States.  There are alternatives, including shops in the US with experience shipping to Canada and Japanese sellers who are adroit at keeping duty down, but start by looking at Paul's.  He has a good selection at good prices, and lists them in CDN which will save you the complexity of the 1:1 conversion.

 

Good prices?  Hah!  Good knives are beaucoup expensive.  Expect to be scandalized, and you won't be disappointed.

 

If you're looking for a good (more underlining, but NOW with EXTRA ITALICS!) knife set, you're probably going to want one step above entry-level Japanese for your chef's; and entry-level Japanese or Forschner for the others which your Henckels won't cover.  Because you're a free hand sharpener we don't have to worry about knives with different edge angles in the same set.

 

If you have pretensions to or hopes of developing good knife skills, don't buy an 8" chef's. 

 

BDL

 

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post #46 of 76

I have neither pretensions nor money.  I do all my cutting with a 7" serrated,  no-sharpen knife I bought at Safeway for $10.00. 

 

I did have a couple of  cheap ($5 on sale) Scanpans, which were wonderful.  They lasted  a few months.  To open up hard winter squash, I use a Japanese pruning saw from Lee Valley that cost about $19 ten years ago. 

 

Yes, it is torture but we all like good food made from scratch.  When one fine day I can have the knives I need, the feeling will be so wonderful I can't imagine what will surpass it!  I know that the folks in North Korea would love to have my "problems". lol.gif

 

 

 

 

post #47 of 76

Derrick,

 

It's been a long time since I visited Paul's, or maybe my memory's just erratic.  I've got to modify my recommendation based on the fact that Paul's doesn't really have a very large selection.  That's not to say they don't have some desirable knives at good prices -- but it's not really a great source for orientation.  Take a leisurely poke around Chef Knives to Go.  They've got a lot of choices.  Japanese Chef's Knife, is another good place to familiarize with the variety of choices. 

 

JCK understands foreign delivery and custom duties in a way few other shippers do; and that can be worth a great deal for Canadian purchasers. 

 

We're only at the window shopping stage, but I should disclose I'm friends with Mark, the owner of CKtG.  Friendship aside, CKtG is one of the few best sources for online knife purchases.    I don't know what Mark can do for you in terms of getting things to Canada, but he sure as heck does.  If your relationship with any of CKtG's stock goes beyond blind date and into acquisition lust, you'll have to call and ask.

 

BDL

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post #48 of 76
I am at the beginning of the same path capsaicin took. Where can I read about deburr, etc. To learn and start practicing?
post #49 of 76
Ok, I think I answered my own question. I went back and carefully read every posting in this thread and bdl points out several sources... First step is to buy drywall:..
post #50 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casaluz-Chef View Post

Ok, I think I answered my own question. I went back and carefully read every posting in this thread and bdl points out several sources... First step is to buy drywall:..

Drywall screens, not drywall! Drywall screens are used to smooth drywall joints and "mud", I believe.
 

 

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post #51 of 76

Drywall SCREEN

 

BDL

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post #52 of 76
post #53 of 76

Thank you so much for the help

post #54 of 76

On a different subject, I have been reading much in the forums about Gyutos, and trying to decide which one I would like to buy as my work horse. It has to have stainless capabilities since the maintenance of a carbon would make it inpractical in my home. I expect to use for a long time and work on sharpening it myself with 1000 to 1200 stones at first. Somehow I do not feel attracted to the MACs, and from everything I read I gravitate towards a few choices:  how would you compare the Masamoto VG 240 mm Gyuto with the equivalent alloy versions for Konosuke and Kikuichi Gyutos (all in western handle versions). Can you comment/compare them? when would you not recommend one of them? all are sold by Chef Knives to go. Would you suggest to ask somebody to "open" them before first use? what do you feel about sayas?

post #55 of 76
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Would you suggest to ask somebody to "open" them before first use?

Answering this part of your question because it fits the thread well, and I have an answer for it I am pretty sure of :)

 

If your comfortable with your sharpening skills I would suggest to consider taking on most knives yourself. If after you test it out you find that you may be in over your head due to it needing major re profiling or serious work you could then decide between having someone local do it, send it back to be done by whoever you purchased it from, or just return it for credit to purchase something you may decide is better suited to you etc.

 

If your not comfortable I would suggest getting as much information as you can prior to purchasing so that you know you should not be getting a knife that needs more than a touch up or at worst a little work on the edge itself.

 

I think a new knife should be somewhat sharp or better etc, and not be needing much more than a little time on the stones. If they are needing more than a basic sharpening at most I personally would most likely pass unless there is something special about it that I have to have etc and am willing to put in the extra time (or dollars if your not up to doing it yourself) but still I do not want to be having to work on anything more than the edge.

 

 

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #56 of 76

Get your stones, put out water protection and get some dumb knives and practice.  Show no fear and fake it till you make it.  I aquaint the process with shooting pool at a Bar.  I look at the balls and table, figure out the gometry, aim, refigure the geometry and finally, shoot.  I really suck at the game until I get a few drinks in me and I skip the geometry and all the thinking and just play.

post #57 of 76

The Masamoto VG, Kikuichi TKC and (any) Konosuke, ship with appropriate geometry.   Masamotos are farily sharp ootb, Konosuke and the TKC  come very sharp.  You don't need to "open" any of them unless you're looking for a very specific geometry.  I suggest putting it off for awhile, maybe indefinitely. 

 

BDL

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post #58 of 76

Thanks to all

post #59 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carpenter View Post

Get your stones, put out water protection and get some dumb knives and practice.  Show no fear and fake it till you make it.  I aquaint the process with shooting pool at a Bar.  I look at the balls and table, figure out the gometry, aim, refigure the geometry and finally, shoot.  I really suck at the game until I get a few drinks in me and I skip the geometry and all the thinking and just play.



You got to love the "fake it till you make it" as it should be on a t-shirt or bumper sticker etc.

 

Now are you actually advising to loosen up a newbie sharpener same way as a tense shooter? :)

 

I guess get the bottle, the bandages, and better not forget the video recorder as that one has to make its way onto you tube LMAO

 

Only kidding of course as these are waterstones and not blood stones ya know.

 

On a serious note I fully understand your point and used to play against a few different people in the past who were prone to be excellent while in that 4-6 drink zone, but were average players at best with less or more booze in them. This was really interesting since they most all liked to play for drinks or cash, and all you had to do was wait till they were past their comfort limit if you wanted an advantage.

 

On a side note I used to play a older guy who was scary accurate and made some insane runs and shots, and found out one day he had no thoughts on the geometry of the game or any real understanding of it, and just somehow looked the table over and saw it all in his head. Was one of the best local bar circuit players I ever met, and one ornery guy the few times he actually did not win.

 

Oh yea this was about sharpening wasnt it lol. well have to agree with you on the idea of not putting to much thought into it beyond deciding or knowing what angle you want to hold as I have been the victim myself of over thinking and putting just a little extra into it. Just screws things up more often than not, and normally happens with the higher less abrasive grits which just messes up all the good work you did on the coarser stones.

 

I also agree on starting out learning etc on less expensive knives. Even if they are cheap ones with softer steel that would never hold the angle your trying to build muscle memory to it is better to make your mistakes on something you do not really care about as you learn the hard way just what a 9 or 12 or 15 degree angle etc feels like (remember were normally holding half of that as those are total included angles etc) and that the first couple times most will not hold the blade flat enough, or hold it too flat, and very rarely will keep that same angle on both sides across the entire blade.

 

It is just a learning process so why remove so much material from your good knife learning and then remove more once you find it is now not like you want it and you need to change it again.

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #60 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

The Masamoto VG, Kikuichi TKC and (any) Konosuke, ship with appropriate geometry.   Masamotos are farily sharp ootb, Konosuke and the TKC  come very sharp.  You don't need to "open" any of them unless you're looking for a very specific geometry.  I suggest putting it off for awhile, maybe indefinitely. 

 

BDL



BDL by that do you mean they all will come with an acceptable edge OOTB or that they will just need the edge to be cleaned up etc?

 

 

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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