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My Mac knife is here...Finally !

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi guys...I promessed you that I was going to keep you all updated on my cutlery order, and finally a box from "The epicurean edge" arrived, containing  my Mac Mighty chef's knife,  an Idahone 12" fine" ceramic honing rod , an Oishi waterstone (1000-6000), a Nagura stone and a stone holder.

Thanks for the great advice BDL, Chris Lehrer and LennyD. Now my it's my turn on giving you and everybody else the feedback and an honest review about this fine piece.

 

My first impression is "wow" eek.gif the knife oozes quality, quite different from my Global, Whustoff and Forshners (Victorinox). It's too late and I'm not in the restaurant and I know that if I go to the fridge and start chopping I'll get too pumped up and will not be able to sleep, so, tomorrow I'll start working with it to see if the knife (and me) can walk the talk.

 

The knife came impecably packed in a nice box and so far I cannot find any chip or micro dent, the handle looks a bit small but once in the palm of my hand feels like custom made when I "pinch grip" it (After some hours of chopping and slicing I'll confirm my impression)

 

The "Börg" stone holder also looks like a very stiff and professional holder, it caused me a very good first impression. And the stone looks... Well...Like a stone. But I can see that has the borders properly flatted. I'll find out that very soon too.

 

Ok Guys, it's bed time, but I'll keep you posted, thanks for all your good advices.

Best regards. 

Luis

 

 

post #2 of 29

Nice stuff.  Those Macs really impressed me when I got to try them, just in a home kitchen for a series of meals.  I look forward to hearing your impressions when used.  (I don't know what stone holder you got, but I'll look that up, too.  Mine's a Suehiro which I like a whole lot).

 

Whenever you feel you have something more to share, I'll be interested!

post #3 of 29

Cool that is really cool. What is a mac knife anyways. What is it's main purpose.

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi guys...

 

Today the world conspired against me and my new knife, I went to the kitchen with the firm intention of not being the boss, just another cook, a prep cook, I wanted to face cases of onions, scallions, shallots, cilantro, parsley and anything that you can chop , cut or slice.

 

To my surprise, as soon as I got there, my partners called me and we got in a looooong meeting BC we're opening another restaurant, the meeting was supposed to be later, but one of my partners got his schedule messed up and in consequence he messed up mine too mad.gif by the time that I went back to the kitchen, almost everything was diced, brunoised, cubed, sliced and chopped (I can't complain about my staff) and my prep cook was getting his hands on the last bunch of scallion. I almost pushed the guy away from his chopping block and started chopping. 

 

All I can say... The best knife I've ever used. It came with an scary sharp edge, the handle was great ( I worked with it like 3 minutes, so, this is more an impression, the day that I work with it 3 hours in a row I'll have the authority to confirm that) and it has a great feeling. Just when I finished my brief task, I told everybody... YOU DON'T TOUCH THIS KNIFE!...EVER! biggrin.gif

 

 

Now my concern is if I'm going to be up to the level to sharpen it back when it gets dull, because this kind of edge is something that I don't experience often.

 

 

Wagstaff... Yeah, it's a very nice knife to work with. Let me work with it more and I'll share an honest point of view.

 

Cake- Artistico... The MAC is a Japanese knives brand. A very good performer without costing you an arm and a leg. Is the knife that I got based on the advice of very respected members in this forums,whom with honest arguments based on their experience, convinced me to get this knife instead of the "trendy" knife that I was going to buy.

 

P.S. the trendy knife was a shun, wich is not bad , but they explained me why a Mac was more value for my money without disrespecting the fine shuns. thumb.gif

 

 

 

post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake-Artistico View Post

Cool that is really cool. What is a mac knife anyways. What is it's main purpose.


As Luis explained, MAC is a Japanese knife manufacturer. In this case, the knife is a western-style, chef's knife from MAC's "Pro" line.

Are you looking for a new knife?

BDL
post #6 of 29

I've had my MAC for about 6 months now and I love it. It cuts carrot like it's butter.

 

I haven't had to sharpen it yet, but I did get a sharpener (Rollsharp: http://www.macknife.com/kitchen/products-by-style/the-rollsharp.html) for when I need to. It's very inexpensive. I was told that the angle of this sharpener just happens to be the same angle MAC knives need to be sharpened at. As I have no experience sharpening knives, that will have to do for me.

post #7 of 29

I have never used a roll sharp so can not advise directly on that product, but every other simple inexpensive pull through style sharpener I have tried (and some with brand names too like the Wusthof I gave away so it would never touch my knives again) were not worth the price of admission and that includes the ones on clearance at the discount stores.

 

This may be true beyond knife sharpening as I know it applies to many different things I have learned etc but most things that are designed to replace something that takes a bit of time to master and also requires some skill normally fall very short of doing what they are supposed to.

 

Well maybe the microwave has found some place for many, but it still does not replace those processes it is supposed to in any similar quality

 

It is just not the same, and personally I would not want to be known as the microwave cook any more than one who uses that sharpener crazy.gif

 

"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 #8 of 29

As far as I'm concern, if Ferran Adria is not beyond cooking with a microwave, neither shall I.

 

Using a sharpener may not be as good as sharpening with a stone, provide one is skilled at sharpening with a stone. For someone like me, who does not know what to do with a stone, a sharpener will probably do a better job than I would with a stone.

 

Maybe it's just me, but I don't live my life worrying about what I'm known to other people....

post #9 of 29

I believe you don't live your life worrying about what you're known to other people.  (?).  So it won't matter that I think a Mac Pro and rollsharp to get you cooking quickly without a further knife hobby is perfectly sound.  You have a better knife, a better cutter, than most home cooks ever see. 

 

But I don't think those who want to use stones do it because of how others view them, though.  (No hot chick was ever impressed by my knives or my jazz records or even my festive vocabulary, let alone my 5000grit splash and go waterstone and stone holder and my rust eraser).  (Ok, chicks do dig vocab).  (Even in L.A.)  (Sometimes).

 

Better edges make cooking easier and more fun for some of us.  And a Mac is expensive for some of us -- expensive enough that we'd rather really "see what it can do".  But yeah, a Mac Pro and rollsharp will be better than most everyone's German knives (especially those which are also not sharpened well) -- and that's better than most cooks.  See old posts by Chef Pete, too -- he uses the same set-up, and he's the real deal in the kitchen.

 

In spite of the microwave, though, I'll bet Ferran Adria has supremely sharpened knives. (I mean, I'd bet someone who didn't know for sure, anyway).  But I get the impression he'd rather use a syringe, a spectrograph, a couple of frammis pins and a centrifuge than a knife.  And sell you reconstituted olives as a $40 appetizer.

post #10 of 29

Oh and Luis... LOVE that story of the day "conspiring against" you! Very suspenseful writing, and funny.  I'm looking forward to reading your review of the knife after really putting it to work like a line prole, though.  I have a pretty good guess as to how that'll be -- that is, I'd be really surprised if you came back to us with "I liked it at first, but... meh!"

post #11 of 29
Rollsharps are cheap and easy. They will give you fair sharpness without any skill on your part, but they are a little on the slow side and the edge they leave is quite rough and toothy. You can do much better.

BDL
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi guys... Incredible but I still don't have the chance of using the knife as much as I'll like to, as soon as I'm in the kitchen trying to enjoy it... Phone rings, somebody calls me in the dining room, a purveyor appears to show his new/freshest product, one of my partners looks for me, a cook asks me the dreaded. Chef may I talk to you? (believe me, it's NEVER  good thing, they want some permission, they have a familly problem, they want to quit, they need a loan, they want a salary rise, be promoted, complaint about another member on the staff, cry on chef's shoulder, and so on) ... Wich adds flavor to the day, and since I'm as supportive to them as they are loyal to me... The good ol' chef  has to leave HIS NEW KNIFE on the cutting board to listen to his fellow and loyal cook, while somebody else is chopping the whole sac of onions...WITH MY NEW TOY!!!eek.gif Let me tell you, my prep cook is an ex-con with great knife skills, but also the kind of guy that hits the knife with a bit more force than necessary, and trying to be as noisy as possible. This man is quite a piece of work but has been there with me since 10 years ago... The night that he called me at 4 A.M.  to get him out of jail by paying the huge fine I got his absolute loyalty... But that's another story.

 

Long story short... While I listened the whole story from my cook, that had the predictable conclusion, (wich is asking me for a loan to be deducted from his next paycheck)... My prep cook used and abused my knife, by the time that I went back to the prep area, I saw this guy with my knife in his hand and a container full of sliced onions, cubed carrots, and sliced zuchinni.  I tought... This can't be happening!!... This man inmediately understood the look in my eyes and told me with his big, crooked and sinister smile: This is a good knife chef! Can I keep it?... Hell NO! Was my instant reply mad.gif I took it and I was going to use the honing rod, because that's almost a second nature to me (Finishing a batch of something and giving some passes to the knife with the rod) but instead, I went to the fridge and got a Roma Tomatoe to check the damages... To my surprise, the knife felt perfectly sharp. I went to the prep area and all that was remaining was the shallot that had to be diced, something like half a pound (The rest gets chopped in the robot-coupe... That to my surprise has a Sabatier blade) I diced it and the MAC worked impecably for the few minutes that I could use it.

 

I don't know if this is a "review", but I'm surprised that the edge endured the harsh treatment given by this guy for half an hour on a plastic board (Is kinda soft but I wanted the MAC to be used only on wood) without even needing the passes with the honing rod, seems like the knife is doing great on the "Edge retention" area so far.

 

I'll keep u posted.

 

And on a separated note, I started practicing with my new stone (1000-6000 grit) and today I could get 2 old and inexpensive knives sharp enough to shave my arm, still the edge has some kind of grity feeling when shaving and I needed a bit more force to do it than what I need with the Mac, but is a good begining. Before I couldn't get it sharp enough to shave, no matter how hard I tried. 

 

There are some cool sharpening devices and gadgets that work, but there is no better feeling than having a razor sharp knife sharpened by ourselves with stones. I don't know why it gives me some satisfaction to do it, I have a "Chef's choice 130" wich is a very reliable piece, it gives you nice edge in 10 seconds, but the feeling , and the results of the stone are more satisfying.

 

Best regards from México.

 

 

post #13 of 29

 

Quote:
This man immediately understood the look in my eyes and told me with his big, crooked and sinister smile: This is a good knife chef! Can I keep it?... Hell NO! Was my instant reply mad.gif

 

 

That has to be the funniest thing I heard all day!

 

Oh and do not forget to use the ceramic hone, and not the steel as I do not want to see you cry if you roughen up that nice sharp edge. Then again you would get to play with the new stone sooner :D

 

Glad to hear your enjoying your Mac!!!!!!

 

"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 #14 of 29

From reading what you have all said about these Mac's, I have one on order should be here Tuesday!

post #15 of 29

What did you order? From which line?

post #16 of 29

The 8.5 chef from the proline.

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyD View Post

 

 

 

That has to be the funniest thing I heard all day!

 

Oh and do not forget to use the ceramic hone, and not the steel as I do not want to see you cry if you roughen up that nice sharp edge. Then again you would get to play with the new stone sooner :D

 

Glad to hear your enjoying your Mac!!!!!!


Hi Lenny...

Now is funny for me too, but it wasn't at the very moment. LOL. And don't worry, it get's honed with a Idahone "fine" ceramic rod. Today I used the rod for the first time, 4 light passes on each side for a total of 8, not to fast, not too slow and almost caressing the edge, and it works like magic. I'll post the experience of the day with the knife performing as a sashimi knife. Ande let me tell you... It works! thumb.gif

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by chasin elk View Post

From reading what you have all said about these Mac's, I have one on order should be here Tuesday!


You'll be very happy with the new knife! Congrats!

 

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 

Slicing fish sashimi style with the Mac...

 

Today a good friend of mine showed up at the restaurant, he just came back from fishing and he told me... Hey Luis, I have a little gift for you, and he gave me a bag with 3 black bass, each weighting 2-3 pounds, he just took them out of the lake the day before and they smelled and looked almost alive. Nice!!! I fileted them, took out the bones from the filets one by one, skinned them and grabbed my Mac.

 

That only meant one thing... Black bass Mexican sashimi!!... I have never been trained under a Japanese chef, but I see then working on the sushi bars and just by imitating them as good as possible, I started slicing not too thin, not too thick, I placed them on plates along with sliced cucumber, added a very citrus based quick sauce, some cilantro leaves on top, and "flash cook" with some hot olive oil (Nobu style, like his famous "Flasehd sashimi").

 

I did 12 orders, and by the 10th I started feeling like the knife needed a few passes with the Idahone fine rod... I did 8 delicate passes, taking care of the blade angle, the force and speed. And it worked like magic, the knife was as sharp as it was with the first order (It was never dull, it just felt like it was not as sharp as at the very begining, and remember that the knife has a week of use, and some abuse courtesy of one of my fellow cooks -you can read about that  in this same thread- )

 

I know that this is not a sashimi specialized knife, but let me tell you that it worked very well.

 

Here's a pic of my sashimi, I know that for a sushi chef it will look like cutted by a barbarian with no idea on the subject, but I guess that it's not that bad for the rest of us.

 

Regards!

 

Black bass sashimi sliced with the Mac.

post #19 of 29

Looks really good, Luis! Again, I love your writing, too. I look forward to more of your Adventures with the Mac.

 

post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post

Looks really good, Luis! Again, I love your writing, too. I look forward to more of your Adventures with the Mac.

 


Thanks a lot Wag... I'll keep u all posted on the new adventures of my Mac biggrin.gif

 

post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 

Ok guys... My Mac gave all that it could give on the edge retention department... And it's not bad at all, I'm happy with the time that it kept it's sharpness, and last night it had it's first date with the sharpening stone. I was a bit nervous, it was his first time... I felt like my knife was going to loose his virginity. I was full of doubts on how sharp was it going to end, or if I was going to mess it. But there was no chance of backing off. I soaked my stone for a bit more than a hour and I started with the 1000 grit. 10 pases, 9 passes, 8... And so on. Deburred on a cork and stropped, 10 passes, 9,8 and so on again. Then rinsing and starting over the same process with the 6000 grit side (I made some mud or slurry with the nagura).

 

I can't be happier with the result. The knife is as sharp...or maybe sharper than it was before. I can't meassure that and I don't know if there is a scientific test that I can do at home to compare how it was to how it is now. But It sliced a tomatoe like a hot knife on butter, it shaved my arm and it got smoother than Christina Aguilera's butt and it shreded paper like a guillotine.biggrin.gif

 

I don't know if I did 12,14,15 or 20 angle. I just followed the feeling of the original angle and I didn't scratched the knife at all. I think that it was not bad for a newbie and it was remarkable how easy it got the razor sharp edge. I was training with dexters, a Kai and a Forschner and I think that the Mac was the easiest to get it right. This knife has just passed another test with high scores. The more I use it, the better it feels. Can't stop recomending it!

 

The only "incident" that I had and is more about the stone (I think) is that when sharpenning with the 6000 grit, at some point, I felt like the stone had "smooth spots" and sometimes a "grain" it was an odd feeling, what I'm refering with the smooth spots, is a feeling like you're sharpening on a piece of glass, I wasn't feeling the "bite" of the stone on those spots for moments. Then I was rinsing, giving some passes with the nagura, and starting again. And the second "odd" feeling was that at some points I felt like there was a grain of sand or something bumpyconfused.gif. But I proceeded like on the first case.

 

Maybe the quality of the stone is not the best (Oishi 1000/6000) or I did something wrong.

 

Best regards guys.thumb.gif

Luis


Edited by Luis J - 10/5/11 at 11:40pm
post #22 of 29

Luis, when your sharpening stone is no longer flat enough or has too many imperfections you need to utilize a truing stone. I've also heard it described as a flattening stone too. It does what it is called. It's another stone that smooths out your sharpening stone. The Beatles sang that happiness is a warm gun but a truly sharp knife is sublime.

post #23 of 29

I use a 1000 grit King and a cheap nagura/truing stone thats over 4 years old. When I flatten my sharpening stone I really put it to task to level it out completely. I make 30-50 passes if needed.

post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi Adam... Thanks for the words, but let me tell you, I flatten the stone every single time that I use it. No chance of having it clogged or un-even. That's the reason that gets me so intrigued on the different feelings that it gives to me.

I ordered a DMT flattening plate, it's not here yet but in the meantime I'm using sandpaper on top of my marble block, I do the "drawing an X with a pencil along the stone" and I flatten until it dissapears, and after that I give a few passes on the edges of the stone.

I think that I'm following the procedures by the book, but I got those weird sensations yesterday. confused.gif

 

Best regards and thanks for your kind advice.

Luis

post #25 of 29

Maybe your stone is possessed... I thought that most of these stones are a mixture of some sort of composite which one would make it pretty uniform but I have seen frustrated chefs take their stone and soak it for a long period of time and take that stone and grind it directly to a concrete sidewalk or a flat brickface to get the initial flatness to it and then fine tune it with the truing stone. That seems a little harsh but the ends do justify the means as long as that end means a sweet vicious edge. I do have a technique that I've adopted though that you might be interested in. I use two seperate stones of the same grit. One I use to hone a single side at a angle the other I use to flatten the burr at a 0 degree angle pretty much the same I do with my single bevel yanagi and deba. I've even honed all my French and German steel knives the same way. This by the way is considered obsessive and takes a major amounts of time to get right.But now my knives tend to be so sharp that the rest of the staff look at them like one would at snarling pitbull. All this took alot of years to get right and at the start of transitioning from European steel to Japanese my knives edge sharpness was kind of embarassing. Also I see that you are also talking about a marble block. These I rarely use and I only use them as a polishing stone of sorts.

post #26 of 29

The "sensations" are probably a result of high and lows spots on your knife, resulting from uneven pressure or angle holding on your part or vice versa.  At the end of the day, they morph into one another; and it's "chicken or the egg."

 

If you can't see your high and low spots by simply looking at the knife, you should try the "Magic Marker" trick to make the action of your sharpening on the bevel more visible.  It's a good idea to use it now and then anyway to check up on your technique.  Even [cough] expert sharpeners with long experience get sloppy if they're only sharpening now and then [cough, cough]. blushing.gif

 

Often enough, it's just the stone -- and sometimes it's the stone flattening.  Try easing all four edges on each side of your stones -- aka chamfering -- before using them.  You should do it every time you flatten if for no other reason than it will make the stones less prone to chipping at the edges and corners, always a good thing.  More to the point, stones tend to develop "rails" along the edges which can make for some very strange feedback.

 

Sometimes -- often enough as well -- it's the knife:  different amounts of scratch on the bevel itself; the burr has formed unevenly or self-dissolved here and there. 

 

To know what's happening, you have to be able to really see and feel the bevel and meaningfully interpret the information.  That takes us back to the Magic Marker trick and towards the "burr method."

 

Remind me, what kind of stones are you using?

 

Using your marble slab as a reference plate?  Ay!  Que caro!  Don't use the sidewalk, though, except maybe for a "Coarse Crystolon" or something coarser than 150#.  You don't need a nagura for anything coarser than 5000#, especially if you have a few stones.  If you do, you can lap them against one another -- one more reason not to use a combi-stone.

 

Last, it's a good idea to learn the "burr method," of sharpening instead of counting strokes.  You'll get a better idea of what's actually going on, how to correct problems, do it more quickly and probably end up with a much sharper edge.  While some great sharpeners are stroke counters, raising, detecting, chasing, and removing the burr seems to work better for most.  

 

Hope this helps,

BDL 


Edited by boar_d_laze - 10/6/11 at 8:57am
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 

 

Hi Guys...

 

I spent the last 30 minutes writting a proper reply and when I tried to add an attachment the page sent me a message "you don't have permission to create attachments" and it froze mad.gif But I'm writting again.

 

And the problem si solved, and just like you said BDL, it was a problem of uneven pressure, today I tried with anothe knife, a 10" Tramontina (Looks and performs like a forchner, but is made I Brazil... I think) and I discovered that I was placing my hands at the handle and on the ti of the knife, despite the size of the blade and at some points I felt like I did with the Mac but I realized that it was uneven pressure and at some moments, a bad angle, I even chipped the edges of the stone and I got it chipped (It didn't happen with the mac, at least not that bad). After that I was very very aware of my hands position, and of making a very even pressure all the time and the problem was solved... Or if not totally solved, at least now I know what to correct. :)

 

And BDL, my stone is one like this http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=88043 I don't know if is a good or a bad one, but so far I can't complain... My old stone is a 1000 grit mino sharp and this new one looked  like a great deal. But anyway, I'm ordering a new bester 1200 (based on your comments) and I'm not sure what else to order (I want another good stone that can give me a polished edge, and I'm giving this oishi to my kitchen staff and I'll get the new set for my personal use) if you can give me an advice that doesn't  cost muy caro! biggrin.gif I'll appreciate it very much.

 

About the "burr method", I'm sure that you've written about at least 10 times, so, if you can give me the link of any of your old post with that info, I'll appreciate it big time. I know what is the burr, I can feel it, chase it and deburr it... But how is the "Burr method"?... You mean that I swap the knife until I get a burr?... Then work the other side just like I'm doing with the counting method, but now instead of counting, going by the feeling of the burr?. Sounds interesting and if that makes me work faster and wear down the knife less than I do with the hundreds of passes with the counting method, I'll be very happy. If you can explain, provide the link to read about it or to watch a vid on the technique, I'll follow it for sure.

 

Thanks a lot amigos!

 

And Adam... Your technique on turning a knife into a single bevel, must be great, but that's a can of worms that I'm not ready to open yet. I'm just getting serious into this "very sharp knives" thing and first I want to learn the traditional double bevel... Once I get good enough I'll go into sigle bevel or chisel edges... That's something that I really want to try... But not yet. wink.gif

post #28 of 29

Luis, you are my new favorite writer.  Seriously.  There's a guy going by Mr. Quickly who writes Amazon reviews (or did until 2008) that might be your only rival.

post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post

Luis, you are my new favorite writer.  Seriously.  There's a guy going by Mr. Quickly who writes Amazon reviews (or did until 2008) that might be your only rival.


Thanks a lot Wag!!thumb.gif I just share with you all my tragedies, comic-tragedies, and the way that I'm learnig, by my own experience, but with the help of you all. The sad part is that I'm learning to sharpen by experience, trial and error, the way that it has to be... And to learn about sex I learned the hard way... By books. redface.gif

 

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