or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Knife Reviews › An excellent new contender to throw in the mix!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

An excellent new contender to throw in the mix!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

A while ago Mark Richmond of ChefKnivesToGo introduced some new knives under his own brand name.  Among the first was the Richmond Addict.  It was a Wa-style gyuto built on the general profile of one of his favorite Japanese brands.  He had the knives made for him by Lamson in Vermont, of CM154 steel.  I had the chance to sharpen a batch of them for him, and ended up keeping one for myself.  As they came they were pretty thin with very nice F'n'F.  The one drawback was that CM154 is very difficult to sharpen.  The first one actually took me three and a half hours!  The main problem though was my ignorance regarding that steel.  As it happens the vanadium carbides are virtually impervious to abrasion via Japanese natural stones.  When I switched to DMT plates things went along without issue.

 

At any rate, I took this knife to work with me and used it exclusively.  My idea was to see how long the edge would go.  To facilitate beating on it I also allowed the other guys in the kitchen to use it for prep tasks (eek.gif).  The knife was universally loved by the crew.  They found it incredibly light and nimble; most of them normally use 8" Germans and thought a 240 mm would be too large, but to a man they found it very easy to use.  But the main thing they marvelled at was the thinness of the blade.  Most of you laserr-loving J-knife junkies probably wouldn't call it a laser, but it's very thin.  Ultimately the edge took five weeks of use in a pro kitchen before I felt it needed to be rotated out.  Now mind you, this isn't five weeks of use by someone like KC- it was mostly cooked proteins but an hour or two of bulk prep maybe five times a week.  Not bad by any measure.

 

Well, Mark listened to the feedback and tweaked the knife a bit.  He kept the exact same profile but made two changes, resulting in a knife he's calling the Addict 2:  http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riknad24.html   The difference between the first version and the V.2 is that the knife was made even thinner and the steel was switched to Crucible's CPM-154, a steel even more abrasion resistant than CM154.  IIRC hardness was left the same, around 60-61 RC.  Yesterday I got another package of them to sharpen and while I haven't had a chance to do so yet, I am pretty impressed.  The blade, already thin, probably does classify as "laser" now.  Yet with the new steel it seems about as stiff as the original version.  Within the next day or two I plan to begin sharpening them, then I can probably comment on how abrasion resistant they are.  But from what I read I expect them to be about the same or a bit tougher.

 

Based on the feedback I got from the original Addict, and the even thinner blade of the Addict 2, I think this will be a real contender in the under $200 market.  At $170 for the Rosewood and $155 for the Ho versions, I think it's a pretty good value.

 

In the interest of disclosure Mark does have me do some sharpening for him but beyond that I have no affiliation with CKtG beyond being a long time repeat customer.  I don't get a commission on them or profit beyond being paid when I do sharpening work.

 

That said, I do think this is going to be a pretty popular knife.  At some point in the future I may even be able to do a pass-around on my personal Rosewood Addict (1).

 

EDITED to correct typo- I meant to say I have NO affiliation.


Edited by Phaedrus - 9/29/11 at 8:55pm
"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
Reply
"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
Reply
post #2 of 5
Sounds great! Wish I could justify another gyuto.

Let me start the rest of this post by saying I have no hands-on experience with any of the Richmond knives, and the following remarks are meant to be taken as "general knife knowledge," rather than a specific judgment or opinion. Also, no disagreement with Phaedrus -- just cleaning up some definitional stuff.

People have taken to referring to "lasers" as though they're inherently superior and/or desirable. Laser isn't necessarily a good or a bad thing. It's a thinness and weight thing with a set of pluses of minuses which are inherent to the metrics of materials science current state of the art. There isn't a clear line dividing lasers from their more ordinary cousins. But getting down to cases, the Addict 2 is probably just stout enough to NOT be a laser. For example, Phaedrus's 240mm Addict 2 gyuto weighs 175g, by comparison a 240 stainless Konosuke weighs 125; and that's a lot of difference. By way (weigh) of another comparison, the Masamoto KS is considered a very svelte non-laser, with the 240 gyuto weighing in at ~162g.

Lasers demand a little extra skill (must be kept very square to the cut) and babying, which is why I never recommend them as a first good knife in a pro environment.

Pardon the presumption for restating Phaedrus, but I understand him as saying the Addict 2 is a nearly laser thin knife with all of thin's important virtues, but not so thin as to suffer the sins.

Can't wait to hear how it sharpens -- especially on synthetic water stones.

One last thing: Richmond's blades are made in the USA by Lamson -- an excellent and looooooooooooooong established maker. I don't know where Mark gets the handles, but do know the finished knives are assembled here as well. I see the whole thing as an important step along the way to a renaissance in western knives.

BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/29/11 at 8:25am
post #3 of 5

That does sound great.  It seems like the v.2 was made to get us most of the way there toward the Richmond Remedy.  Do you have experience with that one enough to make a comparison? Just looking at the pics the Remedy seems to have a less flat profile. What else is different, beyond the price?

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post

That does sound great.  It seems like the v.2 was made to get us most of the way there toward the Richmond Remedy.  Do you have experience with that one enough to make a comparison? Just looking at the pics the Remedy seems to have a less flat profile. What else is different, beyond the price?



I happen to have one Remedy in my possession right now along with three Addict 2s.  The main difference is that the Remedy has a bolster (not full, partial as you'd see on your typical J-knife) while the Addict 1/2 are both Wa handled.  The Remedy has a slightly more belly, or at list the tip his higher up the knife than with the Addict.  I've not yet sharpened them but both are made of CPM-154, hardened to about the same 61 RC point.  Alas, all I will cut with them is paper.  These aren't my personal knives; I am to sharpen them and ship 'em back to CKtG.  Ethically I don't think it's right to cut food with them if they're to be sold as new.

 

My initial enthusiasm may have gotten the better of me.  I put the calipers on one of them and they're a little thicker than they look.  Right at the point ahead of what you'd call the Machi on a J-knife the blade is 2.1 mm.  Pretty thin but not a true laser.  It tapes to a waifish degree at the tip and is only about 0.03 mm a few mm up from the edge.  The knife is very light.  While I didn't weigh them I must point out that the published weight it is kind of a guess.  I did weigh the last batch and found a 28 gram difference between the lightest and heaviest samples of the same model.  Presumably this variation is due to the handles (how dense, how much epoxy was used, and the fact that they're hand made).  By way of comparison the A2 is about 0.25 mm thinner than the A1 that I own.  I don't remember where the handles are from.  I'll have to ask Mark.

 

Provided that the slightly thinner A2 is as robust as the A1 it should be a very good all-rounder.  Mine stood up well to production work.  It's light enough to use all day but sturdy enough to handle all but the most brutal tasks.  I do keep a 240 mm Tojiro Western Deba for stuff like cutting thru chicken bones but I rarely need to resort to it.  I suspect that with the right sharpening job it could be used as a "Mighty" gyuto.  Since I don't know how will be buying them nor how they'll be used I tend to hang relatively conservative bevel on them; my standard practice has been 15 degrees per side with a very small microbevel applied with the final stone.  While I haven't pushed them to see how low they can go a buddy and fellow sharpener has taken them down to 10 degrees per side without any problems.

 

I agree with BDL about Lamson Goodnow- very solid company.  They did hit a minor snag when Irene hit; the factory was flooded and they were forced to close, laying off 50 employees.  Fortunately it looks like they're already up and running again, although I don't know if they're back to full capacity yet.  It's good to see Japanese style knives being made by American workers.

"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
Reply
"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
Reply
post #5 of 5

Thanks, Phaedrus -- that's a great post! Hit on everything I thought about asking beyond what I actually did.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Knife Reviews
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Knife Reviews › An excellent new contender to throw in the mix!