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A shot in the Dark....

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I acquired these 2 fine knives a year ago from a chef in Montreal.......not a long story , hadn't seen each other in a long time and as I was getting ready to leave he handed me these. I am not going to lie, I have been using them and I happen to like them alot. That being said, I know nothing about them............nothing.

All I know is that they are marked Vanadium and under that name it say , stainless steel. Here is a pic.:

So this might be a shot in the dark but can anyone tell me about these knives ? Thank you , Petals.

 

018.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

Petals
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Petals
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post #2 of 14

Chef Petals,

 

Can I tell you anything?  Not much for sure, but I do have some educated guesses. 

 

Based on their profiles, straight drop on the back, handle style, what's left of their original profiles, blocked construction, markings and a few other things... they were originally inexpensive. 

 

Because of the Vanadium marking, I'm guessing the blades are made with AUS-6 (alloy), which contains some vanadium and is a lot like 440A.  They don't look expensive enough for AUS-8, but the look is hardly dispositive.

 

There's a lot more subcontracting in Japanese knife making than in American or European.  A lot of Japanese knives are ordered by retailers, department stores, or exporters through a contractor who arranges for each manufacturing operation to be performed by a different sub; and and that's what these "no-names" appear to be.  How did your friend get them?

 

If you're wondering about the vanadium, it's an element added to steel alloys usually to undo some of chromium's undesirable characteristics.  Chromium, another elemental addition, is used to prevent steel from rusting or staining.  Until a couple of decades ago, vanadium was an exotic and expensive addition.  But not so much since.  The "VANADIUM" inking differentiates a cheap knife from an ultra-cheap knife. 

 

The profiles are currently very flat, but it's likely the knives had more belly which was sharpened away.

 

The longer, wider knife appears to be a "wide chef's."  The shorter seems to be a santoku. As they are now, they're worth about $5 for the pair.  Don't let my evaluation bother you.  If you like them, you like them.  And that's the true only true determinant of their value.

 

BDL

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Chef BDL,

 

Thank you for the information. I am not surprised about the worth. Chef Jacques was tossing a box of stuff that had been hanging around the kitchen for years. I had never heard of Vanadium before , thats why I asked the question. I was told never to kick a gift horse in the mouth (right saying?) They were free and they cut nice, at least one of the two does but I have my favs as you know.

 

He works with Wusthof , Forschner and Sabs. There were alot of other knives there but I cannot recall them right now, alot of eye candy for sure.

 

I also would like an opinion on the Myabi 7000 ' chef knife , what is your opinion of this one. I have been going to a store and everytime I go it calls me.....I have put it in my hands and it feels great but I have never bought one of these before...if  I am going to purchase another knife is it worth the money ?

 

Here is a pic of it, the one on the bottom. :                  Thank you so much for taking the time to discuss this. Petals.

121.JPG

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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post #4 of 14

Chef Petals,

 

Never look a gift horse in the mouth.  Look, as opposed to kick.  Looking a horse in the mouth is a way of valuing it, which one shouldn't do with a gift.  One should just accept it for what it is.  You can kick a gift horse in the mouth, but don't be surprised if the nature of the gift changes from horse to hoof.   

 

There's a lot of good things to say about Miyabi as compared to Shun -- their obvious competition.  They're very similar, but Miyabi prices more competitively, and their edges are more durable.   Miyabis are extremely well made, and a 7000 cook's will convey most of the benefits of a really good Japanese, san-mai (three layer) knife.  I don't care for the aesthetics (but that's personal), the profile (too German for my tastes, I like French because it's more agile and suits my action much better) or san-mai in general (for reasons that probably won't matter to you).  Miyabi, for what it's worth, is wholly owned by Henckels and gets the full panoply of Henckels world's best QC, warranty, and support. 

 

At the price, I'd recommend many other knives over the Miyabi, none san-mai, and all French profiled.  But if the Miyabi calls to you, it calls to you.  You should have what you want. 

 

BDL

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Chef Petals,

 

Never look a gift horse in the mouth.  Look, as opposed to kick.  Looking a horse in the mouth is a way of valuing it, which one shouldn't do with a gift.  One should just accept it for what it is.  You can kick a gift horse in the mouth, but don't be surprised if the nature of the gift changes from horse to hoof.   

 

There's a lot of good things to say about Miyabi as compared to Shun -- their obvious competition.  They're very similar, but Miyabi prices more competitively, and their edges are more durable.   Miyabis are extremely well made, and a 7000 cook's will convey most of the benefits of a really good Japanese, san-mai (three layer) knife.  I don't care for the aesthetics (but that's personal), the profile (too German for my tastes, I like French because it's more agile and suits my action much better) or san-mai in general (for reasons that probably won't matter to you).  Miyabi, for what it's worth, is wholly owned by Henckels and gets the full panoply of Henckels world's best QC, warranty, and support. 

 

At the price, I'd recommend many other knives over the Miyabi, none san-mai, and all French profiled.  But if the Miyabi calls to you, it calls to you.  You should have what you want. 

 

BDL


Thank you for setting me straight on the first paragraph.  And I accept the gift for what it is. English expressions I hear but they get lost in translation ( or should that read : I hear English expressions but they get lost in translation ? - you see it sometimes does not pay to learn two languages at the same time ) . It does not mattter , I am hear to learn and that is what is important. To learn proper English - so be it, to learn cooking , absolutely, and about knives, why I am here.

 

If the Miyabi is not the best knife then it makes no sense for me to keep looking at it. If you were to suggest a few knives based on what you know about me , then I would much prefer to hear those suggestions then looking at life through rose colored glasses.

 

Do I go with a Shun ? A new Mac ? Gyuto Chef, a Santoku ?

 

....Soy todo oídos

 

ps. a Miyabi calls me but so does a Louis Vuitton....does not mean I will buy it.

 


 

 

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #6 of 14

Oh God.  Not a Shun. 

 

MAC Pro is my generic recommendation for home cooks; and it could be great for you or maybe only a second best.  It's a knife I really like but wouldn't buy for myself -- even if I were interested in that particular niche (western handled, stainless, below $200) which I'm not. The point isn't about me, just that there are a people who like something a little different. 

 

The first things to nail down are your price range and how far you're willing to pursue sharpening.  It would be a shame to spend a lot of money on a knife which won't receive the kind of care it needs to work its best.  Some knives are easier than others.  You've been doing this long enough to know how much time you want or don't want to spend fooling around with maintenance.  If you're performance oriented it's really all about sharpening and price range. 

 

We might want to talk about skills, but I remember talking about them with you when we talked about your interest in a Nogent Sabatier.  As I recall, you were happy with the idea of a 10" knife. 

 

BDL

post #7 of 14

If BDL is shy about touting his own site, I won't be...

 

One of the big reasons you get an "oh God, no" to Shun is the profile.  I think you would do well to read BDL's blog on knife profiles here:  http://www.cookfoodgood.com/?p=399

 

Perhaps you like what he likes least.  (I'm guessing not).  But at least you can understand what's at issue.  Or part of what's at issue.  There are other things, certainly, and edge-taking (and edge holding) probably most relevant to the sharpening issue... which, as BDL is already pointing you toward, is probably a bigger issue than most other concerns when buying a new knife.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yes, I bought 2 knives since then. They are pearls........I have a roll case for my knives, in fact I ordered another one last week, it should be in on Friday, managed to get it for 30.00.

I like to swing by my parents after work ...my dad gets a real kick out of my Sabs.

 

"What are we going to cook today Cadie , did you bring those knives ?" .......et voila

 

There are Macs suspended on the magnet where I work ( I leave those there - no one touches them ).  All the other knives are in my roll. You asked about sharpening ? I can do basic sharpening , nothing fancy. I am willing to put up to 250.00 on a new knife

 

Some things to think about :

 

A light knife

I am left handed

Don't like anything with alot of angles in the handle like the porche line........what a disappointment, they are beautiful though.

I have 3 - 10' knives  and would like to have a very good  8"

 

What are your thoughts on the Yanagi ?

I am also thinking of a Sanelli - just for a butcher knife....

 

One more thing. How do I fix the tip of my older Sabatier ? The tip got bent a little, I was horrified when I noticed it. I will post you a pic of it very soon. Now this knife is my baby.

 

Thank you,

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagstaff View Post

If BDL is shy about touting his own site, I won't be...

 

One of the big reasons you get an "oh God, no" to Shun is the profile.  I think you would do well to read BDL's blog on knife profiles here:  http://www.cookfoodgood.com/?p=399

 

Perhaps you like what he likes least.  (I'm guessing not).  But at least you can understand what's at issue.  Or part of what's at issue.  There are other things, certainly, and edge-taking (and edge holding) probably most relevant to the sharpening issue... which, as BDL is already pointing you toward, is probably a bigger issue than most other concerns when buying a new knife.



I just saw your post now, I will read it before I hit the sack...............thank you Wagstaff....I appreciate your comments and thoughts. thumb.gif

 

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #10 of 14

Chef Petals,

 

8" chef's knife?  Why?  

 

Make some room in your budget for sharpening.  If you can only spend a couple hundred now, spend it on sharpening.  I don't know if the Edge Pro or freehand route would be better for you; but if you're moving into high end Japanese knives it's going to be one or the other.  The good news is that your other knives will greatly benefit from better kit and skills, too.

 

With that out of the way, let me start the knife chat by saying that all of the knives we're going to talk are very high performance.  So when I talk about the differences between them, take it with a grain of salt.  You'll be ecstatic with any of them.  Not to beat one drum too much, but you'll be in paroxysms of joy all over again with your Sabs once they get a really good edge.  Not only that, but you'll make your Dad happy.

 

I'm really high on a few knives right now, and several of them are bound to suit you to a "T."  At any rate, this is a good survey and a good beginning.

 

I'll start with the high end, and with the caveat that any of them are going to require more involvement and money invested in sharpening on your part -- or the extra money on the knife will be wasted.  The good news is that they're all relatively easy to sharpen.  All of them are very thin -- much thinner than you're used to, thinner than your old MACs, and that's going to require some adjustment on your part... or not.  You'll need to keep something big and heavy around for heavy duty work.  You can't split a chicken, skin a pineapple or break down a gourd with one of these; but that's generally true with Japanese knives anyway.  Also, because they're thin, they're very sensitive to twisting or torquing and will punish you for it and other bad technique.  On the other hand, they reward good skills like nobody's business.

 

One is the Konosuke HD.  It's a very thin, ultra-light knife of a type called a "laser," precisely because it's so light and thin.  The HD means it's semi-stainless (as opposed to carbon or stainless); and it's very stain resistant; more to the point, It's an incredible alloy, best I've ever used.  The Konosuke is also available in less expensive stainless and "shiroko" (white #2) carbon.  If you can live with another carbon knife, the white #2 is the way to go.  These knives have a Japanese style "wa" handles, you're grip can easily adapt to them without any trouble.  The Konosuke HD is an excellent all around gyuto and one of a handful of best knives I've every used.  If you like Sabatiers, you'll like this profile.  

 

The Gesshin Ginga and Tadatsuna wa-gyutos are also at the extreme high end of your price range (a little over) in fact.  They're very thin for western handled knives, extreme quality, both made form G3, both spectacularly good, well made knives.  Tadatsuna is an extremely high-end, prestigious brand.  Gesshin is JKI's house brand, so the name itself doesn't have the same cachet, but it's a lot of knife for a lot of money.  Both are made from the same, stainless alloy, G3, and are as good as stainless gets.  I particularly like the feel of the Tadatsuna on the board; but you won't get the same hand-holding and support you will from Tadatsuna as from JKI.

 

A very expensive but worth it carbon (not at all stainless) is the Masamato HC.  If you love Sabatier, you'll love Masamoto; the three are tied for number 1 profile with Konosuke.  It's a practically perfect pro knife in every way.  It's not as thin as the Gesshin, or Tad, and not nearly as thin as the Konosuke; but it's still MUCH thinner than any of your western knives.  Relative to the Gesshin and Tad, you give up a little perceived sharpness and edge holding, but make it back in profile and robustness. 

 

Another expensive, but worth it carbon, is the Misono Sweden.  Very reactive even as carbon knives go, and needs a lot of carbon love, but it's a beautiful knife with an engraved dragon yet.   You can get it from Paul's Finest which is a big plus for a Canadienne. 

 

Another expensive, well regarded, western handled, stainless knife is the Hattori FH (aka "Forum Knife").  They're excellent knives and beautiful.  They're made from an alloy called VG-10 which was once the really hot ticket.  It turns out though that VG-10 is something of a mixed bag if not done very, very well.  The FH is the knife where it is done that well, which is a nice thing.  Beautiful knives, but not quite in the same performance category as the other knives I've written about so far.  If it calls to you, you should consider it carefully.

 

The Masamoto VG is the same profile as the HC in stainless.  For years, I've been recommending the VG as an alternative to the MAC, but Masamoto price hikes put them in different price classes.  It's been a long time since I've used a VG, and I'm not quite sure how to value them anymore.   I can't convey in words how good the Masamoto chef's knife profile is -- which is something to consider.  Plus, it's a Masamoto. 

 

Dropping down in price, considerably:  The Richmond Addict 2 is made for CKtG by Lamson.  It's another wa-handle knife.  I haven't used it yet myself, but it's getting great buzz from people who know what they're talking about.  If I were buying a stainless wa-gyuto with any but the largest budget, I'd take a chance on this, the Konosuke SS (if you were dead sure you wanted a stainless laser), or the Konosuke White #2 (if you were dead sure you wanted a carbon laser). 

 

Let me put in a word for another knife sold by Paul's Finest which doesn't get a lot of coverage in the knife forums or here; and that's the Sakai Takayuki Grand Cheff (yes, too effs).  It's an excellent all-rounder.  The profile isn't quite up to the other knives mentioned in my opinion, but it's made from the easiest alloy to get and keep very sharp of any of the stainless knives.  

 

Last, but by no means least comes the MAC Pro.  I recommend it far more than any other knife and it's the only knife I give as a gift to enthusiastic cooks who (a) want a great knife but (b) don't want to get terribly involved in the knife thing.  It's the stiffest of all the good Japanese knives.  Easy to sharpen, easy to maintain, comes very sharp out of the box, great handle -- very comfortable in the hand, good profile (but not a Masamoto), outstanding warranty and even better North American support (through MAC USA).  Like the Masamoto VG, it's made from VG-1.   Plus, you can afford it.

 

Anyway, those are a few.  Spend some time Googling them so you can see what they look like, and get back.  "Calling to you" counts.  Otherwise, why bother?

 

BDL

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Chef BDL,

 

I have read your post about five times now, I trying to wrap my head around all the information you posted." I feel like a kid in candy store looking at all the sweets and wondering which one to pick. "

I appreciate your candor and the description behind each knife, the why's and maybe the why not's. I googled a few knives already and I just can't believe how much more they charge for a left handed knife or is just me ?

 

The Massamoto HC & Konosuke HD are the two knives I am wanting to learn about right now. I like the razor thin and ultra light aspect of the knife.

The Gesshin Ginga and Tadatsuna wa-gyutos seem to be very expensive....but then again isn't everything nowadays ? I will be researching them more in the days to come, have some homework to do ...

The Masamoto VG peeks my curiosity as it is in the same playing field of a Mac (right) , I must look into that one since I use Mac alot in the day.

Paul's Finest website has a few nice looking pieces there ..........Canadian site ? Ahhhh that is another draw back about buying abroad... but so long as companies are willing to sell here, why not ?

Then there is Konosuke SS....I have yet to scope that one out.

 

I think everyone is entitled to a good knife (or new one) its just a matter of getting the right input.

 

Thank you so much in advance for those recommendations....I went back to Cookfoodgood.com and re-read the knife threads again and I realize that there are so many dynamics that go into making a knife.....its actually fascinating when you think about it.....its a real craft . I am forever learning something new and I love it.

 

Thank you for directing me .

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #12 of 14

Chef Petals,

 

Ignore their left handed prices, they are pigs.  When you can sharpen, you can easily make your own left handedness. 

 

Some of the prices are very high... and yes there's a little extra bit of performance for each extra dollar.  It's partly a matter of prestige too.  I thought that you might get a kick out of seeing what a lot money buys.  It was a survey more than an actual recommendation.  Maybe after you get your MOF or something.  Speaking of ridiculous prices, I have two Konosuke HDs. 

 

The idea is to choose something that's absolutely right for YOU, and comfort with the price is a huge part of it.  So is comfort with every other aspect.

 

I was going to buy a Masamoto KS (out of your price range), but thought I should have at least one stainless (or near stainless) chef's knife since I write so much about them -- and there were some other considerations too which might better have been left alone.  The Masamoto KS was as close to perfect as a knife can be for me, and it was foolish not to buy one.  But the Konosuke HDs suit me every bit as well.  Lucky, lucky.    

 

My Konosukes and Sabs speak to me.  They nestle in my hand and whisper, "I love making food with you, together we can do anything."  Every good cook should have that. 

 

BDL

post #13 of 14

BDL -- is the Konosuke actually thinner than the Gesshin Ginga? (Or Tadatsuna, for that matter?)

 

I've not seen a Tadatsuna in the flesh, ever.  I thought it was in the same category (in relevant part)... but my recollection of the other two, in the shop, is that they were "the same".  Or IIRC, Jon said there's as much of a difference knife-to-knife as there is between brands.

 

Because of the steel, primarily, I still want a Konosuke HD gyuto.  Money is too tight and I don't really have a need though.  But I struggle with lusting after a Gesshin Ginga for some reasons... I thought the geometry wasn't enough different to be a guide, though.

 

Maybe I'm not remembering right.

 

 

post #14 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

 

The idea is to choose something that's absolutely right for YOU, and comfort with the price is a huge part of it.  So is comfort with every other aspect.

 

The Masamoto KS was as close to perfect as a knife can be for me, and it was foolish not to buy one.  But the Konosuke HDs suit me every bit as well.  Lucky, lucky.    

 

My Konosukes and Sabs speak to me.  They nestle in my hand and whisper, "I love making food with you, together we can do anything."  Every good cook should have that. 

 

BDL

 

Had to emphasize what BDL is saying here. You can Google info until your eyes bleed but when you hold the right knife for you it will be obvious.

 

Recently at a trade show I got to lay hands on an F Dick Premier Plus and that is the German knife I must have. On the Japanese side the Sakai Takayuki Grand Cheff SP 1 and 2 were calling me like a siren.

 

Nothing else at the show fit me as well as those did.

 

Jim

 


 

 

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