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Opinions on "New West" brand knives

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Was looking into this maker who seems to have a fair price on 52100 blades. Also offers various stailess steels also.

 

Just curious if anyone had tried them??

 

Thanks and God Bless

Mike

post #2 of 5

I tried the original Fusions and Phoenix chef knives, and didn't like them at all.  They were too short.  I didn't care for the kullens on the Fusions (I never do); disliked the profiles which had too much rocker and which I found overly "designed;" nor did I like the aesthetics of either knife -- also too much "design."  All matters of personal taste. 

 

On the other hand, most of their "objective" qualities were better.  F&F was very good; the knives took a good edge, and held it; the handles looked to be about the right size and shape for most people. 

 

52100 is great stuff no doubt, but just waving the alloy name around doesn't mean that much.  As much or more depends on the manufacturer's specific hardening as on alloy composition.  An RCH number would be helpful, but those don't tell the whole story either.  I'd want to use one long enough to dull and sharpen a few times before making a judgement.

 

The guy who owns New West is a talented designer (whether or not he's my favorite) who goes for style without compromising function.  The knives are well-made and sold at prices commensurate with their quality.

 

BDL

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks BDL, in your opinion what is the optimum RV for 52100. I would think with cryo it should not be to difficult to achive 60RC and still have a non chippy edge. Sharpening on the other hand my be a bit tougher, but no more of a challange than some of the Japanese blades.

 

Thanks and God Bless

Mike

post #4 of 5
post #5 of 5
BDL, in your opinion what is the optimum RV for 52100. I would think with cryo it should not be to difficult to achive 60RC and still have a non chippy edge. Sharpening on the other hand my be a bit tougher, but no more of a challange than some of the Japanese blades.

The Rockwell C hardness testing methodology is screwed-up and inherently inaccurate; on top of that, hardness varies a great deal from steel maker's batch to batch, and same hardness alloys might get different numbers from different makers.  Optimum is more a range than a number; there's more involved to "strength" than a particular, hardness sweet spot; and what you're really looking for is an ideal strength/toughness balance than just "very strong."  

 

Compared to Hitachi White #2, well hardened 52100 tends to be less strong but tougher. 

 

While I know enough to sound confident and knowledgeable I'm not a materials guy and not even really a knife "expert," so much as someone who nags you about sharpening, helps you find your own priorities, assists with unraveling some of the other mysteries of pro equipment and techniques for the home cook, and encourages you to have a good time.  Despite the "Equipment Expert" title CT gave me, I'm more about cooking than equipment. 

 

If you really want to talk about the ins and outs of hardness you're best bet is to find someone else.   Normally I'd refer you to Mark Richmond (as a maker) and Jon Broida (who's incredibly knowledgeable about nearly every knife thing and how it relates to sharpening), but since you're considering becoming a dealer yourself you'll have to get over the AWKWARD! on your own.

 

With that out of the way, I'd say 60 - 62 RCH is the right range.  If I were looking at manufacturer claims, I'd say 60 was on the low side, and would keep it to 61-62.  Kramer and Richmond both claim 61.  I think Mark Richmond sources his alloy from Crucible and has the knives made by Lamson -- but I'm not sure.  Kramer -- quien sabe?  Shoot him an e-mail and a credit card number and you may get an answer in three years (joke).

 

Worth noting that even at 61 RCH, 52100 sharpens pretty well on oil stones.  Not so Shirogami 2 at 62 - 63.

 

BDL

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