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ATK Knife review

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

In this program about roasting a turkey, in the middle of the program they are reviewing knives.

 

It seems to me that they are all wrong about knives and selecting a knife.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvBG0JMGEuo

 

Comments?

 

Thanks

 

dcarch

post #2 of 3

About the only concrete thing they got wrong was edge angles to my knowledge anyway. Most chisel grinds are 30 degrees, total, most western V grinds ave 40 degrees total, 20 to a side. As BDL often notes, you can take many of these knives to more acute, sharper angles, but not as low as they're talking about. 10 degrees on a side for a net of 20, the Forschner/Wusthof/Henkels will just fold under at that thin of an angle.

 

And I do agree, the Forschner if kept sharp performs quite well. It has a lot of well designed geometry to it. It's primary failing is a little flexibility  and edge holding.  And the Masamoto VG10 is a respected knife.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 3

dc, I agree with you.  The Test Kitchen knife guy (whose name I forget) was wrong about a lot of things.  

 

One of them was the type of chopping actions the different shaped knives support.  Flatter, more traditional Asian edges are especially suited for straight up and down "push cutting," which the knife guy called the province of German (and American) knives.  The more arced German profile lends itself to tip down, "rock chopping."  Most modern Japanese chef's knives (aka gyuto) are French profile -- which are pretty good at both as well as the classic, French gliding action which starts tip-down but ends with a -- usually forward -- glide.  Of course, your own action will be dictated by a combination of training, preference, and the nature of what you're actually chopping, as well as the shape of the knife.  

 

One of the great benefits of a German profile is that the arc of the blade coupled with an up and down motion transfers a lot of power to cutting, however the "benefit" is only useful if the knife is dull.  While profiles are a matter of taste, I consider a German profile to be something of a drawback in that the knives are less nimble; and dislike very flat profiles because the knife wants to be lifted off the board so often.  As I said, it's a matter of taste, but the reviewer should have talked about the differences more accurately. 

 

The video was confusing about angles in that it did not distinguish between edge angles and included angles.  Most western knives knives are sharpened on both sides of the blade, and have the same edge angle on each side, which means the included angle will be double the edge angle.  So, for example a Forschner Rosewood or Fibrox with a 20* factory edge angle, has a 40* included angle.  Chisel edged knives are only beveled on one side.  So the edge angle and included angle are the same. 

 

FWIW, Forschner Rosewood and Fibrox (same except for the handle material) can support a 15* edge angle without collapsing fairly well. 

 

The Masamoto VG is an excellent knife, and so is the Forschner Fibrox, but the review seemed to rely entirely on the factory edge -- which is meaningless.  The Masamoto VG is a particular favorite of mine at the price point for a lot of reasons, but it must be said that there are an awful lot of good knives at the price.  On the other hand, the Forschners are probably the least amount of money you can spend and get a decent knife, but otherwise they're only adequate.  $25 on a Forschner doesn't buy you a $150 knife, or even the next best thing.  With a very few exceptions you get what you pay for; and of those exceptions, most are poor rather than good value.

 

Finally, a section on chef's knives which only mentions two brands is an endorsement and not an article. 

 

BDL

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