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So Upset w/ Shun Chef's Chipping - Page 2

post #31 of 38
contact theboardsmith, a quick googling will show his site.

he knows what he's doing.

he's usually active on sites like these also.
post #32 of 38

There's no need to jump from an Oxo or plastic cutting board to a BS. There's plenty of very good wood boards on the market that are cost effective. Overstock.com has had Michigan Maple Block seconds from time to time but since the OP is shopping WS they cary boos boards in both end and edge grain. That 20% off will make a nice dent in a Maple board at WS and YES the OP should ditch that OXO toot sweet!

The nice thing about WS is that they will take returns on boards if you ever have a problem with one even a year down the road. ;)

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #33 of 38


From DuckFat:

I think this whole notion of thinner is "better" really came at the peak of the laser craze. That trend  seems to be dwindling rapidly as many have realized those thin blades are not always practical nor are they they easiest to maintain for many.  A user with a hard "chopping" board  is very likely going to benefit from a thicker, heavier blade IMO. Thin blades require solid technique in a professional setting or at home.

While I don't know about laser vs "regular" sales, I disagree with a lot of this.  As long as you don't bind the blade by getting it out of whack in the cut, lasers aren't a problem for skilled users or in a home setting where there isn't a lot of time pressure.  The trick is keeping the knife sharp so it doesn't require a lot of force to cut through whatever you're cutting and keeping the knife on its line.  The first is sharpening, the second is grip and paying attention.  While lasers aren't for everyone, those are very basic skills which every good home cook should develop. 

 

From Franz:

start with a japanese knife that's a bit more forgiving.  something that's not 64 rockwell and not a SG2. maybe something in a more common stainless steel. not VG10 since it's also known to be chippy for people who are more used to western knives.

Not all good knives are Japanese.  However, when we start drilling down most of the good knives we'll look at will be.  Otherwise, yes... let's stay away from what's known to be chippy. 

 

From Jimbo:

The checkerboard is for cosmetics only, but does no harm.  End grain is best because the knife will part the wood fibers rather than cut into them.

Somewhat right.  A "checkerboard" is not usually cosmetic and almost always means end grain.  Edge grain will open to accept the knife edge if it's oriented correctly -- which it usually won't.  In any case, edge grain opens more easily to accept the knife edge, and closes more completely ("self healing") when the knife leaves.  Everything else being equal an end grain board is better than an edge grain board.  However, a good edge grain board is better than a bad end grain board.  It will treat your knives as well, but last longer without separating or splitting. 

 

From DuckFat:

There's no need to jump from an Oxo or plastic cutting board to a BS. There's plenty of very good wood boards on the market that are cost effective. Overstock.com has had Michigan Maple Block seconds from time to time but since the OP is shopping WS they cary boos boards in both end and edge grain. That 20% off will make a nice dent in a Maple board at WS and YES the OP should ditch that OXO toot sweet!

The nice thing about WS is that they will take returns on boards if you ever have a problem with one even a year down the road. ;)

This is true and great advice, both.  Two things about BoardSmith boards:  There are none better, and you pay for it.  There are other boards just as good as BoardSmith boards, and those run around the same price.  There are others slightly less well made, for slightly less.  By all means shop around.  

 

We have two boards, one on each side of our kitchen:  A Boardsmith 2" x 24" x 18" mahogany, and a Boos 3" x 18" round maple.  They're similarly priced.   And at the risk of repetition, you don't need to spend that much to get a perfectly good board.

 

So...  What knife? 

 

Do I recommend a laser for you and/or for Mom?  Maybe.  It depends, but probably not.  On the other hand, because you didn't have any trouble with the Shun's handle, I'm going to suggest that you take a hard look at knives with traditional Japanese style "wa" handles. 

 

Offhand and based on what I'm hearing and not personal experience, I think your best, practical choices are going to be the Gesshin Uraku (stainless) and the Richmond Ultimatum (19C27 stainless or M390 PM stainless).  The Uraku is made in Japan and the Richmonds are made in the USA which is why I was cute about the whole Japanese thing.  

 

I strongly recommend a 240mm (9-1/2") knife over a 210mm (8") for several reasons -- the most important of those is that the longer flat spot promotes a better and less fatiguing action and tends to cut all the way through things which might otherwise "accordion" (julienne peppers for instance).  The Uraku is available as a 210mm (8"), 240mm (9-1/2"), or -- not that matters -- 270mm (10-3/4") knife, while the Ultimatums are 245mm only. 

 

None of the handles have the kind of F&F that Shun's do, but they're very comfortable.  The Gesshin's have utilitarian ho (Japanese maple) unfinished handles, the Ultimatums are a rather spiffy Rosewood. 

 

I think you and Mom can get away with a less than full on bench-stones as your sharpening solution, a MinoSharp Plus3 would be adequate.  

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/29/12 at 10:58am
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

From DuckFat:

  As long as you don't bind the blade by getting it out of whack in the cut, lasers aren't a problem for skilled users or in a home setting where there isn't a lot of time pressure.  While lasers aren't for everyone, those are very basic skills which every good home cook should develop. 

 

 

Unfortunately binding the blade is most likely exactly what the OP did in this case. It's an issue I've seen over and over again on different forums with hard squash. While I agree (some what) on skill level I'm sure we've all slipped with a knife or torqued a blade. Lasers are far more sensitive to this and it's likely the OP's damage to the blade would have only been compounded with a laser. In either event the old adage "the right tool for the job" comes to mind. I see no more reason to peel a calabaza with a laser than I see to cut sushi with a heavy cleaver. No matter how sharp that cleaver is or how skilled the user it's still an odd choice.

Besides only owning one knife is like playing golf with one club. ;)

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #35 of 38

Posted by DuckFat

Unfortunately binding the blade is most likely exactly what the OP did in this case. It's an issue I've seen over and over again on different forums with hard squash. While I agree (some what) on skill level I'm sure we've all slipped with a knife or torqued a blade. Lasers are far more sensitive to this and it's likely the OP's damage to the blade would have only been compounded with a laser. In either event the old adage "the right tool for the job" comes to mind. I see no more reason to peel a calabaza with a laser than I see to cut sushi with a heavy cleaver. No matter how sharp that cleaver is or how skilled the user it's still an odd choice.

Yes to all of this with the exception that while lasers are more susceptible to binding they're not more appreciably more susceptible to damage than an ordinarily thin Japanese knife.  Chipping is more about a variety of aspects of a given knife than whether or not its a laser.  The particular alloy and how its hardened are probably the two most important things. 

 

I have a few heavy duty knives, but if heavy duty doesn't mean going through bones but cutting melons, squash, pineapple, and things like that, I tend to use whatever's out, and "whatever's out" in my kitchen tends to be one of my lasers.  That doesn't mean I think lasers the right choice for everyone's go-to gyuto, nor does it mean I think a laser's as good as an ordinarily thin wa-gyuto for the OP and Mom.

 

BDL

post #36 of 38

Using a plastic cutting board by any means with any knife is a bad idea. Use wood. Magnetic strips are also not good for these knives. Use a block. 

post #37 of 38
There are many reasons to use plastic boards. I use one when I cut raw meat or poultry. My knife touches it just about never for these tasks. If i'm chopping a quick garlic or something and don't want to pull out the block, i'll use plastic. It's light, it's convenient, easy to clean and sanitize. I don't want to lug my 3x3x20" slab to catering jobs either.

The better magnetic bars are covered in wood. Like anything else if you know how to use it, you'll be fine. Place and remove the knife by the spine, don't just slam it on flat.
post #38 of 38
Yup, knowing how to properly use thy tools is as important as knowing what tools to use for what and when.

But since this thread is from 2012 I hope the OP figured that out already.
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