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To Bolster or not to Bolster?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to upgrade my chef's knife and I'm torn between Henckels Professional S, and Henckels Pro.

 

Pro                                                                                                     Professional S

 

 

 


 

Are there any major disadvantages to not having a bolster?

post #2 of 14

I think there are no disavantages to NOT having a bolster rather than having a bolster. Especially if you sharpen yourself not having a bolster is easier.

post #3 of 14

In a chef knife I have some with bolster and some without.  It is a matter of feel and grip more than anything.  I like the feel and grip of a bolster, yet appreciate the advantages of the knives without bolsters.  Very personal and hard to give advise.  One issue for me is that I tend to get blisters on my fingers when cutting a lot with a no-bolster knife faster than with a knife with a bolster.  The bolster gives a bit more to grip.

 

But between those knives you show there is a lot more difference than just the bolster!

post #4 of 14
Indeed. I find it hard to imagine that a professional would not have a distinct preference between those two very different profiles.

I also believe that there is a fine distinction that many make between bolster and finger guard, and those who make the distinction would say that both these knives have bolsters, but one does not have a finger guard. A Japanese-style knife with a "wa" handle has neither a bolster nor a finger guard.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Wow, I honestly never noticed that the blade angles were so different. And that settles it, I'm going to go purchase the Professional S now.

 

Thanks for the input, everyone.

post #6 of 14

the bottom knife has a better shape but i'd rather have a knife without a bolster. not even an integral bolster including the picture above.

post #7 of 14

The problem with knife on the bottom is if you sharpen the knife over time the bolster will look like a pair of balls just dangling there. It only gets worse until you remove that part of the bolster. It'll take awhile though unless you're obsessively sharpening your knife everyday. Just my opinion.

post #8 of 14
It's not just about looks. Very soon, the protruding fingerguard/bolster will prevent the largest part of the edge to ever touch the board. The cutting area will be restrained to a very small section behind the belly.
post #9 of 14

None of those things happen if you when you sharpen you reduce the bolster also. Using any pull through sharpener will induce it as will any method if you don't take some off.

 

Once you fall behind it can take a fair bit of work to fix.

 

Sabatier had the best bolster idea and F Dick uses a similar grind of it.

 

All other things being equal I'd get a non bolstered knife but if you prefer something about a bolstered knife just remember to reduce the bolster first then and sharpen the blade.

 

Jim

post #10 of 14
Sure, but that is not exactly a pleasure with quite abrasion resistant steel like the German stainless.
post #11 of 14
:DQuote:
Originally Posted by KnifeSavers View Post
 

None of those things happen if you when you sharpen you reduce the bolster also. Using any pull through sharpener will induce it as will any method if you don't take some off.

 

Once you fall behind it can take a fair bit of work to fix.

 

Sabatier had the best bolster idea and F Dick uses a similar grind of it.

 

All other things being equal I'd get a non bolstered knife but if you prefer something about a bolstered knife just remember to reduce the bolster first then and sharpen the blade.

 

Jim

 

There's a lot of bolster to grind down on the second knife.  :D 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

Sure, but that is not exactly a pleasure with quite abrasion resistant steel like the German stainless.

Never promised it was fun or easy. ;)

 

Worst I had was a 8" that maybe made contact maybe the first 3"-4" back from the tip. Probably had to whack the bolster down 1/4- 3/8".

 

"There's a lot of bolster to grind down on the second knife."

 

Well I'm not talking a full bolster removal just, if looking at the blade upside down, reducing the bolster apex to be below the apex of the edge.

 

Jim


Edited by KnifeSavers - 9/19/13 at 12:24pm
post #13 of 14

Had it been available to me in the mid 70s when I first started cooking in the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto, I would have chosen the knife on top.  But now almost 40 years later, I've learned to live and sharpen with what I've owned over the decades.  :)

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post
 

Had it been available to me in the mid 70s when I first started cooking in the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto, I would have chosen the knife on top.  But now almost 40 years later, I've learned to live and sharpen with what I've owned over the decades.  :)

 

You could always sell your old stuff to subsidize the purchase or new stuff. I think own stuff is important and... stuff. That's what I mostly do. :)

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