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Question for BDL and anyone else on knife to buy

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi, I have been reading posts here for weeks on knives and am realizing that I may never be able to figure out which knife to get without some guidance.

 

I like the handles and profile of my Henckel knives but not so much the steel.  So I would like to purchase new knives that look as much like them as possible with better steel.  I am particularly interested in knives that have carbon steel edges with stainless cladding to make then a bit lower maintenance.  So with that background here is what I am looking for:

 

Handle - western.  A handle that is roughly the size of the handle on the Henckel knives would be perfect.  I would not want anything smaller.

 

Handle material - I like natural wood handles.  I am a woodworker and like woods like rosewood, etc.  However, I would also be fine with other non-natural materials if that is what is available on the knife that otherwise meets the criteria below.

 

Bolster - must have.  In particular I want a knife with a metal bolster that is either a single piece with the blade or welded so that it is attached to the blade.  I do not want any gap between the bolster and the blade for food water etc. to get into.  

 

Blade thickness - not too thin.  I don't know if it is good technique or not but sometimes I push down on the back of the blade and I don't want it to be too thin.  The thickness of the Henckel blade is fine.  If slightly thinner that is OK.  But I do not want a laser or anything really thin.

 

Blade hardness - harder than Henckel but not so hard that it will chip or be really brittle.

 

Blade steel - carbon steel or something that holds an edge like carbon steel.  The aogami super blue and the one with the number like 51200 seem like good candidates.

 

Blade cladding - stainless.  I am not looking for anything fancy like damascus but would not rule a knife out if it had it.  I am also not looking for the rustic japanese finish but between rustic and damascus would prefer rustic.  Normal polished steel is fine though.

 

Blade height - the height of the Henckel is good.  I do not want it too narrow.  It seems like the gyutos are narrower so if it has to be narrower then the highest possible would be best.  This is most relevant to the chef's knives obviously.

 

Blade lengths/styles - I want to purchase a paring knife, small/petty knife, santoku or small chef's knife in the 6-7" range, 8" chef's knife, 10" chef's knife, 9" slicer, 9" bread knife (if available) as well as other knives.  I am looking for basically the same construction for all of the knives.  So a model that is available in a variety of styles would be preferable.

 

For additional background, I looked at the Kramer knives.  They have more belly than I would like and the handles have problems where the scales seems to have shrunk, leaving the metal parts protruding out.  So those are out for me.

 

I am very picky about fit and finish and I want these to be really, really nice.

 

I had my Henckel knives for almost 30 years and I think these knives should last me for the next 30.  So price is not an issue.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice/guidance that you can provide!

 

Chris

post #2 of 17

I'll try to give input on some of these...in the meantime, can you list a budget for these knives? It would help other contributors get a feeling for where to start making suggestions or giving input.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by chidofu View Post
 

Hi, I have been reading posts here for weeks on knives and am realizing that I may never be able to figure out which knife to get without some guidance.

 

I like the handles and profile of my Henckel knives but not so much the steel.  So I would like to purchase new knives that look as much like them as possible with better steel.  I am particularly interested in knives that have carbon steel edges with stainless cladding to make then a bit lower maintenance.  So with that background here is what I am looking for:

 

How are you currently sharpening your Henckels? What do you dislike? Edge retention, edge taking? Please be more specific.

 

Handle - western.  A handle that is roughly the size of the handle on the Henckel knives would be perfect.  I would not want anything smaller.

 

How are you currently gripping your knife?

 

Handle material - I like natural wood handles.  I am a woodworker and like woods like rosewood, etc.  However, I would also be fine with other non-natural materials if that is what is available on the knife that otherwise meets the criteria below.

 

Bolster - must have.  In particular I want a knife with a metal bolster that is either a single piece with the blade or welded so that it is attached to the blade.  I do not want any gap between the bolster and the blade for food water etc. to get into.  

 

Blade thickness - not too thin.  I don't know if it is good technique or not but sometimes I push down on the back of the blade and I don't want it to be too thin.  The thickness of the Henckel blade is fine.  If slightly thinner that is OK.  But I do not want a laser or anything really thin.

 

When in your food prep are you having to push down on the blade? Would any of the instances in which this happens be resolved by having an incredibly sharp and thin knife?

 

Blade hardness - harder than Henckel but not so hard that it will chip or be really brittle.

 

So that you are aware, if you have been looking at Japanese knives, especially the higher end carbon steels, I would venture to say that most of them will tend towards microchipping vs rolling out of true as you might be used to with your Henckels as a function of their wear pattern.

 

Blade steel - carbon steel or something that holds an edge like carbon steel.  The aogami super blue and the one with the number like 51200 seem like good candidates.

 

I don't know if I've seen a stainless clad 52100 core steel yet. Are your current maintenance and sharpening habits sufficient to take advantage of the strengths of good carbon steels? Also, there are good stainless steels that have edge holding properties like the high hardness carbon steels. Search up knives made with R2 or HAP40 or SRS15 and see if those pique your interest. 

 

Blade cladding - stainless.  I am not looking for anything fancy like damascus but would not rule a knife out if it had it.  I am also not looking for the rustic japanese finish but between rustic and damascus would prefer rustic.  Normal polished steel is fine though.

 

The rustic looking knives that are stainless clad tend to be in the slight minority, is my impression.

 

Blade height - the height of the Henckel is good.  I do not want it too narrow.  It seems like the gyutos are narrower so if it has to be narrower then the highest possible would be best.  This is most relevant to the chef's knives obviously.

 

Haven't felt that gyutos are narrower. Many 240mm gyutos run between high 40s to low 50s mm, pretty much two inches tall. 270mm are likely to be slightly taller than that, to make the blade feel proportional along a longer length.

 

Blade lengths/styles - I want to purchase a paring knife, small/petty knife, santoku or small chef's knife in the 6-7" range, 8" chef's knife, 10" chef's knife, 9" slicer, 9" bread knife (if available) as well as other knives.  I am looking for basically the same construction for all of the knives.  So a model that is available in a variety of styles would be preferable.

 

There is a fair bit of redundancy in this collection. Do you have clearly formed ideas of when you would pick between a 6-7 inch chefs or santoku vs a 8 inch chefs vs a 10 inch chefs? It might help to try and spend some time really nailing down the knives you use the most right now. 

Unfortunately right now I'm stuck on trying to think about stainless clad carbon steel core knives that don't run on the thin side. I just got one that might be my thinnest knife yet and I'm loving it. I would assert that for most home cooks who would spend some time and effort polishing up their knife skills, maintenance habits, and sharpening, thinner knives are a strength.

 

For additional background, I looked at the Kramer knives.  They have more belly than I would like and the handles have problems where the scales seems to have shrunk, leaving the metal parts protruding out.  So those are out for me.

 

I am very picky about fit and finish and I want these to be really, really nice.

 

With your statements on what you want the handle to feel like, the preference against thin knives, and prioritization on matching and very good fit and finish, you might be more happy sticking with getting something similar to Henckels, or rebuying a new set of them.

I imagine with some of the terms and steels you threw out that you've been looking at Japanese made knives, but your other requirements limit you by basically making it sound like you just want Henckels in a better steel. You'll be looking at Shuns, in that case.

 

I had my Henckel knives for almost 30 years and I think these knives should last me for the next 30.  So price is not an issue.

 

You listed out a theoretically set of 7 or so knives. I could think of stainless clad carbon core steel knives that would set you back $1500 bucks if not more for 7 knives. Are you sure you don't have a max budget?

 

Thanks in advance for any advice/guidance that you can provide!

 

Chris

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post
 

I'll try to give input on some of these...in the meantime, can you list a budget for these knives? It would help other contributors get a feeling for where to start making suggestions or giving input.

 

- Like I said - amortized over thirty years the budget becomes less critical.  If someone can recommend a knife maker or model that meets my criteria, I would like to know what it is regardless of budget.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by chidofu View Post
 

Hi, I have been reading posts here for weeks on knives and am realizing that I may never be able to figure out which knife to get without some guidance.

 

I like the handles and profile of my Henckel knives but not so much the steel.  So I would like to purchase new knives that look as much like them as possible with better steel.  I am particularly interested in knives that have carbon steel edges with stainless cladding to make then a bit lower maintenance.  So with that background here is what I am looking for:

 

How are you currently sharpening your Henckels? What do you dislike? Edge retention, edge taking? Please be more specific.

 

- I don't particularly like edge taking or edge retention.  I sharpen with water stones.  I am a woodworker and sharpen lots of tools with water stones.  I also don't like that the bolster on the Henckel runs all the way down to the blade.  I would prefer what I have seen referred as a half-bolster so that I can sharpen the full blade more cleanly.

 

Handle - western.  A handle that is roughly the size of the handle on the Henckel knives would be perfect.  I would not want anything smaller.

 

How are you currently gripping your knife?

 

- I grip the handle, not the blade.

 

Handle material - I like natural wood handles.  I am a woodworker and like woods like rosewood, etc.  However, I would also be fine with other non-natural materials if that is what is available on the knife that otherwise meets the criteria below.

 

Bolster - must have.  In particular I want a knife with a metal bolster that is either a single piece with the blade or welded so that it is attached to the blade.  I do not want any gap between the bolster and the blade for food water etc. to get into.  

 

Blade thickness - not too thin.  I don't know if it is good technique or not but sometimes I push down on the back of the blade and I don't want it to be too thin.  The thickness of the Henckel blade is fine.  If slightly thinner that is OK.  But I do not want a laser or anything really thin.

 

When in your food prep are you having to push down on the blade? Would any of the instances in which this happens be resolved by having an incredibly sharp and thin knife?

 

- Sometimes when cutting frozen bread.  Sometimes when forcing my way through a joint in a chicken.  Other situations that I can't think of right now.  Not things I would necessarily feel safe doing with an incredibly shape and thin knife.

 

Blade hardness - harder than Henckel but not so hard that it will chip or be really brittle.

 

So that you are aware, if you have been looking at Japanese knives, especially the higher end carbon steels, I would venture to say that most of them will tend towards microchipping vs rolling out of true as you might be used to with your Henckels as a function of their wear pattern.

 

- Yes.

 

Blade steel - carbon steel or something that holds an edge like carbon steel.  The aogami super blue and the one with the number like 51200 seem like good candidates.

 

I don't know if I've seen a stainless clad 52100 core steel yet. Are your current maintenance and sharpening habits sufficient to take advantage of the strengths of good carbon steels? Also, there are good stainless steels that have edge holding properties like the high hardness carbon steels. Search up knives made with R2 or HAP40 or SRS15 and see if those pique your interest. 

 

- There is a set of Kramer damascus that are clad 52100.  To answer the first question, I think so.  I am open to non-carbon steels that will hold an edge like a carbon steel if there are no carbon steel options that match or if the non-carbon steels are really as good as carbon steel.  I have seen references to R2.  That is used in at least one model of Shun correct?  People talked about Shuns chipping in some of the stuff I read.  It's really hard to make a decision on this  type of thing with all of the conflicting information.  That is what lead me to just ask.    

 

Blade cladding - stainless.  I am not looking for anything fancy like damascus but would not rule a knife out if it had it.  I am also not looking for the rustic japanese finish but between rustic and damascus would prefer rustic.  Normal polished steel is fine though.

 

The rustic looking knives that are stainless clad tend to be in the slight minority, is my impression.

 

- Understood.

 

Blade height - the height of the Henckel is good.  I do not want it too narrow.  It seems like the gyutos are narrower so if it has to be narrower then the highest possible would be best.  This is most relevant to the chef's knives obviously.

 

Haven't felt that gyutos are narrower. Many 240mm gyutos run between high 40s to low 50s mm, pretty much two inches tall. 270mm are likely to be slightly taller than that, to make the blade feel proportional along a longer length.

 

- They seem narrower at the base than my Henckel when I see the video reviews.  But if I am wrong then anything with at least the depth of my Henckel will be fine.  

 

Blade lengths/styles - I want to purchase a paring knife, small/petty knife, santoku or small chef's knife in the 6-7" range, 8" chef's knife, 10" chef's knife, 9" slicer, 9" bread knife (if available) as well as other knives.  I am looking for basically the same construction for all of the knives.  So a model that is available in a variety of styles would be preferable.

 

There is a fair bit of redundancy in this collection. Do you have clearly formed ideas of when you would pick between a 6-7 inch chefs or santoku vs a 8 inch chefs vs a 10 inch chefs? It might help to try and spend some time really nailing down the knives you use the most right now. 

Unfortunately right now I'm stuck on trying to think about stainless clad carbon steel core knives that don't run on the thin side. I just got one that might be my thinnest knife yet and I'm loving it. I would assert that for most home cooks who would spend some time and effort polishing up their knife skills, maintenance habits, and sharpening, thinner knives are a strength.

 

- I like redundancy.  We have multiple people in the kitchen and sometimes someone else has the knife I want so I like to have other close options.  In any event, those are the knives I would like.  If they aren't all available, that is fine.  But if they are, that is better.  If there are only thin knives available in knives that meet the other criteria, then perhaps you could direct me to the least thin of the good ones?

 

For additional background, I looked at the Kramer knives.  They have more belly than I would like and the handles have problems where the scales seems to have shrunk, leaving the metal parts protruding out.  So those are out for me.

 

I am very picky about fit and finish and I want these to be really, really nice.

 

With your statements on what you want the handle to feel like, the preference against thin knives, and prioritization on matching and very good fit and finish, you might be more happy sticking with getting something similar to Henckels, or rebuying a new set of them.

I imagine with some of the terms and steels you threw out that you've been looking at Japanese made knives, but your other requirements limit you by basically making it sound like you just want Henckels in a better steel. You'll be looking at Shuns, in that case.

 

- I don't want to rebuy a new set of Henckels.  My current set is still in nice shape.  Shuns might be an option.  But I have read a lot of bad things about chipping etc.  Is there a Shun line that meets my criteria and has really good steel?

 

I had my Henckel knives for almost 30 years and I think these knives should last me for the next 30.  So price is not an issue.

 

You listed out a theoretically set of 7 or so knives. I could think of stainless clad carbon core steel knives that would set you back $1500 bucks if not more for 7 knives. Are you sure you don't have a max budget?

 

- I am sure from the prices I have seen on some of these Japanese knives that someone could come up with a budget buster but in general no.  If you are willing to, let's just say for purposes of the first cut that money is no object and I would like to know who makes the best knife out there that meets my criteria.  Then if you say it is a $1500 per knife, it is possible I would ask if there is anything comparable for $500 per knife.  Obviously it would be great if you told me that the best knife that met my criteria was $200 per knife (I am talking average as I understand that certain knives are more expensive than others among the knives I want to purchase).  Thanks again!

 

Thanks in advance for any advice/guidance that you can provide!

 

Chris

post #4 of 17

Why do you want 3 sizes of an all purpose chefs knife?  Why don't you cut two of those and spend the money on a boning knife and a cleaver?  Why cut frozen bread at all?  You could defrost it in the microwave in 30 seconds

post #5 of 17
Oh no, I certainly didn't mean $1500 per knife. Past about 250-400 per knife (at least for the longer ones) is getting into prestige range or very specific other requirements that I feel is best broached only when you have a very very good understanding of exactly why you'd make a choice of one maker vs another. And a fair few of the really pricey ones run on the thin side (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

Another clarification that might expand or narrow your choices- are you aware from the blade profile difference between knives like Henckels and most Japanese knives? With the exception of Shun, they tend to be closer to being shaped like French knives like the classic Sabatiers, but without as dramatic a dead flat spot towards the back of the blade. Some makers go even flatter with even less curve leading a dropped tip. The shapes lend less easily to significant rocking during the cut. As in, you could still rock, but there's really no need to, and other cutting techniques will work better for the shapes of these knives, which might take some conscious adjustment (and willingness to do so).

Keep a softer knife with a more durable bevel angle if you might be doing any frozen foods work or working around bone. The preformance you'll probably want from a really good chefs knife won't hold if it's also your hacking/abusing knife.

Consider a full stainless paring/petty knife if you cut up a lot of citrus.

My understanding of sharpening woodworking tools is that most of the time you sharpen via "clicking in " to an existing bevel angle. With that said, how often do you thin your Henckels?

At least consider learning to pinch grip- it gives you better lateral control of the blade and encourages push+pull cutting which work better with a flatter blade profile.

Shuns and chipping - I don't own any, but my impression on the chipping issues seems to be inconsistencies that existed (not sure if they still do) with QC of their heat treatment leading to excess brittleness. Another issue is that probably a huge number of Shun owners are folks who previously owned softer steel, thicker, more forgiving western knives they were used to slamming around, and they don't hold up to the same abuse.

A couple lines of knives that you can more likely get a "matching set" of knives from that should satisfy your implied desires for an "upgrade" from Henckels while being moderately robust:
- K Sabatier 200 range - using a moderately hard stainless steel
- Mac Pro - has a reputation of not feeling too insecure coming from a background of full bolstered western knives
- Mid priced Kurouchi finished knives tend to feel a bit more stout from the 3 layer construction but are more commonly clad in reactive steel and tend not to have Western handles. Fit and finish may be hit or miss

Sorry I can't offer more specific brands for advice. My knife journey has taken me to basically wanting in a lot of ways the opposite of what it seems you prioritize or are used to (I'm trying to get my knives thinner and thinner behind the edge, don't eat anything that requires forcing a knife through food, and am resolutely trying to have completely non matching knives and handles and aesthetics).

Edit - I second Millions on the boning knife and cleaver.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
 

Why do you want 3 sizes of an all purpose chefs knife?  Why don't you cut two of those and spend the money on a boning knife and a cleaver?  Why cut frozen bread at all?  You could defrost it in the microwave in 30 seconds


Because I have three sizes of all purpose chef's knives now and I use them all.  Because I have a boning knife and a cleaver now and never use them.  And because I don't want to defrost the entire loaf.  I am new here and don't want to get off on the wrong foot but is this helpful for finding the knives I am looking for?

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post

Oh no, I certainly didn't mean $1500 per knife. Past about 250-400 per knife (at least for the longer ones) is getting into prestige range or very specific other requirements that I feel is best broached only when you have a very very good understanding of exactly why you'd make a choice of one maker vs another. And a fair few of the really pricey ones run on the thin side (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).
- That's a relief!

Another clarification that might expand or narrow your choices- are you aware from the blade profile difference between knives like Henckels and most Japanese knives? With the exception of Shun, they tend to be closer to being shaped like French knives like the classic Sabatiers, but without as dramatic a dead flat spot towards the back of the blade. Some makers go even flatter with even less curve leading a dropped tip. The shapes lend less easily to significant rocking during the cut. As in, you could still rock, but there's really no need to, and other cutting techniques will work better for the shapes of these knives, which might take some conscious adjustment (and willingness to do so).
- The profiles on most of the Japanese knives have looked OK to me.  The profile of the Sabatiers look good as well.  I think I will learn to use whatever I have.

Keep a softer knife with a more durable bevel angle if you might be doing any frozen foods work or working around bone. The preformance you'll probably want from a really good chefs knife won't hold if it's also your hacking/abusing knife.
- Got it.

Consider a full stainless paring/petty knife if you cut up a lot of citrus.
- I'll keep that in mind but still focused on the original search for now.

My understanding of sharpening woodworking tools is that most of the time you sharpen via "clicking in " to an existing bevel angle. With that said, how often do you thin your Henckels?
- I have not thinned them.

At least consider learning to pinch grip- it gives you better lateral control of the blade and encourages push+pull cutting which work better with a flatter blade profile.
- I will consider this.

Shuns and chipping - I don't own any, but my impression on the chipping issues seems to be inconsistencies that existed (not sure if they still do) with QC of their heat treatment leading to excess brittleness. Another issue is that probably a huge number of Shun owners are folks who previously owned softer steel, thicker, more forgiving western knives they were used to slamming around, and they don't hold up to the same abuse.
- Perhaps.  I would like to avoid brands that have QC issues.  I want to buy a brand known for consistent quality.  That is one of the knocks on Sabatiers that I have read.  Even the online seller said something about how they might not be straight etc.  That is not something I am interested in.

A couple lines of knives that you can more likely get a "matching set" of knives from that should satisfy your implied desires for an "upgrade" from Henckels while being moderately robust:
- K Sabatier 200 range - using a moderately hard stainless steel
- See comment on Sabatier above.

- Mac Pro - has a reputation of not feeling too insecure coming from a background of full bolstered western knives
- Do they have stainless clad with carbon steel edge?

- Mid priced Kurouchi finished knives tend to feel a bit more stout from the 3 layer construction but are more commonly clad in reactive steel and tend not to have Western handles. Fit and finish may be hit or miss
- Will check these out.


Sorry I can't offer more specific brands for advice. My knife journey has taken me to basically wanting in a lot of ways the opposite of what it seems you prioritize or are used to (I'm trying to get my knives thinner and thinner behind the edge, don't eat anything that requires forcing a knife through food, and am resolutely trying to have completely non matching knives and handles and aesthetics).
- Thanks for the advice.
Edit - I second Millions on the boning knife and cleaver.
- Thanks for the advice.  I have a boning knife and cleaver that I can use.  I use them so infrequently I am not looking to replace those.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post

...
Shuns and chipping - I don't own any, but my impression on the chipping issues seems to be inconsistencies that existed (not sure if they still do) with QC of their heat treatment leading to excess brittleness. Another issue is that probably a huge number of Shun owners are folks who previously owned softer steel, thicker, more forgiving western knives they were used to slamming around, and they don't hold up to the same abuse.

...

Regarding heat treatment. Interestingly this was internet discussion based on observation of sharpening and chipping behaviour, not engineering analysis or measurement. Nobody seems to have ever measured hardness or anything else to show that heat treatment was inconsistent. I asked PerfectEdge Sharpening, who was the Kai/Kershaw/Shun sharpening service during that period of time when factory sharpening wasn't available, if inconsistent heat treatment was likely. They saw (and still see) lots more Shun knives than most internet forum participants... and they said NO.

 

Not picking any fights here... just trying to help you put some "facts" into perspective.

 

Regarding abuse by owners who are more familiar with more forgiving knives... I totally believe that!

post #9 of 17
http://japanesechefsknife.com/SPECIALS.html#Specials
See the Syogeki -- Deep Impact -- series. Great Fit&Finish.
If stainless is acceptable, the Misono UX-10 offers impeccable F&F and great edge retention, not at the performance level one may expect from a carbon core though.
post #10 of 17
@BrianShaw thanks for the info!
@Benuser Nice link! I had thought about the Deep Impact series, but dont have any personal experience with the JCK house brands or their exclusive offerings. Something to rectify, I suppose. How does it fare in terms of being a thin/not to thin knife?
@chidofu regarding Sabatiers, very possibly most of the bent blades have to do with their selling of the vintage stuff, the new old stock. I linked a line that they just released in the past year or so, not likely to have those issues.

Also, if you plan on still using your Henckels at all, they are going to need to be thinned. If you have been sharpening by basically following an existing bevel, I would not be surprised if they have significant "shoulders" that impact cutting performance. Google search choil shots and contrast with your current knives for a reference. The pictures that come up are largely for higher end knives and reflect the look and performance desired at the kind or price ranges we're more or less talking about.

Mac does not have a stainless clad carbon core, but they should feel comfortably robust for a user accustomed to western knives. Your considerations prioritize 2 qualities that are largely not found together. Most people looking for more specific lines of Japanese knives past Shun/Henckels brand offerings and what else known through typical marketing are not looking for knives that look and feel like Henckels. A relative strength of these hard carbon steel knives is how thin they can be made and hold a good edge as a function of their hardness. The western handle is a huge limitation too. I can think of maybe Harukaze and Kohetsu AS Western and not much else right now. And I have no real clue if those knives are thin or not. Consider other makers who are working with PM steels like the Gesshin Kagero line or Akifusa PM or Ryusen Blazen for a few more options. The reputation of the PM steel knives is that they excel in edge retention.

Is stainless or stainless clad stainless an option at all? Swedish stainless steel is a good option, like Benuser's Misono UX-10 suggestion.
post #11 of 17

Do not consider R2/SG2 if you are concerned about chipping.  Stick with 52100 and blue#2 for carbon with edge retention and some degree of toughness.  Your choices are very limited for carbon with western handels.  You can ask over at kitchenknifeforums about what custom makers are offering in 52100, some makers have lines that are not so pricey.  You might also find some additional options in blue#2 that don't appear on cktg or Epicurian Edge.

post #12 of 17
The Deep Impact aren't especially thin except for where it matters, i.e. right behind the edge. There it is thinner than Hiromotos or Misonos. Certainly no laser. If one comes from German knives I would suggest to put a very conservative edge on it prior to any use as with all Japanese knives. As it is thin it will be some micro- or minibevel anyway and hardly compromise performance in Western cuisine.
The UX-10 is made of Sandvik's 19c27, quite a bit coarser than 13c26 or AEB-L. More abrasive resistant, but not that easy to sharpen. Doesn't take the finest edge but keeps a working edge for a lot of time, what explains its popularity amongst chefs.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion Benuser.  That looks like a great possibility.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post

@BrianShaw thanks for the info!
@Benuser Nice link! I had thought about the Deep Impact series, but dont have any personal experience with the JCK house brands or their exclusive offerings. Something to rectify, I suppose. How does it fare in terms of being a thin/not to thin knife?
@chidofu regarding Sabatiers, very possibly most of the bent blades have to do with their selling of the vintage stuff, the new old stock. I linked a line that they just released in the past year or so, not likely to have those issues.

Also, if you plan on still using your Henckels at all, they are going to need to be thinned. If you have been sharpening by basically following an existing bevel, I would not be surprised if they have significant "shoulders" that impact cutting performance. Google search choil shots and contrast with your current knives for a reference. The pictures that come up are largely for higher end knives and reflect the look and performance desired at the kind or price ranges we're more or less talking about.

Mac does not have a stainless clad carbon core, but they should feel comfortably robust for a user accustomed to western knives. Your considerations prioritize 2 qualities that are largely not found together. Most people looking for more specific lines of Japanese knives past Shun/Henckels brand offerings and what else known through typical marketing are not looking for knives that look and feel like Henckels. A relative strength of these hard carbon steel knives is how thin they can be made and hold a good edge as a function of their hardness. The western handle is a huge limitation too. I can think of maybe Harukaze and Kohetsu AS Western and not much else right now. And I have no real clue if those knives are thin or not. Consider other makers who are working with PM steels like the Gesshin Kagero line or Akifusa PM or Ryusen Blazen for a few more options. The reputation of the PM steel knives is that they excel in edge retention.

Is stainless or stainless clad stainless an option at all? Swedish stainless steel is a good option, like Benuser's Misono UX-10 suggestion.


Got it on the old vs new Sabatiers.  That is good to know.  Thanks.

 

I will look into the thinning issue.

 

Good discussion of Mac.  I will check out the Harakaze knives.  I think I have looked at the Kohetsu knives.  Those are some proprietary line by one of the online sites correct?  I read some mixed things about them and some mixed reports of that site pushing their knives even when not necessarily the right one.  But I have no personal experience.  So interested to know if people think the Kohetsu is a good option for me.

 

Yes, stainless and stainless clad is an option if it is to something that performs really well.

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 


Thanks Rick.  What about blue #1?  Is that also an option?  I found some interesting options in #1.  Unfortunately they seem to also be clad in reactive carbon steel and one that I really like has the black korouichi (sp?) finish that I would prefer to avoid as it appears that it creates even more maintenance issues.  Knowing my personality I will obsess over the finish and whether or not it is getting damaged.

post #16 of 17

You really can't concern yourself about finish, all knives are going to get marred up.

 

Blue#1 and blue super are more brittle, but so long as you have beater knives it's not necessarly an issue.  It sounds to me like maybe you should start yourself off with a single carbon knife to begin with, and blue#1 will show you a very keen edge with good retention.  Blue super is a little less fine-grained, but better edge retention.

 

I'm sure you have a belt sander and I'd think you'd find it a nice project to thin some of your Henkles.  It's nice to have some knives that you don't have to be at all careful with, yet still cut OK.  I have a few cheap stainless knives I thinned and I enjoy using them here and there, including a 6" utility I use all the time.  I like that it is narrow, It's soft stainless but takes a fairly keen edge, and it can be resurected many times with just a few swipes on a translucent Arkansas.

 

 

 

Rick

post #17 of 17

Harukaze and Kohetsu, no personal experience. My point was how limited the options are with your chosen preferences. Benuser's probably got it closest to what might work best for you. Just put a very conservative bevel on some of these moderate thickness but thin behind the edge stainless clad carbon knives.

 

I had the same concern about scratching/finish, and the options are pretty much

1- Be okay with it. Thinning the knives is a necessity as time goes on and is going to mar probably the bottom third of the blade face, if not more.

2- Buy un-pretty knives. May face judging from friends and family used to the look of Western knives or don't understand the rustic looks, but my knives that cut well are beautiful to me.

3- Do what it takes to restore that finish. This can be labor intensive depending on the type of blade you have. You won't restore a kurouchi finish, but if it starts falling off, some people just polish it all off and end up with the blade like that. If you have one of those belt sanders with a couple of different belts, you can remove scratches and polish a blade back up.

 

The only way to not put even some minor scratches on the knife or have the aethestic finish a little marred is to not use it, which would be a crying shame.

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