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Help me understand my problem with Global sai knives

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

After growing up with no experience in the kitchen, I started trying to cook well a year ago. I wanted a good knife, and I did a bit of research and it seemed that japanese knives had some advantages over western knives, so I handled a few knives at Williams Sonoma (the only cookware store in town.) After testing shun classic, shun premier, global, and global sai, I picked a 7.5" global sai santoku as feeling the most natural in my hand. Soon afterward, I also purchased a 4.5" global sai paring knife as well as a global honing rod and minosharp manual sharpener (i DO plan on sharpening better in the future, but I needed something efficient.) With these tools, I was satisfied. However, after I began watching cooking shows, I noticed that even bad cooks (e.g. contestants on America's Worst Cooks) were doing things with their knives that I couldn't: thinly slicing, quickly cutting, etc. Presumptively, Global isn't the best knife, and I'm far from experienced, but it seems that I should be able to outperform game show contestants. I figured I needed to simply sharpen the knives more, and I had an extended session with the manual sharpener, which seemed to help a bit, but not a lot. I took the knives to williams sonoma for their free knife sharpening, which turned out to be farcical because the employee knew less about knives than i did.
Recently I happened to try a wusthoff...and I was blown away by how much easier it cut, compared to my global sai. I'm sure the wusthoff had been over-sharpened by an overzealous employee, but the difference was so remarkable that I almost bought the wusthoff immediately. I KNOW that the wusthoff is completely different from a global, but I would think that a freshly-sharpened global would perform better than a wusthoff that'd been demo'ed to the public all day. Can the difference simply be a result of the different proprietary steels, or is it likely that I simply have not really sharpened my global? What else could create this situation?

post #2 of 17
I suspect that you have not yet mastered sharpening the Global. I never liked the feel and handling of Global but they should be capable of being sharper than it seems yours may be.

What do you mean by "over-sharpened"?
post #3 of 17

The minosharp may or may not get you the performance you're looking for. Also, can you detail what you mean by 'extended session' with the manual sharpener? I fear that you've spent enough time on it to take off metal to the point of making the knife perceptibly thicker behind the edge. This will continue to hinder performance.

 

Just from a steel alloys standpoint, I don't think Global's alloy rates unfavorably against Wusthof's. They are probably similar, with Global's alloy containing more % Chromium.

 

Have you spent time looking at knife skills videos or finding local classes? I found that watching instructive videos helped me improve my knife skills more quickly than I would have by just cutting and cooking without having searched some stuff up (although I am still farrrrrr from good). With a year of cooking experience, I don't think your focus should be on quickly cutting. Speed is at least partly a function of increased familiarity and confidence that comes from repetition and experience.

post #4 of 17
post #5 of 17
Foodie is right. Has become fat behind the edge and needs some good thinning.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Some clarification, because I can't imagine that I over-sharpened. I've only sharpened the knife three times: twice with this: https://m.bedbathandbeyond.com/m/product/global-minosharp-3-knife-sharpener-in-black-red/1040723594. Iirc, the instructions stated to pull it through each stage ~5 times, which I did. I didn't notice much of a change. A few months later when I tried sharpening it again, my "extended sharpening session" consisted of pulling it through each stage ~15 times (I was sure not to push down on the knife), after which it DID seem sharper, but still didn't seem overly sharp.
The third sharpening attempt was done on an electric chefs choice sharpener by a Williams Sonoma employee; she used five strokes, after which I saw that she knew nothing, and I took back my knife before she did any damage. (Again, there was no noticeable improvement, even with this sharpening attempt.)

I'm open to believing that the problem lies with my sharpening skills...but I can't see what I can do differeently. The manual sharpener has a built-in angle guide, and the honing rod I use (https://m.bedbathandbeyond.com/m/product/global-9-1-2-inch-ceramic-sharpener/1013680493) has a guide at the top to give me the general angle I need to maintain. The knife is only used once or twice per week, and never abused, so I just don't know how else to get a better edge.
post #7 of 17

You shouldn't have to thin yet with the small amount of sharpening you have done.  However you are lacking fundamental steps in sharpening:

 

1) Raise a burr

2) Remove the burr

 

Pull through sharpeners just rip metal and leave a toothy edge.  They are very limited in usefulness and will never get you a great edge.

post #8 of 17

We do a poor job of trying to promote having an educated consumer base. Those pull through sharpeners come with a lot of compromises, not the least of which is a relative inability of getting a clean edge. Some knife users will absolutely trash their knives with using them on glass or granite tabletops and boards, toss them into a metal sink, or have them clang and get bashed around silverware in a dishwasher. The pull through sharpeners sold have to have the capability to be aggressive enough to help on abused knives like that, which limits how refined an edge you can get without adding in a silly number of slots. 

Relative to those 3 stage pull-throughs that are built entirely for ease of usage (too aggressive), I'll spend 20 or so minutes a knife using 3-4 stones when fixing up knives at the community kitchen before I feel okay with what I'm delivering back to the staff (these are knives that get super hard usage and pretty abused...). They seem to need the last 1-2 medium/medium-high grit stones for cleaning up the edge and deburring. These are those cheap white and red handled restaurant supply kind of knives but they'll get wayyy sharper than many 50-100$ priced knives pulled through an electric choice or manual pull-through simply if the sharpening is better.

 

I don't think you'll get overly sharp with the pull-through. Just simply limitations of the equipment and the fact that it's tearing away metal instead of refining an edge (missing key steps in the sharpening process like Millions says above). If you seek sharpness, I'd suggest looking into and reading up on waterstone or oilstone usage. Feel free to ask questions here.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Please delete.
Edited by Pirendeus - 4/4/16 at 10:02pm
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the information. I didn't realize that a pull-through sharpener might not even give a subjective 'good' edge. For clarification, using my global pull-through sharpener, am I likely to be able to slice as thinly as 20150921-misen-knife-review-4.jpg or 20100423-sharpening%20-%2013.jpg?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Please delete.
Edited by Pirendeus - 4/4/16 at 10:03pm
post #12 of 17

I suppose the standards here might be higher. Any knife I've got that isn't obscenely thick as to wedge itself awfully between food will make those cuts. But I only hand-sharpen.

 

A number of quite thin knives (even some of the cheaper stamped ones), will probably make those cuts if you sharpen/strop/hone the edge first. 

 

The better question for you personally might be - If you use the finest slot of your pull through, can you easily make tomato and onion cuts like that?

Oooh boy the Misen pic. I feel like the people hyping that have no clue Tojiro DP and Fujiwara FKM exist...

post #13 of 17
I feel sorry for people who paid $65 back in october and still have nothing to show for it. They could have had tojiro dp or fkm already. We will see when actual production knife reviews come in....

I can make those cuts with any of my knives. Ditch the pull through edge wreckers
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post


The better question for you personally might be - If you use the finest slot of your pull through, can you easily make tomato and onion cuts like that?
That's what I was hoping someone could tell me, before I have to hack away a few mm of my blade's edge ;-)
What results and edge retention can I reasonably expect from this type of steel while using an inferior sharpening method?
post #15 of 17
Over time it will go from bad to worse. It will be in this state for a long time but it will never be good. Sharpening is EVERYTHING. You can take $$$ knives and if you put them through a pull through, the edge is crap regardless of the steel quality or grind. On the other hand, you can polish a turd. The result of that is a polished turd.
post #16 of 17

From simply the type of steel - probably moderately decent edge retention in a home use environment, especially if it can be touched up. Weeks to a few months (this is a guess, I don't own a Global knife)? It's not like the edge is likely to fail catastrophically, but you'll want to have it sharper. The main limitation is the sharpening method. 

 

You certainly should not be losing mm of your knife per sharpening. Touch-up sharpening should be mere fractions of mm. Any more than that indicates something approaching large repair or thinning or reshaping work.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post

I feel sorry for people who paid $65 back in october and still have nothing to show for it. They could have had tojiro dp or fkm already. We will see when actual production knife reviews come in....

I can make those cuts with any of my knives. Ditch the pull through edge wreckers

Me too. One of my coworkers bought 2 (this was before I met the dude and had a chance to talk him out of it!). Showed him some of the world that's out there but he's committed to seeing how these are when they come in. I just really dislike how they're trying to market this thing as somehow revolutionary for the price range. Literally a less good profiled FKM. 

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