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quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Just bought an Edge Pro. Cannot wait to learn how to use it properly and pull out my Japanese carbon and stainless knives. Looks like a nice weekend afternoon project.


I'd be interested to know how you like it. Seems relatively inexpensive if it works well. The one thing that I don't quite get is the method, using a Sharpie, to find the angle. Fortunately, our Shun knives I know are 16 degrees.
quote:
Originally posted by haggis:
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Just bought an Edge Pro. Cannot wait to learn how to use it properly and pull out my Japanese carbon and stainless knives. Looks like a nice weekend afternoon project.


I'd be interested to know how you like it. Seems relatively inexpensive if it works well. The one thing that I don't quite get is the method, using a Sharpie, to find the angle. Fortunately, our Shun knives I know are 16 degrees.


Haggis - I've been using it for at least a year now. The sharpie "trick" is simply to find the current angle on the knife if the goal is to keep that same angle rather than setting a different one. You put your highest grit stone in the EP, paint a small section of the bevel with marker and then run your stone over it. If it all comes off you're at the right angle, if some is left over you move it up or down a few degrees depending on what part didn't come off. The thought process is you then make note of that angle and use it the next time.

I typically sharpen all my Japanese knives at 15º and my softer german steel at 18º. I really like the system, but it can be a rabbit hole just like any other fairly expensive hobby. I've already spent the same amount in upgraded stones and related contraptions as I did on the system...and then there are the knives...
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by haggis:
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Just bought an Edge Pro. Cannot wait to learn how to use it properly and pull out my Japanese carbon and stainless knives. Looks like a nice weekend afternoon project.


I'd be interested to know how you like it. Seems relatively inexpensive if it works well. The one thing that I don't quite get is the method, using a Sharpie, to find the angle. Fortunately, our Shun knives I know are 16 degrees.


Haggis - I've been using it for at least a year now. The sharpie "trick" is simply to find the current angle on the knife if the goal is to keep that same angle rather than setting a different one. You put your highest grit stone in the EP, paint a small section of the bevel with marker and then run your stone over it. If it all comes off you're at the right angle, if some is left over you move it up or down a few degrees depending on what part didn't come off. The thought process is you then make note of that angle and use it the next time.

I typically sharpen all my Japanese knives at 15º and my softer german steel at 18º. I really like the system, but it can be a rabbit hole just like any other fairly expensive hobby. I've already spent the same amount in upgraded stones and related contraptions as I did on the system...and then there are the knives...


Which Japanese knives do you own?
In my advancing years I'm trying to be much less opinionated myself and trying to allow people to have opinions different from mine without me explaining how wrong they could be. I'm really working on being less of a prick.

I've never cared much for Shun knives. OK. BFD. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them or that they are not quality products. This store in the western suburbs of Chicago has a sale going on now. I've recommended them before for their prices and customer service. NO, I don't work there.

Cutlery and More "SHUN" Sale
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by haggis:
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Just bought an Edge Pro. Cannot wait to learn how to use it properly and pull out my Japanese carbon and stainless knives. Looks like a nice weekend afternoon project.


I'd be interested to know how you like it. Seems relatively inexpensive if it works well. The one thing that I don't quite get is the method, using a Sharpie, to find the angle. Fortunately, our Shun knives I know are 16 degrees.


Haggis - I've been using it for at least a year now. The sharpie "trick" is simply to find the current angle on the knife if the goal is to keep that same angle rather than setting a different one. You put your highest grit stone in the EP, paint a small section of the bevel with marker and then run your stone over it. If it all comes off you're at the right angle, if some is left over you move it up or down a few degrees depending on what part didn't come off. The thought process is you then make note of that angle and use it the next time.

I typically sharpen all my Japanese knives at 15º and my softer german steel at 18º. I really like the system, but it can be a rabbit hole just like any other fairly expensive hobby. I've already spent the same amount in upgraded stones and related contraptions as I did on the system...and then there are the knives...


Which Japanese knives do you own?


Daynull: we have a Global set as well as some new Shun Kaji.
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

Which Japanese knives do you own?


The makers that see regular rotation of various degrees are Konosuke Fujiyama, Moritaka, Hiromoto and just picked up a Kohetsu. All blue or super blue steel. Gyutos and pettys mostly. Are you into Japanese knives Danyull?


Yup although I don't have too many as I can never decide on exactly what I want.

I have a 27cm white-steel Masamoto yanagiba.
30cm Konosuke #1 blue steel Damascus clad yanagiba with kengata tip. This one was custom forged for me and took about a year.
18cm Aritsugu white steel nakiri
18cm Aritsugu white steel deba

So far just carbon steel, although I've been interested in some of the newer forged high carbon stainless knives from Konosuke, Hiromoto and Masamoto.
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

Which Japanese knives do you own?


The makers that see regular rotation of various degrees are Konosuke Fujiyama, Moritaka, Hiromoto and just picked up a Kohetsu. All blue or super blue steel. Gyutos and pettys mostly. Are you into Japanese knives Danyull?


Who makes gyutos in blue steel? Seems like a waste. Simply the wrong match-up of blade shape, material and technique. Not challenging whether it's true, I'm just curious as to understanding why they would.

I visited the Aritsugu store in Kyoto last year and I thought it was pretty amazing that he's a 17th generation blade maker and is still incredibly passionate about blades. I drooled over his counter for about an hour but unfortunately couldn't afford most of what's in his store. Cash only and the average blade price for what I was looking for was in the four digits.

I'd love to order a honyaki kiritsuke someday but I feel like I would dishonor the tradition of the knive. Plus it's incredibly difficult to use. I'd just mount it in a nice case or something. Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

Which Japanese knives do you own?


The makers that see regular rotation of various degrees are Konosuke Fujiyama, Moritaka, Hiromoto and just picked up a Kohetsu. All blue or super blue steel. Gyutos and pettys mostly. Are you into Japanese knives Danyull?


Who makes gyutos in blue steel? Seems like a waste. Simply the wrong match-up of blade shape, material and technique. Not challenging whether it's true, I'm just curious as to understanding why they would.

Quite a few makers do actually. I can't say I've ever heard that sentiment, not challenging whether some people believe it, but can't say I've ever heard it expressed. Why do you feel this way and what steel type do you feel would be more appropriate for a western market where many use that type knife and geometry for the majority of their tasks?

What japanese knives do you own?



I visited the Aritsugu store in Kyoto last year and I thought it was pretty amazing that he's a 17th generation blade maker and is still incredibly passionate about blades. I drooled over his counter for about an hour but unfortunately couldn't afford most of what's in his store. Cash only and the average blade price for what I was looking for was in the four digits.

I'd love to order a honyaki kiritsuke someday but I feel like I would dishonor the tradition of the knive. Plus it's incredibly difficult to use. I'd just mount it in a nice case or something. Big Grin


I imagine I'd break the tip off of a kiritsuke within the first year, but can we agree that this blade shape and function is similar to a gyuto? Plenty of kiritsuke knives in blue steel as well.
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:

Which Japanese knives do you own?


The makers that see regular rotation of various degrees are Konosuke Fujiyama, Moritaka, Hiromoto and just picked up a Kohetsu. All blue or super blue steel. Gyutos and pettys mostly. Are you into Japanese knives Danyull?


Who makes gyutos in blue steel? Seems like a waste. Simply the wrong match-up of blade shape, material and technique. Not challenging whether it's true, I'm just curious as to understanding why they would.

Quite a few makers do actually. I can't say I've ever heard that sentiment, not challenging whether some people believe it, but can't say I've ever heard it expressed. Why do you feel this way and what steel type do you feel would be more appropriate for a western market where many use that type knife and geometry for the majority of their tasks?

What japanese knives do you own?



I visited the Aritsugu store in Kyoto last year and I thought it was pretty amazing that he's a 17th generation blade maker and is still incredibly passionate about blades. I drooled over his counter for about an hour but unfortunately couldn't afford most of what's in his store. Cash only and the average blade price for what I was looking for was in the four digits.

I'd love to order a honyaki kiritsuke someday but I feel like I would dishonor the tradition of the knive. Plus it's incredibly difficult to use. I'd just mount it in a nice case or something. Big Grin


I imagine I'd break the tip off of a kiritsuke within the first year, but can we agree that this blade shape and function is similar to a gyuto? Plenty of kiritsuke knives in blue steel as well.


Great comments snipes! Love the discussion.

The various Japanese carbon steels that are typically used are engineered to be very hard as to produce a very sharp and roll-resistant edge. However they're not very flexible or wear-resistant actually due to the high-carbon content. A Western style knife made from stainless steel is much more durable overall while not being able to take quite the edge. So you can do things like pound garlic with the side, cut through cartilage and bone in a chicken, cut citrus, coarse chop lots of root vegetables, etc. You could seriously damage a Japanese-style knife doing these very common things.

Well anyway, that's why I personally would not buy a carbon-steel gyuto. I use my Henckels or my dexter cleaver for that stuff and it works perfectly.

The blade shapes in Japanese cooking are designed also for a straight push-cut or a long drawing-style slice. If you look at very traditionally made knives likes the kiritsuke, nakiri, traditionally shaped santoku, the blades have a 0 degree arc on the blade so they're completely straight and parallel with the cutting board. One cannot and should not use rocking cutting motions like what a Western style chef's knife is designed for. Also most Japanese-knives are single-beveled. One side will be ground to anywhere from 12-18 degrees and the other side will be as close to 0 as possible to make more of a chisel point. Western knives are ground double-bevel anywhere from 15-30 degrees on both sides to form a wedge. This actually makes cutting tall and firm vegetables like a turnip or parsnip straight actually pretty hard as your knife will naturally drift away from the direction of the bevel if you're not used to it.

A good example of some of the stuff that I talked about is if you look at Shun's line-up of knives. They're designed for Western cooking but with Japanese aesthetics. Their santoku, nakiri, and kiritsuke all have an edge radius and are designed for people who will inevitably roll-cut with them rather than exclusively push-cut. They are also double-ground, which would never be done by a traditional maker but make it far easier to maintain and use.

So as a disclaimer, I think Shun knives for the personal kitchen are fantastic. They have great fit and finish, use quality steel, and will surpass the performance of most non-artisan Western knife manufacturers.

But related to my comment about the kiritsuke, it's really not meant for the average chef. Buying the Shun version is really just buying a stylized gyuto. It is indeed beautiful, I've handled the Shun version a few times, but it's the freeware version of the real thing. Also, the kiritsuke was the tradition and the right of only the head chef of a Japanese restaurant. The average kaiseki chef owns about 27-32 different knives but only the head chef was allowed to use one in the kitchen as it was a symbol of mastery over all the other knives. As an analogy to what this means, if you're impressed with the knife skills of sushi chefs, they're typically regarded as the LEAST skilled among Japanese chefs in regards to knifework because they only use 3 types of knives.

Anyway, most people don't care about all this kind of stuff, and that's fine. I just happen to care and it doesn't really matter to me if someone subscribes to it or not but hope that was helpful. Big Grin
I can see we will have to continue this conversation over glass of wine one day. I hear what you say about the traditional Western aka German knives being more durable, but personally I break down a chicken a few times a year and I will get out one of those to separate the breast bones, but otherwise I enjoy the screaming sharp edge fine japanese steel offers. There is something about brushing up against the knife edge and see where it opened up your skin, strangely leading to a smile.
Wear resistance is another reason why I prefer Aogami Super steel, though as a home cook ultimate wear resistance isn't a huge issue. Some of the new stainless / semi-stainless steels coming out now sure are interesting. I believe one of our members here is lucky enough to own one of Devin Thomas's knives (presumably AEB-L).
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
I can see we will have to continue this conversation over glass of wine one day. I hear what you say about the traditional Western aka German knives being more durable, but personally I break down a chicken a few times a year and I will get out one of those to separate the breast bones, but otherwise I enjoy the screaming sharp edge fine japanese steel offers. There is something about brushing up against the knife edge and see where it opened up your skin, strangely leading to a smile.
Wear resistance is another reason why I prefer Aogami Super steel, though as a home cook ultimate wear resistance isn't a huge issue. Some of the new stainless / semi-stainless steels coming out now sure are interesting. I believe one of our members here is lucky enough to own one of Devin Thomas's knives (presumably AEB-L).


Excellent! I may actually be in Atlanta in a few weeks so would love to meet up. I have some sales calls at Georgia Tech, Emory and the CDC.

I love talking knives almost as much as wine hahaha. They're very personal things so it's interesting to hear about what people like and don't like.
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
quote:
Excellent! I may actually be in Atlanta in a few weeks so would love to meet up.


Great. Just PM me once you have firm plans.Smile I'm in and out February, but hopefully it works out.




Hey this isn't B/S forums. Big Grin

What's your email?


removed at gmail
Last edited by snipes
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
I can see we will have to continue this conversation over glass of wine one day. I hear what you say about the traditional Western aka German knives being more durable, but personally I break down a chicken a few times a year and I will get out one of those to separate the breast bones, but otherwise I enjoy the screaming sharp edge fine japanese steel offers. There is something about brushing up against the knife edge and see where it opened up your skin, strangely leading to a smile.
Wear resistance is another reason why I prefer Aogami Super steel, though as a home cook ultimate wear resistance isn't a huge issue. Some of the new stainless / semi-stainless steels coming out now sure are interesting. I believe one of our members here is lucky enough to own one of Devin Thomas's knives (presumably AEB-L).

I think that there are probably a few people on both WS and KKF sites who own Devon Thomas knives as well as other customs like Del Ealy and others. Personally, I love my AEB-L as well as my carbon steels, but the custom handles are what blow me away and add to the overall appeal. One member here,who rarely posts, is my knife guru and has over 40 beautiful knives in his possession. Talk about blade envy!
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
I can see we will have to continue this conversation over glass of wine one day. I hear what you say about the traditional Western aka German knives being more durable, but personally I break down a chicken a few times a year and I will get out one of those to separate the breast bones, but otherwise I enjoy the screaming sharp edge fine japanese steel offers. There is something about brushing up against the knife edge and see where it opened up your skin, strangely leading to a smile.
Wear resistance is another reason why I prefer Aogami Super steel, though as a home cook ultimate wear resistance isn't a huge issue. Some of the new stainless / semi-stainless steels coming out now sure are interesting. I believe one of our members here is lucky enough to own one of Devin Thomas's knives (presumably AEB-L).

I think that there are probably a few people on both WS and KKF sites who own Devon Thomas knives as well as other customs like Del Ealy and others. Personally, I love my AEB-L as well as my carbon steels, but the custom handles are what blow me away and add to the overall appeal. One member here,who rarely posts, is my knife guru and has over 40 beautiful knives in his possession. Talk about blade envy!


It's amazing what these bladesmiths can make out of metal these days. The various white and blue steel blanks were originally from railroad ties. 52100 steel is made from ball bearings. 5160 steel is used for those truck leaf springs.

AEB-L gets a very nice edge and is quite durable. A great steel for knives.

I've been thinking about getting a high-speed powdered steel knife but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I'm not a fan of non-forged knives so, we'll see... Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by Maverick:
OK. Here is a really nice line of knives in "white #2 steel".

Tojiro ITK Shirogami Series

If you want "blue steel", just type it into the search box. You should get 150+ matches.


Any experience with Tojiro? I have seen them but never tried them. Would be curious as to how they compare to the old guard, Masamoto, Suisin, Aritsugu vs the contenders Konosuke, Hattori, Hiromoto.
My favourite knives are my Takeda's. Take a beautiful edge and maintain it longer than most. Great weight and balance. My go to knife is my Banno Bunka Bocho. I think I just like saying it out loud 3 times! I think I have a list of my knives under my profile at KKF. I may have added a couple more since I updated it last.
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
My favourite knives are my Takeda's. Take a beautiful edge and maintain it longer than most. Great weight and balance. My go to knife is my Banno Bunka Bocho. I think I just like saying it out loud 3 times! I think I have a list of my knives under my profile at KKF. I may have added a couple more since I updated it last.


Dok - I just can't get into that site. I've registered quite a while ago and browse the site, but don't believe I've ever posted. It reminds me quite a bit of eBob with DM playing the role of Squires.

Takeda should be on everyone's must own list from what I hear. I came close a few times.
I've only used other guy's knives. If I was gonna buy knives tomorrow, these would be it. Now realize that I don't really look at this like any of you (my perception of this conversation). I see these as tools for a job. As long as the knife is sharp and used properly, the food doesn't taste different if the knife costs $600 or $60. Comparatively, the handles are kinda cheap and they're not "pretty". I'm not saying that really nice handles are unimportant, but as an example, my $10 corkscrew pulls just as well as a $300 Laguiole. These were very very sharp, nice and thin, lightweight and as affordable as anything I've ever seen. They are not at all "single bevel"; that is a quality for specific purpose knives, not all Japanese knives. Aside from the nakiris, none of the regular Japanese knives that I've used were flat belly. The longer knives, those for fish and sushi yes, but not any gyutos or santokus. "Gyuto" is no special word; all it says is "chef's knife". "52100 steel" has become popular lately. I've heard nothing bad about it. "AEB-L" is another standard premium steel.
quote:
Originally posted by Danyull: Any experience with Tojiro? ... Would be curious as to how they compare to the old guard ...

Please realize that I'm only stating my somewhat experienced opinion for it's conversational value only. My two(2) main go-to knives are Chicago Cutlery; a chef's knife from 1974 (old gaurd) and a santoku from about five(5) years ago (new world, read: sold-out). They're both very sharp, do their jobs, are replaceable for <$15/ea. and nobody in the kitchen is gonna swipe either of them.
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
I think that there are probably a few people on both WS and KKF sites who own Devon Thomas knives as well as other customs like Del Ealy and others.

I'm a real fan of Del Ealy as well as Pierre Rodrigue (and he's a Canuck). I don't get on KKF's site often but there are some excellent custom makers there.
At the end of the day however, the knife has to feel good to you.

It's like sitting in a car. If you're 5'3" you think you have a lot of leg room. If you're 6'5", you think you're cramped.

We all hold knives differently and we have differently shaped and sized hands. That matters FAR more than some angle, which most people can't distinguish anyway.

So personally, I hate most Japanese knives. That's after investing a lot of money in them too! I hate the feel of them and the fact that they don't have any bolster and the fact that they're made for people with what I consider relatively small hands.

Problem with some of the German knives is that they have that bolster all the way down and that interferes with sharpening.

Messermeister however, has managed to combine some of the good features of Japanese and German thinking, and there are several other companies doing the same. Note the bolster here:
http://www.messermeister.com/

They also have a chef's knife that's wider than most so you don't slam your knuckles while you're cutting, which is an issue if you have big hands.

Wusthof also has a "Japanese" influenced line that's not bad.

Then there's the belly of the knife. Some chef's knives are relatively straight - that seems to be the French way, and some are really curved so you can rock the blade. I prefer the latter.

The angle of the blade edge is completely irrelevant to me - how well the edge holds is more important and I think that has more to do with the steel than anything else.
I love the looks and quality of all of these knives and I know I could certainly fall down the rabbit hole with all of it but I have to ask a simple and honest question, What do you use them all for?

I cook a fair amount (and when I have time a lot more). I'm fairly adept in the kitchen, have had some proper training, know the difference between a julienne and a batonnet etc. I've got a bunch of knives and outside of the one-off knives like my bread knife or carver I use a 10inch chef's knife maybe 20% of the time, a 6inch utility knife 30% of the time and a nearly disposable plastic handled henkels 3.5inch utility knife 50% of the time. If my chefs knife was something closer to 8inches I could use that and the flexible small utility knife for 95% of what I do.

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