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 Post subject: Anyone re handled a Calphalon Katana?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:34 pm
Posts: 354
I have a whole set of these. They all have the same handles.
The chefs knife, in particular is not really that bad, kind of a Sabatier shape, and it's VG 1 steel, with a faked on Damascus pattern.
The handles however are really CRAP!

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The tang runs horizontally and the handle is in 2 pieces, above and below the tang. The tang is visible on both sides.
It is just glued on.

I am soliciting thoughts on whether I should just sell it, or if someone can figure out how to put a decent handle on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone re handled a Calphalon Katana?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:12 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:40 pm
Posts: 269
I actually didn't mind the handles on these I had the chef and nakiri - now both sold but I did how ever keep the honesuki as its one of my favorite knives ever!! not the best steel not the worst but its one of the most versatile knives itk. holds an edge for a long time thin stainless and works great on the line for in hand garnish work and even for small amounts of veg prep and protein work in a pinch!
don't give up on it just cuz of the handle im sure one of the masters around here can work something out!!


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone re handled a Calphalon Katana?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:30 am 
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Philly, I had a 6" chef Katana for many years that I recently gave to someone who could really make regular use of it. The Katanas are actually quite thin at the edge and perform pretty darn well.

I found the handles heavy, if nothing else. I didn't like the balance on the 6 inch knife. I would think that if you could cleanly take of the top and bottom scales w/o messing up the tang, a re handle would be fairly straightforward.

What don't you like about the handle? The look, the materials, the shape? What would you change?


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone re handled a Calphalon Katana?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:18 pm 
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No, I've never rehandled one.

That said, I'm sure we could work out the best method for doing so. However, I would not be willing at the moment to take on the work......so please, I'm just trying to help figure it out. :)

I've looked at some pictures of these on line in thinking about your question. It would seem there are no visible rivets holding the scales on?!?! It would also appear from the view of the butt end of the handle that the tang is flat?!?!

I cannot imagine that the scales are simply glued on to the tang (too much of a risk for such a large manufacturer).....there has got to be some mechanical connection between the scales and the tang. Which means it's probably internal.....hidden. I could be absolutely wrong though. That said, I wouldn't rehandle a knife like this without a mechanical connection so if said knife were to be rehandled, I'd have to find a way to make such a connection. That's just me.....so keep that in mind.

Okay....the other option would be to convert it to a wa handle. Personally, I'd charge out the ass the remove that much tang material to convert it to wa handle. You have to grind the existing tang down in half approximately.....and you'd have to grind away a lot of metal at the front of the handle where those curves are.....there would be a lot of time in doing this properly (i.e. without overheating the knife and ruining the temper) so you're talking a lot of money unless done by someone for the enjoyment of a fun project (I've been known to do this for instance). So, IMHO, unless you find someone willing to donate time and grinding belt material.....converting to wa is going to be at least a few hundred dollars with the grinding work and a new handle.

So, we're back to scale replacement. :)



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 Post subject: Re: Anyone re handled a Calphalon Katana?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:36 pm 
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Adam, I was thinking kind of the same thing on grinding down the tang and making a Wa out of it. The biggest issue is that bulge coming out of the blade face into the handle tang. It's definitely a wedge point on ingredients as well and adds to the back weighted bias on the knife.

Frankly, given the cost of the knife and the quality of the steel, I'd probably just live with the handle and not worry about it. Heck, a lot of Wa handles aren't anything special either ;-).


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone re handled a Calphalon Katana?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:34 pm
Posts: 354
Many thanks Adam for taking the time to respond.
Converting the handle to WA is off the table, I bought it for $40 at the Calphalon Outlet store, I also have the paring, bread, honsuki, Santoku, slicer, serrated utility, and 4 steak knives, plus the Katana bamboo knife block. They are all sitting in my basement workshop except the Honsuki which my wife uses it all the time along with the Small Santoku and the paring knife.
The handles are too small for me, they feel like plastic, or some kind of wood impregnated with plastic.
The tang is FLAT, the handles are tapered in thickness from front to back, so it would be a lot of hand sanding to duplicate the handle profile.
Plus the whole idea would be to make larger handles since I feel the grips are too small.
Although these knives have Japanese VG-1 steel, they are made in China.
I really do not see how there could be any mechanical connection of the scales with the flat tang. I bet you they are simply glued on.
I guess I could wrap the handle in some material to make it bigger. but then you run into the issue of food safety as the wrap could accumulate dirt and bacteria.
I only have one nice 210MM/8 inch knife, my Richmond Laser. I was just trying to figure out a way to give it some use.
Seems like too much bother, so I guess I will sell it, and some of the others I no longer use, and put the $$ towards something useful.
One nice thing about Calphalon, they take stuff back no questions asked. If a grip came off one of the knives, if I sent it back, they would send me a new one.


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