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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:11 pm 
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So I have pondered my decision more. Last night I was about to pull the trigger on the Takamura Migaki R-2. The reviews and comments on the forum indicated this is a well performing piece of steel with great metallurgic properties. I still might.

Then I thought about the overwhelming support for going carbon. I know going with a carbon blade might improve my experience with freehand sharpening. I just haven't found a grip and motion that I can keep a consistent angle and so I end up with a marginally sharp knife that doesn't stay sharp long. The same is not the case when I use a guided sharpener on my smaller knives. I'm not writing off carbon blades completely, but I might be more inclined to go cheap, like sub-$100, on a first carbon blade. I wouldn't want to screw up an Anryu or Goko or AS Laser with either bad maintenance habits or bad sharpening technique.

I'm curious as to the smell that some experience with their carbon blades. Is it the type of smell you get from a preservative lubricant (which should be thoroughly cleaned off I would think)? Is it some kind of off-gassing from the oxidation of the steel itself? Does the smell or oxidation transfer to food product ever effect the taste? Sometimes when I am only going to use 1/4-1/2 of an onion I dice the whole thing and store the rest for use the next day. Does a carbon blade act as a sort of catalyst to accelerate oxidation in food materials such that cut product should be used immediately.

My only real experience with carbon steel knives was a Kabar in 1095 that was a rust magnet and I would have never in my life considered it touching something I would eat, even after cleaning.

Funny sidebar about carbon steel. I was talking to my friend who is a teppanyaki chef, and he keeps telling me "get a Shun 7" chef's knife. It's polycarbonate steel and is the best you can buy." I guess he has some kind of special run of steel embedded Lexan knives? Lol. I'm going to tell him to think green and get one of these -> Bambo knife. I mentioned that on the various forums, including my thread, that many of the more serious knife aficionados suggest going with carbon steels and he tells me "that's stupid. Why would you want to do that to your stones. Carbon steel is the worst, unless you want your stones to look like a skate park half-pipe." My gift to you guys, have fun with that one.

Lepus: Yeah you could say I'm a little deeper than Benchmade vs Spyderco. I've had all the big brands over the years, more to list than I can remember off the top of my head. Most were in the $50-150 range because I was always afraid to lose or damage them. I always Benchmade had a high quality of construction at their price point, but they're pushing their Nylon based scales and Axis locking system higher and higher up the price scale- neither of which features I like very much. The Spyderco I had was a great knife, extremely smooth action, but I'm not a fan of their thumb hole and prefer a thumbstud for a manual opener. Lately I've gotten into the semi-custom, small-scale production knives.

My current EDC is a HTM Darrel Ralph Gunhammer in S90V. I don't want to get into a huge review here, but, while it's my favorite overall design of any knife I've owned, it's also some of the poorest quality construction per $, or maybe just horrible quality control. I almost didn't keep it after I had to get it exchanged or repaired twice for things that should have been done right in it's initial construction. The first one I received was exchanged with the retailer because it had an uneven grind with about .05" of the bevel not even ground on one side, leaving a nub at the tip. The second one was better in that regard, but the liner lockup needed to be tuned since it barely engaged the blade at all. I opted to send the second to the maker for warranty repair rather than an exchange or outright return. Even after they got that all right I still felt the need to open the one I kept to add a thin nylatron washer between the blade and phosphorous-bronze washer it comes with, then gave it a dry lube treatment to smooth it up a bit. Not exactly what I expected from a ~$300 knife, and their poor QC reputation is certainly the reason the price has gone down $100 since I bought mine. On the plus side, they really nailed the heat treat on the blade and the scales have possibly the best anodizing on I've ever seen on any piece of aluminum- not even a scratch after a tumble on concrete.

I'm thinking my next EDC will be even a bit higher priced again. I'm leaning towards a Brous Division or a Chris Reeve Sebenza. Both are regarded as being the smoothest folder on the market in their respective reviews. I wouldn't mind trying a knife with IKBS. I now have one extremely wear resistant blade (the S90V) for more serious cutting needs, so I might go for one with a bit more style like a damascus or a D2/S35VN/M390/XHP with a stonewashed acid etch or stonewashed DLC type coating. I like using my knives; I'll never get one so nice I'm afraid to carry and possibly scratch it, but I still want one that's a real pleasure to own and use.

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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Btw, what's with the forum sending me to the iTunes App Store to buy Candy crush or some colorful game on every page I visit?



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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:30 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
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Location: Raleigh, NC
Your friend... I can't even touch that. Let me just say that sometimes amazing cooks are clueless about knives and leave it at that.

If you want a cheaper knife to try carbon, there are good options. Fujiwara makes a carbon series, the FKH. There's one on sale in the classifieds, though in 240mm. A little higher up the food chain lay the Richmond SAB and the Kohetsu Blue #2. The Richmond is massive and has the traditional Sabatier shape, almost certainly more knife than you want. I strongly recommend the Kohetsu. It's stainless clad for less issue in maintainance, sharpens up fast, and has amazing edge taking abilities and grind.

Using carbon in a kitchen isn't bad. There are some knives that are known to turn food and induce a smell, but by and large knive are better made than that now. Skip carbon clad with more carbon and the Tojiro Shirogami series. As you suspect it is the knife's steel reacting with the food. That reaction and any sort of rust reaction on the knife can be slowed or prevented by patina formation and selecting a less reactive steel. The Kohetsu is ideal in this regard. If you wipe that knife after using it, you will not impact your food or the knife negatively, particularly after you have some patina formation. You can cut all of tomorrow's onions today and won't have any ill effects.

If you're looking at a Sebenza you *are* in deep. And the Candy Crush question is a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:58 pm 
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I would take this in stages. Get a cheap carbon steel knife - I'd suggest the Tojiro white steel petty or santoku. Try it out and appreciate the ease of sharpening and very sharp edge you can easily achieve. It is a small investment in knowledge that will let you know what you want from your own experience and knowledge. Then decide if carbon is for you. Better than going off and buying knives you might regret having less experience.

Regarding care of carbon. Think of it as a way of insisting on good hygiene. If you wipe and dry after use, it really is almost carefree. Less than that and you not only are potentially allowing rust to form but bacteria to grow. It is good technique to use on both stainless and carbon knives for hygiene reasons alone. Once a well formed patina is present - leave it. It acts as a shield protecting your blade. Much like developing a 'patina' on a cast iron skillet.

Also you can get BOTH carbon and stainless knives :) your first knife won't be your last knife.

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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:09 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:22 am
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ken123 wrote:...your first knife won't be your last knife.


No sh!t shipmate! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:46 am 
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You last knife is the one before your next knife. :D



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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:31 am 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 1:52 am
Posts: 355
Location: Philly
When I started free handing I bought the DMT angle guide. And you can use an angle cube, protractor, or iphone to find your angle. Then after you do a dozen knives muscle memory will take over. If you do a lot of different knives edc, j-knives and german knives you will probably use different angles for each but they will be in the same ball park. Not like a hatchet coming in around 35 degrees.

The DMT Angle guide is basically a set of training wheels. Then when you are ready just stop using it. No big deal its like 12 bucks.

I would say to check the profile out on the Takamura Migaki R-2 and the Kohetsu HAP40 because they are certainly not classified as flat profiles. And that is what you said you were looking for. They probably more your gentle all the way curve types. But the Kohetsu HAP40 240mm has a much longer flat spot then the 210mm. So you might want to give that a look at so you can compare the blade profiles.

Maybe the Tanaka Ginsan 210mm Gyuto (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tagi21gy.html) it has a flat sweet spot and curve up front.
If you wanted carbon the Kohetsu Blue #2 Nashiji Gyuto 210mm (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kobl2nagy21.html) has a flat spot.



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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:12 pm 
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Well, I was thinking towards what Ken said even before his post. Decided to get the Edge pro with shapton glass stones because I have use for it now, and a Tojiro ITK petty. I know the Tojiro ITK are all carbon, not stainless clad, so I'm going to have to be even more considerate of the care required. I don't use a petty/paring knife nearly as often as my larger knives, so I think that might not be as much of a crash course as a frequently used carbon gyuto/chefs knife would be. At ~$35, it's an easy gamble to see if I'll like carbon and I'll use it for practice on freehand. I have a strong feeling I might freehand when it's time to thin a blade with some convex and then set the bevel and refine the edge with the edge pro.

I understand what you guys are talking about with the patina on carbon knives. I do a bit of amateur gunsmithing, and the patina you guys are talking about is akin to a rust bluing of firearms; except where the firearm method uses heat, humidity and salt bathes to force the oxidation rapidly, you guys are allowing it to occur slowly over a matter of time just from the natural acids and salts in food and air drying. I can see how the patina will will protect the carbon steel from food and moisture, much like firearm bluing protects it from rain or sweat out in field. If things don't go well with the ITK out of the box, I might try polishing it and applying firearm type blueing to see if that works any better.

Depending on how my gamble goes with the ITK, I'll wait for either the Anryu Hammered or the Kamo R2 to come in stock, although that Takamura Migaki is still very tempting. Sigh, another venue to drain my wallet.



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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:34 pm 
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SMOKE <> What was being explained to you earlier about NOT choosing the Tojiro ITK since you are averse to the smell of oxidizing carbon steel is that the Tojiro ITK is arguably the absolute most reactive knife on the CKTG menu. It will invariably "not go well OOTB" in this regard. It will smell, and it will oxidize extremely quickly... sometimes you can watch it before your eyes. You must be vigilant with drying this blade, and forcing a patina is strongly recommended for a culprit like the ITK.

Here's method... <---link with mustards, vinegars, citrus. You seem to be the type that might want to play with some Ferric Chloride though.

I suggest against bluing your knife. I don't recall which one of our Gurus had experimented unfavorably with said concept, but either or both TAZ575 or JASONB have tried and experienced flavor transfer, IIRC.



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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:11 pm 
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Haven't ordered it yet. I could get something else still. Didn't know the ITK was one of the worst choices in that regard. Just went with Ken's suggestion.



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