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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:50 am
Posts: 99
Just re-read through and caught Lepus' recommendation to skip the Tojiro shirogami and carbon clad. I don't know how I missed that one. I'm blaming the Knob Creek. Sorry.

I'm starting to think carbon may not be for me, but I feel obligated to at least try it. Going with what Lepus and others suggested, got the Dojo petty. Stainless clad, cheap, not a knife I will miss if I mess it up.



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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:36 pm 
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Posts: 2391
Smokie, don't feel like you MUST try a reactive carbon knife. If you're more comfortable with stainless/semi-stainless, so be it. You'll already be ahead of the sharpening curve using the EP and having experience on your Lansky guided system. I think you'll be able to handle just about any steel with the EP and Shapton Glass stones. Granted, Shirogami (White) #1, #2, and Aogami (Blue) #2 will sharpen more quickly and easily than many other steels.

If you do go with a stainless clad carbon knife, why not get something you'll use often and really enjoy, like a 210 Gyuto?

Back to the recommendations that have been discussed, that Takamura R-2 Gyuto is a great performing, nimble knife. The steel is pretty wear resistant, but it'll sharpen up well on the EP and exhibit very good edge retention.

The Anryu Hammered Blue #2 210 I already mentioned is a knife with a ton of handcrafted character, and a super performer.


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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:38 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:06 pm
Posts: 192
The tanaka damascus petties are also ductile iron clad, just for your information. They oxidise and will discolour acidic foods if you don't put a patina on them. But once you have a stable patina on even an iron clad knife, they are fantastic. Just remember that the less expensive knives are likelier to have a more reactive iron cladding, as opposed to steel alloy, or stainless steel.

If I were you, I'd be looking toward stainless cladding and an Aogami Super or Blue#2 core steel. The blue steels seem to take a stable patina very quickly, and are very hard, therefore less sharpening intensive. The Richmond Aogami Super knives are fantastic, especially considering their price point in comparison to similar knives.

You are going to pay more up front for Aogami Super and a stainless cladding, but the knife will last longer, you will be happier with it, and more likely to use it often rather than reaching for one of your old stainless knives because its "less work" because you don't have to clean it up.


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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 1:52 am
Posts: 355
Location: Philly
Ok I think I've caught. Let me throw this at you. If you want to try carbon without spending a whole bunch of money while still having a great performer how about the Kohetsu Blue #2 Gyuto 240mm (http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kobl2gy24.html)? For $124 you cant beat it. Soak it in hot vinegar (white balsamic or apple cider) and you will have a patina that looks like carbon fiber. And that will be the last time you have to worry about re-activity basically. Or if you want a 210mm then it is only $99. Granted the 210 is even thinner.

Its basically a classic gyuto profile and its so cheap I wouldn't even worry about it really. You get to jump into Japanese knives and carbon with really low risk. Then once you've used it for a couple weeks or a month come back and get a petty perhaps a wa handle and stainless. Just so then you have worked with an assortment of items which will give you more information for your really big purchase which will surely follow.



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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 733
SMOKIE < > Your comparing patina to rust blueing is very astute. As Melampus stated, some folks here have had negative experiences with blueing their knives, however I believe they must have used cold blueing with selenium compounds. If you have the gear to rust blue that petty give it a shot and report back with results!

Cheers,

Rick


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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:06 pm
Posts: 192
I've found mustard to work extremely well for setting up a nice stable patina. It's thick enough that you can apply it evenly (vinegar tends to bead up and roll off) but runny enough that you can apply it thinly to allow oxidation to occur. Soaking a knife in vinegar will not patina the blade, but you will start acid etching the blade, and damaging the edge. If you leave an iron clad blade in vinegar it will start an exothermic reaction, you'll get bubbles, after an hour or so you will have bad rust on the machi just above the vinegar line, and no patina on the blade. You need oxygen in the mix for oxidisation to take place, and there isn't enough in solution with vinegar to give you a dark bluing, or patina. Good ole 'mericun ballpark yellow mustard works great, and if you want to put neat patterns in the patina, brown mustard works too. Just remember that you're going to wear that forced patina off with use, and a more natural one will begin to replace it. I have a tanaka 150mm damascus petty that I use quite a lot, and it's not been too much of a hassle to care for. Once you have a patina on it, the really quick orange rust (10 minutes or less) stops happening, but if you leave the blade wet overnight, you will get rusting. It cleans up easily, and it would take a lot longer to get pitting or real damage.

Get whatever you want, and have fun with it. This is why these knives become a hobby for so many people. They are incredibly functional and useful tools, but they are fun to learn about, and play around with. In my opinion the knife is the greatest tool that man has ever invented. Everyone uses on just about every single day, sometimes unknowingly. It just happens that the Japanese quietly took kitchen cutlery to the level of artistic expression, through simplification and refinement. In my opinion there is no tool more interesting and fun to use than a great Japanese blade. The kitana has always been world renowned, and as swords became a less important part of life and military, the knowledge of swordsmithing evolved into knife making. I don't believe you are going to be disappointed with anything you can get from CKTG, especially after putting as much thought as you have already done into this.

You may worry, because going from Western knife block knives ($400 for a whole block is expensive to most people) to $100+ per knife is daunting, but once you really look at what you get, and appreciate the time that went into it, and how much more thought there is in each knife design, than "I need to cut stuff, make metal sharp", you'll appreciate anything you get.


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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:54 am 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 1:52 am
Posts: 355
Location: Philly
Yellow mustard is turmeric mixed with the main ingredient white distilled vinegar. That is why mustard works. It is in fact because of the vinegar nothing else in mustard has any effect on the patina. If not you could grind up mustard seed and smear it on the blade. Which would absolutely not cause any patina to form.

Hot vinegar you basically just wipe it on and its instant patina. If you want it darker you just do a couple layers. Cotton balls work perfectly. Even if you wanted 20 layers we are literally talking 2-3 minutes top. Wipe hot vinegar on. Then run under stream of water to get super smooth layer. Repeat hot vinegar cotton ball and so on.

If you wanted to use room temp vinegar then you most likely use other materials to assist you.. Namely a microfiber towel or paper towel. Soak that with the vinegar and cover the blade. To get a dark graphite color patina it should take about an hour. Absolutely no rust. If the blade is rusting you are doing something funky and unorthodox.

People only used mustard because it is a thick carrier of vinegar and allows for people to do artistic patterns. No matter what you are doing nothing has to be done over night that is for sure.

And remember before forcing a patina use some 91% rubbing alcohol to clean the blade off. Even the oil in your fingers can mess up forced patinas.



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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 1183
Location: Raleigh, NC
That's good advice. For patina formation, vinegar is certainly the fastest and most people seem to report it as producing a pretty stable result, though usually not as terribly attractive. And wear gloves after cleaning the knife.


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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:24 pm
Posts: 298
I'm weighing in kinda late here but my experience with carbon has been mixed. The first carbon knife I got was the tojiro itk shirogami petty, thought I'd get something small and inexpensive to dip my toe in carbon so to speak. That nice shiny out of the box finish didn't last long. Literally after the first cut it began to change color. And in 5 minutes the whole blade was staining the food. I was in shock. It had a strong smell that literally made me ill. I was thinking "what have I got myself into". I was thinking I was gonna stick with stainless and forget carbon. I did stick with it because despite its reactivity I did like the sharp edge it could take. The knife was eventually manageable but I'm still not fond of it.

My next carbon was the kohetsu blue #2. That was the polar opposite of the tojiro itk. The knife was stainless clad and although the edge reacted it never rusted or leached any smell or taste. Aside from taking on a patina it was pretty much like a stainless knife. These days I usually clean it after use but I did test leaving it on the board for about 20 mins after cutting onion and no prob. It already had a patina on it and it didn't change color or anything. Nothing rubbed off the blade and I could probably go longer but I didn't see the point in taking that experiment any further, it was pretty stable.

You should try a carbon and you mentioned a couple of pages back you were looking at doing it with an inexpensive carbon knife. I'd suggest the kohetsu blue 2 or the kohetsu nashiji blue 2 because you're getting really good performance for a relatively small outlay. The blue #2 210 is a great performing knife, its thin behind the edge and is a laser class knife. Being a laser requires some care in use but what a beautiful cutter it is? The stainless cladding really helps.

I thought my sharpening skills were not up to snuff but I finally understood what everyone was talking about when they said carbon gets sharper than stainless (most stainless). The two carbon knives I have are really easy to get sharp and I think a stainless clad carbon is a good beginners knife because it teaches a newbie some knife care skills and is much more forgiving when sharpening enabling a beginner sharpener to get a really good edge with a less than perfect technique. Maintaining that edge couldn't be easier as well. Just a few strokes on a strop and its back to shaving sharp. If I was going to do my J knife experience over again I'd have started with the kohetsu blue 2 instead of going through 5 other knives before getting my first stainless clad carbon knife. I got tired of my stainless knives pretty quickly, ie. a month or two. The kohetsu blue 2 still has me going wow every time I use it and I've had mine about 5 months now. Its not perfect, I'm not thrilled with the handle, but the blade is faultless, for the money its fantastic.


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 Post subject: Re: First Jknife for sharpening challenged
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:39 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:36 pm
Posts: 280
Location: NY, NY; New Haven, CT
I own just one carbon knife, and it is only a few months old. I'm still adjusting. I like the knife more and more as I use it, but I must add that I appreciate the "no worry" aspect of my other knives (including my semi-stainless) all the more since purchasing it. I'd encourage you to try carbon for sure—I think there are definite benefits. I can also appreciate your hesitations. Perhaps the best, and most terse, point I can make is this: the more I live with my knife and develop a good patina, the more relaxed I become and just let it be. As I've relaxed more, I've come to realize the knife can always handle it. In fact, its performance has improved as its patina has developed layer upon layer, and I have never had troubles with rust or anything inherently damaging to the knife. I have had issues with smells (never with food staining, however), and I've also had issues with the changing finish of the blade and how smoothly it glides through food. Even so, the smells and flavors seem to disappear on their own over time, and are not a big deal. And the edge gets ridiculously refined and is very easy to touch up. It doesn't always feel the sharpest with all ingredients by any stretch, but it is often the sharpest and most robust edge "broadly speaking" out of everything I own, and it comes right back with just a bit of stropping. (I own ginsan, HD, VG-10, and M-V stainless)

I will say that, in my very limited experience, I'm most impressed with HD steel so far. The more I sharpen it (and learn to sharpen), the more amazed I am with its performance—more so than my new carbon blade. But I also know that I haven't really maxed the potential of my carbon blade – not even close, in fact – and that other carbons (I have Blue #2) behave rather differently depending on how they are manufactured.

My point: even after owning top-dollar carbon, I remain ambivalent as to whether I want to invest any more in carbon; however, I am convinced that it is different in GOOD ways, too, and I think you'd be crazy not to give it a try. In many ways, I think I'm missing out on its best feature: carbon is really great because it sharpens and revives so easily (even with just a quick steel), but since I'm a home cook, I never really need this feature. Working in a professional kitchen, I think I'd rely on these advantages a lot more.



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