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Hard Fat Knife

Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:39 pm

Greetings, All.

Would you folks have an opinion on what type/brand of knife to get for trimming the thick, heavy, hard fat from briskets and whole ribeye tails? As you know, this stuff is thick. At the present I'm using a Forschner 12" cimeter which I have used forever. The cimeter has a lot of age and is really thick at the edge, and before I get another one I thought I'd ask for a possibly better solution. Also, what would degree bevel would you use for it?

Right handed, stainless or semi-stainless, 50/50 bevel, wa or yo, price $200 or less. Also would like the handle to not be too thin/small, as it requires quite a good grip.

I would thin the Forschner on my EP, but don't see the point in the wear and tear on the stones, with a new one being so inexpensive. Right now I'm using a three-slot $500 CC commercial for "thinning" and sharpening it.

Thanks much.

Re: Hard Fat Knife

Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:19 pm

I use a sujihiki.....I have a 240mm Kikuichi Elite Carbon I've owned for years that I use for things like, and including, this cutting. I also have a 210mm wa-petty from Suisin I do the same thing with.....depends on the mood. I reckon I'm not very aggressive with the procedure, so my thin edges don't suffer....but.....

Re: Hard Fat Knife

Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:19 pm

I use a Victorinox (Forschner) Fibrox Cimiter for trimming hard fat too. I've tried everything up to and including uber sujis to trim packers, and didn't think they did a better job than the Forschner; or an Old Hickory either for that matter. Another nice thing about a Forschner is that if your knife gets "borrowed" at a comp, it's no great tragedy. It does nearly all coarse meat work as well as anything else, and is damn near impossible to hurt. There are good reasons why Victorinox Fibrox are the gold standard for professional butchers, going beyond the handle.

If you feel thinning is necessary, and don't mind bench stones, you can thin your old blade very effectively on a cheap, (Norton) Coarse India, then either get a very serviceable finish on a Fine India, or go back to your EP. The best profile is 15* flat on both sides, and plan on heap much plenty steeling during use.

If you don't feel comfortable about leaving the EP in favor of bench stones, get an EP 120 (very fast and coarse) or a (fast enough) 220. It's ridiculous to throw away a perfectly serviceable knife because it's dull, and just as ridiculous not use your EP because you're concerned about the price of expendables.

My experience is that tough soft Euro alloys sharpen better on oil stones anyway (but not with oil!); and prefer an Arkansas finish to anything else for both edge quality and durability. I don't think Mark carries Arks cut for the EP, but you can get a Surgical Black Ark (ideal for your purposes) cut for the EP from Best Sharpening Stones.

The two negative comments I will make about your Cimeter are that (a) 12" is an awkward length for trimming without taking a lot of meat away accidentally; and (b) Chef's Choice sharpeners are fine, but it's not quite accurate to call what they do thinning. A trizor edge may be many things, but none of them are thin. Fine for your purpose, but let's not kid ourselves.

If you want an expensive suji you should have one; but it won't cut the fat (h/t Ron Popeil), better than your Forschner.

BDL
Last edited by boar_d_laze on Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Hard Fat Knife

Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:29 pm

My parents have a nice farm and every spring we slaughter and butcher a steer. From hoof to freezer we almost exclusively use Victorinox with maybe an Old Hickory or two thrown in. For heavy butchering and trimming meat Victorinox is hard to beat.
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