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knives bigger than 210mm

Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:21 pm

I find that knives longer than 210 seem awkward and have less control.
most of you seem to like 240, 270...

boy, the point sure seems a long way from the handle on a long knife...

is this because I just have to get used to it?
what are the benefits of a long knife?

or if I'm happy with 210 and less...stick with it?

I cook at home and once a week at a soup kitchen as a volunteer.

thx for your input.

Re: knives bigger than 210mm

Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:40 pm

MR. D <> Whatever works for you... works for you. A knife is not a popularity contest.

Longer knives put more edge to the board; you can cut more at one time. A longer edge inherently is easier to recognize angles when making precision cuts; a couple degree variance, which makes a difference over 200+ mm, is easier to see on a longer edge. Longer knives stay sharp longer because you are dispersing the same product you would be over 210 linear mm over more mms. Longer knives require less effort if you "rock cut" or "walk" as on a 210 you have to lift the heel quite far to get above the product; on a longer knife... not so much lift.

I'm sure others will proffer more reasons, but thats what comes to mind.

Re: knives bigger than 210mm

Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:25 am

Mr D. you should by all means use the size knife you are most comfortable with. At work I use 270mm gyutos because I also use big cutting boards and have enough space to maneuver it. At home because of my counter space and cutting board size I use a 240mm. That being said it is much easier and faster to get more prep done with a bigger knife...for me anyways. Good luck!

Re: knives bigger than 210mm

Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:33 am

When I brought home a 300 mm gyuto from Japan several years ago, it seemed huuuuuge to me. Now I don't even think about its size, as long as I'm on a 15" deep cutting board. A quality knife will be balanced for the task and I find I can use the tip of the 300 mm down to the point of mincing shallots.

The basic "rule" is that your knife should be longer than what you are cutting. The bigger knives mean that tasks like length-wise cuts on potatoes and summer squash are easier and safer, and things like carrots and celery don't need to be split in half. If you are using it as a slicer, then the longer knife often means that you slice in one drawing motion, rather than having to use a "sawing" action.

On the downside, I find the 300 mm a bit too big for a 12" deep cutting board (most home boards are 12" x 18" or smaller). Not surprising as 300 mm is about 12" right there. A 270 mm ( ~10-11") and definitely a 240 mm (~9-10"), for me, work very well on a 12" deep home work space.

At this point, as a home cook, a 210 mm knife feels more like a petty knife for detail work to me than a general-purpose knife. My wife, who used to think a 6" ChefMate (or something like that, serrated and all) was the right size, reaches for the 300 mm gyuto now for many tasks.

What kind of 210 mm knife do you have now? The balance and weight of different knives can make a big difference on their perceived "size" when you're using them. There is a world of difference in feel between a "laser" and a classic German knife, for example.

Re: knives bigger than 210mm

Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:01 pm

At one time a 210mm was my main knife. I bought a 250mm chefs knife and at first it felt like using a large piece of sheet metal. The more I used it the more I liked it. Now the 210mm feels very small to me when I get it out. My brother is a great home cook and he hates knives over 8". If a 210 gets the job done for you and your happy with it then use it. There is no right or wrong here, it's all a personal thing.

Re: knives bigger than 210mm

Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:46 pm

I have a 240 artifex knife which I like and am getting used to.
I actually don't have a 210 yet. I have used a standard-issue 8 inch henkles for many years which is close.
I receive a 7 inch shun for xmas a few years ago and really love the size for most things.

that's when I stopped using henkles chef knives.

the jump fron 7 inches to a 240mm which is 9+ just seems huge.

Re: knives bigger than 210mm

Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:25 pm

I'm asking because I don't want to buy a 210 if I should just give the 240 more time, figuring ill enjoy it even more soon enough.

Re: knives bigger than 210mm

Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:18 pm

I'd give the 240 a chance.

Re: knives bigger than 210mm

Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:18 pm

...you will acclimate

Re: knives bigger than 210mm

Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:06 am

that's what I figured
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