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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:40 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2301
There are some elements of what is meant colloquially by "torque" that risk being missed here. At its simplest, torque is any motion intended or otherwise which applies a lateral load to the knife. In general the edge is most at risk because it is the thinnest part of the knife but the blade can be bent or broken in extreme cases.

In almost all the listed examples, including mine, we are talking about rotating the knife about the axis that runs through the handle while some part of the knife is fixed, ie stuck in product. But you can also stick the edge in your cutting board and either twist the knife sideways, ie like a screwdriver, or turn the knife to the side around the point where the edge is stuck, like a socket wrench. Another possibility is that the knife is not square to the cutting board and the knife falls through and ingredient with the knife at an angle. In this case the edge is at risk either by being hit on the side or by sticking into the board then being leveraged over by the momentum of the remainder of the blade.

Ultimately, a knife is a bar of steel. When loads are applies in line with the height of the bar there is a large amount of steel, a very strong material, to support the contact surface. When poor technique loads up the blade across its thickness there is far less supporting material. Since knives are still steel they tend to be resilient, but if there are lever arms and momentum applied these forces are magnified.

For a novice user these loads are typically accidental and manifest as reduced edge retention and small scale chipping. As technique improves tougher tasks can be undertaken with harder, thinner knives with more acute angles. This is why when someone posts that they are having edge retention or chipping problems it is common to recommend either a tougher, ie softer or thicker knife, or to recommend increasing the bevel angle to give a stronger edge.


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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:29 pm
Posts: 131
My thanks to all of you, especially those of you who posted about torquing. I had tried to research the topic, but much of what I found pertained to other kinds of engineering issues and not so much to knives.

Trying very hard to think about my habits, both good and bad. It may be my height, but I am not sure that I don't tend to come in at the board a little sideways. Yikes...so much to think about. Going to have to bind all your comments in a little book....


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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:01 pm
Posts: 158
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone posting in this thread! Tons of super helpful info for a person new to J knives


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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:48 am
Posts: 144
I second that! Just cut up a pineapple with my Konosuke HD2 and I made sure to be fluid and straight with my cuts. Went very well.

I'm finding the only time I catch myself torquing the blade is when it surprises me by sticking into the board. I am not used to a knife sticking into a board. That's going to take some getting used to.


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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:31 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2301
You can sharpen at a slightly more obtuse angle to decrease sticking into your cutting board. With a knife like a Kono HD a lot of the performance is a function of grind so a slightly more obtuse bevel angle should not diminish performance much.


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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:19 am 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 1:52 am
Posts: 355
Location: Philly
Lepus wrote:Strong words. I didn't know I was a 100% certified French propagandist. I guess I'm going to have to go back to thickening all of my sauces with roux and wearing a toque.


Pic or it never happened. That would be an awesome pic.



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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:22 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:48 am
Posts: 144
cedarhouse wrote:You can sharpen at a slightly more obtuse angle to decrease sticking into your cutting board. With a knife like a Kono HD a lot of the performance is a function of grind so a slightly more obtuse bevel angle should not diminish performance much.


Meaning alter the degree of the knife's edge? I don't have stones for sharpening, just stropping. Can I do it with stropping?


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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:02 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:29 pm
Posts: 131
robenco15 wrote:I second that! Just cut up a pineapple with my Konosuke HD2 and I made sure to be fluid and straight with my cuts. Went very well.

I'm finding the only time I catch myself torquing the blade is when it surprises me by sticking into the board. I am not used to a knife sticking into a board. That's going to take some getting used to.


I will need to make sure my skills and confidence are as high as possible before going after a pineapple with my Kono HD2.

Continued thanks to all who are so generously posting here.


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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:17 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:48 am
Posts: 144
Ha, now it sounds like I have some skills. I don't. I may be just stupid, but it worked for me. I started at the heel and sliced downwards toward the board, cutting off the top and bottom. Just make sure you don't stop and you'll be good.


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 Post subject: Re: JK knife skills--talk to me!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:13 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2301
roben, you will need to reestablish the bevel so you would need stones.

You can imagine the bevel cross section is a v, by widening the v the edge is less "sharp" so it will not penetrate into the board as far. Some knives are so thick behind the edge they need an acute bevel angle partly to keep the overall blade thickness low while in ingredients. Because the Kono is thin by construction, the blade does not depend as much on bevel angle to perform well as it passes through ingredients (within reason :))


Vieest, work within your comfort zone. I still use something I won't miss (usually my Tojiro DP) if I screw up when working with something like squash, but pineapple can be a lot of fun, watermelon because of the tough rind is an in betweener for me.


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