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Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:52 pm


The person that stole my knife can’t steal my new knife because I no longer work there. I was an intern working there for only 600 hours. I was prepping vegetables, laid my knife down on my cutting board and went up to the line to help out. I was only gone for about 15min. and when I got back it was gone. Honestly, I think I know who took it; she is another intern from Russia, and did not usually work in the same kitchen. If she brings the knife back into the kitchen she will be caught... my initials are engraved into the handle and they are still watching for it. After the knife was taken, the only knifes I brought into the kitchen were my 8” Chef Knife, my Unity Knife, I when I thought I would need it, my boning knife. And, I never left then out of my sight.

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:48 am


I would love some discussion of the differences between the three knives. I am so new at this they really look pretty much the same to me. What is it to “push cut”? I’m not sure. You make an interesting point about rock cutting. And the German profile vs the French profile. I found this knife I was wondering how it would rate against the three. It’s a Henckel made for only William Sonoma.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products ... efs-knife/

I’d probably go with one of the three because I think I’d like to make the transition from yo to wa.


Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:28 am


Are you sure she is not from Ukraine, or any other post-soviet state? :)

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:00 am

RABECCA <> I am not BDL, and will default to him to discuss handle, profiles, steels & whatever else he does with you. But since you are seemingly now interested in Wa's, he has a whole new topic to broach.

Nonetheless, I will address a few points. A "push cut' is when you make a cut by pushing a knife into & through your product. For instance, if you rolled a bunch of basil so as to chiffonade & then lifted the knife's edge basically parallel to the board and guided the edge through the roll with a push. A lift, recoil & push sequence while guided by your guide hand would be a chiffonade by push cut. You could get the same chiffonade by gliding the knife back & forth over the roll by rocking back and forth - front to back - over the chiffonade, but the tip of the knife would never lift off the board. Additionally, a pull cut would be how you typically see sushi cooks slicing sashimi... one long pulling stroke that creates said slice in one motion.

The Henkels you proffer is soft steel. It is malleable and very durable to impact, but it will never hold the edge, final bevel angle, that a steel heat-treated to higher hardness can. Furthermore, even the edge that it can support, before experiencing carbide fallout, will not enjoy the edge retention of a harder steel. Specifics of items, like this, I think are better as answered questions, rather than me just spewing TMI to you. Most probably, the reason the Henkels gets the "Pro" designation is it is void of a finger guard. It's lack thereof, off the integral bolster, allows the blade to be sharpened more easily all the way to the heel, & it cuts overall weight, as well; facets beneficial to a professional cook.

As a point of profile reference, view the Henkels photo & you can see how the tip 1/3 has a dramatic radius on the edge. This traditional German profile is designed to complement the rocking motion. The flaw as BDL referenced, is this design creates a need for the heel to be lifted quite high to get the forward portion of the blade over the product. That radius also shortens the length of the flat edged blade that can push through product in the cut I discussed above; leaving a 10" knife w/ let's say 7" of flat spot.

SIde note: "the three" are Yo. If you want to move forward with a Wa, you will NOT go with one of said three.

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:36 pm

First, I want to thank all for your help and the education you are giving me. If I am going to spend a small chunk of cash on a knife that I will be using for long periods at a time and hopefully for many years to come; I want to make an informed purchase.

This is what I’ve learned so far:

- Japanese (wa) = the tang is shorter, therefore the handle is most likely is lighter and the balance point is closer to the pinch grip
- Western (yo) = the tang covers the entire handle making the handle heavier, with the balance point most likely within the handle
- German = curved belly – shorter heal – good for rocking not so good for pushing and pulling
- French = flatter belly – longer heal – good for rocking, great! for pushing and pulling

- Rocking – lifting the handle but not the tip and coming down through the food (repeat)
- Pushing – lifting the entire knife and coming down through the food (chopping)
- Pulling – slicing as you do with bread

On Steal
- The harder the steal = being able to hold an edge longer
- Japanese knifes are usually made with harder steel than western knifes

Professional knifes; won’t have a bolster that runs down to the chin; which not only adds weigh but interferes with sharpening.

So, I think I’m looking for a Chief Knife (gyuto) that is about 10” (~240mm) from tip to chin. I want a French profile for more versatile cutting with either a wa or yo handle. I don’t need a bolster and absolutely don’t want one that runs down to the chin. As for the steal hardness, I’m looking for a hard steal probably stainless. But, I don’t know enough about metals and hardness to make a call on this yet. On blade thickness, thin is better but I’m not that good yet that it will make much of a difference.

BDL, please set me straight if I got something wrong. I think I need to talk about blade construction and metals. How hard of a blade is minimal? Is there a maximum hardness? How do I read the blade hardness specs? Do I want to go wa or stay with yo? So far all the recommendations have been yo handles.

Thanks again.

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:42 am

REBECCA <> Again, I am not speaking for BDL as he will answer your questions at his convenience, but I will comment briefly.

I feel like nitpicking your summary, line by line, is unnecessary because although I don't agree with it all, YOU DO GET THE GIST, & it's only by nuance in which I find it inaccurate. The one thing I will comment on is this, "On blade thickness, thin is better but I’m not that good yet that it will make much of a difference."

Be careful with absolutes; "better" is a dangerous term. {Overall blade thickness} spine thickness:edge thickness:behind the edge thickness:taper of thickness (on all mentioned) is an axis in which greatly determines the handling characteristics of a knife's cutting ability. When we speak about grind &/or geometry - this axis is one of the variables. A "thin knife" can mean very different things to very different people - even the same people for that matter! For conversation's sake because it's impossible to debate :roll: , let's just say the quintessential laser, the Suisin IH, is a thin knife. Now you using said knife, regardless of how good you are, will make a difference. It will make a huge difference. A laser is going to act like a laser because it's a laser... period. It will feel sharper, even when its really not. It will be lighter... more nimble. It will wedge less. It will stick less. It will be more prone to damage. The implicit concern regarding a skilled hand & a laser that you might be gleaning through the static of internet rhetoric is that a laser is delicate. It is not a piece of glass though, as I believe Adam recently coined. IT IS STEEL, but it is thin steel; thin steel in which can be considered brittle to different degrees depending on Hrc. Any thickness blade can be considered brittle at high Hrc, but a laser is even more at risk due to the obvious. A thick ass deba @Hrc60 with a 5mm spine , but a thin single-bevel edge at 18 degrees included can be considered brittle because that edge is thin enough to chip easily w/o modification like a micro-bevel. Sometimes it can act even more brittle than a Laser @Hrc61 with a double-bevel @35 degrees included. There are a lot of variables in this, and it can get confusing so let me stop digressing...

Your point, I, was trying to address with my useless & boring banter was, "On blade thickness, thin is better but I’m not that good yet that it will make much of a difference." Anyone can use a laser and enjoy it's inherent benefits, but using a laser requires particular respect. They chip easily. Yes, less acute bevel angles/microbevel implementation help, but it is what it is. Hard impact on boards, especially the poly in the majority of kitchens causes edge deformation easily. Impact on hard items (e.g. pans, cooler edges, floors, bones) almost guarantees major failure. Impact with hard foods (gourds/hard squash, corn cobs, frozen foods, hard cheese rinds, pineapple peels, bones, etc., etc., etc.) can chip edges. Errant moves on the board like scraping with the edge - other lateral forces like torquing the edge upon contact with the board, simply an acutely sharpened bevel can chip easily. Yes, any hard thin edge, but a laser is all the thinner to start with. They are awesome, but they require respect. Yes, again the same respect as any knife, but the margin for error is smaller with a laser. Sort of analogous to SS & Carbon steel; they both require the same care, but as our friend BDL coined - and I'm paraphrasing, "carbon needs it now, the SS can wait... a bit."

Personally, I don't think anyone new to JKs should buy a Gyuto in typical steels over Hrc61... even that recommendation scares me. Steel at Hrc 59-60 is plenty hard to enjoy the benefits of acute bevel angles that won't fail immediately & increased edge retention of working edges while still not crossing too far over the durability/brittleness line. But... I'm just one man.

Wa vs. Yo is a personal thing, and as BDL told you the first time, "the transition from yo to wa is very easy for anyone who holds her knife with a decent pinch grip."

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:38 pm


First let me say thank you. I want to tell you why I said what I said about the thinness of a blade. I was watching one of the many videos I’ve watched about knifes; and the chief was cutting an onion really, really thin and mentioned that it was the thinness of the knife blade that allowed him to cut it so thin. I’m naive! Obviously, the thin blade helped but his knife skills were playing a big part in the slicing as well. I was thinking; I don’t care how thin a blade is; I’m not going to be able to slice an onion that thin for a long time. He could have probably sliced those slices with any knife he picked up. My skill level a side, I don’t want an ultra thin blade because I’d ruin it too quickly. I still do all those bad for your knife things that you mentioned from time to time. Bad me, LOL.

With that said.. I thought I’d made up my mind as to which knife to buy. I was thinking I’d buy either the Richmond Artifex or Addict. But, then I asked one more person; my favorite teacher at school. He is a knife collector, as are most chiefs I know. His response now has me second guessing what to do. He said, buy a Victorinox to use at work. I priced a 10" Chef Knife w/ Fibrox Handle below $50.00. For a little more I can get it with a rosewood handle. Its blade is made from steel x50CR MO composition with a Rockwell hardness of 55-56 HRC. His reasoning is that it is cheap and yet is still a good knife. If I lose or damage it, I can buy another one.

Please let me know what you all think.

You should know, I don’t have house knifes at home. At home, I use my work knifes and I keep them locked up in my pantry. I have a 10 year old autistic son that I need to keep safe. So, collecting nice, pretty knifes to use at home is not something I will be doing. Every knife I have is potentially a work knife. I actually like the look of the Richmond knifes and don’t like the Victorinox Fibrox handle’s look but my teacher has a point.


Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:49 am

RABECCA <> I love Forschners! I'm not saying I use them anymore, but I can't think of any more appropriate knife for a professional kitchen house knife. They are basically indestructible, get laughably sharp, have no finger guard to get in the way, and they're cheap. They do have a peculiar angle built-in the handle, but I used them successfully for years. I still use the 10"bread knife, I still use the 5"/6" curved boning, I still use some larger breaking knives. They are awesome. They are so awesome it brings me joy to be talking about them on this board. So many people, here & elsewhere, think its all about the knife... bullshiite, it's all about the user. Those cheap Victorinoxes will teach you a lot about knives & about yourself. I highly recommend them in your application. I would not spend the money on the Rosewood although the angle issue I mentioned would basically be eliminated. The Fibrox has a contour in it that the Rosewood does not share. The blade to handle junction is still the same & still somewhat peculiar, but much more comfortable on the Rosewood version.

That said... the Artifex still does not break the bank @$90. It is a substantially higher quality steel heat-treated to a substantially harder level. This will allow you to hold an edge at more acute angles with better retention than the Forschner, but it will also not be as able to take a punch as the Forschner. ;)

The Addict is a much more expensive knife, it is Wa-handled, it's much taller, and has more belly.

Ball's in your court... ;)

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:21 am

Hi Rebecca, Let me jump in here real quick and back up the Victorinox recommendation. I have a few very nice J-knives now but no one is going to take my Victornoxes away from me! I have a 10" chefs knife that still sees lots of use and I have a boning knife and paring knife that I use quite a bit too. They get incredibly sharp, get the job done and as Mel said, are virtually indestructible. To me they are the best entry level pro knife for the money you can by. There is nothing wrong with leaning on these inexpensive knives until you gain more experience and have more funding to move into high end J-knives when your ready. Best of luck to you.

Re: Stolen chef's knife replacement...

Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:35 am

Okay guys, now promise you won’t laugh. (-;

This whole week my husband has been after me to try out a knife he bought over ten years ago, while he was on a long business trip and was cooking for himself. He kept telling me how wicked sharp it was. Yesterday, he pulled it out of storage and guess what it is. You guessed it, a Victorinox Forschner Rosewood 10" Chef's Knife badly in need of a sharpening. I guess I will be tiring it out. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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