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 Post subject: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:22 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:36 am
Posts: 117
I think I accidentally overwhelmed a friend who asked me about knives. He gave me a price point and I just ran with it. Gave him links to and information on about all the knives around his price point and pointed him to sharpening gear as well. I let him know these forums can be an amazing resource as well. He is used to cheap stainless stuff like Dexter and Henckles I believe.

Anyone else get a bit too excited and overwhelm someone who asks for your help in choosing a new knife or wanting help to get into Japanese cutlery?


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 Post subject: Re: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:44 am
Posts: 1006
I don't really have any one ask me for information on knives. I think a lot of people I have worked with really didn't care. House knives were good enough for them. Also, any one who does care enough to ask about my knives usually have quality ones of their own so questions are more "what do you think of it?" rather than "what the heck is that??" or "why is it better than my knife?"



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 Post subject: Re: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:07 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:11 pm
Posts: 220
Location: San Diego
Well, it makes me nervous when folks ask because I fear it may get back to my wife exactly how much I've been spending. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:10 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:57 pm
Posts: 152
I've participated in several recommendation threads on foodie forums, and I learned pretty early to keep the nerding-out to a minimum. "Do you need stainless or do you think you can take care of carbon?" is about as in-depth as I'll go on steel, for example. Once you start comparing Aogami Super to Blue #2 to White, people start getting scared that it'll be a catastrophe of Biblical proportions if they don't pick the "right" one.

One friend very recently asked for in-depth advice; we looked through the stuff on this site on this site, talked about what he wanted in a "good" knife and how much he was willing to spend, and settled on the (first batch) Goko hammered damascus 240. They ran out before he pulled the trigger and he doesn't like the look on the new ones as much, so he's actually waiting until he sees another knife that's just as pretty in the price range. I consider this a great success!


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 Post subject: Re: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:56 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:36 am
Posts: 117
I didn't nerd it out. Just a lot of things to look at and consider with a wide range of blades that I thought would fit and a little info like if it's SS or carbon or clad. Steel types and differences are a bit too much to get into when someone is just starting out with Japanese knives, I learned that myself by taking on trying to learn everything at once before my first purchase :)


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 Post subject: Re: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2852
Location: CT
All the time :) LOL. Some of my friends like knives and want to know the differences in steels, handle material, construction, etc and are as nerdy as I am about it!

If someone is new, carbon or stainless is the first question, followed by their budget. Next up is asking what they are using now, what length they like, etc. I usually give them a few links based on their answers and have them look them over and see if they like anything they see.


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 Post subject: Re: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:44 pm
Posts: 160
It is a very overwhelming subject for most people. I actually don't trust people enough to bring my good knives to work unless I really want to use one for a task I know I have (fish and meat). When people do ask me about what I am using, I tell them that Japan is the mecca of great knives, and there are also of great blacksmiths in the US, and other countries. I then bring up CKTG and Tojiro as that is my AP knife. The truth is that Derek T hit it in my opinion that most of the cooks stay satisfied with the house knives.

Some of the habits of my co-workers drive me nuts, which is why I started bringing my own knives to begin with. The pitted out WINCO stone, and the professional grinding service that delivers $12 knives, sometimes actually sharp for a few days, and ground down to the point they go from 10" chef knives to boning knives over the course of a year..... I'm rambling.


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 Post subject: Re: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:36 pm
Posts: 2821
Oh gawd yes......you should see the look on my mother-in-laws face every time she listens to me babble on about knives.

I used to work PT at Sur La Table.......it was a fun job, but I could make some rich house wives eyes glaze over faster than they could spend money on a purse. :) It was always a lot of fun when someone came in who actually knew a bit about the knives.



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 Post subject: Re: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7663
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Ask a series of what questions (price, size, handle etc) then figure out what to recommend and give no more than 2 options. Otherwise they're be quickly overwhelmed. That's usually how I recommend knives to noobs.



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 Post subject: Re: Overwhelming
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:44 pm
Posts: 160
I think all said, the biggest problem becomes price. The truth is that most line cooks have more important things they need to use their pay on. First you buy a knife, then you need the stone to sharpen it. Then you see what you *could* be getting. 300 options doesn't help, but it doesn't hinder either because I think the most base line knives, when properly treated will still bring that ohh la la factor and you get something to shoot for.

One of the factors that really got me involved in culinary work was the realization that there was so much more to it then meets the eye. IT NEVER STOPS GROWING. So maybe too much information helps as much as it discourages....


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