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Thread: Chef Knives?

  1. #181
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Thanks for the tips Dustin and Spopepro!

    Dustin: That Takamura is awfully pretty! Man, I can see how one could get sucked down a rabbit hole with this stuff.

    Spopepro, I watched the Bernal Cutlery YouTube presentation, looked around their website, found a few knives that interested me, inquired as to recommendations and ended up calling Bernal and chatting with Katy Jane. A nice little Q&A conversation later and I decided to get what she uses at home:

    https://bernalcutlery.com/collection...arbon-steel-ne

    I figured that while working at a place like that probably doesnít pay enough to make the seriously expensive stuff affordable, she has surely used and sharpened them, and would know which modestly priced knives would be decent substitutes.

    So, thatís on itís way, along with a companion for the journey; a Spanish, carbon steel paring knife: https://bernalcutlery.com/collection...carbon-boxwood

    So, now Iíll have my personal three-knife quiver: Chef, paring, bread; I need nothing more...and theyíll be sharp! What a treat that will be!

    As a bonus, my spousal unit suggested an isolated but convenient drawer location which, by dint of good fortune, just happened to be the one I was thinking of. Iíll make a little storage block for it and some organizers for the other occupants.
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

  2. #182
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Josh and his crew are great people. Josh started his sharpening business as a side hustle to try and make ends meet as a creative person in a San Francisco that was rapidly becoming hostile to those who didnít have a tech stock options compensation plan. He is good at it, and I met him at a ďfood incubatorĒ back when he occupied a corner of the building on cortland on Bernal hill. I was looking for someone to teach me the japanese technique for fish breakdown and he was paying a sushi chef for sharpening and to teach a class here and there.

    Since then, Josh was successful enough to have moved to his own shop on Guerrero, open another shop in Oakland, have the Guerrero shop condemned (fire upstairs), and move to the current, beautiful shop on Valencia. All the while itís been about supporting those who cook and none about the vanity of kitchen gear collection. He still keeps a chalkboard of industry jobs wanted/needed. Chefs still are the only ones who get access to same day rush service for sharpening. They are good people in a town that is increasing displacing good people. Thanks for sending some business their way. They are the best.

  3. #183
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by spopepro View Post
    Josh and his crew are great people. Josh started his sharpening business as a side hustle to try and make ends meet as a creative person in a San Francisco that was rapidly becoming hostile to those who didnít have a tech stock options compensation plan. He is good at it, and I met him at a ďfood incubatorĒ back when he occupied a corner of the building on cortland on Bernal hill. I was looking for someone to teach me the japanese technique for fish breakdown and he was paying a sushi chef for sharpening and to teach a class here and there.

    Since then, Josh was successful enough to have moved to his own shop on Guerrero, open another shop in Oakland, have the Guerrero shop condemned (fire upstairs), and move to the current, beautiful shop on Valencia. All the while itís been about supporting those who cook and none about the vanity of kitchen gear collection. He still keeps a chalkboard of industry jobs wanted/needed. Chefs still are the only ones who get access to same day rush service for sharpening. They are good people in a town that is increasing displacing good people. Thanks for sending some business their way. They are the best.
    Read their "about" at first visit; thanks for the addnl info.
    Glad I left a tip.

    I adore SF; want to live in my sis in lawís little flat near Washington High.
    I donít know how non-tech peeps survive and as Gavin Elster (Vertigo) generally noted, itís a damn shame.

    Pacific Cafe (Geary)
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

  4. #184
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    John,
    Please give us a review of this knife when it arrives. Great price if itís as good as it looks.

    Mike
    Mike Noble

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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by mnoble485 View Post
    John,
    Please give us a review of this knife when it arrives.
    Mike
    Will do.

    Peering into the rabbit hole, while roped off to prevent falling, and this knife seems a tad inexpensive for a laminated, ďhand forgedĒ blade: https://www.japanese-knife-store.com/c-1/cy304.html

    Can $270 get one into truly hand made knives?
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

  6. #186
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post
    Will do.

    Peering into the rabbit hole, while roped off to prevent falling, and this knife seems a tad inexpensive for a laminated, ďhand forgedĒ blade: https://www.japanese-knife-store.com/c-1/cy304.html

    Can $270 get one into truly hand made knives?
    Keep in mind I know next to nothing about Japanese knives. That said, that blade looks *really* thick at the spine. It looks thin at the edge, but it's still a thick blade, looks thicker than my German knives even.

    Again shouting the praises of Takamura, $160 for a 180mm gyuto that is, IMO, hand made. They use machines, as seen in the videos, but it's far from automated. I do hope they usually wear hearing protection when not filming tho.....






    That MASAKANE looks really good, do report back on how it works!
    Last edited by dgaddis; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:09 AM.
    Dustin Gaddis
    www.MiddleGaEpic.com
    Why do people feel the need to list all of their bikes in their signature?

  7. #187
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post
    Can $270 get one into truly hand made knives?
    Yeah, and cheaper, but like Dustin said, there's a really wide range of details into how much the master smith's hands are the ones on each individual knife. I think of most of the Japanese knives in the $150-300 like the old steel lugged bike companies that had 3-4 folks brazing at a time. Yeah, that work was all "handmade" with some cost saving in factory setups. It's not exactly what we think of as "hand made" here atmo.

    The Hand-Made(tm) stuff is often more expensive, but not necessarily better for most folks. I think about things like this: a $1300 yanagi. The mirror polishing is a lot of hand work. Building a blade completely out of blue steel (instead of cladding with some soft iron) takes incredible skill to temper and not crack. Single bevel blades want a light convex shape to the bevel so it releases food correctly, which has to be done on a flat stone instead of a wheel. None of these things matter to me, you, or frankly anyone else here.

  8. #188
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by spopepro View Post
    Yeah, and cheaper, but like Dustin said, there's a really wide range of details into how much the master smith's hands are the ones on each individual knife. I think of most of the Japanese knives in the $150-300 like the old steel lugged bike companies that had 3-4 folks brazing at a time. Yeah, that work was all "handmade" with some cost saving in factory setups. It's not exactly what we think of as "hand made" here atmo.

    The Hand-Made(tm) stuff is often more expensive, but not necessarily better for most folks. I think about things like this: a $1300 yanagi. The mirror polishing is a lot of hand work. Building a blade completely out of blue steel (instead of cladding with some soft iron) takes incredible skill to temper and not crack. Single bevel blades want a light convex shape to the bevel so it releases food correctly, which has to be done on a flat stone instead of a wheel. None of these things matter to me, you, or frankly anyone else here.
    Interesting stuff and I can see the possibility of some changes to my small selection of knives that will be off limits to others.

    I havenít tried to put a serious edge on anything for 10 or 15 years so the past few days in the shop with my 25 year old water stones was interesting, full of back tracking, and slow. But one learns.

    I also realized that bolsters are, for me, a tad annoying when sharpening. I have a 10Ē Sabatier CS slicer, bolstered, probably from my fatherís house. Itís a nice knife, and itís now quite sharp, but I could see possibly exchanging it for something without a bolster, possibly a sujihiki.

    The history and workmanship behind the yanagi you linked is remarkable.
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by mnoble485 View Post
    John,
    Please give us a review of this knife when it arrives. Great price if itís as good as it looks.

    Mike
    It is sharp, 0.085Ē thick at the tang (vs 0.090Ē for the Lamson), 45mm heel (vs 50 ). The knife is a little lighter, the handle looks a lot nicer than in the photo and is shorter and with a slightly smaller girth than the Lamson. The 45mm heel (spine to cutting edge) leaves a little less, but adequate, knuckle room I think. Bernal replaced the 70/30 with a symmetrical bevel (Iím LH).

    I cleaned it, rinsed it under running water and discovered that there are some small gaps between handle and tang; water can fill them. Thatís not a complaint, itís just what it is and I used my shop vac to pull it out. Since the whole thing is CS, and I donít want water to hang out under the handle, I figure that it wonít get wholesale rinsed under running water; just the cutting portion of the blade, and more carefully than with SS knives so the handle stays dry, and then wiped down and dried; or does one not even rinse these types of knives under running water at all? Is there a different, accepted protocol for CS mono-steel blades?

    It has itís home in the knife drawer but only time will tell how it holds an edge. Not being a production chef I doubt Iíll ever be able to offer meaningful opinions about relative edge durability. Clearly it will take an edge. Examining the edge under magnification was instructive and confirmed some suspicions relative to my sharpening skills.

    Iím happy with it though I confess to becoming curious about slightly larger, octagonal handles. I also see an ease of maintenance case for a laminated blade with super duper edge material in an SS cladding; not for the sharp end but for the handle end; keeping the sharp end cleaned and dried is easy (at home anyway); getting fugitive/accidental water out from in between tang and handle is a bit more involved! I might make an epoxy/sawdust paste and try to "caulk" the little gaps.
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

  10. #190
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post
    and then wiped down and dried; or does one not even rinse these types of knives under running water at all? Is there a different, accepted protocol for CS mono-steel blades?
    Wash under running water. Soap and/or soft brush as needed. No need for anything special here... but the wipe part is for real. Like really make sure it's dry and don't let it sort of "finish" drying on a dishtowel. Honestly, that particular carbon steel will resist staining OK and probably doesn't require super attentiveness, but I swear if I so much as leave a streak on my shiro-gami yanagiba the thing rusts. I look at it funny and it rusts. I love the knife dearly... but there's no margin. For super reactive steels, I'll give them a wipe with magnolia oil after drying. I think you're smart to put a little plug in the gap you found.

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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    I don't like to leave a knife dirty even for a minute. As soon as I'm done with whatever I'm doing it gets washed and dried. I don't know but I have a crackpot theory stuff reacts with the edge and eats it. Seems to work.

  12. #192
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post
    It is sharp, 0.085” thick at the tang (vs 0.090” for the Lamson), 45mm heel (vs 50 ). The knife is a little lighter, the handle looks a lot nicer than in the photo and is shorter and with a slightly smaller girth than the Lamson. The 45mm heel (spine to cutting edge) leaves a little less, but adequate, knuckle room I think. Bernal replaced the 70/30 with a symmetrical bevel (I’m LH).

    I cleaned it, rinsed it under running water and discovered that there are some small gaps between handle and tang; water can fill them. That’s not a complaint, it’s just what it is and I used my shop vac to pull it out. Since the whole thing is CS, and I don’t want water to hang out under the handle, I figure that it won’t get wholesale rinsed under running water; just the cutting portion of the blade, and more carefully than with SS knives so the handle stays dry, and then wiped down and dried; or does one not even rinse these types of knives under running water at all? Is there a different, accepted protocol for CS mono-steel blades?

    It has it’s home in the knife drawer but only time will tell how it holds an edge. Not being a production chef I doubt I’ll ever be able to offer meaningful opinions about relative edge durability. Clearly it will take an edge. Examining the edge under magnification was instructive and confirmed some suspicions relative to my sharpening skills.

    I’m happy with it though I confess to becoming curious about slightly larger, octagonal handles. I also see an ease of maintenance case for a laminated blade with super duper edge material in an SS cladding; not for the sharp end but for the handle end; keeping the sharp end cleaned and dried is easy (at home anyway); getting fugitive/accidental water out from in between tang and handle is a bit more involved! I might make an epoxy/sawdust paste and try to "caulk" the little gaps.
    Thanks John, when my situation at the home front stabilizes I will be looking at this knife.

    Mike
    Mike Noble

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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by 9tubes View Post
    That looks like a great knife, Jay. Can you tell us your thought process and how you came to the decision to purchase that particular one?
    I forgot one salient point: I have a print by Hiroshige hanging in front of me, a street scene at night with a hard rain falling that is just the same pattern as that on the blade. It's beautiful. Examining the knife last night with strong reading glasses I could see every construction detail and admire the care in them. My sharpening skills are not up to the task of touching up the blade yet. So I spent some time on a few other knives.

    And I followed John's lead and ordered the same knife and a companion petty from Bernal. I plan to visit when I am in the city next month...
    Jay Dwight

  14. #194
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    I forgot one salient point: I have a print by Hiroshige hanging in front of me, a street scene at night with a hard rain falling that is just the same pattern as that on the blade. It's beautiful. Examining the knife last night with strong reading glasses I could see every construction detail and admire the care in them. My sharpening skills are not up to the task of touching up the blade yet. So I spent some time on a few other knives.

    And I followed John's lead and ordered the same knife and a companion petty from Bernal. I plan to visit when I am in the city next month...
    Am I becoming an Influencer?? That's heady!

    The octagonal handles on traditional Japanese Gyuto: Do they stay on? I mean, what keeps'em from coming loose every now and then....just like the wooden handles on my metal files that I occasionally have to pound back on.

    The Tojiro 210mm Gyuto 'DP' - VG-10 looks interesting. I wonder how it's edge compares to the Sakai Kikumori ‘Nihonkou’ 210mm Gyuto SK Carbon; can it achieve as keen an edge with similar toughness and durability?
    John Clay
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post
    \

    The octagonal handles on traditional Japanese Gyuto: Do they stay on? I mean, what keeps'em from coming loose every now and then....just like the wooden handles on my metal files that I occasionally have to pound back on.
    Yes, they stay on. The best setup seems to be to use hot glue from one of those $15 hobby guns. Some people use epoxy but hot glue can be easily re-heated to take the handle off if needed. If there is any gap between the tang and the handle hole then fill with silicone weatherseal. Neat, tidy, waterproof.

    The technique is to make some shavings from a glue stick and drop them into the handle hole. Then heat the handle using boiling water or a butane torch (but not too hot to affect the metal heat treatment) and insert the handle. Hold in place for a minute while it solidifies.

  16. #196
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by 9tubes View Post
    Yes, they stay on. The best setup seems to be to use hot glue from one of those $15 hobby guns. Some people use epoxy but hot glue can be easily re-heated to take the handle off if needed. If there is any gap between the tang and the handle hole then fill with silicone weatherseal. Neat, tidy, waterproof.

    The technique is to make some shavings from a glue stick and drop them into the handle hole. Then heat the handle using boiling water or a butane torch (but not too hot to affect the metal heat treatment) and insert the handle. Hold in place for a minute while it solidifies.
    Those are thoughtful, detailed approaches....like the distillate of some otherwise little known communal knowledge base; they make me wonder if, in the world of handmade Japanese kitchen knives used by folks who make a living with them in the millions of non-celebrity kitchens cranking out remarkable food (Pacific Cafť), it's common and maybe even expected that the owner will have to tweak a little this or that....like seal a handle/tang interface to prevent water intrusion.

    Would that notion be terribly off base?

    I feel like I need a knife sommelier or counsellor or some such. It's crazy; there are people who fret less about bidding on a car at Mecum's than I have over this thing.

    Somewhere in an allied thread someone said that he didn't know how anybody could make a knife selection remotely. I thought that was maybe a just a tad much; but not any more!
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post
    ...like the distillate of some otherwise little known communal knowledge base
    It's called KitchenKnifeForums.com. If you venture into that rabbit hole...well, let's just say you were warned.

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post
    ...they make me wonder if, in the world of handmade Japanese kitchen knives used by folks who make a living with them in the millions of non-celebrity kitchens cranking out remarkable food (Pacific Cafť), it's common and maybe even expected that the owner will have to tweak a little this or that....like seal a handle/tang interface to prevent water intrusion.
    I have two words for you: Teruyasu Fujiwara. There's a 20+ page thread on tweaking his knives, and whether it's worth it. Look for TF wabi-sabi. His knives might be the most extreme example of the need for post-purchase modification. There are plenty of blacksmiths that have Lexus-level fit and finish.

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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    Tbh I don’t F-with kitchen knife forums. It feels like the folks there cut paper and the hair on the backs of their arms more than they cut food. They also have a strange hive-mind type thing going for particular makers.

    To be sure... if you use knives a lot, and think about them, like bicycles, you end up with a list of things you like better. I like octagonal wood handles and the super record 11 hoods. I really like the way semi-stainless knives (like hitachi SLD) handle, sharpen, and cut, and I love thicc aluminum race bikes. But honestly nearly everything sold at a proper knife store is better than it needs to be, and it’s not worth worrying too much about until you want to.

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    Default Re: Chef Knives?

    I nearly exchanged the knife because of the gaps in the handle but I decided to keep it and just fill'em with epoxy resin; I had to stop the insanity. It's a chef knife, I needed a second one and I'm not a collector. I'll use it and either like and keep it, or not and get rid of it! I think I'll like it. I'll need to keep a dry rag around and treat it the way CS needs to be treated but that's not a problem, just a habit to codify and a little something to pay attention to.

    I had some resin left over from my teardrop camper project; it's pretty low viscosity stuff (Raka brand from Ft Pierce) and flowed nicely into the larger gap while squeegeeing with a toothpick forced it into the few ever so skinny gaps on the spine. I had to fill the larger gap several times as it was a relative bottomless pit but given that it's carbon steel I think it was a good move; I don't need to nurture an internal corrosion cell and the handle held more than a few drops of water...it kinda poured out. That's done now and it's in service.

    It's light, fairly thinly ground, sharp and it's got enough rocker to suit me but not too much, and it isn't a big honking monster; it should be just fine.

    So, that's the knife saga.
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

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