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Old 01-04-2008, 11:29 AM   #1
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Has anyone tried Gunter Wilhelm Knives?

I have a set of these and I just love them. I was wondering if anyone else have tried them? LINK REMOVED

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Old 01-04-2008, 02:10 PM   #2
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Yes, I bought my set over a year ago, and I am extremely happy with them. They are very well made, they are attractive to display, and they've held a very sharp edge for over a year now. Once I got my Gunters, I gave my Henckles knives and block to a dear lady who had never really owned a good set of knives. Now we're BOTH happy!

My only regret was not getting the steak knives that go with the set, but, to me, steak knives are like the coffee cups that come with a set of dishes or the Double Old Fashioned glasses that come in a glassware set. After a few years or so, that's all that remains of your purchase and they just keep accumulating. Last time I moved, I donated a handful of steak knives, 3 sets of coffee cups and, I believe, 5 different styles of Double Old Fashioned glasses that no longer matched anything else in my house.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:51 AM   #3
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Has anyone tried Gunter Wilhelm Knives?

I just ordered my first Gunter Wilhelm Knife today. I bought the Santuko and am looking forward to seeing the quality! Right now, I use Lamsonsharp Silver (8 and 6" chef and steakknives) which I have had for over 12 years and my wife (She is the 'chef' in the family) loves them. Although she does not care for the 6" chef.

We want another QUALITY knife to add and we have been looking at many other lines: Wusthof, Messermeister,Shun, and looked (only on-line) at Misono.

Knives are confusing on which are the best.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:09 AM   #4
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I've been looking at Gunter Wilhelm as well as some of the other higher end brands too. Boy, does my brain hurt from all the choices.

isharpenit, could you share the reason(s) why you chose the GW over Shun and Misono?
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:59 PM   #5
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We want another QUALITY knife to add and we have been looking at many other lines: Wusthof, Messermeister,Shun, and looked (only on-line) at Misono.
A Misono is a very nice way to transition from Germanics to performance - stainless, double bevels, western handles. A good way to go.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:40 PM   #6
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I've been looking at Gunter Wilhelm as well as some of the other higher end brands too. Boy, does my brain hurt from all the choices.

isharpenit, could you share the reason(s) why you chose the GW over Shun and Misono?

Wouldn't! Chinese vs Japanese. The GW's are made of relatively inferior 400 steel. Made in China. Cheap in manufacturing cost, low in quality.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:54 PM   #7
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I have one knife I've owned for 14 years. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It has never needed sharpening, and for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of it, but I purchased it at Wal-Mart, of all places! The handle is comfortable, the blade has over 300 serration points, and it will cut through anything.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:27 AM   #8
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A Misono is a very nice way to transition from Germanics to performance - stainless, double bevels, western handles. A good way to go.
That's good to know because Misono UX10 and Hattori FH are the two that I've narrowed down to.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:24 PM   #9
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Wouldn't! Chinese vs Japanese. The GW's are made of relatively inferior 400 steel. Made in China. Cheap in manufacturing cost, low in quality.
Where do you get your information? Gunter Wilhelm knives are forged IN GERMANY from 440 steel, and the blanks are then sent to the finishing plant in China for shaping, sharpening, hardening, and assembly.

I had top of the line Henckles before I bought my Gunters, and the Gunters are a far better product.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:13 PM   #10
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Where do you get your information? Gunter Wilhelm knives are forged IN GERMANY from 440 steel, and the blanks are then sent to the finishing plant in China for shaping, sharpening, hardening, and assembly.

I had top of the line Henckles before I bought my Gunters, and the Gunters are a far better product.
By low quality I was not referring to fit and finish. The GW knives are indeed beautiful. I do hope there isn't too much lead in the Chinese handle finish.... LOL. The steel from which the blades are made, however, is a totally different matter. GW site says "Gunter Wilhelm Knives are made from 440 steel (also known as X50CrMoV5) which is purchased in Solingen Germany." Therein lies the problem. There is 440A, 440B, 440C etc but I've never heard of 440.

This could rather long winded so I'm going to cut a few corners to get the basics out. I'm running a query on a site that has a few metallurgists and bladesmiths to try and ascertain just what variety 440 X50CrMoV5 is. I know what it isn't.

For starters, I will state that 440A is the bottom of the barrel as knife steels go. 440A contains from .65 to .75% carbon, whereas, 440C which is a very good blade steel contains .95 to 1.2% carbon. It doesn't sound like there is too much difference but it's a big deal.

I'm going to let someone else do the talking for awhile. His name is Chad Ward and he has a really good book about kitchen knives to be released in June I believe. The title is "An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives -- How to Buy Them, Keep Them Razor Sharp, and Use Them Like a Pro" and it can be preordered at Amazon. Chad wrote an excellent FAQ at eGullet and the following is an exerpt.

Section One: The Sad Truth About Kitchen Knives

To a chef, there is nothing more important than his knife. It is not only an extension of his hands, it is an extension of his very personality. The knife is a chef’s paintbrush.

So why are most kitchen knives so bad?

The knives found in most commercial and home kitchens are designed for the lowest common denominator. The manufacturers of these knives make a series of compromises calculated to keep the largest number of people happily using their knives for the longest period of time. Like supermarket tomatoes bred for sturdiness and uniformity rather than flavor, these compromises seriously degrade the performance of your knives.

The first compromise begins with the steel. Steel is the heart of the knife. Most manufacturers (Henckels, Wusthof, Forschner, et al.) have proprietary steel blends and are very close-mouthed about the actual formulation of their steels. According to industry insiders, these steel blends are closely related to or equivalent to a steel known as 440a. By and large 440a steel is formulated for stain and wear resistance rather than holding a high performance edge.

But this compromise in edge performance is compounded by a heat treatment that leaves the steel much softer than it could be. In general, the harder the steel, the keener the edge it will take. However, a hard steel makes it more difficult to get that edge in the first place. So manufacturers leave the steel a little soft, theoretically making sharpening at home easier. If you’ve ever spent an hour or two trying to get a super fine edge on a cheap kitchen knife, you’ll know that there is a big gap between theory and practice.

Upper-end kitchen knives like Henckels, Sabatier, Wusthof, et al., are a little better, but are still softer than they need to be at 52 to 56 on the Rockwell C scale (the
Rockwell scale is a scale used to measure the relative hardness of different solids). By contrast, Japanese knives tend to be around 61-62 on the Rockwell scale.

I did find a little information about the makeup of X50CrMoV5 here. The carbon content is only .48 to .53%. This tells me that GW is much more concerned about making a knife that shines like new but cuts like a hammer compared to the knives that I use.

But that's me. I'm a purist, a blade nut, a connoisseur, an aficionado. I want knives that cut like razors and some of mine do. I want performance before pretty.

More when I hear from the people who are steel experts on another forum.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:11 AM   #11
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I agree with Buzz. Shaving sharp isn't sharp enough for my knives. If I can't split a hair with it, I go back to work on the hones and strop. I shuddered when I saw the Good Eats episode where AB explained why tomatoes are better cut with a serrated blade. If you can't slice a tomato with a plain edge, you don't need a new knife, you just need to sharpen your old one!

While 440-series steels are rather tough and can be a pain to sharpen, another stainless steel grade used in even cheaper knives, 420, is quite easy to make krazy keen. Keeping such a knife super keen...that's a tough one. If X50CrMoV5 has a carbon content as low as 0.5%, that puts it below the "letter" 440 steels in terms of hardenability and more in line with "high carbon" varieties of 420. Not that 0.5% carbon content is bad, it's just not what many knife knuts would call "high performance" for anything but chopping through the underbrush!

Further readings on what Buzzard767 was talking about:
X50CrMoV5 Data Sheet
Knife steel compositions
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:32 AM   #12
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...I shuddered when I saw the Good Eats episode where AB explained why tomatoes are better cut with a serrated blade. If you can't slice a tomato with a plain edge, you don't need a new knife, you just need to sharpen your old one!...

I actually have a "tomato knife" but I use my chef's or utility knives to slice tomatos. If a knife can't slice a tomato, it's not sharp enough to use on anything.

I use the tomato knife to slice bagels.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:57 PM   #13
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By low quality I was not referring to fit and finish. The GW knives are indeed beautiful. I do hope there isn't too much lead in the Chinese handle finish.... LOL. The steel from which the blades are made, however, is a totally different matter. GW says "Gunter Wilhelm Knives are made from 440 steel (also known as X50CrMoV5) which is purchased in Solingen Germany." Therein lies the problem. There is 440A, 440B, 440C etc but I've never heard of 440.

This could rather long winded so I'm going to cut a few corners to get the basics out. I'm running a query on a site that has a few metallurgists and bladesmiths to try and ascertain just what variety 440 X50CrMoV5 is. I know what it isn't.

For starters, I will state that 440A is the bottom of the barrel as knife steels go. 440A contains from .65 to .75% carbon, whereas, 440C which is a very good blade steel contains .95 to 1.2% carbon. It doesn't sound like there is too much difference but it's a big deal.


I did find a little information about the makeup of X50CrMoV5 The carbon content is only .48 to .53%. This tells me that GW is much more concerned about making a knife that shines like new but cuts like a hammer compared to the knives that I use.

But that's me. I'm a purist, a blade nut, a connoisseur, an aficionado. I want knives that cut like razors and some of mine do. I want performance before pretty.

More when I hear from the people who are steel experts on another forum.

Your statements are not entirely correct.

440 is a steel used by Wusthof as well, in fact they use 440 50CrMo15 in their classic knives.
Sometimes the upper knife makers just say 440, but they all use 440C because you need this grade to hold your edge longer.
They just don't say that as most of us don't know what 440A, 440B or 440C means. The maker will just state "high carbon" steel which is the 440C variety.
Wusthof's own website doesn't even tell of what kind of steel they use in the blades.

This is a quote directly from GW website:
"Most good knives such as Henckels, Wusthof, and of course Gunter Wilhelm, all use 440 high carbon-stainless steel"

I see no where that they state that 440 is aka X50CrMoV5- (X50CrMoV5 is their additive to the 440C).

The 440 is the steel and the "CrMoV" (Chromium Molybdenum-Vanadium) is the mixture added to the steel for strength and the formula is sometimes different for each knife producer- so the 50CRMoV5 for one high end manufacturer may be 48CRMoV5 for another.
They aren't just adding CrMoV for some sort of "shiny" appearance, I think that the 440C is also the least rust resistant of the 440 steels and the other additives to the steel blend helps with resistance of rust.

The knives that cut like razors have the V-10 or better mixes and their Rc ratings are 59-61.

Wusthof's Rc ratings are around 56 and the Gunthers have a 58 Rc. rating.
I am **** sure that this does NOT cut like a hammer.

They keep a sharper edge longer, though maybe not as sharp as a Mac knife or Global's or some of the other Japanese blades which usually are much lighter, but Gunther's also cost less than these blades and are uniquely attractive.

Gunther will let you try the knives for 30 days and has a lifetime warrantee and will even replaced a knife if it broke because it was MISUSED - a warrantee not issued by other manufacturers.

As an aside, the blade is sharpened all the way to the heel on the Gunther Wilhelms and the corners on the spine of the knife are all smoothed to eliminate fatigue and callouses that chef's form from big cutting chores.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:55 PM   #14
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Hey Kurt – nobody told you that this thread is beyond the statue of resurrection limitation????

Quote:
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Your statements are not entirely correct.
440 is a steel used by Wusthof as well, in fact they use 440 50CrMo15 in their classic knives.
Sometimes the upper knife makers just say 440, but they all use 440C because you need this grade to hold your edge longer.
They just don't say that as most of us don't know what 440A, 440B or 440C means. The maker will just state "high carbon" steel which is the 440C variety.
Wusthof's own website doesn't even tell of what kind of steel they use in the blades..

This is a quote directly from GW website:
"Most good knives such as Henckels, Wusthof, and of course Gunter Wilhelm, all use 440 high carbon-stainless steel".

I see no where that they state that 440 is aka X50CrMoV5- (X50CrMoV5 is their additive to the 440C).

The 440 is the steel and the "CrMoV" (Chromium Molybdenum-Vanadium) is the mixture added to the steel for strength and the formula is sometimes different for each knife producer- so the 50CRMoV5 for one high end manufacturer may be 48CRMoV5 for another.
They aren't just adding CrMoV for some sort of "shiny" appearance, I think that the 440C is also the least rust resistant of the 440 steels and the other additives to the steel blend helps with resistance of rust..
Lord, the age old 440x threads come back to life. I'm tired and might be missing something here, but when a company says their steel is 440, it's marketing camouflage for 440A. 440A sucks so they don't come out and admit it. If they use 440C they usually state it because 440C has some status.

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The knives that cut like razors have the V-10 or better mixes and their Rc ratings are 59-61..
I agree except you can extend the hardness to 58-65. 58 for AEB-L/13C26 and 65 for some powdered steels.


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Wusthof's Rc ratings are around 56 and the Gunthers have a 58 Rc. rating.
I am **** sure that this does NOT cut like a hammer.. They keep a sharper edge longer, though maybe not as sharp as a Mac knife or Global's or some of the other Japanese blades which usually are much lighter,
Compared to my knives they cut like pencil erasers. The edges on German knives don't/can't last half as long as steels like Aogami Super or ZDP-189. Trust me.

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but Gunther's also cost less than these blades and are uniquely attractive..
What does cost have to do with it?

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Originally Posted by kurtis maximus View Post
Gunther will let you try the knives for 30 days and has a lifetime warrantee and will even replaced a knife if it broke because it was MISUSED - a warrantee not issued by other manufacturers..
This is subjective but I could care less about a warranty. If it breaks I'll fix it. Cripes, it's a knife, not a car...

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As an aside, the blade is sharpened all the way to the heel on the Gunther Wilhelms and the corners on the spine of the knife are all smoothed to eliminate fatigue and callouses that chef's form from big cutting chores.
The spine is eased. That is indeed a nice touch and it is found on many brands. However, you can do it yourself with a piece of sandpaper. GWs are good knives but they are not great knives by any means, no matter what they say in their ads. They work fine for their targeted market, a market in which I do not participate.

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Old 09-29-2008, 07:08 PM   #15
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Hey Kurt – nobody told you that this thread is beyond the statue of resurrection limitation????
Hey Buzz, thanks for the warm welcome to my first post


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Lord, the age old 440x threads come back to life. I'm tired and might be missing something here, but when a company says their steel is 440, it's marketing camouflage for 440A. 440A sucks so they don't come out and admit it. If they use 440C they usually state it because 440C has some status.
You did miss something, what I stated was that most of us don't know 440A, 440B, 440C, so the knife makers state "440 high-carbon steel"- which is what the Gunther Wilhelm website claims and talking to Paul Helman (aka Gunther Wilhelm), he says, most definitely 440C, the highest carbon steel, with an Rc. rating of 58. vs 56 for Wusthof and 56 for Henckels.
So it is not the "sucky" steel.


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Compared to my knives they cut like pencil erasers. The edges on German knives don't/can't last half as long as steels like Aogami Super or ZDP-189. Trust me.
I was responding to the post if people used Gunther Wilhelm knives and was speaking to their quality, not as to "How good are they compared to Buzz's knife Depot."
I was attesting that they are sharper and keep their edge longer than that of Wusthof and Henckels.. both the in the same market as GW.

Yes yes, we know your market is so much better, we get it.

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What does cost have to do with it?
because the knives are very well made and keep an edge longer and are sharper than Wusthof and Henckles and are also 40% less.

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Originally Posted by buzzard767 View Post
This is subjective but I could care less about a warranty. If it breaks I'll fix it. Cripes, it's a knife, not a car...
Most of us "schlubs" like the warranty and even better a warranty that backs its knife even if it is broken by misuse.
And yes we are all impressed that you can fix your own knives to perfection.
Most of us don't have the time or inclination to go much past perfecting the sharpening process.

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GWs are good knives but they are not great knives by any means, no matter what they say in their ads. They work fine for their targeted market, a market in which I do not participate.
Buzz

They are very good knives in relation to Wust or Hencky, yes you can drop 200+ for a better/sharper knife, but in this price range they are a great knife.

yes, I know you do not subscribe to this market of which I speak.
You have the best knife collection known to any chef and can mend broken knives faster than a samurai smith.
You win.
Whatya want a medal? (its made out of ZDP-189)

Bottom line about these GW knives is that they are made out of 440C steel, have an Rc. hardness of 58, backed by a great warranty, are unique in design (so guys who have wives that like good looking stuff are good) and they have a price tag that is 40% less for knives that best Henckels and Wusthof Classic.

Yes Buzz, we know your knives are better, but I am not talking about your knives.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:14 PM   #16
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Bottom line about these GW knives is that they are made out of 440C steel, have an Rc. hardness of 58, backed by a great warranty, are unique in design (so guys who have wives that like good looking stuff are good) and they have a price tag that is 40% less for knives that best Henckels and Wusthof Classic.
The thread post number one merely asked if anyone had tried GWs. Like all threads this one wandered. No surprizes there. You're right, it's not about *my* knives. Neither is it about Henckels & Wusthofs, your addition I guess. Don't rightly remember, don't really care.

I'll bow out of this thread with the following. 440C is a very good steel. It is by no means a great steel. Also, a ranking of 58 on the Rockwell C scale is rather soft. The life of the edge will be very short. The only steels I know of that perform well at that hardness are Swedish AEB-L and 13C26, same chemistry, excellent tools.

Welcome to DC, Kurt.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:24 PM   #17
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Its been awhile since anyone posted about these knives. I recently came across them on the internet and they almost sound too good to be true for the price and all the bonuses! Any user reviews?

I cant find any reviews or mention of Gunter Wilhelm anywhere on the net besides here or amazon. The amazon reviews sound like the owner made up fake usernames and posted the reviews himself. Besides that I cant find any info anywhere else? How long have they been in business? A warranty is only good if the company stays in business and in this economy its probably better to go with a trusted name like Wusthof or Henkels or Messermeister.

Any Thoughts?
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:23 PM   #18
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A Misono is a very nice way to transition from Germanics to performance - stainless, double bevels, western handles. A good way to go.

I think the Gunterwihelms are of outstanding quality and are priced very well like them better then Sabatier and the wustof. Also the service the company offers is outstanding.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:58 AM   #19
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Thumbs up rockwell/schmockwell

ya know? i happened across this website, looking for a recipe and lo and behold found this thread about my favorite knives (I own three of them and a set of their non-serrated steak knives).... thought it was only my special secret, I guess they are becoming more and more known on the marketplace now....but really, what a bunch of gobbledygook you guys spout for pages and pages..... bottom line??? old lady, knows nothing about knives except she uses her Gunter Wilhelm paring knife every day..... for just about everything, slicking open ornery bags of croutons that won't open, for slicing through the tape and cardboard on the UPS delivery box, for preparing meals every single day for the past TWO years....and I still haven't taken a honer to the blade of my paring knife, this sucker seems as sharp as the day I bought it..... and we eat meat around here like no tomorrow and same thing with the steak knives.... we don't even own a honer (well, there might be one in the garage, I think my husband tried to sharpen the push mower with it last summer)...... I lost one of the steak knives, wasn't even damaged, I lost the sucker...and had a new steak knife, no questions asked in two days, didn't have to pay for shipping, didn't have to give a song and dance why. I love this company, I love my Gunter Knives...I gave my sister-in-law, my daughter, my nephew and my pop (who will be 93 in July) GW knives for Christmas last year and they are all buying GW knives for family and friends this year. Sure, you can be a purist and spend $300 bucks for a knife....but for $60, lifetime warranty, no questions asked, great customer service, I'm sorry, you can stuff your Rockwells and carbon mixtures in your wazzoo..... This company is a dream to deal with and THAT means more to me than having perfection honed to slice a hair to me.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:38 AM   #20
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Scoring Pigskin

Scoring the skin on an uncooked ham seems to take it's toll on the edges of knives made of lesser steels much faster than on better knives.
Ergo pigskin leather might make a dandy stropping material?
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