"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Knives
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-09-2006, 11:38 AM   #1
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,351
Knives for the Commercial Kitchen

I was looking at restaurant supplies in a local store recently and came across a Tramontina 10" chef's knife with a formed plastic handle. It's a basic stamped blade made in Brazil. The handle is claimed to be anti-microbial. It looks a lot like a Forschner commercial knife.

Does anyone have any hands on experience with this knife?

Here's a picture. The one I saw had a white handle.
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 12:02 PM   #2
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 8,393
I have a bunch of them, came from Sam's club, very inexpensive. I do not use them a lot so they are ok, but can't say that i like them. The restaurant supply store I go to caries Dexter Russell brand, those I do like a lot. Not expensive but very durable. I especially like soft gripp handle.
__________________

__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 01:18 PM   #3
Sous Chef
 
FryBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hermosa Beach, California
Posts: 586
Send a message via Yahoo to FryBoy
My impression is that knives and other utensils for the commercial kitchen differ in one key aspect from those for the home -- they're not expected to last a lifetime.

I did a stint of consulting work in the meat packing industry several years ago, specifically at Clougherty Packing (Farmer John) in Southern California, which at the time was (and maybe still is) the largest pork slaughter house and packer west of Chicago.

One of the main concerns was whether the company was required to pay its 1200 butchers for the time they spent sharpening the knives they used in the process of disassembling hogs. Consequently, I learned more than I ever thought possible about knives and how to sharpen them, or at least how these pros do it.

Believe me, I would never do to my Wusthof and Hattori knives what they do to the professional knives these guys use. They sharpen them every two or three days on electric grinders, and hone them once or twice every day on electric honing machines, and they constantly steel them as they work. Their knives always were so razor sharp that I was afraid to handle them -- they go through 6 inches of meat as if it were warm butter.

I learned that these pros are required to buy their own knives, so they go for good quality. However, because of the frequent sharpening, their knives wear out in 3 to 6 months and must be replaced -- again, out of the workers' own pockets. Consequently, they buy much cheaper knives than most home cooks would pick. And they never buy stainless -- it's carbon steel or nothing, which takes a much better edge than stainless, but it's also softer and requires more frequent sharpening, and it rusts if not properly cared for.

So, as good as those professional knives are, I decided that they're not what I want in my kitchen. I like the ease of care of stainless, I find that I can get it plenty sharp for my needs, and it holds its edge for a long time because I'm not using it 8 hours per day. And like my All-Clad and Caphalon pots and pans, my knives are a whole lot prettier than what the pros use.
__________________
FryBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 01:20 PM   #4
Executive Chef
 
ironchef's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The SPAM eating capital of the world.
Posts: 3,558
There are several brands like that which make a similar "generic type" knife, with different colored handles. It's a workable and decent knife, but it does need constant honing and sharpening as it doesn't hold it's edge for an extended period. But because of the price, you don't have to worry about it too much. Most places use those knives for cooks who don't own their own set. Any cook/chef in a commerical kitchen who is serious about their craft owns their own set of blades though.
__________________
"Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
ironchef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 01:33 PM   #5
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,351
Thanks for the input, Fryboy.

I am not considering this knife for home use or for butchering pigs. I just wondered if it was any good.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 02:22 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 8,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy
... it's carbon steel or nothing, which takes a much better edge than stainless, but it's also softer and requires more frequent sharpening, ...
Though I agree with everything else, this particular statement is wrong. Carbon steel is harder than SS., that is why it keeps the edge better.
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 02:57 PM   #7
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,351
Thanks, Ironchef, that's what I was wondering.

I saw a bubblepak of two of these knives fro $12. Also, two utility knives and two santokus.

They were each $14 or less. Knowing what we pay for top of the line knives, I was wondering what $12 got you.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 03:00 PM   #8
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,351
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD
Though I agree with everything else, this particular statement is wrong. Carbon steel is harder than SS., that is why it keeps the edge better.
Charlie:

Carbon steel is actually softer than SS. The chromium added to make SS has a hardening effect.

Carbon steel can be sharpened to a finer edge but will not hold the edge for as ;ong because it's softer.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 04:04 PM   #9
Sous Chef
 
FryBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hermosa Beach, California
Posts: 586
Send a message via Yahoo to FryBoy
As I said, this was several years ago, and I was relying on information from people who weren't exactly metallurgists. There are so many steel alloys now available that I don't think either statement (carbon steel is harder than stainless steel, or stainless steel is harder than carbon steel) is always true anymore. BTW, all steel contains carbon -- it's necessary for making iron into steel.

Here's a link to a knife maker's page that gives a rather detailed discussion of knife steels:

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/%7Eumschm08/aboutsteel.html
__________________
FryBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 04:11 PM   #10
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 8,393
Well, now we are getting into detailed science. There are so many different materials that to generalize the situation is simply wrong, but since I was the one who started, I am the one who has to defend my position.

I used to make knives my self, have made hundreds of them from both SS and carbon steel (CS). You can have both of them the same hardness, you can have SS harder, or you can have CS knife harder. Depends on many factors. Usually the knives made from CS made from the material that is harder and then comes hardening that makes a knife desired hardness. Hardness that you want it to be.
__________________

__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.