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Old 03-31-2010, 01:21 PM   #21
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Seems the only problem with serrated bread knives is that the can wreak havoc on wood cutting boards. To some extent this can be avoided by rocking / rotating the loaf so that the final cut through each slice is achieved at a point that is not in contact with the board. Doing so however can detract from the uniformity of a slice's thickness. Wonder how Adrian Monk does it.
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:35 PM   #22
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Serrated knives not only wreak havok on cutting boards, they do the same thing to food. When slicing bread with a serrated knife, you're often left with crumbs and flaky pieces of crust all over. With a sharp edge more of the crust remains intact, and less damage is done to the cut surface. This is true with meats, vegetables, cheese, etc.
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:56 PM   #23
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I'm with you Nick. Don't like to saw my food. My granny sliced some pretty crusty breads with a plain edged knife.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:03 PM   #24
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I like serrated knives for bread and sandwiches. Normally I avoid cutting super crusty breads with my J-knives as I don't wanna chip the edge.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:35 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
...Normally I avoid cutting super crusty breads with my J-knives as I don't wanna chip the edge.
Seriously?
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:58 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Seriously?
Might this imply J-knives are no the be-all and end-all? Of course some are tougher and not as brittle as others; but this is also true of non-J-knives.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:56 AM   #27
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Indeed, it can happen. And of course, not just to J-knives. Any thin, hard edge can chip. Some bread can be incredibly crusty & hard on knives, no matter what brand or type. Obviously it depends greatly on how the knife is sharpened- a radically thinned edge is more likely to chip while a J-knife with the correct type of edge, like a hamaguriba or partially convexed edge, can sometimes cut a bolt in half and still shave hair. But yes, I've seen Shuns micro-chip on very crusty batard. Of course, even a cryogenically frozen loaf of bread couldn't hurt my Tojiro Western Deba!

So, no- Japanese knives aren't the "be all, end all"...no knife is. You've gotta match the right tool for the job. I'd rather use a bread knife than a thin gyuto, but for the record the way I sharpen I've never had much problems with microchipping.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:52 AM   #28
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Crusty bread will blunt a knife quicker than anything except cardboard or maybe a marble cutting board.

J-knives are prone to micro-chip when a French or German knife will just get blunter.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:04 AM   #29
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A scalloped edge is designed to cut items that have a crust or thick skin as well as a soft interior. Good examples are bread and tomatoes. The points of the scallop help navigate through the crust and skin and the sharp bellies of the scallops cut through the soft interior without crushing it.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:33 PM   #30
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A scalloped edge is easier on cutting boards and foods than are serrated knives. I have both in my kitchen. The only thing I find the serrated knife good for is sawing through frozen meat. Actually, my wife uses the scalloped edge knife on bread while I use my trusty Chroma 10" chef's knife for everything. I just keep it very sharp, hone it every time I use it (which does put micro-serrations on cutting edge), and have a a convex edge on it.

The scalloped edge applies more cutting pressure on the food where the blade edge touches it. It's simple math. The smaller the area of one object applying force to another, the greater the pressure per unit measure. Also, the angle of attack, so to speak, of the scalloped edge, as it comes into contact with the food, is at a more acute angle. This starts a tear in the food surface, which is replaced by the cutting power of the edge gradually changing to parallel the direction of force.

Serrated knives, on the other hand, literally act like saws, with teeth that tear bits of material away from the food. And unless you are cutting something like celery, wood, or frozen meat, this tends to tear food rather than cut cleanly through it.

Personally, I've never fractured a knife edge with crusty bread, or any other food. When I slice, I simply apply downward and forward pressure at the same time, a vector force if you will. I've yet to find any food that I can't safely get my chef's knife through.

Of course, I don't get my knives so sharp that they will shave me. But they are sharp enough to easily slice through everything from ripe tomato to butternut squash, and with just light pressure.

Rob Babcock is a master knife sharpener. I am not. I don't want to spend the money or the time. I just want my knives to be well made and tough tools that get the job done. Evey knife in my house, whether it cost me $150 to 50 cent paring knives bought at the grocery store do their job, and do them well. What more do I need from a knife?

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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