"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Knives
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-05-2009, 08:58 AM   #31
Senior Cook
 
jpaulg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Posts: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
Guys working on the kill floor or production lines require a certain kind of edge. The "scary sharp" edge you describe is usually a wire edge created by frequent steeling. The wire edge cuts like crazy but it's not very durable, hence the frequent re-steeling. But it seems like your average meat packer has a better idea how to sharpen than your average cook, if for no other reason than that a knife may be the packers only tool (or one of just a few) whereas a cook or chef de partie works with a wide array of them.
I know some meatpackers that have spent $800+ on a single steel and didn't even blink at the price. What those guys don't know about how to steel a knife isn't worth knowing.
__________________

__________________
jpaulg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2009, 12:11 PM   #32
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,042
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpaulg View Post
I know some meatpackers that have spent $800+ on a single steel and didn't even blink at the price. What those guys don't know about how to steel a knife isn't worth knowing.
You must know some pretty wealthy Aussie packers.

The union meat packers with whom I'm familiar here in the U.S. make less than $20 an hour. One recent settlement at Hormel in Iowa brought the packers an average wage of $15.75 per hour, tops in the industry (I assume that means in Iowa), according to the union's press release.

The packers told me that the commercial knives they buy (they have to supply their own tools) are typically in the $20 to $40 range. They don't spend more because they literally wear their knives out in a matter of a few months due to the frequent sharpening. None of these guys are buying $800 steels, even if that's Australian dollars.
__________________

__________________
Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2009, 04:37 PM   #33
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 1,229
That mirrors my experience years ago when I worked in the industry. The knife of choice was Forschner as they represented the best bang for the buck. You could also bounce them off a concrete floor without much damage. My steel, which was typical, was a Dick, probably less than $30 at todays prices.
__________________
Bigjim68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2009, 04:50 PM   #34
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
That mirrors my experience years ago when I worked in the industry. The knife of choice was Forschner as they represented the best bang for the buck. You could also bounce them off a concrete floor without much damage. My steel, which was typical, was a Dick, probably less than $30 at todays prices.
Amazon carries the Forschner knives at a good price. They also carry F. Dick sharpening steels.

Would you recommend either one for home cooks, BigJim?
__________________
Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2009, 05:13 PM   #35
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,042
In answer to my own question about Forschner knives, I see that Cook's Illustrated reviewed "Innovative Chef's Knives" in an article published March 1, 2007.

The Forschner Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife was the top knife, recommended along with two Shuns, a MAC, and a Gelstain. The Forschner costs $25, according to Cook's, and the others range from $60 for the MAC up to $194 for the Shun Ken Onion knife.

Pretty impressive. If I needed another knife, I'd give the Forschner a try.
__________________
Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2009, 05:41 PM   #36
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpaulg View Post
I know some meatpackers that have spent $800+ on a single steel and didn't even blink at the price. What those guys don't know about how to steel a knife isn't worth knowing.
Here's one thing a lot of them don't know that really is worth knowing: a steel isn't a sharpener at all.
__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2009, 05:42 PM   #37
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
I am by no means an expert on knives or, for that matter, cooking, but I will listen to those who have a far superior knowledge than mine. I have learned a lot from the knife guys (and chefs) on this forum, and followed some of their advice. My knives will never be as sharp as the starting point of some of the "pros" on this site. I keep an Edgemaker Pro in my kitchen, and sharpen my Forschners using this device. The learning curve is quick, and the results adequate for most users. The price is right. Sharpening on a whet or waterstone is an acquired skill. I recently purchased a few Japanese knives, once again based on the recommendations found here. They are a joy to use. but they will never be as sharp as they could be.
Glad the Edgemaker Pro is working well for you. It's light-years better than the Accusharp and much easier on the blade.

I also will second the recommendation for the Lansky system. It works well but it's a PITA on larger knives to have to reclamp them repeatedly.
__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2009, 05:49 PM   #38
Head Chef
 
Rob Babcock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,281
One more note regarding people who work with knives for living- knives are a consumable. Home cooks are often advised to get a good knife and know it will last you a lifetime. Perhaps, but not so for chefs and meatpackers. A chef in a busy restaurant may resharpen his main knives every week or two (perhaps daily for a sushi chef, less often for other culinary pros). A meat packer will resharpen daily, and there isn't much steel in, say, a boning knife. A gyuto will have many sharpenings in it but eventually will look like a sujihiki!

For guys in packing plants knives are nearly disposable. Many buy Forschners and other inexpensive knives just for this reason. A Cowry-X, SG2, SKD or D2 blade isn't going to do enough better to warrant the cost. Bear in mind a packing plant hand may make more cuts on meat in one day than a home cook will in several years. Heck, they do more knife work than most chefs. Cutting thru meat and connective tissue really does wear down the edge rapidly.
__________________
If we're not supposed to eat animals, then how come they're made out of meat?
Rob Babcock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2009, 08:35 PM   #39
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,042
Meat packing is also dangerous work, in large part because the knives are so sharp. Most packers wear Kevlar gloves under actual chainmail (i.e., woven metal) gloves like these:

__________________
Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2009, 09:56 AM   #40
Senior Cook
 
jpaulg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Posts: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotch View Post
You must know some pretty wealthy Aussie packers.
Meatworkers earn up to $40/hour over here, more if supervising. Crappy job with crappy work conditions means that the bosses have to pay high wages to get people to work.
__________________

__________________
jpaulg is offline   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 11:41 AM.


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