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Old 02-19-2008, 01:46 PM   #41
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...As for Japanese knives we're talking a different world all together. Knives are used daily in the kitchen. For an endeavor given so much of your time why wouldn't you want to have a sharp instrument that makes everything easier and is a pure pleasure to use? And, you don't have to break the bank. You can get an excellent 210mm (8.2") Gyuto here for the cost of filling your car up with gas one time. The knife will last you the rest of your life. For a fifty dollar bill you can toss that old betamax in the garbage.

Your statement assumes I am not happy with my current knives. I have Henkels Pro S and keep them sharp. They are comfortable in my hand and do everything I can do with my limited knife skills. A "better" knife" won't make me a better chef any more than a better pan would. Different strokes...
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:33 PM   #42
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...and what's going to be "good enough" is different for each person. Each individual decides that for himself, no others need to or waste time disagreeing over what's better for me or anyone else other than themselves.
Andy, a couple of questions: Have you ever used a Japanese kitchen knife? If you have, was it sharper than anything you've ever seen or was it badly in need of sharpening rendering it only a little bit better than the rest of the world because of the geometry?

I'll be honest with you. If you have ever used Japanese hochos and reject them for something out of Germany you would be the first person I've ever communicated with who did not make the switch immediately.
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:50 PM   #43
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Andy, a couple of questions: Have you ever used a Japanese kitchen knife? If you have, was it sharper than anything you've ever seen or was it badly in need of sharpening rendering it only a little bit better than the rest of the world because of the geometry?

I'll be honest with you. If you have ever used Japanese hochos and reject them for something out of Germany you would be the first person I've ever communicated with who did not make the switch immediately.

Buzzard, you've missed my point. I can acknowledge Japanese knives are the best or among the best in the world. Also that they can be better than my Pro S knives. Same as a Ferrari is better than my Infiniti. I don't have to drive the Ferrari to acknowledge that. I don;t have to use a Japanese knife to acknowledge it is better than my knife. I can acept the fact and decide for myself that I am happy with my Infiniti and my German knives and don't care to change.

I am not a knife afficianado. I don't collect knives or read extensively about knives. I don't belong to knife forums. I don't subscribe to knife magazines and I don't attend knife shows. I just don't care all that much.

I have sharp-edged tools that I use to prepare ingredients so I can cook them. I can slice a tomato paper thin though I see no reason to. I can cut all the meats, fruits and vegtables I cook with and chop through some poultry bones when I need to.

BTW, I also have a Japanese ceramic knife that is sharp and does all the same things my German knives do.

Sorry for the rant, but I get the feeling sometimes that you all won't rest until I switch to Japanese knives.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:23 AM   #44
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I am not a knife afficianado. I don't collect knives or read extensively about knives. I don't belong to knife forums. I don't subscribe to knife magazines and I don't attend knife shows. I just don't care all that much.

I have sharp-edged tools that I use to prepare ingredients so I can cook them. I can slice a tomato paper thin though I see no reason to. I can cut all the meats, fruits and vegtables I cook with and chop through some poultry bones when I need to.

BTW, I also have a Japanese ceramic knife that is sharp and does all the same things my German knives do.

Sorry for the rant, but I get the feeling sometimes that you all won't rest until I switch to Japanese knives.

Well, Buzz & I are knife forum geeks, so take our comments with a grain of salt. Ol' Buzz isn't happy if a knife can't treetop hair or fillet a hair into three peices. In the Kitchen section of my favorite knife forum occasionally there'll be a dust-up over German vs Japanese knives, so this is nothing new. I can respect that you like your Wusthofs and Henckles; as a pro chef and long time cook I can tell you there's still room in my roll for a couple Germans.

But- and it's a "big but" I think Japanese knives do make you a better cook. A sharper knife simply cuts more accurately and does less damage to the food. Soft things don't get squished as easily, crusty things like bread don't make "sawdust." Uniformity of your cuts improves when using a terrifyingly sharp precision tool, and those thin accurate slices will cook more evenly. Ditto for that "better pan"- I look like a freakin' wizard making omelletes in my Calphalon pans, but merely mortal using my sister's $5 Wal-Mart pans!

There's no one as zealous (perhaps overzealous) than a convert. I've stuck up for the Germans for quite a while on the forums. Oh, I knew the better Japanese knives left all the Germans for dead, but I considered price a valid point, too. But Tojiro smashes that last excuse, and there are probably other inexpensive Niponese blades that are good. The secret of the Japanese knife is it's unique construction: the hagane & jigane. By folding softer metal around a very hard core an edge with a very acute angle can be created, and that edge will be durable. The much softer Germans simply cannot be made to be as thin and sharp as a Shun or Hattori.

It's not that we can't respect your choice, just understand that when you flatly reject the Japanese knives you're throwing the gauntlet down in front of us knife geeks.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:27 AM   #45
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Btw, Andy M.- I wish you would buy just one Tojiro from the link Buzzard provided. I'd go so far as to say that so long as you bought one I don't already have, I'd buy it from you if you don't love it. I don't have a gyuto smaller than 240 mm nor do I have a Tojiro Sujihiki.
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:25 AM   #46
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[quote=Rob Babcock;553056]Well, Buzz & I are knife forum geeks, so take our comments with a grain of salt. Ol' Buzz isn't happy if a knife can't treetop hair or fillet a hair into three peices. In the Kitchen section of my favorite knife forum occasionally there'll be a dust-up over German vs Japanese knives, so this is nothing new.

I'm not dusting it up with you. I am acknowledging the Japanese knives are better and I don't care!

I can respect that you like your Wusthofs and Henckles; as a pro chef and long time cook I can tell you there's still room in my roll for a couple Germans.

But- and it's a "big but" I think Japanese knives do make you a better cook. A sharper knife simply cuts more accurately and does less damage to the food. Soft things don't get squished as easily, crusty things like bread don't make "sawdust."

You seem to have an image of German knives not being able to slice and dice effectively. That has not been my experience. I know you have enough experience to know better.

I only feel the need to treetop a single hair on alternate Wednesdays. The rest of the time, I use my knives to cut up ingredients. Those ingredients then get cooked and eaten. Talk about damaging food! You should see what my teeth do to soft or crusty foods.

Uniformity of your cuts improves when using a terrifyingly sharp precision tool, and those thin accurate slices will cook more evenly.

A knife does not have to be terrifyingly sharp to cut accurately and uniformly. I has to be sharp. My knives are that sharp.

Ditto for that "better pan"- I look like a freakin' wizard making omelletes in my Calphalon pans, but merely mortal using my sister's $5 Wal-Mart pans!

My $5.00 non-stick skillet makes omelets perfectly every time because I know how to use the pan. The pan's job is to deliver heat uniformly and hold the food without sticking. The rest is up to me.

There's no one as zealous (perhaps overzealous) than a convert. I've stuck up for the Germans for quite a while on the forums. Oh, I knew the better Japanese knives left all the Germans for dead, but I considered price a valid point, too. But Tojiro smashes that last excuse, and there are probably other inexpensive Niponese blades that are good. The secret of the Japanese knife is it's unique construction: the hagane & jigane. By folding softer metal around a very hard core an edge with a very acute angle can be created, and that edge will be durable. The much softer Germans simply cannot be made to be as thin and sharp as a Shun or Hattori.

It's not that we can't respect your choice, just understand that when you flatly reject the Japanese knives you're throwing the gauntlet down in front of us knife geeks.

If you promise to be good, I'll bend over and pick up the gauntlet.

All I ask in return is to be left alone in my life of mind-numbing cutlery mediocrity.

Thanks
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:26 AM   #47
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Btw, Andy M.- I wish you would buy just one Tojiro from the link Buzzard provided. I'd go so far as to say that so long as you bought one I don't already have, I'd buy it from you if you don't love it. I don't have a gyuto smaller than 240 mm nor do I have a Tojiro Sujihiki.

I can't hear you. lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:40 PM   #48
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I don't mean to sound condescending, although I'm sure I will. You only think your knives are sharp because you've never used a really sharp one! [Runs away!]

Really, it's no skin off my nose what knives you use. I just find that superior knives do better work and make things easier. YMMV.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:41 PM   #49
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Btw, if you have a good source for $5.00 sautee pans that conduct heat evenly and don't stick I'd love to know it. I'd buy a dozen of them. Or maybe a hundred of them and resell them for $15.00 each!
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:42 PM   #50
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My knives are not be as sharp as yours. They are very sharp and perform all the tasks I ask of them with ease. I could even sharpen them sharper but do not. They are as sharp as I need them to be to prepare ingredients for cooking.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:49 PM   #51
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My knives are not be as sharp as yours. They are very sharp and perform all the tasks I ask of them with ease. I could even sharpen them sharper but do not. They are as sharp as I need them to be to prepare ingredients for cooking.

As much as I'd like to argue with you, I have to concede you're right. My knives may be sharper than they need to be, especially the ones I take to work. I let two guys at work use my 24 cm Tojiro gyuto and both cut themselves with it, one badly enough that he had to go to the ER. It baffles me how they did it (well, one guy knocked it off the counter and tried to catch it- not a good idea...not a good idea at all).

I guess a diehard knife geek gets a knife that sharp simply because he can. There is a point beyond which you're probably wasting your time- for me that point is where the edge is too thin to hold up. But up to that point I feel that sharper is better.

It might be fun to see how sharp I can get a German one, just for kicks. They're not hard enough to take down to the angles that Japanese style blades use, but they can get pretty sharp. Actually, come to think of it, I do sharpen my Henckles santoku @ 15 degrees per side and it seems to hold up pretty well. Although I also don't use it for heavy duty work, just stuff like boneless chix breasts and dicing onions. I'm not sure how it would stand up to splitting lobsters but a santoku isn't really ideal for that, anyway.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:24 PM   #52
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I sharpen my Pro S knives with thinner blades to 17 degrees (Carving, utility and paring knives). They seem to hold that edge well. For the heavier blades, the chef's knives, I use a slightly wider angle.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:42 PM   #53
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Btw, if you have a good source for $5.00 sautee pans that conduct heat evenly and don't stick I'd love to know it. I'd buy a dozen of them. Or maybe a hundred of them and resell them for $15.00 each!

I am in the category of people who consider non-stick pans to be disposable. I buy inexpensive ones and don't feel guilty when they lose their utility and I have to toss them. Others believe it's wiser to spend lots more to buy a quality pan that will last longer.

I look for heavy aluminum pans with a non-stick coating. I have bought a 3-pack of 8", 10" and 12" pans for $20. The 8" gets used most and just got replaced with a $5 pan from the Christmas Tree Shop, a local chain that sells just about everything under the sun that other companies and or stores don't want anymore.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:46 PM   #54
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.. Same as a Ferrari is better than my Infiniti. I don't have to drive the Ferrari to acknowledge that.

LOL!

Don't bet on it, Andy.

What I gather from people who work on exotic cars is ... Don't count on them. For all they cost and all the pretty there be Cooties under them thar skirts!

That's why the owners of Exotic cars also own a Chevy, or Rolls.


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Sorry for the rant, but I get the feeling sometimes that you all won't rest until I switch to Japanese knives.
Heres a thing ....

I'm pretty much a tool junkey.

I needed a new router. I looked at the brands, evaluated, and made my purchase.

Then I get on this wood working forum and the tool snobs come out spewing how this router is better than that router and blah blah, and I started looking at my tooling ... differently. I started thinking that mayhaps I made a mistake.

Then one day I went to use the router and had the thought it was second rate .... then I thought, I was completely happy with my Router till I started reading what the tool snobs were writing about it.

That was the last time I felt 'bad' about my router. Fact is, I feel pretty good about it.

And I didn't spend 2~3 times the amount to get something that MAY 'work' 2% 'better' and yield the same results.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:54 PM   #55
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Hmmm...my dad had his own construction business for about 40 years. In my early years working with him I came to feel that good tools were well worth the money. Now I'm talking 14 hour days of heavy use, and I'll qualify this that I'm not an expert at finish work (like cabinetry), but I generally find better power tools to make most jobs easier. I guess I dunno if a router that cost 3 times as much is even twice as good, but cheap tools cost you in the long run.

In contrast to things like routers, I've never met anyone who replaced their German knives with Euro-style Japanese ones for any reasonable length of time and ever voluntarily went back.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:12 PM   #56
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...Read the book, Rising Sun by Michael Crichton, and see how you feel about purchasing their products afterwards.

You realize this is a work of fiction, right? I saw the movie with Sean Connery some years ago.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:16 PM   #57
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You realize this is a work of fiction, right? I saw the movie with Sean Connery some years ago.
I've seen the movie also. Read the book, trying hard not to picture Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes when you're reading it!

And remember, all myths are based in fact!
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:17 PM   #58
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Read the book, Rising Sun by Michael Crichton, and see how you feel about purchasing their products afterwards.
I'll purchase non-Japanese kitchen knives when American or European manufacturers match the performance. So far I haven't seen any.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:18 PM   #59
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I've seen the movie also. Read the book, trying hard not to picture Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes when you're reading it!

And remember, all myths are based in fact!

...and in this case, that fact could be that Japanese businessmen occasionally appear sinister and they are beating our pants off in the marketplace so let's make them look bad.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:28 PM   #60
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Japanese?

Your kidding, Right?

Couple of decades late for complaining about the Japanese, dontchya think?

Our most imminent danger is from Cooperate Business people and their responsibility laying only to investors and profits.
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