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Old 02-27-2008, 11:28 AM   #41
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...

If I'm using three knives like this, ....
Ok, I would love to see that. Please have somebody take a picture of you doing this, so we could see the real thing.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:31 AM   #42
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here, I just made a pic of my Most used (and best fave) Blade:



this May give an idea of Scale:

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Old 02-27-2008, 12:11 PM   #43
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Beautiful. Very VERY nice. I use a Japanese chukabocho (220mmX110mm) about half the time for vegetables. I rotate with some chef's knives.
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:16 PM   #44
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hollow?

I'm looking for a good chef's knife - interested in saving money - don't care how it looks or the "name" but want it to work well. I keep hearing about the Wusthof classic 8" chef but is it better to get it hollow (dimpled) or not?
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:52 PM   #45
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I'm looking for a good chef's knife - interested in saving money - don't care how it looks or the "name" but want it to work well. I keep hearing about the Wusthof classic 8" chef but is it better to get it hollow (dimpled) or not?
Here is the best chef's knife for the money in the world. You have to be nice to it, and it might require professional sharpening once a year or so if you can't do it yourself. It will give you pleasure and great cuts beyond anything you've used before, and the cost is low.

On the other hand, if you're going to toss the knife into the sink or dishwasher, get the Wustof.
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:28 PM   #46
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Here is the best chef's knife for the money in the world. You have to be nice to it, and it might require professional sharpening once a year or so if you can't do it yourself. It will give you pleasure and great cuts beyond anything you've used before, and the cost is low.

On the other hand, if you're going to toss the knife into the sink or dishwasher, get the Wustof.
+1 on the Tojiro- awesome for the money, although my personal preference is for the 240mm over the 210mm.

If you really want something decent on the cheap, I think an 8" Forschner Fibrox is about $25 or so. It's not the equal of the Tijiro but it's less than 1/2 the cost and probably a tad more robust. I'd pick the Tojiro myself, but the Fibrox is superb for the money.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:42 PM   #47
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+1 on the Tojiro- awesome for the money, although my personal preference is for the 240mm over the 210mm.

If you really want something decent on the cheap, I think an 8" Forschner Fibrox is about $25 or so. It's not the equal of the Tijiro but it's less than 1/2 the cost and probably a tad more robust. I'd pick the Tojiro myself, but the Fibrox is superb for the money.
Rob - The reason I said 210mm is because 99% of the chef's knives sold in the US are 8" and most santokus are 7". This is what people are used to.

I think the Forschners with or without the fibrox handles are fine, and, their edges match most consumer sharpeners. I have a couple fibrox handles and feel that although they make a lot of sense in a commercial kitchen or packing house they aren't very attractive in a home kitchen.

I'm sure Cath would fall in love with the Tojiros but sharpening is an issue. Even if she sent the knife out once a year for sharpening she would still have to have a glass smooth steel to keep the edge aligned, almost doubling her total cost.

Cath - those hollow dimples as you put it are called grantons and whether they do anything or not is an highly debated issue. Personally I don't think they do much if anything. I think they may have originated as a copycat thing taken from traditional Japanese knives with a single edge. The backs of those knives look flat but are actually hollow ground (slightly concave). The reason has nothing to do with whether or not food sticks to them and everything to do with the quality of the cut.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:47 PM   #48
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Ok, here's a good picture of what I do:





If I'm using three knives like this, the third knife would go on the right side of the first two, and my middle finger would be in between the blades just like my index finger is. My ring and pinky fingers would encircle the handles opposite my thumb. You've got to have rather dextrous fingers for this, as well as good finger strength.




Add a 4th knife and you'll be Freddy Krueger...
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:18 PM   #49
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Rob - The reason I said 210mm is because 99% of the chef's knives sold in the US are 8" and most santokus are 7". This is what people are used to.

I think the Forschners with or without the fibrox handles are fine, and, their edges match most consumer sharpeners. I have a couple fibrox handles and feel that although they make a lot of sense in a commercial kitchen or packing house they aren't very attractive in a home kitchen.

I'm sure Cath would fall in love with the Tojiros but sharpening is an issue. Even if she sent the knife out once a year for sharpening she would still have to have a glass smooth steel to keep the edge aligned, almost doubling her total cost.
Well, she did specifically ask about an 8 inch knife; I was just interjecting my personal opinion. Since I cook professionally and often have to process large quantities at a time I like the longer blade. Actually, 10" was my favorite size until I got my first 240mm. That little bit of difference makes the knife much more "nimble" for lack of a better term. I wish that the common santoku size was between 6 and 6.6- the 7 is too much like a chef knife.

I like the looks of the Fibrox handles (it's probably the geek in me!), and more importantly I like the feel. And they're NSF certified, a good thing for knives that will see professional use. The Rosewood line is probably more decorator-friendly but a bit more expensive.

Perhaps sharpening would be an issue for the Tojiro, but all knives have to be sharpened. There are some cheap and effective ways to sharpen a German style knife that you wouldn't use on a Tojiro, especially the Edgemaker Pros that I'm always going on about. I'm not sure it makes sense to include a steel in the overall price as it's my contention that a smooth steel is superior no matter what you're honing. Good ceramics start at about $20 and are useful for every non-serrated knife in the kitchen. Cath doesn't mention her sharpening talents or lack thereof, and I don't want to simply assume she doesn't know how to do it, but if that's an issue I'd suggest either having it professionally done or buying a Spyderco Sharpmaker. Of course, that assumes there's someone trustworthy and competant she can have sharpen 'em (Chico would say there's no such thing as a trustworthy tinker, but you know what I mean...).

Overall, I think the Forschner is a bit more "user friendly" to a home cook that simply wants to have a decent knife but isn't a knife geek.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:16 PM   #50
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I really love looking at everyone's opinion here! Everyone has their own, very specific opinion of what works and what does not.

Personally I keep one 8 inch Henckels chef knife, one 3 1/2" Wusthoff paring knife and one 6" Wusthoff boning knife razor sharp and on duty at all times. The wife, kids, visiting relatives, etc. can use the rest whenever they want. They are also free to throw those other knives in the dishwasher.

Mine will be handwashed as they are used and dried with a towel before being stowed away in the knife block. I keep them sharp enough to cut paper or shave with.

I do not need another knife but I would really love to learn superior knife handling/cutting techniques.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:11 PM   #51
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Hello...I too am a big fella-like my 8" best...'bout the only time I grab a 10" is in the summer when the big watermelons are bountiful...my 8" chef, my off-set bread knife and filet/deboning knife are my most used-I do mostly seafood yet still cut my steaks and chops-a lot of fresh fish and fresh veggie work...love the Gulf Coast
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:27 PM   #52
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A big guy here. i like my 10" chef, but find my 9" as a good go-between. I cant use a 8" or less unless i want to do extremely fine work; does not fit me any other way. (12"ers are a joke....unless you are like, boning a great white lol)
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:33 PM   #53
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More often than not, I'm reaching for my 8" chef's knife. I almost never grab the Santoku first. But I have a 5" utility knife that is endearing itself to me ...
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:25 AM   #54
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Garett B,

Why have 8 or 10 when you could have 9? My brother makes a nine inch chef knife that is the Excalibur of chef knives. At least I think it is. 32 layers of 'Damascus steel' (laminate) surrounding the best tool steel core. So, it's nice size but the Damascus makes it much lighter and thinner and thus, abler to take a sharper edge than a comparably sized non Damascus.

The blade is made by the first Japanese family to switch from making swords to cutlery, but the design is my brother's who is an artisan in Wyoming. So the result is unique. The company is New West Knifeworks. Look under Phoenix KNives for 'The 9.'
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:51 AM   #55
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Garett B,

Why have 8 or 10 when you could have 9? My brother makes a nine inch chef knife that is the Excalibur of chef knives. At least I think it is. 32 layers of 'Damascus steel' (laminate) surrounding the best tool steel core. So, it's nice size but the Damascus makes it much lighter and thinner and thus, abler to take a sharper edge than a comparably sized non Damascus.

The blade is made by the first Japanese family to switch from making swords to cutlery, but the design is my brother's who is an artisan in Wyoming. So the result is unique. The company is New West Knifeworks. Look under Phoenix KNives for 'The 9.'
A few comments:

What's so great about a nine inch knife? My "chef's" knives range from eight to twelve inches. Different knives for different purposes. Full disclosure: My favorite length is 240mm (9.4").

Which tool steel? Different steels for different purposes.

Damascus has nothing to do with sharpenability nor thickness. You aren't sharpening the damascus portion of the blade, only the non damascus steel cutting edge. In addition, I don't think there's a tool steel out there that can be ground as sharp as powder steels, Hitachi blues and whites, and Swedish 13C26/AEB-L.

In addition, I can't stand grantons. I'd much rather see a full length hollow ground like on the back side of Japanese traditionals. I don't think they work anyway...

Which Japanese family?
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:20 AM   #56
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All right, here's more details about the New West 9. The tool steel core is AUS-8. The Japanese family that makes the Phoenix knives is the Fukumoto family. Granted these aren't old school 'traditional' style Japanese blades. They're more contemporary. The edge is a 50/50 edge and the handle is more my brother's ergonomic Western style. (virtually indestructible 'Nobel-Lite' which is like Corian. But regardless of your aesthetics, you can be sure they know how to make and work steel in Seki.

If you don't like the granton edge, you can use the other side. The 9 only has dimples on one side and they aren't obnoxious looking like Shun. The hamone grind line, samurai sword fashion, makes for a pretty cool aesthetic as well.

As far as whether the Damascus has anything to do with Sharpenabililty or thickness, my understanding is that the pattern welded external steel is used because it makes the knife more durable with less steel. That is the forge/stamping process of laminated steel creates patterns of bonding that make a smaller amount of steel tougher. The outer layers of Damascus allow you to have a thin tool steel core, without worrying that the lightness of the knife is going to make it prone to breaking apart if you drop it. I also think it is easier to keep that sharp because of its thinness. I haven't vetted this thoroughly. I'll look around some tech sites and see if I can find some answers and links for another post. I'll also get out my 9 and compare it to another fat monster Chef knife I have and do a test run on some onions.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:35 AM   #57
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AUS-8 is okay but nothing special. It's moderate carbon content of .75% is no big deal and is not generally hardened more than Rockwell C 58-59 or so. this is on the soft side for Japanese construction

I have more for later but I've a tee time to address.

Retirement is good. LOL & ;-)
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:04 PM   #58
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I've a tee time to address.
Tee time was good. 3 over after 4. 2 more bogies in the round. 3 five foot birdie lipouts and still shot one over. I think I'll celebrate tonight. More on this forum tomorrow. je je je (Spanish)
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:12 AM   #59
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I have to agree with Buzzard on AUS-8. It's not bad but pretty pedestrian as finer cutlery steels go. Laminated blades are implemented to conserve more expensive core steels, protect the core steel from corrosion or stress. Since AUS-8 is tough and corrosion resistant on its own, the Damascus cladding adds a touch of flair.

I'm interested by the "hamone grind line." In the pictures on the website, it looks like it's just the transition between the Damascus cladding and the core that's been exposed as the outcome of grinding the bevels. Is there more to it than that? I assume it's different than the hamon exhibited as a result of clay-coating and quenching the blade.

I'm still a bit dubious of grantons that don't extend into the edge bevel, but I know they are very popular.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:41 AM   #60
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I'm 5'5 AND A HALF!!! (dont forget the half)
I love love love my 6 (actually 5 1/2) inch Henkel for mostly everything.
Maybe it's the half....

OOps I forgot to quote chef June where she mentioned being over 5'6 to use the 10 inch knife, that would make this post make more sense....
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