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"Asian Knife" an impulse buy


Anna N
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I went shopping at WalMart with my daughter last week and knives did not show up anywhere on my shopping list BUT I bought this (the smaller cleaver). The other cleaver is my workhouse shown for comparison.

i3618.jpg

I know better. I have been on this board long enough and read every thread on knives and this small cleaver fails on ALL counts but I just love it. It fits my hand, it's sharper than anything else I own and it cost just $15 Cdn. I know it won't last a lifetime but I also know when I have the money, it is a tool like this I will be looking for. So, after you have all lectured me on my poor purchase, tell me what I should set my sights on in terms of an upgrade.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I have a similar type 3 cleaver, manufactured by Three Rams Brand. It too is cheap and probably won't last a lifetime but it is VERY comfortable. Made from stainless steel, even the handle.

-- Jason

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Me too, me too! I have one like it, only cheesier-looking, and it must be of even worse quality, wouldn't you think, having been bought on sale at Macy's for a whopping five bucks. But for all the same reasons given above, I love it - and I use it far more than my big heavy first-class one and my even bigger even heavier first-class one. In fact, I use it for just about everything that doesn't require serious bone-hacking. As for lasting a lifetime - who knows? not that it'd matter much at that price. All I can say is that at 25 years and counting it's holding up just fine so far.

Hmmmm - I was thinking of starting a new thread to confess my knife sins - but maybe this'll turn out to be the right venue for that. Only I seem to be losing my nerve....

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Hmmmm - I was thinking of starting a new thread to confess my knife sins - but maybe this'll turn out to be the right venue for that. Only I seem to be losing my nerve....

Don't lose your nerve NOW! I confessed and even showed the evidence. 'Fess up and get a good night's sleep.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Oh, are we confessing knife sins? Back when I was still using a no-name 8" chef's knife as my ONLY knife, both my brother and my boss took pity on me one fine Christmas and gifted me up with a full compliment...Chicago Cutlery from bro, Wusthof from the coach. I've upgraded along the way in the 12 years since, and rely mostly on my Global Chef's knife at this point, but the knife I really really counted on to get me through was the Chicago Cutlery boning knife. I have a Wusthof boner, too, but the crappy-ish quality of the CC blade let me get a good ragged dirty sharp-as-hell edge on it that I just loved and depended on for all my butchering needs. And it disappeared about 3 weeks ago. :sad:

I'm under a whole lotta stress these days, and my mental faculties aren't what they otta be...the paring knife that my husband discovered in the compost last week suggests that a similar fate befell my boning knife. I'm resigned to believing that after boning and cleaning a few pounds of chicken thighs for paella, I gathered up the avian detritus and included the knife with it when I pitched the whole mess. :angry:

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Oh, are we confessing knife sins?

Uh-oh. Knew I shoulda kept my mouth shut. I guess we are.

...the knife I really really counted on to get me through was the Chicago Cutlery boning knife.

Yes! Actually, I don't even know what make my favorite boning knife is (though I think it does fall under the category known as "Been Good Once") because it's so old that any identifying marks are long gone.

I'm under a whole lotta stress these days, and my mental faculties aren't what they otta be...the paring knife that my husband discovered in the compost last week suggests that a similar fate befell my boning knife. I'm resigned to believing that after boning and cleaning a few pounds of chicken thighs for paella, I gathered up the avian detritus and included the knife with it when I pitched the whole mess.  :angry:

I'm pretty sure I posted somewhere around here recently about the trauma of having my indispensable paring knife (so precious and irreplaceable that my SO has dubbed it "Dr. Paring's Prototype") suffer precisely the same fate. (Two such knives and two such stories, in fact - one involving a compost heap, the other a NYC garbage compactor - both with happy endings.) The good thing about a kinife finding its way into the compost is that sooner or later you turn and screen and it finds its way out again.

Which I guess brings me to my own knife sins, by way of this question: how much the worse for wear is the knife after its ordeal?

This is the problem. I am not good at sharpening knives, just don't seem to have any instinct for it, and so I neglect all hell out of them. Most of mine are not superior instruments to begin with - that is, some of them have wonderful and even lovable qualities, but I don't own any serious big-name grown-up knives because I don't deserve to: I simply will never learn to treat them in the manner to which they are entitled to be accustomed. Oh, I know I could educate myself, to some degree. But the worst thing of all is that... I'm actually pretty happy being a knife clod. I'm deft enough at a lot of other things that my lack of knife-savvy is not going to give me some kind of complex; that being the case, I figure I'm not going to go out of my way to look for a lot of extra stress and pressure. Don't get me wrong: I can appreciate all hell out of a well-balanced knife, and/or a blade that is the perfect size and shape for the task at hand. I am also capable of distinguishing the difference between a really sharp knife and a really dull one, and given a choice I will always prefer the former. But though I draw the line at anything that makes ruinously jagged tears (or anything that doesn't cut at all), I can also tolerate an intermediate degree of dulness that makes most of my friends gasp in horror and disgust; the only reason this embarrasses me is that my friends seem to expect better of me and are therefore embarrassed for me.

Of course, there's a silver lining when that particular cloud looms: I simply point them to the steel and/or the Chef's Choice thingy and let them sharpen to their hearts' content; and usually they are so mortified for my sake that by the time they leave they have brought all my knives into line with their expectations.

I thank them politely and go on my way rejoicing. And I genuinely appreciate the improvement in my knives for as long as it lasts. But then as they gradually become duller, so do my perceptions. Eventually, without suffering and without even noticing it, I slither gently back into the insensitive gutter of knife cluelessness, and there I contentedly remain until someone notices and stages another intervention.

Is there a 12-step program for this?

Do I want one?

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My mum bought one of those small cleavers recently. Cheap cheap cheap. No brand name. It is now the favourite knife in her house, and she has at least 20 knives including 3 other cleavers. She loves it because it is so light and sharp, now it is used to cut everything.

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that's not a cleaver, that's a vegetable knife

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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that's not a cleaver, that's a vegetable knife

Technically no - it's not a cleaver and is not used as such. We almost need a new name, for these "hybrid" cutting tools as "vegetable knife" doesn't quite ring true either. It was labelled "Asian knife" but I am sure that is just a marketing choice. I think it very interesting that knives in the West take certain forms and perform certain functions while those in the East adopt different forms and functions and then there's the fusion thing in knives as well as food! :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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OK, knife confession time:

When I first set up housekeeping on my own, 30+ years ago, I redeemed most of my family's accumulated S&H Green Stamps and equipped my kitchen with red Club Aluminum cookware (one covered saucepan still remains, primarily for its nostalgia value), green and white Pyrex mixing bowls (two remain), and two Pyrex baking dishes (gone but not forgotten). I also purchased (via an ad in Parade magazine, if very hazy memory serves) a set of four Japanese-made stainless steel + molybdenum knives. The blades were trapezoidal, the handles were rosewood with about a 2/3-length riveted tang, and they sported an unusual circular fish logo.

I hardly ever used the slicer and the quasi-cleaver, so they departed at one of my yard sales. I used the larger chef's knife until it literally broke in two, about five years ago. I continue to use (and abuse) the 5" chef's knife. It sharpens beautifully on the unfinished (underside) rim of a salad plate. It's the perfect size for mushrooms, shallots, garlic, cheese, etc. The tip is handy for tightening the often-loose handles of my Farberware. I remind myself from time to time to use my Kyocera Ming Tsai so it won't feel neglected.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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... a set of four Japanese-made stainless steel + molybdenum knives. The blades were trapezoidal, the handles were rosewood with about a 2/3-length riveted tang, and they sported an unusual circular fish logo...

OH NO! I have these same knives! But I didn't buy them - they were given to me and I keep two of them handy because I can put an edge on them with my ceramic "steel" and I don't really care what happens to them so they are used for "rough cuts" -- anything I think might damage a better knife. They are strange knives and yet..........

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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... a set of four Japanese-made stainless steel + molybdenum knives. The blades were trapezoidal, the handles were rosewood with about a 2/3-length riveted tang, and they sported an unusual circular fish logo...

OH NO! I have these same knives! But I didn't buy them - they were given to me and I keep two of them handy because I can put an edge on them with my ceramic "steel" and I don't really care what happens to them so they are used for "rough cuts" -- anything I think might damage a better knife. They are strange knives and yet..........

I think I have the knock-off of the knock-off of them - the so-called Dione Lucas version (which I can't believe ever had even nodding acquaintance with the lady herself); trapezoidal shape, molybdenum composition. And I use and use and use and use them, and they hold an edge better than I deserve. They aren't for everything or everyone, but they are indispensable for all those miscellaneous items, all those unclassifiable odds and ends, all those unauthorized pass-through-the-kitchen-and-grab-a-hunk-of-cheese-on-the-fly moments. It can't always be haute cuisine!

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that's not a cleaver, that's a vegetable knife

Technically no - it's not a cleaver and is not used as such. We almost need a new name, for these "hybrid" cutting tools as "vegetable knife" doesn't quite ring true either. It was labelled "Asian knife" but I am sure that is just a marketing choice. I think it very interesting that knives in the West take certain forms and perform certain functions while those in the East adopt different forms and functions and then there's the fusion thing in knives as well as food! :biggrin:

well oddly enough, the Asians don't call it an Asian knife when they use it.

They call it a vegetable knife *LOL*

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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that's not a cleaver, that's a vegetable knife

Technically no - it's not a cleaver and is not used as such. We almost need a new name, for these "hybrid" cutting tools as "vegetable knife" doesn't quite ring true either. It was labelled "Asian knife" but I am sure that is just a marketing choice. I think it very interesting that knives in the West take certain forms and perform certain functions while those in the East adopt different forms and functions and then there's the fusion thing in knives as well as food! :biggrin:

well oddly enough, the Asians don't call it an Asian knife when they use it.

They call it a vegetable knife *LOL*

Usually these knives, when labelled in English, are called cleavers with a rating of 1 to 3 concerning its size and weight.

-- Jason

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You bought a smaller version of what's commonly referred to as a "Chinese Cleaver".

No shame in using it, as over a billion chinese people around the world use something similar. In fact, it's pretty much the only knife I use.

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I have a tatty old carbon steel smallish cleaver. Its edge has been chewed away a bit so that it has a small serrated section that's very handy. At first I was going to grind it smooth, but decided against it.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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... a set of four Japanese-made stainless steel + molybdenum knives. The blades were trapezoidal, the handles were rosewood with about a 2/3-length riveted tang, and they sported an unusual circular fish logo...

OH NO! I have these same knives! But I didn't buy them - they were given to me and I keep two of them handy because I can put an edge on them with my ceramic "steel" and I don't really care what happens to them so they are used for "rough cuts" -- anything I think might damage a better knife. They are strange knives and yet..........

I think I have the knock-off of the knock-off of them - the so-called Dione Lucas version (which I can't believe ever had even nodding acquaintance with the lady herself); trapezoidal shape, molybdenum composition. And I use and use and use and use them, and they hold an edge better than I deserve. They aren't for everything or everyone, but they are indispensable for all those miscellaneous items, all those unclassifiable odds and ends, all those unauthorized pass-through-the-kitchen-and-grab-a-hunk-of-cheese-on-the-fly moments. It can't always be haute cuisine!

Confession #2: Several months ago, in a fit of delayed grieving for the two knives I sold, I picked up on eBay an unused 9" Dione Lucas slicer but with a Benihana of Tokyo logo.

all those unauthorized pass-through-the-kitchen-and-grab-a-hunk-of-cheese-on-the-fly moments
Ah, yes. I know them well.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I think I have the knock-off of the knock-off of them - the so-called Dione Lucas version (which I can't believe ever had even nodding acquaintance with the lady herself); trapezoidal shape, molybdenum composition.

Confession #2: Several months ago, in a fit of delayed grieving for the two knives I sold, I picked up on eBay an unused 9" Dione Lucas slicer but with a Benihana of Tokyo logo.

It's worse than that. I was confused. There's a 9" Dione Lucas one in my mother's kitchen; the ones I have here are of an even lower order. "Trapezoidal" was a bit off the mark - too much curve at the prow to qualify. The legend on the blade (I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I'm ready to be drummed out of the regiment) reads "Vanadium Japan" and underneath that, incongruously, is a tiny portrait (I swear I am not making this up - I couldn't) of George Washington.

What ARE these knives? Never mind - if you know, for pity's sake don't tell me.

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Vanadium Japan is from a very famous manufacturing family. His brother, Made In, has his signature on all manner of goods.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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My smallish Vanadium-Molybdenum SS cleaver cost $25 in Toronto's older Chinatown. It came with 'Sekizo' on the label, and I thought I should take good care of it because it worked so well, and easily took an edge. After a few hand washings, the 'Sekizo' label came off, and I am left with just a very good cleaver...

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