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Show and Tell: Knives


_john
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I know what you mean about the steel Octaveman. I sort of put it in the picture at the last moment just to make it look more complete. But I probably won't be using it with these knives. I'll leave it at home for my cheaper heavy duty german style knives I have left from culinary school. I got my waterstone at home and I am assuming we will have some waterstones at the new place I'll work at so I will be using the japanese knives with that exclusively.

Oh, and the sharpie, yeah black one and double sided for fine or thick tip. Gotta love those. :cool:

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  • 13 years later...
On 4/13/2006 at 7:12 PM, _john said:

Just as I love to peak in people's fridges and cupboards to see what they have I also love to peak in a fellow chef's knife roll or a fellow home chef's knife drawer. There are countless threads with knives as the topic but I wanted to create a thread you could show the knives you actually keep with you and use. And I am guessing I am not the only one with a few stories about how I got my knives and their various virtues.

 

I was about to start a topic like this but always love to revive an old one. I don't have a great knife collection but in any case will dole out any additional entries slowly to prolong the fun.

 

In light of prolonging the fun I just received this "Dingo" utility knife from a kickstarter by 2 South Australia blokes. So I got to follow the progress through the end of the campaign, manufacture, and covid-slow delivery. The makers designed a set of "Aussie-inspired" knives that are kind of a highbred in terms of manufacturing. Quoting specs from their website:

 

Specs:
Collection: Big Red Knives
Manufacturer: Koi Knives
Made in Australia
Blade steel: VG-10 Japanese hard steel core with Stainless Steel cladding
Blade length: 200mm (7.75 inches)
Handle wood: All local but varies from wood of olive trees, Shiraz grapevines from McLaren Vale (wine region of South Australia) to specially sourced wood Australian deserts.
Handle length: 136mm

 

20211022_100434.thumb.jpg.c2a666d9aba8326f188683f809b910a2.jpg

 

20211022_100613.thumb.jpg.f6f2dd3c0c7f87cb3e4a62b9c74962bb.jpg

 

Feels nice in the hand. I have a huge chunk of pork shoulder that I'll try it out on for carnitas this weekend

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Some nice ones in this thread. Here are my chef knives:

 

9aftofustj071.thumb.jpg.529a3902094a2cbd71f20890c230a156.jpg

 

From left to right:

300mm XL Takeda gyuto (Monster cutter, cabbage/watermelon slayer, slicer, stays sharp forever. An orca: the apex predator of my kitchen.)

11" vintage carbon K-Sabatier (Classic)

270mm Sukenari ZDP-189 with amboyna/horn handle (most beautiful, versatile midweight grind)

240mm Yoshihiro k-tip gyuto (super flat profile, like a super long nakiri with an awesome tip, great for chopping greens, also works well as a yanagi for slicing raw fish)

240mm Anryu 240 with buckeye burl/horn handle (workhorse. great on dense root veg. lovely steel)

Beral/K-Sab "bread" chef's knife. (Kind of a novelty, but sort of fun to use. I don't have a high-end serrated knife, and this is closest. Breaks through crust and slices the crumb smoothly)

210mm small Takeda gyuto - (The only "santoku" I have. Nice and tall, not 300mm long. Great food release. Nice steel)

210mm Anryu (My kitchen workhorse. Most of these knives are stored in a bag or roll, mostly because they're too long to fit in my knife block. This one isn't.)

210 Takamura R2 (Classic Laser. One of my few fully stainless knives. Very thin.)

8" Z-Kramer Carbon (Thinned by Japanese Knife Imports, it's scary thin. Ghosts through everything. Best tip out of all of them. Sharpens amazingly well. I wish it was longer, but you can't have everything)

 

Monster Takeda:

752B97BE-462E-4B3B-A75B-D37E2FD0F368.thumb.jpeg.6e73fd243f59f6e7aa4c938bce6a190b.jpeg

 

D39CDCA9-73B3-4447-9A84-568E60FD0B3A.thumb.jpeg.c283f147790318ac9824461c220ee241.jpeg

 

Anryu family portrait:

 

1367138249_File_000(2).thumb.jpeg.a853de876e5258c17a6cac0d87fe403b.jpeg

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26 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

Some nice ones in this thread. Here are my chef knives:

 

9aftofustj071.thumb.jpg.529a3902094a2cbd71f20890c230a156.jpg

 

From left to right:

300mm XL Takeda gyuto (Monster cutter, cabbage/watermelon slayer, slicer, stays sharp forever. An orca: the apex predator of my kitchen.)

11" vintage carbon K-Sabatier (Classic)

270mm Sukenari ZDP-189 with amboyna/horn handle (most beautiful, versatile midweight grind)

240mm Yoshihiro k-tip gyuto (super flat profile, like a super long nakiri with an awesome tip, great for chopping greens, also works well as a yanagi for slicing raw fish)

240mm Anryu 240 with buckeye burl/horn handle (workhorse. great on dense root veg. lovely steel)

Beral/K-Sab "bread" chef's knife. (Kind of a novelty, but sort of fun to use. I don't have a high-end serrated knife, and this is closest. Breaks through crust and slices the crumb smoothly)

210mm small Takeda gyuto - (The only "santoku" I have. Nice and tall, not 300mm long. Great food release. Nice steel)

210mm Anryu (My kitchen workhorse. Most of these knives are stored in a bag or roll, mostly because they're too long to fit in my knife block. This one isn't.)

210 Takamura R2 (Classic Laser. One of my few fully stainless knives. Very thin.)

8" Z-Kramer Carbon (Thinned by Japanese Knife Imports, it's scary thin. Ghosts through everything. Best tip out of all of them. Sharpens amazingly well. I wish it was longer, but you can't have everything)

 

Monster Takeda:

752B97BE-462E-4B3B-A75B-D37E2FD0F368.thumb.jpeg.6e73fd243f59f6e7aa4c938bce6a190b.jpeg

 

D39CDCA9-73B3-4447-9A84-568E60FD0B3A.thumb.jpeg.c283f147790318ac9824461c220ee241.jpeg

 

Anryu family portrait:

 

1367138249_File_000(2).thumb.jpeg.a853de876e5258c17a6cac0d87fe403b.jpeg

 

Those are beautiful. Are they all single bevel? I'm left handed so am wary of Japanese knives.

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1 hour ago, haresfur said:

 

Those are beautiful. Are they all single bevel? I'm left handed so am wary of Japanese knives.

 

None of them are single bevel. Outside of traditional Japanese knife styles (the "big 3" are the yanagiba [sushi slicer], the usuba [vegetable knife], and the deba [fish boning knife]) few that get sold in western markets are true single bevels. Almost all of them have an edge bevel on both sides of the blade. That said, there are some companies like Misono that put on an asymmetrical edge bevel so that it is much larger on one side of the blade. These are sometimes called "70/30" or "90/10" (or something similar) edges instead of a more standard 50/50 edge bevel that is the same on both sides. I don't like this type of edge in most knives because can cause the blade to steer or drift to one side when going through softer or taller foods. You can learn to compensate for it, but it can be annoying. And it will be an issue if you're a lefty and get one with a righty-biased asymmetrical bevel. Some vendors and manufacturers provide left-handed versions (or converted right-handed versions) of the same knife.

 

Another thing that can be an issue for lefties is whether or not the grind of the primary bevel is biased in some way. Here is a choil shot of my two 240mm gyutos -- they're knives 4 and 5 in the lineup in the earlier post.

 

2076889869_FullSizeRender(42).thumb.jpg.b3dd446fba9906b0b5f8db855c3b455f.jpg

 

Both of these knives have a 50/50 secondary or edge bevel. But the grind of the primary bevel is very different. On the Yoshihiro on the left (which is kind of crooked, sorry) the grind is highly biased -- one side is close to flat, while the other side is significantly angled. In terms of angles, this knife's grind is more like a traditional Japanese knife or chisel than it is like a western one, even though it's ground on both sides. Not a great choice for a lefty. The Anryu knife on the right is ground very similarly on both sides and does not have a strong bias when cutting. Most Japanese chef knives are like this -- no strong left or right hand bias in the grind -- but it's something to be aware of.

 

To finish up in show-and-tell mode, let me conclude with choil shots of two knives that are 50/50, non-based knives. They're very different from each other and very different from the two knives posted above. This kind of geometry (called "cross-sectional geometry") largely determines how a knife will cut. First up is a shot of the big boy, the XL 300mm Takeda.

 

1325899469_takeda_choil(3).thumb.jpg.20eed5ff7925e5e4f42f7f6dc1798827.jpg

 

First, this is a very tall knife. But you'll also notice that the thickest part of the blade is just above the main edge bevel and that it caves in and gets skinnier in the middle before ultimately thickening back up again toward the spine of the knife. This concave shape is hammered in. What this means in terms of performance is that food does not want to stick to the knife - it leaps off the edge bevels. But it also means that the blade, while very thin overall compared to western knives, can sometimes have trouble making its way through harder/denser produce because it's somewhat thick behind the edge.

 

Compare that to this thinned Zwilling-Kramer knife:

 

IMG_8941.thumb.jpg.79467b0a2802c4a582dbb125dd0dc4f5.jpg

 

This knife has a full flat grind -- it's not concave or convex at all, just a flat plane from the spine to the edge on each side. Food loves to stick to this knife. But it's so freaking thin, it just ghosts through food like it's not even there. A very different cutting experience for sure. Cross sectional geometry is one of the things that collectors like to geek out about, and it is possibly the biggest reason I try out one knife over another.

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