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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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  • 9 months later...
On 10/22/2021 at 12:57 PM, btbyrd said:

 

 

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.

Do you own this knife?

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A few weeks into the initial lock-down, a group of young co-workers asked me to join a texting recipe exchange group. All in their early-mid thirties. Two have toddlers. Not one of them cook at all. TJ and WholeFood shoppers--FreshDirect for bulk staples. Milk, eggs, etc. Bagged salad kits, TJ frozen food meals. Small kitchens and tiny fridge/freezers. 

About that same time, Zwilling on-line had a pandemic 4 quart Staub dutch oven for 99$ free shipping. I suggested a decent chef knife and a good cutting board--minimum 15inch wide--best 18". 

They all purchased the Staub and still thank me. Oxo cutting board over wood since I knew they would not know how to care for a Boos.

Sticker shock when I suggested the Victorinox. (under 50 bucks). The Mercer culinary is 18$. I have two similar 8inch at the beach home purchased 20 years ago from a downtown restaurant supply that we used to teach our young nieces and nephews knife skills during week long family reunions. 

Mine have similar heafty handles and nubby plastic that seems comfortable for many different hand sizes. 

(DH hides his good knife and I hide my egg pan from house guests). 

Not everyone needs or has a kitchen tool/pot/pan obsession. Or knows how to take care of them or cares. One of my co-workers loves her chef knife she uses but it is a steak knife with the serrated tip so it does the job for her fine, 😂. (she did not know it is a steak knife)

Most of these co-workers are back to pre-pandemic habits but they learned so much at that time. Some are still baking bread but every couple of months. Not twice a week. One husband advanced to Forkish pinch-and-fold and purchased a book or two. Now pizza is his obsession. 

*I sent out many packages of yeast for a few months.--Costco container in the freezer. Most purchased flour for the first time but did not know why or that yeast was hard to find at the time. Or that yeast was needed for bread. 

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39 minutes ago, Annie_H said:

 

Sticker shock when I suggested the Victorinox. (under 50 bucks).

 

The Vic Fibrox is a top recommendation of many knife nerds, and it'd be my top choice if I was trying to buy an inexpensive chef's knife. Though I might try to get a rosewood handled one just because. I wish they made a 9" version. 

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50 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

 

I do.

From your description, it sounds like the perfect knife.  What is it best used for?  I am smitten.

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There is no perfect knife, just knives that are better or worse for the job. And while I like this knife a lot, at 8 inches, it's my smallest chef's knife and I wish it was longer. There's a 10" version, but 254mm is a bit long for everyday at home use for me. And because it's so thin, you have to take care cutting harder items. I put a small chip in the edge cutting a baguette with it... but that's the price of hubris.

But to actually answer your question, I like using this knife when precision cuts are called for. The tip is extremely thin -- it will flex if you press it with your finger -- so brunoised shallots and garlic are very easy to achieve. And because the blade is only 8" long, the tip is relatively close to your hand, so it's very nimble and controllable. It's a good all around knife on fruits/vegetables, provided they aren't especially large (it's not the best cabbage/melon knife). The blade has a sizable flat spot that's good for chopping, but enough belly that you can rock as well. And the blade is tall at the heel, which I like. The handle is huge for a knife this size and it weighs a lot. Consequently, the balance point is around/behind the bolster, which isn't my preference. The steel (52100) is a simple, reactive carbon steel that sharpens very easily.

It's a fun knife for sure, but someone put a lot of time and effort into thinning it so it performs much differently than the off-the-shelf version. You can only tell so much about a knife's geometry from a picture of the choil, but prior to thinning the blade was much thicker at the heel. This is kind of a before/after shot of someone else's new 8" carbon ZKramer on the left and my thinned one on the right. The original knife is much thinner overall than the chunky choil would lead you to believe, but the knife definitely lost a lot of weight (and its original grind) during the thinning process.

 

238314351_kramerchoil.thumb.jpg.b341c6f4e5de0d0bd4a1367bd1434ffc.jpg

 

There's a new version which apparently has a thinner/improved grind but an even heavier micarta handle. I really wish they made a 9" version...

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3 hours ago, btbyrd said:

 

The Vic Fibrox is a top recommendation of many knife nerds, and it'd be my top choice if I was trying to buy an inexpensive chef's knife. Though I might try to get a rosewood handled one just because. I wish they made a 9" version. 

 

Always in my knife roll when I was doing catering jobs. Still in the roll and not doing any more catering jobs. Probably a boning knife. paring knife, bread knife in there too.

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As well as being a decent knife at a decent price the Vic Fib has a handle hat doesn't slip when cutting messy/greasy/oily foods!

 

p

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@btbyrd, In that picture a few posts up with the fixings for a stir fry, what are those cool stainless trays. The one holding the snow peas and the 2 (3?) piece one thats in the back with the shiitakes, sprouts and peppers. 

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18 hours ago, lindag said:

@btbyrd

I'm a little confused here.  The knife that I would buy, say from Cabron Knives, won't be as thin as yours?

 

That's correct. The previous owner of my knife had it thinned by the fine people at Japanese Knife Imports. Zwilling introduced a "Version 2" of this knife with a micarta handle and improved grind, and that blade is thinner than the V1 but mine is super duper thin.

If you're looking for a thin chef's knife that you can buy off the shelf, the Takamura R2 210mm gyuto is an excellent choice. These are one of the classic "lasers" that are very thin and move easily through food. It'd be like the big brother to your VG10 santoku.

 

8 hours ago, KAD said:

 what are those cool stainless trays

 

It's a yakumi pan. Japanese mise en place container.

Edited by btbyrd (log)
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After using my last purchase for a while, I decided that the blade was way too thick for most things I wanted it for. It will still get some use but for most heavy tasks like cutting up pumpkin there is nothing like the cheap old crappy chef's knives.

 

So I bought this, which I like an awful lot. Ginsan stainless steel.

image.thumb.jpeg.b174b31a83488a0daa8f6f061a156e33.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.34918584f51536a66977978dc449acd2.jpeg

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1 hour ago, haresfur said:

After using my last purchase for a while, I decided that the blade was way too thick for most things I wanted it for. It will still get some use but for most heavy tasks like cutting up pumpkin there is nothing like the cheap old crappy chef's knives.

 

So I bought this, which I like an awful lot. Ginsan stainless steel.

image.thumb.jpeg.b174b31a83488a0daa8f6f061a156e33.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.34918584f51536a66977978dc449acd2.jpeg

 

Forgive my ignorance.  What is the purpose of a picture of the choil?  And what is a choil, exactly?  I dug out my copy of Chad's book, and as far as I can find the term does not exist.  Online knife blogs are contradictory.  Best I can tell the pictures attempt to demonstrate the thickness of the blade at the heel.  Am I missing something?

 

 

And what is the relevance of blade thickness at the heel, as opposed, say, to the blade thickness at the belly or the tip?

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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28 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Forgive my ignorance.  What is the purpose of a picture of the choil?  And what is a choil, exactly?  I dug out my copy of Chad's book, and as far as I can find the term does not exist.  Online knife blogs are contradictory.  Best I can tell the pictures attempt to demonstrate the thickness of the blade at the heel.  Am I missing something?

 

 

And what is the relevance of blade thickness at the heel, as opposed, say, to the blade thickness at the belly or the tip?

 

@btbyrd can probably answer better than I because in my case it means I need to buy more knives to practice my photography. Gives you some sense of how the knife is ground/sharpened.

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7 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Forgive my ignorance.  What is the purpose of a picture of the choil?  And what is a choil, exactly?  I dug out my copy of Chad's book, and as far as I can find the term does not exist.  Online knife blogs are contradictory.  Best I can tell the pictures attempt to demonstrate the thickness of the blade at the heel.  Am I missing something?

 

 

And what is the relevance of blade thickness at the heel, as opposed, say, to the blade thickness at the belly or the tip?

 

I think it comes from the Hebrew word - Mohel (pronounced like choil)...

 

is a Jew trained in the practice of brit milah, the "covenant of circumcision".[1]

 

 

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@haresfur is on the right track. Choil shots can only tell you so much, and in some cases can be misleading (like in knives that have pronounced distal taper and are therefore much thicker at the heel than at the tip). But the basic idea is that by looking at the choil, you can get some idea of the geometry of the blade. Geometry cuts. One thing you can often tell by looking at a blade this way is how thin the knife is "behind the edge." A knife might have a very sharp cutting edge, yet cut poorly or wedge in hard produce because the knife is too thick near the edge bevel. You also get a sense of the type of grind the knife has (hollow grind, full flat, convex, chisel, s-grind, weirdo hybrid grind, etc.) and how aggressive that grind is, as well as seeing if there is any asymmetry which might cause the blade to steer in one direction when cutting.

Of course, a glance at a choil only gives you information about how the knife is ground at the heel; ideally, we could get a 3D scan of each blade and look at "choil-shot-like" cross sections of the blade at different points along the length of the knife. But we're not there yet.

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NewWest08152022.jpg

 

Today's delivery from New West:  left to right, 9 inch bread knife, 8 inch chef knife, serrated utility knife, and chopper.

 

So far the New West bread knife is perfect for a baguette but I'm afraid too short for a large boule.  But wow, it cuts much better than my 10 inch Henckels.  If New West is listening, please make this in a 12 inch.

 

I wanted a smaller chef knife.  I got it.  Haven't tried it yet.

 

Serrated utility knife makes short work of limes.  I had not realized how dull my rosewood handled Kyocera was.

 

Can't wait to try the chopper, but that won't be tonight.

 

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