Kitchen Knives

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Manton, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    A Damascus steel kitchen knife seems a bit odd to me. I can't imagine any circumstances in the kitchen where one would need the properties of a Damascus knife unless you were attacked by a sword wielding assailant and had to use your chef's knife to parry his blows.

    Commercially made knives like the Shuns are not damascus. They are factory made from pattern welded bar stock.

    Handmade Japanese knives are not damascus either. They are either hand finished from pattern welded bar stock, or are made using some variation of the same techniques that are used in traditional Japanese swordmaking (i.e., forge folding of iron using a carbon bearing flux between the layers). Folding of steel in Japanese blademaking is not intended to impart any special properties to the blade--it was done because it is the only way to make decent steel from the low quality iron ore found in Japan.

    Whether you are using a factory forged Japanese blade or a handmade one, the folded steel does not accomplish anything that cannot otherwise be done in homogenous steel. Except that the folded steel is prettier, and if hand forged is a work of artisanship.
     


  2. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    Commercially made knives like the Shuns are not damascus. They are factory made from pattern welded bar stock.

    Handmade Japanese knives are not damascus either. They are either hand finished from pattern welded bar stock, or are made using some variation of the same techniques that are used in traditional Japanese swordmaking (i.e., forge folding of iron using a carbon bearing flux between the layers). Folding of steel in Japanese blademaking is not intended to impart any special properties to the blade--it was done because it is the only way to make decent steel from the low quality iron ore found in Japan.

    Whether you are using a factory forged Japanese blade or a handmade one, the folded steel does not accomplish anything that cannot otherwise be done in homogenous steel. Except that the folded steel is prettier, and if hand forged is a work of artisanship.


    Agree! As I have mentioned before in other threads, the whole point of folding steel for traditional swords was that the steel available in Japan (tamahagane) was crap! Folding reduced the concentration of impurities in the material - but a fortunate sidefeect was that because of the folding you got that wonderful appearance of the blade. If you were to use modern steel, as retronometro mentioned, you would not need to do this as it is much much MUCH purer that the indigenous Japanese sand-derived ore.
     


  3. TheHoff

    TheHoff Senior member

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


  4. Dmax

    Dmax Senior member

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    Nice Kramer. It's also about 1K plus the wait time.
     


  5. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    How are their knives?

    On their straight razors, the gold wash is not very well-done and sometimes a bit sloppy.

    Their knives are the most classic French kitchen knife you can get. They are somewhat like good Italian clothing in that the lines and balance are beautiful, but they are kind of wavy and full of imperfections. I like them, and maybe I will continue with them for some time.
     


  6. TheHoff

    TheHoff Senior member

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    Nice Kramer. It's also about 1K plus the wait time.

    9 months and counting now...
     


  7. ghulkhan

    ghulkhan Senior member

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    Which line from Shun is really good for the money?
    are they ceramic or steel?
     


  8. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    They are steel. The classic costs a lot less than Elite, and is still crazy sharp.
     


  9. ghulkhan

    ghulkhan Senior member

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  10. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    arent ceramic supposed to be the goodyear welt of knives and steel the blake stitch?

    If I can't sharpen it by hand, it ain't coming into my house.
     


  11. ghulkhan

    ghulkhan Senior member

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    i heard kyocera ceramic knives are really nice
     


  12. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Honestly, I don't know much about ceramic knives and I'm not sure what the point is.
     


  13. ghulkhan

    ghulkhan Senior member

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    Honestly, I don't know much about ceramic knives and I'm not sure what the point is.

    I was just asking because if they are better quality or something and the same price then why not buy them? Ive heard from some chefs that they are mcuh sharper than steal knives
     


  14. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    My new knives are plenty sharp enough. Maybe for precision cutting of delicate fish I would need something sharper, I really don't know. As it is, I have a filet knife that works fine, and I don't make sushi, or know how, or have any interest in learning.
     


  15. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    I was just asking because if they are better quality or something and the same price then why not buy them? Ive heard from some chefs that they are mcuh sharper than steal knives

    Ceramic knives come from the factory with a superb edge and have better edge retention than steel. If you need to sharpen them, they have to go back to the factory. They can also shatter if dropped on a stone or tile surface, but if you are in the habit of dropping knives you shouldn't have a kitchen in the first place. They don't rust, which can be a big plus if you are not the kind of person who washes and dries their knives IMMEDIATELY after use. Low chromium knife steel don't take well to moisture.

    I can put a really good edge on a steel knife with my sharpening setup in about five minutes. I prefer to go with about a 15 degree edge, which is right about what the factory edge is on western-Japanese hybrid knives like Shun.
     


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