The Knife Thread

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by GoodEnoughGear, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Should probably start a thread on sexy tools, but since this is about blades and sharpening, I'd like to share my most recent blade acquisition:
    [​IMG]

    It is a 36mm Japanese style leather skiving knife made from M2 steel. Handle is African Blackwood. Came from Palosanto Factory, a S. Korean producer who makes some of the finest leather working tools on the market. It came scary sharp out of the package so I haven't had to sharpen it, but it renewed my interest in sharpening systems. In fact, I am now investing in whetstones like I never would have for the kitchen and EDC. You all provided a lot of great advice that I promptly ignored because I am cheap, but I am reading back through and did some more research and just bought an Atoma Diamond Sharpener #1200. I will likely grab a Suehiro Rika #5000 ceramic stone for some polishing and some diamond compound for stropping. I was able to severely warp my cheapo $30 1000/6000 whetstone just trying to sharpen the crappy $10 stainless steel skiving knife I started with, along with my kitchen knives. Since I don't actually use my kitchen knives (my GF does), I have neglected them a bit. I went diamond plate to make sure I got something that would stay flat for a while and guarantee it work on M2 steel (or Aogami Super which will be my next leather knife material). I'm pretty sure a Suehiro Cerax 1000 would have been fine, but I liked the idea of a hopefully perma flat plate to start with.
     
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  2. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    What do you folks use for stropping? I am thinking of ordering some horsehide from Horween to make some strops for myself, but will have a bunch left over for others. Anyone interested?
     
  3. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Nothing at all.

    To much time sharpening as part of my job I have no will to faff about with burrs.

    Imo, if you're going to fuck about straightening the burr of an edge you do it proper and do it every half minute, and I'm neither a butcher nor a straight razor hipster.

    Less work for me, yay!

    By the by, the material you use doesn't super matter, an old shirt will work, it's about technique.
     
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  4. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    The blades I am primarily caring for are tools for leather, so I'm not sure if techniques or habits would be different from those trying to make or maintain knives. In particular, I have found that stropping my French skivers every other use makes an incredible difference, whereas for normal knives, a good sharpening is good enough every couple months. For cutting, no big deal, for skiving, shaving, or any other push cutting at an angle, stropping has made a huge difference. I will 100% admit that I am a complete novice and probably am not good at properly sharpening yet. I simply read that in the past, horsehide has been the go to for those who need super sharp blade (primarily for barbers using straight razors) due to the density, firmness, and high amount of silicates.
     
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  5. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Yeah, you're working with a burr, and heck yeah if you can make it work reliably it's hella sharp!

    I do work with it while I sharpen - getting an edge to hold a burr all the way along, and then taking it all off in 2 quick reverse swipes is a great way to ensure you've worked the profile all the way along and aren't forcing it to be done just so you can go home!

    Hmm.

    With edge profiles - and hardnesses - as specific as some of the leatherworking shit I've touched a really dense surface might be handy.

    Here in Genova (one of) the traditional tool for butchers is a strap of really heavy duty Jeans - a contraction of Genovese - or it's competitor Denim - from Du Nimes, the city again - canvas boiled in wax/heavy oil and pressed.

    You're after that old timey-wimey tanning surface finish as much as the animal itself, I suspect.

    Also if my suspicions are right on why the horse is working so well in your field you'll find an old tool strop works better than a new strop, because life's a bitch.

    :drunk:
     
  6. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    I'm not picky and don't strop often as I actually like a slightly toothy edge on most of my knives and what I use them for. When I do strop I use a denser piece of leather that doesn't have long fibers on the inside and is large enough. Said leather will be whatever scrap leather sample I have (from say determining/buying shoe colors or whatever) that feels like it'd be the best.
     
  7. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Tried a new knife today. A Santoku knife, 7 inches made/branded by Master Chef. Damn it is nice in the hand...

    [​IMG]

    Very similar to this but European in style. When sharp it cuts with almost zero effort...

    P.S. I resumed cooking again. Even with cheap ingredients you can make very tasty and healthy food. My sister had some old knives left and the Santoku was among them.
     
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  8. dark_energy

    dark_energy Friend

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    Original Japanese Blue/White carbon steel chef knives are great
    VG10 Damascus is cool too. They hold an edge and get sharp.


    You need the smaller grain water stone for these. IME only original King water stones work. Cheap knockoffs are good enough for axe sharpening.
     
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  9. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    I use this Twin Select now. It works fine. Wet stones are next.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Most of my blade/knife obsession is around leather cutting tools, so kitchen stuff is secondary and more my GF's domain. She is kind of old school Chinese in that she can make great food even with basic tools. It has taken some effort to get her into better tools. She has really taken to better knives, as it makes prep, especially fine prep so much easier and enjoyable. I recently got an Aogami Blue 2 santoku knife for her and she is in love. It is from Okeya, which is smith in Japan more known for tool blades than kitchen blades (perfectly aligned with my sensibilities :)). Really nice with a slight tsuchime finish and a walnut handle. Came pretty damn sharp, so after just a little stropping, just leaving it alone so my GF can get used to it. Also grabbed a Hinoki cutting board from Japan to better protect the blade. Smells AMAZING. Got the knife from Chefknives2go and the cutting board (along with some nice kitchen shears) from Burrfection.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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  12. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I bought one last week! Have never needed one over last 15 years, but might try some "real" bread from a newish place sometime soon.

    It was under $10 FX equiv, claims to be made in England, and actually seems pretty decent.

    Edit: Goodgrief, just discovered it's US$32 on Amazon.com!

    I also bought a low-cost Microplane knockoff for zesting oranges. It does the job so well that I wish I'd laid out ten times the price for the real thing. I used to think Microplane was too expensive even in British cookshops.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021

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