The Knife Thread

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

  1. mediumroast

    mediumroast Rando

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    I took couple of photos with the microscope to show the difference between dull and sharp blades.

    Hint. One of these blades is properly sharpened and others are unsharpened for 2 to 3 months.

    Link to photos: https://mega.nz/folder/qhhQBQ6Z#zblWSLvqe4FCsXKLVdwmaQ

    I am blown away by the difference betwee 1k stone and 6k stone. The proper sharp edge actually comes with the 6k grit stone. Added the sharpened versions to the gallery.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2022
  2. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Oh that's fascinating to see! What magnification are you at in those pics?
     
  3. mediumroast

    mediumroast Rando

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    Hard to tell. It has the Digital camera plus 10x optical lense. I guess it is somewhere between 10x to 20x. I could be wrong. It is a Bresser scope, claims to go to around 1000x with optical.

    Id like to get closer but the step up from 10x is to 40x lens and this has problem with light - too much exposure or too little since this isnt between the classes.
     
  4. mediumroast

    mediumroast Rando

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  5. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Reminds me of my days in the engineering microanalysis lab when I was prepping samples for SEM work. Starting from sandpaper and getting up to 2000 grit, then 6 micron wheel, then 1 micron wheel, then 0.25 micron vibration table, and if I had to then there was the 0.05 micron table.
     
  6. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    My understanding, it is pointless to go below carbide size for a specific steel, at least with hard stones.
     
  7. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    This is my temptation today:
    https://www.zwilling.com/ca/zwillin...al-imperfections-34947-183-5/34947-183-5.html
    There's an additional 15% off sale that ends today.
    I've never had a carbon steel knife. I tried out the stainless version at my local shop (not the damascus, the older discontinued Essentials line) and really like the feel of it, but somehow talked myself out of it.
    Can someone play devil's advocate here... Should I, shouldn't I? Be stupid and do both? I've recently sold a few things so there's a bit of extra play money this month.
    edit: if it matters, both the stainless and carbon steel versions are discontinued, the carbon online is probably a return, the stainless at the local shop is the last in stock
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  8. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    OK, I'll try to talk you out of it!

    Since I started buying them, many decades ago, I just went on. But if starting from scratch, I'd go for stainless.

    They are high maintenance. Really. You cannot leave them wet, with water or, say, tomato; you must wash them immediately after cutting cheese, garlic, etc etc etc, and then dry them immediately with a towel. And you have to chase everyone in the house to take the same care. You will need one of those little blocks for removing rust and black marks (I think it is called a rust eraser). You will have to sharpen them much more often, although it is easier.

    None of my knives are very expensive. In UK terms, probably around 10 to 50 GBP. Buy a lower-cost carbon-steel knife, in a use-often cooks' knife size, use it a lot, and see if you can live with it.

    Or just stick to stainless for a simple life :)
     
  9. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    There is no universally perfect knife. High carbon knives must be dried quickly or they will rust. But they can be more highly sharpened, and keep that sharpness longer.

    Here's a video comparing a Kiwi knife ($8) to a Shibata Koutetsu bunka ($260). They have different pluses and minuses.


    IIRC, he has another video talking just about Kiwi knife, and says he likes it for what it is.

    (edit: here's the Kiwi knife video)
     
  10. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    I just received a Kramer - Zwilling 5 inch utility knife as a present. Never had a carbon steel knife before either.
    Pros: this particular style fits my hand very nicely. It cuts and trims meat to my liking.
    Cons: must be washed and dried immediately after use. On my first use I blew this requirement and spots appeared. Fortunately my wife had the appropriate rust remover and all is well.

    We also have Shun Kaji Damascus which are stainless and less troublesome. However we are migrating to a regimen of cleaning / drying knives immediately upon finished with use.
     
  11. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Thanks guys, that was enough to indecisive my way out of an impulse purchase today, and without the extra sale bonus to push me I'll be able to resist. The carbon steel part was a curiosity, but the brass and wood handles were definitely a draw too as I like the aesthetics of that more compared to the stainless steel. Maybe if I wait long enough then the stainless will get bought up and then all my temptations will go away by themselves! (this works for audio too)

    Zwilling has tons of sales all the time though, so I'm sure something else may come along. I did not like the feel of the damascus versions interestingly enough. They were heavier in the blade and just didn't feel right. At least not in the santoku. the longer 10" chef felt more natural, but that's too big for me.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  12. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    You know what guys, this was very fortunate timing. I did not buy the toys, and then I found out my washer is broken and the cost to fix is almost exactly what I had earmarked for said toys. Helps to put things into perspective sometimes.
     
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  13. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    hey can be sharpened to a very fine edge, and more easily too, but they don't keep it longer: they need sharpening far more often.
     
  14. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Do you guys ever do a forced patina? I've seen people doing so with coffee, mustard, etc. I'll admit the scientist in me finds such ideas intriguing.
     
  15. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    Harder knives do keep their sharp edge longer than softer-metal formulations, which tend to roll or bend more easily (on a microscopic level).

    However, those softer formulations are usually able to be brought back with just a honing steel, whereas once the harder knife starts losing its edge it must be properly sharpened with a whetstone.
     
  16. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I got a patina on my one nice knife just using it for a bit (like burning in headphones by using them instead of forcing pink noise through for a full lunar cycle). Getting into the habit of just wiping down after washing with a rag or paper towl took no time at all for my financee (I already liked to pretend I was a samurai taking care of his swords). I think the care/maintenance issues are a bit overblown unless your regularly put your knives in the dishwasher or some insanity like that.
     
  17. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    True. And I don't have a comparable stainless to, umm, compare with. My carbon-steel knives will take a couple of swipes on the steel every use, but need sharpening after two or three or four times of that.

    I don't have a serious whetstone. I use a Chefschoice machine. I should probably blush, but hey. Even that has its three levels, of which one almost always uses only two and three, one being for recreating the edge from real-blunt.

    How often one needs to sharpen depends on how often one wants sliced ripe tomato!
     
  18. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    I'd go with "classic" (western) Kramer in FC61 first, just to have a Kramer-shape knife :)
    From what I remember, cutting performance of these "Kramer by Zwilling" knives in FC61 and 52100 is pretty much the same. But 52100 may be easier to sharpen.
    In general, if you can have the same knife in stainless, without loosing cutting performance, why you'd want it in carbon? If you buy it not just for a collection, of course.
     
  19. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Added hassle.

    Maybe just being different? I was that man :)
     
  20. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Because the carbon is gold and wood and looks prettier... but it's higher maintenance. I think there's a parallel here.
     

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