Dec 4, 2017

[Ongoing] Kitchen Knives Questions & Answers

On Massdrop, you can find enthusiasts of all levels within any given community. There are beginners who are just starting out and experts who really know their stuff. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, you should always be able to find answers to your questions within the community.
KITCHEN KNIVES This week, we want to shine a light on kitchen knives and the culinary mastery that comes with them. Whether you’re chopping vegetables, carving a turkey, or deboning a fish you’ve just caught fresh, there’s always room to hone your kitchen knife knowledge. And when the pursuit for finding the right blade for the right job can seem endless, you can use some expertise.
ASK QUESTIONS Want to know the best way to sharpen a santoku knife and the best sharpening stone to do it? Or maybe you need to bone up on your chopping and carving techniques? The best way to find the answers to your questions is to ask the community. There are members who are experts in pretty much every area of cooking you can imagine, and they can help you go from beginner to pro.
Ask your questions by posting in the discussion below.
GIVE ANSWERS Many of you in the community know a lot about kitchen knives and have great information to share. We encourage you to help out those that have questions!

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I am wondering what everyone's thoughts are on Damascus kitchen knives, besides looking incredible, are they good to use in the kitchen? What style knife would you recommend? I am personally not the biggest fan of Japanese kitchen knives, the ergonomics just don't work for me.
My reply about what damascus steel is seems to have been lost. Probably my fault.

Any rate, Damascus is a type of steel, not a knife geometry, so if you don't like asian style knives, getting a Damascus steel gyuto is not really gonna fix your issue. It's gonna be a pretty knife. If you like western style chef's knives, then a damascus steel knife would be both attractive and useful.

As good damascus steel knives are pricey, I'd recommend going to a store and figuring out what you do like before spending on a fancy knife.
I have a Shun Hikari 8" Chefs knife that has a small bend in the heel of the blade - I only use it to chop vegetables and boneless meat. After washing I dry it and store it in a wood block. Does anyone have experience with Shuns being flimsy? Is this characteristic of their blades or do I have a dud? I thought VG10 was supposed to be much more durable than this, even if it has a thin profile
VG10 is indeed hard high carbon steel. I note that the knife has a small cut at the back of the blade. Is it twisted or just nicked. If nicked, you can push it back into true with a sharpening steel. If twisted, check the warranty.
Thanks for the reply! It was actually bent higher than the cutting edge. I took it back to the store and they replaced it, no questions asked.
Best cheese knife for medium to hard cheeses? I've used the inexpensive serrated knives with cutouts with good results but they always seem to rust.
A dedicated cheese slicer may be what you need. Between the two popular types out there, the wire-cutter type and the peeler type, the one that looks like a spatula and peels layers off usually works better for the harder cheeses.
Hi everybody!

We have the winners of the Q&A giveaway! Congratulations to the following people:
· @friedumpling
· @btimup
· @ajdasilva22

The giveaway is over, but the discussion isn't. If you ever have some questions, tips, or answers, you should always feel free to come back.
Any recommended sharpening stones? I mainly use a nakiri and a santoku. Both are stainless steel.
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thanks for the heads up.
I find a King 1000/6000 is sufficient for almost all sharpening. I've had one for 5 years that looks set to last another 20, and I use it on all my kitchen knives, chisels and planes, straight razors, pocket knives, etc. If I need to do more than just sharpen an edge with a decent bevel, I'll use 3M 60/30/15 micron adhesive backed abrasive film on a glass plate. I also use these to flatten my stones. This whole setup will cost you well under $100. I had a shun 8" chef's knife given to me because it was basically ruined. I had to take at least 3/32" off the blade, and gave it an asymmetric convex profile to about 1/2" back from the blade and terminating in a bevel of ~23°/12°, so I had a truly huge amount of material to remove, and VG-10 is about as hard to sharpen as kitchen knife steel will get. It took about two hours total to do and at the end I had a polished edge that could pass the hanging hair test across the entire length of the blade.
Looking to buy a Chef's knife for my fiance as a wedding present and was curious if anyone had any recommendations. She is the main cook in the house and is looking for 7" -9".
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I meant <$250 haha
Here's a couple of full stainless options from a shop that does good initial sharpening if you request it when purchasing
Japanese Knife Imports
-Gesshin stainless wa-gyuto
-Gesshin Ginga stainless gyuto

I've gifted a Gesshin Uraku stainless gyuto, but prefer something with thinner edge geometry for my own use.
I've also gifted Kanetsugu Pro-M (from JapaneseChefsKnife), Takamura R2 (MTC Kitchen), Tanaka VG10 (price shopping around on ebay), but only in scenarios where I could ensure the initial edge was okay or otherwise to resharpen and add some edge durability before delivering to recipient. And these are less confident suggestions if there is not a good whetstone sharpener nearby or that you know and do mail-in sharpening to.

Semi-annual sharpening seems pretty infrequent though for cooking every day for multiple people
Bread knife recommendations? I've heard not to get anything expensive since the serration makes it hard/impossible to sharpen. I would imagine a knife like that doesn't dull as fast as others based off what it's used with and doesn't contact a cutting board nearly as much, so a decent one could probably last quite a long time?
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Honestly, grab a Victorinox bread knife, whatever handle shape / length you like and forget about it. It'll cost under $30, and last 10 years in average use. Replace it when you feel like it.
I James Sharpening Service have been sharpening since 1991 , to sharpen serrated blades of all types I use triangle sticks by Spyderco
I saw this

"Apogee Culinary Dragon Fusion Kitchen Knife w/BD1N" on Massdrop and I find the look is interesting. The Drop is already ended, so my question is when Massdrop can do this knife again ? Also, anyone already has this knife, finds it good ? I guess the best way to find the right knife is to hold it, and test it out on your own.

I find stainless steel hard to sharpen. I am interested in trying a high carbon steel knife. Can anyone recommend a high carbon chef or santoku blade?
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I had good success finding a vintage carbon knife on eBay. The knife needed work, however cleaning it up, refinishing the handle and sharpening it gave it new life and it's now my favorite. You could find the same success from eBay or a local thift shop. For a price point below $20 and a little elbow grease it's hard to beat.
Vintage carbon could be a way to go if you are willing to put in the elbow grease to tune it up to be a good cutter
There are also options like Fujiwara FKM which is monosteel carbon
I find that the iron clad stuff like Tojiro Shirogami or similar lines can be a rude entry into carbon steel on account of the extra reactivity compared to the core steels