Dec 4, 20174324 views

[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!

Want to start your own discussion? Click here: www.massdrop.com/cooking/talk/new

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Kitchen knives are essential kitchen appliance for cutting vegetables, fruits and slicing them. Usually, I prefer Victorinox 3-Piece set. This set of 3 best professional chef knives which include, a chef knife (8 inches), a slicer (8 inches) and a utility knife (4-3/4 inch). The best part of each of the three knives is that they are made of rosewood handles which are very comfortable to make the precision grip while cutting at a faster pace. But, today everyone buying new knives replacing their old one without getting any reviews on it. To buy excellent quality knives, but some people still think about the price and prefer the cheap ones but they don’t understand that they are not actually wasting their money instead of saving. So, it recommended to buy a good quality kitchen knives, but before reading the reviews of them. If you want you can check the link for good quality kitchen knives reviews: http://pro-meat-grinder.com/best-kitchen-knives/
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.
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Mrshortanswer
There was a time when Damascus was a sign of more labor, and as such was a way to immediately recognize that the maker had to at least have a certain skill set which would guarantee a certain quality.

Nowdays, damascus is pre-made in large plates that companies can just stamp out, and then add any 3d elements with pin welding. Damasus patterning IS beautiful, but it is NOT a sign of quality, and is no longer a guarantee of any level of quality. You can even buy preground Damascus knife blanks that you add you own handle to. There are dozens of Kickstarter knives that are cheap communist Chinese knives with 67 layers are available for 60-130 dollars.

There is NO comparison between a Damascus knife made in communist China and a Japanese knife, not because of geography or ethnicity, but because of the emphasis of production numbers as opposed to individual pride of craftsmanship.

In theory, multi layer cladding CAN add resilience to a harder knife. but after 3 layers, it's just cosmetics. I'd FAR prefer a handmade Japanese knife of 3 layers like a Miyabi Artisan or a Tojiro SG2 over a dalstrong 69 layer knife at the same price point (and of course the Tojiro DP, the Yaxell Mon, etc are even less expensive) and that's not even counting handmade blades. I'd rather have an "ugly" kurouchi knife or a "plain" monosteel or 3 layer knife by a better maker or with a better steel, than have "pretty" Damascus knives. Although I DO own many Damascus, they are by better makers and just happen to be Damascus, like my Yaxell Gou's my Tojiro Senkuo's, My masakagnes, etc. The Damascus was NOT the reason for the decision.

Again, after 3 layers, it's just cosmetics, there is no functional advantage. But cosmetics ARE important to some people
Mrshortanswer
There are severaal schools of thought.

1 it is POSSIBLE that a pattern welded finish MIGHT help slightly in food release. If so it is minimal and it also depends what the materials of the Damascus are.

Another issue is that after 3 layers, it is only cosmetic. 3 layers may give a fnctional advantage of a soft outer, or a non-stain outer surrounding a harder or carbon core steel (or a harder carbon core).

A third issue is that a decade ago, a patter welded blade meant that more time, and effort went into making it. Therefore it was often paired with better craftsmanship in other areas. And because it was more labor intensive and because it might have been made by a more skilled craftsman, it was a sign of a better made knife.
THAT IS NO LONGER THE CASE. There ARE many high end makers of knives with pattern welding, but they are few and far between. Pattern welded steel is readily available in industrial length rolls, plates and billets. It is usually PREMADE by separate companies at only a small premium of cost to monosteel or 3 layer sheet, roll and billet. There ARE some companies like Yaxell, Miyabi, Tojiro that make their own, but very few.
Nowdays there are cheap good, cheap mediocre and just plain crummy "Damascus" knives coming out of communist China, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

If you want a Shun, Tojiro, Miyabi, Yaxell, Mcuesta, etc with layers they're GREAT. Tojiro, Miyabi and Yaxell also make some GREAT knives with 3 layers that are functionally GREAT, but at very reasonable cost. I'd HIGHLY recommend those. But in general stay away from the ex cheapo "67 layer" knives we've all been seeing on facebook and kickstarter

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
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btimup
There is a CLAIM that shuns are "chippy", but 99.99% are because of user error. If you have a BEND, it is obviously user error.
A warranty covers defects in material or craftsmanship, of which that is neither.
That being said, Shun does have very good "after care". They are very easy to get a minor chip repair for free out of, even when it's the customers fault. The difference between "warranty" and "customer satisfaction policy". I'd send it in. They'll tell you it was your fault. OBVIOUSY it was. But they'll probably give you a free replacement AS A COURTESY, not because they are obligated to.

Better quality knives are not as forgiving as lesser quality knives. it reuires more discipline of it's user. Cut PERPENDICULAR to the board. Do NOT twist at the end of your stroke (probably your issue). Don't hammer like they do on TV. They get free replacements when they're "on accommodation" or they're an "ambassador". And do NOT Scrape product off the board with the edge
btimup
I've got several Shun knives and haven't found them to be flimsy at all, depending on where you live you should take pictures of the knife in question and contact Shun for warranty service (sharpening and/or replacement). If you live somewhere where knife shipment could be an issue, contact Shun and ask them what they can do to help.
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.
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Stainless steel is not non-reactive in the sense of being chemically inert. Corrosion resistant is a better term. All stainless alloys can corrode under the right conditions. The oxide layer, yup it has one, makes it less prone to further oxidation. Dishwasher detergent and other corrosive chemicals can break down the oxide layer and cause localized corrosion. Another factor in S/S corrosion is things that cause localized transformation from austenite to ferrite, e. g. spot welding, although knives are not usually made from austenitic stainless. They're made from a martensitic type like 420 or 440 or any of hundreds of more exotic alloys. The martensitic alloys are less corrosion resistant than the austenitic ones but can be hardened by heat treatment which makes them stronger and able to hold an edge. BTW, martensitic stainless is magnetic. I have always used stainless cheese knives. My corrosion problem probably comes from the dishwasher. There are no plated stainless knives. I don't know if anyone's ever tried to use it for plating.
WillieMcTell
I certainly agree that stainless steel is not chemically inert. It really isn't stainless, It's really only "less-stain". I was speaking in the generic way. Stainlees steel IS less reactive than most carbon steels.

As far as stainless plating. There ARE numerous cheese and other type knives coming out of France and China. They are flimsy junk.

I am well familiar with the difference beween austentite, ferrite, matinsite and I know how to work between the different types. I am not a knife maker, but I've taken classes and I've done jewelry work, no I know a little about chemical compostions and about tempering quenching, hardening, etc. but none of that is pertainent. Austenite and Martinsite has little to do with rust resistance, it is more closely related to hardness and ductility. I know full well that martinsite is magnetic. The guys from Apogee tried to claim it was NOT magnetic. I (me, not them) was the one who said it IS magnetic under most conditions. But magnetism has nothing to do with rust, nor of stainresistance.
Why would you bring that up????

As far as your issue with rusting. There is a BIG difference between RUST and STAIN.
I was going by YOUR description.
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.
Beatrix
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
TheGreatBonzo
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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andrew.a
yes, you should consider a bread knife "disposable", but even when cutting very crusty bread at restaurant quantities "disposable" still means a half dozen years and at home usage levels "disposable" means a lifetime.
Harder knives are NOT necessarily better when it comes to bread.
You do NOT need a Damascus knife for bread unless you're an interior decorator, not a gourmet.
Harder knives are NOT necessarily better when it comes to bread. LOW ot MID range hardness steel would be best.

If you want an "el cheapo" The Mercer Millenia offset bread knife is spectacular and the victorinox is pretty darn good. As much as I hate ATK knife reviews, the Mercer won in the bread knife category, and in this case, I agree with them. Of course Mercer has several better quality lines. I's also HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the Tojiro ITK bread knife. My personal "go to" bread knife.

andrew.a
I use the F Dick Offset Bread Knife, I got the recommendation from Tony Bourdain and I really like it. Should be about $40 (https://www.knifemerchant.com/product.asp?productID=2668&gclid=CjwKCAjwnLjVBRAdEiwAKSGPIyl3prGuWobyCFKgjyMMQqSwYS4s-zArFEOGB8Os8Z1XoZ4nfPhtbxoCgUcQAvD_BwE).