The Only 3 Knives You Really Need

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jules

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #40 on: 27 Sep 2018, 10:14 pm »
I figured I'd provide some clarity on steels for you and John (as best I am able to).

For kitchen knives, you typically want steels that have a good balance of traits. I recommend AEB-L and 14C28N. They rarely rust, sharpen easily (and because they have such good edge stability, you can sharpen them to ridiculous angles), have solid edge retention (if it is properly heat treated), and are fairly tough/resistant to edge deformation. Most steels you'll find in common cutlery is simple in it's makeup, heat treated fairly soft (lower to mid 50s), and won't hold an edge long.

The knives I use in my kitchen vary between customs from Jeremy McCullen and Spyderco kitchen knife models (the Santoku is quite nice), plus cheap paring knives from Victorinox.



Yes indeed cujobob, nice post, outright hardness, even if encased in a beautiful damascus knife, can lead to a blade that's prone to micro-chips on the edge and is tricky to sharpen.

My personal collection includes "classic" knives from Trident, F Dick, Sebatier but I really enjoy using a Santoku that didn't cost a fortune and uses Shirogami 2 carbon steel

 https://www.hitachi-metals.co.jp/e/yss/search/shirogami2.html


S Clark

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Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #41 on: 27 Sep 2018, 10:41 pm »

...For kitchen knives, you typically want steels that have a good balance of traits. I recommend AEB-L and 14C28N...
I have an AEB-L 210mm Gyoto that is a nice knife at a low-ish price.  As I mentioned before, I don't reach for it much, but I like it when I do.
Here is a version in a two-fer deal.  https://www.chefknivestogo.com/riariigy21.html   It's now a slightly different steel as they had some quality issues with their AEB-L version, but mine works great. 

S Clark

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Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #42 on: 27 Sep 2018, 10:46 pm »
Double post  :oops:

JohnR

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #43 on: 30 Sep 2018, 06:21 pm »
What about powdered steel (R2, SG2)?

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/sg2steel.html


SoCalWJS

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #44 on: 30 Sep 2018, 06:29 pm »
Yes indeed cujobob, nice post, outright hardness, even if encased in a beautiful damascus knife, can lead to a blade that's prone to micro-chips on the edge and is tricky to sharpen.

My personal collection includes "classic" knives from Trident, F Dick, Sebatier but I really enjoy using a Santoku that didn't cost a fortune and uses Shirogami 2 carbon steel

 https://www.hitachi-metals.co.jp/e/yss/search/shirogami2.html
Which knife is that?

S Clark

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Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #45 on: 30 Sep 2018, 06:34 pm »
What about powdered steel (R2, SG2)?

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/sg2steel.html
I have two powdered steel knives, a petty and a nakiri, both HAP40.  Very hard steel, takes a very fine edge and keeps it.  Bit hard to sharpen, but not an issue with an EdgePro. 

jules

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #46 on: 1 Oct 2018, 03:54 am »
Which knife is that?

http://re-sawakichi.com/?page_id=159

Japanese knife from Vietnam. $1 approx 20,000VND, so they're $100 to $180 or so.

S Clark

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Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #47 on: 1 Oct 2018, 05:43 am »
There are lots of Shirogami #2 (White #2) at that price point from name smiths.  There are 20-30 here...
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/white2steel.html
White#2 is a fine steel for taking a great edge, ok for holding it.  I'd try Aogami (Blue) #1 or #2

JohnR

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #48 on: 1 Oct 2018, 05:56 am »
Hm, who says you need a breadknife?

https://youtu.be/gx1pP1JHhCA?t=3m16s

Rob Babcock

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Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #49 on: 1 Oct 2018, 06:28 am »
What about powdered steel (R2, SG2)?

https://www.chefknivestogo.com/sg2steel.html

R2 is outstanding!  Great edge retention and it gets pretty sharp.  It's perhaps overkill for a home cook but if you have the extra cash it's nice.

I have two powdered steel knives, a petty and a nakiri, both HAP40.  Very hard steel, takes a very fine edge and keeps it.  Bit hard to sharpen, but not an issue with an EdgePro.

IMO HAP40 is a smidge better than R2.  In a way it's a bit like trying to pick the best material for, say, a tweeter.  Implementation is more important than materials.  Still though all else being equal a knife in HAP40 will hold an edge through more normal use than almost anything else you can buy (for kitchen knives at least).  I'd say that Maxamet if one of the few that will do better but no one makes a Maxamet kitchen knife (not even sure it could be done).

ZDP-189 is also capable of tremendous edge retention but in my experience is more prone to chipping than HAP40.

Carbon steel is still a great choice IMO.  Probably nothing you can get will take a better edge than Hitachi White Paper steel.  Edge retention isn't stellar but it's very fine grained and will get insanely sharp.

S Clark

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Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #50 on: 1 Oct 2018, 06:39 am »
Hm, who says you need a breadknife?

https://youtu.be/gx1pP1JHhCA?t=3m16s
It depends on crust.  We buy baguettes often, and I bake a bit.  Hard crust is very tough on an edge, even a hard steel.  If all you are cutting is soft crust bread, you don't need a bread knife.  If you cut hard crust occasionally, just keep a cheap serrated knife in the back of you drawer.  If you use it weekly, get a decent bread knife- they aren't expensive.  Henckles for $30  https://www.amazon.com/J-Henckels-International-Forged-Premio/dp/B00375MLRA/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1538375607&sr=8-8&keywords=bread+knife+10+inch+serrated
    Or Victorinox for $5 more. 

jules

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #51 on: 2 Oct 2018, 10:12 am »

In a way it's a bit like trying to pick the best material for, say, a tweeter.



Carbon steel is still a great choice IMO.  Probably nothing you can get will take a better edge than Hitachi White Paper steel.  Edge retention isn't stellar but it's very fine grained and will get insanely sharp.

Nothing like a good audio analogy! Maybe the really hard steels are the Class D of knives, where the more malleable blades are the equivalent of tube amps  :D ?

I totally agree with Rob's last paragraph. Good carbon steel has a better feel when you're sharpening it and when you're using it. It makes it easier to learn how to sharpen a knife and rewarding to create an edge that you can shave hair off your arm with. Really, there's no point in owning a high quality knife where there isn't an equivalent interest in sharpening it to its potential.   

who?me?

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #52 on: 2 Oct 2018, 05:12 pm »
It depends on crust.  We buy baguettes often, and I bake a bit.  Hard crust is very tough on an edge, even a hard steel.  If all you are cutting is soft crust bread, you don't need a bread knife.  If you cut hard crust occasionally, just keep a cheap serrated knife in the back of you drawer.  If you use it weekly, get a decent bread knife- they aren't expensive. 


Had no idea that bread crust was that tough on hardened steel! I'm not kidding. Weird.

My 2 cents: I've got a set of 3 Miyabi kitchen knives (Miyabi was bought by the popular German brand- Henckels or something like that. The stainless steel is good: thin, hard, rarely needs sharpening. I cut a lemon with one of these Miyabi's, left it on the counter for 3 days with the lemon still attached to the blade. And no stain, lemon came off pretty easily, no acid etch.

So, I just have the 3 basic Miyabi knives:
1. paring knife, 2. santoku knife, and 3, kitchen knife

Carbon is great in the kitchen as well, but more maintenance involved of the blade.
I keep stainless steel in the kitchen and 1095 carbon on my outdoor blades, since you can sharpen
1095 steel on rock in a pinch in the outdoors, but you cant do that with stainless.

S Clark

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Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #53 on: 2 Oct 2018, 09:09 pm »
Yep, cutting hard crust takes an edge off a knife really quickly.  FINALLY, I convinced my wife to only cut bread with a bread knife or her crappy serrated Cutco that she adores.  I'd rather that she cut against a ceramic plate... at least that usually ruins an edge in a limited area.
I'm curious that Rob seldom uses a bread knife. Since he's one of our pro's, I'd like to hear why? My suspicion is that not much hard crust is served at his restaurant. 

Rob Babcock

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Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #54 on: 4 Oct 2018, 04:59 am »
I've got a Japanese bread knife that I occasionally use.  Not much crusty bread where I'm at now but my gyutos generally make pretty short work of batard as well.  You know how a tornado will drive stalks of wheat into trees like they were made of steel?  There's a bit of technique to cutting a baggette with a gyuto. :wink:

JohnR

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #55 on: 4 Oct 2018, 05:29 am »
Use the heel to get it started?

jules

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #56 on: 5 Oct 2018, 01:50 am »
Maybe a bread knife is a good idea after all, a cheap one.

High quality steel is at risk with all sorts of hard stuff, that sometimes looks quite innocent ... pumpkin comes to mind. It's not worth the risk of chipping an edge on nasty hard thingy's.

A useful check for the state of a knife: Hold it up in good light with the edge towards you and check for glinting off the edge. This will show up micro-chips and sections of the blade that are blunt. The "running a finger along the edge of a knife" test might look very macho but it's a bit iffy.

srb

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #57 on: 5 Oct 2018, 02:43 am »
Maybe a bread knife is a good idea after all, a cheap one.
You can't go wrong with the Made in USA

Dexter Russell Sani-Safe 8" Scalloped Bread Knife 13313 S162-8SC

MSRP $24.45, but available at many restaurant supply stores for only ~ $10 - $15

An amazing bread knife for the price!

Steve

JohnR

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #58 on: 5 Oct 2018, 03:38 am »
High quality steel is at risk with all sorts of hard stuff, that sometimes looks quite innocent ... pumpkin comes to mind. It's not worth the risk of chipping an edge on nasty hard thingy's.

I spoke to a Japanese knife vendor a couple of days ago who point blank said if I was cutting pumpkin don't use a Japanese knife. If true, that puts paid to the idea that you can use one knife 80-90% of the time (unless it's not Japanese) ? But what do the Japanese use :scratch:

jules

Re: The Only 3 Knives You Really Need
« Reply #59 on: 5 Oct 2018, 03:54 am »
I spoke to a Japanese knife vendor a couple of days ago who point blank said if I was cutting pumpkin don't use a Japanese knife. If true, that puts paid to the idea that you can use one knife 80-90% of the time (unless it's not Japanese) ? But what do the Japanese use :scratch:

They avoid pumpkin  :lol: