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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    Yeah. But it depends on how they're used. They're like thoroughbred horses ... you don't use them to pull a plough.

    As Neil said, an endgrain chopping block is desirable. I got one out of bamboo from Ebay but think it's too hard.

    You also shouldn't use them to wipe the results off a board into the pan. That's enough to b*gger an edge.

    Lastly, they're more specialised in general than western knives. I would ask your friend what he's used on what.

    All that aside, there are many Japanese cooks using Japanese knives to good effect who would laugh at the standard cutting qualities of western knives.
    True, I'm going to suggest that he prob smacks them down into hard commercial cutting boards. Not ideal, but he works at a very busy place.

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  3. #17
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    The japanese knives are very brittle. The tip has broken off ours. It is the old story of balance between sharpness and toughness. As we know this is not exclusive to knives and it is the reason we have tempering in the cutting edge process.

    There are many kitchen operations where a japanese style knife should not be used. Cutting frozen food and chopping through bones are two that come to mind, but there would be many others.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  4. #18
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    Yes, a fine edge + hard steel is a recipe for brittleness which lamination with softer steel helps to counter.

    But there's no such thing as a Japanese knife; there are many styles running right up to a cleaver. A Deba can cut through fish bones though not chicken bones.
    Cheers, Ern

  5. #19
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    Aug 2011
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    Willagee WA
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    Hi Guys,
    I love knives..the best one ever was a Puma Skinner...I could split a hair out of my head lenghthwise with it. All this talk about Japanese knives does nothing for me...I bought a couple of Green River knives online here in OZ and they have never been near a stone in 2 years and are used every day....Price???? $30 each. A few flicks on a good butchers steel and they are ready for use.
    Richard B.

  6. #20
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    Have you ever used a sharp Japanese knife or two?
    Cheers, Ern

  7. #21
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    Aug 2011
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    Willagee WA
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    To rsser,
    To answer your question have I ever used a japanese knife??? No I haven't, but one can only get any knife razor sharp and thats it. Some will hold an edge longer than others, but extra time has to be spent honing the harder types...is this not so???
    Richard B.

  8. #22
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    Yes.

    Apart from that, it depends on what you cut or peel and how you do it; and how easy or not that is controlled for how long the edge lasts.

    My Western knives - Wusthof and Mundial - all have rather obtuse included angles (cos of the softer steel). They shred not cut fish in the filleting; they can't do fine slices of hard vegetables. They need more pressure so fine control becomes more difficult. They lose their keenness more quickly.

    Japanese knives of the types in my kit are a delight to use. Compared with my Western knives it's like the diff. between a Veritas plane and an unfettled Stanley. Once you've experienced the diff. you'll never go back.
    Cheers, Ern

  9. #23
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    Hi again rsser,
    I agree with all you have stated, but the point I was getting at is...for the cost of one good jap knife, you could buy 7 green river ones that will do the same job. I have had mundial and found them too hard.....the edge of one in particular, would end up like a saw if I put it to a steel...so I prefer the softer type of knife. I did have my eye on a Kasumi , but again the cost was exorbitant so will stick with what I have.
    Richard B.

  10. #24
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    Whatever works for you Richard. Cooking is useful and fun and whatever brings a smile to someone's face I'm happy to hear about

    I'm not trying to sell Japanese knives of the type I have but given the way I'm learning to use them I doubt very much that that Green River knives would suit me. Horses for courses. All good fun and whatever the case, a sharp knife is a good knife.
    Cheers, Ern

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardb9 View Post
    Hi Guys,
    I love knives..the best one ever was a Puma Skinner...I could split a hair out of my head lenghthwise with it. All this talk about Japanese knives does nothing for me...I bought a couple of Green River knives online here in OZ and they have never been near a stone in 2 years and are used every day.... A few flicks on a good butchers steel and they are ready for use.
    So, you sharpen your knives (on a steel) every day before you use them and those knives are so good that they don't need to be sharpened (on a stone) after 2 years.

    That reminds me of my axe, only ever had three new heads and five new handles. Best axe I ever had...

    I have just sharpened my Japanese knives that I use every day. They only just needed it in my opinion, although my family thought they were still very scary sharp. They were last sharpened eight weeks ago. Took a few minutes on each blade.

    Steels are OK for the softer steel in western knives. They are not a good idea for the harder more brittle steel in good Japanese knives.
    Stay sharp and stay safe!

    Neil



  12. #26
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    Even among Western knife fans, the value of a steel is debated.

    One camp has it that all it does is straighten and clean the edge.

    ...

    Richard, maybe you could post a pic of that Puma knife and the hair you cut with it along its length.

    Or a repeat performance if it's still up to it.
    Last edited by rsser; 20th October 2011 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Added: "Or a .... "
    Cheers, Ern

  13. #27
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    [QUOTE=rsser;1390301]Even among Western knife fans, the value of a steel is debated.

    One camp has it that all it does is straighten and clean the edge.

    ...

    QUOTE]

    Ern

    My understanding of a steel's place in the sharpening regime of knives is that it serves as a hone. It puts a secondary bevel on the edge. This is much the same principle as with most chisels, although nowhere near as obvious. Once the secondary edge becomes too extreme it is time to remove the "shoulder" and this is most easily done with a coarse water stone.

    One problem is that many steels are rubbish and have fine serrations on them. Good quality steels are long, made of superior steel and smooth. The intention is to use the steel frequently and never let the edge dull. I have to point out that this rarely happens in our household and most times I find myself trying to restore an edge on a knife that has gone past the point of no return!

    Sharpening with a steel is also a skill. Not everybody can do it. My BIL can put an edge on a knife in less than a minute, but there again, he used to be a butcher ( of meat.)

    Just a comment on the damascus style knives themselves, as with all tools there are differing qualities. Just because the top of the range have to be sharpened in a particular way (or respond best) does not mean the bottom of the range have to be done that way. I have no illusions about our japanese chef's knife. It is good but not a world beater. I sharpen it with a steel and "grind" it on a water stone when things get too bad.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  14. #28
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    May 2010
    Location
    Wellington, NZ
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    If we're sharing pics of our Japanese knives, here are mine. Not as pretty as rsser's but they're functional and well suited to the (hard) use we give them...

    From
    Hiromoto G3 petty
    Hattori HD Santoku
    Hattori HD 240mm Gyuto
    Hiromoto HC (High Carbon) 240mm Gyuto
    Misono swedish steel Honesuki
    Masahiro Bessen Yanagiba

    The masahiro is just a cheapy yellow steel one. It's pretty a specialised knife so it doesn't actually get used a lot. The Hirmoto HC was also pretty cheap, but stands out for punching so far above its weight it's not funny.

  15. #29
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    Nice kit Stu.

    Seems you prefer Western style handles. With those knives are they all ground on both sides?

    How do you find the Swedish steel?
    Cheers, Ern

  16. #30
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    The Petty, Gyutos and the Santoku are all 50/50 bevel, the Honesuki (boning knife) is about 80/20 and the Yanagiba is of course 100/0.

    The western style patterns are great - they are perfectly suited to western cooking, but have much better (harder) steel and weight/balance than their European equivalents.

    The swedish steel is excellent: it takes a very fine edge and is nice and tough (ideal for a boning knife).

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