Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Knife and Sharpener Data From Comments.... THANK YOU ALL.


  Here's what I extrapolated from the comments.

From here I will narrow down the choices. For the record, I enjoy cooking more so in the fall and winter. Large pots of soup, with a pile of leftovers.  

Balancing cost budget and ease of maintaining an edge will be my criteria on final decisions.

This is not a professional level operation at the bunker :)

Again, thank you all so much. I'm sure many of you that read the other comments got some

good information. That's what this is all about.

Have a Great Thanksgiving!!





 "Largemarge" left a very detailed comment on becoming a Zen master knife warrior :)

My history:
* I owned a restaurant business for ten years.
* I grew-up on a farm, my four grandparents lived next door.
* We operate a small organic teaching farm near the outskirts of Eugene, Oregon.
* During each period, I processed/process meat from a bled carcass to table-ready.
I also worked cadavers during medical school.
A good blade saves time, and is inherently safer than a dulled edge.
At the farm, I teach knives.
My suggestion:
* Forget the 'set' mentality.
* Doubly forget any set with a wood display block for the kitchen counter.
Go to a restaurant supply, look for the NSF cert (the National Sanitation Foundation establishes sanitation standards, no grocery-store level knife from Bed Bath Beyond has this. Clue?).
Depending on the hand size of the operator, get (1) 8" or 10" chef knife.
Get (1) 4" paring knife.
Expect to invest about us$45 or so for the 10", about us$12 for the 4".
Get (1) ceramic steel.
Get (1) off-set serrated 'sandwich' knife.
If you own a boat and process a lot of fish, get (2,3,4) 8" boning knives.
Why so many?
Fish scales are murder on an edge, shark may as well be metal roofing.
Get (1) *Maple* cutting board, about 12" x 20".
Or, if you prefer, get a bamboo cutting board.
I prefer Maple because it is inherently anti-microbial.
Irregardless, you will bleach your board after each use; rinse, air dry on its side.
Using your steel:
To freshen an edge, *lightly* drag the cutting edge FROM the guard at your hand TO the tip of the steel.
Time the motion so you run out of steel simultaneously with running out of knife.
Do this *once* on each side.
The steeling motion is the reverse of a cutting motion.
Do not slice down the steel toward your hand.
Limit the freshening to one drag per side.
*** Do not merrily slice each side a dozen-and-a-half times toward your hand absent-mindedly chatting and watching televisionprogramming or any other distraction. ***
This is a sacred meditation.
As the caretaker of the blade, enter the steel universe, become one with the blade.
In some cultures (Commercial Kitchens!), blades are sacred.
Never touch another man's blade.
If offered, thank him... and do not touch his blade.
If you are visiting a kitchen, instead of asking to borrow a knife, ask the resident cook to cut something for you.
This courtesy earns respect.
After enough respect, maybe you earned the right to ask if you could borrow a knife.
But I would wait.
It is a cultural thing.
For professional scrounges:
I check the bins at second-hand stores.
I can sift my hands through dozens of grocery-store level knives with absolute confidence in never getting cut.
People buy disposable junk knives, then dispose of them after they are unable to get a respectable edge.
If you go the second-hand route, look for antique high-carbon blades.
These heirlooms will be homely and mottled, and were probably discarded by recipients of the estate after the old folks passed.
Grab any you see!
A good knife is as valuable as seasoned cast-iron.
Nobody wills Teflon-coated aluminum.
My suggestion:
* Invest up-front in quality.
* Invest in learning the trade of handling knives.
* Invest in mentoring.


  This video test of multiple systems was also mentioned in the comments:



  1. I have a Victorinox chef I bought to see if I wanted to go back to a chef blade after replacing my previous henkel one (I dropped on the tile and it broke the blade in half -FWIW I used it as a mini cleaver for years. It was too nice and expensive to toss). Turns out I missed the shape and replaced my Henkels.

    That said, you get a decent bang for a buck with Victorinox and Chicago Cutlery.

    I'm thinking of putting my Henkels in a wrap for only my use.


    "Never touch another man's blade."

    Because herself will use my ancient and coveted Henkels 6" chef or paring knife to cut her steak - WHEN IT'S ON HER GOTDAM PLATE!

    Nearly burst a blood vessel in my neck when I saw her do that.

    FFS it's not like we don't have cheap ass pampered chef steak knives around.

    I may buy some Chicago Cutlery to put on the magnetic holder for her.

    Oddly enough, she sold pamered chef and uses those knives - with their fat playschool handles - when she cooks. I find them dull, heavy, and unbalanced. Those, I use an electric sharpener on because they aren't worth my time honing.

    1. That would cause A “RCOB” in my house. My beloved uses my good kitchen knives but knows better than to use them on hard surfaces or put them in the dishwasher or sink. My good scissors however, are OFF LIMITS as hers wind up being (mis)used for yard work.

  2. I have a Victorinox chef's knife that only I touch. I have a Forschner 10" boning knife that was part of a set, that I gave to a friend who raises goats, but I kept this for myself, and have never used it. I know that it is made by Victorinox. I actually won the set as part of a public radio auction.
    My parents owned a restaurant for over 30 years, and they tended to use knives from commercial restaurant supply houses. They were actually not expensive, but held up pretty well. I did work there some in school, but worked 2 years pumping gasoline at a Mobil station.

  3. Add my vote for Worksharp for a knife sharpener.

  4. My buddy sells Henkells knives online. He scored big at an estate sale. These are lazer branded as factory seconds. Many are broken tipped he has recurved. I have several and appreciate these comments.

  5. I missed this, but I'm surprised that no one mentioned my favorites. I grew up on a farm and butchered and cooked until I became unable to stand for long after age 70 and back surgery. Anyway, Old Hickory, now made by Ontario Knives are high carbon, easy to sharpen using a decent steel (or stone), and quite inexpensive. I always have extras on hand to give to friends and replace mine at need. I always keep a 10" butcher knife that I learned to chop veggies with (they have an 8" Chef's knife), a 6" boner, and at least 2 paring knives. I have others, but those are my basics. They make others and other sizes, so look around. Most cost less than $20. They have hardwood handles (not all hickory anymore)and 2 brass rivets. You can tell the older ones because the larger ones have 3 rivets. Don't make those anymore. :( If you buy the 12" butcher knife and the 7" cleaver and keep a good steel you could butcher an elephant. And one of the saddest days of my life was when they quit making their granny fork and my last one broke. It was perfect.

  6. I ran into the exact same thing TechieDude did so I bought some decent-but-cheapo knives for Herself to use (Victorinoxes), hid my knives (the usual 4, 6 and 8 inch combo of Pro Henkels, a 10 inch Wusthoff and my favorites, an 8 inch Shun and 4 inch non-serrated Wusthof). I sharpen her Victorinoxes every couple months, she's happy.

    I've got a Tormek for sharpening my woodworking tools, and used it on the Victorinoxes with the Tormek knife guide tool but always did mine by hand with a pair of waterstones. Tormeks come with a 600 grit stone that will put a very fine edge on anything; when I got a 4000 grit stone ($450) for it and saw what it did on hand carving chisels I decided to try it on my Henkels. WHOA. Just as good as waterstoning by hand and 1/4 the time. Haven't had the courage to do the Shun on it, but everything else is Jake.

  7. I'm surprised that Ontario Knives, Old Hickory blades weren't on the list. I have a half a dozen in various sises and shapes. High carbon steel, and very easily sharpened. I use a diamond stone. and yes, as mentioned, it takes some practice to get the angle right.

  8. I have been using Chicago Cutlery for 40+ years. My 61S gets a lot of use. I sharpen with EZE lap diamond. My first EZE went about 30 years, the second one is 10+ and going strong.

  9. I use a "Peasant Chef's Knife" from Lee Valley and a steel. The knife is carbon steel (not stainless) and it takes an edge far more readily than SS. Yes it gets a little mottled over time but it cleans up with a poly scrubbing pad. I don't mind the gives it character.


Leave us a comment if you like...