Author Topic: Fun with knives!  (Read 1127 times)

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
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Fun with knives!
« on: September 08, 2020, 06:25:16 pm »
Over the years I have been obsessed with knife edges, the idea of 'sharp' - how soft and harder steels behave in being ground and how the blades interact with sharpening tools has been an unhealthy fascination worthy of hannibal himself. (cyclists eh?).
I have spent money on water stones, lanky systems, and even a loupe to study the blade edges through sharpening. I could spend a happy afternoon honing my kitchen knives.
I once discgraced myself by testing the edge of a hand forged Japanese kitchen knife by shaving my arm in the shop. The owner said al the knives he sets have his DNA on them so I guess it was OK - his arms were very patchy.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I saw some Yaxell japanese knives in a shop selling its stock off at clearance. i couldn't resist.
I have a Yaxell Super Gou, and it is as sharp as my Gillette mach 3 razor! And a carving knife that is a sword! Amazing edge - perfect microbevel under the loupe and like cutting with a lightsaber. very hard core - inside a steel fold. So many years of sharpening and I never got an edge like this.
I buy veg and fish now just to cut it! However these are quite dangerous - you just need to touch and it cuts. Awesome.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 06:43:00 pm »
I've a couple of Japanese knives. A Hattori veg chopper which is amazing, and a fish fileting knife. It's so sharp that I reckon I could filet a person and they wouldnt even notice until they stood up.

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 09:31:15 pm »
Guilty

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2020, 09:48:43 pm »
I've had a Yaxell Super Gou for a few years.
It keeps it's edge extremely well and is probably my favourite knife.
However, if you want a seriously sharp knife, you should consider one of these:
https://tinyurl.com/yxk3dar7
I have both.
The latter is high maintenance. It needs care, otherwise it'll rust pretty much instantly, but I don't  think that you'll find a sharper Japanese steel knife for the money.
Carbon steel is a world apart from stainless, when it comes to keeping an edge.

gibbo

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Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2020, 08:51:40 am »
I make the odd knife now and then, the last being made from some steel from a chunk of railway track. The edge is good, probably the best I have done but I'm way too tight to spend a lot of money of various sharpening stones etc. I use an oil stone that my dad gave me years ago.

I sometimes spend a good few hours sharpening the kitchen knives and get really pissed off when I see family members cutting stuff on the marble "cutting" board. I'm hoping the cutting board will fall off the worktop onto the floor and break by accident.

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2020, 09:03:45 am »
Glass or marble cutting boards are a crime. Their only valid use is as a cheese board.

I enjoy sharpening and have a small collection of waterstones. Not convinced by systems like Lansky; different uses require different edge profiles and that is easiest done by hand.

I think the toughest and, in the end, most satisfying sharpening task I've done was recutting a rip saw from crosscut profile to rip-saw profile. Took ages, including teeth setting, but the results were fantastic.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2020, 09:27:21 am »
Glass or marble cutting boards are a crime. Their only valid use is as a cheese board.
They're not cutting boards, they're pastry boards. Some people shouldn't be allowed in a kitchen!

I'm not precious about knives- I have no skills. Cheap rubbish and dishwasher-killed for us.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2020, 12:28:58 pm »
Blimey, £300 for a knife. That's some serious dedication to cutting. I'd get a sword made out of that if I were a ninja. Of course, if I were a ninja, I'd have killed you all by now for knowing my secret. You might not realise this has happened for a few minutes, until your head falls off and you'll be looking back up at your slowly timbering body.

I'd just remove my finger as I'd be the clumsiest ninja. I think I paid £20 for my top knife (I could have got cheaper, but I thought I give Sheffield some favouritism) and give it a quick swish with a sharpener, it seems to cut through everything with minimum effort. For serious slicing, I have a mandolin or I can feed the cat-scaring Magimix (Bad Cat hates it, me, I sometimes feed it things from the cupboard just because who doesn't need an entire grated block of cheese?).
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Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2020, 01:10:01 pm »
Over the years I have been obsessed with knife edges, the idea of 'sharp' - how soft and harder steels behave in being ground and how the blades interact with sharpening tools has been an unhealthy fascination worthy of hannibal himself. (cyclists eh?).
I have spent money on water stones, lanky systems, and even a loupe to study the blade edges through sharpening. I could spend a happy afternoon honing my kitchen knives.
I once discgraced myself by testing the edge of a hand forged Japanese kitchen knife by shaving my arm in the shop. The owner said al the knives he sets have his DNA on them so I guess it was OK - his arms were very patchy.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I saw some Yaxell japanese knives in a shop selling its stock off at clearance. i couldn't resist.
I have a Yaxell Super Gou, and it is as sharp as my Gillette mach 3 razor! And a carving knife that is a sword! Amazing edge - perfect microbevel under the loupe and like cutting with a lightsaber. very hard core - inside a steel fold. So many years of sharpening and I never got an edge like this.
I buy veg and fish now just to cut it! However these are quite dangerous - you just need to touch and it cuts. Awesome.

I want to be able to sharpen a knife like that.


I make the odd knife now and then, the last being made from some steel from a chunk of railway track. The edge is good, probably the best I have done but I'm way too tight to spend a lot of money of various sharpening stones etc. I use an oil stone that my dad gave me years ago.

I sometimes spend a good few hours sharpening the kitchen knives and get really pissed off when I see family members cutting stuff on the marble "cutting" board. I'm hoping the cutting board will fall off the worktop onto the floor and break by accident.

Ever tried making a knife from a worn circular saw blade?

I sometimes spend a good few hours sharpening the kitchen knives and get really pissed off when I see family members cutting stuff on the marble "cutting" board. I'm hoping the cutting board will fall off the worktop onto the floor and break by accident.

Glass or marble cutting boards are a crime. Their only valid use is as a cheese board.
They're not cutting boards, they're pastry boards. Some people shouldn't be allowed in a kitchen!

I'm not precious about knives- I have no skills. Cheap rubbish and dishwasher-killed for us.


Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 05:48:44 pm »
You know this is not a healthy obsession.
But once it has you in its grip it becomes completely sensible to spend outrageous amounts. The chap in the Japanese knife shop where I shaved my arm very nearly sold me a hand forged kitchen knife for £350 which he had nearly convinced me would be worth twice that when the aged maker dies. Luckily I glimpsed the disgust of another patron and left. There were kitchen knives in there for £750. Mind you it was in Kings Cross.
They run knife sharpening classes there (or used to) where one can learn more about steel, meat, edge angle and micro-bevels. I'd have gone but Covid interrupted.
What I d like to do is beat out and grind a mixed steel blade of my own. wearing a headband.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2020, 05:53:15 pm »
I've had a Yaxell Super Gou for a few years.
It keeps it's edge extremely well and is probably my favourite knife.
However, if you want a seriously sharp knife, you should consider one of these:
https://tinyurl.com/yxk3dar7
I have both.
The latter is high maintenance. It needs care, otherwise it'll rust pretty much instantly, but I don't  think that you'll find a sharper Japanese steel knife for the money.
Carbon steel is a world apart from stainless, when it comes to keeping an edge.
Hey this was one of the knives I shaved my arm with! Very sharp, very fragile, made by a retired Japanese dentist?
I started with the £130 one and nearly bought something much more pricey. Apparently though these are 'investment' knives not 'using' knives.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2020, 06:52:45 pm »
Blimey, £300 for a knife. That's some serious dedication to cutting. I'd get a sword made out of that if I were a ninja. Of course, if I were a ninja, I'd have killed you all by now for knowing my secret. You might not realise this has happened for a few minutes, until your head falls off and you'll be looking back up at your slowly timbering body.

I'd just remove my finger as I'd be the clumsiest ninja. I think I paid £20 for my top knife (I could have got cheaper, but I thought I give Sheffield some favouritism) and give it a quick swish with a sharpener, it seems to cut through everything with minimum effort. For serious slicing, I have a mandolin or I can feed the cat-scaring Magimix (Bad Cat hates it, me, I sometimes feed it things from the cupboard just because who doesn't need an entire grated block of cheese?).
You simply haven't tried it. There's a sensual pleasure in passing your blade through the innocent broccoli with no pressure. Or carving the joint simply by passing the blade over it. Once tasted you can't go back. I scorn my old knives now - mere agricultural implements - food ploughs, cleavers.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2020, 07:32:53 am »
I'd always thought of myself as capable of putting a decent edge on a blade. That was until January of this year when I attended a knife sharpening class at Blenheim Forge.
A morning spent there has rendered my knives to a different level of sharpness.
I use Japanese water stones of 800 and 3000 grit, and finish off with two grades of leather strop.
The bevel has a mirror finish to it, and the Yaxell will cleave a cherry tomato in twain solely using the weight of the blade. - no need to apply any pressure.
The one disappointment I had with Blenheim Forge was that I had hoped for fire, sparks, smoke and general industrial noise, of which there was none.

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2020, 07:12:19 pm »
I'd always thought of myself as capable of putting a decent edge on a blade. That was until January of this year when I attended a knife sharpening class at Blenheim Forge.
A morning spent there has rendered my knives to a different level of sharpness.
I use Japanese water stones of 800 and 3000 grit, and finish off with two grades of leather strop.
The bevel has a mirror finish to it, and the Yaxell will cleave a cherry tomato in twain solely using the weight of the blade. - no need to apply any pressure.
The one disappointment I had with Blenheim Forge was that I had hoped for fire, sparks, smoke and general industrial noise, of which there was none.
Those look like amazing knives. Unfortunately I think the course has gone the way of CV19. To what extent do you think the sort of magic edge we desire can be achieved on regular steel blades? My own yaxell cutting edge is completely unlike the steel of my regular knives, less 'meat' and very very 'fragile' because it's presumably thin. Could one get a set of eg. Global knives to magic sharpness? I always thought my edges were sharp until I bought the yaxell. I think now I am really getting to understand the difference between sharp and 'saw'. My 'saws' have been pretty good though.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2020, 08:01:33 pm »
A chef in a renowned restaurant told me that the owner of Global came to his restaurant kitchen for a day and gifted the chef a special Global knife. Insanely sharp. Chef told me he put it in his locker and never got it out again as it was too sharp to use safely.

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2020, 08:23:38 pm »
I'd always thought of myself as capable of putting a decent edge on a blade. That was until January of this year when I attended a knife sharpening class at Blenheim Forge.
A morning spent there has rendered my knives to a different level of sharpness.
I use Japanese water stones of 800 and 3000 grit, and finish off with two grades of leather strop.
The bevel has a mirror finish to it, and the Yaxell will cleave a cherry tomato in twain solely using the weight of the blade. - no need to apply any pressure.
The one disappointment I had with Blenheim Forge was that I had hoped for fire, sparks, smoke and general industrial noise, of which there was none.
Those look like amazing knives. Unfortunately I think the course has gone the way of CV19. To what extent do you think the sort of magic edge we desire can be achieved on regular steel blades? My own yaxell cutting edge is completely unlike the steel of my regular knives, less 'meat' and very very 'fragile' because it's presumably thin. Could one get a set of eg. Global knives to magic sharpness? I always thought my edges were sharp until I bought the yaxell. I think now I am really getting to understand the difference between sharp and 'saw'. My 'saws' have been pretty good though.
Your Yaxell is stainless.
It won't take, or hold an edge as well as as a rusty old carbon steel blade will.
My petty knife lives at work. It cuts my lunches.
It comes home every 2 to 3 weeks to have its edge restored.
If I'm lucky, the Yaxell is looking for my attention after a just couple of weeks use.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2020, 04:14:51 am »
A chef in a renowned restaurant told me that the owner of Global came to his restaurant kitchen for a day and gifted the chef a special Global knife. Insanely sharp. Chef told me he put it in his locker and never got it out again as it was too sharp to use safely.

Not to be rude but blunt causes issues while sharp means that you don't notice as your flesh is removed.

I'd always thought of myself as capable of putting a decent edge on a blade. That was until January of this year when I attended a knife sharpening class at Blenheim Forge.
A morning spent there has rendered my knives to a different level of sharpness.
I use Japanese water stones of 800 and 3000 grit, and finish off with two grades of leather strop.
The bevel has a mirror finish to it, and the Yaxell will cleave a cherry tomato in twain solely using the weight of the blade. - no need to apply any pressure.
The one disappointment I had with Blenheim Forge was that I had hoped for fire, sparks, smoke and general industrial noise, of which there was none.
Those look like amazing knives. Unfortunately I think the course has gone the way of CV19. To what extent do you think the sort of magic edge we desire can be achieved on regular steel blades? My own yaxell cutting edge is completely unlike the steel of my regular knives, less 'meat' and very very 'fragile' because it's presumably thin. Could one get a set of eg. Global knives to magic sharpness? I always thought my edges were sharp until I bought the yaxell. I think now I am really getting to understand the difference between sharp and 'saw'. My 'saws' have been pretty good though.
Your Yaxell is stainless.
It won't take, or hold an edge as well as as a rusty old carbon steel blade will.
My petty knife lives at work. It cuts my lunches.
It comes home every 2 to 3 weeks to have its edge restored.
If I'm lucky, the Yaxell is looking for my attention after a just couple of weeks.

I am shite at sharpening knives. In the kitchens I have worked in, they had pull through sharpeners that were either electric or manual.  Now I have two pull through https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/double-sided-quick-sharpener/_/R-p-163155?mc=8395980&c=ORANGE (which was €6 in France but £5 here) https://www.opinel.com/en/accessories/sharpening-tools/manual-sharpener as I am an opinel worshipper.

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2020, 10:02:30 am »
I'm not as good as I would like to be at sharpening my knives. I know that because my less-used Santoku is far sharper than the rest. They are all stainless, mostly F.Dick which appear to have an excellent balance of hardness in the steel. But. I use plastic boards most of the time. I use a steel in the non-approved way of holding it up and sliding the knife up and away. I have no consistent approach when I sharpen them - blade guides, by hand, Lansky*, have all made an appearance. I think one of those sharpening courses would likely help.



*Which as far as I can see is doomed to mediocrity, as it has a small arc of sharpening that is impossible to repeat accurately, but does wonders for scalloped blades.

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2020, 10:35:22 am »
Unsurprisingly, there's a mass of video tutorials on how to sharpen your knives.
This one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fxL8v2dMho
is better than most, and goes into a bit more detail than my course at Blenheim Forge did.
And a bit more cheesy music than the cousre at the forge had.
Although I appreciate that a video is not the same as a 1on1 experience.

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2020, 10:45:13 am »
I think the toughest and, in the end, most satisfying sharpening task I've done was recutting a rip saw from crosscut profile to rip-saw profile. Took ages, including teeth setting, but the results were fantastic.

Seeing as you found it so satisfying, I have a bunch of handsaws that need sharpening. I'll send them your way if you like. Sounds like I'd be doing you a favour. I'll even pay the postage for you to send them back once done  ;D
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2020, 11:51:25 am »
I think the toughest and, in the end, most satisfying sharpening task I've done was recutting a rip saw from crosscut profile to rip-saw profile. Took ages, including teeth setting, but the results were fantastic.

Seeing as you found it so satisfying, I have a bunch of handsaws that need sharpening. I'll send them your way if you like. Sounds like I'd be doing you a favour. I'll even pay the postage for you to send them back once done  ;D

lol
I wish I had the time (and a workshop).

Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When I was a nipper in school I considered doing an apprenticeship as a saw doctor. It is still a profession in Australia.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2020, 12:18:58 pm »
Unsurprisingly, there's a mass of video tutorials on how to sharpen your knives.
This one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fxL8v2dMho
is better than most, and goes into a bit more detail than my course at Blenheim Forge did.
And a bit more cheesy music than the cousre at the forge had.
Although I appreciate that a video is not the same as a 1on1 experience.

Don't confuse not being as good as I would like to be, with not understanding how....

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2020, 01:49:21 pm »
Unsurprisingly, there's a mass of video tutorials on how to sharpen your knives.
This one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fxL8v2dMho
is better than most, and goes into a bit more detail than my course at Blenheim Forge did.
And a bit more cheesy music than the cousre at the forge had.
Although I appreciate that a video is not the same as a 1on1 experience.

Don't confuse not being as good as I would like to be, with not understanding how....
The one critical thing he seems to underplay in the video (although he does mention it), is the forming of the burr on the blade, and the subsequent removal of the burr by turning the blade over and offering it to the stone.
Rinse and repeat using the next finer grade stone.
Get that and the angle of the blade in relation to the stone correct, and you're there.

Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2020, 03:59:22 pm »
Unsurprisingly, there's a mass of video tutorials on how to sharpen your knives.
This one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fxL8v2dMho
is better than most, and goes into a bit more detail than my course at Blenheim Forge did.
And a bit more cheesy music than the cousre at the forge had.
Although I appreciate that a video is not the same as a 1on1 experience.

Don't confuse not being as good as I would like to be, with not understanding how....
The one critical thing he seems to underplay in the video (although he does mention it), is the forming of the burr on the blade, and the subsequent removal of the burr by turning the blade over and offering it to the stone.
Rinse and repeat using the next finer grade stone.
Get that and the angle of the blade in relation to the stone correct, and you're there.

Yup - and the need to not apply much pressure.

Sure, you are grinding steel. The bit you are 'working' (unless reprofiling) is thinner than a bit of aluminium foil.

Knife-sharpening nerds often aspire to a 'razor edge'. For much cooking, that is a mistake. A good profile achieved with a coarse stone, then honed on a strop, will cut much better. Microscopic saw-tooth edge.

That's not the same as a bad burr edge, which will initially cut well but quickly blunt (when the burr snaps off).

Woodworking tools benefit from a razor edge.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Fun with knives!
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2020, 09:08:34 pm »
Unsurprisingly, there's a mass of video tutorials on how to sharpen your knives.
This one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fxL8v2dMho
is better than most, and goes into a bit more detail than my course at Blenheim Forge did.
And a bit more cheesy music than the cousre at the forge had.
Although I appreciate that a video is not the same as a 1on1 experience.

Blenheim Forge did a video too
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O79ax-9dFM