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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 06-13-2014, 09:33 PM   #1
buccaneer
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Default Knives and the question of value

Many knife threads here.
Lot's of polarized opinions on what to buy, and why.
These knives are in their third decade of use.
They are Japanese, and the Japanese are one of the best researching cultures on the planet.
They make over 400 blade styles, for their knives are made as tools, matched to purpose.
Very few general purpose knives, so almost the opposite of the West.
Some modern knives they make are western, and intriguingly, some new ones are Japanese but made in the western style.
Anyway, my point is, these are superb tools.
They perform at a level way above a cheap knife, and that is as obvious to a person handling the knives as to be similar to a driver testing a Ferrari and a Pinto.
So it is my view that I spend this money once, I get a Ferrari for the rest of my life, and to pass them down.
All I have to do is maintain them and I get joy every time I need to use them.

Food for thought, not a lecture.

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Old 06-13-2014, 09:39 PM   #2
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they look rough lol
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:49 PM   #3
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Agreed. Japanese knives are the best. Is that a water stone? Traditionally they are honed with them, at a very low angle. They are superior because the steel is tough enough not to have the edge roll at such a low angle. Enjoy them cause you will have them the rest of your life and your kid's lives.
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:55 PM   #4
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You own a takohiki? You cut that much octopus? I want one, somewhere in the shuffle of her dying, I lost track of my grandmother's takohiki.

I agree with the ideal you espouse Buccas. Except, that I do not take my Japanese knives on away games. I don't like letting other people use them, as they use them badly, and risk injury as well as damage to my knives
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
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You own a takohiki? You cut that much octopus? I want one, somewhere in the shuffle of her dying, I lost track of my grandmother's takohiki.

I agree with the ideal you espouse Buccas. Except, that I do not take my Japanese knives on away games. I don't like letting other people use them, as they use them badly, and risk injury as well as damage to my knives
Also Nakiri, Yanagiba, and a honesuki and gyuto.

You should have seen the priceless look on a butcher friend's face when he watched me break down a D Rump with that honesuki!!!

Don't know why you think I take these to "away games"?

Long ago I loaned my Deba to a very talented chef, my best friend.
Lesson learned, so never again, Bob.
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Last edited by buccaneer; 06-14-2014 at 01:55 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:54 PM   #6
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Good knives are an investment in a quality tool that if taken care of properly will last you for a lifetime, and can be passed down to decedents. A good resounding AMEN on letting other people use your good knives. I have some that I won't even let my wife use, and she knows how to use a good knife and take care of it.

Good knives are like good quality tires for your vehicle. Buy the el-cheapo ones, and you will be buying another set before you get the first ones paid for. I learned when I was trucking that good tires were an investment. Buy cheap tires and you will pay three times more than a good quality tire. You will spend more time trying to keep them rolling than you should. Wheels not rolling, money not being made. Good point buccaneer!

Blessings,

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Old 06-13-2014, 11:09 PM   #7
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Buccaneer, question for you. What can you cut with the other knives that you absolutely can't or shouldn't cut with your Nakiri
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demosthenes9 View Post
Buccaneer, question for you. What can you cut with the other knives that you absolutely can't or shouldn't cut with your Nakiri
Can you expand please?
I'm not sure of what the query is yet?

Could be the beverages since I'm in the middle of a Wallabies vs France party!

I could list all that is not a vegetable?
The Nakiri is a vegetable weapon.
It's designed with straight ends so the eye can measure unconsciously.
The idea is to press down through the vegetable, allowing amazing control on baton , julienne and so on!

That is the purpose of this knife.

Did I miss anything?
Happy to help...
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buccaneer View Post
Can you expand please?
I'm not sure of what the query is yet?

Could be the beverages since I'm in the middle of a Wallabies vs France party!

I could list all that is not a vegetable?
The Nakiri is a vegetable weapon.
It's designed with straight ends so the eye can measure unconsciously.
The idea is to press down through the vegetable, allowing amazing control on baton , julienne and so on!

That is the purpose of this knife.

Did I miss anything?
Happy to help...

Meh, was going to get into an "Eastern vs Western" debate but it's late and I've lost steam
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:37 AM   #10
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You dodged a bullet!




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Old 06-14-2014, 05:53 AM   #11
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I don't think there is any question of the value of any specialized knife for the educated cook. These knifes were designed for a specific purpose ages ago by craftsman. Not only is the making of the knife an art, but the preparation of food when using them is nothing but an art itself.

I think here in the west some are too concerned with multi-tasking tools and general purpose knives that they lose sight of the control, simplicity, and function these specialized knives provide.

While we are specifically talking about these specialized Japanese knives, I think it applies to all the tools in the kitchen as well. I still can't believe how many people I have met that do not understand that there are separate measuring cups for wet measure and separate measuring cups for dry measure. Not that they are separate cups, but the fact that the volume of each is different between the two. Many feel a cup is a cup and an ounce by weight is equal to an ounce in wet measure. While for small things these differences may not matter in a home kitchen, but it can also mean the difference between a good item vs an outstanding item.

Sorry to hijack the thread here and rant on, but it seems as if our consumer culture in this country is to spend as little as possible on an item with a general purpose, then whine about it when it breaks or doesn't work as the user expected.

We can try to blame buying cheap junk on marketing techniques, but the bottom line is we make the final decision to buy it, hoping for that miracle item that does it all. We know better, but the advertising campaigns prey on the willful ignorance of the consumer to believe anything they are told, even when they know better.

How many threads have we seen on why a Thermoworks thermometer is too expensive and they buy a cheapo? Then weeks later they complain because it isn't accurate, or the temperatures do not match other thermometers, or even that the probes have gone bad.

You get what you pay for, and the value is inherent if you are educated in your craft. Some people will buy them just to say they have them, but may never use them properly, while many of us love the craft of food preparation and have an understanding of the differences in design and their purpose of use.

I haven't even touched bases on the superior quality of these knives and their ability to hold an edge for what seems like forever when they are used for their intended use.

.
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:51 AM   #12
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Japanese knives are no better than a butter knife if you can't sharpen them though. There's no point spending hundreds of dollars on a great Japanese knife if you're incapable of maintaining it. If you can't sharpen knives then just buy cheap
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:05 AM   #13
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Thanks for the post buccs, very informative discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YetiDave View Post
Japanese knives are no better than a butter knife if you can't sharpen them though. There's no point spending hundreds of dollars on a great Japanese knife if you're incapable of maintaining it. If you can't sharpen knives then just buy cheap
Well, I guess this is pretty much true for any knife or anything with a cutting edge. I've been hand sharpening with Japanese ceramic wet stones for a little better than a year now (certainly not an expert) but it seems to me certain steel is more conducive to this kind of sharpening than others. I think I'm seeing higher quality knives sharpen better and certainly hold their edge better.

Am I assuming correctly these knives and the hand sharpening technology go hand in hand?

One thing that is definetely true, after spending 30-60 minutes on a knife to get it acceptable edge, I damn sure take better care of them than I used to.
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwfisk View Post
certain steel is more conducive to this kind of sharpening than others. I think I'm seeing higher quality knives sharpen better and certainly hold their edge better
Oh yeah definitely, I just see Japanese knives get recommended a lot (not necessarily on this forum) but personally I don't think they're worth it unless your sharpening skills are up to scratch. For instance my girlfriend's housemate's got a Global knife that my £10 Chinese cleaver massively outperforms simply because I could put a decent edge on it. That Global couldn't cut me even if I tried. And in fact that cheapo cleaver (which I sharpened on a carborundum tool hone that set me back £3) outperforms a damascus clad VG-10 blade I recently bought in terms of cutting straight out of the box
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:22 AM   #15
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Which one do you use to punch holes in the tops of cans?

/runs and hides

Those are beautiful knives. I don't own anything that nice because I don't know how to care for them.
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