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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I'm very picky about my cooking gear, especially my chef knives. I don't even let Shirley use them. I told her, " I don't wear your underwear; you don't use my chef knives!"

When I travel I worry about my knives whether they are in a pannier or my saddle bags, or when the airport gorillas get my bags.

Also when I get to where I'm going whether it's a wall tent or cabin, I don't like them loose on the counter.

I designed a solution and had a saddle maker make it. The straps keep it closed in transport and gives me a way to hang them when in camp.
 

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Nice idea, Trapper. We are of the same mind. My knives are always protected and sharp. As my Kids used to say: "My Dad's knives are always sharp and DON'T touch them." I kept the general use kitchen knives sharp, also but I did threaten to buy a set of rubber knives for my former Bride one time . . .
 

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Trapper, you might start a thread on knife SHARPENERS. Everybody wants a good knife but not many know about sharpening knives. As Jim said he likes sharp knives. I do also and sharpened the kitchen knives before my wife got home one time. She cut a piece of something and when drying the knife cut the tip of her finger off. She was only home for 15 minutes before we headed over to the emergency room.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Trapper, you might start a thread on knife SHARPENERS.
I wouldn't be much help on that end.

My brother (who lives next door to me) makes knives and has all the tools.

I tune my knives every time I use them with a steel (which goes with my knives and is in the case). When my knives need more than I can do with the steel, I use my brother's knife making tools which are an emory belt followed by a cloth rouge wheel.

Not many people are going to benefit from that info.
 

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A timely subject Trapper. For years I have had a big Henckels chefs knife that I was never fond of. It just never cut up to my expectations no matter how I sharpened it. It seems the German knives are sharpened at 20 degrees whereas some of the Swiss and Asian knives are sharpened at 15 degrees. When my neighbor recently purchased an expensive new motorized sharpener I offered him the old Henckel to practice on. He resharpened it to 15 degrees and it was immediately better but still needed improvement. Close inspection under a powerful magnifier revealed that as sharp as it was grinding marks left by the sharpening were still quite obvious and under magnification looked really rough.

Using diamond hones I worked the grinding marks out leaving a near mirror finish. Now it slices a tomato like a razor blade and splitting a raw chicken breast it goes through without resistance. I keep it in a sheath and never lay it down on the counter. It is over 30 years old and is just now starting to earn it's keep.

I can't endorse diamond hones strongly enough. I have had the same set for decades now and have sharpened almost every hook I have ever tied a fly on plus sharpened all of my knives in that time along with woodworking chisels in my shop. I know how to use them without damaging the matrix and they still look like new after all those years. Buy them once and you're done-you'll have a helluva time wearing them out.

Ive
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Ive. I have a 9" Henkel, but my go to is a 6" Shun. The entire blade is less than half the diameter of the Henkel. The pressure needed to dice etc is a fraction of the wider blade. It's very light and very well balanced, but I choke up to where the bolster normally is.

The only knife I have sharper than the Shun is a Havoline I use for trimming wild game.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One thing I see people do is cut something on a cutting board, then scrape what they cut into a pan with the working edge of the knife. My knives are so thin and sharp, this would fold the feather over and dull the blade.

I use the knife for this, but flip it over to use the non-cutting edge to scrape.

Also, I see people scraping scraps off the working edge of a blade on the edge of a metal bowl effectively de-tuning the knife with metal after detuning it with the cutting board.

Argh!
 

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I also scrape with the back. I also tried a Japanese Chef knife, but it was a single-bevel & didn't work well for a southpaw. Re: pocket/clip/sheath/personal-use knives, whenever anyone asks "Do you have a knife?/Can I borrow your knife?" my initial response is: "What are you planning to do with it?" In most instances, my next response is "No."
 

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Trapper-that is pretty slick, and just plain pretty. If it's hanging, do you worry about about poking through the bottom? Probably not, if you just ease them into the slot.

As to wives and sharp knives, my wife has asked me not to keep them too sharp, so it's harder for her to cut herself. (I know...). I might go to his and her knives.
 

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Nice carrying case, or sheath Trapper. I relate to knife stories. I've had a thing for knives since my grandfather gave me my first one when I was 8. Like Ive, I have a Henckels chef knife, and I could never get the edge I like on it. I've gradually laid back the bevel, but not to 15 degrees yet, and I like it much better. I might lay it back further still.

Before my wife and I got married, I was helping out in her kitchen and discovered she didn't have a single knife worth the name. So the first Christmas gift I gave her was a 4" Henckels paring knife. She cut herself on it several times before she learned that good knives are sharp, and it's still her favorite to this day.

I don't know how some people get through the day without using a knife. TSA has made my travel more expensive for even short trips. I have to pay $25 extra each way for checked luggage just so I can travel with my pocket knife and one extra. Actually I've tried. I ground the small knife blade off a classic Swiss Army knife just so I don't have to check it. Half the time TSA doesn't even notice it laying in the plastic bin with my keys and cell phone. And half the time they have a shit fit until I explain that it is an un-knife because it has no blade.

Sg
 

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I know what you mean about the thinner blades. With cancer my wife has neuropathy in her hands and the Henckel knives are just too hard and heavy for her to handle. I have been buying her new Victorinox knives which have softer handles and are much thinner and lighter than the German knives. They are sharper as well and don't cost as much. If knives were fly rods the Henckel would be an 8wt and the Victorinox a 3wt.

I made the mistake of buying a German cleaver instead of a Japanese model. I had watched Asian chefs on Utube do amazing things with cleavers but was unable to replicate any of their magic. It was the blade dummy-the blade! With a different handle it would have made a good froe but had little future as a cleaver. With nothing to lose I took it to my shop and started to slenderize the cutting edge. After a helluva lot of work I made it better but I'll never be happy with it. I should have just bought a good cleaver to begin with. It will, however, smash the shit out of some garlic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The knives fit very snugly so they won't cut through the bottom.

I've seen people cut up onions with a machete while holding the onion in their hand and people using a cleaver for all sorts of things. It's very interesting and I'm sure the theatrics entertained the tourists, but not my style.

The downside of really sharp knives is they require a lot more work as that thin blade dulls quickly. You can't just toss them in the dishwasher or store them in a drawer unprotected. The upside is dicing, mincing, etc is very easy.

The reason people like me choke up on these very sharp knives is control. People who hold the knife way back on the handle can't stop it from rolling and cutting themselves. It's awkward as hell at first, but when you get comfortable with it you'll be more efficient and safe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If moving food on a wooden cutting board is taking the edge off of your knives, I question either your technique or the quality of your blade. This is precisely what a steel is supposed to fix, which is why a steel should be used nearly every time a knife is used. I even use a steel on my steak knives (non-serated, like these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055WK0C6/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1). The steel has kept the edge of my steak knives great (I can shave arm hair after 18mos of use, no resharpening), even though they are, by definition, used on ceramic plates.

How a knife cuts is much less about the edge angle (I can make a cube that will cut paper), than it is about how quickly the actual blade thickens. The first 1/8" doesn't do much. It is also about the finish on the knife, which is why few kitchen knives are polished. Moist things will stick like crazy on polished steel.

I have Messermeister knives and Viking elites. The vikings are very heavy, the messers are just heavy. I like the weight because I use the handle as a counterweight and grip well up on the blade.

I use an Edge Pro system for sharpening. A friend was given an abused Shun Santoku that he had me sharpen. In about twenty minutes I had pulled the edge back to beyond the nicks and fully tuned. The system works well, but I wouldn't buy it again.

Good knives never go in the dishwasher. The edge is the easy part of the knife, dishwashers will ruin rivets and break-down handles.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
dld. First, I'm not trying to give the impression I know everything about knives or cooking. I say if it's your knife, your kitchen, your food, then it's your rules.

It's not about moving food across a cutting board dulling my knife; it's about scraping the cutting board.

It's counter productive.

People will scrape the same direction every time when they do this. So, unlike when you cut something or sharpen a knife, its an asymetrical motion.

Since it's not making the blade sharper and even if it only dulls it a little each time, why do it when you can use the non-cutting edge of the knife instead?
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Out of curiosity, what would you buy instead?
I'm not sure I would buy anything. I'd likely use some of their ideas and design/build my own. The 'stones' would be glass covered with wet/dry sandpaper.
 

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Nice Trapper! I just recently purchased my first decent kitchen knife (chef's knife) after struggling through years of a crappy knife set we got for a wedding gift. Man what a difference! My problem is I'm scared to take it to a (ceramic) "steel" or take a sharpener to it. I know I'm going to have to, but I'm no expert there. I have a Spyderco Sharpmaker that should keep it in good shape. I'm just impressed you travel with your cooking knives. Dedicated!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nice Trapper! I just recently purchased my first decent kitchen knife (chef's knife) after struggling through years of a crappy knife set we got for a wedding gift. Man what a difference! My problem is I'm scared to take it to a (ceramic) "steel" or take a sharpener to it. I know I'm going to have to, but I'm no expert there. I have a Spyderco Sharpmaker that should keep it in good shape. I'm just impressed you travel with your cooking knives. Dedicated!
Having the right tools really makes a huge difference regardless of the job. I put up with crappy knives when I couldn't afford better ones.

Practice sharpening on a knife you don't care about before you bit the good one is my advice.

I do a lot of cooking in hunting camps. I like my knives but it's not like I'm going to leave them home when I need them most. But, yeah I want them to get to where I'm going in good shape.
 

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Really nice. For camping knives I love my Opinels. The edge isn't likely to chop a can in half, run through brick walls, then slice tomatoes, but they take an edge so effortlessly and with proper care excel in many situations. The blade develops character over time especially after repeated use with acidic fruits.
 

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Also, in praise of opinels...at least one of them have found their way into our kitchen. Grilling and cutting large meats with a beautiful folding blade knife draws a lot of oohs and aaawes for some reason. Probably since they are thin blades and always sharp but also since cutting with such a knife brings an appreciation of basic craftsmanship.
 
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