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Liking a good blade...

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by SonnyE, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Seemed to me this was the right spot to talk KNIVES...

    I was raised to love a good edge for the work at hand. Dad always loved his pocket knife razor sharp. Our hunting and fishing sheath knives would cut to the bone with little effort.
    So, I kind of look at the metallurgy as well as the manufacturer when considering a blade.

    Most recently I was interested in a bigger knife to use for cutting meats in particular. Something more specialized as I wasn't quite happy with the JA Hinkles set I got the wife a couple of decades ago. They are great blades, and work extremely well, don't get me wrong. And an outstanding lifetime warranty. When a BIL managed to break the meat fork in the set on the BBQ doing Tri-Tip, Hinkles replaced the fork immediately. And it matches the set.
    Which I bought a block, a starter set, then added knives specific to needs. Including a vegetable clever I like for many uses.
    But I felt the large chef's knife wasn't my shot of whiskey for meat work. Just longed for something better tuned to butchering.

    So, I set my sights on a Cimeter shape, and large, but still block or drawer sized. Not so big it needed stored in the armory. I don't butcher game, pigs, or steers anymore. ;)
    But large knives make tasks light, with consideration to the hand and frame size of the one using it. I wouldn't expect our 105 pound DIL to handle a broad sword...o_O

    I read up on what folks here seemed to like and Victorinox came up a lot. And Cimeter shape seemed to surface in threads.
    Once you get around the stigma of the Cimeter shape, and its more recent rise as the choice of beheading in the Middle East, you realize it makes a good meat cutting knife. So I gravitated toward the style.

    Next was How Big is Too Big? So I set about the size dilemma. I looked at 12" and even 14" monsters and realized it would require storing it in my over sized gun safe, or hanging high out of reach in the kitchen because swords don't fit in drawers to well. I measured the knife block and found a 10", which is common for large knives, would fit the existing block. I decided I could probably do well with a 10" blade. Big enough, yet small enough.
    I got to try out a Sister-In-Laws Cimeter shaped kitchen knives when up at their home, and found I liked the style and how it worked for me.

    Branded, or Off-Brand? That is often a matter of choice and comfort for the purchaser. Here, I like to dig into the specifics, to take a look at the metallurgy* that although is not my field, I can learn some while scratching around in.
    Ah! Now we are getting to the Meat and Potatoes. And in picking around, I found some familiar names. Wusthof, Victorinox and others... :cool:

    I chose in the "OTHERS" category in the end. I think I got a Cadillac, but at a Chevy or GMC price.
    Named "Update", it has a right composition, sanitary and Large handle, and took a fine sharp edge right away with an old heirloom sharpening steel passed down to me through generations. I got the chance to give the new blade a good trial run with my ribs, and with some chicken. And it is still razor sharp and not needing touched up yet.
    The Cimeter shape did not disappoint me either. The rocking with a slight push cleanly separated pieces raw or cooked.

    I've come to like what a curved sharp blade has to offer after learning to use an Ulu knife so popular in Alaska. Mine is in use every day dicing food for my old toothless little buddy.
    And I often use the JA Hinkles Vegetable cleaver for cheese cutting of 5 pound blocks, down to serving sizes, or prepossessing into grated. I think that if it had a detachable knob handle on the front corner it could be a more perfect tool
    (Humm, I haven't tried the Cimeter on cheese yet, but the leverage might be welcomed to the task.) o_O

    Comments are welcomed!
    Feel free to share your favorites so I and others can learn the what's and where-hows of your edgy friends.

    - German steel. Very stain resistant. Other than that not much to speak of. The cryptic X50CrMoV15 stands for 0.5% carbon, the other 15% is composed of 14% or 14.5% of Cr, some Mo and V. X in the name is a an indicator for high alloy steel, 0.5% C content means, by definition X50CrMoV15 isn't a high carbon steel, despite of some marketing claims. In fact it has less C content compared to 440C steel. However, it's plenty tough and resists corrosion well and it is a high alloy steel. If you don't want to bother maintaining your knives this is a good choice. Except for the low edge holding ability of course. In the end, you end up sharpening it a lot more often, so low maintenance statement is really arguable. Used by Wusthof, Victorinox and others in their high end knives. Ref - X50CrMoV15 Steel Composition. If you are interested, you can also read up on DIN And EN Steel Standards Naming Conventions.
    weedeater likes this.
  2. weev

    weev Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have this knife also and I like it a lot But my wife wont go anywhere near it hell she wont touch any knife but a steak knife I think she does it so I do most of the cooking but thats ok because I like to cook
    SonnyE likes this.
  3. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks weev!
    I figured it was a roll of the dice. But I feel it paid well.
    I'm quite happy with mine.

    That said, the seller used Amazon Prime to get free shipping on the same thing that is $12.97 through Update's website on Amazon. So more*n*more made $2.33 off of me being a middle man (from Indonesia).
    Like the knife, not the seller. Let the buyer beware. o_O

    My wife doesn't know I have mine.... yet... :eek::D
    I'm a sneaky bass dropping.
    weev likes this.
  4. normanaj

    normanaj Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Its my understanding that Update International knives are all made in China.

    At the price-point for the Update I'll stick with a Dexter-Russell.
  5. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It sez Made in China on the package.
    But here's what it sez on the blade itself:

    So what's it say on your Dexter-Russell? Ouch! $48.70?
    For the price point, I'm happy.
    Hope you are happy, too.

    And as an end point, take a look around you...
    I bet you a dollar to a doughnut you have plenty of Made in China in your home. We can't get away from the fact China has bought up no end of American Manufacturing, and a myriad of companies have sold out and moved to other countries.
    I lifted the hood on my 1987 1-ton dually 4X4 when it was new and found no end of Canada and Mexico parts there.

    But... to each his own, aj, to each his own. ;)
  6. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just use the same cheap Fishing "Fillet" knives I used when I was in good enough shape to go fishing & fillet my catch.

    I figure I can cut myself just as good on a cheap sharp knife as I can with an expensive sharp knife!!

    SonnyE likes this.
  7. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have a couple of drawers full of knives. My current go to is a 9” Kikuichi Gyuto with a blade made of folded Swedish steel. I use Wusthof chef’s knives for hard material or anything with bones. I use Shun for everything else. I used Dexter’s in the firehouse and really like them.
    SonnyE likes this.
  8. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A friend in Wyoming use to ask me to sharpen his pocket and tool belt knives occasionally.
    He always cut himself soon afterwords.
  9. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Whew! That's a nice knife!
    I think we all tend to settle in and be comfortable with a handfuls of specific's we like.
    I bet it would be fun to look through your drawers... :confused::eek::rolleyes::D LOL!

    Hey, you said it. I just played on it. ;):p
  10. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Fortunately, those are the dull ones! o_O

    This is he Kikuichi I own.

    SonnyE likes this.
  11. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm afraid I would never take that out of its display case, let alone use it. :confused::eek:
  12. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Been using Chicago Cutlery for 35 or so years. Don't know where they are made now but this set we have is from the USA. Also have a large Lamson Sharp. And for the BBQ/grilling station, I have a small set of Old Hickory. Those are pretty good knives at a good price point, and made in America.
  13. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Chicago Cutlery is the first brand of kitchen knives I ever used. That was yeah, a little over 35 years ago.
  14. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I am real fond of those Chicago cutlery knives. Love the wood handles; keep them well lubed mineral oil and the occasional fat from beef. Just plain comfortable to use. They take and hold an edge pretty well and steeling them is easy. That Old Hickory set was a set of 5 (forgot to mention that). Just never took a fancy to expensive imported knives. I do have a couple of inexpensive Victorinox knives, some sort of promotional or anniversary set with synthetic handles.
  15. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My wife (sick) recalled a bag of bell peppers in the refrigerator she wanted cut up and bagged for adding to eggs and things. We typically buy, then process and store food in one of the freezers. She tells family and friends I'm a good sous chef. Because I step up and do as much of the prep work for her as she'll allow.
    Anyway, the knife I chose from the block happened to be a 7" Chicago Cutlery Santoku. I got it originally because it was the type I wanted between the large chef's, and smaller Hinkles Santoku. And it almost matches the Hinkles. After I gave it a few laps on the steel, it sliced and diced right along.
    Pretty much a joy to use.
    In fact, since my brain is on the cutting edge, I just touched up the knives in the counter-top knife block using my small diamond dust steel.
    My Dad, originally an Illinois farm boy, always liked Chicago Cutlery knives. We had Kabar, Old Timer, and a lot of old time American Made knives. My hunting knife was a good sized Bowey style Solingen, Germany sheath knife.
    It was almost identical to this.
    Dad thought it was too big when I bought it at age 15. It wasn't that big really, 5 1/2 - 6" blade.
    Then we were hunting with a neighbor who got a deer. It wasn't long before they wanted to borrow my big knife. LOL!
    It went on into life with me and helped process a lot of Deer and Antelope in Wyoming. It held an edge like no other. It was stolen by my second wife.
    It is said a good knife is the one that fits your hand and you will use.
  16. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have some $200 knives & some $10 knives, they all work equally well if you keep them razor sharp.
    The only difference between the expensive & cheap knives is the appearance & how long they stay sharp.
  17. normanaj

    normanaj Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hit up a hunting/fishing trade show and you can pick up a Dexter for half that.Great company making a great product right here in New England.Imo they're the best knives money can buy in its price range,I've been fileting bluefish and stripers with the same two blades going on more than two decades.And more than a few pork loins and briskets to boot.

    No doubt the flatware is made in China!
    SonnyE likes this.
  18. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use a set that I inherited from my Grandmother. I know it dates at least to the 1930's or 40's. They stay sharp and have never seen a dishwasher. Always hand washed and dried.

    SonnyE likes this.
  19. normanaj

    normanaj Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    A little update.Today I spoke with a good friend who has been in the restaraunt/food distribution business for over 40yrs and he assures me these knives are 100% made in China including the blade.Just because it says German steel on the blade doesn't make it so...everything from golf clubs to power tools.When Harbor Freight sells it how good can it be?

    There's a reason why Update International knives cost what they do,you get what you pay for.

    I'd be very interested what anyone here who owns one of these knives has to say in a couple of years...never mind 20 years.
  20. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I judge steel on it's ability to take an edge, then hold that edge. Not on who's name is on it.
    So far, so good.
    I'll check back with you when I'm 88... (20 years).
    If you're still around. ;)
    Instead of "good friends" what about doing some research for yourself?
    What did it say on your Dexter package? o_O
    How do you know? Might be a counterfeit....
    Made in USA could be USA, Japan. :rolleyes:
    Chill dude, put on some Iron Maiden and drift...
    Don't worry, be Happy...
    Stay in your closed mind, it's safe there.