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Can you help me identify this (Japanese?) knife?

I bought a very similar "Three Rams" #2 knife from a local thrift store. This website refers to it as a fruit knife:
http://www.chasesupplies.com/brands/T...

Sep 16, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

CBAD, I've finaly got the new handle design worked out. I've pushed the 'fall-off' point back a bit & kicked the underside 'hook' out. This should help a lot with balance, but allow me to maintain ergonomics with final wood shaping.

Yes, I think you're right (at this stage) regarding time spent on finishing. Thanks for the Murray Carter suggestion! I've been thinking of going with two lines (each of different finish), but I might just offer one with an 'option' for polish.

Sep 06, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Thanks Chem! :-)

Sep 06, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Thanks sherrib! Regarding marketing/pricing, you're correct. Overall, the votes are in favor of 'rustic', so that's my plan at this point. :-)

Sep 06, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

I think my preference is for the tung oil finish. I didn't really care for the other finishes I tried.

However, the cherry is very fine-grained, so the Salad Bowl finish might provide better results on a heavier-grained wood like the black walnut or the oak. I might give that a try, just to see what it feels like. :-)

Aug 15, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Well, I did notice when I visited him again 6 more months later that his santoku was still very sharp & only required a touch-up sharpening. He admitted that he switched from plastic to wood, so my feeling is that it IS due to the cutting surface.

Aug 15, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Best 8" Chef's Knife $100 or Less

:-D I actually had something next to my arm (I don't remember what it was now) that I rested the handle on. The difficult part was getting a 'clean' reflection on the blade! I had to tilt the blade until the relection was clear, then pick up the camera & adjust the zoom's focal length, then take the picture. Usually my arm would move slightly while I was making those actions, ruining the tilt angle, so then I'd have to do it all again. It took a LOT longer than I would've thought to get that image!

Aug 14, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Best 8" Chef's Knife $100 or Less

I would suggest (as others have) an affordable knife & a single waterstone.

If you want a thin, light blade with great maneuverability & excellent cutting abilities, then I'd recommend a Forschner Rosewood knife. I greatly prefer the rosewood handles (over the more common Fibrox material) for overall usability & balance.

Similarly, you don't have to spend a lot to get a good waterstone. I started with both a 1000 grit & a 6000 grit waterstones, but you don't really need the 6000. You could easily get a 1200 (or 1000) & be happy with that forever.

The knife might be this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-8-In...

I'd get the stone from these guys:
http://www.mikestools.com/Power-Tool-...

The attached picture is of my Forschner Rosewood Santoku, sharpened on a 1000 grit Splex waterstone. I also used a leather strop with CrO polishing abrasive, but simple stropping on paper or cardboard works almost as well.

Aug 14, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

No pictures? Bad Chem! :-D

Thanks again to both you & CBAD (& a few others!) for taking the time & effort to provide feedback on these initial efforts! It's really helping me a LOT in the advancement of my designs.

Handle finish - The Salad Bowl finish consistently got the most praise for appearance, as it's really a very thin urethane. The tung oil finish (on CBAD's knife) got the highest marks for feel, as it left more of a natural wood grip to it. I tried several other finshes as well.

Edge retention - I gave one of my cousins a 155mm santoku & another cousin a 210mm gyuto I had made, then visited them after 6 months. (Neither knife had been sharpened during this time.) The one using the santoku was cutting on one of those roll-up plastic cutting boards, while the one using the gyuto was cutting on a wood board. The santoku was terribly dull, but the gyuto was still reasonably sharp! I sharpened both knives for them, then told my cousin (using plastic) that he was "being beaten" (in edge performance) by the cousin using wood. I visited him again 6 more months later. The santoku was still very sharp! He admitted that he switched from plastic to wood .... :-)

I'm still using D2 for all of my new knives, as I like the combination of strength, toughness, & sharpen-ability. In this next group of knives, I'm also trying one knife out of CPM D2. It's a more expensive steel, but if I notice any improvements it might be worth the upgrade.

Aug 11, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

To answer your question about handle size/shape, I tried to match all of the handles (as close as I could, since I was doing everything "free-hand"/"by eye"). This part of the design was critical for me, since this is THE interface between user & knife. We'll see how the new, longer handles shape up .... (pun sort of intended)

In the attached picture, the only knife with a different handle shape is the far left petit gyuto, due to its smaller size.

The knives are, L to R:
150mm petit gyuto (aka 6" utility) with cherry handle
170mm santoku with cherry handle (Chem's review)
210mm gyuto with oak handle
8" chef with black walnut handle
240mm gyuto with black walnut handle (CBAD's review)

Aug 11, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

I'll answer a few items in CBAD's review first.

Convex Grind - I'm going to reduce this quite a bit. Since it didn't accomplish its intent (to reduce food sticking to the blade), there's no reason to keep this relatively dramatic curveto the 'wall' of the blade. CBAD made a good suggestion to convex one side, so that's what I'll try next. This should reduce the resistance quite a bit.

Feel - The new handles will be a bit longer, & I'll use three pins rather than two. This will provide better balance for the larger/longer blades, & give an immediate feel of 'familiarity' when picking up the knife for the first time. Of course, the challenge will be incorporating my same concern for maintaining ergonomics when there's more handle than you really need. ;-)

Finish - Although I kinda like the 'rustic' grind finish to the blade, I might try a slightly more 'refined' polish for the next group. But really, I'm torn between the more hand-made look (visible grind marks) & the store-bought look (polished). So if anyone cares to offer an opinion, I'm all ears.

Aug 11, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

A Knife Made By A Chowhound (our own Eiron): an overdue review

Hey everyone, sorry for not responding quicker!

Thanks to CBAD & Chem for taking the time to critique my initial attempts at knife-making. And thanks to everyone for the positive responses, too - it's very encouraging!

For the past year I've been sending these first knives out all over the country, asking friends & family members for opinions. Based on what I've been hearing, I AM going to make some changes.

Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to elaborate, but I will come back & answer some of the questions raised in the reviews, & I'll also outline the planned changes.

:-)

Aug 04, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

My Wusthof Knife is NEVER sharp enough...please help!

First of all, I don't think Chem would EVER do anything to a knife's edge capricously. He's accumulated too much knife knowledge to do that!

Secondly, I agree with him. I, too, think that most people believe their knives must maintain a specific, marketing-defined edge in order to 'work'. That's just not true! In fact, it's not even necessary to keep the edge angle constant! Before the proliferation of 'sharpening systems', all knives were sharpened by hand once they left the factory. (And what did people do before knives came out of factories?!? The horror!!)
Y'know what? It simply doesn't matter.
Sorry, but it's true.

Thirdly, if you hired ME to sharpen your knife, I'd try to evaluate what edge angle YOU would most benefit from. Playing into that would be the quality of the knife, the manner in which you use it, the surfaces you cut on, & your tolerance for having it resharpened sooner rather than later.

Remember, it's just a sharp piece of steel. Use what works best for you.
Everything's a trade-off.
Nothing's set in stone.
(Or steel, as the case may be.)

May 15, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Coffee Grinder Question? Please help.

I used a blade grinder for about 20 yrs before buying my first burr grinder. I now own three burr grinders & no blade grinders. :-) And I could immediately taste the improvement switching from a blade grinder to a burr grinder.

But it sounds like you're really asking if you should keep the expensive burr grinder or get a cheap burr grinder instead? If that's your question, I'd say keep the better grinder. As long as the price doesn't bother YOU, then use it happily! I've only used one sub-$100 burr grinder, the Cuisinart, & it wasn't worthy of the name.

Apr 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Farmhouse Sinks

We also put in a 2-bowl Rohl Allia fireclay sink, about 10 or 11 yrs ago. It's still the single best improvement we made to the entire kitchen, IMO. We installed the top mount version with all the holes for fixtures (model #6327).
http://www.rohlhome.com/Kitchen/Produ...

Like Duffy describes with her Kraus, the Allia gave us HUGE amounts of extra washing-up area compared to the standard SS sink it replaced, due to all of the space created by the cast walls & small-radius corners!

Feb 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Olive oil dispenser for easy cooking

Hi Kaleo,

Yes, I agree on the sizes. The smallest I've found (online) is 2 liter. I'm not sure how much my cousin's fusti holds. Of course, you could always fill it only 1 liter full at a time. We go thru a fair amount of olive oil, so the convenience would be the biggest benefit for me.

I think the tops are all wide for easy filling from a bulk tin of oil? I look at oxidation with an eye towards "air exchange rate". If I had a 2 ltr fusti, then the gradual replacement of oil with a small amount of air is not so much of a concern (to me) because it's trapped inside the fusti. I wouldn't have a constant exchange of new oxygen to break down the oil. But that's just me ....

I did find one online vendor who recommended putting a shot of "Private Preserve" inert gas into the fusti when you use out of it. (Oddly enough, they DIDN'T mention filling your bulk tin with gas after you pour from it into your fusti!) I'm not sure I would care enough to go to that amount of trouble. I don't do it with my opened wine or olive oil now, so ....

:-)

Feb 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Olive oil dispenser for easy cooking

My cousin uses a small fusti, & I'm thinking of getting one myself:
http://www.amazon.com/M5-Corporation-...

In the meantime, I'm using a large beer bottle with an attached stopper. If you're not using steel or ceramic, brown glass seems to be the way to go to protect your liquids from damaging sunlight.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/r...

http://brokensecrets.com/2010/03/23/w...

Feb 28, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Fixing a Jura yourself?

If you're handy, then I say go for it. A locked grinder might be something as simple as a rock mixed in with the beans (yes, I've had it happen several times) that jammed up in the burrs, or (even simpler) someone adjusting the grinder to a finer setting with the grinder off (also jams up the burrs). That might've led to a blown fuse internal to the machine.

BUT .... I know nothing about Jura machines specifically, only the espresso eqpt that I own & have worked on.

Just be careful about getting it apart. Some of these machines are designed for ease of assembly, NOT ease of repair. You don't want to end up stripping screws or breaking interlocking panel tabs trying to fix it yourself.

Don't hesitate to ask questions if you decide to start taking it apart yourself!

Feb 13, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Technivorm or Bonavita?

I think it's a personal preference issue. Technically, glass is less reactive than stainless. The question is, can YOU tell the difference? (I can't.)

Of course, then you also need to follow that same preference all the way thru. It's not just a question of "what is the carafe made of," but also "what is the entire brew path made of" and "what am I drinking out of." For example, I never drink my coffee from a glass cup or mug, but I frequently drink it from a stainless thermal mug or (horrors!) a plastic thermal travel cup!

For me, the benefits of a superior machine made to higher quality standards (Technivorm) outweighs any imperceptible taste difference.

Feb 10, 2014
Eiron in Cookware
2

I need a knife!

Google "lettuce knife".

Jan 20, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Tell me more about the "bagel" setting in your toaster

Our GE toaster's "bagel" setting reduces the heat to the outside of the bagel, only warming that side. If you look into our toaster with that setting selected you can easily see that the heating coils are darker/colder on the outside coils.

Jan 18, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

Well, yes & no. These are definitely "sharpening" devices, but they do sell a model (the yellow one) as a "polishing/honing" device.

You can find the "complete set" here:
https://secure.edgemaker.com/sections...

To grampart's point, yes, they are intended to be sharpeners & yes, they do, in fact, remove metal.
I have a set myself.

To Cynic's point, no, they are not honers that do not sharpen.

Jan 17, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Lefty needs a knife!

Then, there are "typical" knives from other countries that are distinctly 'handed'. I have a Foshan #2 Fruit Knife with an edge that is definitely ground right-handed. The left side of the blade is slightly hollow-ground, while the right side is slightly convex-ground.

http://www.chasesupplies.com/products...

I have no idea if they even make a left-handed version, but a lefty using this knife would be at a distinct dis-advantage. Of course, this is all focused on the blade grind, not the handle. The handle is 'neutral', but the knife is definitely designed to be used right-handed.

Jan 17, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

I would either go for a single 1000 or 1200 grit Japanese waterstone, or the 'medium' grit Spyderco ceramic bench stone.

The waterstone is less expensive ($25 vs $35) & will cut a little faster, but requires some prep (soaking) & maintenance (flattening), & will slowly wear down over the years.

The ceramic is 'splash & go', requires no maintenance, & will last forever.

Jan 17, 2014
Eiron in Cookware
1

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

Actually, these things ARE sharpeners (I have a set). The rods are grooved & hardened - on softer steels like most of the popular brands are made of, they can remove quite a bit of metal! I don't care for the results, but they do a pretty quick job & are better than never sharpening.

Jan 17, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Are Victorinox Knives Best Bang For Buck?

I love my Forschner Rosewood knives! I agree that they're the best-looking/best-performing knives at that price point!

I have the 3-1/4" parer, the 7" santoku, & the 8" bread knife. Sharpening is a breeze on the straight-edged knives (parer & santoku). I use a Spyderco medium-grit ceramic bench stone. The santoku gets used the most, so it's the one that gets sharpened most frequently. Even so, it only "needs" it about twice a year, along with a dab of mineral oil on the handle.

Go Rosewood! :-)

Jan 16, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

knife to cut fresh/soft bagel

My gyuto cuts bagels better than my serrated bread knife. My cousins both use non-serrated knives to cut their bagels (one uses a gyuto, the other uses a santoku).

So, my vote goes for a thin, sharp, non-serrated knife.

:-)

Jan 15, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

I agree that you'll only need either a 1000 or 1200 grit stone to get your Global sharper than it was from the factory. If you want a finer grit for polishing the edge, I'd recommend a 4000 grit. It's a big jump from 1000 to 6000 & just makes things more difficult for someone just starting out with sharpening. I also recommend starting out with single stones rather than combo stones. You'll get 'more for your money' that way.

Jan 11, 2014
Eiron in Cookware

Did I ruin my All-Clad LTD pan?

Hey Chem,

They were there when I bought the pan. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I still haven't done anything with this pan! It still sits on my workbench with a bottle of CLR....

Dec 29, 2013
Eiron in Cookware

Six inch vs 8 inch cook's knives?

Having spent some time in Europe (and England in particular), I do recall that counter space is at much more of a premium than here in the U.S.. With that in mind, I can see where you'd be forced to use smaller cutting boards & shorter knives. In this situation, I'd agree that 6" knives are potentially more useful than 8" knives.

I agree with the other comments about avoiding a block set. For limited space counter work, I'd highly suggest considering a santoku. The straighter blade profile provides you with more "cutting length" than a typical curved cook's knife or chef's knife. It also has a good "working point" to the tip of the knife.

Have you looked at this style of knife yet?

Dec 29, 2013
Eiron in Cookware
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