j

JavaBean's Profile

Title Last Reply

Can you use a sharpening steel too much?

The main purpose of steeling/ honing is to re-align an edge that has bent or rolled-over. This happens easily on knives that are tempered on the soft side (std. German knives), and why many recommend steeling them – before each use. Although steeling does make a bent edge usable again, and delays the need to be re-sharpened, bending & re-aligning an edge weakens it. Eventually, the edge becomes more and more unstable…it maybe sharp, but deforms faster than normal.

I’ve yet to experience a bent edge with hard tempered knives (Japanese, ceramic, etc.), so I believe steeling them provides little benefits and does more harm (will dull, can chip) than good. I prefer to maintain mine with a strop or finish stone.

Jul 22, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware
1

Using a steel on Japanese knives?

For reasons already mentioned, I don't steel / hone my Japanese knives. However, if you feel the need to use one, use a smooth one (glass, fine ceramic). A smooth one, probably won't be as fast, but lowers the risks of chipping.

I've seen Shuns w/ microchips all along the blade that i believe was the result of using their hone improperly.

Jul 21, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

"Regular" utility knives for kitchen use

I think a regular utility knife is going to be hard to clean. Those retractable box cutters with long, breakaway blades will give you depth control, and could be fully extended for cleaning.

Jul 18, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Need help with my 1st sushi knife

If you can handle a usuba, a yanagiba won't be a problem.

To date, the usuba is the most challenging knife I've tried, both in usage and sharpening. Mine has a super thin, super fragile, brutally unforgiving edge that chips just by looking at it funny. I put a micro bevel aka training wheels on it for the 1st month.

Jul 14, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Need help with my 1st sushi knife

I will be the first to admit. I have the money to buy one, but I don't have the skill to use it.

Well, you'll never acquire the skills until you pull the trigger!

It took me a couple of weeks of practice, to go from a total spaz to decent with a yanigiba. And 3x more for a usuba...still can't Katsuramuki very well.

Jul 14, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Need help with my 1st sushi knife

In a nutshell, it’s about learning how to use and sharpen a yanagiba properly.

How to grip, move and control the blade for the various cutting strokes; there are several of them, and the mechanics of each is different. Plus adjustments for cutting soft vs. firm foods, and different fishes.

For sharpening, the technique (where to place & move fingers, the amount of downward pressure – on the forward vs back stroke when sharpening the back/ concave side vs. the front /bevel side (should have a hamaguri / clamshell bevel)

Having someone who knows what they’re doing, shadow you helps pinpoint what you are doing right or wrong.

Jul 14, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Need help with my 1st sushi knife

The Mac and Yoshihiro are both gyutos (aka chef’s knife); meant for a broad range of general prep. tasks and foods. Although a gyuto can slice, it’s not as efficient at slicing, as a sujihiki (aka slicer). The blade on a sujihiki being narrower in height and often longer in length than a gyuto; allows it to slice through foods with less friction,
turn more easily, and cut with less sawing.

Sujihikis are meant to slice a broad range of food items (watermelons, roasts, etc.). Many "new blood" sushi chefs and/or those that mostly do Maki “rolled sushi” often use a sujihiki. Whereas the more “tradition” sushi chefs and/or those that focus more on Nigiri/ sashimi use a Yanagiba.

In general, sujihikis are less expensive, used and maintained like any other regular double bevel knife. IME, sujihiki are great at cutting maki rolls, but it’s harder to make sashimi/ nigiri cuts that are perfectly straight or paper thin, and the texture of fish is more fuzzy, less glossy looking.

Yanagibas are more expensive, need to be used and maintained in a very specific way, but is specifically designed to do the types of cuts for sushi, and does so better than anything else. Good Yanagibas are made of (white #2 or better), and should be at least 270mm long...300-330mm if you do those very advanced cuts.

Would it be better for me to continue using yanagiba?
If your goal is to become more proficient at making sushi, yes. Given that you have already started to learn how to use and maintain an cheap one, keep going. Treat the one you have like a mule, use, abuse, mess up, fix it, etc.

Would it be more beneficial for me to become a skilled yanagiba user than a gyuto.

No, totally different knives, meant for different tasks. Most of the sushi chef's, I know use a sujihiki or yanagiba for slicing fish, and a gyuto or usuba for vegitables.

Do quality yanagiba knives require some special methods of maintaining and taking care of that exceeds the amount of care my current cheap yanagiba requires? If i am able to use my current yanagiba skillfully, will i be able to use the expensive yanagibas well or will the more pricier knives require more skill to use well?

There maybe some individual nuances,but you should be able to transfer most of what you've learned, when you upgrade.

Jul 13, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Akifusa Santoku 180mm - microchipping on edge

They removed more metal than needed for a normal, no big chips sharpening sessions. Perhaps they found the OOTB edge over tempered / brittle (common with new knives), and opted to grind off the 'burnt' metal in one shot vs. several sessions.

+1 on Chems' degradation answer.

Jul 04, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Grinding scratches on a new damascus pattern knife?

Yes, I recall Dave Martel @JapaneseKnifeSharpening, and one or two other hobbyists were able to re-etch a shun. Iirc, they used a diluted solution of etching fluid, dipped the blade for a few seconds at a time, redipped as needed.

I was going to try it myself with muriatic acid ( couldn't find etching solution), but I didn't want to experiment on a knife that wasn't mine.

Jul 03, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Grinding scratches on a new damascus pattern knife?

In general the more you sand or polish a damascus, the more subdued / blurred the pattern, the lines or veins become less dark.

The viens on the Shun aren't very dark to begin with, so i was able to polish out some of the scratches without making the veins less dark.

Jul 03, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Grinding scratches on a new damascus pattern knife?

I've sharpened a few shun classic with a boatload of surface scratches. Aside from looking like crap, the scratches didn't effect on the knifes' performance. I got most of the scratches out with wet fine (1k, 2k grit) wet/dry sandpaper and metal polish. But, left the deep and super fine, spiderweb scratches alone b/c I didn't want to mess with the Damascus pattern.

Jul 02, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Akifusa Santoku 180mm - microchipping on edge

You should be ok, but using a ceramic hone ( ~1k or 2k grit) on your knife which was or should be sharpened to ~5k, is going to degrade the edge.

Jul 01, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Grinding scratches on a new damascus pattern knife?

Or had too much mud on the stones.

Jul 01, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware
1

Grinding scratches on a new damascus pattern knife?

I’ve never seen scratches like that on a new knife, but as Cynic said the cladding on those VG-10 blades are very soft, and easily scratched. Plus, scratches are more easily seen with shinier vs. matte finishes.

Yours appear to have been marred by some sort of horizontal slotted knife drawer. If the Kasumi cladding is the same as Shuns’ cladding (which I believe it is), expect a lot more scratches from normal usage and washing. Avoid anything abrasive including hard sponges.

Jul 01, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Akifusa Santoku 180mm - microchipping on edge

In addition to what Cowboyardee (spot on…bro!) said, it’s not uncommon to experience micro chipping with new high HRC knives. A momentary lapse with powered sharpening / buffing machines is enough to overheat the edge. The issue should resolve itself after the first or second hand sharpening.

In general, microchips (that occur all along the edge) is likely due to honing or steeling. Although honing a soft HRC edge is normal, honing a high HRC edge is unnecessary and conducive to chipping. If you need to do it, do it very gently and use one that is smooth (Borosilicate / Glass).

Microchips (that only occur at the belly of the edge) is likely due to rock-chopping with too much downward or lateral force. That two handed power rocking, walking the blade from side to side will easily cause chipping because it’s very difficult to not torque or twist the blade while the edge is embedded in the cutting board. I more or less only rock-chop when mincing herbs, and will make a concentrated effort to not push down too hard, or walk the blade.

Hang in there, it takes a little awhile to get used a high hrc blade.

Jul 01, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware
1

Dexter-Russell or Forschner/Victorinox Chef's Knife?

Boning knives are the only knives that need a full height bolster, otherwise go with a partial or none at all.

Getting rid of any sharp spots ( other than edge) where your hand contacts the knife will make it less painful. For a pinch grip, try rounding / smoothing the spine and finger choil with some sandpaper.

Jun 26, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Dexter-Russell or Forschner/Victorinox Chef's Knife?

Cool and welcome to the full length bolsters are a pita club. :)

Jun 25, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Dexter-Russell or Forschner/Victorinox Chef's Knife?

Great news. Consider getting an estimate to reduce the bolster, a few mm or so will extend the knifes' lifespan by a few more future sharpenings.

Jun 25, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware
1

A Different Method of Steeling Knives

I rarely steel anymore, but did use method 2. Although it's slower, I can get the angle more right than method 1.

Method #3 felt weird.

Jun 21, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Private Staub & Miyabe knife sale on Zwilling site...

The heel of my knife extends the full width of the blade...you're at the point where the bolster needs to lessened and the blade needs to be thinned/ re-profiled. I believe Jim aka knifesaver does this kind of work.

Jun 21, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Private Staub & Miyabe knife sale on Zwilling site...

…my 20 year old Henckels 4-Star 8" chef's knife no longer holds an edge worth a damn. I used to sharpen it maybe 2 times a year and now it seems to be good for a month at most.

Your edge angle may be fatigued (didn’t form a sufficient enough burr or de-burr properly). In either case, you should be able to restore the original edge retention length by sharpening / grinding away the existing edge & rebuilding a new edge.

Does anyone have experience with the Miyabi knives?

As mentioned, Miyabi has many different models that sort of look the same, have similar names, model numbers, but use different blade steels. The models that have an “S” suffix and/or use German steel, appear to be a German knife with Japanese aesthetics; aren’t my cup of tea. Many German made knives use the same (or very similar) blade steel and blade shape w/ a different handle; so I always suggest getting whatever is cheaper – if you want German steel.

My wife and two friends have a Fusion / Kaizen (VG-10) and I’ve played with Birchwood (SG-2) a few times at the SLT. I believe they’re as good or better than anything else available in the retail stores, and were a steal at the sale/introduction price, but at the current price, I’d look for something else.

For < $50, Forchner/Victorinox or Tojiro DP w/ the slab handle (seen them on ebay).

Jun 21, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

How best to remove banana sap from knife blade

Although a thorough cleaning afterwards, should minimize the health risk, GH1618s’ concerns about leftover residue from the solvents are valid. WD40 disperses water, leaves a film, and will require more than hot soapy water to get it off.

Alternatively, elbow grease and baking soda, bon ami, bar keeper friend, or flitz metal polish should work. I’ve used them all to remove stains and rust on kitchen knives.

Jun 20, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

How best to remove banana sap from knife blade

I've used nail polish remover, wd-40 and paint thinner to remove tree sap from saws and pocket knives. Don't forget to wash off the solvent afterwards.

Jun 19, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Dexter-Russell or Forschner/Victorinox Chef's Knife?

As chem said, the Forschner/Victorinox fibrox has a slightly thinner blade and is made with a finer grain steel that can take a more acute edge (~ 16 dps). The DR sani-safe blade is a little thicker, made with a coarser gained steel that needs a more obtuse edge (~20 dps). Neither have good edge retention; require frequent honing and sharpening.

In general, thinner blades & more acute edge cut with less resistance, can still work (when slightly dull), are better at general purpose tasks.

Jun 19, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware
1

stainless appliances that don't show fingerprints

Brushed or satin finish will hide fingerprints and scratches better than polished finish. I use Bar Keeper Friend on our stainless steel sinks and appliances.

Jun 12, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Recommendations for a good general purpose 8" chef knife

Nice choice on the Fujiwara. I’ve nudged a few folks towards the FKM (stainless) and they’ve been happy. For sharpening a gyuto, many knife nuts go to 5k, but 3k is fine for normal people. In general, Arkansas stones aren’t as efficient (abrade slower) than good whetstones, but it should handle the SK-4 steel with a few extra minutes/ strokes.

I prefer a natural patina, but will resort to a force patina (warm vinegar bath) on high maintenance carbons. A lot of people create designs with mustard (plain), add red wine or apple cider vinegar for a stronger effect. FWIW, many thin coats last longer than fewer thick coats. Have fun.

Jun 03, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

camping knife for cooking

Sound like a good plan to me!

Jun 03, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

What do you use for cleaning your exhaust hood?

Our hood is stainless and I use a heavy duty degreaser (zep?), then rinse with hot water, then dry and buff with newspaper.

For glass, we use a streak free glass cleaner (mr. clean?),then dry and buff with newspaper.

Jun 03, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

camping knife for cooking

Losing the Kuro-uchi finish is not catastrophic. Most, if not all Kuro-uchi finishes deteriorate eventually from normal usage; some faster than others. However, it does leave the carbon steel cladding “naked” and more vulnerable to rust & reactive issues. It’s imperative to do the standard carbon steel maintenance rituals; keep it clean and dry, spot treat the rust, and oil or build a patina.

In my mind the knife that you’re eyeballing for camping would be akin to driving a fancy sports car off-road. I’d go with something old and / or cheap enough to not fret over losing or damaging for outdoor use, and something nice for indoors.

Jun 03, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware

Tsuki knives

Yup. I think a lot of the more common or generic knives are likely outsourced and rebranded. IIRC Ryusen / Blazen makes the generic, and perhaps custom spec'd VG-10 blanks for a lot of different companies. Plus, my yanigiba (generic W2) supposedly came from a some small shop that just makes knives for other brands.

I think it allows Japanese knife makers to focus on proprietary stuff, rebadge run of the mill stuff to have a complete line card.

May 28, 2014
JavaBean in Cookware