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connie
05-16-2013, 07:02 AM
when a kitchen knife buyer gets prices from different suppliers, what he/she should know for comparing the price? Please see below what I think is very important, which price will be base on:
1. a hollow ground blade or flat ground blade.
2. sanding finish or mirror finish.
3. the blade thickess
4. full tang or half tang
5.how is the handle, if PP, it is from fresh new pp or reclaimed materials.

GeneH
05-16-2013, 08:11 AM
6. Blade steel and hardness
7. The name on the blade

(should change #2, adding hammered finish to the list)

Squilliam
05-16-2013, 10:43 AM
1. Blade geometry (waaaay more complicated than just type of grind)
2. Blade profile
3. Appropriateness and quality of heat treatment
4. Steel
5. Handle

This is the list I use, in order of importance. Aesthetics aren't included because they cannot be put into an ordered list. Also consider construction method.

Justin0505
05-16-2013, 10:40 PM
This all depends on the price range. Once you get over a certain price, much of what you're paying for is the get the specific combination of features that you personally like best or think are most optimum for the type of work the knife will be doing.

I would say that most folks on here have a sort of MINIMUM acceptable level of materials and fit&finish. However, you will see that many of these points are difficult to quantify and still depend on a users qualitative perception.

Blade: steel, heat treat, and grind:
- Must be able to take a very fine edge
- Should have at, the least, good enough edge retention to last an entire day of hard to moderate use without needing to be resharpened in order to maintain functional sharpness
- If a steel has less durable edge retention, then that should be balanced by it being VERY easy to sharpen and touch-up/maintain between sharpening sessions. If a steel is more difficult to sharpen, then that should be balanced by very good edge retention (fewer/ less frequent sharpenings needed)
- Steel should be hard (60RC +) but not overly brittle; it should flex slightly or deform before chipping. In other words, it should behave like metal and not like glass.
- Profile (curvature of edge) should be appropriate to user's style of cutting, and the requirements of the application
- Grind should also match the user's preference and application requirements, but in general a combination of flat and convex grinds are most desired. Concave or "hollow" grinds and typically not desirable for several reasons, probably the greatest of which is the problems that the hollow grinds pose for long-term maintenance / thinning and sharpening using flat stones.

Fit and Finish:
- There should be no visible gaps or voids where materials are joined.
- All joined surfaces should be flush and even
- Contact / interface points (areas where the hands come into contact with the knife) ie: handle, bolster/ferrule, neck, choil, spine should be comfortable (sharp corners rounded and smoothed that least the level as not to be dangerous or painful for prolonged use).
*Beyond that fit and finish is VERY subjective: some like a forged finish on the blade with visible hammer marks; some like mirror polish.

Materials:
*Also very subjective and depends on both user's personal tastes and application requirements: some like rare and/or showy materials (damascus blades, mokume bolsters, burled woods, etc. ; but some prefer materials and aesthetics that are not just simple and functional, but almost minimalist or "deliberately plain."
- As long as the materials are reasonable easy to maintain and can withstand normal use in a kitchen (exposure to moisture, moderate heat, acidity and mild corrosives, occasional contact with hard surfaces/ moderate shock) then they meet the minimum requirements.

You would be surprised how few knives do not meet even the minimum standard of what folks on here would require a "baisc good knife."

Again, as I said, features the beyond the minimum become very subjective and specialized, but there are a few "holy grail" qualities that are very rare and almost universally coveted by kitchen knife knuts. Some that I can think of:
- A combination of steel and heat treat that yields a blade that is: very easy to sharpen, has very high / fine attainable sharpness, maintains and "aggressive" level of bite even at high-polish, AND has very good edge retention
- A combination of flat and convex blade geometry that results in a blade that is very rigid, has very good food release (not much sticks to it), but is also very "low drag" and does not wedge
- A handle and ergonomic design that is comfortable for a variety of grips and a variety of hand sizes
- A blade profile that provides very good and very even edge contact through a variety of cutting motions


As I am sure that you can see, these are not qualities that are easy to represent or determine in a few pictures and a brief product description. That's why it is very difficult to compare or "balance" one knife vs another unless you have the knives in your hand and have had a chance to use them OR you can talk to someone who has (and understands all of the above points and more). That, in a nutshell, is why the forums exist and why vendors like JKI, Korin, JNS, EE are popular.

connie
05-20-2013, 11:37 PM
1. Blade geometry (waaaay more complicated than just type of grind)
2. Blade profile
3. Appropriateness and quality of heat treatment
4. Steel
5. Handle

This is the list I use, in order of importance. Aesthetics aren't included because they cannot be put into an ordered list. Also consider construction method. thanks for supplement.

connie
05-20-2013, 11:38 PM
This all depends on the price range. Once you get over a certain price, much of what you're paying for is the get the specific combination of features that you personally like best or think are most optimum for the type of work the knife will be doing.

I would say that most folks on here have a sort of MINIMUM acceptable level of materials and fit&finish. However, you will see that many of these points are difficult to quantify and still depend on a users qualitative perception.

Blade: steel, heat treat, and grind:
- Must be able to take a very fine edge
- Should have at, the least, good enough edge retention to last an entire day of hard to moderate use without needing to be resharpened in order to maintain functional sharpness
- If a steel has less durable edge retention, then that should be balanced by it being VERY easy to sharpen and touch-up/maintain between sharpening sessions. If a steel is more difficult to sharpen, then that should be balanced by very good edge retention (fewer/ less frequent sharpenings needed)
- Steel should be hard (60RC +) but not overly brittle; it should flex slightly or deform before chipping. In other words, it should behave like metal and not like glass.
- Profile (curvature of edge) should be appropriate to user's style of cutting, and the requirements of the application
- Grind should also match the user's preference and application requirements, but in general a combination of flat and convex grinds are most desired. Concave or "hollow" grinds and typically not desirable for several reasons, probably the greatest of which is the problems that the hollow grinds pose for long-term maintenance / thinning and sharpening using flat stones.

Fit and Finish:
- There should be no visible gaps or voids where materials are joined.
- All joined surfaces should be flush and even
- Contact / interface points (areas where the hands come into contact with the knife) ie: handle, bolster/ferrule, neck, choil, spine should be comfortable (sharp corners rounded and smoothed that least the level as not to be dangerous or painful for prolonged use).
*Beyond that fit and finish is VERY subjective: some like a forged finish on the blade with visible hammer marks; some like mirror polish.

Materials:
*Also very subjective and depends on both user's personal tastes and application requirements: some like rare and/or showy materials (damascus blades, mokume bolsters, burled woods, etc. ; but some prefer materials and aesthetics that are not just simple and functional, but almost minimalist or "deliberately plain."
- As long as the materials are reasonable easy to maintain and can withstand normal use in a kitchen (exposure to moisture, moderate heat, acidity and mild corrosives, occasional contact with hard surfaces/ moderate shock) then they meet the minimum requirements.

You would be surprised how few knives do not meet even the minimum standard of what folks on here would require a "baisc good knife."

Again, as I said, features the beyond the minimum become very subjective and specialized, but there are a few "holy grail" qualities that are very rare and almost universally coveted by kitchen knife knuts. Some that I can think of:
- A combination of steel and heat treat that yields a blade that is: very easy to sharpen, has very high / fine attainable sharpness, maintains and "aggressive" level of bite even at high-polish, AND has very good edge retention
- A combination of flat and convex blade geometry that results in a blade that is very rigid, has very good food release (not much sticks to it), but is also very "low drag" and does not wedge
- A handle and ergonomic design that is comfortable for a variety of grips and a variety of hand sizes
- A blade profile that provides very good and very even edge contact through a variety of cutting motions


As I am sure that you can see, these are not qualities that are easy to represent or determine in a few pictures and a brief product description. That's why it is very difficult to compare or "balance" one knife vs another unless you have the knives in your hand and have had a chance to use them OR you can talk to someone who has (and understands all of the above points and more). That, in a nutshell, is why the forums exist and why vendors like JKI, Korin, JNS, EE are popular. so detailed!