PDA

View Full Version : What's the point of a sharp heel?



Sambal
05-28-2013, 10:04 PM
After being nicked for the third time in a week by the sharp heel of my knives (while cleaning and sharpening, not cutting) I began to wonder what the point is about a sharp heel. I do appreciate the aesthetics of line and tension of a sharp edge from tip to heel but really, in terms of function is there a purpose? I mean even in a yanagiba or a deba where one would use the section of the edge towards the heel a sharp pointed heel is not really necessary is it? Of course I'm not about to blunt or round off the heels of my knives but am I missing something here?

Colorado_cutter
05-28-2013, 10:41 PM
I can't see a purpose. On the knives I have that have quite sharp heels that seem to catch me, I just put it on a coarse stone at a 45 degree angle. I figure I lose about a half a millimeter of blade cutting area- no big deal. All of the blade itself is still sharp, it just doesn't end in a 45 degree point. I understand sharp "heels" on the tip of a cleaver- that's super useful... but I'm not usually doing anything with the heel where I'm tilting the knife to make use of the "point" of the heel, so I figure best to just remove it. I first noticed this when going to a Fujiwara petty after using cleavers for years and years. On the cleaver, the blade is WAY the heck down there, and you don't nick yourself on the heel. But, it is easy enough on a petty...

schanop
05-28-2013, 10:50 PM
You can use a heel of an usuba, a gyuto, and/or santoku as a little knife i.e. taking out potato eye in hand with the heel is one such typical usage.

Sharp deba heels serves a purpose for breaking through fish bone joint.

GlassEye
05-28-2013, 11:33 PM
You can use a heel of an usuba, a gyuto, and/or santoku as a little knife i.e. taking out potato eye in hand with the heel is one such typical usage.

Sharp deba heels serves a purpose for breaking through fish bone joint.

Good examples. I don't realize how much I use a sharp heel until I am using a knife that doesn't have it.

Jmadams13
05-28-2013, 11:37 PM
Good examples. I don't realize how much I use a sharp heel until I am using a knife that doesn't have it.

Exactly. I use the heel more then I think, until it's not there or I grab one of my sabs. Not even sure when I use it, I just know i miss it when it's not there

DevinT
05-28-2013, 11:52 PM
It's for pulling the sticker off of tomatoes.

Hoss

schanop
05-28-2013, 11:59 PM
Another example for a yanagi would be to use the heel to prick the fish flesh or skin to make it softer. Picture a process of slicing fish, pricking the piece, then plating or making a nigiri out of it.

panda
05-29-2013, 12:18 AM
every part of the knife has its use! even the spine.

tk59
05-29-2013, 01:30 AM
It's good for discouraging people from using my "nice" blades. They can stick to the full bolster German stuff.

WiscoNole
05-29-2013, 02:43 AM
they're for making air holes in a container to improve flow through the spout ;)

brainsausage
05-29-2013, 03:06 AM
^I like this guy. He says funny things and it makes for the easier laughing.

Lefty
05-29-2013, 04:45 AM
Kramer eases the heel with a very slight s shaped choil, and it works great. Less pricking, but still able to sharpen properly. Knives with unsharpened heels (think hollow ground Resto Supply knives), and knives with big finger guards really do mess with sharpening, but moving the heel slightly forward solves this issue and allows for easy sharpening. Butch moves the heel forward on his knives, as well.

ChiliPepper
05-29-2013, 06:08 AM
Interesting, I don't really mind sharp heels in knives while I use them but I must admit they make a mess of any towel I use to wipe them... Not even a cat manages the same results... this thread makes me think if I should slightly ease them. Any advice from the pros?

Chef Niloc
05-29-2013, 10:32 AM
I use the heel of my deba's the most. I use it to poke into and then push Forward to cut threw the skin as so the tip stays sharp. The last inch of my deba's I sharpen at a 35 angle because I use te back inch to go threw bone.

shaneg
05-30-2013, 01:57 AM
I've got a little routine when I use my knife it gets wiped then placed on a damp/wrung out towel on the right beside my board, with the blade edge facing in, this is important especially during service, everything has it's place and makes things easier as you can work faster as you can grab things without looking, spoons, tongs ladels with the knife being the exception, the one time someone used my knife they put it back the wrong way I sliced open my knuckle when I wiped my bench. Bastard.

psfred
05-30-2013, 09:35 PM
Having just spent a couple hours grinding off the blunt heel of a couple knives (very hard stainless!), I would question why anyone would WANT a blunt heel. Nothing like a knife that won't cut because a blunt heel is higher than the blade, eh? Smashed onions, squished tomatoes, not for me! I want mine sharp right up the end of the blade. Impossible to sharpen the next quarter inch when you have a blunt heel that' higher than the edge, to say nothing of not being able to get the edge all the way through something.

If you don't want a sharp corner, grind it off to lower than the edge, I can see that, but I've never damaged a towel (so far) drying a knife.

Suit yourself, but I prefer sharp heels.

Peter

EdipisReks
05-30-2013, 10:38 PM
i've cut myself in every way possible, but never at the heel. so, why not keep a sharp heel?

GriffinChef
05-31-2013, 01:02 AM
I use the heel of my knife to de-seed lemon cheeks mostly (not something that is easily done from 270mm away), but have used it for pretty much every purpose mentioned. i used to cut myself, but havent since i began constantly using a pinch grip.

Zwiefel
05-31-2013, 01:10 AM
I use the heel of my knife to de-seed lemon cheeks mostly

What is a lemon cheek? (guessing this is an English(Yank) vs English(Aussie) thing)

labor of love
05-31-2013, 02:02 AM
they're for making air holes in a container to improve flow through the spout ;)

olive oil gallon metal containers in particular, atleast for me. but i use my global paring beater instead, and i like to use a downward stabbing motion ala psychos infamous shower scene

chinacats
05-31-2013, 02:53 AM
I cut myself w/ the sharp heel on every knife I own--never while cutting, usually when putting the knife away when I'm done. From using the Kramer pass around I am convinced that this is the best heel shape ever.:tease:

GriffinChef
05-31-2013, 08:53 AM
What is a lemon cheek? (guessing this is an English(Yank) vs English(Aussie) thing)
Some restaurants cut a lemon into 4 (or 6 or 8) and remove the pith in the center, we cut 3 "cheeks" from the outside of the lemon (for aesthetic reasons really) and use the inside for juice , this leaves the seeds shallow enough to pick out with the heel of a knife.

Zwiefel
05-31-2013, 09:51 AM
Some restaurants cut a lemon into 4 (or 6 or 8) and remove the pith in the center, we cut 3 "cheeks" from the outside of the lemon (for aesthetic reasons really) and use the inside for juice , this leaves the seeds shallow enough to pick out with the heel of a knife.

Interesting...cheers!

franzb69
05-31-2013, 10:28 AM
Some restaurants cut a lemon into 4 (or 6 or 8) and remove the pith in the center, we cut 3 "cheeks" from the outside of the lemon (for aesthetic reasons really) and use the inside for juice , this leaves the seeds shallow enough to pick out with the heel of a knife.

citrus supreme! =D