PDA

View Full Version : Why so japanocentric?



banjo1071
06-21-2013, 08:18 AM
Hi
I noticed that this forum is very fokused on japanese cutlery or imitation/interpretation of it? I mean, there a so many wondeful knifmakers and fanastic knifecompanies all around the world that get no notice here. I mean not at all! Is there any specific reason? Is because people think japanese cutlery is superior op all other (thats what advertisment tells us, but i see hordes of japanes tourist buying loads and loads of swiss and german cutlery here in europe, so that hardly can be true).
Or is it that all the good stuff from France, Switzerland, Austria or Germany is rarly exported und our US-Friends just get the china-made factory stuff like Zwilling, "Messermeister" (completly unknown in Germany) and the such? And have all the right to diss these crappy blades.
Dont get me wrong: I love the eastern stuff too, the aesthetics and all. But over the years a i always came back to german super-thin high carbon knives as my goto-knives. And they just cost a fraction...

Please enlighten me

Greets Benjamin

P.S: Please excuse my poor english, it obviously not my motherlanguage

Mucho Bocho
06-21-2013, 08:44 AM
Banjo, Welcome to our forum. You're English is better than mine and I'm a native. So I get asked this question all the time. There are far more knowledgeable members than I on this forum that will chime in, some considerations why most of us think that Japanese and Japanese inspired knives are better are because:

1.) Their knife profile give the cook multiple ways to cut with them. example: Sure it can be done but its rather tough to push-cut with a proper European Chef knife.

2.)The steels that are used are very specialized. They are selected specifically for their use. Some are very hard, allowing amazing long edge holding ability.

3.) The knives we discuss around her are all hand made, but people that take their craft very seriously. Its a cross between an utility industry and artistic expression. Spend some times looking at the knives from the craftsmen on this board.


BTW: Do you actually play the banjo? I pick a little Clawhammer myself. Enoch Dobson, bum diddy bum

Von blewitt
06-21-2013, 08:53 AM
I'd be interested to see some artisan Euro carbon knives! Any links?

berko
06-21-2013, 09:02 AM
i know exactly what you are talkin about, banjo. i think the main reason for this is language. people can hardly inform about knifes that are not advertised in their language. you also dont search russian forums, do you?

Andrew H
06-21-2013, 09:03 AM
Hi
I noticed that this forum is very fokused on japanese cutlery or imitation/interpretation of it? I mean, there a so many wondeful knifmakers and fanastic knifecompanies all around the world that get no notice here. I mean not at all! Is there any specific reason? Is because people think japanese cutlery is superior op all other (thats what advertisment tells us, but i see hordes of japanes tourist buying loads and loads of swiss and german cutlery here in europe, so that hardly can be true).
Or is it that all the good stuff from France, Switzerland, Austria or Germany is rarly exported und our US-Friends just get the china-made factory stuff like Zwilling, "Messermeister" (completly unknown in Germany) and the such? And have all the right to diss these crappy blades.
Dont get me wrong: I love the eastern stuff too, the aesthetics and all. But over the years a i always came back to german super-thin high carbon knives as my goto-knives. And they just cost a fraction...

Please enlighten me

Greets Benjamin

P.S: Please excuse my poor english, it obviously not my motherlanguage

Hi Benjamin!

What advertising, exactly? I can't say I've ever seen an advertisement for any Japanese knives other than Shun, which doesn't really count.

Benuser
06-21-2013, 09:08 AM
Messermeister are the export series by Burgvogel, Solingen.

Marko Tsourkan
06-21-2013, 09:11 AM
Hi
I noticed that this forum is very fokused on japanese cutlery or imitation/interpretation of it? I mean, there a so many wondeful knifmakers and fanastic knifecompanies all around the world that get no notice here. I mean not at all! Is there any specific reason? Is because people think japanese cutlery is superior op all other (thats what advertisment tells us, but i see hordes of japanes tourist buying loads and loads of swiss and german cutlery here in europe, so that hardly can be true).
Or is it that all the good stuff from France, Switzerland, Austria or Germany is rarly exported und our US-Friends just get the china-made factory stuff like Zwilling, "Messermeister" (completly unknown in Germany) and the such? And have all the right to diss these crappy blades.
Dont get me wrong: I love the eastern stuff too, the aesthetics and all. But over the years a i always came back to german super-thin high carbon knives as my goto-knives. And they just cost a fraction...

Please enlighten me

Greets Benjamin

P.S: Please excuse my poor english, it obviously not my motherlanguage

I am one of the partial "imitators" of Japanese made knives and here is why I do it.

Japanese culture makes a special emphasis on efficiency, be it in sports, arts or trades. For instance, by selecting a profile in a knife that allows efficient cutting, by choosing a steel that gets very sharp and can be hardened to high RCs, by giving a knife a thin geometry (some makers) you get a knife that will cut very well. There are subtle differences among knives from different makers, but in general the consensus wold be that Japanese knives outperform European knives.

Efficiency and performance is worth imitation, and building upon. I personally picked a few things from Japanese makers and few things from American makers. Zero from German or French makers.

Kitchen knives are like cars. A simple car with get you from point A to point B, but you can put a simple car on a race track. European makers can make whatever claims they like, but until their knives prove themselves, it's all talk. When I look at some knives, I see how they are ground and know what they are capable of.

Note that many people on this forum are professional users and capable about evaluating a knife. So, many are Japanosentric for a good reason.

M

PS: Do I personally think that Japanese knives are best in the world, no. But they are worth imitating and build and improve upon.

BTW: in the links in the next after mine post, the profiles are either copied from Japanese or pretty off.

I didn't take it as insult. I am just explaining that people copy things for a reason, typically because it is a good design or a feature.

banjo1071
06-21-2013, 09:11 AM
Thanks fpr your kind replies
Concerning the steel: There are also many different steels in use. They dont hav these fancy names. They haver rather technical descriptions like 1.3505.

For example
http://www.messerkontor.eu/KOCHMESSER-FORMEN/Gyuto/JUeRGEN-SCHANZ-Lucidus-II-Carbon-Gyuto-21cm::2358.html (okay bad example, also japanocentric)
http://www.koraat-knives.at/ (this guy even casts a costum steel, depending on the purpose of the knife)
http://www.messerkontor.eu/KOCHMESSER-FORMEN/Allzweckmesser/HERDER-K2-Kleines-Kochmesser-HRC-60-nicht-rostfrei-Pflaumenholzg::2003.html
http://www.messerkontor.eu/KOCHMESSER-FIRMEN/Hohenmoorer-Messer-Manufakur/Drei-Lagen-Stahl:::3_942_944.html
http://www.messerkontor.eu/KOCHMESSER-EXCLUSIV/Uli-Hennicke:::594_775.html

Just to name a few...

P.S. No Banjo here, but Ukulele.....

banjo1071
06-21-2013, 09:22 AM
@Marco
Thank you for your answer. I know "imitator" is a poor choice of words, i just did not know how to say ist in other words. It was in no way meant as an insult, i am sorry i you took it as such.
All you say ist true. But all the japanese steels have euro equivanlents. And these equivalents are used by knivemakers and they harden it to the same degree than the japanese makers. They also got very thin geometries an consequently cut well. Again: i am not talking about the buttersteel-everday-zwilling knife here, but handforged artisan knives. Thats what puzzles me.

Greets
Benjamin

franzb69
06-21-2013, 09:30 AM
there aren't many euro knife makers that make enough kitchen knives. and when there are, they don't really spark our interest the way japanese style knives do.

=D

Marko Tsourkan
06-21-2013, 09:32 AM
@Marco
Thank you for your answer. I know "imitator" is a poor choice of words, i just did not know how to say ist in other words. It was in no way meant as an insult, i am sorry i you took it as such.
All you say ist true. But all the japanese steels have euro equivanlents. And these equivalents are used by knivemakers and they harden it to the same degree than the japanese makers. They also got very thin geometries an consequently cut well. Again: i am not talking about the buttersteel-everday-zwilling knife here, but handforged artisan knives. Thats what puzzles me.

Greets
Benjamin

"Cut well" is very subjective, especially if it's coming from outside this forum.

Marko Tsourkan
06-21-2013, 09:57 AM
16236

These are not efficient profiles, in my opinion. These are rockers, a profile (and resulting cutting style) that originated from thick convex geometries. One needs to rock with some pressure to cut through food. Most Japanese made knives are push/pull cutters.

I don't know what to make out of the second knife. Purpose?

Also, briefly looking at the links you provided, I see a lot of imitation of Japanese made knives, be it construction (san mai), handle shape or some knives' profiles.

knyfeknerd
06-21-2013, 10:18 AM
Recently I've seen some pics and links of French, German and Russian artisan made blades. They looked nice, but I think a lot of the reason they aren't as well represented here is because of the language barrier. I'd totally be down for a passaround so we compare japanese apples to some Euro-ones.
I feel similar to how Marko does about the whole thing though. Once I switched to Japanese style blades, I was hooked. The only European ones that I give much praise to now are the vintage Henckels or well-made Sabatiers. These still get used quite frequently in my rotation.
I think a lot of people are very turned off by integral bolsters and the bulky finger guard thingys too.

ajhuff
06-21-2013, 10:41 AM
Bottom one looks a lot like this one.

http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/type/Saikachi_Deba.shtml

-AJ

Marko Tsourkan
06-21-2013, 10:51 AM
Bottom one looks a lot like this one.

http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/misc/type/Saikachi_Deba.shtml

-AJ

In the description on the German site (in German) it says it is a large vegetable knife (aka cleaver), not a specialized fish monger's deba.

That's a point I am making here - don't reinvent a wheel, unless you have a good reason.

A quote by Niels Bohr comes to mind. "An expert is a person who has found out by his own painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field"

M

jgraeff
06-21-2013, 11:13 AM
As a chef i started using European knives, and i thought wow i can get these sharp, as long as i have a steel im good. I never knew i would have a knife where i didint have to use a lot of pressure to cut thick carrots or dense items.

I then got turned onto shun. and wow what a difference the knife is so sharp! I later found about waterstones and Misono knives and learned about Japanese knives.

Lets forget about profile, the simple aspect of the steel is what sets them apart. Any steel can have a good or bad profile and or geometry. But if the steel is not fine grained or soft it will not hold up as well.

I can speak of this from my Marko knife actually, it is very similar in profile to that of Shigefusa( respected japanese maker), however geometry is different. And the steel is a lot better for what i need it for.

I have had that knife for about 6 months or more and i have only sharpened it twice. I maintain the edge about every week or two weeks by lightly stropping on diamond loaded felt.

With these capabilities i can take my knife to work and work a full 8-12 hour shift and not have to worry about my knife dulling or where is my steel i cant cut this or that. And i do not have to be easy on the knife i can chops a mound of herbs which would normally dull and edge slightly then go right into slicing soft heirloom tomatoes super thin and precisely.

Now with all due respect to Japanese makers their steels are not the best around in my opinion. White steel gets super sharp but loses edge retention very fast. Blue steel doesn't get scary sharp but can maintain an edge for about a week with moderate use.

For me Japanese trumps European steel because its harder, gets sharper, and holds an edge longer. But for me the custom makers( like Marko, Mario, Pierre, Mike Davis, Carter etc) are really where performance comes in, they can get specials steels that allow them to take Japanese profiles and good geometries and produce a knife that is great at whatever the user intends it to be.

banjo1071
06-21-2013, 11:28 AM
"Cut well" is very subjective, especially if it's coming from outside this forum.

I dont feel very comfortable with what you are implying here. For you Info: I have ben a knivecolletor for quite some time now. I own more that 30 knive from respected companies such as Konosuke, Suisin and many others, as well as knives from well known costum knivesmaker such as DT, Doi, TCblades, Harner and others. I have been a freehand sharpener with japanese natural stones als well as synthetic stone for over 5 Years and even took classes in knivemaking (this with very little success i must admit). So i guess, i know what "cutting well" means....

Marko Tsourkan
06-21-2013, 11:44 AM
I dont feel very comfortable with what you are implying here. For you Info: I have ben a knivecolletor for quite some time now. I own more that 30 knive from respected companies such as Konosuke, Suisin and many others, as well as knives from well known costum knivesmaker such as DT, Doi, TCblades, Harner and others. I have been a freehand sharpener with japanese natural stones als well as synthetic stone for over 5 Years and even took classes in knivemaking (this with very little success i must admit). So i guess, i know what "cutting well" means....


What I am saying is that there are many factors one can evaluate cutting upon: sharpness, food release, edge retention, edge stability, etc. These are very subjective things. As Rick (Penn Tiger) once pointed out, food release on a knife for a pro is likely to be a significant factor, than for a home cook.

I didn't mean to imply that you can't evaluate performance on a knife, just that the criteria are so varied, so unless you have a consensus opinion from a number of educated and experienced users, everything else is subjective. That is why a passaround on a forum like this one, among pros and home cooks alike is a good way to evaluate a knife. All knives will cut, but some will cut better than others.

If my communication is too linear, I apologize.

M

pitonboy
06-21-2013, 11:46 AM
Banjo, you also need to understand that some of this is due to the availability. This forum is in English and originated from the USA so by nature most of the participants are North American. In this geographic area, the most accessable superior knives are Japanese. There are several artisinal knifemakers on this soil, but their prices are typically higher and would put off most people who know nothing better than a Wusthof. In addition, their output is generally small, so wait lists are often involved. So the most economical obvious upgrade into the "wow" level of cutting is Japanese. I can't at this time find easy ways to access or purchase artisinal European knives which I am sure many of which might be impressive. If you know how North Americans can see, use and purchase higher end European knives, please let us know. Otherwise, the only knives that cut like hell that I can access are Japanese or North American.

ThEoRy
06-21-2013, 11:57 AM
What's funny to me is that the gyuto is actually the Japanese interpretation/improvement of a European/Western knife. And now we have makers like Marko, Devin, HHH, Pierre, etc. improving upon THAT now as well. Full circle perhaps?

Salty dog
06-21-2013, 12:03 PM
+1 ........The Euro makers need to make their wares easily available to the North American market. I'm sure there are good ones. We just don't get a chance to check them out.

What one person thinks is a good cutter may be completely different from what I think. Happens all the time.

chinacats
06-21-2013, 12:38 PM
I'm currently waiting on a full custom carbon (1.2442) from Germany (TilmanL) as well as a custom carbon (O1) from England (WillC) and fully expect them to equal or surpass many of the J-blades that I have used. I guess I'll be trying to find out for sure, but really looking forward to both.

Cheers

Patatas Bravas
06-21-2013, 12:56 PM
There was one member a few months back who lives in Paris and spoke well of 1 or 2 French makers; one was Vietnamese-French I think.

Dave Martell
06-21-2013, 01:59 PM
Any manufacturer or independent knifemaker can, and often does, get talked about positively here but lots don't meet the minimum standard that a $150 Japanese gyuto can deliver and that's just a reality.

People will be interested in any knife that kicks ass and/or offers good value, it's of course a plus of it's obtainable to them as well.

Gator
06-21-2013, 02:24 PM
...I mean, there a so many wondeful knifmakers and fanastic knifecompanies all around the world that get no notice here. I mean not at all! Is there any specific reason? Is because people think japanese cutlery is superior op all other (thats what advertisment tells us, but i see hordes of japanes tourist buying loads and loads of swiss and german cutlery here in europe, so that hardly can be true).
Or is it that all the good stuff from France, Switzerland, Austria or Germany is rarly exported und our US-Friends just get the china-made factory stuff like Zwilling, "Messermeister" (completly unknown in Germany) and the such? And have all the right to diss these crappy blades.

My 0.02$ is that mainstream is mainstream, here or in Europe or in Japan. I've worked for SAP which is a German software company, but point is I've had lots of coworkers who just came from Germany or other EU countries, and some of the did brought their kitchen knives with them. Guess what :) All of it was the same mainstream stuff, some no name knives, some popular stuff(one Messermeister too), etc.
Good stuff in German is harder to find for English speakers too.


But over the years a i always came back to german super-thin high carbon knives as my goto-knives. And they just cost a fraction...
I'd be interested in that too. One you linked, Hennicke, price range is 250-400 EU, that's hardly a fraction of the cost, same for the Schanz 230 EU. If I had to choose between Aogami 1/2 and more expensive 140Cr2 knife, which is also 3-5HRC points softer compared to many Japanese knives, it's not that hard to figure out which one I'd pick :) If I wanted a custom, US makers are easier to work with, no hassle with customs, etc.
In my experience, high end knives in Europe are more expensive than in US and often than Japanese too.

Gator
06-21-2013, 02:29 PM
I'm currently waiting on a full custom carbon (1.2442) from Germany (TilmanL)
Interesting thing, that alloy is quite similar to Aogami 1, just not as strict spec on contaminants -
Aogami 1 vs. 1.2442 steel composition comparison (http://www.zknives.com/knives/steels/steelgraph.php?nm=1.2442%2CAogami%201&hrn=1&gm=0)... Never had a knife made out of it, but I am curious how it works out, especially if you have Aogami knives to compare with.

Birnando
06-21-2013, 02:45 PM
Snip..

And now we have makers like Marko, Devin, HHH, Pierre, etc. improving upon THAT now as well. Full circle perhaps?

Heh, fresh statement!
The few customs from the US I have played around with did not quite look like much of an improvement.
Good knives, sure, but improvements? Nah, not in my book.
And no surprise either really.
After all, someone having done this as a sole source of income for say 50 years, and learning from dad/ a master knifesmith who has even more, should be able to produce a better product than your average hobbyist out of Hicksville USA with a desire to make an extra buck or two...

Sorry for the harsh words here, but come on, it's all good to support local artisans and all,but to expect them to top the very best of this game with just a few years of "homemaking" in the shed is kinda ridiculous.

Marko Tsourkan
06-21-2013, 03:06 PM
@ Birnando

Tell you what. Let's make a bet. Pick a best knife in your opinion from a maker who has been making knives for 50 years and got that knowledge from generations before him, and I will pick a knife made by somebody who has been making knives (when not working on improving a process) for less than 3 years. Let's send both knives to a third party who is in no way affiliated with either maker/vendor. And let's see if your statement holds water.




Sorry for the harsh words here, but come on, it's all good to support local artisans and all,but to expect them to top the very best of this game with just a few years of "homemaking" in the shed is kinda ridiculous.

I don' t dispute that some of what you are saying might be true, but not as a blank statement.

If you know what you are doing, if you have a proper guidance, equipment, use proper process and if you study the subject in depth, sky is the limit. At least here in the US.

Don't believe me? Look at Bob Kramer. He has been making knives for about 10 years, and his earlier knives were probably no that different from his current, though his damascus became much more complicated. He learned his trade from hammer-ins and guys who weren't passed knowledge from their fathers. Some of the best makers in the US started as hobbyists.

Birnando
06-21-2013, 03:49 PM
@ Birnando

Tell you what. Let's make a bet. Pick a best knife in your opinion from a maker who has been making knives for 50 years and got that knowledge from generations before him, and I will pick a knife made by somebody who has been making knives (when not working on improving a process) for less than 3 years. Let's send both knives to a third party who is in no way affiliated with either maker/vendor. And let's see if your statement holds water.



You know what, I'll gladly take you up on that bet.
Let us work out the details via PM:)




I don' t dispute that some of what you are saying might be true, but not as a blank statement.

If you know what you are doing, if you have a proper guidance, equipment, use proper process and if you study the subject in depth, sky is the limit. At least here in the US.


I do not for a second doubt that.
But let me assure you, the world is a whole lot more than the US, and in large parts of it, your claim is also valid:)
That the sky is the limit, that is!
My point is, it takes a bit of time reaching that sky..
Firing up a kiln in the backyard and buying stock pattern welded steel to hammer a bit on after work, does not make a person a knifesmith.
At least not the first few years.



Don't believe me? Look at Bob Kramer. He has been making knives for about 10 years, and his earlier knives were probably no that different from his current, though his damascus became much more complicated. He learned his trade from hammer-ins and guys who weren't passed knowledge from their fathers. Some of the best makers in the US started as hobbyists.

Am I to understand that this Kramer, while reputable, (or hyped) out-performs all Japanese maker after these ten years?
In all aspects of knife making?
And in practical use?
And to the tune of five or even twenty times the value?
( I know, value is in the eyes of the beholder. As I own more than 40 custom straight razors, all but a few made in the US, I do get that concept)
I do not have one, and while willing to accept your apparent expertise compared to mine, I must confess to having serious doubts about this statement.

I readily admit that there are good steel- and knife-makers in the US, and other parts of the world beyond Japan.
No doubt.
But as a general statement that the names mentioned in what I quoted in my first post in this thread, and others, are improving on all Japanese makers per say?
Nope, not a chance!

Like I said, I have not tried, or owned, many US artisan knifes.
The ones I have tried and owned though, were not all that to be honest, and I still have one that would make you cringe from the very apparent error on it.
So much so that it would, by most anyone's standards, have been called for what it is, a faulty product.
And this from a highly respected maker in the US..

I have stated this before;
I do not believe in vendor bashing on a forum like this, and will not start doing so now.
So he will remain nameless.

And to be even more clear, this was not an attack on the four lads mentioned per say, it was a statement meant towards what I saw as a blanket statement towards the lack of skills on the traditional and highly experienced Japanese makers.

bieniek
06-21-2013, 03:57 PM
Well I watched that movie about Kramer and there he, or the voice said, that he was multiple times [9 ?] in japan, learning about knifemaking, and studying sharpening and sword polishing.
The link for the movie was found here, on KKF.
Not sure if thats truth or marketing, but if its truth what kind of hobbyists you mean?

I am with Birnando on this one, but I would say that there are some real talents in the world, like Mike Tyson was one of them for example. So it is possible for a guy in the shed to totally be producing out very quality stuff. Saying its better or worse in general is ignorant.

But I know Bjornar, and he has the amount of experience,knives and stones, enough to state that from these blades he tried, japaneses were better, and I believe him 100%, if he claims that.

To the OP.
The thing is, honestly, not where to get them blades, but how to get the trust for the artisan. I buy Shigefusa with confidence. I know what to expect. I dont want to spend my bucks on european maker and then work on the grind, if its too flat.

Mucho Bocho
06-21-2013, 04:07 PM
Birnardo, You make some loaded statements and claims. Could you share with us where you knowledge of cutlery comes from? Have you ever forged steel or crafted original handles? You openly say you haven't tried many US knife profiles. So how do you know they're not good or better than other countries.

Remember prior to 1980, France was the most respected wine country in the world, seems that those ignorant fools in California changed that perspective. Given that wine has been made since circa 7000 BCE, those stubborn Americans changed that perspective in just 30 years.

chinacats
06-21-2013, 04:17 PM
Remember prior to 1980, France was the most respected wine country in the world, seems that those ignorant fools in California changed that perspective. Given that wine has been made since circa 7000 BCE, those stubborn Americans changed that perspective in just 30 years.

OK, I'm still of the mindset that French wines are much more enjoyable as a whole than those from California--big and in your face works better with IPA's than Bordeaux grapes. Sorry for tangent...:running:

Birnando
06-21-2013, 04:22 PM
Birnardo, You make some loaded statements and claims. Could you share with us where you knowledge of cutlery comes from? Have you ever forged steel or crafted original handles? You openly say you haven't tried many US knife profiles. So how do you know they're not good or better than other countries.

Thank you, that is an easy question to answer.
No, I have never made anything with any kind of steel.
Much like most of the makers customers I guess..
My knowledge of cutlery comes from an interest in quality steel for all my needs.
I am a hobbyist cook, all I cook for is my family and friends.
I am not very good at it, but I do enjoy it highly, and have done so for many many years.
My interest in steel products are also fueled by the fact that my line of work has me using steel tools every day for 8 hours, and the fact that I have been shaving with a straight for a few years now. Both my head and my face.
I do hone for others, a few thousand razors by now. For some reason people seem to like my edges on their kitchen knives as well, but I'll gladly admit to being a novise at that.
So basically, I am a happy amateur.
Or as you imply, a very opinionated amateur:)



Remember prior to 1980, France was the most respected wine country in the world, seems that those ignorant fools in California changed that perspective. Given that wine has been made since circa 7000 BCE, those stubborn Americans changed that perspective in just 30 years.

I do hope you are kidding me now.
While the US, and a slew of other nations, make some really delicate wines these days, I must call BS on this.
Outside a very patriotic USA, there is still but one king in that world, and that is France, with Italy as a good second.

banjo1071
06-21-2013, 04:30 PM
Woah, i did not meant to start an intercontinental war here, i was just curious.....

Birnando
06-21-2013, 04:37 PM
Woah, i did not meant to start an intercontinental war here, i was just curious.....

My sincere apologies for being part of that hijack.
Seriously!

Mucho Bocho
06-21-2013, 04:41 PM
Birnardo, We call your statements "pure conjecture" in little ole USA. So you've never crafted knives and you're an admittedly poor amature cook. As you say "I hope your kidding me now" as its unclear to me how you're qualified to determine a knifes usefulness?

I know how to drive a car but I'm not going to give the Schumacher's driving advise. Perhaps you should keep that in mind.

ajhuff
06-21-2013, 04:53 PM
Isn't that kind of like like how you're all experts in steel metallurgy but none of you are metallurgists. :D Doesn't seem to stop anyone's expertise. I think Birnardo's statements are as fair in claim as everyone else's in that regard, based on his personal experience which may differ from others.

Welcome to KKF Banjo!

Birnando
06-21-2013, 05:11 PM
Birnardo, We call your statements "pure conjecture" in little ole USA. So you've never crafted knives and you're an admittedly poor amature cook. As you say "I hope your kidding me now" as its unclear to me how you're qualified to determine a knifes usefulness?

I know how to drive a car but I'm not going to give the Schumacher's driving advise. Perhaps you should keep that in mind.

Hi there.
It's Birnando, with 2 N's..

Whoa, I ruffled some feathers there, did I?
I admitted to being an amateur cook, not a poor one;)

Do tell me this; How is a customer not having the "right" experience ever gonna be heard?
Do you yourself make knives for a living?
And have you done so for years?
If not, then why do you post anything at all around this subject?
I'll answer that for you:
The whole point of a forum is to share experiences and learn about the field at hand, no?

With your logic regarding experience in making steel, I would expect that not a single soul should speak to their quality again, except for those in the know.
i.e. the makers themselves...

I'm certain you see the fallacy in that statement, and what you've seen me state in this thread was my views on the matter.
Take it for what it is worth to you, but trying to belittle your combatants on a subject really reflects badly on you, not me.

Don't you think their customers opinions matter at all, or are only the maker able to make a call about perceived quality on it?
Are they making knives only to the proffesional market?
I'd love for any custom maker to state that in this thread!
And leave the US hat off for just that tiny second to make a reasonable argument about it, would you?

Now, back to your wine statement.
Do embellish!

mzer
06-21-2013, 05:57 PM
Just want to say that as somebody raised in Napa, it makes me cringe every time I hear that Napa/CA/US wines rival what comes out of the old world.

pkjames
06-21-2013, 06:12 PM
i think one important fact is, Japan still has a huge knife making industry / culture. Makes the makers compete with each other, which means they have to constantly perfect their steel / techniques.
I don't see this in European countries.

kpeddie2010
06-21-2013, 06:40 PM
That's what Japanese are known for. taking something and making it their craft with a lifetime of dedication and passing it down to their heirs. And the result of that is japanese knife makers improving their craft over time in the pursuit of perfection. That to me is a level of of craftsmanship that will take different cultures a lifetime to catch up too. Think Japanese culture tends to pass down professions from generation to generation. Or we'll at least the some still do. Although Japanese culture is becoming more westernized some traditionalist still exist and you can see that in knife and sword making.

Zwiefel
06-21-2013, 06:53 PM
Just want to say that as somebody raised in Napa, it makes me cringe every time I hear that Napa/CA/US wines rival what comes out of the old world.Actually, in 2 different cases, blind comparison of napa + french wines has resulted in napa wines being judged better....by french judges. obviously, no one is bound to agree with that assessment...and each has their own preferences...but until wine judging is routinely done blindly, it is all BS. Double-blind testing is the hallmark of objectivity. As a brewer, this was also my experience in brewing competitions....I could submit beer from the SAME EXACT KEG with two different recipes (obviously this violates the rules) and get COMPLETELY different assessments from the same judges.

Marko Tsourkan
06-21-2013, 06:56 PM
I am glad my bet was accepted. Look forward to the competition :)

M

scott6452
06-21-2013, 06:59 PM
I am glad my bet was accepted.

M

From a neutral point of view, great stuff! I hope that the findings are made for all to view. And on a random note, I for one have thoroughly enjoyed this thread. Its the passionate and (for the most part!) informed debates like this that make this forum the best for kitchen cutlery. Long may it continue.

Birnando
06-21-2013, 07:01 PM
I am glad my bet was accepted. Look forward to the competition :)

M
But of course.
A man is nothing but his word..
I look forward to our little experiment.
Have faith in this, if nothing else, should I loose this bet, I will be the first to post as much.

markenki
06-21-2013, 07:13 PM
I am glad my bet was accepted. Look forward to the competition :)

M


But of course.
A man is nothing but his word..
I look forward to our little experiment.
Have faith in this, if nothing else, should I loose this bet, I will be the first to post as much.

Judgment of Seki?

Birnando
06-21-2013, 07:14 PM
For clarity's sake:

In approaching Mr. Tsourkan in Pm I offered the following bet:

Hi Mr. Tsourkan.

You know the saying, a man is only as good as his word.
Well, here I am trying to stand by my word.

I appreciate your reply to my initial post in the thread that lead us to discuss US custom makers.

I am proposing this:
How about if I provide a Kato or a Shigefusa to our bet?
And you provide whatever you consider a match, or even better, a superior product made by a maker of your choice?
I'm not gonna hold you to the 3 year statement!

The conditions I would suggest for this bet are these:

It is to be tested on neutral ground.
It is to be based on function, not form.

If that sounds ok to you, I am willing to put my money where my mouth is, to the extent of providing odds of 2 to 1.
Meaning, I will, if I loose this bet, I will double whatever you put up.
Within reason, I am not gonna use 10's of thousand on this

What do you say to a bet of a hundred bucks?
(feel free to suggest otherwise, up or down)
I'll double whatever we agree upon should our impartial third party find the custom superior to my Japanese Gyoto?

Regarding the third party, I would suggest we find someone without a knowledge of KKF, and that is not a US or Norwegian citizen.

I will, as promised, cover all costs involved in making this work.
That means shipping, insurance and packaging.

Let me know what you think.

Regards
Bjoernar (birnando)

pkjames
06-21-2013, 07:16 PM
It's actually great to see the little compo going. I am also interested in the result, and for now, i am sided with birnando.
Maybe a panel with a Japanese, an American and an European is warranted? :D

mzer
06-21-2013, 07:19 PM
Actually, in 2 different cases, blind comparison of napa + french wines has resulted in napa wines being judged better....by french judges. obviously, no one is bound to agree with that assessment...and each has their own preferences...but until wine judging is routinely done blindly, it is all BS. Double-blind testing is the hallmark of objectivity. As a brewer, this was also my experience in brewing competitions....I could submit beer from the SAME EXACT KEG with two different recipes (obviously this violates the rules) and get COMPLETELY different assessments from the same judges.

You conflating a group of wines and wines in general. The 76-78 tastings don't tell you anything about the superiority of Napa or French wines, but of the comparisons of certain wines at certain times. While interesting as a media or marketing event, and historically important for our wine industry, it doesn't say much about the wines produced by two winemaking nations.

CB1968
06-21-2013, 07:28 PM
Great thread, cant wait to see the results of the knifeoff, maybe one of the Aussie forum members can send the winner a bottle of some new world Margaret River Cabernet, we dont make a bad new world shiraz either.

maxim
06-21-2013, 07:32 PM
My opinion why Japanese knives is so popular is sooo many knife cites in Japan, many many blacksmiths, with many generations of knife or swords blacksmithing
And finally PRICE, You get much more for the money then say US or EU makers please dont take it as offense, but if you want cheap well made knife you get Japanese.

When US or Eu makers start to make decent handmade knives for about 100 to 200 USD then it will maybe change

Plus why price is so low on Japanese knives is because of many generations of knife making and they dont have to start from scratch they usually take over from they fathers

Birnando
06-21-2013, 07:36 PM
Great thread, cant wait to see the results of the knifeoff, maybe one of the Aussie forum members can send the winner a bottle of some new world Margaret River Cabernet, we dont make a bad new world shiraz either.
Australia is a great idea:)
It is hard to imagine a neutral ground further away from Mr. Tsourkan and I :)

And a bottle of that shiraz wouldn't be wrong, not at all;)

maxim
06-21-2013, 07:42 PM
and :plus1: on wine, france spain and Italy still the best you can get :hungry:

MikeHL
06-21-2013, 07:59 PM
i think one important fact is, Japan still has a huge knife making industry / culture. Makes the makers compete with each other, which means they have to constantly perfect their steel / techniques.
I don't see this in European countries.

To be fair histrionically there has been knife/sword making regions in Europe.

Solingen, Germany
Thiers, France
Toledo, Spain
Sheffield, UK

Are they producing the same quantity as Seki? I doubt it. But the culture does exists. Heck before Japanese cutlery was on the scene most of the worlds knives/swords came from these area's. Perhaps the reason for continuous improvement of Japanese makers is of one craftsmen vs corporation. Where a Craftsman can be more responsive to the needs of its customers compared to say a company like Henckels, Shun, Global etc....

pkjames
06-21-2013, 08:08 PM
To be fair histrionically there has been knife/sword making regions in Europe.

Solingen, Germany
Thiers, France
Toledo, Spain
Sheffield, UK

Are they producing the same quantity as Seki? I doubt it. But the culture does exists. Heck before Japanese cutlery was on the scene most of the worlds knives/swords came from these area's. Perhaps the reason for continuous improvement of Japanese makers is of one craftsmen vs corporation. Where a Craftsman can be more responsive to the needs of its customers compared to say a company like Henckels, Shun, Global etc....

that's true, but don't get me wrong. i have an vintage gustav emil ern chopper that i absolutely love. the reality is, the knife making industries in these places are gone don't you think so?

Birnando
06-21-2013, 08:18 PM
Snip...
But the culture does exists. Heck before Japanese cutlery was on the scene most of the worlds knives/swords came from these area's. Perhaps the reason for continuous improvement of Japanese makers is of one craftsmen vs corporation. Where a Craftsman can be more responsive to the needs of its customers compared to say a company like Henckels, Shun, Global etc....

I do believe you are quite right.
Knifemaking has been around for many centuries all around the globe.
Europe being but one of those areas.
As a Norwegian who can trace my kin back to the 11th century by now (still searching..), I have read many a story about great tools in use up here.
And my simple background/history is nothing compared to the middle- or south of Europe.
Or North Africa for that matter!
They seem to go back for milleniums when it comes to developing products that have improved slowly but surely over the centuries.

The thing about the Japanese, to me, is that they, more than others, have been single minded enough, or isolated if you prefer, to persue perfection on many areas for a very long time.
The result of that is, imo, that they have developed a unique culture that I would bet a lot of us enjoy parts of today.
Knifemaking being but one of those.

As to the Japanese entry of the "scene", I'm not sure what that really means as to the actual quality of cutlery products produced over there, here or anywhere else;)
To me, that is more a consequence of ability, or desire, to reach the marketplace as it were.

ecchef
06-21-2013, 08:33 PM
For clarity's sake:

In approaching Mr. Tsourkan in Pm I offered the following bet:

Hi Mr. Tsourkan.

You know the saying, a man is only as good as his word.
Well, here I am trying to stand by my word.

I appreciate your reply to my initial post in the thread that lead us to discuss US custom makers.

I am proposing this:
How about if I provide a Kato or a Shigefusa to our bet?
And you provide whatever you consider a match, or even better, a superior product made by a maker of your choice?
I'm not gonna hold you to the 3 year statement!

The conditions I would suggest for this bet are these:

It is to be tested on neutral ground.
It is to be based on function, not form.

If that sounds ok to you, I am willing to put my money where my mouth is, to the extent of providing odds of 2 to 1.
Meaning, I will, if I loose this bet, I will double whatever you put up.
Within reason, I am not gonna use 10's of thousand on this

What do you say to a bet of a hundred bucks?
(feel free to suggest otherwise, up or down)
I'll double whatever we agree upon should our impartial third party find the custom superior to my Japanese Gyoto?

Regarding the third party, I would suggest we find someone without a knowledge of KKF, and that is not a US or Norwegian citizen.

I will, as promised, cover all costs involved in making this work.
That means shipping, insurance and packaging.

Let me know what you think.

Regards
Bjoernar (birnando)

Ok...I don't care what you guys do through PM's, but there's to be no more mention of cash or any other bets or I'll lock this down. Got it?

JBroida
06-21-2013, 08:37 PM
Fwiw, seki is home to more factory production than hand production... Look to other areas in Japan for more hand made work

Birnando
06-21-2013, 08:38 PM
Ok...I don't care what you guys do through PM's, but there's to be no more mention of cash or any other bets or I'll lock this down. Got it?

Got it!
EOD (in the open forums)

MikeHL
06-21-2013, 08:51 PM
that's true, but don't get me wrong. i have an vintage gustav emil ern chopper that i absolutely love. the reality is, the knife making industries in these places are gone don't you think so?

Agreed, other then Solingen and to some extent Thiers I don't see any large high quality, reasonable quantity manufacturers , at least from what I can tell anyways.

EdipisReks
06-21-2013, 08:55 PM
You conflating a group of wines and wines in general. The 76-78 tastings don't tell you anything about the superiority of Napa or French wines, but of the comparisons of certain wines at certain times. While interesting as a media or marketing event, and historically important for our wine industry, it doesn't say much about the wines produced by two winemaking nations.

there are no great wines, only great bottles of wine. that's true everywhere.

MikeHL
06-21-2013, 09:03 PM
I do believe you are quite right.
Knifemaking has been around for many centuries all around the globe.
Europe being but one of those areas.
As a Norwegian who can trace my kin back to the 11th century by now (still searching..), I have read many a story about great tools in use up here.
And my simple background/history is nothing compared to the middle- or south of Europe.
Or North Africa for that matter!
They seem to go back for milleniums when it comes to developing products that have improved slowly but surely over the centuries.

The thing about the Japanese, to me, is that they, more than others, have been single minded enough, or isolated if you prefer, to persue perfection on many areas for a very long time.
The result of that is, imo, that they have developed a unique culture that I would bet a lot of us enjoy parts of today.
Knifemaking being but one of those.

As to the Japanese entry of the "scene", I'm not sure what that really means as to the actual quality of cutlery products produced over there, here or anywhere else;)
To me, that is more a consequence of ability, or desire, to reach the marketplace as it were.

Agreed, the Japanese do tend to be specialist, as well they like to take everything to the level obsession. An example of contrast can be the Chinese kitchen where the clever is the do it all, compared to Japan where they have a unique knife for the butchery every kind animal (looking at the zknives listing)

Well by "scene",I was referring to a period when Japanese cutlery was seldom known or used in the western kitchens.

Zwiefel
06-21-2013, 09:35 PM
You conflating a group of wines and wines in general. The 76-78 tastings don't tell you anything about the superiority of Napa or French wines, but of the comparisons of certain wines at certain times. While interesting as a media or marketing event, and historically important for our wine industry, it doesn't say much about the wines produced by two winemaking nations.I accept that....it's a pretty generic observation about data sampling...prone to the errors all such samplings have. I doubt we are going to get a longitudinal test of this sort though...these tests were astonishing enough. The sad truth is that these folks are trying to sell products, not conduct a search for truth....or even preferences. and on the whole, we as consumers are trying to find something that makes us happy at a particular moment...and that has little to do with objectivity. I'm not, in fact, making an argument for the superiority of napa wines (though I have indeed enjoyed the many hours I have spent in napa)...but rather making an argument about cultural prejudices in general.

keithsaltydog
06-22-2013, 12:28 AM
I getting a good laugh:rofl2:from this thread.Sounds like me betting I can whip okole using a thin carbon to cut a case of lemons.To me bang for the buck & quality Japanese make the best knives.

tk59
06-22-2013, 12:38 AM
I've easily tried out over a couple hundred Japanese knives from dozens of makers. I can count on one hand the number of knives I didn't think were very nice to use. Those are pretty good odds. I've also tried out a lot of other knives. Very few of these others get top marks for cutting performance. I'm not going to say I'm completely unbiased but I try to be and as much as possible, I make sure I use the opinions of others both from the forum and elsewhere to verify or refute my conclusions. There is good reason to trust in Japanese-made cutlery. I also agree with the bang for the buck comments.

ThEoRy
06-22-2013, 02:07 AM
Pretentious words

You're telling me that western knife makers aren't using more advanced heat treatment methods with a greater range of high quality steel? Are you calling Devin and Pierre Hicksville hobbyists? LOL Your words not only come off as pretentious, they sound quite racist and insulting too. Coming from a guy who cuts one onion a week, poorly at that, I'd say maybe you should tone it down a little there.

jaybett
06-22-2013, 03:13 AM
The forum want the high end knives at the best possible prices. It doesn't matter which country is making the knife. Language barrier doesn't stop knife nuts from ordering knives. If the craftsman has a web site, a knife nut will order from them.

What ever it is about the Japanese, their culture, to many of their sword makers being forced to make kitchen knives after the war. They make the best knives, at prices, that is difficult for others to match. A custom maker in the West is going to be hard pressed to make a knife that performs as well as a Heji, Kato, Shigefusa, for the money.

Craftsman in the west can make knifes, that are either one of a kinds, or tailored to the individual. So far they have not been successful at producing knives in large numbers. Murray Carter being the exception. Where did Bob Kramer go, when he wanted to produce his knifes in larger numbers? Japan.

Jay

connie
06-22-2013, 04:09 AM
there aren't many euro knife makers that make enough kitchen knives. and when there are, they don't really spark our interest the way japanese style knives do.

=D what kind of kitchen knives style you like?

Stumblinman
06-22-2013, 04:23 AM
Wow, you go Birney with 2 Ns... I've found there's a way to think about things that makes sense. Like you wouldn't stare at the stars to see the dew or, follow the moon to see the sun.... It is what it is. Japan makes great knives, China makes great fire works, The US (in many cases) sets a stage to allow people to develop and hone their skills to the max. It's not that complicated. And I have to tell you I like wine and my favorite is from South America. As far as France, Yes!, they developed great wines but since phylloxera they seem to have a little of the US in almost every bottle there.... Italy did a paradigmn (sp) shift deal when they found they're wines not selling. There's greatness all over but some shine more than others and it's hard to not follow them.

franzb69
06-22-2013, 05:16 AM
what kind of kitchen knives style you like?

at the moment it's japanese.

but really, it shouldn't matter if it's chinese, japanese, european, american or whatever. so long as the knife does that i want it to do, edge taking and edge holding is great, the comfort level is great, heat treat great, the price is really good. i'd get it.

i prefer carbon steel.

Patatas Bravas
06-22-2013, 06:30 AM
My take on this is I'm sure there are nice knives to be found here and there, but I'm interested in the traditions and culture behind the makers in Japan and so I tend to ignore non-Japanese makers. It's also the land of natural sharpening stones and so has this whole other side to it that you don't see elsewhere.

To go back to near the beginning of this thread, yes, I also think language plays a part too. However, not in the way that was previously discussed. Obviously, it's much easier for the average KKFer to communicate with US custom makers, for example, and so people order customs from them, even if sometimes the wait is way long and the prices are quite high, but then of course they'll probably be quite happy with their knives as they were made specifically for them. This is an obvious advantage for the US makers and something which, I think, enhances their reputation as customers are likely to be very satisfied and proud of their purchases. However, imagine if communication were as easy with the Japanese makers and it was easy to order customs from them? Would be great. Non-Japanese makers might a bit of business, too.

As for wine, no country can come close to the range of styles and quality found in France. Without a doubt. There are wonderful wines everywhere, of course.

Zwiefel
06-22-2013, 06:41 AM
My take on this is I'm sure there are nice knives to be found here and there, but I'm interested in the traditions and culture behind the makers in Japan and so I tend to ignore non-Japanese makers. It's also the land of natural sharpening stones and so has this whole other side to it that you don't see elsewhere.

What about Arkansas stones?

Patatas Bravas
06-22-2013, 06:55 AM
What about Arkansas stones?

What about 'em? ;)

Doesn't have the allure, Dan. Do you know Hakka stones? Well, Hakkayama translates as 'Mint Mountain'. This is the stuff of fantasy!

Zwiefel
06-22-2013, 07:00 AM
What about 'em? ;)

Doesn't have the allure, Dan. Do you know Hakka stones? Well, Hakkayama translates as 'Mint Mountain'. This is the stuff of fantasy!

Just pointing out there are other places with a tradition of natural stones...not a purely Japanese experience.

Patatas Bravas
06-22-2013, 07:13 AM
Of course.

Forget the title, but there was also a thread on this not too long ago. Surely there are plenty of sources yet to be discovered/exploited around the world, but in this regard by geological accident again Japan still seems to have been blessed. Japan-o-centrism continues.

Marko Tsourkan
06-22-2013, 07:31 AM
My take on this is I'm sure there are nice knives to be found here and there, but I'm interested in the traditions and culture behind the makers in Japan and so I tend to ignore non-Japanese makers. It's also the land of natural sharpening stones and so has this whole other side to it that you don't see elsewhere.
...

I think this thread covered all possible reasons (availability, affordability, generally good performance, etc) why Japanese knives are popular.

On the other hand, little is said about the narrow choice of steels that are available, quality of heat treatment, quality of fit and finish, etc, and pricing on hand made knives.

Steels that are used by most Western makers tend to be deeper hardening carbon steels, alloyed steels and stainless steels that require heat treatment in a controlled environment (convection furnaces or molted salt). Cryogenic treatment and proper tempering enhance the quality of HT process resulting in better blade. Frankly, I don't know what wire edge is or abnormal burr formation or need for micro-bevel for that matter. And that is on blades that are 62-63Rc hard.

So, if two things are down (quality steel and optimal heat treatment), what's left is a geometry and a profile. For some makers this is the hardest, and that's where studying various geometries employed by J. makers and adopting one or more is essential. Getting performance feedback from pro and home cooks alike will allow to make changes and improve the performance of a knife.

So put everything together, steel, HT, geometry and profile, I see no reason why Western makers' knives can't be at least as good (or better) than any top performing J knives out there.

We are not comparing an ability of a Western maker to forge a san mai blank, or heat treat by eye, or grind a knife on a giant water wheel. Some of those processes take decades to master. We are comparing finished products. Put them two side by side and cut with them. Best test is to put them through a shift or two in a pro kitchen.

M

bkdc
06-22-2013, 08:30 AM
We are comparing finished products. Put them two side by side and cut with them. Best test is to put them through a shift or two in a pro kitchen.

M

+1

Show a lifelong Euro knife using chef a good Japanese knife and his eyes light up as if he's discovered a revelation. This usually doesn't work visa versa. It's not that the knife is Japanese, but that it performs so well. Yes, there are awesome non-Japanese knives, but in general, Japanese knives perform better. Steel, geometry, profile.

NO ChoP!
06-22-2013, 11:09 AM
I think if the OP wants to shine some light on a new product, he should buy one; post a review; start a pass-around, etc...

I remember when no one heard of Mizuno, or Watanabe, or Takeda, and someone posted a thread stating, "hey look what I got!"

And I'm not sure there isn't interest outside of Japanese or US custom makers; this community is hungry for new product; so much that we are rediscovering vintage artifacts; Sabatier, Forgecraft, Herder, etc...

maxim
06-22-2013, 11:14 AM
Frankly, I don't know what wire edge is or abnormal burr formation or need for micro-bevel for that matter. And that is on blades that are 62-63Rc hard.
M


Hehe then you dont Sharpen your knives :P

ThEoRy
06-22-2013, 12:34 PM
On the other hand, little is said about the narrow choice of steels that are available, quality of heat treatment, quality of fit and finish, etc, and pricing on hand made knives.

Steels that are used by most Western makers tend to be deeper hardening carbon steels, alloyed steels and stainless steels that require heat treatment in a controlled environment (convection furnaces or molted salt). Cryogenic treatment and proper tempering enhance the quality of HT process resulting in better blade. Frankly, I don't know what wire edge is or abnormal burr formation or need for micro-bevel for that matter. And that is on blades that are 62-63Rc hard.


Thank you, that was exactly my original point about coming full circle. I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't stick a blade in a furnace until it reaches the perfect color for heat treatment like Master Doi. I'm suggesting there may perhaps be more precise methods of temperature control and quenching that Western makers are taking advantage of. Utilizing modern materials and technology to improve an age old craft.

ajhuff
06-22-2013, 02:56 PM
Thank you, that was exactly my original point about coming full circle. I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't stick a blade in a furnace until it reaches the perfect color for heat treatment like Master Doi. I'm suggesting there may perhaps be more precise methods of temperature control and quenching that Western makers are taking advantage of. Utilizing modern materials and technology to improve an age old craft.

True. Cryogenic treatments are a relatively recent technique.

-AJ

Brad Gibson
06-22-2013, 02:57 PM
OK, I'm still of the mindset that French wines are much more enjoyable as a whole than those from California--big and in your face works better with IPA's than Bordeaux grapes. Sorry for tangent...:running:

Don't forget that all of the French vines are now based off American vines. All the French vines got murdered by an insect. They imported our vines because they were not effected by the pest. If it weren't for American grape vines that holy Bordeaux would no longer be around!

Patatas Bravas
06-22-2013, 03:07 PM
Exaggeration. No, that's just rootstock and the real vines are then grafted on. Knife-wise, it would be as though the Japanese still made the blades, but then had to attach them to US handles. (Which is what many knife-heads here seem to like to do anyway.)

Of couse the insect pest, phylloxera, which found those noble Old World roots so delicious also originated from the eastern US. Will give you that!

Brad Gibson
06-22-2013, 03:09 PM
Lol!!! I guess that does go hand and hand with this argument! I like it patatas!

rdpx
06-22-2013, 06:27 PM
Hi
I noticed that this forum is very fokused on japanese cutlery... Is there any specific reason?

I like them because the Kanji looks cool.

stevenStefano
06-22-2013, 06:40 PM
To get back to the original post. Why Japanese knives? Value. I can get a Japanese knife that blows any German or French knife out of the water for much less money. Also the profiles on German knives on particular look horrendous. There is also that you can't get 270 gyutos in most Euro lines.

JKerr
06-22-2013, 10:10 PM
I'd be curious to find out why most large Euro produces (Wustof, Henkels, Sabatier k, Thiers, Lion etc) really only work with one or two steels in their kitchen knives; Henkels being something of an exception with their Miyabi lines but they're obviously more Japanese inspired.

To the best of my knowledge, Wustof use 1 steel, henkels use the same stainless for all their euro range, the various Sabatier companies use 1 stainless, 1 carbon and so on. But they use better steels for their pocket knives and razors; 19c27, RWL, 13c26, 90mcv8 etc. Is it the logistics of changing steels, perhaps the current equipment they use isn't suitable for certain steels or maybe it's just tradition?

Benuser
06-22-2013, 11:03 PM
It's not the producers who are traditionalists, it's both the French kitchen professionals and - more than elsewhere - the general public as well who are raised with the honing steel for daily maintenance.

The French producers of kitchen cutlery depend greatly on their home market, and introducing harder steel types would endanger their position.

bieniek
06-23-2013, 12:37 PM
So put everything together, steel, HT, geometry and profile, I see no reason why Western makers' knives can't be at least as good (or better) than any top performing J knives out there.

We are not comparing an ability of a Western maker to forge a san mai blank, or heat treat by eye, or grind a knife on a giant water wheel. Some of those processes take decades to master. We are comparing finished products. Put them two side by side and cut with them. Best test is to put them through a shift or two in a pro kitchen.

M

You are missing the feeling/feedback imho.
I dont want my knife to feel like piece of rubber on a stone and make nasty noise - cause maker says its better for me. I want it tough and I must say I dont know what I would do if I had to sharpen every month, get bored or something? Same if sharpening was no challenge. You just kind of get fed up with it.

It is funny to see the same arguments here that are getting used in Modernist cuisine Books and modernist movement.
Better temperature control gives extra precision and such.
The thing is, some ingredients, take fillet of beef only has this delicious succulence to it when you do it the old school way. It might be overcooked here and there, but you want your perfect flavour or you want your perfect doneness? you can choose.
Same with knives, isnt it?

Gator
06-23-2013, 01:42 PM
Actually, in 2 different cases, blind comparison of napa + french wines has resulted in napa wines being judged better....by french judges. obviously, no one is bound to agree with that assessment...and each has their own preferences...but until wine judging is routinely done blindly, it is all BS. Double-blind testing is the hallmark of objectivity.
I don't doubt that for a second :)
Few weeks ago there was a show on NatGeo, topic was brain function, specifically power of suggestion/perception, and one of the experiments involved wine.
Basically, guys poured the same wine in 2 different bottles, one simple bottle, with plain label, another bottle was much nicer, label had some made up chateau blah blah name and far more fancier design was well. They picked 10 random people in the restaurant and asked them to taste both and then describe each.
Not one(!) of the participants guessed the wine was the same. Each of the participants spent anywhere from 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes describing how the wine in more expensive bottle had better bouquet, aroma, aftertaste and bunch of other wine tasting terms, the amount of terms varied from reviewer to reviewer. Obviously, the more they have read or knew about wine tasting the more eloquently they went about the wine from expensive bottle being so much better. Except none of them guesses they were tasting the same wine. Simply put, more knowledgeable wine tasters spewed out a lot more BS, in more sophisticated terms.


there are no great wines, only great bottles of wine. that's true everywhere.
You have no idea how right you are :D

For judging blind tasting is the only way. As for the rest of us, well we don't buy wine blindly or we believe so. Doesn't matter how much mater how good Napa wines are, or if they are 3x better than Bordeaux, suggestion or perception is there, and it'll take very long time and very good marketing to replace one suggestion with another.

Back to the OP, I still can't find custom Euro knives or high end Euro knives that are "fraction" of the Japanese knives, unless we're assuming 50K is average price for J knives, but that's not a base line. In my experience, ordering a custom from Europe is more expensive compared to making one in US. Taxes are higher, so is the cost of material and the end product.

Chef Doom
06-23-2013, 02:32 PM
I don't know a lot about import taxes and such in the UK, but isn't some taxes in Europe range up to %100 for imported items? I think that is where a lot of the cost factor comes in.

bikehunter
06-23-2013, 03:02 PM
Each of the participants spent anywhere from 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes describing how the wine in more expensive bottle had better bouquet, aroma, aftertaste and bunch of other wine tasting terms, the amount of terms varied from reviewer to reviewer. Obviously, the more they have read or knew about wine tasting the more eloquently they went about the wine from expensive bottle being so much better. Except none of them guesses they were tasting the same wine. Simply put, more knowledgeable wine tasters spewed out a lot more BS, in more sophisticated terms.

You have no idea how right you are :D



Growing up in Napa Valley, and spending almost 30 years in the Napa/Sonoma wine industry (working in and managing tasting rooms) I can attest that the "experts" simply....know many more appropriate words to describe wine. ;-)

mzer
06-23-2013, 03:49 PM
The thing is, some ingredients, take fillet of beef only has this delicious succulence to it when you do it the old school way. It might be overcooked here and there, but you want your perfect flavour or you want your perfect doneness? you can choose.
Same with knives, isnt it?

Also cote de veau.

Chef Doom
06-24-2013, 04:55 AM
......someone having done this as a sole source of income for say 50 years, and learning from dad/ a master knifesmith who has even more, should be able to produce a better product than your average hobbyist out of Hicksville USA with a desire to make an extra buck or two...

Sorry for the harsh words here, but come on, it's all good to support local artisans and all,but to expect them to top the very best of this game with just a few years of "homemaking" in the shed is kinda ridiculous.

I may be a jerk at times, but even I will admit, that was cold.

"Themsis some fighten words I tell you what!"

Chef Doom
06-24-2013, 05:29 AM
You're telling me that western knife makers aren't using more advanced heat treatment methods with a greater range of high quality steel? Are you calling Devin and Pierre Hicksville hobbyists? LOL Your words not only come off as pretentious, they sound quite racist and insulting too. Coming from a guy who cuts one onion a week, poorly at that, I'd say maybe you should tone it down a little there.

I agree with the 'insulting' part, but 'racist' is a little far fetched and out of place in this situation and shows that you should try a little harder. I need less NBC and more Public Access TV. I emailed both Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and both were neutral on the term. My pen pal and personal Black Relations Adviser Louise Farrakhan praised the use of the term strangely enough. :dontknow:

maxim
06-24-2013, 05:55 AM
I dont think Birnando tried to be racist or insulting.
I just think he was fed up with arrogance of the subject. When every single maker on this bord and more copying Japanese blacksmiths in both design FF hardens of steel and more they show quite a little respect for them and what they do.
So i guess he just try to defend them :D

Recommending to put Japanese knife in home oven because it chipped to make it softer "because i know better then those Japanese blacksmith" :D is very good example !
And yeah in any i mean ANY feld you get better the more you do what you do.
So you can not really compare one that makes knives for 2 year and one that have been making for 50, i think its quite logical

I could never dream go and say I make better pattern welded steel then Devin :) Even if i make 1 or 5 super beautiful steels that dose not make me better then Davin at pattern welded steel.

Justin0505
06-24-2013, 08:19 AM
I've read though most of this thread, so I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet, but I may be wrong.

In response to the OP, I would say that the reason that knives from Japan are discussed more than any others is rather simple: more good knives come from Japan than anywhere else in the world.

Excluding mass-produced knives like Zwiling, Wusty, etc. there is no other place in the world that produces high quality knives at the same volume as Japan. Sure, there are great craftsman making top-level knives all over the place and I'm sure that you could spend $500+ on a knife from a small, indie maker in North America or Europe and put together a very good case that it was as good or better than a knife costing the same amount from Japan. However, many of the really talented and well-regarded wester smiths produce a very small quantity of knives annually... heck, many of them still have day-jobs. Many of them have multi-month to multi-year waiting lists and prices that make them inaccessible to all but the wealthiest and/or knuttiest knuts.

So, if you own or want a really good knife in the $100-$300 range, then there's a good (probably 99%) chance that it's from Japan.

Birnando
06-24-2013, 08:37 AM
I may be a jerk at times, but even I will admit, that was cold.

"Themsis some fighten words I tell you what!"

Yes, I agree.
And it was quite intentional.

No, I don't think every US or other non-US artisan is as I described.
As stated earlier in this thread, I have tested both good and not so good artisan knives.

What initiated my rant if you will, was the blanket statement of four named artisans improving on Japanese knives, indicating that the US makers like the four mentioned made better products. Period.

I find that a silly and ignorant remark, very typical of the fanboyism one can sometimes see online in communities like this.
What constitutes a good knife depends on a number of factors.
In addition, we all have our own preferences.

So, in light of that I wanted to make a few pointed remarks to really stir some debate and who knows, maybe someone did see things a bit differently afterwards?
I for one have enjoyed the discussion, and have found it enlightening for my next purchases of cutlery.

As for the racist part, I find it hard to take that seriously, and put it in the account of hurt feelings..
A side-effect of fanboyism if you will.

Out of my 3 vacations this year, two of them have been to the US..
In other words, I absolutely love spending time over there, be it in Arizona, NC or NY, meeting up with both new people, and old friends.

Oh, did I mention I have two foster-kids?
Both from Thailand.
How's that for a racist?

stevenStefano
06-24-2013, 09:21 AM
I disagree with Birnando but I do not believe anything he said was racist. I don't think you have to make knives for a long time to know how to do it. You could study knives and how to make them for your whole life, how do you quantify that? Your first knife could the the best one ever because your approach and research was so good. Why can't this knife be better than someone whose family has been making them for centuries? You could actually flip it the other way and ask why does it follow that someone whose family has made knives for a long time, therefore makes good knives themselves? If someone learns from their father/grandfather, they do not necessarily learn how to make a good knife, they learn what their family knows and tells them, maybe they don't think outside the box, they don't input their own ideas, they don't try to improve the process, they do what their family would want them to do. If what their father learned was flawed, those flaws are passed on through the generations. You could ask a knifemaker why they do certain things and they wouldn't have a clue

I knew someone who every time they cooked roast beef in the oven they cut the end quarter off it. Why? That's how their mother always did it. Their mother always did it because they had a tiny oven and the beef was usually too big to fit

My mother could teach me how to make bread the way she was taught and her family before that. It doesn't necessarily make the bread good. I could still enter a bread-making competition and come last and lose to someone who read a book the week before

Chuckles
06-24-2013, 09:33 AM
I hate to say it Bernardo but your opinions are wrong.
And your status as a foster parent is poor support for your arguments.
I find your elitist and anti-American ranting to be annoying and somehow boring at the same time.
Your idea that someone is a better knife maker because their daddy did it too is strange to me.
I am guessing your daddy was a pretentious a$$hole because you are AMAZING at it.

scott6452
06-24-2013, 09:44 AM
From a neutral standpoint it really doesn't seem to me that Birnando is being anti-American, perhaps since he is not being as pro-American as the forum is used to, it is being noticed? And that's the beautiful thing about opinions, they can never be wrong by definition.

With a forum that is as great as this, I think it is essential that users with a different opinion to the masses in certain subjects are not bullied out by the mob, which is exactly what this kind of thing "I am guessing your daddy was a pretentious a$$hole because you are AMAZING at it" could end up doing.

Birnando
06-24-2013, 09:55 AM
I hate to say it Bernardo but your opinions are wrong.
And your status as a foster parent is poor support for your arguments.
I find your elitist and anti-American ranting to be annoying and somehow boring at the same time.
Your idea that someone is a better knife maker because their daddy did it too is strange to me.
I am guessing your daddy was a pretentious a$$hole because you are AMAZING at it.

If you find my posts anti-American, then I am sorry that you feel that way.
I tried to explain that I am no such thing, but clearly, I failed to do so in a manner that convinced you.
The annoying part I can understand, but I'm not sure I quite believe the boring part;)

The dad thing was merely a comment to the fact that quite a few of the knife-shops in Japan seem to be a family thing.
Meaning many of the knife-smiths followed in their fathers footsteps.
That does not mean anything other than that.
I'd say that they will learn pretty much the same from any knife-smith they work for.

You are quite right about my dad, although it seems a tad out of place on a forum such as this..
He most certainly was what you indicate.

As for the compliment to me, all I could really say is thank you, it meant a lot to me.

echerub
06-24-2013, 10:06 AM
I don't sense any nation-bashing here nor do I see racism. Let's not inject any now, nor any personal bashing.

There are some pointed views and comments. * That* is perfectly fine and welcome.

Chuckles
06-24-2013, 10:07 AM
Bernie,
Ok. I think what you just wrote was pretty witty.
I'm not sure but I think I am starting to like you.
But your opinions are still wrong.

stevenStefano
06-24-2013, 10:07 AM
I am guessing your daddy was a pretentious a$$hole because you are AMAZING at it.

There are a few of those here, but Birnando isn't one of them

JKerr
06-24-2013, 11:46 AM
I keep coming back to this thread meaning to add my 2 cents but too many new thoughts keep popping into my head. I reckon it's a subject that's best brought up at the pub, over a few beers and debated to the point where all objectivity is lost and there is no clear answer.

Every now again a thread pops up along the lines of "Who makes the best knife?" and it's either shot down or the first reply is along the lines of "No such thing", and we're basically arguing the same thing so why it became personal in the first place, I have no idea.

If you want my opinion, I reckon the random French bloke who made my vintage K sab filleting knife gets my vote simply because I love that knife......but who knows, maybe he was a Japanese intern...

Marko Tsourkan
06-24-2013, 12:07 PM
I haven't followed this thread too closely in the last couple of days so I am a little surprised by negativity. Tone it down folks.

There is nothing wrong having an opinion and stating it, and nothing wrong with challenging a person's opinion as long as it is done in constructive way. I challenged Birnando to a contest and he accepted it, and both of us are looking forward to it.

M

Zwiefel
06-24-2013, 12:33 PM
I haven't followed this thread too closely in the last couple of days so I am a little surprised by negativity. Tone it down folks.There is nothing wrong having an opinion and stating it, and nothing wrong with challenging a person's opinion as long as it is done in constructive way. I challenged Birnando to a contest and he accepted it, and both of us are looking forward to it. M:plus1: I'm looking forward to more details about how it will be structured, and the results.

NO ChoP!
06-24-2013, 12:36 PM
I have no connection to Marko, other than meeting him once at a dinner. Have never held one of his knives. That being said, I have been around long enough to know, Marko has handled probably every great knife, American and Japanese. He has asked a million questions; studied; visited knowledgeable makers, and picked their brains; studied some more; tried and tested techniques a million times; probably tossed as many knives as he's sold, all in the pursuit of perfection; stopped production and made people wait, because he discovered some new technique that could possibly make his product just that much better...

I'd blindly put up one of his knives against anything comparably priced from anyone and from anywhere. Good luck with this bet...

Mingooch
06-24-2013, 12:55 PM
I would love to see both of those knives entered into that contest first hand. Would love to use them.

bamin
06-24-2013, 01:19 PM
Here's my 2 cents. I don't think that you can definitively state that western makers are better or worse than Japanese knife makers. I think the reason that American knife smiths seem superior to us here isn't because they thought of wholly new techniques that left the Japanese in the dust. I think it is simply that they are here in America and most importantly they have a very close relationship with their customers. The knives that they forge are very much tailored to the needs/wants/desires of their customers. This is possible because they can get direct feedback about the quality of their work and fluidly incorporate the necessary changes into their next batch. To say it a bit more concisely American made knives are better because they are made with us in mind. I would gander that the Japanese knife makers are the same. They produce knives to please their principal market which is Japan. How often can one of us contact a Japanese smith and talk to them about what we like/dislike about their product. The only person that comes to mind is Jon. What we look for in a great knife might not be what the Japanese knife nuts want.

Also, I think western made knives seem superior because most people are getting completely custom knives. Your custom knife should be among the best you have ever used because it was tailored specifically to you. If it is not then either you failed to properly communicate everything that you wanted or the maker failed to execute.

It was mentioned that Japanese smiths learn from their families and while true I don't think we can believe that they eschew all other outside knowledge. Producing knives is their livelihood and in Japan there is a lot of competition. If they make an inferior product or are not continually improving their methods and design they would lose business to their competitors and ultimately have to close their doors. On this point I wonder why people are saying that only the western makers have access to the more modern steels and techniques? Japan is a modern country, any information or type of steel that we have here should be accessible there.

So you can't go wrong either way Japanese or Western, but a knife that is tailored to your needs should always seem better than a mass produced one.


Side note about the wine. I think California wines are great and all, but can we really say that its entirely because Americans thought of something revolutionary? Wine is heavily influenced by the climate and geography that the vines are grown in. I think American growers found great locations in California, Oregon, and Washington that is ideal for growing the vines. I would say its 80% location 20% on the grower. For example, Massachusetts has vineyards, have you ever heard anyone say that they had a great bottle of wine from Mass? American growers don't have magic fingers that rest of the wine producing areas of the world don't have.

Basically, everything from knives to wine is subjective. At the end of the day all that matters is that the customers are happy and they keep spending money to support the artisan's businesses.

Patatas Bravas
06-24-2013, 01:39 PM
Exactly about the US makers (not 'Western' - that could me from several countries). I think the communication thing is the one advantage US makers have to have in the eyes of most KKFers. As I said before, imagine if suddenly everyone could talk directly with the Japanese makers without the language/cultural barrier? Would change everything.

Completely natural, then, that customers would be raving about knives they've had input on, which is often the case with the US custom makers.

Marko Tsourkan
06-24-2013, 01:47 PM
Exactly about the US makers (not 'Western' - that could me from several countries). I think the communication thing is the one advantage US makers have to have in the eyes of most KKFers. As I said before, imagine if suddenly everyone could talk directly with the Japanese makers without the language/cultural barrier? Would change everything.

Completely natural, then, that customers would be raving about knives they've had input on, which is often the case with the US custom makers.

There are number of things:

-Steels (variety of carbon, stainless, conventional and PM steels, damascus)
-Heat Treatment (cryo treatment is pretty standard for most steels among Western makers, custom HT or HT done professionally)
-Level of Customization (custom handle/saya - stabilized materials, mokume, horn, etc)
-Blade Finish (hand rubbed finish equivalent you will see from just a handful of J. makers)

There is a reason why it is easier to sell through distributor than be a custom maker. It takes the pain (and a lot of time involved in communicating with a customer) away.

Don't assume that if you could communicate with a maker directly, you would get exactly what you want. Sometimes things don't make production sense, or sense in general, or a maker is not going to change his method to accommodate a customer (try to get a mono blade from a san mai maker like Shigefusa or try to get a knife in a steel like M390 or K390 from a maker like Yoshikane).

M

JBroida
06-24-2013, 01:55 PM
one of the reasons you dont see mono blades from shigefusa and m390 from yoshikane is specialization, which is something we often forget about here. Being able to do everything doesnt mean you will be good at all of it. Theres a reason you see guys like kramer using mainly 52100 or devin spending huge amounts of time with aeb-l, etc.

Patatas Bravas
06-24-2013, 01:57 PM
Don't assume that if you could communicate with the maker directly, you would get exactly what you want. Some times things don't make production sense, or sense in general, or a maker is not going to change his method to accommodate a customer (try to get a mono blade from a san mai maker like Shigefusa or try to get a knife in a steel like M390 or K390 from a maker like Yoshikane).


Definitely, and the recent thread on 1-bevelled gyuto is as an example. Yeah, there might be 1 or 2 out there that would do it, but if the idea doesn't make sense a good maker wouldn't want his name attached the inferior end result.

Chef Doom
06-24-2013, 02:05 PM
I agree with you Maxim. I don't think he was trying to be or is racist at all. But here in the states, the term is an easy and efficient defensive tool for arguments and a cheap way to invalidate someones opinion.


Recommending to put Japanese knife in home oven because it chipped to make it softer "because i know better then those Japanese blacksmith" :D is very good example !


:plus1: Why anyone would recommend this is beyond me.


And yeah in any i mean ANY feld you get better the more you do what you do. So you can not really compare one that makes knives for 2 year and one that have been making for 50, i think its quite logical


I only %50 agree with you on this one. You can make crap for 50 years because you were taught to make crap by someone who did the same for 50 years and be satisfied with the crap you have been making because there is a strong market for your crap. Especially when there is a market for "The lowest priced item without question".


I find that a silly and ignorant remark, very typical of the fanboyism one can sometimes see online in communities like this.
What constitutes a good knife depends on a number of factors.
In addition, we all have our own preferences......

Oh, did I mention I have two foster-kids?
Both from Thailand.
How's that for a racist?

You just don't understand American Patriotism. A lesson or manual is in order :bat: :IMOK: :lol2:

I would admit that saying that American makers was improving on Japanese knives was a little far fetched. I've seen that a lot of the American makers are copying Japanese profiles and steel hardness, but every craftsman is trying to find their own style in their own way. Traditional American cutlery originated from European settlers. And despite the Asian immigrants that helped us build the railroads, European style cutlery is what we were stuck with until then. Chinese cleavers have been available for a long time, but that old sense of patriotism would keep them from being popular. Japanese profiles and techniques was a popular and excellent break from the norm. Plus there is always a hunger for a "Made in the U.S.A" stamp.

And a word of advise, you don't defend against accusations of racism buy presenting your foster kids. At least not in America. That is now a cliche. The best is to ignore, laugh, or say screw you. Unless you are a white politician in the U.S. Then you have a problem.

On another note, I can never understand the appeal of wine to begin with. I could never drink enough of it to get a decent level of intoxication without getting an upset stomach. Hard liquor hits too fast too quickly.

Why so Japanocentric?

Because sake is the perfect liquor. It has given me the longest consistent buzz that did not include a hangover.

JAPAN IN THE HOUSE!

ThEoRy
06-24-2013, 02:21 PM
What initiated my rant if you will, was the blanket statement of four named artisans improving on Japanese knives, indicating that the US makers like the four mentioned made better products. Period.




As for the racist part, I find it hard to take that seriously, and put it in the account of hurt feelings..
A side-effect of fanboyism if you will.






To your first quote...

Where did I say what you are claiming I said? I never made an end all be all blanket statement as you so claim. Don't put words in my mouth. Since reading comprehension escapes you, kindly read it again. I said, " What's funny to me is that the gyuto is actually the Japanese interpretation/improvement of a European/Western knife. And now we have makers like Marko, Devin, HHH, Pierre, etc. improving upon THAT now as well. Full circle perhaps?" Show me where I said "Better. Period." ............................................ Oh right , I didn't. I said they were improving upon it, because they are. Just because I learned how to make Beef Bourguignon from a master French Chef who had been making it for 50 years doesn't mean that I can't improve upon it. His is still great, but mine is also now great with perhaps improvements upon cooking techniques, prep efficiency or even ingredients. See how that works now?





To your second quote...

Where I come from, calling someone a hick IS a racist remark. "He's a ******* hick." It implies the person is a white supremacist, Ku Klux Klan member or any other kind of backwater redneck white separatist. To say that someone is from Hicksville, USA is to imply they are from a town full of ignorant inbreeding racists.

Maybe you didn't mean it that way but your own ignorance of our language and culture seems to have you at a disadvantage here and I think the best thing you could do is to apologize for that remark in the least.

Timthebeaver
06-24-2013, 02:40 PM
It's very clear that there are no racist connotations in Birnando's posts, despite the cultural misunderstanding/somewhat belligerent choice of words. This has been one of the most interesting threads on the forum in a while (ymmv), it is refreshing to see someone challenging the predominant thinking here.

Chef Doom
06-24-2013, 02:53 PM
What's funny to me is that the gyuto is actually the Japanese interpretation/improvement of a European/Western knife. And now we have makers like Marko, Devin, HHH, Pierre, etc. improving upon THAT now as well. Full circle perhaps?

But the gyuto was never meant to be an improvement on Western knives at all. It was mostly used to tap into a new market for exporting. I've seen videos and heard people from Japan say that the softer knives in Europe is a cultural and cooking style difference.

ajhuff
06-24-2013, 03:05 PM
Come on, aren't you guys thrilled I've stayed out of this crapfest!!! :D

Learned my lesson last time.

-AJ (the KKF pariah)

JBroida
06-24-2013, 03:25 PM
hahaha

Marko Tsourkan
06-24-2013, 03:28 PM
one of the reasons you dont see mono blades from shigefusa and m390 from yoshikane is specialization, which is something we often forget about here. Being able to do everything doesnt mean you will be good at all of it. Theres a reason you see guys like kramer using mainly 52100 or devin spending huge amounts of time with aeb-l, etc.

It has also to do with the difficulty of production and cost. San mai is cheaper than mono steel, and san mai blades are easier to straighten after heat treatment than forged monosteel knives and finish.

Specializing is good, but I think offering fewer steel is more for convenience, than inability to heat treat several steels equally well if you do it in a controlled environment. It comes down to developing a recipe and following it.

When you forge in traditional J. way, anneal, grind - that's a different ball game. That requires years to learn and master.. But same can be said for people who forge and make damascus steel (DT, B. Burke, Kramer and others) in the US.

Now I could sense a little jab on something that I wrote a while back. Let me restate it - over-hardened knife chips, soft knife rolls. So rather than applying a quick fix - microbevel on every blade that chips, maybe it's time to admit the simple truth?

A well heat treated blade will do neither. People over-harden a blade intentionally to squeeze a little more wear resistance out of steel that doesn't have alloys that contribute to WR, or unintentionally, heat treatment by eye, not adequate temper, etc. You placing a blind trust into a smith is fine with me, but a chipping blade is over-hardened, no matter how you put it. Or maybe you would rather be told stories.

Chef Doom
06-24-2013, 03:51 PM
but a chipping blade is over-hardened, no matter how you put it.

What if someone wants a knife that hard for a specific reason?

Patatas Bravas
06-24-2013, 03:53 PM
While it shouldn't become an excuse in some circumstances, in others it most certainly is and I think parts of this thread are an example of how members whose first language is English often have no idea what it's like to deal with people in another language, let alone what it's like for members who are using English here as their 2nd language, or 3rd language, etc. Coupled with that, even if a member's first language is English it doesn't mean they write well or are always clear and may not realise either. Sometimes I'd like to see some more thought and consideration given to this as the more open and international this forum is the better I'd say.

(Incidentally, this isn't necessarily about US and non-US members; there's one and probably several US members whose first language isn't English too.)

Unfortunate that the number of Japanese members seems to be zero, though there are some members based there.

maxim
06-24-2013, 04:01 PM
I like that :D If you dont understand it better change it LOL


What if someone wants a knife that hard for a specific reason?

I know quite a lot of japanese chefs that requast that kind of knives that is super hard ! and Can chip
And "well heat treated blade" they will call crap
And what will you say to him ?? Try to heat you blade and quinch it to make it harder :rofl2:

JBroida
06-24-2013, 04:14 PM
San mai is not always less expensive than mono steel, but it is easier to straighten.

On the over hardened knives, i still think you are wrong there... i've used and sharpened a lot of knives, including yours. There is a lot to be said for knife skills, technique, personal preference, and sharpening techniques. Quite frankly, you dont know what you dont know.

Marko Tsourkan
06-24-2013, 04:17 PM
What if someone wants a knife that hard for a specific reason?

I can't think of one, short of cutting proteins with barely touching a board. Micro chipping happens from a contact with the board, rather than with a bone or other object.

Now I will comment on tempering in the oven. How do you think it is done in commercial settings and among many custom makers? In convection ovens and molted salts at about 350-400F for simple carbon steels. Your kitchen oven is fairly accurate in that range. Not so ridiculous an idea, if you ask anybody who ever tried making knives. People do it all the time (if they work out of their garage or have a shop in the backyard).

M

maxim
06-24-2013, 04:29 PM
Sorry but i agree, there is a lot you dont know what you dont know !

And also still a lot to learn before make comment like that


I can't think of one, short of cutting proteins with barely touching a board. Micro chipping happens from a contact with the board, rather than with a bone or other object.

Now I will comment on tempering in the oven. How do you think it is done in commercial settings and among many custom makers? In convection ovens and molted salts at about 350-400F for simple carbon steels. Your kitchen oven is fairly accurate in that range. Not so ridiculous an idea, if you ask anybody who ever tried making knives. People do it all the time (if they work out of their garage or have a shop in the backyard).

M

Marko Tsourkan
06-24-2013, 04:34 PM
Basics of heat treating is not a rocket science. Every steel manufacturer would have recommended heat treatment chart/graphs and temperatures that can be taken as a base and tweaked for a custom HT. What I stated here is elementary stuff. I don't understand why people find it so hard to believe.

Anyway, pointless to continue.

maxim
06-24-2013, 04:43 PM
Ohh yeah let me try to explain :D

Your knives dont chip because they are to soft or they are grownd to thick.
Because i could make it chip with same angle as Jknives
Second Mono Steel knives with that heat thread is pain in the ass to sharpen or thin, so if it is to thick at the end in the first place it will be pain in the ass to sharpen or thin.
Knives that i have tried with that properties as you describe above feel like rubber on the stones. And not pleasant to sharpen for a chef that sharpen knives every day
And most important for Japanese chefs, yes it can not be as sharp as those super hard knives that you call bad heat treated.

So i guess if you want to go German road and make your knives for people that prefer German like Henckels knives, you are right and you should go in that direction, so yeah pointless to continue :D

bieniek
06-24-2013, 04:48 PM
Maybe you didn't mean it that way but your own ignorance of our language and culture seems to have you at a disadvantage here and I think the best thing you could do is to apologize for that remark in the least.


What do you call our language? You mean English, that colonized North America? Or do you mean French? Not sure.
Other thing is, in my little shithole town noone ever heard about I have a bakery older than USA. I have sourdough almost older than USA[OK, I had until my wife killed it in the oven]. Dont talk to me about USA, we dont discuss that here. It is totally unimportant where youre coming from, so dont make yourself feel better.

I dont really enjoy that tone, like the centre of the universe is actually in USA, why would it be? Its the debt or something?

So please, I am not saying any other country is better, but just open youre eyes, world is big, one of the best examples is people like my mother. She really is the christian-catholic. She doesnt understand that people from Asia who have multiple times older cultures dont know who Jesus was and plainly talking aint give a crap about him. Not a faith but an early state of fanatism to me, just like your version of nationalistic patriotism.


And Im going to repeat myself. I tried DT ITK and this was ultramongous dissappointment. That knife sucked arse. Im not saying that to get personal on the maker.
But my side seems pretty simple: youre not happy with the product, dont sell it.
And this costs what? Same Euros as Shig?

I am really welcoming anyone who can prove me wrong. Send me your DT ITK that you think cuts better than Shig. I will eat my shoe publicly if it does. I dont care about retention, I dont care steel, I care cutting pleasure.
I can polish it before sending back.

maxim
06-24-2013, 05:05 PM
:rofl2:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg



What do you call our language? You mean English, that colonized North America? Or do you mean French? Not sure.
Other thing is, in my little shithole town noone ever heard about I have a bakery older than USA. I have sourdough almost older than USA[OK, I had until my wife killed it in the oven]. Dont talk to me about USA, we dont discuss that here. It is totally unimportant where youre coming from, so dont make yourself feel better.

I dont really enjoy that tone, like the centre of the universe is actually in USA, why would it be? Its the debt or something?

So please, I am not saying any other country is better, but just open youre eyes, world is big, one of the best examples is people like my mother. She really is the christian-catholic. She doesnt understand that people from Asia who have multiple times older cultures dont know who Jesus was and plainly talking aint give a crap about him. Not a faith but an early state of fanatism to me, just like your version of nationalistic patriotism.


And Im going to repeat myself. I tried DT ITK and this was ultramongous dissappointment. That knife sucked arse. Im not saying that to get personal on the maker.
But my side seems pretty simple: youre not happy with the product, dont sell it.
And this costs what? Same Euros as Shig?

I am really welcoming anyone who can prove me wrong. Send me your DT ITK that you think cuts better than Shig. I will eat my shoe publicly if it does. I dont care about retention, I dont care steel, I care cutting pleasure.
I can polish it before sending back.

kalaeb
06-24-2013, 05:09 PM
There is nothing wrong having an opinion and stating it, and nothing wrong with challenging a person's opinion as long as it is done in constructive way. I challenged Birnando to a contest and he accepted it, and both of us are looking forward to it.

M

Marko, you are right, there is nothing wrong with having an opinion.

The tone of this thread is becomming ridiculous. Knives are like shoes, there is no one pair that will work for everyone, if there was, then all the knives would be the same. As was brought out numerous time, knives are subjective. What works for one may not work for another.

Having a competition to see which is the best knife is ridiculous, as it would be the subject of the testers preferance and prove nothing in the end except for which style of knife that person prefers.

Anyone who purchases a knife based of something like that is a fool.

Develope your own preferances instead of letting the most abrasive and vocal members of the forum tell you what to buy or like.

maxim
06-24-2013, 05:12 PM
:plus1:




The tone of this thread is becomming ridiculous. Knives are like shoes, there is no one pair that will work for everyone, if there was, then all the knives would be the same. As was brought out numerous time, knives are subjective. What works for one may not work for another.

Having a competition to see which is the best knife is ridiculous, as it would be the subject of the testers preferance and prove nothing in the end except for which style of knife that person prefers.

Anyone who purchases a knife based of something like that is a fool.

Develope your own preferances instead of letting the most abrasive and vocal members of the forum tell you what to buy or like.

Birnando
06-24-2013, 05:19 PM
Snip...

Develope your own preferances instead of letting the most abrasive and vocal members of the forum tell you what to buy or like.

Aye, there really isn't much more to it.

rdpx
06-24-2013, 05:21 PM
Why do Americans always generalise about everything?

;)

JBroida
06-24-2013, 05:22 PM
The tone of this thread is becomming ridiculous. Knives are like shoes, there is no one pair that will work for everyone, if there was, then all the knives would be the same. As was brought out numerous time, knives are subjective. What works for one may not work for another.

Having a competition to see which is the best knife is ridiculous, as it would be the subject of the testers preferance and prove nothing in the end except for which style of knife that person prefers.

Anyone who purchases a knife based of something like that is a fool.

Develope your own preferances instead of letting the most abrasive and vocal members of the forum tell you what to buy or like.
yup

ThEoRy
06-24-2013, 05:27 PM
What do you call our language? You mean English, that colonized North America? Or do you mean French? Not sure.
Other thing is, in my little shithole town noone ever heard about I have a bakery older than USA. I have sourdough almost older than USA[OK, I had until my wife killed it in the oven]. Dont talk to me about USA, we dont discuss that here. It is totally unimportant where youre coming from, so dont make yourself feel better.

I dont really enjoy that tone, like the centre of the universe is actually in USA, why would it be? Its the debt or something?

So please, I am not saying any other country is better, but just open youre eyes, world is big, one of the best examples is people like my mother. She really is the christian-catholic. She doesnt understand that people from Asia who have multiple times older cultures dont know who Jesus was and plainly talking aint give a crap about him. Not a faith but an early state of fanatism to me, just like your version of nationalistic patriotism.


And Im going to repeat myself. I tried DT ITK and this was ultramongous dissappointment. That knife sucked arse. Im not saying that to get personal on the maker.
But my side seems pretty simple: youre not happy with the product, dont sell it.
And this costs what? Same Euros as Shig?

I am really welcoming anyone who can prove me wrong. Send me your DT ITK that you think cuts better than Shig. I will eat my shoe publicly if it does. I dont care about retention, I dont care steel, I care cutting pleasure.
I can polish it before sending back.

Nice strawman argument there. Way to put stuff in my mouth as well. I don't see where all of this ultra patriotic "go usa" nonsense is coming from. No one ever brought patriotism into this.

1st. What I'm saying about English is that it's a localization issue and whether he did or didn't know or mean to offend with the "Hicksville" comment guess what? IT IS OFFENSIVE. Besides, isn't Norwegian your official or first language? Do you have Ku Klux Klan members over there? Unfortunately, ignorant hate mongering groups do exist here. And trust me, when you are hanging out with a bunch of black friends, you DO NOT go down into Hicksville.

2nd. Are you really inviting a comparison between a Shigefusa and a MID TECH knife?

JBroida
06-24-2013, 05:32 PM
lets just let this go and move on... not worth arguing about on either side

Timthebeaver
06-24-2013, 05:33 PM
While it shouldn't become an excuse in some circumstances, in others it most certainly is and I think parts of this thread are an example of how members whose first language is English often have no idea what it's like to deal with people in another language, let alone what it's like for members who are using English here as their 2nd language, or 3rd language, etc. Coupled with that, even if a member's first language is English it doesn't mean they write well or are always clear and may not realise either. Sometimes I'd like to see some more thought and consideration given to this as the more open and international this forum is the better I'd say.



This.

Plus two years living in America left my proper English in tatters. ;)

Timthebeaver
06-24-2013, 05:35 PM
San mai is not always less expensive than mono steel

Indeed. Example being the Masamoto San Mai gyuto which is about twice the price of the KS.

Timthebeaver
06-24-2013, 05:52 PM
Develope your own preferances instead of letting the most abrasive and vocal members of the forum tell you what to buy or like.

Agreed, provided you accept that Santokus are crap and that a 240mm gyuto is the bare minimum you'll need to prepare your dinner.

Gator
06-24-2013, 06:12 PM
Dont talk to me about USA, we dont discuss that here. It is totally unimportant where youre coming from, so dont make yourself feel better.
Dude, I think you are both, overreacting and misunderstanding. On occasion it does matter where you are coming from and how your words will be interpreted. E.g. hand gesture Ok in US, it means a$$hole in other countries, palm up means stop or welcome in different countries. So, simply put, you might get a fist in your face, while trying to express positive emotions, or get shot for misunderstanding a sign in extreme circumstances.


I dont really enjoy that tone, like the centre of the universe is actually in USA, why would it be?
I didn't really see that idea coming from any post in this thread. Stating that things mean or can be interpreted differently in US, is just that, and the same applies to other countries as well. What's ok here will not be ok in other places, literally and philosophically.

We can get along w/o strong emotions I think ;)

Chuckles
06-24-2013, 06:18 PM
Is it common in Norway to involve your immediate family members in arguments?
Bringing up your own mother's ignorance or lack of cultural relativism to help defend racist connotations about some very nice members of this forum has got to be the most bizarre post I've ever read on this site.

I've learned today that Norway might as well be the dark side of the moon for how much sense it makes to me.

Shigefusa against a mid tech. Is that the only American made knife you've handled? If so you've only seen the tip of the iceberg. :2cents:

Dave Martell
06-24-2013, 06:23 PM
Am I crazy or is there like 10 different arguments running in this thread? :D

stevenStefano
06-24-2013, 06:26 PM
Am I crazy or is there like 10 different arguments running in this thread? :D

Who are you calling crazy? :knight:

Birnando
06-24-2013, 06:30 PM
Is it common in Norway to involve your immediate family members in arguments?

Snip..

I've learned today that Norway might as well be the dark side of the moon for how much sense it makes to me.

Shigefusa against a mid tech. Is that the only American made knife you've handled? If so you've only seen the tip of the iceberg. :2cents:

Now, please do remember that it was another member here that brought up immediate family first...:whistling:

In honesty though, you would be surprised how similar our two societies actually are, although there are obvious differences.

And a third point if Bieniek will forgive this:
He is Polish, not Norwegian :surrendar:

Marko Tsourkan
06-24-2013, 06:33 PM
Ohh yeah let me try to explain :D

Your knives dont chip because they are to soft or they are grownd to thick.
Because i could make it chip with same angle as Jknives
Second Mono Steel knives with that heat thread is pain in the ass to sharpen or thin, so if it is to thick at the end in the first place it will be pain in the ass to sharpen or thin.
Knives that i have tried with that properties as you describe above feel like rubber on the stones. And not pleasant to sharpen for a chef that sharpen knives every day
And most important for Japanese chefs, yes it can not be as sharp as those super hard knives that you call bad heat treated.

So i guess if you want to go German road and make your knives for people that prefer German like Henckels knives, you are right and you should go in that direction, so yeah pointless to continue :D

You have not seen or tried a knife from me, so you don't know how hard or soft they are. My knives are in 62-63RC area, just below what I consider over-hardened.

You also don't know how thin I grind. If I tell you that I grind thinner than Shigefusa (at the edge and above), you won't believe me either.

It annoys me that what I am saying is being twisted and distorted, even though it is as plain as the day. Ask any reputable maker here in the US if chipping is a result of overhardening and rolling of a blade being too soft, and you get the same answer answer.

Here makers use a brass rod test to come up with an optimal tempering temperature so the edge is neither rolling nor chipping. That is the optimal heat treatment.

I have done it, tested and measured hardness on a hardness tester. You are repeating what you have been told. Where do you get the certainty?

Mucho Bocho
06-24-2013, 06:37 PM
I almost pissing myself with that remark Dave, so funny, you guys, I've never see so much passion and bull **** in my life. Does that mean I can use a deba on my chicken now?


Am I crazy or is there like 10 different arguments running in this thread? :D

Chuckles
06-24-2013, 06:42 PM
My mom uses a deba on chicken all the time.

mzer
06-24-2013, 07:03 PM
My mom uses a deba on chicken all the time.

In combat boots?

Zwiefel
06-24-2013, 07:07 PM
Am I crazy or is there like 10 different arguments running in this thread? :Dhmmmm...curious why you feel these are mutually exclusive....;)

Gator
06-24-2013, 07:34 PM
Am I crazy or is there like 10 different arguments running in this thread? :D
It's plausible that you're normal and there's 10 crazy arguments :D

chinacats
06-24-2013, 07:41 PM
This is so good that I had to break out my new J-popcorn...I hear it's even better than the American stuff.:D

Zwiefel
06-24-2013, 07:44 PM
This is so good that I had to break out my new J-popcorn...I hear it's even better than the American stuff.:Dtotally useless w/o jButter and jPop.Wait..didn't we already do this?

bkultra
06-24-2013, 08:06 PM
Isn't this where everyone talks about popcorn? :groucho:

mano
06-24-2013, 08:56 PM
Frankly, I couldn't give a rat's ass where a good knife comes from, and I suspect most people here feel the same way. The fact is, all the knives everyone is arguing about can be traced back to Japan. Whether it's the name, handle, profile, geometry or steel. That's why KKF is "Japanocentric".

Can't wait to get my excellent Marko knife which is derivative of Shigafusa, DT and Kramer who make Japanese style knives.

JBroida
06-24-2013, 09:05 PM
It annoys me that what I am saying is being twisted and distorted, even though it is as plain as the day. Ask any reputable maker here in the US if chipping is a result of overhardening and rolling of a blade being too soft, and you get the same answer answer.

Here makers use a brass rod test to come up with an optimal tempering temperature so the edge is neither rolling nor chipping. That is the optimal heat treatment.

I have done it, tested and measured hardness on a hardness tester. You are repeating what you have been told. Where do you get the certainty?

this, again, is a matter of personal preference. This is what US knife makers have decided is a good test, but thats is. I'm not saying this produces bad knives, but i am saying its no where near covering the whole story.

Andrew H
06-24-2013, 10:19 PM
I read every post in this thread and was starting to type a reply to it when I realized just how far we've gotten from the OP's question. That isn't a bad thing, but I'm going to try and respond to that bit.

"I noticed that this forum is very fokused on japanese cutlery or imitation/interpretation of it? I mean, there a so many wondeful knifmakers and fanastic knifecompanies all around the world that get no notice here. I mean not at all! Is there any specific reason? Is because people think japanese cutlery is superior op all other (thats what advertisment tells us, but i see hordes of japanes tourist buying loads and loads of swiss and german cutlery here in europe, so that hardly can be true).
Or is it that all the good stuff from France, Switzerland, Austria or Germany is rarly exported und our US-Friends just get the china-made factory stuff like Zwilling, "Messermeister" (completly unknown in Germany) and the such? And have all the right to diss these crappy blades.
Dont get me wrong: I love the eastern stuff too, the aesthetics and all. But over the years a i always came back to german super-thin high carbon knives as my goto-knives. And they just cost a fraction..."

You're right, most of the stuff we see in the U.S. from the countries you mention is just factory made stuff. Wusthof, Henckels, Zwilling, etc. We do have some UK and EU friends (Will C and Tilman come to mind), who make fantastic knives but are very similar to the custom US makers and even, to a degree, Japan knives. Are there people in Europe making a different style of knife that is cutting just as well? If so, please do a passaround and let us in on the info!

Really, most of the knives here are very similar, especially ones by custom makers. ~3mm at the heel, full distal taper, 240mm long, partial convex grind, thin behind the edge, 61-63 HRC, fairly flat profile heavily influenced by French knives, etc. What I've found in my admittedly incomplete sampling of cutlery is that the difference between a decent knife and a great knife isn't fundamental, it's a small difference in geometry or profile.

Chef Doom
06-25-2013, 12:09 AM
Am I crazy or is there like 10 different arguments running in this thread? :DWho are you calling crazy? :knight:

YEAH!!! :nunchucks:

Chef Doom
06-25-2013, 12:25 AM
I can't think of one, short of cutting proteins with barely touching a board. Micro chipping happens from a contact with the board, rather than with a bone or other object.


But isn't that because you mostly cater to a western market? You might deem knives made this way as being too hard, but that is only based on what you make for your market and customer base. It depends on the purpose of the knife and the needs of the person.

maxim
06-25-2013, 01:26 AM
Well i have sharpened and re polished more knives from US then you think ;)

While some are thinner behind the edge then Shigefusa, it dose not tell whole story. Usually edge is too flat and edge its self is sharpened to much higher eagle then any J knife
I can make huge angle on straight razor and it will not chip but it will still be thin ground :D

The thing is i dont care about asking ANY US maker as i dont like they knives that much yet. However i like most of Japanese thats why i ask them :P

maybe it will change in future i dont know and maybe many love that kind of knives, i see here on the forum some do.
But i will never say like you do that these knives is made wrong because i dont like it hahaha


You have not seen or tried a knife from me, so you don't know how hard or soft they are. My knives are in 62-63RC area, just below what I consider over-hardened.

You also don't know how thin I grind. If I tell you that I grind thinner than Shigefusa (at the edge and above), you won't believe me either.

It annoys me that what I am saying is being twisted and distorted, even though it is as plain as the day. Ask any reputable maker here in the US if chipping is a result of overhardening and rolling of a blade being too soft, and you get the same answer answer.

Here makers use a brass rod test to come up with an optimal tempering temperature so the edge is neither rolling nor chipping. That is the optimal heat treatment.

I have done it, tested and measured hardness on a hardness tester. You are repeating what you have been told. Where do you get the certainty?

Chuckles
06-25-2013, 02:15 AM
I saw you pull the Kato pass around knife over concerns about the fat tip. So I thought there is no way if I buy one it would look like that. Wrong. Three hours on the stones so I could cut an onion as well as the $30 house knives at work. Chippy but after hours of work on the stones a nice knife. Most expensive grind your own knife kit available but at the end of the day I enjoyed it. What can I say, I am a knerd. I think there are two levels of quality control that the pass around Kato and the one I received should not have passed. I don't think those kinds of QC issues are present in the American makers that are active on these forums. Perhaps it is because they are dealing direct with the customer or maybe the Japanese maker is relying on the third party distributer to catch the problematic pieces and that is a bridge too far. Maybe Shigefusa is better but I cannot afford to spend that kind of money to see another project get delivered to my door. You and your fanboy have very strong opinions but there have been many Shigs and Katos on BST lately. I wonder why?

maxim
06-25-2013, 02:30 AM
What opinions do you talking about ?? And who is fanboy you talking about ??
The only opinion i have is like Kalaeb said, we all have our own preferences.
Did you ever see me go out and say to US makers or other and say that knife is crap and made wrong ??? I see it a lot lately about Japanese knives here
So the real fanboyism i see now is around US knives. They are not set to same criticism, as all Makers is on that bord, unlike Japanese makers

As you know i am not the only one that Sells Shigefusa. Katos i did not seen to much on BST not in comparison how many i sold.

Birnando
06-25-2013, 02:48 AM
Snip.. You and your fanboy have very strong opinions but there have been many Shigs and Katos on BST lately. I wonder why?

I could show you a "Damascus" steeled blade or two made outside Japan (US) that would make you cringe.
Not only are there issues of quality control on those things, they show a very apparent lack of understanding of what a cutting edge should be, and that fungus-infested woods, bowling ball acrylics and a over-acided pattern welding of steel is only half the job, even for the aestethically challenged:)
Pattern welding is all fine and dandy, but it really isn't what makes a knife great.
Half the the time it is not even what makes a knife beautiful.
But the choils are highly polished, yay!

Well, I'm not gonna show you those. Bashing of named makers leads us no where.

As to available knives on BST, it seems half or even more are due to the fact that people seem to need to "free up some money for unexpected expenses" or whatever.
I've seen medical challenges, cost of moving, loss of employment and a whole slew of other reasons in there.
The economy, in parts of the world, is sadly not in a state that could be called stellar..

I have a friend in the straight razor hobby.
He must have owned razors from most any custom maker out there.
After trying them, he flips them in the classifieds as he really can't afford them, but he sure is gonna give them a good try before that!
He seems very happy with that arrangement.

Patatas Bravas
06-25-2013, 03:23 AM
So the real fanboyism i see now is around US knives. They are not set to same criticism, as all Makers is on that bord, unlike Japanese makers


Probably a valid point. People tend to protect their fav makers and sellers here, and members might be hesitant to step out of line.

maxim
06-25-2013, 03:43 AM
When is it last time we have seen US done that here ?
I remember tk59 ones did it with Bill midteck knife but he is also kind of like Honey Badger here :D


Probably a valid point. People tend to protect their fav makers and sellers here, and members might be hesitant to step out of line.

panda
06-25-2013, 03:43 AM
did you know that the greatest knife in the world is from a small town in mexico? it's made out of rock with cactus spike handle and will cut through an avocado seed then push cut tomato with no juice leakage, will crush garlic just from being near it, can dice an onion i a single stroke. i kid you not, for realz!

Chuckles
06-25-2013, 03:53 AM
What opinions do I talking about?


The thing is i dont care about asking ANY US maker as i dont like they knives that much yet. However i like most of Japanese thats why i ask them :P

You don't like any US made knives. This is an opinion right?


I realize US made knives will not win the favor of the Europeans until the workshops here are as old as the bakery in Bieniek's piece of sh!t town. Even when they cut better and hold an edge longer than the multigenerational knives of Japan. As long as there is a sourdough starter in the world older than the US knife industry how could an American knife possibly cut food well?

maxim
06-25-2013, 04:13 AM
I Still do not say that you may not like it or your opinion is wrong and knife need to be changed, do i ???
Thats what bother me most.
Thats what i arguing here :groucho:

And i dont say i dont like them, i say i dont like them that much yet for the price and my preference ! in Fact I will really like to like them hehe :D As most of my costumers is from US, Hek i will even like to sell them when i find one I like.

Birnando
06-25-2013, 04:20 AM
Snip...

I realize US made knives will not win the favor of the Europeans until the workshops here are as old as the bakery in Bieniek's piece of sh!t town. Even when they cut better and hold an edge longer than the multigenerational knives of Japan. As long as there is a sourdough starter in the world older than the US knife industry how could an American knife possibly cut food well?

I wonder what you'd think after doing a search on this forum for a guy called Oyvind Dahle...
That is one, of many, Europeans that does find US made knives the bee's knees for sure!
Europe, very much like the US, is quite the diverse place;)
You should come visit some time, I'd have a cold beer and a warm bed (essential in our climate) ready for you if you did!
And sadly, I have not yet been to Bieniek's "piece of ****" town, so it would be hard for me to have an opinion on that...

Heck, just between you and me, I have actually started the process of ordering not one, but two custom made knives in the last couple of weeks.
One of them being made by a "shade tree grinder". (see what I did there;) ) in good ole USA!

Having experience with the objects one discusses really is an advantage I find.
Wouldn't you agree?

Chuckles
06-25-2013, 05:12 AM
I had to google "shade tree" as an expression as I have never heard it before! Seems fitting from what I briefly read.

I am aware of who Oyvind Dahle is. He has some good looking knives to be sure (a Devin Thomas and a Burke come to mind for some reason). He was quite the character when he was around from what I understand.

I have been to Europe a couple of times and enjoyed it very much. If I ever make it Oslo I would love to take you up on the beer offer! My wife has family in Oslo so the bed part would be taken care of. Her cousins there have been trying to get her to visit again. Maybe if the dollar gains on the Euro.

My take on Bieniek's town was taken from his previous description and not based off of any first hand knowledge. I am sure it is also as old he says.

I sincerely hope you enjoy your custom knives and that you get them within a reasonable time frame.

I do find having experience with items being discussed is important. Definately pass arounds and the generosity of the members of this forum have given me the opportunity to play with far more amazing knives than I could ever dream of buying.

kpeddie2010
06-25-2013, 07:46 AM
I would love to see this thread squashed... from what i've read everyone has different opinions on what they like.
1) many have stated japanese knives are very good for the money.
2) other knife makers are making great knives. ie: european makers, american makers,
3) everyone has different opinions on what makes their favorite knife their favorite. ie: edge rentetion, ability to take acute edges, stickton aka food release, feedback in sharpening from different types of steel.
a whole lot more but the point of this thread was why is kkf so japanese oriented?
plain and simple many of the knives we use is or based on japanese blades so therefore our opinions are based on experience and knowledge is about japanese blades.
american knife makers have made strides in improving the knives recently and thats through study, experience, and knowledge.
I dont think many knife makers would turn down conversations with other knife makers just because their practice is different. i actually think they would invite a conversation
because many of these knife makers try their best to perfect what they are doing. I really dont think most of us are quallified to say what is better. because people standards vary between profession.

ie; a butcher uses cheap scimitars because they amount of meat they cut in a day justifies the use of steels. and many japanese knives dont benefit much from steels because the metal is a lil to hard for it. and cheap carbon scimitars have softer metal which respond very well to steeling giving the user a edge just by steeling every so often.

i just would like to state that most here at kkf enjoy our knives and the hunt for the knife that is just right for him or her. thats why many of us buy and sell our knives in the search for those knives that would make your knife kit "the ****" as we like to say.
so why cant we just get it in our heads that knives we havent tried shouldn't be judged until we have used them. I mean i love my konosuke and yusukes, my masamoto ks was well liked, my sabs have sentimental meaning to me. my watanabe wasn't right for the work i did, my tkc is loved by my co workers but doesn't give me that wow factor that others have experienced. gotta love my suisin inox honyaki, but didnt care for my mizuno honyaki. liked the devin thomas carbon that my friend lent me and like the marko that i tried but still left me looking for those knives that would complete my bag.

everyone has opinions and should be allowed to state them. but sometimes being quiet is more effective that rambling.
as dave said this thread has like 10 arguements, why should we argue when we could just do some pass arounds and let others develop their own opinions and
and just do as we normally do here at kkf, build new relationships with each other and broaden our knowledge about whats the world has to offer.

i like it here at kkf because almost all of us are knife enthusiast with warm hearts.
it should stay that way.
i say enough of the bashing and rudeness and more of the kindness. Like how everyone got together to figure out solutions for the burke situation, alot of kindness there.



cant we all just get along?
peace brothers

knyfeknerd
06-25-2013, 08:06 AM
Come on, aren't you guys thrilled I've stayed out of this crapfest!!! :D

Learned my lesson last time.

-AJ (the KKF pariah)
Mwahahahahaha!!!
AJ, u funny!
I think some peeps missed this one.

kpeddie2010
06-25-2013, 08:14 AM
chris thanks for the cleaver i butchered like 3 chickens martin yan style and like all the root veg in my house. now i gotta make chicken soup and fried chicken for the next 4 days plus i gotta make a bunch of chips with all this veg i have cut. lol veggie chips are the only way i can eat snacks b4 the wife gets all crazy eyed... i feel like bill cosby in the cosby show trying to sneak in anything the misses doesnt allow...

mano
06-25-2013, 08:23 AM
I would love to see this thread squashed...


Why would you want that? You missed the subtext of successful international relations. Nations at odds making nice with offers of sleep-overs and beer.

kpeddie2010
06-25-2013, 08:29 AM
after a bunch of what do u know? i dont like your opinions!!! and such

franzb69
06-25-2013, 08:39 AM
Why would you want that? You missed the subtext of successful international relations. Nations at odds making nice with offers of sleep-overs and beer.

i like it that you see the bright side of this whole thing. i'm to cynical and negative.

mano
06-25-2013, 08:48 AM
after a bunch of what do u know? i dont like your opinions!!! and such

Seems you never experienced the pleasure of make-up sex. ;)

franzb69
06-25-2013, 08:57 AM
Seems you never experienced the pleasure of make-up sex.

one of the best things in being a relationship. lol. besides angry sex. lol.

WiscoNole
06-26-2013, 12:44 AM
in before lock

ecchef
06-26-2013, 02:10 AM
Seems you never experienced the pleasure of make-up sex. ;)

Hell yeah...most of my sex life is just made up. :(

maxim
06-26-2013, 02:32 AM
Knives, Sex, Wine, steel and honey badgers :doublethumbsup:
Good thread !!! :D

bieniek
06-26-2013, 03:31 PM
2nd. Are you really inviting a comparison between a Shigefusa and a MID TECH knife?

Im not going to put anything in your mouth.

How much did this mid tech knife actually cost? What on earth mid tech means? You mean it cuts mid-way. Like a half carrot and for the other half you have to use another mid tech?
Just think about it for a moment. Theres minimal difference in price. Theres huge difference in performance. Compare it to japanese cheap knife = Kochi.
So wait, this one is 2x cheaper, and cuts 8 times better? ! How can we compare them?? :goodpost:

Or other way, you basically mean that because the "mid tech" is 50 quid cheaper, it can just be useless? wow ;)

Mucho Bocho
06-26-2013, 03:57 PM
Just stirring the POOP hey Michael :flush:

bieniek
06-26-2013, 04:05 PM
Shigefusa against a mid tech. Is that the only American made knife you've handled? If so you've only seen the tip of the iceberg. :2cents:

Unfortunately yes. I actually like Devin for his input and his posts are always positive and well he seems very passionate oh and makes beautiful damascus. Not much to add, its awesome dude. But 1st rule in the kitchen, dont get personal.

And after handling the ITK on gathering two years ago, my enthusiasm went down. I was actually thinking back then to buy one.

I can also see some confusing opinions from you... Youre saying youre a knut, youre spending hours and hours on the stones, yet youre mentioning retention as very important.
This one I dont care about. Mee too I like my stones talking to them using them so no problem. When worked at restaurant, would woke up half an hour earier to sharpen my knife and make it ready, every morning.

You want to prove me wrong, you wont achieve that by saying crap about 700 year old sh!thole ;)

Just send me the knife :thumbsup: I will gladly eat the opinion I have now.
Send me the faulty Kato if you wish. I like polishing. I want to try one that is messed up. I want to believe.

JBroida
06-26-2013, 04:10 PM
But 1st rule of fight club, dont get personal.


FIXED

rdpx
06-26-2013, 06:42 PM
You want to prove me wrong, you wont achieve that by saying crap about 700 year old sh!thole ;)


700 years?

Is that all?

I thought it was like OLD.

;)

Birnando
06-26-2013, 06:53 PM
700 years?

Is that all?

I thought it was like OLD.

;)

700 years isn't old.
Perhaps not recent, but definitely not old:)

Only last month I attended a confirmation of a friends daughter.
The ceremony was conducted in a church erected around 1080 AD.
Nothing special about that, it is in daily use;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Aker_Church

panda
06-26-2013, 07:01 PM
This thread just got boring.

Birnando
06-26-2013, 07:09 PM
This thread just got boring.

The reason for that must be that you stopped contributing;)

Zwiefel
06-26-2013, 07:25 PM
Age has absolutely no relation to value. zero. zed. zip. nada. nunka. As a historian, I'm continually baffled by both sides of the Atlantic on this topic.

Gator
06-26-2013, 08:22 PM
...I can also see some confusing opinions from you... Youre saying youre a knut, youre spending hours and hours on the stones, yet youre mentioning retention as very important.
This one I dont care about. Mee too I like my stones talking to them using them so no problem. When worked at restaurant, would woke up half an hour earier to sharpen my knife and make it ready, every morning.
What's so confusing about wanting better edge retention? I can sharpen just about anything to be sharp and then what? Using your logic, i.e. removing edge retention from the equation, Furi or Pakistani no name junk knives are just as good as top end kitchen knives from either side of the ocean. Nevermind that the edge lasts 3 minutes on one, and 3 month on the other... Is that what you really are saying?

P.S. I am not quite sure what's up with town ages and how is that related to knives anyway. I hope knives in there are not made using 700 year old tech :)

Birnando
06-26-2013, 08:46 PM
What's so confusing about wanting better edge retention? I can sharpen just about anything to be sharp and then what? Using your logic, i.e. removing edge retention from the equation, Furi or Pakistani no name junk knives are just as good as top end kitchen knives from either side of the ocean. Nevermind that the edge lasts 3 minutes on one, and 3 month on the other... Is that what you really are saying?

P.S. I am not quite sure what's up with town ages and how is that related to knives anyway. I hope knives in there are not made using 700 year old tech :)

While Bieniek is more than capable of answering this on his own, I'd like to give my two cents on that subject.
The idea, to some, seems to be that a traditional steel, like good Japanese carbon steeled knives, (shigs and whatnot) can take that little extra keenness fresh of the hones.
The longevity of that edge seems less important to some of us, as honing is another enjoyable/acceptable part of this sport/hobby or whatever.

If I am to speak for myself, I tend to agree with the above, and do not enjoy one bit the rubbery feeling modern super-steels gives while honing.
further more, they seem to be able to hone up pretty good, but they seem to settle very quickly at about 95% of what was achieved on the hones, and keep that way longer than most carbon steeled knives.
And while 95% is just fine and dandy for getting the job done, some of us seem to prefer the even keener edges that we feel some traditional knives will yield.
That last paragraph is my experience on the subject thus far anyways.

In other words, it is all about feel.
Both while using the tool, but also when honing them.

Not nescessarily ease of honing, but feel.

As a final sigh before I hit the sack, we should probably all consider the fact that most anything we discuss regarding this topic would leave the majority of chefs and novice users alike shaking their heads and consider us all pretty much ready for the looney bin...
Splitting hairs and minute differences would be other terms to describe what I mean:)

Chuckles
06-27-2013, 01:18 AM
When worked at restaurant, would woke up half an hour earier to sharpen my knife and make it ready, every morning.

This sounds like a nice routine to me. :)

Mornings I am a Dad not a chef. The kiddo is asleep by the time I am done with work so no knife sharpening before work for me. When working sous in a kitchen that closed at 1:00 AM and was BUSY until midnight while being home alone with a 3 month old starting at 4:30 AM I admit my "preference" for edge retention changed radically.


Send me the faulty Kato if you wish.

Already fixed. I will admit your posts on Kato were very helpful. I do think it is a very strong performer now.

bieniek
06-27-2013, 01:47 AM
What's so confusing about wanting better edge retention? I can sharpen just about anything to be sharp and then what?

And then you have to use it hard, so you can sharpen some more. How simple is that concept?
At work, I never think whats better for the edge retention, I bash the edge chip the edge scrape board with the edge. Chop chop chop job done. Tell me how wrong I am and maybe send Dick Chenney to fix me. I dont do that because of lack of respect for the tool, oh no, I really like my stuff polished but all of them, indeed, are tools.

They earn my money. Maybe thats the difference?

Im not sure why you start talking about Pakistani? Are these ground in similar manner to decent kitchen knife? Are them really all that sharpenable? I just handled one so far, from my experience it did not tick any of these boxes, maybe youve had such a luck?
But really, you managed that good edge on a 'furi' blade??

Crothcipt
06-27-2013, 03:20 AM
This thread just got boring.

Are you kidding?? Birnando just introduced the original term of dungeons and dragons with that link. Maybe euro popcorn is better than jpop.


:popcorn:

I myself wonder why the blade road on a us makers knife is so small with hollow bevels? I see it all the time, and end up reaching for something that is influenced in a totally different way.:2cents:

Squilliam
06-27-2013, 12:13 PM
Age has absolutely no relation to value. zero. zed. zip. nada. nunka. As a historian, I'm continually baffled by both sides of the Atlantic on this topic.

I may be taking you out of context here, but age is related to scarcity and scarcity is related to value. Let alone tradition, sentiment etc. which are both very valuable to people, more valuable than money and logic.

Gator
06-27-2013, 12:16 PM
And then you have to use it hard, so you can sharpen some more. How simple is that concept?
I see :) So, having higher edge retention prevents you from enjoying sharpening process more often. I suppose to each his own.


Tell me how wrong I am and maybe send Dick Chenney to fix me.
Dude, your "US is so evil" gets kindda old :) You don't have to squeeze political crap into sharpening/knife use discussion, and no I didn't post a reply to you based on nationality or location...
I'm not sure whether you are in Oslo or Poland, but at any rate, you probably should be worried more about Putin as a threat to your 700yr old home town, rather than me sending Dick Cheney powered by electrical pump to wreck havoc in there or change your sharpening habits.


They earn my money. Maybe thats the difference?
And spending more time on sharpening vs. actual cutting helps to earn more money how? As far as I understand you are getting paid for cooking, not for sharpening?


But really, you managed that good edge on a 'furi' blade??
Yeah, if you try hard and long enough you will, lasts for very short time, but its presence can be detected :)

Gator
06-27-2013, 12:25 PM
The idea, to some, seems to be that a traditional steel, like good Japanese carbon steeled knives, (shigs and whatnot) can take that little extra keenness fresh of the hones.
I suppose hones == stones? Anyway, how long that keennss lasts if you bash the edge and scrape on the board an chip it? I have not used any of my Japanese knives fresh off the stone, as usual I go with 3 different strops after that, I can't really comment on exact longevity under such use, but I suspect stronger edge would help.


The longevity of that edge seems less important to some of us, as honing is another enjoyable/acceptable part of this sport/hobby or whatever.
Alright, that's fine, although nothing prevents you guys form sharpening as often as you want :) Regardless of the blade edge retention.


If I am to speak for myself, I tend to agree with the above, and do not enjoy one bit the rubbery feeling modern super-steels gives while honing.
Well, as it was posted, sounds like you guys would rather have Shirogami or Aogami at 60 hrc is vs. 64-65... There's plenty of makers doing both, so which one would you choose?

Birnando
06-27-2013, 02:56 PM
I suppose hones == stones? Anyway, how long that keennss lasts if you bash the edge and scrape on the board an chip it? I have not used any of my Japanese knives fresh off the stone, as usual I go with 3 different strops after that, I can't really comment on exact longevity under such use, but I suspect stronger edge would help.


I'll strop most of my knives as well, usually with a pasted felt strop followed by a leather paddle I have.

Correct, hones=stones.
As the bulk of my honing is done on straight razors, I tend to use the more commonly used term from that scene:)




Well, as it was posted, sounds like you guys would rather have Shirogami or Aogami at 60 hrc is vs. 64-65... There's plenty of makers doing both, so which one would you choose?

No, I don't think so. The 64-65 mark is well within what I consider preferable.
On the right steel, with the right grind, and with the proper angle.

While others tend to disagree with that, there really is no right or wrong with either.
Simply put, this boils down to preferenses, not quality.

Well, at least in the realms of custom/semi custom/high grade area we seem to discuss i this thread.

Mucho Bocho
06-27-2013, 03:36 PM
Birnando, Perhaps you should post some pics of your knives? I'm sure there are may of here that would love to see what knife could possibly stand up to your scrutiny.

Let me guess, you picked up the "Homemaker plus eight right?" Little Cutco humor. Serious, pleae post some pics of your favorite blades.

Birnando
06-27-2013, 04:07 PM
Birnando, Perhaps you should post some pics of your knives? I'm sure there are may of here that would love to see what knife could possibly stand up to your scrutiny.

Let me guess, you picked up the "Homemaker plus eight right?" Little Cutco humor. Serious, pleae post some pics of your favorite blades.

Heh, yeah, how could I go wrong with the Homemaker + 8
US made and all;)

Quite a few of my knives are already on this site.
More will follow.
Heck, I even bought one more just today, ordered another custom two days ago, and a third one is in my shopping cart on a webshop we all know:)
Perhaps I should start a "Birnando's Knives v.2.0" thread some day.

On a serious note though, standing up to my scrutiny doesn't take something way out of the norm.
I simply have my preferences, as I am sure most here do.
Luckily there are variation in those, otherwise what fun would this forum be?

Zwiefel
06-28-2013, 06:51 PM
I may be taking you out of context here, but age is related to scarcity and scarcity is related to value. Let alone tradition, sentiment etc. which are both very valuable to people, more valuable than money and logic.

Poor wording on my part, but having trouble selecting better words...."intrinsic relationship" maybe? Not sure at all about a relationship of age to scarcity, or that scarcity is related to value.....which is different from price, and probably impossible to define in objective terms.

mainly I'm trying to say that "older is better" and "newer is better" are absurd oversimplifications...."better is better."

stereo.pete
06-28-2013, 09:29 PM
Birnando, Perhaps you should post some pics of your knives? I'm sure there are may of here that would love to see what knife could possibly stand up to your scrutiny.

Let me guess, you picked up the "Homemaker plus eight right?" Little Cutco humor. Serious, pleae post some pics of your favorite blades.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/6908-New-gear-arrived-today

Seb
07-06-2013, 12:31 PM
FWIW, I became interested in German knives after hearing about them from a German member (iceman01) and tried to get my hands on some Herder/Windmuehlenmesser carbons.

So I emailed that Messerkontor outfit (several times, albeit in English) and did not get a single reply - seems they are not at all interested in export business. I also noticed that their listed prices are outrageously marked up to the MAX.

Eventually, someone (apologies, can't remember who) hooked me up with an ebay seller called Kochenmachspass and I got some very cheap straight edged carbon parers that I still like and use whenever I can. This seller was very helpful and courteous. They have some interesting shapes, steels and handles woods but my general impression is that the German products are a terrible value compared to the Japanese. The prices are outrageously high for what you get.

Seb
07-06-2013, 12:42 PM
Australia is a great idea:)
It is hard to imagine a neutral ground further away from Mr. Tsourkan and I :)

And a bottle of that shiraz wouldn't be wrong, not at all;)

I'm more partial to wines from the Coonawarra region. :)

Benuser
07-06-2013, 12:59 PM
Have a look:

http://www.edenwebshops.co.uk/en/ct/robert-herder-knives.htm

please be aware you might be entitled to VAT restitution if you live outside Europe.

Seb
07-06-2013, 01:18 PM
Have a look:

http://www.edenwebshops.co.uk/en/ct/robert-herder-knives.htm

please be aware you might be entitled to VAT restitution if you live outside Europe.

Thank you, I may try the 1922 8" chefs one day. Shipping costs to Australia can often make it into a bad deal, though.

Edit to add: I see that Australia (where I am) is not included in the Shipping Options - doesn't mean they won't/don't though but I suspect that the damage would be high.

The K2 on that page also looks like fun but after you convert GBP into AUD and add shipping it becomes a poor value. And, sorry to be rude, but nothing on that page is really anything to really get excited about. I would probably take a Tanaka in Blue#2. :)

This might be another consideration to add: the cost structure for shipping outside Europe is often a competitive disadvantage for knife exporters.

And those wa-gyuto-inspired blades on Messerkontor that they are asking 400-500 Euros for look like very very bad value indeed. Pretty huge luxury price premium there, I would imagine.

From limited past experience, shipping from Germany itself (to Australia) is very expensive - their very strict consumer protection regulations are the cause, I suppose.

Seb
07-06-2013, 01:39 PM
... Im not going to put anything in your mouth...

ROFL!!! I just read this.

Anyway, back on topic - this is what I mean by poor value (sheesh, the nerve of these guys):
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Windmuhlenmesser-Robert-Herder-LIGNUM-3-HRC-60-Kochmesser-Santoku-9218-1951-04-/251293415260?pt=DE_Kochen_Genie%C3%9Fen_K%C3%BCche nmesser&hash=item3a8241375c&_uhb=1

Gator
07-06-2013, 01:59 PM
Have a look:

http://www.edenwebshops.co.uk/en/ct/robert-herder-knives.htm

please be aware you might be entitled to VAT restitution if you live outside Europe.
I've had a Robert Herder nakiri knife (http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv/misc/herderssnakiri180.shtml) a while back for testing. It was stainless steel, not carbon, but overall I wasn't impressed neither by its performance, nor by craftsmanship. The only thing it had going for it was unusually thin blade for a western kitchen knife, that was it. So, yeah, compared to let's say Watanabe standard kuro uchi nakiri is is a poor value.

Birnando
07-06-2013, 02:33 PM
Have a look:

http://www.edenwebshops.co.uk/en/ct/robert-herder-knives.htm

please be aware you might be entitled to VAT restitution if you live outside Europe.
Outside of the European Union you mean:)
There is a difference you know!

Benuser
07-06-2013, 02:59 PM
Outside of the European Union you mean:)
There is a difference you know!
Thanks for telling me what I meant. First you tell me what I meant and then you tell me there is a difference. Where I wrote Europe I meant Europe.
I did not mean outside of the Union.
I believe the situation with non-Union Europeans with national VAT is not very simple and I prefer to stay far away from regulations I don't know.

Birnando
07-06-2013, 03:39 PM
Snip..

Where I wrote Europe I meant Europe.
I did not mean outside of the Union.


Alrighty then!

No biggie, I just sometimes like to point out that there is a difference between Europe and the European Union.
Most of the time it is the non-Europeans who struggle with the distinction though;)