PDA

View Full Version : Heavy Chef's Knife - A New Project



Marko Tsourkan
06-28-2013, 08:15 AM
Some years ago I had a Wusthoff heavy chef's. It was a pretty cool knife, though because of its weight and geometry, it didn't see much use. Recently I tried a Japanese heavy chefs and it got me interested.

I am thinking of using 4.5 - 5.5mm stock in 52100 or powder stainless steel. I will give profile a little more curve toward the tip than I use on my thinner knives, but overall, it will be similar and will have a pointy tip.

Weight target for 270mm will be 250g without a handle, about 325g with the handle. Heavier, slightly oversize D handle should help with a balance, though I expect the balance point to be forward, 1.5" or so.

Fit and finish the same as on my other knives. Standard heat treatment - best combination of sharpness, wear resistance and edge stability.

Geometry will be mostly convex.

This would be a specialty knife, like other specialty knives: scimitar, single bevel, etc that I would like to become proficient at.

Heavy knives that perform is a new territory for me so I could use as much input from the users as they are willing to give. I would like to hear from the users on what are the strong/weak points of such a knife, and suggestions how a knife like that can be improved.

Please post in this thread, PM, or if you wish, contact me directly Here (http://www.tsourkanknives.com/index.php/contact/contact):

Thank you.

Marko Tsourkan
06-28-2013, 08:40 AM
Want to add that the steel for this type of knife should offer a good amount of wear resistance, and a good response to stropping and touching up on a high grit stones or diamond plates. You would want to keep the original geometry for a long time, if you eat up the edge up too fast, the knife will need to be reground (I doubt it can be thinned by hand) to maintain performance.

52100 for carbon and PM stainless have a good wear resistance, small carbide size for edge stability and respond very well to stropping and touching up on DMT plates.

Marko Tsourkan
06-28-2013, 10:38 AM
The info received and my own take on this project should be enough to make a 1.0 prototype and after a passaoround, I would incorporate the feedback into 2.0 version.

cheflarge
06-28-2013, 03:25 PM
I am all about the heavy style knives. I was just having a conversation with a fellow member about using such a style of knife for breaking down whole, bone in chicken. Sounds like it could be used for general kitchen duties, as well. Hope this helps.

I would also be interested if it makes it to the pass around stage.

Andrew H
06-28-2013, 04:12 PM
Some years ago I had a Wusthoff heavy chef's. It was a pretty cool knife, though because of its weight and geometry, it didn't see much use. Recently I tried a Japanese heavy chefs and it got me interested.

I am thinking of using 4.5 - 5.5mm stock in 52100 or powder stainless steel. I will give profile a little more curve toward the tip than I use on my thinner knives, but overall, it will be similar and will have a pointy tip.

Weight target for 270mm will be 250g without a handle, about 325g with the handle. Heavier, slightly oversize D handle should help with a balance, though I expect the balance point to be forward, 1.5" or so.

Fit and finish the same as on my other knives. Standard heat treatment - best combination of sharpness, wear resistance and edge stability.

Geometry will be mostly convex.

This would be a specialty knife, like other specialty knives: scimitar, single bevel, etc that I would like to become proficient at.

Heavy knives that perform is a new territory for me so I could use as much input from the users as they are willing to give. I would like to hear from the users on what are the strong/weak points of such a knife, and suggestions how a knife like that can be improved.

Please post in this thread, PM, or if you wish, contact me directly Here (http://www.tsourkanknives.com/index.php/contact/contact):

Thank you.
I'd love to get a shot at it.

Marko Tsourkan
06-28-2013, 04:26 PM
I am all about the heavy style knives. I was just having a conversation with a fellow member about using such a style of knife for breaking down whole, bone in chicken. Sounds like it could be used for general kitchen duties, as well. Hope this helps.

I would also be interested if it makes it to the pass around stage.

Interesting idea and if I am not mistaken, my Wuesthoff was ground like that - first half was ground thinner for general cutting, and the heel was thicker sharpened at an obtuse angle for splitting.

I admit that this was not in my plants, but I would consider making a variation of heavy chefs/splitter to a regular heavy chefs.

don
06-28-2013, 09:31 PM
A heavy chef's and not a western deba? Or maybe the distinction is in my head only.

G-rat
06-28-2013, 09:45 PM
I would be interested for sure I have owned a Mizuno gyuto and currently own a gyuto and a suji from Heiji. I prefer a heavier knife and am used to those with large wide and conveyed bevels. Also I'm especially used to using a knife like this in a pro environment. If you want a tester I'm in. I'm a little reticent though at the idea of you making a slightly heavier (I.e., thicker knife) that is difficult to thin on stones. A very large part of owning a heavier gyuto is performing the requisite thinning to maintain the cutting geometry. That part is the difficult trade off. But, as usual, I'm probably missing something

Marko Tsourkan
06-28-2013, 10:49 PM
Every geometry has its pros and cons. Cons of a thick convex is that sooner or later the edge will be eaten up and you will move up to a thicker area on the blade. One way to counteract that is to choose a steel with a good wear resistance and to maintain the knife on a felt strop with a diamond spray in-between sharpening sessions and a periodic touch ups on a 8K DMT plate. This can prolong time between sharpening up to 2-4 months (it would depend what you cut, of course. If a lot of rosemary, the time will be shorter).

Nonetheless, at some point in the future, the knife will need to be reground to get it back to original performance. Thin convex knives can be thinned by hand more effectively than thick ones. The later are best thinned on a grinder.

That's one of the reasons the reason why I haven't chosen a pure convex for my current grind.

This heavy chefs knife is more of an exercise than a production plan. For one, my knives are about 150g in weight, while this one is going to be about 250g, so I would have to discover something really amazing to consider changing geometry (I don't expect that to happen).

Making heavier knives with my current geometry is possible and I am already doing it. Food release gets affected by making geometry thicker, but not not by much. I hope this project will help me learn about thicker and heavier knives, so I could take knowledge and apply with my current knives.

jgraeff
06-29-2013, 12:49 AM
I think it would be a good experiment Marko, a heavier knife can be good as i found with Shigefusa. As long as geometry is good i dont see and issue with it. Heavy knives like european knives i always keep around at work for opening lobsters, using the spine to smash celery etc. I think if i had a heavier gyuto i may attempt these with that just depends. It would be nice to have a gyuto that could take a little extra abuse but still perform.

Marko Tsourkan
06-29-2013, 08:42 AM
Yes it would be. As I said before, I naturally gravitate away from pure convex, so I will use convex as a reference point, and try tweaking the grind at the heel and other areas where it could improve performance in my opinion.

I am actually thinking to give this knife profile of my typical chefs's - flatter with a pointy tip. I think if balance point is not too far forward, tip can be used efficiently.

M

Justin0505
06-30-2013, 03:35 AM
Personally, I find this style of knife among the most interesting. Eventhough I understand how it works, it still does feel magical when a thick, heavy knife seems to glide through hard, dense product like it was warm butter.

Will you grind this fully symmetrical? One of the things that I think is interesting about the kato grind is how asymmetrical it is -almost like a convex single bevel.

zitangy
06-30-2013, 08:03 AM
A heavy chef's and not a western deba? Or maybe the distinction is in my head only.

Whilst exploring for a Western Deba and a heavier chefs knife separately,( thicker and clocks in abt 240 grams max weight fo which is my preference for a chefs knife), the Tojiro concept for their deba seems to fit your statement exactly. Size is abt the same as their regular gyuto . thicker spine with adn comes with a convex grind. Thats what attracts me. Other makers makes their western deba with higher blade height.

Wuesthof.. I remember that they do make a wide chefs knife.. Higher blade height adn thicker spine. Its a shame that they didnt grind it convexly. The other Wuesthof as mentioned by Marko .....with splitter capability is a different knife altogether.

have fun..
D

Marko Tsourkan
06-30-2013, 08:43 AM
Personally, I find this style of knife among the most interesting. Eventhough I understand how it works, it still does feel magical when a thick, heavy knife seems to glide through hard, dense product like it was warm butter.

Will you grind this fully symmetrical? One of the things that I think is interesting about the kato grind is how asymmetrical it is -almost like a convex single bevel.

I think the magic is in convex and distal taper. Most weight on a heavy chefs is at the heel, while the rest is ground just a notch thicker than a regular gyuto (because of a very prominent distal taper). A Wuesthoff splitter was like that too, over a half of the blade was used for general cutting and there geometry was thinner, and the heel was for splitting. That knife wasn't a match to a J. knife as a cutter, but same concept was applied there.

I am going to grind symmetrical and test cut as I grind. I have another idea, but I might try that on a separate knife - I don't have to waste the only blank if it doesn't work.

As for asymmetrical grind, I sometimes think it's by accident rather than design. I have seen knives from the same makers where sometimes the bevel felt a little more prominent on one or another side. I find that it would be easier for me to grind knives for left-hand use than right-hand, even though most of knives I make are for right hand use. Somehow my muscle memory works better for one than another, and I need to compensate.

M

Marko Tsourkan
06-30-2013, 10:16 AM
And now the $1000 question...

240mm or 270mm?

Ideally I would like to hear from folks who tried both of them and found preference of one over the other.

M

Marko Tsourkan
06-30-2013, 10:54 AM
Here is a tentative plan of action.

I will make two heavy chef's with different geometries. Length either 240 or 270.

WIP pics will be available on my Blog, while here I will post just the summary pics.

At the completion, video comparison of both will be made.

After that, both will be send for testing to a pro kitchen.

I look forward to the test, as my scimitar project has been on hold because I can't decide on geometry for it. The couple Dexters that I have are too thin for my liking, so hopefully I will learn enough about convex this time to apply it in my other knives, like the scimitar.

Other specialty knives - single bevel boning knives and slicers I have been working on. Grinding those is not without issues - steel warps if the grind is not symmetrical, but I got some good ideas how keep them straight, so when I have more time, I will do 2.0 slicer. Boning knives are production-ready.

M

jgraeff
07-01-2013, 01:08 AM
i find the 240 most versatile, and more common, sometimes a 270 can feel limited because of the long length whereas 240 i can usually use anywhere on anything...

dough
07-01-2013, 08:15 AM
270 is better IMO gives more room to accommodate the grind.

I also never feel like the poster above if I go shorter then 270 then Id rather use a petty or small suji but different strokes for different folks. Big knives in small spaces never bothered me though.

This knife you are designing seems similar to the a-type and in the past the 270 was just a better knife then the 240 because you gain height over the heel and a better transition to a thin tip.

Marko Tsourkan
07-01-2013, 08:32 AM
I will start with 270mm and see what knife it will turn out. Some things can be thought of before hand, some thing become clearer during the grinding process, and some after the knife is finished (usually too late to make changes, but version 2.0 will incorporate that afterthought)

I typically have stuff to cut near by (onions, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes), so I grind, put an edge, cut, analyze, and so forth. This is a new territory and I will try to get a working prototype from the first shot, so I will have to rely on this approach extensively.

Compare to the thickness of heavy chef's, my typical knives (by no mean lasers) are very thin. :D

M

panda
07-06-2013, 03:56 AM
I have transitioned from thin knives to all thick ones. My latest (watanabe pro) is close resemblance to this concept. Mighty in every sense of the word. tall throughout most of the blade length so it just looks massive, I would put it akin to a gradually shrinking short cleaver with a gyuto tip. I felt like it might have actually been too tall, but in actual usage you adjust to its size and just blow right through food without ever having to think about the knife, just the task at hand. it appears the grind is gradual from spine to half way then tapers to a zero edge with an unpronounced smooth shoulder. Asymmetrical but mildly so. Distal taper is also gradual with no area aggressively ground. Tip gets skinny only the last bit because the gradual taper allows the pointy end to be useful without sacrificing its robustness by a strongly tapered thin tip.
If I were to change this particular knife I would make it slightly less wide (55mm) slightly less length (260mm) and lower the tip to make it an all around 'medium-large' and not a straight up large.

This is a very interesting project as not too many options for a genuine workhorse but highly tuned performance. It seems 'sports coups' are all the craze, I don't care for them and my skinny ones never came out of the knife roll very much if at all once I moved to a 'sports sedan'

what I value is a tough steel that lasts, but in the same token is easy to sharpen and maintain a usable edge. That's asking for two polarizing properties but a balance should be able to be struck somewhere. also optimal hardness pushed to the edge without being brittle/chippy then taken one step back to give leeway for some toughness.

Marko Tsourkan
07-06-2013, 07:23 AM
It's an interesting project and I suspect this thread will be up for some time, as the more I think about it, the more I suspect it will be a back-and-forth, once I will start grinding and testing.

Two things that that highlight my reluctance making thick knives - long term maintenance (thinning) and food release. As some examples of heavier knives on the market demonstrated, the latter can be achieved, but as the knife gets used and sharpened, the former (maintenance) will have to go up. That's the nature of a convex geometry.

I will grind a test knife in the coming weeks, but the two reasons that made me hesitant to try this knife in the past, are still present. Will see.

M

Marko Tsourkan
07-12-2013, 07:06 AM
I solicited input on heavy chefs knives currently used, trying to understand pros and cons of geometries out there. Based on the input, I will be considering three geometries - convex, hybrid, and asymmetric grind. Probably will select one with least cons for a prototype.

M

Marko Tsourkan
09-11-2013, 08:06 PM
Need a little guidance here. There are three geometries suitable for a heavy gyuto.

Heavy convex - Kato, Gengetsu

Sword grind - Heiji

Asymmetric - Mizuno

I will probably end up making a prototype of each and tweak each geometry to increase performance, but wanted to hear your opinion.

Which geometry do you guys find most attractive and why?

M

PS: Just ground a Heiji like prototype, now to tweaking the geometry.

Baby Huey
09-11-2013, 08:27 PM
pics pics pics.... lol

Von blewitt
09-11-2013, 08:28 PM
Obviously all those knives have a following amongst members here, and people's vote would depend on personal preference. Heiji has the better food release and is easier to maintain. While a properly thinned Kato is still one of my favourite cutters. I am also a huge fan of my recently acquired Mizuno Honyaki, and it is probably my current favourite. I haven't tried a Gengetsu, but it is high upy list of Gyutos to try. I'm looking forward to seeing these prototypes

Marko Tsourkan
09-11-2013, 08:37 PM
Cool.

Basically, Heiji, Kato and Gengetsu share the same grind, the difference is that Heiji preserves the initial bevels while on the other two they are ground into convex. Mizuno is slightly different, but follows the same principle on the dominant hand side.

Prototypes are coming, in fact they will be tested in a pro kitchen in about 2 weeks.

Having learned how to cut bevels properly opens a whole range of possibilities - debas, garasukis, etc.

Marko Tsourkan
09-11-2013, 09:09 PM
Excuse the mess of my shop and quality of the picture (took with the phone).

Here are two gyutos that share the same basic geometry, but one left with bevels intact and the other is ground into convex. The former needs bevels refinement - wider toward the tip, but the initial hurdle is overcame.

18587

Baby Huey
09-11-2013, 09:14 PM
Looking good. Will be interested in seeing the end results and maybe stand in line for one.

Lefty
09-12-2013, 08:33 AM
Looks good, already!

I'd like to throw a question at you, and anyone else: If Kato's are one of the best cutters out there, once thinned, are the people thinning the knives with a cm plus flat grind, leading into the heavy convex? Or, are you guys going almost flat, but with a slight rocking motion on your stones, causing a small convex? In my mind, the only way to really thin a knife with heavy convex to the point of actually enhance performance is to virtually flat grind (some human element comes in, of course, causing multiple blended bevels) until it hits the convex that was already ground in. Essentially, what you're making is a Heiji, or exaggerated Itinomonn type of grind. In my experience, concentrating on convexing all the way down to the edge leads to problems. If I'm not mistaken, Marko, your "standard" grind on your gyutos is a very slight convex. These work well, because leadin up to the actual edge, thinking changes to, "ok, now let's make this puppy thin BTE", resulting in a knife that has minor sticktion (nothing to worry about), yet effortlessly cuts.

Von blewitt
09-12-2013, 08:52 AM
When I say properly thinned, I mean for maintenance, I don't believe the majority need thinning OOTB, I try to follow the convex from around 2/3 of the way up the blade, with a 4-5mm "flat ground" secondary bevel then add a micro bevel.

Lefty
09-12-2013, 09:17 AM
Huw, I getcha. I've just heard some people say "thinning a Kato", and I was a bit confused by what people mean when they write this. Katos are still very highly regarded as a "cult following" type of knife, which makes me assume they must be great cutters off the hop. My only experience with one is a 180 petty, and it's very nice.
So, back to the grind; It sounds like a long, pronounced secondary bevel is well liked when it leads up to nice convexing on a heavy blade(?)

Marko Tsourkan
09-12-2013, 11:17 AM
Convex is basically two angles blended, so to replicate convex while thinning on the stones, you need to cut two bevels.

Single beveled knives appeared flat on the bevels, but in reality they are convex with the factory grind.

Now, my last question about Heiji grind, do you guys think there might be an advantage lifting the bevel at the heel a little bit, approaching the width to that near the tip?

M

Marko Tsourkan
09-12-2013, 04:27 PM
Need to tune the bevels on the stone a little bit and to do a basic polish and out it goes for testing.

Cut some apples and peaches at home. Food separation was very good. Now need to hear from experts who who have used Heiji. Version 1.1 will incorporate all suggestions. Then version 1.2, 1.3 and so on until no improvements are needed.

This knife (225mm) with handle will weigh about 255g.

M

18608

Baby Huey
09-12-2013, 04:32 PM
Awesome. Are you using the same size blanks just with less grinding? Or are these thicker?

Marko Tsourkan
09-12-2013, 04:41 PM
I use blanks 3.4mm thick. Heiji is about 4.5mm thick at the handle, and about 4mm over the heel, but half way, 2" from the tip, midsection, the measurements and weight of both knives are comparable. I see no point using thicker stock and grinding most of it off, just to get the same thickness as Heiji at the handle.

52100 steel on this one.


M

Marko Tsourkan
09-12-2013, 04:56 PM
Who uses Heiji in a pro kitchen regularly? Preferably in continental US.

Anybody?

pitonboy
09-12-2013, 05:05 PM
Your constant striving for improvement is amazing

Marko Tsourkan
09-12-2013, 05:09 PM
There would be no fun in knife making if everything just fell in my lap. Little progress makes me happy.

Justin0505
09-12-2013, 05:59 PM
Another great project. This style knife has been often praised and talked about, but always with a veil of magic or mystery. It's fun to see the logical, deliberate, scientific approach.

I like how you created the 3 different categories too.

You're correct that There really is no real benefit to the super-thick section right in front of the handle, but it sure does add to the cool factor -almost like an integral bolster. So when do you move to a shop with a forge?

Marko Tsourkan
09-12-2013, 06:07 PM
Another great project. This style knife has been often praised and talked about, but always with a veil of magic or mystery. It's fun to see the logical, deliberate, scientific approach.

I like how you created the 3 different categories too.

You're correct that There really is no real benefit to the super-thick section right in front of the handle, but it sure does add to the cool factor -almost like an integral bolster. So when do you move to a shop with a forge?

The only benefit I could think of is the added weight if a person was to use the heel area for splitting. that might be something to consider given that in these knives heel area is underutilized.

Still waiting for electricity upgrade, so I can move in the direction of in-house blank cutting and salt pods. Those would be my priority for now.

M

Justin0505
09-12-2013, 06:23 PM
heh, I was just (half) joking about the forge.... just want to be first in line for the Tsourkan integral bolster :)

Seriously though, i cant imagine the few grams of extra weight just in front of the handle would have a noticeable difference. Even comfort-wise the area that you'd ever actually be pushing on is far enough fwd that it's down to the same thickness of the stock that you're using.

Now if you're taking about making that even thicker and extending the thick section out to further over the heel... well that might be interesting...


Where is the current "sweet spot" on your alpha test blade? One of the things that I thought was really "off" with many of the heavy gyuto's I've used was that the profile was not well-matched to where the blade naturally wanted to contact the board first due to it's blade-fwd balance.
Properly tuning the profile to the balance or vica-versa is, IMO, one of the areas for greatest improvement in the "heavy gyuto" world. You could gird it close and then fine-tune it using the handle weight / adjusting the thickness of an end-cap.

Von blewitt
09-12-2013, 06:36 PM
One thing I don't love about Heiji style grind is where the shinogi meets the spine it usually thickens up quite quickly, which can cause wedging/stopping in tip work like brunoise onion, would it be possible to transition from wide bevel to blended face Say 3 inches from the tip without looking ridiculous/ being impossible to maintain? Something like this but without the upsweep being a "crisp" line
http://i1323.photobucket.com/albums/u595/huwjones1983/null_zpsf585e39a.jpg

Anton
09-12-2013, 07:18 PM
I really like where this might go...


One thing I don't love about Heiji style grind is where the shinogi meets the spine it usually thickens up quite quickly, which can cause wedging/stopping in tip work like brunoise onion, would it be possible to transition from wide bevel to blended face Say 3 inches from the tip without looking ridiculous/ being impossible to maintain? Something like this but without the upsweep being a "crisp" line
http://i1323.photobucket.com/albums/u595/huwjones1983/null_zpsf585e39a.jpg

Marko Tsourkan
09-12-2013, 07:26 PM
Well, there seem to be no takers in the US (testers), I guess, I will consider sending the prototype to Australia. Huw, are you up for it? I need to think a little bit about how to make the grind change you proposed.

It could probably be a multi-zone heavy chef's - thinner tip for fine work, thicker heel for splitting and the rest of the edge for a very good food separation.

Anyway, back to my regular work. Won't attempt version 1.1 until receive feedback on version 1, probably a month+ away.

M

Von blewitt
09-12-2013, 07:31 PM
Yeah I'd absolutely be up for it! I'd be honored

Marko Tsourkan
09-12-2013, 07:50 PM
You got it.

CrisAnderson27
09-12-2013, 10:04 PM
One thing I don't love about Heiji style grind is where the shinogi meets the spine it usually thickens up quite quickly, which can cause wedging/stopping in tip work like brunoise onion, would it be possible to transition from wide bevel to blended face Say 3 inches from the tip without looking ridiculous/ being impossible to maintain? Something like this but without the upsweep being a "crisp" line
http://i1323.photobucket.com/albums/u595/huwjones1983/null_zpsf585e39a.jpg

I think Marko's prototype already utilizes this to some extent, if you look at the pictures.

Marko Tsourkan
09-12-2013, 10:19 PM
He is talking about 3", that's longer than I have it on the prototype. For efficient tip use, I might need to push the convex a bit further back. Will give it a shot tomorrow.

Dardeau
09-12-2013, 10:38 PM
I totally missed this, I regularly use a heiji in a pro kitchen in the US. If you are looking for testers, I would be pleased and honored.

ecchef
09-12-2013, 10:59 PM
Well, there seem to be no takers in the US (testers), I guess, I will consider sending the prototype to Australia. Huw, are you up for it? I need to think a little bit about how to make the grind change you proposed.

It could probably be a multi-zone heavy chef's - thinner tip for fine work, thicker heel for splitting and the rest of the edge for a very good food separation.

Anyway, back to my regular work. Won't attempt version 1.1 until receive feedback on version 1, probably a month+ away.

M
Well, Marko... as long as you're willing to ship to my part of the globe, I'll have a go at it as well.

ThEoRy
09-12-2013, 11:23 PM
I must have missed this one as well. I'd give it a fair go.

Marko Tsourkan
09-13-2013, 08:21 AM
This is a first prototype. There will be at least 1-2 more - sometimes it does take that long to come with a good knife andto figure out an efficient way of making it.

I will spread it around. folks. The next will be tested in US.

M

Dusty
09-13-2013, 08:34 AM
Marko, if this prototype is coming to Australia, I'd be keen to have a look at it as well. This is a super interesting project.

Marko Tsourkan
09-13-2013, 09:04 AM
I would say, let's keep the expectation low on this project (this first knife). I am just beginning to study this type of geometry and it will take me a while before I understand it enough to come up with a good knife. I will however work with the pro guys in trying to improve this geometry to get most of this type, so passarounds are definitely in the plans.

Marko Tsourkan
09-13-2013, 09:40 AM
Also, remember, there will be two more geometries coming up - heavy convex (Kato) and asymmetric (Mizuno). There will be plenty to go around.

Based on the feedback, I will probably select one for my heavy chef's knife, but will try all of them to gain a better understanding.

M

gentlecook
09-13-2013, 06:30 PM
Awesome move!

secured and I'll smoke this theme.

heirkb
09-13-2013, 08:24 PM
One thing I don't love about Heiji style grind is where the shinogi meets the spine it usually thickens up quite quickly, which can cause wedging/stopping in tip work like brunoise onion, would it be possible to transition from wide bevel to blended face Say 3 inches from the tip without looking ridiculous/ being impossible to maintain? Something like this but without the upsweep being a "crisp" line
http://i1323.photobucket.com/albums/u595/huwjones1983/null_zpsf585e39a.jpg

I don't know if this is not how it's supposed to be done, but this is actually how I thin my Yoshihiro gyuto. I really like my Heiji even for onion brunoise, but the Yoshihiro was just too thick at the tip. I started thinning it the way your pictures shows and it's improved the performance a lot.

brainsausage
09-13-2013, 10:09 PM
I don't know if this is not how it's supposed to be done, but this is actually how I thin my Yoshihiro gyuto. I really like my Heiji even for onion brunoise, but the Yoshihiro was just too thick at the tip. I started thinning it the way your pictures shows and it's improved the performance a lot.

I do the same to all of my knives.

CrisAnderson27
09-13-2013, 10:11 PM
I don't know if this is not how it's supposed to be done, but this is actually how I thin my Yoshihiro gyuto. I really like my Heiji even for onion brunoise, but the Yoshihiro was just too thick at the tip. I started thinning it the way your pictures shows and it's improved the performance a lot.

It's how a lot of custom makers do their knives. If you think about it its kind of intuitive, if you have the metal to work with to get it done properly. It absolutely increases the utility of the tip, at the cost of reducing stiffness some. For myself I prefer the utility :).

I know your picture wasn't the same Marko, but its definitely wider than most of the production knives I've seen out there...that's why I made the comparison :). I have always loved looking at your work. Definitely inspirational!

Marko Tsourkan
09-13-2013, 10:27 PM
I cut more today with the knife and think that to make the tip the versatile, it needs to be ground a bit thinner and full convex, while the rest of the geometry should be similar to Heiji. That's what I am going to do and see how it is received.

M

Marko Tsourkan
09-15-2013, 08:55 AM
Been getting some input on heavy chef's from several Japanese makers. Really cool stuff. Need to give it a little bit of a thought and try other grinds.

I am curios now about Heiji (or with a similar "sword" grind) geometry for sujis. If you use one regularly, please shoot me a PM. I would like to pick your brain a little bit.

jgraeff
09-16-2013, 12:17 AM
Marko, if you need anymore testers let me know i would be interested as well. Seems like a cool project.

Squilliam
09-18-2013, 07:41 AM
By 'sword' geometry are you meaning near-flat bevels with a shinogi line?

Marko Tsourkan
09-18-2013, 11:02 AM
By 'sword' geometry are you meaning near-flat bevels with a shinogi line?

Near shinogi line bevels are flatter, but overall the whole bevel is convex.

M

Marko Tsourkan
09-18-2013, 06:00 PM
OK, I reground this one a little bit, converting tip area to full convex, leaving the rest is sword grind. Just waiting for the handle to glue, then shape, install and out it goes for testing.

I think 3.4mm at the spine will make a superb heavy chef's.

M

Von blewitt
09-18-2013, 06:28 PM
Sounds great, how do you like the appearance of the transition between grinds?

Looking forward to putting it through its paces

Mucho Bocho
09-18-2013, 06:37 PM
So Marko, Is now a good time to start a Pass Around Testers for Heavy Chef Knife List? Guess that would make me #1. Ya'll get back :pirate1:

pleue
09-18-2013, 06:45 PM
I'd love to be a tester in a restaurant environment too.

Dardeau
09-18-2013, 08:24 PM
I think that is a genius idea to blend the bevels into the table at the tip. One of the Heijis drawbacks is that the tip is easily chipped, this may remedy that, as well as making it more usable for detail work. How does it look?

Marko Tsourkan
09-19-2013, 11:33 AM
Sounds great, how do you like the appearance of the transition between grinds?

Looking forward to putting it through its paces

The tip is fully convexed. At about 8cm mark from the tip, the convex becomes "sword grind" and stays like that for the rest of the edge. I didn't bother to keep the shinogi line crisp, as it doesn't seem to have much effect on food separation, and a knife is a little easy to finish. It can be done on the stones if one wants it.

It's a prototype, so the final version will have a few changes (some I already determined), but testing it would allow me to check on changes I made departing from a typical "sword grind" geometry.

I like the weight and stiffness of the blade. I compared it with my regular S grind, and it feels like a heavy chef's.

I would love to do many pass-arounds, but reality is that every project of this type takes away from my orders and it's a hard balance. On one hand I need to deliver work I took payments for, on the other, I need to keep growing as a maker and keep implementing changes as needed, and there are moments where I need to take another look and re-evalue my work.

So, the pass-arounds will be limited to 1-2 pros and I truly look for a constructive criticism, so I can keep improving.

My HT is pretty good for this type of knife (or all types, for that matter). It is 62-63RC, but it won't chip.

M

Mucho Bocho
09-19-2013, 12:06 PM
So, the pass-arounds will be limited to 1-2 pros and I truly look for a constructive criticism, so I can keep improving. M

Marko, I see, but you'll be missing out on some valuable feedback from this Pro-Home Cook that has Mucho nice knives and knows how to sharpen freehand both single and double bevel knives.

Moreover, Its disheartening to hear this as the bulk of your knives are probably bought by home cooks in the first place. I think your Pro-Only focus, has given me the motivation to remove your knives from my bucket list. Clearly it will influence my recomendations to others as well.

Baby Huey
09-19-2013, 12:11 PM
I like the fact that he is testing with pro's as they will put them to hard use on more products and be able to give more of a full on review of them based on this. As opposed to a home user probably preparing 2-3 meals a day. Sucks to see you are so easily dissuaded from a possibly phenomenal product over not being chosen to be a tester. Unless there is a joke somewhere in there that I missed between old-timers (to the forum).

Mucho Bocho
09-19-2013, 12:22 PM
Huey, I hear what you're saying but there's a lot more to testing of a knife than if it can still stay sharp after a case of onions. And we have already stated that "just because you cook in a professional kitchen, doens't mean you know anything about knives." I go out on a limb (which I know someone on KKF will try to saw off the tree) that most people that cook in professional kitchens knives are crap, dull and are probably used incorrectly most of the time.

Also, Marko's assuming that a pro will be harder on the knife or be able to provide better constructive feedback that a home cook. Consider EdipusRieks/Jim/Lefty/MrMMS. Given Marko statement, he must feel that they wouldn't be able to provide some meaningful feedback?

Marko Tsourkan
09-19-2013, 12:29 PM
One of the requirement for testing is that a knife is put through a shift-two of work, so here testing with the pros makes a bit more sense and that's the reason. I am not implying that pros can evaluate a knife better, just that that they are better situated for this kind of testing.

I also like to pair testers with knives that they have preference for - folks who like heavier knives with heavy knives, folks who like thinner knives - thinner knives.

chinacats
09-19-2013, 12:38 PM
I hear you MB, but I'll throw out another perspective. The all around workout these guys can give a knife in a week would equate to me having the knife in hand for over a month and I too am a pretty active cook. I am guessing that it may just be a more efficient use of time spent. I would also suggest that while many chefs use crappy knives that most chefs here likely fall into another category.

All that said and I would still have to agree that the perspective that could be offered by home cooks/knuts may be not only different but also quite valuable.

Cheers

Lefty
09-19-2013, 01:35 PM
A while back, Marko and I got into a discussion about the pro vs. home cook thing. I thought it was a dick move, but looking back on it, if you want quick info, who better to ask than a guy who knows about knives AND cuts +100lbs of product a shift. I see what you're saying, MuchoBocho, and trust me, I've been there. But, as they say, "it is what it is", and in this case, to expedite the feedback process, it does make sense.

For what it's worth, I've since "tested" two Marko knives, and you should keep his on your list. :)

Mucho Bocho
09-19-2013, 02:32 PM
Chinacats and Tom, Yea yea yea, I know you both speak the truth, doesn't mean I have to like it ;-)

In my best Jerky Boys impersonation, "hey if marko is looking to give his knives a workout, send them down, I clear god dam acre of virgin North Carolina backwoods. HA

Lefty
09-19-2013, 02:53 PM
I wasn't trying to be an a-hole, by the way....

Mucho Bocho
09-19-2013, 03:02 PM
Tom, I didn't take it that way at all. I would always give you the benefit of the doubt anyway. IMO, You have too much class for personal attacks. I hear what you and China are saying and as usual its logical sense.

I've stated my argument and still feel that I could put that puppy through its paces but I guess its not good enough for Marko. I don't like it but I don't have much choice. that doesn't mean I will put his knives down though. In fact the contrary, perhaps thatís why I feel a little marginalized.

EdipisReks
09-19-2013, 03:57 PM
I own and use several Heijis, and I know them very well. I'd be happy to give it the ol' comparo, if you decide to let some home users beta test at some point, Marko.

Marko Tsourkan
09-19-2013, 05:28 PM
I am not going to make another knife in this geometry until I get feedback from Huw. I will try a couple of other geometries for heavy chefs in the mean time. Kato geometry is next.

This one is almost done. Balance point right above the heel. Pics tomorrow.
M

Marko Tsourkan
09-20-2013, 05:28 PM
225mm heavy chef's knife in 52100, 62-63RC hardness. 245g. Handle - cocobolo, blackwood nickel silver.

18739

18738

Von blewitt
09-20-2013, 06:29 PM
Looking good, the shinogi isn't as pronounced as I was expecting, is that just the pictures?

Dardeau
09-20-2013, 06:55 PM
That is really sexy. I hope I get a chance to take it for a spin. I just brought my Heiji back to work today after finally getting some time to sharpen the backlog. I started blending up at the tip as per the idea that I think Huw put forward and it worked pretty well today. I need to play with it some more.

Marko Tsourkan
09-20-2013, 06:55 PM
It's the finish. It's much easier to finish the whole blade with sand paper than have the blade up to shinogi line finished on stones. The basic "sword grind" geometry is there (up to about 8cm from the tip, then it's convex) and the owner could put the knife on the stones and make it Heiji-like if he wants.

This is a prototype, so I don't want to spend too much time on it, but as I said, the geometry is there.

M

Dardeau
09-20-2013, 06:56 PM
Also, that line is there, it is only really visible at the heel. I think that may just be the photo though.

Dardeau
09-20-2013, 06:57 PM
Or like the man who made it said.

PierreRodrigue
09-20-2013, 06:58 PM
Beautiful knife Marko. Nice work!

Marko Tsourkan
09-20-2013, 07:03 PM
Thanks folks!

Now, I need to borrow a heavy Mizuno from somebody.

Crothcipt
09-21-2013, 05:59 PM
Lol I would offer mine, but it was thinned recently by Dave. Which would be counter productive for your purposes. Also it's a hontanren which I think it thinner than what you are looking for.

Marko Tsourkan
09-21-2013, 08:50 PM
I have a standing offer from overseas, but hopefully could find one closer to home.

Marko Tsourkan
09-21-2013, 09:53 PM
Next heavy chef's will come with a Western handle and Kato geometry. 225mm lengh on the edge.

M

Von blewitt
09-21-2013, 10:14 PM
Can't wait to see you do a western handle! :detective:

cookinstuff
09-22-2013, 03:27 AM
Hey Marko, your box is full, I may have what your looking for. It's not overseas, but there still is a border to cross sadly.

Marko Tsourkan
09-22-2013, 10:13 AM
Hey Marko, your box is full, I may have what your looking for. It's not overseas, but there still is a border to cross sadly.

I will shoot you an email.

Marko Tsourkan
09-22-2013, 10:21 AM
In one of the discussions I had with a pro and an avid user of heavy knives, he mentioned that the profile of Japanese heavy gyutos - more curve and slight rounding at the heel is to compensate blade-heavy blade. I thought about it and decided to limit a size of a heavy chef's and to add some weight to the handle to make the knife balance at the handle or slightly forward. This way I can keep the profile identical my lighter knives. The lengh will be limited to 225-240mm and the blade will be usable along the whole lengh (including heel).

I will make both D and Western handle versions. Have an interesting design (partially inspired by Devin's) in my head, though overall it will not be a departure from my current style. More soon.

M

Marko Tsourkan
09-22-2013, 05:34 PM
I saw in another thread in my sub-forum that the preference seems to be for 240-270mm heavy gyuto. I am curious as to why?

In that length, particularly in 270mm, the balance point will be quite forward, that size would also require a large work area.How much advantage would 240-270mm have over 225mm?

Input is always much appreciated.

M

brainsausage
09-22-2013, 06:33 PM
Most pro kitchens utilize 18x24 boards, which can accomodate a longer blade. The longer, heavier blade does more of the work for you, and allows one to process larger amounts of product at one time. Probably my biggest gripe with the kato, was the belly to tip transition. Too too much belly, and the tip is more upswept than I care for.

Crothcipt
09-22-2013, 08:24 PM
Most pro kitchens utilize 18x24 boards, which can accomodate a longer blade. The longer, heavier blade does more of the work for you, and allows one to process larger amounts of product at one time. Probably my biggest gripe with the kato, was the belly to tip transition. Too too much belly, and the tip is more upswept than I care for.

+10

Marko Tsourkan
09-22-2013, 08:38 PM
+10

So a blade heavy knife won't be much of a problem? I would typically make a larger handle and add some weight to the handle but balancing a 240-270mm heavy chef's at the handle is a challenge.

brainsausage
09-22-2013, 08:52 PM
I prefer it to be a bit blade forward. One of the reasons I don't care for lighter knives or so called balanced knives. I think it's more useful to have the balance forward as it gives you a better reference point when guiding your cuts. I also tend to choke pretty far forward with my grip. Which is why I really like thick spines. I loved my CCK, but the spine is so thin, that I would get fatigue from trying to grip, as well as an irritated knife callus.

chinacats
09-22-2013, 09:56 PM
No pro, but I like a heavy knife and I definitely prefer it to be blade heavy...maybe 30mm forward on 210, 60mm forward on 240 and even more on a 270. I think my Heiji balanced ~2.5 inches out on the blade and felt awesome. I agree with Brainsausage that it gives you better control.

pleue
09-22-2013, 10:59 PM
I have to echo the same sentiments as others on the large board space and the length of a blade actually being an asset (think of two flat-ish sweet spots on the blade heel to the start of the curve, curve to an inch short of the tip, followed by a thinned out tip). You can always add an end cap in nickel silver or brass like you do on the front of your handles to bring the balance a bit to the rear. I switched to 270 and now using other gyutos feels a bit off to me.

panda
09-23-2013, 12:53 AM
270, nose should be low, very little belly pretty much flat all the way save for a SLIGHT curve at the tip with a lot of tapering so that the tip is pretty thin at the spine aka a big ass santoku. balance should be just forward of the heel. and tall, at least 55mm
reasoning for this is more efficiency, the more knife touches the food the less movement your hands have to make to finish the job. sure you can whip a shorter laser around much faster, but in reality you're making a lot more movements and getting less processing done per stroke.

JohnnyChance
09-23-2013, 03:44 AM
In one of the discussions I had with a pro and an avid user of heavy knives, he mentioned that the profile of Japanese heavy gyutos - more curve and slight rounding at the heel is to compensate blade-heavy blade. I thought about it and decided to limit a size of a heavy chef's and to add some weight to the handle to make the knife balance at the handle or slightly forward. This way I can keep the profile identical my lighter knives. The lengh will be limited to 225-240mm and the blade will be usable along the whole lengh (including heel).

I will make both D and Western handle versions. Have an interesting design (partially inspired by Devin's) in my head, though overall it will not be a departure from my current style. More soon.

M

I guess the point on the profiles is true, never really thought about it before. Maybe because heavier gyutos are viewed as less nimble, they don't feel the need to make the tip as low or as pointy. Also with the knife being blade heavy, thus more fatigue when push cutting, a rocking capable profile is beneficial. I don't see why a sleeker/more aggressive profile wouldn't work though. The geometry might have something to do with it, if you have a thick spine, you need some blade height (or extreme distal taper) to get it thin enough at the edge.

I like them on the long side (245mm to 270mm at the edge) and blade heavy. My 240mm Heiji & Kato both balance about 60mm from the ferrule. The Heiji is slightly more blade heavy, but the Kato has a much bigger handle. I wouldn't want a heavy knife shorter than 240mm or one that wasn't forward balanced.

The height of the tip on my Kato doesn't bother me at all, but I certainly wouldn't want it any higher.

JohnnyChance
09-23-2013, 04:03 AM
270, nose should be low, very little belly pretty much flat all the way save for a SLIGHT curve at the tip with a lot of tapering so that the tip is pretty thin at the spine aka a big ass santoku. balance should be just forward of the heel. and tall, at least 55mm
reasoning for this is more efficiency, the more knife touches the food the less movement your hands have to make to finish the job. sure you can whip a shorter laser around much faster, but in reality you're making a lot more movements and getting less processing done per stroke.

Right, a longer blade allows you to be more efficient, which is important when you have to move, re position and lift a heavier knife repeatedly.

brainsausage
09-23-2013, 09:09 AM
Right, a longer blade allows you to be more efficient, which is important when you have to move, re position and lift a heavier knife repeatedly.

Yup

Marko Tsourkan
09-23-2013, 10:28 AM
You guys talk, I am listening :D.

This what I got thus far:

- 240, 255 and 270mm
- Balance forward
- Flatter profile
- Food release geometry
- Larger handles (D or Western)
- Distal taper and blade ground to zero at the edge

brainsausage
09-23-2013, 11:11 AM
You guys talk, I am listening :D.

This what I got thus far:

- 240, 255 and 270mm
- Balance forward
- Flatter profile
- Food release geometry
- Larger handles (D or Western)
- Distal taper and blade ground to zero at the edge

Yes!

Dardeau
09-23-2013, 06:09 PM
That is all what I am looking for in a heavier knife as well. Maybe I should go back to 270, I used one for about two years on a really small line and kinda gave up on them. Now that I have more room I should give it another try.

JohnnyChance
09-24-2013, 03:32 PM
255 sounds great to me.

Chuckles
09-25-2013, 12:03 AM
255 is about where I would want it.

One issue I have had with blade heavy knives is the blade naturally wanting to land right in the middle of where it curves to the tip which is also where it makes the least useful board contact. Handle material or an extended tang could help or even a weighted butt on the handle. Overall weight on a knife of this type doesn't really concern me if the added weight and momentum of the blade is focused on the most useful and productive sections of the knife.

Von blewitt
09-25-2013, 12:18 AM
This is what I like about the profile of the Kato, I loosen my grip, and let the weight of the heel finish the cut. Which is where the arc comes in handy

Chuckles
09-25-2013, 12:46 AM
I found with a knife that hit in the curve that the knife begged to be a rock chop specialty knife. It was like the knife wanted me to rock on products like cucumbers or crimini shrooms which is slower and less intuitive for me on tasks like these.

Marko Tsourkan
09-25-2013, 10:15 AM
What do you guys think of a Western handle on 255mm heavy chef's? I am itching to do just that.

M

Von blewitt
09-25-2013, 10:29 AM
That sounds like the perfect Gyuto to me!

Lefty
09-25-2013, 10:32 AM
In my mind that could be a cool option, but might not suit those who like only Japanese style/looking knives. Being weightier and having a Western handle might make some feel it too closely resembles a German knife. Of course, in actuality you'll be addressing any of the issues guys have with them by dropping the tip, improving the grind, making it thinner BTE, moving the balance forward, losing the finger guard and producing the knife in a very good steel, with a great HT at a high HRC. However, the subconscious bias is strong enough that some might not be able to get past this until they are proven wrong. With that being said, you're a guy who can do it, and I'd love to try it out myself when all is said and done.

Marko Tsourkan
09-25-2013, 10:41 AM
I won't limit it to one style of handles or another. Western handle is long overdue, and I thought it would be a good way to jump-start on this direction. Both Western and D would be an option. Octagonal handle will be done only on request.

In fact, this is the direction I am to take - offer all knives with both types of handles.

Western will be hidden tang for the reason that I find it more sanitary and moves less than full tang with scales.

M

Marko Tsourkan
09-25-2013, 11:20 AM
Also, how much distance between handle and choil? What's this preference for Western handles?

mpukas
09-25-2013, 07:23 PM
Hey Marko. I've got a couple thoughts to weigh in. I have a Yoshikane 270 SLD that is simply awesome in it's size and weight. It's not terribly thick at the spine - thicker than my Shig, but not as thick as the Heiji I had (I'll have to measure it for you). I agree with what the other guys have wrote re: length and balance point - longer is better - 255 to 270 range. Blade heavy makes for ease of cutting. But I think mine is a tad too blade heavy - the handle in ho wood and light, and the blade is so heavy I'd like a slightly heavy handle to bring the balance point back. Too blade heavy can lead to fatigue because there's more effort spent balancing the knife. Also, mine has the S grind you described in your other thread; it's got some decent convexity as well and food release is quite good.

Love the idea of a western handled 255! Most yo-gyutos have the choil relatively flush with the front of the bolster on the handle. The Hattori FH has a slight curve from the choil to tang and that's nice for both sharpening and cutting use. Something like the KS gap on a was-handle is far too big. I dont' think the gap on a western needs to be as big as a yo, but some gap would be nice.

Marko Tsourkan
09-25-2013, 08:37 PM
I have a Western handle design in my head that would have a heavy bolster (a guard) and if needed, a metal endcap. Along with the weight of the handle, I am pretty sure I can bring the balance point closer to the handle even on heavy knives.

I am going to solicit more of feedback on the gap before I make a decision, but consensus seems to emerge that a wide gap is not necessary.

M

JohnnyChance
09-25-2013, 08:57 PM
I would start the bolster right after the choil, no gap. And I like knife to be blade heavy, even in a pinch grip I want the blade to balance in front of my pinch.

Marko Tsourkan
09-26-2013, 09:56 AM
I would start the bolster right after the choil, no gap. And I like knife to be blade heavy, even in a pinch grip I want the blade to balance in front of my pinch.

It's quite difficult to start a bolster without any gap with S geometry (think Shigefusa Western handle). On full convex blades it should not be a problem. In any event, I will try to keep the gap as small as possible.

M

Marko Tsourkan
09-29-2013, 05:34 PM
What are your thoughts on 255mm heavy chef's, with one of the geometries (Mizuno, Kato, Heiji), with a Western handle, Coca-Cola shape, in PM stainless, 62-63RC?

brainsausage
09-29-2013, 06:55 PM
Not a fan of western handles, but sounds good otherwise...

Anton
09-29-2013, 06:58 PM
What are your thoughts on 255mm heavy chef's, with one of the geometries (Mizuno, Kato, Heiji), with a Western handle, Coca-Cola shape, in PM stainless, 62-63RC?

Perfect. Bolster?

Sign me up

Marko Tsourkan
09-29-2013, 08:29 PM
Not a fan of western handles, but sounds good otherwise...

Wa version I can do reasonably well. Western, has been going well so far.

M

Marko Tsourkan
09-29-2013, 08:57 PM
Ground my first true asymmetric grind. So far so good. Taking blade home for test cutting. Pics tomorrow.

This one will have a western handle with SS bolster.

M

Lefty
09-29-2013, 11:05 PM
I love a good western. Dirty Harry was the man.

brainsausage
09-30-2013, 12:36 AM
I love a good western. Dirty Harry was the man.

For a few dollars more, I'll trade you two mules for sister Sara.

Marko Tsourkan
10-01-2013, 12:04 PM
Ok, this knife is almost ready to be sent for testing (almost - still am working on the handle).

Steel - Stainless PM#2, 62-63RC.

Final weight will be in the area of 270g. Length on the edge 253mm

Von blewitt
10-03-2013, 12:22 AM
Any Pics of this bad boy?

Marko Tsourkan
10-03-2013, 12:31 AM
No, unfortunately it is written off as an error in my trial-and-error book. There will be a replacement for it in the same steel and geometry. Making some progress on Western handle as well, but that too has a learning curve.

Marko Tsourkan
10-03-2013, 03:36 PM
No, unfortunately it is written off as an error in my trial-and-error book. There will be a replacement for it in the same steel and geometry. Making some progress on Western handle as well, but that too has a learning curve.

Here is the experimental error - undue force will break even steel. I guess, I could make a nice small knife out of this. :(

A positive thing - I got to see the grain to evaluate HT (in addition to other tests) and the grain is extremely fine and uniform, so I feel pretty confident about the HT for this steel.

19005

Mr.Svinarich
10-03-2013, 06:48 PM
that could be a problem.... :eek2:

Marko Tsourkan
10-04-2013, 12:11 AM
Lesson learned - don't force (hammer) a thick guard on the tang unless you file the slot to slightly below the thickness of the tang. Other than that, the Western handle project is on track. Right now I am finalizing the joinery and shape.

M

JohnnyChance
10-04-2013, 01:39 AM
Let's weld it.

Marko Tsourkan
10-04-2013, 09:27 AM
I don't think welding is possible. I cold shorten the blade and make it a 225mm western gyuto.

Marko Tsourkan
10-23-2013, 08:57 AM
I have been working on this project for some time now, and have to admit that all geometries that I selected have pros and cons, but all will make pretty good heavy workhorse gyuto.

I have been soliciting feedback from a small group of people, but I think I need to widen the pool, so I know how the knives are received in a wider community.

I decided to make a few knives in each geometry, in different steels (carbon and stainless) and get them out into public.

The first few will be in 255mm lengh, in modified convex geometry, in A2 and 52100. There are no preorders or reservations on these as I will work on these around my other projects. Once they are done, I will post them in for sale in my subforum.

Handle option will be cocobolo or Lignum Vitae and both will come with sayas and D handles for a right hand use. Left-hand user handles will be an option for custom and future ready-made knives.

I prefer D handles over octagonal because I think they are better suited for heavy, long work sessions (many of you probably remember, that I used to make octagonal handles). D shape makes more sense to me, and I am willing to spend more time making handles in this style (D style in generally is harder to make then octagonal), not for any other reason.

Thanks,

M

Marko Tsourkan
10-23-2013, 11:10 AM
Just want to add that these will have a vary special HT, so performance wise should exceed expectations.

M

pitonboy
10-23-2013, 03:09 PM
Don't most of your knives exceed expectations?

Marko Tsourkan
10-23-2013, 04:03 PM
Don't most of your knives exceed expectations?

I hope they do.

Marko Tsourkan
10-26-2013, 11:49 AM
What would be a handle preference for a heavy workhorse chef (240-270mm), Wa or Western? I am mulling a hybrid of both, with D mounted on a knife without a neck (machi) and ferrule taper all the way to the blade. Transition between handle and heel will be seamless, and between spine and handle, handle will be raised by 1-2mm.

M

Marko Tsourkan
10-26-2013, 12:51 PM
What would be a handle preference for a heavy workhorse chef (240-270mm), Wa or Western? I am mulling a hybrid of both, with D mounted on a knife without a neck (machi) and ferrule taper all the way to the blade. Transition between handle and heel will be seamless, and between spine and handle, handle will be raised by 1-2mm.

M

The heavy convex will have a D handle tapered all the way to the blade, and 5mm neck and is to go out for testing on Monday.

Thanks for looking.

Don Nguyen
10-26-2013, 03:32 PM
Wow, 5mm. That is going to be awesome!

JohnnyChance
10-27-2013, 01:32 AM
The heavy convex will have a D handle tapered all the way to the blade, and 5mm neck and is to go out for testing on Monday.

Thanks for looking.

Can't wait!

Marko Tsourkan
10-27-2013, 09:50 AM
Can't wait!

I know. I too can't wait how it stacks up to Gengetsu and other heavier gyutos. This one is 230mm, but I can make it up to 270mm.

Marko Tsourkan
10-28-2013, 09:39 AM
What would be a handle preference for a heavy workhorse chef (240-270mm), Wa or Western? I am mulling a hybrid of both, with D mounted on a knife without a neck (machi) and ferrule taper all the way to the blade. Transition between handle and heel will be seamless, and between spine and handle, handle will be raised by 1-2mm.

M

Worked on it over the weekend, almost done, pics later today.

I think I am onto something.

M

Marko Tsourkan
10-28-2013, 12:08 PM
Worked on it over the weekend, almost done, pics later today.

I think I am onto something.

M

Please forgive for a poor quality pictures.

Heavy gyuto in 52100 with a hybrid D - D style handle on a Western style blade. 230mm on the edge. Neck width about 4.5mm. Handle - fiddle-back maple, blackwood and brass.

This was an experiment, so with subsequent knives, the length on the blade is going to be 255-270mm, ferrule length will be longer, and there will be contrasting (same as ferrule) butt cap.

I am not sure if this is limited to heavy knives, but shorter neck seems to make whole a lot of sense to me. I think with a balance point closer to a handle, this allows for a better control of the knife.

19728

19729

19730

Marko Tsourkan
10-28-2013, 12:31 PM
Western handle is next.

JohnnyChance
10-28-2013, 01:05 PM
Looks good M.

Marko Tsourkan
10-28-2013, 02:47 PM
Western handle is next.

The Western handle is going to have a brass or bronze tip, no contrasting ferrule (only D will have that), but might have a contrasting end cup. Coca-cola shape, hook, and hidden tang structure.

vinster
10-28-2013, 03:03 PM
19729



The handle in the picture looks particularly long. Are they made long in this case to offset the weight of the blade, or is it an optical illusion from the angle of the picture?

Marko Tsourkan
10-28-2013, 03:13 PM
It might be the picture, as the handle is about 5.75" long or even tad shorter. I am still undecided whether to angle the butt or not, so final pictures will show a completed handle.

Bear in mind that this is not a Western handle, but a D for a Western knife.

This handle was a first-try to test the process (actually, an experimental geometry on the blade too), and I already made notes how I am going to do a next one. I wasn't sure if I should leave the chamfer on the tip or blend it (didn't do a great job on that), but this will get fixed on the subsequent handles.d

One thing that is not captured in the pictures is that this handle is incredible comfortable for both pinch grip and handle hold.

Mucho Bocho
10-28-2013, 03:14 PM
Very Classy Marko!

Von blewitt
10-28-2013, 04:31 PM
I like that alot Marko!

CB1968
10-28-2013, 05:03 PM
Looks fantastic Marko

Marko Tsourkan
10-28-2013, 05:45 PM
Thank you.

Now that I got a taste of how a Western handle is made, I feel pretty confident about making one.

M

Marko Tsourkan
10-31-2013, 11:07 AM
225mm heavy chef's knife in 52100, 62-63RC hardness. 245g. Handle - cocobolo, blackwood nickel silver.

18739

18738

I think I got enough feedback for the version 1.0 to attempt a version 2.0. This one will feature a slightly thinner geometry in the first 1/3 of the blade (from the heel on), but other than that, it's going to be similar to 1.0 except for the handle.

I am going to do this in a target lengh for a heavy chef - 250-255mm (on the edge), and with a Western handle.

I am also going to run an experiment on edge stability. Currently I have a blank in 52100 and a blank in A2 in 255-260mm, both 3.5mm thick. A2 is about 64Rc after tempering and 52100 is about 63.5RC. Either is a point harder than I heat treat my knives, but for the sake of an experiment, I am going to grind them to about .10mm at the edge, and do a flex test on some dense stuff (but with a little give), like a brass rod or 1/4" tropical hard wood strip. It runs like this - you press an edge on the rod or narrow strip of wood on an angle and make the edge flex. If a flex results in chipping, the edge is unstable, and hardness needs to be brought down. I doubt that the edge will roll at that hardness, so I am only testing for chipping. Will report on the results after the test.

M

Marko Tsourkan
10-31-2013, 12:25 PM
Hopefully this will be completed before Sunday, as Sunday I might be visiting a pro kitchen (I would not call it apprenticeship yet, but hopefully will lead to frequent visits and work in the pro environment with some of the pro guys in the tri-state area). I am very excited.

M

EdipisReks
10-31-2013, 12:30 PM
that sounds like a really cool opportunity, Marko.

Marko Tsourkan
10-31-2013, 12:47 PM
I have been looking for this for a while, but folks who can give me an opportunity to visit and work there a little bit are far away from me and I don't drive (though I am making baby steps in that direction). I hope that over time I can dedicated a day a week just for that.

M

Marko Tsourkan
11-01-2013, 09:27 AM
255mm (on the edge) "sword" grind heavy workhorse gyuto in 52100 for a left-hand user. Weight with handle will be around 275-290g. Thickness at the spine 3.4mm, half way 2.5mm, 50mm from the tip - 2mm. Thickness at shinogi line heel to tip - about 2mm. The knife will either have a hybrid D, or a Western handle.

I am likely to convex the tip on this knife, as it will improve lateral cuts. Another thing, I find it time consuming to finish primary bevel on the stones (this is 63.5RC hard steel), so I would probably finish/blend the bevels with sand paper, and leave it the customer to spend time and make the shinogi line crisp or leave the finish as is. The underlying geometry will not changed, so the performance won't be affected.

I come to think that the bevel on the left side is slightly more prominent than on the right, so I think this knife will be more suitable for a "lefty". I will grind one for a "rightly" today.

19871

19872

EdipisReks
11-01-2013, 09:42 AM
looks nice!

Marko Tsourkan
11-01-2013, 09:45 AM
I will post heel shots of two knives over the weekend.

M

Lefty
11-01-2013, 10:37 AM
I'm a lefty! Pick me. :D

Marko Tsourkan
11-01-2013, 11:16 AM
I am going to put a hybrid D handle on this knife. Cocobolo with a brass tip and blackwood endcap. Mulling about angling the butt on this handle.

M

Marko Tsourkan
11-01-2013, 08:58 PM
Asymmetrically ground for a right-hand use. Western, Wa, or Hybrid D handle.
52100, 255mm on the edge. Other specs are coming tomorrow.

19891

JohnnyChance
11-01-2013, 09:59 PM
I am likely to convex the tip on this knife, as it will improve lateral cuts.

My Heijis are some of the best lateral cutters I have, so I am not sure convexing the tip will be better or significantly different.

EdipisReks
11-01-2013, 10:14 PM
My Heijis are some of the best lateral cutters I have, so I am not sure convexing the tip will be better or significantly different.

same.

Chuckles
11-02-2013, 12:42 AM
Not to be a bother but could someone give an example of what a lateral cut is in this context?

Dusty
11-02-2013, 01:31 AM
Slicing the horizontal slice in an onion whilst dicing it.

Marko Tsourkan
11-02-2013, 09:18 AM
My Heijis are some of the best lateral cutters I have, so I am not sure convexing the tip will be better or significantly different.

On Heiji where bevels converge about 25mm behind the tip, thickness is about 2mm. That's pretty thick, so you got to apply some pressure to push the tip through the food in lateral cuts unless you are cutting soft stuff primarily like onions or cuts are very shallow.

The very tip is super thin, but it gets progressively thicker after 5-6mm or so.

I am not saying it is impossible. I am just trying to understand why some users find sword geometry perform poorly on lateral cuts, and some find quite the opposite.

Please elaborate.

M

Marko Tsourkan
11-02-2013, 09:40 AM
On Heiji where bevels converge about 25mm behind the tip, thickness is about 2mm. That's pretty thick, so you got to apply some pressure to push the tip through the food in lateral cuts unless you are cutting soft stuff primarily like onions or cuts are very shallow.

The very tip is super thin, but it gets progressively thicker after 5-6mm or so.

I am not saying it is impossible. I am just trying to understand why some users find sword geometry perform poorly on lateral cuts, and some find quite the opposite.

Please elaborate.

M

Convex doesn't have the ridge the way sword grind has, so even it's not shallow (like Kato for instance) it still encounters less resistance in lateral cuts.

This is what I observed trying both, Heiji and Kato, but I don't cut enough to have a good feel for it, so your input is very helpful.

Sword grind is one of the 3 grinds for a heavy workhorse that I would like to try to understand better. Geometry-wise I am there, but I still need to figure out (with your help) if some things of the original geometry can be improved, like the tip.

M

Marko Tsourkan
11-02-2013, 10:43 AM
Waiting patiently for Mizuno honyaki to arrive so I can try a third type (the last of the 3)

Marko Tsourkan
11-02-2013, 11:20 AM
Left and Right hand use knives with an asymmetric grind. Right-hand blade has the bevel on the insider blended, while the left-hand blade,polished. Both knives will weigh about 290g with handles. 52100,63Rc.

19911

19912

19913

Target geometry
19914

gentlecook
11-02-2013, 01:40 PM
Very interesting knife, glad to see any news about this knife.

As grandfather Lenin says: - practice practice and one more practice.

daddy yo yo
11-02-2013, 01:58 PM
man, i don't even have my custom "normal" gyuto, but looking at this thread already makes me want to have the next one... i think i have a serious problem!!! :sad0:

Crothcipt
11-02-2013, 06:37 PM
Waiting patiently for Mizuno honyaki to arrive so I can try a third type (the last of the 3)

I was hoping you got someone to send one to you. (from the States).

Marko Tsourkan
11-02-2013, 08:12 PM
Yep, waiting for it to arrive. Not a big deal, as I am channeling all my attention on sword grind geometry.

JohnnyChance
11-03-2013, 02:22 AM
On Heiji where bevels converge about 25mm behind the tip, thickness is about 2mm. That's pretty thick, so you got to apply some pressure to push the tip through the food in lateral cuts unless you are cutting soft stuff primarily like onions or cuts are very shallow.

The very tip is super thin, but it gets progressively thicker after 5-6mm or so.

I am not saying it is impossible. I am just trying to understand why some users find sword geometry perform poorly on lateral cuts, and some find quite the opposite.

Please elaborate.

M


Convex doesn't have the ridge the way sword grind has, so even it's not shallow (like Kato for instance) it still encounters less resistance in lateral cuts.

This is what I observed trying both, Heiji and Kato, but I don't cut enough to have a good feel for it, so your input is very helpful.

Sword grind is one of the 3 grinds for a heavy workhorse that I would like to try to understand better. Geometry-wise I am there, but I still need to figure out (with your help) if some things of the original geometry can be improved, like the tip.

M

I'm not sure why it works so well, but I think two things are factors. One, they are pretty symmetrical so they tend to cut straight on horizontal cuts and not steer that much. Two, the ridge/shinogi helps break the friction of the product (usually onion). The convex grind has nothing to break the stiction so it has a lot of surface area in contact with the product. One reason why people experience different results may have to do with the amount of pressure they are applying down on top of the product. Lots of things make horizontal cuts more difficult than regular cutting motion: steering is harder to control, the cut piece is not allowed to fall away from the blade, pressure applied from the product side and cut side, and it's just a cut that gets made less often, therefore less practice. If you use a lot of pressure when holding down the product, you are applying more pressure on the blade and creating more friction/stiction on the cut.

Marko Tsourkan
11-03-2013, 09:10 AM
Will see today.

Lefty
11-03-2013, 11:44 AM
I really like Johnny's explanation. I just received my Davis, which is a beefy knife that gets nice and thin at the edge. It's by no means a laser, but it performs great. I was dicing some onions and noticed that I had to pay attention to my downward pressure, and when I did - perfect!

EdipisReks
11-03-2013, 12:13 PM
When I do horizontal cuts with my Heijis, I slice into the item and then pull the knife tip towards me while pushing the handle away from me. This sweeping motion (and it's not a large motion) ensures that the thinnest section of the knife is used in the cut, and it works very well. I really only do this kind of cut with shallots and onions. I find shallots tend to bind knives more than onions do, and the Heijis perform very well on this test.

Chuckles
11-03-2013, 01:36 PM
I have found that convexing in the tip area can be helpful for horizontal cuts (thinking onions) as long as it peaks at mid blade and then thins to the spine. Heavy convexing that continues to the spine makes these cuts very difficult as the width at the spine can wedge just enough to stop the edge from making solid edge contact ahead of the wedge. I am talking about an area about an inch to an inch and a half from the tip. Of course convexing in this area will contribute to wedging on harder, more dense product (e.g. butternut squash) right where cuts are typically initiated for longer cuts in these items. I have found the distal taper to be an equally contributing indicator of how a knife will perform on lateral cuts.

I think that the tip area and the transition to the belly are the sections of a heavier chef knife that really define its character. It is particularly this area of the knife where it is hardest to give all things to all people in my opinion. But if anybody can pull it off...

Marko Tsourkan
11-04-2013, 09:18 AM
So,I brought 3 knives for testing yesterday - a heavy convex ground (similar to Kato but from a thinner stock), a sword ground (similar to Heiji) and a modified sword ground - sword grind on the right, and convex on the left. There were real Kato, Heiji within hands reach, so I kept switching between mine and those knives to feel a difference.

I ended up cutting 6 white onions, a tray of cooked red beets, and a good number of root vegetables - sweet potatoes, celery roots, rutabagas. Here how the knives performed.

On onions, I tested primarily sword and sword/convex. I liked sword/convex better. Slightly less resistance on vertical and horizontal cuts. No steering. On cooked red beats, tip of the convex grind was pretty effective brunois them.

On root vegetables, heavy convex outshined the other two types on long, deep cuts. On shallow cross cuts, sword and sword/convex grinds separated better.

52100 fared very well in the pro kitchen environment. After several hours, the primary knife I was using (convex) developed light patina, and even though I was wiping all three knives with a wet towel, no discoloration (except light patina) formed.

If only one knife were to be had, it would be convex, if two - convex and sword/convex or sword, and alternate between them depending on cuts.

It's by no means a complete (and conclusive test) and I am not an impartial tester, but I hope that people will reach the same conclusion, after trying these types. The convex gyuto will undergo further testing by the KKF member whose kitchen I visited yesterday, so I should get more feedback about how the knife performs on a variety of foods.

The sword grind gyuto will be reground into heavy convex. The sword/convex will remain unchanged for the time being.

Thanks,

M

mpukas
11-04-2013, 01:58 PM
The shape of this knife looks great Marko! I really dig it.

I've come to the same conclusion as you, that a convex grind cuts better for me. I prefer a symmetrical grind to minimize steering and give max control. I think asym grind has certain advantages, especially if you are doing a lot of very thin slicing of harder food items, but over all I find symmetrical grind to be more versatile and easy to control.

Thanks for sharing - love seeing this project develop.

ar11
11-04-2013, 02:37 PM
What is a sword grind? Tried going back a couple pgs couldn't find any descriptors

Marko Tsourkan
11-04-2013, 02:55 PM
Sword grind is when bevels are cut into the sides creating "shoulders". An example of sword grind is Heiji knives.

Marko Tsourkan
11-04-2013, 03:20 PM
It looks like both knives (convex and sword/convex) will be going to a prospective buyer for a trial and feedback before returning back to me for maker's mark and saya.

Crothcipt
11-04-2013, 05:50 PM
Thx for the posts Marko. This makes sense to what I have witnessed, and not knowing why I liked it. I hope one day....

Marko Tsourkan
11-04-2013, 06:07 PM
I will try one more geometry, and I call it the day and work on some other types - a scimitar, a miroshi among others.

M

Nasr
11-05-2013, 01:31 AM
informative thread Thank You

Marko Tsourkan
11-05-2013, 09:14 AM
I am putting this project on hold till I get a feedback on two geometries that that I made so far. Once a third geometry sample arrives, will resume working on a heavy chefs.

Chuckles
11-10-2013, 02:06 PM
Marko, your inbox is full.

Marko Tsourkan
11-10-2013, 02:25 PM
Just cleared some space

Marko Tsourkan
11-15-2013, 09:45 AM
I finally got a knife in a third geometry that I would like to try. Currently am studying it and will make a prototype shortly.

Hangman
11-19-2013, 04:20 PM
sounds like an upgraded Wusthof ... I love my 8" Classic for cutting up chicken as well as other tasks.
I'd certainly be interested in something like that ... what would the estimated price point be?

Marko Tsourkan
11-20-2013, 12:48 AM
Actually, quite different than Wuesthof. The heavy chefs' implied the weight, not the thickness behind the edge. It will not fare well cutting through a chicken, or any other stuff it is not supposed to cut. It's by no means a Western deba.

Marko Tsourkan
11-25-2013, 09:38 PM
OK, the third geometry prototype is heading for testing to Minneapolis in a pro kitchen. Overnighting it tomorrow, hope it will get there by Thanksgiving.

This is 250mm gyuto in 52100, 3.4mm over the heel, 2.5mm 50mm from the tip. With a handle it will probably weigh around 275-290g. If geometry doesn't need much tweaking, I will produce a few of these in stainless and semi-stainless (A2) steel.


I am also going to do another in a geometry similar to Heiji in 52100 and that one is likely to go to Australia for a second round of testing.

Thanks guys for helping me out with testing and feedback!

M

Von blewitt
11-26-2013, 12:23 AM
I am also going to do another in a geometry similar to Heiji in 52100 and that one is likely to go to Australia for a second round of testing.

M
Giggity :D

Marko Tsourkan
11-26-2013, 05:47 PM
OK, this one is on the way to Minnesota via USPS Express Mail for tomorrow delivery. Let's hope it will get there, as I am very anxious to hear about its performance.

M

Chuckles
11-27-2013, 03:43 PM
The eagle has landed.

Justin0505
11-28-2013, 01:49 PM
The eagle has landed.

Oh has it?!?

Oui Chef
11-29-2013, 06:44 PM
The eagle has landed.

Write up and pictures of said eagle required effective immediately..
Talk to me goose!

Marko Tsourkan
11-29-2013, 09:09 PM
I am very anxious to hear about this knife's performance. I haven't ground a knife in this geometry ever before. The 250mm knife is 275g heavy, no flex on the spine, is blade heavy, just what a heavy work horse should be, I guess.

I incorporated features into this knife's geometry that I came to like from several knives that made an impression on me. I think it's a good knife for what it is - heavy prep work, where weight of the knife is used to finish the cut.

I was running late (surprise) and didn't have time to take pictures, so they might come from the tester, or might not.

M

Chuckles
11-30-2013, 01:28 AM
Here is a quick and dirty phone pic. I actually shot a couple of videos but can't figure out how to get them posted. I am working on it.

Initial impressions have been very good. The size, heft and balance are what I look for in a knife of this type. The balance point is at the very front of my index finger when in a full pinch grip. Wednesday the knife cut very well, even without a finished edge on it. Today with an edge (Gesshin 2k, red aoto, naked felt) it performed well on a shift of mostly fish and meat butchering. The edge was still very good after cleaning and portioning 25# of fish and 45# of fatty beef. It seems I have only scratched the surface on the edge retention evaluation. The grind is a good blend of thin enough to cut well but robust enough to not worry. The handle is substantial. It fills my large hands well and is on the longer side, probably to zero in the superb balance. The knife inspires confidence and the steel feels ready for war.

JohnnyChance
11-30-2013, 02:07 AM
At first I thought the first tester knife with no neck was a little odd...and I used it and it was fine...before I knew it I didn't even notice it. Now that I see this one...I think I prefer it with the choked up handle, ferrule right behind the heel.

Von blewitt
11-30-2013, 02:21 AM
+1

Chuckles
11-30-2013, 09:37 AM
Where was the balance point with no machi?

Marko Tsourkan
11-30-2013, 02:33 PM
Where was the balance point with no machi?

That knife was smaller - 230mm, but the balance point was still forward, I would guess 1.5" from the handle.

M

Notaskinnychef
11-30-2013, 02:40 PM
Love the idea of a heavier knife. With big ham fists like mine, I like to have such styles of knives

JohnnyChance
11-30-2013, 04:14 PM
Where was the balance point with no machi?

About an inch.

brainsausage
11-30-2013, 05:46 PM
About an inch.

Black radish?

JohnnyChance
11-30-2013, 06:35 PM
Yep

brainsausage
11-30-2013, 10:38 PM
Sweet. I love those little bastards. Derailing over. Carry on.

Marko Tsourkan
12-01-2013, 10:14 AM
I will wait for a little more feedback on this knife before making some more knives in this geometry, but I am cautiously optimistic. Thanks folks.

M

Marko Tsourkan
12-16-2013, 10:49 PM
Just want to mention that asymmetric heavy chef's knife will be with a D handle, though there will be two versions - with machi and without.

Thanks,

Marko

Von blewitt
12-16-2013, 10:55 PM
Without Machi for me please :D

daddy yo yo
03-18-2014, 10:14 AM
Marko, can you type us a quick summary of the heavy chef's knife?

If I understand correctly, there are 3 types available?
1. heavy convex ground (similar to Kato but from a thinner stock),
2. sword ground (similar to Heiji)
3. modified sword ground (sword grind on the right, and convex on the left)

Further options are available for the handle:
- wa (with machi)
- wa/western hybrid (no machi)
- western

Is that correct?