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View Full Version : The Dark Side.... Carbon Steel at it's best



DwarvenChef
06-16-2011, 04:18 PM
So while I was admiring my wall of carbon steel happiness I was currious what may have changed or sprung up in the care and feeding of the lovely Dark Side of kitchen knives :)

I have noticed allot of mustard finishing going on, love the way you are getting the patterns to show up :) Personally I let mine all patina naturally with use as I like it more that way. One great thing is that there is no wrong way to have a patina and they all look great.

As most know I'm out on the branch with my love of carbon steel, only having my LR Harners for stainless knives. I find I don't even look at or consider a stainless unless forced into the issue.

I'm also currious about new developments in stones that like or dislike carbon steel. Yes I know this is a box of worms but after years of messing around I have noticed a difference on my own stones. 99% of the time these issues will not effect the avg user here, but if your like me and are out there in the dark side these issues may have some weight.

So lets see what rattles loose... Who else is out in the dark :)

Mattias504
06-16-2011, 04:36 PM
DC, I'm with you in that most of my knives are carbon steel. The only stainless knives I rock nowadays are a Konosuke and a couple of Nenox.(actually I just got a ginsanko usuba, too) I have forced a patina or two in my day, but I find that a natural formed patina gives a knife character that a forced patina just doesn't provide.

Dark side 4eva!!

Potato42
06-16-2011, 04:38 PM
I'm with you buddy, love the carbon! Don't forget the KU finish either :)

One of my future projects is to gather information on different carbon steels and their patina characteristics. How fast, what color, and methods of forming/forcing a patina. I thought it might be a nice way to put www.patinababy.com to use! We'll see.



BTW I heard Darth Vader takes a nice patina :lol2:

Mattias504
06-16-2011, 04:51 PM
Yeah his lightsaber is carbon steel....

BertMor
06-16-2011, 05:32 PM
I heard cutting beef with a virgin unpatina'ed blade turns a pretty bright blue. My Misono honesuki did not. but its getting nicely along. Personally I am not a fan of forcing patina. Unless its neccessary for some reason, let it grow naturally

stevenStefano
06-16-2011, 06:03 PM
I find that you have to use a knife first to form any sort of patina. I have tried for force a patina on the 2 carbon knives I have as soon as I bought them but nothing happened. Used them for a week in work and the patina formed very quickly. Might be some sort of protective coating on them while they're shipped. The pattern I put on them disappears very quickly, the nice blue colour covered up with a bronze/brown colour

Seb
06-16-2011, 08:58 PM
The tip of my carbon Sab is darker than the rest of the blade, almost black. Then I realised this is because I use it to carve roast chicken a lot and the tip is the part that spends most time buried in hot chicken flesh.

Heat makes a big difference, that's why roast beef, etc, does such a great job at starting that big blue patina.

ScottShepherd actually told me this a while ago at FF but I forgot all about it.

When I get around to it, I may try heating the mustard before applying it.

mainaman
06-16-2011, 09:20 PM
I have only 2 tojiros and 2 petty left that are stainless and I do not use them at all.
I totally switched to carbons a few months ago.

Cadillac J
06-16-2011, 09:34 PM
DC,

You've always been a carbon advocate, as well as being the undisputed Hiromoto AS king, and one of my inspirations early on to try a non-stainless knife.

Shortly after my original Tojiro back then, I ventured into carbon and didn't look back for over a year. But recently I find myself favoring high-performing stainless/semi- like in the Suisin IH and Konosuke HD. I still love and use my white#2 and AS knives, but prefer the others as of late.

Please don't hate me.

EdipisReks
06-16-2011, 09:34 PM
the only gyuto i have that's stainless, at this point, is my Hattori FH (i don't count the Tojiro gyuto that i lent and haven't seen in months). i have a Shun petty and parer that are stainless, but i don't really use the petty and i use my Robert Herder Windmill carbon parer 95% of the time i use a parer, so i don't know if either count. i love carbon. i used to force a patina, but i just let it happen naturally, these days.

El Pescador
06-17-2011, 01:09 AM
Big stuff is carbon, little stuff is stainless. I like my blazen petty and my Hattori FH parer. I do have a Del Ealy petty on the way. Very excited about that!

Pesky

Potato42
06-17-2011, 10:20 AM
I do have a Del Ealy petty on the way. Very excited about that!

Pesky

It's a fine knife, you'll love it ;)

Lefty
06-17-2011, 10:38 AM
I've definitely started leaning towards carbon. It began as a result of my Misono Swede gyuto, then grew because of my good friend P Tiger lending me his fuji FKH (which I promptly bullied him into letting me purchase). The carbon love has since grown and I don't see myself going back anytime soon. Although, I am really enjoying my clad funayuki...that still counts as carbon, right? :)
White steel has blown my mind and next on my radar is O1, then I might give 52100 a try.
Even my wife is finding the patinated (that's the correct term :p ) blades increasingly appealing.

DwarvenChef
06-17-2011, 04:04 PM
Whoot :) All the usual suspects popped up :) Love you guys lol.

I did find a few stainless blades I'll not part with only due to sentimental reasons. A Chicago Cutlery bio curve 1" parry (first kitchen knife I ever purchased age 13), a Messermeister 3" Chef (fathers-day gift from my daughter) and of course the set of 3 LR Harner Chefs 7.5", 8.5", and the 11.5" this was a set made for each family member for Christmas a few years ago. Oh ya the knife I went through culinary school, but it's retired awaiting engraving...

Yes the KU finish is ever present in mind :) I still scan through sites and only look at the KU offerings it seems. Keeps me from staying on any one site to long as to add something to the cart :p Lucky for me most don't carry many pieces and or don't list them visually.

While I LOVE my Carter Nakiri and use it regularly, my top fav KU right now is the Konosuki usuba I got on the group buy, amazing look and texture that is a small step up from Takeda's work. And I LOVE Takeda's KU finishes :)

I still need to get a few makers KU stuff just to have them :)

BertMor
06-17-2011, 05:33 PM
Whoot :) All the usual suspects popped up :) Love you guys lol.

I did find a few stainless blades I'll not part with only due to sentimental reasons. A Chicago Cutlery bio curve 1" parry (first kitchen knife I ever purchased age 13), a Messermeister 3" Chef (fathers-day gift from my daughter) and of course the set of 3 LR Harner Chefs 7.5", 8.5", and the 11.5" this was a set made for each family member for Christmas a few years ago. Oh ya the knife I went through culinary school, but it's retired awaiting engraving...

Yes the KU finish is ever present in mind :) I still scan through sites and only look at the KU offerings it seems. Keeps me from staying on any one site to long as to add something to the cart :p Lucky for me most don't carry many pieces and or don't list them visually.

While I LOVE my Carter Nakiri and use it regularly, my top fav KU right now is the Konosuki usuba I got on the group buy, amazing look and texture that is a small step up from Takeda's work. And I LOVE Takeda's KU finishes :)

I still need to get a few makers KU stuff just to have them :)

The Shigafusa KU nakiri is a mighty fine looker too. Surprised you never splurged on one

mikemac
06-18-2011, 11:22 AM
The Shigafusa KU nakiri is a mighty fine looker too. Surprised you never splurged on one

Splurged?
I picked mine up at the same time as a Takeda nakiri. The Shige was less expensive, larger, and straight! Granted, nothing is a 'rustic' as Takeda's finish, but Shiges' won't flake off in your food either.

DC- I'm suprised and impressed (?) - it seems like you've never gone on a binge at A-frames...they seem to have the best collection of multi-maker kuro. I would think one weekend dealing ice up there in central hell and you would have enuf green to fill your cart :wink:

DwarvenChef
06-18-2011, 04:26 PM
The Shiggy has been always on my mind, So many to choose from :p I guess because I already have a Carter Nakiri that I never jumped on the Shiggy one. Other than the Nakiri and Santuko I have not seem many KU shiggies. But I also haven't looked around much lately.

I was working on my blades yesterday and the bug hit me pretty hard, had to go for a ride to distract myself. It was so nice to have the H AS 300 Gyuto in hand again :) I also put a fresh coat of Camilia oil on the blades and handles (sans Ho wood), and the Ironwood Burle just lit up under the lights, I've got to get my daughter to get good pics of them (when her Contender sells)... I also got caught up in the patina on the Hiromoto HC, my first Japanese kitchen knife. The depth of years in the patina, the wear marks from a pinch grip, the near shiny area near the spine and bolster where foods never seems to reach. Ya I was going crazy yesterday lol :p