View Full Version : Flex or No-Flext at the Tip

Marko Tsourkan
08-03-2011, 08:12 AM
Depending how a distal taper is formed, there might be some flex present in the tip area of a knife. For instance, Shigefusa has zero flex on most knives, and Bob Kramer chef's 1/3 of the blade from a tip on, is all flex.

So where do you guys draw a line? Many tell me that a thin tip is a must, however, how much of it are we talking about? It can be from .5"-3" from the tip.

Is flex more acceptable in knives like suji, petty and some gyuto? Or should the knife be made as rigid as possible, but still thinly ground (less pronounced distal taper)?

The assumption here is that the knife has zero flex along the spine.


Salty dog
08-03-2011, 08:32 AM
As you mentioned some knives barely flex at the tip and some do. My former Kramer and latest Carter had/have some tip flex. I don't have an issue with it because I use very little lateral pressure when working the tip of the knife.

As long as it springs back in place it can be a good thing but not mandatory.

08-03-2011, 08:40 AM
I would say less flex is better as long as there isn't going to increase the amount of force necessary to make a cut. I'd also say the taper is really important in the last 0.5" or so, as opposed to 3" but I don't think I'd have a problem with either.

08-03-2011, 09:06 AM
I'd prefer less flex

08-03-2011, 09:53 AM
For suji, some flex at the tip is fine. For gyuto, the less flex the better.

Marko Tsourkan
08-03-2011, 10:32 AM
For suji, some flex at the tip is fine. For gyuto, the less flex the better.

Thanks guys. For me less flex on gyuto was the norm for a long time, but I came to like a thinner tip area on my current knife (about 2") that comes with some flex.

I measure flex by putting a tip on the board (blade flat on the board) and applying pressure on the tip area by lifting handle up and pushing down. The give is about 1/8 on my current knife. I don't think I would allow more flex than this, and yes, it does spring back.

08-04-2011, 03:13 PM
I like some flex on the tip of any knife. I have a honyaki gyuto that is just about the perfect specimen IMO. It is thick towards and rigid at the heel but tapers to almost nothing at the tip. Very thin with a good amount of flex. I find that it generally makes for a better slicer and the thin tip helps with detail oriented jobs. Even stuff just like skinning fruit and coring bell peppers.

08-05-2011, 05:39 PM
What I notice flex on very easily is cutting the top off an onion. My 210 petty flexes a lot, but my Masamoto does not. If you make the tip really thin it is very useful, and I'd take a little flex as a fair compromise

08-05-2011, 05:50 PM
Like Salty, I don't put much lateral pressure on my knives, especially while doing tip work, so some flex is okay. I love how solid a Shigefusa feels, but I also like a bit a flexibility some of my other knives have.