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Dave Martell
08-04-2011, 10:27 AM
I'd love to get as much feedback on my knives as possible. I welcome it any form be it good or bad because it's all good as far as I'm concerned. I can't get better without knowing what works or not so PLEASE don't hesitate on providing honest feedback/criticism.

Oh and one thing that I'd really LOVE to see is some patina pictures! :)

Thanks,
Dave

obtuse
08-07-2011, 12:20 PM
+1!

tk59
08-07-2011, 05:47 PM
I'd love to help! Please send me a knife!

Dave Martell
08-07-2011, 05:48 PM
I'd love to help! Please send me a knife!

I wish I could. :D

tk59
08-07-2011, 05:54 PM
Well, it was worth a try...

ecchef
08-14-2011, 01:15 AM
I'm looking forward to it. Come November, I'm gonna be slicing more prime rib than I've ever seen before, or so I'm told! :dazed:

Dave Martell
09-23-2011, 10:52 AM
To the current Martell knife owners, I want to mention again that I need feedback so please don't hesitate to deliver even if (especially if) you have constructive criticism because all feedback is good for me to hear. I would hope that everyone understands that nothing said here is going to change my opinion on you or cause problems between us, I want to be treated just like any other vendor and hear honest opinions so that I can improve. I know that I'll never make a perfect knife but I want to try my best to do that and if you see fit you can help me head in the right direction.

Thanks,
Dave

obtuse
09-23-2011, 11:00 AM
Hopefully soon I'll be giving you feedback! :D

Bryan G.
09-30-2011, 08:29 AM
Aaron you better get some video up buddy! Love your knife. Kinda knife you wanna take to the prom ... because it's so elegant I mean ... ok yea maybe just keep it in the house ... beautiful knife man

Regards
Bryan

obtuse
09-30-2011, 10:13 AM
Aaron you better get some video up buddy! Love your knife. Kinda knife you wanna take to the prom ... because it's so elegant I mean ... ok yea maybe just keep it in the house ... beautiful knife man

Regards
Bryan

Thanks! I can't wait to use it. I haven't done a video before, so no promises on it being good. I will have a review after some testing. I already have an idea that this is going to be the best performing knife I own (not to mention best looking). I want to give Dave some unbiased feedback, so I'll try to remain objective. I can't wait!

Dave Martell
09-30-2011, 01:56 PM
Aaron, it left this morning and you should get tracking info sometime today. I look forward to your feedback. :)

Thanks again,
Dave

obtuse
10-08-2011, 10:04 AM
It's been a little less than a week since I've received the knife. All week I've been testing the knife side-by-side against my Konosuke HD. I've even been dreaming about the knife, if that's any indicator of how much I've been thinking about it. I need to think of a name for it, besides calling it my precious. I'm planning to sit down after work and posting my initial impression. I wish I had more time to write a proper review. Maybe after some time I'll be able to do that too.

Dave Martell
10-08-2011, 11:15 PM
:hoot:

obtuse
10-09-2011, 01:13 PM
Well, I promised yesterday I'd post my thoughts. A Couple of Growlers later I decided to wait till the morning.

I'd like to preface these thoughts with a little bit about how I've been using the knife. I'm a lowly home cook and kitchen knife addict. I have a number of knives in my collection, including at least nine gyutos.

Over the years, since I've first got into knives, I've slowly began to realize what makes a great knife to me. Up until now the best performing gyuto I've owned is the Konosuke White no.2 in 270mm and my trusty Konosuke HD in 240mm. I know a number of us own the HD, so I decided to do a comparison of the HD and the Martell. I did this to organize my thoughts and give some reference point.

Obviously there are a few huge differences in the knives, the steel, etc, but I'm not setting out to compare edge retention and sharpening. I've left the Martell just as I received it and the Konosuke HD still has its stock edge, I've maintained it solely on a boron carbide loaded strop. I'd also like to add that I don't own digital calipers, so everything I have to say about thickness is purely speculation.

Over the last week I've planned our meals to utilize different foods. The first major test item was a 5 pound bag of russet potatoes. Lately, there has been a lot of discussion about how geometry and surface finish affect potato stickiness. Starchy russet potatoes are, to me, the worst offenders. The Martell performed admirably in the potato test, especially in the flat-heel section. I noticed more tendancy to stick near the tip of the knife, when compared to the HD. Usually, a stuck-on potato would be easily shaken off. I rate the Martell highly in the potato test, the triple convex grind does what is promised. However, I believe the HD still has the slight edge when it comes to potato stickiness. I cannot measure what qualities make the HD excel at this, whether it be grind or surface finish.
Here's my arbitrary 1-5 scale for this portion of the test. 1 being stuck like no other (full flat grind syndrome), 5 being cut cleanly in half with two pieces of potato falling to either side.
Potato test: Martell 4.0, HD 4.5

The next portion of my test involves how well both knives perform on herbs and green onions. I tend to push cut with a slight slicing motion while cutting these products. The large flat section on the Martell helped it excel in slicing green onions, I got very clean cuts. The higher blade height made knuckle guiding easy and comfortable. The Martell felt much more productive than the HD in these test. I give the Martell a 5.0 and the HD a 4.0.
I'd also like to note: if you're a rocker with herbs, I tested both knives this way. The Martell is capable of rocking but I don't think this is the ideal use of the blade. The HD, while it has more curve in the profile, doesn't feel good rocked either. For reference, I think the Hiromoto AS is great for rocking to mince herbs or garlic.

On to the next set of vegetables! Tomatoes and Peppers.
The skins of tomatoes and peppers are often used to test knife sharpness. I didn't have a tomato to test on until day 4 when I decided to make salsa. I'd like to say that if you had any doubts about the potential sharpness of O1 it still push cut tomatoes of day 4. Both knives made quick work of these products in their respective sharpness levels.
Martell 5.0 HD 4.5 (not freshly sharpened)
A note about peppers: We all know peppers contain a lot a seeds, especially serranos. No chipping was observed on the edge of the Martell.

Throughout the week I've been cutting onions and garlic. I'd like to note that both knives made quick work of onions. The Martell, thanks to its added height, felt slightly more productive (kind of like a Chinese chefs knife). It was much easier for me to scoop onions of the cutting board with the Martell adding to its overall efficiency. I tend to slice and dice my garlic much like french onion technique. Cutting garlic this way involves a lot of tip work and here's where I felt a major difference between the Martell and the HD. It felt as though the HD is thinner behind the edge at the tip than the Martell. Being thinner behind the edge, it easily sliced into the garlic while the Martell took more effort. For this reason I would rate the HD better at delicate tip work. Again, this is very slight and I have no way to actually measure my claims.
Here are my arbitrary numbers,
Onions: Martell 5.0 HD 4.5
Garlic: Martell 4.5 HD 5.0

Apples! I think apples are a great way to test for wedging, some knives get stuck midway through. I think this has a lot to do with blade geometry and a convex grind definitely excels over a full flat. In my apple test the Martell got stuck before completing the cut and took a lot of force to push through. The HD did slightly better, it didn't get as locked up. I guess this is a good reason apples belong in the domain of pettys and parers.
Martell 2.0 HD 2.5

My next test involved slicing protein both raw and cooked. I tend to slice meat by pulling for heel to tip, adjusting the blade length to match the size of the product being cut, always ending with the tip. My protein of choice is beef (and veal). I deboned a veal shoulder and cut it into cubes for braising. The Martell did very well at this, I even made some accidental bone contact, no chipping. I also sliced up some beef sirloin for chili and rib-eye for stir-fry. the gentle sweeping curve from the flat to the tip made slicing with the Martell easy and comfortable.
I rate both knives 5.0 for slicing protein in western cooking.
Note: I don't slice fish for sashimi and I can't notice the intricacies of fine slicing at my currant skill level.

I have to say that the level of workmanship that went into this knife is top-notch. The blade grind and handle work are flawless to my eyes. The spine and coil are nicely eased. The thought that went into the design of the knife is also high. The profile is a winner, I love everything about it, it makes my other gyutos seem lacking for my style of cutting. the way the spine gently curves to the handle makes holding and using the knife very comfortable.
The blade is perfectly balanced at the Martell logo. This slightly blade heavy design makes you feel in control of the knife. The knife is very light and as a result feels very nimble. Despite feeling very light in the hand, the blade height makes the knife feel beefy and tough, like it's ready to go to work. I'd like to give you some weights for comparison: Martell, 219g; HD, 210g; Hiromoto AS, 234g.
Before end this review, I'd like to comment a bit on O1 steel. I have many carbon steel knives in sk4, shirogami 2, aogami super. I would rate Dave's O1 as one of these least reactive I've used. I had some slight browning of the onion juices on the blade upon initial use. After that, I have not experienced any discoloration or sulfurous smells. The patina is coming along nice and slowly, with some blue streaks here and there. The edge retention has been above average for carbon steel, in my experience. It is still shaving my arm hairs after a week of home use. I bet I can maintain this knife on just strops for a long time to come (not that I don't like sharpening).

The Bottom line: If I had to save one knife out of my burning house, it would be my Martell gyuto.

If you were on the fence about pre-ordering, I say get in line as fast as you can!

Thanks Dave, I really love the knife.

Here are some pics so you can compare the profile and blade finishes:

obtuse
10-09-2011, 01:36 PM
http://i.imgur.com/Q33Yhh.jpg

I'm sorry for the poor, cellphone camera image quality. I'm trying to upload more photos.

Andrew H
10-09-2011, 03:04 PM
Thanks for posting such an awesome review obtuse.

tk59
10-09-2011, 04:33 PM
+1

obtuse
10-09-2011, 06:59 PM
Thanks for the encouragement!
I don't know why apples are such a pita.
My Martell gyuto just passed the jicama test with flying colors. I was able to split the jicama in two with little resistance and no sticking or stearing. I sliced the jicama very thinly with little sticking to the blade. Very nice.

Bryan G.
10-09-2011, 06:59 PM
Sweet! thank you. Someone talk about their suji please? Thanks again

Regards

Bryan

Dave Martell
10-09-2011, 07:22 PM
Aaron, thanks so much for taking the time to write up that review. :thumbsup:

Hey you got me thinking about the apple cutting and it occurred to me that I don't think that I've ever tested a gyuto on apples before. I know that I've cut apples with a gyuto but I never paid attention to how it worked and certainly never compared one knife to another for this task. I'll have to leave the petty on the rack and grab a gyuto to do my apple cutting from now on and see what I can figure out.

It's also good to hear about the tip and that maybe a little thinner might not hurt.

mr drinky
10-09-2011, 07:58 PM
Thanks for the encouragement!
I don't know why apples are such a pita.
My Martell gyuto just passed the jicama test with flying colors. I was able to split the jicama in two with little resistance and no sticking or stearing. I sliced the jicama very thinly with little sticking to the blade. Very nice.

Good review. Thanks.

I actually did the same initially with a comparison to my kikuichimonji TKC and now that Dave will be putting a new edge on both the Martell and my TKC, it will serve for a very good comparison. The edge variable will be eliminated.

Strange that you mention the applies. They are one of my go-to tests also. I cut two large slabs off each side of the core, lay them flat and pull and push cut parallel to the cutting board (not down into it).

k.

obtuse
10-09-2011, 08:31 PM
I'm still trying to figure out what's going on with the tip. I'm going to keep testing and get back to you with better feedback. :)

obtuse
10-09-2011, 08:35 PM
Good review. Thanks.

I actually did the same initially with a comparison to my kikuichimonji TKC and now that Dave will be putting a new edge on both the Martell and my TKC, it will serve for a very good comparison. The edge variable will be eliminated.

Strange that you mention the applies. They are one of my go-to tests also. I cut two large slabs off each side of the core, lay them flat and pull and push cut parallel to the cutting board (not down into it).

k.

I'm going to get more apples and try to use different techniques. I'm thinking about getting digital calipers so I can take some meaningful measurements too.

SpikeC
10-09-2011, 09:02 PM
There has never been a better time to acquire digital calipers, they are inexpensive and accurate. Everyone should have a set!

mr drinky
10-09-2011, 09:20 PM
I'm going to get more apples and try to use different techniques. I'm thinking about getting digital calipers so I can take some meaningful measurements too.

In the next week I am going to be ordering a point-tip micrometer for mid-blade measurements.

k.

obtuse
10-10-2011, 02:07 PM
Update: Just finished touching up both knives on a loaded balsa strop. Both push cut thermal receipt paper with ease. I like that feeling.

Dave Martell
10-10-2011, 02:11 PM
What's the balsa loaded with?

obtuse
10-10-2011, 04:16 PM
What's the balsa loaded with?

1 micron boron carbide. I think it's probably a little coarser than the finish you put on it. Wish I could afford some diamond spray :)

Burl Source
10-10-2011, 09:54 PM
Obtuse,
Thank you for posting your review.
I am learning quite a bit from you guys.
(about the different knives and proper use)

Dave,
It is a beautiful knife and it sounds like it is a pleasure to use.

obtuse
10-16-2011, 02:21 PM
Today I was sharpening yanagiba. Since I had the kitayama out, I decided to give the Martell a few strokes. The knife feels really good on the stones and the O1 polished quickly. I deburred on felt and balsa strop. I don't think the knife really needed it, but I had fun. Maybe for kicks I'll strop on .5 Chromium oxide and see how that feels. Not really informative... but I thought you'd like to know I'm enjoying it. My point is.... On the stones it feels like a knife designed by someone who has sharpened a lot of knives.

obtuse
10-24-2011, 02:52 PM
We're a few weeks out now, so I thought I'd post some updates. The edge was way too refined with. 5 Chromium oxide. I brought it to the stones, bester 1200 and finished on a rika and newsprint strop. I easily shaved half the hair off my arm.
I've noticed a huge difference on carrots and celery vs the HD. The HD seems to cut through carrots with ease. I must use force to cut a carrot in half with the Martel. By force I mean exerting pressure on the back of the spine with my left hand. The HD also fell through celery with ease while the Martel felt more resistance.
The only conclusion I can come to is that the HD is thinner behind the edge. I've noticed that the HD seems to have a very slight asymmetry to the blade faces. The edge on the HD looks almost like a micro bevel even though the HD and Martel seem to have very close bevel angles.
Keep working on getting the edge thinner! Maybe asymmetry is the key.

After each cutting session I've been cutting a woodcraft catalog and shaving my arm hair. The edge retention is pretty good, I'd say about what I'd expect from carbon steel. For my home use i'd touch up on strops weekly and sharpen monthly. I cook about 5-6 nights a week.

Dave, I hope this helps you make a better knife. Keep reaching towards perfection!

Dave Martell
10-24-2011, 03:03 PM
Dave, I hope this helps you make a better knife. Keep reaching towards perfection!


Yes sir it does and I appreciate it - thanks!

obtuse
10-24-2011, 03:20 PM
Whoops! I forgot an L silly me. Sorry I just noticed it now. Now I feel dumb.

Dave Martell
10-24-2011, 03:24 PM
Whoops! I forgot an L silly me. Sorry I just noticed it now. Now I feel dumb.


How dare you! :D

obtuse
10-24-2011, 03:28 PM
If it makes you feel any better I frequently misspell my own name...

Dave Martell
10-24-2011, 04:15 PM
If it makes you feel any better I frequently misspell my own name...


Yes...yes it does. :D

SpikeC
10-24-2011, 07:37 PM
Whoops! I forgot an L silly me. Sorry I just noticed it now. Now I feel dumb.

Idiot!!!!!!!

obtuse
11-06-2011, 06:06 PM
We need more Reviews! I know I'm not the only one... there are dozens of us now.

tk59
11-07-2011, 01:37 AM
Yup. The lack of reviews is pretty weird...

mr drinky
11-07-2011, 09:47 AM
Well, my Martell blade is still on vacation in Pennsylvania. After it gets back I will write something up.

k.

Avishar
11-07-2011, 09:03 PM
I kinda wrote a review I think with a poor quality video? I've been using it pretty much nonstop since I got it, definitely one of the most comfortable and natural feeling knives I've used! As much as I like my other knives I keep coming back to this one. The only issue I've really had is the one section of the blade wedging on some occasions but I think it will be fixable! If anyone would like, I would be happy to answer specific questions, as well as attempt to make videos or take pictures wherever is desired. Let me know!

Dave Martell
11-07-2011, 09:58 PM
Hi Avishar, I had a tough time finding your video and it turned out you actually made a few of them. Here's the review post you did. (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?2256-Martell-3-(P)Re-view) Thanks again! :)

Oh and I hope it's OK that I re-posted them.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cd-OlQkuzp8


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=11Nh_HILYGY


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zJ0cCCYLH7c


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=06LIQJ_L4uI


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CMviFPpRHcQ


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7QeeNEflKf8

obtuse
11-08-2011, 08:31 PM
A few weeks ago I had posted about having difficulty cutting apples. Today I flew through some apples. I guess the variety makes a difference. I also cut some butternut squash and experienced some wedging and some interesting stearing. The stearing appeared to be towards the right going in, then it began moving towards the left midway up the blade. I don't cut squash very often, so I'll make a point to do more testing.

Dave Martell
11-08-2011, 10:18 PM
I'm happy to hear about the newest apples but not so happy to hear about the squash. If you do more of that please let me know what you find.

Thanks Aaron! :)

obtuse
11-08-2011, 10:39 PM
I guess I'll be eating a lot of butternut squash... I might have to make a new thread for winter squash recipes. :)

Dave Martell
11-08-2011, 10:44 PM
LOL ;D

JohnnyChance
11-09-2011, 04:07 AM
A few weeks ago I had posted about having difficulty cutting apples. Today I flew through some apples. I guess the variety makes a difference. I also cut some butternut squash and experienced some wedging and some interesting stearing. The stearing appeared to be towards the right going in, then it began moving towards the left midway up the blade. I don't cut squash very often, so I'll make a point to do more testing.

Interesting. My Martell suji is by far my best knife for butternut squash. Flies right through the stuff. Play around with different cutting motions, often with squash you can find a sweet spot where the motion and momentum of the blade will do the work for you.

Avishar
11-10-2011, 12:37 AM
Hi Avishar, I had a tough time finding your video and it turned out you actually made a few of them. Here's the review post you did. (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?2256-Martell-3-(P)Re-view) Thanks again! :)

Oh and I hope it's OK that I re-posted them.

Nooooooo! :-P I had those videos as link only because I figured they would be of no use to anyone other than for comical entertainment at my terrible knife skills! If making them publicly searchable makes it for your benefit I'll be happy to do it :) I'll be sending her to you soon to see what magic you can work out on again! This time I will wrap the edge doubly to prevent another hole in the case!

tk59
11-11-2011, 01:47 AM
...The stearing appeared to be towards the right going in, then it began moving towards the left midway up the blade. I don't cut squash very often, so I'll make a point to do more testing.Bizarre. I'll be interested to know if you keep on seeing that. I'd be interested to know what happens when you have someone else try it without telling them about the steering and see what they say.

obtuse
11-11-2011, 08:33 AM
Bizarre. I'll be interested to know if you keep on seeing that. I'd be interested to know what happens when you have someone else try it without telling them about the steering and see what they say.


It felt very strange. Hopefully it's something I'm doing and not the knife. Next squash I'm going To push straight down and observe the path.

ecchef
11-21-2011, 06:55 AM
The stearing appeared to be towards the right going in, then it began moving towards the left midway up the blade. I don't cut squash very often, so I'll make a point to do more testing.

Gremlins. Obviously. Gremlins.

obtuse
11-21-2011, 07:50 AM
I was thinking leprechauns

Dave Martell
11-21-2011, 09:24 AM
Well it can't be a problem with the knife. :jumping2:

mhlee
11-27-2011, 04:35 PM
Here's a short review of the most recent Martell 240 gyuto which was mine. I ordered this many months ago, and I finally received it in October.

So far, I've only used the knife for some raw fish, pre-Thanksgiving prep and during Thanksgiving. But, I've really enjoyed using the knife.

First, the first thing I cut was some raw yellowtail. It absolutely just glided through it. The edge was not scary sharp, i.e. I could touch it with my finger without cutting through skin, however, it cut effortlessly, without any drag and great precision.

Second, the balance is fantastic. The balance point is just past the bolster. It has a great feel in the hand and the weight is excellent - not too light, not too heavy. I think the Kauri adds to the balance. This knife, compared to my 240 Hiromoto AS that was rehandled by Dave with, IIRC walnut burl, (Group Buy #2) seems less handle heavy despite the fact that the Hiromoto is definitely a thicker and heavier knife.

Third, the knife is also stiff. There is no flex when cutting despite the fact that the steel doesn't feel very heavy or dense.

Fourth, I can also use a light, modified pinch grip for almost all tasks except for chopping hard items. It's a nimble knife and simply cuts where you want it to go. I noticed no steering whatsoever.

Fifth, chopping near the heel is very smooth. As I recall, it's about as smooth as the DT ITK Western that I used to have. It's much, much smoother than the Hiromoto AS -much less wedging than the Hiromoto, much better precision with the tip - just an all around better knife than the Hiromoto.

Here are also some other things that I noticed.

First, above the midpoint of the knife toward the tip, the knife requires a little extra force to cut through hard items. I noticed this in particular with carrots. The heel area of the knife is smoother when cutting hard items. I don't have a caliper or magnifying glass so I cannot tell if the grind is a little thicker here than the heel area and that this is what is causing this.

Second, I noticed that the knife was not as scary sharp OOTB as my Hiromoto AS was when I received it. While the Hiromoto AS that I received from Dave with his Level II sharpening caused me to cut my finger by just touching the edge, this knife did not do this, which to me, was a good thing as I prefer knives with some bite, which, IMHO, results in better control.

Third, there is some sticking. I noticed some sticking with carrots, celery and onions. I haven't tried cutting potatoes yet, but again, the Hiromoto is noticeably worse.

Fourth, the patina did not start to show until I cut onions. Two drops of water that I did not wash off also left two spots. However, for several days, no patina developed - it kept its beautiful polish after several uses.

Fifth, it doesn't have quite the responsiveness or feel of Japanese carbon knives but I think that's a characteristic of O1. The steel feels light, not dense, similar to Devin's AEB-L. But, it does not have any flex which I absolutely love about the knife.

All in all, I've been really enjoying this knife. I hadn't had a chance to use it much before Thanksgiving, but I gave it a good workout prior to Thanksgiving and during Thanksgiving. As far as how it looks, the bolster is not as yellow as the pictures make it out to be. It's actually more of a light tan and the Kauri is also lighter colored.

Frankly, for those of you interested in the Hiromoto knives that Dave is rehandling, I recommend that you consider spending a little more, and get one of these knives instead. You'll still get a custom handled knife, but a knife that offers better all around performance.

Great work Dave! :yatta:

tk59
11-27-2011, 04:45 PM
Nice! Where's the pic? :)

echerub
11-27-2011, 05:21 PM
I'd still like to get my hands on a wa-handled Martell gyuto ... but, given that at this point I'd be skinned alive for going beyond what I've already claimed as my "last new knife purchases", I can wait a bit :D

Dave Martell
11-27-2011, 06:01 PM
Thanks for the review Michael! :)

obtuse
11-27-2011, 10:52 PM
First, above the midpoint of the knife toward the tip, the knife requires a little extra force to cut through hard items. I noticed this in particular with carrots. The heel area of the knife is smoother when cutting hard items. I don't have a caliper or magnifying glass so I cannot tell if the grind is a little thicker here than the heel area and that this is what is causing this.




:yatta:

This is something I noticed as well.

Dave Martell
11-27-2011, 11:30 PM
I was telling Michael that I can see how I need to make this section thinner. I've been noticing that I keep going back and redoing that section more and more on each knife. This is definitely something that I'm working on bettering with each knife. I'm thankful that you guys pointed it out.

mhlee
12-05-2011, 08:42 PM
Update:

I cut five Russet potatoes yesterday, another onion, some carrots, cucumbers and chives.

First, using about the front 1/4 to 1/3 of the blade, I experienced no sticking when cutting potatoes. I sliced up half of a potato (initially cut lengthwise, then sliced cross-wise), to see if this would cause any sticking. There was no sticking - in fact, the slices of potato stayed on the board, with only one slice disrupting the original shape of the half potato.

Second, there was less sticking when slicing very, very thin slices of white onion (see through thin). Because the knife is not thick and is stiff, I found it very comfortable to do this kind of cutting with the knife; it's the best knife I own for this. (Note: I don't own a laser so I don't have a point of reference with respect to using a laser knife for such cutting, but it's superior to my inexpensive carbon steel usuba, Hiromoto AS.)

Third, there was the same resistance when cutting carrots into lengthwise sticks and then into small chop. Again, the rear portion of the knife felt like it had less resistance than the tip when cutting carrots.

Fourth, it was very easy to do very delicate, fine cutting of chives. About half of the chives stuck to the knife, but I've yet to use a knife that chives did not stick to.

Fifth, some of the cucumbers stuck to the knife. I noticed less cucumbers sticking to the knife when the knife did not have a patina.

It certainly seems like there is a decrease in sticking after the patina started developing.

Dave Martell
12-05-2011, 09:43 PM
Update:

I cut five Russet potatoes yesterday, another onion, some carrots, cucumbers and chives.

First, using about the front 1/4 to 1/3 of the blade, I experienced no sticking when cutting potatoes. I sliced up half of a potato (initially cut lengthwise, then sliced cross-wise), to see if this would cause any sticking. There was no sticking - in fact, the slices of potato stayed on the board, with only one slice disrupting the original shape of the half potato.

Second, there was less sticking when slicing very, very thin slices of white onion (see through thin). Because the knife is not thick and is stiff, I found it very comfortable to do this kind of cutting with the knife; it's the best knife I own for this. (Note: I don't own a laser so I don't have a point of reference with respect to using a laser knife for such cutting, but it's superior to my inexpensive carbon steel usuba, Hiromoto AS.)

Third, there was the same resistance when cutting carrots into lengthwise sticks and then into small chop. Again, the rear portion of the knife felt like it had less resistance than the tip when cutting carrots.

Fourth, it was very easy to do very delicate, fine cutting of chives. About half of the chives stuck to the knife, but I've yet to use a knife that chives did not stick to.

Fifth, some of the cucumbers stuck to the knife. I noticed less cucumbers sticking to the knife when the knife did not have a patina.

It certainly seems like there is a decrease in sticking after the patina started developing.


This is just what I need - follow up feedback. Yeah this helps a ton and is really starting to paint a clear picture for me.

Thanks Michael! :)

tk59
04-17-2012, 11:01 PM
A while back, I had the opportunity to use JohnnyChance's 300 mm sujihiki. I've been lazy about writing a full blown review so I decided to keep it simple.

Fit and finish: A-. This knife was very well finished, in general. The only imperfection I found was an odd spacer that was ruptured/protruding from the bottom of the handle. I don't know how this happened and I have never seen such a thing before. It might be a construction flaw or maybe Johnny was trying to pry the spacer out with an ice pick, lol. I also don't like the feel of the hackberry handle. That's probably not Dave's fault but it is a bit synthetic looking and feeling.

Aesthetics: B. This is just personal preference but the bolster just doesn't do it for me.

Steel: A-. This flavor of O1 sharpens up nicely and easily. I had no problems whatsoever with burr removal, etc. I also thought it was pleasantly less reactive than I expected. The edge retention is nice but not amazing and it touches up nicely on a strop. I was also impressed with the toughness. I was not gentle with it and I did not observe significant chipping.

Cutting: B+. It performs very well for the most part. As a BBQ slicer, it is particularly nice since it has a little weight to it although again, I felt the edge could last a bit longer. I didn't get a chance to play with different edge finishes so I'm sure that could be improved somewhat. It is nice and tall so there is a lot of life in this knife but it also has poorer release than a lot of Japanese sujis. The release is not bad at all though. On some other harder objects, it cuts like it is a little chunky but I had no problem completing the cuts with a little adaptation.

Overall: B+/A-. I think it's a very nice knife overall and a bargain at this price. As a home cook, I'd like to see the cutting be more effortless as an all arounder. If I were going into battle in a pro kitchen, I would probably take this knife over a lot of others though. It's a sturdy knife and the kiritsuke type tip lends some extra strength there for people like Johnny that absolutely kill delicate knives.

I'm sure I left some things out but it's pretty clear to me that Dave's knives work and work well. :thumbsup: I've also tried out a couple of his gyutos briefly and they earn similar marks, I'm sure.

Dave Martell
04-17-2012, 11:16 PM
Thanks for the review Tinh. hey, maybe you'll get to see gyuto #6 one day... LOL :)

tk59
04-17-2012, 11:34 PM
My pleasure, Dave. It always nice to be able to post honest, positive comments on the performance of a custom knife.

#6... Ugh.

I thought for the sake of comparison, I would mention that I like the performace of this suji better than that of a Blazen 270 suji but a bit less than the Kon/Ashi/etc sujis although the Martell is a lot sturdier feeling esp compared to the wa versions; a nice middle ground.

Bryan G.
04-24-2012, 09:55 AM
Dave I still owe a full review, just been focused on work as of late. I just wanted to drop a quick line here and let you know how much I am enjoying it. I still may think 260-270-280 is the best all around sizes for multi purpose stuff, but I am adjusting. I pretty much have been using it for everything. Mainly cutting fish. It's a fantastic slicer and the extra width at the heel makes it a superior chopper over other sujis. The weight I will say again is spot on. It's a perfect blend of thickness throughout the knife and great balance. Everyone in our kitchen loves it too.

Kind Regards

Bryan

Dave Martell
04-24-2012, 10:28 AM
No worries about the full review Bryan, I'm happy knowing that you're enjoying the knife. :)

Dave Martell
05-14-2013, 01:19 AM
I received one of my Martell knives (a sujihiki) for sharpening along with a note that read, "This baby really earned it's paycheck. I made 2500+ roast cuts with this knife in November and only did a touch up sharpening once. Occasionally used the glass rod for honing.....Best performing knife I'll ever own."

Considering that this feedback comes from a professional chef who has had/has more than his fair share of top knives I consider this to be good news. Of course he's a friend too but I trust him to be honest with me. :)