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View Full Version : Delbert Ealy 245 mm O1 gyuto review



tk59
08-31-2011, 12:24 PM
I started working with Del on these over a month ago at the request of a mutual friend. This knife is the culmination of several drafts and improvements in the consistency and fit and finish are still being made.
I can honestly say that Del has finally made an excellent knife. It is 2 mm thick at the spine over the heel and tapers slowly until it reaches the secondary bevel (sharpenersí terminology) whereupon it tapers dramatically to an exceedingly thin point. The knife is on the stiff side, similar to DTITK or Carter esp considering it is quite thin. It owes its stiffness to the height of the blade at the heel ~60 mm making it the tallest knife Iíve considered adding to my arsenal. While it is about as tall as a Takeda, I much prefer the feel of Delís knife. Delís O1 at 61 hrc is well known for easily taking an excellent edge and it holding quite well. It cuts very well at the tip in this incarnation, rivaling some of the best knives Iíve used and the heel feels solid and is able to handle tough jobs with virtually no release issues. The handle is just like Delís other handles, very unique to Del and very comfortable. I personally like the darker, more dramatic redwood burl piece on this knife better than most but thatís just me.
What I didnít like was the left-handed grind, lol. Slices released perfectly when I cut potatoes left handed in careful, even slices but stuck quite well on the right side making the same cuts. I was surprised because 4 of 5 of the other drafts he ground were about even or slightly right-handed and released well from both sides. The knife was a full cm shorter than I specified, as well. The latest knife had the spine and choil eased as opposed to rounded and a small amount of HT scale (or other blackish material) was still visible in some places. There were a couple of holes in the board contact which also made sharpening impossible. I did fix this and the knife was passed on to a very happy left-handed individual.
In conclusion, Del has officially made an excellent or even outstanding performing knife by my own personal standards. As he becomes more comfortable with this type of grind, I expect his blades will be more consistent. Iím looking forward to owning one in the future.

El Pescador
08-31-2011, 06:32 PM
Damn you TK59! I was going to write a review of this knife myself. I am the lucky left-handed knife knit that chanced into it. I guess I get to do the long use/edge retention review. I will say that it feels very substantial in hand, the handle is awesome (thanks again TK59!!), and initial cutting impressions are fantastic; awesome tip, very thin behind the edge, and Carter-esque blade profile.

Pesky

tk59
08-31-2011, 08:58 PM
Point of clarification: The knife tapers slowly from handle to tip until the secondary bevel is reached whereupon it tapers dramatically.

El Pescador
08-31-2011, 11:07 PM
Here are some phone pix.
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1549&d=1314842755

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1548&d=1314842642

kalaeb
09-01-2011, 12:49 AM
Hmm, maybe time for a new phone?

Dang that redwood almost looks like black palm. Very figured. Nice!

Delbert Ealy
09-01-2011, 04:06 AM
Sorry, I will get better pics this weekend

I hope so, in the rush I forgot to take any myself. Those are worse than any I have taken. Here are a couple from another knife with the same materials, but a slightly lighter colored redwood.
Del

tk59
09-02-2011, 06:21 PM
I'm telling ya, it's the microscope.

Oh, and I take exception to the smart dude from Cal Tech. He should be smart enough not to talk about something he has no clue talking about.

He would be just as lost in a room full of cooks as I would be in room full of academics. And you can bet I'm not going to try to tell them about physics.
Microscopes are GOOD. :viking: As for the dude, I just couldn't believe he could take Heijis and Carters and a pretty darn good DTITK, etc. to a pile of onions and think they perform like a $20 cleaver from the chinese market down the road... Seriously, I would take the knife and it would just about drop through a huge onion and he'd pick up the same knife and the same onion and wedge it half way through over and over and over again. :bashhead:

JohnnyChance
09-02-2011, 06:25 PM
Microscopes are GOOD. :viking: As for the dude, I just couldn't believe he could take Heijis and Carters and a pretty darn good DTITK, etc. to a pile of onions and think they perform like a $20 cleaver from the chinese market down the road... Seriously, I would take the knife and it would just about drop through a huge onion and he'd pick up the same knife and the same onion and wedge it half way through over and over and over again. :bashhead:

User error. Technique counts for some too. I assume at least 99% of the people have competent knife skills at least.

Cadillac J
09-02-2011, 07:33 PM
I would take the knife and it would just about drop through a huge onion and he'd pick up the same knife and the same onion and wedge it half way through over and over and over again. :bashhead:

I've had this experience many times. The people 'ooh and awe' when they see me do it, but they have a lot of trouble. Just goes to show most people have zero idea how to cut efficiently

Justin0505
09-07-2011, 04:55 PM
The thing that really irks me (and many self-proclaimed knife knuts are guilty of this too) is people that develope skill and technique for one particular type / style of knife and then try to use evey other knife that they pick up the same way. It's like learning how to use a katana and then picking up a fencing foil and saying "oh this is crap, because it doesn't work like my katana". No, your skills with that blade are just crap; learn how to fence. The craftsman that blames the tool is usually lacking skill and creativity.

Yeah, it sounds like Del's newest creation is more along the lines of what's currently in vogue on here, but I don't think that it means that he "finally made a good knife", it just means that he made a different style blade than the thin, flexy stuff that he made before (which seemed to be a very popular style during the blade thinning fad a short while ago).

I'm sure the new blade is awesome though and I bet everyone else is with me in wanting to see some more pics and video of it in action.

tk59
09-07-2011, 05:45 PM
...it sounds like Del's newest creation is more along the lines of what's currently in vogue on here...

I guess you can say that but the knife is still not the flattest knife around, nor is it thick being 2 mm or less at its thickest point, the heel is pretty tall, too. The feel is unlike any other knife I've tried out. I'd characterize your statement as a bit of a stretch, really.


...I don't think that it means that he "finally made a good knife", it just means that he made a different style blade than the thin, flexy stuff that he made before...

Yes and no. Yes, it is a different style (less ultrathin German and more very thin Japanese). The reason the new ones are superior in cutting performance has nothing to do with flexibility and everything to do with geometry. That isn't an opinion. It is physics. (unless all you're doing is mincing herbs or something)


...(which seemed to be a very popular style during the blade thinning fad a short while ago)...
The "fad" to which you refer rarely saw thinning an entire blade. It was really about thinning behind the edge and in some cases adding convexity (or some semblance of it) to an otherwise flattish blade geometry. This fad is alive and well. To reject thinning (or thickening) is to embrace a one edge fits all mentality and to ignore thinning is is to leave untapped performance on the table.

JohnnyChance
09-07-2011, 06:38 PM
A convex grind or blended bevels style blade is not a fad. It has just been talked about extensively recently. Every successful knife company has some sort of similar grind on their knives. Even the ones we don't like, but are still successful with the mainstream do (yes I am referring to Shun and Wustof and companies of their ilk). And the ones who do it extremely well (Shigefusa, Carter, Masamoto, Heiji, etc.) have long been regarded as some of the best performing cutters out there. If you can make a knife that cuts like a Shige or a Carter, your knives will be popular for years and years, regardless of current trends. They are actually excellent proof of that, seeing as they both have significant "cons"; the Shiges highly reactive cladding and Carter's poor handles and inconsistencies; do not out weigh their sheer ability to cut food. Even with tons of other knives out there that perform reasonably well and have great handles and low/non reactive steels, people are still lining up and waiting for a Shigefusa or a Carter.

Delbert Ealy
09-07-2011, 10:06 PM
Its now been almost 2 years since I really become interested in kitchen knives, which started with me meeting a german kitchen knife maker Roman Landes, he was a guest demonstrator at the ashokan knife seminar. He brought a couple of damascus slicers with him to the show and I was hooked. I came home and made 3 kitchen knives almost right away. One of them sold, one I am still using as my regular kitchen knife, and the final one which is a 225mm gyuto(kind of) that was the knife that Dave Martell saw at ashokan last year. After I met Dave and started talking to him on a regular basis, I also started hanging out at the ITK forum, and also reading posts about japanese knives, some of the ones I went back 2 years. I saw many posts about lasers and also about thinning. So I set out to make some lasers. I was very confident in my work, and Dave once told me it was not possible to go to thin, well I have found out that it is possible to go too thin. With my discovery it seems that the fad of lasers has faded, and that other issues have come to the fore. Given that I have not been a member of this group for long, I cannot say much about past trends, however it seems like any time someone comes along and wants a pure performing knife one name comes up again and agian, and that is Murry Carter. So after my issues with a too thin knife, started to take a hard look at what he was doing, and along with a couple of members of this board worked on redesigning both the profile and the grind. I now understand all the threads about thinning and why it is necessary especially with the convex grind. The feedback I have gotten on my handles has been universally positive, with the design, construction, and the materials I use. I believe that the changes I have made in profile and using the convex grind, I have made a knife that has comparable cutting characteristics to Carters with a superior stee and heat treat, and a fully finished blade with the beautiful handles I am known for. Since they are handmade, or benchmade if you prefer, there will be slight differences between knives, but at this time I believe I am making truely excellent kitchen knives in all aspects.
Thanks,
Del

jm2hill
09-07-2011, 10:48 PM
Del, Love the story. Truly excited to get my hands on your knife!

From the moment I saw one of your Damascus blades on Dave's site I new I would have to save up money for an EALY knife.

Mingooch
02-14-2012, 12:10 PM
Del I know I love the knife I have of yours via Salty. Absolutely love it. Once I sharpened it up on my natural stones it was a dream.