View Full Version : Fowler grinder sale knives

Chef Niloc
09-19-2011, 10:03 AM
Ok who got them? In his last post he had the first batch getting shipped out but I have not seen any reviews posted up yet, what do you guys think of the knives? I'm still waiting on mine, shouldn't be to much longer now.

Andrew H
09-19-2011, 10:51 AM
I got one. I don't post reviews as I am not nearly as experienced as other people on the forum so it usually doesn't make sense to but here goes:
I have been able to use an earlier Fowler (pre-convex grinds), and I own one of the grinder sale knives.
Stephan's W2 is great, it sharpens very easily and can get sharper than any other steel I've tried. Edge retention is kind of hard to judge in my home kitchen but it seems to be fairly good. It isn't particularly reactive (a little onion browning, not much) but I put on a mustard patina anyways.
The handle is great, a wa box elder burl with cocobolo ferrule. Very comfortable and looks nice. My knife weighs in at 260g, which for me at least is on the heavier side.
You can tell the convex grind does help somewhat, the knife does still stick to potatoes - but not as much as his earlier knives do.

Onto what I would change:
The tip needs to be raised. I reprofiled it a little bit on a 400 grit stone (took forever by the way), but out of the box it was almost a funayuki or something. For comparison here is a WIP shot of the profile of the earlier knife (it was a gift for someone) and then a finished pic of a knife from the same batch with an identical profile (the picture of mine disappeared from the thread somehow)

Old profile:
http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/3662/fowlergyuto1.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/24/fowlergyuto1.jpg/)

New profile (before I lifted up the nose a little bit):
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/6038/gyutofinished3.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/8/gyutofinished3.jpg/)

The only other major gripe I have is the spine is only rounded around a third of the way down the blade, which is sufficient for almost every task in the ktichen. It is uncomfortable when you are putting both hands on the blade for something really tough like squash, etc.

Overall I really enjoy the knife and it gets considerable use. For the price he sells them at I think they are very good, and if he moves back to his old profile and made a few minor touches he could become a very popular maker here.

Just to be clear: All of this is my opinion based on my rather limited use of high quality knives. Also if anyone has any questions feel free to post them here or PM me.

Chef Niloc
09-19-2011, 11:06 AM
I think you wright/ wrote a nice review. Covered a lot of good points, and gave honest insight. Don't judge your self, and this goes out to all "new nuts" on how much experience you have with knives. I for one like a " new user" point of view and I think it's very helpful to the makers to here what both new users as well as more experienced ones have to say. I thank you for stepping up first, it's way to easy for "newer" members to be swayed by what the older members have to say.
A knife review is total opinion, no right or wrong in my book.

El Pescador
09-19-2011, 02:19 PM
Good review.

Eamon Burke
09-19-2011, 05:38 PM
Indeed, all honest reviews are helpful. A good maker can tell what you mean by what you say, even if you don't know why things are that way, and they can sort out the info for themselves.

An honest opinion from an ignorant bystander is better than all the ravings of an obsessed fanboy.

I do notice that the Fowler profile is uber-flat, but I kinda like it. Sorta specializes the knife in doing things the parer and slicer don't, you know?

Andrew H
09-19-2011, 06:21 PM
I do notice that the Fowler profile is uber-flat, but I kinda like it. Sorta specializes the knife in doing things the parer and slicer don't, you know?

That's a good point. Also there are some things where it is nice to have (not joking here) around 150mm of dead flat steel. No accordion cuts here, no sir.

09-19-2011, 06:50 PM
An honest opinion from an ignorant bystander is better than all the ravings of an obsessed fanboy.[/QUOTE]

Quote of the week:thumbsup::thumbsup:

Salty dog
09-19-2011, 07:20 PM
He continues to tweak the edge profile but I appreciate him making a statement of style. I think he's bringing the tip up in his most recent work but sticking with a relatively flat edge.

I have a couple of his later works and I find myself using them more often than I thought I would. He's also making the machi smaller and handle more symetrical.

09-19-2011, 08:12 PM
I got one as well, could not pass on the deal although I was going to wait to get my first carbon blade. I have not been able to use it all that much to tell you anything useful, especially since I just got a DT ITK not that long before so I am splitting my limited time trying to get use to them both. I have been mostly using it on meat, specifically flank steak and have no complaints. Have not sharpened it yet, but the edge was pretty good ootb.

I think I need to start over on the patina and force one since I am about 1.5 block from the beach, and I noticed some rust on the side of the blade that rests up (no room for mag strip, have not gotten a block that can accomidate multiple large knives yet, so resting in box on the counter). Hopefully a full patina and actually storing it in a block will help this since there is very limited drawer space in my kitchen. Any suggestions on other ways to protect it in high salt air?

Also, I think there is plenty of information out there on forcing a patina, or at least talking about it, but what is the best way to remove one? I read Flitz paste, or something like that, in another thread. What are my options, and any pro & cons?



Eamon Burke
09-19-2011, 10:05 PM
Carbon knives were what I grew up with, less than a mile from the gulf. A 20 year patina did the trick.

09-19-2011, 11:08 PM
beautiful knife. That handle is fantastic.

09-19-2011, 11:19 PM
I've got one of Stephan's nice handiwork as well, but I haven't gotten in a whole lot of time on it yet. My first impressions though is that it's a beefier geometry with a beefy handle. It's no featherweight.

I personally like the flatter profile, but I'm going to have to spend more time using the knife to get used to the geometry. Straight OOTB at the moment, it's a different experience from what I'm used to using. Build quality is very nice, and I think the handle and blade both look very good too. It just feels different in the hand and in-use (for the 3 times or so I have used it thus far) compared to the other gyutos I have been using. I just need to get used to it, that's all.

I've mentally categorized it as a "western deba" kind of knife, although I have honestly never actually used a western deba. Making thin slices of cold cuts isn't this knife's forte. I'm gonna have to see how it feels when preparing a proper meal rather than just prepping a few snacks. I have a hunch this knife is gonna love going through piles of harder veggies.

09-20-2011, 05:37 PM
I put in for a damascus blade. It's time to pick a pattern, but I have not seen much of his damascus (only a couple patterns are shown on his blog/ web site). Anyone have a damascus knife from him with a pattern other then 'random' that you can photograph/ post? I sent him an email last week asking if he had any pics, but have not yet heard back. TIA,