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View Full Version : Does your knife have soul?



Peco
10-30-2011, 07:30 AM
Some like all bright an fancy others like patina. Here's a picture of 2 knifes - 1 in each category.

I'm def. for the top one - for me that shows soul, usage - it has a "life" to show. Bottom one look's great too, but for me that is more "dead".

http://zknives.com/cpg14/displayimage.php?album=129&pid=1686#top_display_media

DwarvenChef
10-30-2011, 07:33 AM
Yup I'm with you on that. Museum pieces do little for me, showing some wear and tear while still being safe and functional is a whole lot more attractive :)

mhenry
10-30-2011, 09:00 AM
That's why I am such a fan of KU knives. Lots of soul

Marko Tsourkan
10-30-2011, 09:29 AM
Many carbon steels (including 52100) acquire grey patina over time. Plenty of soul, as far as I am concerned.

ajhuff
10-30-2011, 09:30 AM
I prefer the bottom one. No such thing as a knife having soul. For me.

-AJ

shankster
10-30-2011, 09:35 AM
I like the bottom,shinny one myself.Just because the owner chose to keep the blade in pristine condition,doesn't mean that it doesn't have "soul".Every time you clean/sharpen/work on your blade,you're putting some of your soul back into the knife.
The patina looks pretty cool as well...

Marko Tsourkan
10-30-2011, 09:40 AM
The bottom one is a miroshi deba, so not too much exposure to acidic food and not too much usage in the Western kitchen either. :)

M

ecchef
10-30-2011, 09:50 AM
You can't just judge by the blade. Stainless will never show it's history like carbon. It's the handle tells the tale as well. For me, the 'soul' also comes from the feedback when blade hits board or stone. Some of mine always feel 'distant', if that makes sense.

RRLOVER
10-30-2011, 09:53 AM
Maybe the deba knife was brand new when gator took the pic,I love them both.

aaronsgibson
10-30-2011, 10:52 AM
Depends on how much I really use a knife. If it's a stainless (which I don't use often) then, no, no soul. Carbon yes. As the blade gets used and age it really tells a story. That and you know you put some of your soul into it when it draws first blood :)

Sarge
10-30-2011, 11:18 AM
I would say knives have soul stainless or not there is something there, as long as there is a personal connection between the knife and you. Whether it is a knife you don't use often but you find it more enjoyable to sharpen than others, or something you modified and made a better performer out of.

My moritaka for example the KU scale started coming off from the first use and over the next 8 months I helped it along with green srcubbies, and dealt with the ridiculously reactive cladding. It today looks alomost nothing like most moritakas and if you saw the right hand side of it you'd probably never guess it was one of his knives. I would say it has tons of personality, now my Monzaburo Kiritsuke in Ginsanko, I'd say this knife has more soul, I love the dull grey look of the Ginsanko, the way it cuts, the heft of it....., I love them both but the admiration is different. Wouldn't part with either one or any of them.

Knives definitely have soul and it is personal between you and the knife.

tgraypots
10-30-2011, 11:31 AM
Soul knife.....
This is a 8" slicer I made from used, m42 bandsaw steel. It's thin, maybe 1.55mm the entire length, and came to me that way. I use it, toss it aside for a while, think about it, come back and refine the edge with stones or belts, use it some more, and learn from the whole process. It will probably end up being maybe 6" long by the time I have figured out how to grind it w/o overgrinds, w/o beating up the handle, w/o rounding off the tip, and on and on. Nothing much will be lost but some free steel, several hours of my time and a piece of maple. The knowledge gained will more than compensate for the losses. This knife more than any other I have made has imparted the most knowledge. It's a beater, always has been, always will be; but to me it's soulful.
http://getfile4.posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/temp-2011-10-30/ECGvGJFCsnljeeiJaAcdfJxDmeCapCBDnkJgwxzFlwjEIfFGhl ptiaqitDlh/10-30-11soulknife.jpg

ecchef
10-30-2011, 11:37 AM
My moritaka for example the KU scale started coming off from the first use and over the next 8 months I helped it along with green srcubbies, and dealt with the ridiculously reactive cladding. It today looks alomost nothing like most moritakas and if you saw the right hand side of it you'd probably never guess it was one of his knives.

Moritakas rust like a motherf**ker.
Oh, and there's one sure way to identify a Moritaka...ain't that right Dave? :devilburn:

GlassEye
10-30-2011, 11:53 AM
I have been thinking about this recently as well. I think that the handmade blades and wood handles really show character, patina or not. There are all of those little imperfections or differences, but in a good way, that give each blade it's own soul. A kitaeji blade is like a fingerprint, I would know mine from another by the pattern. The wood handles show signs of being used by their owner's hand, one can really feel connected to the knife and the one who made that knife.

In contrast, when I pick up a Wusthof it feels cold and dead, no character, even if I have sharpened it.

Vertigo
10-30-2011, 11:54 AM
My Misono's got soul. Its had a hard life!

http://www.souppilgrim.com/orglif/misono09.jpg

:eek2:

Peco
10-30-2011, 11:58 AM
The bottom one is a miroshi deba, so not too much exposure to acidic food and not too much usage in the Western kitchen either. :)

M
I know, was just to lazy to find a match and play around in Photoshop :D

Darkhoek
10-30-2011, 12:07 PM
My knives souls come from myself. Especially my latest refurb project (in my blog) where I had to work the steel, had it baptized in my own blood during the process and built my own handle and saya. I doesn't exactly hurt that it is a honyaki blade that has been abandoned by several others but has finally found a home with me. That, for me makes a blade with a genuine soul.

DarHOeK

PierreRodrigue
10-30-2011, 12:33 PM
I can't comment on the end user, but whether starting with steel and forge, or flatbar stock removal, building a knife, going through each stage of the process, shaping, HT, grinding, hand rub, selecting handle materials and construction, all these steps add soul if you will, or character. Harald's restoration as well, will never be looked at the same by him. The sore fingers, lacerations from slips, building handle and saya, all imparts "soul" into a knife. Now, should it ever be sold, will the buyer see it as a new knife that needs soul, or as it is, a knife that was built/restored by hand, with care and soul?

Peco
10-30-2011, 02:32 PM
To restore or build is a whole different ballgame - I have the deepest respect for people who does this put blood, sweat and tears + their soul into these projects! Since I don't make knifes myself my "soul" is not in the buildingdepartment - I'm only a user. When I looked at the picture I posted it got me thinking. To me - the patina knife showed "life". It told a story about the user and it showed usage.

Stainless etc. are cool knifes as well. I got several. Still - this is my opinion - they don't change looks from usages - maybe exept from a few scratches. We are all different which is great. I think some patina's rock - others think it sucks. Ain't life great :D

Darkhoek
10-30-2011, 02:42 PM
After some thinking I believe the soul of a knife can come from several places. Like the old Katana, the blacksmith left a part of his soul to the blade. The sharpener did the same as well as the warrior that owned it and went to battle with it for a long time. Every great happening adds to the blades soul. First for being made and then for surviving the hardships of its owners.

Same thing with kitchen knives. A great chef using and caring for a custom knife for many years in the kitchen will add soul to the knife. The patina is maybe some expression of that soul. The next owner will be the keeper of a piece of history. If a great master blade smith made it and great master chefs have used it I believe some blades will be like a Stradivarius violin after a long time with almost magic properties. That is to me what custommade is all about.

DarKHOeK

stevenStefano
10-30-2011, 02:42 PM
I wouldn't say knives have soul, but at the same time we all have our favourites for various reasons. My favourite I own is my JCK wa-KV8 which is probably the least flashy knife I own. I have thinned and sharpened it so many times it is totally different from how it was new and I never took out the scratches from thinning it, but it performs incredibly well and part of why I love it so much is because it should be about the lowest performance knife I own, but due to its profile changing over time, it is perfect for me.

I think this sums up what I mean

If a great master blade smith made it and great master chefs have used it I believe some blades will be like a Stradivarius violin after a long time with almost magic properties

Sarge
10-30-2011, 03:44 PM
Moritakas rust like a motherf**ker.
Oh, and there's one sure way to identify a Moritaka...ain't that right Dave? :devilburn:

Mine used to have rust issues and to an extent still does, but after a cold blueing and thick natural patina, it is so far less than the original I would say it is no more than any other carbon

tk59
10-30-2011, 03:50 PM
...the blacksmith left a part of his soul to the blade. The sharpener did the same as well as the warrior that owned it and went to battle with it for... I don't know if I'd call it soul or history but this is pretty much how I feel about it. I've put a lot of myself in some of my pieces. Those are special to me. On the other hand, there are those blades that I want to keep pristine and I am constantly appreciating what the knifemaker put into it. Those are equally special on some level. Some are a combination of both.

Peco
10-30-2011, 03:56 PM
but after a cold blueing

Cold blueing - please educate me ;)

Eamon Burke
10-30-2011, 04:06 PM
I like them both! Seasons come and go.

I let my knives build up their patina and whatnot, and every now and again, I refurb them like a nutjob!

I don't really like mirror finishes on anything. My favorite conditions are:
Newer satin finish
or
25 year black patina

PierreRodrigue
10-30-2011, 04:15 PM
Cold blueing - please educate me ;)
Cold blueing is a process by which a blade/gunbarrel, is completely cleaned polished, no oils or waxes, and with the metal bright, the chemical is applied - blueing salts - several applications until the metal takes the depth of "Blue-black" the user wishes, the salts are then neutralized and the blueing complete. Think of it like a deep, dark, even patina, like a gun barrel (those usually done by hot blueing) The result is a metal protected by the patina, and slightly more resistant to rust forming. Not sure how this would do in a food environment, saftey speaking.

Peco
10-30-2011, 04:18 PM
Cold blueing is a process by which a blade/gunbarrel, is completely cleaned polished, no oils or waxes, and with the metal bright, the chemical is applied - blueing salts - several applications until the metal takes the depth of "Blue-black" the user wishes, the salts are then neutralized and the blueing complete. Think of it like a deep, dark, even patina, like a gun barrel (those usually done by hot blueing) The result is a metal protected by the patina, and slightly more resistant to rust forming. Not sure how this would do in a food environment, saftey speaking.

Ahhh, like the Colt's and S&W ... get it ... thanks P.

Sarge
10-30-2011, 04:49 PM
After doing it I'm not sure I'd recommend it based purely on the fact that the selenium(chemical that cases the reaction) smells rather odd. I washed the knife very well and despite the constant smell there was never any transference to food. If I get permission to post attachments I'll put up the photos of the process including smoothing out the rough KU faces of the knife. The blueing did start to rub off after a week when I would wipe the knife and eventually the smell was gone after that its far more rust resistant than before.

kalaeb
10-30-2011, 11:40 PM
After doing it I'm not sure I'd recommend it based purely on the fact that the selenium(chemical that cases the reaction) smells rather odd. I washed the knife very well and despite the constant smell there was never any transference to food. If I get permission to post attachments I'll put up the photos of the process including smoothing out the rough KU faces of the knife. The blueing did start to rub off after a week when I would wipe the knife and eventually the smell was gone after that its far more rust resistant than before.

I have heard of this being done before, but have never seen any pics. I am curious. Sarge, you should be able to upload to a third party cache (photobucket etc...)then link from there.

Sarge
10-31-2011, 02:49 PM
Guess I'll have to open me a photobucket account

Eamon Burke
10-31-2011, 02:52 PM
I use picasa. Less ad nonsense.

Salty dog
10-31-2011, 03:07 PM
One of them does.

JohnnyChance
10-31-2011, 03:14 PM
Nope, but neither do I.

shankster
10-31-2011, 03:48 PM
One of them does.

which one??

Gator
10-31-2011, 04:14 PM
The bottom one is a miroshi deba, so not too much exposure to acidic food and not too much usage in the Western kitchen either. :)
Correct, and on top of that, my fish filleting skillz suck... However, I do use miroshis as heavy gyutos on occasion.

Salty dog
10-31-2011, 06:08 PM
which one??

The one I'm using.

I'm not being flip.

Justin0505
10-31-2011, 06:44 PM
I felt like some of my knifes had soul right out of the box. All of my knifes made by hand by a person came with a soul / personality all their own.
I think that with use / exposure people kind of rub off on their things / things take on part of the character or soul of their user. However, i do think that some things are more absorbitive than others.

As to the OT of photo sharing sites: google's picasa is the best that I've used (and I've used a lot). Their desktop photo manager is also very good and makes uploading albums painless.

apicius9
10-31-2011, 08:48 PM
I don't think my knives have souls, but I do connect memories with pretty much every one of them. Can't help thinking of Fish if I use a knife with one of his handles etc. And familiarity plays a big role. I am currently selling my Nenox 230 slicer because I hardly ever use it. My go-to slicer in that length is my (gasp!) Henckels slicer - the first 'good' knife I ever bought from my own money over 30 years ago... The Nenox is by far the better knife, but the Henckels is so familiar that it makes up for a lot.

Stefan

mr drinky
10-31-2011, 09:31 PM
I don't know about soul, but mine got rhythm.

k.

add
10-31-2011, 09:43 PM
I don't know about soul, but mine got rhythm.

k.

I don't know 'bout no rhythm, but mine got game.

:D

Lefty
10-31-2011, 10:48 PM
Do my knives have soul? Some have a little bit of "I don't know what", for sure. My Carters and my Rodrigue make me feel good when I use them, and it's more than just the performance. The feel warm in the hand, and the cuts are almost intuitive. I often get my fingers within a hair's width of the edge and feel secure, almost as though the blade is being guided by more than just my hand.
My Misono moly feels good because it is light and nimble, with a razor's edge AND it was a gift from wifey. It's great to use but I think I reach for it often because I truly give a crap about it.
My Dad's old Henckels chef has more soul than James Brown and a choir combined. The handle is beaten, the tip is bent about 3-4mm to the left and there are dings all over the spine and choil, but it will NEVER be taken off the rack unless it's being used/washed/moved with the other everydays. There is a concept of "Soul Vessels" that I find intriguing in part because I was raised with antiques/heirlooms all around me, and partly because some items just speak to people. It's a pretty out there concept, an inanimate object containing soul, but then again so is a soul, at all.

shankster
10-31-2011, 11:15 PM
The one I'm using.

I'm not being flip.

I see what you mean..

The Edge
11-01-2011, 01:08 AM
I'm very Shinto in my beliefs that everything has a soul, so I would have to say yes. Though, saying that, there are differences in the quality of that soul. Take for instance a 75 year old butcher's cleaver I have, it's the wise old soul that has seen everything, and has no pretension about it, just gets the job done, shrugs its shoulders, and asks whats next. As for the difference of my 10 year old henckels and some of my hand forged knives, it like comparing a minnow to a sword fish, the sword fish gets the awe every time.

jaybett
11-01-2011, 05:57 AM
No

Jay

RRLOVER
11-01-2011, 07:52 AM
No

Jay

Tell 'em Jay...........It's a F'in knife, oh man my craftsmen screw driver has "soul" :rofl2::rofl2:

Eamon Burke
11-01-2011, 08:17 PM
This has been Eamon, wishing you peace love and souuuul....