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DanB
11-09-2011, 08:42 PM
New to this forum. Am shopping for a new chef's knife. Not absolutely new to them (have had some decent ones) but not an enthusiast like some on this forum.

Have had a Global G-2 and found the handle too small for my hands (though liked the way it cut). Have had a Wusthoff Classic and wasn't that impressed. Recently bought the new Henckels Twin Profection since a review indicated it was ground at 15 degree bevel, which is not the case. Was not impressed. Sent it back to Cutleryandmore where I got it (they were good about the return, considering I had used the knife for over a month and had sharpened it). So at the moment I'm back to my old Forschner's, which is a decent knife, but not something impressive (except its quality at THAT price).

So now I'm back in the market. I would prefer something with a Japanese bevel and would like to use my credit with cutleryandmore, so that limits my options. The current contenders are the new Zwilling Bob Kramer carbon steel 8" or 10" (think I want to go bigger this time); the 10" Kasumi; and the 9.5" Mac Professional. Chad Ward loves the MAC and has reservations about carbon steel. I've handled and cut with the Bob Kramer in a SLT and was mighty impressed.

So my question is this: should I share those reservations? Is the MAC a safer choice? I know the Kramer is going to need extra attention, but will the edge suffer from increasing microrusting? And as for the MAC, I'm thinking: do I really need a knife better than what Thomas Keller uses :-) Anyone use the Kasumi Damascus?

Thoughts appreciated.

Eamon Burke
11-09-2011, 09:22 PM
If you like the Zwilling Kramer, and can afford it, get it! If you've handled a knife you really liked, just buy that one. No need to hunt around.

tk59
11-09-2011, 09:29 PM
That's sound advice but I also think there is something special about wielding a lighter knife.

DanB
11-09-2011, 09:34 PM
That's sound advice but I also think there is something special about wielding a lighter knife.

I agree. I found the Zwilling Kramer quite light, in sharp contrast to the Shun Kramer, which they also had. Haven't handled a MAC in some time, so I kinda want to refresh my memory. Don't have a SLT where I live but am traveling to Seattle next week, and they do. There's also Epicurean Edge there :)

JohnnyChance
11-10-2011, 01:30 AM
I have a Zwilling Kramer and I like it a lot. It is pretty well behaved compared to some other carbon knives. It is big compared to most other j-knives, but it isn't heavy. I find the blade to be quite nimble. I would also strongly suggest the 10" as opposed to the 8". I think the 8" is too short for it's heel height, and if you rock at all you will be swinging your arm through a big arc to get the heel up over product while keeping the tip on the board. The 10" gives you extra length to keep the knife angle shallower.

Lefty
11-10-2011, 05:37 AM
Having never handled a Z-BK, i'm going based purely on recommendations of others here, but I say get the Kramer. You already like it and if you feel the need to pull a stainless knife, you have your Global (which cuts well, and has almost zero rust capabilities, it seems).
Go carbon and let us know how much you end up loving the patina and little bit of extra attention you have to pay to the knife.
I love carbon, but I pull a stainless blade a fair bit on my lazy nights. :) With that being said, my next blade wil likely be another carbon, which will likely tip the scales in that direction as far as my collection is concerned.

DanB
11-10-2011, 10:14 AM
Having never handled a Z-BK, i'm going based purely on recommendations of others here, but I say get the Kramer. You already like it and if you feel the need to pull a stainless knife, you have your Global (which cuts well, and has almost zero rust capabilities, it seems).
Go carbon and let us know how much you end up loving the patina and little bit of extra attention you have to pay to the knife.
I love carbon, but I pull a stainless blade a fair bit on my lazy nights. :) With that being said, my next blade wil likely be another carbon, which will likely tip the scales in that direction as far as my collection is concerned.

As carbon steel knife users, do either of you guys ever oil your knives to protect them against rust? I've heard some ppl do this. Just curious. Not sure why carbon makes me nervous. I NEVER leave knifes unwashed and undried in my kitchen, and I have carbon steel pans (de Buyer) that I have no trouble keeping rust free. I guess I have Chad Ward's concerns in the back of my mind. But the Zwilling Kramer is VERY nice. Somewhere else on this forum, I read a thread by a custom Kramer owner who bought the Zwilling and could not detect any significant difference. That's impressive!

DanB
11-10-2011, 10:16 AM
Having never handled a Z-BK, i'm going based purely on recommendations of others here, but I say get the Kramer. You already like it and if you feel the need to pull a stainless knife, you have your Global (which cuts well, and has almost zero rust capabilities, it seems).
Go carbon and let us know how much you end up loving the patina and little bit of extra attention you have to pay to the knife.
I love carbon, but I pull a stainless blade a fair bit on my lazy nights. :) With that being said, my next blade wil likely be another carbon, which will likely tip the scales in that direction as far as my collection is concerned.

Actually, gave the Global to a friend! But if I'm in a context of possible knife abuse (e.g., visiting cooks!), then I can pull out the Forschner!

I do wish Global would make knives for someone besides Japanese housewives. I need a man-sized handle!

NO ChoP!
11-10-2011, 10:34 AM
Cutleryandmore has the Cermax on clearance....

tk59
11-10-2011, 10:36 AM
Extra care means wiping with a damp cloth periodically during a cutting session and then adding a dry cloth to the ritual if you're going to pause for some reason. The slower you are at cutting, the more wiping you're going to need to make. It also depends on the knife and the development of a patina but you'll figure that out as you get to know your knife. As for oiling, that's unnecessary unless you aren't going to be using it for a long time or you live in Hawaii, for example.

stevenStefano
11-10-2011, 11:10 AM
I'd get a 240 Twin Cermax if I were you. Been thinking of getting one myself for ages

MadMel
11-10-2011, 11:10 AM
I have used the Kasumi Damascus. Its a VG-10 knife. Quite light but I don't really care for the edge retention tho it can get real keen.

DanB
11-10-2011, 11:22 AM
I'd get a 240 Twin Cermax if I were you. Been thinking of getting one myself for ages

I noticed this knife too. What draws you to it? Some of the reviews I read suggest it may be prone to microchipping.

stevenStefano
11-10-2011, 11:47 AM
I noticed this knife too. What draws you to it? Some of the reviews I read suggest it may be prone to microchipping.

It is ZDP 189 steel and is 66hrc I believe so it is a pretty interesting knife. Many members here have one so perhaps some of them will add their input

JohnnyChance
11-10-2011, 02:51 PM
Ehh, forget Chad Ward's concerns. If you already take great care of your stainless knives, and keep carbon fry pans in great condition, you would undoubtedly take great care of your new $350 knife.

mindbender
11-10-2011, 04:39 PM
As for oiling, that's unnecessary unless you aren't going to be using it for a long time or you live in Hawaii, for example.

TK - Just wondering if that's because of the humidity here in Hawaii or something else?

GlassEye
11-10-2011, 04:44 PM
TK - Just wondering if that's because of the humidity here in Hawaii or something else?
High humidity and heat, also an issue where I live, during summer. I have seen rust spots develop in a few days even when oiled.

mindbender
11-10-2011, 04:53 PM
High humidity and heat, also an issue where I live, during summer. I have seen rust spots develop in a few days even when oiled.

Ah. That's what I suspected.

Although the humidity in Georgia, Florida, etc. is much worse than Hawaii, I'll oil my carbon knife as a precaution. Thanks for the help!

DanB
11-10-2011, 06:06 PM
Ehh, forget Chad Ward's concerns. If you already take great care of your stainless knives, and keep carbon fry pans in great condition, you would undoubtedly take great care of your new $350 knife.

Did I read somewhere on this forum that ppl routinely polish their carbon knives with baking soda? Is that just to keep them polished, or does that also protect the metal in some way?

tk59
11-11-2011, 02:34 AM
Ah. That's what I suspected.

Although the humidity in Georgia, Florida, etc. is much worse than Hawaii, I'll oil my carbon knife as a precaution. Thanks for the help!
It's much worse in Georgia/Florida? I had no idea.

JohnnyChance
11-11-2011, 02:43 AM
Did I read somewhere on this forum that ppl routinely polish their carbon knives with baking soda? Is that just to keep them polished, or does that also protect the metal in some way?

If I read that here, I forgot it. I don't polish mine or rub them with baking soda. I let the patina build naturally, use camellia oil if I store the knife (the Kramer comes with a small bottle), and Flitz to remove bits of rust or bad patina. The Flitz will gently remove rust and patina, so you can remove a bit of rust without wrecking the patina on your entire blade. I got some at my local Ace/TruValue hardware store.

tk59
11-11-2011, 02:50 AM
Baking soda would probably help keep your knife from rusting while being polished...

stevenStefano
11-11-2011, 10:16 AM
boar_d_laze at FF was always a proponent of using baking soda on carbon knives, but my understanding is that you use baking soda rather than build a patina. Scrub your knife with baking soda every day after use and eventually the steel loses its reactivity with food and develops a sort of glow. I think you need to do it for a long time though and it doesn't seem to be a common practice.

DanB
11-12-2011, 10:01 AM
Nobody commented on my query about MAC knives. Are they too pedestrian to merit attention in these parts, or do people have genuine reservations about them. I handled one a few years back but would have to refresh my memory about how they felt. Haven't cut anything with one, but I hear they're super sharp and hold an edge very well. Popular with some heavyweight chefs.

Thoughts?

obtuse
11-12-2011, 10:24 AM
I think the zKramer would be way more fun than the MACs. MACs are good but no better than your globals in my opinion.

tk59
11-12-2011, 11:00 AM
Nobody commented on my query about MAC knives. Are they too pedestrian to merit attention in these parts, or do people have genuine reservations about them. I handled one a few years back but would have to refresh my memory about how they felt. Haven't cut anything with one, but I hear they're super sharp and hold an edge very well. Popular with some heavyweight chefs.

Thoughts?
MAC's are nice knives and a step above Globals. The steel is harder, easier to get sharp and thinner, from what I've seen (although they do have a heavier line that I haven't handled in a long time) and the fit and finish is very good. I would say they are on par with the inexpensive Fujiwaras with a touch more hardness, really. A little overpriced, imo but pretty good knives. Globals are just not great although they are still better than anything made out of German steel.

Lefty
11-12-2011, 11:47 AM
Macs are really nice knives, but I'll agree with Tinh, in saying they are overpriced (not terribly, in my opinion). I have gift certificate for a local store that just happens to carry Macs, and I'm tempted to put it towards one, if the price is right.
My biggest complaint with Mac knives is the variance in blade shapes/profiles. I can't figure out why an 8" gyuto is so much different than the same type of knife in a different line.
I wouldn't skip over a Mac if you find you like it.

DanB
11-12-2011, 02:59 PM
Macs are really nice knives, but I'll agree with Tinh, in saying they are overpriced (not terribly, in my opinion). I have gift certificate for a local store that just happens to carry Macs, and I'm tempted to put it towards one, if the price is right.
My biggest complaint with Mac knives is the variance in blade shapes/profiles. I can't figure out why an 8" gyuto is so much different than the same type of knife in a different line.
I wouldn't skip over a Mac if you find you like it.


Yes, I noticed this too. The MBK 80 with dimples even seems angled differently from handle to blade (I'm sure there's a technical term for this that I don't know) than the professional gyuto without grantons. Strange. I know knives are really about the blades, but I can't stand awkward handles, which is why I ultimately gave away my Global and Tojiro DP (don't these guys hold these knives before selling them?!). I just can't remember the feel of the MAC, but I'll be in Seattle next week where I can probably find one to hold. I did love the Zwilling Kramer feel. I guess I just like fat and round. :)

Wagstaff
11-12-2011, 04:11 PM
Mac Professional knives have really good handles. Of course tastes can be idiosyncratic... but those are as close to universally liked handles as any western-handled knives I can think of. I don't have one, but one of the things that got me looking at Japanese knives in the first place was cooking with Macs while visiting a friend. I've made other choices after researching, but for someone who wants stainless, sharp ootb, excellent western handle, pretty damn good profile (unless, again, your tastes are idiosyncratic), and topnotch customer support, it's hard to think of a more natural choice than Mac Pro.

DanB
11-12-2011, 07:18 PM
Mac Professional knives have really good handles. Of course tastes can be idiosyncratic... but those are as close to universally liked handles as any western-handled knives I can think of. I don't have one, but one of the things that got me looking at Japanese knives in the first place was cooking with Macs while visiting a friend. I've made other choices after researching, but for someone who wants stainless, sharp ootb, excellent western handle, pretty damn good profile (unless, again, your tastes are idiosyncratic), and topnotch customer support, it's hard to think of a more natural choice than Mac Pro.

Thanks for this feedback. I was kinda coming to this conclusion too. If I want "safe," I'll end up with a Mac Pro. I'm still kinda hoping I take the plunge and go with the Zwilling Kramer though. Would somebody on this forum whose had a 52100 carbon steel blade for a long while please tell me I have nothing to worry about with regard to maintenance LOL

obtuse
11-12-2011, 08:23 PM
All you have to do is wash it and dry it :)

Eamon Burke
11-12-2011, 10:54 PM
Keep your knife as clean as any knife should be--don't leave food on it, wipe it down, dry before storing. Seriously, a can of bkf will undo 98% of terrible accidents.

Can't believe I'm on the "buy a Kramer" side, but that should tell you something. You know you like it, you are ready to buy it. Don't spend your life with a second choice--carbon steel was used for thousands of years before the disposable age.

Lefty
11-13-2011, 01:46 AM
If you can afford the Kramer, get it! It's been one heck of a crowd pleaser here. Besides, the return policy at SLT is (apparently) second to none.
Carbon is just more fun, if you're willing to keep it properly. (Of course, as I mentioned earlier, a great stainless has its definite benefits, as well).

DanB
11-13-2011, 10:50 AM
Alright, alright, I'm pretty sure I'm sold. I'll go to another SLT this week when I visit Seattle and handle it again. I think I'm just gonna bring a bag of veggies with me that I plan on using to make soup at my friend's place (onions, carrots, celery) to feel it in action again. Haven't handled the 10" yet, which is the one I'm leaning toward.
I'd be getting this from cutleryandmore where I have credit, but their return policy is very liberal as well. But I expect to be happy. Thanks guys.

tk59
11-13-2011, 04:09 PM
Sounds like a plan! Make sure you let us know how you like it after using it a bit. Take notes. We want details. :D

DanB
11-27-2011, 05:53 PM
So I went to Seattle last week and played with the Zwilling Kramer again and yeah, I'm sold. Really nice. Had some hesitations. At one SLT, the end was a bit bent, which gave me pause. And I also had occasion to go to Epicurean Edge in Kirkland (absolutely amazing knife store with incredibly knowledgeable owner). He has apprenticed with Bob, and while having good things to say about the Zwilling rendition, seemed to try to steer me toward other knives in this price range (and some quite beyond!). I just didn't like the wa handles I held; the Kramer feels so natural in my hand (I'm told my hands are on the big side). But boy did the owner know his stuff! Highly recommend a visit to all you knife nuts :)

Eamon Burke
11-27-2011, 06:33 PM
Oh, we are no strangers to EE. His store has made it as an acronym (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?2023-Kitchen-Knife-Glossary).

DanB
11-27-2011, 06:52 PM
Oh, we are no strangers to EE. His store has made it as an acronym (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?2023-Kitchen-Knife-Glossary).

I'm not surprised. Really impressive. Strange though that he both told me that 52100 was the only way to go for a kitchen knife and yet kept steering me toward other Japanese knives made out of other steels.

tk59
11-28-2011, 01:17 AM
...Strange though that he both told me that 52100 was the only way to go for a kitchen knife and yet kept steering me toward other Japanese knives made out of other steels.That's really funny. Sounds like either he doesn't think the Kramer-clone is that good a knife in terms of design or maybe he just has more trouble selling other stuff.

El Pescador
11-28-2011, 01:23 AM
see if they'll let you use a fresh knife as the display knives are usually dull.

DanB
11-28-2011, 01:06 PM
He spoke highly of the Kramer knife and said it was the only thing by Henckels he'd carry in his shop. But he seemed to think it was heavy and the handle was too big. I didn't think it was heavy at all and I love the handle. He seemed to prefer, as he said, something with more precision, though I've never cut with a knife that was as smooth as the Kramer (probably lots of you guys have). He didn't have anything in the store for me to cut, but I did use it at SLT. I think once I expressed my interest in the Kramer and he had a sense of the price range I was thinking about, he was inclined to show me others I might like as much or more. I can't say any of the others drew me in though. I was interested in comparing the Kramer to the MAC, but I'm still going with the former.

DanB
12-09-2011, 02:44 PM
Well, it's finally happened, my 10" Zwilling Kramer arrive two days ago. I do love it. It wasn't quite as sharp out of the box as it could be, but I'll get it there. Otherwise, it fits my large hands very nicely. Might be a tad heavier than some here would like, but very reasonable considering its size. Haven't done any heavy cutting with it yet, but should be able to this weekend. Thanks everyone for the advice!

Johnny.B.Good
12-09-2011, 03:11 PM
Congrats Dan. Let us know what you think of it after you've had a chance to break it in...

tk59
12-10-2011, 12:24 PM
Congrats Dan. Let us know what you think of it after you've had a chance to break it in...+1

DeepCSweede
12-14-2011, 06:05 PM
Glad you like it, I love mine so far. My wife just took me to SLT over the weekend to get me my 40th birthday present. I was leaning towards the 8" but ended up with the 10" Kramer. I have big mitts too and it fits my hand great. Does need a little sharpening out of the box though.

Johnny.B.Good
12-14-2011, 08:03 PM
Glad you like it, I love mine so far. My wife just took me to SLT over the weekend to get me my 40th birthday present. I was leaning towards the 8" but ended up with the 10" Kramer. I have big mitts too and it fits my hand great. Does need a little sharpening out of the box though.

Happy belated birthday!

Eamon Burke
12-15-2011, 01:37 AM
Congrats! A good knife is a great thing to have.

DanB
01-18-2012, 10:26 AM
OK, after a lot of back and forth and looking around, I got the 10" Zwilling Kramer carbon steel chef's knife last month. I have liked it alot. Cuts cleanly, sharpens well, stays quite sharp. But this morning I attempted to cut a beef rawhide for my dogs and the knife not only couldn't go thru it, but the attempt left a gash in the steel! I kid you not. For the record, my Forschner goes thru these easily and has for years. I have a pic of the blade, but not sure how to attach here.
Is it strange that I should expect a high end (at least by my standards) knife to handle such a kitchen task? The knife hasn't seen any bones yet. Would I have to be afraid of splitting a chicken breast with this thing??? Needless to say, it's going back to the vendor. The question is whether I want a replacement or a different knife :-(

SpikeC
01-18-2012, 03:11 PM
What do you mean by "gash"? Did it chip or break?

DanB
01-19-2012, 03:21 PM
No, it literally has a small cut into the steel. I couldn't believe my eyes at first. Have a pic but not sure how to post them here.