PDA

View Full Version : Knife Tips



tk59
11-19-2011, 06:14 PM
In tinkering with knives the last few months, the most interesting design feature is that of the blade tip. For me, the tip work must be nearly effortless for the knife to have any real value. Furthermore, it seems like lots of knives are decent in terms of power-strokes. How about you? What is your MOST IMPORTANT design feature?

Eamon Burke
11-19-2011, 06:34 PM
Face grinds! A crap knife with crap HT and soft steel will be tolerable to use if the face is ground well. Contrast that with the fact that the Damasteel gyuto Pierre passed around(which was the best, most consistently ground knife I've ever used), which was made before he stopped the flat face grinds. It was a great knife with great balance, profile and aesthetics and excellent edge retention, but the drag and lackluster taper made it hard to love.

Great thread idea!

stevenStefano
11-19-2011, 08:49 PM
I like a knife that has a decent sweet spot just back from the tip for chopping, it's incredibly useful

RRLOVER
11-19-2011, 09:00 PM
The knife I owned with the best cutting tip was so thin(good) that it flexed way to much when sharpening(bad).One of my banes when grinding a knife.I would like to find the perfect thickness.

tk59
11-20-2011, 01:21 AM
...I would like to find the perfect thickness. That's been an issue for me, too. My DT is incredibly thin at the tip and cuts great, as expected. The weird thing is my Carter is way thicker but cuts just about as nicely and then there are knives like Heiji and the beastly Zakuri that are quite thick near the tip but still afford nearly effortless tip work. There's definitly a magical balance between thinness and the grind Eamon mentioned...

Citizen Snips
11-20-2011, 01:48 AM
i like a flat belly that has a long sweet spot. i do 90% of my knifework between the heel and maybe halfway up the knife towards the tip. i guess im kinda the exact opposite of TK lol

oivind_dahle
11-20-2011, 04:31 AM
convex grind

mr drinky
11-20-2011, 09:26 AM
i like a flat belly that has a long sweet spot. i do 90% of my knifework between the heel and maybe halfway up the knife towards the tip.

That's me too.

But sometimes when I need a lot of tip work done, I use a smaller knife. My new 165mm gyuto of Fowler's is quickly becoming one of my favorites this way.

k.

NO ChoP!
11-20-2011, 11:42 AM
Not sure exactly what characteristic of the tip it is thats important for you, but for me it is the placement of the tip itself; where it sits; how high it is; how much belly is behind it. When I put the tip to the board, it can't feel awkward. If my wrist is twisted our outstretched, I no likey.

A nice flat spot is high on my list, too...

mateo
11-20-2011, 01:25 PM
I don't know if I own enough knives for me to comment on this... but I think it's down to either profile or thickness, and the interaction they have. I gave a CCK cleaver a very similar edge geometry to my Konosuke and it doesn't cut nearly as well. The Kono just wants to glide through food while the CCK doesn't seem to want to very much for some reason.

jaybett
11-21-2011, 03:39 PM
Out of curiosity, what does the phrase 'tip work' mean? A criticism of a cleaver or nakiri is its lack of tip. The santoku is criticized for an ineffective tip. So why is the tip of a gyuto regarded to be necessary and ideal?

Jay

stevenStefano
11-21-2011, 04:02 PM
Out of curiosity, what does the phrase 'tip work' mean? A criticism of a cleaver or nakiri is its lack of tip. The santoku is criticized for an ineffective tip. So why is the tip of a gyuto regarded to be necessary and ideal?

Jay

Hard to really describe it, but I use the tip of my knives for 90% of things. Basically for everything. Why? Not really sure, but one of the reasons I think is that it is much easier to see when using the tip than if you use the heel area round there. It is also generally thinner than other parts of the knives so cuts a little better I think. Perhaps others have better ideas, pretty much thinking aloud with this

tk59
11-21-2011, 04:41 PM
Out of curiosity, what does the phrase 'tip work' mean? A criticism of a cleaver or nakiri is its lack of tip. The santoku is criticized for an ineffective tip. So why is the tip of a gyuto regarded to be necessary and ideal?When I think of tip work on a gyuto being used as an all-around knife, I generally think of picking stuff out of food items like cleaning meat, cutting leaves off of stems or something like rapidly chopping or dicing something onion-style. Knives with well-designed tips will make these jobs very pleasant to do. Is it necessary? No, but if I don't want to be bothered with switching knives (hence the all-around descriptor), I'd prefer to have something with a tip. I'd rather use a 150 petty for all my work than a nakiri. A cleaver isn't too bad, either but I prefer a gyuto.

SpikeC
11-21-2011, 06:25 PM
See, the thing is you have not been watching enough Iron Chef Japan and Chen San! He can core apples with a cleaver!

tk59
11-21-2011, 06:38 PM
Yeah, we have bare bones cable... Aw, hell. I don't have an excuse. My bad...

Eamon Burke
11-21-2011, 09:03 PM
See, the thing is you have not been watching enough Iron Chef Japan and Chen San! He can core apples with a cleaver!

vids or didn't happen.

NO ChoP!
11-21-2011, 10:25 PM
I think the tip, on a larger gyuto more so anyways, can be equated to a magic wand or a paintbrush....

The most delicate pivot or twist can manipulate the cut with precision.

jaybett
11-22-2011, 12:56 AM
The advantage of a gyuto over knives such as a nakiri, cleaver, or santoku is suppose to be its tip. The edge leading up to the tip of a gyuto is good at completing slices. Which makes gyutos a better slicing knife, then a nakiri or cleaver. But curving the edge up to the tip takes away from the flat edge, that is good for push cutting or chopping. The lack of a tip on a nakiri or cleaver makes it a better push cutting and chopping knife, then the gyuto.

The other advantage of curved edge would be to rock chop. Which is frowned upon in the forums.

Are there any other functional advantages to a tip?

Jay

JohnnyChance
11-22-2011, 01:14 AM
The advantage of a gyuto over knives such as a nakiri, cleaver, or santoku is suppose to be its tip. The edge leading up to the tip of a gyuto is good at completing slices. Which makes gyutos a better slicing knife, then a nakiri or cleaver. But curving the edge up to the tip takes away from the flat edge, that is good for push cutting or chopping. The lack of a tip on a nakiri or cleaver makes it a better push cutting and chopping knife, then the gyuto.

The other advantage of curved edge would be to rock chop. Which is frowned upon in the forums.

Are there any other functional advantages to a tip?

Jay

The curve doesn't take away that much of the flat edge. Most nakiris and santokus have are much shorter than the more popular sized gyutos, and the flat spots on them are nearly as long as most nakiris and santokus.

In addition to delicate or smaller cuts, I often use the tip of a gyuto for pull-through slices of thin stuff when I don't want to disrupt the piece and keep the slices stacked together.

jaybett
11-22-2011, 04:33 AM
The curve doesn't take away that much of the flat edge. Most nakiris and santokus have are much shorter than the more popular sized gyutos, and the flat spots on them are nearly as long as most nakiris and santokus.

In addition to delicate or smaller cuts, I often use the tip of a gyuto for pull-through slices of thin stuff when I don't want to disrupt the piece and keep the slices stacked together.

A 165mm nakri has a larger flat edge then a Tadatsuna 300mm gyuto. A 225mm Tadatsuna cleaver has twice the flat edge then the 300mm Tadatsuna. To be fair a 270mm Moritaka kiritsuke gyuto flat edge is three inches longer then the Tadatsuna cleaver.

In general I think it would be fair to state that a nakiri has a larger flat edge then most popular sized gyutos.

The pull through cut, if it is a series of horizontal cuts, then a thin tipped gyuto, would do a better job. If the cut is placing the tip of the knife above the veggie and pulling or drawing it through the veggie, then a nakiri or cleaver would be better at the job.

Not to say that a flat edge is the ideal. A flat edge knife with no curve can be jarring and if long enough is awkward.

I'm interested to find out, if the tip on a knife provides a capability that can be demonstrated over a knife with no tip. Or does it come down to personal preference?

Jay

stevenStefano
11-22-2011, 06:41 AM
I think the importance of flatness of a blade profile is a little overstated myself. It is sorta like how Jon always says on knives like usubas it is good to have a little curve near the tip, I think if you're doing the Japanese-style thrust cutting, you're moving the blade back and forth anyway so it doesn't matter so much how flat the blade is. If you're doing straight up and down chopping then you need a flat edge but I find on most of my gyutos the sweet spot near the tip is enough for this sort of thing anyway.

mr drinky
11-22-2011, 09:48 AM
Not sure exactly what characteristic of the tip it is thats important for you, but for me it is the placement of the tip itself; where it sits; how high it is; how much belly is behind it. When I put the tip to the board, it can't feel awkward. If my wrist is twisted our outstretched, I no likey.


I agree with this. I tried the Addict a while back and the tip was too high behind the curve near the tip and I had to angle my wrists very unnaturally to use the tip. The tip on my DT ITK and Fowler, on the other hand, are much more usable and comfortable for me. Stubby tips are not to my liking.

k.

JohnnyChance
11-22-2011, 01:26 PM
The pull through cut, if it is a series of horizontal cuts, then a thin tipped gyuto, would do a better job. If the cut is placing the tip of the knife above the veggie and pulling or drawing it through the veggie, then a nakiri or cleaver would be better at the job.

I disagree. The thin tip (height wise) means less surface area and drag on the product, so the stack of veg is less likely to be disturbed that with a full width cleaver or nakiri.


I'm interested to find out, if the tip on a knife provides a capability that can be demonstrated over a knife with no tip. Or does it come down to personal preference?

You just said a tipped gyuto would do a better job on a series of horizontal cuts. Or were you referring to something else? Obviously personal preference will play a part no matter what.

I actually love cleavers, and have a few nakiris, a gyuto is just a little more versatile. It is an all arounder, it's designed to do nearly everything pretty well. It may not be the best at any one thing, but it can be pretty close.

tk59
11-22-2011, 02:37 PM
Maybe it's all personal preference, lol. You gotta wonder why 99% of the knives out there have tips on them. Even a cleaver has a tip. It's just not that pointed.