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David Metzger
11-30-2011, 02:28 AM
I go over and cook for my parents,(79) about once a week, just lately. They must have the worst knives in the world. 2 or 3 serrated no name cheapos, A thick and tall 5", very dull and a plastic handled chef knife, 7" thin and dull. I was looking for a cutting board but they just have a couple Corian cut out boards from when they had their kitchen remodel. An interesting side note is they like nice things. They just don't realize their knives don't work!

I have mentioned there are knives that would make their life easier and the benefit of cutting boards. Anyway they will be getting a Gyuto from me (and cutting board). Anyone else have friends or relatives with "REALLY BAD KNIVES".

TamanegiKin
11-30-2011, 02:45 AM
My mom refuses to use a Sharp knife lol.
Most prep and line cooks I've worked with also don't have a knife close to Sharp.
I think in these two cases though most of the reasoning is that It's safer to use a dull knife or a Sharp knife is dangerous.

obtuse
11-30-2011, 03:29 AM
I nearly cut my pinky off with a sabatier that hadn't been sharpened in over a year. good knife though.

apicius9
11-30-2011, 04:05 AM
I had given my Mom a rehandled VG10 knife but she wouldn't use it because it was too sharp, so I took it away from her again... A friend of mine was left with a full $20 knife block after his divorce (his wife took the $40 block with her...), and I gave him an old Henckels chef knife - I occasionally cut things at his place... Anyway, a few days ago another friend called out in the kitchen while she was cutting something. When we looked, she said "I didn't do anything, the knife just fell through the tomato". I think not having sharp knives is really more the norm than the exception, we are a very small (but growing) group of nerds ;)

Stefan

jackslimpson
11-30-2011, 12:14 PM
Seriously, I have never encountered a sharp knife anywhere outside my own house. If I spend any time at all at someone's house, I will be drawn into the kitchen, and will do what I can to sharpen their pathetic knives. I've started to bring along my Takeda hand held stone, and a 250/1000 King, and a diamond steel whenever I travel to friends or families houses. To the horror of one of my nephews, I spent half an hour stropping his mother's "big chef knife", a Henckels 8", on a cinder block paver I found in the garage. It was rendered useable, though I had to steel it often. (I'd been recruited to cook dinner for everyone that night). So many of the knives I've encountered are so dull, I'd end up using their bread knife (I don't know why, but as bad as most of the knives are, many folks have a decent serrated bread knife). A friend of mine, who's family owns a restaurant somewhere, has her house stocked with Nella knives. Have you seen these things? Big multicolored plastic handles, light concave ground complex bevel knives whose blades are so weird and light, they feel like their made of aluminum. I saw on some show once that these knives are typically rented by restaurants, and once a week, they rotate the old one's out for new one's that have been sharpened on some coarse grinder. These are some of the worst knives I've ever seen.

The older people in my family have knives that have some archeological value: ancient, rusty steel knives with blades deformed from years of attempted sharpening on the edges of ceramic bowls, etc. My dad has one that has both scales swinging free like gates, held on by one remaining rivets, the other two having given up decades before. He still uses it, gathering it all up in his hand before going to town on some innocent piece of sausage. He has another one that looks like it might have been an Old Hickory, but know is deformed and rusted ... I call it "The Murder Weapon."

I don't know how these people get anything done.

Cheers,

Jack

Eamon Burke
11-30-2011, 12:51 PM
My coworkers. The knives they make their living with would confuse you.

stevenStefano
11-30-2011, 12:59 PM
Couple of times I forgot my knives in work and it is maddening using crappy house knives. It is hard to put into words how much easier it makes your job not having to use blunt Victorinox knives all the time. Another thing to point out is that I think getting used to super-sharp knives takes a lot less time than people think. After about a week or so I got used to it, just needa be a little more careful with your technique that's all

mpukas
11-30-2011, 01:05 PM
Mid October I went back east to visit my folks and one of my cousins and her husband who came to town to also visit my folks. My mom is a serious snob - she thinks she's a connoisseur - and has amassed an absurd amount of kitchen wares. She has a big Wusthof cherry knife block and every slot has a knife in it. Most are older Henckles she's had for years, but now there are a couple of Shun's and some other really cheap Japanese made knives mixed in. Styles are 8" chef's, santoku's, and a 2 maybe 3 nakiri's, a couple slicers & utilities and many small parer's. She's got a t least 3 of everything. They're all dull and they all suck.

I brought my GS stones back to sharpen some of her knives. I only used the 1k and 4k. No need to go higher. I prolly went through about 12 or more knives. Cutting new bevels and refining the edge. Some of the them took a decent enough edge; some just would not. And the edge retention was marginal. I've never used a Shun chef's knife before, and MY GOD are those things horrific!!! Never mind that an 8" knife is too short for me, everything about the knife sucked - except for the handle which I quite liked. Everything from the faux-Damascus cladding to the ridiculous belly curve to the silly "ganton" edge or what-ever-the-f**k those things are. Just plain awful!!!

And on the other side, the GF's mom has horrid knives as well. When we first got together 8+ years ago, I bought her some cheap Calphalon stamped knives f/ BB&B - a chef's and a slicer I think. Those were a HUGE improvement over what she had been using. She's since bought a Chef's Mate electric sharpener and keeps some of her knives w/ a acceptable cutting edge. However, she still loves some of the cheap dull small/parer's she's always had - she thinks she'll cut herself w/ a sharp knife doing in hand work like peeling apples, etc. A couple summers ago a remarked on how sharp her knives were (before I got into J-knives and sharpening) so she told me about her Chef's Mate, and consequently we got one for X-Mas... I used it a bit on my G-knives (again before J-nives) and it really doesn't do that good of a job.

It's been less than a year since I found this crazy world of Japanese knives and sharpening. When I came back from visiting my folks I realized how jaded I've become so quickly! I've always like to have and use good kitchen cutlery and equipment, and thought I kept my knives sharp. Now I've seen the light!!!

Lucretia
11-30-2011, 01:17 PM
My dad has one that has both scales swinging free like gates, held on by one remaining rivets, the other two having given up decades before.


LOL! I don't remember who had it, but somewhere in the family was (and probably still is) a knife just like that! Although as I think about it, there may have only been 1 scale left.

tk59
11-30-2011, 01:48 PM
How about friends with decent knives that can't seem to stay sharp? That's crappy, isn't it? The other day, one of them told me they don't just throw their knives in the sink anymore. I took a look and they were wet, sitting neatly piled in the sink next to the dirty dishes and everything else rather than under and in between dishes sitting in pool of water. I guess it's a start...

El Pescador
11-30-2011, 01:55 PM
How about friends with decent knives that can't seem to stay sharp? That's crappy, isn't it? The other day, one of them told me they don't just throw their knives in the sink anymore. I took a look and they were wet, sitting neatly piled in the sink next to the dirty dishes and everything else rather than under and in between dishes sitting in pool of water. I guess it's a start...

I trying my best, bud.

cnochef
11-30-2011, 01:55 PM
My Dad has the full Cutco block, that he is quite happy with for now. However, he is an engineer and understands the value of spending money on good tools. So, he is quite interested in my knife and sharpening obsession and wants to see my kit when I come to visit.

cnochef
11-30-2011, 02:04 PM
Seriously, I have never encountered a sharp knife anywhere outside my own house. If I spend any time at all at someone's house, I will be drawn into the kitchen, and will do what I can to sharpen their pathetic knives. I've started to bring along my Takeda hand held stone, and a 250/1000 King, and a diamond steel whenever I travel to friends or families houses. To the horror of one of my nephews, I spent half an hour stropping his mother's "big chef knife", a Henckels 8", on a cinder block paver I found in the garage. It was rendered useable, though I had to steel it often. (I'd been recruited to cook dinner for everyone that night). So many of the knives I've encountered are so dull, I'd end up using their bread knife (I don't know why, but as bad as most of the knives are, many folks have a decent serrated bread knife). A friend of mine, who's family owns a restaurant somewhere, has her house stocked with Nella knives. Have you seen these things? Big multicolored plastic handles, light concave ground complex bevel knives whose blades are so weird and light, they feel like their made of aluminum. I saw on some show once that these knives are typically rented by restaurants, and once a week, they rotate the old one's out for new one's that have been sharpened on some coarse grinder. These are some of the worst knives I've ever seen.

The older people in my family have knives that have some archeological value: ancient, rusty steel knives with blades deformed from years of attempted sharpening on the edges of ceramic bowls, etc. My dad has one that has both scales swinging free like gates, held on by one remaining rivets, the other two having given up decades before. He still uses it, gathering it all up in his hand before going to town on some innocent piece of sausage. He has another one that looks like it might have been an Old Hickory, but know is deformed and rusted ... I call it "The Murder Weapon."

I don't know how these people get anything done.

Cheers,

Jack

Nella is a foodservic equipment supplier, based here in Toronto. They do indeed rent and sharpen knives. They rebrand Italian Sanelli knives as Nella Cutlery, these are very soft 54rc knives and I can't find out any information about the steel used at all. One seller, however, actually claims that they are made from surgical steel. I highly doubt it. They are very common in cooking schools, much like Forschner or Victorinox. These are some of the worst knives I have ever seen, for sure!

Eamon Burke
11-30-2011, 03:46 PM
Worst knife I've ever encountered was a Farberware that I sharpened for someone's coworker. Never have I returned a knife to a paying customer telling them that their knife really sucks. I mean, the worst cutting knife-shaped object I've ever used. Ever.

half_hack
11-30-2011, 04:04 PM
Nella...

A really crappy nella knife is basically what got me going on the slippery slope of knife addiction... so they do have a use... The owner at Knifewear basically laughed at me (he's a buddy so it was cool) when I showed it to him and the rest is history...

The Edge
12-01-2011, 12:10 AM
A while back when I was actually cooking for a living, I showed up at work expecting to do some major cleaning, and instead was thrust into manning the carving station at their expensive brunch. 2 hours into service, the exec chef walked up to me, and told me I looked like I was struggling to cut the meat. Having a blister on my hand, I was probably a little short with him, and said, "If you would have given me notice, I would have brought my knives... Instead, I'm using the dullest piece of $h*t I've ever seen." He then pushed me out of the way, grabbed the knife and attempted to slice the leg of lamb. A little while later, he returned with one of his knives. Sadly, it wasn't much better.
Then, a couple of years ago, I was asked to slice about 50 lbs. of flank steak for my sister's rehearsal dinner. My dad got out a nice cutting board for me, took out a slicer, and about half way through the first one, I told myself I wasn't about to go through that again. Stopped, went out to the garage, and grabbed his sharpening stones, and put a livable edge on it. I probably told him that dull knives were dangerous, and he should take better care of them. Which still baffles me to this day, since he's the one that taught me how to sharpen knives.
Now, to avoid all the drama, I never go anywhere without taking along a knife, or just flat out refusing to use their stuff if it isn't well kept. I know I come off like an ass for telling them that, but as much as I was lectured when I was younger, it's my turn to return the favor :D

tk59
12-01-2011, 12:41 AM
Worst knife I've ever encountered was a Farberware that I sharpened for someone's coworker. Never have I returned a knife to a paying customer telling them that their knife really sucks. I mean, the worst cutting knife-shaped object I've ever used. Ever.You should try a Hampton Forge knife. They make Farberware edge taking look good.

sachem allison
12-01-2011, 02:06 AM
LOL! I don't remember who had it, but somewhere in the family was (and probably still is) a knife just like that! Although as I think about it, there may have only been 1 scale left.

Yeah I think my mom has that same knife.

David Metzger
12-01-2011, 04:01 PM
I guess bad knives and bad edges are the norm. I got into knives when I realized how soft and bad my kitchen knives were when I got a couple very good folders. I found that when I sharpened to about 20 degrees inclusive, they chipped and deformed, even at 40 degrees they deform too easily. I guess scary sharp is for people with a little training and that pay attention and want to be an efficient cook.

It seems clear that a huge percent of the population just don't know what they are missing! They will buy machines to cut stuff never knowing they could do it faster with a good knife and good skills which aren't so hard to learn. Oh well, maybe the masses are better off with a 4mm spine, 8" blade, 40degree edge chef gyuto or santoku.

Lucretia
12-01-2011, 04:06 PM
Yeah I think my mom has that same knife.

And it will probably be passed down as a family heirloom...

mr drinky
12-01-2011, 10:44 PM
Nella is a foodservic equipment supplier, based here in Toronto. They do indeed rent and sharpen knives. They rebrand Italian Sanelli knives as Nella Cutlery, these are very soft 54rc knives and I can't find out any information about the steel used at all....

Just FYI, I do have a Sanelli knife (though not a Nella) and the steel says X60 CR MO V 14. Correct me if I am wrong, but the X60 means it is .6 percent carbon, probably 13 percent chromium, and the rest molybdenum and vanadium. The X60 is actually a higher carbon content than other production knives.

k.