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View Full Version : OK, another stupid newbie question about knife profiles and techniques



welshstar
12-30-2011, 02:12 PM
OK

This is potentially a dumb question but i need edumacating on something please.

When im using me newer knives ( gyuto's ) the profiles seem to be slightly curved around the belly. Example shown in this suji ( apologioes to catchside if im out or order borrowing his pic )
3364


Well when im slicing things like tomatos and particularly when im chopping herbs i cant get clean cuts all the way through, i get little trailing connecivity. Now im assuming its because of the curve of the knife edge.

Is there a technique that im missing ? i can understand say on a tomato how you can slice more but when your chopping how do you get clean cuts ? or do I need a special knife with a flat edge for chopping ?

Sorry if being dumb here !!!

Alan

stevenStefano
12-30-2011, 02:21 PM
You need to move the knife back and forth, not just up and down. Definitions of cutting motions are worthy of a whole forum themselves but I think that is the simplest answer. If you cut just straight up and down (chopping to me) you need a very flat knife because the area of the blade you are using is very small. Therefore if you move back and forth you are using more of the blade and I'd describe this as thrust cutting. Chopping is way quicker but you need a very flat knife, whereas with thrust cutting the profile is pretty much irrelevant. There is also draw cutting which I use a lot, and Salty uses in some of his videos I believe which would do the same job when you're cutting tomatoes, in that you will get good clean cuts. I like knives with a large sweet spot as in knives with a large flat area just back from the tip, because that's just me, I rarely use the heel area. Many people prefer knives with a large flat area near the heel, just depends on your cutting techniques

For herbs I always rock chop

Like I say, it's impossible to define techniques but that's my 2 cents

welshstar
12-30-2011, 02:34 PM
Steven

Thanks, i can get the push or pull with the slice but what the heck is rock chop ? chopping herbs for example, i dont get how you can do anything else except a direct downard impact ?

BTW, the kono working out good ?

Alan

slowtyper
12-30-2011, 02:39 PM
Also even if you use a dead flat blade for chopping, remember your cutting board may not be dead flat

Johnny.B.Good
12-30-2011, 02:46 PM
Thanks, i can get the push or pull with the slice but what the heck is rock chop ? chopping herbs for example, i dont get how you can do anything else except a direct downard impact ?

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2877-Strokes-4-New-Folks

stevenStefano
12-30-2011, 02:52 PM
I totally forgot about Salty's vid, would probably have been better for me to post that instead of saying anything

Alan, yes the Konosuke is working out very well thanks. The tip looked good as new after I sharpened it once and it has performed very very well. Wish I had got a 270 ages ago. It is currently off getting rehandled

Vils
12-30-2011, 02:52 PM
When I rock chop I rest my left palm near the spine's end and move the hangle up and down while moving the knife from left to right and back. Like a pendulum.

Johnny.B.Good
12-30-2011, 02:58 PM
I totally forgot about Salty's vid, would probably have been better for me to post that instead of saying anything.

I just watched it again; great video. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words! I couldn't begin to describe what Salty is doing on camera (and don't do much better emulating it in real life!).

welshstar
12-30-2011, 03:20 PM
Still not qute getting this rock chop

echerub
12-30-2011, 03:25 PM
Still not qute getting this rock chop

Think of using the knife like one of those big paper cutters some classrooms or art studios have. Use your off-hand to hold the knife down at the "fulcrum" or "rocking point" (neither is quite correct, I know) on the spine of the knife, and your regular hand just raises and lowers the knife handle over and over again.

You're using the belly of the knife on the board to rock up and down, up and down like what a rocking chair's rails do.

welshstar
12-30-2011, 03:28 PM
OK, i get it now.

Ill try it tonite on some mint

Cadillac J
12-30-2011, 05:48 PM
I have not used rocking technique (which is the traditional 'tip on board' choo-choo train rocking motion that most European knives are made for) for anything since getting into Japanese knives. People always mention that they need to use one for herbs, but for me a good ole' push cut does the job great like it does for everything else...just have to get used to it.

And when I say push/pull cut, I personally refer to down with slight forward or backward movement.

Eamon Burke
12-30-2011, 06:07 PM
1. Grab the knife, and put the heel in contact with the board.
2. Lift the handle up, but keep the edge in contact with the board at all times.
3. Lift until only the tip area of the knife is touching the board.
4. Lower the handle in the reverse fashion, the edge is always in contact with the board.

That is a rocking motion.

obtuse
12-30-2011, 08:57 PM
I also use the forward thrust cut for most veggies. like any technique it just takes a little practice.

Edit,

I also tend to use the the middle to heel of the knife for this.

EdipisReks
12-30-2011, 09:29 PM
the first thing i do with a knife is flatten the heel, and then thin, so i don't suggest rocking. it's a wasteful motion, imo. i typically chop with just a small forwards or backwards motion applied to a push cut. the forwards and backwards motion is just enough to help set up the next cut.

ThEoRy
12-30-2011, 11:13 PM
Think of it like the action of a locomotive wheel. How the bar connecting the wheel works.

Cadillac J
12-31-2011, 12:10 AM
Think of it like the action of a locomotive wheel. How the bar connecting the wheel works.

That is exactly how I've always thought about it too, but you vocalized it better...looks like I spent too much time with my little cousins over the holidays.

choo-choo train rocking motion.

hambone.johnson
01-04-2012, 12:58 AM
the first thing i do with a knife is flatten the heel, and then thin, so i don't suggest rocking. it's a wasteful motion, imo. .

+1 ... im a push cut convert about 2 years ago, took about 6-8 months to get fast and consistent at it but the amount of product you can cut in a short amount of time if you can push cut efficiently is rewarding. the pull cut is the same motion IMO just bakwards, i use it as per salty's recomendations too. i think the learning of the push cut also lends to being more efficient and technical with the downward chop if your using a square blade (usuba or nakirii) or heel... shaving or julliane onions en mass as an example.

-J