View Full Version : What keeps you going?

03-24-2011, 03:53 PM
In the beginning, we all had that 'wow-oh my gosh moment', when using a Japanese knife for the first time, typically a Global or Shun.

The next big discovery is that there are more to Japanese knives, then Global or Shun.

At this point some people are satisfied that their knives meet their needs, and move on.

There is the group, which likes to explore different manufactures. While their are differences in the knives, the degree of separation between them is low.

Not finding any new knives that are a significant improvement over the old ones, some people move on.

Sharpening opens up a whole other world. While it takes some practice, developing an edge that surpasses one out of the the box, it doesn't take long to learn.

This is another jumping off point. Satisfied with their edges, some people move on.

There have been times, where I know six months ago, I'd been elated to get the edge that I am currently achieving, but now I want more.

What keeps me going? As my knife skills improve, i.e. edges, cutting technique, so does the quality of my food.

So what keeps you going?


03-24-2011, 04:20 PM
Not much on knives, maybe except for collecting a few rare pieces.

Right now, I am into learing not about knives, but cooking techniques, food and what the pros have to say.

I like this forum because the people who hang around here.

03-24-2011, 04:39 PM
I'm still working my way through the main knife types, replacing all the Henckles/ Wusthof, etc. Really only have boning and bread knives left to go. Beyond that, it's heading down the 'collector' road. At this point it's all been knives that are used regularly, but over time I want to score some purdy damascus blades from Devin, Pierre, and Del, and hopefully something from Butch. And maybe something from some of the other makers who have joined this forum. At the end of the day though, the knive has to perform, as none will just sit out on display.

03-24-2011, 04:45 PM
I love trying to cook the point on taste each and every time.

The knife makes it a pleasure using the tool in the preparation.

I've been really using the DT knife but last night I got the IT Tad out, damn, that thing is light, nimble and laser. All the knives put a smile on my face.

Cadillac J
03-24-2011, 07:18 PM
I feel I've already went through my searching/experimenting/collecting phase with both makers, knives(except for single bevel) and sharpening...now I am in more of a maintenance mode, because I completely satisfied with everything else.

The forums are just part of my day now. I like stopping in to see what is new, or try to offer advice or recommendations for others.

Just a good way to waste some time with people that have the same interest as me.

03-25-2011, 02:01 AM
I am still going through the searching and experimenting phase, I love trying different makers and steels to see which I like the best. At the same time I am moving into the sharpening stage, this one may take me a few years.

03-25-2011, 05:27 AM
I feel I've already went through my searching/experimenting/collecting phase with both makers, knives(except for single bevel) and sharpening...now I am in more of a maintenance mode, because I completely satisfied with everything else.

The forums are just part of my day now. I like stopping in to see what is new, or try to offer advice or recommendations for others.

Just a good way to waste some time with people that have the same interest as me.

I could have written that, I feel the same way (well, except that I am still a lousy sharpener...). Sure, there are always knives out there that I would love to have, but I am really happy with what I have now, so that the urge and the low impulse control are not what they used to be. I also feel that to improve on what I have, I would need to move to a price level that I could not justify anymore since I am only a home cook and not a collector. On the other hand, my tax person said I should declare handle-making a business and that would make knives tax deductible. I may have to talk to her again :)


Cadillac J
03-25-2011, 09:41 AM

I'm glad my urges to "buy and try" anything that interests my eye are over(did I just rhyme)...a few thousand can go out the window pretty quickly! You could of asked me a year ago, and I would of told you that I would let go of any knife that I came across, unless it was passing down to my future children.

Now I have this feeling like I have 'matured' in my hobby, and I find myself moving in the opposite direction--I sold 6-7 knives in the past several months because I am trying to simplify everything and don't want a collection of knives just to have them. Of course I would love a custom, but I really don't need to spend over $300 on one knife, especially since the performance of my Konosukes are hard to beat. However, the "buy and try" process and my experiences along the way are what have caused me to have my current views, so I wouldn't change that for anything.

At the end of the day, I am just a sucker for sharp, high-performing kitchen knives that make cutting effortless. Every time I use a fresh-off-the-stones edge and push-cut into some produce, it is like a junkie getting his fix...it feels that good.

03-25-2011, 10:43 AM
Using custom knives from different makers and experiencing different steels. Continued learning and improvement in sharpening.

Citizen Snips
03-25-2011, 10:43 AM
i have gone through a few sets of knives and now feel comfortable that my 3 knives are all im gonna need until they "wear" out. there isn't much more i need as far as knives go and although i would love to collect some "gems" and look into some more different lines, i just dont have the money these days. the profession i have chosen makes me crave sharp and new cutlery but doesn't give me the means to get there. its okay because like i said, i am as happy as i can get with the knives i use.

my last venture will probably be a slow one but is getting into the world of natural stones. i love the security of my synthetic stone lineup and the fact that if one of them gets worn out or chipped or whatever, it is replaceable for a reasonable price. not the same for naturals. they are as individual as knives themselves and need to be treated as such. this is why i am so intrigued.

i am the same as cadillac j in that i like to pop in every day before work to drink my coffee and see what is new with people that have the same sickness as i do. there isn't anyone where i work or people i know that are as into knives and sharpening as i am so its a nice daily reminder that there are more out there :D

03-25-2011, 07:17 PM
Aside from the obvious reasons to buy Japanese knives I look upon them as a craft indigenous to a culture that I admire. A culture where philosophy, religious and otherwise, is tightly bound to a way of life. I have started a collection of yanagibas made by the highest end makers I can find as a way to document for myself this artistic craft that I suspect will have fewer and fewer practitioners as the years go by. Jon Broida has been exceptionally helpful at pointing me towards makers I would never have found by myself. The stuff that is out there is unbelievable.

03-25-2011, 10:09 PM
For me, it's the fun and enjoyment I get from knowing my tools better and sharpening them better. I'm a home cook, so for me it's really just the enjoyment factor.

As an example, I picked up my usuba today for the first time in a long time. I'm usually too lazy to use it - if I need to quickly turn a cucumber, zucchini or even a daikon into a sheet to do whatever with it, I usually do a katsuramuki on it with whatever I happen to have in my hand. Usually that's either a gyuto or a nakiri. I've been known to do the same with a petty on a few occasions as well. But tonight I was prepping all veggies and decided to dust off the usuba and wow, for the first time ever, it was actually fun to use! Katsuramuki with the usuba was so much easier to do well with the usuba than with the double-bevels (duh!) - and this was just on an edge from my early days of learning to sharpen freehand.

It's the fun from learning and fun from improving that keeps me going. I know there's still much more that I can improve in my technique and knowledge, so that's going to keep me going for a while.

Plus, the personalities here keep things interesting all the while ;)

03-26-2011, 04:38 PM
I'm in the collecting stage, I suppose. I feel like I know what an awesome edge is and how to get there but I'm still constantly experimenting with different finishes, stones, etc. I also have this wierd desire to know more. I see someone compare a knife to something I already have and something inside me compels me to borrow or buy the knife to check it out. Right now, I'm really interested in extreme edge retention (holding a super sharp edge), the effects of differential hardening. I'm also interested in razors and although I've never been into "pretty" knives, there's just something about Salty's feather pattern scimitar... Anyway, I know I have a lot to learn yet, I have made some friends here and it's a place to share some thoughts with like-minded folk and that's not easy to find otherwise.

03-26-2011, 06:58 PM
The variety of knife styles and sizes.