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Seth
05-02-2012, 07:47 AM
On gyutos in particular I never paid much attention but I find that a balance point about 1" down the blade feels best to me as this is where my index finger ends up. Is there a consensus on this or is it personal preference? I find that a balance point any closer to the handle forces me to adjust my grip. (Can you imagine what these compulsions sound like to the rest of the world?)
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Eamon Burke
05-02-2012, 10:22 AM
There is no consensus, but I am with you on that one.

Sarge
05-02-2012, 11:24 AM
I prefer things on the blade heavy side, as for a location of that balance point for me it depends on the knife and what I intend to do with it.

tk59
05-02-2012, 11:24 AM
I dunno about having to adjust my grip but most folks I know like a somewhat blade heavy knife, at least for large, all arounders.

wsfarrell
05-02-2012, 11:51 AM
My best-balanced knife is a DT petty. I know it has a balance point, but it doesn't seem to, it just feels perfectly neutral. This is in contrast to knives like the Kono petty, which feel like they don't have a blade, and most other pettys, which feel blade-heavy to me (only in comparison to the DT, though).

VoodooMajik
05-03-2012, 02:15 AM
I'm also the same with a forward balance, let the knife work for me.

Vertigo
05-03-2012, 07:46 AM
Blade heavy.

Namaxy
05-03-2012, 08:22 AM
Forward balance feels best in my hand as well. This made me think of a related question. I prefer heavy knives, but not the thick spined German profiles like Wusthof. I know you could look at taller knives like Takeda, but I am wondering if there are other considerations, such as the actual steel, that keep the weight up without adding excessive thickness?

NO ChoP!
05-03-2012, 08:36 AM
This could be closely related to Wa vs. Western...

I too like a forward balance.

Seth
05-03-2012, 08:43 AM
Forward balance feels best in my hand as well. This made me think of a related question. I prefer heavy knives, but not the thick spined German profiles like Wusthof. I know you could look at taller knives like Takeda, but I am wondering if there are other considerations, such as the actual steel, that keep the weight up without adding excessive thickness?

Neal - Are you out of surgery or are you ipadding from the operating table?

Namaxy
05-03-2012, 08:48 AM
Seth,

Thanks for asking. One hand iPadding from a recliner to keep the mind off the pain

StephanFowler
05-03-2012, 09:19 AM
Forward balance feels best in my hand as well. This made me think of a related question. I prefer heavy knives, but not the thick spined German profiles like Wusthof. I know you could look at taller knives like Takeda, but I am wondering if there are other considerations, such as the actual steel, that keep the weight up without adding excessive thickness?

you would need some very very sophisticated equipment to find any difference in weight from one type of steel to another.
the differences would be in the thousandths of a gram in most cases, due to the specific gravity of the alloying elements and their respective percentages.

it really has everything to do with the geometry and profile, as well as how much meat is left in the tang.

handle material selection plays a very important role as well. Maple weighs less than half of what an ironwood would weigh which will throw the balance forward significantly.

Deckhand
05-03-2012, 12:23 PM
you would need some very very sophisticated equipment to find any difference in weight from one type of steel to another.
the differences would be in the thousandths of a gram in most cases, due to the specific gravity of the alloying elements and their respective percentages.

it really has everything to do with the geometry and profile, as well as how much meat is left in the tang.

handle material selection plays a very important role as well. Maple weighs less than half of what an ironwood would weigh which will throw the balance forward significantly.

Good info. Something I normally wouldn't ponder. On shorter customs could definitely effect things. Thanks.

VoodooMajik
05-03-2012, 01:52 PM
This place makes me think of stuff I would never even consider. ha ha Gravity of alloying elements by proportion in blade steel.

The handle material is an interesting thing to consider though.

kalaeb
05-03-2012, 02:13 PM
This place makes me think of stuff I would never even consider. ha ha Gravity of alloying elements by proportion in blade steel.

The handle material is an interesting thing to consider though.

Handle material varies greatly from wood, stabilization process etc. Very difficult to get it perfect. For wa handles you can hollow out the handle, but for westerns, apart from drilling some holes in the tang, which sucks, you are stuck unless you change the shape.

VoodooMajik
05-03-2012, 02:18 PM
Interesting. I've learnt so much here. Definately something to consider when I give a re-handle a shot with one of my cheaper knives.

JohnnyChance
05-03-2012, 02:25 PM
Handle material varies greatly from wood, stabilization process etc. Very difficult to get it perfect. For wa handles you can hollow out the handle, but for westerns, apart from drilling some holes in the tang, which sucks, you are stuck unless you change the shape.

And even then, you are replacing a small amount of steel with some epoxy, so it's not like you are lose a ton of weight.

Like others said, handle material can be significant. Also, full distal taper vs a very slight taper, where the spine thickness changes very little during the first 3/4 of the blade, can affect blade weight and balance.

I too prefer a blade heavy knife, anything with a balance point between the heel and 1.5" or so in front of the heel work just fine for me.

StephanFowler
05-04-2012, 12:34 PM
And even then, you are replacing a small amount of steel with some epoxy, so it's not like you are lose a ton of weight.



One option for displacing epoxy is to stuff the void space with bamboo skewers which weighs much less than the same volume of epoxy. but really only a good idea if your filling the entire handle with epoxy

Justin0505
05-04-2012, 03:12 PM
My preferences are length and style dependent.

For large knives (210mm+):
I like forward biased weight. However, the heavier a large knife is, the closer to the pinch-point I want the balance to be. Heavier blades seem to get an extra benefit from inertial, so they don't need to be as fwd biased to cut without much downward effort.
However, very thin, light, lasery knives feel better with a much more dramatic fwd bias as it helps to compensate for their lack of mass and "oomph" but b/c they are still so light, the fwd biased is not a tiring nor does it slow down the reciprocation as much as it would on a heavier blade.

For utility/ med size (in the 210-180mmish range):
I like the balance to be near or even slightly behind the pinch as I think that this size knife to be more about agility than needing to blast though tons of food. This size is supposed to be about a balance of power and control and a knife that feels neutral and compliant in your hand.

For small petty / paring (150mm and smaller):
I like rear/ handle biased weight. I like a balance point that sits square in my palm for the most stable and controllable feel possible. The handle should be as long or longer than the blade and easily accommodate all 4 fingers for the reverse/peel style grip. I think that the Shun paring knife gets this right in ways that few other mainstream (and ever quite a few custom and j-knives) don't.