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jaybett
05-06-2012, 04:21 PM
When ever there is a post asking about a santoku, nakiri, or cleaver, the objection to those knives, is the lack of a tip.

The critical part of a knife to TK59, and others, is the tip. He has mentioned more then once, searching for the ideal tip, one that is not too thick or thin.

In a recent thread about 300mm gyutos, the main drawback mentioned was its inability to do tip work.

This leads to to the question, what is tip work? Is it peeling fruit, such as cantaloupe or pineapple? Is it thinly slicing an onion?

Jay

VoodooMajik
05-06-2012, 04:30 PM
I use tip work when doing really fine dice on onion etc. when slices need to be thin and easy to manipulate. Accuracy and tight spots for me. I'm sure someone else will be able to explain it better.

heirkb
05-06-2012, 04:33 PM
I thought tip work is anything where you use the tip of the knife to cut.

jaybett
05-06-2012, 04:40 PM
I thought tip work is anything where you use the tip of the knife to cut.

Let me put it another way. My go to knife, the cleaver, doesn't have a pointed tip. What cuts can you make with a gyuto, that I cannot with a cleaver?

Jay

WildBoar
05-06-2012, 04:47 PM
Mincing garlic is a big one for me. Also coring fruit (hulling strawberries, removing apple/ pear cores). Not a problem if you have other smaller/ thinner knives to grab, but it seems like a lot of the pros try and make do with as few knives as possible.

stevenStefano
05-06-2012, 04:58 PM
I use the tip for basically as much as I can. I don't like using the areas that far from the tip because it is harder to see them properly. The 3-4 inches from the tip and back are where I do most of my cutting, I dunno why, it's just a habit I guess

labor of love
05-06-2012, 05:00 PM
This leads to to the question, what is tip work? Is it peeling fruit, such as cantaloupe or pineapple? Is it thinly slicing an onion?

Jay
both examples are correct. atleast to me, tip work involves more precision and more control over your cuts as opposed to other knife work. I find 240 gyutos, 210 pettys and 150 pettys are what I use when im doing something where the tip of my knife is making the cuts. 150mm petty for in hand work. Cleavers are a totally different animal and the people who use cleavers are accustomed to making different movements/motions but getting similar results. A cleaver might feel awkward to those of us who primarily use gyutos but im sure cleaver tip work for somebody who uses a cleaver for the majority of their tasks isnt a big deal at all.

RRLOVER
05-06-2012, 05:58 PM
For me it would be small stuff like garlic and shallot.My arthritic wrists are not comfortable using the tip on a long knife as mentioned in the other thread.

kalaeb
05-06-2012, 06:05 PM
I don't use the tip much at all, I find the area an few inches behind the tip get 90 % of my usage. My ideal line knife would have a takohikish tip. I can still thinly slice onions and garlic with any end. Any smaller produce I would use a petty for.

Eamon Burke
05-06-2012, 08:22 PM
The tip is for 3 things:
1. adding length to complete cuts, while keeping the extra length out of the way for normal work
2. things you would normally do with a petty knife but don't want to switch knives
3. Pushing food around


A chinese cleaver can do 99% what a chef's/gyuto can, it just takes a different technique.

The Edge
05-06-2012, 09:04 PM
The tip is for 3 things:
1. adding length to complete cuts, while keeping the extra length out of the way for normal work
2. things you would normally do with a petty knife but don't want to switch knives
3. Pushing food around

A chinese cleaver can do 99% what a chef's/gyuto can, it just takes a different technique.

Do I sense a new video entitled "Tip Work" in the making?!

ajhuff
05-06-2012, 09:13 PM
I don't use the tip much at all, I find the area an few inches behind the tip get 90 % of my usage. My ideal line knife would have a takohikish tip. I can still thinly slice onions and garlic with any end. Any smaller produce I would use a petty for.

Pretty much same here. I don't get the cantaloupe though. I use the middle of the knife to peel it all the way around then cut in half.

Mushrooms I might use the tip more. But I think I use the back half far more than the tip.

-AJ

jaybett
05-07-2012, 02:55 AM
Are there any cuts that are dependent or are just easier with a pointed tip? Would it be fair to say, that the tip is a more of a substitute for a smaller knife?

TK59 you've posted that the tip on a gyuto is the feature that you value the most. Your search for the ideal gyuto, is actually a search for the ideal tip. Why is the tip so important to you?

Andrew H, you've posted that there is a fair amount of tip work on your job. What prep tasks need or are easier to to do with a pointed tip?

Jay

tk59
05-07-2012, 11:46 AM
I don't have a whole lot to add to the information already given. Pointed, thin tips allow you to get into tight spaces in a pinch, afford less resistance when push-cutting and less drag when slicing. Can you prepare all of the same foods with a cleaver or even a nakiri? Sure. Can you do it the same way? No. You would need some sort of pointed, thin-tipped blade. Some examples that haven't been mentioned are skinning a filet and removing silver skin which can be done easily with a gyuto but would be comical with a nakiri (or cleaver, for that matter). I don't like push-cutting near the heel because the food can get up in my hand. I use it mainly for slicing or mincing.

I will say that it isn't so much that I value the tip most. It has more to do with the fact that the further you get from your hand, the more difficult it is to make a cut. It's just the physics of cutting. When I evaluate the knife, the relative ease with which I can do tip work tells me a lot more about the performance than the heel part which can pretty much bebuilt like an ax and will work decently (If you can't cut well with the heel, either, it might as well go in the trash bin, IMO.)

tk59
05-07-2012, 12:47 PM
I just finished watching Mr. Global's (Chef Mino Tsuchida) sharpening spiel over in the Youtube Awesome thread and at 7:50, he points to the tip area and says it's the most important part of the blade. Maybe we should ask him what the deal with the tip is.

jaybett
05-07-2012, 04:04 PM
I asked the questions about tip work, because I was curious if there was an actual benefit to having a pointed tip or was it forum fiction?

When a question is asked about a Santoku, a lot of snide remarks are made. Such as the only thing a Santoku is good for is cutting cheese. The typical criticism of a Santoku is its stubby tip. If there is no benefit to having a pointed tip, then how is it a valid criticism?

Jay

tk59
05-07-2012, 05:44 PM
I asked the questions about tip work, because I was curious if there was an actual benefit to having a pointed tip or was it forum fiction?

When a question is asked about a Santoku, a lot of snide remarks are made. Such as the only thing a Santoku is good for is cutting cheese. The typical criticism of a Santoku is its stubby tip. If there is no benefit to having a pointed tip, then how is it a valid criticism?

Jay
Of course, I know why you've started this thread. You vigorously question the utility of a pointed tip at every opportunity and that's fine with me. I didn't even open this thread until today because I'm just tired of the argument but someone told me you singled me out, so here I am. To answer your question, you're absolutely right. If there is no advantage to a narrower, more pointed tip, then all of us ridiculous gyuto, suji, petty, yanagiba, filet knife, funayuki, etc., etc. lovers should sell out and buy cleavers and nakiri. However, it does seem to me that a bunch of people just explained what they thought were advantages. As I've said before, I'm really not sure what you're confused about but I'm okay agreeing to disagree. For the record, I have nothing against santoku, nakiri or cleavers. I own at least one of each of them and I've even ground/reground a few of them so that I'd consider them to be very good cutters. If you don't want to use knives with pointed tips, thats fine with me. By the way, a friend of mine (home cook) just gave away his only santoku to his mom for Mother's Day. I'm not sure if it was the tip but he's keeping the gyuto version of the same line of knives. I'm not kidding. :)

DeepCSweede
05-07-2012, 05:56 PM
I asked the questions about tip work, because I was curious if there was an actual benefit to having a pointed tip or was it forum fiction?

When a question is asked about a Santoku, a lot of snide remarks are made. Such as the only thing a Santoku is good for is cutting cheese. The typical criticism of a Santoku is its stubby tip. If there is no benefit to having a pointed tip, then how is it a valid criticism?

Jay

Being that I am one of the individuals that uses my santoku to cut cheese - I will throw in my $.02 also. I also stated in previous posts that I have no issues with santoku's and that cutting cheese is what I use mine almost exclusively for - sorry if this upsets you but that is what I like it for. Ten years ago I used a cleaver for almost everything but I find that I prefer a gyuto now.

I do use the tip of my gyuto's for slicing etc. as previous posters have stated and as my cutting skills have improved, I use it more and more. I appreciate the question and putting it to the forum to answer it.

Eric

tk59
05-07-2012, 06:04 PM
...and one more thing. I don't have anything against you, either. For the most part, I very much appreciate your astute observations and subsequent comments.

stevenStefano
05-07-2012, 06:25 PM
Simple task. Try fine dicing about a dozen onions with a nakiri or a santoku quickly and then try a gyuto. It is just easier with the gyuto, I can't explain my reasons why I find the tip so much better than the rest of the knife for most cutting tasks but as I said before, a thin tip is just easier. This sorta explains why I don't like really tall knives either, it generally means the tip is very tall/wide and is a little unweildy

Deckhand
05-07-2012, 07:57 PM
I asked the questions about tip work, because I was curious if there was an actual benefit to having a pointed tip or was it forum fiction?

When a question is asked about a Santoku, a lot of snide remarks are made. Such as the only thing a Santoku is good for is cutting cheese. The typical criticism of a Santoku is its stubby tip. If there is no benefit to having a pointed tip, then how is it a valid criticism?

Jay


I have a misono ux10 santoku that my wife got me. I like it a lot. That being said my sakai yusuke 270mm gyuto is my go to knife and I feel very comfortable doing tip work with it and everything else. I feel I have greater control with it. It has a wa handle. Honestly don't know what makes a knife feel nimble for someone. It is just a feeling. In a fire scenario I would grab that and my Kanisaki deba. The Kanisaki is not for tip work and is just as important. it is just a brutal king crab leg splitting machine without hurting the meat.

jaybett
05-08-2012, 07:56 AM
Of course, I know why you've started this thread. You vigorously question the utility of a pointed tip at every opportunity and that's fine with me. I didn't even open this thread until today because I'm just tired of the argument but someone told me you singled me out, so here I am. To answer your question, you're absolutely right. If there is no advantage to a narrower, more pointed tip, then all of us ridiculous gyuto, suji, petty, yanagiba, filet knife, funayuki, etc., etc. lovers should sell out and buy cleavers and nakiri. However, it does seem to me that a bunch of people just explained what they thought were advantages. As I've said before, I'm really not sure what you're confused about but I'm okay agreeing to disagree. For the record, I have nothing against santoku, nakiri or cleavers. I own at least one of each of them and I've even ground/reground a few of them so that I'd consider them to be very good cutters. If you don't want to use knives with pointed tips, thats fine with me. By the way, a friend of mine (home cook) just gave away his only santoku to his mom for Mother's Day. I'm not sure if it was the tip but he's keeping the gyuto version of the same line of knives. I'm not kidding. :)

I don't know at any time if I've ever advocated a particular type of knife as being superior to another. I think all knives have a place in the kitchen, even the pointy ones. Okay petties don't make a whole lot of sense to me, but a lot of people like them and find them useful.

There are certain arguments that are lacking. One of them is about the values argument. Usually it goes like this, for the same amount of money, there are better knives to be had. The problem is nobody states, what knives can be had at a similar price, and how they would be better then the knife in question. Tip work is another argument that keeps moving closer and closer to the values argument. The lack of a pointed tip, is often brought up as an objection to a knife that doesn't have a pointed tip or one that is too long to take advantage of the tip, but nobody ever says why a pointed tip is an advantage, it is just assumed.

TK59 for somebody who is constantly searching for a knife with the perfect grind, who has mentioned more then once that a pointed tip is the critical to the success of a knife design, but cannot explain the advantages of a pointed tip, besides I like them. Something is amiss.

I do think that every knife type has a place in the kitchen. The best all around knife, in the western kitchen is the gyuto. Somebody who is doing a lot of dicing, should look at a nakiri. What makes a sujihiki or yanagiba work, is its pointed tip. A takohiki is an exception to the rule, so there must be more to slicers, then a pointed tip. While I have my doubts about a santoku as a primary knife, I think it would make a good utility knife, or at the very least a cheese knife.

What about my go to knife the cleaver? Do I think its a better knife then a gyuto? No. In my mind they are equal. The gyuto is a much easier knife to use then a cleaver. Put a full size, 240mm, 500-800 gram, cleaver in the hands of most forum members, and I don't think they will be able to drop it fast enough. Cleavers also take time to learn how to use. Pinch grip a cleaver or try to muscle one around, is an exercise in futility. What is the advantage of a cleaver? Production.

Isn't part of being a knife nut, exploring different knife types, finding what knife works best for a particular task?

Jay

ajhuff
05-08-2012, 09:31 AM
I don't like dicing onions with my nakiri. That's one time I value the tip of my chef knife or petty. Other than that I can't think of any other time where I felt the tip was important. I'll be on the lookout though.

-AJ

stereo.pete
05-08-2012, 11:08 AM
Just the tip?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS-7zTzrSAA

echerub
05-08-2012, 11:24 AM
Just last night I diced up some onions and garlic using a 270 gyuto, and I found myself wishing I had chosen my nakiri instead. Maybe the 270 was a little long for doing fine tip work on small cloves of garlic :)

I find that when I use my cleavers or nakiri that I end up using the far cutting corner of the blade like a gyuto tip. Same diagonal "pass-thru" motion to make horizontal cuts.

ajhuff
05-08-2012, 05:05 PM
Coring tomatoes. Remembered that one today as I was doing them. But that's petty work for my, not gyuto. By the way, that's how I tel if I need to sharpen my knife. Most people do the slice test. I like to core the tomato by sticking the knife in at an angle and just turn the tomato. Found out today it's time to sharpen.

Mincing garlic, heel task for me.

I don't know Jay. I'm not seeing a lot of tip necessity, for me at least.

-AJ

Still-edo
05-08-2012, 05:41 PM
A couple tasks come to mind in regards to "tip work" :laughat: Mainly working with fish.

Unless I'm doing serious slicing of say a roast or something where I need blade length I'll put the cleaver down. But usually old Betsy is good to slice and dice. Heck I peel with her too but usually after giving someone the elbow and a head nod.

kazeryu
05-08-2012, 06:17 PM
Personally, I've never understood the fascination with tips on large knives. If I want to do something with the tip of the knife, it's because I want control. And controlling the tip of a 90 mm paring knife is significantly easier than controlling the tip of a 240+mm behemoth - plus it is naturally smaller and thinner.

Maybe it's because I don't rock-chop? Or maybe it's just because I don't work in a kitchen?

memorael
05-09-2012, 04:23 AM
When ever there is a post asking about a santoku, nakiri, or cleaver, the objection to those knives, is the lack of a tip.

The critical part of a knife to TK59, and others, is the tip. He has mentioned more then once, searching for the ideal tip, one that is not too thick or thin.

In a recent thread about 300mm gyutos, the main drawback mentioned was its inability to do tip work.

This leads to to the question, what is tip work? Is it peeling fruit, such as cantaloupe or pineapple? Is it thinly slicing an onion?

Jay

I have used a 300 mm gyuto in pro kitchen's and there wasn't anything weird about using the tip. As a matter of fact after about mincing 4 or five shallots it was actually more comfortable than other smaller knives, its like you only have to move your wrist to do the work. Also take into notice that the knife was pretty sweet and had a killer distal taper so YMMV.

echerub
05-09-2012, 11:40 AM
It just occurred to me that my nakiri all have 90* far corners on the edge, but not all nakiri do. That 90* corner effectively gives me a "tip" - just as a chinese cleaver does - but the nakiri that are rounded off at the far end would probably feel like they were "missing something".

Or maybe I'm just dreaming. I'll double-check when I get back to my kitchen tonight :)

kalaeb
05-09-2012, 12:48 PM
Long before this thread started, I was toying with the idea of MY ultimate line knife. For me, I break the tip of every "line" knife I have ever used, so I incorporated a tako style tip in my design. It is currently being made and is a gyuto/suji cross with a tako tip at approx 250 mm in length with about 43 mm in height at the heel. I am confident it will be a tipless rockstar.

mhlee
05-09-2012, 01:14 PM
TK59 for somebody who is constantly searching for a knife with the perfect grind, who has mentioned more then once that a pointed tip is the critical to the success of a knife design, but cannot explain the advantages of a pointed tip, besides I like them. Something is amiss.

I do think that every knife type has a place in the kitchen. The best all around knife, in the western kitchen is the gyuto. Somebody who is doing a lot of dicing, should look at a nakiri. What makes a sujihiki or yanagiba work, is its pointed tip. A takohiki is an exception to the rule, so there must be more to slicers, then a pointed tip. While I have my doubts about a santoku as a primary knife, I think it would make a good utility knife, or at the very least a cheese knife.

What about my go to knife the cleaver? Do I think its a better knife then a gyuto? No. In my mind they are equal. The gyuto is a much easier knife to use then a cleaver. Put a full size, 240mm, 500-800 gram, cleaver in the hands of most forum members, and I don't think they will be able to drop it fast enough. Cleavers also take time to learn how to use. Pinch grip a cleaver or try to muscle one around, is an exercise in futility. What is the advantage of a cleaver? Production.

Isn't part of being a knife nut, exploring different knife types, finding what knife works best for a particular task?

Jay

Reading through TK's posts, I think he made clear points as to the advantages of a tip:

I don't have a whole lot to add to the information already given. Pointed, thin tips allow you to get into tight spaces in a pinch, afford less resistance when push-cutting and less drag when slicing. Can you prepare all of the same foods with a cleaver or even a nakiri? Sure. Can you do it the same way? No. You would need some sort of pointed, thin-tipped blade. Some examples that haven't been mentioned are skinning a filet and removing silver skin which can be done easily with a gyuto but would be comical with a nakiri (or cleaver, for that matter). I don't like push-cutting near the heel because the food can get up in my hand. I use it mainly for slicing or mincing.

Personally, I agree with all of these things. I don't use santokus and don't really like santoku-like tipped knives because it's more difficult to see the tip and gauge distance, etc. (something previously mentioned).

Also, it is possible to butcher roundfish with a Chinese Cleaver or santoku. Absolutely. Is it easier? In my opinion, no way. It's much, much harder to butcher or fillet fish with a knife that doesn't have a pronounced tip because you simply cannot do delicate work in crevices, between bones with a santoku or cleaver - it's a matter of size and design. The height of the area by the tip of a knife is much higher on a santoku, cleaver or nakiri than a gyuto. You have less than, probably an inch from the tip to where the spine reaches nearly full height. You can't bone out belly bones from a fish more easily with a tall knife than a shorter knife - you can't compensate for the curvature of small bones with a tall knife. In order to adjust a tall knife to a curve, you'll have to move the bones around more, which leads to tearing of flesh. On a gyuto, you have at least two inches or so where you could do this. I've tried skinning fillets and removing silver skin with a cleaver - for sh*ts and giggles - it's a painstaking experience.

Frankly, I would never pick up a nakiri for dicing. One, they're too short. Two, there are very few nakiris that I've tried with good grinds. The effort by most makers to improve nakiris simply isn't done (I've used several and own one currently - I haven't used it in 2 years). I would much rather use a Chinese Cleaver than a nakiri - 100% of the time. But, again, the cleaver has limitations. You can't do long slices - you'll end up sawing meat and see the saw marks in the flesh. Any work requiring turning (to follow the shape of food) is much harder with a cleaver than a gyuto - again, a product of the height of a knife.

For what it's worth, I am a former Chinese Cleaver user. For several years I only had two knives in my fish butchering kit - a Dexter Chinese Cleaver and a Dexter-Russell fillet knife - and those knives were the only knives I used at home as well. I have two cleavers, but rarely use them. As much as I agree that there are knives that are best for certain purposes, some of us are limited by funds, time and other constraints, so many of us, including me, buy the best all-around knife we can. IMHO, that's still a gyuto. And I would hardly say that my kitchen is a "western" kitchen.

memorael
05-11-2012, 06:02 AM
WOW... this thread is turning pretty stupid.

keithsaltydog
05-11-2012, 02:06 PM
Good thread,No one has to throw away their tip knives.For bone knives the tip is used alot esp going between the joints.I also used a longer thin bone knife to make pineapple rubies.Just go to any chinatown & see what can be done wt. a cleaver.Cleaver skills are worthwhile to learn.It is amazing what those things can do.

Thin Gyuto are good for for cleaning fish & one of the best all round blades.Everyone has diff. idea's in what they like in a gyuto.I like thin,flatter profile(not too much rocker more blade on the board)carbon steel.For most prep work I use foward push cut,hardly ever use tip rock cut.Santoku are like a short drop nose gyuto.Because they are so mainstream now you can get them with very good steel.A decent design for tight spaces.:wink: