PDA

View Full Version : Would your chefs knife pass the ABS Master Smith Test?



andur
07-18-2012, 04:14 AM
Hi all! I was just thinking about the sharpness and edge durability of my knives and then I remembered the wicked American Bladesmith Society Master Smith Test. I don't know if I want to try it out on my knife but I'm quite skeptical if the Japanese blades I have would pass the test.
In a brief the test requires to cut a 1 inch thick hanging rope with one stroke and then two pieces of 2x4 lumber have to be chopped in half - after this the knife has to be shaving sharp and free of any nicks.

And my Tanaka Kurouchi gets dull after cutting an onion! Ok the knife was $40 on eBay but what do you guys think - would our japanese knives also pass? Or only the good expensive ones?

Crothcipt
07-18-2012, 04:25 AM
most knives wont pass that test. Even from master smiths. It is just a test to show if you know how to forge to a certain extent. There is a few threads on here that I have read, and that is the gist I got form them. I'm sure more will contribute. I will go do some looking for some links. It is a really great read.

obtuse
07-18-2012, 04:57 AM
I wouldn't want a chefs knife that could pass the test.

Crothcipt
07-18-2012, 05:15 AM
here is a few
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/1347-Kramer-Article/page4?highlight=kramer
These are about the test.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/989-Certification?highlight=mastersmith
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/4519-Bob-Kramer-Video?highlight=new+kramer
the last one talks about what you were asking. The posts are very cool reads and very informative.

Pensacola Tiger
07-18-2012, 07:46 AM
Hi all! I was just thinking about the sharpness and edge durability of my knives and then I remembered the wicked American Bladesmith Society Master Smith Test. I don't know if I want to try it out on my knife but I'm quite skeptical if the Japanese blades I have would pass the test.
In a brief the test requires to cut a 1 inch thick hanging rope with one stroke and then two pieces of 2x4 lumber have to be chopped in half - after this the knife has to be shaving sharp and free of any nicks.

And my Tanaka Kurouchi gets dull after cutting an onion! Ok the knife was $40 on eBay but what do you guys think - would our japanese knives also pass? Or only the good expensive ones?

The tests are designed to gauge the skill of the smith, not the knife.

shankster
07-18-2012, 08:08 AM
[QUOTE=obtuse;127592]I wouldn't want a chefs knife that could pass the test.[/QUOTE

Why??

Taz575
07-18-2012, 08:23 AM
I have a Tanaka Kurouchi Nakiri and it takes and holds a great edge?? Dunno what went wrong with yours!

Cutting rope, fine, but hacking through a 2x4 or bending to 90 degrees doesn't really matter to me that much. I'd rather have a thing, light, hard J knife to cut food with than a larger, thicker knife to meet these design specs.

obtuse
07-18-2012, 08:46 AM
[QUOTE=obtuse;127592]I wouldn't want a chefs knife that could pass the test.[/QUOTE

Why??
It wouldn't make a very good kitchen knife.

ajhuff
07-18-2012, 09:27 AM
Probably not but more so because I think most of the knives that we buy are not forged. Stamped knives (none of which we buy) and cut knives can't pass those tests.

-AJ

andur
07-18-2012, 10:24 AM
I find it's very cool that an edge can be made to take a beating and still be shaving sharp! I've not sharpened my deba for months and it's still a razor (I don't cook fish every day but still). I think the deba could pass the chopping/shaving test but not the bend :)
The santokus and chefs knives I use won't hold a shaving edge that long. I'd like to be able to chop veggies with no fear of dulling the edge too much. Better knives and better sharpening for me then?

Taz575
07-18-2012, 10:44 AM
Well, lots of things can shave; guys have videos of themselves shaving with spoons. The ABS shaving tests I believe uses arm hair, which is a bit different than facial hair. The Deba I doubt would pass the chopping tests; the edge the Deba's I have seen is pretty thin and I think it would roll over or chip, especially if you hit a knot.

Eamon Burke
07-18-2012, 11:22 AM
Aside from ABS tests, your Tanaka KU has a wire edge, or else your cutting board is made of granite.

Taz575
07-18-2012, 11:31 AM
Or glass :) Seriously, it took a little longer to sharpen up the Tanaka compared to the White #2 knives I have used and it took a bit longer to remove the burr, but once I had the edge on there, it's been fine and I use a bamboo board. Takes a screaming sharp edge, too :)

bluntcut
07-18-2012, 11:52 AM
Aside from ABS tests, your Tanaka KU has a wire edge, or else your cutting board is made of granite.

Could be wireedge and or using Tanaka KU original factory wavy+over-grinded edge. This week, I had to hammered (bottom half of blade) & reprofiled (1knife lost 3mm height) my sibbling's 2 brandnew Tanaka KU before their edges are true (straight & no holes). DIY knives however reward with scary sharp (4 tickling-stuck fingers test), still super sharp after 3 homecook meal preps.

JMJones
07-18-2012, 12:22 PM
I have performed the test on my own several times and passed, I have also witnessed others, including a master smith do the test. My thoughts are as follows

The rope slice- displays that the knife has the geometry to cut and is not a sharpened pry bar- chef's knives should not have a problem with this.
2x4 chop- shows that the edge is heat treated and will not roll, also that the edge is not too thin or too hard- I believe with proper edge thinness for a chef knife, the blade should not roll but should chip, as we want thin hard edges.
Shaving after the chop- displays edge retention- most chef knives should pass this test however may be difficult if they are really chipped
90 degree bend test- shows the ability of the smith to execute differential heat treating or differential tempering (they are different). Many chef's knives will pass this part of the test because of the thin cross section however some may need to be differentially tempered to pass. Most of the abs style knives are 1/4 inch or so thick, so they usually need a differential heat treat.

This is just my opinion and observations...

Crothcipt
07-18-2012, 02:04 PM
I wonder if your talking about the Tanaka edge out of the box. Almost all Japanese knives need to be sharpened out of box. I own 2 of his knives and both needed sharpened ootb.

ajhuff
07-18-2012, 02:11 PM
I have performed the test on my own several times and passed, I have also witnessed others, including a master smith do the test. My thoughts are as follows

90 degree bend test- shows the ability of the smith to execute differential heat treating or differential tempering (they are different). Many chef's knives will pass this part of the test because of the thin cross section however some may need to be differentially tempered to pass. Most of the abs style knives are 1/4 inch or so thick, so they usually need a differential heat treat.

This is just my opinion and observations...

And I think the quality of the forging, demonstrating the anisotropic properties that come from forging.

-AJ

bluntcut
07-18-2012, 02:13 PM
I wonder if your talking about the Tanaka edge out of the box. Almost all Japanese knives need to be sharpened out of box. I own 2 of his knives and both needed sharpened ootb.

Yeah, a simple sharpen would be preferable however there blades were warped & over-grinded ootb. 1 blade I hammered close to the edge, it chipped (thus lost 3mm blade height). btw - I was using a hard plastic hammer for chisel.

Crothcipt
07-18-2012, 02:17 PM
???

You are hammering the blades? Are you using the blade for a chisel with a plastic hammer?

Larrin
07-18-2012, 02:19 PM
Probably not but more so because I think most of the knives that we buy are not forged. Stamped knives (none of which we buy) and cut knives can't pass those tests.

-AJ
Sure they can, it's in the heat treating not the forging.

bluntcut
07-18-2012, 02:27 PM
???

You are hammering the blades? Are you using the blade for a chisel with a plastic hammer?

These blades were very wavy and dented/over-grinded probably worse than Moritaka Dave's thread. So I used a plastic hammer (for whacking a wood working chisel end) to flatten these blades, mostly the bottom half of the blade.

ajhuff
07-18-2012, 02:42 PM
Sure they can, it's in the heat treating not the forging.

Perhaps I learned it wrong in college, or remember it wrong. It was a long time ago.

-AJ

JBroida
07-18-2012, 03:05 PM
These blades were very wavy and dented/over-grinded probably worse than Moritaka Dave's thread. So I used a plastic hammer (for whacking a wood working chisel end) to flatten these blades, mostly the bottom half of the blade.

you've got to be very careful when doing things like that. Also, there are easier ways to straighten things out.

bluntcut
07-18-2012, 04:57 PM
you've got to be very careful when doing things like that. Also, there are easier ways to straighten things out.

Please straighten my brain out - here or PM, thanks Jon!

Larrin
07-18-2012, 05:00 PM
Perhaps I learned it wrong in college, or remember it wrong. It was a long time ago.

-AJ
Are you saying that the blades that are stamped are poorly forged, or which part of forging the blades is allowing them to pass the ABS test. Many stock removal blades have passed the test.

ajhuff
07-18-2012, 05:15 PM
Are you saying that the blades that are stamped are poorly forged, or which part of forging the blades is allowing them to pass the ABS test. Many stock removal blades have passed the test.

Was taught that stampings are not forged nor heat treated. Steels that are stamped are designed to facilitate the stamping process. Was taught that the flow lines induced from forging, the anisotropic properties, allowed a forged blade to bend to 90 degrees and return but a non-forged blade would not. I remember the class because it preceded a visit to Ladish.

-AJ

RRLOVER
07-18-2012, 05:53 PM
Was taught that stampings are not forged nor heat treated. Steels that are stamped are designed to facilitate the stamping process. Was taught that the flow lines induced from forging, the anisotropic properties, allowed a forged blade to bend to 90 degrees and return but a non-forged blade would not. I remember the class because it preceded a visit to Ladish.

-AJ

This is interesting to me.What would you consider one of my blades?? They are not stamped,but Carpenter forged the steel into the sheets that I used to make my blades.So is stock removal a forged blade??

ajhuff
07-18-2012, 06:23 PM
This is interesting to me.What would you consider one of my blades?? They are not stamped,but Carpenter forged the steel into the sheets that I used to make my blades.So is stock removal a forged blade??

As I understood the class, no. The sheet steel is hot rolled. Not the same as being hammered. Like I said, maybe I'm not remembering all too well, it was a while ago. But Carl Loper was a pretty smart guy. Basically the word of God for metallurgy if he told you something.

-AJ

Larrin
07-18-2012, 06:38 PM
The grain flow (from carbides and impurities) is not in the direction to cause any problems with bending 90 degrees, unless blades are being stamped in the transverse direction, which is a no-no.

Larrin
07-18-2012, 06:53 PM
I made this handy reference image:

http://s13.postimage.org/ee8ktg0n7/grain_flow.jpg (http://postimage.org/image/ee8ktg0n7/)

ThEoRy
07-18-2012, 11:12 PM
I'm not chopping 2"x4"s or hacking rope at my station, nor am I bending my blade to catapult things across the kitchen so none of that matters to me.

Crothcipt
07-18-2012, 11:35 PM
Altho I don't do any catapulting, but I know when my fellow workers at night don't have anything to do this has come up a few times.