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View Full Version : How to inspect a knife?



Zwiefel
08-07-2012, 01:15 PM
Having seen quite a lot of photos this year, and having acquired 4 very different knives, it has occurred to me that if I didn't know what I had bought I would be able to determine very little from looking at them.

How do you inspect a knife? And what to you determine from each step of your process?

Tristan
08-07-2012, 09:49 PM
First step: is it what you ordered? I got a wrong knife once from Carter. He let me keep it, and sent me the right one as a replacement. Uber customer service. Uber good deal for me - Free SFGZ funayuki, and a IP International Pro at 40% off the IP's full price.

Zwiefel
08-07-2012, 10:35 PM
First step: is it what you ordered? I got a wrong knife once from Carter. He let me keep it, and sent me the right one as a replacement. Uber customer service. Uber good deal for me - Free SFGZ funayuki, and a IP International Pro at 40% off the IP's full price.

That's very nice of Mr. Carter indeed! If it's creating a clutter or anything... :)

I was thinking more along the lines of: a friend hands you a knife and asks your opinion; or you find something for sale used; or you just see someone using it on TV/Movie/Magazine (obviously limited possibilities there). Not so much "verifying a sale"...If that kind of trust wasn't there, I wouldn't buy.

chinacats
08-07-2012, 10:52 PM
As far as an initial inspection, I would check to make sure the blade is straight, inserted into the handle straight, no overgrinds on the blade. Check to see how clean the fitting of the blade is with the handle as it could be a food sanitation issue. I personally do not care too much about general fit and finish though if it is important, then by all means look for things that will bother you. Next test may be more about general feel, where is the balance point, etc. Other more general things to look for at would be the profile and geometry of the blade overall.
Seems that the vendor you purchase from may have more say in this than you do, so most importantly (to me) purchase from someone you trust in both their knowledge and also their character.

Benuser
08-08-2012, 06:05 AM
+1
No bend, no twist, no overgrind.
These could make me return it.

Taz575
08-08-2012, 08:17 AM
In your example, I would look the knife over physically if possible. See how it fits in the hand, balances, points, feels on a board (how the handle and blade interact), if it shows signs of abuse (chips, ripples, bends, rust vs patina), how thick the edge is, how it was sharpened/maintained, that type of stuff. Then I go to fit and finish; if it's something that will be a project knife, this may not matter as much, ie it's an old Sab at a tag sale you want to refurb and put a new handle on.

If it's something I see online, I would try to get more info about it, what steel, rockwell, thickness, weight, look for reviews on the knife, etc. See if the knife is made under any other brands (like some places make blades for 3 or 4 different companies and they are basically the same) and find reviews, etc. People can describe the knife any way they want, what steel, rockwell, etc and most people will have no way to verify. A knife can be made with the best steel possible, but if it was heat treated/tempered incorrectly, that means nothing.

Cutty Sharp
08-08-2012, 01:33 PM
+1
No bend, no twist, no overgrind.
These could make me return it.

I was wondering, has anyone ever had a warped/twisted blade? Has any one attempted 'correction' of such a blade? If so, what's the procedure. I've heard it's 'simple'....

JBroida
08-08-2012, 01:53 PM
if you have time for skype, i can show you ;)

I went searching for videos right now, but havent found anything already online yet. I'll keep my eyes open so maybe i can show you that way too.

Zwiefel
08-08-2012, 02:28 PM
if you have time for skype, i can show you ;)

I went searching for videos right now, but havent found anything already online yet. I'll keep my eyes open so maybe i can show you that way too.

Eamon shared this with me via PM last night:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-jJAzfo0I&feature=g-user-u


Skype is an interesting idea....or maybe FaceTime?

JBroida
08-08-2012, 02:29 PM
i'm not an apple guy :P

Cutty Sharp
08-08-2012, 02:34 PM
if you have time for skype, i can show you ;) I went searching for videos right now, but havent found anything already online yet. I'll keep my eyes open so maybe i can show you that way too.

Yes, thanks again. We'll arrange a time!

dubie
08-09-2012, 03:32 AM
What is that kiri-gyuto that Eamon is showing off? That is a wonderful looking knife.

Pensacola Tiger
08-09-2012, 07:42 AM
What is that kiri-gyuto that Eamon is showing off? That is a wonderful looking knife.

If I'm not mistaken, that knife is one of Son's Dragonslayers, that Randy Haas made. A beautiful set.

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2950-Custom-Damascus-Chef-knife-set