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View Full Version : Looking for a beater....



Zwiefel
08-18-2012, 05:39 PM
I need to put in more time on the stones, but don't want to do it with my current EQ...so looking for a beater that will be a good teacher.

Any ideas? Or even someone wanting to sell something suitable?

knyfeknerd
08-18-2012, 05:48 PM
Don't get anything VG10. It will frustrate the heck out of ya. Most, not all of my VG10 's are such PITA 's to sharpen.

Zwiefel
08-18-2012, 05:51 PM
Don't get anything VG10. It will frustrate the heck out of ya. Most, not all of my VG10 's are such PITA 's to sharpen.

I'm thinking Carbon, esp white is the best choice?

BraisedorStewed
08-18-2012, 06:02 PM
If you use white you might be spoiled be the ease of sharpening. When you switch to some other knives you may find that your edges are not what you expected. If you are only going to be sharpening carbon I think white is a good option. However, if in the future you plan on sharpening a mix of stainless (disregarding some high end ones like AEB-L) and carbon I would find something a bit more difficult to sharpen. my 2cents.

Drew

Zwiefel
08-18-2012, 06:09 PM
If you use white you might be spoiled be the ease of sharpening. When you switch to some other knives you may find that your edges are not what you expected. If you are only going to be sharpening carbon I think white is a good option. However, if in the future you plan on sharpening a mix of stainless (disregarding some high end ones like AEB-L) and carbon I would find something a bit more difficult to sharpen. my 2cents.

Drew

Interesting perspective....any suggestions? Maybe a carbon beater now, and a stainless later?

GlassEye
08-18-2012, 06:19 PM
What were you cutting with before you found this place?

droshi
08-18-2012, 06:21 PM
Also, you should think about what types of knives you want to sharpen. I wanted to get into single bevels, so I bought a $50 yanagi on ebay that supposedly had good steel, but bad fit & finish. It sharpens up nicely, but the grind will take a lot of work to even out.

I would look into sharpening steels that you plan to own, but get one that the fit and finish is poor if possible. Also keep in mind, these knives sometimes require the MOST skill to actually sharpen fully along the edge, but you should get some idea of what's going on if you use a sharpie and a medium grit stone.

Zwiefel
08-18-2012, 06:25 PM
What were you cutting with before you found this place?

VG10 Gyuto + Henckel's 8" Chef's. The Henckel's I sharpen pretty much everytime I get the stones out, whether it needs it or not...I really need a coarse stone to fix the geometry on it though (15 years of using a RADA sharpener has had an effect).

Zwiefel
08-18-2012, 06:26 PM
Also, you should think about what types of knives you want to sharpen. I wanted to get into single bevels, so I bought a $50 yanagi on ebay that supposedly had good steel, but bad fit & finish. It sharpens up nicely, but the grind will take a lot of work to even out.

I would look into sharpening steels that you plan to own, but get one that the fit and finish is poor if possible. Also keep in mind, these knives sometimes require the MOST skill to actually sharpen fully along the edge, but you should get some idea of what's going on if you use a sharpie and a medium grit stone.

Good idea...any specific suggestions?

bieniek
08-18-2012, 06:32 PM
cheap, thick and carbon clad.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-Sakai-Ichimonji-Kichikuni-White-Steel-Wa-Gyuto-Knife-Black-210mm-/380459815628?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58952c12cc

Lefty
08-18-2012, 06:35 PM
Just get someone with a grinder/sander to fix the old Henckels for you :) Seriously...if it's an old one, they're great knives.

stevenStefano
08-18-2012, 06:39 PM
What about a Fujiwara FKM? (http://japanesechefsknife.com/FKMSeries.html#WIDTH:%20400px;%20HEIGHT:%20236px) Dead cheap and should fit the bill perfectly, $83 for a 240 gyuto

Vertigo
08-18-2012, 06:45 PM
Pick up a CCK-1303. It's basic carbon and incredibly easy to sharpen/deburr, it's got a simple, near-flat profile that isn't overly complicated, and it's like $30.

GlassEye
08-18-2012, 07:02 PM
Pick up a CCK-1303. It's basic carbon and incredibly easy to sharpen/deburr, it's got a simple, near-flat profile that isn't overly complicated, and it's like $30.

I was also going to suggest a CCK, you likely won't run out of steel anytime soon from practice sharpening.

SpikeC
08-18-2012, 07:05 PM
You could find a flea market and go crazy!

Zwiefel
08-18-2012, 07:17 PM
What about a Fujiwara FKM? (http://japanesechefsknife.com/FKMSeries.html#WIDTH: 400px; HEIGHT: 236px) Dead cheap and should fit the bill perfectly, $83 for a 240 gyuto

That looks like a stainless material...do you know what it is? (I didn't see it at the link.)


Pick up a CCK-1303. It's basic carbon and incredibly easy to sharpen/deburr, it's got a simple, near-flat profile that isn't overly complicated, and it's like $30.

Hmmm...I'm just giving away a dexter cleaver, this seems rather different though...

droshi
08-18-2012, 07:24 PM
It really all depends on what you want to own in the future...if you like cleavers, go for the CCK, it's easy to sharpen, and needs to be sharpened often and can get pretty sharp, but it loses it's edge fast. However, it's easier to see the angle because the knife is so huge, easier to hold, and you don't get practice sharpening the tip like a normal gyuto.

I'd recommend to pick what kind of knife you want to sharpen mostly, and get the cheapest here:
http://stores.ebay.com/BluewayJapan?_trksid=p4340.l2563

If the cheapest is still pretty close to a good knife (and not orders of magnitude less)...then why not just get what you really want? You probably won't ruin the edge completely, and when you're done you can ship it off to someone to fix if it seems very far off.

One last piece of advice, when I started learning to sharpen, it was on straight razors. I picked up 5 wapi's or so (cheap but decent steel) and some were warped bad, some just a little...they took forever to do anything with and along the way I couldn't really tell if I was making it worse or better. But only once I got a real razor to sharpen did it go easy and the results were fast to test. So although you can learn a lot on a cheap blade, keep in mind quality blades usually require a lot less time on the coarse stones and sometimes a different approach. If you use a 4k+ stone on a good blade, it would take you a LONG time to really ruin the edge in a way that would cost lots of money to fix.

Vertigo
08-18-2012, 09:03 PM
Hmmm...I'm just giving away a dexter cleaver, this seems rather different though...
The 1303 is honestly one of my favorite knives. The grind is a bit inconsistent from knife to knife, but as a whole they're exceptionally thin and fun to use. Sharpening them is easy and, once you're experienced, completely effortless--it only takes a few passes per stone to move the metal you need, and the burr generally abrades away with a few edge-trailing strokes. And as GlassEye mentioned, you could pretty much practice on it straight up to the kurouchi and still have a functional nakiri. As for it's performance in the kitchen, it's thin enough to impress and small and light enough to not be cumbersome; the only complaints I could muster would be that it doesn't really release food that well and that edge retention is mediocre. At the price though, it's hard to pass up (especially if your primary intent learning to sharpen).

chuck239
08-19-2012, 02:24 AM
The CCK is a great cleaver. But if you are looking to practice sharpening I would get a gyuto to practice with more curve and a tip. Or even a suji just because it has a more similar profile. I would contact Jon from JKI unless someone has something to offer up. Also, what are you looking to spend?

-Chuck

bieniek
08-19-2012, 06:50 AM
thinning is part of sharpening.... maybe even more important performance-wise.
Get something that allows you in the near future to work on the edge, on the grind, and on the back-bevels.

obtuse
08-19-2012, 06:56 AM
don't forget the kanemasa e series at japan blades. very good beater knives at an excellent price.

Taz575
08-19-2012, 09:18 AM
PM sent!

Colorado_cutter
08-19-2012, 01:34 PM
The 1303 is honestly one of my favorite knives. The grind is a bit inconsistent from knife to knife, but as a whole they're exceptionally thin and fun to use. Sharpening them is easy and, once you're experienced, completely effortless--it only takes a few passes per stone to move the metal you need, and the burr generally abrades away with a few edge-trailing strokes. And as GlassEye mentioned, you could pretty much practice on it straight up to the kurouchi and still have a functional nakiri. As for it's performance in the kitchen, it's thin enough to impress and small and light enough to not be cumbersome; the only complaints I could muster would be that it doesn't really release food that well and that edge retention is mediocre. At the price though, it's hard to pass up (especially if your primary intent learning to sharpen).
+1 on everything Vertigo says

Zwiefel
08-19-2012, 02:28 PM
Just get someone with a grinder/sander to fix the old Henckels for you :) Seriously...if it's an old one, they're great knives.

Not really an old one...acquired from department store in 97/98. It was the lowest tier Henckels offered at the time...they have gone a bit lower since then though. I don't know anyone with this kind of equipment who has even the slightest knowledge of knives. Maybe I should become that person....


You could find a flea market and go crazy!

This has occurred to me...and I know shopping at the flea market would make the wife happy!


It really all depends on what you want to own in the future...if you like cleavers, go for the CCK, it's easy to sharpen, and needs to be sharpened often and can get pretty sharp, but it loses it's edge fast. However, it's easier to see the angle because the knife is so huge, easier to hold, and you don't get practice sharpening the tip like a normal gyuto.

I'd recommend to pick what kind of knife you want to sharpen mostly, and get the cheapest here:
http://stores.ebay.com/BluewayJapan?_trksid=p4340.l2563

If the cheapest is still pretty close to a good knife (and not orders of magnitude less)...then why not just get what you really want? You probably won't ruin the edge completely, and when you're done you can ship it off to someone to fix if it seems very far off.

One last piece of advice, when I started learning to sharpen, it was on straight razors. I picked up 5 wapi's or so (cheap but decent steel) and some were warped bad, some just a little...they took forever to do anything with and along the way I couldn't really tell if I was making it worse or better. But only once I got a real razor to sharpen did it go easy and the results were fast to test. So although you can learn a lot on a cheap blade, keep in mind quality blades usually require a lot less time on the coarse stones and sometimes a different approach. If you use a 4k+ stone on a good blade, it would take you a LONG time to really ruin the edge in a way that would cost lots of money to fix.

Based on this advice, I'd want to get a gyuto/petty made very much like the 1303...?


thinning is part of sharpening.... maybe even more important performance-wise.
Get something that allows you in the near future to work on the edge, on the grind, and on the back-bevels.

That seems like a good argument for the 1303...I don't like to work with cleavers...but maybe I'll buy it to sharpen and give it to my neighbor to use and bring back once/week for sharpening...


don't forget the kanemasa e series at japan blades. very good beater knives at an excellent price.

Thanks! I'll check these out.


+1 on everything Vertigo says

The 1303 seems to have a love of love for such an inexpensive knife....I'm really intruiged now.

I'm going to check out the kanemasa e series knives and maybe get one of those in addition to the 1303...or maybe make a deal with Taz.

Zwiefel
08-19-2012, 02:43 PM
Looks like some of the forum members think the Fujiwara FKM is a better deal than the Kanemasa?

SameGuy
08-19-2012, 02:53 PM
If I get a beater to practice sharpening a single, will I learn enough on a short blade so that I can properly sharpen and finish a long one?

I was thinking of getting one of the 150 "yanagi" singles in white in order to gain confidence and muscle memory on the stones, then using those skills to work on my 300s. I doubt I'd screw it up too badly, but if I did it would only be a waste of $29. If I don't screw it up -- and maybe even improve it! -- then I'd have yet another different knife in my block that would be a sort-of, kind-of all-purpose blade. Worth a shot?

ETA: and I could practice my first re-handle on it, too. :)

Andrew H
08-19-2012, 03:09 PM
I'd go with the 1303 or an old carbon knife (send Son a PM and I'm sure you could work something out.) The only way to get better is by sharpening a lot and messing up, my CCK looks awful but is one of my favorite knives to use.

Justin0505
08-19-2012, 03:18 PM
I also love the CCK and it was my first carbon blade, but the problem that I see with it as a "practice beater" is that it's just too easy to sharpen. It doesn't need any thinning behind the edge to begin with, and wont need much as you continue to moved the edge up. It sharpens so fast that you wont get much time in on each session and because the profile is so flat, you will get no practice following a curve.

For practice both flattening and thinning a bevel as well as sharpening, I really like the tojiro itk shirogami series. Ive owned, played with, and given away a few as "1st j-knife presents" both the Nakiri and the 210 gyuto. The nakiri's that I've had (3) have all actualy been pretty darn thin and well ground. The bevels where just a bit rough and not totally flat, so the "tune up" didnt require much work. The 210mm gyuto I got was one of the very first batch and had the same roughly ground bevel, but also was pretty thick and study so it benefited from just a slight thinning (more grinding involved in the tune up).
The softer cladding makes them easier to thin and work without power tools, and the hard, white #2 core steel is outstanding quality for such cheap knives. The obvious bevels set below the ku finish are also very easy to follow and change and are kinda like training wheels for holding an angle. Prices may have crept up a bit, but I think that the nakiri was $50ish and the gyuto was maybe $60ish last I checked. I think that they also started making a 240mm gyuto for somewhere in the $70-80 range.

Also, you should get a decent low-grit stone. I held out for awhile without one too, and they just make things go soo much faster. Dave Martel has a great line up of very affordable, essential, coarse, med, fine stones... he recently posted a 3 stone package deal over in his sub forum.

Taz575
08-19-2012, 03:48 PM
I have played with a few Fujiwara stainless and carbon series and I was pretty surprised at the F&F; much nicer than the Hiromoto AS knives I had seen handle wise. The blade is decent, thin and decently finished at a little lower grit belt than other knives, but that doesn't really affect much. Spine and choil had to be rounded IIRC like on many lower end knives.

Lefty
08-19-2012, 04:33 PM
Describe beater knives. Send me a pm, perhaps.

Zwiefel
08-21-2012, 12:44 AM
Describe beater knives. Send me a pm, perhaps.

Something that isn't too precious to screw up while building skills.

I ended up getting the CCK-1303...and a couple of used beaters from Taz. Should give me a couple of different profiles to practice with...and enough hardware to use myself and let family/friends use...who knows, might be able to get one of them hooked :idea2:

Zwiefel
08-24-2012, 12:32 PM
The 1303 arrived yesterday. Seems like a pretty good bit of knife for ~$30. It's now the least expensive "good knife" I own and has made me a great deal more aware of the quality of my other good knives. I haven't gotten to do anything with it yet, that will be this weekend...at a minimum I'm going to do some cooking and will almost certainly at least take it to the 5k to smooth out the bevels, they are pretty rough...I don't own a stone that can make scratches like that.

Looks like I finally got some other folks interested in letting me sharpen their knives as well...I'm hoping to do a good enough job to generate some word of mouth.

Also, I splurged a bit on the 1303 and got the saya to go with...turned out that was made by Burke Cutlery...was a nice surprise. Good work Eamon!

Taz575
08-24-2012, 12:39 PM
I got one of Eamons saya's for my bread knife, nice stuff!!

Your 2 beaters shipped out today, so those will keep you busy!!! Check out the spine thinness on the reground ITK :)

Eamon Burke
08-24-2012, 12:54 PM
Thanks, glad you dig it! I am hearing that weekly now...someone buys something and surprise surprise I made it, lol.