Quantcast
My knife New Year's resolution
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: My knife New Year's resolution

  1. #1
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    3,483

    My knife New Year's resolution

    This is assuming I have money again, in 2014, otherwise it's moot.

    Anyway, my New Year's resolution is to be a knife user, not a knife buyer. I have never owned as many knives as many here (I think 12 or maybe 15 is the most gyutos I've ever owned at one time, and this number has whittled down over the years as I've consolidated into more and more expensive knives), and I'm down to three, now: a 240 Aoko Kagekiyo, a 240 Heiji carbon and a 240 Gesshin Heiji SS. These are all knives I reach for, everyday I cook, which is almost every day. When I've had other gyutos, including Gyutos I like, including two 240 Shigefusas in 2013, I've still reached for these (well, I reached for a different 240 semi-stainless Heiji, admittedly, as I was keeping this one pristine, but that felt silly, in the end). I have thought about it, and convinced myself that having knives that sit on a rack and don't get used except when I remember to use them is a waste of money and space. That's not to say that I won't buy more knives, in 2104, but only knives I know I'll use. Having many duplicates does not fit in this schema. I have a good bread knife, a good Yanagi, a good western-Deba-ish knife, a good ko-Deba, a nice 150mm petty, and nice parers, and a nice Chinese cleaver. These, combined with three very fine Gyutos, each well maintained, should be enough for a home cook, right?

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pensacola, FL, USA
    Posts
    3,815
    It's interesting that you bring this up, as just this morning I was reflecting on Murray Carter's thoughts on knives, and realized that I have far too few in the first category and far too many in the third category.

    Is That Blade an Asset or a Liability?

    All of us buy and acquire things for various reasons. Sometimes we genuinely need something for our day-to-day activities, such as a toothbrush to brush our teeth, and other times we purchase items simply because we desire to have them. I think that either motivation to purchase is legitimate if the buyer stops to consider the Asset/Liability concept.



    Considering the following questions will help you determine the value of each knife you have:

    1. Is this for day-to-day use?

    2. Is this for an investment?

    3. Do I just have to have it regardless of the cost to me?

    If you spend X amount of money on a knife purchase and you use the knife several times a week, or even daily, then the cost-per-use of that knife is less and less the more you use it. For example, if you buy a $100 knife, and use it 100 times per year for ten years, then your cost is 10 cents (or $0.10) each time you use it. On the other hand, if you use that same knife just a couple of times during ownership, it could cost you upwards of $50 per use.



    Keep in mind that a knife which is used even just once is no longer in mint condition, thus subtracting greatly from its value on the second-hand market. This brings us to the second question:

    

2. Is the knife purchased for an investment?



    Some knives, especially those made by prolific and highly sought-after custom knife makers, can be sold on the second-hand market for more than the knives were bought for. Usually the price difference corresponds to the passage of time. Wouldn't it be great to receive 20% interest on a knife investment over a couple of years!



    Let's say that your $100 knife, never used, is sold for $120. You made $20 profit...or did you? You see, every time you moved that knife around your home from one storage spot to the next, every time you took it out and cleaned, it cost you time and effort. Surely your time and effort are worth something in terms of dollars and cents. I'd argue that your profit in this case was much less than the $20 you thought you made.

    

So where does that leave us? Is your knife working for you, or are you working for it?



    Knives that are constantly being used, pay for themselves, and are an asset to you. Knives that are carefully chosen for investment purposes might prove to be an asset over time. But the knife that is bought on impulse and then rarely used, it is clearly a liability to you... unless you are able to positively answer the following question in the affirmative.

    

And finally:



    3. Do I just have to have the knife regardless of the cost to me?

If you answered "yes" to that question, that's OK, too, so long as you realize you are paying to pursue your hobby.
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    1,405
    I'm starting to realize this as well. Just after buying your knives. Lol. I'm gonna start cutting down my knives significantly.

  4. #4
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    3,244
    Something to think about. Hopefully getting a 225 gyuto from Marko (6-8 gyutos is perfectly reasonable, right???). Consolidating my slicers, i.e. trying to sell a few good ones for one very good one. Finishing the started rehandlings of my personal knives. On another note: Getting my behind into the shop more often and finally trying my first Western rehandling on one of my knives.

    Stefan

  5. #5
    mkriggen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Hawai'i
    Posts
    677
    Hmmmmm, something to think about. Ok, I've thought about it, and my answer is......MORE KNIVES! MORE KNIVES! MORE KNIVES!

    Be well,
    Mikey



    Available handles- http://s64.photobucket.com/user/mkri...able%20handles

    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t
    Mikey

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    Posts
    759
    Edipis, if you aren't going to buy new knives… then you'll save funds for custom handles!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    294
    i have one gyuto, and it could tell you a lot of stories.

  8. #8
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    3,483
    Quote Originally Posted by icanhaschzbrgr View Post
    Edipis, if you aren't going to buy new knives… then you'll save funds for custom handles!
    well, lenses is really what it would go towards, if possible. I've had many custom handles, and I like plain, honestly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    403
    It's been more about progressing though different stages. I got into German cutlery, because I wanted something better then department store knifes. While the German knives were a huge step forward, I felt they were awkward in cutting up vegetables, especially onions. The first time using a Santoku patterned knife was an eye opener. Using a Japanese knife for the first time was mind blowing. Finding the forum and learning that there was more to Japanese cutlery then Global or Shun, was a revelation, all the different steels and makers! It was easy to find excuses to buy knives, I don't have a knife in Blue Steel, or a knife from that maker.

    After getting six or eight knives in the same pattern, there were differences, but not to that great of a degree. That's when I slowed down and took a closer look at the knifes, trying to identify what I liked or disliked about the knife.

    As my sharpening skills improved, it changed my opinions on particular knives. A knife that when I first got it, the profile and grind, looked great, but the knife was an okay cutter at best. I sharpened it a few times, while there was some improvement, it wasn't enough to change my opinion. I sent the knife out to be rehandled. It also got a spa treatment, and the person sharpened it. Now the knife performs better then I imagined.

    Trying out a variety of knives, with different types of steel and makers, really helped me identify what I value in a knife. I've been pleasantly surprised how much a good handle and a spa treat can improve the performance of a knife.

    Jay
    I'm a over-sized, under-educated, two onions a month, cutting fool.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    The Alps, Austria, Europe
    Posts
    414
    My New Year's resolution for 2014? Using my knives more often than buying them...

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts