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Thread: The White #2 Experience

  1. #1
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    The White #2 Experience

    Some thoughts here about White #2 steel.
    My experience has led me to feel this might be the best beginner's steel for kitchen knives. I think it's high reactivity and poor edge retention are actually good qualities under the right consideration.
    Young cooks looking to develop knife skills and maintenance would do well to learn to always be mindful of the cleanliness of their blades, and you get get a whole lot better at sharpening if you have to do it every night. As well, and as many of you are aware, it's an easy steel to sharpen and takes a great edge, which is very rewarding. A little bit of fragility is a good thing too, as I find force is rarely if ever neccesary with a knife and using a blade you have to be mindful of will help develop finesse with your approach to cutting and such. oh yeah and there's no need for sharpies when taking these blades to the stone.
    i think all young cooks should go buy a $200 white steel gyuto should they be able to afford it. it will teach you a lot of good things and be a lot of fun. it feels good having a moderately priced, unassuming knife that's way way sharpen than anyone else's! then there's always room to upgrade in the future..
    just some random thoughts..
    thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    In my collection I have two stainless; an Ealy parer, and an ITK bread; a few semi, and a few dozen carbon, probably close to half being white 1 or 2.

    I have zero issues with maintenance, besides having to be mindful of keeping them well oiled when out of rotation.

    I find that with deliberate, push cutting, with light board contact, that my edges last far longer than a night.

    The fact I bring them back to whistling sharp with a few passes on a green brick or a Rika is awesome...

    Love white and blue. 52100 and 1095 aren't so bad either....
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
    chefchristophermiller@yahoo.com

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    Sharpening a white #2 deba tonight I had the same thought. It's so rewarding to sharpen, especially as I'm only now getting really confident with single bevel sharpening. Jon's post the other day about beginners single bevel knives was along the same lines.

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    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    So having to sharpen a knife all the time makes it good? In a profession where you have very little free time I cannot agree with this. I got rid of all my White #2 knives because the edge retention is not good and I got tired of sharpening them every week or so when I had others that would last a month. I suspect a lot of young cooks would try something else or just use it blunt after a few weeks of regular sharpening a White#2 blade

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenStefano View Post
    So having to sharpen a knife all the time makes it good? In a profession where you have very little free time I cannot agree with this. I got rid of all my White #2 knives because the edge retention is not good and I got tired of sharpening them every week or so when I had others that would last a month. I suspect a lot of young cooks would try something else or just use it blunt after a few weeks of regular sharpening a White#2 blade
    I totally agree. For me, edge retention is just about the most important factor in a pro environment. I can adjust to different profiles, but losing an edge quickly is something I can't deal with on a day to day basis. It's the reason I got rid of all my white steel too. Blue is far superior to white in the retention category IMHO. I love blue, but can't stand white. Ymmv depending on usage and the environment.

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    I don't think I will ever own a white steel blade for the crappy retention, that is about as annoying as you can get! Imagine if you had to recharge your cell phone 3 times a day just to send text msgs..

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    Quote Originally Posted by panda View Post
    I don't think I will ever own a white steel blade for the crappy retention, that is about as annoying as you can get! Imagine if you had to recharge your cell phone 3 times a day just to send text msgs..
    I have to charge my phone quite a bit these days b/c I have a heavy user and constantly using it...that's b/c I have a 4.7 in HD screen too gobbling it all up

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    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    I literally just had a White steel Usuba delivered today, made for the proper hand of course: left.

    Any specific thoughts on sharpening for me? Sounds like I'm going to be doing some in the near future.
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwiefel View Post
    I literally just had a White steel Usuba delivered today, made for the proper hand of course: left.

    Any specific thoughts on sharpening for me? Sounds like I'm going to be doing some in the near future.
    Hey Zwi. Just checked out your profile. I'd probably do whatever your fav 1000 stone is, followed by the 5000 Mizuyama and strop lightly on the Kitayama 8000. White steel is stupid easy to get a good edge on. I like a toothier edge, so I don't go crazy high in the stones or with the strops. I generally stop with stones at around 4-5k and then strop with boron carbide on leather. White isn't bad steel by any means, it just needs a lil more tlc.

  10. #10

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayhay View Post
    Hey Zwi. Just checked out your profile. I'd probably do whatever your fav 1000 stone is, followed by the 5000 Mizuyama and strop lightly on the Kitayama 8000. White steel is stupid easy to get a good edge on. I like a toothier edge, so I don't go crazy high in the stones or with the strops. I generally stop with stones at around 4-5k and then strop with boron carbide on leather. White isn't bad steel by any means, it just needs a lil more tlc.
    excellent, thanks Mr. Hay!
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

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