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Thread: The White #2 Experience

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by chuck239 View Post

    (only a few people on the forum know how sick I am)

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  2. #32
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    So I work in a Japanese kitchen, at the end of a shift i brought my knife up to my chef to show him the patina. I thought it was beautiful and said, "For me this is Wabi Sabi, I like it."
    He says, "Japanese image, this is no care."
    We laughed.

  3. #33
    Senior Member WiscoNole's Avatar
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    I find Blue #2 drastically more reactive than any White steel
    -Matt

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by WiscoNole View Post
    I find Blue #2 drastically more reactive than any White steel
    Really? - Blue contains alloying elements (chromium and tungsten) which should attenuate reactivity relative to white, if anything.

    Which blue #2 steel knives in particular? - iirc there are not many blue monosteel knives out there (Takayuki western gyuto, various honyakis spring to mind, think the yoshihiro blue wa-gyuto is blue #1).

  5. #35
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDispossessed View Post
    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!
    I agree with all of your points and almost all of the "first j-knives" that I've given a presents that I've given have been white #2. There does seem to be quite a bit a variation as to the edge retention though and I have a w#2 honyaki that's pretty darn good.
    I also sharpen or touch up my knives once they lose 10-15% of their initial edge and I've found that there really isnt much difference between steels when it comes to holding on the finest part of the initial edge and, if anything I'd say that some of the simple carbon steels are actually BETTER at that than the fancy SWR stainless stuff.
    I agree on your points of it teaching good habits in terms of hygiene and frequent maintenance, but I do think that one potential problem is that they are almost too easy to sharpen / touch up so developing clean / precise sharpening technique is as important. While this is certainly much less frustrating for a beginner, it also means that they can get away with not holding consistent angles, not developing a small / even bur and removing most of if when refining the edge, etc. I really did most of my learning on very difficult to sharpen steels and while it was frustrating, it also forced me to develope very good technique and to also understand exactly what I was doing and why.... it also made me really appreciate good carbon steel.
    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded

  6. #36
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    Justin agree wt alot of what you said.I have had carbons that stay sharp longer than many so called better stainless like VG-10.If doing alot of prep. nothing can be too easy to sharpen.Much is made of edge retention,I think HT is important for this.To me ease of sharpening is just as important.If rotating knives,can have very sharp blades that are easy to refreash.

    I made a rehandle on a 440c skinner blade was going to put a convex edge on it,could not thin well or raise a burr on my bester 1200.I can raise a burr easy on first pass wt my trained Carbons wt beaster 1200 or gesshin 2000.Also put a convex on a M-390 Gyuto for a friend who bought one of these.The M-390 may have better edge reten. than many carbons but I go to my diamond plates to thin & raise a burr on these steels.

    Same way sharpening alot of cheap crap stainless for other people.I have little tolerance for even slightly dull knives,thats why I only used carbons at work,razor edges & ease of sharpening a great combination.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin0505 View Post
    I agree with all of your points and almost all of the "first j-knives" that I've given a presents that I've given have been white #2. There does seem to be quite a bit a variation as to the edge retention though and I have a w#2 honyaki that's pretty darn good.
    I also sharpen or touch up my knives once they lose 10-15% of their initial edge and I've found that there really isnt much difference between steels when it comes to holding on the finest part of the initial edge and, if anything I'd say that some of the simple carbon steels are actually BETTER at that than the fancy SWR stainless stuff.
    I agree on your points of it teaching good habits in terms of hygiene and frequent maintenance, but I do think that one potential problem is that they are almost too easy to sharpen / touch up so developing clean / precise sharpening technique is as important. While this is certainly much less frustrating for a beginner, it also means that they can get away with not holding consistent angles, not developing a small / even bur and removing most of if when refining the edge, etc. I really did most of my learning on very difficult to sharpen steels and while it was frustrating, it also forced me to develope very good technique and to also understand exactly what I was doing and why.... it also made me really appreciate good carbon steel.
    Yes, maybe the best thing for a beginner sharpener is to have one white steel knife and another one made of something pretty tough to sharpen. The white steel knife lets the beginner get immediate results and get inspired about sharpening. Then getting the "difficult" knife sharp can be the next goal. I sort of had that over the past year or so as I learned to sharpen. I had a CCK cleaver (and now an Ashi cleaver)- dead easy to sharpen. And an Artifex gyuto... which is more of a "project" knife, since it has a wedge-like profile and doesn't really begin to act like a sharp knife until you thin it. I'm partway there.

  8. #38
    Senior Member WiscoNole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timthebeaver View Post
    Really? - Blue contains alloying elements (chromium and tungsten) which should attenuate reactivity relative to white, if anything.

    Which blue #2 steel knives in particular? - iirc there are not many blue monosteel knives out there (Takayuki western gyuto, various honyakis spring to mind, think the yoshihiro blue wa-gyuto is blue #1).
    My Watanabe and Mizuno Tanrenjo gyutos are both extremely reactive. The Watanabe often develops orange spots mid-prep job...like if I'm cutting 10 onions, it'll develop rust on less-contacted parts of the blade by the time I've cut 7 of them. I have to take a green scrubbie to it 2-4x a day if I'm using it at work.
    -Matt

  9. #39
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    How does your Mizuno compare with the Watanabe? I have a way on order and the mix is on top of my list of what to try next.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by WiscoNole View Post
    My Watanabe and Mizuno Tanrenjo gyutos are both extremely reactive. The Watanabe often develops orange spots mid-prep job...like if I'm cutting 10 onions, it'll develop rust on less-contacted parts of the blade by the time I've cut 7 of them. I have to take a green scrubbie to it 2-4x a day if I'm using it at work.
    Both of those are renowned for being clad with very reactive soft iron. Is it the cladding or the edge that discolours?

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