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Thread: Knife Performance Contest

  1. #1
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Knife Performance Contest

    After some spirited debate on qualities of knives by American and Japanese makers, I have entered in a challenge with a fellow forum member. We are still working out details of how it will run, but in brief, I will provide one of my knives (with my standard HT, geometry, profile, handle ergonomics, etc) to be tested against a Japanese knife of his choice. It is likely to be 240mm gyuto.

    We want this to be a blind test, that is a tester should have no knowledge of either makers, and the testing to concentrate on five areas: sharpness, food separation, edge holding, edge stability (resistance to chipping) and feel. Feel is something subjective to every person, but typically it covers balance, weight, and how a knife actually feels in one's hand.

    I hope that the contenders will be put for a shift (or longer) of cutting without touching up or sharpening in between and cutting would cover a variety of things, including dense rood vegetables.

    Win or lose, there is something to be learned here and I am a game for it.

    I will keep you guys posted and I will also start a blog on this subject once it is in motion.

    Thanks,

    Marko

    PS: I hope I don't break forum rules posting it here. I don't think I do, but if I am mistaken, mods please let me know.


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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  2. #2
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    Interesting. Reminds me a bit of the sharpening olympics way back when.

    k.
    "In Japan they don't call it Japanese food, they just call it food." -- Children's Hospital Quote

  3. #3
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr drinky View Post
    Interesting. Reminds me a bit of the sharpening olympics way back when.

    k.
    Why? I find it a bit puzzling why some of you think that comparing two knives is like comparing apples and oranges. We are not comparing deba and gyuto here - same type, same lengh, and I presume that knife it is to test against is made to be used in pro environment.

    There are fixed criteria they will be tested on, but overall, one test them for their efficiency to do the work, same as, say two sprinters square off running 100 meters. Why can you have contests in other spheres of life (sports, cooking, technology, etc) but not here? Both knives are made to do same work - cutting a variety of things. I am genuinely perplexed.

    Note that I have no idea what the testers' preferences are, I have some idea what knife it will be tested against, but I am not going to make any adjustments to my process. So a blind test is the way to go and multiple testers will hopefully eliminate some bias. It's highly unscientific exercise, or course, but there should be something to learn from it.

    It's quite different from sharpening Olympics, as the knifet hat won the sharpness contest, would not have lasted long on the board.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mrmnms's Avatar
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    I am looking forward to this. I suspect your blade will hold up well against anything.

  5. #5
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    I have only control over my work, so it's not a clear cut scenario and it could go either way as many factors can influence the outcome. Hopefully having defined criteria helps, but you never know.

    That's basically what I prepare myself for. Win or lose, its a valuable exercise for me.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan View Post

    Win or lose, there is something to be learned here and I am a game for it.
    You will learn what one person likes in a knife and that's it. You can have 2 totally different knives but one isn't necessarily better than the other. It is not comparing apples to apples, knives are subjective. Which is better. A 100m sprinter or a 400m sprinter? I appreciate you going through with this and all but it seems kinda futile, you know what you do and what you like and so will the testers

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    I'd like to be in that pass around. I have several peeople that I work with that are good cooks but don't know stink about knives. I love you attitude too Marko. Hopefully someday I'll be able to convince you to make me a few handles

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    I really hope Mr Birnarndo offers a shegefusa. that will be a test

  9. #9
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenStefano View Post
    You will learn what one person likes in a knife and that's it. You can have 2 totally different knives but one isn't necessarily better than the other. It is not comparing apples to apples, knives are subjective. Which is better. A 100m sprinter or a 400m sprinter? I appreciate you going through with this and all but it seems kinda futile, you know what you do and what you like and so will the testers
    No, you are comparing the knife's ability to handle any work you throw at it. One that's more efficient, wins. Efficiency is evaluated by five criteria outlined in the first post. This exercise is aimed at pro users, not collectors. That's really all it is. Soft of like "pretend you are stranded on an inland and you have only one knife that you will have to make work for everything".

    I stated in the first post that people to participate will have no knowledge of the makers or their knives, and KKF. Testing is probably going to be done in Norway.

    I put forward no requirements what knife the other party to provide.

    Hope this clarifies things.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  10. #10
    Sponsors Dream Burls's Avatar
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    My two cents:

    I think it's very important that this be a "blind" test. The user(s) cannot know which knife is which: no prior knowledge, no markings. Also, I think it is very important that what is to be rated be extremely specific and well understood as to its meaning and application. Finally, the rating system needs to be well defined. Is it this is better than that or is there a point system for each category?
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