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Thread: Heavy Chef's Knife - A New Project

  1. #1

    Heavy Chef's Knife - A New Project

    Some years ago I had a Wusthoff heavy chef's. It was a pretty cool knife, though because of its weight and geometry, it didn't see much use. Recently I tried a Japanese heavy chefs and it got me interested.

    I am thinking of using 4.5 - 5.5mm stock in 52100 or powder stainless steel. I will give profile a little more curve toward the tip than I use on my thinner knives, but overall, it will be similar and will have a pointy tip.

    Weight target for 270mm will be 250g without a handle, about 325g with the handle. Heavier, slightly oversize D handle should help with a balance, though I expect the balance point to be forward, 1.5" or so.

    Fit and finish the same as on my other knives. Standard heat treatment - best combination of sharpness, wear resistance and edge stability.

    Geometry will be mostly convex.

    This would be a specialty knife, like other specialty knives: scimitar, single bevel, etc that I would like to become proficient at.

    Heavy knives that perform is a new territory for me so I could use as much input from the users as they are willing to give. I would like to hear from the users on what are the strong/weak points of such a knife, and suggestions how a knife like that can be improved.

    Please post in this thread, PM, or if you wish, contact me directly Here:

    Thank you.


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

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  2. #2
    Want to add that the steel for this type of knife should offer a good amount of wear resistance, and a good response to stropping and touching up on a high grit stones or diamond plates. You would want to keep the original geometry for a long time, if you eat up the edge up too fast, the knife will need to be reground (I doubt it can be thinned by hand) to maintain performance.

    52100 for carbon and PM stainless have a good wear resistance, small carbide size for edge stability and respond very well to stropping and touching up on DMT plates.


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

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

  3. #3
    The info received and my own take on this project should be enough to make a 1.0 prototype and after a passaoround, I would incorporate the feedback into 2.0 version.


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

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

  4. #4
    Senior Member cheflarge's Avatar
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    I am all about the heavy style knives. I was just having a conversation with a fellow member about using such a style of knife for breaking down whole, bone in chicken. Sounds like it could be used for general kitchen duties, as well. Hope this helps.

    I would also be interested if it makes it to the pass around stage.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan View Post
    Some years ago I had a Wusthoff heavy chef's. It was a pretty cool knife, though because of its weight and geometry, it didn't see much use. Recently I tried a Japanese heavy chefs and it got me interested.

    I am thinking of using 4.5 - 5.5mm stock in 52100 or powder stainless steel. I will give profile a little more curve toward the tip than I use on my thinner knives, but overall, it will be similar and will have a pointy tip.

    Weight target for 270mm will be 250g without a handle, about 325g with the handle. Heavier, slightly oversize D handle should help with a balance, though I expect the balance point to be forward, 1.5" or so.

    Fit and finish the same as on my other knives. Standard heat treatment - best combination of sharpness, wear resistance and edge stability.

    Geometry will be mostly convex.

    This would be a specialty knife, like other specialty knives: scimitar, single bevel, etc that I would like to become proficient at.

    Heavy knives that perform is a new territory for me so I could use as much input from the users as they are willing to give. I would like to hear from the users on what are the strong/weak points of such a knife, and suggestions how a knife like that can be improved.

    Please post in this thread, PM, or if you wish, contact me directly Here:

    Thank you.
    I'd love to get a shot at it.
    Last edited by Andrew H; 06-28-2013 at 07:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by cheflarge View Post
    I am all about the heavy style knives. I was just having a conversation with a fellow member about using such a style of knife for breaking down whole, bone in chicken. Sounds like it could be used for general kitchen duties, as well. Hope this helps.

    I would also be interested if it makes it to the pass around stage.
    Interesting idea and if I am not mistaken, my Wuesthoff was ground like that - first half was ground thinner for general cutting, and the heel was thicker sharpened at an obtuse angle for splitting.

    I admit that this was not in my plants, but I would consider making a variation of heavy chefs/splitter to a regular heavy chefs.


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

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

  7. #7
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    A heavy chef's and not a western deba? Or maybe the distinction is in my head only.

  8. #8
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    I would be interested for sure I have owned a Mizuno gyuto and currently own a gyuto and a suji from Heiji. I prefer a heavier knife and am used to those with large wide and conveyed bevels. Also I'm especially used to using a knife like this in a pro environment. If you want a tester I'm in. I'm a little reticent though at the idea of you making a slightly heavier (I.e., thicker knife) that is difficult to thin on stones. A very large part of owning a heavier gyuto is performing the requisite thinning to maintain the cutting geometry. That part is the difficult trade off. But, as usual, I'm probably missing something

  9. #9
    Every geometry has its pros and cons. Cons of a thick convex is that sooner or later the edge will be eaten up and you will move up to a thicker area on the blade. One way to counteract that is to choose a steel with a good wear resistance and to maintain the knife on a felt strop with a diamond spray in-between sharpening sessions and a periodic touch ups on a 8K DMT plate. This can prolong time between sharpening up to 2-4 months (it would depend what you cut, of course. If a lot of rosemary, the time will be shorter).

    Nonetheless, at some point in the future, the knife will need to be reground to get it back to original performance. Thin convex knives can be thinned by hand more effectively than thick ones. The later are best thinned on a grinder.

    That's one of the reasons the reason why I haven't chosen a pure convex for my current grind.

    This heavy chefs knife is more of an exercise than a production plan. For one, my knives are about 150g in weight, while this one is going to be about 250g, so I would have to discover something really amazing to consider changing geometry (I don't expect that to happen).

    Making heavier knives with my current geometry is possible and I am already doing it. Food release gets affected by making geometry thicker, but not not by much. I hope this project will help me learn about thicker and heavier knives, so I could take knowledge and apply with my current knives.


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

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

  10. #10
    I think it would be a good experiment Marko, a heavier knife can be good as i found with Shigefusa. As long as geometry is good i dont see and issue with it. Heavy knives like european knives i always keep around at work for opening lobsters, using the spine to smash celery etc. I think if i had a heavier gyuto i may attempt these with that just depends. It would be nice to have a gyuto that could take a little extra abuse but still perform.

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