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Thread: Why are knives your passion?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Top of Georgia
    Combination of a love for food and a love for metal.


  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Northeast MA
    I like to cook, I am a home cook, and I like to have good tools. Kitchen knives are tools (toys) that I can use (play with) every day when I prepare meals.

    Also I enjoy sharpening knives, always did even when I was a kid with a pocket knife.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by BertMor View Post
    So, share with all of us why are knives your passion?
    I've recently received John Thorne's collection of essays entitled "Pot on the Fire" and the very first essay describes his relationship with his knife and pot.

    Several passages in the essay resonate for me in the context of your question:

    Each cook finds the tools that pull their temperament and their kitchen work into some sort of synchrony. I have always been an anxious and impatient person, and this was especially so when I was young. That sharp carbon-steel knife allowed me to grasp anxiety by the handle and point it away from me.

    I think this is the root of my life-long fascination with sharp things: at its simplest level it derives from developing the skills and ability to control something dangerous.

    He also says:

    No matter how many times you've done it before, picking up a razor-sharp knife puts the nerves on alert, and practice teaches you to extend them to the blade's tip, so that you feel rather than cut your way around

    and there's a lot hiding in this.

    As a user and developer of software "tools" I know how important it is for a tool to be well-designed such that it feels right. Not just that it fits the hand comfortably and naturally but how it feels when you're using it; does it function as it is supposed to and can you make it do what you want it to do. Does it work with you or against you. How much effort must be applied to make it do what you want. How much and what kind of feedback do you get. When everything feels just right the tool becomes a part of you, an extension of your will and it can just disappear in the sense that you don't have think about it, you're just able to use it intuitively and subconsciously.

    To me, this relationship is the thesis of Thorne's essay: it is a very personal, private thing between a cook (craftsman) and his tools. Some care about this and some don't. We knife knuts care very much because we understand that with the right tool that which was tedious drudgery is now fun and something to look forward to with much anticipation. The end result, eating the meal, is no longer the only goal. Enjoying the preparation, exercising and appreciating the tools used, becomes a large part of it as well.

    Then when you discover the additional dimensions of enjoying the aesthetic, artitistic and scientific aspects of how the knife looks as well as the materials it is made from, well pretty soon you're caught up in wanting to experience as wide a variety as possible trying to find that one perfect knife.

    The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one and it would not be a wasted life.
    -- General Katsumoto in The Last Samurai

    Passion, addiction, grail quest, whatever. I've now rationalized why I have 10 gyutos and still lust for more

  4. #14
    Senior Member BertMor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    Great answer!!
    Bert M.

    Why?! Because footballs don't have wheels!

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    SpikeC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    That pretty much covers it, 9er. For me, I have always been making things. I spent my working life making custom jewelry, while building motorcycles and doing woodwork on my spare time. Cooking has been a focus all my life as well, I did well in chemistry in school and that is what a kitchen is, a chemistry set! Trying to maintain the best edge possible on my kitchen knifes just makes the cooking more pleasant as well as feeding the gearhead.
    Now knife making is pulling all of these elements together. All of my life I have been chasing the perfect execution of what ever I am working on, and it is something that is never attained, but the pursuit makes life interesting!
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Frankly, I don't know. I just know that I need to make things sharp and I need to cut things and I like cool-looking things but I don't like useless junk. Why I'm obsessed, is a mystery to me but I don't ask. I just do. It's looking more and more like I'm going to start making significant modifications to knives. Perhaps I'll end up like some of the other folk here and make knives in my spare time.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    ...It's looking more and more like I'm going to start making significant modifications to knives. Perhaps I'll end up like some of the other folk here and make knives in my spare time.
    If you can't find what you are looking for, make your own.


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

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  8. #18
    As a culinary arts instructor, we always teach out students that your knife is an extension of your hand and therefore your body. The beauty I find in collecting various tools of the trade is that each knife carries with it a different feel and energy. Each has its own weight, balance points, requiring its own technique for cutting, etc. For me it starts to become very difficult to judge and say one is better than the other (they all become good and therefore result in large collections of knives).

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    I wouldn't say I have a passion for knives. To me, they are an extension of my passion for food.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Vancouver, WA
    I am constantly looking for ways to improve my cooking, tips, ideas, techniques. I am looking for an as Chad Ward put it, "An edge in the kitchen". The more I can get out of my knives, the more I am able to do in the kitchen.


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