I like that attitude, actually
Well, to a point.
Sometimes we get too hung up on numbers and steel types, etc here. It's part of the fun for us, but I can see where Murray is coming from.
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I once found a number of tiny chips in a new Carter knife I was using and complained to Murray about it. He simply sharpened them out and gave me the knife back. As I understood it, he considered a few small chips in the edge normal until you had broken a new blade in with a few trips to the waterstone.
Last edited by Noodle Soup; 06-19-2011 at 10:13 AM. Reason: not happy with my writing
That sounds reminiscent of VG10. I have a tiny tiny chip in my edge, but it isn't affecting cutting ability, so I'll just get it out next time, on the stones. For mine, I'm not surprised. I've used it HARD since the day I bought it, basically.
A lot of knives are chippy before you sharpen them. My Heiji gyuto chipped a bit before I sharpened it the first time. I was curious to see how it cut out of the box. It performed well but the "stock" edge was a bit weak. Sharpened it from 1k up and its never had those problems since.
I'm still curious to see how big this chip is.
Chipping has to do with a heat treatment (blades in over 63RC hardness will be more brittle) and edge stability of a steel.
Traditional Japanese smiths (and Carter claims to be one) rely on eye to determine temperature of a heated metal (by color) before quenching. I would bet if you test for hardness a batch of knives from the same smith, you will find some variation in hardness.
My guess, many of these knives are over-hardened (not drawn to RC where they are more stable) and brittle at the edge, so a micro bevel or a less acute angle is required.
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I think it's safe to say he is an unconventional Traditional Japanese smith.
I would think the edge and anywhere that is thinner on a knife would be hardened more than a thicker portion, based on heat transfer, so yeah, that makes sense.