In a similar vein to Salty dog, I started getting into cutlery in almost the same way I got into guitar.
I'm an avid guitarist (usually play at least an hour a day), and much like you guys could debate steel types and knife geometries like the back of your hand (I'm not quite there yet haha), I could debate guitar scale lengths, wood choices, pickups, and string gauges like the back of mine (and certainly more than most guitarists I know). This pretty much started because several years ago I became determined to improve my guitar skills and knowledge as much as possible.
So here I am with kitchen knives - I've always loved cooking as I've always loved music, and I've recently committed myself to developing my cooking skills and knowledge as much as possible, and it turned out that my knife skills needed the most help. And down the rabbit hole I go...
With both I always end up chasing the elusive holy grail - the PERFECT one for me. I'm sure you guys know - you find something really good, really really good, only to come to realize that it's just off enough to keep it from being perfect - so the search continues. I'm really close with guitars (my current guitar is AWESOME), and we'll see how close my starter knife purchase gets me to my ideal.
I would definitely not say that steel and guns are not feminine. Especially if in range or said steel and guns in the hands of a woman than knows how to use them.
Originally Posted by Erilyn75
I am not yet obsessed thanks to financial issues and the fact that I live in Europe (although that Akifusa shall be mine soon. I hope) but I decided to learn to cook and I have always been a geek - so it is a natural fit to obsess over such technical topics like geometry and the metallurgical side of the knifemaking. And kitchen knives are the only pieces of good steel that you can actually use unless you are serious bushcrafter/hunter.
I think it may have started with learning about having the right tools from a few years of trumpet playing. From there I became obsessed with sharpening after some "professional" took a set of belt sanders to my school knives and still handed me a knife as dull as what I handed him. I came here to learn more about sharpening and everyone talked of Japanese knives, and being obsessed with Japan and in need of a new knife....it was inevitable.
When I was 8 I bugged my old man to let me get a Gerber with a black handle, so I could make spears and play caveman with my buds. This would have been in the early 1960's. No computers and you had to have something sharp to make a good spear. When I turned 10 the old man broke down and got me the Gerber with a 3" folder. I loved to strip the bark off off the wood I used to make spears and then make a point. PC didn't exist then, so a boy could be a boy, without being sent to a Pschy or put on Ritalin.
I always had knives up through and into my teens and then took a trip to Colombia in the early 1970's and became fascinated by the way the people in the tropics could build a complete home from natural materials using one tool, a machete. They sharpened them on smooth rocks. I bought several machetes. In the late 90's I agan got bitten by the bug and attended the two week American Bladesmtih Intro. To Bladesmithing Class in Old Washington, Arkansas. I forged a bunch of knives, but got bored with the same old drop point hunters and Bowies. I became intriqued with the blades of the Mughals, the Islamic rulers of India and the blades of Persia. I collected several antique blades that included some beautiful watered Wootz steel with Walrus Ivory grips and other more common Kards and some Kindjals from the Caucasus. . However, since they were antiques there was no way I was going to sharpen them or even use them and I knew that I couldn't be happy unless I could use them. I continued to collect smaller using knives made in Scandanavia and sharpened on AR Stones and stops.
My next foray into knives were handmade blades from the Phillipines in the 18" blade length. I used them to cut through the thick grape leaf vines that will grow to 3-4" in diameter and cover up a hardwood tree's crown. Then I got into sharpening, mostly using a 6" flap disc and 6" buff with chromium oxide to take the burr off. The flap disc allows you to create a convex edge and maintain it very easliy. IBut I never really enjoyed motorized sharpening.
My current blade obsession teamed up with my enjoyment of cooking. I breed and raise my own heritage Berkshire Hogs. I also like to cook outside year round on my Kamado grill and am always needing a sharp knife or two or three. I discovered Japanese knives about 6 months ago and now have about 6 different knives and a variety of stones and strops. I able to sharpen to my satisfaction freehand, but am always seeking improvement. My favorite steels are carbon steels like: White #'s 1 & 2 and Aogami Super. I have some CPM folder blades, but don't enjoy them. For cooking prep I'd rather use carbon steel or every now and then a Swedish stainless steel. I think I will stay with the Japanese type blades from here on out, because freehand sharpening is such a kind of Zen experience and you then you get that instand gratification of using a very sharp knife. I think I've covered my addiction in more than enough detail.