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Re: Sabatier and TBT
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Thread: Re: Sabatier and TBT

  1. #1

    Re: Sabatier and TBT

    So, I'm in the market for a carbon knife. Unsure if I want to go for a 210 slicer as is so popular in these parts, or if I want to go for a normal 210-240 chef's knife as a foil to my HD. I was thinking it'd be nice to have a Sabatier, so I went to where I know to go and acquire legit Sabatiers - thebestthings. But now I have questions. What is better/different between the Nogent, the Canadian Massif, and the normal carbon ones? I see a difference in handles, but is that really all? Any difference in construction, spine thickness, geometry, etc? Or how about rarity?
    And then they made it more confusing by having their "house brand of carbon French knives".
    http://thebestthings.com/knives/carbon_steel_knives.htm
    Either way, I was planning on rehandling the carbon knife anyways (or, rather, I was going to have Dave rehandle it), so I just need to know blade-for-blade is there any difference or reason to get a Sabatier over house brand, and if so, WHICH Sabatier?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seb's Avatar
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    Last year, I ordered two chef knives: a Nogent 10" and a Canadian 8" - the Nogent's handle was slightly out of alignment and the Canadian's tip was bent (about 3mm out of true). TBT took care of it by offering me a discount on the Canadian, I decided not to worry about the Nogent and anyway I had read that this was normal for vintage Sabs. We didn't discuss a refund as I am in Australia.

    Anyway, I would suggest, based on various comments I have seen here and there on the various cutlery forums, that there are QC issues with the Thiers-Issard Elephant Four-Star Sabs because other people have had problems too. Not that I wouldn't take a risk on them again, but you have to spell-it-out beforehand that you want them to take extra care to ship you a good one. But, guess what, I did that and one knife still arrived with a seriously bent tip (I tried bending it back but it is still 1mm off). In the following email convo, the sales rep even said that they had personally checked my knives before they went out [but obviously missed it anyhow], so go figure.

    I surmise that part of the issue with the vintage Nogents and Canadians is that TBT's stock is almost all gone and the ones that are left may be the 'less than perfect' specimens. But then OTOH some of the biggest complaints have been about the red staminawood handled series which is not a vintage line so, again, go figure.

    I also remember reading comments (I think it was at bladeforums) that TBT had tried asking Thiers to get with the programme and stop shipping bent knives, but basically got nowhere with that. Thiers (or the distributor) basically told 'em to lump it.

    Anyway, I suggest you also check out Sabatier K here. I ordered a 10" Canadian chef's from them too and it is pretty darn nice! But these weren't made by Thiers-Issard but from another Sab outfit called Acier-Fondu and this one feels heavier and has a bigger handle than the Thiers 'Canadian Massif' ones sold by TBT.

    I like my Sabs from TBT but thought you should know that there could be 'issues'. If you want something 'modern'-looking with tight fit and finish then the K-Sabatier is the one you want.

    PS: Epicurean Edge also carries Sabs, but from a third outfit called Mexceur et Cie. Check out those nifty little carbon parers.

  3. #3
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    I have a T-I 10" chef's in olive wood. The blade is not just bent, but twisted near the tip. If you love steeling, you will love these knives. They have a great profile and are very comfy to hold.

  4. #4
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    I've got some Nogents -- 10" Chef's, 6" slicer (petty), 4" parer. They all came just about perfect. NO bends, tip or otherwise. But if you don't want to go "vintage", another option besides the Thiers-Issard is Sabatier-K. POM handles, very similar to the ****Elephants in other respects; I haven't heard of anyone who had problems with bends or any other fit and finish issues to speak of (again, just not good edges OOTB, as should be expected).

  5. #5
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    Last September I ordered four Nogents, a parer, a utility, a chef's and a slicer, from TBT, and asked to have each inspected for bends and/or twists. All four had bent blades and the slicer had a twist that would make sharpening impossible. To their credit, TBT took them back without any problem, and gave me full credit for all of them, so all I was out was shipping, but it still left a bad taste.

    Caveat emptor.
    “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

  6. #6
    Senior Member Seb's Avatar
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    The light was pretty good today so I couldn't resist the temptation to take a few pics of my carbon Sabs. I am using these as go-to's at the moment and having a ball:
    1. TI Elephant Nogent 10".
    2. Acier Fondu Canadian 10" from K-Sabatier's Gamme Antique line.
    3. TI Canadian Massif 8".



    I'm in love with the way these things feel in my hand.


    Note that the Acier Fondu has a really lousy uneven grind but this thing is THIN (thinner than the Nogent).


    This took a killer edge on my Green Brick.

  7. #7
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    At the bottom of the page you linked to, there is a picture of a someone in what appears to be a chef jacket cutting on a glass cutting board. That's good for a demerit, Seb.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Seb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    At the bottom of the page you linked to, there is a picture of a someone in what appears to be a chef jacket cutting on a glass cutting board. That's good for a demerit, Seb.
    That? Oh, that's not glass, it's a space-age, see-through, edge-friendly material. I have it on good authority that it's even better for your edges than end-grain walnut.

    (whew, that was close!)

  9. #9
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Wow. I really want those! I have such a weakness for Sabs.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  10. #10
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb View Post
    That? Oh, that's not glass, it's a space-age, see-through, edge-friendly material. I have it on good authority that it's even better for your edges than end-grain walnut.

    (whew, that was close!)
    Hahahahaha.
    You could likely just sum it up with, "Meh. It's a French thing. They always have fancy shmancy stuff". (note* no offense was intended by the previous comment!)
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

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