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The classic knives against which all others are measured
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Thread: The classic knives against which all others are measured

  1. #1

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    The classic knives against which all others are measured

    I'd love your input: which kitchen knives, specifically if possible, stand as classic designs? For example, a "classic" hunting knife would be a Bob Loveless Drop Point Hunter. I'm trying to figure out which knives have established the trends that other knife designs have followed.

    Since western knives have followed in the gigantic shadow of Japanese bladesmithing, I'm wondering if there are specific japanese makers that are regarded as producing (or having produced) timeless designs that have defined the Japanese scene.

    I hope this is a controversial subject and I'm really looking forward to hearing a lot of different opinions (or a lot of agreement).

    -Patrick

  2. #2
    Everyone has different opinions on this, but some "gold standards" would be Shigefusa, Masamoto, Devin Thomas, Murray Carter. Konosuke is a very popular knife and often is a good reference point simply because most people here have owned or used one. Others like Watanabe, Heiji, Suisin, etc could also be used. All depends on your frame of reference.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  3. #3

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    It seems to me that you are trying to create something like a family tree?

    One of the earliest influences for both Western and Japanese knives would have to be some form of Sabatier, I would think.

    -AJ

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    El Pescador's Avatar
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    +1 sab.

  5. #5

    ecchef's Avatar
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    Masamoto KS maybe?
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  6. #6
    Iconic knives from Japan surely have a long history. Factory knives of historical note in America is documented(Beatty Cleavers, Dexter knives, etc). But the greats? Right now, it's 100% personal preference.

    The Japanese knife tradition was changed when they were adapting to a more internationally influenced diet and food culture. The Gyuto is basically a French Chef's knife filtered through Japanese sensibilties. The Santoku was a friendly, unintimidating variant of the pointier, more task-specific, high maintenance knives dominating Japan at the time. There are GREAT reasons to get those traditional knives, but there are plenty of reasons why not to--my wife has a sharp Yanagiba stuck on the wall daily for years, and never ever ever uses it.

    So basically, America is looking at Japan right now because their culture respects their knives and cooking on a personal level to a greater extent than Americans do anymore. What Japan went through, America is going through.

    That's the exciting thing! If you want to find the iconic knives in the American tradition, I've got one better--you can meet their makers! They are alive today. Several of them(notably not Murray Carter) are on this site. That's why I'm here.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    ...But the greats? Right now, it's 100% personal preference...
    Yeah. People have been copying each others knives for a very long time. It's hard to say that a guy that has been making knives in the last 100 yrs is defining anything "classic" I'm sure Loveless essentially copied his knives from somewhere, like everyone else. When I first started, in kitchen knives, I was referred to Suisin and Ikkanishi Tadatsuna. I like to use those (and similar knives) along with the TKC as references since so many people have them or have used them. And, yes, western-styled Japanese knives are based on the French still chef's knives.

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    +1 sabatier

  9. #9
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkb View Post
    For example, a "classic" hunting knife would be a Bob Loveless Drop Point Hunter.
    Only $12,000? Seems reasonable for a quality hunting knife.

    Welcome to KKF Patrick. Nice first post. Interesting discussion.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny.B.Good View Post
    Only $12,000? Seems reasonable for a quality hunting knife.
    Yeah, in that case, Bob Loveless = Bob Kramer. But even so Kramer isn't considered the be-all end-all in terms of performance and design. His craftsmanship may be unparalleled, and the prices his knives go for certainly are.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

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