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Differential Heat Treat in a Kitchen Knife. Why?
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Thread: Differential Heat Treat in a Kitchen Knife. Why?

  1. #1

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    Differential Heat Treat in a Kitchen Knife. Why?

    I want to break this out of the thread I started on Hamons.

    What advantage is there to differentially heat treating a kitchen knife? I like Son's answer:

    Quote Originally Posted by sachem allison View Post
    Remember most of these guys came from a long line of sword makers, when the Samurai were banned there were thousands of unemployed sword makers and nothing for them to do with there skills. Kitchen knives were made by the village blacksmith and were rudimentary at best. Making farming implements and kitchen knives was looked at as beneath them, consequently they began to starve. Someone swallowed his pride and set up shop and started making knives using the techniques he used to make swords, because that is the only way he knew how to do it. He made better kitchen knives then anyone else and people started to come from all over to get the knives with the Hamon, because that was a sign of quality, That's how you knew you got the real deal and the knife was made properly. I mean didn't this guy make swords for the Shogun or something, he must make the best knives. I think it probably started like that and then stayed on as a traditional sign of quality more than anything else. It is done that way, because it has been done that way for 17 generations or more. Not so much a trick, but marketing, it serves a real purpose.
    But that's not really a functional advantage. I agree that it is cool that a smith can do it and it tells how good they are at their technique but how does that make that knife better than a non-differentially heat treated knife?

    It made sense for swords that needed the ductility in the spine to survive impact and flex, but when in the kitchen do you need that? Spike suggested:
    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeC View Post
    How about breaking down a big ass tuna?
    But I've never broken down a big ass tuna so I don't know the application.

    Thanks!

    -AJ

  2. #2
    I've never noticed a difference in any aspect of use between a differential heat treat and a regular monosteel knife.

    It looks different, but it performs exactly the same way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    I want to break this out of the thread I started on Hamons.

    What advantage is there to differentially heat treating a kitchen knife? I like Son's answer:



    But that's not really a functional advantage. I agree that it is cool that a smith can do it and it tells how good they are at their technique but how does that make that knife better than a non-differentially heat treated knife?

    It made sense for swords that needed the ductility in the spine to survive impact and flex, but when in the kitchen do you need that? Spike suggested:

    But I've never broken down a big ass tuna so I don't know the application.

    Thanks!

    -AJ
    I really don't think it really has anything these day's to do with function, it is done that way, because that's the way it's always been done. Traditions are incredibly hard to break in a society based on tradition.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

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    So people will pay extra for these knives just because they value the aesthetics?

    -AJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajhuff View Post
    So people will pay extra for these knives just because they value the aesthetics?

    -AJ
    Shocker, huh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew H View Post
    Shocker, huh?
    In some respect, yes. I guess I am so much or a function guy rather than form.

    -AJ

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    The alleles created by mutation may be beneficial


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    Just look at all the damascus and custom handles around here, of course aesthetics are important to some people.

  8. #8
    Because of the soft back, it is easier to keep straight while grinding and polishing.

    Hoss

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinT View Post
    Because of the soft back, it is easier to keep straight while grinding and polishing.

    Hoss
    now we have an answer
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

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    I thought the concept was to make the cutting edge even harder than normal while still maintaining some durability to the blade as a whole.

    Edit: Just saw Devin's post, sounds like a good reason. Will the blade tend to stay straighter over time due to the less hard area, as well?

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