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Thread: mystery heel chips

  1. #1

    mystery heel chips

    I believe I've read in more than one place where people have bought a nice new knife and then soon discovered somehow they'd chipped the heel, even after doing nothing. I'm wondering if this is some strange phenomenon? Mystery chips, and it's now happened to me!

    Last week I picked up a very handsome 150mm Aritsugu oroshi deba in Japan, and then carefully transported it home. White steel, wonderful f&f after I'd see many similar ones there. Dmn sharp too, and no work req'd.... Well, got it home and haven't even used it and next thing I notice a sizeable 1x2mm chip on the edge right at the heel. Can't imagine what'd happened.

    Images here if you want to see. Sorry - no camera, and these are poor quality scans, but you can get the idea:

    http://s1059.photobucket.com/albums/t435/CuttySharp1/

    Luckily it's a deba, and so won't be my primary knife; won't be rock-cutting vegs with it, for example. Maybe I can live with it. Yes, it bothers me, but not sure if it need to go through a big sharpening routine to fix it right now.

  2. #2
    Nah, I say just use it and sharpen it right, it'll work itself out in time. In the meantime it will keep it from breaking off again.

  3. #3

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    my 2cents on that :
    1st the blade is not properly heat treated and has high Rockwell hardness range on the edge, or overheated when grinding edge, it happens a lot. steel becomes brittle almost like glass in same cases
    2nd that blade or just that corner could have *dirty steel* some blades end up getting other material mixed in when forged that will structurally change quality in blade ( low quality of ingot not normal on high end blades)
    3rd just unknown bad luck
    I agree with BurkeCutlery just use it or send to someone to re shape your edge professionally if you are not feeling comfortable to do it yourself.

    Good luck

  4. #4
    I really would be wary of saying that it is improper HT or inferior steel based on a chipped heel. It's a fragile part of a tool that's not meant to be abused, it could get chipped just bumping into something.

    Now, if it chips all the time, or chips on something stupid like snapper skin, that's different.

    I had a Mioroshi Deba I sharpened for a local chef that had a spot on the belly that kept chipping...I mean the steel was flaking off for some reason, when the rest of the blade was fine. I thought I wasn't hitting the edge there, because the rest of the knife had a 1k edge, and that spot looked about 140x. That is an example of a situation where I might be suspect of the heat treat(which I am, because it's a no-name $100, supposedly Blue Super Mioroshi Deba sold in-person by some random old traveling salesman).

  5. #5
    Senior Member K-Fed's Avatar
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    Eh... chips kind of come with the territory especially while learning deba. I know I still have a few small vestiges of chips left from the last tuna I filleted. As long as you don't find that the whole blade chips that way I would say just roll with it and let it work itself out in time. It's no biggie really unless you are very concerned with the asthetics of the knife. If that's the case send it to Dave or Jon and have them work it out for you professionally if you're not comfy doing it your self, or if you are, have a go at it. It's a fun project if you enjoy sharpening.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Duckfat's Avatar
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    Wow what a bummer. That's a big chip out of the heel. Hopefully it just got dinged in transport even though it was handled with care and you don't have more chips like that in the future.

    Dave

  7. #7
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    Check the inside of the saya for glue. It's not likely, but I had a knife that kept developing mystery chips in the same place and I finally narrowed it down to the saya: a few small beads of glue had seeped into the inside of the saya during the assembly process.

    The other comments about overheating the edge during grinding or perhaps some impurities during forging sound likely. White steel is supposedly not the easiest to work with. I have a white steel knife that was fairly chip-prone at the beginning, but after a year or so of sharpening and moving the edge up the blade, it's much more stable and durable.

    At least it's on the heal, which is the least critical for filleting and is going to take the most abuse anyway.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeCutlery View Post
    Nah, I say just use it and sharpen it right, it'll work itself out in time. In the meantime it will keep it from breaking off again.
    Yes, doesn't look so nice: when I signed up here posting in the 'new members' forum you, Mr Burke, said 'post some photos' which I was going to do once I had my camera again, and then THE CHIP.... Because of its position, How you use a deba it's not really going to hinder its performance, so it's more an aesthetic thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeCutlery View Post
    not meant to be abused, it could get chipped just bumping into something.
    Well, that's the only thing that could have happened. Haven't used it, just held it a lot like a boy with a new toy. Maybe I knockd it against another knife when placing it down. My fault somehow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boki View Post
    my 2cents ... the blade is not properly heat treated... brittle almost like glass ... could have *dirty steel*
    I hope not and really doubt it. I got this particular knife because it just looked and felt right. As said, f&f and everything overall were just right - and it was after handling probably about 100 other knives during a 4-day visit to Kansai Osaka/Sakai/Kyoto.

    Quote Originally Posted by K-Fed View Post
    Eh... chips kind of come with the territory especially while learning deba. ... I would say just roll with it and let it work itself out in time. It's no biggie really unless you are very concerned with the asthetics of the knife. If that's the case send it to Dave or Jon and have them work it out for you professionally if you're not comfy doing it your self, or if you are, have a go at it. It's a fun project if you enjoy sharpening.
    Yes, my plan is to sharpen it out naturally, although it being a deba I will use it less and this process could take a while! No, as you can see I live in Korea and don't want to ship my knife internationally to a pro sharpener.

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin0505 View Post
    Check the inside of the saya for glue. ... White steel is supposedly not the easiest to work with. I have a white steel knife that was fairly chip-prone at the beginning, but after a year or so of sharpening and moving the edge up the blade, it's much more stable and durable. At least it's on the heal, which is the least critical for filleting and is going to take the most abuse anyway.
    Interesting suggestion about glue, but sadly no saya for this. Agreed about the position at the heel being the least critical.

    Thanks for all the comments, guys. Times like these you realise which knife maniacs you can rely on!

    Kev

  9. #9
    Hey we don't judge about a few dings here and there.

    Just don't post this as your prized Yanagiba:

  10. #10
    Senior Member K-Fed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeCutlery View Post
    Hey we don't judge about a few dings here and there.

    Just don't post this as your prized Yanagiba:
    Gasp!

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