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Thread: High-End vs High-Performance Knives

  1. #1

    High-End vs High-Performance Knives

    I had a visitor to my shop today. We talked about knives, I showed him knives that influenced my work, did some cutting to demonstrate food release and talked a bit about my process and what I aim at in my knives - performance. He then asked me "what is a high-performance knife"? I gave him a brief answer (he came with his mother and we were getting too technical about some things) so later I emailed him a more detailed explanation. I am going copy and past some of it here, maybe somebody will find it useful.

    High-End and High-Performance knife are not interchangeable, though sometimes, a knife is both. My understanding of a high-performance knife is the following:

    Steel - has to have small carbides size and contain alloys that will contribute to wear resistance. I find 52100 for carbon and AEB-L for stainless be some of the best performing steels.
    Heat treatment - should be aimed to achieve a great edge stability and a fine grain structure (sharpness will follow) while getting a good hardness (62-63RC after tempering) and good wear resistance. Cryo, proper tempering will influence performance greatly.
    Profile - generally, narrower and flatter profiles make more efficient cutters.
    Grind - one with a best food separation (consistently, not just on the first cut, and on variety of things) would be desirable
    Handle - needs to be comfortable to be held for hours (in pro environment) without developing fatigue
    Fit and finish - edges on the spine and choil need be rounded and polished, as these come in contact with the hand and higher finish on a blade is desirable on carbon steels


    When all these are combined in one knife, you basically have a racing car in a kitchen knife.

    Marko


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member RiffRaff's Avatar
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    +1 Elegant and quotable. And when are you gonna give us all a tour of your new-fangled shop?

  3. #3
    At some later point when I spend some time organizing it.

    I will however have a pass-around knife in mid September.

    M


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    I just may put that on my phone for a wall paper so when someone asks. (it has happened more than once)
    Chewie's the man.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
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    If I may suggest another criteria. Weight distribution. It's that thing when people talk about "feels good in the hand". Often over looked and little understood.

    Generally a well ground knife will have good distribution but not always. It lends to the users confidence. Although he may not be aware of it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Salty dog View Post
    If I may suggest another criteria. Weight distribution. It's that thing when people talk about "feels good in the hand". Often over looked and little understood.

    Generally a well ground knife will have good distribution but not always. It lends to the users confidence. Although he may not be aware of it.
    Yes, I missed that one and thickness. Thanks Scott for pointing it out.

    Balance - A pinch grip is more efficient than a 'hammer' grip and so a knife with a slightly forward balance will lend itself better for efficient cutting.

    Thickness
    - Thin at the spine but with a rigid feel.

    M


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

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