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Thread: What is the most important blade characteristic?

  1. #11

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    I think kitchen knifes are like good food. Every thing is just as important, every thing has to come together just right for the perfect blade. How ever a good blade can be achieved by over compensating for some shortcomings.
    So not necessarily in order:
    Good recipe= geometry
    Is it cooked right= heat treat
    Ingredients = steel
    How does it look = well looks, this includes the handle.
    Does it taste good = how does it cut?

    So based on that I would say heat treat is #1. if the blade's not cooked right it will suck.
    #2 geometry
    # 3 hoe it cuts
    #4 look's
    #5 the steel.

  2. #12
    FYI - I am finding this thread to be very interesting.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Niloc View Post
    I think kitchen knifes are like good food. Every thing is just as important, every thing has to come together just right for the perfect blade. How ever a good blade can be achieved by over compensating for some shortcomings.
    So not necessarily in order:
    Good recipe= geometry
    Is it cooked right= heat treat
    Ingredients = steel
    How does it look = well looks, this includes the handle.
    Does it taste good = how does it cut?

    So based on that I would say heat treat is #1. if the blade's not cooked right it will suck.
    #2 geometry
    # 3 how it cuts
    #4 look's
    #5 the steel.
    LOL. I too use cooking as an analogy for heat treatment (though up to now on a theoretical level, but not for long!). Each step in HT is equivalent to a step in cooking a meal. Ingredient (steel), temperature, cooking time, resting a meal, and a cook's knowhows (anything that improves an outcome) are the steps.
    I think this analogy is easier to grasp, than laying out steps in technical terms at least for those who cook.

    I think geometry, heat treat and a choice of steel are three components one needs to understand how to get the most from to produce a well cutting knife. Other things one can compensate for.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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  4. #14
    Delbert Ealy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    Here's my list in order of importance...

    1. Geometry

    2. Profile

    3. Heat Treat

    4. Steel

    5. Handle
    Dave and I think alike(and I'm in trouble now) but I would add that the balance is important too.

    Please keep in mind that although Dave and others have ranked these characteristics of the knives, in order to have a great knife all of these have to be done well.
    I too have preferences in which are most important, but you have to have all of them in order to have a fully functional knives.
    Larrin points out that most of you have put the handle low on the list and thats a good point, the handle is the interface between your hand and the blade, so it is very important.

    Laminated metals specialist, Kitchen knife and gadget maker
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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by StephanFowler View Post
    FYI - I am finding this thread to be very interesting.
    I second that.
    -M

  6. #16
    Senior Member Citizen Snips's Avatar
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    well balance is a tricky one because if you have handle as one of your top 5 and the knife originally had to rehandled by one of our own wonderful handle makers, the balance will change from what was originally intended. every handle is going to change balance so in reality, the balance of the knife and handle work together

  7. #17
    +1 to geometry, architecture, grind . . . whatever you guys decide is the proper term to describe the shape of the knife from the edge to the spine, I'll go with that. All other things being equal, this, IMHO, separates a good knife, from an average knife. As I've learned firsthand, a decently sharp knife with great geometry, grind, architecture, will cut much better than a scary sharp knife with average geometry.

    However, for me, since I'm simply a knife user, and not a knife maker, I'll add one characteristic that I personally think is especially important - stiffness. An average knife, even if extremely sharp, that is somewhat flexible, does not allow me to make accurate, detailed cuts using the tip of the knife.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  8. #18

    Kirenaga

    Agree with all above factors, they are paramount!... Geometry (Architecture), handle, aesthetics, etc.

    Having said that.. In my personal opinion.. I believe that Kirenaga deserves a special place. Ability to hold and edge (Duration of sharpness) and also the ability to attain a keen edge (Be it carbides, properties of steel, heat treatment or such)... I guess they fall in the category mentioned previously... steel!!

    If the knife has a good profile, good Width of blade and comfortable handle (Which I have on most of my go to knives) I will veer towards the one that will keep a decent edge the longest..


  9. #19
    Senior Member goodchef1's Avatar
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    Smile

    I assume it would be different for one who buys knives and one who makes them.

    for me (one who buys them) I would have to say at present:

    BEFORE I PURCHASE:
    1. Blade profile/Thickness, (too thick, too thin,too generic, I don't buy it!)

    2. Steel/HRC, (I agree that steel is like a recipe, some sound delicious, and some sound blaze and old hat. We all like to try the new and exciting steel, or heat treatments, or steel mixes etc..) selling point.

    3. Blade appearance (Very subjective, but for me, I don't like rough finishes, or when getting high carbon, layers that react very harshly to acidic foods. I've seen these ie: copper inlays)

    AFTER I PURCHASE:
    4. Blade/edge geometry (before we knew what the heck that meant, Shun sold us on the 16 degree angles and were happy with the performance, plus how long can I use my knife before I have to sharpen it again.)

    5. Balance (for my precision work and kinetics. This goes to the top of my list once I shell out the bucks for this knife)

    6. Fit & Finish (A well made and great looking knife gives me pride when I work, making me put out happier food)

    This for me is what I try to envision my purchasing habits to be from the moment I start looking to buy, to the end result and over-all satisfaction in the long run.

    tank yu betty much

  10. #20
    flexibility is purely a function of the geometric qualities of the knife,

    how thin, how much taper, where the taper occurs, etc.

    steel type and hardness don't effect how easily a blade is flexed from it's original position. the DO effect how easily the knife will become "bent" (exceeding the modulus of elasticity for a given steel) and need to be straightened


    effectively this means that if you want a stiff knife, it will necessarily have to be thicker than a flexy knife.

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