76.6 HCR knife

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Barmoley

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Do we really need to tell people to wash off wd40 from a knife before making food with it? some things are just obvious. I think these knives if they prove to be what they seem will work for the majority of the public. For people here who like to sharpen and to agonize over all the minute details these won’t work as far as gyuto go. I bought a few and if these will work as I hope I’ll buy them for gifts for friends and family. These are cheap enough where you can replace them every few years and never have to sharpen them. The smaller knives will work as is for anyone as these are petty size and balance, weight and grind are less relevant there.

The tests are to prove that these are different from other ceramic knives, that’s why they seem irrelevant to cooking. Everyone just keeps on saying how chippy ceramic knives are without reading or knowing anything about this new material. Roman just tried to show these are different, at least this is how it looks to me.
 

Chef Doom

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I'm only being critical because I have yet to see them cut any food with them.

I also look sideways when I see similar tests done with regular stainless or PM cooking knives. Great, it can cut rope and straw and whatever else dozens of times without getting dull. Wonderful. But does it glide through raw meat?
 

Jason183

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I'm only being critical because I have yet to see them cut any food with them.

I also look sideways when I see similar tests done with regular stainless or PM cooking knives. Great, it can cut rope and straw and whatever else dozens of times without getting dull. Wonderful. But does it glide through raw meat?
It probably won’t be good for tougher tasks( liked splitting lobsters shells, cut through fish head bones)since you need the stiffness to cut straight without any bending distraction, but I can see it works good as filleting knife since it’s so flexible.
 
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Roman

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So, I found this really interesting. There is this knife that, for practical intents and purposes, does not dull. By the looks of things, that thing will not need sharpening before I die, even if I use it every day.

This sort of closes a chapter, doesn't it? No more sharpening. No more obsessing about stones. No more debates about ceramic vs steel honing rods.

If this knife handles and feels even acceptably well, I'll buy one. Because I use knives to prepare meals, not to sharpen them.
Well, I think for people who are not getting excited over a Nakayama Maruka Japanese natural sharpening stone like I do, this might really be all the will need from now on. But us steel- and sharpening enthusiasts still will enjoy steel knives for decades to come I think and as long as people want me to, I will continue to make steel knives. Also, high toughness applications like bushcraft still are too intense for this material - yet. I like to compare the elastic H.I.C. ceramic to bakelite: when it was invented, it was ground breaking and started the age of polymers. But we have come so far in polymer development in the following 50 years. So who knows what the elastic ceramic will be capable of in 5, 10, 20, heck 30years?? I think it will be very interesting in any case!
 

Roman

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It probably won’t be good for tougher tasks since you need the stiffness to cut through ingredients without any bending distraction, but I can see it works good as filleting knife since it’s so flexible.
See the latest video I linked here, but yes, thicker stock is required and we will make it eventually for tougher applications outside the kitchen. No idea how well that will work; only one way to find out I guess. In that regard also see my bakelite-analogy above; this elastic ceramic is the first of God knows of how many more further developed versions. The future surely is interesting I think...
 

Luftmensch

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Do we really need to tell people to wash off wd40 from a knife before making food with it? some things are just obvious.
🤪... the public do some pretty dumb things.

As a retailer I would do what I could to minimise exposure to that stupidity. If it is as simple as recommending using vegetable oil as a lubricant instead of WD40... you bet i would do that. Why risk being linked to somebody else's lack of 'common' sense? I bet the vast majority of people dont know what an MSDS is... let alone regularly read them...

My advice is not a criticism of @Roman... Hopefully just constructive advice so he can put his best foot forward when marketing to the public.


I think these knives if they prove to be what they seem will work for the majority of the public.
Absolutely! We often forget how dispassionate the majority of people are about their kitchen knives.



thicker stock is required
That would be interesting. I dont know what your manufacturing limitations are... but a thicker spine would be welcome. A flexible tip (say the last third) suits me but *I* would prefer a more rigid heel/belly. Although... as @Jason183 said... the flexibility could be good for filleting.

My last piece of advice (not that you asked 😆) would be to consult some pro-chefs on profiles and handles. Do a pass around or get some into professional kitchen on the condition you get fair and critical advice in return. You might get some notes on how the material (flexibility) and profile interact in a production environment. This speaks to @Chef Doom's point. On the handle, it looks contoured... which might be 'ergonomic'... but only one definition of it. There are a bunch of grips out there - hammer grip, pinch grip, point grip... You don't want to necessarily eliminate any of these or let the handle dictate which one you use...

If you are doing well with orders, you might even consider speaking to somebody with good industrial design to think about how you can 'sexy' it up for a mass market??

All said in good faith... 🙂 it is an interesting project. I will be following your progress. I might even have to try a MKII blade 😉
 

Roman

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Don't get me wrong. I think products like these are great for various reasons. But my issue is why do they always use the types of tests you would use for a folder or utility knife on a kitchen knife? None of this shows me how this will perform in any kitchen be it home or professional. I would prefer that they prepare a meal or chop and slice a bunch of food. Maybe a video showing several days of prep? Who knows.

These tests would be great if I was looking for a ceramic folder.
That is a very good point. The simple reasons for this are that A) I don't have the skills in the kitchen that I feel like I should demonstrate this. And B) that I first and foremost wanted to take people's concerns about the material being fragile away. That being said, I think now it is the time to do exactly what you suggested. Either myself anyways or one of the chefs we have given these to for trying (they loved them).
The behind the edge geometry is significantly thinner than what you usually find on similar priced (70-100usd), mass produced knives, so it cuts really nice compared to those. Yet when you are used to a 600usd custom knife with a flexible edge, you might like it, but maybe you still want to buy one of my steel knives after all.
Personally I think the behind the edge plus overall geometry is really nice when compared to what is out there on the mass market. (Working on a version with Wa handle I MIGHT will have ground thinner - still testing.)

EDIT: quickly walked to the workshop to double check before I give you a wrong number: The bte (behind the edge) is 0.28 to 0.3millimeters. Which, in comparison to often 0.5 to 0.6mm steel knives in that price range, is nice I think. I did grind one to 0.1millimeters behind the edge, and for me it works, but putting such a geometry on the mass produced version is not something I would feel comfortable with. Special version runs for "people like us" are a different story of course, but also for this I need to test more.
 
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Luftmensch

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That is a very good point. The simple reasons for this are that A) I don't have the skills in the kitchen that I feel like I should demonstrate this. And B) that I first and foremost wanted to take people's concerns about the material being fragile away. That being said, I think now it is the time to do exactly what you suggested.
Personally, I am happy translating/equating rope cutting or CATRA into kitchen durability. Cutting is cutting.

That said, I think the value you would get from having the knife run through its paces in a kitchen is feedback on profile and ergonomics. There also might be unexpected events that give you valuable information. Chucking dirty plates on top of the knife while it is in the bottom of a sink?. An obvious question for a rough and tumble knife is "is the knife dishwasher safe".... probably??
 

Roman

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Yes. How well the knife actually works depends in large part on the feel and handling and balance. But these things are quite difficult to show in a video anyway.

I expect something thin, super-sharp, and very light. I have no doubt that it will work well for general-purpose veggie prep and the like. It'll probably also do really well for slicing salami, medium-hard cheeses, and similar. I doubt that it would work well for hard things, such as pumpkin, or for skinning a pineapple.

My wife will probably like it because it'll be sharp, won't need sharpening all the time, and is light. We'll see in a few weeks…
I am looking forward to your review! And I also make nice steel knives ya know ;)
 

Roman

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Hey it is @Chef Doom!!




Seems that way. I suspect it will be handle heavy/biased. Right now I prefer balance at the heel or slightly forward. Perhaps it doesnt matter if the knife is so light? Still... I imagine some weight in the blade is generally an asset (to a degree).

I can see this being potentially appealing to people who want to take their knives for granted (the overwhelming majority of home cooks). Knife nerds might be intrigued by its material properties. As a tool it shouldn't matter... but dare I say it... it seems to lack soul.... It may not have much appeal to those who enjoy the craftsmanship of handmade knives...



@Roman... since it is a food preparation tool, in press/videos, I would recommend using a food grade lubricant for sharpening. Either that or be very, very clear about cleaning WD40 completely off the blade. Trace amounts wont kill a person... but it is not good stuff to ingest!
While I think that wiping off the wd40 oil should go without saying; even if someone is not smart enough to wipe off the WD40, I chose WD40 because it is not labeled as toxic and known to pretty much everyone on the world. No chance that this amount would kill someone - besides the horrible taste the food would take from it. But having this in mind, I also mentioned the olive oil as an alternative. The best choice of course is a natural honing oil, which unlike olive oil won't get rancid and I I will recommend natural honing oil like many carpenters use on their arkansas shrapening stones in the sharpening video I am working on.

Regarding the "soul" of a handmade knife like I make them for my (yet) main business: these knives feel totally different. They feel high tech, futuristic, intriguing. Different than ceramic like we know it, too btw! Yet my love for steel knives will never die and I think while the market for mass produced steel knives is in big trouble because of this (just my opinion) a handcrafted steel knife will always sell. At least I sure hope so, because that is my passion and how I came to work with the elastic ceramic material in the first place.
 

Roman

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Hey it is @Chef Doom!!




Seems that way. I suspect it will be handle heavy/biased. Right now I prefer balance at the heel or slightly forward. Perhaps it doesnt matter if the knife is so light? Still... I imagine some weight in the blade is generally an asset (to a degree).

I can see this being potentially appealing to people who want to take their knives for granted (the overwhelming majority of home cooks). Knife nerds might be intrigued by its material properties. As a tool it shouldn't matter... but dare I say it... it seems to lack soul.... It may not have much appeal to those who enjoy the craftsmanship of handmade knives...



@Roman... since it is a food preparation tool, in press/videos, I would recommend using a food grade lubricant for sharpening. Either that or be very, very clear about cleaning WD40 completely off the blade. Trace amounts wont kill a person... but it is not good stuff to ingest!
As a fixed blade utility knife or EDC folder, one of these could be really appealing. I wonder how these edges stand up to cardboard, zip ties, and such?
See second video I
Do we really need to tell people to wash off wd40 from a knife before making food with it? some things are just obvious. I think these knives if they prove to be what they seem will work for the majority of the public. For people here who like to sharpen and to agonize over all the minute details these won’t work as far as gyuto go. I bought a few and if these will work as I hope I’ll buy them for gifts for friends and family. These are cheap enough where you can replace them every few years and never have to sharpen them. The smaller knives will work as is for anyone as these are petty size and balance, weight and grind are less relevant there.

The tests are to prove that these are different from other ceramic knives, that’s why they seem irrelevant to cooking. Everyone just keeps on saying how chippy ceramic knives are without reading or knowing anything about this new material. Roman just tried to show these are different, at least this is how it looks to me.
Thank you, you took the words out of my mouth. A knife for those who "just want a sharp knife that stays sharp and gives them no trouble". Not a Vanax Superclean cladded, Vancron Superclean core Yanagiba with tripple cryo tempering and all handmade. Things like that will always be my love and I think of many other people as well, even more so traditionally forged, japanese knives. But 95% of knife users aren't like us in this forum.

Finally I can give a knife to my grandmother without having to cringe every time when visiting her and seeing how dull that poor thing is.
 
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Roman

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Personally, I am happy translating/equating rope cutting or CATRA into kitchen durability. Cutting is cutting.

That said, I think the value you would get from having the knife run through its paces in a kitchen is feedback on profile and ergonomics. There also might be unexpected events that give you valuable information. Chucking dirty plates on top of the knife while it is in the bottom of a sink?. An obvious question for a rough and tumble knife is "is the knife dishwasher safe".... probably??
We had several chefs test these and they loved it. (Of course it had to be tested in extended kitchen use before starting to sell these. And the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.) Yet it is not easy - at least locally in Switzerland - to find a chef both fluent in English AND willing to do a Youtube video on it. As soon as these knives are out in the wild, I think this will change very fast and people can find out for themselves if they like it. Which I am very confident they will, based on the feedback from people testing it.

As for dishwasher safe, the blade sure is, the handle we are putting on currently SHOULD be dishwasher save, but before we haven't 100% confirmed the resilience of the handle material against the dishwasher, we officially recommend washing the knife by hand. It's kinda funny, but finding a handle material that matches the "dishwasher proofness" of ceramic is much trickier than thought. Especially at that price. The blade won't be affected by hours of immersion even in various concentrated acids - it also meets all requirements for a biocompatible material. Meaning that it can be implanted in the human body without causing any trouble. (Needs certification of course and stuff, to officially be that, but it meets the requirements.)
 
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Roman

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As a final post, I want to say that I will try to answer all questions asap, but the amount of messages I am getting on all my channels is HUGE currently. So please forgive me if I overlook some and just ask me again. :)
 

Roman

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🤪... the public do some pretty dumb things.

As a retailer I would do what I could to minimise exposure to that stupidity. If it is as simple as recommending using vegetable oil as a lubricant instead of WD40... you bet i would do that. Why risk being linked to somebody else's lack of 'common' sense? I bet the vast majority of people dont know what an MSDS is... let alone regularly read them...

My advice is not a criticism of @Roman... Hopefully just constructive advice so he can put his best foot forward when marketing to the public.




Absolutely! We often forget how dispassionate the majority of people are about their kitchen knives.





That would be interesting. I dont know what your manufacturing limitations are... but a thicker spine would be welcome. A flexible tip (say the last third) suits me but *I* would prefer a more rigid heel/belly. Although... as @Jason183 said... the flexibility could be good for filleting.

My last piece of advice (not that you asked 😆) would be to consult some pro-chefs on profiles and handles. Do a pass around or get some into professional kitchen on the condition you get fair and critical advice in return. You might get some notes on how the material (flexibility) and profile interact in a production environment. This speaks to @Chef Doom's point. On the handle, it looks contoured... which might be 'ergonomic'... but only one definition of it. There are a bunch of grips out there - hammer grip, pinch grip, point grip... You don't want to necessarily eliminate any of these or let the handle dictate which one you use...

If you are doing well with orders, you might even consider speaking to somebody with good industrial design to think about how you can 'sexy' it up for a mass market??

All said in good faith... 🙂 it is an interesting project. I will be following your progress. I might even have to try a MKII blade 😉
We simultaneously replied it seems - some of your points I already adressed; most importantly the one about WD40 and the feedback of professional chefs using the knife. While the feedback we got was great, what some people want(ed) is a wider blade. Which is absolutely possible and basically depends on supply and demand. More grip shapes are coming as well - for me most importantly being a Wa handle because I just prefer these; probaly because I am a knife snob. The current handle design has only one focus: ergonomics. (Which again, pro chef really liked, but the more handles we have, the better, so more are in the works; namely the Wa Handle as a start.)

EDIT: And of course, I / we NEED criticism - especially for something so entirely new. Fun fact about the handles: People seem to visually either like them a lot or not at all, but what everyone so far, be it a pro chef or home cook alike, agreed on was that they are both comfortable over extended use and suitable for all grips. Yet again, once people have these knives and use them, we will get much more very valuable feedback and can (and will; either way!) offer more options.
 
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Michi

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To be fair, I don't think it's necessary to tell people that they need to wipe and wash a knife after having been in contact with WD-40. One whiff of the stuff, and people will do that reflexively all by themselves, without any further instructions ;)
 

Roman

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To be fair, I don't think it's necessary to tell people that they need to wipe and wash a knife after having been in contact with WD-40. One whiff of the stuff, and people will do that reflexively all by themselves, without any further instructions ;)
Exactly my thinking. But it is a good point - just to be on the safe side - that we will, once the sharpening video and maybe also some "official sharpening guidlines" on the website are up, only recommend natural honing oil. Better safe than sorry.
 

Luftmensch

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@Roman... what a dude!

Thank you for taking the time to reply 😍. Not that it really matters for the success of the flexible ceramic... but you seem like a nice guy from your videos 🙂... Although, it is more pleasing to support a nice, friendly and humble persona ;)

Sorry if I sounded negative. I do mean to be constructive. I am excited for your potential. Other knife fads have had their time in the spotlight and relied only on clever marking. You appear to be offering something genuinely new! That is pretty darned cool!


Regarding the "soul" of a handmade knife
Ha! Dont take that too harshly.

For the last three years or so, kitchen knives have been one of my hobbies. As a result I place too much interest in minutiae. But I can be pretty sentimental about anything I have had for long enough. My car is probably one of the most ubiquitous cars on the planet. It is not special. But it is mine. I have had it for almost 20 years and a lot of shared experience with it.

I suppose it is like the Rifleman's Creed (Full metal Jacket): "This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine."


But 95% of knife users aren't like us in this forum.
😬 You're probably being generous there... I wouldnt be surprised if it was 99%... or 99.9%. I think most people just use what is available, cost effective and convenient.


Keep at it! As I am sure you are well aware, balancing the trade-offs in making something affordable are not easy. So you get extra kudos from me for pushing this into a reasonable price bracket. That is not something we tend to talk about much in KKF!!


(Looking forward to a Wa-handle and thicker spine 😎)
 

HumbleHomeCook

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WD40 is almost all mineral oil. The other stuff nearly completely evaporates leaving behind the oil. Of course one should wipe it off, but I mean, you'd do that with most any oil right? I can't imagine how many times you'd have to use the knife with traces of WD40 on it for it to even give an upset stomach. Leastwise, that's my opinion.

But, nothing wrong with an abundance of caution either.
 
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