Iron clad or stainless clad as a practice knife for beginner?

Discussion in 'Sharpening Station' started by CiderBear, Jun 24, 2019.

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  1. Jun 24, 2019 #1

    CiderBear

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    Hi all,
    I'd like to know your opinions on iron clad vs stainless clad as a beginner sharpening knife. I read that stainless clad is more difficult to thin - I would really appreciate it if anyone could elaborate on this.

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. Jun 24, 2019 #2

    lemeneid

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    You're not thinning or going to extreme low angles as a beginner while sharpening, so it really doesn't matter what kind of cladded knife you're sharpening. You won’t be touching cladding as a beginner.
     
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  3. Jun 24, 2019 #3

    CiderBear

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    @lemeneid thank you very much! So the cladding doesn't matter - just an easy to sharpen steel with good HT would do! :)
     
  4. Jun 24, 2019 #4

    McMan

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    Sometimes you will... just not on purpose o_O

    You'll be fine either way--stainless-clad or iron-clad. I wouldn't let cladding alone dictate your decision. This said, if looks are important to you (i.e. if you want to be able to remove scratches somewhat easily), then this is easier on iron-clad. If ease of maintenance is important to you, then stainless-clad gets the nod.
    Really, IMO it's about prioritizing what factors are most important to you.
     
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  5. Jun 24, 2019 #5

    CiderBear

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    Thank you. Honestly I don't like knives that patina all over, so I'm pretty careful with my knives and try to wipe them as often as I can when cutting stuff.
     
  6. Jun 24, 2019 #6

    labor of love

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    Yeah you really don’t know what you’re comfortable with until you try.
    If you want to step out of the stainless comfort zone I’d grab a misono dragon, KS, or ginga wh2, something that’s mono carbon first.
    Then if you find you’re maintaining that stuff just fine then move up to soft iron cladding.
     
  7. Jun 24, 2019 #7

    slickmamba

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    sounds like stainless clad is what you want. There are great stainless clad options nowadays. Wiping is not really gonna cut it on non stainless cladding or mono carbon steel blades. It will eventually patina, easy to remove tho.
     
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  8. Jun 25, 2019 #8

    rickbern

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    Cider, I bought a munetoshi petty mostly because I thought it would be a great knife, but partially as a sharpening exercise.

    Long story short, took me probably six months to get it where I wanted it, but yesterday I went through probably my fourth thinning session with it and for the first time, I think that knife is terrific.

    I learned a boatload from that little knife. I think you saw a picture of it recently, that’s about as messy as it ever got. I’d recommend it or it’s big brother.
     
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  9. Jun 25, 2019 #9

    chinacats

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    Practice should include maintaining good kitchen habits...finished using, wash, dry knife completely and put away...if you learn this skill you won't have to eliminate knives from your options.
     
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  10. Jun 25, 2019 #10

    CiderBear

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    Thank you guys. I'm considering a 180mm Wakui W2 gyuto from EpicEdge, since it's not too expensive and white 2 should be ideal to learn on.

    I assume that it's a better idea to practice on a short knife rather than my 240mm gyuto, is that correct?
     
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  11. Jun 25, 2019 #11

    rickbern

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    I think that’s a terrific option. I just got a 240 Wakui and considered getting the 180 to pair with it, got pissed off at myself and thinned the daylights out of my munetoshi.

    There’s a certain symmetry here, but I’m too confused to put my finger on it.

    Good luck!

    Ps- forget practice. Get your knives, use them and sharpen them. If you’re not happy with your results do it again. My first j knife was a gesshin uraku, hated it, I went through a gigantic thinning process to make it work the way I wanted. These things aren’t precious, they’re tools meant to be used and sometimes abused.

    https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/thinning-a-gesshin-uraku-the-process.22599/
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  12. Jun 25, 2019 #12

    slickmamba

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    The wakui is amazing! Best bang for your buck by a mile.
     
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  13. Jun 25, 2019 #13

    slickmamba

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    What knives do you currently own?

    I would just just go for it. Sharpening is not hard, the biggest issue I see with newer sharpeners is inconsistent angle, and not deburring properly. Watch some videos, take it slow. have fun!
     
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  14. Jun 25, 2019 #14

    CiderBear

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    @slickmamba and @rickbern

    My only 2 other knives are a 135mm Ikazuchi petty (AS) and 240mm Gengetsu semi-stainless. Other than that I have 2 beater Mercers.

    I don't want to start learning how to sharpen on the Mercers because I read on here that sharpening a cheap stainless steel knife feels nothing like carbon and might shy me away from the whole process altogether.

    As for the Ikazuchi, it's AS, so I imagine it would not be easy to start with. The Gengetsu is so precious and pretty long, plus it's not carbon, so I should hone my skills before I dare sharpen it.

    But there's also a non-zero chance that I'm just making up excuses to buy new knives :p

    I think a Wakui 180mm gyuto or 165mm nakiri are my top choices now. Does it matter which one I learn with? (in terms of grind, angles, length, etc)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  15. Jun 25, 2019 #15

    slickmamba

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    in my experience, the ikazuchi(240mm gyuto) sharpens pretty easily. It is so thin that the edge has very little that you actually sharpen up. The feel isn't really the same for stainless, but the process is the same. You are overthinking it!

    just be careful with your angles, if you go too low you can scratch the secondary bevel, not a big deal, itll come out when you thin the blade. To find the angle of the edge, place the knife at a 20-30deg angle and do an edge trailing stroke, lowering the edge until you feel the stone grab it(thats how you find the original primary bevel/edge angle, since the edge is now flat against the stone).

    Uhh, I guess realistically speaking a nakiri is easier? There is less of a belly to deal with and don't have to worry about the tip as much. For regular sharpening, you don't have to worry about the grind, that only comes in play when you are going to thin the knife. And by that point you'll understand the basics much more.

    Just get the one you like more. Since you already have a 240 and a 135 petty, a nakiri is probably a nicer fit to round it out? But thats if you like the nakiri profile or are interested in trying it out.





    These two videos helped me alot when I was learning a few years ago.

    edit: check out the sharpening playlist, there are lots of useful videos on deburring, angles, sharpening the tip, microbevels, etc. (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEBF55079F53216AB)
     
  16. Jun 25, 2019 #16

    chinacats

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    Light pressure!

    And donate the Mercers to someone you don't like:)
     
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  17. Jun 25, 2019 #17

    rickbern

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    I second (or half) chinacats call for light pressure. All the knives you have are kind of level 2 knives. None of them are going to need enough work for a long time to make you fearless.

    I actually liked starting with imperfect knives. I gave that uraku away to a kid that just loves to cook, I made that knife my own and now he’s doing the same thing with it.

    Also, I find pettys kind of difficult to pick up good techniques from. They’re not tall enough and they have no belly. Nakiris are almost too easy to learn anything from. Ymmv
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  18. Jun 26, 2019 #18

    CiderBear

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    The Mercers are for in-laws visit ;)

    I do eventually want a 180mm nakiri eventually, so I think I might start off with the 180mm gyuto so I don't own a redundant knife.
     
  19. Jun 26, 2019 #19

    J.C

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    Fyi, 180 nakiri and 180 gyuto give you different feel. Also depends on your technique and cutting style. I own both. I use the nakiri to get the veg job done fast. 180gyuto for more like delicate job (180nakiri usually weight more than 180gyuto)
     
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  20. Jun 26, 2019 #20

    CiderBear

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    Thank you. There were times I didn't need my Gengetsu, but the Ikazuchi felt too short. If a 180mm nakiri and gyuto have different purposes, I can get the Wakui gyuto now and wait for Kochi Nakiris to come back in stock :)

    I was considering a 180mm petty too, but I decided against it because I want some knuckle clearance
     
  21. Jun 26, 2019 #21

    J.C

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    of course you can get more knuckle clearance from nakiri. And also flat cutting edge with the tip curving up a bit for rocking chop. Not just that, in term of sharpening, nakiri also easier to sharpen than gyuto because of the flat edge. Having said that, doesn’t mean that gyuto can’t perform the same as nakiri.
    For me, it is just a matter of personal preference.
    Below is just a picture to show the edge of the nakiri that im talking about
     

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  22. Jun 26, 2019 #22

    stringer

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    Knuckle clearance isn't as important with a petty because they aren't really used for board work. The nakiri excels at veg, a Gyuto is all purpose, a petty is best for peeling, paring, and slicing. I use a 180 petty for in-hand work, citrus supremes, slicing chicken breasts. It's basically my paring knife. I use a 210 petty more like a sujihiki (double bevel slicer). It's used almost exclusively for trimming silver skin and portioning small to medium sized chunks of protein. Everybody is different. A ton depends on what you're cooking. You definitely need to buy and try all the knives...... Eventually. Just take your time and enjoy the ride.
     
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  23. Jun 26, 2019 #23

    Xenif

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    I got rid of my 180 because it was too short for most things I do on the board, not tall enough for my liking and I prefer the 150 for in hand.
    That being said though, I eventually got the Munetoshi 165 petty, it has very good heel height for a petty, and also works for me for in hand work. As mentioned before its a fair amount of work to get it going, but stellar bang for the buck. A good knife to try you hand at iron clad to see if you like it.
     
  24. Jul 1, 2019 #24

    EiSeOoNiinJust

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    Don't mean to hijack the thread. My question is sort of similar and thought this might be a good chance, rather than creating new thread.

    I am a beginner as well with sharpening, already have a Shun Classic Santoku with VG-Max. For stones I am considering Naniwa pro 800 and maybe 3k.

    I have been thinking about getting either an AS or R2/SG2 for a knife to get a feel on and also to (hopefully) hold on to a long time. What I'm after is, how would these fit the starter-status?
    What I have gathered, AS as a carbon would be preferrable, I just enjoy the maintenance free aspect of a stainless. AS would be stainless clad if I get that.

    Get the carbon and once skill is honed in, jump into the world of powdered steels?
     
  25. Jul 1, 2019 #25

    J.C

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    @EiSeOoNiinJust are you a home cook? Or working in kitchen environment?
     
  26. Jul 1, 2019 #26

    EiSeOoNiinJust

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    @J.C Just a home cook looking to upgrade from basic stuff
     
  27. Jul 1, 2019 #27

    J.C

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    For starters AS steel can be a good option. R2/SG2 edge can last long like carbon knives but it needs more skills in sharpening them as well. Any particular knives you are after? Like which you have been eyeing on so far?
     
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  28. Jul 1, 2019 #28

    EiSeOoNiinJust

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    Been looking at Yu Kurosaki for some interesting looks for both AS and R2. Since I do not have any yet, I'm very open for suggestions.

    Lot of praised and pretty knives out there, so hard to choose
     
  29. Jul 1, 2019 #29

    J.C

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    Yes kurosaki knives are excellent. You can’t go wrong with that. I have tried both AS and SG2 and what i can say they are both equally good.
    With the SG2 kurosaki now have promotion on KNS website. You can get discount + free saya
     
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  30. Jul 1, 2019 #30

    EiSeOoNiinJust

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    Thanks, I'll check out KNS again. They also have the AS Fujin, which is on the top of my choices right now.

    Also heard that Kurosaki is coming out with a line of CoS core steel. Seems to be a high alloy cobalt-special.
     

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