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Passarounds

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Marko Tsourkan

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Giving in to pressure from some members here, as well as having been encouraged by how well the gyuto I made has performed, I decided to start planning pass-arounds.

I will make knives in 52100, W2, carbon tool steel (more stain resistant than 52100) and possibly a stainless steel that is not AEB-L.

I will start with 52100, then follow with W2 (with hamon), then tool steel and then stainless. I will make either a gyuto or a suji, let me know if you prefer one over the other. Also, let me know what handle (Meiji or Octagonal) to make. Western handle will be an option for knives in tool steel and stainless.

I am very ignorant about pass-arounds (never participated in one), so those who have done this, please fill me in on details, i.e. how to run, how to manage, schedule, etc.

Thank you and I will look forward to your feedback and reviews. I will have the first knife ready in about two weeks.

M

PS: down the road, I will also do a cleaver passaround.
 

El Pescador

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I'd like to be on the list! Start a sign up thread. Give details on shipping and insurance for the next recipient. Give guidelines on amount of time the knife can be kept and maintenance that is permissible to be done to the blade(sharpening, etc.)
 

Marko Tsourkan

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I'd like to be on the list! Start a sign up thread. Give details on shipping and insurance for the next recipient. Give guidelines on amount of time the knife can be kept and maintenance that is permissible to be done to the blade(sharpening, etc.)
Right, but can you guys fill me in what is customary for a pass-around? For instance, how ling is appropriate to keep the knife? Is it a participant's responsibility to mail the knife to the next person?

One thing I will have to request is that people who would like to participate in the passaround must have a forum presence.

M
 

El Pescador

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Usually, a week at most with shipping. A couple of hours doing prep w/ it and then send it on. I think a big mistake is people trying to get "used" to it. I want to know how it compares to other knives you use and how its different from them. Imo, passarounds are for the benefit of the maker. In addition, if you're uncomfortable with just anyone using the knife, pick your passaround group yourself. Just remember, its hard to get an unbiased opinion from your friends...
 

Eamon Burke

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Anywhere from 2-10 days per person, people in the passaround have to have a good reputation, it's their responsibility to ship it and keep it safe, usually you list an insurance price in case USPS or UPS destroys/loses it, and one person, either the maker or a volunteer, keeps track of who is getting it in what order and everyone's addresses.

The maker picks whether the knife will go in order of signup, or geographically routed(to keep shipping low).

I'd love to be in on this one! I love reviewing....well, anything.
 

Lefty

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Stupid border! I want in, if at all possible!
 

Cipcich

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:eek:vg::cool2:[QUOTE= having been encouraged by how well the gyuto I made has performed,


M
 

Pensacola Tiger

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Marko, please add me to the list.

After being in a few passarounds, I'd say a week is probably too long, and three days is probably good enough to give you some good feedback.

Stephan's use of a "spoiler" thread for feedback is a good idea to copy.

I'd also suggest than you make a "quick and dirty" poplar saya to protect the knife in transit. Despite some pretty good packaging, the tip on Stephan's knife was broken off early in the pass around.

Thanks,

Rick
 

Vertigo

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Id love to be involved, 52100 gyuto would be my preference but I'm not picky. I'd also be willing to help organize the passaround efforts if needed.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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That one (180mm) will go to only one person - Steve. That will be my first order project, as soon as I receive a feedback from a couple of guys who will be getting one of the knives I just made. The 180mm I made a while back, I am a bit hesitant to do anything with, as I changed some things in heat treatment, and like the current result better.

M
 

so_sleepy

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First, decide the purpose of the pass around. Is it for you to get feedback on your design or for marketing to let prospective buyers sample your goods? I've seen both types here.

Decide how long it should last. My guess is not more than 12 weeks if you just want feedback. Otherwise, if you incorporate design changes in your new stuff, the pass around knife may no longer be representative of your work.

Keep the duration short, 3-4 days per person. Allowing for shipping time, that would let you get 12-15 people in a 12 week pass around.

Personally, I put myself in the prospective customer category. I'm interested in the profile and grind of your knives as they resemble some of the Japanese favorites, but are executed in steels I like better.
 

kalaeb

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No doubt, 3-4 days per person is more than enough to get a feel for a knife, especially if most people are potentially using it for 6-8 hours a day. I can't wait to read some reviews.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Thanks guys. Now that I have something to work with, I will give it a thought and come up with specifics.

I will have had some feedback from a few pro guys before the pass-arounds go out, so any changes will be incorporated (if needed) into the pass-arounds.

I guess I would like to know how my knives fair generally. It's hard to please everybody, but it should give me an idea.
I look for honest (no patronizing please) feedback, as it is essential for my improvement as a maker.

Marko
 

jm2hill

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Stupid border! I want in, if at all possible!
Lefty, if your in T.O and Marko is willing (I know I haven't been on the forum long) I'm sure me and you could find a way to help pay for shipping here and back.

I'd definitely be interested.
 

oivind_dahle

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I really look forward to reviews.
I also hope for one to Norway, to darkhoek for a complete test of sharpening stones for the ultimate edge.
However Im putting in a order at you now Marko, just to be sure to be on your list when you start to sell.

Im sure your knives will preform out of this world and I also know you are not going to sell seconds.
I hope JohnnyChance is the first to get your knives. I like his reviews so much that I actually consider letting he be the first and only (next to me and my norwegian friends) to try out both my Pierre and Burke. I also like to see Colin on your list of the passaround - his opinion means a lot to me. I I where you I would put down a list of 5 persons to do the big testing. Let them have the knife for a week each, and get feedback from them.
Im sure you can find the ones you would like to send this knife to. Have em make 5 different threads and name them "users name - review" ie "Colins - review".

I cant wait to see the reviews and with that said - Im ordering a complete set of knives from you - sending you a pm.
 

Salty dog

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The problem with pass arounds is that alot (I changed that from most) of people don't have a grasp on how a knife should perform.

You have to be vigilant in filtering out the chaff.
 

Eamon Burke

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The problem with pass arounds is that alot (I changed that from most) of people don't have a grasp on how a knife should perform.

You have to be vigilant in filtering out the chaff.
I totally agree with that, assuming you are trying to make the best possible knife for the best possible users(which many do!).

However, there are, in this world, a small few users that know well and love the super high performance knives, and I think it is more prudent to demo the knife to a target market--do you want it to appeal to small time line cooks, hot shot chefs, home cooks, etc? The knowledgeable users you referenced are certainly a market, but the issue should be approached from a certain perspective.

If you want to do your take on Masamoto, as your other thread suggests, I advise doing what Salty said and sending on to people who really know their customs and have mucho experience with great cutlery. That would certainly exclude myself! :tooth:
 

tk59

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I totally agree with that, assuming you are trying to make the best possible knife for the best possible users(which many do!).

However, there are, in this world, a small few users that know well and love the super high performance knives, and I think it is more prudent to demo the knife to a target market--do you want it to appeal to small time line cooks, hot shot chefs, home cooks, etc? The knowledgeable users you referenced are certainly a market, but the issue should be approached from a certain perspective.

If you want to do your take on Masamoto, as your other thread suggests, I advise doing what Salty said and sending on to people who really know their customs and have mucho experience with great cutlery. That would certainly exclude myself! :tooth:
Back when the DTITK's first came out, I remember there was general excitement but it was tempered. Then Salty did a couple of vids and wrote a few words about the prototype and all of the sudden, everyone and their mother absolutely had to have one. I'm not even close to kidding. I hardly even remember anyone else reviewing that knife.
 

ecchef

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I'm up for the pass around. It would probably make sense if I was last on the list. BTW, postage to an FPO is the same as a CONUS address.
 

mhlee

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The problem with pass arounds is that alot (I changed that from most) of people don't have a grasp on how a knife should perform.

You have to be vigilant in filtering out the chaff.
As a former fishmonger, that means I'm only qualified to test knives for butchering fish. :sad0:

Please someone! Make some knives for butchering fish!!! :razz:

But yeah, I agree with Salty. I no longer cut for a living, and certainly, there are a number of different ways to cut anything, but there are certain standards that a knife should meet. I've only recently learned about some of these qualities after finally buying and trying knives by different makers.
 

WildBoar

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The problem with pass arounds is that alot (I changed that from most) of people don't have a grasp on how a knife should perform.

You have to be vigilant in filtering out the chaff.
I won't disagree with this, so it's important to have some context WRT the reviewer's experience. But there are other aspects to the knives besides the performance (fit and finish, balance, etc.) that non-pros can comment on.

I loved the chance to try out Del and Pierre's pass-arounds, even though I did not have the chance to cut nearly as much as I would have liked to, and far less then one of you pros. But I was able to give Del some useful info, and I hope to get some to Pierre as well. I think the pass-arounds help the users decide if they are really interested in the products a given knifemaker produces, in addition to giving good feedback to the maker.
 

Dave Martell

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Back when the DTITK's first came out, I remember there was general excitement but it was tempered. Then Salty did a couple of vids and wrote a few words about the prototype and all of the sudden, everyone and their mother absolutely had to have one. I'm not even close to kidding. I hardly even remember anyone else reviewing that knife.

This was no accident - this was a carefully executed move orchestrated by Mark eTailer who sent the knife to Scott knowing that he'd talk about it and probably even do a video since he was doing a lot of them back then. A calculated risk that paid off big time. Devin would've made many sales on his own anyway - no doubt about it - but this was just the spark that was needed to set that rocket ship into orbit. The man is a master manipulator/salesman.
 

SpikeC

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Hoo-boy! I'll bet this gets some of Marks buds up in arms!
 

Marko Tsourkan

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... The man is a master manipulator/salesman.
Old story, what else is new? :)

I don't need to worry about marketing - all I want is an honest feedback that will help me to improve. And if these passarounds lead to some sales, then even better. I am not here to conquer the world. My ambitions are very modest.

M
 

Salty dog

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This was no accident - this was a carefully executed move orchestrated by Mark eTailer who sent the knife to Scott knowing that he'd talk about it and probably even do a video since he was doing a lot of them back then. A calculated risk that paid off big time. Devin would've made many sales on his own anyway - no doubt about it - but this was just the spark that was needed to set that rocket ship into orbit. The man is a master manipulator/salesman.
Can't say I'd argue with anything Dave said. Although I'd like to point out when I reviewed the knife I was carefull to point out I was reviewing this particular knife (the proto type) and the test would be in the semi thing working out on a consistant basis.

I still don't own one and wasn't offered the prototype. (Which I would have bought in a second) The fact that I don't have one says something.
 

Lefty

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Marko, I think you should tackle Carter's gyuto next. I'd love to see your take on one of those beauties! (even Salty likes them)
 

mhlee

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Back when the DTITK's first came out, I remember there was general excitement but it was tempered. Then Salty did a couple of vids and wrote a few words about the prototype and all of the sudden, everyone and their mother absolutely had to have one. I'm not even close to kidding. I hardly even remember anyone else reviewing that knife.
A number of people, including me, had minor issues with DT ITKs that we received. I can personally say that Devin has taken numerous steps to remedy issues with the ITK knives based on my own conversations with him. In fact, I will be sending my DT ITK Western to Devin to take a look at when I finally have time to get it all packed up, write Devin a letter, and make him a batch of my homemade personal recipe barbecue rub - I haven't forgotten Devin! Devin is certainly one of the nicest people I've talked to, especially considering I was talking to him about some of his work. And I hope to eventually own one of his custom knives.

But, back to the point. Because there were people who were absolutely raving about the ITK, IMHO it seemed that a number of people who had complaints felt that they had to repress their opinions - I was one of those people because I was a relatively new to high performance knives - because we were afraid to go against what other people were saying, many of whom were chefs, including Salty, and if I recall correctly, Colin.

However, things are different here and now and for the better. Based on the passarounds of knives of Michael Rader, Del, Stephen, people are honest without being condescending, and critical but polite. The amount and professional level of information here amazes me almost every day.

Best of luck to you Marko. I look forward to reading about your knife. From the looks of it, you've already gotten a great start on your knifemaking career.

:bliss:
 
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