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The Line Knife Concept

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tk59

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I've had a number of conversations about what a "line knife" ought to be and I know there is a line knife thread somewhere but I'm sitting here fooling around with a modified DTITK gyuto that is 230-ish mm along the edge and I'm thinking this thing is puny. For a line knife, I'd make it a little less tall from heel to spine and that's about it. My favorite knife for small stuff is a somewhat substantial 220 mm suji/petty. I wouldn't want anything shorter or smaller unless I was coring strawberries or something and looking at them here, I dont' see one as taking all that much more space than the other, really. I always see people talking about 180 and 210 size. What are you cutting that makes this the perfect size?
 

Citizen Snips

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i dont think its necessarily what they are cutting but how much space they have to cut. on top of that i think that the suji/petty works really well in stainless/inox/semistainless because of no reaction and how thin the knives tend to be.

all these together will make characteristics of a good line knife
 

Dusty

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My line knife is a 210 Gesshin petty, which is perfect... until i need to carve meat, and then i look for something with a touch more length and heft. I think a flat-profiled 210-230 gyuto that is about 32-35 mil high at the heel would be perfect.
 

Salty dog

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On my station I cut protein during service. Different types and sizes of meat and tuna. I'm not limited by space so I usually pick out a narrow, thin 240-270 gyuto. Sometimes a 270 suji if I'm feeling fancy.
 

Eamon Burke

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The lines I've worked are pretty small, so I'd say a thin-but-blade-heavy 210 would be my favorite.
 

NO ChoP!

Old Head
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Yah, IMHO a line knife will be used mainly to slice crusty proteins, slice open cryovaced bags (I know, I know...), and maybe slice a few veggies/ fruits; no real dicing or chopping going on.

It will be used in the heat of the battle, so it will need to be at least semi-stainless, being keeping it pristine may not be priority number one.

It has to be compact, because your protein board will share space with resting meats and even plates....
 

memorael

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I always used a 240 suisin inox knife with a compound bevel, the heel was finished at 220 and polished. The rest of the knife was sharpened up to a king 6k which IMO produces the perfect balance of bite and that sharp slick like slipperiness. The knife was sharpened so much that eventually the profile seemed kinda triangular and wasn't as tall and the tip was stupid thin. This was the time I thought it really shined, the knife was also maintained using the 6k everyday and never did it meet the 1k or anything else for that matter again. At that time the knife measured about 235 ish I would guess, the handle was the shizzney too.
 

MadMel

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Yah, IMHO a line knife will be used mainly to slice crusty proteins, slice open cryovaced bags (I know, I know...), and maybe slice a few veggies/ fruits; no real dicing or chopping going on.

It will be used in the heat of the battle, so it will need to be at least semi-stainless, being keeping it pristine may not be priority number one.

It has to be compact, because your protein board will share space with resting meats and even plates....
/
Right on the money there. Sure if I'm slicing meats on that section of the line, I would love to have a 270/300 suji, but sometimes, its the amount of space that is available that is the main constraint.
 

JohnnyChance

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Yeah, it's mostly finding the biggest knife you can fit on your station without being cumbersome. I regularly push the limits and end up with 240 or 270 gyutos or 285-300 sujis on a couple stations on our line. Even if they get in the way at some point I think it is worth the trade off. On one station I keep a house boning knife in my spoon well, and then the rest of my knives in a hotel pan under the line, but I rarely have to pull any of them out during service.
 

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Old Head
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I always used a 240 suisin inox knife with a compound bevel, the heel was finished at 220 and polished. The rest of the knife was sharpened up to a king 6k which IMO produces the perfect balance of bite and that sharp slick like slipperiness. The knife was sharpened so much that eventually the profile seemed kinda triangular and wasn't as tall and the tip was stupid thin. This was the time I thought it really shined, the knife was also maintained using the 6k everyday and never did it meet the 1k or anything else for that matter again. At that time the knife measured about 235 ish I would guess, the handle was the shizzney too.
This is funny; I think everyone has that one knife thats old, been sharpened to the point of having a completely new profile, but it's perfect to you. Plus, it has some sentimental history to it....
 

memorael

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O yeah, this knife was the biz, it was super thing from all the 6k sharpening, the profile was now something between a gyuto/ suji (thinking about it it kinda looked like a very large honesuki/gyuto/suji) and it was ultra thin at the tip with a distal taper from all the sharpenings.

I liked that knife so much that my friend the lead line cook got to keep it when I left since he was crazy about how it cut everything as if it was air. I still miss that knife but after getting saved in a couple of sheet storms I figured the least I could do is let him have the knife since I could pretty much just sharpen another to that point eventually.
 

Salty dog

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That's the way I was about my 8 inch Chicago back in the 80's.
 

tweyland

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I just got a 225 Ashi suji from Jon a few days ago, and I'm loving it. I think another aspect about chosing what length and gyuto vs. suji is not just cutting board and workspace, but also the aisle and traffic behind you. If it's really close quarters, you might lean more toward a gyuto because with the extra knuckle clearance, it's easier to tuck in close and work over the board. If you use a suji, the handle is off the board more, the elbow sticks out more into the aisle, and there's more chance of getting nudged while cutting.

~Tad
 

Messy Jesse

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Nice point, Tad.

For me, it's also about a knife I don't mind dropping, which I've only ever done during service. Mine's been a Misono UX10 240mm Suji for the last 2 years.
 

Messy Jesse

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Just wanted to resurrect this thread, and my Misono is still my favorite line knife. I use a 270 Masamoto KK Yanagiba on the line as well now, strictly for sashimi.
 
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