unpopular opinion knife rolls/bags are a complete scam

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aszma

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Probably an unpopular opinion but I think knife rolls and bags are complete scams and are usually super over priced or just complete trash quality. Ever sense I entered the kitchen ive always been into chef gear, getting the most efficient knives and tools for each task, the most comfortable apron, the best fitting work shoes, etc, you get the idea. For the most part most of these things are easy to find or figure out eventually, with some trial and error youll eventually find the knives that bests suit you or your favorite shoes but it has taken me almost 6 years to find a knife bag that is not only cheap, but made well, and fits everything you'd actually need on the job and the best part is its not even a knife bag.

I have several problems with knife rolls that are sold to my fellow chefs regularly. First off as cooks we already dont make a lot of money combined that with an overly expensive knife addiction and maybe an affinity to a certain white powder we arnt left with a lot of money. All cheap knife backs are complete garbage anything below 50 dollars tend to be made cheaply with material that will wear and tear withing the year and tend to have a low amount of pockets and space to keep other tools. Then you have your nicer knife rolls which are way to over priced that can range anywhere from 100-200 dollars. These tend to be made with much nicer material such as leather or ballistic nylon but the trade off in nice leather is that they tend to be much bulkier taking up a lot of space in what can often be very tight kitchen space. There are also just general gripes i have with most knife rolls which are not enough of them come with zippers instead of buckles. Zippers are much easier to open especially when you have an angry chef yelling at you to do something and you need to grab a tool from your back. Knife rolls get way to bulky when filled to max capacity. If im going to buy a 10 pocket knife back im gonna use all 10 pockets but if your going to design your knife roll to be bulky and clunky as hell when fully used your an *******. This has been my experience from using dozens of different knife rolls in search of the right one from the cheap messermister backs to the more expensive boldric rolls.

So the solution you ask? Drum stick bags. Im being dead serious. In terms of shape drum sticks and knives arnt that different so drum stick bags actually fit knifes very well. maybe a year ago i stumbled across a youtube video of a chef reviewing a trakke drumroll which is designed to hold drum sticks but he used it as a knife roll to great effect. Now unfortunately a trakke drumroll is roughly 100 usd and was out of stock when i tried to buy one to try but as i digged a bit deeper i found several other drum stick bags that had a lot of features which brings me to my current knife roll https://www.guitarcenter.com/Promark/TDSB-Transport-Deluxe-Stick-Bag.gc . Theres a lot i like about this bag so let me explain, First off the price tag, at 36.99 dollars its a steal and competes with 100+ dollar knife rolls in terms of what it offers. On the outside it comes with a strap and a magnetic handle at the top which i much prefer over the usual Velcro or button to keep your handles together. There's also an outer pocket which i store my thermopen, sharpies, pens, notebook, and first aid supplies. Once opened you can see there's a loop at the top that allows you to hook your knife bag up on your station which is insanely helpful and should be a standard feature on all knife rolls as being able to hang my bag open on my station and easily access all my tools makes prep and service so much more convenient. Another feature that should be standard in knife rolls which this bag has are deep pockets which keep my knives from falling out. There are even two smaller pockets for any other accessory you might need. This bag holds all my knives and tools no problem, isn't super bulky, and does everything any knife roll ive had before can do but better.

In conclusion this covid situation got my so bored that i wrote a ****** essay on a drum stick bag.
 

Nagakin

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I skimmed. That's a cool bag though, I'd buy one if we weren't quarantined and I was cooking in other people's homes. Doesn't look like it fits a 270 suji, so a no go for work.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FLL1BJD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_ztcIEbGXR0TQY

This is the best bag that I've found for my own use. Room so nothing is banging, cleaver pouch, extra pockets. Besides kitchen tools I fit a tablet, books, notebooks, the occasional change of clothes. Stones if I feel like it. Comes with a lock and slings comfortably. $75.
 

Tristan

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Like most things on this forum, value is relative, as is the joy of being able to afford gear that makes you smile.
Nothing wrong with that. If everyone did best bang for buck...
 

M1k3

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I currently use a cheap knife bag from CKTG :oops: and a backpack. The backpack can hold everything I need and more. And protects the knife bag while not in use. I should upgrade the knife bag but....meh. Someday.
 

Nagakin

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It's not so much price...it's just that most bags suck. I feel like the nicer ones are more suited to packing for vacation than commuting for work. Rolls in particular are pretty outdated, but they take up the least space. I'd have no problem shelling out the money if the right boxes were checked.
 

soigne_west

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My ultimate edge might be one of the best investments I’ve made. And at a little over $100 it holds everything I need and is still going strong after 5+ years.
 

aszma

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It's not so much price...it's just that most bags suck. I feel like the nicer ones are more suited to packing for vacation than commuting for work. Rolls in particular are pretty outdated, but they take up the least space. I'd have no problem shelling out the money if the right boxes were checked.
Alot of this was written out of boredom but i genuinely believe most knife rolls suck and dont function very well for the job you need them for if you came to me with a solid bag but its a bit pricey i wouldnt mind buying it
 

Nagakin

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Ultimate edge!
Depends on where you live, space matters. Where I'm at parking is usually $15-$28 a day unless there's a monthly garage available, and those aren't much cheaper so most cooks bus. Imagine if we all had one of those during rush hour.

Doesn't fit in a standard locker either, so the guy that has one tends to get his stuff kicked around. Not because we're trying to be disrespectful. It's just in the way.
 

soigne_west

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Depends on where you live, space matters. Where I'm at parking is usually $15-$28 a day unless there's a monthly garage available, and those aren't much cheaper so most cooks bus. Imagine if we all had one of those during rush hour.

Doesn't fit in a standard locker either, so the guy that has one tends to get his stuff kicked around. Not because we're trying to be disrespectful. It's just in the way.
Good point that I hadn’t really thought about. I mostly work these days in larger banquet kitchens and there’s usually a big lexan to put our bags in. The reason I like this bag is it’s super durable and holds everything I could possibly need.
 

Alwayzbakin

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I suppose it depends on how much gear you’re bringing. At the moment most of my random gear (oyster knife, micro scale, spoons, spatula, etc) lives in a wine box and I’ll just leave it at work, so my knives are usually the only thing that goes to work and home with me. I found at a thrift store a semi hard case that zips up with Velcro dividers inside. It just fits in my backpack but it could also be attached to a strap. I’m not sure exactly what it is but I’ve seen similar looking flute cases and fishing rod cases in the $20 range. It’s held up to daily transport for the last two years and can hold 6-7 knives; a Sakai 240 has a bit of room so it may fit a 270.
It works great for its price range but I do like that suggestion for the drum stick bag
upload_2020-4-5_1-2-48.jpeg
 

birdsfan

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I have a Wusthof culinary school bag, which is similar in design to the ultimate edge bag. It was a gift that I was thrilled to receive. It does hold the whole kitchen, however it is a pain in the ass at work. Our workspace is small and the bag is huge. also I can hear my bigger knives clinking around inside while I flip through the sections to open the one I need. Now I end up leaving it at home to hold the rest of my collection. and I use a simple Noble 10 slot roll that I can unclip and unroll and close in my hands.

Have to agree with aszma on certain aspects of the drumstick roll. We should be able to get a bag which can hang at the station, and the taller pockets definitely protect the knives. But I want room for a few more knives!

This sounds like a poorly served niche market. Might be an opportunity. If only I could sew!
 

WPerry

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I don't have a horse in the race, but I'd say that, in general, if you can look at an entire product segment and say that it sucks or presents a poor value, there's a good chance that you're missing something with regards to production (material costs, labor, etc) and/or distribution (marketing, logistics, etc). There's also the small possibility that it's such a tiny niche that there aren't enough players to garner competition (I don't think that's the case here) and an even smaller possibility that you've stumbled upon a blind spot in the market and that addressing that untapped need is going to have you rollin' in money (again, probably not the case, here).
 

daveb

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I like the quality of the Ultimate Edge but the larger bag is an example of 'if you fill it, it takes two guys to carry it". I keep two for storage but they seldom travel.

UE does make an 8 knife variant that holds the ~4 knives I'll carry + tools and has the same build quality as the larger bag. 30 bucks or so, I think I have 4 of them.
 

birdsfan

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I would agree with much of what you said WPerry. I was really making a joke. The segment of the market that is sufficiently unsatisfied with the current product offerings is pretty small. A few respondents in this thread love the products they use presently. Like many products that consumers buy, there are some features or specs that would be on our wish list for a knife roll. But that wish list is likely to vary, cook to cook, based on needs and kitchen conditions. Many of those features are not so necessary that they represent a potential for market disruption.
 

Nagakin

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I don't have a horse in the race, but I'd say that, in general, if you can look at an entire product segment and say that it sucks or presents a poor value, there's a good chance that you're missing something with regards to production (material costs, labor, etc) and/or distribution (marketing, logistics, etc). There's also the small possibility that it's such a tiny niche that there aren't enough players to garner competition (I don't think that's the case here)
Okay, sucks is probably the wrong word since I'm sure they're well made for their target audience. To me, that's mostly students and home users. More like, there aren't many reasonable options for working cooks without big compromises between size, utility, and protection. So far we have...drum bags, flute cases, a wine box.

I don't think you should need to travel with your entire kitchen. Your employer should either provide basic tools like vegetable peelers, microplanes, etc or at least provide enough space to store them. No one is saying the Ultimate Edge isn't good, but unless I was a caterer working off-site often it isn't practical (to me).

There really isn't much of a market, though. For the most part guys are still using the cheapest tools they can to do the job well and a bag that costs twice as much as the contents doesn't make sense. Which is probably why rolls are still around and not much else.
 

WPerry

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More like, there aren't many reasonable options for working cooks without big compromises between size, utility, and protection.
And what I'm saying that you're probably missing a good reason for that and that it would probably be painfully obvious if you attempted to bring it to market.

Off the top of my head, I'd say that, if you want a well-made product, the material cost is probably going to be second to the labor cost. Unfortunately, labor costs don't scale down just because the piece is smaller - the amount of work that goes in to it is going to be very similar. That can mean a price that's perceived as being a poor value relative to a larger version. If something is seen as a poor value, it's not going to sell well at retail. If it doesn't sell well at retail, shops aren't going to want to stock it and take up inventory dollars and shelf space on slow-moving product. etc. etc.
 

Nagakin

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There really isn't much of a market, though. For the most part guys are still using the cheapest tools they can to do the job well and a bag that costs twice as much as the contents doesn't make sense. Which is probably why rolls are still around and not much else.
 

aszma

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I don't have a horse in the race, but I'd say that, in general, if you can look at an entire product segment and say that it sucks or presents a poor value, there's a good chance that you're missing something with regards to production (material costs, labor, etc) and/or distribution (marketing, logistics, etc). There's also the small possibility that it's such a tiny niche that there aren't enough players to garner competition (I don't think that's the case here) and an even smaller possibility that you've stumbled upon a blind spot in the market and that addressing that untapped need is going to have you rollin' in money (again, probably not the case, here).
TBH i wrote most of this with some cook buddies out of boredom because who writes this much about bags but i genuinely think knife rolls could be made better there just really isnt a demand for it. Something like the ultimite edge is probably a well made bag and one of my chefs owned one or atleast a similar bag but i wrote this from the perspective of an average line cook someone whos probably bussing/biking to work, doesnt have the luxury to keep there knife roll at work, or doesnt have the finances or need to be carrying around that many knives
 

aszma

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I have a Wusthof culinary school bag, which is similar in design to the ultimate edge bag. It was a gift that I was thrilled to receive. It does hold the whole kitchen, however it is a pain in the ass at work. Our workspace is small and the bag is huge. also I can hear my bigger knives clinking around inside while I flip through the sections to open the one I need. Now I end up leaving it at home to hold the rest of my collection. and I use a simple Noble 10 slot roll that I can unclip and unroll and close in my hands.

Have to agree with aszma on certain aspects of the drumstick roll. We should be able to get a bag which can hang at the station, and the taller pockets definitely protect the knives. But I want room for a few more knives!

This sounds like a poorly served niche market. Might be an opportunity. If only I could sew!
I think there is a lot of improvement that can be made with knife rolls in general and what inspired this post was a distaste for current knife rolls and me finding it hilarious that the knife roll i settled on and very happy with is a drum stick bag. I just dont think theres a huge demand for improving knife rolls and why i titled it unpopular opinion. In my experience most kitchens ive worked in people are rocking victorinox knives and the cheapest knife rolls they can find and seem happy doing it so im probably in the minority on people who actually care.
 

aszma

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I suppose it depends on how much gear you’re bringing. At the moment most of my random gear (oyster knife, micro scale, spoons, spatula, etc) lives in a wine box and I’ll just leave it at work, so my knives are usually the only thing that goes to work and home with me. I found at a thrift store a semi hard case that zips up with Velcro dividers inside. It just fits in my backpack but it could also be attached to a strap. I’m not sure exactly what it is but I’ve seen similar looking flute cases and fishing rod cases in the $20 range. It’s held up to daily transport for the last two years and can hold 6-7 knives; a Sakai 240 has a bit of room so it may fit a 270.
It works great for its price range but I do like that suggestion for the drum stick bag
View attachment 75908
ngl i like the suggestion of a wine bag or flute case very clever
 

AFKitchenknivesguy

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I think there is a lot of improvement that can be made with knife rolls in general and what inspired this post was a distaste for current knife rolls and me finding it hilarious that the knife roll i settled on and very happy with is a drum stick bag. I just dont think theres a huge demand for improving knife rolls and why i titled it unpopular opinion. In my experience most kitchens ive worked in people are rocking victorinox knives and the cheapest knife rolls they can find and seem happy doing it so im probably in the minority on people who actually care.
Using my business sense, this sounds like an opportunity for you to make a fortune. www.aszma.com in the future?
 

torbaci

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i agree,i looked for buying one recently,most of the rolls didn't have anything to keep the knives from moving in them
or pockets
or sturdy material

picking one felt like choosing which compromise to make.
 

applepieforbreakfast

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What are the internal dimensions of the linked drumstick bag? And how deep are the main pockets?

I think this might be the way to go for me, taking a few knives over to a friend's house. Keep the saya in the bag, have the handles poking out of the pocket.

Pull the saya pin, and BAM, knife!
 
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