ALCHEMY OF STEEL - MY KNIVES


MY KNIVES
WUSTHOF - WESTERN 

Wusthof has been manufacturing fine cutlery since 1814. WUSTHOF is one of the few knife manufacturers that still do all their many steps of the forging process from beginning to end. Each step along the way is performed to exacting standards by skilled workers aided by the most modern, computer guided equipment and powerful robots. 

Currently the company produces knives under several model names including: Classic, Le Cordon Bleu, Culinar, Grand Prix II and Gourmet. All of these lines are forged blades that offer a variety of different handle designs for a variety of tastes and preferences. Their attention to detail and meticulous hand finishing gained a reputation that has become legendary in the cookware industry. 

I prefer the  Wusthof Classic - The best selling line in Wusthof’s stable of knives is the Classic which features a 3 rivet handle design. These knives are high quality and Wusthof has done very well over the years with it. These  are indeed classic in blade design and traditional handle fit and feel.  They were my first knives.  The balance of the knife is good in the 8” Chef Knife which is my go to.  All my knives are the traditional classic.  No frills just great steel, size and balance, same feel for forty years.


WU-4572    WUSTHOF CLASSIC 6 INCH CHEF'S KNIFE

Among the most versatile knives, this is one you'll use daily for chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing.   Many chefs keep a 6 inch version alongside a larger 8 inch for much of their work or its a good idea for the wife or smaller chef assisting you or you assisting her.             





WU-4572    WUSTHOF CLASSIC 8 INCH CHEF'S KNIFE

This one is the workhorse in prepping.  I call this my daily bread knife. If you are making money, this one is the one you use the most. Used for chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing. This size is the workhorse of a chefs kitchen and this one has the Granton edge and a slimmer edge profile in the newer Wusthof's.  There are 10 inch versions for commercial kitchens and large volume establishments.


WU-4183    WUSTHOF CLASSIC 7 INCH SANTOKU KNIFE W/ FREE SHARPENER

Crafted in Germany of high-carbon steel, the blade of the 7” santoku knives in this set feature hollow-ground depressions that prevent food from sticking to it while you're mincing, slicing and dicing. 

I got this in as set which included 3" sheep's-foot paring knife, a 7" santoku and a manual sharpener. As with all of the classic series the full tangs are triple riveted to the handles for exceptional durability and control.
They all have polypropylene handles are contoured for a comfortable grip. The manual sharpener, designed specifically for Santoku blades, hones and sharpens for a keen, long-lasting edge.
Nice touch but I prefer steeling.


WU-4193    WUSTHOF CLASSIC 7 INCH NAKIRI KNIFE

Though different in style the Nakiri is a true vegetable knife designed for the fast creation of what I call strips for Sushi. I usually grab it for most work requiring dicing and fine chopping when a rocking motion is not required. Shallots that I want minced etc. 

The Wusthof has fine balance and I also have a Nakiri in Shun which is even finer.  Heavier cut fall prey to my Chicago Cutlery Light Cleaver. Heavier than that I use a bandsaw and or C4.


WU-4001     WUSTHOF CLASSIC 3 INCH STRAIGHT PARING KNIFE

The nearly straight blade of this paring knife is designed for small jobs like mincing, peeling and trimming. Wusthof's Precision Edge Technology gives it a sharper, longer-lasting edge. Forged in Germany of high-carbon-steel, the knife's full tang is triple riveted to an African black-wood handle.   

Wusthof's new Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) creates an extraordinarily sharp blade that retains its edge 30% longer. The Compact blade has a nearly straight cutting edge with a hoof-shaped tip for smaller chopping, mincing and peeling tasks.


WU-4066     WUSTHOF CLASSIC 4-1/2 INCH UTILITY KNIFE

A kitchen essential for peeling, slicing and trimming fruits and vegetables, this German utility knife features a blade forged from stain-resistant high-carbon steel. Its full tang, riveted to the nonslip polypropylene handle, guarantees peerless balance and control. Wusthof's Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) creates an extraordinarily sharp blade that retains its edge 30% longer.



WU-4062         WUSTHOF CLASSIC 2-1/2 INCH BIRD'S BEAK PARING

Resembling a bird's beak, the short, curved blade of this professional-quality knife is great for creating intricate cuts for decorative garnishes and for prepping small, spherical fruits and vegetables. The razor-sharp blade is forged in Germany of high-carbon steel. Compact blade is curved for creating intricate cuts or prepping small, spherical produce. When I first opened the box I had no idea how versatile this guy is.  Shrimp, delicate cuts is vegetable shaping and also on the Sushi side for a few things.


WU-1605   WUSTHOF CLASSIC 8 INCH SERRATED BREAD KNIFE



Wusthof's classic bread knife has an extra-long serrated blade for slicing neatly through crusty loaves of bread. Forged in Germany of tough high-carbon steel, the blade withstands years of use.The weight of the knife is perfect and it slices homemade bread, whole grain breads and store bought breads equally well.




WU-4524  WUSTHOF  CLASSIC 8 INCH HOLLOW EDGE CARVING KNIFE

Made in Germany, this knife’s curved high-carbon-steel blade helps you follow the contours of meat on the bone. Oval depressions on the blade create air pockets that eliminate drag, facilitating even carving. Precision Edge Technology ensures a lasting, razor-sharp edge.



KERSHAW - EASTERN

SHUN COLLECTION

KASUMI
 
Kasumi is a traditional Japanese style of knife knifemaking in which an extremely hard core of high-carbon steel is clad—that is, sheathed or covered—with an exterior jacket of another steel. The somewhat “softer” exterior cladding protects the inner cutting core. In Japanese, kasumi means “mist” and is so called because the exterior steel can have a lovely misty appearance when compared to the harder cutting core. 

Kasumi construction provides an ultimate mix of properties: an extremely sharp edge and ease of sharpening. This clad construction is similar to how samurai swords are traditionally made.

EXTREME EDGE
Because of the hard, premium steel from which Shun cutlery is made, the blades can be thinner, lighter, and sharper. A thinner edge cuts more easily by putting less stress on the edge—so fewer strokes do the job. Thinner edges are easier to control as well, making cutting smoother and, once again, relieving stress on the edge.

Shun’s handcrafted Japanese knives are sharpened to a precise 16° angle on each side of the blade (for double-beveled blades, this means a comprehensive angle of 32°). For comparison’s sake, European-style blades are generally sharpened to 20-22° each side for a comprehensive cutting angle of 40-44°.

Due to the premium-quality SG2 and Vg10 steel used for the cutting core of these blades, Shun’s incredibly sharp edge will nevertheless last an incredibly long time before resharpening is needed. Extremely sharp edges that last an extremely long time—that’s the meaning of Shun’s Extreme Edge.

Steel is a blend (alloy) of iron and carbon. Most steel also has other ingredients in the mix to enhance specific characteristics in the metal. For example, stainless steel also contains chromium to improve stain resistance. Kai Corporation uses the most advanced high-performance steel to create their Shun kitchen cutlery. State-of-the-art manufacturing technology, premium materials, and Kai’s 100-year-old tradition of unparalleled blade-making excellence combine to make Shun cutlery the finest there is.

VG10 Stainless Steel
Adds cobalt for strength and hardness, vanadium for superior edge retention. High-performance VG10 needs minimal care to avoid corrosion, takes a wicked edge, and holds it for a very long time. Resharpening is easy—when the time comes.

SG2 Stainless Steel
Is a proprietary “micro carbide” steel. The ultra-dense grain structure and purity of SG-2 make it both harder and more pliable than other high-performance steels. The result is a knife with the ability to take and hold an incredibly fine edge of unparalleled durability. Because of its combination of extreme edge performance and durability, SG-2 is considered by many to be the world’s best blade material for use in kitchen knives.

PakkaWood
Is a premium handle material made of genuine hardwood impregnated with resin. The resin makes it moisture resistant, strong, and durable. Sanding and buffing brings PakkaWood® to a beautiful gloss finish. As with natural wood, no two pieces of PakkaWood® are exactly alike.


KEN ONION 8” KE-DM 0500
I use my Ken Onion as I would use a Santoku.  It’s rounded bottom makes for great chopping with a rocking motion.





















THE TOP OF THE LINE

BOB KRAMER KNIVES
The celebrated American knife-smith bob Kramer sums it up.  I gleaned this from his website because his words are what it is and what he is about. Perfection, in performance, style, function and artistry. Bob's knives are a combination of best of art and meticulous craftsmanship producing one of the finest products made. I have and could afford only one Kramer.  I love that knife but it is on special occasions because it is not only a knife , it is art.




From his website". "Damascus, or pattern welded steel, is the process of combining at least two different types of steel to achieve mechanical properties or to achieve a desired aesthetic. In my Damascus, I use three different types of steel all of which harden and temper in the same temperature range".

"To begin creating Damascus, at room temperature I make a sandwich of different types of steel usually starting with 20 layers. This sandwich is tack-welded together and put into a forge running at 2350 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the steel becomes "plastic" and "sticky". The steel sandwich is then placed into a hydraulic press or mechanical hammer where these different steels are fused together". 

"Molecules actually move back and forth across this interface between the different steels bonding the materials together. This process is also called diffusion bonding. The resulting billet is then stretched and manipulated to create desired patterns or folded a number of times to achieve a desired layer count, sometimes going up to 10,000 layers".

"This process is very labor and material intensive. In some cases up to 70% of the material is lost along the way to achieve a desired pattern. This is why Damascus knives are much more expensive than the straight carbon steel knives.

"Often I am asked if Damascus is better than Straight Carbon Steel. I'd say that it isn't better, only different. I see my Damascus knives as a bigger chunk of my soul. The making of Damascus requires more time, and a higher level of concentration”.


ECONOMICS 101
Kramer made a deal with Sur La Table and Henckels for a line of very heavy supervised copies of his most popular designs and accoutrements that put a Kramer quality Carbon blade in your kitchen for under the 2500 to 3000.00 plus dollar price you would pay for a genuine Kramer and wait two years.

His essential collection is in the 250.00 - 350.00 range in stainless similar models.  Certified as a Master Bladesmith by the American Bladesmith Society, Bob Kramer is one of the only Master Bladesmiths in the world specializing in kitchen cutlery. Cook’s Illustrated once wrote: “The Kramer knife outperformed every knife we’ve ever rated.” Put simply, Kramer is King of the Kitchen Knife. Saveur dubbed Bob “The Master of the Blade.”   

For this exclusive collection, Sur La Table worked with the master himself—along with renowned German knife maker Zwilling J.A. Henckels—to create an exquisite line of artisan knives designed by Bob and crafted to his exacting specifications. 

The chef’s knife is the perfect kitchen workhorse, ideal for chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing meat and vegetables. Wide blade makes it easy to transfer ingredients from cutting board to bowl or pot. Hand wash. 8” - 10”  blade. Limited lifetime warranty. Handcrafted in Seki City, Japan, exclusively for Sur La Table.  

Take Note:  The Kramer Meiji  requires no special care but you would treat it as anything of great value wiped clean and dry after use. No dishwasher, no carton opening, no lending to the barbecue king, and keep away from children and mass murderers.


KNIFEMAKING ON A HIGHER LEVEL

EXCLUSIVE HAND MADE knives that Combine Japanese aesthetics, the ease and familiarity of Western-style blades and legendary blade smith Bob Kramer, and the result is the revolutionary Meiji collection.  A true fusion of Eastern and Western knifemaking philosophies, Bob Kramer Meiji offers the impeccable style of Japanese knives paired with the performance and accessibility of Western blade shapes optimized for kitchen use. 

Bob Kramer Meiji is only available at Sur La Table. Whether slicing steaks, chopping scallions or mincing ginger, this does-it-all chef’s knife sits comfortably in the hand and offers incredible control. Razor-sharp right out of the box, it’s a versatile and eye-catching addition to any kitchen. 

FEATURES

  • Designed by ABS-certified Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer, the first Master Bladesmith to specialize in kitchen cutlery
  • East-meets-West design combines the aesthetics of Japanese-style knives with the performance of a Western-style blade shape and grind for edges that are extremely sharp and easy to maintain
  • Each blade is forged from a core of FC61 steel and clad in 100 layers of nickel and stainless Damascus to take and hold a razor-sharp, yet easy-to-care-for edge
  • Mirror-polished blades feature an etched ladder Damascus pattern designed by Bob Kramer
  • Fine-carbide distribution results in a blade that holds an incredibly sharp angle
  • Ice hardening to 61 Rockwell improves the microstructure of the steel for improved cutting performance, corrosion resistance and increased durability
  • D-shaped Japanese-style handles in charcoal pakkawood provide a secure grip and excellent balance
  • Each handle features a decorative center pin handcrafted in Bob Kramer’s workshop
  • Each knife draws on Seki City, Japan’s wealth of knife-making experience and undergoes a rigorous 42-day manufacturing process that involves 45 artisans and 100 distinct steps




COMMERCIAL CHARITY  - AND TRAVEL WORK 

I’m not about to take a couple of hundred dollar knives to places that grow feet on the blades, I lost a very expensive Sashimi knife that way, gone. It was about a 225.00 loss.  

But I’m also not going to do the K-Mart cheap Chinese knife trick, I’m too fast and could get nicked with something not close to my everyday knives.  

I always had the Tramontina, or Dexter Brand in kitchens I worked in.  Pots, Pans, Hot Servers, and Knives, real commercial stuff.   Very fair priced, and their knives have great edge holding, easy sharpening, large handles for big guys and the  handles are no-slip, microbial insulated, and easy to keep an eye on.

Tramontina ProLine commercial knives are NSF certified and manufactured with stain-free high-carbon steel blades for optimum performance in professional and home kitchens. 

Handle is made of non-slip white polypropylene with anti-microbial protection.   Tramontina ProLine 20 inch, cutting board provides a large surface for chopping and cutting beef, poultry, vegetables and fruits.  This is a good combo and very reasonably priced.

I saw this on sale at Costco.  Now this is the entire package, big and small for any kind of cutting and volume work including a board for $59.95 at Costco.  Thats a winner, and for working a gig I add the following tools to my Sears Craftsman Box.  

  • Three thermometers - two oven, one digital 
  • Cutting gloves (2)
  • A Mandolin
  • A Steel
  • An Accusharp for others
  • Bottle of Naproxen 
  • Safety glasses and Silicon Pot holders

My Set Includes: 

  • 2- Utility Knives: 6" 
  • 2- Santoku Knives: 7" 
  • 1- Cook's Knife: 8"
  • 1- Cook's Knife: 10"
  • 2- Clip Point Paring Knives: 3"
  • 2- Paring/Chefs Style Knives: 3.25"
  • Cutting Board: 20"

Cutlery Features: Material: Stain-free, high-carbon German steel. Handles have built-in antimicrobial product protection, which inhibits odor and stain-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. Dishwasher safe. Made in Taiwan, not China Mainland and my set older comes from Brazil.

Cutting Board Features:  - Material: Medium density polyethylene.  Dimensions: 20” x 15” x 0.5”  Easy to clean, Dishwasher safe, Made in Brazil.

Rollups - I am not a big fan of rollups, the first time you place a black rollup near white flour you have a grey rollup.   The first time you put a blade away wrong you have a hole in the fabric. I just have a thing about fabric and knives, including Kevlar.  An icepick is a nice weapon against Kevlar if it isn’t partnered with the added ceramic plate type. Never heard of a chef wearing Kevlar ?  

Gotcha!  You haven’t cooked in Afghanistan for the military. I had a slew of blade protectors and was waltzing through the mall at Sears one day when I saw this inexpensive long and narrow tool box holder thingy in the tools department and it was cheap at nine dollars.

Sears was my second favorite department after the food court. So I stuffed myself at Five Guys in the food court, favorite burger joint, went back and bought one. Since then, ten of my buddies bought them and it's a cult thing now.

Complete with two latches and a handle. When satisfied with my good and expensive knife blocks being stuffed and staying at home, I needed something to travel with for the knives I don’t use all the time but want in one spot.  I just keep it in the car.  I have enough knives.

Never letting anything go the way “ They" made it , I added a neat pair of shoulder strap hooks. If you wish to do the same email me and I will send you the parts.  It’s got a low profile and slides under the seat in my car hidden out of view.   I would rather they steal this steel than my Kramers or better SHUNS.

Morale: Never bring the good stuff even to a charity gig or fund raiser unless you have eyes on it all the time.

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