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Thread: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

  1. #41

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    I'd love to take you up on the offer, but I won't be in Singapore till next year
    If you live in California, go look for Michael Solaegui of Perfect Edge Cutlery and Chefs' Supply in San Mateo, CA. He will become your knife sharpening sensei after you have bought a blade from him.
    Last edited by photobum; 24th September 2008 at 01:51 PM.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    A two-stage sharpener is a good choice for retouching the edges of your knives. Some people use it to replace a honing steel. If you really want to sharpen your knives, whetstone is the only way to go.

    Yes, wet sharpening is ideal. Dry sharpening induces too much heat.

    Before I learn how to sharpen my knives with whetstones, I have the same fear as yours.... getting the wrong angle. After I learn how to do it, it is actually quite easy. With whetstones, you can 'customise' your preferred blade angle even.
    the 2-stage sharpener costs as much as all my (kitchen) knives at home! at e moment, i dun need too fine a hone.

    wad about serrated blades? any idea where to get fine grit hone? those hardware shop diamond files are yakz...

  3. #43
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    It is better still if you live in California. Go look for Michael Solaegui of Perfect Edge Cutlery and Chefs' Supply in San Mateo, CA. He will be you knife sharpening sifu when you buy a blade from him.
    Fantastic! It's not only near my office, it is close to one of my favorite ramen restaurant Thanks again.

  4. #44
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    This knife is known as a 240mm gyuto. I have a similar one but it was forged by Ryusen.

    This one is still quite affordable. It costs S$500 at most.


    $500 for a blade? My GF/future wife will kill me with tat knife....
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  5. #45

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by sORe-EyEz View Post
    those hardware shop diamond files are yakz...
    NO!!!!! Never use a file on your knives.

    Most serrated knives on one edge of the blade. Sharpen on the plain edge only. When the edge meets the whetstone, make sure the plain side matches the angle of bevel.
    Last edited by photobum; 26th September 2008 at 01:11 AM.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    NO!!!!! Never use a file on your knives.

    You are pretty much stuck with the serrated blade. Unless you want to convert it to straight blade, you can use a 2-stage sharpener.
    after 1 stroke, i put the file away. CMI. duh...

  7. #47

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post


    $500 for a blade? My GF/future wife will kill me with tat knife....
    Remember Crocodile Dundee?

    Just tell her that you will look more macho shaving with it. Forget about Gillette Fusion Power. They are for sissies.

  8. #48
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    Remember Crocodile Dundee?

    Just tell her that you will look more macho shaving with it. Forget about Gillette Fusion Power. They are for sissies.
    Eh... I think I'll stick to the Fusion power for now...
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  9. #49

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Eh... I think I'll stick to the Fusion power for now...
    try shaving with a khukri for real men! (and soon, chin/cheek-less men!)

    or a fairbairn sykes knife
    It is such a quiet thing to fall,
    But far more terrible is to admit it

  10. #50
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by vonlichenstein View Post
    try shaving with a khukri for real men! (and soon, chin/cheek-less men!)

    or a fairbairn sykes knife
    Why not YOU try it?

    I'll be nearby with the camera...
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  11. #51

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Why not YOU try it?

    I'll be nearby with the camera...
    errr is ok, i use cheapo chapalang sia razors.
    It is such a quiet thing to fall,
    But far more terrible is to admit it

  12. #52

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    I am no chef but I do most of the cooking at home. There are only 3 knives I use.....a chopper to chop of most things, a small knive (like a blade) is for small items and a medium length for slicing meat, fruits and so on.

    To me good kitchen knife is handy to have if we can afford it. I have a couple of knives importers gave me a set of 5 or 7 of brands like Wustof and Henkels (gave them a discount on my photography fees). It's nice to have super sharp edge knives but sometimes i just find them too sharp. Not that i do not like it but I find my lousy Chinese chopper knife to be the best.

    Yes it's heavy but I guess it's just me to like to hold a big knife.

    I think besides knives, we need good cutting board too for different purpose. Meat, vege, fruits, bread and so on have various different cutting boards for hygience purpose.

    Anyway, I think the Japanese knives are one of the best..........especially those custom made. I met a Japanese chef from Osaka who came to Ritz Carlton Singapore for a promo and he bought his personal knives with him. His set of 12 different knives costed him SGD12,000....... but each one of them has it's own usage. Sashimi knives are the most expensive.....

  13. #53

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Photobum, thanks so much for sharing your passion AND knowledge with us!

    I used to use a fine Arkansas stone and a very fine mineral oil that really reminded me of kerosene to hone my blades. But I was never really good at maintaining a proper horning angle.

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    hey i want to join this thread or group.
    i also love to cook and place alot of value on my knifes.
    i am looking to invest in some good ones

    recently, i bought this book and its by my bed side... still reading through it

    its really an excellent book and i highly recommend it
    very detailed explanations on what knifes to buy, what to look out for and techniques on using them.


    Mastering Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to the Most Important Tools in Your Kitchen (with DVD) [Hardcover]
    By: Norman Weinstein (Author)
    # Hardcover: 224 pages
    # Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang; Har/DVD edition (May 1, 2008)
    # Language: English
    # ISBN-10: 1584796677
    # ISBN-13: 978-1584796671
    Regards, Mark Pang
    www.markpangphotography.com

  15. #55

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    a medium length for slicing meat, fruits and so on.
    For hygiene purpose, I do not suggest you to use a fruit knife to cut meat.

    By the way, you may find yourself exerting more force when cutting meat with a small knife, and I am quite sure your cuts are inconsistent. Furthermore, you may injury yourself by doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    It's nice to have super sharp edge knives but sometimes i just find them too sharp. Not that i do not like it but I find my lousy Chinese chopper knife to be the best.

    Yes it's heavy but I guess it's just me to like to hold a big knife.
    Yes, I agree. As I had mentioned above, Chinese cleavers are the most versatile kitchen cutting tool ever invented by man. I know some people (my wife is one of them) complain that Chinese cleavers are heavy, not knowing that even Chinese cleavers are categorised into various sizes and weights. For those who love the versatility of a Chinese cleaver but hate its weight, I recommend a No. 5 cleaver. This size is harder to find in Singapore but very common in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    I think besides knives, we need good cutting board too for different purpose. Meat, vege, fruits, bread and so on have various different cutting boards for hygience purpose.
    Again, I agree with this statement. That's why I use 3 cutting boards at home. All made by Snow River (an American products):


    • A serving board for fruits and breads
    • An end grain cutting board for vegetables
    • An end grain butcher block for meats.

    Not just cutting boards, both fruit and meat knives have to be separated too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    Anyway, I think the Japanese knives are one of the best..........especially those custom made.
    Most high-quality Japanese knives are custom forged and initialed by the master cutler. That is what makes them so special. You cannot find two knives which look, feel and cut exactly the same. For Japanese knives, it generally takes 1 to 2 months to fill and deliver an order.
    Last edited by photobum; 25th September 2008 at 02:15 PM.

  16. #56

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Photobum, thanks so much for sharing your passion AND knowledge with us!

    I used to use a fine Arkansas stone and a very fine mineral oil that really reminded me of kerosene to hone my blades. But I was never really good at maintaining a proper horning angle.
    The finest Arkansas stone available is equivalent to a grit of between 800 to 1,000 on a Japanese ceramic whetstone, which is still too coarse for smooth cutting (that 'cutting through thin air' feeling which all kitchen samurai crave).

    I do understand your intention of using mineral oil during sharpening as this reduces heat induced with friction. Keep in mind that using oil when sharpening also reduces the steel shaving properties of your Arkansas stone by at least 40% to 60% (depending on the amount of oil you add). This means that it will take you longer time to sharpen your knives. Here is the 'equation':

    Longer time = more effort.
    More effort = more force exerted on the blade surface.
    Longer time + more force = more heat over a prolong period of time.
    More heat = a weaker blade (lower HRC index)
    A weaker blade = shorter service span per sharpening.
    Shorter service span = you will have to sharpen your knives often.

    In short, your knives will not last as long. Therefore, it is better to use clean plain water.

    Furthermore, sharpening knives with oil may cause you to lose your grip on the handle and slip. This will lead to serious injury.

    Just as I told Sore-Eyez about getting the wrong angle, don't worry too much. I had that same fear as yours before. After I learn how to do it, it is actually quite easy.
    Last edited by photobum; 25th September 2008 at 08:45 AM.

  17. #57

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by haagen_dazs View Post
    hey i want to join this thread or group.
    i also love to cook and place alot of value on my knifes.
    i am looking to invest in some good ones

    recently, i bought this book and its by my bed side... still reading through it

    its really an excellent book and i highly recommend it
    very detailed explanations on what knifes to buy, what to look out for and techniques on using them.
    You are most welcome to join us here. It is great to know more CSers who are good cooks too. You definitely qualify as a kitchen samurai with your love and value of good knives.

    Similar to photography, a book, a video, a workshop and a forum is only a venue where you will find general information and guidance. The user, meaning yourself, is the one who determine which knives works best for them.

    My advise to you is before you invest your hard-earn money on a high-quality knife, try it in your hand first. Ask yourself do you like its weight and balance. Appreciate the fine craftmanship of the knife. Then cut some papers. I suggest using both newspapers and 80g A4 photocopy paper. Feel the smoothness (a good knife must not pull or drag as you cut or rip the paper). If you have the opportunity to slice some vegetables, I suggest bring along a carrot or radish. A good knife will give virtually effortless, clean and consistent cuts, and ends with a soft "tok" sound on a wooden cutting board. If the sound is a loud "tak" instead, you are exerting too much force. This is an instant signal which shows that you may not like the knife after prolong use.
    Last edited by photobum; 25th September 2008 at 10:59 AM.

  18. #58
    Member terryansimon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    I've got a Global chefs knife. that's about it.

    I'm intending to get a fillet knife though. makes it a lot easier to slice/fillet fish, and to de-bone certain meats.

    would probably get a Global one again. I just like the weight and feel of Globals as compared to Wursthofs (even though they make bloody awesome knifes!)

    but yes. keep your knifes sharpened. a blunt knife is actually more dangerous than a sharpened knife, believe it or not (yes I speak from experience of almost severing my fingers).

    happy cooking folks.
    chicken fight!

  19. #59

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by terryansimon View Post
    I've got a Global chefs knife. that's about it.

    would probably get a Global one again. I just like the weight and feel of Globals as compared to Wursthofs (even though they make bloody awesome knifes!)

    but yes. keep your knifes sharpened. a blunt knife is actually more dangerous than a sharpened knife, believe it or not (yes I speak from experience of almost severing my fingers).
    As I had mention above, Global knives are great for beginners who want to stay away from German knives. However, the handle of most Global knives can get quite slippery with wet or oily hands, so be very careful when you use them.

    Be very careful when you attempt to sharpen Global knives. There are miniature air bubbles embedded inside the steel blade (part of their forging process to use air) which requires special attention. These air bubbles will leave behind tiny pits on your blade. This is based on my own experience sharpening several Global knives which belong to a friend.

    Yes, I agree with you. That's why my personal motto as a kitchen samurai is 'A sharp knife is a safe knife'.
    Last edited by photobum; 25th September 2008 at 09:31 AM.

  20. #60

    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    For those of you who have not reach the status of a kitchen samurai yet but will like to know more about a knife, I hereby introduce the anatomy of a knife. Please pardon my poor sketching skill.



    Let's start from left to right:

    • The point is used to make fine cut and to pierce foods. This is usually the thinnest part of the blade.
    • The tip is used for cutting soft vegetables (such as tomatoes and squash), small ingredients, through tendons and ligaments (meats), and for fine slicing.
    • The spine is the 'backbone' of the blade. A larger knife will have a wider spine. It may be grasped by our fingers for enhanced stability.
    • The cutting edge is located between heel and tip. This is most hardworking area. Mainly for chopping and slicing.
    • The heel is the heaviest part of a knife. It is also the thickest. When used with strength, it can cleave through hard, tough food (such as hard melons).
    • The bolster is the joint between the blade and handle, and its purpose is to protect our hand also.
    • Right below the bolster is the finger guard. Some knives do not have a finger guard (especially Japanese varieties). The finger guard on some knives can be a hindrance during sharpening.
    • The tang is not always seen, but it is the end part of the blade that extends into the handle (see Tang Types below).
    • The rivets, like screws, hold the tang to the handle. They should be tight and flat with no crevices for bacterial growth.
    • The handle may be made from a variety of materials. It is important that the handle feels comfortable in our hands during prolong cutting.


    [sketches: photobum]

    Tang Types - value or budget knives usually have a "rat tail" tang (with the exception of certain high-quality Japanese knives), which is about 1mm wide and runs roughly 30mm into the handle. This type of tang can be either visible or unseen. A full tang is found in the best knives. It runs the entire length of the handle and width of the blade, providing excellent balance, stability and durability.

    Not all "Rat tail" tangs are fastened with rivets (as shown above). Many are sealed into a plastic handle, hiding the tang.
    Last edited by photobum; 2nd January 2009 at 07:09 AM.

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