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

  1. #141

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

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    Haha... You want to view my knife collection. Nothing pretty though as all of them are used (none of them looks anything like the Hattori KD posted above). Anyway, I never intended to show off my collection but I guess some people are curious to know how a dozen knives of various lengths stacked side-by-side will look. The very sole purpose I started this thread is not to display my kitchen knife collection but to inform and to create awareness about knife handling, usages, safety and care (which surprisingly, many people overlook and take for granted).

    By the way, a Japanese 180mm santoku (the three-virtues) knife will be perfect for your wife. It is not too big or chunky in a lady's hand. Most importantly, most women I know dislike handling heavy knives. Therefore, a santoku knife is ideal (it is extremely popular among Japanese housewives). Other knives she will need are a 80mm paring knife and a 120mm utility knife.

    I suggest both you and your wife pay Razorsharp a visit. Let her try the knives (after all she is the one who use it). For a good quality and yet reasonably-priced knife, I recommend the Kasumi 180mm Santoku Japanese chef knife.

    It is retailed for S$180 but I believe Tina can give you a very good discount.

    (Disclaimer: I don't work for Razorsharp, nor am I earning commission from my referrals. In my opinion, they are one of the very few stores in Singapore which does not hire ignorant sales persons. Their staffs actually use the knives and products themselves, thus give valuable feedbacks and honest recommendations.)

    According to Kasumi product literature, their knives are produced by Sumikama Cutlery in Seki, Japan. Sumikama Cutlery specializes in producing knives from the most advanced materials with the most advanced manufacturing techniques. Producing these two ranges of knives requires tremendous experience and knowledge in order to be able to achieve the full benefit from these materials.

    Kasumi knives are made from 33 layers of stainless steel. Only the middle layer acts as the cutting edge, and it is made using V-Gold No. 10 stainless steel. V-Gold No. 10 is a high carbon stainless steel with cobalt, manganese, molybdenum and vanadium for added durability and ease of sharpening. V-Gold No. 10 is a high quality steel developed exclusively for knives and scissors. The addition of cobalt to this steel requires special tempering in order to maximize the full benefit of this steel. Sumikama's technique for this special tempering is a closely guarded secret.

    The layers on both sides of the V-Gold No. 10 core are made by repeatedly folding together two different types of stainless steel and forge welding them by hand until you have sixteen exceedingly thin alternating layers. These sixteen layers are then forge welded to both sides of the V-Gold No. 10 core.

    The edge on a Kasumi knife is beveled like a western style knife. However, the bevel is much larger than the bevel on a European or American brand. This larger bevel creates a sharper edge. Kasumi knives do not have a bolster. They do have a stainless steel ferrule that is forge welded to the blade to ensure that food particles do not become trapped between the blade and the handle. They also have a full tang. The handle is made from multiple layers of wood impregnated with a plastic resin. The handle is riveted to the tang.
    ok I appreciate your advice.

    Two more stupid questions, yeah, hope you dont mind:
    1. where is razor sharp?
    2. I went browsing for knives with wifey in shopping malls, and get overwhelmed by the different kind of knifes. Some of those japanese knife doesnt even have indication which one is to cut meat, veggie, etc. How to know the different? is the similar shape like you post pic above is always for veggie? how about the sharp tip one?

  2. #142

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

    Sorry for my late reply. I was at Sentosa with my family the whole of yesterday. By the time I reached home in the evening, I was beat and went straight to bed.

    Here, on kitchen samurai thread, all questions are not stupid, and are welcomed. Questions equal knowledge and knife safety.

    Quote Originally Posted by amateur_photographer View Post
    1. where is razor sharp?

    RAZORSHARP PTE LTD

    315 Outram Road #01-03,
    Tan Boon Liat Building,
    Singapore 169074.
    Tel: 6227-7515
    www.razorsharp.com.sg

    Quote Originally Posted by amateur_photographer View Post
    2. I went browsing for knives with wifey in shopping malls, and get overwhelmed by the different kind of knifes. Some of those japanese knife doesnt even have indication which one is to cut meat, veggie, etc. How to know the different? is the similar shape like you post pic above is always for veggie? how about the sharp tip one?
    A santoku knife (aka three-virtues knife, or 'san tao' in mandarin) is the most versatile Japanese knife of all. Even Western chefs (mainly the Americans and Europeans) are beginning to switch to santoku knives. In fact, santoku knives are modeled closely after western chef's knives in design and applications.

    According to Wikipedia.com, the santoku or bunka bocho is a general-purpose kitchen knife originating in Japan. Its unshouldered blade, which is typically between five and eight inches long, has a flat edge and a sheepsfoot blade which curves in an angle approaching 60 degrees at the point. The top of the santoku's handle is in line with the top of the blade, giving the chef's fingers plenty of room underneath. The word santoku loosely translates as 'three good things' or 'three uses', a reference to the knife's three cutting tasks it performs so well: slicing, dicing and mincing. The santoku's blade and handle are carefully designed to work in harmony by matching the blade's width and weight to the weight of blade tang and handle, and the original Japanese santoku is an especially well-balanced knife.

    The santoku was originally designed as a modification of the Western (especially French) beef or chef's knife, adapted for use in preparing Japanese cuisine. Shorter than most chef's knives, the blade's cutting edge is normally hardened above the latter, and is optimized for cutting fish, vegetables, and smaller-boned and/or boneless meats, using traditional Japanese edge geometry.

    In comparison to most western chef's knives, the original Japanese santoku pattern has a thinner flat-ground blade made of harder tempered steel (often 58 - 62 HRC or higher). This blade design in turn allows a more acute angle on the cutting edge (edge profile) that makes the knife ideal for precision cutting and thin slicing. While a typical western chef's knife might have an edge profile angle of 20-22 degrees, a santoku normally has an angle of 15-18 degrees. The santoku's sharp, tough cutting blade makes the knife ideal for most ordinary kitchen cutting chores. However, because of its shorter blade and hardened, thin-profile edge, the santoku is not designed for cutting against thick bones, kitchen sinks, or other hard surfaces, which could damage or chip the cutting edge.

    Quote Originally Posted by amateur_photographer View Post
    How to know the different?
    Japanese knife focuses on four main food types - vegetables, fish, meats and noodles (a reflection of their daily diet).

    • Vegetables: nakiri bocho, usuba bocho and santoku
    • Fish: deba bocho, tako hiki, yanagi hiki, unagisaki hocho (for eel), hancho hocho and oroshi hocho (both for tuna), fugu hiki (for blowfish) and santoku
    • Meats: gyuto, santoku
    • Noodles: udon kiri and soba kiri.

    Quote Originally Posted by amateur_photographer View Post
    how about the sharp tip one?
    Depending on what you mean by 'sharp tip one'. All knives, except cleavers, palette knives, granton knives and mezzaluna, have a sharp tip. The more pointed knives are paring, utility, filleting, boning, slicing and turning knives. Each of them is made for a different purpose. Therefore, you will have to very specific when you ask about a 'sharp tip' knife.
    Last edited by photobum; 2nd October 2008 at 10:46 AM.

  3. #143

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

    Kitchen Samurai Theory 101 - Western Knives.

    Kitchen knives developed in small forges out of the production of side weapons such as daggers, sabers and swords. In the 14th century, the town of Sheffield became a British center for knife-making.

    By the 16th century, the French were making the finest knives in the world. Table knives, spoons and forks had become part of European culture. However, carbon steel proved to be too soft, was easily pitted, discolored by acidic foods, and the cutlery required immediate drying and careful storage.

    In 1731, in Solingen, Germany, the powerhouse of knife-making, Peter Henckels mixed carbon steel with iron, chromium and other metals to make high-carbon steel knives with superb cutting edge. Currently, Germans are the master cutlers of the Western world.

    By 1912, greater control of the furnaces became possible and stainless steel was produced by adding chromium, vanadium and molybdenum to steel. This 'new' steel did not rust easily or discolor. Furthermore, it produces a rigid blade that holds a sharp edge. This was difficult to attain in the past.

    The best of the Western knives are forged out of high-quality stainless steel, then hammered into blades. The blades are sharpened to a fine cutting edge by grinding on both sides.

    Recent refinements include freezing blades to below -70 degrees C for better rust protection (stainless steel is prone to rust when not properly maintained). They are heated twice to just below 300 degrees C to harmonize the molecular structure of the metal.

    Western knives are sharpen from time to time on a whetstone, but hone throughout the day on a steel.
    Last edited by photobum; 3rd October 2008 at 12:15 AM.

  4. #144

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

    There is a good article about Santoku knife review.

    http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/16980/

  5. #145

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    There is a good article about Santoku knife review.

    http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/16980/
    Thanks for sharing.

    I have the opportunity to try out the Misono UX10 180mm santoku knife at Razorsharp. It has a very nice feel indeed. Well-balanced with good ergonomics; just like the review said. Made of Swedish steel, the blade has a 'whiter' appearance compared to standard Japanese steel (which are mostly imported from North America).

    For your information, there are high marketing dollars spent and world-class chefs endorsements for Kai Shun products. Although lesser known in Singapore, Kai Shun products are extremely popular and well-publicized in the United States (which this review was originated). Nicknamed the 'high-end' Ginsu knives, Kai Shun has a brand name status equivalent to that of Nike and SKII. Therefore, I am not surprised to read that Kai Shun santoku knife emerged as the top choice.
    Last edited by photobum; 18th October 2008 at 07:00 AM.

  6. #146

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

    NOTE

    Since there are quite a few Kitchen Samurai in this thread who use Global knives. Let me share with you what happened to me yesterday while sharpening two knives (a 200mm chef knife and a cleaver) which belong to my colleague. This experience confirmed my assumption that Global knives are 'granulated'.

    The metal formula which Yoshida Metal Industry (Global's parent company) uses contain high amount of impurities which dislodge during sharpening. A whetstone of grit 800 is enough to upset these fine particles which ended up with dings and pits on the edge surface. The solution is to use a finer whetstone (such as grit 5,000) to smoothen the edge and to straighten the bevel. Some cavities are still visible but it will not affect the cutting performance of the knife.

    Later batches of Henckels Four Stars knives also have this same problem. Yeo Teck Seng (S) Pte Ltd, the local distributor of Zwiling JA Henckels products, has not issue an official product recall yet. However, those who encountered this problem may drop-by their Jalan Pemimpin office and ask for a 1-to-1 exchange. A friend of mine went and he got a new knife.
    Last edited by photobum; 4th October 2008 at 11:36 AM.

  7. #147

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

    Kitchen Samurai Theory 101 - Traditional Japanese Knives.

    In Japanese culture, the preparation and presentation of food are raised from routine, daily tasks to an art form. Japanese knives are central to this tradition and their evolution has been driven solely by functional requirements.

    The blade, with a hard, brittle core that takes and holds a supreme edge, is supported and contained by ductile metal cheeks that protect the core, leaving just the cutting edge exposed. This unique construction gives the knife great strength and durability.

    Japanese knives, in general, require more care than their Western counterparts. They should be washed by hand (with mild liquid dishwashing soap when needed), sharpened frequently using Japanese whetstones, and occasionally wiped over with a light meneral oil (I use food-grade wood oil). Japanese chefs will do this every night after service - a task that is more a religion than a duty. In return, they have knives with superb balance and sharpness that make food preparation a true pleasure.

    Traditional Japanese knives are bevelled on one side only, for use with either right or left hand. Although requiring more skill to use, it was thought that this would give a cleaner cut, and would be easier to maintain the sharpness. Traditional Japanese knives are hand-sharpened to honbatsuki or 'true edge' standard.

    There are two types of traditional Japanese knife: kasumi and honyaki. These knives derive from time-honored Samurai sword manufacture practices dated back to the 11th century. Making a kasumi knife involves a complex process of heating high-carbon steel and soft iron together, hammering the alloy flat, folding it, then hammering it flat and folding it again. This hand-working of the two metals is repeated, in many layers, and often at various angles.

    When the blade is polished, a shimmering but subtle pattern is created - called kasuminagashi, or 'floating mist'. In Western terminology. it is known as the Damascene effect after the laminating process, which evolved in Damascus, Syria, after 400BC. From 1300AD, Sakai became the capital of small weaponary manufacture in Japan. Knife production started in the 16th century when the Portuguese introduced tobacco to Japan, and when knives were needed for cutting it (the tobacco plant). Till today, most knife manufacturers are still small family businesses, where craftsmanship exceeds volume and they produce only a few knives a day. It is no uncommon that orders will take months to deliver.

    Honyaki knives are higher quality, thus more expensive. These knives are made entirely of high-carbon steel. However, they are more difficult to use and to maintain their kirenaga, or duration of sharpness.
    Last edited by photobum; 5th October 2008 at 11:06 PM.

  8. #148

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

    Kitchen Samurai Theory 101 - Fusion Japanese Knives.

    Shortly after the second World War, traditional Japanese knives took a transformation to meet the demands of the Western kitchen. The new knives are made with double-bevelled blades from very pure, stain-resistant, high-carbon steel that is alloyed. Like Western knives, molybdenum is added to the metal formulation. This transition metal, when used in high-strength alloys, does not react with oxygen or water at room temperature. The result is an extremely sharp and hard edge which is still cushioned and protected by softer layers of chrome stainless steel. Only the cutting edge of the core is exposed.

    The santoku knife, similar to a chef's knife, was designed for the West and widely adopted in Western home kitchen as an alternative cutting tool.

    Space-age technology has offered another alternative to high-carbon steel in knife making. Ceramic blades are becoming more popular among younger chefs and food enthusiasts. The key ingredient of this type of blade is zirconium oxide, which produces a blade of incredible sharpness that is said to last for years if care correctly. However, such blade can be sharpened only by professionals on a diamond wheel.
    Last edited by photobum; 5th October 2008 at 11:03 PM.

  9. #149

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

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    Haha... You want to view my knife collection. Nothing pretty though as all of them are used (none of them looks anything like the Hattori KD posted above). Anyway, I never intended to show off my collection but I guess some people are curious to know how a dozen knives of various lengths stacked side-by-side will look. The very sole purpose I started this thread is not to display my kitchen knife collection but to inform and to create awareness about knife handling, usages, safety and care (which surprisingly, many people overlook and take for granted).

    By the way, a Japanese 180mm santoku (the three-virtues) knife will be perfect for your wife. It is not too big or chunky in a lady's hand. Most importantly, most women I know dislike handling heavy knives. Therefore, a santoku knife is ideal (it is extremely popular among Japanese housewives). Other knives she will need are a 80mm paring knife and a 120mm utility knife.

    I suggest both you and your wife pay Razorsharp a visit. Let her try the knives (after all she is the one who use it). For a good quality and yet reasonably-priced knife, I recommend the Kasumi 180mm Santoku Japanese chef knife.

    It is retailed for S$180 but I believe Tina can give you a very good discount.

    (Disclaimer: I don't work for Razorsharp, nor am I earning commission from my referrals. In my opinion, they are one of the very few stores in Singapore which does not hire ignorant sales persons. Their staffs actually use the knives and products themselves, thus give valuable feedbacks and honest recommendations.)

    According to Kasumi product literature, their knives are produced by Sumikama Cutlery in Seki, Japan. Sumikama Cutlery specializes in producing knives from the most advanced materials with the most advanced manufacturing techniques. Producing these two ranges of knives requires tremendous experience and knowledge in order to be able to achieve the full benefit from these materials.

    Kasumi knives are made from 33 layers of stainless steel. Only the middle layer acts as the cutting edge, and it is made using V-Gold No. 10 stainless steel. V-Gold No. 10 is a high carbon stainless steel with cobalt, manganese, molybdenum and vanadium for added durability and ease of sharpening. V-Gold No. 10 is a high quality steel developed exclusively for knives and scissors. The addition of cobalt to this steel requires special tempering in order to maximize the full benefit of this steel. Sumikama's technique for this special tempering is a closely guarded secret.

    The layers on both sides of the V-Gold No. 10 core are made by repeatedly folding together two different types of stainless steel and forge welding them by hand until you have sixteen exceedingly thin alternating layers. These sixteen layers are then forge welded to both sides of the V-Gold No. 10 core.

    The edge on a Kasumi knife is beveled like a western style knife. However, the bevel is much larger than the bevel on a European or American brand. This larger bevel creates a sharper edge. Kasumi knives do not have a bolster. They do have a stainless steel ferrule that is forge welded to the blade to ensure that food particles do not become trapped between the blade and the handle. They also have a full tang. The handle is made from multiple layers of wood impregnated with a plastic resin. The handle is riveted to the tang.
    Hi Photobum
    Dropped by Razorsharp this noon during lunch. The Santoku you mentioned is not $180.00 but much more. Nevertheless, on the palm, the feel is really balance n nice. I bought it...ha ha
    I also got the Naniwa 1000/3000 and that they gave me a good price.
    Thanks again for the write up and advice.
    Bon Appetit

  10. #150

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

    Quote Originally Posted by FireHouse View Post
    Hi Photobum
    Dropped by Razorsharp this noon during lunch. The Santoku you mentioned is not $180.00 but much more. Nevertheless, on the palm, the feel is really balance n nice. I bought it...ha ha
    I also got the Naniwa 1000/3000 and that they gave me a good price.
    Thanks again for the write up and advice.
    Bon Appetit
    Great! I am glad you enjoy your Kasumi knife. With proper care and maintainance, this knife will serve you for many years to come.

    Anyway, the price of this knife should be in between $180 and $200 now. Tina did quote me $180 some time ago. Maybe the price has gone up without my knowing.
    Last edited by photobum; 7th October 2008 at 12:05 PM.

  11. #151

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

    maybe we should ask photobum to order to get special price? :P

  12. #152

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

    Quote Originally Posted by amateur_photographer View Post
    maybe we should ask photobum to order to get special price? :P
    Why not.... That's a wonderful idea!

    We can do a mass order at my price and save everybody a trip to Tan Boon Liat Building. I promise I won't earn any profit for you guys.
    Last edited by photobum; 10th October 2008 at 07:45 AM.

  13. #153

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

    I went MIA for a few days not posting on my thread. Sorry about this.

    Anyway, I was trying out some of the newer Kai Shun Classic knives yesterday at Heap Seng and was thoroughly impressed with their cutting performance, balance and built. The cuts are clean and consistent. In comparison to Misono UX10 and Kasumi, I actually prefer the Kai Shun more.
    Last edited by photobum; 18th October 2008 at 07:00 AM.

  14. #154

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

    The latest addition to my knife collection - Kai Shun Classic 165mm scalloped santoku.


    [photo: photobum]
    Last edited by photobum; 2nd January 2009 at 07:02 AM.

  15. #155
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Argh! Why did I only chance upon this thread after purchasing my knife?

    But I'm very happy with my purchase. Bought a Zwilling 4 Star chef's knife, and have been very pleased with it since this is my first knife.

    How about paring knives and bread knives? Do the Japanese make good knives that fall under this category as well?
    D∞X, 1-∞ mm F0.17. I like to show off my equipment list because I'm pro. My Flickr

  16. #156

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

    Quote Originally Posted by entropy_h View Post
    How about paring knives and bread knives? Do the Japanese make good knives that fall under this category as well?
    You can't go wrong with either German or Japanese knives. Depending on the user, some prefer the sharpness and the 'kirenaga' (duration of sharpness) of Japanese knives, whereas some like the ruggedness and easy maintenance of German knives.

    Do keep in mind that most Japanese knives have a Rockwell Hardness of 60 or higher (HRC >60), whereas most German knives are between HRC 53 and 58. Thus, Japanese knives are considered to be more brittle.

    Personally, I use both German and Japanese knives for different applications. But if you want me to choose one, I will go for Japanese knives anytime. That is because I know how to sharpen and maintain these knives properly.
    Last edited by photobum; 16th October 2008 at 07:42 AM.

  17. #157
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    How much was that Kai Shun?
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  18. #158

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

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    How much was that Kai Shun?
    It costs S$229 with GST at Heap Seng.

    Product literature for Kai Shun Classic.

    [illustration: Kai Japan]
    Last edited by photobum; 2nd January 2009 at 07:03 AM.

  19. #159
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    Default Re: Kitchen samurai.... Please fall-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    You can't go wrong with either German or Japanese knives. Depending on the user, some prefer the sharpness and the 'kirenaga' (duration of sharpness) of Japanese knives, whereas some like the ruggedness and easy maintenance of German knives.

    Do keep in mind that most Japanese knives have a Rockwell Hardness of 60 or higher (HRC >60), whereas most German knives are between HRC 53 and 58. Thus, Japanese knives are considered to be more brittle.

    Personally, I use both German and Japanese knives for different applications. But if you want me to choose one, I will go for Japanese knives anytime. That is because I know how to sharpen and maintain these knives properly.
    Thanks. After reading through this thread, my knowledge on knives has increased by about 2035%.

    Thanks again for sharing, and I'll be sure to look for you for advice when I intend to buy more knives.
    D∞X, 1-∞ mm F0.17. I like to show off my equipment list because I'm pro. My Flickr

  20. #160

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

    Quote Originally Posted by entropy_h View Post
    Thanks. After reading through this thread, my knowledge on knives has increased by about 2035%.

    Thanks again for sharing, and I'll be sure to look for you for advice when I intend to buy more knives.
    .... Thanks!

    I am trying very hard to share my knowledge on knives with all the CS folks. At the same time, I will like to caution everybody about knife safety. Good knives may look beautiful but they are dangerous. While using any knives, remember that you are responsible for your own safety and that of everyone else around you. However, do not let this deter you from the thrill of wielding a precision tool with skill and efficiency.

    Always bear this personal motto of mine with you - 'A sharp knife is a safe knife'.
    Last edited by photobum; 16th October 2008 at 05:11 PM.

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