Steel & Blades

Steel

Steel can be confusing for people not in the industry. So I plan to dumb it down a little.

However, for those in the know, the core steel is VG10, with an outer damascus cladding. The core is a stainless steel with a high carbon content containing 1% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 1% Molybdenum, 0.2% Vanadium, 1.5% Cobalt, and 0.5% Manganese.

There is no perfect knife steel.

Knife makers will argue to the end of the earth about which one is better, so as a chef who's been using knives for the last 16 years, I've picked my favourite, and it's what I use in all my knives.

 

What do I like about the steel?

First thing to introduce people to is the Rockwell Hardness rating. It's basically a test that pushes a pin into a piece of steel, and the harder it needs to push to make an indent, the harder the steel is.

Our Rockwell rating is 60-62. 

Comparing to some well known brands:

Global: 56-58

Wusthof: 58

Victorinox: 56

Henkles: 55

 

Mine are on par with a brand like Shun. If you've used them before, expect the same.

 

So what does that actually mean?

I hate blunt knives, and the harder the steel, the longer the knife will stay sharper. I still find the steel easy enough to sharpen, and it has very good rust resistance.

 

Maintenance & Care

No dishwashers.

Just no. 

The high heat & steam inside of the dishwasher will make the wood expand, and it can come off the epoxy. The finish over the handles will yellow and crack, and the caustic cleaning agents can cause pitting inside the steel, which will help rust. 

Just detergent and handwash. 

 

Keeping them sharp.

My knifes aren't the mythical infomercials that claim to cut through a boot, and then through a tomato (those are just serrated knives, and they saw the food, not cut it, and are just horrible to use). 

First thing is to learn the difference between between honing and edge and sharpening it. 

Honing

Honing isn't sharpening the knife. If you look at the edge under a microscope, after use, the extremely fine bevel will bend or roll from one side to the other. Then you aren't cutting with the cutting edge, but pushing the rolled edge through the food, and the blade feels blunt. 

Honing is basically pushing that rolled edge straight again. 

This is a sharpening steel:

If you give the knife two or three swipes on each side before use, it'll stay sharp a really long time. The steel is really hard, so it won't wear down quickly, and this is all most people will need too do.

But eventually:

 

Sharpening

If you're in Adelaide, bring it back to me and I'll sharpen them for free. If you're a bit far for that, I'll go through my basics.

There is a good chance that there are professionals in your area who can sharpen them well, I'd suggest them (usually $5-$10 per blade, if you keep the edge honed, with home use, it could be a year between needing it).

If you want to do it yourself, I like whet stones. 1000/6000 combo ones are what I'd recommend. And watch a few youtube videos on how it's done. 

 

If you're handy, and have a bench grinder, grab a paper wheel and some buffing compound.  

 

 

Blades

Paring Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 88mm (3.5").

A useful knife for turning fruit and veg, and other small, delicate tasks.

Bird's Beak Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 105mm (4").

A great little knife, useful for top-and-tailing onions, and perfect for making curved cuts. One of my go-to little knives.

Utility Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 125mm (5").

A fantastic blade for smaller, more delicate jobs.

Boning Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 165mm (6.5").

This blade is perfect for getting into joints of meat, and very useful for going around the curves.

15cm Chef's Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 150mm (6").

Sometimes the bigger 20cm chef's knife is just a little too big, and this knife comes into it's own, it's a great little knife for when you just want to slice some cherry tomatoes.

20cm Chef's Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 200mm (8").

This is a go-to in the kitchen. This is the all-purpose knife that everybody needs. 

K-Tip Chef's Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 200mm (8").

Similar to the Chef's Knife, the profile on this blade is a little different - it's a mixture between a Santoku and Chef's Knife, with a tip that's harder to stab yourself with.

24cm Chef's Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 240mm (9.5").

This blade is great for those big jobs, want to cut down a whole carrot length in one go, this'll do it. Need to cut a mass of vegies in one go, here's your new go to knife. It's excellent, and will get pulled out first!

Santoku Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 190mm (7.5").

This is a great chopper, useful for up-and-down chopping motions. One of my first picks when I'm hunting for a knife.

Nakiri Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 190mm (7.5").

Similar to a meat cleaver, but with a thinner blade designed for fruits and vegetables, this is a great knife, and a favourite of many.

Bread Knife

The blade, not including the handle, is 250mm (10").

Great for slicing, well, bread. The serrated edges go through it with ease, and it's very sharp.

Brisket Knife

This is one of my favourite knives. Its long and flat edge is perfect for cutting through a brilliant bit of meat in one clean stroke. 

The blade is 260mm (10.5"), and is just brilliant.

High Carbon Sharpening Steel

One of the questions I get a lot is, which one should I get, the high carbon sharpening steel, or the diamond steel.

The best way to keep a knife sharp is to use the high carbon steel before each use. Doing this will keep it stupid sharp for a very long time. If you do that, then the high carbon steel is my suggestion.

 

Diamond Sharpening Steel

This steel is a little different than the high carbon steel. Mostly because it has a layer of very fine grit of diamond through it (600 grit). So when you use this steel, it'll grind off a very fine layer of steel at the same time. 

If you're likely only to use the steel when the knife starts to feel dull, grab the diamond steel.