Kitchen Knife edge vs. Benchmade Knife edge question


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Bartholomew Roberts
July 5, 2008, 01:42 AM
First, I know very little about knives or their manufacture. So I thought I would drop by here and see if I could get the answer to a question that has been bugging me.

I have a Spyderco sharpening kit that I have been using to maintain the edge on both my kitchen knives (Henckel) and my pocket knives. Both sets of knives get the same treatment with the stones and both have the same angle on the edge.

However, I notice that the kitchen knives, although very sharp, show tiny, extremely small notches in the edge (maybe from corrosion?). On the other hand, the pocket knives, which probably see harder use and have the same edge (Benchmade and MoD Trident) don't show the same tiny notches in the blade.

What gives? Is it just a difference in quality of steel?

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Eleven Mike
July 5, 2008, 01:47 AM
Are the kitchen knives stored in a block, or in a drawer, where the edges are exposed?

What kind of steel?

JohnKSa
July 5, 2008, 01:56 AM
The Henckels are pretty brittle. My guess is they're chipping.

My other guess is that someone's using an unapproved cutting board when you're not looking.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 5, 2008, 01:59 AM
The Henckels are stored in a drawer in a wooden block - so the edges aren't exposed. They are only being used with cutting boards (plastic and wood). I'm the only one in the place so I am 100% on that (unless the maid is chopping stuff while I am away :)) Don 't know the type of steel on any of the knives other than the Henckels are stainless of some type.

JohnKSa
July 5, 2008, 03:26 AM
That's a puzzler. They'd have to be really brittle to chip during sharpening unless you're applying a lot of sideways pressure during the process. Even then it would surprise me...

Valkman
July 5, 2008, 03:33 AM
If it's a Sharpmaker the angles are way too steep for kitchen knives. The folders work well with 20 degree bevels but I think kitchen knives need a much thinner edge. That's all I can think of.

hso
July 5, 2008, 06:59 AM
Are you putting them in a dishwasher?

LAK
July 5, 2008, 08:20 AM
Some poor quality cutting boards maybe; some plastics and horizontally orientated grain wood cutting boards might do it. Bamboo, now a popular and trendy material for cutting boards, is very hard indeed. I do not know about Henckels in particular, but in the late 1980s many kitchen cutlery makers starting using recycled steels.

Carl Levitian
July 5, 2008, 09:39 AM
As one poster stated, Henckles are pretty brittle.

I knew a young lady who was a manger for one of the old Chesapeake Knife and Tool stores, here on the east coast. She had alot of people comming back with Henckles knives with breakage. Usually some cutlery noob who was used to run of the mill kitchen knives, then splurged and bought some "good" stuff. Some out and out blade breakage like snapping off a blade dealing with fronzen food.

When JoAnn would gently remind them that this was Henckles fine kitchen cutlery, and needed to be treated a little more respectivly, they would say "But my (brand X) doesn't have a problem!"

The Tourist
July 5, 2008, 10:21 AM
You have what is known in the hushed circles of tinkers as "gremlins."

In brief, a gremlin is a spot or condition on a knife that shouldn't be there, logicaly couldn't be there, cannot be found or fixed and degrades the performance of the knife.

Usually a gremlin will show himself on a strop. A quick whisk will leave a small line in the leather. It seems yours can be seen.

Without actually holding the knife, my guess would be you have acclusions. Think of it as a dirty mark in a diamond. An impurity in the steel during smelting. That's the reason I like processes that make 154-CM over that which make ATS-34, while their pedigree is exactly the same "recipe."

Take a bundle of cash and a hearty gratuity to a tinker or kitchen supply store in your area that offers professional sharpening. They have tools to mirror finish a blade which usually eliminates chipping. The more coarse your stones the better chance you have on just re-creating the same edge.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 5, 2008, 02:49 PM
hso, they do make it into the dishwasher occasionally when someone helps with the dishes though I try to avoid it. That was my first thought as well.

I am using the Sharpmaker with a 20 degree bevel as mentioned. No problems with sharpness; but the edge does seem brittle.

No sideways pressure during sharpening, in fact, very little pressure at all. I usually give them two light runs on each side after I use them and that is about it.

Bix
July 5, 2008, 06:07 PM
If it's a Sharpmaker the angles are way too steep for kitchen knives. The folders work well with 20 degree bevels but I think kitchen knives need a much thinner edge.

Valkman, to clarify - are you saying kitchen knives should be sharpened at more than the 15/20 available on the Sharpmaker or less than 15/20? I ask because I'm pretty new to this and have been using the Sharpmaker on my kitchen knives.

Valkman
July 5, 2008, 07:23 PM
I didn't word that very well - I don't know what angles kitchen knives are ground at but I would think it would be narrower than 20 degrees. For a thin slicer that doesn't have to be strong I'd think 10-15 per side would be much better.

Valkman
July 5, 2008, 07:25 PM
That's the reason I like processes that make 154-CM over that which make ATS-34

And that's why CPM154CM is much better than 154CM. The powdered form is much less likely to have internal defects.

mossberg
July 5, 2008, 09:18 PM
Wait a minute. Your using a Spyderco sharpening system on Benchmade's? I can't believe no one else caught this.:neener: You're lucky it's just the kitchen knives being damaged, at least it's not causing an earthquake!

Bix
July 6, 2008, 10:05 AM
For a thin slicer that doesn't have to be strong I'd think 10-15 per side would be much better.


Makes sense; thanks.

The Tourist
July 6, 2008, 12:03 PM
You must remember that we are speaking in generalities here.

A thin knife is generaly a better slicer. Obviously, not with a blunt edge or a poor sharpening.

A Crucible Particle alloy will sharpen to a more refined edge, some even say the potential for blocky carbides on the edge is less of a factor.

These are all good indicators, but not the final say. And in selecting the superior attributes of manufacture, bevel angle and alloy, you still have to make sure you have good maintenance and a careful polishing.

Below is a knife that has none of these factors. It cost 1/7 of the knife it mimics. It has a bizarre alloy that is said to mirror 440C--a good useful alloy, but not a super steel. It has a thinner edge, but still in the 20 degree range and I doubt that Crucible was called in as a consultant during the smelting process. I do see Paul Bos stamp on either the knife or packing materials.

In short, you might suspect it's a ho-hum knife. Think again. It's become my personal EDC when riding and eating at restaurants.

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb231/TheTourist_bucket/DSC00325.jpg

DRYHUMOR
July 6, 2008, 12:55 PM
Some Henckles knives are being made in China (outsourcing).
I seem to think that (some) Henckle knives are ice quenched, that would increase the rigidity of the blade, possibly making them suseptable to chipping.
I get better use out of high carbon blades than stainless, but, you have to sharpen them more often. And, they will discolor.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 7, 2008, 09:51 AM
Yes, this is marked on the blade as some sort of ice-quenched steel.

Valkman
July 7, 2008, 04:34 PM
Cryogenic quenching after heat treating will make a better blade, if the blade is stainless steel. How hard it makes it is of no consequence because it still has to be tempered. Tempering "draws" the blade from "way too hard for a knife" to whatever hardness you are looking for. In this months Blade mag there's an article on making your own set of steel squares that are each a different hardness and you can use those for testing.

waterhouse
July 7, 2008, 05:03 PM
My wife had 2 kitchen knives (one a Henckles, the other ?) that seem to be similar to what you are describing. She used to put them in the dishwasher, and I think this is what caused the issue. It's the only thing I could figure out that we did differently with our knives, but none of mine have similar "notches."

1858
July 8, 2008, 12:07 AM
That's how I sharpen my blades. The 15 degree edge is too thin for kitchen knives, especially if you're cutting on plastic boards. The 20 degree finish (which only takes a few minutes to achieve) will last a lot longer and is almost as sharp!

I should add, 15 degrees is an excellent angle for any blade but you may have to dress it a lot more often compared to a 20 degree angle.

:)

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