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The traditional sharpening steel does not sharpen; it maintains the edge by unfolding it. This straightened edge is still weak and quickly folds again. Eventually, the edge breaks off or folds so tightly that it can't be straightened with a steel and must be reshaped. Using a steel requires significant skill and practice. To be effective at all, the steel must be used after every 10 to 50 cuts, before the edge folds over too much to straighten. True sharpening removes the old weak edge and reshapes a new stronger edge.
 

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Did it arrive with a free roll of plastic wrap ?
 

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Knife block with rest of the arsenal indie.
Or do you need to transport it?
 

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With sharp new knives I decided it was probably time to invest in a filleting glove for the free hand. I normally use a $5 orange glove from bcf to get a good grip on the fish but yesterday I decided to see what was available that would actually protect my hand should I slip. I found a few examples of the gloves in bcf that started at around $35. They all claimed to take a knife slice but their quality of materials and workmanship looked poor.
What do others use? Can anyone recommend a quality product?
 

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Jon, those blades are only 20cm, I thought the one you had looked longer than that.
 

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indiedog said:
Feels razor sharp. Need to catch another tuna. Only down side is no sheath supplied so need to sort something. Suggestions?
Knife sheath a-la Polymorph
WIN_20140224_175945.JPG

The sheath that came with the Swibo is nothing flash for the price. I made the red sheath from polymorph. Works just fine.
The swibo is considerably stiffer than the bottom blade I used to use but atill plenty flexible. I am tempted to get boning knife for the initial cuts but unsure what it means when they say the blade is stiff, semi flexible and flexible. A cooks knife doesnt flex at all and I want something stiffer than the filleting knife. Pity they dont use a recognised scale to describe a knife's stiffness\flexibility.
 

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Close inspection of my old knives revealed how pitted the blade edges really are. What does a modern day tinker look like? Is that the Mr Minit bar at shopping centres that re-heel shoes and cut keys?
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
On the subject of protective gloves, I did a butchering course many years ago. There were chain gloves available for us to use if we felt the need but the instructor told us that if we used them for a little while we were to wear them for the duration of the course. He was anti gloves because he thought people who used them began to get clumsy and relied 100% of the glove to stop the blade rather than just be careful. Those people were also forever sharpening their knives because the gloves would dull the edge when the knife made contact.

I'd seen too many old fellas missing fingers to care about sharpening my knife too often so chose to wear a glove. Pretty sure you'd find the chain mail ones around for not a whole lot of $$ if you felt you needed that level of protection.
 

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That'd be good old school jap carbon steel with a fish blood patina. No stainless will ever come close for sharpness.

For us mortals, I'll second barrabundy with the zest knife from BCF. It is cheap, cheerful and gets an edge worthy of a much more expensive knife.

I'll also second the knife doctor's work. He has done many knives for my father and myself, and to see his work is to watch a craftsman. He re landed and double edged a couple of antique carbon Lyon sabatiers I have, along with my normal kitchen knives and they would perform much like the blade in the above clip if I ever had the nuts put them into something with bones - I won't carve a leg with them because I don't have the skills to rehone them like him.

I find the zest filleting knife is the one I reach for the most these days when filleting, maybe the thin martini for whiting etc. When skinning reefies and bigger fish I find a long chefs knife does the best job for me.

If you ever come across an old rusty bone handled carving set or the like, chances are it is carbon steel. Get that sharpened and apply a mustard patina to it and you'll have a blade many times better than a standard staino jobbie - photo of one of mine below. It will require a certain amount of love, and a lot of hiding from the mrs lest she gets hold of it for cutting bloody birthday cake on a glass serving platter.....
 

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Thanks for the headsup on the Knife Doctor, Jon and Kev. Turns out he was within walking distance and has a quick turnaround service the first two Sats of every month. I just dropped off four knives to be done and will collect this arvo. $35 for the lot. He has an impressive array of knives and unrivalled knowledge of each.

I couldn't resist an fdick semi stiff boning knife at $19.95 and grabbed one of the cheap knife edge guards for $4.95. Cheaper than anything I found online for his whole range. When you take into account the included free first sharpening at $8.80, Its an $11 knife. :shock: The same knife was available in stiff and flexible blades also.
WIN_20140301_103123.JPG

I am going to upgrade my steel when I go back and probably wont be able to resist another knife from his range at those prices. Will grab a few more knife edge guards for other knives I have bare. Simply cut the one end with a hacksaw to the angle of your handle.

Interestingly he only had a single swibo on display. He said they are the most prone to corrosion and no longer used in gov medical centres (or somethething like that. I could only see shiny hanging on the wall as his words washed over me). Victorinox the least and he sends more of that brand than any other to the NT. If you are going to use a pull through type sharpener make sure the blades are ceramic (not carbide) and that the knife is centred on every stroke.

Best leave the credit card home when I go back to collect.
 

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indiedog said:
That's a great buy there Paul, next time you're there grab an extra edge protector or two as I'm sure I'll take it off you. Mind you after this post I just may have to head over that way in the not too distant future, good feedback on the various brands. The Knife Doctor may be the expert we needed to find.

Did you ask him specifically about knives for different kinds of fish? Or could you just not resist its shiny qualities??
Brad Im going back in a few hours. PM me the length and width of your blades and i will grab the guards for you and drop them in on my way past next. The larger ones were up to $10 or so.

His thrust was more butchers and chefs but he did explain the different use for each type of knife. I think Kev may have already said it, the boning knife is for getting in around the bones. Flexible for chicken, semi stiff for lamb and stiff for beef. He did say the blade stiffness was more a personal preference. I was after a knife for the initial backbone cuts and the final cuts when disconnecting the whole side fillet from the head on longtails as the 20cm swibo filleting knife I recently bought is probably too flexible to stand up to too many.

I have been using an accusharp with carbide blades on my knives for years and the blade pitting is very obvious, just as he described it would happen. I am going to upgrade my sharpener to a ceramic as well.
 

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Yes, I forgot to mention the toys he has on the walls. Last time I walked out with a new knife block that will hold my big chefs knife. There's a couple of very pretty Damascus blades in there which might find their way home next time.....
 

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Some more chestnuts from the knife doctor:
With use, the sharp edge gets bent over. Using the steel stands the edge back up straight. Using the pull through type sharpener takes the edge off. Do that enough and you end up with a flat section in between the two side of the blade that then needs to be rehoned.

Difficult to believe you can still buy something of such quality that will outlast you for under $20 and every so often restore it to its former glory for under $10.

I got a demo on correctly using a steel. Hold the steel vertically with the tip on a bench. The blade at 11 oclock to the steel is 30 deg, half that is the 15 deg angle you want to be pulling the blade against the steel using 1-2lbs pressure. Pull it through in the normal arc slowly.

Learnt a lot about knives today. Every so often you come across someone that is so passionate about what they do they happily share a lifetime of knowledge with you and you get the opportunity to soak it all up without having to research it on the internet and weed out the bollocks from the gold.
 

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That tuna clip is aweso - Great to learn a new technique
The other day I copied that method and the main slabbing stage is dead easy. As easy as it looks. By far the best way to break down those small jellybeans into workable bits. I still prefer to do the final stages on the bench though.
Did it with victorinox like the black handled one pictured in the previous post
Thanks
 

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This is sort of a tangent, but in regards to tuna, if you have a lot of it that you are going to vac seal, I find it is better to do it rough.
Clean up the fillets for the meal not for the seal. With all that red meat, you get a lot of oxidization that needs to be cut off for a nice end result. If you leave it rough, you will trim less in the end.

Then again, I'd have to go buy one to fillet it right now so grain of salt and all.
 

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For those that aren't that familiar with knives, sharpening, etc I can give a brief explanation of some basics that might help with the concepts.

A steel is supposed to straighten the "feather" of the blade. As you hit the edge of your knife on things, eg cutting board, the feather of the blade get bent off centre. If took a cross section of your blade it would look like a triangle. The point of the triangle being the edge of your blade is what effectively gets bent. Running your steel on either side alternately straightens the feather.

If you have a steel with some sort of abrasive on it like diamond dust, it works similar to a sharpening stone.

A sharpening stone puts tiny little serrations, (jagged edge like a steak knife only much much smaller - get your microscope out), in your knife, (micro-serrations). That's why people talk about cutting through an arc. It gives the tiny little teeth in your knife a chance to saw at whatever you are trying to cut. If you push straight down on your knife you are effectively just trying to drive a wedge through the food as opposed to slicing it.

The finer the grit of your stone, the smaller the micro-serrations, ie the more little teeth cutting. I recently got a 1000/6000 Japanese stone & it makes a huge difference over the basic stone I had.

The angle that you grind the edge of your knife makes a difference too, the finer the angle, the easier the knife slips through whatever you are cutting but it is more fragile. The harder your steel, the more capable it is of taking on the fine edge but a hard steel can also be more brittle & prone to chipping.

As with anything that involves high level engineering/manufacturing, it can get very technical - way above my head but generally the Japanese are considered the masters of making the hardest steel, blending it to make it durable & getting the absolute finest edge on a knife. The Germans are known for making a bit softer but durable workhorses of knives.

Here's a quick article that you might find useful. There is plenty of info on line if you are the obsessive type. If you really are an obsessive personality, you will probably end up with at least one Japanese knife, especially if you are into sashimi.
http://thesharpestknife.blogspot.com.au/

Hope some of the info helps someone out there.
 
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