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#1
Some of you guys may be aware that I moved across the country a year ago. From MA to WA. Smile

One of the logistical issues with a cross-country move concerns how much it costs to move a household that distance. We decided to pare down a lot, but still keep some of the stuff we really liked.

Since I like to cook, kitchen knives are important to me. I had my own set of really good Japanese handmade carbon steel kitchen knives. I only had the four of them, but they were excellent knives. I knew that they were important to me, so they were to make the trip across the country in the car with me.

Unfortunately, I was in such a muddle as we left MA that I actually forgot to put them in my car. Sad

I tried to get my landlady from MA ship them to me, but that didn't work out. So I was left without my favourite knives.

Not having a ton of money to spend on kitchen stuff, I decided to take a different approach to putting together another set of knives. I decided to look at the antique stores around here and see if I could find some that would work. While Japanese Steel is excellent, American steel is no worse and I was hoping that I could find something that would work.

What I did find were a motley collection of knives that all have character and take a great edge. Some are no-name, others have manufacturer stamps, but they were cheap and they work well. Here they are:

[Image: IMG_20160424_1122299.jpg]

In the pic above, the lowest one was the first one I bought. I had yet to find any decent carbon steel knives around here and this one was $7. It has a big frown, but actually took a nice edge. It is unnamed. I have thought of honing out the frown, but it works well as-is, so I've left it alone. It has a little flex in the blade.

The one in the middle is another unnamed blade with an 11" chef's blade. This is my go-to knife these days, I can chop like a demon with it.

The one on the top is an interesting knife. It is probably not a kitchen knife because it has a large very flexible blade, but it actually is a lot of fun to use - especially for chopping veggies. It is a Russell Green River Works blade - potentially from the mid to late 1800's.

[Image: IMG_20160424_1123212.jpg]

These three knives are also pretty cool. The 'cleaver' is really a veggie chopper that just has 'Carbon Steel USA' on it. It is good for light meat cutting and chopping. The second blade is a lovely blade, the Old Hickory made by the Ontario Knife Company, which still exists. The third one is a small blade that I bought to use as paring knife, because I couldn't find anything else that work work for that purpose. It has a stamp, but I haven't been able to decipher it.

All those blades together cost me $30 - which I consider to be a decent deal.

They have actually served me well, and I have no intention of wasting any more money on re-purchasing the Japanese knives I used to have. Those were way more expensive, and while they were beautiful, they didn't really cut any better than these.

I may have found a new hobby, though.....which is not a good thing. Big Grin

Of course, since I restore and hone straight razors, I have some hones that are suitable for knives too. Here they are.

[Image: IMG_20160421_1733468.jpg]

They include a DMT 220, 325 combo, a DMT 1000, an old 'knife' combo hone (that does a pretty good job), as well as a chunk of Asagi for a final polish and two unnamed hones that I found that put a really nice, long-lived edge that works really well for cutting meat.

All-in-all, while I wasn't happy to lose my Japanese kitchen knives, I'm glad I was able to find more than adequate knives that I enjoy using, that only cost a fraction of what I paid for the Japanese ones.

______________

So, post some pics of your kitchen knives here.
- Yohann
[+] 5 users like this post
#2
Another incredibly interesting post Smile

Those knifes have so much character, you really are a master of the blades Wink
Oli AKA Windsor Citrus
Surrey, UK.
#3

Member
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Sorry you lost your Japanese blades but as you found, there are great knives out there. The Russell knife is awesome and one I've been hunting for years.
#4
(04-30-2016, 01:28 AM)Lipripper660 Wrote: Sorry you lost your Japanese blades but as you found, there are great knives out there. The Russell knife is awesome and one I've been hunting for years.

Yes, it has been a bit of an eye-opener for me. I just jumped on the 'Japanese Knife' bandwagon when I saw them featured in threads on other shaving sites. I am not really a 'knife person' - they're a tool to me. And to be honest, the Japanese knives were every bit as good as I was told they'd be - but they were expensive.

These vintage ones are every bit as good, and they have a bit of personality. I'd never heard of Russell before, and I'm pretty happy with the one I got.

The store owner told me that most of his knives were brought in by the son of a guy who collected them. Apparently, the father had passed on but had ruined most of the knives by 'cleaning' them by taking a grinder to them. The store owner took the ones that were not ruined, but even those were worked on to some extent. It's a pity that happened.
- Yohann


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