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Help Me Figure This One Out

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  • #53249
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    I bought a set of Henckels 5-Stars back in 1998 and had great results but they really needed to be replaced as the uniformity of the blade had changed with all of the material removed over the years.  So I bought my wife a 6” chef’s knife for starters in November 2018.  The steel is X 50 CR MO V 15 which I understand has a Rockwell hardness of around 58.  Unfortunately, I’m seeing consistent chipping on this knife whereas I had zero on my previous 5-Stars.  So basically in a little more than a year, I’m going to have to remove more material in order to apex the blade and get rid of the chips.  I’m already beginning to see a bow in the blade just forward of the bolster due to all the sharpening required.  My wife doesn’t do anymore than cut vegetables with it so what in the heck is happening?

    • This topic was modified 9 months ago by Richard.
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    #53254
    Mikedoh
    Moderator
    • Topics: 38
    • Replies: 564

    There’s a school of thought that the edge will have damaged/fatigued metal if overheated during sharpening eg factory belt sanding. Until it is removed, there will be continuing problems. Flattening the edge before sharpening helps to remove the bad metal.

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    #53256
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    If the knife is treated well (not using a glass or stone cutting surface) and they look like this then I agree that the heat treatment is poor.

    #53257
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    If the knife is treated well (not using a glass or stone cutting surface) and they look like this then I agree that the heat treatment is poor.

    Nothing similar to that has ever been used. Only butcher block for vegetables and plastic for meats.

    #53260
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 1952

    I have a Japanese knife that chips really badly and befuddled me for a while.  It has an extremely low bevel angle.  It came from the manufacturer at about 6 dps.  I sharpened it at about 8-10 dps, but it continued to chip badly.  Eventually I figured it out.  When I cut crusty artisanal breads, I’d apply a lot of force to break through the bottom crust.  When the edge slammed into the cutting board, the force was enough to break big chunks of steel from the edge.  Some time later, I read a comment by a fellow on BLADEFORUMS.COM that he NEVER cuts bread with his Japanese knives.  I was disappointed, as my Japanese knife cuts bread better than any other knives, but that was the answer.  I switched my method to cutting down to the bottom crust, at which time I’d turn the loaf up on its side, where I could “saw” through the bottom crust.  I still get a chip now and then, but never like before.

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    #53262
    Expidia
    Participant
    • Topics: 47
    • Replies: 337

    I’m not a fan of serrated blades and the only one I had (and old Wusthof) I re-purposed into a straight edge utility knife that now slices through “any” bread very easily a lot easier than the serrated one ever did.

    Most of the serrations had been sharpened away by my using a top of the line Chefs Choice sharpener because thats what I used before learning of the WE system. These actually put on a great sharp edge very quickly, but I’d hate to look at that edge under a Digital Microscope.

    But my first thoughts when I read TC’s post was why doesn’t he just get a cheap serrated bread knife for cutting bread?  I would never think of ever using my Shun Premiers or my Yu Kurosaki  knife sets to “cut bread”!

    I even recently bought a $35 Cuisinart electric knife that comes with two blades one being a bread knife for attacking bread.  Another reason for my buying the electric knife is I still like to make fresh bread in a bread machine and I have the cutting rack that makes perfect slices very easily with an electric knife.

    #53263
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    That is not a serrated knife edge, those are the undulations I’m referring to on the edge of my 6” chef’s knife.  I’ll post more pics once I have my coffee and read the paper.

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    #53273
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    Here’s some more pics with a little more definition.

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Richard.
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    #53280
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 2164

    The damage I see that is almost reminiscent of a serrated edge in the close-up photo above is a badly rolled edge.  You can see the steel with the half circle curves with the knife edge collapsed in the backround. The other damage forward of the solid bolstered spine appears the knife steel has folded or collapsed under the pressure of use.

    This particular Henckel knife model is a lower grade, price point and quality knife made in Spain with German stainless steel compared to your original Henckel 5 star collection made of harder German SS.  Either this steel is that much poorer in quality then your first knives, that much softer SS, or possibly the damage maybe due to just what tcmeyer and Organic suggested, that the heat treatment was bad or done improperly.  Either way the results are the same.  You have a soft steel knife edge that when sharpened will wear and fail easily, with use.

    This knife looks to me as if it was previously sharpened with a method that the solid bolster inhibited the entire edge from being sharpened evenly and completely.  Like it was sharpened in an electric sharpener that bottomed against the side of the bolster, short of reaching the entire blade.

    Was it purchased used? Maybe an electric knife sharpener over heated the steel and ruined the heat treatment.  Was it previously sharpened with your W.E. when you had clamping issues or sharpening issues where you couldn’t sharpen the entire knife edge evenly, thoroughly and equally well, because of the bolster?

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #53282
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    Nope, bought it new off Amazon so it’s never been touched since then except by me with the WEPS.  I think you’re all right, it’s damaged and I might as well just accept that fact.  Amazing the difference of the other set of knives with the Friodur steel, night and day.  Thanks all for the inputs and advice.

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    #53283
    James
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 5

    Here’s some more pics with a little more definition.

    Has that knife been sharpened on an electric sharpener (maybe Chefs Choice?). In the second pic, it appears to have a BIG low spot in the blade about an inch and a half from the bolster A chefs knife should be flat in that portion of the blade.

    As for the chips, heat treatment could certainly be the culprit. It looks like you are using the chipped portion of the blade to chop with. I’m just wondering if the heel portion of the blade would chip, if used for chopping. It may be that Mikedoh is correct in that factory sharpening caused it. If that is the case, it may be that only that portion of the blade was overheated.

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    #53284
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    So you’re saying you’ve had to remove all of that steel just in the last year (assuming that the blade was level with the bolster when new) because it has had damage like that repeatedly? I’d say it is time to add that one to the landfill and start over with a quality blade. It’s shameful that Henckles would put their branding on that sad excuse for a knife.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #53322
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 12
    • Replies: 160

    Yeah, that dip just forward of the bolster is totally from me sharpening it.  It used to be completely flat but because it began losing it’s edge just a few weeks after purchase, I’ve found myself clamping it into the WEPS and touching it up starting with an 800-grit stone several times.  It has never been on a grinding belt or a Chef’s Choice.

    I agree with you Organic, it’s turned out to be a pretty pitiful knife.  I’m really surprised they would release something as poor of a quality as this, I ripped them a new one on the Amazon website though even though it had 4.5 stars when I purchased it.

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    #53323
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    If you’re considering a replacement and you are still thinking it will be mostly used for vegetables then I suggest considering some of the Japanese blades. They’re a bit more brittle than European style knives (because they are thin and hard) but they perform beautifully.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #53340
    Mr.Wizard
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 181

    I bought a set of Henckels 5-Stars back in 1998 and had great results but they really needed to be replaced as the uniformity of the blade had changed with all of the material removed over the years. …

    I’m already beginning to see a bow in the blade just forward of the bolster due to all the sharpening required. …

    Yeah, that dip just forward of the bolster is totally from me sharpening it. It used to be completely flat …

    This is bad technique.  You should not be making a bow like that as you sharpen.  Likely your 1998 set could be restored to working order with a little work. You can reduce the bolster as needed to preserve the profile of the knife.  When the behind-the-edge thickness is too large you can thin the knife.  After repeated thinning and tip repair you can grind some off of the back of the handle to restore balance.

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