Chef's Knife Pinch Grip Handle

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Jan 27, 2019
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So, most chef's out there prefer the pinch grip method of holding a Chef's knife. Are there any of you out there who have made a chef's knife with this in mind, maybe where the handle extends into the blade? Is there a reason these knives are still made as if people are holding the knife with the full handle in the user's hand? Thoughts?
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David Martin

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I've never seen anyone hold a sabatier like in the #3 photo.? I see the sabatier mostly being held like in the #1 photo, except with the hand
not way back like that. Instead Up against the finger guard. DM
 
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Aug 1, 2016
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There are multiple ways to grip your chef knife. You can certainly use a pinch grip on a knife with full length bolster:
20100527-KS-How%20to%20hold%20a%20knife%20-%203.jpg

20100527-KS-How%20to%20hold%20a%20knife%20-%204.jpg


And there have been folks that have made variations where the handle or handle bolster extend far up the blade, like for example this:
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But one of the issues with the long bolster above is that it limits what you can cut with that portion of the blade. Food that is taller than the height of the bolster cannot be cut with that portion of the knife. Also, it could be argued that it doesn't add much to the function. Most people do not grasp the knife with a death grip as it's counterproductive. For example, watch how relaxed and natural the professional chef seems to hold his knife in the video below. But obviously, he's in complete control of the knife because his effort is in guiding the blade rather than gripping it in a death grip.
 
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Jan 23, 2017
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There is no picture in your first post.
Both Zwilling and Wusthof make knives perfectly suited for a pinch grip. The Zwilling is the Zwilling Pro, not to be confused with the Professional S.
I find Japanese Wa handles good for pinch grips too, though really I haven't had a problem with any handle.
 
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You hold enough blades by different makers you see little things they try to do. Grabbing for example a Victorinox fibrox and rosewood, Dexter sof grip, Mercer Millenia, and a Ken Onion Shun today noticed little bits I would lift from each to make my own pefect pinch handle
 

screened porch

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Some Sabatiers have a wide, flat back near the handle. It might be to give a little extra wedging for tough stuff like rutabaga, or it might be to make the pinch grip more comfortable.

I have sometimes rounded the backs of my chef's knives near the handle in case I want to chop all day with a pinch grip. It's a trick I learned in a New Yorker story about a knifemaker who was doing a factory line and wanted a little distinction.

I don't worry about using the pinch grip, and probably seldom do use it.
Actually I'd have to watch myself for a while to see how often I use the pinch grip, and I doubt any of us are that interested.
 
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Mar 13, 2013
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May I gently suggest your premise is flawed. All three grips (and minor variations) are commonly used in professional kitchens.

Further, the broad ricasso allows a modified pinch grip without crawling onto the blade, until greater purchase is required.

The 10-inch French Chef’s Knife was close to its present form by three centuries ago. The full height bolster was likely the last detail added well over a century ago. It adds strength to the blade allowing the user to hack through soft bones with less likelihood of chipping the edge.

A pinch grip also creates a condition rarely mentioned in knife skills demonstrations. It places the forward fingers directly above the rear portion of the blade edge for greater control when needed.
 

thebrain

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Dec 12, 2007
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Culinary schools teach the pinch grip for the control and lesser fatigue. I have only handled a very few chef's knives that didn't lend themselves to ease of use in the pinch grip,b almost none have added features to make it more comfortable or more easily held in that grip.
 
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