CPKitchen

ace

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May 3, 2000
Messages
280
it's actually there to help out a little bit in that grip- you can put your thumb on it in your standard grip for leverage like when slicing through a squash or whatever, but it's more of a little ramp for pulling or pushing the blade with a little more control. Kind of hard to explain, but when your middle finger is resting in the choil, the first knuckle joint of the forefinger can snag the front of the hump while the tip of the thumb can ride slightly higher due to the additional real estate and provide a little more clearance for the stuff you're cutting.

it's mostly theoretical, although I have been testing and using that feature and after a couple small mods I think it will work as intended. I need to soften the spine where it meets the scales.
But that's why I want to put this knife in the hands of a professional, I'm new to this culinary knife thing.
The pro chef will probably tell you, but I think the hump is not needed and will be uncomfortable in pinch grip for extended period of time. It also looks like it will force the tip to be slightly raised in pinch grip vs a straight spine. This will cause you to hit the board with the back of the blade. Hard to say if this will happen from a picture but in theory it will. Spine not being straight will also make it difficilt to use the spine to scrape cut ingredients from the board. Some people use the edge ofcourse, but using the spine is gentler on the edge. Another problem with the hump is that if you wanted to put your pointer finger on the spine for more precision cuts the hump would be in the way. In short it seems like an unneeded feature that will cause problems. The handle looks comfortable in hammer/racket grip, but how is it in pinch grip, since pinch grip is used most of the time? Where is the balance? Most people prefer neutral or slightly blade heavy balance when in pinch grip. You don’t really want handle heavy chef knife. You also don’t want a handle that points down.
 
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Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
30
"Spine not being straight will also make it difficilt to use the spine to scrape cut ingredients from the board"

I like a straight spine for this reason and also for when I sweep ingredients into my cupped hand. And I agree, the handle looks beefy
(a mediocre chef who will likely be in for one, no matter what)
 

bluemax_1

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
1,875
"Spine not being straight will also make it difficilt to use the spine to scrape cut ingredients from the board"

I like a straight spine for this reason and also for when I sweep ingredients into my cupped hand. And I agree, the handle looks beefy
(a mediocre chef who will likely be in for one, no matter what)
That was one of the thoughts I had also.

A beefy, contoured handle is great on a bushcraft knife/chopper like the MC, as it aids with positive retention while chopping, and tasks where I'm applying more force (chopping, feathersticks, shaving wood, carving etc.). It's also one of the reasons the FK2 handle is more comfortable than the FK1, for longer periods when using it for bushcraft/woodwork.

I'm not sure what I'd be applying that much force on with a kitchen knife. Even simple handles with rounded/soft edges and minimal contouring are comfortable for kitchen use, and the minimal contouring allows for maximum flexibility in hand positioning based on intended/preferred use/grips.

Having used everything from Wusthof Trident, Victorinox and JA Henckels Western Chef's knives with some contouring, to traditional Japanese Gyutos with straight octagonal wa handles, I haven't really felt a need for contouring to 'lock in' my grip, or thicker handles to more comfortably distribute force/pressure, since I rarely ever apply that much pressure with a kitchen knife (and definitely not for any length of time, unlike when using knives for bushcraft/woodworking).
 

ace

Gold Member
Joined
May 3, 2000
Messages
280
That’s fair, but chef knives are hard to design well. Unlike many other knives that are used on occasion, chef knives are used a lot. They are probably one of the most used type of knife. Clearly you can cook with any knife and many do, but your goal is to make an excellent chef knife that is as good or better than the others. Pro chefs use chef knives for hours at a time, so you need to make sure that the knife is comfortable to be used for hours. You also need to make sure that different grips can be used since a chef knife is a universal tool that gets used for most cutting. Pinch grip is used most of the time but other grips are used too. You need to decide on the profile, are you designing for mostly western style rock chopping that requires more belly or more of a Japanese style chopping, where flatter edge profile is better. On the grind do you want thinner grind where it goes through food easier or more convex that helps with food release and wetter ingredients don’t stick to the blade as much?

For example, very contoured handles are usually not as comfortable in multiple grips. Heavy handles make knives uncomfortable in pinch grip when used for a long time. Flat grind is good for hard ingredients, but can stick to wet ones like potatoes. Narrow spine close to the handle can get very uncomfortable when used in pinch grip for a long time.

Innovation is great, but you shouldn’t disregard the reasons why chef knives are the way they are. For instance, the hump on the spine of your prototype is not needed, it is useless at best and will cause issues at worst, really a solution looking for a problem.
 

Lorien

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
Messages
21,438
That’s fair, but chef knives are hard to design well. Unlike many other knives that are used on occasion, chef knives are used a lot. They are probably one of the most used type of knife. Clearly you can cook with any knife and many do, but your goal is to make an excellent chef knife that is as good or better than the others. Pro chefs use chef knives for hours at a time, so you need to make sure that the knife is comfortable to be used for hours. You also need to make sure that different grips can be used since a chef knife is a universal tool that gets used for most cutting. Pinch grip is used most of the time but other grips are used too. You need to decide on the profile, are you designing for mostly western style rock chopping that requires more belly or more of a Japanese style chopping, where flatter edge profile is better. On the grind do you want thinner grind where it goes through food easier or more convex that helps with food release and wetter ingredients don’t stick to the blade as much?

For example, very contoured handles are usually not as comfortable in multiple grips. Heavy handles make knives uncomfortable in pinch grip when used for a long time. Flat grind is good for hard ingredients, but can stick to wet ones like potatoes. Narrow spine close to the handle can get very uncomfortable when used in pinch grip for a long time.

Innovation is great, but you shouldn’t disregard the reasons why chef knives are the way they are. For instance, the hump on the spine of your prototype is not needed, it is useless at best and will cause issues at worst, really a solution looking for a problem.
what's your experience using/designing/making kitchen knives?
 

ace

Gold Member
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May 3, 2000
Messages
280
what's your experience using/designing/making kitchen knives?
I’ve only made 2 knives that were not kitchen knives, they were also not very good. I’ve designed 6 kitchen knives 3 of these worked very well for me. The other 3 didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. No fault of the makers, since they made what I asked, but theory and reality are different sometimes, at least in my experience. I’ve used over a hundred high end chef knives, by some of the best makers, I don’t know how many, still have at least 40 or so. I’ve also used many factory knives. I am not a pro chef, pro maker or pro designer, so my opinions are just opinions of an enthusiast trying to help. I am very passionate about kitchen knives since these get used the most, but are also overlooked by many people. You obviously don’t have to listen to my opinions, but you asked for some input, so trying to help.
 

TRfromMT

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Jan 4, 2016
Messages
5,137
ace ace - a question from the gallery. (Please don't hear this as me coming at you.). I'll ask this because Lorien won't... What Lorien-designed CPK have you used or own?

For me, with every one of them, there is this "ahh ha!" moment with the handles, with the one exception for me maybe being the UF. The DEK1 is so sublime with the handle specifically. It is just a joy to use. If you don't have one you owe it to yourself to get one. I'd bet a dollar you'd find a ton of use for it even in the kitchen and it would be a joy for you to use there, too.

I think you may have a point about scraping food off a board with the spine, but I'm not sure that hump would be that big a deal.

But overall I'm betting there will be that ah-ha! moment with this kitchen knife, too. May look a little unorthodox at the moment, but it may just surpass surpass kitchen knives.
 

ace

Gold Member
Joined
May 3, 2000
Messages
280
ace ace - a question from the gallery. (Please don't hear this as me coming at you.). I'll ask this because Lorien won't... What Lorien-designed CPK have you used or own?

For me, with every one of them, there is this "ahh ha!" moment with the handles, with the one exception for me maybe being the UF. The DEK1 is so sublime with the handle specifically. It is just a joy to use. If you don't have one you owe it to yourself to get one. I'd bet a dollar you'd find a ton of use for it even in the kitchen and it would be a joy for you to use there, too.

I think you may have a point about scraping food off a board with the spine, but I'm not sure that hump would be that big a deal.

But overall I'm betting there will be that ah-ha! moment with this kitchen knife, too. May look a little unorthodox at the moment, but it may just surpass surpass kitchen knives.
I am honestly just trying to help. Going by pictures is just that, very hard to tell what is going on or how the knife will react in use. The pro chef will be able to tell very quickly especially if he is critical and a knife enthusiast. I've met many pros that are not and they use relatively crappy knives and couldn't care less. The ones that like knives are very good at figuring out what works and what doesn't, since they use them so much.

I own FK2, DEK1 and utility fighter. I am a fan. All excellent in their own right and like you said can be used in the kitchen and I am sure many use them, but they are not kitchen knives by design and if one would design them for the kitchen they would be very different. I think there is also more variability in how people use kitchen knives, grips differ and so do cutting styles. Some rock, so need more belly, some chop and need more flat on the edge. Some people use deep pinch where middle finger is against the back of the blade some pinch on the neck when there is one, some use hammer or racket grip. All these will dictate the design.

I am only talking about chef knives used primarily on the board. Smaller knives are used very little usually and for specific tasks. In any case I am sure whatever Lorien designs will be good and many will buy them and will be happy. I just want it to be the best chef knife it can be🤣
 

Lorien

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
Messages
21,438
ace ace - a question from the gallery. (Please don't hear this as me coming at you.). I'll ask this because Lorien won't... What Lorien-designed CPK have you used or own?

For me, with every one of them, there is this "ahh ha!" moment with the handles, with the one exception for me maybe being the UF. The DEK1 is so sublime with the handle specifically. It is just a joy to use. If you don't have one you owe it to yourself to get one. I'd bet a dollar you'd find a ton of use for it even in the kitchen and it would be a joy for you to use there, too.

I think you may have a point about scraping food off a board with the spine, but I'm not sure that hump would be that big a deal.

But overall I'm betting there will be that ah-ha! moment with this kitchen knife, too. May look a little unorthodox at the moment, but it may just surpass surpass kitchen knives.

you're right that I won't ask that question, and didn't think to as the answer isn't of interest to me.

What is of interest, is having some context behind the criticism. It's helpful to know where people's opinions come from if you're looking to get value from them. Unfortunately, the value of anyone's opinion on how a knife functions in real life vs. making judgments based off admittedly excellent photography is usually not high.

High value feedback comes from interaction with the knife, especially if that knife is dialed in for function. I've been using the knife a lot, any chance I get. That feedback is the most important to me at this stage in the process.

Any opinions I receive from someone who uses this kind of knife as part of their career will feed into that, as it will educate me as to what to look for when it comes to nuance I wouldn't otherwise pick up on my own. It may or may not influence the overall design, but it will almost certainly influence aspects of it.

The handle is very open. I know it looks chubby and choppery, and that it look like it locks the hand into one position but it's not and doesn't. The most secure grip for this knife is the pinch grip, and part of the reason for that is the width of the handle, all the different planes designed into it, and the overall balance of the knife. A pinch grip doesn't rely just on the index finger and thumb- it relies on your entire hand to drive the knife. That said, I've watched Mareko Maumasi chop veggies and pizza with only the integral bolster and stick tang- no handle installed at all.

Now, Ace- you've had 3 for 6 success rate designing chef knives, a 0 for 2 success rate for making them, own over 40, have used over 100 high end customs, plus many factory knives- that gives me some context for your opinions and I thank you for that. What I would like to accomplish is to provide you with an end to your search- if CPK ever makes a chef knife of my design I hope that knife becomes your favourite, and I hope that's the case because it works really, really, really well...I hope to make your life boring, and for you to take up collecting hollow handle bowie knives with hamon and blood grooves because no other chef knife interests you anymore.

The internet is a wonderful tool for sharing knowledge and opinions, and I love that stuff- so long as it's not specifically political or demeaning to anyone.

I do not design by committee. A CPK is as close to a custom knife as you are going to get, and it will cost you virtually the same as a high end factory knife. It is going to be different, because Nathan and Jo are knife makers and they don't have to run any design through legal, marketing or focus groups. A CPK is about as 'honest' a knife as you're going to get.

What I aim to do with these threads is to generate some interest in potential new models, to provide some good content for this my favourite forum, and to give some insight into my process, so I hope everyone enjoys the journey and feels like their time here is time well spent.
 

Pàdruig

Live and Let Die
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That is one sexy kitchen knife.

I am really looking forward to reading the feedback you get from the pro chef - should you deign to share it of course. I am also curious how the feedback will impact your design and what changes you might institute (if any) as a result.

I like to cook but I am no pro in the kitchen and before I obtained a custom set of Kitchen knives, I was (still am) fond of using any knife from my collection - fixed blades, slip joints, and folders alike. Because I work from home at a desk and the pandemic and wildfires have limited my hunting/outdoor activities by quite a lot, food prep is one way that I get to experience how a knife handles (only exceptions are the old antique knives - 100+ years old - who knows what kind of funk has lingered in those pores...).

I know next to nothing about Japanese styled kitchen knives and I would have never thought to really give them a go until I had my set made. The octagonal handles are pretty boring but I am actually quite surprised at how versatile such a handle can be. Apples and oranges, I am sure, but I am really curious how your handle compares.
 
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mb>

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Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
2,899
I thought ace had some solid input. Good to hear those things have been taken into consideration.

Lorien Lorien , what is the thought on the spine hump? Does that provide some additional grip where the typical pinch grip would fall?
 

ace

Gold Member
Joined
May 3, 2000
Messages
280
Well said.

you're right that I won't ask that question, and didn't think to as the answer isn't of interest to me.

What is of interest, is having some context behind the criticism. It's helpful to know where people's opinions come from if you're looking to get value from them. Unfortunately, the value of anyone's opinion on how a knife functions in real life vs. making judgments based off admittedly excellent photography is usually not high.

High value feedback comes from interaction with the knife, especially if that knife is dialed in for function. I've been using the knife a lot, any chance I get. That feedback is the most important to me at this stage in the process.

Any opinions I receive from someone who uses this kind of knife as part of their career will feed into that, as it will educate me as to what to look for when it comes to nuance I wouldn't otherwise pick up on my own. It may or may not influence the overall design, but it will almost certainly influence aspects of it.

A pro using your knife will give you great info. All this judging design from pictures is dubious at best.

The handle is very open. I know it looks chubby and choppery, and that it look like it locks the hand into one position but it's not and doesn't. The most secure grip for this knife is the pinch grip, and part of the reason for that is the width of the handle, all the different planes designed into it, and the overall balance of the knife. A pinch grip doesn't rely just on the index finger and thumb- it relies on your entire hand to drive the knife. That said, I've watched Mareko Maumasi chop veggies and pizza with only the integral bolster and stick tang- no handle installed at all.

This is very doable. With pinch grip the front of the handle is the most important part and the rest is really mostly for balancing the blade. There is a school of thought that believes that the grip should be somewhat loose for best results.

Now, Ace- you've had 3 for 6 success rate designing chef knives, a 0 for 2 success rate for making them, own over 40, have used over 100 high end customs, plus many factory knives- that gives me some context for your opinions and I thank you for that. What I would like to accomplish is to provide you with an end to your search- if CPK ever makes a chef knife of my design I hope that knife becomes your favourite, and I hope that's the case because it works really, really, really well...I hope to make your life boring, and for you to take up collecting hollow handle bowie knives with hamon and blood grooves because no other chef knife interests you anymore.

This is my goal too and I really hope you succeed .... well maybe not in me starting to collect hollow handle bowies with blood grooves and such. Knives are tools to me, but that's a different discussion. My comments were purely to help you achieve this goal of creating the best chef knife possible. Like I said I am not a pro in anything related to knives, but I've used many and just sharing my observations of what works for me.

The internet is a wonderful tool for sharing knowledge and opinions, and I love that stuff- so long as it's not specifically political or demeaning to anyone.

I do not design by committee. A CPK is as close to a custom knife as you are going to get, and it will cost you virtually the same as a high end factory knife. It is going to be different, because Nathan and Jo are knife makers and they don't have to run any design through legal, marketing or focus groups. A CPK is about as 'honest' a knife as you're going to get.

What I aim to do with these threads is to generate some interest in potential new models, to provide some good content for this my favourite forum, and to give some insight into my process, so I hope everyone enjoys the journey and feels like their time here is time well spent.
 
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