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How much imperfection is acceptable?

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by Michael Larsen, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    Hi all,

    I am new to this forum and knifes in general. However, I just bought a fairly good knife on sale (Miyabi Artisan 6000mct, 8” chefs knife).

    As I am a perfectionist, I thoroughly evaluated the knife upon arrival and notice a slight curve to the blade when I look straight down along the edge and also slightly notice it along the spine.

    Now my question is, how much curve/warp/bent is acceptable? Can we expect to get a 100% perfect knife?

    Best regards,
    Michael Larsen
    Denmark
     
    hughd likes this.
  2. timos-

    timos- KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 22, 2012
    I dont think you can expect to get a perfect knife. if I were to purchase one for multiple thousands of dollars I would expect it to be pretty near perfect though. for your knife as with many in that price range this is pretty normal. I would only take issue with it if it is bent enough to affect the performance. Do you notice it while in use?
     
  3. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    Every factory kitchen knife I have is slightly warped. Most are very slight. It is hard to keep thin sections straight, and expensive to straighten them to perfection. Now if it's really out of whack, there's an issue. Post a couple pictures if you can.
     
  4. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    Hi Timos and Daizee,

    Thanks for your replies. No, i do not notice it when I use it. In fact I don’t own a single kitchen knife that is perfectly straight when I sight them along the spine.

    I will take this otherwise beautiful knife to use then.

    Thanks again for your replies.
     
  5. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    Here is a picture. It is rather hard to capture.
    [​IMG]IMG_1751 by Michael Larsen, on Flickr
     
  6. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    Here is a couple more.
    [​IMG]IMG_1754 by Michael Larsen, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_1752 by Michael Larsen, on Flickr

    And again. I just checked all my other knifes and they all have some degree of warping.

    Would you guys ask for a replacement with this degree of warping? Or would I just risk getting something even more warped?
     
  7. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    One more question. Would this warping affect the sharpening process in any significant way in the future?
     
  8. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    I checked some of mine to see if they had a similar issue. Most of mine are Shun knives in the same general class/price range as your Miyabi. Of the Shuns - only one out of about 7 I checked had any noticeable warp to one side or another, and it was slight. Not quite as much as yours. I have used it for years without ever noticing, so obviously not that big of a deal.

    I have a Richmond (made by Lamsonsharp) 8" gyuto in AEB-L steel that has a little bend to it, similar to yours. It's a monosteel and not clad like the Miyabi/Shun knives. It was also about $70 so not in the same price class. Never noticed it when sharpening or using it.

    I would not make any attempts at manually straightening it. They run these knives kind of hard so there is a risk of snapping the blade, and they tend to have a spring memory anyway and will likely return to the shape they take on when heat-treated.

    If it bugs you, send it back. It clearly qualifies as a "defect in materials or workmanship." One of the things you get when you pay the brand name premium for knives like Shun and Miyabi from big companies, is a good warranty/replacement service, usually with few questions asked unless you are abusive of it.

    You being in Europe would need to check with the Zwilling division located in your region. The links I find all are for the US branch

    Worst they could do is send it back after inspecting and tell you it is within spec. If you share those same pics with their customer service department in advance, that could settle that issue before you even try to send it in.
     
  9. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    Thanks jc57, so in other words, if this was your knife, you would attempt to get a replacement?
     
  10. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    Good job on those pix, btw. Looks like you've got a 0.005"-0.010" deflection in the middle, which was perhaps corrected during heat-treat, that led to a ~0.010"-0.015" deflection at the tip. A human hair is ~0.002" thick, but the eye is very sensitive.

    No, I can't imagine it would cause any sharpening issues, unless you are using some ultra-high-accuracy jig for some reason.

    *I* would consider that acceptable, but that's me personally. If you have a cutlery store nearby that carries these, I'd go ask to look at a variety of them to see what the average looks like. If they're all dead straight, then send the pictures to customer service and see if they will replace it.
     
  11. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    Well, as I mentioned, I have a couple with similar bends/warps that I have been using for several years without even noticing, so I probably would not have noticed that one either. That one is a little more severe than mine, though.

    You're the one that has to be happy about it. In my case, if I had just received it and noticed it before really using it, and it bothered me, I'd see about returning it for exchange with the merchant I bought it from, rather than going through the manufacturer.

    You'll likely own that kitchen knife the rest of your life (I still have some really cheap ones I bought over 30 years ago) so you might as well be happy with it now.
     
  12. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    Hi John and Daizee,

    Thanks to both of you for your replies. I guess that I would be able to use it and also not pay attention to it in the long run. But for now, I will try to contact the reseller and have them give their opinion on the pictures before returning it. It is a knife bought over the internet, thus making it a bit of hassle to return it.

    However, I am glad that I am not the only one able to see this "issue". My girlfriend thinks I am crazy and nitpicking.

    Best regards,
    Michael
     
  13. Ourorboros

    Ourorboros

    108
    Jan 23, 2017
    If it helps, I have several "lasers" - very thin, very sharp gyutos. The whippier ones probably flex more when I more too fast in use and I don't notice. Of course if I really let it flex it will bind.
    They probably flex more during sharpening, but are kept sharp enough that they cut paper with a whisper.
     
    Michael Larsen likes this.
  14. timos-

    timos- KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 22, 2012
    for clad blades like that, I would attempt to straighten it a bit by hand. It takes some practice and I had to work up the nerve to do it initially but now its no big deal. If you dont want to wade into that water I would ask the vendor to take it back and send you a straight one. That is a significant amount of bend IMO and would bug me too even if it did not effect performance.
     
  15. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    Hi Tim,

    I am actually tempted to try the manual straightening as the reseller offered me a discount if I would keep the knife. The knife was on sale to begin with. I payed 180 USD and now they offer to give some of it back (not sure how much yet). If the payback is substantial enough, I will live with it and maybe try to straighten.

    Do you have some advice on how to do it? some videos showing the technique or something like that.

    Best regards,
    Michael Larsen
    Denmark
     
  16. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    Also, will it be safe to straighten with a knife of the hardness (63 Rockwell)
     
  17. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    I had a very nice custom chef's a few years back that had a slight bend like yours. I had used it and loved it, and THEN noticed the bend. Ultimately, I sent it back to the maker. He said that straightening it really was not an option and I had to take a refund.

    If you do try to straighten the tip, one of two things is going to happen. You will either break it, at which point it won't be any good to you. I have seen a lot of knife tips break and have intentionally broken a tip or two myself on test knives from other brands just to see how easy/hard it is to actually do. Most have been shockingly easy to break at the tip unfortunately. Or you may actually straighten it out, but then the steel will be weaker in that area, though that likely won't make a practical difference since it's a kitchen knife. If you break the knife trying to straighten it out, will the seller take it back and replace it? If so, you have nothing to lose. If not, I think I'd just return it myself, or live with it as is.
     
  18. timos-

    timos- KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 22, 2012
    I use this method more or less.

    I dont know about your exact knife but the clad blades I have tried have only the core steel hardened. The cladding is quite soft and will not allow the hardened core steel to spring back as a mono steel would behave. This is also how they are so easily bent out of shape. Small adjustments is a pretty common thing. You would not want to try bending any portion of the hardened blade near the tip or edge, just think of bending the softer cladding only and that will dictate where the edge is going to be. Use a very soft touch.
     
  19. Michael Larsen

    Michael Larsen

    14
    Aug 3, 2018
    Thanks for all your feedbacks. It have been a pleasure to have such great response, and so fast.

    Ultimately I have accepted an additional 20% discount. Thus in the end I have paid 144usd for the Miyabi Artisan 8”.

    However, I have been in direct contact with Zwilling, and they will take it back and replace it based on the pictures.

    So, win / (almost)win, the only downside being the lack of a great knife in the mean time.

    I don’t think I have the nerves at this point to straighten it by hand. Maybe later on when I have had japanese knife for a while.
     
  20. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    Sounds like a great outcome. Kudos to the seller for giving you a break on price for your inconvenience and on Zwilling for getting you a straight knife.
     

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