Review: Chris Linton’s The Osprey Knife &Tool “Santuko”

Discussion in 'Osprey Knife & Tool' started by varga49, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. varga49

    varga49 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 1, 2016
    8162713C-A6C8-45F1-9F94-0F028C5A2457.jpeg disclaimer: I am not a professional chef, but I’ve worked in several commercial kitchens. That’s called being a “Cook”
    The Look: Ivory G10 with black micarta liners, one forward pin and one aft lanyard loop. Chris’s distinct departure from a classic santuko design is dramatically evident. I'm not sure what he would call it on this Santuko, but I’ve seen this referred to as a “poon tip” on various other knives. I like this look a lot and my friends in the food business give it plenty of “ooooohs and aaaaahs”
    Steel: CPM154 [3/32] tapered tang
    and full height convex grind on 3/32”. As Chris puts it .."No plunge lines, all blended together"
    Weight: a stout 8.3oz compared to 5.8oz with my Wüsthof chefs knife.
    I didn’t take a photo to show it’s center point, but as it always is with Chris’s work, it’s spot on where it needs to be.
    The Length: Just a hair under 10.75in.
    The Feel: First, the G10 scales with Chris's treatment of sand/glass beading and then soaking with WD40 make for excellent grip retention. This is especially important when processing animal proteins. It is slightly, but for me noticeably heavier than any of my other knives in my roll. This is the knife telling me to pay close attention to what is in my hand and especially to what I am doing. I say this because I have some much lighter knives equally SAF that I've cut myself with. My Bad,.. but none the less I do pay close attention when I'm using the OK&T Santuko. I haven't had the opportunity to do any extended [3-4 hours] kitchen prep work in awhile so the jury is out as t whether or not the extra weight makes any difference in a 4 hour stretch. I do not believe it would but I'll definitely find out this summer. Suffice to say I'm still IN the learning curve.
    The following is a [paraphrased] excerpt of a recent conversation with Chris.
    Chris: “ How has the Santuko been treating you?“
    Me: “It’s been quite the experience. Both informing and counter intuitive at the same time. Over the years I’ve developed a particular muscle memory for using the same conventional 8 to 10” chefs knives, and the classic Santuko knives day in and day out. While it’s weight tricks my mind into thinking it might be too heavy or thick for some tasks. I’ve been surprised over and over again at what this knife can do even when a particular task calls for a thinner blade. Say like cutting tomatoes in thin slices.” 47E6E298-F9FC-4540-9475-1D73AD105B81.jpeg
    Me: “Even as the blade appears to be too thick looking down from the spine. The grind you managed to put on it fools the eye but absolutely will do thin cuts.
    Sure a thinner blade with a flatter cutting edge will do a great job. Your Santuko will do nearly the same job for thin blade use but will also cut of animal protein, as expected obviously, better than any other kitchen blade I have.”
    Chris: Do you feel there could be any improvements made on the knife?
    Me: Two things come to mind for me in particular. #1 I use a pinch grip, as does most anyone who works daily doing food prep with both dense and soft vegetables. A rounded spine just off the handle by a couple of inches would be a comfort.
    #2 Also regarding my use of a pinch grip, a little more forward clearance at the choil would keep my index finger safe would also be helpful.
    Final thoughts: This thing is such a pleasure to use... And there was/is definitely a learning curve, as would be expected with any new blade. Ive learned a lot about knives in the last three years; likes, dislikes, aesthetics, different steel, different grinds, different configurations for different uses. That said I still don’t feel like I know much. What I do know is that Chris Linton’s interpretation of a Santuko is a very, very good one.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  2. FeralGentleman

    FeralGentleman RansomWildernessCo Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 13, 2013
    Cool stuff @varga49 . I am glad to see you get first crack at that model.

    My most used from the knife block is a 7" Santoku generically made by Calphalon. Very inexpensive, it has been here forever and I could not even tell you what steel, but it hones true like a dream. I grab it so much that most other blades, even my similarly sized 8" chef knife, feels awkward in comparison. Sometimes you get so comfortable with things.

    That full height grind must cut very nicely. How do you feel about that ramp up on the spine now that you had it for a bit? That was the thing that threw me off the most when I first saw this knife in development. It would shave some ounces off that knife if you took it down to a smooth radius to the tip, but then you would have something that looks just like every other Santoku out there. The more I look at it and now see it next to other kitchen knives, the better it looks.

    My cheap Santoku has a granton edge. Not a real deal granton that goes to the cutting edge, but an imitation granton offset a good ways from the edge. I am not sure if it does a damn thing. As someone who preps food more than most, what do you think about the addition of scalloping on the OKT Santoku either offest from the edge or down to it?

    I'll be honest with you Douglas, this review is a little lacking here in the meat department. 10/10 if I would of walked away hungry
    varga49 likes this.
  3. varga49

    varga49 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 1, 2016
    Currently on my annual pilgrimage to New Mexico.... Just had to let you know I will have answers to those great questions, and I hope to have some proper animal protein images with the Santuko blade when I return.
  4. FeralGentleman

    FeralGentleman RansomWildernessCo Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 13, 2013
    Safe travels my friend. I hope the weather is agreeable with you on your trip
    varga49 likes this.
  5. SLOsmokin

    SLOsmokin Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 20, 2018
    Great breakdown, great pictures, thoughtful feedback. I would love to add one to my block.
    varga49 likes this.
  6. varga49

    varga49 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 1, 2016
    Ok @FeralGentleman I’m headed back to the hills today, and even though there’s no BBQ'ed animal protein images, I'll do my best to respond to your questions.
    "How do you feel about that ramp up on the spine now that you had it for a bit?". With regards to the idea of including a "Granton edge", the main advantage certainly would be cutting the overall weight some, which some folks might find appealing. The granton edge was Obviously made to eliminate food sticking to the blade surface. It should be noted that this application originally included offset grooves on either side of the blade. Like virtually everyone reading this post, I am a shameless lover of high quality knives, I am also eager to try any blade configuration for any reasonable task. I may have already written this in the original post; for me the weight and thickness of this Santuko compared others in my roll is negligible. That’s to say it’s part of my "kitchen tool box" of 6 knives. So when I need smaller thinner lighter I go to my roll. All said, I’d love to see Chris do one like that. The one caveat that comes to mind is "more work equals more cost".
    To your question “How do you feel about the ramp up on the spine now that you’ve had it for a bit?”. Like you pointed out, even though leveling out the spine would remove some weight it would begin to look like all the other Santuko knives out there. And yet the feel of this blade in work is definitely distinguishable and dare I say pleasurable. I can only attribute this to some kind of “Chris Linton Mojo” @Osprey Knife & Tool. This is coming from someone that has only slightly under 20 of his blades.

    For more info on "Granton Edge" go here
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
    FeralGentleman and M4Super90 like this.

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