Texturing options for Chef Knives

Isley

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I didn't find much in the custom search engine. I'm hoping to hear some options for texturing the flats of thin chef knives. I'm working with AEBL and 14C28N. I've seen someone use some kind of compressed air stippler, but I'm unfamiliar with it. I don't want a texture that will be difficult to clean of course. Maybe some kind of dremal tool, but I'll need to be able to achieve a reasonable polish. Any help is appreciated. I could be wrong but I feel without this texture, I'll need to fade the bevels into the flats before reaching the lower handle junction, and that will create a more convexed grind than I would prefer on these thin blades. I want to take one angle from the edge right up to the bottom of the handle junction uninterrupted, and then break into the textured flat.
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
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If it is a working knife ... don't texture it. A smooth FFG is what a chef wants.

If you are making some other kind of knife, especially some Japanese blades, then the standard is a forge finish kurouchi.
 

pyreaux

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For what it's worth, As a buyer I wouldn't want any texture that would make it retain food or create resistance in cutting.
 

Hubert S.

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I searched this a while ago on this forum and I think there were lots of threads on hammer texture and faux finish and the like. Seemed like a bit of a rabbit hole, lots of opinions on whether this is cool or not. From what I recall, cold forging was discouraged.

I think the texturing method you refer to is from a video by Jeremy Goertz using a pneumatic scaler.
 

Isley

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These are western profiles but not thick like many of the German varieties. I have stock thickness in both .125" and the same profiles in .098". The blades are 8" full tang, 2" wide roughly. I guess I have three grinding options. Either I feather out the bevel into the flat with no plunge line (which looks great but I'm afraid is too convex for me), flat bevel and stop short before a plunge line would start to form at the handle, or full flat grind, probably be fine with .125 but that seems like a difficult grind on the .098 since I'd have flex in both directions. Thank you in advance for your expertise.
 

Hubert S.

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I have mostly used ~0.08" stock and do a full flat grind with a sweeping plunge line. I like that you can grind in a distal taper in the process. When I started making kitchen knives, I watched the video linked below a few times and pretty much just tried to copy what he does. The flex has not been a big issue for me, even with thinner stock, but I keep grinding off my fingernails with the thin blades, and sometimes a bit of skin. I am still a beginner but this grind is way easier for me than maintaining a crisp grind line on a blade that long like you see on many Japanese knives. I think most knives with that type of grind have a distal taper forged in. That's hard to replicate using stock removal, or at least an extra step you would have to do before texturing. I suggest you try a knife with a FFG, it is not as difficult as it may seem. Judging from the knives on your website, you should have no trouble with this.

 

Isley

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Awesome video, thanks. That was some impressive grinding.
 
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I don’t get it, why do you want to texture? What’s your concern or hesitation with a convex grind?
 

JTknives

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I don’t get it, why do you want to texture? What’s your concern or hesitation with a convex grind?
Sounds like he is having problems keeping his edge bevel lines crisp and wants to blend them away with texture. Not quite sure what he is after. But I would not want a textured knife, especially in the kitchen. I have seen mild textures on blades done with the ball on a ball peen hammer. Thy are not very deep, Just a surface finish thing. In fact I have a picture of one, but it’s rather cringe worthy.

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timos-

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haha , that FIF knife....woah! On alot of chef knife makers IG pages I am seeing forged textures on the flats or parts of the blades. I think it has something to do with dies that pattern welded steel makers use to create patterns. Since laminated steel bars are commercially available , you just need to upset the bar a little bit to bring out the pattern when you grind it. Alot of peoples doing this are simply leaving the pressed part of the blade that isnt ground away as a " textured" rough brut de forge kinda finish. I am even seeing a few ceramic coated blades with the flats polished steel, its quite a look. theres a lof of places to go with this and its exciting to see so much variation.

From a hardcore chef knife enthusiast point of view...a large full flat grind is known as "sticky" and not desirable. However on thinner stock it is almost unavoidable. But there are ways to defeat the cohesion effect.
Take for example the famed Takeda classic knives whose main bevel is slightly convex and basically has a wide mirror polished scandi-grind as an edge....the bevel surface is a highly polished but kind of marbled forged texture....I dont know how they do it but ingredients just fall off the blade, never sticking.

I think that type of "food release" is atleast the idea behind any sort of texture chef knives.
 

Isley

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Staying crisp is actually the easiest route I think. The texture, like those of Shun knives, is something I'm considering for a small percentage of the batch for aesthetic contrast. I agree that it is probably of limited functional value. For most, it looks like I'll grind high, flat and then blend out the grind line to produce one smooth surface.
 

Isley

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I don’t get it, why do you want to texture? What’s your concern or hesitation with a convex grind?

The texture is largely for aesthetic contrast. I don't have a problem with convexing as long as the final geometry is still achieving the intended goal.
 

Isley

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I'll have to see if I can find a Takeda and study it. Thanks for that.
 

timos-

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best route to take is to offer rehandling Japanese knives and repairing them, you can study lots of stuff and make a little $ too.
also take part in passarounds --- youll have to learn to cook if you havnt already :)
 
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