Crysknife

In these degenerate times, it seems anyone can just buy a crysknife:

Farberware ceramic knife

Farberware ceramic knife

Admittedly, it lacks the original’s kinjal shape and curved blade. We once had a double-edged, serrated kitchen knife and I swore a mighty oath on the bones of my ancestors to never, ever make that mistake again.

Surprisingly, the plastic handle balances well with the ceramic blade: no need for another tungsten counterweight. The handle extends slightly below the blade’s heel, which may call for some abrasive adjustment.

The blade is slightly thicker than the wonderful steel santoku knives we’ve been using forever and doesn’t taper uniformly from spine to edge, so it’s no good for constrained cutting (like quartering an apple). The hollow-ground section behind the edge forms a wedge that cracks apples apart, unlike the santoku’s full-width taper that just slides right through.

I was mildly surprised to find that it’s no sharper (perhaps that’s “no more keen”) than our steel knives, but, then, I’m wicked with the sharpening steel. The edge arrived minus a few tiny chips and I suspect we’ll add more in normal use, right up to the moment when one of us drops it on the floor.

A gotcha: that blade’s eyeblink  affordance is harmless plastic. I must remind myself it’s a real knife with a lethally sharp edge.

Thus far, we’ve sheathed the blade unblooded, in clear violation of the Fremen ritual. May it ever be so…

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  1. #1 by solaandjin on 23-August-2014 - 12:19

    Kyocera sells an electric diamond sharpener for use with their ceramic knives. It does a creditable job, but the angle is fixed. I typically use that, or a set of diamond stones and diamond polishing plates with an Edge Pro for an extremely sharp edge.

    I find that the people who rave about their ceramic knife’s sharpness have never really encountered a truly sharp knife. It will maintain the sharpness it has for a very long time, but it doesn’t start out as sharp as a well maintained steel blade. With proper attention, ceramic blades can be made to shave, but that is quite a feat.

    • #2 by Ed on 23-August-2014 - 12:37

      never really encountered a truly sharp knife

      Over the decades, we’ve found that most folks have kitchen knives that feel like clubbing your way through vegetables with a baby seal. Ptui!

      If the blade survives our drop testing, I’ll eventually try the diamond hone on it. So far, it’s Good Enough, even if I’m not in love with the shape.

  2. #3 by Red County Pete on 23-August-2014 - 21:50

    Julie uses a Kitchenaid Santoku that we found at the local discount club store. ($10 after Christmas. Yeah regional club stores!) She loves it, and it’s her goto knife. Since I have rather large hands, I favor a Henckel 10″ chef and a couple of Cutco knives bought a few decades ago. I’m mildly paranoid about knives, ever since I partially severed a tendon misusing an 8″ chef. Should have got the box cutter, but noooooo. I keep the Henckel in tune, reasoning that a known-sharp knife will get my respect (and cut the food better).

    Julie keeps looking at the ceramic knives at Costco, but I’ve been resisting. I’ll have to see how your crash test dummy experiences work out. [grin]

    • #4 by Ed on 24-August-2014 - 07:16

      My parents ran a restaurant and Dad always said the safest knives were the sharpest: you knew they’d do serious damage, so you treated them with respect.

      He also taught me never (try to) catch a fumbled knife, with the result that I still have all my fingers and the floor has all the scars …

  3. #5 by Jim R on 24-August-2014 - 13:35

    This is somewhat off topic, but I’ve been meaning to ask: what was the black epoxy you used in the tungsten counterweight post? I’m trying to repair some cosmetic damage to a carbon-fiber extension to a sailboat mast…

    • #6 by Ed on 24-August-2014 - 15:07

      It’s JB KwikWeld, probably mixed with too much resin (they say “steel”).

      In person, it’s on the dark gray side of black. Not exactly carbon fiber, maybe close enough.

      • #7 by Jim R on 24-August-2014 - 22:08

        The extension is made of a carbon fiber braided tube overmolded with a somewhat brittle coating. When the extension broke off the top of the mast and landed on the deck (don’t ask), chunks of the coating popped off the outside of the tube at the impact points. I’m hoping to repair the coating, which is nonstructural.

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