Massdrop x Apogee Vital 8-Inch Chef's Knife
Massdrop x Apogee Vital 8-Inch Chef's Knife
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Product Description
Ask anybody who knows their way around a kitchen and they’ll tell you that a high-quality 8-inch chef’s knife can do anything and everything you need it to—and it’ll last a lifetime if cared for correctly. Fine-tuned with help from professional chefs, the Massdrop x Apogee Vital 8-inch chef's knife will be your go-to blade for anything from slicing veggies to chopping herbs to cutting a porterhouse steak ... Read More

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JonasHeineman
5871
Collaborations
Feb 12, 2018
Stickied
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Hey everyone,
If you check out Massdrop’s Blades and Cooking communities, and almost any blog, forum, review site, YouTube channel etc. devoted to cooking or kitchen knives, you will find a lot of people asking the same question: “I want to start cooking more and I have $100 to $150 to spend on kitchen knives, what should I buy?” And, almost universally, the answer is the same, something like: “Don’t waste your money on a full set of cheaper knives - spend it all on a high-quality 8” chef’s knife, which can do 99% of the things a full set can do just as well, and will last you a lot longer.”
That’s good advice, and served as the inspiration for this project. Members have purchased thousands of knives from our Blades and Cooking communities, but few have been as popular as the Dragon and Dragon Fire series from Apogee Culinary Designs. The basic idea behind this project was to combine these same materials (nitrogen-enriched steel and durable G-10) are known by our community of knife enthusiasts with a classic, utilitarian 8” chef’s knife blade shape that is recommended as the “must-have” knife for any kitchen.
Then, we focused on creating a handle that would be comfortable and easy to hold, while guiding home chefs to use the same pinch grip that professional cooks use in commercial kitchens. While the word “ergonomic” is used to describe a lot of knife handles with sweeping curves, and that’s good for a handle grip, but not always for a pinch grip. The key here is to provide a large surface area for the index finger to rest on, instead of the narrow area of the blade’s spine, which any professional chef will tell you is the cause of the callous that develops on the first joint of the index finger after hours of chopping and slicing.
In addition to the purposefully-designed handle, the Vital 8” Chef’s Knife features Carpenter’s CTS® BD1N Alloy, a nitrogen enriched steel. Although nitrogen-enriched steels are relatively new the cutlery world, they’re already getting rave reviews from industry experts because they offer a tremendous value in terms of price-to-performance. Specifically, they offer a rare combination of hardness and resistance to chipping, even when sharpened to low angles, like 16 degrees per side on this knife. Here are some links to learn more about BD1N steel: Carpenter - https://www.cartech.com/en/product-solutions/cartech-cts-bd1n-alloy/ Zknives . com - http://zknives.com/knives/steels/cts-bd1n.shtml
Although G-10 may not be a familiar material in the world of kitchen knives, it’s widely used in high-end folding knives that are popular in our Blades community and with collectors, as well as custom grips for handguns that are popular with the EDC crowd. Originally invented for use in circuit boards because it’s impervious to water and non-conductive, G-10 is a fiberglass resin laminate that’s even stronger than carbon fiber or it’s predecessor, micarta. G-10’s key characteristic for a kitchen knife application is its extraordinary ability to retain shape over time and exposure to the elements; it’s resistant to heat and chemicals, and won’t absorb water. By making the handle from a single piece of G-10, which is fit snugly around the full tand and secured by welding the rear bolster in place, we’ve made the knife even more durable than two scales, which are typically press-fit and glued to the tang.
Please note the changes from our prototype (pictured) to the final version, which were made with help from professional chefs. Ryan Wilson, who supervises the kitchen that serves over 2000 meals per day as Executive Chef at LinkedIn’s San Francisco office, was especially helpful in making these refinements:
* Crowned (rounded) spine for added comfort * Slimmer handle (20mm down from 22.8mm) for better grip, even with smaller hands * Shallower taper angle for improved ergonomics, especially where the thumb sits * Extending the blade’s heel back toward the taper, to keep the index finger on the bolster (instead of the spine) while maintaining full pinch on the blade
Please also note that we will be closing the drop at 10:00 pm on 2/28/18 in order to get a jump on production, and then reopening the drop until 3/15/18 (or while supplies last). The Estimated Ship Date of 5/31/18 will be the same for everyone, regardless of when you join the drop.
We hope that you like the perks being offered, which include a special introductory price that won’t be available in the future, as well as an invitation to join a knife skills demo using this knife with Kitchen on Fire cooking school. Thanks for making this possible!
Feb 12, 2018
LoremicusIpsuminus
57
Feb 22, 2018
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If you guys have the aspiration to be the first to use the metal of the old gods to make kitchen knives, by all means go for it! If I am in the production, I will really look into the mass production capacity of the OEM plant, even checking what kind of abrasives they use for the grind, and really pick a number of production samples by random and test the edge retention on cardboard and check if there are random variation. I would also be making specific instruction for the user understand with the great power of these exotic knives also come the responsibility to respect and treat them well :)
Feb 22, 2018
Deaomega1214
467
Apogee Culinary Designs
Feb 22, 2018
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Feb 22, 2018
JonasHeineman
5871
Collaborations
Jul 12, 2018
Stickied
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Hey everyone,
I see some comments from members, it looks like you are seeing a few different issues with knives that have just been received so I will do my best to address everything here:
1) Sharpness: The samples that I tested were shaving sharp...I know this because I actually shaved a small patch of my arm with them. I test every knife we make before approving the shipment to customers. We randomly pull samples for testing, but that's not a guarantee that every blade is as sharp as our test units. However, if you think your knife should be sharper out of the box, Apogee Culinary does provide free lifetime sharpening. You can email them directly (sglassen@apogeeculinary.com) and they will send you a call tag so you can send it in.
2) Handle scuffs: These are basically impossible for us to assess or address without photos, and so far nobody has posted any. We have no reason to doubt what you're saying, but we also can't know if what you're seeing is normal our outside acceptable tolerances based just on these comments. Some of the scuffs could just be the natural pattern of the handle material. I haven't read specifically if anyone had washed them or was just reporting the look as they were delivered - a quick wash with soap and water may address some of these concerns. If there are manufacturing defects with the materials or finishing, they will be covered by our warranty.
3) Bent blades: We don't have a machine shop here, so we can do another visual inspection but we'd like to get some measurements on a larger sample size to check this out. I've asked for additional units to be pulled from the warehouse so that we can measure them. The processes of welding the blades to the bolsters and polishing them are both done by hand. With any knife, this can sometimes result in a less-than-perfect-90-degree final angle. Some slight variation (less than 1 degree) is not uncommon, but much more than that would be considered "out of spec" - we'll have to do some measuring before we can determine which is the case here. In addition to their offer of free lifetime sharpening, and regardless of how much the blade may be out of alignment, Apogee Culinary has a tool to straighten blades and has offered to do that for anyone who thinks theirs is out of alignment. You can email them directly (sglassen@apogeeculinary.com) and they will send you a call tag so you can send it in.
4) Quality Control: @Deaomega1214 reviewed over 200 pieces at the factory before they left the factory, and we reviewed a random sampling of five units before we approved shipment to members. We didn't see anything like what members are describing, but we're glad to take another look and we want to make sure everyone is happy. These blades are covered by our warranty, so if they are not up to spec you can send them in to Apogee Culinary to be touched up, or request an exchange or refund.
5) Warranty: So far, out of 1200+ orders, I see a total of two support tickets for any "Defective / Warranty Issues." Some people haven't received theirs yet, but so far this doesn't indicate a problem affecting the whole group. It would seem that some members who have commented also haven't yet filed support tickets for these issues...
You're certainly welcome to discuss any issues here, but we can't do anything to support your order unless you submit a help ticket - you can do that by going to the Transactions tab in your member profile and clicking the "Contact Support" button just below your order record for this item. https://www.massdrop.com/transactions
Our support team will ask for pictures so that we can understand the nature and seriousness of the problem, and also so that we can collect a record of the number and type of complaints. This will enable us to understand the scope of the problem and decide if it needs to be addressed internally for a handful of units (normal and minor) or with the vendor for the whole group (rare and serious).
I hope that addresses any concerns, we're glad to support any member who submits a ticket in getting warranty service. Massdrop and Apogee stand by the product and the warranty that covers it, and we'll make sure to address any issues you may have - please help us to do this by contacting support so we can refer to your order when responding.
Thanks, Jonas
CC: @harveyfnj @MJKelly @Moximo @Mandrake @Despoiler @tarachii @anteck7
UPDATED 7/19/18: We've been keeping track of how many Defective/Warranty support requests come in for this, and it's only 12 so far - that's less than 1%. Return rates for kitchen knives can often fall around 3%, so we feel confident in saying that it's not a widespread issue.
That being said, Apogee and Massdrop want to make sure that you're happy, and this knife is covered by warranty. If you did receive a knife that is blemished or has a blade which is off-center, then we'll be glad to take care of it - and you have options:
1) You can send your blade directly to Apogee for sharpening, or straightening. Just send an email to <sglassen@apogeeculinary.com> and let them know that you'd like to send it in and they will help you with shipping.
2) If you'd prefer a return or exchange, just go to the Transactions tab in your member profile and click "Contact Support" below your order record for this item. https://www.massdrop.com/transactions
Jul 12, 2018
tarachii
18
Oct 18, 2018
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Sad indeed. I'm going to stick with audio-only Massdrop collabs, because they're having QC issues with their Chinese factories for other product lines. I'm also tempted to demand a refund so I can justify going into the current Global Knife drop, lol
Oct 18, 2018
tarachii
18
Oct 19, 2018
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For the sake of transparency, please please PLEASE clarify in regards to what is 'spec' when it comes to the shallow taper. I reached out to customer support and they were no help at all. And please don't give me a weasel non-answer out of fear of admitting a screw-up in the design process.
Oct 19, 2018
reswright
328
Jun 17, 2019
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Hard steel doesn’t just chip easier. It cracks. When a knifesmith makes a cutting knife the size of a chef knife, the metal along the belly is frequently tempered to a higher hardness than the metal along the spine. It may also have an edge or core of a harder alloy of steel. Hard is good for the edge but bad for any sort of flex or give, so the spine is often half as hard or less on the Rockwell scale. It keeps the knife from cracking like these seem to. My guess is these were die cut from sheet BD1N with welded ie non forged bolsters and then stuck in an oven, not differentially tempered. Look, the reason so many chefs still use high carbon steel or semi stainless steel in their knives isn’t that they don’t know newer alloys exists, or that they’re cheap. It isn’t that they don’t know about PM steels. Chefs are goddamned serious about their knives. The reason is that high carbon steel is near ideal for the working conditions your knife goes thru during the day’s food prep, which consists of repeated cuts banging into a cutting board, sometimes hitting bone, with some light touch up with a honing steel throughout the day to smooth out the edge and hence keep it sharp. Getting wiped down with white rags and bleach. Constantly coming into contact with salts, with acids, with all sorts of stuff that does bad stuff to regular steel. These are a serious yikes no. Trying to buy kitchen knives that are made out of premium pocket knife steel sounds like a much better idea than it is. Most fixed blade knife makers use different steels from the typical folder just like most kitchen knife makers do. Steel is Rock Paper Scissors like that. If there’s another drop with chef knives I hope that they are forged, use high carbon stainless or semi stainless, have a normal Rockwell hardness for everyday chef knives, and past that I’m open to hear the pitch, but if it’s some super steel without an exhaustive analysis as to why, and why it’ll actually work as a kitchen knife, my geek bait meter will straight up redline.
(Edited)
Jun 17, 2019
14themoney
711
Apr 19, 2019
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Jonas- it's been six months. Are you hoping that there are enuf new people and new people that don't read reviews to be able to sell this? I find no evidence that anything has been done to address the issues that I have read about in the discussion here. I picked up an 8" chef's knife at CKTG in this steel. $75.00. Free S&H. (And they are still throwing in a free $20.00, 10" bread knife.) HRC- 63. Spine width- 2.1mm. 16dps. It's got a crummy square handle, much uglier than this one. BUT. It's well balanced, feels good in hand, and alignment is perfect. It cuts almost as well as my Konosuke. $80 is pretty cheap for a good chef's knife. I am not sure that this is one. Not now. I believe that it has potential, but the potential is currently unrealized. If I'm going to spend $80 here, I would be very happy with a couple more Bestechs. I have seen hints of brilliance in you, Jonas. I wish you would put some more effort into trying to make your customers happy; and making it easier to get in touch with a real human to answer question and resolve ptoblems. Getting a new knife from MD these days could lead a person to becoming happy, joyous, and broke.
Apr 19, 2019
289Notch
5
Feb 17, 2019
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I can confirm my knife is also bent. I put it on a straight edge and looking at the top it is bent to the right starting about middle of the knife to 1/8". I can also confirm the sharpness was not good out of the box. I didn't consider the sharpening a deal breaker on an 80 dollar knife, so I used my stones and put a nice 15* degree edge on it. The 1/8" bend is however something I can't fix without risk of breaking it, so I will take it up with apogee for the return.
Feb 17, 2019
289Notch
5
Feb 19, 2019
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Feb 19, 2019
confed
199
Feb 17, 2019
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Was very interested in this drop but staying away after reading these lengthy, detailed replies from the community, and subsequent, oft-ignored/delayed, responses from Massdrop. Hope everyone else interested in this current drop reads through the thread so they can make an informed decision on this knife.
Feb 17, 2019
phoenixsong
663
Jan 22, 2019
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Seriously though, with all the unfortunate knives that met their end as shown in the discussion below I think Massdrop should really consider recalling every single one of them. AND admit that there's something wrong with the situation at the moment. From some of the pics it wouldn't be hard to imagine someone having their toes sliced off or kids unwittingly swallowing shards that've been chipped off unnoticed. It is a real and Vital safety hazard being presented here. May everyone spare a little conscience for the greater good and their own future at the expense of empty, hurt pride
Jan 22, 2019
211bma
60
Jan 18, 2019
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There needs to be some way to hold this knife before purchase, I really like the look of this knife and since I currently have a 10" chef and have been pining for a 8" I have looked at this knife MANY times. But I could never be comfortable buying a knife that I have never held. Especially from a company that is so infamously anti-return.
Jan 18, 2019
Raithmir
643
Nov 28, 2018
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I received one yesterday (by mistake as I'd actually ordered something else, but that's a different story). The handle and blade are finished well with no scratches or marks that I can see. The blade is sharp all the way along, easily shaving hairs off my arm. The blade does noticeably bend off to the right though. I haven't actually used it to see how much of an annoyance that might be, but since I never ordered it in the first place I can't complain too much!
Nov 28, 2018
SydneySpur
14
Nov 11, 2018
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G'day from Australia, Well I was very happy with this knife until yesterday (10 November 2018). After cutting some crusty bread I then used the knife to spread some cream cheese on the bread (I know it's not designed for spreading, but it was cream cheese!). I certainly did not use any kind of "excessive" lateral force on the blade to cause this kind of "catastrophic" failure.(Almost a "catastrophe" for me as the blade section almost hit my bare foot (it's summer in Australia) and would have caused an injury if not for some quick reflexes I was pleasantly surprised to find that I still possess). Anyway, quality control/manufacturing process would seem to be an issue. Buyer beware.
Nov 11, 2018
phoenixsong
663
Jan 22, 2019
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Game Over :p
Jan 22, 2019
reswright
328
Jun 17, 2019
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this is just one big yikes.
Jun 17, 2019
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