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View Full Discussion 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!
bros, if this Massdrop exclusive knife thing takes off, you gotta consider making like a “Gold Class” version of this in CTS - 204P or XHP steel since Apogee is sourcing blade steel from Carpenter it looks like. XHP is especially impressive in a culinary blade.
I’m looking forward to putting this blade through it’s paces and comparing it to my knives in AEB-L and CTS-XHP.
keep the smart collaborations coming, can’t wait to try this!
>CTS - 204P
Why not Maxamet? Balls to the walls. Lol I still prefer my kitchen knife to be of tougher steel. I just hope they put the resources into heat treat and finish the edge right without burning it!
I agree, there’s a lot of art to the HT and I hope they get it right along with finishing the edges.
And I so so wish they would do a chef’s in Maxamet, or M4, but those are such super nerdy hardcore steels it would probably offput most buyers due to increased cost and maintenance, which is why I mentioned the previous Carpenter steels instead.
I CAN DREAM THOUGH 🤤🤤🤤
Thanks, all jokes aside, please do not use Maxamet or REX 121, the production cost will be prohibitive and you will have a huge issue in warranty.
Instead consider Cru-wear or 3V for durability, Nitrobe 77 or Nitro-V for corrosion resistance. :)
Also good suggestions, I do enjoy Cru-Wear 🙂
Rostafrei I read is the best steel for everything.
"Rosta Frei knives: Don't worry 'bout a thing, 'cause every little thing gonna cut up right."
I'm curious. We have been testing Maxamet for a year now. What are the issues you are concerned about?
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 :)