Damascus Satake vs. Damascus MAC?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by christine007, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. christine007

    christine007

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    Hi all,

    I am married to a professional sous chef, and would like to get him a new knife for Christmas. He's been talking about knives Damascus for several months, so I'd like to get him one. But I'm torn between a MAC and a Satake knife. He has several MAC knives, so I can only assume he really likes that brand. But the Satake would be something new and maybe fun to play around with. Can any of you offer any advice as to what brand may be a better option to go with?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    I may be one of the worst people to discuss Damascus, since I have said numerous time that Damascus cladding is something that doesn't do anything for the performance of the knife.  But you're married to a professional sous chef, and he wants one, so here goes.

    Damascus blades involve a form of lamination, where alternating thin sides of steel are bonded ("clad") on each side of a core steel, which forms the cutting edge.  The knife blank, from which the knife will be made, can have upwards of 64 layers on each side of the core, for up to 129 layers total.  Usually, it is in 33, 65 or 129 layer versions 

    The knife blank can then be processed (with much grinding and other metal removal), so as to expose the layering.  The multiple layers form a highly decorative blade.

    However, the only layer which has any real importance is the core.  That's the layer which will eventually have the edge.

    One steel processing company, Takefu Special Steel Company, makes the vast majority of knife blanks with Damascus cladding and sells them to knife makers and manufacturers.  Their most common core is VG-10.

    Depending on the quality control of the knife maker, VG-10 steel can be properly heat treated, or not properly heat-treated.  A properly heat treated blade will cut decently well.  An improperly heat treated blade can "chip", and have parts of the edge of the blade break off.  Definitely not good.

    To a certain degree, knowing which knife makers generally make good VG-10 blades, and which knife makers make duds, is somewhat trial and error.

    Satake knives are not on my radar, nor am I finding much through Google.  So that name is a blank, though some reference can be found on Amazon for a Satake Damascus santoku.  However, it's a bit low-end and there is absolutely no customer feedback.

    I'm going to hazard a guess that your husband might have said "Sakae" rather than "Satake".  There is a reputable company, Takayuke, which makes hammered Damascus blades with VG-10 cores, and which uses the Sakae on some lines of its knives.

    Ask your husband if "Sakae" was the name he was mentioning.

    MAC also has Damascus blades, but the core steel is their "Original" steel, which is also the steel used in most of their "Professional" series knives.  In my estimation, I would rate MAC's "Original" steel as easier to sharpen than VG-10, with a cutting quality very much the same.

    Also, you did not mention what type of knife, or size, that your husband wanted.

    Galley Swiller
     
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  3. ordo

    ordo

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    A very generous replay from GS, as always.
    I wonder how many of us got in love with damascus and clads at the beginning of our passion for knives,  just to end up loving mono-steel blades.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  4. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Guilty!  My first nice knife was a swedish stainless steel laser with kind of tacky looking damascus $120


    Still keep it around, rehandled.  Need a stainless for the girlfriend and for guests.  The handle is worth more to me than the blade.


    My main knife these days is a Suien VC cleaver, vastly different
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  5. rick alan

    rick alan

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     Oh please, I'm still in pain from the Shun Steak knife which made up my first foray into knives you actually pay money for.

    Rick
     
  6. christine007

    christine007

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    Thanks for the replies! 

    I honestly think he just wants a damascus knife for the look, but since they are pretty pricey I figure I might as well attempt to get him something that has a bit of functionality as well. I asked his head chef about it, and he suggested a Shun knife, but after reading the threads on here it looks like that isn't such a good knife to go with. I know he has MAC knives, and he has said that they are good knives for the cost. But I'd like to get him something a little nicer. I did find some absolutely stunning damascus knives, but they were around $4000 (definitely not going to happen, haha).

    As far as what he is wanting I'm not too sure, he doesn't know I am getting him a knife. I think he prefers to work with Japanese knives, and I was thinking something around 20cm. Just a regular cooking knife, I guess.
     
  7. ordo

    ordo

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  8. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Oh yes, there are other beauties besides Damascus.  Jon at Japanese Knife Imports has a number of choices there also and he will be glad to discuss them with you.

    About where do you want to be price wise?  

    As far as Damascus, Takamura Ironwood is a beautiful knife, laser thin and also sharper than anything he has, the 21 is $490

    From the same manufacturer you can find a less fancy slightly more robust version, $160-$200

    http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/honmamon-r/item/4582243651752/

    http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/honmamon-r/item/4582243651745/

    And if you think you need to shop further here is a large list: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ksearch.html?term=damascus&x=0&y=0&vwcatalog=chefknivestogo

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015