Help with this mysterious knife

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by EKMEK, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. EKMEK

    EKMEK

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    Hello there,

    this is my first contact with this great forum.
    A while ago I was looking for a good french made chef knife. I bought the knife in the photos, a Sabatier Elephant, 8". I wonder, is this really a chef knife? the blade is unlike any blade I have seen, and it does not lend itself to chopping and fine cutting. Can anyone tell me what kind of knife is it, and what is it good for?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. EKMEK

    EKMEK

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    Hello, me again. I tried to insert an image from my Google Drive. No success. can someone help?
     
  3. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Hi and welcome to ChefTalk Ekmek. New members can't upload images, you have to have an image host and provide the link.
     
  4. EKMEK

    EKMEK

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    Thanks. How does one do that ( image host and link?)
     
  5. benuser

    benuser

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    Upload a photo to an image host, like postimage.org
    You may want to open an account with them, not necessary though.
    You get a link, you may post here. Choose 'hotlink for forums', you past it in your post. Voilà.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. EKMEK

    EKMEK

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    Hello good people,

    this is beyond my computer skills. Can I email a photo to someone who will post it in this conversation?

    Ekmek
     
  7. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    I just opened the image separately in a new tab.

    Yeah, it looks like a generic very small chef's knife, albeit really REALLY worn down. There's an extremely serious recurve on the edge somewhat forward of the heel.

    Unless you are prepared to spend an incredible amount of time and effort to hand grind the blade profile of the edge, so that the upwards recurve is eliminated at the heel, then thin the blade and then finally resharpen, this knife is probably going to be something horrible to cut with.

    If it were mine, I would just sigh, abandon the blade and consider that to be a learning experience. Its only good value might be as a practice blade for re-profiling and thinning. If it's a stainless blade (look to see if "INOX" or "STAINLESS"can be made out), it would not be worth even that (I am currently where my eyes can't see enough detail in the photo to figure out what type of steel was used).

    Galley Swiller
     
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  8. EKMEK

    EKMEK

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    Hi Galley,

    I am glad you were able to open the photo. It is. an 8" knife, and that is how it looked when I bought it. Was it a used and worn regular chef knife? I guess I'll follow your advice and just get another knife.
    Thank you much for your input

    Ekmek
     
  9. benuser

    benuser

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    Can't still see the photo, but recurve bellys and protruding heels are very common among vintage Sabs, due to the presence of the finger guard and poor sharpening combined with excessive steeling.
     
  10. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Honestly this knife unfortunately was undesirable even when brand new, and in the condition shown it should not have even been given away. How much did you pay for it?
     
  11. benuser

    benuser

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    Still curious where I can find the photo.
     
  12. rick alan

    rick alan

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    GS figured that out. Right click on the broken image icon and select "open in a new tab." Funny how that works, isn't it.
     
  13. benuser

    benuser

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    Doesn't work that way on my Android. Thanks anyway, Rick
     
  14. EKMEK

    EKMEK

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    Thank you all. I believe you can see the image only in a computer file, by right clicking the image.
    I am still puzzled by the knife shape. I bought it like five years ago as a new knife, for $80 or so. It looked new to me. I thought at first that this is some kind of an old traditional french knife shape, but researching it at the Sabatier site, and in Larouse Gastronomique, I didn't see a similar knife. It is hard to imagine that it lost so much steel in sharpening to turn a convex shape to a concave one, as it does not look so old. Could it be a boning knife or something similar? Other than it's shape it is a well balanced solid knife.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts.

    Ekmek
     
  15. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    It's definitely used. If you bought it as new, you were not told the truth. No new knife would ever be shaped with a recurved edge.

    It wasn't unheard of for some cooks to want to shape the blade, so as to have an extremely pronounced point, such as is seen. If you have access to a grinding wheel, it can be done. Looking again at the blade, my guess is also that this was originally a blade that was longer than 8 inches, but was shortened down.

    As benuser pointed out (post #9 above), recurved blade profiles along the edge just forward of a bolster are not all that uncommon, due to poor steeling and pronounced bolsters. Proper sharpening would have reduced the bolster. But, when you don't reduce the bolster, that just makes it harder to get a proper blade profile and to thin the blade. My guess is that if you did a manual thickness feel test (pinching the blade just above the edge to see how thick the blade feels), you would probably find that the blade is very thick, especially along the recurve.

    I can see from an oxidation on the steel that would suggest it is a carbon steel blade.

    I still can't see any particular reason to save this blade. If you are in the USA, then you can order 4-Star Elephant (Thiers Issard) chef's knives from http://www.thebestthings.com/knives/sabatiercarbon.htm.

    Or, you can order a K Sabatier carbon steel chef's knife from the Sabatier Outlet: https://sabatieroutlet.com/t/authentic-carbon-sabatier-knives

    GS
     
  16. rick alan

    rick alan

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    $80 wow! That was some con man sold you that. Just so you know those sabs GS linked to are carbons, not stainless as yours apparently is. Stainless Sabs typically have very poor steel, except a few that specify Swedish Stainless, I can't remember or now find who supplies them. Maybe treat yourself to one of the Nogents though, a very fine peice of French cutlery history.
    http://bernal-cutlery.shoplightspeed.com/europe-usa/k-sabatier/new-vintage/page2.html
     
  17. EKMEK

    EKMEK

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    Thank you all. Being a humble home cook, all this stuff was new to me. I bought the Sabatier for no good reason, other than curiosity. There is no doubt in my mind that I need a proper knife. At present I have a Henckels 8" chef knife, made in Spain. The Sabatier, though damaged feels more right in my hand. Heavier, stiffer, and well balanced. I read in this forum that the Sabatier is not highly esteemed.
    I wonder if you would be so kind to give me some recommendation for an all-purpose chef knife for a home cook. Just for background info: my wife and I are serious home cooks, chopping and slicing and cutting vegetables, fish poultry and meat, every day of the week.

    I thank you for your patience.

    Ekmek
     
  18. loomchick

    loomchick

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    Go to a quality knife store and try some chef knives out. Take some produce with you. What feels good in my hand and works well for me may not suit you or your wife . . . in fact, both of you may find you each prefer different knives.

    IMHO, it's more important you purchase a quality knife that feels good . . . and then MAINTAIN the knife. Learn how to properly hone your knife since you should be doing this a lot to maintain a straight edge. One of my chef instructors encouraged us to hone a knife every time we used it. That may be overkill (although, it depends on what you may be using it for.) . After you learn to hone . . . and do it frequently . . . then learn how to sharpen. It's tragic when people have good knives that don't work well because they haven't been maintained properly. And, get a decent cutting board . . . preferably an end-cut board.
     
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  19. rick alan

    rick alan

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    The nogents I mentioned are good knives, some wax eloquently on their feel and total gestalt, but are carbon and require that extra care. There is also that ridiculous pita of a full bolster that gets in the way of sharpening. I always thought it a marketing ploy/manufacturing short cut evolving from the quirks of die-stamp forging, but Bernal Cutlery claim it was a feature of trip-hammer forging that used to get ground and/or cut off, but was later left on for the fancy look.

    What is your sharpening plan, total budget, and country?
     
  20. EKMEK

    EKMEK

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    I live in Milwaukee, WI. No good knife stores near by. Are there any in Chicago?
    As far as sharpening, I tried to do it on cheap stone, with more damage than good, so I ended up using a
    Chef’sChoice 4643 ProntoPro Diamond Hone Manual Knife Sharpener. My budget is around $100.
    Anything in this price range?