Richmond Ultimatum

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by doubleojon, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. doubleojon

    doubleojon

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  2. chinacats

    chinacats

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    Looks kinda like advertising...

    I'm sure the knife is nice, but that being said, the things I enjoy most about this forum are the experienced reviews by real users...pluses and minuses laid out with practical reasoning.  I do look forward to hearing all about these (American made) knives once people have a chance to put them to the test...

    ...off my rant...

    Peace,

    Chinacats
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  3. Iceman

    Iceman

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    OK. Now I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin ...

    Mark Richmond knives of CKTG  are high quality, really good bang for the buck knives. All videos are some sort of advertising. I don't think this knife needs anything to help it. I just want to watch videos for their coolness. 
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  4. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I plan to wait for the batch in M390!  Right now the Ultimatum is at the top of my list.  My only reason for pause is that he offers essentially the same knife made by Moritaka in Aogami for $70 less.  I'm sure it's worth the $250 to get that "Uber Steel" but saving money and getting it sooner...
     
  5. doubleojon

    doubleojon

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    Not sure why he thought it was advertising... I just wanted to know people's opinions on this steel. The profile is pretty highly touted on these forums, so I was interested to see the reactions. I'm seriously considering one of these, however, I stumbled upon a page from their site through Google listing this same knife in Damascus Steel. It's going to be $400 though :-(
     
  6. duckfat

    duckfat

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    This knife appears to have more belly and is not as thin as the Masamoto, especially at the tip. I have to wonder what they were thinking when they were making those clips. They should title that video how NOT to cut an onion and that poor Orange...LOL. I'm sure they were just trying to show the knife is sharp but it falls a bit flat when you could get the same result with a cleaver.

    In either event the real test for this knife will be when we see hands on feedback. A knife is far more than just the grade of steel.

    If these are indeed made in the USA with US steel then I will also be watching closely.

    FWIW I nearly responded to this thread yesterday but stopped short because I thought it was just advertising as well.  There is a lot of shilling going on with knives today. Free knives for reviews etc.

    Just sayin.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  7. Iceman

    Iceman

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    You surprise me, talking about shilling and Mark Richmond in the same post. You don't know the products you speak of. The onion video was just fine. I'll be willing to guess that the onion was cut cleaner and faster in the video than could be done by >98.6% of the posters here. Maybe you could post up some videos of your skills and abilities, along with the reviews of knives you've made. 
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  8. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I'm not sure that many knives are given away in exchange for reviews.  To clarify a statement I made that could be construed that way:  Mark did give me a prototype in exchange for my feedback as a culinary pro on what, if anything, needed to be changed.  This was in no small part to the fact that I'd already bought perhaps a dozen knives from him as well as sharpened a number of blades for him before sale.  I was never required nor instructed to publish a review in exchange for free products.

    I'm sure Mark has no need to "buy" reviews in this manner anyway, nor would it be the most cost effective way to advertise!  He has legions of customers as it is, and no need to pay them for reviews.  His service is so superb that he was many happy customers that love the chance to offer their feedback.
     
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Dave,

    How about some specifics regarding the who and what of those reviews you purport to be bought? 

    BDL
     
  10. spikedog

    spikedog

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    duckfat, i am sure you are one of those guys that see's a nice knife in action and says to your self, "i can do that with a 10 dollar kiwi or some other piece of junk,mark is making some great knives and i have bought a few of his plus many others,so just let it go,   
     
  11. Iceman

    Iceman

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    I've watched a lot of knife videos. I've never bought any anything because of a video. I like watching the videos because of the action. In one particular video I even don't agree with how the guy is cutting, but still his action is beautiful. Also, before I forget, I like some videos because of the music. Among other things, I'm a professional chef. One of the best jobs I've worked was in a butcher shoppe that had a deal with a commercial knife service. We always had very sharp knives. Nobody could care or even knew what the brands were, but they were always sharp. My own personal knives are either Chicago Cutlery or Victorinox Forschner. Any could be replaced for <$20. My dishes don't get sent back. Nobody has ever told me that anything I've ever served would taste or look better if I was using a $600 knife. Sharp is sharp; quality is quality; skills are skills. One of the most valuable knives I've ever bought was a $10 Ginsu (I actually got 2/$10) one(1) is in my auto tool box. It's the best thing going for exhaust parts, hoses and pain-in-the-butt belts. The other is in my tackle box. You can buy a quality knife, you can buy (or do) quality sharpening. You just aint'e gonna buy no skills, you gotta learn them. 

    Nice knife, beautiful skills/action, fantastic music:

    Tojiro White #2 Nakiri
     
  12. duckfat

    duckfat

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     I had no idea you were working for Mark but I was surprised to see your comment in an earlier thread where you said you wanted to come off as a "shill".  Facetious or not you were obviously paid by CKTG for a review. Having said that what I posted upthread was in no way directed at you, or about you.

    In either event one give away, or several give aways in exchange for a review really amounts to the same thing in the end. The person Mark has posting uTube videos that never discloses his relationship with CKTG is a prime example.

     Mark has offered give aways in the past to any one posting feedback for items he sells on his site. That is certainly "buying" feedback and reviews. There's just no way around it. While no positive reviews were "required" I'm certain no one expected to win or receive any thing for posting a negative review.

    CKTG has gone down this path on other forums so there's little reason not to suspect it here. That's probably why the majority of sites have banned threads that start like this or have taken even more stringent measures. Then there was the deal where Mark offered discounts/drawings etc to any one including a link to his web site in their post or on their profile.  Loaners for review can fall in the same category. The reviews are being solicited from people that wouldn't ordinarily review the product and advertising in the form of "reviews" on various sites is expected in return. I'm sure most of us would have a very different view of any thing we get for free. There are those who are open and offer unbiased reviews with the good and the bad but there are others who are simply biased  and try to sell product.

    I've bought from Mark in the past and that's something that I've mentioned here many times. I have suggested him as a vendor myself but that really doesn't change the nature of the advertising tactics they have employed.

    I'll remain interested in seeing unbiased and unsolicited reviews of this knife in the future from those who purchase it.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  13. spikedog

    spikedog

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    no doubt mark and Phaedrus are very close, but mark is a stand up guy and stands behind all his products, i bet if you asked him to borrow a Ultimatum for a review he would have no problem with it for a small deposit maybe
     
  14. chinacats

    chinacats

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    BDL,

    I surely have ultimate respect for what you have to say regarding knives and interestingly many other subjects as well.  As to this subject,  I have seen you look to others on these forums for professional advice when purchasing new knives so you understand the consumer end of things.  That being said, I have seen on multiple occasions recently where you said as a disclaimer that you were doing some paid writing for Mark...I feel that this does qualify for the discussion at hand, do you disagree?  I still have respect for what you say and wouldn't question the integrity of your reviews, but let's at least call a spade a spade--or advertising advertising. 

    Peace,

    Chinacats
     
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  15. chinacats

    chinacats

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    Since I obviously have ruffled some feathers here, let me at least restate my viewpoint which is just that...a viewpoint.

    Let me begin by saying that I like to view myself as a fairly well informed consumer, sorting through the BS is what most often gets you to the point of knowledgeable decision making.

    1)  I have bought multiple Japanese knives from Mark and have spoken to him on the phone quite a few times--in my opinion he has been very helpful and honest.
    2)  His service is exceptional as are Koki and Jon's by way of reputation.
    3)  If I hadn't read multiple message boards I would not have bought from CKTG--meaning that when first visiting his site there are so many blow sunshine up your a#% reviews that I automatically call BS...as I do on any other site with almost perfect reviews where everyone names the owner by name.  Again, this is not directed at Mark though I would feel more comfortable if his reviews weren't blaring out on every page...again almost all are positive (with only few random exceptions).  Why not eliminate them completely...most are nothing but fairly honest attempts by folks to make themselves feel good about their last $200 knife purchase...almost none have any useful product descriptions unless you count people talking about oob sharpness which is a freaking joke--as at least most everyone here is aware.  Again, this is Mark's business and he can and should run it as he sees best fit, I just feel as if most of this type information is insulting to the average consumer.  Soliciting positive reviews on forums is sketchy business and the reputation that could follow is something that would likely tarnish (not patina) your business for some time to come--again not accusing, just stating appearance/perception.
    4)  I am not a professional cook though I have spent considerable time in professional kitchens--I understand a chef/cook taking advantage of a fair offer, but at least be up front about the background.
    5)  I treasure the reviews and information that I can glean from this and other forums.  This means that I come here for unbiased (or at least as much as possible) information by technically qualified users.  I can usually weed out what I need just from searching through older threads, finding too much information is usually the problem.
    6)  When people are talking highly about a product they have not tried I get suspicious.  When people scream in defense, I get more suspicious...I'm just saying...
    7)  I am in no way questioning anyone's integrity and hope there is no real reason to do this.
    8)  The OP asked for your thoughts--I obliged--only with my honest opinion.

    All this being said, I do hope that Mark can help to regenerate interest in American made knives--whatever god you may or may not believe in would know that more products made in this country are a good thing.  I sure can't afford most of the good quality knives made in the states, at least his knives are affordable for the masses (though more expensive than the Sab he is supposedly copying), and with some good R&D (including feedback from you chefs) he may have a shot.  I just want to see it done the right way so I can feel good about potentially trying one myself and then possibly recommending his knives to others. 

    One final note, I do think that from the picture of the knife, the profile looks to be more rounded than my Sab's but that could just be the dynamics of photography.

    Let's all go have a beer,

    Cheers,

    Chinacats
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  16. spikedog

    spikedog

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    well said, o.k. i"m buying!
     
  17. racineboxer

    racineboxer

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    Nice handle.  Somewhat thick and sturdy with a significant distal taper to a long, pointy, thin tip.  A workhorse type knife.  I'd like to see a little better finish on the blade grind for $200.  Overall a nice knife and made in the U.S.A. is kinda cool and somewhat rare these days.
     
  18. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    That was actually a typo- I meant to say I didn't want to come off a shill but I noticed it too late to change it.  I take no offense, but for information my review does not appear at all at the CKtG site since I only tried the prototype, not the production blade.  The "review" was feedback for him, and it was more "rewards program" for a "frequent flyer" than a bribe.

    I don't work for CKtG in any conventional sense.  If anything I am an independent contractor.  I have done finish sharpening for a couple handfuls of knives, but beyond that I have no affiliation except as a long standing (and happy) customer.
     
  19. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    BTW, I don't think it's a "joke" to discuss OOtB sharpness.  I could personally care less if it's sharp OOtB- I almost always sharpen a new knife before I use it no matter how sharp it is.  So far I've only ever found one that I doubt I could improve upon, and technically it was finish sharpened before the sale but after the maker was done with it.  But lots of people do care.  For non-enthusiasts, the sharpest the knife will ever be is when it's new.  So if it's not very sharp new they're in for disappointment.

    I also disagree that allowing users to post reviews damages their worth.  Amazon.com is a great example of reviews that are very useful.  While it's true that there are few bad reviews @ CKtG, just peruse the products- Mark doesn't sell much "junk".  If you don't like the knife it's probably because it didn't suit your particular style or you got a defective piece. 

    Lastly, I probably shouldn't even have mentioned that I occasionally sharpen knives for Mark.  I get no discount at all when I purchase from him, nor do I get any kind of "kickback" for posting a review.  For all I know he doesn't even read them.  If you read any of my reviews I think you'll find they're pretty much "warts and all."

    I will almost certainly buy an Ultimatum when the M390 models come in, and I will certainly share my opinions here and elsewhere.  Take them with a grain of salt if you will but I pull no punches.  A disappointing product will be described as such.  So far CKtG has a pretty strong track record.  The only issue I'm aware of is a batch of Addict 2s that had some noticeable overgrind on the last 2 mm near the right heel.  Those of use who sharpened them for Mark put a couple hours per knife into fixing the issue, so anyone who bought one finish sharpened never would have noticed.
     
  20. chinacats

    chinacats

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    Phaedrus,

    I do not call into question your integrity.  That being said, "If anything I am an independent contractor.  I have done finish sharpening for a couple handfuls of knives, but beyond that I have no affiliation..." or "The "review" was feedback for him, and it was more "rewards program" for a "frequent flyer" than a bribe," this to me is an affiliation...again not saying you can't be unbiased, but as an independent contractor it is not wise to step on the hand that may be writing you a check...or giving you a discount on knives.  It is more than obvious that most people are extremely happy purchasing from Mark (again, include me here), though this is not my point...I just want to know when that affiliation exists, because then I have the ability to take it with a grain of salt.  As BDL has stated numerous times lately, he is being paid to do some writing for Mark...fine and I will take that too with a grain of salt--especially when he recommends a Richmond knife--not because of any lack of integrity (or any issue with the knife itself), but because sometimes these things influence our words/ideas, intentionally or not.

    As to oob sharpness, I agree that many will enjoy this particular quality...worthless as it is to anyone with decent sharpening skills.  Most of the same people that will enjoy this will also be swayed by the 'sucker reviews' on the site as well.  Sucks to be them.

    Peace,

    Chinacats
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012