Sabatier Repair?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by saraf01, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. saraf01


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    Cook At Home
    Today, I broke more than an inch off the tip of my beautiful Sabatier Cuisine de France High Carbon Steel Chef's knife that I've had more than 20 years. I'm so upset with myself that I can't stand it. I received the knife set as a gift and you can't even get them any more.

    Please, can someone let me know what to do to get the knife repaired? I have the tip and everything. I can't stand the thought of throwing it away. The whole set has been fabulous. If it helps, I'm located in the Boston area.

    Any suggestions are sincerely and gratefully appreciated.
  2. coup-de-feu


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    Professional Chef
    I don't know if it can be welded back on, I kind of doubt it.  You say 'tip', how much did you break off?  You could always reshape the knife on a grinder so its new tip is at a point on the broken edge.  Then it will just be a bit shorter, that's all.
  3. knifesavers


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    Sorry but nothing can be put back on. The welding would destroy the temper of the blade.

    Perhaps a bladesmith could do something to reattach it by removing the handles and basically reforging it but it would be exceptionally expensive.

    The Best Things has what is likely the closest you can get without prowling Ebay.

    As far as the current blade goes it can be reshaped to form a tip so it would be a useful tool but it is a tricky process to avoid burning the blade. A typical bench grinder stone will burn it in a blink.

    Do seek out a qualified sharpener that does repairs and discuss it.

    Take the broken tip and place the point at the end of the break. Draw a line tracing the tip section onto the end of what remains to get an idea what you can end up with.

    Post a picture of the damage.

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  4. benuser


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    Home Cook
    Sorry to hear about your misadventure. Tip repair is quite easy, though, especially with carbon steel.
    You cut off a straight line, from the spine, by abrading under an edge of 30 to 60 degree, till you reach the edge. Than you may decide to smooth the new spine curve.
    You may easily perform this with sandpaper in the P120-600 range.
    It will take you very little time.
    Later on you may see that some thinning is needed as the distal taper has to be restored.
    The new tip will be a little lower than the original one. This can be corrected while sharpening. Before doing so, I would suggest to give the new tip a try.
  5. boar_d_laze


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    Cook At Home
    Everyone's right about repair.  No one can put the tip back on the knife, but a new tip -- which won't be as graceful as the old, sorry -- can be ground onto the blade. 

    But that's not the entire answer, either.

    Cuisine de France is not a knife maker, it's an importer/wholesaler/retailer who's been active in the US mostly on the east coast and Amazon.  Many if not all Cuisine de France au carbones were made by K-Sabatier and labeled Cuisine de France with a marque of a lion rampant whose profile looks something like a backwards "K." 

    I think at least some of the stainless knives were made by K-Sabatier as well, but am not sure.  And speaking of "not sure," I'm not even sure if K-Sabatier was Cuisine de France's only maker for au carbones or not.  At least they're of the K-Sabatier type as opposed to the Thiers-Issard type -- not that there's much difference. 

    However au carbone and carbon are not the same thing as high carbon.  All steels are alloys of iron and carbon.  Some steels have other elements and compounds added in order to enhance certain qualities.  For instance, "stainless" steel has at least 13% chromium by weight.  The terms "stain resistant," and "semi-stainless" steels are not as well defined but "stain resistant" typically means between 9% and 13% chromium; and "semi-stainless" runs from around 5% to 9%.  Obviously, stain resistance is improved by chromium; but it's a mixed bag because chromium reduces another desirable quality called "strength." 

    By way of another relevant example, "high carbon" steel alloys have at least 0.50% carbon by weight unless the steels are made in Europe in which case 0.45% steels have been grandfathered into the EU code, largely to accommodate German steel makers.  As a rule, the greater the amount of carbon, the "stronger" the alloy.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "high carbon," in terms of whether or not they are stainless or carbon.  Sadly, even the good, French Sabatier makers use relatively undistinguished stainless. Although, I haste to add that a super-duper alloy is not the be-all end-all of a knife -- and if you loved your knife that's plenty good for me.

    If your knives are of the stainless and relatively inexpensive type -- for instance from the modern and widely marketed "15 Piece Set," they were probably made with cheap labor and a cheap alloy in China and replacing a knife with another of better quality but not the same brand will be easy.

    Stainless or carbon, if it's a good quality knife, and you're in North America, the best place to go for a more or less identical replacement is probably K-Sabatier's, online outlet (which -- once you count shipping -- is a great deal less expensive than its European counterpart; on the other hand, the European store engraves).  The T-I Sabatiers sold by The Best Things are as good as K-Sabatiers but very slightly different.  There's no reason you wouldn't be as happy with a T-I as with a K-Sab or vice versa.

    Knives are all about sharpness, and sharpness is all about sharpening and maintenance.  Finding the right knife for you is going to depend somewhat on how you sharpen and maintain.  So?

    Hope this helps,

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  6. mike9


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    Former Chef
    A picture would help but a regrind is probably all there is to be done.