Thoughts on MAC and Global

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Joined Jan 27, 2018
For the sake of curiosity, as these brands seem to each have a bit of a following, I happened across samples of each that were on sale so tried them out. At this point I am only talking superficial, initial impressions, but so far they don’t strike me as the best fit for me. A lot of things about the Global design makes sense but aesthetically it doesn’t feel natural in my hand. The MAC Damascus handle is a little better but the center bulge is similarly not easy to get accustomed to.

What are people’s impressions of how well they hold an edge and resist abuse long-term? Basically will those factors over time prove to make up for my aesthetic quips? I’m no longer so sure I am as enthused about getting more as my primary kitchen knives when the time comes for me to make the decision.
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
I have had the 10.75" professional series MAC chef for probably 5 years now and love it. It is a workhorse, holds an edge and stands up well to the rigors of professional use day in and day out. There is very little that I can't do with it.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
The MAC Damascus handle is a little better but the center bulge is similarly not easy to get accustomed to.

A Dremel with drum sander pretty easily takes care of minor handle idiosyncrasies. I prefer to see folks learn how to adapt to small differences, but that's personal opinion, not Law.

On a similar note, I was surprised to see my little used wusty Ikon has suffered scale shrinkage. I didn't think that synthetic material did that.
 
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Joined Mar 14, 2018
I personally like Global chef knives. I think they are fairly easy to sharpen but will be a beater knife after the not so long-term. They do take a little time to getting used to, and you will get a sweet callus on the outside of your index finger when you start out with one.
 
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Joined Mar 14, 2018
They come with convexed bevels and will need some good thinning. Rounding at least the right side of the spine will make them much more comfortable, as with most knives.
I just adjusted to them. I've been using them for a decade now. They are a pretty good all around knife. If you're dicing cases of butternut squash or something similar I would grab a different knife for that.
 
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Joined May 29, 2013
Not a fan of Globals.

I really like Macs, to the point that my day-to-day chef's knife is a Mac BK-100. Good workhorse blade, takes and holds a decent edge. I have multiple Mac's in a wide collection of series, including Original, Superior, Chef, "Mighty"/Professional and Ultimate

What I'm not a fan of is Damascus. I don't see any practical advantage in use. It's basically nothing but a collector's item, and that limits its use as a day-to-day blade.

GS
 
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Joined Jan 27, 2018
...I really like Macs, to the point that my day-to-day chef's knife is a Mac BK-100. Good workhorse blade, takes and holds a decent edge. I have multiple Mac's in a wide collection of series, including Original, Superior, Chef, "Mighty"/Professional and Ultimate

What I'm not a fan of is Damascus. I don't see any practical advantage in use. It's basically nothing but a collector's item, and that limits its use as a day-to-day blade.

GS

Is there any objective reason to think their Damascus will be any less durable than any of their other blades? I’ve come to entirely prefer the Japanese-style handle, and the only MACs that (sort of) have them are their Damascus line.

And especially because I am not a full-time chef, heck I’m usually cooking just for myself. How big a fashion faux pas can it possibly be if I’m using a Damascus knife cooking for my lonesome?
 
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Joined Jan 27, 2018
By the way, the only (faux) Damascus by MAC I see is with Western handles.
http://www.macknife.nl/macknife-damascus.html
Better have the Professional ones instead.

Oh, so they still count as Western...well, where they deviate from the more linear look and feel of Japanese handles is exactly what I am less thrilled with when I’m doing anything with it. The western-style handles with the shaping that holds your hand in the center is even more disconcerting to me.

I’m feeling more like I’ll look for something else for my future main chef and paring knives then, though I really wanted to like the MAC. Some friends with pro chef connections spoke really highly of them.

And thank you for the heads up about Damascus having cosmetic issues over time. I’ve picked up a few Iseya knives that are Damascus and haven’t noticed anything problematic with them yet but will be watching for it. Maybe with as light-duty as my cooking is it may take a really long time anyway...
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
I have no problem sharpening my Global's.
But frankly, I think you shouldn't look too much at the brand. Just buy something that you are comfortable with and preferably like the look of as well.
Everyone's hands are different.
@benuser mentioned Japanese Chef's Knives. That site is definitely worth looking at. The carbonext knives seem to be on sale....
 
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Joined May 29, 2013
Technically, it's not so much a performance problem with Damascus, but rather an allocation of aesthetics and financial resources.

The perception of value for Damascus is entirely based upon appearance. Any scratch patterns will dilute the future market value. And the cladding steels are very soft. This means that any usage will place the future market value at risk. Benuser's comments above about the process to restore are spot-on about the PITA to restore.

Whether you want to undertake such a risk is entirely up to you. Performancewise, if the grinds are the same, there's no really significant difference between a Damascus blade and a simple san-mai blade.

Which does bring up another point. The grind on the face of a Damascus blade can be done to enhance the visual pattern developed. I have a Hiromoto Damascus which has a grind which shows the Damascus effect - but is extremely thick behind the edge. Such a thickening is highly detrimental to cutting performance. (mea culpa - I bought the knife as a package deal with another blade - which other blade was my priority in the purchase - so it didn't affect my overall economic self-justification).

Remember, the number of Damascus blades which have been produced is extremely high. There's no longer any exclusiveness to the Damascus effect. And you are presumably paying a premium for Damascus.

All in all, my preference is to not want to bother with Damascus.

GS
 
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