How to Re Design a Chef Knife ! Chef Knife Makeover 1/4

How to Re Design a Chef Knife ! Chef Knife Makeover 1/4


Hey guys, salut, this is Alex, so this is a new series, it’s exciting and I wanna remake my chef knife. This is my chef knife makeover. How to customize a chef knife, new design, new shape, new handle, new edge, and of course, new style. To catch a specific episode, hit the link. Viewers’ discretion is advised. In this series, we’re using dangerously sharp and stupidly powerful tools, so, would you ever wanna use your fingers or your eyes in the future, wear protections. Choosing a chef knife. So, breaking news, I don’t have a forge so I’m not gonna start with a slab of steel, instead I’m gonna start with a knife base. Gosh! You can’t call yourself a knife maker! Well, it’s all a matter of perspective ‘cuz, if you start with a slab of steel, I can argue you didn’t actually mine the minerals yourself. See? Key ingredients to a proper chef knife are: 1. Blade should be about 15 to 20 cm long and 4 to 5 cm wide. Smaller or bigger ones are okay, but not as versatile. 2. A full tang. It means the blade doesn’t stop at the handle. It continues all the way through. Those knives are more solid and better balanced. 3. High quality stainless steel. I mean, carbon steel may or may not be sharper than stainless steel. I don’t care ‘cuz I will never be careful enough to avoid rust. I get stains on my stainLESS steel. 4. Price must stay under 50 bucks. This way, if you screw it up, it’s gonna be painful, but not deadly. Ordering a chef knife. Immediately I have 2 brands in mind who respect those conditions. The first one is Zwilling J.A.Henckels, a German brand, and the second one is a Swiss one, Victorinox. Let me get this straight, although I should definitely be, I’m not paid by any of those brands to advertise. If you ever wanna reach out to me, then use my contact form on my website. Very subtle. So I went online and I ordered Zwilling chef knife for about 35 bucks. For the record, it was about 20% cheaper than in local stores around my place. Right, people, one of the most important studio updates to far: I’ve got a new countertop! Stainless steel on my mobile kitchen island. This is smooth. This is solid. And this is clean. So I ordered this one millimeter thick slab of stainless steel online for about 90 bucks. So smooth, like, I can’t wait to work a dough on it, like, or to make pizza. Oh, my pizza are going to be great. And that is the end of this studio update. I got it a few days later in the mail and out of the box, it feels good. The blade is not crazy sharp but overall, it’s a good tool. Knife design. Let’s do some Photoshop action just to show you what improvements I’m gonna make. So this is the original design, and this is the new one. First off, my shape is a bit different. I will keep the Japanese vibe but it’s gonna be more compact and I will also get rid of that little something which is wrong and bulky into the curve of the spine. Ew. Then, I’m gonna switch the handle for an oak wood one , so much more spirit. And also I will modify the knife butt to give it a sharper style. For that handle, I intend to use brass pins like in old school knives. And finally, I want to pimp my blade with at least my name on it. I mean, I might go just a bit further, we’ll see how it goes. Shaping the blade. So I find it easier to work with a disassembled knife. You don’t have to do it. If you wanna do it, I will post a step-by-step in a future episode. So using a round shape, in this case a saucer, I’m drawing a nice regular shape on the tip of my blade. Strongly secure the blade to the workbench, and work your way slowly until those red marks have completely disappeared. Two options here, you can use a grinder or in my case, an electric file. So guys, that’s it! If you like the project, then give it a like, thumbs up, and share that over your social media. Spread it like butter. You know the deal. But most importantly, subscribe to the channel for the next episode which will be about making a new handle for our chef knife. Wanna see something completely different, then watch this video instead, where I made a brioche bread better. Take care guys, bye bye, salut!

100 thoughts on “How to Re Design a Chef Knife ! Chef Knife Makeover 1/4”

  1. Alex forgive me for assuming you to be "just another chef on YouTube." Even after subscribing many months ago, I didn't take any credence towards the channel. Watching your brioche recipe a few weeks ago made me realize this error. Your bring a sense of presence to the kitchen (as if I'm there myself learning with you). You have wonderful characteristics: your funny, talented, charismatic and you're not afraid point out your mistakes. I love and respect that. That is why your are now definitely in my top five (maybe even three) favorites Chefs on YouTube

  2. Can you talk a little more about why you modified the blade as you did? Is it just aesthetics or does the new shape affect how you use it?

  3. Dear Alex, would you please recreate this bearnaise sauce http://youtu.be/XUl6OCL1UMg?list=FLGoNjwX0e25TtNmWnI1dImw Thank you.

  4. Je parle très bien français et très bien anglais mais je te comprends pas. Essaye d'améliorer ton accent. Mais je te félicite pour tes vidéos et pour avoir les couilles de faire ce que tu fais

  5. +Alex French Guy Cooking Cool! I love this new series. Your engineering background was way too underrepresented so far! thumbs-up

  6. Major thumbs up for this Alex. BUT, I'm curious as to why you felt the need to shave off the edge of the blade? Better ergonomics?

  7. Bonjour Alex, Je m´ appelle Matthias. Je suis Autrichien. That´s my french after seven weeks of school. I hope it´s geting better because i want to travel to france and learn a lot of the french cuisine. Love this Re Design and your Videos!

  8. This is awesome. Been wanting to make my own knife for a while but been put off by having to buy a big bit of metal – this nicely gets round that! Can't wait to see how you brand your finished knife! Electroplating?

  9. AAA that is such an interesting concept ! love the idea ! can't wait to see the rest of the series 🙂

  10. Zwilling <3 I'm from a town next to the city Zwilling originates from, so I am proud of our local knife making.
    Still my nice knifes at home are from Rösle, because they just had the better discounts and I even own a set of steak knifes from Laguiole because I know that they are one of the most trusted french knife brands 🙂

  11. Hi Alex, nice video. Do you know the brand Tramontina? It is famous here in Brazil. I would like you to take a look, I am interested in your opinion. Thanks!

  12. Be sure to mention the difference between a genuine Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knife (manufactured in Germany) and Henckels international (Also branded J.A. Henckels International) which is an inferior brand manufactured to a much lower quality with a lower price to reflect that.

  13. Salut Alex, nice video!!! I'm going to also design a custom made knife 👍. Can you tell me the name of the song ?
    Merci en avance 🙂

  14. Hey! Such a cool idea! I think my boyfriend and I may try to make our own knives 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    By the way, love the music choice!

  15. I got a chinese vegetable cleaver/slicer, CCK 1303, it s now by far my best (and by far my cheapest) Chef knife, this thing is awesome ( I am really into carbon steel).

    IMO handle does not matter much has it s best to hold the blade between your thumb and index.

  16. I know that I'm quite late with that comment, but as a french guy you could have considered a Chef Knife by Opinel 🙂
    They are in a comparable price range and in my opinion some of the best cooking knives available 🙂

  17. Another great video Alex! Keep up the good work! How did you attach the stainless steel countertop? Construction adhesive?

  18. Once you've made a cheap practise you should go out and get a blade made from something a little more fancy, s35vn, s30v, VG10 etc. Real high quality stainless steel that holds a far better edge.

  19. I like your design for rounding off the tip of the knife and making the back end of the knife have a sharper cutoff. I don't like how changed the handle from temperature resistant resign and steel rivets to a wooden handle with brass rivets. Brass expands and contracts more than steel causing gaps for bacteria and other food pathogens to get into your knife and rot it, wood holds pathogens like a sponge. For fun you could of turned the 20° German blade into a 16° Japanese style cutting blade. You need to sharpen the blade more often, but the cuts are just so silky smooth. Maybe a couple of hand grooves sanded into the handle.

  20. I have set of Zwilling J.A Henckels Pro series knives and I love them. The edge angle is different than my Japanese knives. Can You talk about the difference between European knives and Japanese knives. Which one do prefer??

  21. I prefer the 18 degree sharpening/cutting angle of the Yoshihiro knives. They're always the highest grade stainless steel and maintain their edge much longer.

  22. When knifes can can last you decades, if cared for properly, why not get the best on the market? Why scrimp and cheap out? Buy expensive, buy once. My preference if handmade Japanese.

  23. Im not sure you really need the 6000 jap stone for your knife. The knife you use (ZWILLING) is not made of a very hard tempered steel so it will probably not hold that fine grinded edge for long anyway. Also if you test on your arm cutting hair ..make sure to test in both directions.

  24. Im disappointed Alex, I thought you sought the pursuit of knowledge &, quality over qualitity. You have your knives all your life, thats too long to compromise you tools with cheap!.

    In reply to some of the comment…ACTUALLY…woods like Oak have anti-bactieria resins in them that resist decay…thats what makes Oak excellent for boat building…AND…copper based alloys also are bactieria killers (brass is an alloy of copper & zinc). Copper rivets would be better. Heat expansion isn't an issue with wood, wood is forgiving and absorbs expansion (of rivets!). Research into chopping boards shows Stainless steel & plastics harbour bacteria more than many woods…wood (or copper if you must have metal, but avoid salts & acids) for cutting surfaces…stainless vs stainless makes for stuffed knives all the time. Key is everything you do, should look after your knives & they'll look after you.

  25. So unnecessary. Zwilling knives are well-thought-out. Did you consider that – even just slightly- you probably deteriorated the centre of area? I understand the thing with the name tho.

  26. Dude , first time i saw one of your videos , i didn't like them or you at all , but few videos later , i love your channer , good job dude , have a greate day !

  27. When you buy a stainles steel knife or any stainles steel appliances counter top or oven or hob or fridge always Check it with a magnet if a magnet sticks to it is non stainles steel ! Dont buy fake stainles!

  28. Hey Alex, les couteaux K-Sabatier sont d'excellent qualité, ils son français (fabriqué à Thiers) et pour 50 € tu peux avoir leur couteau de chef. Tu peux même les acheter dans une coutellerie et faire vivre les commerces autour de toi à la place d'acheter tout sur Amazon…

  29. What is the music playing around the 5:00 mark? On nearly every other video I've seen you list it but I can't find reference to this one!

  30. It looks more like a santoku than a chef knife. A chef knife has a pointy tip, depending on the design style (german, french or japanese), the tip position may vary in relation to the spine or the axis of the tang. The purpose of the tip is basically for deboning and general process of protein, it also creates balance and a fulcrum for rocking. The edge of chef knives are generally curved for rocking and slicing. Santokus in the other hand is a non-traditional japanese design evolved from the usuba. The straighter edge is meant for chopping (the eastern cutting style). A general purpose chef knife may be between 6" to 10.5", being the 8" and 9.5"(french) the most populars for general prep. Of course, different knives have different purposes and each chef has he's or her's own poreference. The criteria exposed is based on your own preference, budget and needs, but by no means it "must" be like that. Like wine, the best knife is the one you like and can afford!

  31. What's the difference between the knives mentionned in the video and a cheap stainless steel IKEA chef knife? The latter being available for 12€ seems like a bargain!

  32. Did you published any plans for the kitchen island ? I would be super interested to build one similar. Great job

  33. Stainless Vs Carbon is an invalid comparison when it comes to edge retention and sharpness. There are too many different stainless and carbon alloys that vary wildly in data sheet tests and specs. The name stainless usually comes from having a certain chromium content in the steel. But just because a steel has chromium in it, doesn't determine the over all hardness you can achieve after QT process. So example: You have got 10 blades, 5 stainless and 5 high carbon. You won't find any correlation in the results coming from the steel being stainless or not in a test. There are stainless tool steels that are very hard, and there are stainless steels that are quite soft. There are high carbon steel blades that are low HRC and high carbon steel blades that have high HRC. So the stainless Vs Carbon debate is useless when it comes to edge retention. The hardest steels have a HRC of around 69, HSS steels can reach just under 70, cobalt steels reach over 65. 1095 ranges from 58-62 depending on oil or water quench, I can get 1095 to 62 HRC with a water quench. So judge steels individually as they come with the data sheets, don't lump steels into arbitrary categories because you will waste your time. If somebody says "Which steel holds a better edge, stainless or carbon" the only answer you can logically give is "That depends on which stainless, and which carbon steel you are comparing" D2 for example is a stainless tool steel, people forget D2 is stainless because it's called high carbon tool steel, but in fact it's technically a stainless tool steel.

  34. Get yourself an Opinel Chef Knife as a base, not full tang but plenty strong, but has a besser steel, which is hardened a bit harder and costs about 30-35€. They got a Santoku and a European Chefs Knife.

  35. Your 'key ingredients to a good chefs knife are ridiculous':
    Most people use a 210mm gyuto/chef's knife in the kitchen, some use a 240mm.
    Most Japanese makers make their knives with a wa (Japanese style) handle. They are seen as the best in the world, yet their knives don't have a full tang.
    There are hundreds of superb knives that cost more than $50, especially Japanese ones. My handmade kotetsu 210mm gyuto in Aogami Super is amazing and cost me £185.
    Carbon steels can take a steeper edge and can get sharper and cut more efficiently. Learn to care for your tools and you won't be restricted to stainless.

    It's amazing how the large majority of chefs/cooks know absolutely nothing about knives, when they're the most important tool in the kitchen. Then people at home look at them and think, look, Jamie Oliver recommended this knife or Gordon Ramsay thinks you should sharpen your knives with a honing steel. The clue is in the name, it re aligns your edge, it doesn't sharpen it. You need a whetstone for that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *