Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Hock Kitchen Knives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    N. Texas
    Posts
    26

    Hock Kitchen Knives

    SWMBO is hinting that she'd like some nicer kitchen knives than the Chinese Heinkels set we have. Has anyone tried the Hock kitchen knife kits? Seems like a fun project and a good excuse to support a member of the community.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    559
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Lucas View Post
    SWMBO is hinting that she'd like some nicer kitchen knives than the Chinese Heinkels set we have. Has anyone tried the Hock kitchen knife kits? Seems like a fun project and a good excuse to support a member of the community.
    I just looked at his site. I suggest a lot more research into what your SWMBO expects. The kits are a very German profile, (very curved cutting edge), a little or a lot shorter than typical, and made from hard O1 steel. I'd expect these to sharpen easily, get ridiculously sharp, but to patina and to rust without special care. If the appearance, extra care, and profile are acceptable, I bet you could make some custom scales and have a real winner.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    20,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Joshua, Does your wife want a full set of new knives or does she want to build a set over time?

    It has been a few decades since my wife went with me to purchase a couple of decent kitchen knives. This is one of the things missed about my previous home. We were a quick ride to two major cities with plenty of home kitchen and restaurant suppliers.

    One very helpful part of our purchase was the salesperson showed us how to choose the overall length for our knives. The distance from the bend at the inside of the elbow to the center of the palm of one's hand offers an ideal leverage for chopping vegetables on a cutting board.

    A longer knife is good for carving turkey or slicing a roast.

    Shorter knives for paring or eating.

    If you do decide to acquire knives one or two at a time, it isn't hard to make your own knife block.

    Here is a post on making one > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?240742

    Kitchen Knives.jpg

    Since this picture was taken, four steak knives were purchased at a yard sale for a dollar and replaced the bottom row of knives.

    One suggestion if you do make your own holder is to make the slots a bit longer to allow for possible future changes to the knives.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Lucas View Post
    SWMBO is hinting that she'd like some nicer kitchen knives than the Chinese Heinkels set we have. Has anyone tried the Hock kitchen knife kits? Seems like a fun project and a good excuse to support a member of the community.
    Joshua,

    I expect the Hock kits would make excellent knifes. As mentioned they will take some extra care but I've been using Japanese white steel knifes for years and the care between the two, Hock and Japanese, will be the same. I do not find it troublesome and the extra sharpness is well worth the small amount of extra care. If your wife wants really sharp knifes that hold an edge and can be very specialized then take a look at some better quality hand made Japanese knifes.

    ken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    1,724
    I'm sure the steel on those is wonderful, but the lack of a bolster would make them a non-starter for me. I end up with a blister or worse using a knife with a sharp edge on the back of the heel. Handle shape is also very individual and critical to comfortable use. I'd strongly suggest going to a (several) kitchen and chef supply places where you can hold the knives you are considering and evaluate them for comfort and grip. I'm sure you have the technology to give most any knife a decent edge; I find other factors than the ultimate quality of the steel to be way more important in choosing a knife. I keep a diamond hone in the knife drawer and touch them up frequently, so I don't think I'd notice subtle differences in ability to hold an edge.

    Humorously enough, I do 90% of my slicing and dicing in the kitchen with a carbon steel Chinese cleaver (no bolster) I bought for about $4 over 40 years ago. I own knives that cost 50X more, but they don't work as well for me as that humble tool.

  6. #6
    I remember being very disappointed at how thick these knife blanks were when they first appeared. The paring knife is 1/8 thick at the spine and for much of the width and length. In contrast my own paring knife is 3/64 thick at the spine, less than half the thickness. And my knife tapers all the way from the spine to the bevel so it is much thinner going through foods.

    The Hock slicing knife is 3/32 thick; mine is 3/64, half.

    The Hock 8" chef's knife is 1/8 also; my 9"knife is 1/8 only very near the handle and the spine tapers to whole length. And it also has a straight taper from spine to a very narrow bevel.

    As David suggests, I would make sure these profiles are what you want by measuring your current knives, thickness, length, width, to make sure you are comfortable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    223
    I haven't been there in a decade (or two), but the Sur le Table in Plano, if it is still open at all, used to let me bring in a vegetable or two to slice up while trying out knives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,516
    America's test kitchen has high praise for Victorinox "Fibrox" line - which has a composite handle.

    The steel won't take as keen an edge as higher carbon content blades, but they're less prone to rust.

    I purchased a 15 V paring knife (Tuo brand, Amazon) after one of my teenage home product testers broke an ancient Sabatier opening a paint can.

    They offer a "Pakkawood" scaled version with a nicely weighted tang. I wouldn't avoid Chinese made knives, particularly if you can return them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Meredith, NH
    Posts
    117
    I have made two Hock knives.
    The blades sharpen easily and hold an edge reasonably well, however, not in the same league as a Japanese knife.
    The main drawback is the blades discolor INSTANTLY cutting some vegetables. The stains do not come out either, even with Bar Keepers Friend.

    Regards,

    PCG
    "If you want things to go right, pay attention to everything that can go wrong"

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Matthews View Post
    America's test kitchen has high praise for Victorinox "Fibrox" line - which has a composite handle.

    The steel won't take as keen an edge as higher carbon content blades, but they're less prone to rust.
    They're pretty much good quality commercial knives (as in commercial use). These are what we have. They work well, I won't buy anything better as no one else in the house will handle a knife properly anyway. They're forgiving of abuse, easy to clean and pretty easy to sharpen over all. I prefer man made handles, generally, to wooden in a kitchen knife. The same goes for my chopsticks.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    The Sunny Southeast
    Posts
    576
    I've made a couple knives from Ron's kits. They are very nice and as has been mentioned, easy to sharpen when needed. I think the average homeowner would have sharper knives as a rule just because these are easier to sharpen. We wash and keep ours on a mag block so we've not had rust issues. I finished them with Macassar ebony scales. These knives are a fun project.

    Ron

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    983
    Jim, I store my knives upside down so the blade is not cutting the wood every time you draw or replace a knife.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  13. I've done a couple of the paring knives for my sons and I agree with Ron, they are a fun project. They like them well enough and are not put off by the little bit of extra attention a carbon steel blade requires. In hindsight, I suspect they wish I'd thinned the handles a bit more - they are comfy for someone for big hands but they are a bit chunky. That is something that is best done before you mix the epoxy - DAMHIKT.

    For many folks the blade staining and needing to dry promptly would be non-starters. My kids grew up around ancient Dexters and Sabatiers that were blue with age so it was not a big deal for them.

    I generally prefer a pretty stiff parer so I didn't find the thickness off-putting. If someone is a fan of a thin bladed, very flexible parer, they would certainly be diappointed.

    If you/your wife are looking for "a set" I suspect the Hock's will not check all of the boxes you might have. I haven't been excited enough by any of the other profiles to give them a try.

    Even though I've been using bolstered kitchen knives for more than 50 years, I am becoming a fan of my son's MAC Pro knives. They may seem a bit delicate for someone who is used to using French, German or US knives but boy do they cut. i can only imagine what the high end Japanese knives are like.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    2,680
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    it isn't hard to make your own knife block.

    Here is a post on making one > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?240742

    Kitchen Knives.jpg
    This has been on my list of things to do for a long time....

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    20,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    This has been on my list of things to do for a long time....
    With the eclectic collection of knives and two forks this holds there was no other way but to make my own.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •