FAQ - Tools for chefs & butchers
What does ‘edge retention’ of the cutting edge mean?
The edge retention of a knife when applied to the material that is to be cut represents the length of time that the knife remains sharp. The sharpness of a knife depends on several factors, one of them being the cutting edge or grinding angle (e.g. 30°). The grinding angle is a compromise between stability (large angle = more stable) and sharpness (small angle = sharper). An excessively small angle gives an initial impression of extreme sharpness, but the cutting edge is hypersensitive. If the angle is too blunt, a greater application of force will be required to make a precise cut, and the blade will be more difficult to resharpen.
The cutting base is also a factor, as is the proper handling of the knife (for cutting bones, fruit kernels etc. a knife is not the right implement). A polished cutting edge, as with our PremierPlus series, guarantees a fine, precise cut when relatively little force is applied. The structure of the material being cut will be retained. As a result of the polishing the cutting edge is deburred, yielding improved sharpness.
Our accumulated experience and expertise, the constant exchange of information with our customers in the professional sphere as well as kitchen chefs and aspiring amateur cooks, and last but not least the employees of Friedrich Dick company, who work with ‘their’ knives on a daily basis, are your guarantee of the best possible grinding and edge retention.
My F. Dick knife has rusted, although it claims to be ‘rustproof’. Why?
Here can be several reasons for this. Dish washer cleaning materials may attack the steel, resulting in a ‘rust film’. And by the way, fruit acids – especially citrus fruits – also attack the steel and which results to pitting corrosion. Please always wash the knife by hand after use.
Can a chef’s knife be washed in the dish washer?
You should avoid doing this as dish washers use highly aggressive cleaning agents which can attack the steel. The residual steam and moisture when the machine is closed can result in corrosion. High-pressure water jets can easily blunt the finely ground cutting edge of the knife. The best course is to clean your knife immediately after use, using a cloth and a mild washing up liquid.
Up to what temperature can a butcher’s knife be cleaned?
According to official hygiene requirements, a knife should be cleaned at a temperature of 82° C for at least 3 seconds. As far as our materials are concerned, knives can be washed in steam at temperatures up to 120° C.
What does the Rockwell (HRc) measuring unit stand for?
Rockwell is a standard international measuring unit for the hardness of technical surfaces. The abbreviation is HRc: HR stands for Hardness Rockwell, the c stands for ‘cone’, as the measurement is based on the depth to which a diamond cone can penetrate. The hardness test is carried out with the help of a 120° diamond cone.
Where can I get my knife ground?
To retain the best possible cutting edge, knives should only be resharpened by a specialist – like a hardware store specialising in steel goods or a butcher. Never let your top-quality knives be sharpened by a door-to-door knife grinder.
Why are there so many different types of knife?
For every working operation there is a knife to match – seeing that every working step is different and makes different demands on the knife. In our Knife Manual you will find detailed explanations about the different types of knife and their uses. Knife manual
What is the difference between ceramic knives and steel knives?
Ceramic knives hold their initial sharpness for a very long time, but it is hardly possible to resharpen them – it can only be done by a specialist sharpening service. Another problem is the risk of breakage or rupture of the cutting edge. If a ceramic knife falls to the ground, it is very likely to break.
Does Friedr. Dick stock ceramic knives?
No – for years we have been concentrating on reliable knife steels.
Why are there round, oval and tetragonal varieties of sharpening steel?
Users are bound to have their particular preferences – and sometimes there are even regional differences. One person prefers round, another oval. Speaking in general terms, we can make the following distinctions:
- Round: lightweight steel with punctiform sharpening surface
- Oval: contact over a wide area, yielding more rapid and effective grinding results
- Flat: linear contact, maximum effectiveness
- Tetragonal: combines two sharpening steels in one
When a butcher sharpens his knife, it looks so easy. Does Friedrich Dick have something simpler to offer?
For all those who lack practice in this field, Friedrich Dick offers a Rapid Steel / Master Steel product. With these pieces of equipment the sharpening angle is determined in advance, and it is easy to direct the knife. Just draw the knife through the sharpening slot, and your knife will be sharp in no time. Rapid Steel
What cutting base is the most suitable?
Plastic or wooden chopping boards are the best. Hard surfaces like glass or stone are liable to turn the cutting edge and it will quickly become blunt. cutting boards
How many kitchen knives should I have?
We would advise you to keep a basic assortment of knives in your kitchen, so as to cover all the main working operations for which they may be required. You can find detailed information in our Knife Manual.
Where can I find a grinding course or a grinding instruction manual?
We do not give grinding courses ourselves. But there are numerous suppliers specialising in this area. Our Knife Manual will give you a brief introduction to the use of the sharpening steel.knife manual
What sharpening steel is most suitable for domestic use?
For domestic use we recommend a coarse or rough sharpening steel. In the household you do not need to sharpen your knives that often, so it is more effective to use a coarse steel – a fine steel would take too long and so would be a waste of effort. As a fundamental principle, the more often you resharpen, the sooner your knives will be sharp again.
Can F. Dick knives be reground or the handles repaired at the factory?
The regrinding and repair of knives can be carried out more quickly and more cheaply at a hardware store specialising in steel goods. If you think there may be a fault in the materials or the production, return your Friedrich Dick knife to your dealer for further examination.
What is the qualitative difference between forged and stamped knives?
The forging process results in a concentration of the quality steel used, so that the toughness and effectiveness of the structure is enormously improved. This has particular implications for the length of service life of the cutting edge. Our forged knives are ideally balanced, making them extremely pleasant to work with.
What are the advantages of a forged knife?
Our forged knives are made from a single piece of steel. They have no welding seams and therefore no predetermined breaking points either. Moreover, our forged knives are ideally balanced, with the centre of gravity at the bolster. Top-quality steels are used for the production, guaranteeing a long service life of the knife.
How do I grind a knife on a whetstone, and what granular size is the right one?
- Put the sharpening stone in water for 5 to 10 minutes before using it. As soon as no more air bubbles can be seen, the stone has been sufficiently saturated.
- Please take care to keep on moistening the stone with water during grinding. The dust that comes off the stone during grinding should remain on the stone, forming a grinding compound.
- Always use our whetstone with the supplied non-slip holder.
- Start first with the coarser, orange side of the stone.
- Draw the blade away from the body and back towards yourself at an angle of ca. 15°, applying a light pressure over the entire surface area of the stone. Start with the tip of the blade. Repeat this process until a fine burr forms. It is very important to keep the same angle between the knife blade and the stone at all times.
- For an extremely fine and sharp cutting edge, repeat this process on the finer, white side of the stone.
- Finally wipe your whetstone and clean your knife carefully, using a mild cleaning agent.
Grain 360 is suitable for grinding out any unevenness or for resharpening; grain 1000 for whetting and polishing.
What is the best way of storing my F. Dick knife?
We recommend that you use our Edge Guard blade protector to store your knife. Alternatively you may use a knife block. At all events, the blade should be protected. Storage
Which is better, to grind a knife myself or take it to the grinder?
Knives can be sharpened at home with a whetstone up to a certain degree of sharpness. This can restore the cutting edge repeatedly. All the same, after a reasonable interval the knife should be reground with a machine in order to recreate its original sharpness and restore the ideal angle of the cutting edge.
How long is the guarantee on Friedr. Dick knives?
A lifelong guarantee is given on Friedr. Dick knives for quality or production defects.
Why do knife handles have so many different colours?
The different colours of handle are an aid to implementing the HACCP system and preventing cross-contamination. Of course, these colourful knives are also an eye-catching attraction in any kitchen and are extremely popular.
What effect has the Kullenschliff on the blade?
The Kullenschliff is to form air pockets between the blade and the foodstuff which prevents soft thin slices (of fatty foodstuffs in particular) adhering to the blade. With knives with Kullenschliff you can cut very thin slices, as is desirable with ham or salmon.
Why are the ASIACUT Yanagiba and Deba knives ground only on one side?
As a result of the one-sided grind, the material being cut is in contact with the blade only for a short time. As a result the friction to the material is reduced to a minimum. This is ideal if you want to make a long and persistent cut, as for the fine filleting or slicing of fish or meat. In this case, the angle to the material you are cutting does not need to be so steep. The Yanagiba and Deba knives have a one-sided grind that is only suitable for right-handed persons (in Japan, even today, all left-handed children are retrained to make them right-handed).
What are the benefits of multilayer steel?
Take as an example our three-layer steel knife, the 1778. Grandmother’s rusting carbon steel knife is still capable of cutting today – this one in quite an aggressive way. Carbon steel knives are no longer used today for hygienic reasons (they may develop rust which affects the taste). But to preserve the benefit of carbon steel in the cutting performance, we have set an ultra-thin layer of this material (the soul of the blade) between two high-alloy rustproof layers, using a sandwich procedure. As a result of V-shaped grinding, the aggressive carbon steel layer succeeds in cutting the material to which it is applied. to the 1778 series
What are damasteel blades, and what are their advantages?
Traditionally Damascus steel blades were fitted together and folded one layer after another. Technology had come no further at the time, and it was a masterpiece of the art of the forge. With the different materials used, it is still possible today to achieve an unbelievable toughness in the knife blade. Whereas in antiquity the main object was to prevent brittle materials from breaking (as with swords for instance), today the main feature of damascus steel is that the different properties of various steels are advantageously combined, so resulting in a generally outstanding edge retention and cutting capability. to the 1893 series
Are all riveted knives forged?
No. Riveted knives are generally found in the kitchen, but do not necessarily have to be top-quality knives or made from forged steel. This assumption harks back to the past, when the tooling of the handles involved skilled craftsmanship and so would only be carried out in the case of a knife of lasting value.
Are Friedr. Dick knives still produced in Germany?
All our butcher's knives and our high quality chef's knives are produced on site in Germany. The 1905 series, however, was developed in partnership with another company for reasons of technological feasibility. The technology of the handle, though, has been trademarked to our company.
Why are some sharpening steels coarse and others fine?
Coarse sharpening surface: for domestic use
Diamond: diamond surface for a very high level of abrasion
Standard: high ablation
Fine sharpening surface: low ablation
Polished: no abrasion, only for polishing and priming the cutting edge.
Depending on the coarseness or fineness of the sharpening steel surface you get a certain degree of surface roughness in the sharpened cutting edge. This greater or lesser surface roughness results from the stress marks that are left by the sharpening process. When the blade is correctly whetted on the sharpening steel, the grinding traces will be transverse to the cutting edge. On the cutting edge itself, where the furrows from both sides come together, a more or less markedly toothed and sawlike line (depending on the degree of roughness) comes into being. You can aim for maximum smoothness of this line or for some degree of roughness – it depends on the purpose for which the knife is intended. A toothed cutting edge will make it easier to penetrate a hard material (such as the skin of fruit and vegetables, bread, roasted meat crust and so on).
Why do Asian knives not have a continuous bolster at the blade end?
Traditionally, Asian knives lack a continuous bolster as the end of the blade is also used for decorative purposes. Another reason is the weight. Knives with a half bolster are lighter than those with a full bolster. Asians generally resharpen knives using an oil stone, taking around 20 minutes for each knife. With a bolster and without machines this would be still more difficult, and indeed hardly feasible.
Why are chef’s knives thicker than carving knives?
Chef’s knives serve as all-purpose knives in the kitchen, making it possible for you to cut in many different ways. Carving knives are used just for a few particular cuts. Here the important thing is to make a clean, thin slice, usually when cutting up sausage or meat. This calls for a thinner knife or a thinner back of the blade.
What is the function of the rivets?
Traditionally, the rivets supported the housing of the knife’s handle. Because of the intensive work involved to produce them, this form of processing was regarded as a mark of quality. We have retained this feature, even though today – for reasons of quality, and still more reasons of hygiene – we join the handles directly to the knife. In Friedrich Dick products, rivets no longer have any kind of support function.
Why is it so difficult to resharpen knives with serrated edges?
The distance between the serrated points is a given. This means that the grinder needs to have an ideally adapted grinding tool, e.g. sandstone with grooves that are positioned correspondingly. In exceptional cases the serration has to be removed, i.e. ground away entirely and replaced by a new toothed edge.
How can I recognise a forged knife?
Forged knives are recognisable by the bolster (a thickening between the blade and the handle) – also generally by the continuous tang in the handle.
Here’s a tip for you – try breathing on the junction of the blade and bolster. If a shadow appears, the blade is only welded on.
Where can I get information about my historic F. Dick products?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide information about your historic products.
We would therefore recommend that you contact a qualified antique dealer for questions regarding the value or the Blade Museum in Solingen for questions regarding production period or general information about your product.
I have problems with one of your products... What have I to do to complain it?
We guarantee that we are producing with the utmost care. Should there be any reason to complain:
- First, you should report the circumstances to the dealer you bought the product from
- If this is not possible, please send the product directly to:
Friedr. Dick GmbH & Co. KG
Please also send us a short description of your complaint. Indication of your correct address is essential.
- For information in advance please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do I not get an answer on my inquiry or question?
We owe an answer to everybody who has contacted us. Unfortunately, it is not always possible for us to provide an answer as technical defects in our system could impede that.
- Please check if you have written the email address correctly.
- If you are working with a spam filter or a spam filter provider, please list our email address as a known or accepted sender so the email will go through, especially AOL users.
- Check the size of your mailbox. It could be that we are not able to send you requested literature as the capacity of your mailbox is too small.