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MIU France 8 inch Chef's knife a $20 option

bbqJohn | Dec 23, 201105:24 PM

Last week I ordered a MIU France 8-inch Chef's knife and received it yesterday. In the event there is any interest in a very affordable Chef's knife below are my comments.

Things I like;

Unlike a Forschner and other Western knives the handle and bolster is set back from the blade similar to J knives. This allows clearance to sharpen the blade area nearest the heel. In many Western knives (like my Forschners), either the top of the handle extends beyond the blade or a large bolster extends down to the blade edge.

These conditions interfere with sharpening. After several sharpenings the heel area of the blade can develop a half moon space and that area of the knife is no longer useful. I plan to eventually replace my knives that have either of these two issues.

The blade profile also has an upswing about 2/3s from the heel similar to most German Chef's knives. This facilitates the rocking motion cutting, which I use if it is appropriate for the food I am prepping. Although for someone who prefers only chopping a flatter edge is preferable.

Other positives items: full tang and black poly handle looks good-duplicating higher end knives.

Steel material: According to Cutlery and More it is X50CrMoV15, which is what German knives are made of and probably has HRC values in the mid to upper 50s. So not as hard as VG-10 J steel but should be more durable. A little thinning combined with a double/compound or convex edge helps narrow the performance gap.

The blade is thinner like a Forschner but not as thin as my VG-10 petty.

Negatives: it did not come very sharp; it failed my arm hair test.

I put it on the belt sander thinning the blade some and through a series of belts convexing the edge and got a decent finish that easily popped arm hairs.

I do have a VG-10 5.5 inch petty for comparison purposes but I seldom use it because I prefer longer knives for most uses. The MUI 8 in Chef's is intended to be used at home with smaller boards, smaller prep jobs, and multiple users (wife and kids). At work with the larger boards and prep workload, I prefer a 10-inch Chef's knife.

Overall, if someone wants a sharp knife out of the box this is not the knife for you. It needs work right away-at least for my standards. However, at $20 it is a decent deal if one knows how to sharpen, even if someone had to pay $5.00, or so to a sharpening service it is still a nice deal.

I prefer this to German knives that have thicker steel, a thick bolster or the handle issue (Forschners) I described above. If there was a 10-inch knife and the price was right, I would order one for work and sell or pass along my Forschner.

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