Personally I’m not one to fill my kitchen with all kinds of “unitasker” gadgets, including knives. In fact, for the most part I only use one very sharp 10″ chef’s knife for pretty much all the cooking I do in my kitchen, based on the style that I cook, which only requires “slice ‘n dice 101” basics.
“Japanese chefs believe our soul goes into our knives once we start using them”
~ Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto
If you’re a professional chef or serious home cook, you’ve likely browsed through reputable knife makers catalogs or stores that carry them, where you’ll find a wide assortment of knives and other related cutlery for just about every kitchen task. From breaking down a whole Aku, doing a crumb-free slice of Portuguese Sweet Bread, to paring a mango from your Aiea area home’s backyard tree, then carving it into a pretty orange-yellow edible flower rose garnish.
Regular Tasty Island reader and personal friend Ken recently showed me the latest Global Knives catalog he got when he purchased a sizeable set from them recently, and I was like, “Dang! Didn’t know there was this many types of kitchen knives!” Like I said, I’m just a casual home cook with just one decently-sharp chef’s knife, and so not the type to be scouting the likes of Williams-Sonoma or Compleat Kitchen for the latest, baddest @ss stuff in kitchen cutlery.
Well Ken is, and takes the title “Avid Home Cook” to the EXTREME, not only renovating his kitchen with all the best custom cabinets and appliances money can buy for the space, but also putting together an arsenal of top shelf made-in-Japan Global Knives that would make any Ninja or Samurai warrior jealous, let alone professional chefs.
He swears these Japanese-made Global knives are the best he’s ever owned and worked with, giving them highest praise not just for sharpness and ability to hold that razor’s edge, but as importantly, BALANCE, ERGONOMICS & COMFORT.
As Global explains, “Crafted by hand at our Yoshikin Factory in Niigata, Japan, GLOBAL knives are created from the finest stainless steel material. The blades utilize CROMOVA 18 (18% Chromium) stainless steel, Ice tempered and hardened to Rockwell C56°-58°, which holds a razor-sharp edge longer than any other steel and resists rust, stains and corrosion.
Like the Samurai swords before them, each knife is carefully weighted to ensure perfect balance in the hand. The smooth contours and seamless construction eliminate food and dirt traps, offering the ultimate in safety and hygiene.
The two most innovative features of Global knives are the edge and the way they are balanced. The most important feature of any knife is its edge, and the Global edge is truly its signature. The majority of the Global knives are sharpened or ground on both sides of the blade, just like Western style knives. However, their edges are ground steeply to a point (see figure 1), and to an acute angle. This is in contrast to Western or European knives that use a bevelled edge (figure 2); Global’s knives are straight edge, resulting in a dramatically sharper knife which stays sharper longer. The edge on a Global knife is so large and prominent that it is easily seen with the naked eye and extends a quarter of an inch or more up from the tip of the knife.
To balance our knives, Global uses a hollow handle which is then filled with just the right amount of sand to create the correct balance. Global uses this method rather than using a full tang and a bolster to balance our knives for two reasons. First, it is far more precise than using a tang and a bolster. Second, Asian knives typically do not have bolsters, since they only serve as a hindrance to cutting and sharpening. Other unique features of Global knives are its smooth contours and seamless, all stainless steel construction which eliminates food and dirt traps offering the ultimate in safety and hygiene.”
Oh, for the record, this isn’t an “advertorial”, as The Tasty Island isn’t getting any monetary endorsement direct from Global Knives for this article (however if you buy a set through this site’s Amazon links, that would be nice!). I’m just sharing with you what I think looks and sounds like a fantastic set of knives, based on how Ken makes me sick and tired of him constantly raving about them. On and on and on, blah, blah, blah, yadda’, yadda’, yadda’. lol
Following is just a portion of the Global Knives catalog, where you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about how they have one for every unique kitchen task:
Gosh, imagine if you have every one of those specialty knives stuck to wall magnets around your kitchen. People would think you’re performing open heart surgery in there. It’d be like “Dude, I’m so not going back in your kitchen… it scares the cr@p out of me!” lol
As previously shown in Ken’s set in the cover photo, Global’s G-15 Tako Sashimi knife, as pictured above, has a blunt (squared-off) point purposely designed like that. The reason being, in traditional Japanese restaurant etiquette, it’s considered offensive (and potentially dangerous) for a Sushi Chef (or any Chef) to use a sharp-pointed knife that’s pointing towards the customer sitting in front of him or her. So that blunt-pointed knife serves the specific purpose of being respectful to the customers.
It’s also worth noting these sashimi knives (first two on the left in Ken’s set) have a purposefully long blade edge so that raw seafood can be cut in a continuous one-way pulling stroke called “Hiki Kiri”, so as not to damage the seafood’s delicate flavor and appearance. Very fascinating!
Of course you shouldn’t be surprised that authentic made-in-Japan Global knives are not cheap, where right now on Amazon, a rather small Global 8″ Chef’s knife runs about $100 just for that one knife. Yet if you read the numerous 5-star reviews there, even professional chefs who have been using Global knives for years in a commercial kitchen environment, doing both precision and “grunt work” with them, swear they’d never go back to using any other knife but Global, and totally worth the investment.
The only “unitasker” not there that I’d like to see in the Global catalog would be their take on the ultimate SPAM Musubi slicer. lol
Is there any particular brand of high end knives you own and/or prefer to use? Henckels, Wusthof, Messermeister, Global, MAC or Shun? Other?
• History about Western style Japanese knives and Japanese traditional style knives – Japanese Chef’s Knife.com
• Sushi Knife Etiquette – Secrets of Sushi.com
• How to Keep Your Knives Sharp – Portions For Elves.com