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Samurai Sword + Kitchen = Global Knives

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


Global G-15 Tako Sashimi Knife

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?

Related links:
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

7 thoughts on “Samurai Sword + Kitchen = Global Knives

  • October 3, 2016 at 12:12 pm
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    Pomai, I tell a story of my grand uncle who used to worked at Golden Duck

    on McCully St. He touch and used an another chef knife without asking and

    that started a fight in the kitchen.  In all restaurants never that touch other chefs

    knives for it their own from home.  Don’t mess with Chinese chefs for they do

    know kung fu learned back in China.

    Reply
    • October 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm
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      Kelike,

      Well I’m glad the fight involved Kung Fu hand combat, and not knife combat!

      Kind of related to your story, I remember when Bobby Flay stood on the cutting board after winning an Iron Chef battle with Morimoto. OMG, Morimoto-San looked like he was gonna’ go grab a real Samurai sword and chop Bobby’s head off! That was a very disrespectful move by Flay. Thankfully he apologized to Morimoto and they’re now friends.

      I don’t know about the Chinese, but Japanese are VERY sensitive when it comes to etiquette in the kitchen, both in symbolism and respect, which I covered a while back just on the subject of using chopsticks. Like I mentioned in the article about about the blunt-edged sushi knife, I’m sure there’s many more rules on etiquette in the Japanese kitchen when it comes to using and placing knives.

      Reply
  • October 3, 2016 at 8:39 pm
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    Pomai,
     
    Well you said you were going to do it and you did it but you didn’t explain all the knifes on the magnetic rack are Japanese style except two; the black is a high quality French chefs knife and the Chinese clever with the wooden handle. The first two knives are TRUE Japanese style as they are for right handed cooks or chefs being ground and sharpened on ONE side only leaving the other side perfectly flat. Global also specifically makes knifes for left-handed cooks and chefs.
     
    First knife is a Global (GR-15R) Tako Sashimi which also can be used as a roast carving knife at a banquet or at table and the second knife is a Global (G-14R) Yanagi Sashimi and can be used for sushi. Why are both knives so long; you want to make the cut in one long stroke so as not to saw the product and ruin the taste and presentation?
     
     All the rest of the Global knives have steep razor sharp Western acute edge V bevels which I’ve already experienced my first slip and finger cut in over 10 years in the kitchen. So sharp I didn’t feel it at first! One very important note for sharpening knifes, NEVER use a sharpening steel or stone that has a Rockwell hardness lower than your knifes have. Doing that will totally ruin your knifes forever and force you to purchase a whole new set of knifes. When in doubt always send knifes out to a local professional knife sharpener like the one in Aiea.

    Reply
  • October 4, 2016 at 9:46 am
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    Ken,

    I corrected the description of your sashimi knives. Being you said the “R” models are for right-handed users (the majority), as a lefty (we’re special! lol), I’d have to custom order mine, according to the catalog.

    There’s a pretty good article on how to keep your knives sharp at this Portions for Elves blog. They suggest when using a Sharpening Steel, to use one that’s Ceramic (like the Global one of course), as it’s the least aggressive in removal of steel material from the blade’s edge, just meant for honing the bent edge back to “true”.

    Reply
  • October 4, 2016 at 6:06 pm
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    I have many traditional Japanese kitchen knives. From sashimi, Salmon, meat, vegetable carver, cleaver, etc. Some old, some merely a couple decades. All hand forged with wooden handles. Made in Japan.

    But my son was given a Japanese chef’s kitchen and butchers set in the professional case by Mundial. I must say it is every bit as good as my most expensive. Mundial  is a Brazilian firm owned by an immigrant German family of long time knife makers. Professional knives. The set was not cheap (read very expensive) and I do not believe it is sold to the public as a full knife set any more. It is stunning and every bit as good if not better than the Japanese brands. Like all such it is sent to a professional for sharpening.

    Reply
    • October 4, 2016 at 10:00 pm
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      pat,

      I checked out what Mundial currently offers on Amazon, and they all are priced in the moderate range; much cheaper than Global, that’s for sure. Regardless, no doubt great knives, as they all get mostly 5 star reviews.

      Being they’re of German origin (made in Brazil), I see they take on the style of the classic western/European design with a riveted handle and heavy bolster.

      Sounds like them Japanese knives you have are heirlooms you’ll probably pass on to your kids.

      My sister has an heirloom Poi Pounder passed on from my grandmother to her, that came from generations before from the Hawaiian side of my family, all from the Big Island.

      Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 11:53 pm
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    This is interesting. My partner is a chef and an avid knife collector. If you see a guy standing in front of a knife rack at shopping centres and drooling, yup could be him. He buys the knives and NEVER uses them… which drives me up the wall. He also has both types of knives which he leaves at home for me to use and I love the global knife compared to the wustoff one. The wustoff one just felt duller and heavier even after partner doing the full sharpening thing with a block.

    Reply

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