Bob Kramer Knife at 1,995 Euro

I saw this knife in a display window of the Zwilling knife shop at Marienplatz, Munich. While the price of 1,995 Euro is beyond my perception of any knife’s value, I could not help myself not admiring its shape, balance and finishing. It’s definitely more piece of art than a kitchen tool.
Bob Kramer Knife at Euro 1,995

F.Dick 1905, Paring Knife (Officemesser), 9cm or 3 1/2″

Bought on my recent trip to Munich, the F.Dick 1905 paring knife is everything one can expect from a paring knife – versatile, small and extremely sharp. The handle has these distinctive and easily recognizable F.Dick brandmark steel rings. I bought it for 40 euro which is bargain considering the knife quality. Actually I regret not buying as well the F.Dick chef’s 8″ knife from the same 1905 line. Next time.

F.Dick 1905, Paring Knife (Officemesser), 9cm or 3 1/2

DE BUYER FK2 Asian Chef Knife, 6-Inch, Metallic Black

My latest acquisition is a DE BUYER FK2 Asian Chef Knife, 6-Inch, Metallic Black. I love De Buyer pans but I’ve never tried before De Buyer knives. I bought this one on a whim in Madrid’s El Corte Inglés, enchanted by knife’s beautiful shape. It’s proved as a worthy purchase, very light and thin blade is a blessing to work with and sharpen, the handle is super-ergonomic. Now I use it even more than one of my favorites – Wusthof Classic Chai Dao, 4177 / 17 Cm. In my opinion 6-inch knives are the most versatile knives in the kitchen and DE BUYER FK2 Asian Chef Knife is one of the best. On the heavy side of 6-inch specter I prefer Wusthof Classic 6″ Wide Cook Knife.

DE BUYER FK2 Asian Chef Knife, 6-Inch, Metallic Black

Victorinox Cutlery 9-Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife

Bread knife should not be expensive. Bread knives go long way without any maintenance. I’m pretty happy with Victorinox Cutlery 9-Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife, Black Polypropylene Handle. The knife slices effortlessly through tough breads, has a good balance and a comfortable grip. The offset handle keeps you clear of the cutting board.

Victorinox Cutlery 9-Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife

Miyabi 5000DP Gyutoh 200 Chef Knife 8-Inch

The Miyabi 5000DP Gyutoh 200 chef knife 8-Inch is the latest addition to my growing collection of kitchen knives. This knife is a typical Japanese Gyutoh knife manufactured by Zwilling J.A. Henckels Japan, the most universal chef’s tool with VG-10 core (actuall it goes under CMV60 designation which is pretty much the same as VG-10) at about 60 Rockwell hardness, sandwiched between 32 layers of stainless steel on each side, with damascus pattern.
The Miyabi 5000DP Gyutoh 200 chef knife 8-Inch
This knife, marketed at Amazon as Miyabi Kaizen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, is very similar to Yaxell Ran 8-inch Chef’s Knife.

This is one of the best knives in my collection, definitely not cheapest at about $170. The knife is razor-sharp, a pleasure to handle and a beauty to look, though on a practical not I must admit that as a daily working horse Tojiro DP Cobalt Alloy 3-Layered Chef Knives F-808 (on the right) would be a more sensible alternative for about third of price.

Knife rack

Small Kitchen Knives

My latest acquisitions of small kitchen knives:

Mercer Culinary Genesis 2-1/2-Inch Forged Peeling Knife

Wusthof Classic 4″ Extra Wide Paring Knife

Mercer Culinary Millenia M22003 3-1/2-Inch Paring Knife

paring-knives-9265-1

While Wusthof definitely keeps edge better than Mercer knives, Mercers are hard to beat when it comes to price and ergonomics. Wusthof Classic 4″ Extra Wide Paring Knife proved to be a disappointment – too short handle, flimsy thin flat blade, not worth the $50 price tag. For a mere $8 Mercer Culinary Millenia M22003 3-1/2-Inch Paring Knife offers much better value, the grip is very comfortable.

Toledo Kitchen Knives

Visiting Spain I could not miss opportunity to get acquainted with the Spanish kitchen knives. Spain is the home of Arcos, one of the oldest European knife manufacturers. Toledo has been know for centuries for its steel, swords and artisans. Almost every historic novel I read in my childhood featured a rapier or a sword “made from the finest Toledo steel”.

Well, I started from Madrid’s Cuchillerías Simón, a specialized knife shop in the very center of Madrid, 100 meters from Metro Sevilla. A very professional shop attendant has recommended me the local brand (probably shop’s private label) Simon of Spain, a line of typical Sabatier forged knives similar by composition to quality German knives, with price range from 55 euro for 3.5 inch paring knife to 120 euro for 8 inch chef knife. Prices for similar stamped knifes were about 40% lower. Priced as Wusthof classic line the Simon brand failed to impress me beyond being decent ordinary European kitchen knives. For all my curiosity I was not ready to pay premium price for rather generic knives.

Cuchillerías Simón

Next day – Toledo. Every souvenir shop in Toledo offers kitchen knives next to all kinds of medieval armory, supposedly handcrafted by the last surviving artisan of Toledo.

Toledo knives

Aggressive knife peddlers are charming unsuspecting tourists with paper cutting trick. It’s here in Toledo where my best instincts started to shout loudly “tourist trap” and “ripoff”. The different brands of supposedly Damascus knives offered by different shops bear striking resemblance to Chinese-made Damascus knives available at Amazon for a third of price. While some knives were marketed by eager vendors as VG-10 core knives I could not help but notice 440C mark which is considerably softer and cheaper grade of steel. I have no doubt that thousands of tourists coming to visit Toledo are duped daily into buying worthless piece of Chinese junk for 200 euro, assuming in their naivety they bought a “unique 67-layered Damascus knife of Toledo steel”.

Actually reviving glory of Toledo knives would be a great business idea, for example by launching “Toledo Knife” as a high end brand associated with quality instead of countless generic pretenders.

Toledo  Knives

Toledo  Knives

Toledo  Knives

Finally the only knife I brought from Spain was the kind they use in all Spanish markets to cut fish – a very authentic wide curved heavy cleaver.

Pinch grip

Cutting Fish, Mercat de Sant Antoni, Barcelona

Wusthof Classic 6″ Wide Cook Knife

The Wusthof Classic 6″ Wide Cook Knife is the most versatile knife in the amateur kitchen. Wide, heavy, and not too long – a perfect knife for the most tasks, absolutely my favorite. Sharp as all Wusthof knives. If I were to choose only one knife, that would be it.

Wusthof Classic 6" Wide Cook Knife

Wusthof Classic Chai Dao, 4177 / 17 Cm

Wusthof Classic Chai Dao is one of the most versatile knife in the kitchen and my favorite, second only to Wusthof Classic 6″ Wide Cook Knife.

Wusthof Classic Chai Dao,  4177 / 17 Cm

What a Piece of Junk: KAI Seki Magoroku 2000ST AB-5251 Perforated Knife

I bought this knife for $26 as an alternative to considerably more expensive Wüsthof Classic Chef’s Knife – 8″ – Vegetable or Gourmet Ridge “Vegetable Knife” 8″. For all my skepticism about non-sticking properties of granton/ridged/perforated knives the KAI Seki Magoroku 2000ST AB-5251 Perforated Knife indeed performed well when slicing cheese or onion, at least for the first day of use while it was sharp out of the box. One day later the knife lost its edge, literally. No amount of sharpening will fix it, the knife is made from low grade carbon steel – any contact with water kills the edge.

Make no mistake, it’s a piece of junk. The KAI Seki Magoroku Perforated Knife feels flimsy (weighs about 110g) and cheap. The knife is very thin. The worst thing about it is oxidization – after three days of use the knife surface has darkened and small spots of rust appeared on borderline of non-stick strip and edge. What looks like a bolster is not a bolster but a thin metal rim. And it smells like cheap carbon steel though it’s supposedly made from molybdenum vanadium stainless steel.

Verdict: cheap is cheap.

KAI Seki Magoroku 2000ST AB-5251 Perforated Knife

KAI Seki Magoroku 2000ST AB-5251 Perforated Knife

KAI Seki Magoroku 2000ST AB-5251 Perforated Knife