These Award-Winning Japanese Chef’s Knives Are Weird as Hell
Komin Yamada wasn’t sure if his new take on the Japanese chef’s knife would work out. The knife was to be stainless steel from tip to handle, something out of place in today’s kitchen knife market and vastly more so in Japan decades ago.
The idea was to make a knife made of a single, durable material would last longer and have fewer weak points than a blade fitted to a handle. The result was just that. Three years after its initial release, the Global knife won a Good Design Award in 1990 and was later given a Good Design Long Life Award for its staying power.
The small holes on the handle feel a lot like the grooves on the surface of a golf ball and help with grip (particularly when the knife is wet or your hand is clammy). The black color comes from a dyeing process.
The Global kitchen knives are made of Yoshikin’s (its parent company) proprietary Cromova 18 steel, a semi-mysterious mixture of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium, and is semi-analogous to VG-10 stainless steel, a popular steel for both Japanese and western-style kitchen knives. The key difference being, due to higher (though undefined exact percentage) chromium levels, it’s significantly hardier than VG-10, and most stainless knife steel in general. This means it’s unlikely to chip, is supremely corrosion resistant and doesn’t stain under any circumstances. Naturally, you do lose just slightly in the edge-holding department, and it’s not as easy to sharpen as softer steels (this is the balance of hardness and toughness versus cutting utility).
On all Global knives, as noted above, the handle is an extension of the blade. This is incredibly useful for an everyday kitchen knife, as there are no nooks or crannies for food particles or moisture to hide in and ruin the knife. The lack of bulky handle also allows the knife to be incredibly lightweight, but still well-balanced (to achieve this, the handle is hollow and filled with sand).
Today on Massdrop, a whole lot of Global knives are on sale, including the G-2, its best all-around knife, which is marked down well below its usual price on Amazon. To access, click the “Buy” button and choose G-2 Chef’s Knife from the dropdown list.
A note on Massdrop:
Massdrop is not like other online retailers. It’s a members-only site that requires signing up (all it takes is an email address). If you’re not a member, you can sign up here. When you place an order from Massdrop at a discounted price, you’re not buying from them directly. The site works by taking orders from consumers, then bulk ordering product at a discount directly from brands and other wholesalers. For more information on how Massdrop works, click here.
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