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You may not be aware of it but in the world of professional cooks and chefs there is a continuing debate as to which country makes better kitchen knives. This industry has long been dominated by European companies, most commonly German. However Japan is making a name for itself by manufacturing knives that have clear and distinct qualities over their European counterparts. So what actually makes a Japanese chef’s knife stands out among the rest? Are they really any better than knives made by the established and experienced Western companies?

Most chefs would say that Japanese knives have their own strengths and weaknesses but pretty much the choice depends on which one will feel ‘right’ in the cook’s hands.  And at the end of the day it will come down to personal preference because at the basic level Japanese, German, or French knives can all deliver the kind of excellent performance that seasoned cook’s require.  It’s about the quality of the knife, not the country of origin.

How Is A Japanese Chef’s Knife Different?

Japanese Chef's KnifeThere are unique and distinct attributes that distinguish Japanese knives over the others and those will be pointed out here. The method used to make Japanese knives is strongly rooted in Japan’s age old traditions and culture and is very much influenced by the techniques used in making the famous samurai sword. Thus a Japanese knife is known for its sharpness and efficiency.

However knives manufactured by Japanese makers differ on the main material used to make the blade. These knives are made using a harder but more lightweight steel with a very acute edge which makes them extremely sharp. On the other hand, those made by European manufacturers use a softer but stronger and heavier steel which makes the blade solid and tough. This makes them more durable and heavy duty. The edges of their blades are thicker but are easier to hone.  European  knives will never be as sharp as a Japanese one, but European knives will hold the sharp edge for far longer.

When it comes to the look and design of Japanese chef’s knives they are traditionally defined by a single-edged blade and rounded handles with no grip marks. The handle of Japanese knives are also smaller compared to Western knives like those made by German companies. These features make the knives more ideal for chopping, dicing, and slicing. However the latest innovations and developments in  Japanese knives are incorporating more Western like styles such as hand grips and double edged blades thus expanding their cutting capabilities.

For additional reading, check out The Japanese Santoku vs Chef knife.

Japanese Chef’s Knife Top Picks

There are many Japanese kitchen knives to choose from these days, however we believe that the following are the best of the best without going through the trouble of getting a custom made knife.

Global G-2 Chef Knife

Global Chef Knife G-2The Global G-2 chef knife is made using a combination of materials including chromium, molybdenum, vanadium and stainless steel making it strong, lightweight, sharp, stain resistant, and able to maintain its edge for a long period. The blade is hand crafted in Japan and ice tempered in order to allow the blade to keep its edge longer. Chef’s and cooks gave this knife positive reviews for having a special steep grind with a gradual curving edge that makes cutting easier and eliminates the tendency of food ingredients to stick to the blade’s surface.

Another excellent design from the Global chef knife is that the blade and the handle are all made from a single piece of steel. To provide balance, the handle is made hollow and filled with either sand or metal materials.  The handle is also smaller in size when compared to more traditional knives thus making the Global an ideal knife for people with smaller hands.

Shun Classic Knives

This is another great example of an outstanding Japanese knife that provides effortless slicing and dicing with a comfortable and solid hold. The blade of a Shun Classic knife is made extra strong through the use of stainless steel clad with as many as 16 layers of high carbon stainless steel.  This knife’s design displays the beautiful Japanese craftsmanship that has been around for thousands of years.

The Shun Santoku knife for instance is particularly designed to deliver excellent performance when dicing, slicing, mincing and chopping various ingredients. It has a D shape handle made from Pakkawood which fits securely in the user’s hand for a firm and solid hold. This means accidental slipping will be greatly avoided.

Shun classic knives may cost more when compared to other brands, but the excellent quality of this knife means this could very well be the last chef’s knife you ever purchase.  Maybe the beauty of the knife blinds us, but because of its high quality and durability, we like to think of the Shun classic as cost effective, especially when compared to cheap infomercial knives.  Just ask Alton Brown.  The Shun is his go to knife.

Knives are the most important tool in the kitchen, regardless whether they are being used at home by amateur chefs or in a commercial kitchen by professionals. It is important to have the right kind of knife that will competently and efficiently cut those ingredients for you.  One brand of knife that stands out among the finest chef knife names is Global. This is a Japanese kitchen knife that is the number one kitchen tool for many chefs, amateurs and professional alike. The best opportunity to get these knives at an affordable rate is through a Global knives sale.

 

 

global knives sale

Global Knives Set

 

 

 

Global Kitchen Knives – Global Knives Sale

When shopping a Global knives sale one thing you may notice is how distinctive these knives are from the rest. These knives are presented as an alternative to traditional European-style cutlery. Their blades are made of hard molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel and its edges are designed to remain sharp for a longer period compared to others. In addition, its edges  are ground at a more acute angle and come out of the factory razor-sharp. To make the knives lightweight, Global kitchen knives do not have bolsters. Balance is achieved by putting just the right amount of sand for each particular blade style into the hollow handle. There is also a finger notch between the blade and handle for safety. What makes global knives recognizable are its stainless-steel handles which are molded to fit the hand and dimpled to resist slipping.

Below are some top Global knife models as well as links to a Global knives sale where you can pick these knives up for a bargain.

 

The Global G-2 8-Inch Cook’s Knife


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An all purpose 8-inch knife that will surely serve the needs of every chef. In fact this is the most popular Global kitchen knife (Full Global Chef Knife Review). It is forged from CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel, which makes it stain resistant and have excellent edge retention. These knives are first-rate for slicing large quantities of vegetables, fruit and meat with speed and precision that only a good quality knife can provide. Its thin and razor sharp Global blade enables the cook to cleanly slice through foods thus preserving the integrity of the ingredients. It is ground to a straight point and uses a hollow handle filled with just the right amount of sand to achieve precise balance. This knife has a handle with unique darkened dimples for a non-slip grip and it is light weight to avoid putting too much stress on the hand.

 

Global GS-5 5-1/2-Inch Vegetable Knife


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A remarkable vegetable knife that has a unique blade shape that enables the cook  to perform a clean slicing motion. This is also another superb all purpose knife ideal for people with small hands or those who prefer using knives with shorter blades. Like the cook’s knife, its thin, razor sharp blade can cleanly slice through foods. It also has a hollow handle that is filled with the precise amount sand to achieve impeccable  balance. Darkened dimples to eliminate slipping line the handle also. Similar to other Global knives, this one is very light weight which means that it would not be tiresome to the chef’s hand. Lastly, like the others, this knife is forged from CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel which is actually a mixture of a chromium and molybdenum and vanadium which allows them to be stain resistant and have superb edge retention.

Ouch! That hurt!

My old chef’s knife had slipped and left me with a cut finger and a run for the band aids. The knife, a gift from my mother, just was not cutting it (excuse the pun) anymore. It was time to start looking for a new knife because as even an on again, off again cook like me knows the 8 inch chef’s knife is one of the key tools for future cooking adventures. An old knife that cannot keep an edge, as I found out, is dangerous.

So I went looking at a replacement for my old dependable and found there are a lot of options. There are stainless steel knives, ceramic knives and many other types in every range from dirt cheap to mortgage-the-house expensive. The lucky break I had was that I was talking to a friend of mine who was a professional chef. He recommended a Japanese company called Yoshikin that made a product called a Global Chef Knife that he told me were some of best around for cooks.

On my friend’s recommendation, I did a little research on the company and its knives. Yoshikin started making Global kitchen knives in 1985 when Komin Yamada decided to make the best cutlery possible with modern technology. So he went back to the drawing board and redesigned the modern cook’s most important tool. He created a series of knives made of a single piece of steel, with many improvements over the standard series of kitchen knives.

Global Chef Knife. G-2Global Chef Knife Review – The Global G-2 Chef Knife

The Global Chef knife version G-2 was one of the creations from that rethinking of the standard 8” (20 cm) chef’s knife. Moreover, the first major change is the material of the knife. The material that is used is CROMOVA 18 stainless steel. This combination of chromium, molybdenum, vanadium and stainless steel is specially designed for Global knives. The chromium prevents staining and dulling of the metal. The vanadium and molybdenum are two components that are added to stainless steel to help it keep its edge. Combined, it allows a very lightweight but strong knife that can keep a sharp edge for a long time with its high tech alloy.

Each blade I found is hand crafted in Niigata Japan at the YOSHIKIN factory. Each blade is ice tempered, which is a process that helps a stainless steel blade keep an edge longer. The blade is hardened to a Rockwell C56-58 rating (which is a scale that indicates the knives resistance to wear, the higher the number the more resistant the blade is to wear). Each blade has a face ground and a special steep grind and gradual curving edge that allows food to slip away easier from each cut and makes each cut easier.

The result is a thin, very sharp non-stain blade that will keep its sharpness for a long time. A warning though, if you are used to “duller” blades be very careful, because the blade is so sharp that if you are used to forcing your way through food you may easily find yourself nicking your other support hand because there will be little to no resistance by food to the cut. Take it easy until you get the feel of the knife.

Each knife is made from a single piece of steel, and that includes the handle. The handle is hollow and filled with either sand or metal for balance. As you move around the sand shifts letting you keep a firm feel as you use it. The handle has several black dimples around it to allow you to keep a firm hold on the knife. So despite having a metal handle there was no slippage no matter how wet my hand got. It was also the perfect size for my mid-size hands (people with large hands may have some trouble with the handle size). The single piece construction also makes it very easy to hand clean after use (never use a dishwasher to clean a good knife, the machine could damage your knife).

“Unless you loose it, the Global Chef Knife will be the last chef knife you ever buy.  Your grandkids will fight over them when you’re long gone”

After all this research, I decided to get this as my next chef knife. I can say getting the Global Chef Knife was the best choice I made for my kitchen in a while. I took it out of the box and noticed its sleek design, the long stainless blade tapering to the black dimpled handle. I was making homemade stew that night so I had a perfect test bed. I started out with the carrots and potatoes. Pulling out my wood cutting board and then a bag of carrots, I started using the G-2. With my old knife, it was a chore cutting all the ingredients for a stew. There was no resistance to the G-2 knife as I cut through the carrots, and the slices were thinner than my old knife because of the thin blade of the knife and the easy handling.

The same was true for the potatoes, which were easy to cut with my new knife. This is where I also found out about having to adjust to a new knife and my above warning about getting adjusted to the sharpness of Global Kitchen Knives. I was slicing, not paying attention and afterwards have developed the skill of finding cheap prices on bandages.

Finally, I got around to adding the meat to the stew. I usually get a cheaper grade of beef, which it is a bit tougher to cut. Again, with the Global G-2, I was able to cut the beef into smaller chunks to add to my stew easily. Because of the fine balance of the blade, what would have tired my hand out before was done faster and with no fatigue. The stew was great and my friendship with my new knife was born.

I have used the Global Chef Knife for over three months now and it has still kept a razor sharp edge. In the next few months, I plan to get a diamond sharpener from Global. (Make sure you get the proper sharpener because a standard knife sharpener is not good for a Global knife). I look forward to a great kitchen relationship with my Global G-2.

For more great reviews, check out the Global G-2 on Amazon.