Monday, January 31, 2011

Knife titles are hard

So, it's really hard to come up with a humorous title for a post about buying a knife. "If you like cutting" or "Knife head!" or "I like sharp things" just really seem inappropriate.

Anyway, I do like sharp things. That's why I splurged on a 7" santoku blade by Shun. They're on sale for a hefty sum, so I figured it was now or never. I also had to wait for my paycheck, and I was unsure if the sale would last into February or not. In any event, I bought the knife and the straightening steel (because we must take care of our investments).

For those who don't know, santoku (三徳)is kind of the Japanese cousin of the standard chef knife. According to Wikipedia it's so named for its "three virtues" of slicing, dicing and mincing. It's a bit thinner and I've heard rumors that it's less virtuous in the slicing of meat, but I've yet to determine that for myself.

It did, indeed, (with a slight tugging) cut through a tomato just by the power of its own weight. The Boyfriend seemed apprehensive that I might waste his tomato, so I didn't do the upside trick.

I really should have bought some carrots, because those are my personal judge for knives, but it went with shocking ease through a potato and diced an onion with style.

I guess the only other experience I can really relate this to is the one I had in college. I am the proud owner of a $75 viola I bought on Ebay. This is the equivalent to a Good Will knife. I was in college to study music. One day, my very patient professor (who was constantly encouraging me to upgrade) allowed me to try my passage on his extremely expensive viola (if I remember correctly it was made by the same violin maker who made a viola for ...Beethoven?). Using the same skills but having an immediate jump in quality is an experience. It's something felt in the fingers and arms and is hard to translate to words.

All in all, though I hate to spend large sums of money, I feel that this is a solid purchase and will probably buy the pairing knife with my next pay check.


  1. I have never, ever regretted investing in good knives when I was a mere baby - and I'm still using the solingen knives we bought more than 30 years ago. Just learn how to maintain them, and try not to get too upset when other people damage them for you - because from time to time, they will. After all, a really good but no longer perfect knife is still a Really Good knife :)

  2. I'm sure it's wonderful. Having cut my fingers A LOT over the years working with big knives, chopping mountains of veggies to feed the masses, so I'm pretty sanguine (heh) about deep bloody cuts and burns generally. But have not worked with anything as sharp as your knife SOUNDS. Your description of what it did to the tomato was just a little scary:-) I'm visualizing a samurai sword...where it cuts you in half so fast that you don't know you're dead until the two bits slide apart.

  3. Funny you should mention samurai swords, these knives are forged using the same techniques.

    I'm pretty good with knives as far as not cutting myself goes. I'm prone to do finger checks (accounting for all ten digits before moving any sharp bits). Plus I figure if it's so sharp then it should cut cleanly and allow for faster healing... right?