Kitchen Knives: A Brand Overview
Choosing the perfect knife for your needs can comprise of a variety of different factors; what you will use it for, the longevity of the blade and often personal preference or recommendation by other chefs or cooking enthusiasts will play a major role.
As with most items, there are many brands out there, and kitchen knives are no different. Each brand has its own specialties and ways of making their knives the best that they can, but what differences do they actually have?
We take a look at some of the best-known brands that we stock here at Kitchen Knives and help you find the best brand for your needs.
In this guide:
- The Intro
- Global Knives
- Sabatier Knives
- Wüsthof Knives
- I.O. Shen Knives
- Bunmei Knives
- Robert Welch
- Rockingham Forge
- Tamahagane San Tsubame Knives
- Tojiro Knives
- Kasumi Knives
- Mac Knives
- Masahiro Knives
- Nagomi Knives
Taking inspiration from the Samurai swords of old, Global create knives which have the perfect weight balance for cutting action and comfort and only use the best raw materials to ensure that you can trust your knife to get the job done.
Created in Japan, Global knives have been created the same way for the last 30 years; using the same techniques to ensure consistent high quality and reliability in the blades they produce.
Komin Yamada is the mastermind behind these revolutionary knives, and has perfected the art of creating tools which are ideal for both professional and amateur chefs, designing and creating knives which are easy to use, comfortable to use and can perform the easiest or most demanding of tasks as required.
Global knives are created using Yoshikin Cromova 18 Stainless Steel, which Yoshkin created using 18% chromium, molybdenum and vanadium as well as stainless steel. This material is what gives GLOBAL knives their steep, thin cutting edge the strength to last for years, but which isn’t too hard to allow for easy sharpening when needed.
n>The balance of the knife is what really sets these knives apart; their signature design has an edge which is ground to a point which is a lot steeper than that of bevelled western knives. This dramatically straighter edge makes the knife much sharper and stays that way for.
Sabatier knives are created in France, and are forged as one complete knife – only one piece of material is used so that there are no joints or welds in the knife at all. This ensures that no food gets caught anywhere in the knife, meaning that cleaning a Sabatier knife is much easier than cleaning knives made from multiple pieces and is a much more hygienic option for a kitchen.
Using a unique French high-carbon steel with added chromium for strength, the whole knife creation process is French – from materials to the manufacturing. With generations of experience in the Sabatier family, you can be sure that you are using a knife which has been honed and designed with efficiency, hygiene and comfort in mind.
Wüsthof has to be one of the longest-running knife specialists to choose from. With roots leading back to 1814, this family business really knows what is expected of a high-quality, efficient tool.
With seventh generation family members still running the business, the same quality and care is still seen in every Wüsthof knife you hold today.
They are constantly looking to improve their products with the changing expectations and requirements of chefs from all over the world, and are very conscious about the consistent performance of their knives.
During the production of their blades, they have a variety of checks to ensure that each knife lives up to their high standard. These include laser-checking the cutting edge and a final cutting test which determine whether a knife will be fit for sale. They also follow the mantra of “form follows function”, meaning that their knives will always be in line and function to their customer’s requirements.
Another brand which takes inspiration from the Japanese and their unique knife-creation is I.O Shen. Designed in the UK by knife designer Natalie Clifton, they can be used by professional chefs in large kitchens or even at home in the hands of an amateur chef. Once designed – even sometimes in collaboration with some of the best-known chefs from the UK – they are sent to Japan for creation, creating a truly Japanese blade.
All I. O Shen knives are handcrafted by masters and are created using unique Japanese steel. Their handles are of western style, giving a familiar feel, and feature a Tai Tang design.
One of the best features of an I. O Shen blade is that their super-shar[ edges very rarely need sharpening due to the design, material and crafting process focusing on maintaining their edge. Their weight and balance are perfect for any use or requirement you may have.
With a keen eye for design as well as efficiency and longevity, the beautiful blades created by BergHOFF are aesthetically pleasing as much as they are reliable and functional.
Designed to be affordable-yet-high-quality, BergHOFF intends each of their products to bring innovation to the kitchen environment through their design and established manufacturing process.
They have over 20 years of experience in creating cookware for a variety of applications; from professional chefs to the home cook, and have created solutions for a variety of kitchen requirements.
BergHOFF have knives for every need and budget, making their collections a great all-rounder choice.
Bunmei knives are the creation of Yoshkin, who we mentioned further up this guide as the manufacturer of GLOBAL’s unique steel knives.
>With a more Japanese feel than the GLOBAL knife, Bunmei knives feature light, wooden handles, but no bolster. The blade is bevelled on one side only, giving a clean, sharp edge, but is much finer than western blades, meaning more care is needed when using to ensure the blade remains efficient.
Not a brand for those looking to do heavy cutting work, but perfect for those finer, more delicate jobs.
Designed by Robert Welch, a designer who earned an MBE and the trust of royalty and celebrities, you can be sure that the Robert Welch knives in your collection are ones to be relied upon. They even come with a 25 year guarantee – that’s how much they believe in their products.
With a focus on functional, affordable, and for purpose tools, the Robert Welch brand first introduced stainless steel cutlery to the United Kingdom. This focus can still be seen in the knives today, with beautiful design and elegant quality.
Robert Welch knives are timeless in both design and functionality and are ideal knives for a wide range of applications. Even new products follow Robert’s vision of timeless, functional products, thanks to his lasting legacy.
Creating knives which suit a wide range of budgets and requirements, Rockingham Forge combines affordability with high-quality materials to create knives which can be relied upon for a range of applications in the kitchen – both at home and professionally.
With super-sharp blades designed perfectly for each function and each created using high carbon steel, there’s little to worry about when picking up a Rockingham Forge knife. Creating clean cuts at the fraction of the price of more prestigious brands, you’re getting the same high-quality performance for less.
Each blade is fully forged, meaning no joints for food to collect, making these knives super hygienic, as well as being perfectly balanced and weighted for their function, making it easier on the hands and wrists of the chefs using them.
Designed with chefs of all abilities in mind, Rockingham Forge knives are great all-rounders.
Yet another Japanese brand specialising in knives; Tamahagane San Tsubame are premium knives created using special Japanese steel and traditional Japanese techniques in Niigata, Japan.
The term ‘Tamahagane’ means ‘precious steel’ in Japanese, and is synonymous with pure, high-quality steel for many years. It’s no surprise that manufacturers Kataoka use this word ad part of their brand name for these knives, especially as their sharpness and edge retention are considered to be some of the best in the world.
The blades are made up of a 3 ply design, and hand hammered to finish. The inner steel is very hard (hardened to 61° of Rockwell hardness) and is cushioned on the outside by two layers of softer steel (hardened to 28° to 32° of Rockwell hardness) which stablise the inner steel and prevent it from becoming brittle.
For fans of fully-forged knives, Tojiro knives combine the strength of a 100% forged blade with traditional Japanese knife making techniques to create a strong, long-lasting blade, no matter what you need to use the knife for.
Each knife if totally unique, but you can rely on the quality and efficiency that is expected of the brand.
Created using 63 layers of Damascus steel which is then blackened and ground to a fine edge, you can be sure that the strength of a Tojiro knife is able to withstand hard work. The centre of the knife uses VG10 steel which, again, shows the true robustness of these knives.
Kasumi knives are not only reliable tools, but they’re also incredible to look at too. Using traditional Japanese techniques, you’re getting the reliability of Japanese steel with an incredibly unique design, making Kasumi knives very popular with chefs who like to show off their knife collection.
They are created in Seki, which is regarded by many experts as the Japanese cutlery capital. As a brand which has many years of experience in creating the very best knives for a range of kitchen uses, you can be sure you’re getting the best when purchasing a Kasumi knife.
You’ll be investing in a piece of art that not only makes your job much easier but much more enjoyable, too!
Yet again, Japan steals the show with another brand from the country making their mark with incredibly sharp, durable knives.
Every part of the creation process of a MAC knife is carried out in Japan by master craftsmen, and has been since 1964. Coupling unrivalled Japanese techniques, a comfortable design and perfect balance, you’ve got yourself a signature MAC knife.
The design of the cutting edge is quite unique – rather than the western V-shaped edge, MAC knives combine this with the Kataba edge – or Japanese single bevelled edge. The combination is also created slightly off centre, and at an angle of 45.5°. This makes slicing thing cuts much easier, and straighter, cleaner cuts are more possible to achieve.
Material wise, MAC blades use the traditional Japanese High-Carbon Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium steel to ensure durability and sharpness.
Another brand that has come out of the cutlery capital of Japan is Masahiro. Based in Seki city, the traditional Japanese knife manufacturing tecniques are once again applied to knives created by Masahiro.
Using the Japanese one-side bevelled design which is then polished, you have a blade which has a very smooth cutting action which places pressure on the ingredients being cut, rather than on your fingers. This makes the knives more comfortable to use, especially if you are cutting ingredients for a long time.
The blade is fully forged as one unit, giving the stability and strength expected of Japanese forged blades.
Handcrafted in Japan by the Mitsuboshi Cutlery Company, Nagomi knives are made softer steel than many other Japanese knives that we have mentioned, but can feel slightly heavier.
Rather than using the very hard VG10 steel, Nagomi knives use AUS8, which is slightly softer and can easily be resharpened to reduce sharpening time in the kitchen.
>As with Japanese knives, no two knives will ever be the same, thanks to each being hand-hammered to finish. The blade is made up of 33 layers of Damascus steel.
As mentioned above, the Nagomi knives feel a little heavier than traditional Japanese knives, making them the perfect introduction to the Japanese style, while having a similar weight to western knives.
Here at Kitchen Knives, we stock all of the knife brands above, so no matter what preference, need, budget or skill level you may have, we have you covered.
If you have any questions regarding our brands, or simply want more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today – we’ll be happy to help!