As promised, I did return to Knifewear on my next day off. I didn’t even go to Williams-Sonoma to test out German knives. That can be done any day! I don’t doubt that I will end up buying a block set of sorts when I have my own kitchen. Perhaps a Wusthof set when the time comes.
Before going back to the pop-up store, I made sure to do my research: different types of steel, their hardness and maintenance; the handle shapes; the damascus; length; you name it, I tried to do my best to read up on it. I also considered my finances! The two choices I narrowed down were quite opposite in terms of price. You can see the prices of all the knives available on their online shop.
What it boiled down to was this: I needed…
- a Japanese santoku knife. I could buy a German block set when the time comes!
- it to be hand-forged. I can buy a factory-made knife anywhere else. Plus, I get to say, “Out there somewhere, a man hammered my knife.”
- it to be comfortable in my hand. The handle should be comfortable, I preferred a D-shape handle or octagon handle versus round.
- it to be light. I have a 5’1 frame with little to none arm strength. Need a light blade, yet sharp.
- it to be affordable. This is my first knife folks, I need to be rational here. I’m not doing anything fancy in the near future.
I most definitely will keep the Konosuke Sakura in the back of my mind. Perhaps one day it’ll be mine. But at that price point, I just couldn’t justify it. The Haruyuki Tsuchime, factory-made, with a Western-style handle. I loved the look of the blade but there’s something about being able to say that it’s special–has a history and a story–that made me wary.
Thanks to Chad, we found the perfect knife. His goal? To find you a knife that you will love. If you’re walking in and expecting them to hand you a knife and tell you it’s the one, you’re wrong. They’ll just pull out a whole bunch and tell you to try them all. See what’s good for you. No pressure at all though. You could probably spend hours in the store and they’ll answer all your questions and you’ll leave with more choices than you thought you had. I suggest coming in and trying out different knives. Write all their long Japanese names down and do your research. Then come back, and do it all over again. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll end up with! But on with the photos! Introducing the Masakage Kumo santoku, my final choice.
Like unwrapping a present! Merry Christmas, To Myself, From Myself! Priced between the Haryuki Tschime and Konosuke Sakura; same steel as the Haruyuki but as light as the handforged Konosuke.
Here’s a better look at the blade. Mmm, damascus. Made to look like clouds, “kumo”, the series’ name.
Super-thin VG-10 high carbon stainless steel: a steel designed for knives. Almost all are manufactured in Japan. Easily sharpened and lower maintenance than the other carbon steels.
Quality assurance card! This was pretty cool, the stamps of the blacksmith and the sharpener.
The box comes with a little history sheet with every knife you buy. On the back side, your knife care instructions.
Staring time over. It’s time to test! I worked a late shift tonight so I decided to whip up something simple for a snack: bruschetta! That and because it let me use the knife for the most common cuts in the kitchen.
I had to dice my tomatoes but before I could start, I had gathered a crowd. My parents. My mom was more concerned about why there was an extra knife crowding her own collection, two carving knives, a cleaver, and a serrated bread knife. I gladly stepped aside and let her at it. You can choose my knife and make one swift slice, no pressure required. Or use her own and saw back and forth a couple times to get through the tomato skin, only to squish right on through juices to make a mess. Mine’s a winner! My dad was pretty impressed as well. I had to tell him to stop slicing and dice instead…
The rest of the ingredients, a breeze. Finely chopped onions (don’t judge me, I ran out of red onion and had to make do). Basil chiffonade. Garlic paste (which I failed to take a photo of, I was getting hungry).
Voila! The first meal my first knife made! Never enjoyed prep work as much as I did tonight. Thanks again to all the guys there, super helpful, patient, and rad. Seriously, go check them out even if it’s to stare at the prettiness. Only here til the end of the year!Knifewear
8422 – 109 St Twitter: @KnifewearYEGNovember 20 – December 23: 10am-6pm
December 24: 10am-2pm
December 25, 26, 27: Closed
December 28 – 30: 10am-6pm
December 31: 10am-2pm