When it comes to creating amazing experiences in the kitchen, there’s perhaps nothing more important than a great knife. And yet, so many people feel frustrated with their slicing and dicing tools, even after throwing down major cash for a block of blades that come in every shape, size, and purported purpose. Trouble is, these knife collections so often include tools that are uncomfortable, ineffective, and impractical. What’s the point of having 15 knives if you only use two of them?
In our experience, it’s far better to invest in a few favorite knives—those multipurpose workhorses that fit perfectly in our hands and help us create cleanly sliced meats and lovely, even dices. We’ve tried knives from all over the world, and our favorites always seem to hail from Japan, where blade-making is a centuries old, highly respected tradition. These days, European makers have pretty much abandoned hand-forging traditions, but in Japan these traditions live on. Some makers are still hand-making the whole tool, while other innovators have combined hand-forged blades with factory-crafted handles, resulting in a less-expensive piece of equipment that still yields stellar results. (And looks dang sexy, too.)
One of the best sources for Japanese knives we know is a small shop in Kirkland, Washington—not far from ChefSteps HQ—called The Epicurean Edge. Founded by Daniel O’Malley, a bladesmith himself, the store stocks a smart selection of sharp-ass blades at a variety of prices. We’ve worked closely with O’Malley to curate a selection of our own favorite knives available through his company, and recently updated this selection to offer a range of prices. Depending on your needs, you can opt for a practically priced utility knife, a show-stopping stainless steel chef’s knife, or a lovely santoku for perfectly sliced veggies—check out the descriptions for details about each style. Got questions? Feel free to ask away in the comments section or post on the ChefSteps forum.
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