Blade Problem


I finally hung my second magnetic knife block the other night.

I really love knives. I love the way they slice and chop, I love the way they look, and I love the way they feel to hold. Looking at all (well, many) of my knives lined up in two rows, however, reminds me that my collection is borne more of a compulsion to acquire than careful selection.

Most of my knives suck. I mean, they’re better than the knives that many people have, and I’ve got more than I need (except more knives means prettier to look at!)… but nearly every one is soft German steel rather than the harder Japanese. These knives have their place on my wall and in my kitchen, just not such a place of prominence. My single hard steel knife is lonely.

I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop my <$200 acquisition habit and only buy a new knife if it's hand forged or of very high quality. No more Henckels (which make up the bulk of my collection). Going forward, I want kitchen knives created by descendants of samurai sword makers, lovingly crafted in the family tradition. I want a sword maker’s fruit knife. And a Japanese cake knife. And I’ll prepare eel if it means I can have that beautiful shape that the eel knives come in.

I have a problem.

in my dreams, that top row is turning japanese
The decorative one (the sheath poking into the picture on the top left) was made by a member of the family who served as silversmiths to the Royal Family of Laos (before they were forced into exile). The one at bottom right is a Boy Scout knife that I’m not sure how I acquired.

Speaking of sword makers, this isn't food related and it's old news, but I found it pretty interesting that a Japanese company that still makes swords is the only plant in the world that can make nuclear reactor core containment vessels: Samurai-Sword Maker’s Reactor Monopoly May Cool Nuclear Revival.


5 thoughts on “Blade Problem

  1. Wow I only saw the top row first and then I saw the babies!! What a lovely choice you have! And all so lovingly kept. A friend brought me a mushrooming knife from Vienna. It’s been on a few fungi forages and is always the envy of others. The blade is only the size of my thumb nail and it folds into a pear wood handle. It clips onto a belt hook (or lederhosen) and has a flat horsetail brush…for sweeping the mushroom cap of course. Oh the joy of tools!

  2. Nice. Who makes your gyuto? It’s a beautiful knife. I just got myself a Tojiro, it’s amazing compared with the German and pretending-to-be-German-but-actually-Chinese stuff that I’ve used before. Swotting up on knives for my recent shopping spree has made me begin to appreciate what a great art form knife making is.

    • I actually have no idea who makes it… the only English on the box was “Japan.” I didn’t buy it, my uncle did. I fought for it in the annual family holiday gift swap. I always fight for the knives. :)

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