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These Award-Winning Japanese Knives Are Weird as Hell, and on Sale

Global knives look odd, use proprietary steel and are generally just a little difficult to find information on. And this set is $119 off today.

global knives gear patrol lead full
Chandler Bondurant

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Komin Yamada wasn’t sure if his new take on the Japanese chef’s knife would work out. The knife was to be stainless steel from tip to handle, something out of place in today’s kitchen knife market and vastly more so in Japan decades ago.

The idea was to make a knife made of a single, durable material would last longer and have fewer weak points than a blade fitted to a handle. The result was just that. Three years after its initial release, the Global knife won a Good Design Award in 1990 and was later given a Good Design Long Life Award for its staying power. Right now at Sur La Table, a set of the 7-inch and 3-inch versions can be had for $119 off.

Sur La Table
Global Hollow-Edge Chef’s Knife Set
Sur La Table
$149.95

The Global kitchen knives are made of Yoshikin’s (its parent company) proprietary Cromova 18 steel, a semi-mysterious mixture of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium, and is semi-analogous to VG-10 stainless steel, a popular steel for both Japanese and western-style kitchen knives. The key difference being, due to higher (though undefined exact percentage) chromium levels, it’s significantly hardier than VG-10, and most stainless knife steel in general. This means it’s unlikely to chip, is supremely corrosion resistant and doesn’t stain under any circumstances. Naturally, you do lose just slightly in the edge-holding department, and it’s not as easy to sharpen as softer steels (this is the balance of hardness and toughness versus cutting utility).

On all Global knives, as noted above, the handle is an extension of the blade. This is incredibly useful for an everyday kitchen knife, as there are no nooks or crannies for food particles or moisture to hide in and ruin the knife. The lack of bulky handle also allows the knife to be incredibly lightweight, but still well-balanced (to achieve this, the handle is hollow and filled with sand).

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