Friendly Weapons

Once you have good knives, there is no going back to mediocre blades.

My collection of GLOBAL SAI knives has transformed my cooking life in the kitchen. Now, the chore of chopping, dicing, slicing, and carving is easy and gratifying with a choice of always-up-to-the-task tools.

At table, however, our knives were good (Henckels), but not great. They had a standard serrated edge and wooden handles.

So, when The House of Knives had a sale on a beautiful set of Shun Shima Steak KnivesI had them in my virtual shopping basket lickety-split.

The set of four slim-handled knives are designed to fit the hand comfortably and the contoured blade creates an exceptionally well-balanced knife. The handles are made of Pakkawood coated with a water resistant resin and the handles are inlaid with steel rondels. These knives are both functional and beautiful.

When I bought them, I thought we would use them occasionally, whenever we served steak, but since they arrived, they have been in the place setting every evening. I’ve come to realise that they are not so much steak knives as meat knives. And, let’s just say, there isn’t a vegetable they can’t conquer. During a lull in dinner conversation one night, my teenager daringly cut a carrot into a mandolin-like see-through slice. These are serious implements at table and incredibly sharp.


In the hopes of motivating myself to entertain more, and because I love a great bargain, I bought a second set for dining guests. Apparently, these knives even make your steak taste better. Now what hostess wouldn’t love that?

Much of the delicious flavour in steak is contained in its juices, which are held inside by the fibres of the meat. Cutting with Shima’s razor-sharp 16 degree edge means that far fewer meat fibres are cut with each slice, so that more of the juices and more of the flavour remain exactly where they belong — in the steak.
Shima’s long five-inch blade with its slight recurve is designed for easy, one-pass slicing. Place Shima’s blade flat against any surface and you’ll see that the blade only touches the surface near the tip and at the heel. The rest of the blade is curved slightly inward. This shape is designed to ensure a smooth slice, whether pushing the blade forward or pulling it back. If the blade were flat, it would simply crush the steak, forcing you to “saw” through the meat. With the recurve, you start the slice at the front of the blade and push forward or pull back through the entire length of the blade. The edge contacts the meat at a slight angle and has a smaller point of initial contact, making it much easier to slice the food — without the resistance and “crushing” experienced with a blade that doesn’t have the recurve. The Shima’s recurved blade is also useful when cutting on a plate that has a lip. The shape enables the user to continue their slice all the way to the edge of the plate.
~ House of Knives



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Susan Written by:

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