The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Kitchen Knives (page 2 of 2)

The Bizarre Design of Ergo Chef Knives

This morning, Dana Cowin, the editor-in-chief of Food and Wine magazine, tweeted about the Ergo Chef’s bread knife: “4 any1 w/wrist injuries, #fwtestkitchen ‘s Marcia swears by Ergo Chef bread knife. Gr8 w8 + balance.” For you non-tweeters out there, this means that Marcia, who is apparently a cook in in F&W’s test kitchen, reports that the Ergo Chef bread knife has great balance and is a comfortable weight, making it good for anyone who has had wrist injuries.

If you’re like me, your immediate question is…why? I did a bit of research this morning to figure that out. The Ergo Chef knives have bizarre looking designs. The knives actually look like they were put together improperly or damaged before being put on the market (check out the curve of that handle!). However, the angle is designed to ease any discomfort you may get in the wrist while chopping; it also allows for greater precision and faster cutting. Plus, each blade is forged from a single piece of high-carbon German stainless steel, meaning these knives can cut longer without needing to be sharpened.

Has anyone tried these knives? Could you tell a difference between the Ergo Chef knives and regular kitchen knives?

What kitchen knives does the Vegan Black Metal Chef use?

Who is the Vegan Black Metal Chef?

He’s a Youtube cooking sensation profiled by The Washington Post today.

Death Metal Vegan Chef
The Orlando-based chef, whose real name is Brian Manowitz, sports Gothic face paint and rubber armor while slicing, pounding and shredding food into submission; next to him,  an Iron Chef is about as intimidating as a high school lunch lady.

Of course, as you might expect, the Vegan Black Metal Chef has some pretty serious cooking knives in his collection:

The cooking utensils on the counter — swords, daggers, blades of chaos — shudder menacingly with pulsing vibrations of the ominous background music, which, like the Vegan Black Metal Chef, is also black metal.

In fact, if you skip through to 1:30 in this video, you can watch this master of culinary death slicing away at some tofu with a downright scary kitchen knife. Check it out.

Knowing vulnerabilities in blade material key to maintenance

Last week, in one of Martha Stewart’s Q&A articles at, a reader raised an important aspect in maintaining knives: what material the blade is made out of.

Whereas most modern kitchen knives are created out of stainless steel, the blades of many older models are other materials, such as carbon steel.The problem with carbon steel blades, as the reader had found out, is that they are vulnerable to discoloration.

Stewart’s solution for the brown blade was fairly simple:

You can brighten your knives’ blades by polishing them with fine steel wool and Noxon metal polish. In addition, collecting editor Fritz Karch recommends hand-washing the knives after each use and drying them immediately to prevent rust. Then, with a cloth or paper towel, wipe a thin layer of mineral oil onto the blade to protect the steel from corrosion. Finally, store them in a location with low humidity.

Although the question was aimed at kitchen cutlery, this topic is something all knife owners should consider. As Stewart pointed out, always cleaning carbon steel blades, whether kitchen cutlery or hunting knives, is crucial to keeping its color and durability.

Each blade material has specific tips to remember. For example, stainless steel blades have the potential to rust in certain environments, so drying and occasionally scrubbing them with abrasive cloth will preserve the blades’ integrity.

For ceramic blades, found in some folding knives and kitchen cutlery, they will not rust or suffer discoloration, but they are more susceptible to scratches and breaks.

Whether plastic, titanium, stainless steel or carbon steel, it’s important for knife owners to understand the vulnerabilities of each blade material.

The Importance of a Knife Handle

About a week ago, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ran an interview with a Hawaiian chef who teaches at a local college. In the interview, chef Grant Sato shared some important tips everyone should remember when buying and using a knife.

While most of his tips were useful, such as techniques to safely slice food and information on how to sharpen dull knives, he touched on a topic that is widely overlooked when selecting knives: the handles.

For kitchen knives and all types of knives for that matter, it’s important to carefully select the material of your knife’s handle. In the article, Sato made it clear that the handle is the most important part of a knife.

“The blades are all the same,” Sato says. “It’s the material of the handles that are different.”

There are four common types of handle materials, which include wood, composite, stag and metal. Each of these types has its own advantage and drawback.

For experienced knife enthusiasts, wood handles are the most preferred for kitchen knives because they are softer on the hands and protect against bacteria. However, they are harder to clean and don’t usually last for more than two decades.

Composite and metal knife handles are stronger, more durable and the most resistant to corrosion, making them better suited for survival knives.

Before buying your next knife, make sure you’ve thoroughly analyzed the pros and cons of the handle for the type of function your knife will serve.

Sushi Knives and Sharp Blades

An article published by ABC News today reported that a Japanese sushi federation has created a certification program for aspiring sushi chefs.

“We just want to make sure foreign chefs understand the basics of sushi making: how to cut, clean and prepare raw fish,” said Masayoshi Kazato, an experienced chef who was one of the creators of the test.

Not surprisingly, one of the criteria for receiving a certificate was knowing what type of sushi knife to use.

Kazato said he noticed a difference in the knives being used to cut the fish by inexperienced chefs, which is a concern because dull knives often don’t cut smoothly and expose the fish to more air, accelerating deterioration and increasing the potential for bacteria to attach to the fish.

We posted about the myth that dull knives are safer than sharp knives, along with other knife myths, a few months ago.  Though a dull knife will have less of an impact if it grazes your flesh, it’s not safer, because it forces you to use extra pressure when cutting.

It seems that most knife owners have been disabused of this myth, but we recently ran into a discussion forum at, where some participants were still suggesting that dull knives were safer.

When preparing sushi, which is extremely delicate, the need for a sharp knife is not just for safety but to ensure quality as well. A dull blade will crush a maki, which is an all-encompassing term for sushi rolls with rice, toasted seaweed, nor or other fillings.

It’s also important to remember to never use a electric sharpener to sharpen a sushi knife, but to always use a sharpening stone, especially if you aspire to join the ranks of certified sushi chefs some day.

Four myths about knives

For every good piece of information that exists online about knives, there are more than a few inaccuracies.  So, how do you wade through the drek to find the information that’s important and accurate?  You should start by not passing on these 4 popular knife myths.

#1 Stainless steel knives can be washed in the dishwasher

They can’t, or at least they definitely shouldn’t be.  The force of water can decrease the sharpness of  knife edges by pushing them against shelves or other utensils.  In addition, the combination of hot water and the chemicals that exist in detergent can leave stains on stainless steel cutlery if it comes in contact with silver.

Secondly, washing sharp knives in the dishwasher could be dangerous to your physical safety if you or a family member reach into the dishwasher without paying proper attention.

#2 A dull knife is safer to use than a sharp one

This is another myth that needs to be busted.  Though a dull knife will have less of an impact if it grazes your flesh, it’s not safer.  Because of its dullness, you’ll often have to cut more vigorously, exerting a lot of force and pressure.  This decreases your ability to control the knife and elevates the potential for accidents.

The best plan for cutting in the kitchen is to use a well-sharpened knife that you don’t need a lot of effort to operate, giving you maximum control.

#3 There are knives that stay sharp forever

There aren’t.  Certain serrated knives are advertised as staying sharp forever, but the serrated “teeth” of these knives will eventually wear down or fail.  Don’t fall for the inaccurate advertising here.  Regardless of the knife you buy, it will require sharpening.

#4  It is best to send your knife to a professional to be sharpened

Though professional sharpening services can do a good job, they often use conventional grinding stones that can remove too much metal.  High quality knife sharpeners are available online at affordable prices, and they’re easy to use.  There’s really no reason to spend time and effort on a professional knife sharpening service, when you can easily sharpen your knives at home.

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