Saturday, 15 December 2012

Tools of the trade

Well, with a title like that you were doubtless expecting to see me write about spades, trowels and shears, but today I want to tell you about some new kitchen knives I have acquired.

Some of you will know that I won a prize in the Achica bloggers competition earlier this year. I have been keeping an eye on the Achica website, looking out for things that really appeal to me. Just recently I saw a range of kitchen knives that "spoke to me", and I ordered a few of them. Of course, following the Achica concept, these items were offered at a big discount compared with their normal price, so I was able to get several without spending a huge amount of my prize money.

These knives are from the 1829  "Evermore" range, made in Germany by Carl Schmidt. The ones I got are the Bread knife (the long serrated one), Tomato knife (the small serrated one), Kitchen knife (the very small one) and the Santoku knife (the Japanese-style one).

Each knife was presented individually in an attractive box with a 2-part hinged lid. I won't be keeping the boxes though - I plan to use the knives too often for that to be worthwhile.

The knives are very nice items - substantial, and quite heavy. I like their long comfortable handles. I think they will probably last quite well, but they will have to be very good if they are to persuade me that they are better than my existing Henkel knives:-

Those two are my favourites - an 8" / 20cm Cook's knife and a 6" / 15cm one. The bigger one is especially useful for tough jobs like cutting Butternut Squash or Celeriac.

Jane has a very nice set of Henkel knives (5 knives, scissors and steel) which she won as a competition prize some years ago. [The black-handled ones in the photo below.]  They live in a wooden block, which is an ideal way to keep them. The individual slots stop the blades coming in contact with each other, which could damage their edges.

If you don't have a suitable knife-block, you could always use these:-

These hinged plastic knife guards have a magnetic lining which keeps them in place on the blade. Protected like this, the knives can happily live in a drawer with other utensils.

While I'm on the subject of knives, I want to show you one more. It is a Japanese knife - the type used for preparing Sashimi I think. I bought it a few years ago as a present for Jane, so I won't mention how much it cost (a lot!).

We had expected to use this knife frequently for slicing meat very thinly, for instance when we have a Korean-style tabletop barbecue, but then the Henkel knives came along, and they are just better. A disadvantage of the Japanese knife is that the edge of the blade is angled (as opposed to symmetrical), in a way that would suit a right-handed person. We are both left-handed.

You can probably tell that I like knives! I believe that having the correct tool for the job makes a task a lot easier, and since I love cooking so much these days I'm prepared to invest a fair bit of my money in qood quality utensils.


  1. I like that kitchen knife it looks like it could really do a good job chopping things. One of my favorite knives was a real cheapy one. I have trouble with heavy knives and long chopping. So it has a plastic handle and is small. Bigger than a paring knife. More of the size of a steak knife. But the blade stays sharp for a long time before I have to sharpen it. Which is the important thing.

  2. I don't really have any good knives, it's something I could do with. I've got quite a few paring knives, but I always tend to favour one.

  3. Nice set of knives. I have a set of Henckel Five Star knives I got through a rewards credit card. I kept getting emails that I had points expiring so I decided to check into it. Found I had enough points for a 7 piece Henckel knife set worth about $350US, so I ordered. Felt like I had robbed the candy shop.

  4. A great purchase Mark. Mike collects global knives. Has done so before we met. Sadly he has had to replace some of the smallest ones. When peeling potatoes I have by mistake thrown them out with the peelings.

    1. By "global knives" do you mean "knives from around the world", or is "Global" a brand name? Collecting anything from around the world is fun. I have a big collection of plates and dishes from all the places we have been on holiday.

  5. No - I guessed you were trying to fool us and it would be cooking related.

    My sister has a problem with knife blocks - too many horror films!

    One thing for sure is that with all those armaments I won;t be arguing with you - on anything!

  6. You bought your wife a knife? It was nice meeting you ! Make sure she gives you a penny...(before it's too late, lol !)

    I've learned something; I just throw my knifes all together in a pile in the drawer, now I know why I have to sharpen them so much. I don't like the idea of putting them in a rack on the counter, I like my counter space (don't have much). Someone suggested to put a long board magnet on the wall and stick them there side by side. The fact that I have a log home makes it difficult to hang anything from a wall (and not sure my portable likes magnets). Maybee they should invent a knife drawer. In the mean time, i will go with your idea of covering them with something, but not plastic, i trying to CUT back.
    Keep up the good work, always enjoy your blog.

    1. Could you mount the magnetic strip to the underside of a cabinet? That way they are accessible, you don't have to attach anything to a wall, and they take up almost no space!

    2. Thanks David, that's a good idea !

  7. Nice knives Mark. I'm partial to Henkels myself! Got them in Frankfurt before the euro... was a steal!


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