Published on October 6th, 2009 | by Greg0
Sharp and Sweet: Knives from Kuhn Rikon and F. Dick
Fall brings all kinds of yummy food into our kitchens, apples, acorn squash, pumpkins, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts- the list goes on and on. In the coming weeks we’re going to be talking quite a bit about various things to make your time in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable as the holidays approach. We want you to love being in the kitchen and working with food as much as we do!
Today we’re going to start with one of our favorite basics, good knives. First we have F. Dick’s 1905 series 7-inch Santoku, which is as nice to look at as it is to use. Instead of using rivets to hold the steel to the handle F. Dick has engineered a way to used symmetrical steel rings to meld the molded handle to the blade. The result is a unique look and a very balanced knife. The blade is made of a German steel called XCrMoVMn, and has a hardness of 55HRc on the Rockwell scale. We found our knife to be a pleasure to use, very much in keeping with other high-end knives we’ve tried in the past. We used it on all manner of food, including veggies, fruits, and meats, as well as non-food things like wrappers, cardboard boxes (please be cautious if you’re going to do this as well, we don’t want anyone losing fingers, remember this knife is extremely sharp) and plastic lids. The scalloped indents (also called granton, or kullen) add small air pockets, which allow you to cut with a bit less effort, and the curve of the blade heel to edge to tip was fairly minimal compared to some blades. The edge is a wedge-shape, allowing fine cutting and preventing food from sticking to the knife. We ran it through the dishwasher, which is NEVER recommended for good cutlery, but we needed to know at what point the blade stopped being useful. We weren’t actually able to dull the blade all that much.
Don’t fear for our knife though, we had a plan in place to restore the blade from all of the evils we subjected it to. The Rapid Steel Action Sharpener, also from F. Dick brought our lovely knife back up to a razor sharp edge. It was very easy to use, and helped us to keep a perfect 20 degree angle on our knife, exactly like it was new out of the box. It only took a couple of passes and we were as good as gold, though it didn’t work on all blades as well as other sharpeners that we’ve tested. This sharpener works by using spring loaded carbide rods designed to hold the knife at the correct angle on each side. Perfect for very dull knives, no guesswork involved, and simpler than a typical sharpening steel rod! You can find the Santoku knife for around $86 through many online retailers, including Amazon. The Rapid Steel Action is available from many of the same retailers for a reasonable $88.
Next we have some really fun knives for those looking for a splash of color in their kitchen, and ease of use with food. We’ve looked at products by Kuhn Rikon before, and have always liked their products. Today’s knives are no exception. Colori Knives are bright and fun, as well as sharp and non-stick. We tried out the paring knife, serrated knife, chef’s knife, and a utility knife. They offer, and we tried, a variety of colors (our favorite is red) and found that all work reasonably well. We didn’t have any problems with the coating coming off the blade, and we were able to sharpen them without any problem. These knives aren’t as heavy or balanced as a forged steel knife, however Kuhn Rikon does make a forged version with the same non-stick coating. Don’t expect these to replace a good primary knife, but instead they’ll serve as your support lineup for a variety of important tasks. At their price point, they make great gifts and add a touch of color to your knife block. The included knife sheaths are cute, if pretty easy to lose, and make it simpler to travel with them safely. The Colori Knives are available for between $10 and $20 depending on the knife and size from many online retailers including Amazon and directly from Kuhn Rikon.