GT Approved: Yaxell Knives

I have recently been introduced to Yaxell, a Japanese brand who make high quality kitchen knives favoured worldwide by many top professional chefs, and an amateur like myself.

I’m sure you will agree from the image above that their ‘Ran 25.5cm Chef’s Knife’ really looks the part for a very affordable RRP of £129.95. This, along with their other blades, are produced in Seki Japan formerly the traditional home for the manufacture of Katana swords for over 780 years.

Quite sensibly a law was passed in 1876 prohibiting public sword-wielding and this forced skilled tradesmen to find a new outlet producing fine domestic knives, a tradition which has carried on to this day, with Seki remaining at the forefront of worldwide knife manufacture.

Established in 1932 Yaxell combine their knowledge and expertise with cutting edge technology to produce several knife ranges; Gou, Super Gou, Ran and Tsuchimon. On all Yaxell knives the tang is forged from an 18/10 stainless ingot which is then seamlessly welded onto the blade and is as strong as the blade itself and this construction itself is unique to their knives.

Yaxell Knives are only available from a company called Steamer Trading, a family owned cookshop from Alfriston East Sussex since 1985.

Their website is definitely worth a look and they also have stores throughout the UK. You can browse their Yaxell Knives here but they also offer a great range of other knives and cookware; a useful gifting source for gadget-lovers.

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GT Approved: Blok Knives

A good friend of mine who is also a chef once advised me that a really good set of knives can last a lifetime so I should look to invest in a good set rather than a typical mass produced product. Since then I have been keeping my eye out for a unique set.

Most of the knives I have seen have been Japanese so I was delighted to hear about Blok Knives; the creation of Ben a graphic designer turned artisan knife maker from Derbyshire UK.

Each knife he creates is hand made in his workshop using Carbon Steel hardened to 60 HRC (basically very hard indeed) which does’t contain any Chromium, this means it can both hold and maintain a very sharp edge. The real beauty of Ben’s knives however is their shape and the handles which have been crafted from a different piece of quality hard wood to reveal unique patterns in the wood as you can see from the pictures of the Chef Knives above and Pairing Knives below.

Knives

Pairing Knives

Being a graphic designer Ben is also happy to personalise each blade with an image or initialing which would make a Blok knife a truly unique present for any aspiring or practicing chef. Most of us use knives practically everyday in the kitchen so a present to oneself is not out of the question.

Workshop

The Blok Workshop

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