Chef Jim Berman
"The Chef 8 is, from its namesake, an 8" blade cradled by a fusionwood handle. New West brings veneer handles to life with layers and layers of vibrant colors. I opted for the "4th of July" with vibrant reds and blues sandwiching the full tange handle, the metal of the blade running the length of the knife. The veneer handle is also "meaty." It is thick and substantive in my hand. This is not grandma's knife! It is not clunky, mind you. It is just right at home in my large paw.
The business end of the knife is what matters. The New West website does the job of explaining the technical pieces that shoppers read – the Swedish origins of the steel, the Japanese bladesmiths' involvement and the Wyoming finishing. But, what matters to me is where the blade meets the board.
It is a beautiful tool and has a heft that is not for the timid. It is gorgeous in my hand, the tail end of the handle peeking out from my palm. Whilst the blade is a substantive 8", the handle goes on for an additional 6". The steel along the spine of the blade means business. Again, this is not grandma's knife. The Chef 8 boasts a thick spine. The absence of a bolster combined with the tapered blade construction is conducive for pinch-gripping, uninhibited by the heartiness of the steel. Rather, the meaty steel is very balanced, not only in girth but by the caress in my hand.
Of course most knives are ridiculously sharp in their virgin state, just off the shelf. So, I am talking about the performance of this knife after about 20 hours of use. I even ran it across a whetstone to determine if I could return the blade to that ridiculously sharp state. I did.
The appearance of the knife is ancillary; a nice touch but not everything. So how do you describe the function of a knife? Sharp is sharp. Dull is dull. The Chef 8 kept the edge long after I expected it to lose its grip on precision knife work. It is a work horse. At a very reasonable $149, a good looking horse for your antique wallet, as well. I guess I am set for another decade or more with the Chef 8 in my hand, looking good all the while."
To view the original publication of this review, please visit Chef Talk.
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