Their name reflects their presence in kitchens around the world, but Global Knives could only really come from one country - Japan. The art of Japanese knife making can be traced back over a thousand years to the Samurai (or bushi) warriors. These fierce warriors had a wide armoury of weapons at their disposal, but their weapon of choice was the sword. The Katana was one such sword favoured by the Samurai. Its distinctive appearance is characterised by a long curved, single-edged blade and two-handed grip. Japanese sword-smiths turned sword making into an art form. The bladesmithing and forging process was extremely labour-intensive and could take many days or even weeks. Each process required a specialist craftsman - from forging and folding to polishing and sharpening.
Fast forward a thousand years and Japanese craftsmen are still producing knives of the highest quality, continuing the tradition of the Samurai sword. Just as the Katana lent honour to the mighty Samurai, Global Knives bring kudos to chefs and home cooks alike.
The History of Global Knives
Global Knives are made by the Yoshida Metal Industry Co. Ltd (also known as Yoshikin) in Niigata prefecture. Established in 1954, the company specialised in producing hollow-handled table knives for Western markets. In 1960 a new rust-resistant alloy of molybdenum and vanadium was used for their Bunmei series of knives. This alloy is now known as Japanese steel. In 1985, the visionary designer Komin Yamada was commissioned by Yoshida to work on a new product line. He was tasked to develop a knife range that was "truly new and revolutionary, using the best materials available and the latest manufacturing techniques." The knives would also have to meet the needs of the most demanding professional chef whilst being comfortable and easy enough to handle for amateur chef too. The result was the all-stainless steel, one-piece knife range that had a huge impact in kitchens across the globe.
How Global knives are manufactured
A knife is only as good as the material it's made from. Yoshikin uses its own proprietary stainless steel call Cromova 18 Stainless Steel, which was made exclusively for Global Knives. Compared to conventional European knives, Global are stronger, thinner and are ground to a narrower angle. The alloy of steel they are made from is hard enough for the knives to hold their cutting edge for a long time yet soft enough so they're not too difficult to sharpen. Additionally, the 'cro' in Cromova 18 stands for chromium and the 18 is the percentage of chromium in the steel. This high percentage of chromium contributes to a Global knife's excellent stain resistance.
The narrower blade angle is all-important too. A steeper 15° makes for a sharper blade that will keep its edge for longer. Most Global knives are sharpened on both sides, like a Western style knife. Ground to a steep point at an acute angle, rather than a European knife's bevelled edge, you can see the edge on a Global knife with the naked eye as it extends a quarter of an inch up from the tip of the knife.
One of the most impressive characteristics of a Global knife is how long they stay sharp. This comes partly down to the unique (and secret) combination of the elements molybdenum and vanadium (the 'mo' and 'va') in the Cromova 18 steel. The steeper angle of the edge also plays its part, staying sharper than a thicker, bevelled edge, even as it gets duller through use.
To balance their knives, Global's expertly designed hollow handles are filled with just the right amount of sand, countering the weight of the blade. Global uses this method over a full tang and a bolster to balance their knives for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is far more precise. Secondly, Asian knives typically don't have bolsters as they hinder cutting and sharpening.
The smooth contours and seamless construction of a Global knife eliminates food and dirt traps, offering the ultimate in safety, hygiene and grip. Still handcrafted in Yoshikin's factory in Japan, Global knives are manufactured to extremely high and exacting standards. No surprise then that they continue to win multiple awards and endorsements from professional chefs. Truly, an icon in any kitchen.
Global Knives and Harts of Stur
Harts of Stur are proud to stock a comprehensive range of Global Knives that cater for all types of food preparation. Cook's knives, paring knives, peeling knives, utility knives, slicing and carving knives, vegetable knives, meat and fish knives and bread knives. So, whether it be a general purpose chef's knife or Santoku knife or a more specialist blade for shellfish or peeling you can be rest assured there's a Global knife for the task in hand. Below is a breakdown of the Global knife ranges stocked by Harts of Stur as well as a range of knife sharpening solutions.
Global Classic Knives
The Global Classic knife range is instantly recognisable by its characteristic one-piece design and black dots on the knife handle. Iconic design and superior blade sharpness make the Global Classic knife range popular with both professional chefs and home cooks. Covering a wide range of food preparation tasks, the Global Classic range is broken down into task specific groups -
Global G-Series. Larger, longer bladed knives with a weighted hollow handle. Includes the best-selling Global G-2 20cm Cook's Knife.
Global GS-Series. A set of small to medium sized knives that cover all areas of food preparation. Includes the popular Global GS-11 15cm Flexible Utility Knife and the Global GS-9 8cm Tomato Knife.
Global GF-Series. The larger drop forged knives in this series are perfect for heavier use and are thus favoured by the professional chef. The Global GF-31 16cm Boning Knife and Global GF-36 20cm Vegetable Chopper Knife feature in the GF-Series.
Global GSF-Series. The Global GFS-Series features a range of smaller knives that have solid handles. If you are looking for a small peeling or chopping knife, this is the series for you.
Global Ni Knives
Global launched the Ni range in 2015 (Ni is Japanese for two). Designed with the professional chef in mind Global Ni kitchen knives deliver higher specification and performance. The fresh, angular outline of the knife and its oriental restyling of the blade affords a more precise and accurate cut. The blade is also slightly thicker than on the Classic series. This increased weight of the knife enhances the cutting experience. At the other end of the knife is a longer, ergonomically designed 'chestnut' handle. This improves user comfort when using a professional pinch-grip. The iconic dotted design is still evident, but has been pared down to a thin strip and left natural, enhancing the knife's sleek appearance. Although heavier than a Classic knife, a Global Ni kitchen knife still retains the lightweight feel associated with Global knives thanks to the CROMOVA stainless steel from which it is made.
Global Sai Knives
Global Sai Knives are the next generation of knives to come from designer Komin Yamada. The Sai collection features a stylish redesigned handle with a thumb recess for a safe and secure grip. The premium blades are made from a special 3-ply steel and have a hammered finish which prevents food from sticking to the blade. A beautiful looking range of knives that use are a joy to use.
Global Knife Blocks and Sets
Our range of Global Knife Blocks and Global Knife Sets are the ideal way to start your Global knife collection and offer substantial savings over individual knives. Not sure which range of Global knife to go for? The G-SNI301 Global Kazoku 3 Piece Knife Set includes one knife from each of the Classic, Ni and Sai ranges so you can compare and contrast. Other popular sets include the G2338 Global 3 Piece Starter Set and the Global G-804690 3 Piece Kitchen Knife Set.
In addition to the extensive range of Global knives, Harts of Stur also stock a comprehensive range of Global accessories including magnetic knife racks, magnetic blade guards, knife cases and cutting boards.
How to sharpen a Global Knife
Although Global's unique design means their sharpness is maintained longer than most knives, they do need still be sharpened. Periodically sharpening your knives with either a whetstone or ceramic stone is the preferred method. In between stone sharpenings, it is recommended to use a Global fine ceramic or diamond rod to keep the edges of your knives aligned. However, knife sharpening is a skill to master. To make things easier, Global have pioneered water wheel sharpeners - the MinoSharp and MinoSharp Plus. These are hand-held ceramic sharpeners and no experience or skill is required to use them simply fill the reservoir with water and run your knife backwards and forwards a few times. The revolutionary ceramic wheels ensure the blade is sharpened at the correct angle.