Jun 14

New West KnifeWorks Santoku Knife + A Giveaway!

in Giveaway, Product Reviews

Using a good knife and acquiring good knife skills can actually make your food taste better.  Using a bad knife or poor skills can damage the texture of the item you are cutting, or cause it to loose moisture.  Because of these issues, I’m starting a new knife series here on LFM where I will occasionally talk about different knives and knife skills, and have some experts weigh in to share their expertise.  I thought the best way to start off the series would be to talk about one of the most important knives in a chef’s arsenal and to have a giveaway!

One knife that every cook should have is a knife that can handle the majority of the chopping, mincing, and slicing of meats, fruits, and vegetables.  In the US, this is typically a chef’s knife, but a new “all-purpose” knife is becoming more and more popular—the santoku (“three-purpose”) knife.  Although this knife is relatively new (it was developed around the end of World War II), it has become very popular in Japan, and increasingly more popular here in the US.  Japanese knives are usually single ground (method of sharpening a knife so that only one side holds the cutting edge), but since the end of World War II, the western-style of beveling both sides of the knife has become popular, and enabled the development of the santoku.  A santoku knife is usually lighter, thinner, and shorter than a Western-style chef’s knife.

New West KnifeWorks Santoku knife next to my Henckel chef’s knife for comparison.

Comparing a santoku to a chef's knife

I recently received a santoku knife from New West KnifeWorks to review.

New West KnifeWorks Santoku Knife

New West KnifeWorks knives are made using high-carbon stainless steel produced by the Hitachi Company of Japan.  The high-carbon content of the steel used takes and retains a razor sharp edge, and the alloys used make the blades stainless and also increase their hardness.


The blades are cut, precision ground, and hand-finished by bladesmiths in Seki, Japan.  The beautiful fusionwood handles are fabricated, assembled, and shaped in Vermont, USA and then hand finished in Seki, Japan.

Gorgeous santoku handle

The work done in Seki, Japan imbues these knives with a wonderful history, as Seki is known as “The City of Swords.”  If you Google “Seki Japan,” almost every single link that comes up on the first couple of pages is about knives and swords.  Seki was the center of Samurai sword making for the last eight hundred years.  As demands for swords began decreasing, many of the swordsmiths started to apply their knowledge and skill to producing cutlery for agricultural and household use.  Seki is now renowned as one of the greatest production centers of cutlery throughout the world.

Knife closeup

Not only is this knife a piece of art, but it is a dream to use.  I love the way it feels in my hand—it is well balanced and comfortable to hold and move.  Even more importantly, it slices through things like a dream, making cuts like the julienne cut a piece of cake.  No bruised tomatoes or squished cuts of fish with this baby!  Watch it in action:

Before trying out this knife, I already knew that I loved New West KnifeWork knives because I own their Super Bread knife.  I never thought a bread knife could be life changing, but now I can’t imagine life without my beautiful Super Bread Knife.  It used to be that I’d get nervous every time I went to slice a cake into layers, but the Super Bread knife satisfies the perfectionist in me by making even this an easy task.  I’ve had my bread knife for about a year now, and it looks and cuts like it’s brand new, so I know that these knives also wear well.

New West KnifeWorks Super Bread Knife

After trying out this santoku, now my own chef’s knives and santoku knives feel more awkward and not as sharp in my hands.  I’m thinking that I may be slightly insane, because one of you lucky readers is going to get the santoku.  Yes, that’s right—I am going to give away this beautiful knife while I now will be saving up my pennies so that I can buy my own.  What was I thinking when I decided to do that?!?

To Enter: The giveaway is now closed!

1. Visit New Works KnifeWorks and then come back and leave a comment on this post telling me which knife you want the most.

Bonus Entries:

2. Follow @fujimama on Twitter. RT this post and then come back and leave a separate comment telling me you’ve done so. NOTE: You must be following @fujimama for this entry to count.  You can even just copy and paste this tweet to make it easy: @fujimama New West KnifeWorks giveaway–win a beautiful super sharp santoku knife! http://su.pr/1abMCK

3. Become a fan on Facebook. Come back and leave a separate comment telling me you’ve done so.

4. Become a fan of New West KnifeWorks on Facebook.  Come back and leave a separate comment telling me you’ve done so.

5. Sign up for our RSS Feed or Email Subscription.  Come back and leave a separate comment telling me you’ve done so.

This contest is open to everyone! The contest will end on Friday, June 18th, 2010 at 10pm PST.  The winner will be announced on Sunday, June 20th, 2010.  The winner will be chosen using random.org.

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