Jonathan McNees Kitchen Knives

The Jonathan McNees line of kitchen knives are of fairly unique designs of the maker’s own creation. The largest model is an outstanding “carnivore” blade for dealing with meat in large quantities. The paring would be great for a lady’s hand but was a little short for my own. In the end, it was the mid-size utility that I really developed affection for—great design with a 101 potential uses.

It may not have been his original intent, but Bob Kramer seems to have started a major movement among custom knifemakers to try their hand at kitchen cutlery. Well, I guess there is nothing like watching a fairly basic-pattern chef knife sell for several thousand dollars to get a person’s attention. Of course there is one major catch to the market—the people looking for handcrafted custom food prep knives actually intend to use them. While there may be a little bit of leeway on sharpening a knife that will only hang on the wall, serious kitchen users will not give you that margin of error. But as we have pointed out in the past, using knives is what Tactical Knives is all about. My most recent cutting board field test involved a three-knife set handed to me by custom knifemaker Jonathan McNees at the 2011 Blade Show in Atlanta.

The set consists of a wide 9-inch butcher/slicer type blade, a wide 4.5-inch utility blade of fairly unique design, and a 3.13-inch paring knife. All of the knives I was testing had yellow G10 handles and CPM 154 stainless blades. Blade thickness runs around 3/32 inches at the spine, a very important point, as in the past custom makers have had a tendency to make their kitchen cutlery way too heavy. Thin is good when doing real-world food prep.

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