Brightly colored plastic knife handles seem to have become a very popular trend in the food service cutlery industry. Deep blue, lime green, florescent orange and brilliant yellow are all considered safer in the workplace because it is harder to overlook a sharp blade at your work station. There is also the fact that some health authorities feel both food items and the cooking utensils used to prepare them should be kept separated for contamination reasons. Color-coding knives obviously helps in this. Which brings us to Kershaw’s new Komachi 2 line of kitchen knives. It’s hard to say they haven’t taken color-coding knives to a new level!
Each knife in the line is given a different food-safe, liquid color-coating over a “high-carbon stainless” blade. While I wasn’t told the precise steel alloy for the blades, I can tell you it is of very thin stock. Blade and handle colors vary from pink, to red, yellow, orange, green and blue, but all are extremely “pastel” in their shades. Frankly, it took me a while to get used to a pastel pink santoku! Of course, blade color really has nothing to do with cutting efficiency.
Like many families, my wife has been looking to cut food costs by buying in bulk when certain items go on sale. This is especially true of chicken breasts. Given the right sale, she will bring home 25 or 30 pounds of bone-in-breasts stacked on large, economy trays. It is my job then to filet them out and repackage into more convenient size portions. Frankly, I sometimes end up feeling like I’m working in a Tyson poultry processing plant!
When the latest shipment of chicken breasts arrived, I selected the blue 6-inch blade AB5061 Multi-Utility for the job. The upswept blade seemed to be the closest model to my standard packinghouse poultry boning knife. While I really could have done without the serrations at the base of the blade, it only took me around 15 or 20 minutes to go through 25 pounds of breasts. The knife was still reasonably sharp at the end and only a few quick passes over a diamond rod were required to bring it back up to its factory edge.
One word of warning here: While you may be able to “power” your way through a cut with the semi-sharp edge of a heavier knife, the lightweight blades on the Komachis need to be kept freshly honed to function properly. Having learned the skill from a tool and die maker when I was still a pre-teen kid, knife sharpening is not an especially difficult chore for me. I also know this isn’t true of everyone. You might want to consider investing in one of the better electric knife sharpeners if you are in that category.
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by Sebastian Lucke / Jan 21, 2010