A few years ago I noticed various individuals on the web making fun of the trademark used by the German cutlery company Eberhard Schaaf, a “Golden Hamster.” While I wasn’t familiar with the brand, it did seem a little strange that the logo for a kitchen knife maker would be a rodent. Naturally, once something has been brought to my attention, I start noticing it practically everywhere. On my next trip to Germany for the IWA outdoor trade show, I quickly found Golden Hamster knives were relatively common in Nuremburg gourmet cooking stores and cutlery shops. Usually, all these shops featured a sign hanging in the window of a little golden rodent proudly proclaiming Schaaf cutlery was available inside. I went home with a 4-inch Golden Hamster paring knife that I soon became very fond of.

A year or two later I spent a few days in Graben-Neudorf, Germany, with custom knife maker Wolf Borger, taking a private knifemaking class in his shop. Wolf also maintains a small cutlery store attached to his work area, selling knifemaking supplies and kitchen cutlery. The line of kitchen cutlery he personally chose to offer was the Golden Hamsters. I asked him about the knives and was told he considered them some of the finest quality blades available in that country.

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