Knives are tools too – in fact they were likely one of the first things humans designed when they began making tools (of bone, stone, and even wood).
A couple of days ago I visited hacher & krain – a very unique knife store in Toronto. Unique because they have a nice mixture of hand-made knives, from pocket knives to kitchen knives, from places all around the globe – Japan, France, Germany, and Finland – they don’t restrict themselves to one particular region. They also have some solid, thick cutting boards. Greg, the stores owner, doesn’t sell online – which makes real sense, because to get a real feel for a knife, you have to hold it in your hand – check the weight, balance. I decided to buy three new knives: a paring, a boning, and a filleting knife – with the ultimate goal of retiring my Wüsthof knives. hacher & krain carry an excellent selection of K-Sabatier knives from France. The word Sabatier is derived from two knife makers who worked in the French town of Theirs at the beginning of the 19th century. There are many Sabatier brands, but K-Sabatier is the original.
I decided to buy from the K-Sabatier Carbone series – French pattern carbon steel. Having a multitude of woodworking tools – very few of which are made of stainless steel – I have no issue buying carbon steel knives. Carbon steel contains smaller carbide granules, giving it a finer grain which ultimately holds a keener edge that can be better retained, and can be honed with greater ease. The one caveat with carbon steel knives is that if neglected they will rust if left wet or damp, so they should be wiped and dried after use – they will develop a dark patina over time. The knives are tempered to Rockwell 54-56 HRC.Getting a feel for the knives, it is apparent straight away that the Carbone knives are noticeably heavier than their stainless steel equivalents, making for a much better balanced knife.
Once I selected the type of Carbone knives, Greg brought out three of each knife, and I selected the one which felt best. Overall it was an excellent knife buying experience, Greg obviously has a wealth of knowledge and a close affinity with the tools he sells.