If there is one piece of kit that every chef, home cook, amateur/pro should seriously invest in, it is a decent set of knives. But knives are a very personal thing; everybody has their own preference and budget.
I have a set of Sabatier knives which I have had for nearly 8 years now and I still use them regularly, but I also have an eclectic mixture of knives which I have picked up over the years which include Victorinox & Global and they all get used for various different culinary jobs, but knife fashion changes over the years so I wanted to see what was out there....
So Franco at Knives.co.uk sent me 2 Chefs Knives to try out and see what I think. My thoughts and conclusions are set out below, starting with the Chroma Type 301.
If knives were sexy, then this knife is the Megan Fox of knives it is absolutely stunning, but is it a case of style over substance. Here is what Chroma say about their Type 301 range:
"F.A Porsche worked alongside the famous Austrian chef Joerg Woerther to create a modern masterpiece, its ergonomic handle is just one of the reasons this knife has won countless awards. The handle of the Type 301 by F.A. Porsche is constructed of 18/10 stainless steel, and the blade is made of high-quality Japanese 301 steel. The blade of each knife is carefully sharpened by the hand of a knife master and a special grinding method is used, so the knife stays sharp longer and is easier to sharpen in the kitchen"
The knife for me is perfectly balanced, and although the handle does take some getting used to, after a few hours using the knife just comes naturally, although picking up a normal knife afterwards does seem a bit strange. The blade is very sharp and copes well with all manner of jobs around the kitchen, and I found sharpening the knife easy enough, although Chroma recommends that you use a whetstone instead of a steel.
So all in all I was very impressed with the Type 301.
Here is what Chroma have to say about their Haiku Original range:
"In Japan, the art of the sword smith has a long tradition. Today HAIKU knives are manufactured in small Japanese knife factories out of high-grade modern steel. Borrowing from an ancient method, a bamboo peg ("mekugi") is inserted from the side into every HAIKU knife where the tang and handle are joined for added stability.
To this day, traditional sword smiths in Japan use this time-tested technique when crafting swords like those once used by the samurai of medieval Japan.
Haiku are the preferred choice in culinary competitions due to their symmetry, lightness and the unique comfort of the wooden handle. For repetitive use in busy kitchens Haiku is the only option.
HAIKU - the Japanese knife with the honoki-wood handle."
After the grand unboxing of the Type 301, I was a little downhearted with the Haiku as the packaging was not as grand, but once I had taken off the cardboard sheath from the blade I was happy again, because this knife is extremely sharp, it is fair to say that this blade is the sharpest on a knife I have used yet.
The Haiku does not look as strong as the 301, but it handled exactly the same jobs admirably, and because the knife is very light I found it easier for fine dicing and for chiffonading than the 301.
Again it is recommended that you use a whetstone to sharpen this knife and not a steel.
Both of these knives are amazing, but as I stated above, knives are a very personal thing and after using these knives for a few weeks now I find myself drawn to the Type 301, I think that it is mainly because of the size, weight and feel of the knife I absolutely love using it, the Haiku for me is just to light but after speaking to some chefs they prefer the lighter style of knife.
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