Calphalon® Katana 6-Inch Chef's Knife
heavy and sturdy and very versatile
This is my go to knife for breaking down heavy, hard stuff. as another reviewer mentioned, this is an extremely hard blade with an absurdly thick spine and heavy wedge shape. it's not the fastest knife on the block, and if you're looking for your only knife, I'd suggest the 8 inch, but this little guy is particularly good if you have small hands or are unfamiliar with knives (such as my girlfriend) and you're afraid to give someone an eight inch razor sharp blade.
The edge on this blade is pretty good, more designed for durability and power than hair thin slicing, but if there's one thing this knife can do, it's break down stuff that would laugh at most knives, and it's plenty sharp to handle an entire kitchen's worth of work (short of slicing, it's a bit short for that) I can get 7 or 8 slices out of a cherry tomato held lengthwise, and about 10 from my myabi kaizen. 1/8th inch matchstick cuts are very doable with this blade.
Ergonomics are fantastic, I've genuinely never held a more comfortable blade. I've had mine a year and a half and the blade is still sharp enough to not need sharpening, graphics are still good, and the handle material is still looking new. I hone it every time I use it, and it should be good for another year without needing a visit to my professional sharpener.
There are only two downsides to this knife. Firstly, it has a higher carbon content than most blades. That means harder and longer lasting edges, but if you put it away without wiping it down (it doesn't need to be bone dry, but can't be sopping wet) you will see rust spots. They are very superficial and wash off, but enough abuse and your knife WILL rust. Basic knife maintenance that anyone with a brain should know means this is essentially a non-issue.
Secondly, the fabulously ergonomic wedge from the handle is a great index finger curl point, but it also lines up with the heel of the blade, so you wind up with a knife that won't fit completely into a block. I solved this problem by taking a flat rasp (heavy duty wood file, though a loose hacksaw blade would do fine too) and shaving a wedge into my cheap old knife block that lets the blade fit flush. took me about 15 minutes to make look right and well worth the effort.
Overall, as a second knife, this is a cheap, tough as nails, and worth having in any kitchen. very functional as an only knife if you have small hands. If you're looking for a primary knife for someone with normal/larger hands, pick up the 8 inch calphalon and call it a day.
August 9, 2014
Fantastic Short knife
I have been cooking food in restaurant kitchens for over 30 years, and this is the best knife I have EVER used! It is a 60 on the hardness (mohs') scale, most other knives are 50 - 55, which means that the cutting edge will last longer than most other knives between sharpenings. I'd recommend using the 20% coupon when purchasing, but either way you won't be sorry purchasing this knife.
February 11, 2014