Reviewing the Sharp by Design Void focused me on an issue that I think is relatively unusual in the landscape of consumer goods. We have reached an inflection point. There are luxe knives and performance knives, as opposed to, say, the car world where luxe cars are, generally performance cars as well (even the RR Phantom reaches 155 MPH) reaches . The divergence between the two is getting bigger. This isn’t a “production versus custom” debate, but a realization that for some folks knife cutting performance doesn’t matter.
In one way, this is because even the most minimally acceptable knife is pretty decent these days. You can totally ignore performance and if you pick a reputable brand and halfway decent design, you will get a good cutter. But elite performance is quite often completely detached from a luxury experience (note: The Void was the spark for this article because it is, by far, the best performing Reate I have reviewed).
Before we get into the weeds let me cut off an objection now—often people will say “Well, really, what does it matter? Most people don’t do tasks that require a high performance slicing knife.” This is from the same family of objections to steel snobs, the “why do you need a high performance steel to open Amazon boxes?” But here, with cutting performance, there really is a good reason. For me there are two common tasks I do with knives: opening things and food prep. In food prep a good slicer really does matter. Having a thin, well-ground knife makes a huge difference when peeling an apple or slicing cheese. I also think this is a pretty common scenario. As such I think this objection, in this one case, fails.
Let’s take two different brands dominating the knife market right now: TRM and Reate.
A think-piece review.View Linked Article