I do a good amount of cooking, and like any avid chef, amateur or professional, knives are important. So I was excited to see Edge of Belgravia’s newest additions to their line of Precision chef knife series. The overall design is beautiful and the handles shaped differently from the usual knives I’m accustomed to working with. But how do they cut?
The package I received included four knives. The handles are made of a black rubberish/plastic that has an area up near the blade that is a natural place to put your first finger. And the blades themselves are black. The combination makes for a very attractive look.
Here are the knives that are in the box:
This is a 7.5 inch (19cm) chef’s style knife. At 7.5” it’s slightly smaller than my all time favorite Damascus steel blade and quite a bit lighter. But it’s very comfortable to hold and use.
The bread knife is also 7.5 inches long and the serration is deep and sharp. Its light weight makes it easy to control, and again the handle, like all of them in this set is extermely comfortable.
The fillet knife is 6 inches long and beautifully tapered. It’s exactly the size and shape I like for close cutting, filleting, and deboning. It has the same comfortable handle shape and I found it easy to control.
The slicing knife comes in at 7.5 inches and presents a straight edge - no curve, as you’d expect from a slicing knife. Of the set, the slicing knife was my least favorite. I prefer longer slicing knives, in the range of 10 or even 12 inches so that I can get long even strokes on roasts and turkeys without the tip of the knife getting jammed at the end of a pull. Also the light weight of this knife worked against its purpose as more weight gives me a more even slice. That said I wouldn’t rule it out for every day slicing, particularly for pork round roasts that are in the range of 6 inches across.
The Edge of Belgravia set seems well made with the handles glued to the blade. The tang doesn’t extend through the whole handle but I have not felt any wobble or indication that the weld was loose. The handles are firm and fit my hand well. My wife reports that they fit nicely in her relatively smaller hands, and I expect larger hands would not have a problem either.
The knives all feel balanced and easy to maneuver.
The handles are made of ABS plastic coated with TPR rubber. I’m familiar with ABS plastic and its durabbility so it should stand up to a lot of use. The TPR rubber feels great and gives a nice slip-resistant grip. It doesn’t seem to wear or pull away from the plastic so it may be a good comgination.
The blades are probably the most important part of any knife. Out of the box all the blades were adequately sharp but seemed to have a bit of bur on them. I used a sharpening steel to knock off the bur and that fixed them immediately. They were sharp as most knives I’ve used. The steel is 5Cr15MoV, a relatively hard steel compound that’s used in lots of consumer grade knives. It holds an edge well but because it isn’t as hard as my Damascus knife it needs sharpening more often. The good thing about this relatively softer steel is that it sharpens very easily and quickly. I have only had to use a few strokes on my steel to bring the edges back to top form. Also, the edges are ground at 35 degrees - 17.5 degrees each side. This is a middle of the road angle as knives made of harder steel can hold an angle as narrow as 11 degrees without losing their edge too quickly. For this knife and the kind of steel it's made from, the 17.5 degree angle works well.
The black coating on the blades is a Swiss ILag non-stick coating. It seems to work just fine and the blades are easy to wipe clean. Actually that’s good because Edge of Belgravia specifies not putting these knives in a dish washer. Whether that’s because of the blades, the handles, or the high-endurance glue that holds them all together I’m not certain. But cleaning is easy.
This set is impressive in that it’s a beautiful collection of reasonably priced utility knives. Their web site offers the set of four knives for $99 US but there are also different sets with more knives. And this is only one of their collections. The others look equally gorgeous, a compliment to the designer, Christian Bird.