This ten-inch Chef’s Knife in Mundial’s Olivier Anquier pattern holds firmly to the Old World cutlery traditions of strong forged blades and bolsters and tough steel. Mundial does include a couple of improvements — high carbon stain-free steel for extended blade life and granton hollows for better cutting action — but you’ll probably buy this knife for its looks.
Mundial started business in Germany in 1931, and the basics of Mundial cutlery haven’t changed much since the company moved production facilities to Brazil. This Mundial chef’s knife pattern was good enough for your grandfather and is still a good choice for the modern chef, even though today it’s not high-tech. Tempering now involves several stages of heat- and cold-treating for better edge-holding and more strength. Blade style still includes the full width bolster that’s missing from stamped steel knives and from most modern forged designs.
The high point of the Mundial design is appearance. This is a classy knife with solid stainless steel bolster and end cap and a handle grip of carefully shaped and polished Brazilian ironwood. This tropical hardwood resists heat and moisture and keeps its polish with very little special care beyond hand washing and a touch-up with vegetable or mineral oil. The grip is practical and comfortable, designed for safety even when things get slippery.
The blade does include the multiple hollows of the granton grind, a feature also found on modern santokus. These ground hollows break up the contact between food and blade. The hollows fill with juices, lubricate the cut, and help prevent food from stacking up on the blade after slicing.
Compare with the Henckels Hollow Ground Chef’s Knife if you’re more interested in budget price than good looks.
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