The Chicago Cutlery Signature series uses full tang construction with blades ground from the same blank of stamped high carbon stainless steel. The handle shape and grip is completely formed from the slabs of American black walnut hardwood fixed to the tang with three solid brass rivets. Blades are taper ground with plain edges and cut smoothly through tough steak and any other cut of meat you’d care to tackle.
The plain edges are easily sharpened at home, and since steak knives spend a lot of time cutting on plates and bone as well as meat, a regular touch-up with a honing steel ought to be standard procedure. That’s a real advantage over serrated edges, which claim to last forever but quickly turn into saws instead of knives. You’ll notice more flexibility in these blades if you’re used to forged knives, but there’s plenty of blade strength here to handle a dining service. Save them for the table, and use stouter knives for prep work.
Keeping the black walnut handles in good shape is the only trick, and the problem is simple to solve. Walnut will absorb water if left to soak, and the finish on these handles will eventually fade and lose its protective ability. Dishwashers do the worst damage, so make sure you clean these knives by hand and don’t leave them sitting in dishwater. A quick rub with a little cooking oil when the handles dry and lose color will prevent most trouble.
If you’re looking for something a little more modern, try the 4 Steak Knife Set from Zwilling/Henckels, a forged pattern with a light build.
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