Looking at this knife I thought, hmm, that’s familiar–and of course it would be, because it’s an old design, the “nothing fancy” kind of knife that used to be common, dependable and reasonably priced. The reason I remember it, though, is that my grandmother had one just like it — I can’t swear it was from Ontario Knife Company but I do remember the pattern on the blade, which you won’t see on some cheap import.
My grandmother rode a covered wagon west to Kansas, and even when I knew her she was the sort to buy something once and keep it forever. That knife is probably still floating around in somebody’s kitchen drawer, now that she’s been gone a few decades.
Though it doesn’t have the streamlined look of modern offerings, this knife has some very good features. The blade is carbon steel, the alloy that has fallen out of fashion except for knives we use all the time, like kitchen knives. When you need something reliably sharp, and an edge you can easily hone, carbon steel is still the best. The blade is properly ground, not just a blank of steel with a crudely sharpened edge — it will actually cut tomatoes, not mash them.
The brass riveted wood handle is naturally non-slip and naturally anti-bacterial. I wouldn’t run it through a dishwasher, but cleaning it by hand is easy. This knife makes just as much good sense today as it did when my grandmother’s wagon headed west from Joplin, Missouri.
Find this Old Hickory Paring Knife: