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Global knives breaking/snapping issues?

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Hi! I'm in the market to upgrade a few new knives (getting married and registering, looking for a chef's, paring, and probably utility and a sashimi). I went to store and tried a few and I really like the light feel of the Globals and the all-steel construction, but I've read from a few posts that some people have had the blade snap off at the handle and that has me a little scared... even though I always take good care of my knives (never dishwash them or anything).

So I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem or do these people just not know how to take care of knives? I have to admit I was thinking about getting a magnetic rack since I like the idea of my knives being right in front of me, but I've heard this can weaken the knife from repeatedly pulling it off.

Thanks for your input!
Scott (new to this forum!)

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  1. Globals are nice - they're light and stay sharp. I've had a couple, one snapped as I thwacked garlic - it was there and then it wasn't. And one just showed up in the drawer broken (I keep them in guards) - so no clue what happened. I've replaced both of them with the same knife - so call me loyal or stupid.

    For full disclosure, I've some german chef knives and am exploring other japanese knives (ok - so maybe I'm not entirely stupid or loyal!).

    Welcome to the forum and be prepared for lots of opinion!
    Congrats on the wedding.

    1 Reply
    1. re: alwayscooking

      I have about a dozen Global knives that I've had for many years without problems. Question is-how many knives of all makes just occasionally fail from regular use, not just abuse. I wouldn't hesitate to get another Global. Was just in one of my favorite stores- Warren Cutlery in Rhinebeck, NY, where I could have asked their experience with knife breakage, especially when it comes to Global. Really a matter of what fits your hand and what feels right to you.

    2. If it feels good in your hand, go for it

      1. Don't waste your registry for a paring knife.
        The best paring knife around is a Victoronix that you can buy for less than $5 at any kitchen or restaurant supply store. They're sharp and yes, they have a plastic handle. But that's what most professionals I know use and buy for their own homes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: monku

          when I was at work I used a paring knive but at home I have a wusthof utilty knive. Utility knife is your best bet along with chefs knife and bread knife and maybe fillet knife.

        2. I've heard that knife snapping is more common now that recycled steel is the normal material. Prior to the late 80's it was more common for knives to be forged from virgin steel. This of course might be complete BS on the part of the person I heard it from.

          5 Replies
          1. re: rockfish42

            No might about it. total bs.

            1. re: dscheidt

              Care to elaborate? I've heard it from a couple sources, supposedly around 1987-88 most of the European manufacturers switched to using recycled steel due to a change in regulations. Among Japanese knife makers I've seen virgin steel knives offered at higher prices, is this just an attempt to play up a made up qualitative difference on their part?

              1. re: rockfish42

                How is it gonna be any different?

                1. re: Soop

                  Supposedly small amounts of impurities lead to stresses and snapping, again I'm wondering if someone else has more information on the subject. Most of what I've heard is anecdotal other than what I said in the last post about the regulations changing.

                2. re: rockfish42

                  There's no such thing as "virgin" steel, for one thing. All steel contains a substantial amount of recycled steel. Exact amount depends on the steel and the producer, but it's 35% on the low end. Steel used for cutlery is made to specifications, either published by standards organizations (The steel used in most German knives is like this) or a manufacturer's proprietary formula (many Japanese knives, some high end Germans). Either way, the specifications cover the final product, not the origin of the material.

            2. I had my Global GSF paring knife break in half; the e-merchant offered to replace it, but I was too lazy to send it back.

              I love my Globals. But I use my colourful Kershaw Pure Komachi knives (purchased from Costco) about just as often b/c they're lighter, smaller and more comfortable.

              1. Thanks everyone for all the advice and suggestions! I think I am going to go and handle a Shun chefs knife for comparison.

                I registered for a Forschner bread knife not wanting to spend $$$ on a bread knife, but I think you're right about the paring knife too, might as well go inexpensive with that since I really don't use it very often. Its just easy to get carried away when someone else is potentially buying it! I also registered for a more inexpensive carving set and maybe later I'll buy for myself some Japanese knives like a gyuto and one of those longer slicing knives for sushi.

                1. I know you probably like the light feel of the knife, and that you probably like how it feels in the hand, but you really need to try to cut something "normal" with it. If you have a friend who has a Global chefs knife (or similar size), or if you go to a place which has knife or cooking demonstrations, you should try dicing a large onion and then mincing some garlic.

                  I recommend "real" testing the knife specifically because light knives require a little more arm strength to move the blade through some food. This becomes more noticeable if you have do a lot of prep.
                  Second, the metal handle for the knife is great if you're just chopping up one item, but if you rinse your blade from chopping up onion, then to mincing garlic (or whatever the next tasks are) the wet handle can be slick/uncomfortable to hold.

                  Regarding the blade itself, the blade will be fine unless you plan on chopping through ox bones.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Cary

                    I wish Bed Bath and Beyond had a testing station!! That would be nice.

                    Right now I have a $20 8" Analon that does the job ok, so its really a little bit of self indulgence to get another knife. But I figure that since we are registering I might as well get a few things on there that I'll use. And I just cook for fun, usually only for my fiance and I, so there's rarely a lot of prep work. But I get that impression if I were a working chef I think I'd be a lot more hesitant to go with the Global. I think I'm going to go handle a Shun this week and see if I like that grip any better.

                    1. re: ScottU

                      if you like the look and feel of stainless, check out the shun stainless, I have a santoku and it's pretty cool. heavier than global though but also a bit idiosyncratic in the handle, as it's sort of shaped in a D. out of the box, it's wicked sharp though, and you probably won't have to sharpen it for at least 6 months. It's designed for righties, though I understand theres a model for lefties too. If you like the heft of the global, see if you can find a Mac to check out, the mighty mac is a fine knife for around the same money and very well thought of. The chef's knife will be your workhorse, and along with a paring knife and serrated bread knife, you'll be all set. Beware, though, once the knife bug bites you, you will find many excuses for adding to your collection.

                      1. re: chuckl

                        For a superb selection of top-class knives, from everyday working knives to real collector's items with damascus blades and exotic handles (turquoise, walrus ivory, abalone, etc), try japanesechefsknife.com. Be warned though, you may have to buy a bigger knife block once you get started! :-)

                        My own pick would be Hattori, I have four of those replacing my previous Globals (Nakiri, Santoku (indulgent KD model), small and large Petty), although I have another half-dozen Globals which I still use (bread, boning, cleaver etc).

                  2. I have a few Globals that have seen a good ten years of professional use. I've never had one break nor have I seen one damaged that wasn't abused.
                    Before you opt for Japaneese knives you may want to consider what your comfort level is sharpening them.
                    As some one else already suggested most professional cooks do not use high end knives at work. However I think that's a bit out of context for two reasons.
                    Many cooks can not afford their own tools.
                    Many end up using house knives like Dexter or Forschner simply because they typically get handed out to cooks by the Chef or rented.
                    That probably has little meaning to the OP save for the fact that many inexpensive knives will last a lifetime if cared for.
                    Having said all of that I would agree that you should consider asking for a less costly pairing knife and looking for a higher end primary knife.
                    Don't forget to ask for a set of steak knives!
                    PS Congrats!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Fritter

                      Another good reason: If you work in a large kitchen, they can go missing.

                    2. Personally, I've used my Global 10" chef's for over a year in the kitchen. It is on the board over 8 hours a day, during prep and through service. I keep it sharp on the ceramic and occasionally take it to the edgepro. I use it for everything from mincing garlic, chopping onions, pitting avocados, julienning snow peas, cutting tuna, slicing bread, and slicing plastic wrap. I've never had any problems with it.

                      1. Our Global knives are 4 yrs old, and still work great. However, my $400 Kramer chef's knife chipped right in the middle of the blade the second time I used it (on veggies) but Sur La Table replaced it no problem.
                        The chip was about 1/2 inch long, shaped like half a heart - very odd. There must have been a weakness in the steel because I hadn't used it on anything harder than a carrot yet. SLT said they'd never seen anything like it. I love its heft and sharpness, and use it for almost everything now.

                        27 Replies
                        1. re: Claudette

                          Unless you are a professional sushi chef, why in the world would you spend $400 on a knife. I am not a chef, but have many friends in the industry, and not one would even think of investing in a $400 knife and especially bringing one to work. From what I am told, many have good personal knives, but not in that price range. I am a good home cook, and have a few good knives in the $100-150 price range (Global, Henckel, Wusthof) and I am way more limited by my own skills than by the quality of my tools.

                          1. re: josephnl

                            Why in the world would people spend hundreds to thousands to more on high quality items ranging from stereo systems, cars, wines, and even knives? Everyone has some time of indulgence.

                            1. re: Cary

                              I guess I have just thought of kitchen knives as essential and utilitarian "tools of the trade", and not as treasured collectables. I stand corrected! You are quite right. Indeed why would someone spend hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars for a pen when a 49 cent BIC will write perfectly well...indeed I do. Collecting fine pens is my indulgence! Thanks for putting me on the right track.

                            2. re: josephnl

                              "I am not a chef, but have many friends in the industry, and not one would even think of investing in a $400 knife and especially bringing one to work"

                              While I agree completly consider this;

                              "Masaharu Morimoto never goes into battle on the popular cooking show, Iron Chef, without his custom-made knives that are produced by master craftsmen in Japan in accordance with his specifications. These knives are the leading weapons in his arsenal with which he pioneers his globally famous "new world cuisine." The handles are deer horn and each of the knives retail for between $4,000 and $5,000 "

                              1. re: Fritter

                                Yes ; but we are talking about a chef who earns quite a bit more and is very high profile, Do you believe he was buying a $5.000 knife when he was an apprentice?
                                Please. Someone with a $5.000 knife is akin to the middle aged chubby guy with a comb over in tragically hip clothes driving a red Corvette.

                                1. re: Fritter

                                  They might retail for between $4K-$5K, but Morimoto probably doesn't pay that or maybe he doesn't pay anything at all......endorsements? His specs etc....Tiger Woods doesn't pay for his Nike golf clubs either.

                                  Kind of like the jewelry and gowns they wear on the red carpet at the Oscars......they don't pay for most of that stuff.

                                  1. re: monku

                                    Never thought of that , but you may be quite right. Some how I find it hard to believe that someone that has come through the "Ranks" If you may, would think to spend that kind of cash on a knife. I found it hard to spend $110.00 on my Global G2, but I'm glad I did.

                                    1. re: currymouth

                                      Everyone's measure of disposable income is different. Some folks balk at spending $$$ for All-Clad, Le Creuset, etc but find that you indeed get what you pay for, whether it's pots, pans or knives.

                                      1. re: OCAnn

                                        I agree.............. But a $5.000 knife?

                                        1. re: currymouth

                                          Well, for someone who makes seven figures, a $5k knife is like a $500 knife for someone who makes six figures. I wouldn't buy a $5k knife, but if I could afford a Patek Philippe or a Vacheron Constantin, I'd have one of each!

                                        2. re: OCAnn

                                          Yes...to a certain point, and No...beyond that point. For example, I doubt very much that a $5000 knife cuts better than a $500 knife. But I am sure that the $500 knife is vastly superior to a $29 special at Bed, Bath & Beyond. After a certain price point, one gets to certain collectable characteristics that have little to do with utility...such as who made the knife, what precious material the handle is made of, how much craftmanship went into the handle, etc.

                                          I am a big fan of Le Creuset cookware. Am I sure that it's significantly better than other much less expensive enameled cast iron? I like to think so, but honestly I'm not sure.

                                          As mentioned in a previous post, I am a collector of fine fountain pens, and I can assure you that for about $400-500 you can get the silkiest writing fountain pen which is vastly superior to anything under $100. But you can also pay $5,000 -50,000 for collectable fountain pens that do no write any better, but which are works of art. So...getting what you pay for, is very much in the eyes of the purchaser. Functionality only improves to a certain point. Beyond that it is either style, hype, rarity, art or desirability by collectors that dictates the price.

                                          1. re: josephnl

                                            A old boss of mine collected old Patek Phillipe watches and I remember him admiring two American gold eagle models he had picked up at an auction for $10.000 a piece. So I asked why he wore a Casio? "Held Better time, never had to wind it up, don't give a damn if it broke". I wear a Casio..

                                            1. re: josephnl

                                              Unless I was a millionaire, I wouldn't buy a $5k knife; and even then, I'd have to think & rethink it. And ITA that after a certain price point, difference in quality diminishes (compare the Namiki Vanishing Point Raden v non-Raden).

                                              I often reach for my cheaper Kershaw Pure Komachi knives more often for non-meat cutting (vegetables, bread, etc) than my Globals, b/c it cuts better and is easier to use, in the same way I reach for my cheap Cross Ions more often than my screw-top Mont Blanc Bohemes.

                                              1. re: OCAnn

                                                A millionaire wouldn't buy a $5K knife because he probably has a personal chef or eats at Morimoto's restaurants.
                                                If a millionaire had a $5K knife it would be some kind of collectible knife.

                                                1. re: monku

                                                  Your moniker certainly fits you! I'm sure not all millionaires stop cooking entirely.

                                                  1. re: OCAnn

                                                    Well for 5 grand it had better have Morimoto attached to the handle in all his glory.

                                                    1. re: OCAnn

                                                      Today last years millionaire might only be worth $400K.

                                                      I should probably buy a Global at some point in my life. I have a 10" Henckels that doesn't get the use it should, because years ago someone closing a restaurant gave me half a dozen brand new Dexter 10" chef knives and one sits in the dish rack all the time which is too convenient to use.

                                                      1. re: monku

                                                        It really depends on what you are doing. I love the Global for the balance and the low weight when doing a lot of repetitive grunt work, but still adore my trusty Henckels when I have to have the sheer weight and heft. My $18.00 Chinese clever for getting me in the mood for Soy sauce duck and splitting a rack of ribs and and old flexible sushi knife I got at a flea market for dressing fish.

                                                        1. re: currymouth

                                                          You just reminded me of the old Chinese clever I inherited from my grandfather I never use. When I was kid I used to be petrified with its size and sharpness. Any Chinese duck or chicken I get is take out and already cut up.

                                                          But, you've inspired me to put my Henckels in the dish rack so it gets some use.

                                                          1. re: monku

                                                            My mom would call it a "Tong Ma" and we would take pains not to piss her off when she was breaking down a chicken or dressing a hunk of pork.

                                                  2. re: OCAnn

                                                    Right on re the pens. All vanishing points use the same nibs which are incredibly smooth. The $120 pen writes as well as any $5000 fountain pen!

                                              2. re: currymouth

                                                currymouth's quote came from Chef Morimoto's website....sounds like an ad for his knives.

                                                As I said.......Tiger Woods=Nike Golf Clubs

                                                http://www.chefmorimoto.com/knives/kn...
                                                http://www.chefmorimoto.com

                                                1. re: monku

                                                  Which quote was that?

                                                  1. re: currymouth

                                                    Sorry currymouth, meant the quote from Fritter's post (your response was right beneath)

                                                    "Masaharu Morimoto never goes into battle on the popular cooking show, Iron Chef, without his custom-made knives that are produced by master craftsmen in Japan in accordance with his specifications. These knives are the leading weapons in his arsenal with which he pioneers his globally famous "new world cuisine." The handles are deer horn and each of the knives retail for between $4,000 and $5,000 "

                                                  2. re: monku

                                                    It could be an ad. I really have no idea other than looking at his web site but it does appear that he intends to sell a line of knives in the future.

                                                2. re: monku

                                                  "Kind of like the jewelry and gowns they wear on the red carpet at the Oscars......they don't pay for most of that stuff"

                                                  Yes that's true but they have to give those items back. You really didn't think Harry Winston was giving diamonds away just for a little promo did you?
                                                  I suspect that Morimoto pays for his knives. The maker does not have a retail operation and they are completly custom made.
                                                  In either event I think its odd, and humorous that others spend time being the least bit concerned about how some one else spends their money.
                                                  If a $400 knife makes you happy and you can afford it, buy one!

                                                  1. re: Fritter

                                                    there's a tactile pleasure that comes from using a good knife that is practically therapeutic. If it gives you pleasure and you've got the money, more power to you

                                          2. All of my knives are Global and I use them every day. I personally love the way they feel in my hand and they are just the right weight for me. I have never had any problems with them in any regard. That being said, I think you should certainly try out any knife you are thinking of buying. Everyone has a different "perfect" knife and what one person loves, another might not like at all.

                                            1. I like my Global knife set and have had them for over 4 years. However the vegetable clever has broken twice now, I purchased a new one around 2 years ago and yesterday whilst preparing food as usual the blade snapped clean off just above the handle - and unfortunately as a result a cut my hand badly. I have not gone throught the process of contacting the company yet and not sure if they would replace the knife for such an incident???

                                              Has anyone else had similar experience and what is the customer service like?

                                              Flipping Veg Clever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: haza79

                                                I would definitely contact them. A quality knife should not just snap and injure you if you're using it as intended.
                                                Where did you buy it from?

                                                1. re: haza79

                                                  What were you cutting that caused it to break?

                                                  1. re: haza79

                                                    Haza79,

                                                    It seems like Global has an issue of their knives breaking between the handle and the blade. This is of course an issue because a normal knife usage should not cause a knife to break between the handle and the blade. This is another compliant.

                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/660856

                                                    If you actually got injured during a normal knife usage, then I would ask Global to pay for your medical bill. Seriously though, I would ask Global not to give you a replacement knife but the cash value of the knife, so you can go and get another vegetable cleaver.

                                                    Is this the vegetable cleaver you got?

                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Yoshikin-G-5-Gl...

                                                    If you like this style, I will just search for a Japanese Nakiri knife or Usuba knife in replacement.

                                                    Some Nakiri bocho to consider:

                                                    Shun:
                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Shun-Pro-2-Inch...

                                                    Kanetsune
                                                    http://japan-blades.com/chef-knives/2...

                                                    Fujiwara (scroll down to see the Nakiri):
                                                    http://japanesechefsknife.com/HKVSeri...

                                                    I have heard enough Global knife snapping problems.

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                      Grant Achatz just tweeted this -

                                                      Gachatz Ever seen a knife do that? I was just slicing some parmesan... http://yfrog.com/i33dtsj

                                                  2. I would probably recommend but do not expect to have them all our life. I have a set of 8 with the block to protect them but they have been not withstanding time even if I don't used the dishwasher and I have bought also their sharpener. Here is the state of my knifes after less than 4 years

                                                     
                                                     
                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Juflynn

                                                      Are you talking about the condition of the edge and the curve near the heel? It looks like you've been sharpening it unequally on different portions of the knife.

                                                      It also looks like you've chipped the edge out in a few areas, which surprises me since I consider Global to have a softer and tougher heat treatment than is really optimal.

                                                      I would suggest finding a good sharpener to fix those issues for you.

                                                      1. re: Juflynn

                                                        Or are you talking about the edge chipping? I do agree with Cynic. Your knife has an issue at the knife heel area It seems the knife was over-sharpened at that area.

                                                        Don't worry. You can fix these issues. A reasonable knife sharpener should able to grind out that chipped out area and flatten the overall knife edge. It is not beyond repair.

                                                        The chipping can be either the knife's fault or yours, but the uneven grinding at the heel area is definitely the problem of over-sharpening.