Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Oct 19, 2009 08:58 PM

My Global Just Cracked - Is This Typical? Also, post errors?

Note: Sorry if I'm posting repetative posts - every time I hit "Post", I get an error page. This is my 3rd try.

I've been in the tank for Global knives ever since I held my first about 5 years ago. But, about an hour ago, I dropped my 5.5" Vegetable knife about 2' onto the linoleum and it cracked at the handle, nearly into two pieces.

So, two questions:

1) While the manufacturer's site mentions that they don't cover dropped knives in their warranty, has anyone else had luck getting a replacement in a similar situation?

2) Is this a common occurrence? I mean, high-end (well, sort of high-end) knives cracking with light impacts?

Sad photos attached.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've read other reports of Globals snapping in half when dropped. I believe that even though they look like a single piece of metal, the handles are actually welded to the blades, creating a weak point. Bummer about your knife.

    1. atourgates,

      That is the tradeoff between toughness and hardness. Most Japanese knives are very hard and hold the edge against rolling very well. However, they are not as tough and can crack and snap when hit by great force. To quote Chad Ward, author of the "An Edge in the Kitchen": "The most extreme examples of both would be the extremely hard, yet shatter-prone ceramic knives from Kyocera compared to very tough, soft stainless Chinese cleavers"

      Japanese hard steel knives are built for people who treat their knives very well and careful. If you have ever seen a Japanese sushi chef and a American chef, then you can clearly see the difference between how they treat their knives. That being said, I have seen the softer J.A. Henckels stainless steel knife cracked into two pieces, so there is no absolute.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        This is true. However, for most of the cases I've seen of high end knives break after a fall, it's been at the tip. You might have some luck trying to get a replacement just on the basis of where it broke.

        If you look on amazon's product reviews, there are a couple mentions of a Global breaking "in two." They don't include pictures, but I assume this means something other than the tip breaking off and i wouldn't be surprised if it was in the same place yours broke. Could be an issue with Globals more so than other Japanese knives. I'm speculating, of course.

        1. re: cowboyardee


          You are right. Uusally, knives break at the tip becuase that is the weakest point (very thin point), including those ceramic knives. Now that you mentioned, it is weird that it snapped in the middle. I have seen knives broken at the handle, but that is usually either with bad transportation or from daily abuse, like meat cleaver. In those cases, the stress is put in between the handle and the blade. But in this case, it is a fall and usually that breaks the tips if anything. You are probably correct. It may very well just be Global because of its unique handle. Who know, maybe it welds its handle to the blade in some strange method. I bet a line fracture had developed there already and it was just waiting to break. The fall just gave it the final push. I cannot image a perfect new Global knife will break at the handle with a fall.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Thanks so much for the insight. Global's parent company directed me to their US distributor, Sointu. Their warranty specifies that they don't cover chipped tips, but hopefully a crack in the middle of the knife will be covered.

            1. re: atourgates

              I dropped a Henkels (or maybe it was Wusthof) knife a few years back and it broke near the middle of the blade. The next day I went to a cutlery shop for a replacement and mentioned what happened and they told me bring in the pieces and they would get a free replacement, no proof of purchase needed. Global is at least as expensive, so maybe they have the same policy.

              And thanks again to Northwestern Cutlery in Chicago for saving me $100+. A truly first rate operation.

              1. re: Zeldog


                Global is as expensive as Henckels if not more, but it belongs to a very different kind of cutlery. Japanese knives are built for finesse not toughness.

                Global official policy does not cover misuse and dropping a knife is considered as misuse. Here, directly from Global website:
                Q. What help will you provide if the knife is damaged (snaps, rusts or nicks)?
                Our knives are not guaranteed against damage caused by inappropriate use or negligence.
                [Examples of inappropriate use or negligence of GLOBAL knives]
                1. Dropping the knife on the floor
                2. Attempting to cut frozen foodstuffs or extremely hard articles with the knife
                (twisting the knife from side to side)
                3. Using a dishwasher/drier to clean or dry the knife
                4. Storing the knife without cleaning and drying it
                If damage occurs in other cases than these kinds of examples, we will firstly check the damage and the way of usage, so please enquire with YOSHIKIN's Tokyo Office.

      2. Atourgates,

        Just curious. How goes the problem? Have Global decided to give you a new knife or not? Thanks.

        1. In answer to your second question, my local cook ware store told me the receive returns of Global knives that have snapped between the blade and the handle on a regular basis.

          They wouldn't carry Global knives at all if it weren't for the fact that people keep asking for them, but they don't recommend them for this reason.

          They carry Macs and Shuns as well, which they don't get returned for this reason. So although people may be using the knives incorrectly, like using it as a lever, Globals may have a bigger weak point at that point than other japanese knives.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DoNutAlter

            Grant Achatz just tweeted this -

            Gachatz Ever seen a knife do that? I was just slicing some parmesan...