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A unique, handy, and inexpensive knife

tanuki soup Jul 18, 2012 04:55 AM

Hi guys.

Due to the hot weather I've been making lots of sandwiches lately, and my long bread knife has proved to be kind of unwieldy for slicing the kaiser rolls and bagels I like to use. I just received a Calphalon Contemporary 6.5" sandwich knife from Amazon, and am pretty impressed with it.

The length is just right -- long enough to slice a big bagel, but not so long that it gets in the way. The balance is good IMO, just behind the bolster.

The blade isn't serrated like most bread knives, but has about 10 big, smooth waves along its length. The edge is single-bevel, like many serrated knives. It looks like you could easily keep the edge sharp by honing it with a ceramic rod. The wavy blade slices through bread very smoothly and precisely. They claim it also slices tomatoes well, but I haven't tried that yet.

The blade is also pretty wide (tall) and has a smoothly curved tip, so it also works great for spreading.

The knife is manufactured in China, but is made of "forged German molybdenum/vanadium" stainless steel. The price is less than $20.

All in all, I think this is an intelligently designed and handy little knife for not a lot of money. What it may lack in snob appeal it more than makes up for in all-around functionality.

(The usual disclaimers: I'm not an employee of Calphalon or Amazon, just a happy customer, etc., etc.)

 
 
  1. Candy Jul 18, 2012 12:49 PM

    I have a couple from Kuhn Rikon that i keep in a drawer under my car's front passenger seat. They are very inexpensive and great little knives. One is about 8" and double bladed. Depending on which way you hold it you can have a slicer or a serrated blade. The other is just a little paring knife with sheath. I keep a small cutting board and a collapsible wine opener in that drawer. You just never know...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Candy
      Sid Post Jul 18, 2012 12:56 PM

      The Kuhn Rikon website has a terrible format for knives. Which ones do you have?

      1. re: Candy
        paulj Jul 18, 2012 09:23 PM

        Several years ago Kuhn Rikon had a 'sandwich knife' - essentially a long serrated paring knife with a rounded tip. Or a bread knife scaled down to the right size for cutting a sandwich in half. With the rounded tip it is also great for spreading mayo and pb&j. It's one of most used knives.

        But I don't think they make it anymore. But the OP's knife appears to fit the same need - a serrated knife with a broad enough tip for spreading purposes.

        I see KR has a couple of other knives that they call 'sandwich knife'. This looks useful. If I ever see it at TJMaxx I'll probably buy it.
        http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Sandwich-Colori-Purple/dp/B007OTFC26/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1342671834&sr=8-2&keywords=kuhn+rikon+sandwich+knife

        On the other hand this Zyliss sandwich knife has a bad cutting edge, and is only good as a spreader and scoop
        http://www.amazon.com/Zyliss-31360-Sa...

        1. re: paulj
          Chemicalkinetics Jul 18, 2012 09:52 PM

          Now that you guys mention it. I also remember the Kuhn Rikon reversed serrated knife.

      2. Chemicalkinetics Jul 18, 2012 06:45 AM

        I have not seen this one from Calphalon, but Shun U2 is supposed to be similar:

        http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
          tanuki soup Jul 18, 2012 07:26 AM

          You're right, CK. Seems like the same basic idea -- a "sandwich knife". The Shun sure looks nice in a strange sort of way, and definitely has the "snob appeal" that the Calphalon lacks. I guess it's nice to have something fancier to consider if I ever get the urge to upgrade ;-)

          1. re: tanuki soup
            Chemicalkinetics Jul 18, 2012 07:33 AM

            Actually, the Calphalon looks very nice. It is straighter.

            Unsurprisingly, KAI lower tier Pure Komachi2 has a similar sandwich knife:

            http://bim.shopstyle.com/pim/d1/96/d1...

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              tanuki soup Jul 18, 2012 07:44 AM

              LOL! I sure have to be more careful before using the word "unique" around here!

              Another point in favor of the Calphalon is that the "teeth" are bigger and more smoothly sinusoidal, so I suspect it's easier to sharpen.

            2. re: tanuki soup
              Sid Post Jul 18, 2012 09:36 AM

              Those look like pretty good knives for their intended purpose. I've used cheap imitations a time or two without good results. Their cheap plastic cousins just didn't cut well.

              I'd be interested in a good review once you have used it some on veggies, lunch meat, spreads, etc.

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