An Expert Guide to Global's Knife Sets

Published on 03/04/2024 · 9 min readMaster your kitchen with Global's knife sets! Read on to learn about their iconic design, unmatched sharpness, and how to choose the set that elevates your cooking!
Di Doherty, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Di Doherty

Photo courtesy of Global

TL;DR: Global is a Japanese knife maker that’s been around for more than 30 years. They manufacture high-quality stamped knives for customers who are looking for a well-made and affordable Japanese-style knife. When buying a Global knife set, consider how much you want to spend, what knives should be in the set, and how to properly care for the knives.

I’ve been a knife aficionado for five years now, though my interest extends back to when I was a kid. New types of knives and knife-making technology interest me, and my knife collection includes both Western- and Japanese-style knives. My collection includes knives that are made out of carbon steel, stainless steel, and ceramic.

Global’s knives are innovative and distinctive. If you have any questions about terminology, knife care, or how many knives should be in a set, start a free chat with a Curated Kitchen Expert! Everyone at Curated is well versed in their respective area of expertise and will be more than happy to spend time talking to you about mutual interests.

Who Is Global?

Photo courtesy of Global

Global is a Japanese knife maker that utilizes innovative manufacturing techniques to make high-quality stamped knives. The design was created in 1985, and they’ve since expanded their business globally.

While the knives are stamped, they’re made out of a high-carbon stainless steel alloy with chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum for rust resistance and strength. While most knives are sharpened in a bevel, these knives taper all the way from the spine to the blade. That means that while most knives are only ground down at the edge to create a point, Global knives’ sharpening goes all the way up, which allows them to stay sharp after heavier use.

While they aren’t full tang knives — they actually don’t have a tang at all — that doesn't mean they aren’t well balanced. The handle starts off hollow and is filled with sand so that the knife’s center of balance is where the blade meets the handle.

The overall result is a razor-sharp, well-balanced, lightweight, and affordable knife, though they lack the durability of a forged, full-tang knife.

What to Consider When Buying a Global Knife Set

While Global kitchen knives are affordable compared to the majority of Japanese-style knives, they’re still an investment. Here are some questions to ask yourself when picking out a new knife set.

How Much Do I Want to Spend?

While buying knives in a set is cheaper than getting each knife individually, it’s a lot of upfront cost. The number of knives in the set will make a big difference in the price, though every set usually includes the basics, like a chef’s knife and a paring knife. Because of that, a Global set can cost anywhere from $200 (for a three-knife set) to over $1,000 for a 12-piece set.

Global also has three different tiers of knives. Their Classic line is the most affordable, while the Ukon and Sai lines have a higher sticker price.

What Should Be In the Set?

Picking out the right knives is also important when buying a set. Most sets include the basic, most popular knives, but larger sets will include more unusual ones.

  • Gyuto knife: Unless it’s a specialty set, it should include a gyuto knife. These knives are also called Japanese chef’s knives and can tackle the same tasks as a Western chef’s knife, such as slicing, chopping, and dicing.
  • Paring knife: If you’re only going to have two knives in your kitchen, this is the second knife to choose. Paring knives are excellent for small or delicate tasks like deveining shrimp, coring strawberries, or peeling apples.
  • Santoku knife: Originally of Japanese design, santoku knives have become common in the West, too. These are another multipurpose knife with a stiff blade. These knives don’t have a curve in the blade (unless they’re a rocking santoku), so they can’t do a rocking chop, but they have a larger cutting surface than a chef’s knife.
  • Utility knife: A utility knife is a highly useful knife that excels at tasks that fall in between a chef’s knife and a paring knife. They’re excellent for mincing herbs, cutting up bell peppers, or slicing fruit.
  • Bread knife: Despite the name, bread knives can cut more than just bread. The serrations on the blade allow it to grip what you’re cutting, making it ideal for baked goods like bread and cake and for slippery foods like tomatoes or citrus.
  • Nakiri knife: While unusual in knife sets, nakiri knives are well-known Japanese knives. They’re sometimes referred to as Japanese vegetable knives, as that’s what they’re designed for. They’re best for chopping and cutting thin, even slices.

How Do I Care for Global Knives?

Global knives suffer from some of the same issues as knives made by other Japanese companies. Japanese knives prioritize sharpness, which means that they’re less concerned about durability. As Global’s knives are stamped, which creates a less durable steel than forging does, this is doubly a concern.

Here are some tips for caring for your knives.

  • Handwash: These knives shouldn’t go in the dishwasher. The harsh cleaning agents in the detergent can wear down the chrome coating and make the knife vulnerable to rust. Also, being jostled in a dishwasher leaves the knife vulnerable to chipping and dulls the edge faster.
  • Careful what you use them for: These knives are thin and light, which means that using them to cut frozen foods or bones can chip or damage the tip or cutting edge of your knife. And while you should never use any knife to pry (you’re asking to bend or break the blade), these knives are especially vulnerable to twisting or pressure on the side of the blade.
  • Cutting surface: It’s never a good idea to cut on a hard surface like stone, glass, or tile, but it’s especially true for these knives and can result in dinging or chipping the sharp edge of the blade. Even if it doesn't, you’re going to dull your knives much faster (and it’s loud!) Composites are also extremely hard and mean you need to sharpen your knives more often. I recommend a wooden or bamboo cutting board as they preserve your knife’s edge, have natural antibacterial properties, and are attractive.
  • Honing: Make sure to hone your knives regularly. A sharp knife has a very thin edge, and using it can cause that edge to curl over. This will make your knife feel dull and be more prone to slipping, which is dangerous for both you and your knife. Running the edge along a honing rod straightens that back out, keeping your knife sharp, and preventing the curled edge from hardening and leading to damage.

Features to Look for in Global Knife Sets

Global cutlery is well made and striking, making it a solid choice. That being said, there are some features that I look for when I’m shopping for a knife set.

Storage

Global 10 Piece Takashi Knife Block Set. Photo courtesy of Global

When purchasing a knife set, it’s helpful to have a way to store it. This can take the form of a knife block, magnetic bar, knife case, or in-drawer storage tray.

Benefits:

  • Will fit knives properly, preventing dulling them when removing them from a too-tight slot
  • Cheaper than buying a block or magnetic bar separately
  • Ensures that knives have a safe place to be stored, preventing accidental cuts or damage to the knives

Be Aware:

  • Likely will only fit the knives in the set and won’t be helpful if you expand your collection
  • Wooden knife blocks require additional care

Honing Rod

Global Classic Room to Grow 6-Piece Knife Block Set(Global Classic Knife Block Set · 6 Piece Set). Photo courtesy of Global

It is essential to include a honing rod with your knife set for proper knife care. Having it in the block with the knives ensures that I remember to use it every time.

Benefits:

  • Honing rod will have a handle that matches the rest of the set
  • Knife block has built-in storage for your honing rod
  • Buying it with a set is cheaper than buying it individually

Be Aware:

  • Usually only come in larger knife sets
  • Redundant if you already own one

How to Pick the Best Global Knife Set for You

A bread knife, chef's knife, and santoku knive. Photo courtesy of Global

Even when you’ve narrowed down what brand you want to buy, there are still a lot of options out there. While having alternatives is undoubtedly a good thing, it can make it difficult to know what the best choice for you is. To give you a leg up, I’m going to describe three different people and what Global knife sets I’d recommend they buy.

Charlotte: Graduate Student Looking to Get Good Starter Knives

Charlotte has been trying to cook for herself more often, and she’s decided that a good way to start is to get herself some better kitchen tools. She doesn’t have a lot of space, so she’d like to start with just a few useful knives and then maybe build up her collection later. She’d also prefer not to spend too much money.

Features to look for:

  • Global Classic line for affordability
  • A starter set that includes only the most versatile knives

Recommended products: Global Classic Knife Set, Global Classic 3-Piece Knife Set

Elijah: Hobbyist Cook Looking for a Good Knife Set

Elijah has enjoyed cooking his entire life and wants to get some good kitchen knives to make his hobby more enjoyable. He wants more than the basic few knives but doesn't have very much space in his apartment, so he's hoping for a storage solution that won’t take up much counter space.

Features to look for:

  • A smaller storage container like a magnetic strip or small knife block
  • A five- or six-piece set to include a few more knives and storage

Recommended products: Global Classic Magnetic Knife Bar Set, Global Ikasu V Knife Block Set

Luna: Home Cook Looking to Get a Complete Knife Set

Luna does the majority of the cooking in her family, and she’d like to get a set of high-quality knives to make the task easier and more enjoyable. She likes the idea of having matching knives that all look and work the same. She’d like for them to come with a way to store them so that she doesn't have to worry about that.

Features to look for:

  • A seven- to ten-piece set, so that it’ll cover all the commonly used knives
  • A knife block for storage

Recommended products: Global SAI Knife Block Set, Global Takashi Knife Block Set

Find the Right Global Knife Set for You

Photo courtesy of Global

Do you think that a set of Global knives might be right for you but still have questions? Reach out to a Curated Kitchen Expert! Every one of our Experts is familiar with different brands, knife construction and terminology, and proper care. As part of Curated’s guarantee that you’ll love what you buy, Experts are happy to work with you to make sure you get the perfect knife set — and it’s all free!

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

Shop Kitchen on Curated

Global Classic Wide 7" Chef's Knife · 7 Inch
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$72.95

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Global Classic Vegetable Knife · 7 Inch · Silver
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$249.99$399.95
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