An Expert Guide to Global Knives

Published on 03/01/2024 · 9 min readSlice with unmatched precision! This guide to Global knives illuminates their exceptional sharpness, ergonomic design, and durable construction for culinary excellence!
Di Doherty, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Di Doherty

Photo courtesy of Global

TL;DR: Global knives are made using an innovative stamping process that allows them to compete with forged knives. The Japanese company has been around for three decades and sells its products all over the world. When picking out a Global knife, consider what kind of knife you want and how to care for it.

My interest in knives came from my dad, while my love for cooking came from my mom. The two naturally came together in kitchen knives. I’ve been building my collection ever since I got my own kitchen, and I’m excited that there’s always more to learn.

Getting ready to buy a new knife? A Curated Kitchen Expert can help! Our Experts are able to answer questions, make recommendations, and cover knife care, cleaning, and the pros and cons of different manufacturers. All for free!

Who Is Global?

Photo courtesy of Global

The design for Global kitchen knives was invented in 1985. The Japanese company makes use of innovations in manufacturing to create high-quality, affordable knives. The knives are made by stamping, which involves cutting the knife out of a piece of steel. As it uses a mold to cut the blade out (though Global sometimes uses lasers, It’s less expensive than shaping them while heating the steel, which is how forged knives are made.

That being said, it usually results in a knife with mediocre balance, less durability, and limited edge retention – especially as these knives don’t have a full tang.

Global solved the first problem by having their knives have hollow handles, which are filled with a precise amount of sand to give the perfect balance.

As for the second issue, they use a proprietary high-carbon stainless steel alloy that has chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum to add strength. The knives are then coated with more chromium to add to their corrosion resistance. While this does lead to a more durable knife, it isn't going to compare to a high-end forged knife, so you do have to be a bit careful with it.

For the sharpness issue, Global sharpens their knives in a different way. Most knives have a beveled edge, which means that only the very end of the knife is sharpened. Global knives, however, taper all the way down to the sharp edge. That means that the blade will come to more of a point than a beveled knife after an equal amount of usage.

What to Consider When Buying a Global Knife

While Global cutlery is less expensive than most other Japanese-made knives, that doesn't mean it isn’t an investment. Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re getting the best knife for your needs.

Why Buy a Global Knife?

Global makes use of modern technology to manufacture its knives in a new way. Here are some advantages to their products.

  • Affordability: While none of Global’s knives are cheap, they don’t cost as much as most Japanese-style knives. In general, Japanese knives emphasize being high end, with companies touting their handmade knives and multi-day creation process. Global is much more mechanized, resulting in a knife most anyone can buy.
  • Distinctive design: Global has an all-metal design with a modern look. The textured handle stands out, and while not everyone loves the feel of it, the knives are instantly recognizable.
  • Wide appeal: Global manufactures knives that appeal to home cooks and professionals alike. The knives are lightweight, well-balanced, and hold up well over time.

What Kind of Knife Do I Want?

Global makes a wide variety of knives, meaning that you have a lot of options when purchasing one from the company. Here are some of the types of knives they make and what they’re best for.

  • Chef’s knife: Japanese chef’s knives are all-rounder that can chop, slice, dice, carve, and mince. This is likely to be your most used knife, as the shape of it makes it incredibly versatile. They’re also great for a rocking chop.
  • Santoku knife: The only knife that compares to a chef’s knife in terms of versatility is a santoku knife. The difference is that santoku knives curve on the spine rather than the edge, meaning that it has a larger cutting surface, but can’t do a rocking chop.
  • Utility knife: This is an in-betweener knife that handles tasks too delicate for a chef’s knife, but too big for a paring knife. These knives can either be serrated to have a straight edge, giving them even greater versatility.
  • Paring knife: These knives excel at small and delicate tasks. Paring knives are the go-to knives for dicing shallots, peeling kiwis, and mincing herbs.
  • Bread knife: Bread knives have long, serrated blades. This allows them to bite into a hard crust, and grip the delicate inside well enough that it slices the bread, rather than just tearing it. They’re also excellent for cakes, quick breads, and slippery foods like citrus.
  • Deba knife: These are traditional Japanese knives that are designed to be used on fish. Unlike a filet knife, these knives are stocky and stiff, making them more multipurpose. A deba knife can take the head, tail, and fins off a fish, which a filet knife will struggle with, and are still sharp enough to debone and filet the fish.
  • Nakiri knife: Sometimes called a Japanese vegetable knife, nakiri knives are best for vegetable prep. They have a rectangular blade and keen edge that allows them to slice cleanly through onions, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers.

How Do I Properly Care for a Global Knife?

While Global’s knives aren’t fragile, the fact that they’re stamped means that they aren’t as durable as a forged knife. Here are some tricks to make sure your knife lasts a long time.

  • Careful what you use it on: Japanese knives tend to be less durable than their Western counterparts. That means you should avoid using them on frozen foods, bones, or very hard vegetables.
  • Hand wash: As a rule, kitchen knives shouldn’t go in the dishwasher. Global’s knives aren’t designed for it, so they’d be vulnerable to rust spots, dulling, and tarnish.
  • Cutting board: Make sure to use a high-quality cutting board for your knives. This not only protects your countertops, it keeps your knives sharp and greatly reduces the chance that they’ll chip or break.
  • Keep it sharp: These knives aren’t made of as hard of a steel as most Japanese made knives, which means that they dull faster. Honing should be a regular part of your routine – once a week, or every few times you use the knife. Once that no longer makes the knife feel sharp, you’ll need to sharpen it with a whetstone or knife sharpener. It puts less strain on a sharp knife to cut something, and they’re less likely to slip.

Types of Global Knives

Global has three tiers of knives, each with its own design and style. All of them are made entirely of metal, and they’re all stamped.

Classic

8" Classic Japanese Chef's Knife. Photo courtesy of Global

This is the company’s oldest and most established line of knives. They have the signature Global design, with the textured handle and plain metal blade.

Benefits:

  • Largest variety of choices.
  • Is the cheapest of the three lines.

Be Aware:

  • The textured handle doesn’t appeal to everyone.
  • Most basic of the three options.

SAI

Global SAI Chef's Knife. Photo courtesy of Global

The SAI line takes from the tradition of samurai sword making with its handle design. The handle doesn't have the distinctive textured look, but it is all metal and sleek.

Benefits:

  • Hand hammered blade that prevents food from sticking.
  • Tri-ply construction for durability and rust resistance.

Be Aware:

  • Handle has limited texturing, so it may feel less secure in your hand.
  • The most expensive option.

Ukon

This line of knives is high-end, using more metal to ensure that the knives last longer and stay sharp longer.

Benefits:

  • Sharpest of the three lines.
  • Has a wider spine for durability.

Be Aware:

  • Has a limited selection of knife types.
  • Wider handle and thicker spine make it heavier.

How to Pick the Best Global Knife for You

Not everyone loves all the research that goes into finding just the right knife. In order to streamline that process for you, I'm going to describe three different people and what knife I'd recommend each of them buy.

Hunter: New Cook Looking to Get Starter Equipment

Hunter has been trying to get better at cooking as a way to help his partner out more at home. His older sister recommended getting some better kitchen knives, as it makes food prep easier and more enjoyable. He’s not looking for anything too fancy, just a good knife that’ll help him become a better cook.

Features to look for:

  • Knives in the Classic line, as they’re straightforward and affordable.
  • The most commonly used knife types to start out his collection.

Recommended Products: Global Classic Chef's Knife, Global Paring Knife

Scarlett: Mom Who Wants to Upgrade Her Most Used Knives

Scarlett is recently separated, and she wants to ensure she's cooking healthy meals for herself and her kids. She wants to get some good-quality knives to make it easier on herself. For now, Scarlett just wants to start with the knives she'll use the most to see how much of a difference a well-made knife makes. She's willing to spend money so long as she gets something of value for it.

Features to look for:

  • Knives in the Ukon line for greater sharpness and durability.
  • Highly versatile knives, like chef’s knives or santoku knives.

Recommended Products: Global Ukon Chef's Knife, Global Ukon Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife

Logan: New Vegetarian in Need of Good Prep Knives

Logan has recently shifted his diet to vegetarian, and he’s looking for equipment to help with that. He figures that getting new knives and cookware for the purpose will help him stay on his new diet. He eats a lot of bread and spends most of his cooking prep, chopping up fruits and veggies, so he wants knives that are geared that way.

Features to look for:

  • Knives geared for cutting up vegetables.
  • Serrated knives for bread and other baked goods.

Recommended Products: Global Classic Vegetable Knife, Global Serrated Bagel / Sandwich Knife

Find the Right Global Knife for You

Do you think that a Global brand knife might be best for you, but have misgivings? Start a chat for free with a Curated Kitchen Expert! Every Expert at Curated is knowledgeable about knife terminology, brand differences, and product care. They can answer any questions you have and make recommendations for the best knife for your needs!

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!

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