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Gude Cheese Knife 140mm(5½") Review

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Gude
160mm(5½") Cheese Knife

My first introduction to Gude knives was in 07/2008, when I've got their bread knife. For details, check out Gude Bread Knife review. So, in my mind somehow they all were supposed to be super tough and hefty knives. After all those are ze German knives. Well, life isn't that simple ;) And making assumptions like that isn't a good idea, as I soon found out. You'll read about that below. Anyway, I didn't by this knife for myself, I got it for my sister, as she wanted a cheese knife. So, I already had my Global Cheese Knife, she knew it, so I went for something new. I accidentally saw cheese knife on Lehmans website. It was a cheese knife and it was a Gude. So, based on my impressions and experience with Gude break knife I went ahead and placed an order. I was in for a surprise thought.

General

- If you read Gude bread Knife review, I said my first impression was WOW. Well, this time it was the same. Like its bigger cousin, cheese knife came in a nice black box. I've opened the box and said another WOW! The knife is simply weird. I've never seen a knife of that size with such a pencil like handle. It was probably less that a half in diameter compared to the Gude bread knife, or Global cheese knife. Needless to say looks quite disproportional in real life. Ok, that aside, everything else was pretty good. Even grind lines, no sharp corners, remember, it's a skeletonized blade. Handle was also well made and fitted. It's a full tang knife as you'd expect form the high end western knife. Bolster isn't full, but that's I suspect because its handle is above the blade to give a better leverage when pushing down. Given that feature, I don't quite understand why put a pencil for the handle. Anyway, may be there's something I don't know. I was disappointed with that aspect, and myself as well. I saw the knife on the photo before buying it, even though the photo was rather small, I still could've seen what it was, had I paid enough attention, but no, I had to learn it the hard way. Well, the presentee seemed to be happy with the knife, so in the end all worked out good.

Blade

- Skeletonized blade is 160mm long and 2mm thick. The tip is an upswept fork type. Helps with transfering the pieces that you already cut and handy when fishing for those buffalo mozzarella balls in the can. Those cutouts in the blade are designed to reduce the friction when cutting the cheese. Interestingly enough, most of the people struggle quite a bit when cutting cheese, but don't really consider cheese as hard to cut, let alone consider the possibility that cheese is pretty hard on the edges. The edge is serrated as you'd see on most of the cheese knives. Serrations are ground on the right side, and left side is left flat, which is also standard configuration edge for the cheese knives. However, the serrations themselves are different that those on the Global cheese knife. Unfortunately I didn't have microscope setup ready that day and I was unable to take a micrograph of the Gude serrations. Sad :(. You can see serrations on the Global cheese knife. Gude serrations are shorter and ground at more obtuse angle. That's all I can say to describe them.

Handle

- :) I'm not so sure if I have to add more to the handle description than I have already done above. Well, technically it's a full tang handle, wood slabs, attached with three rivets to the tang. Obviously it's not dishwasher safe and one again, no good knife should ever go to the dishwasher anyway. Other than that it's all good. Like I said, the handle is raised above the blade to provide extra leverage during cutting.

Gude
And Global Cheese Knives

Usage - Gude vs. Global

- Sine the knife wasn't mine I didn't have it for long. I did a few cuts on two types of cheese I have happened to have at home that day and then gave the knife to its new owner. Cheeses in cutting tests were part skim mozzarella and crumbly Mexican cheese, which is more problematic to keep in one piece than to cut. Mozzarella on the other hand is a much tougher opponent to the knife. It doesn't crumble and it's real sticky when you cut. Which is exactly why it's so devastating to the knife edge. The edge has to endure far more lateral and medial loads compared to other foods. In the end you end up with more rolls. With non skeletonized blades there is much more surface the cheese can stick to, so the damage proportionally increases, as you have to increase the force to make the same cut. In short, no fun and not an easy job for the blades. The test was pretty simple. I've cut several pieces of cheese with each knife, alternating them for each cut, although prior to the test I did make several practice cuts with Gude cheese knife to get used to it.

For the crumbly cheese there was no detectable difference neither in cutting efforts, not in the end result. Global cheese knife's teeth are definitely sharper and more aggressive, but on that cheese it didn't make any difference. Too soft, and not sticky enough. I did expect that Gude would produce more crumbling, but no, the result was pretty much a draw.

Mozzarella was tougher challenge as expected. Well, not exactly expected, but I knew that for sure, I love that cheese in various types and I've cut a lot of it in the past. As usual, sawing motion cutting doesn't really work that well on mozzarella, but for the sake of the experiment I've honestly and diligently tried both types of cutting, sawing and pushing through the piece of mozzarella. For sawing motion the performance difference wasn't very significant, but Global cheese knife was clearly winning. I attribute that more to its bigger and comfortable handle compared to Gude's, plus sharper and thinner serrations. For the push cut, Global's advantage was even more significant. And again, due to the same reasons, better and bigger handle, plus better edge.

Conclusions

- Well, two major ones. One, never buy a knife unless you examine the photo thoroughly, that as a minimum. Obviously, it's better to handle it live. Second, Global cheese knife was better performer. Well, on its own it's still a good knife though, except for that handle :) Don't know, may be there is some secret cheese cutting technique utilizing thin, small handles, but at the moment I am not aware of any.

Specifications:

  • Blade - 140.00mm(5.51")
  • Thickness - 2.00mm
  • OAL - 266.00mm(10.47")
  • Steel - X50CrMoV15 54-56HRC
  • Handle - Wood
  • Acquired - 04/2009 Price - 50.00$

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Last updated - 09/01/11