In case you are wondering how did a mere peeler end up on my website, in knives section, I'll have to say that the peeler is one of the most underappreciated, yet intensively used and abused, very useful cutlery item. Phew. I figure that summarizes it :) Seriously. I donno about you, but with all my passion and interest in knives I hate peeling potatoes, apples and anything else for that matter with a knife. So daunting. Peeler, on the other hand does the job a lot faster, efficiently, less efforts and so on. Besides it is a knife in a way. If you check Webster for the definition of a knife, it says a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade fastened to a handle;. Sounds exactly like a peeler to me. Anyway, enough about that. Let's get to Crosswise. I got it together with another kitchen knives, and it was a lucky buy as it turned out later. I'll describe details below.
General- Rosle's Crosswise peeler is well designed and made tool. Sturdy, pretty versatile for a peeler. Majority of the peelers I've seen so far are much worse. That applies to all aspects, quality and design, and functionality. Although, as usual you get what you pay for :) If an average peeler out there costs anywhere from 2$ to 7$ for kindda good one, and Kyocera Ceramic peelers have hefty price tag of 12$ slapped on them(discounted BTW, MSRP is higher, 17$ or so), Crosswise costs 20$(also discounted ;). Nevertheless, that was one of my best buys for my kitchen, and one of the most useful cutters in there.
Peeler features brushed stainless steel handle to improve grip, and polished stainless sleet blade and business end, apparently to improve friction properties, i.e. reduce it. Overall, no complaints from me regarding either quality or functionality. Does exactly what a good peeler should do, and doesn't require intensive maintenance.
Sharpening- The best thing, about this peeler is (unknownst to me at the time of buying) its blade attachment method to the handle. It is not a solid piece, like in just about every other peeler I've seen so far. Crosswise blade comes off real easy, all you have to do is to unscrew 2 small screws holding the blade in place. Now, why is it so important to me? Because like any other cutting instrument, that is used, peeler too needs sharpening. And removable blade makes sharpening very easy, and much more efficient than sharpening a peeler with non-removable blade on Spyderco Sharpmaker.
I know, this sounds weird to most of the non-knife people, and some of the knife nuts would be surprised at this too, but the point is that, this peeler can be sharpened much better than other designs. Sal Glaser of Spyderco mentioned in his Sharpmaker video, that it is a shame so few people know that their peelers can and should be sharpened. I totally agree with that statement. The difference between the sharp, and dull peeler is very significant. Don't forget, as usual peelers are used to deal with fruit and vegetable skin, which while being soft, isn't always cleanest, and often has dirt on it. That can easily deform or damage the edge, which is inevitable, but one thing you can do is sharpen it later, otherwise it's pretty much useless in a few months. Though, people keep peeling/tearing with them for years, and it takes more and more force to skin that damn potato, but still you push... Go to gym, if you want to work out. Well, I guess eventually, one would throw it away and get a new peeler.
If you know, how to sharpen your peeler, you can always get is much sharper, than the new one in the box. Mine was pretty sharp, but not shaving, though that's hardly a requirement for the peeler, the use is quite specific. However, one I got it and discovered that the blade was removable, I removed the blade and sharpened it on the 8000 grit flat ceramic stone. Since the peelers have pretty much chisel blade, it was real easy, although, hard to hold that tiny blade. Back side, which is completely flat is real simple to sharpen, no skills required, just make circular or linear motions on the stone. I got mine mirror polished. Next was the edge side, some efforts, and it was pretty close to mirror polish too. The difference in terms of cutting performance was dramatic, to say at least. The thing, just glides through any skin it's being used on.
An update to the above. I'd like to add that last time I've sharpened the blade using 1000 and 2000 grit automotive shadnaper consequently, on the hard surface, followed by 5µm and 2µm microabrasive films, finished with stropping on CrO loaded leather strop. Perhaps the last step was excessive, but I just wanted true mirror polish. The result is noticeably better. This refers to polish ;) Cutting-wise, of course it is better, but hardly one would feel the difference with hand, comparing the tiny blade sharpened on 1000 grit stone vs. 2000 sandpaper. On the other hand the blade sharpness, to be precise, its greater sharpness could be felt with the fingernain and shaving tests. In the end, the point is, microabrasives were easier to sharpen with.
Usage- Well, I've been using Crosswise for 2+ years and all the positive impressions. Considering that this is a tool with very narrow specialization I don't have too much to say, it's been a trustworthy worker all this time, never failed me even in the most critical situations ;), like peeling a dozen potatoes. Maintenance-wise, I have to sharpen it once in 2-3 months, at the rate I use it. Not that much, as you can see.
Last updated - 09/01/11