The one knife that I likely couldn't be without - yes, even with my pettysuki, Itinomonn, custom Carter, ZKramer, Yoshikane, the list goes on and on - is my Butch Harner travel knife. I briefly mentioned it in my earlier post about knife length, and as I said, it has changed me. It's all of 175mm along the edge, but with full knuckle clearance, a wicked tip, and a perfect Zebrawood handle (I love Zebrawood), it's the knife that I'm currently most attached to...or, up there, for sure. I bring my travel knife with me for work. I bring it with me if I know I'll be cooking at my in-laws'. I bring it with me when I am going somewhere for over a night, and it might need to be called upon. One thing that I love about having one "go-to", while traveling, is that it forces me to really push the knife to its limits, being used as a honesuki, petty, slicer and of course, a gyuto. So far, so good! I'm amazed at how versatile one great knife can be, which is completely ridiculous considering when a person who is looking to get great knives asks, I/we always answer, "get one good knife and go from there". Kinda makes you think about this wonderful and all encompassing rabbit hole we seem to have fallen down, doesn't it? Oh well, until I find a way out, I'll have a slew of wonderfully hear-treated and ground blades to play with, while another is dragged around with me, from destination to destination.
I really like the spine profile of that one...and the edge profile looks very useful!
Is there a trick to that rubber band?
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
With regards to lengths, I'm reaching for the 180mm gyuto/santoku more and more. Large meals, I'll bring out a larger knife. However, for weeknight meals for the family of 3, the 180mm gets the love.
The Harner travel knife looks great.
Here is a question: Do you have a knife in your arsenal that would be frowned upon by every respectable knife nerd on this forum, but that you still would not give up? For me this is my old Henckels 230 slicer ('ham knife', as they call it in Germany). This knife has seen heavy abuse, is butt ugly, totally scratched up from failed sharpening attempts (when starting with stones), but I have had it forever and it just feels right. I even had a Nenox 230 for a while and sold it again because I kept reaching for the trusty old Henckels. Certainly not because it even remotely performs the same, but because it is so familiar. And for me as a home cook, edge durability is not such a big deal because I don't work my knives as hard as a pro. So, what's your ugly duckling?
I used a thin (#6) cleaver as a bread knife....
My criteria for a travel knife is:
Cheap: won't cry if I forget it
Stainless: low maintenance
Smallish: no need to scare the locals
Easy the sharpen: too lazy to haul stones around
So far my kit is:
Opinal 8 Stainless
Dexter Chinese cleaver (more of a nakiri)
I have to admit its more focused on the fruit and veg side of things. Weirdly, I never eat enough of while traveling.
I have a few "uncool" knives that I won't let go of. Namely, my Icel mini chef that I picked up in Portugal, and my Ivo santoku that is also Portuguese. Both serve a purpose, and I actually really like them...despite their 56hrc.