Ryota galloped across the planes after the foot soldiers. While it was difficult to fire his bow at anything accurately, the enemy soldiers were so numerous that he was sure to hit something. As he continued riding, his horse stepped in a pit in the ground and threw Ryota into the mass of soldiers colliding at the boundary of the two armies. As he hit the ground, a little dazed, he saw a man approaching quickly, holding a kanabō (steel club). Knowing he might have only seconds to live, Ryota pushed to his feet, wincing at the pain ...
Gavin heard the arrows wizzing over his head from the archers in the rear and saw the line of horseman charging toward him. He anchored his pike in the ground, one of thirty men whose job it was to hold the line. As the line of calvary reached him, he felt the pike bend as it absorbed the weight of the horse driven onto it. The horse’s rider jumped off and drew his weapon. Gavin quickly dropped the now-useless pike and drew his own sword…
This question of which is better: the European Longsword or the Katana has been around for as long as sword enthusiasts have known about both swords. But two important but often neglected facts are that the environment in which they were developed and the circumstances in which they were used were very different.
Japanese Samurai carried Katanas as sidearms, similar to how officers in the west often carried swords even after the event of firearms. It was a mark of identity and not normally used as a primary weapon. However, it was a secondary weapon that could be used in a pinch if the main weapon were damaged or destroyed, thus it was made to be easy to draw and strike with one fluid motion.
Soldiers in Japan wore uniforms that were made mostly of cloth or leather, with not much metal, at least until the introduction of guns. Relatively shortly after firearms were introduced by the Portuguese, Japan entered a peaceful period and duels became more common that actual fights. Because of this, the Katana was used mainly against lightly armed or unarmed opponents, and its design reflected that.
Soldiers in Europe faced a very different situation. In combat, the ability to stay out of range of one’s opponent while still being able to hit them gave a massive advantage. As swords in Europe were more often used as primary weapons, their length could be longer without encumbering the bearer. Their opponents were also more likely to be heavily armored, making cutting less effective and thrusts more advantageous as it was easier to aim for the weak points in an opponent’s armour.
...As the man took one last step toward him, Rytoa drew his Katana in one smooth motion while stepping forward and to the man’s left side. Holding the hilt with both hands he let the blade continue its motion while rotating the blade around a point between his hands. The blade slashed through the man’s armour and deep into his abdomen. The man croaked in surprise, too stunned to raise his own weapon. Ryota quickly struck again, a killing blow, and the man crumpled before him.
...With the sword in both hands before him, Gavin looked ahead and to his left and saw the horse’s rider starting to get to his feet. Gavin rushed forward, looking carefully around for any other enemy soldiers. As he neared the fallen rider, the man started to draw his sword. Pressing the advantage, Gavin slashed at the man’s hands, causing the man to jerk them away from the hilt. Seizing the opportunity, Gavin grasped his blade halfway down its length and quicky thrust into the man’s armpit, instantly causing the man’s arm to go limp and begin bleeding profusely. Knowing the man would not last more than a few minutes, Gavin quickly retreated back to the line lest he be caught unaware by another soldier.
For the purposes for which they were designed and where they were used, each weapon was superior in its own environment. But that’s not what you want to hear. So let’s rank each sword based on a few important factors and try to determine which one scores highest.
Considered by some to the finest cutting weapon ever designed, the katana wins hands-down here. Made of harder steel, the Katana flexes less than a longsword and can hold a sharper edge, allowing more force to be applied consistently across a smaller surface area.
Here it’s not as clear-cut. The Longsword and Katana are both designed for thrusting, however, the Longsword has one of its balance points at the point of the sword, allowing the user to move the sword around easier without moving the point. Thus, for this round I’m going to give it to the Longsword.
The Katana is a single-edged weapon, while the Longsword is double-edged. The Katana has a bit of advantage in speed, but the double-edge of the Longsword allows the user to use a larger variety of techniques to continually threaten an opponent. Thus, here I’m going to give it to the longsword.
One of the biggest vulnerabilities in swordfighting is the hands and forearm. These are extended forward with the sword, and if injured, could quickly signal the end of a battle. Both swords have a guard for the hand, but the Tsuba of the Katana is designed more for offense: it keeps the hand from sliding down the blade in a thrust. Guards for longswords differed in that even the simplest had a large crossguard that helped protect the hand from forward attacks. The more complex guards would actually wrap around the hand, thus protecting it from all angles. Both swords were good at parrying. Thus here, I will give it just barely to the Longsword.
In this contest, the Longswords won 3-1. However, while the European Longsword may be a better weapon for extended combat on the battlefield, it is important to remember that the Katana was as much a work of art as a weapon, and was a source of pride and identity for the Samurai. Furthermore, it excelled in its purpose: serving as a backup weapon designed to quickly start and finish a fight against mostly unarmed or lightly armed opponents. Thus in their respective fields, each sword excels.
Japanese swords are much more than tools of war: they are works of art. Born of a time when quality steel was more precious than gold, Japanese swordsmiths created complex and exacting methods of forging swords in order to create masterpieces that belied the poor quality of the ore from from which they were created. These methods have been passed down through traditions while remaining essential unchanged for centuries. One man Yoshihara Yoshindo is considered the greatest swordsmith alive today.
Yoshindo was born in 1943 and began studying the process of sword-making at 12 years of age under his father. He received his license at age 22 and later became the youngest person to achieve the rank of Mukansa, doing so in his 30s. The word Mukansa translates as “exempt from examination”, and those who carry the title are allowed to submit previously unseen works for display.
His smithy is located in Tokyo, and while there are over 300 swordsmiths in Japan, only 30 of those manage to make it a full-time job. Yoshindo, of course, is one of them. He has several apprentices that work with him and help him craft the swords, a herculean task as each sword can take up to 3 months to make. With every new sword he challenges himself to make it better than the last sword, and after 63 years of practice his swords are considered virtually priceless: they are masterworks in their own right.
Besides crafting swords, Yoshindo does what he can to further the appreciation of swords as art, and to that end he has written books on the subject. One passion of his is correcting people’s misconceptions of Samurai history. While the Samurai did carry swords, they rarely used them in combat, often preferring other weapons. For them, their swords were worn as good luck charms or for personal appearance. Wanting to keep this tradition alive, he reminds people that one does not need a permit to possess one.*
One of the most distinctive marks of a well-crafted sword is the Hamon line created at the border between the edge and core of the blade. The Hamon on Yoshindo’s swords are so unique that his swords can be easily discerned from those of another sword crafter.
While our swords may not match Yoshindo's, they are much more affordable. See some of our Elite Swords here.
*Not all countries allow possession of swords. However, the UK and all the countries we ship to do.
In The Dead of Night
The castle gleamed alone before him, surrounded by mountains now invisibly wrapped in the dark shroud of night. Hanzō waited for the word to attack. All their preparation led up to this moment. At only 16 years of age, this was his first battle. As his fellow men got into position, only the consistent chirping of crickets and the calls of a few birds could be heard. His muscles felt tense, and he quickly ran through a few breathing exercises to calm himself. Finally the awaited command was passed down, and he felt a rush of newfound energy as the attack began.
Hattori Hanzō is arguably the most well-known ninja in modern times. His father was a minor samurai who served the Matsudaira clan. Hattori was born sometime around 1542 and lived 54 years until his death in November of 1596. He is often called Hattori Hanzō Masanari/Masashige I to distinguish him from other members of his family who carried the same name.
Hanzō exploits were due not to his skill as a warrior but to his ability as a commander (though he was an excellent spear fighter). He often used guerilla tactics on castles in place of direct assaults. Hattori fought in his first battle at the age of 16, when he attached Udo Castle at night. From then on, he participated in other battles including rescuing his daimyō’s (lord’s) hostage daughters at age 20 and sieging Kakegawa Castle at age 27. At age 30, he fought in the battle of Mikatagahara where he captured a spy and counter-attacked across a river with only 30 men. For these brave deeds he was awarded command of 150 men of an Iga ninja unit.
Fast forward a few years, and Hanzō was in charge of defending Iga province (the homeland of the ninjas) from a ferocious attack by Nobunaga. While he was ultimately unsuccessful, he was able to significantly slow enemy forces for two years until he was finally routed by forces under Nobunaga’s direct control. After Nobunaga’s timely death a year later, Hanzō made his most significant contribution yet: he helped Japan’s future shōgun (king) Tokugawa cross Mikawa province with the help of the remnants of the local Iga ninja clans.
Toward the end of his life, Hanzō gave up fighting and became a monk. He took the name “Sainen” and built a temple which was later named after him. Today, his remains are kept in Sainen-ji temple cemetery in Yostuya, Tokyo. His physical legacy lives on in the Imperial Palace, which has a gate that still retains his name. His cultural legacy is much more significant with many stories, films, and movies portraying different aspects of his life.
One popular movie portrayal of a (fictional) descendant of his is in the movie Kill Bill. Here, the Bride needs a weapon powerful enough to kill Bill, so she goes to Hattori Hanzō (revealed in supplementary material to be the 14th in that line) who is widely known as the best swordsmith in the world. Though he had taken a blood oath not to make any more weapons of destruction and had kept it for 29 years, he decided to break it when he learned the sword would be destined to kill Bill. The resulting masterwork he considered to be the finest and sharpest sword of his career.
Here are replicas of the swords made by Hattori Hanzō from the Kill Bill movie series:
Many tales ascribe to Hanzō powers of teleportation, precognition, and psychokinesis.
What’s in a Name
Unlike Western names, Eastern names start with the family name and end with the individual’s name. So Hattori Hanzō’s first name is actually Hanzō. His father and son also carried the same name. The Japanese Kanji for Hattori Hanzō are 服部 半蔵.
Called to the Castle
Akihiko was nervous. He had just been called by his daimyō (feudal lord). The crescent moon was intermittently obscured by wispy clouds blown by unfelt winds. As he made his way along the well-worn road marked by the seasonal passage of traders, he could occasionally hear the lapping of the water on the shores of the dark river to his left, cold and swift as it ran from its source in the cold mountains behind him toward its final destination, the endless waiting expanse of the ocean. As he neared the castle, he could see see a few windows shining with the soft radiance of candlelight and the occasional snatch of a conversation drifting along with the wind. Walking up the incline to the nearest gate in the imposing wall, easily twice his height, he was noticed by the guards.
“Stop right there and state your business”, they challenged him. “My name is Akihiko, and I’ve been summed by my lord.” he replied as calmly as he could manage. “Ah, yes, the Samurai. We’ve been expecting you. You know the drill”. Akihiko took off his Katana and gave it to the guards, feeling somewhat naked with only his Wakishazhi remaining as he stepped past the guards and entered the castle.
Featured Sword: Wakizashi
The Wakizashi was a shortsword typically carried with a Katana by Samurai as part of a daishō (set of two swords: one long, one short). It served multiple purposes including serving as a temporary replacement for the Katana in case of breakage, beheading opponents, and allowing ritual suicide. Unlike Katanas, Wakizashi could be worn indoors when entering a palace or castle. It could also be used for combat when paired with a Katana in the Two Heavens technique. A Wakishaszi is 1-2 shaku in length (30.3cm to 60.6cm) and worn on the left side of the bearer.
The Path Ahead
Akihiko followed a servant through several hallways until he arrived at an ornate double-door. After the servant announced him and he was permitted to enter, he saw the daimyō for the first time. The man was of middling height with an air of command. “Do you know why I summoned you here?” the lord asked. “No sir”, Akihiko replied. “I have a special mission for you” the head of the castle stated ominously. “It is very dangerous, and you may not return...”
As Akihiko retraced his steps back to the gate, he noticed the elegant wood trimmings of the walls and the exquisite craftsmanship of the stone foundation. With his path now laid out for him, he knew it would likely be many more months before he would again see anything more refined than a sleeping role under the stars or the saddle on a horse’s back. When he reached the guards, he silently held out his hand and they returned his Katana to him. Feeling whole again, with the comfortable weights of both his Katana and Wakizashi on his obi, he began the walk back to his quarters to begin packing what few things he had for the long journey ahead.
Wakizashi are not just shorter Katanas, but may be forged differently and are less convex.
The Wakizashi is represented by the characters 脇差 in Japanese. 脇 means “side of the torso” and 差 means “to insert, stick into”, which combined represent how the Wakizashi would be worn by the bearer.
Kuna was frustrated. It seemed no matter how hard or long she practiced, she never could make her sword move as fast as she wanted it to. It was easy to cut with, and once it got started it would go through almost anything, but when it came to anticipating an opponent’s movements or quickly changing direction, the sword never seemed as agile as she wished.
Her teacher had been watching her quietly grow more frustrated each session and finally made a decision. “Kuna”, he said and approached her. “You need a new sword.” “But sensei, this one is still in perfect shape”, she replied. “Yes, but the problem is not the condition of the blade”, he explained. “Your sword is too heavy for you; that’s why you struggle.” “Sensei, if I shorten the sword, my reach will be lessened”. Her instructor smiled. “Not necessarily” he said. “What you need is a sword with a Bo-Hi”.
“A Bo-Hi, she exclaimed, “What’s that?”
Featured Sword Terminology: The Bo-Hi
What Kuna’s sensei is referring to is a Bo-Hi (pronounced BOW-HEE): an indention that runs along the blade of a sword. The Bo-Hi’s purpose is to lower the weight of the blade, sometimes as much as an astonishing 20-35%, without sacrificing strength, similar to how an I-beam is nearly as strong as a rectangular block of metal of the same size but with a fraction of the weight. The longer the blade, the greater the effect. As weight limits the agility of the sword’s user, a bo-hi can allow a user to use a longer blade than would normally be practical. For wielders who like to use the sword for cutting, it may be better to get a sword without a Bo-Hi, as swords without them have the balance point shifted farther down the blade and are heavier, providing greater momentum.
Swords typically come with either none, one, or two Bo-Hi.
This sword has no Bo-Hi. We show it for reference.
This sword has a Bo-Hi on only one side of the sword
Kuna swung her new sword and listened to it whistle through the air. “This is amazing, Sensei”. The balance was a little different then she was used to, but she was pleased with how quickly she could twist and turn the blade. “Once I get used to this, my opponents had better watch out!”. She continued practicing. Watching her, her sensei smiled again.
The bo-hi amplifies the “swishing“ sound swords make as they travel through the air, making it popular for martial arts demonstrations and movies.
Sometimes mislabeled as “blood groove”, the name has nothing to do with blood. In Japanese kanji, Bo-Hi is written as 棒樋，where Bo (棒) means weapon, and Hi (樋 ) means trough or gutter. So it would translate literally to something like “weapon-groove”.
Filter By Bo-Hi
You can filter by "No Bo Hi", "Single Bo Hi" and "Double Bo Hi" in each sword collection, under Refine in the left sidebar, as shown here to the left.
We're often asked about the legalities in the UK: Are samurai swords, katana and wakizashi legal? Does one need a license to own them?
This post aims to touch on the key points of sword and knife ownership in the UK at the time of writing, with links to more detailed information.
At the time of writing this post (please see links / more detailed information below for any changes), the scenario is as follows:
More information can also be found in our legal section here.
Now that we're at the start of 2018, it's a good time to reflect: What were the top/best selling Katana Swords for sale in the UK for 2017?
Here are the top katana swords, as seen on BladesPro:
Aaiwa Katana Samurai Sword
A sleek, beautiful katana samurai sword with a black saya, black tsuku and blade made with high carbon steel, this swords was very popular in 2017. Some feedback:
Dara Folded Clay Tempered Steel Katana Samurai Sword
Stunning blue-themed clay tempered samurai katana sword.
"This sword its a stunning piece of art that i will love for years to come."
|Henckels, Professional S||20 cm/8 inch||Check Price|
|Wusthof Classic Ikon 7-Inch Santoku (Editors Choice)||18 cm/7 inch||Check Price|
|ZELITE INFINITY Santoku Knife||18 cm/7 inch||Check Price|
|ZELITE INFINITY Paring Knife (Editors Choice)||10 cm/4 inch||Check Price|
|Victorinox - Paring Knife||10 cm/4 inch||Check Price|
|Richardson Sheffield Sabatier Trompette Paring Knife||10 cm/4 inch||Check Price|
|Serrated Utility Knife||Size||Price|
|ZELITE INFINITY Serrated Utility Knife||14 cn/5.5 inch||Check Price|
|Victorinox CP843||11 cm/4.4 inch||Check Price|
|DALSTRONG Serrated Utility Knife (Editors Choice)||14 cm/5.5 inch||Check Price|
|V Sabatier Boner (Editors Choice)||15 cm / 6 inch||Check Price|
|Wusthof Classic boning knife||16 cm/6.3 inch||Check Price|
|Victorinox C673 Straight Boning Knife||12.7 cm/5 inch||Check Price|
In this article, we bring you a buyers’ guide and the best kitchen knives on the market, so that you can make an informed decision and buy just the kitchen knives available.
Kitchen Knives - What to Look For?
Even though there are many types of kitchen knives, there are general things such as solid construction, sharpness, good weight, etc. that make a good kitchen knife. That being said, here are some features to consider when choosing a kitchen knife.
Kitchen Knife - Construction
When it comes to construction, we have stamped and forged knives.
Stamped knives are made with the machine. The blade is made from a continuous sheet of stainless steel and then the handle is added. After that, the knife is sharpened and refined. This knife is much less sturdy and durable compared to its forged counterpart, but it is cheap.
On the other hand, forged knives are produced with heat. Basically, heat is applied to a piece of stainless steel and then the knife is shaped. These knives are resilient and much stronger, but they are also much more expensive than stamped ones.
Kitchen Knife - Weight
A good kitchen knife is neither too heavy nor too light. However, there is not a general rule for choosing a knife of the right weight; this is totally up to you. You need to experiment with different knives so that you can see which knives are better for your hand - lighter or heavier ones.
Kitchen Knife - Balance
Clearly, balance and weight go hand in hand. A well-balanced knife is the one that you can have control over. This means the knife's weight should not fall too much on the one side.
The next thing to take into account is the comfort. So, you want to get a knife with an ergonomic handle. That way, you will do kitchen tasks with peace of mind, knowing that the knife won’t slip from your hand. Also, if you spend many hours in the kitchen, you need a comfortable knife to work with, otherwise you won’t be able to focus on your work.
Kitchen Knife - Material
If we're talking about higher end models, you'll encounter carbon steel, high-carbon stainless steel, and stainless steel kitchen knives. While stainless steel knives are durable, sturdy and easy to sharpen, those made of carbon steel are even stronger but less durable. Knives made of high-carbon stainless steel are the best of the three since they are more durable than carbon steel knives but also stronger than stainless steel knives.
If we're talking about mid-priced models, perfect for everyday use and small tasks, you can use ceramic knives. They are lighter than stainless steel counterparts and are extremely sharp. However, you cannot sharpen them on your own, so you’ll have to take them to a professional and pay him to do that.
Kitchen Knife - Ease of Use
With all the things we have said so far, it is clear that you need a knife that is easy to use. That way, you will cut, slice, chop, and mince food much faster and easier, while also not having to worry about your safety.
Kitchen Knife - Maintenance
You can have the highest-quality knife, but if you don’t take care of it, it will soon become useless. To avoid that happen, do take care of your knife. This includes regular sharpening, drying, hand washing, etc. You can go to this link to learn more about keeping knives' performance and quality at the top level.
Kitchen Knife - Storage
Last but not least. You need to find the perfect place for keeping your kitchen knives within easy reach and on safe. We suggest you buy a magnetic wall holder if you have enough room on your wall. If not, look for other knife racks. Just make sure you don't put your knives in the drawer with other kitchen utensils, as this will decrease their performance.
Types of Kitchen Knives
Some people think that they need to have few kitchen knives, and do all types of kitchen tasks with them, but that's wrong and expensive. Why expensive – you ask. Well, when you use one knife for cutting fruits, veggies, cheese, and meat, it is more likely to break, since it is not meant for all those different tasks. Different types of kitchen knives (chef's knife, serrated utility knife, Paring Knife and boning knife) exist with good reason, and that is to help you make the most out of food preparation. So, in order to buy good quality kitchen knives, first, you need to learn which types you actually need. So, below, you will read about most common types of kitchen knives.
Chef’s knife is the chef’s most important tool, because it is designed to handle diverse kitchen tasks with ease, including mincing and chopping veggies, disjointing large batch of meat, as well as cutting meat.
The Chef’s knife has an 8 inches long blade that is 1 1/1 inches wide. Of course, there are some variations in the size.
You should know that there are two basic types of this knife – German and French.
A German chef's knife is designed in such a way that it's continuously curved along the whole cutting edge. On the other hand, the French knife has a straighter edge all the way to the end and then it is curved to the tip. Both types are great choices, it is a matter of personal preference which one you will choose.
Besides that, there are also Japanese gyuto, Santoku knife, and Chinese chef’s knife. While the Japanese and Santoku knives aren't very different from the basic types, the Chinese chef’s knife definitely is.
What makes a good chef’s knife?
As mentioned, there are some variations in the size of a chef's knife, but the best choice is a standard 8-inch blade because it feels nice in your hand, is versatile, and easy to control.
- Weight and Balance
Before opting for a certain chef’s knife, make sure you try a few of them in order to find the one that best suits you. While some lighter knives are easier to handle, heavier ones deliver better results, due to more force.
Of course, the weight of the knife impacts its balance. In order to find the perfectly balanced knife, hold it. If you cannot hold it with confidence, because it weighs toward the blade or handle, the knife is not a good choice.
Coming from well-known Henckels, it is not surprising that this knife is our top choice. With a stainless steel blade and a remarkable edge, this unit is like a dream come true. This unit is forged and as such brings sturdiness and good balance. Thanks to the riveted handle, you will hold this knife with confidence.
The Wusthof Santoku knife makes simple work of cutting through just about anything, thanks to its design. This unit is made from high-carbon German stainless steel, and is laser-controlled, giving you excellent performance and precision. Double bolsters ensure you get a well-balanced knife, while triple-riveted handle gives you a good grip. The knife comes with a lifetime warranty because it's just that good.
If you are a chef, then you won’t have second thoughts on buying this top quality Santoku knife. The ZELITE INFINITY Santoku Knife has everything a professional needs – top performance, perfect balance, sturdiness, minimal slicing resistance, and a striking look. Of course, the knife also has a hefty price tag, but it is well worth it.
Compared to chef’s knives, these are smaller and shorter. They make a great choice for smaller cutting and peeling tasks, due to their plain edge. Paring knives vary in size, but they are usually somewhere between 6 and 10 inches long. These knives are very affordable, coming in £30-£50 price range.
What makes a good Paring knife?
Since these knives are small, they should also be lightweight, giving you a total control when slicing, dicing, and mincing. So, look for a paring knife that delivers that. Furthermore, a good paring knife excels in precision and comes in handy in those situations where you need to pay attention to the details, such as slicing fruits in order to decorate your meals.
One thing to point out is that you have to keep your paring knife as sharp as possible in order to preserve its performance. Also, don’t ever put your knife in the drawer, since its edge will get damaged. It would be best to store your knife in a knife block.
What we also want to mention is that you should not wash your knife in the dishwasher, because a paring knife is small and can get lost inside of the dishwasher. Instead, hand wash it the second you’re done with it, dry it, and apply vegetable oil on the blade. Even though this process is simple, the result is a long—lasting and sharp paring knife for years, so don’t be lazy to do it.
Much like previous ZELITE INFINITE knife on this list, this one also offers a top-notch performance. It is made of premium Japanese steel, and has a 4-inch long blade, being the perfect choice for various slicing and cutting tasks. Of course, the knife is durable, so you won’t have to buy a new one in years. With Tsunami Rose Damascus Pattern, this paring knife is easy on the eyes, and will surely add a modern touch to your knife set.
A triple riveted, rounded handle gives you a firm grip and comfort needed in the kitchen, so that you can prepare food safely and quickly. With all its amazing features and a reasonable price, this unit is hard to beat.
Is there anything worse than struggling to slice your favorite fruits and veggies? Luckily, there is this Victorinox Paring knife that puts you in control of your food. Not only is this unit extremely sharp but it is also very precise. With this little guy in your kitchen, your fruits and veggies will look perfect, and you’ll never again stress about that. The classic black handle is comfortable enough so that you can use the knife without getting distracted by the pain in your palm. On top of all, the Victorinox paring knife comes at an unparalleled price, making it one of the most affordable knives on this list. Without a doubt, this unit provides a great value for the money, and you just can’t go wrong with it. Now, that’s what we call a good quality paring knife.
If you are looking for a good paring knife that makes easy work of filleting, this is your best bet. The full tang construction ensures you strength and a bit of flexibility. With a sharp blade and edge, this knife also delivers accuracy. It is made of Martensitic stainless steel, therefore it is easy to sharpen, which promises a great performance for a long time.
Even though this knife is lightweight, it is still well-balanced, so you won’t have any difficulty when using it. The icing on the cake is a contemporary styling, making this knife very beautiful. It seems to us that this little unit really has it all.
Serrated Utility Knife
This is one of the most versatile kitchen knives, thus it is perfect for everyday tasks (cutting fruits and veggies, herbs and bread). The serrated utility knife's blade is usually between 4 and 6 inches long and is made of stainless steel or ceramic. This knife is the combination of a paring knife and a chef's knife, bringing the best of both worlds.
What makes a good utility knife?
- What will you be using it for?
Since there are different sizes of this knife, you should choose the size of the blade based on the kitchen tasks you plan to do. If you want to cut smaller fruits and veggies, and mince herbs, then a 4-inch blade would be fine. However, if you want to cut meat and bread, you need to buy a knife with a 6-inch blade.
- Serrated or straight-edge
There are two types of utility knives – those with a straight edge blade or serrated blade. The first one is a good choice for slicing fruits and veggies, while the serrated blade is great for cutting meat, and baked goods.
- Comfortable handle
Since you will be using this knife every day, it should come with a comfortable handle so that the knife won’t spin in your palm. The handle should be either D-shaped or oblong. In addition to that, look for the knife with a non-slip coating.
With a 5.5" long blade, this serrated utility knife is a good choice for all kinds of kitchen tasks, from cutting meat and sausage to slicing tomatoes and bread, to slicing fruits.
Thanks to an ergonomic handle, and extraordinary look, the ZELITE INFINITY Serrated Utility Knife is a must-have.
Moreover, with rust, stain and corrosion resistance, and edge retention properties, this knife guarantees durability and a high-level performance for years to come. Add to that a lifetime warranty, and you can see why this knife is one of the best on the market.
Now, here we have a top-notch utility knife, designed with small tasks in mind. This knife is 11 cm long so it’s ideal for slicing fruits and veggies. It doesn’t have a sharp tip, so it is much safer for everyday tasks. Victorinox delivers sharp and durable knives, and this one is no exception.
Here we have another serrated utility knife, ideal for slicing tomatoes. Coming from Dalstrong, this unit is made of high-quality materials, is light and sharp. No doubt that you will love using it. On top of all, its classic design makes it a great addition to every kitchen.
A boning knife is a must-have for a home chef who needs to cut through bones and ligaments. As the name itself suggests, this knife serves for de-boning. A boning knife has a thin and flexible blade so that you can reach those small spaces on the beef and pork. There are also stiffer boning knives, and these are ideal for fish and poultry. The blade is usually 5 to 6 inches long.
What makes a good Boning Knife?
When choosing a good boning knife, you have to take the width into account. Narrow boning knives are great for cutting around ribs and chops, while wide ones are much better for chicken and pork.
There are a curved blade and a straight blade. The curved one gives you precision needed when cutting very close to the bone. On the other hand, a straight blade is designed for intricate cutting.
When it comes to the size of a blade, keep in mind that the smaller blades are flexible while bigger ones are stiffer.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a boning knife, but still want a good quality one, then this is the way to go. Costing less than £20, this knife will surely be a wise investment. It is well-balanced, sturdy, but also flexible, making it a good choice for deboning. In addition to that, the knife will perfectly fit into your palm, giving you safety. Thanks to its design, you will use it with ease. As for the looks, the knife features a stone finish so that the marks won’t be noticeable even after months of use.
The knife is dishwasher safe, but we recommend hand washing it so as to prolong its life.
Coming from Wusthof, this boning knife delivers flexible performance. The blade is 16 cm long and is pointed, so you can easily de-bone ham, chicken, and use this knife for removing fat. The knife is very sharp so be careful when using it. It is also well balanced, making it one of the best boning knives out there.
Compared to the previous two products, this one has a large handle, thus it's a bit easier to work with. Made of ice-tempered high carbon stainless steel, this knife ensures years of use, giving you a top-notch performance along the way. The unit looks classic, and as such makes a great gift for your favorite home chefs.
We wrote about most important things when it comes to kitchen knives, and we hope that this article moved you in the right direction. Whichever type of a kitchen knife you want to buy, just make sure to follow our tips. Good kitchen knives make easy work of slicing, dicing, carving, cutting and de-boning, so get them to see and feel the difference. Don’t forget to sharpen your kitchen knives on a regular basis, to keep their performance at the maximum level.
Fact: the world will end at some point. Hopefully it will come to pass in a few billion years with the sun swallowing the earth in a spectacular fireworks display. By that point the human race will have colonised thousands of other planets and will experience the event by way of a live stream rather than 1st hand.
If we’re unfortunate enough to experience a cataclysmic event before then or even a minor survival situation, then you can increase your odds of survival significantly by ensuring you have access to a prepared and well provisioned survival kit.
Unfortunately disasters can often occur during periods when we least expect it, during such times being prepared will often have a significant impact on your ability to survive the situation. Chances are you, like myself and many others, have been told by many authority figures, including the government, to have essential survival items at hand. You probably thought about it, agreed it was a good idea, then went back to watching Game of Thrones. Maybe you live in a high risk area, somewhere that is prone to fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, or in the case of the UK the adverse weather conditions are probably the most immediate concern. With that in mind you might have stockpiled some water, maybe some canned food & lentils, and stocked up on candles, batteries and torches.
These items will likely get you through most minor disaster situations. But, what if the unthinkable happens? Horrible situations are unlikely, but they can happen. From tsunamis, to earthquakes, to terrorist attacks, to floods, to volcanoes. The range of disasters that can happen are almost uncountable and can all pose serious challenges to your continued existence.
Chances are that you’ll never have to exist in a world where every day is an epic fight for your continued survival, but let’s imagine an apocalyptic setting, taking a few proactive steps now could literally make the difference between life and death later. At the worst case, you’ll end up buying a few bits and pieces that you’ll rarely use and invested a few hours of your time. In the best case or worst case scenario, your preparation will mean you won’t become a statistic, you won’t starve and you won’t become a victim of a roaming scantily clad biker gang in 2025.
How to Build the Perfect Survival Kit
This is not your run of the mill survival kit or something which you might take away with you camping. This is fire and brimstone end of civilisation survival kit which will allow you to survive, even prosper, in all sorts of dangerous and adverse situations. While it’s pretty much impossible to account for every survival eventuality, or even please every arm chair expert (there might be something you want to see included, in which case include it), but with the things in this kit, you’ll be far better prepared than 99% of the population, and even better prepared than someone that bought a commercially available kit.
In researching the requirements for this survival kit guide, I’ve liaised with several experts in the field as well as tried to take an objective view of the numerous other guides available, taking the best parts and discarding the chaff. Where appropriate I have cited my references and tried to reason why an item is a must have .
The Pocket Survival Kit
A professionally put together pocket survival kit will likely only have a minor impact on your potential for survival in an apocalyptic scenario, but it also has the distinct advantage that it will fit in your pocket, which means you can always have it with you. Having this simple piece of kit with you before you head out your front door is a great idea. Ideally, a pocket survival kit will be part of a larger survival kit which will always be with you.
A pocket survival kit is made up of a few simple items:
• A waterproof container to house the kit
• A candle
• Fishing line and hooks
• Flint/striker or other non-match based fire starter
• Plasting bags
• Safety pins
• Sewing Kit
• Signaling mirror
• Snare wire
• Water purification tablets
• Wire saw
When you’re away from home, your primary concern will be having access to water and being able to keep warm – which is why this kit contains multiple methods of creating a fire, as well as ways of making water safe to drink (boiling or tablets). This kit is ideal to carry with you everywhere, it very portable and contains several essential must have items. But, for and of days event, you’re going to need a more serious pieces of kit.
This list will be long, and where appropriate we have provided the reason for including the item as well as our recommendations as to what to buy. Not all items require an in-depth explanation, we trust that you understand that a sleeping bag is for sleeping and that sleeping in a tent without one can be a very uncomfortable experience.
The Survival Backpack
Backpack – Your backpack is perhaps one of the most important pieces of kit you can buy, it needs to be lightweight, sturdy, waterproof and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It needs to be able to put up with the wear and tear of prolonged use and large enough to carry all of our essentials. I strongly recommend purchasing a pack which is MOLLE compliant or that has external webbing, this will allow you to attach extra pieces of gear to the outside of the backpack when appropriate. I would personally recommend any of the options below:
Torch – A torch can illuminate your surrounding on an otherwise dark night, as long as you have access to charged batteries. At a push a torch can be used as self-defence weapon and even to focus sunlight for creating a fire. It’s a very useful tool, but one which become less useful as time progresses, depending on batteries. It’s worth looking into low energy LED torches or hand cranked versions, which will significantly extend their usefulness.
Compass – It perhaps goes without saying but a compass is really a no brainer, they are inexpensive, small and will allow you to orientate yourself with ease. Make sure you select one which is decent quality. A lensatic compass is a great choice.
Maps – The more information you have on your surroundings, the easier it is to navigate. If the worse happens and you need to flee your normally familiar surroundings, you may need to travel quite far and GPS might not be available. In these circumstances several high quality maps will be invaluable and will be worth their weight in gold. Buy as many as you can that cover your immediate area and surrounding areas. Store them in a waterproof ziplock or map bag.
A First Aid Kit – Functional first aids are widely available from many stores, most are perfectly capable triaging minor wounds and injuries, but I would suggest supplementing the content to make sure it includes the following items, latex gloves, tweezers, pain killers, bandages, needles, sutures, antiseptic and anti-diarrheal.
Knives – A good knife is incredibly important and should be part of any survival kit. A well-constructed, reliable and sharp knife can be used in many scenarios, from hunting and cooking to wood gathering and self defence. I would suggest buying a fixed blade full tang knife with a straight edge, as these types are generally stronger and more maintained. Additionally look to buy a multifunctional knife which can be used for other scenario that require more specialised tools, for example opening a tin can with the blade of a knife is possible, but it’s more easily accomplished with a tin opener attachment on a multi-functional tool. This knife can also act as a backup in case something happens to your primary knife.
Crowbar – If you’re thinking about survival situations, chances are you’re thinking about the wilderness, but you’re probably missing out on a lot of potential resources if you don’t consider the cities. A crowbar is key to forging for equipment and food within a city and can quite literally be a lifesaver. In a pinch, it can also be used as climbing equipment.
Hatchet – If you need to build a fire, make traps, build a shelter or gather wood for any other reason, having a hatchet can make your job much easier. It’s worth bearing in mind that while pocket saws are lighter, they are not as durable, and sharpening a serrated is not a trivial job, as such I would still recommend a hatchet over a saw.
Firearms – This is probably a fairly controversial choice, but it’s difficult to address a doomsday survival kit without even considering weapons. If you live in the UK you’ll probably find it incredibly difficult to get your hands on a gun legally and rightfully so. If this is the case then consider air rifles or more traditional hunting tools such as bows or hunting catapults.
Folding Shovel – Small in size and designed for digging, there is no replacement for a shovel if you want to dig a fire pit, put in shelter foundations or even cook food on.
Water Purification – Iodine tablets offer one of the most compact purification systems available, though they are not sustainable long terms and are not a good solution if you need to purify water for a large group of people. It’s worth investing a proper water purification system that you can set up at your base camp.
Water Storage – As you’re travelling around you probably don’t want to lug around 20kg of water with you. Buy a water flask. For your base camp buy a seal-able food grade container which is suitable for containing liquids.
Sleeping Bag – Get a sleeping bag which is suitable for the weather conditions you might encounter. It’s good to have something small and portable, it’s worse to be cold when trying to sleep, make an appropriate choice.
Collapsible Tent – Modern day tents are engineering marvels and are capable of being extremely small and portable while collapsed, yet also be warm and spacious when erected. There a ton of buying options available, so finding something to meet your budget and requirements should be easy.
Fire – You absolutely need multiple methods of starting a fire. Buy some strike anywhere matches, a multi pack of disposable lighters, a magnesium block and striker and a solar lighter. These will likely keep you lighting fires for years to come, if not decades.
Fire starter – Cotton wool and wire wool makes for an excellent fire starter.
Climbing Rope – You can never have enough rope. Climbing rope is perfect for climbing, given that it’s rated for both weight and shock. Invest in at least 100ft of rope and a few quality carabineers. It might be a good idea to prepare the rope with a carabineer attached in order to allow for quick deployment and less fuss. Climbing rope can be used to reach hard to navigate places, to make a quick exit or for securing equipment.
General Use Rope – You’ll want to have as much general purpose rope as you can afford to carry. It’s brilliant for building shelters, creating traps, holding equipment together, keeping items off the ground and individual strands can be used for sewing. There are for more uses than I can possibly list here. I would very much recommend 550 paracord, it’s cheap, compact and very strong.
Knot Tying Guide – Unless you’re a former boy scout, fisherman or outdoors enthusiast, chances are your knot repertoire is rather limited. Even if you know several types of knots, there’s no harm in knowing more, especially when you find something that meets a particular use case. Buying a small laminated knot tying guide is an incredibly cheap way of getting access to a variety of knots.
Clean Socks/Underwear – It’s very likely that you’ll end up wearing the same clothes for many days at a time, in which case you’ll find your clothes quickly become soiled, wet, damaged and looking worse for wear. I highly suggest that you have clothes that are used as day wear and a separate set of clean clothes which you use for sleeping in. Try very hard to keep your sleeping clothes clean, dry and in good condition. If you do this you’ll find slipping into your clean, soft, warm and dry clothes at the end of the day is a highlight and something you’ll begin to look forward to.
Food – While it’s not sustainable to live off prepacked food long term, it’s worth having a stock of emergency supplies which can tide you over until you establish a sustainable food source. Long lasting foods come in many forms, from tins, freeze dried meals and dried beans through to nuts, chocolate and other calorie dense foods. Ideally you’ll want a selection of food types, including items which can be eaten without any form of preparation (tins), items which are nutritious but require preparation (dried beans) and items that are very calorie dense and are therefore portable and can be eaten on the go. Avoid food waste, anything which you can’t eat can and should be used to bait, composting or other purposes.
Appropriate Clothing – Dress appropriately. Have a range of clothes for all sorts of weather conditions. If the climate is hot, ensure you have light layers which minimise your skins exposure to the sun. If the climate is cold, having multiple layers of clothing is better than having one thick layer.
Bandannas – Despite perhaps not being the coolest accessory to have, bandannas can still serve a functional purpose. They can protect your head from the sun and when soaked in water they can help cool you down. They can protect your mouth from dust and in emergency act as a bandage or act as a sling.
Gloves – Whether you live in a hot climate or a cold climate, you’ll need gloves. If the weather is cold then the need for gloves is obvious. In a warm climate, or really any climate, having gloves can quite literally save your skin. If you’re putting together shelters, chopping wood and handling rope and you’re more used to using a keyboard and mouse, you’ll find that you can blister pretty easily. Given time you’ll gain callouses and harder hands, but in the mean time you’ll want to be able to continue with your work, which is where a pair of quality work gloves can keep you working.
Waterproofing – Having several heavy duty rubble sacks at hand can mean you can easily waterproof a rucksack, store wet clothes or even put together a temporary shelter.
A Survival Book – Even if you’re an expert at outdoors survival, having a handy reference guide can be a great help. Get one that fits in your pocket and I can guarantee you you’ll reference in more than once.
So that’s it, that’s the survival kit which will help you survive the apocalypse. I’m sure many people will have an opinion that differs, maybe something is too heavy, or there’s too much stuff or even to little stuff. If you want to pack something else, pack it, if you want to leave something out, then leave it out. There is no right and wrong answer. Customise the content to meet your own personal requirements, location and climate.
Best of luck and I sincerely hope you’ll never need to use this survival kit.
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