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The Global brand of knives, handmade in Japan, is popular among home users and chefs. The G-2 8-inch chef’s knife, their best-selling product, shares some of the design characteristics of other Japanese knives. It is very lightweight with a thin blade and it keeps a very sharp edge. However, it rather than a separate piece of a softer material for a handle, such as wood or plastic, the knife is all of one piece with a metal handle. The actual length is 20-cm or 7.87 inches.
Is the Global G-2 Sharp?
Let’s get the question of sharpness out of the way. Is the Global G-2 sharp? Yes. Out of the box, it is extremely sharp and will slice through vegetables and meat with ease, even for very thin slices. For everyday chopping and dicing, this knife is as sharp as they come. The blade is made of molybdenum, vanadium, and chromium in a combo called Cromova 18. It is sharpened on both sides, like Western knives, but to an extremely acute 15-degree angle rather than a beveled edge (the average European edge is ground to 20-22 degrees). You will be able to see the edge geometry as soon as you take the knife out of its box as it extends at least a quarter of an inch from the edge. The blade is curved like Western knives and suitable for rocking-style motion.
And, as long as you use a proper cutting-board and do not abuse the knife will retain its edge for a long time, especially with regular use of the honing steel. But unlike some stainless steel blades, this one is soft enough to make sharpening on a whetstone a less frustrating task than some other stainless steel blades. While this softer steel may be easier to sharpen, it may not retain its edge as well as blades made of harder steel. Keep in mind that the softer edge, however, will tend to roll over more and can be returned to true by honing.
Let’s be honest, though. Most quality knives are sharp out of the box. More important is how the knife feels in your hand, and how balanced it is, as well as whether the weight and design of the knife is right for you.
The G-2 is a super lightweight, weighing in at only six ounces and has a nice balance in the hand. Global says their knives are one piece. This does not mean, however, that the handle and blade are all made from one piece of metal. In reality, there is no tang on this knife. The blade and the handle are made separately and then welded together. The handle is molded to a rounded shape like other Japenese style knives, which usually feature hidden tang handles, with small inset dimples to help with grip. The handle is hollow, and sand is injected into it in precisely the right amount to balance the weight. Although there is no bolster, there is a rounded finger-notch built in to give more control.
Global G-2 8-Inch Cook’s Knife Cons
Those with smaller hands will appreciate the lightweight and the shape of the blade. But I’ll be honest with you, I wouldn’t want to use this knife all day long in a professional kitchen. Like other reviewers, I felt that the metal dimpled handle would make for sore hands after a while, and, if your hands are wet, this thing is slippery as an eel. For average use, and dry hands, if you like a very light-weight, very sharp knife, it’s a winner.
There have been some rumors of the handle breaking away from the knife at the spot where it is welded. The Global line does, however, come with a lifetime warranty against breakage or other defects. Still, a knife breaking while your using it could be dangerous, but I do not know how accurate these reports are, or how many times this has actually happened.
Since this knife is inevitably compared to the Shun Classic 8-inch, you may want to know that while the Global has a warranty against breakage or defects, the Shun has an even better warranty which includes free lifetime sharpening. This means that for as long as you own the knife, you can ship it to Shun (in their U.S. Oregon location), and they will return its edge to a like-new condition.
If you are new to cooking, or to quality knives in general, learn more about the chef’s knife plus other knives you may need for your kitchen.