New West KnifeWorks, Super Bread Knife

Rating:
5/5,
By:
New West KnifeWorks
  • An offset bread knife with an edge. The shape of the Super Bread Knife not only allows room for your knuckles on the cutting board, it is more versatile, and the chef knife shape allows better control than most offset bread knives. Our unique 'wave' serration gives you an incredibly sharp edge and has the unique capacity to be honed and fully resharpened using a diamond or ceramic steel. Kullens or dimple grinds on the side of the blade allow the Super Bread Knife to pass through food cleanly and helps prevent food from sticking to it. Each knife comes in an embossed leather sheathMADE IN THE USA!Blade Length 9 inchesOverall Length 14 inchesSteel Type High-carbon,stainless tool-steel. (HRC 58-59)

Recent User Reviews

  1. phatch
    "Superb bread knife"
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Performance:
    5/5,
    Handle:
    5/5,
    Blade:
    5/5,
    Pros - Sharp, efficient, comfortable
    Cons - some tendency to wander in cutting tomatoes
    For quite a while, I've been using a Forschner 10" bread knife. The Forshcner is rated a Best Buy by Cook's Illustrated. It's not what they rate as the best bread knife but it's a good one and it's quite inexpensive.

    The New West Knifeworks Super Bread Knife would certainly contend for a Best Bread Knife award. I really didn't think it would be that much different than what I was using but I was very surprised.

    Right off the bat, there are obvious differences. The NWK SBK has a different serration pattern It has a scalloped wave pattern rather than toothed a toothed wave. In both cases, serrations do a couple of things in cutting. First they increase the amount of edge you use in a cutting stroke. If you measured the "shoreline" of the edge vs it's length, there would be more shoreline than the knife is long. Secondly, the continually changing angle of the serrations provides new angles of attack to what is being cut. These combine to make serrations efficient cutters of difficult materials.

    The First Cuts

    [​IMG]

    This is an Italian style loaf I buy fairly often.  I thought it would be a good starting point. I cut a slice with the Forschner to have have a baseline cut fresh in my mind. It took about 4-6 strokes depending on the size of the piece (height cut). Then I cut with the NWK SBK. The first stroke had me worried. It sort of skated off the crust. But the rest of the strokes sank through the bread in just two more strokes, no matter the height cut. And it usually skated on that first stroke every time. I figure that first stroke isn't really skating so much as cutting the crust to get started, just less aggressively which concept I'll return to in a bit.

    It would continue to perform well in other tasks. handling cakes and other baked goods with aplomb and neatness.

    The testing continued more in depth when making stuffing for Thanksgiving. I use that same Italian loaf as the basis for my stuffing. I like the structure and chew of it for this purpose. I want to break the loaf down into about 1 inch cubes and dry them out so they'll absorb the flavor and juices of the rest of the stuffing.

    [​IMG]

    As I started breaking the loaf down, I thought about the differences is how the blades cut and I thought of something to compare "efficiency" in perhaps another meaningful way. Certainly stroke count is one. But there is also how the blade treats what's being cut to consider as well. Serrations, are not considered good for lots of cutting such as meat where it leaves a ragged surface, or for chopping vegetables where the toothed edge doesn't cut through to the cutting board without an extra pull to shear everything off.

    In baked goods, you need to respect the crumb. In the case of bread, which knife makes a bigger mess of crumbs when cutting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In slices of the same of bread, the difference isn't huge, but the NWK SBK does appear to make fewer crumbs.

    The toothed serrations tend to tear material at the tooth. This makes them good at working through tough material and for starting a cut in a tomato skin for example. But it's part of what leads to ragged surfaces in cutting and crumbs in cutting bread.

    So now some other cutting of bread, specifically, long cuts. Cuts that are as deep or long or longer than the knife itself. You might encounter such a cut breaking down focaccia for a sandwich, cakes for filling and layering or cubing bread for stuffing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They both do pretty well. I thought the SBK a little easier for this task as it's a stiffer blade. I have a better feel for where it is in the cut compared to the Forschner.  The Forschner has some flex. In tender goods like cake, the flex isn't a problem, but a crustier stale loaf, it was more vague.

    I need to blame my cutting posture here too. I was sitting down and working cross body. I was tired at this point so my posture aggravated any cutting problems. But this affects both knives pretty equally. But even tired, I appreciated the better feel of the SBK.

    Bread knives are often used for tomato duty as the serrations simplify the cutting for many users. And the SBK doesn't disappoint with Tomatoes, cutting them ably, thinly, and even offering a useful point for destemming  them.

    [​IMG]

    Other design choices that worked well for the Super Bread Knife in bread worked less well with the tomatoes. The stiff blade comes partly from the thicker steel of the SBK. And because the cutting edge is assymetrical in a serrated blade, being ground only on the one side, this contributed to the blade having a tendency to wander if you're not focusing on the cut.

    I have to admit, I tend to cut tomatoes with a straight edge most of the time thinking it too fussy to pull out a serrated blade for that work. With a sharp edge, cutting tomatoes is no easier with a serrated blade than a straight one.

    But for baked goods, the New West Knifeworks Super Bread Knife is by far the best bread knife I have ever used. And it looks pretty good doing it too. No, I didn't pick the pink handle, it's just the color of the test sample. Luck of the draw.
  2. nicko
    "It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Super Bread Knife"
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Performance:
    5/5,
    Handle:
    5/5,
    Blade:
    5/5,
    Pros - Awesome edge, beautiful handle, super solid and well made
    Cons - Not much. A bit on the heavy side but the quality makes up for it.
    It is really a wonderful thing when form, function and beauty come together in a single design. And that is exactly how one can describe the New West Knifeworks Fusion Line of knives. Simply beautiful and at the same time the sharpness and durability of their knife edges matches that beauty perfectly.

    A few weeks ago ChefTalk received the New West Knifeworks “Super Bread Knife” and I would challenge anyone to say that this is not an impressive piece of work.  Although this is touted on as a bread knife it was easily so much more. The knife effortlessly sailed through peeling oranges, slicing tomatoes, and cutting bread. When testing it again other bread knives the difference was startling. The Super Bread Knife literally cut the various food mediums like butter.

    The knife is well crafted and surprisingly made in the U.S.A (haven’t heard that in a long time). The blade is made out of high carbon chromium super steel. According to New West’s website the steel has a much higher carbon content compared to many other commercially produced knives. The steel used in their blade has a high carbon content of .95 while a Wustof Trident has a carbon content of .50%. Higher carbon obviously gives you a better edge and helps the knife keep the edge longer.  The addition of the chromium helps in keeping the blade stain resistant.

    One knife (my first) in my kit is a wonderful Sabatier High Carbon Steel knife.  Back in the day no chromium was added to the steel so the knives had a tendency to discolor. You had to be very conscientious about wiping the blade off otherwise it would discolor whatever food you were working with. Thankfully this is no longer an issue with New West’s steel and it is a great feature.

    As for the handle it is a hardwood veneer that has been died. The dies add some amazing color to the handle and really elevate the knife to a work of art.

    The blade is 9 inches in length and the knife is 14 inches over all. It has dimple grinds on the side of the blade which help with preventing foods sticking to the side of blades. If anyone has sliced any amount of Idaho potatoes you know exactly what I am talking about.  After numerous tests there is no question the blade is super sharp and it feels good in the hand.

    However, I can’t be sure if I just wasn’t used to the blade but it seemed to pull to the left when I drew it threw just about anything. Although I was able to correct this after some practice it seemed odd to me. Another potential issue for some might be the weight. This in my opinion is a heavy knife. It weighs in at 9 and ¼ ounces.  Just to be sure I wasn’t making a bigger deal than I might be I checked out some other blades and sure enough the Super Bread Knife was the heaviest. Here are the weight break downs.
    For some the weight is not an issue but for myself I also tend to think of production work in a professional kitchen. The heavier the knife (and the duller the blade) the quicker your hands and arms get tired. The flip side of this is when you pick up the Super Bread knife by New West Knifeworks you really feel like you have a super solid piece of craftsmanship in your hands. As I said before it feels fantastic but I thought I should mention the weight. One last note about the edge it has an interest taper on both side of the top part of the blade. I am not sure if this actually served any other purpose than decorative but if that is all it was for then it really did make the design of the knife that much more attractive.

    If you are looking for a fantastic addition to your knife roll or kitchen knife block this is an outstanding knife. Functional, Sharp, durable, and beautiful what more could you ask for. The knife comes with a heavy duty leather sheath to store it in and retails for $199.00. 

Comments

To post comments, simply sign up and become a member!
  1. nicko
    Anyone using this knife? I really like it but I am still noticing the pull the left when you slice with it. I even noticed when my wife used it that her slices pulled to the left at the bottom. Weird actually.