Global Sai 9.5" review...

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by Guest, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    My wife got me a new Global for my birthday at the beginning of November. My old 10" global original was starting to show its age, and it was time to upgrade. After a little snafu at Williams and Sonoma I was able to get a hold of the new global sai 9.5". After a little over a month of use, I figured I would post a small review for people looking for a good knife. 

    oh, and a little about me, I have been a professional chef for 19 years. I am currently in a place just north of Indianapolis in a from scratch kitchen doing 300-400 covers on a Friday nite. I have used the Sai on a daily basis since I got it. 

    Positives:

    Its heavy. way heavier than older global models.

    very good balance

    its a LONG knife

    despite its length it is still easy to manipulate. 

    holds its edge very very well

    the top of the blade is slightly rounded, right were your callous lands. 

    Cons: 

    The blade is fairly thick in the middle, which makes very delicate cuts frustrating. Brunoise can be a bit annoying. :)

    its takes a little getting used to the length of the blade.

    the edge takes a couple of weeks to break in.

    Review:

    the knife feels huge in your hands. Even coming from my old (highly modified) 10" global this knife felt big. its just the design though. the handle is swept back a bit, but once you get used to it it feels fantastic in your hands. the weight and balance is spot on. but warned, it is heavy. almost twice as heavy as the traditional global chefs knife. my arm and wrist actually got fatigued the fist few days using it. again though, that passes. the weight definitely helps when plowing through 50# of carrots, something   I wouldn't have even attempted with my old global. 

    Butchering is great with this knife. it takes the skin off a side of salmon like a champ, and taking down an entire strip loin is a breeze. The real test was slicing salmon steaks. I sliced up 3 whole salmon into steaks, and it went through like there were no bones in the fish at all. I was actually amazed. 

    about that top of the blade being rounded off. oh my god. I cant believe I haven't seen this before. my callous has literally been singing this knifes praises since the day I bought it. I cant praise this feature enough.

    The knife holds an edge very very well. though it takes a week or two to break it in. I gently hit it on a 3000 grit water stone two weeks after I got it. once the factory sharpening started to curl. Since then all I have had to do is a few swipes with a diamond steel every day, and it is still sharp enough to effortlessly cut through an over ripe tomato. 

    Conclusion: 

    Awesome knife. a little out of the price range for some home chefs at $250 though. for the day to day uses in a professional kitchen though, it holds up very very well. well worth the money. I am extremely happy with the knife so far, and easily see it lasting me 20 years like my old one did. Also, it is just a beautiful knife. 

    if anyone has any questions, feel free to post them up. 

     
    benuser and chip like this.
  2. mrshapiro

    mrshapiro

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    For a 250$ you could got a better brand knife mate..

    I dont like the global cause every one has it....they are like mcdonalds...people buy them cause of their name...

    But if you like it enjoy it :)
     
  3. benuser

    benuser

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    Thanks, Jason, for your excellent, thorough review. Much appreciated. I was very curious what Global had introduced some 30 years after the lines we all know.
    @MrShapiro: have you actually owned or sharpened this knife??
     
  4. mrshapiro

    mrshapiro

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    One of my cooks has it...didnt got excited from her
     
  5. benuser

    benuser

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    That's indeed a solid foundation for the opinion you've expressed on it!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  6. mrshapiro

    mrshapiro

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    I didnt said its bad..but for a 250$ you can get better steel and brand...correct me if im wrong
     
  7. benuser

    benuser

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    The Globals have always been positioned as the better alternative to heavy, soft Germans, both for professionals as for the general public. Kept relatively soft and forgiving, so that its customers hadn't to change their habits. Meanwhile the Globals had a much better Fit&Finish, geometry and sharpness out of the box.
    The price level is about the same of that of the most expensive Germans.
    Knifenuts may prefer thinner blades, harder steels, finer edges, but they will be prepared to adapt their techniques and afford the necessary assiduous maintenance.
    If not, they will own a nice but unusable blade within weeks.
    As you see, the world is big enough for very different people with very different needs, and knife makers with very different approaches.
     
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  8. chrismit

    chrismit

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    Well said
     
  9. dhmcardoso

    dhmcardoso

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    I've had a small set of Globals and I gotta admit I didn't like them much. When I got my K-Sab I felt in love. Now I am a japanese knifes enthusiast and have Konosuke HD, which is in the same price range, as my favorite baby.
     
  10. chip

    chip

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    Bought the 7.5 inch Sai chef's a few weeks ago and love it.  Out of the box, the blade wasn't quite as sharp as I would expect but after a few pulls on a ceramic rod the knife is sharp as hell (dry shaved my arm better than a straight razor).  In fact, far sharper than a Shun classic sumo santoku that I bought at the same time. I pretty much don't bother with the shun anymore unless I'm taking down potatoes or other large veggies as the wide, thin blade is still great for that task.  As the initial poster mentioned, the knife is heavy. Very western in weight profile though the balance is superb and ergonomics are unreal.  So far, the Sai has seemed bomb proof and has been a phenomenal every day knife. The edge holds well and is incredibly easy to maintain.  At $200, it's hard to call it a bargain and comping to Glestain and Misono UX in price.  However, all three knives share similar weight and hardness profiles so not sure one can really say there are far better knives available for the price.  Going to come down to personal preference and what it's being used for
     
  11. benuser

    benuser

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    Sharpened tonight the 7.5" Sai for a friend. The steel's structure -- grain, carbides -- is much finer and more evenly distributed than with the classic Cromova. Sharpening is easier because the steel lacks the old's plasticity that makes burr pop-up after time. Cannot report about any difference in abrasion resistance because I started with a Chosera 800 that deals in very short time with both.
    After that stropping on a Chosera 2k, deburring only on a 5k and just for fun, stropping and deburring on a Naniwa 8k Snow-White. I found the feeling of this new Cromova very similar to Hiromoto's Gin-3, which is kept relatively soft at 59Rc.
    No report on edge retention yet as you will understand, but I'm quite optimistic, as the edge should be much more stable with the more even and more refined steel structure. After a week of home use I will decide about putting a microbevel on it before passing the blade to my friend.
     
  12. benuser

    benuser

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    Just wonder why the OP uses a diamond rod for maintenance. This steel deserves much better. I understand that classic Global users will miss the toothy sensation they're used to; actually, that was a weak point of the oldies as it undermined edge stability.
     
  13. jbb14

    jbb14

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    Do you still stand by your review?  I had been eyeing the older Global's for a while and was interested if you stand by your review of the Sai?  

    Buying a knife set.  Haven't entirely ruled out other brands, either.  Thanks for any advice!
     
  14. benuser

    benuser

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    After a few weeks of light home use I can't say the Sai offers the improvement I expected. Edge retention is not that much better than with the old ones. My comparison with the Gin-3 was a bit too optimistic. I've delivered it with the same microbevel I use with old Globals. Still, sharpening it is much easier. Would be looking forward to the OP telling us more.
     
  15. chef rawk

    chef rawk

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    I have currently 3 global knives in my collection. Global g55 chef knife, global g9 bread knife, gsf paring knife. The chef knife is the most amazing knife I've used and week never put it down.
     
  16. Pagan Man

    Pagan Man

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    I have owned many knives over the years and true as Benuser says above; the world is full of people with different likes and needs. I eventually gravitated to Global knives. The original line is a bit light weight but lasted ok. The forged versions were definitely more durable and lasted better. The new Sai line is nothing short of bombproof. It is a work of art, built like a tank, with an ease of use that’s an absolute joy. I have never come across such a knife joy and I assure you, I am a knife junkie.

    For anyone who hasn’t held one yet - you should try it. They are heavy and here comes that preference thing again. I like heavy. Some people find joy in the lightweight and delicate. I am the opposite. I like substance and I think with it (in my mind) comes durability and longevity.

    And did I mention, these knives are beautiful! But let’s talk about function. The weight helps you slice. The edge retention is probably a little longer than average and hammering really does help. I must admit I do now use a minosharpener every couple of weeks. The aficionados amongst you will scream, ‘philistne’ but I have both ceramic, regular and diamond steels in my collection and successfully edged many knives with these over the years - at the cost of some pretty ugly side scratches on my knives. Not any more. These Sai things are too gorgeous for that kind of randomness and besides, the minosharp is very effective! So if you say I lost my man card cos of that - so be it!. My knives work all day, they are comfortable to hold, I have never suffered from them being slick (I wash up if they get slimed at all). And they cut! OMG do they cut. All day, every day, chop, slice, pare, peel. It’s a real delight.

    So there you have it - an opinion, of which everyone is entitled. In conclusion, if you like ‘heavy stuff’, if want ‘well made’ if you like that ‘stainless steel’ look and you enjoy a sharp blade, look at the Sai. Not everyone will pay the money and consequently not everyone will buy these - but yippee are they a joy to look at, hold and use!

    Let me know if you agree! I don’t care if you don’t!
     
  17. benuser

    benuser

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    Ceramic and diamond rods, just as a Minosharp, will for sure provide an edge. But after a few times the edge will have moved to a thicker part of the blade. Right behind the edge the blade will be thicker, and so the bevel is wider. Expect serious performance loss.

    [​IMG]

    Good sharpening starts behind the edge. Sharpening is not putting an edge at the end of a piece of steel. It is restoring a previous configuration that has moved a bit into a thicker part of the blade.
    A few figures: right behind the edge, blade thickness is 0.2mm. At 5mm from there, 0.5mm is a good value. At 10mm, 1mm thickness is OK.
     
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  18. benuser

    benuser

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    You won't notice the thickening when cutting meat or soft vegetables, and certainly not if you maintain an aggressive, coarse edge as with a diamond rod. With hard vegetables though, wedging will occur. After a year your blade will look like this one:
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. benuser

    benuser

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    And this is the kind of geometry you should aim for.
    [​IMG]