In the Wild: Liv's Kitchen Essentials - Knives


In the Wild: Liv's Kitchen Essentials - Knives

Welcome back to another instalment of our 'In the Wild' series. This time I'm taking you inside my kitchen and highlighting my absolute kitchen essentials, starting with knives of course!  

At this point I have more knives than I can even use on a regular basis so I always try to swap them out and make sure I'm still using each one every once in a while. That being said, I definitely have some favourites out of the bunch! Some are new and some I've had for years. Either way, there are just a couple of knives that I can't help but reach for time and time again. 




The latest knife addition to my kit was the lovely Yoshikane SKD Santoku from Hatsukokoro. 

When these knives first arrived I was immediately drawn in by the look and feel - gorgeous yet subtle design and just enough weight to feel balanced in my hand without weighing me down. 

It wasn't just the aesthetic that drew me to this knife, though. I was very interested in using SKD semi-stainless steel, a first for me. My kit mainly consists of either fully stainless or carbon cladded blades and over the years I've leaned more towards carbon steel, though sometimes I don't want to use a super reactive knife. 

In comes the Yoshikane SKD. I wasn't really sure what to expect in terms of reactivity and edge retention but to say I was impressed would be a huge understatement. 

First off, this knife is incredibly sharp, like scary sharp. It has a beautiful edge right out of the box but it wasn't until I touched it up myself that I discovered how crisp and razor-like the edge can get. So far it also has incredible edge retention. Now this is coming from someone who only cooks at home and doesn't use this particular knife every day, but for a knife I've only sharpened once in the past year it has been staying insanely sharp. So sharp that my partner even nicked himself while using it recently! Sorry, K!

Something else that surprised me is how slowly this SKD steel reacts and patinas. After the first few uses I actually had to go look up SKD steel again - I thought that we had gotten it wrong and it was actually a stainless steel blade but it really just reacts that slow! I've even tested out leaving the blade wet or with acidic residue on it to see if it would react quicker and so far it's still very slowly building a light patina. 

The Yoshikane is now my go-to knife for chopping vegetables, even with a gorgeous Nakiri in my kit. Now don't get me wrong, I love my Nakiri a lot but I've just been having way too much fun with the SKD Santoku. The profile of the Yoshikane is quite flat of course but still allows for a bit of movement when I need it. I have definitely improved my (still untrained) knife skills while using this knife and really enjoy using it for super fine julienne and dices of veg. And because of how sharp the edge is I barely cry while cutting onions!

I really can't express how much I love this knife. Over my years here at KNIFE I've been lucky to use an incredible selection of knives, some of which I own and some that we pass around between ourselves, and I think it's safe to say that this is the most impressed I've ever been with a new knife. Not only that, but I haven't gotten tired of it and I don't think I ever will. 



I bought this classic Mcusta Zanmai Green petty for my boyfriend a couple of years ago and it has quickly become one of our most-used knives in the kitchen. For a small blade it's still very versatile and is perfect for both in hand and cutting board use. Part of the reason why I chose this knife for him is because of how easy it is to take care of. The blade is entirely stainless and the Micarta handle doesn't absorb any stains or odours which is a nice touch, especially since we use this knife for chopping garlic all the time.  

Sadly I committed the cardinal sin of letting the knife air dry one time and it did get a big pitted. Thankfully only one or two pits showed up but I definitely learned my lesson! Luckily this knife will also be easy to fix when it gets to that point as it's made with a softer steel and will be easy to grind out. All that being said, make sure you always dry off your knives after washing! Carbon or stainless, best practice is to dry them off completely instead of air drying. Learn from my mistakes!

While I am very lucky to have a full roll of beautiful Japanese knives, I always recommend having some crappy 'beater' knives in your kitchen. Some tasks are better done with a knife you don't really care about and that may be a bit more durable. Most of my knives are quite thin and are made with particularly hard steels which makes them a touch more brittle than your average western knife, so there are some tasks that I just don't feel comfortable using my nice knives for. For example, I have an old IKEA knife at home that I use for really dense foods (such as big squash, melons, hard cheese rinds, etc.) or in times that I just don't feel like using my nicer knives. 

    I'll be adding to this series soon with 'Cookware' and 'Accessories' editions to come. 

    Thanks so much for reading!




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