Opinel Intempora Full-Tang Bread Knife
Family-owned company Opinel in the French Alps is famous for its iconic folding knives, which are so popular that the producer released a set of dedicated kitchen knives—the Intempora line—based on its original designs. One of our favorites is the No. 216 Bread Knife. Its serrated 7.75-inch blade, made of the same Sandvik steel as Opinel's pocket knives, is deeply scalloped with a sweeping shape that is highly effective for slicing through the toughest loaves of bread, tomato skins or peppers, with little risk of banging your knuckles on the cutting board. The blade steel runs through to the end of the handle (known as full-tang construction), making the knife particularly sturdy—it won’t twist or turn during use. Our favorite part of the knife might be the robust polymer handle, which echoes the classic ergonomic shape of Opinel’s folders, designed to fit comfortably in most any hand. An effective bread knife is an essential tool in any kitchen, so you might as well have the best we’ve tried.
Opinel No. 10 Corkscrew Knife
For the ultimate picnic-and-travel knife, French company Opinel offers its No. 10 folding knife with a built-in corkscrew, which conveniently folds flat into the handle for a compact package. The comfortably profiled handle is ideal as a corkscrew handle, leaving plenty of leverage to wiggle out the most stubborn cork. (Unlike other folding knives with built-in corkscrews, this is a real breeze.) Opinel uses high-grade Swedish Sandvik steel for the blade, which holds an edge well, tunes up easily on any sharpening device and is thin enough to slice beautifully through delicate foods. The knife's patented “virobloc” lock collar, made out of stainless steel, twists securely into place, preventing an open blade from closing and a closed blade from opening when you're using the corkscrew. This amazing do-it-all knife is the only one you'll ever need for traveling.
Earlywood NewlyWood Set
There is no better investment than the Newlywood set for those who want an instant, all-around upgrade to their kitchen tools. With its minimalist concrete holder and attractive array of wood colors, it is truly a stove-side work of art and all you need to prepare and serve multi-course meals. The Newlywood includes the flat-saute spatula, medium scraper and small spreader of the Trifecta set plus an extra flat-saute (use as a pair in place of salad tongs); a medium classic ladle for your soups and stews; an all-purpose, sleekly designed serving spoon that is especially comfortable to handle; and four elegant long-handled tasting spoons. Earlywood Designs combines engineering and design principles to make simple, beautiful and utilitarian products from some of the most durable hardwoods in the world, such as Mexican ebony, Brazilian cherry, and hard maple. All products are resistant to damage; hand wash and dry well to ensure long-term durability.
Earlywood Medium Ladle
The contours of this ladle flow smoothly from the bowl to the handle, emphasizing its beautiful Brazilian cherry wood grain and making for a balanced utensil. Given the sturdiness of its handle, you’ll be surprised at how lightweight it is. Even with a sleek, compact design, it still spoons up hearty portions of your favorite soups, stews and curries. Bradley Bernhart, the founder of Montana-based Earlywood Designs, was a mechanical engineer before he founded his company. All of his products combine physics and design principles to make simple, beautiful and utilitarian products that will last for generations and become your future family heirlooms.
DMT 8" DuoSharp Bench Stone with Base
For those in favor of ultimate control over their knife edges, a sharpening stone is in order. While it’s easy enough to find a cheap whetstone at the hardware store, they are usually too small and coarse for precision kitchen knives. We’re pleased to partner with industry experts DMT and offer their American-made Duosharp Bench Stone with Base, a dual-sided stone with an engineered diamond-impregnated cutting surface for effective, lifetime service. At 8 inches by 2.6 inches, the stone is larger than any other whetstone we’ve used and provides for the full length of a large chef’s knife to be sharpened at once, making it much easier to maintain a consistent angle than on smaller stones. Moreover, they only require water for lubrication, making them far tidier than oil stones. Like driving a manual transmission or tying a Windsor knot, stone knife sharpening takes practice to master but is a valuable lifetime skill. For starters, it’s imperative to maintain a consistent angle on each side of the blade: 20 degrees for Western-style knives and roughly 17 degrees for Asian knives. If you have trouble sorting out the angle, hold the blade at 90 degrees, then tip sideways halfway to 45 degrees, then halfway again to 22.5 degrees, then a hair more beyond that. To maintain the angle while sharpening, it helps to anchor your thumb in the middle of the top of the blade and sharpen by pivoting with your body, not through your arms. Starting with the grittier side, gently swipe the full length of the blade 5 to 8 times on each side. Flip the stone over and repeat with the finer grit surface to hone and polish. Make sure to wipe the blade clean before cooking to remove any metal dust.