The knife is a chef’s most important tool, yet it hasn’t changed much over the centuries.
Knife specialist NextGen believes that it’s time for knives to get a high-tech design upgrade. Ask almost any chef to show you their hand, for example, and you’ll see a callus on their index finger. Somerville, Massachusetts-based NextGen has designed a knife that aims to correct this problem.
Chefs are taught to hold their knives with their thumb and index finger on the blade for maximum control, yet chef’s knives are not designed for this. When you try to hold a regular knife properly, pressure builds up in the pad and heel of your hand and it can start to hurt. The results are unsightly calluses that most chefs wear proudly, and lingering hand pain for the rest of us.
NextGen’s custom knife is call the San Sebastian Custom. It has a personalized NextGrip, which is custom-made for your hand, and a specially-built NextSteel blade, which is designed for precision cutting and chopping The NextSteel blade is the result of a collaboration with Carpenter Technology Corporation.
The NextGrip design extends into the blade area to provide comfortable resting places for your thumb and index finger. It also provides broad areas of support for your index finger and hand, reducing stress and pain.
I wanted to try this knife for myself to see if it lived up to its billing.
I was instructed to send in a photo scan of my hand next to a U.S. quarter for size reference. In just a few weeks, I had a custom-made knife, ready to use.
When it arrived, I was immediately impressed by the presentation of the knife, particularly the Burmese Teak NextGrip, and shiny NextSteel blade with my name etched into it. The knife would certainly make a nice gift for someone.
I was keen to get behind the cutting board and see what the knife could do. I bought the biggest watermelon I could find and started slicing. It felt like I was cutting a stick of butter. The knife performs with ease and cleaned like a dream.
I would recommend these U.S.-made knives to chefs, both at home and in professional kitchens. The 3D printing technology was incredibly accurate in capturing my exact grip. Please visit NextGen’s Kickstarter page to support this incredible product.
by Molly Dodd
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