Kitchen & Cooking

Video: Meet Ken Onion, Master Knifemaker

The sensei of steel expounds on what makes a good knife, and why innovation still matters.


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Knives are one of humankind’s oldest tools, used on Earth for roughly 2.5 million years. After all that time, how could there possibly be more room for innovation? Haven’t we already perfected the knife?

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, there’s a man who believes knives still have room for improvement. His name is Ken Onion. He’s a designer, he’s an innovator, and he’s a master knifemaker.

We got a chance to talk to Ken Onion about his new Rain series of knives by Chef Works. The droplet pattern on the blade reduces friction to make it easier to cut through sticky, wet produce or meats. It’s a small detail that certainly doesn’t represent a reinvention of the knife, but after 2.5 million years of improvements, even minor innovations deserve notice.