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REVIEW – BOKER YADAMA II KITCHEN KNIFE

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Hannibal Lecter, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Hannibal Lecter

    Hannibal Lecter Loaded Pockets

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    New for the year 2006 is the Boker Yadama Kitchen line, a series of three knives of varying sizes to cover a huge range of uses in the kitchen. The three sizes roughly correspond to a chef’s knife (Yadama I - 8 ¼” blade, overall length 13 ¼”), utility knife (Yadama II - 5 ¾” blade, overall length 10”) and paring knife (Yadama III - 3 ¾” blade, overall length 8”). The particular knife that is the subject of this review is the Yadama II, the utility knife.

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    CONSTRUCTION

    All three knives in the Boker Yadama Series feature black laminated wood handles. They are very lightweight and the simple grain pattern is very attractive next to the more complex patterns of the blade. The handle swells slightly towards the back to better fill the palm while cutting. The handle is secured to the blade by a single large tang pin, and the knives also feature a brushed stainless bolster.


    BLADE

    The blades of the Boker Yadama Series are constructed of 37 layers of VG-10 Damascus steel and are positively stunning. This knife was razor-sharp out of the box, as would be expected of a VG-10 blade. The blade itself is marked with the Boker logo, Solingen Germany, and Damast Rostfrei.

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    BALANCE

    The balance point of this knife is underneath the bolster, immediately behind the blade, which is for my purposes exactly where it should be.


    ACTUAL USE

    I have used this knife in my kitchen for going on two months now, and am still amazed by its versatility. It has been my primary “go to” knife during this time for everything from opening packages of food to cutting up meat and vegetables.

    Let it be understood up front that I do not ever abuse knives. I am not interested in whether or not I can drive any knife through a car door, as I have yet to serve automobile parts at my dinner table. I also consider such tests to be gross abuse of a blade and wholly inconsequential for kitchen usage. I prefer to test my kitchen knives under normal usage and get a real feel for how it performs, day after day in my kitchen.

    The Boker Yadama II knife has thus far performed admirably at every task I have set before it. Again, it is now approaching two months of daily use and I have yet to even have need to touch up the edge. I have cut meats as though I were using a laser, fruits and vegetables offer zero resistance when being cut due to the particular thinness of the blade, and plastic packages are likewise cut with minimal effort. Tomatoes in particular are fun to cut paper-thin; you know your slices are thin enough when you can read a newspaper through the flesh…

    I will say that for some chefs the lightness of the knife night be a deterrent to regular use, as this particular knife only weighs 2.4 ounces. A couple of my friends prefer kitchen knives with more heft for long-term cutting, but I have not noted any difficulty on my part during normal use. Quite the contrary – I noted a distinct lack of fatigue when using this knife for more protracted periods.


    FINAL ANALYSIS

    I have used this knife long enough to get a genuine feel for it, and am still actually really enjoying cutting things with it. The beauty of the blade itself is sufficient to warrant regular use, at least in my eyes.

    I feel it only fair to mention one mishap that occurred with this blade – it fell from the counter into a tile floor over solid concrete and the tip was slightly bent. The tip is admittedly ground very thin for better slicing, but I cannot fault the knife for something that should not have happened to begin with. A bit of gentle pressure with leather-padded pliers and it is as good as new, and I am a bit more careful now.

    Boker Yadama Series kitchen knives are not cheap - good knives never are. I do not personally carry junk knives around in my pockets, and I certainly do not allow them into my kitchen given the amount of time I spend there cooking. The Boker Yadama II knife that I tested retails at $92.50 USD, which might sound expensive until you compare it to premium knives from other makers. Each knife comes in a silk-lined gift box suitable for any special occasion.

    Final thoughts? This knife is possibly the single most beautiful kitchen knife I have enjoyed the good fortune to incorporate into my batterie de cuisine.




    Questions or comments may be directed to:
    doctor.hannibal.lecter.md@gmail.com