Kitchen knives are not the most popular designs for most knifeknuts. That’s understandable, as most people don’t EDC kitchen knives and these knives don’t have any cool locking mechanisms, wave features or flippers etc. And the one time that you do help out in the kitchen, that folder in your pocket is just fine right? Well, if you’ve passed on the kitchen knives because you’d rather buy yet another new tactical folder, then you’re really missing out. You see, Spyderco puts the same performance and design refinement in their kitchen knives, as they do in their more familiar folding knives. The K11 Cook’s Knife is no exception. In terms of performance and style, I’d compare the K11 to such folders like the Spyderco Kopa and the Lum Chinese Folder.
I’ll confess that in the past, I wasn’t too keen myself to invest my hard earned money in kitchen knives when I could also get cool new folder! However, I received a set of Spyderco kitchen knives as a wedding gift and that really opened my eyes. I’ve been eyeing every new Spyderco Kitchen Knife release since. That isn’t to say I don’t also test out new folders in the kitchen, to see how they perform, but they’re no match for a dedicated kitchen knife like the K11.
I first encountered the K11 as one of the prototypes presented at this year’s Amsterdam Meet. The story I remember accompanying this knife, was that it was designed by a Japanese maker who just left a large Japanese knife manufacturer to become an independent knifemaker. A familiar route that can certainly end very well. After all, people like Al Mar and Pete Kershaw were employees of Gerber before starting their own company.
The K11 Cook’s Knife is long and slender, a lot like the Spyderco K04. I’m sure that, empirically speaking, both knives will cut ’just as well’. Well, a Ferrari and an Audi are both motor vehicles that both perform ‘just as well’ to get you from A to B. However, I think we’d all agree that the Ferrari would be a much more exiting ride. The K11 certainly is the Ferrari in my kitchen knife collection.
The knife handles very light. Still, the K11’s handle is much wider and more hand filling than you’d expect from pictures. The shape of the handle is kind of non-descript, it seems to fit all hands in my household very well. The handle is also very adaptable to a wide variety of grips. Its smooth texture did worry me about the risk of slipping off the handle and cutting myself. This hasn’t happened yet though.
The blade features a very slender profile and thin edge. It came extremely sharp from the box! The first time I used the Cook’s Knife, I didn’t seem to feel any resistance whatsoever when I cut a tomato. It really felt like cutting through air. I’ve never had this experience before with a knife straight from the box. I can’t offer much information about edge holding, as I religiously use my kitchen knives on cutting boards and I wash them by hand. I only sharpen them once a year to keep the edges how I like them. The rotation between the various designs also prevents me from really testing any knife to its limits.
The K11 is just perfect for a stylish all-round kitchen knife. If you’re considering trying out the Spyderco kitchen knives, I’d recommend trying this one. The design is very versatile and will work well for almost any kitchen cutting chore. At the same time, the K11 offers a first class experience. This is the kind of knife that performs great, but it will also give you a sense of pride and joy of ownership. A lot like that Kopa or Lum Chinese folder you like to carry.