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Global Cutlery: A Nexus of 'German Durability, Italian Design and Japanese Precision'

The Japanese knife brand designs from a global mindset.

The G-2 8" Chef's Knife / Photography via Global

When it comes to premium knives, the Japanese and the Germans are the ones to trust. Japanese cutlery brand Global offers the best of both worlds, honing razor-sharp knives in homage to the centuries-old tradition of Samurai knifemaking while integrating European principles. Its best selling chef’s knife is sharpened on both sides of the blade in the classic German tradition, yet unlike most Western-style knives, its edges are straight, not bevelled. We talked to Marketing Manager Erica Tominaga about the boyhood of the brand’s founder, “Mr. Global,” innovating a proprietary steel blend, and how Global knives went “truly global.”

Mino Tsuchida, aka “Mr. Global,” launched Global in 1985 with the support of Yoshikin, a metal manufacturing company in Niigata, Japan. What is Tsuchida’s background, and what let him to the cutlery industry?
Mino grew up on a farm in Niigata prefecture. One of his chores as a young boy was to cut the grass on the family farm. He used a sickle to cut the grass and had to sharpen the tool periodically, which led to a lifelong passion for cutlery and sharpening.

Mino started his career in the cutlery industry at a Japanese manufacturer of kitchen knives and tableware. After he established his own company, his main customer was Ikea. He learned a lot from Ikea’s business, which led him to the idea of Global knives after consulting with his friend, the owner of Yoshikin.

For Global’s inaugural collection, Tsuchida enlisted sought-after industrial designer Komin Yamada to design 12 stainless steel knives. Are those original designs still in production?
Some of the knife designs have slightly changed over the years, but 12 of the original knives listed in our catalog today remain our top sellers. The most popular is the Global Classic 8” Chef’s Knife (G-2).

What does your current design team look like, and how does it operate?
For Global kitchen knives and accessories, Komin Yamada is the exclusive designer. We have always listened to and will continue to listen to chefs around the world and create items based on their feedback. Today, we have a product range of more than 100 items. For packaging concept and design, we work closely with European designers.

What are the defining features of Global products?
The black dots on the handle have become iconic and are an essential part of the Global DNA. Komin Yamada’s Classic knife collection is inspired by German durability, Italian design and Japanese precision. In the tradition of the Samurai sword, Global knives are produced of the highest quality by Japanese craftsmen.

Can you elaborate on Global’s proprietary “Cromova 18” steel?
Cromova 18 Stainless Steel, which consists of a specific and proprietary blend of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium, was designed exclusively for Global knives. This unique combination offers exceptional stain resistance and unrivaled edge retention.

What is the best way to sharpen the chef’s knife?
The best way to sharpen a chef’s knife is by using a whetstone. It’s a little more work, but the results are always worth it.

How has your brand grown since 1985?
With the strong support from our distributors, chefs, and consumers all over the world, we have become a truly global brand.

What’s next for Global?
That will remain top secret!

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