Kitchn Love Letters

I’m a Former Restaurant Worker and These Knives Are Pro-Level for a Fraction of the Price

published Oct 17, 2022
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Material Trio of Knives Imagery
Credit: Material

After years of working in restaurants — and spending a significant chunk of my time testing out some of the best kitchen goods — you could say I know how to fill my home with tried-and-true culinary must-haves, from some seriously delicious gluten-free pasta to my favorite cookware. One of my dearest testing adventures lies in my commitment to finding easy-to-use, comfortable-to-hold, stunning-to-behold knives. All you need is one peek at my knife roll to know that I’m a sucker for a beautiful blade. The problem, though, is that many of those cute and functional slicers n’ dicers don’t have what it takes to hold up over time.

That’s where Material comes in. The beloved brand is treasured among the Kitchn staff for their artistry and superior design skills when it comes to crafting kitchen goods that look gorgeous and (actually) excel at their jobs. Take the fan-fav reBoard, for example: Not only is it made with 100 percent renewable and up-cycled materials, it can also handle any task, from chopping up onions and serving cheese to taking a spin in the dishwasher. But, these kitchenware geniuses don’t stop there — they also make an editor-favorite do-it-all spatula, gift-worthy table knives, a head-turner of a knife stand, and probably the best kid-friendly cooking utensils on the market. Needless to say, it was no surprise that their Trio of Knives held up to the brand’s standard when I took them for a whirl.

You may have read a couple weeks ago that Material just launched the trio in an all new hue as a collab with Beverly Nguyen. While the set does come in three other timeless colors, I’ll go ahead and put my bias out there: Sage, the spectacular new shade, is by far the most eye-catching. And, it looks great while tackling any cutting task — trust me.

Speaking of which, this trio is the perfect set for knife skill aficionados and first-time chefs alike. Each of the three blades is crafted from cryogenically tempered Japanese stainless steel and high carbon (aka, they won’t rust or scratch and will maintain a sharp edge for a really long time) and is carefully balanced with a stain-resistant, oval composite handle. This attention to detail and design makes the essentials an absolute joy to hold. In fact, they’re somewhat surprisingly lightweight, but because each is a full tang (the blade itself extends out into the handle), I find that the weight is distributed evenly and effectively as I cut.

Credit: Stella Totino

Between the three included blades, I’m able to handle any job. But there’s no doubt that the knife I use most out of the set is the eight inch, because, well, it’s a chef’s knife. Inspired by Japanese knives, the 8-incher is perfectly catered to both a rocking motion and a straight up-and-down chopping motion. (In other words, whether I’m dealing with a whole kabocha squash or finely mincing garlic, the knives can handle it.)

The other two blades in the set are truly essential in every kitchen, and I find myself reaching for them daily. The small pairing knife has become my kitchen sidekick. I whip it out to slice cheese, snack on an apple, segment citrus, and basically anything else that requires a quick and effective blade. As for the the serrated knife, well, I just love its size. At just six inches, it’s smaller than your average bread knife (looking for a larger option? I love this one), making it effortless to wield. Sure, it’s great at slicing bread, but it also does wonders when used to shave chocolate or cut tomatoes and stone fruit. Let’s put it this way: It’s the knife you don’t already own, but will wonder how you ever lived without it.

So, no matter if you’ve got a drawer full of blades (guilty!), are just moving into your first apartment (you’ll need top-quality kitchen tools!), or are looking for the perfect gift for the chef in your life (holiday shopping is almost here!), consider the search over. This Trio is comprised of some seriously stellar blades — take it from me, I’ve tried my hand at more than a few.

Buy: The Trio of Knives, $155