Pros: Good steel, compact and easy to use
Often as a cook you get comfortable with a certain set of knives and don’t always venture outside of that depending on what type of cooking or work you do with food. My gear was pretty standard, a 10 inch chef knife, paring knife, boning knife and a slicer made my kit. It wasn’t until I had to cut large amounts of fruits for banquet displays that I added a serrated bread knife to my kit.
Peeling the skin of fruit is easiest with a high quality serrated blade. Of course slicing through bread or pastries is what a serrated knife was intended for and makes those everyday tasks much easier. My choice was always for a standard bread knife length 8-9 inches but I never consider a shorter version, at least not until I tested out New West Knifeworks Serrated Deli knife.
Here at ChefTalk we have had the great pleasure to test many of New West’s knives which are made in the USA. Besides their high quality steel they are most noted for their very unique colorful handles which are made of hardwood veneer. The handles very beautiful, comfortable and sturdy.
My first reaction when first received the serrated deli was “that’s cute” but I was not certain how practical it would be. Professionally speaking small utility knives seemed a waste. Any chef worth his salt lives and dies by his 10 inch chef knife. However the more I used it the more I used it. In fact I noticed we began using it for the hundreds of small tasks that occur in our home kitchen. Slicing vegetables such as tomatoes, lemons, and cucumbers is a perfect task for this blade. As well as peeling the skin off of small fruit such as kiwis, oranges, etc is also done with ease.
What I like about the knife is that slicing tomatoes or peeling oranges actually feels less cumbersome with the small serrated blade than the larger bread knife. The knife weighs in less than 5 oz so it is light but still feels comfortable. I have said it before and firmly believe that the lighter your gear (and the sharper) the less tired you become after peeling say 200 hundred oranges or slicing 100 tomatoes. At home it doesn’t matter but in the high production professional kitchen weight and steel quality matter a great deal.
The blade is made of high carbon stainless steel and has an excellent edge. It performs very well which is something we have come to expect from New West’s knives. The tip of the blade concerned me a bit as it seemed to thin and could snap off. It seemed like it should be a little wider at the end but so far the knife is holding up fine after months of use, the tip has not snapped off.
I really like this knife but I would love to see a slightly modified version. It would be to extend the blade one inch longer with an even width throughout the blade with a slight curve. To get a picture of what I am talking about the Wusthof 6 inch classic bread knife shows the slight curve and blade design. Basically it would have the New West Steel and Handle just a bit different blade design.
This is an excellent little utility knife that would be suitable for regular small tasks needed at a bar or waiter station as well as in the kitchen.