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Global Sai 9.5" review...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My wife got me a new Global for my birthday at the beginning of November. My old 10" global original was starting to show its age, and it was time to upgrade. After a little snafu at Williams and Sonoma I was able to get a hold of the new global sai 9.5". After a little over a month of use, I figured I would post a small review for people looking for a good knife. 


oh, and a little about me, I have been a professional chef for 19 years. I am currently in a place just north of Indianapolis in a from scratch kitchen doing 300-400 covers on a Friday nite. I have used the Sai on a daily basis since I got it. 



Its heavy. way heavier than older global models.

very good balance

its a LONG knife

despite its length it is still easy to manipulate. 

holds its edge very very well

the top of the blade is slightly rounded, right were your callous lands. 



The blade is fairly thick in the middle, which makes very delicate cuts frustrating. Brunoise can be a bit annoying. :)

its takes a little getting used to the length of the blade.

the edge takes a couple of weeks to break in.



the knife feels huge in your hands. Even coming from my old (highly modified) 10" global this knife felt big. its just the design though. the handle is swept back a bit, but once you get used to it it feels fantastic in your hands. the weight and balance is spot on. but warned, it is heavy. almost twice as heavy as the traditional global chefs knife. my arm and wrist actually got fatigued the fist few days using it. again though, that passes. the weight definitely helps when plowing through 50# of carrots, something  I wouldn't have even attempted with my old global. 


Butchering is great with this knife. it takes the skin off a side of salmon like a champ, and taking down an entire strip loin is a breeze. The real test was slicing salmon steaks. I sliced up 3 whole salmon into steaks, and it went through like there were no bones in the fish at all. I was actually amazed. 


about that top of the blade being rounded off. oh my god. I cant believe I haven't seen this before. my callous has literally been singing this knifes praises since the day I bought it. I cant praise this feature enough.


The knife holds an edge very very well. though it takes a week or two to break it in. I gently hit it on a 3000 grit water stone two weeks after I got it. once the factory sharpening started to curl. Since then all I have had to do is a few swipes with a diamond steel every day, and it is still sharp enough to effortlessly cut through an over ripe tomato. 



Awesome knife. a little out of the price range for some home chefs at $250 though. for the day to day uses in a professional kitchen though, it holds up very very well. well worth the money. I am extremely happy with the knife so far, and easily see it lasting me 20 years like my old one did. Also, it is just a beautiful knife. 



if anyone has any questions, feel free to post them up. 


post #2 of 15

For a 250$ you could got a better brand knife mate..

I dont like the global cause every one has it....they are like mcdonalds...people buy them cause of their name...

But if you like it enjoy it :)

post #3 of 15
Thanks, Jason, for your excellent, thorough review. Much appreciated. I was very curious what Global had introduced some 30 years after the lines we all know.
@MrShapiro: have you actually owned or sharpened this knife??
post #4 of 15
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

Thanks, Jason, for your excellent, thorough review. Much appreciated. I was very curious what Global had introduced some 30 years after the lines we all know.
@MrShapiro: have you actually owned or sharpened this knife??

One of my cooks has it...didnt got excited from her

post #5 of 15
That's indeed a solid foundation for the opinion you've expressed on it!
Edited by Benuser - 12/15/13 at 12:30pm
post #6 of 15
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

That's indeed a solid foundation for the opinion you've expressed on it!

I didnt said its bad..but for a 250$ you can get better steel and brand...correct me if im wrong

post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by MrShapiro View Post

I didnt said its bad..but for a 250$ you can get better steel and brand...correct me if im wrong
The Globals have always been positioned as the better alternative to heavy, soft Germans, both for professionals as for the general public. Kept relatively soft and forgiving, so that its customers hadn't to change their habits. Meanwhile the Globals had a much better Fit&Finish, geometry and sharpness out of the box.
The price level is about the same of that of the most expensive Germans.
Knifenuts may prefer thinner blades, harder steels, finer edges, but they will be prepared to adapt their techniques and afford the necessary assiduous maintenance.
If not, they will own a nice but unusable blade within weeks.
As you see, the world is big enough for very different people with very different needs, and knife makers with very different approaches.
post #8 of 15
Well said
post #9 of 15

I've had a small set of Globals and I gotta admit I didn't like them much. When I got my K-Sab I felt in love. Now I am a japanese knifes enthusiast and have Konosuke HD, which is in the same price range, as my favorite baby.

post #10 of 15

Bought the 7.5 inch Sai chef's a few weeks ago and love it.  Out of the box, the blade wasn't quite as sharp as I would expect but after a few pulls on a ceramic rod the knife is sharp as hell (dry shaved my arm better than a straight razor).  In fact, far sharper than a Shun classic sumo santoku that I bought at the same time. I pretty much don't bother with the shun anymore unless I'm taking down potatoes or other large veggies as the wide, thin blade is still great for that task.  As the initial poster mentioned, the knife is heavy. Very western in weight profile though the balance is superb and ergonomics are unreal.  So far, the Sai has seemed bomb proof and has been a phenomenal every day knife. The edge holds well and is incredibly easy to maintain.  At $200, it's hard to call it a bargain and comping to Glestain and Misono UX in price.  However, all three knives share similar weight and hardness profiles so not sure one can really say there are far better knives available for the price.  Going to come down to personal preference and what it's being used for

post #11 of 15
Sharpened tonight the 7.5" Sai for a friend. The steel's structure -- grain, carbides -- is much finer and more evenly distributed than with the classic Cromova. Sharpening is easier because the steel lacks the old's plasticity that makes burr pop-up after time. Cannot report about any difference in abrasion resistance because I started with a Chosera 800 that deals in very short time with both.
After that stropping on a Chosera 2k, deburring only on a 5k and just for fun, stropping and deburring on a Naniwa 8k Snow-White. I found the feeling of this new Cromova very similar to Hiromoto's Gin-3, which is kept relatively soft at 59Rc.
No report on edge retention yet as you will understand, but I'm quite optimistic, as the edge should be much more stable with the more even and more refined steel structure. After a week of home use I will decide about putting a microbevel on it before passing the blade to my friend.
post #12 of 15
Just wonder why the OP uses a diamond rod for maintenance. This steel deserves much better. I understand that classic Global users will miss the toothy sensation they're used to; actually, that was a weak point of the oldies as it undermined edge stability.
post #13 of 15

Do you still stand by your review?  I had been eyeing the older Global's for a while and was interested if you stand by your review of the Sai?  


Buying a knife set.  Haven't entirely ruled out other brands, either.  Thanks for any advice!

post #14 of 15
After a few weeks of light home use I can't say the Sai offers the improvement I expected. Edge retention is not that much better than with the old ones. My comparison with the Gin-3 was a bit too optimistic. I've delivered it with the same microbevel I use with old Globals. Still, sharpening it is much easier. Would be looking forward to the OP telling us more.
post #15 of 15

I have currently 3 global knives in my collection. Global g55 chef knife, global g9 bread knife, gsf paring knife. The chef knife is the most amazing knife I've used and week never put it down.

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