Hovey’s Knives of China™ policy of introducing new cooking knives based on ancient patterns has produced five prototype knives that will be introduced at the International Blade Show at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta June 3-5. These knives trace their linage from the Acheulean hand axes of 1.7 million years ago to bronze knives made more than 2,000 years ago during the Waring States Period in China.
The Point Square is a one piece all-steel knife with a pencil-shaped point and a short length of double ground blade. It is a palm knife in that it is held in the palm with the index finger resting on the top of the knife to direct the cutting point. Although the small length of blade can do limited amounts of slicing, the sharp point does the real work of the knife in cutting dough, pressed meat or designs in soft materials.
The largest of the series is the Cabbage and Duck Chopper which has a blade more than a foot long, a raked pencil point, strongly up-swept oval ring grip and deep blade slightly over 2-inches thick. This is designed after choppers originally made as all-metal bronze knives and used to process large vegetables, like cabbage and cut ducks, bones and all, into fragments for soups, stews and savory meat dishes that somewhat resemble barbecue. Because bronze tends fail when subjected to repeated impact stress, these knives depended on pressure and leverage exerted on top of the long blade to cut through these tough materials, rather than the force of a chop, as exerted by a modern cleaver. This is a big, imposing knife best used by a large individual who is tired of being forced to use ordinary cutlery that was always too small for comfort.
The most versatile of these knives is the Bok Choy which has a profile similar to the larger Cabbage and Duck Chopper, but in a smaller size. It is ideal for processing medium-sized vegetables, such as bok choy, hence the name. This has the same oval-ringed up-swept grip, but made to a size to fit a medium-sized individual. The prototype is produced with a pencil-shaped point, but is also available with a squared-off point for safety reasons. This is an ideal tool for chopping vegetables, but its distinctive strongly down-swept point also gives it much of the versatility of The Point series for cutting dough and similar uses. The point on the Bok Choy is also useful for being able to reach down and spear a vegetable or piece of fruit from a container on the floor and bringing it up to the work surface without having to put down the knife and pick it up again.
Peppers and small vegetables are worked with The Pepper and Veggy Knife which has a straight oval-ring grip and a deeper 2-inch thick blade that is 8-inches long and has a truncated point. It is used to efficiently clean and chop either fresh or dried peppers and small-diameter vegetables, like carrots or even work medium-sized balls of cheese. This knife is typically shipped with an edge that is ground on only one side, although a double ground edge is also available. The single ground blade allows more precise vertical cuts. A choice of blade grinds is also available on all of the company’s Signature Grade custom knives.
Designed particularly for home cooks and caterers, the Small Fruit Utility Knife has the distinctive oval-ringed handle, but this handle is straight and attached to a 5-inch up-swept blade with a scooped top truncated point. This knife is designed for smaller individuals who desire a general purpose blade to do a variety of kitchen chores. It is particularly adapted for caterers who might want to take a small knife without a point to their distant jobs in case they need to do some last-minute preparations or make something on the spot. Even those who might occasionally participate in group cooking events would find that this very distinctive knife would not be confused with anyone else’s knives. This knife would also be a distinctive and appreciated gift to anyone in the catering profession in appreciation of an outstanding event.
It is my intention that these are Open Source designs that anyone may use. Either commercial or custom knife makers may make and sell these knives as they wish with the use of my name and trademark for a 5% royalty on their retail price. If examples are sent to me I will assist in marketing them by giving them on-line reviews on my blogs, exposures in my videos and exhibit them at events like The International Blade Show in Atlanta.
More than 15 designs are in progress. I will have these four designs at the Atlanta Blade Show and am making plans to have some pattern blanks made of T-410 steel available for individual purchase at my table. Volume orders will be drop shipped from the fabricator in Atlanta.
I have produced a series of videos showing these knives in use that may be seen on Pinterest, listed under Hovey’s Knives of China,™ and also on YouTube under the same name. Often, there will be copies of these videos on my hoveysknivesofchinablog.co along with descriptive materials, histories and explanations. Any Google search of “Hovey’s Knives of China.” will also key into these materials wherever they are on the web.