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MKS Knives

Published On 12/12/2008 Published On 12/12/2008

For most people who experience a revelation, the path is clear -- see God, become holy man, see Jim Morrison, organize concert -- but what happens when you see...Kitchen Knife? Answering to the sharply divine, MKS Knives.

From a Cambridge furniture designer who took a bladesmithing class and became reborn a devout cutlery man, MKS hand makes custom knives heat-treated to an appropriate hardness in Idaho, manufactured in batches of 100 in Italy, and then fashioned with injection-molded grips styled after either four colors of a Schwinn's shiny contoured handlebars or, for added radness, the black-padded no-slip rubber of a BMX. The latest batch includes the medium-sized Petty and a short 8" Chef's Knife, both made out of a Swedish steel called 13c26 Sandvik, which combines the toughness of traditional carbon steel with the hardness of a German model, minus the crushing insistence it marry Seal. Other more classic 440c alloy stainless steel blades include the Paring and Deep Paring, the light, flexible 8" Fillet (great for OCD tasks like sashimi), and the 6.5" Boning, which'll take apart a chicken or rabbit faster than it takes you to think of a good boning joke. Much faster. No pressure.

Since every family has an odd-looking weirdo in it, MKS also offers the herb-chopping Mezzaluna, a stumpy axe so menacing that the only vision you'll have is you, cooking with nine fingers.

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1. MKS Knives 84 Rice Street, Cambridge, MA 02140

From an MIT-educated steel furniture designer who in 2003 decided to go the way of the blade, MKS handcrafts serious kitchen knives finished off with perfectly balanced handles originally manufactured for bikes; the goods were only just dropped in the Big Apple, which they'll mercilessly chop up and bake into a cobbler. Precisely tuned for weight and control, each blade is made from one of four steel alloys chosen to suit its unique purpose, all tempered to be softer (i.e., less delicate) than their German/Japanese counterparts; the welded-on, shock-absorbing handles come in two basic types, red/green/blue injection-molded stainless steel numbers that are naturally bacteria resistant. The cutlery lineup includes a range of chef's knives, including a 10" job with weight distributed for a centered balance point, resulting in "remarkably quick and deft" action; an 8" wide-spine boning blade "aggressively tapered" to dispatch bone and connective tissue with ease; the 8oz Mezzaluna, with a rounded blade for chopping "herbs or anything else one might throw in a bowl"; and a Deep Paring piece perfect for eviscerating garlic and de-veining shrimp, essential for avoiding the culinary faux pas of Poopcorn Shrimp. For a more personal rig, MKS'll hand make a knife to your exact specifications, including type of steel, handle, hardness, edge shape/angle, and body profile!

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