year in review

Strat Haul: This Supersharp Japanese Knife Is the Best Thing I Bought in 2018

Photo: Courtesy of retailer

If you’ve read any of our Strategist editor hauls this year, you’ll know that we buy a lot of stuff, and even though we think carefully about each thing that goes into our carts, there are still standouts. To close out the year, we’re asking each editor to write about the best thing they bought in the past 12 months. Today, writer Lauren Ro on the supersharp Japanese knife she absolutely loves.

This was the year I finally invested in a fancy knife, and it has made all the difference in the way I cook. For years up to this point, I’d been using the chef’s knife that came with a basic Wüsthof set that I got as a wedding gift. The set came with a honing steel, but I was never that diligent about using it, so my knife eventually became dull to the point where I could run a finger down the blade without incident.

I took to the internet, which led me to the Mac knife, an 8-inch chef’s model that websites like the Wirecutter, Epicurious, BuzzFeed, and Kitchen Knife Guru touted — I didn’t work here at the time, and the Strategist’s guide to knives came out a few months after I started looking — as especially high-performance and supersharp for a lightweight (roughly six-ounce) tool. I don’t know much about knives, but apparently the Mac’s blade is a hybrid between German and Japanese styles and is made of hard carbon steel that stays sharper longer.

What I do know is that ever since I bought the Mac in February, I’ve been using it almost daily, and it still feels as sharp as it did right out of the box (but for the sake of maintenance, I should probably sharpen it before the end of the year). It slices, dices, butterflies, chops, and cuts like a dream. I’ve never been particularly careful about chopping vegetables into uniform pieces, but the Mac helps me get there, while its dimpled sides take the frustration out of slicing through starchy root veggies by minimizing sticking.

At first glance, the instructions made it sound like I was dealing with a finicky, precious instrument: Don’t use soap, it warned. Dry immediately after use. But because I loved it so much, I was willing to take those extra steps. At $145, it’s pricey, but now I actually enjoy chopping things — the thing I used to find the most annoying about cooking.

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This Supersharp Knife Is the Best Thing I Bought in 2018