Before we examine the techniques behind the layout as well as manufacturing of kitchen knives, it’s worth explaining why we’ve decided to focus on Robert Welch as a company as well as the Signature knife range of theirs specifically.
Robert Welch makes for an excellent case study because, despite the company’s long standing role as a top British design house, their foray into kitchen knives was their very first under their very own manufacturer which was the pioneer knife range designed by the company for over thirty ages. In fact, the time in between the developing of the ubiquitous Kitchen Devils Professional range plus the Signature range suggested that the management of Robert Welch had long since transferred a generation to Robert’s children.
The company is also interesting for its approach to product development. Whilst they do not manufacture housewares themselves, preferring to source professional manufacturers, and tend to be best known for the beautiful simplicity of the models of theirs, they’re profoundly rooted in an engineering ethos that views every aspect of the development procedure being evaluated & re-assessed.
Let’s today think about the design process. It may seem simple to design a selection of products for a group like kitchen knives. After all, their design as well as construction has grown incrementally over Centuries and just about every variation on the theme were tried. But therein lies the issue – just how to send shun knives for sharpening (check out the post right here) do you develop a really distinctive and incrementally advanced product in such a category?
For Robert Welch’s son, Rupert, that meant getting back to the necessities of what makes a great kitchen knife. This comes right down to haptics, ergonomics, aesthetics and, ultimately, performance. With this in mind, illustrations and 3D models form the foundation of the task undertaken by the look team. However, this is just a procedure and doesn’t cope with the inspiration required for design which is great.
Because of this, the Company’s breakthrough cam in their analysis of the relative merits of the two great World knife-making traditions, specifically the Anglo-German tradition as well as the Japanese tradition. In each and every case, these’re based on the respective culinary types of the two regions, thus European knives are centred on the rough dice approach of chopping that needs long, weighty and well-balanced blades and Japanese knives are focused entirely on precise slicing that favours lightweight, smaller fine edged kitchen knives.
As a consequence, the Signature knives are quite out of the ordinary in that they merge fine Japanese like edges and bolsterless design with higher heft and traditional European blade patterns. Indeed, many of the particular blade patterns are pretty much in a heritage design, given that there is a Sheffield style carving knife that wouldn’t look out-of-place on a Georgian era table, a total of four cook’s knives as well as a ham slicer.
The regular touch continues into the cutter steel, where Robert Welch decided against using steel from the Far East, where knives are produced, and opted instead for 1.4116 grade steel from Germany. This is the same quality utilized by the top knife designers in Solingen and is a very rare find in a blade done in the Far East. Usually, this wouldn’t be terribly durable with a fine edge, though the business enlisted the help of world renowned CATRA, the Sheffield based blade research institute. This resulted in an exclusive taper-grind being launched that helps the somewhat softer German steel to retain its edge for longer.