The Mizu Chef’s Knife comes to us from Sharn Kung and his team, who ask us point blank: when did shopping for a kitchen knife become so complicated? We most definitely know where he’s coming from. It’s almost like an entire industry has sprung up turning a sharp slab of stainless steel into an overly complex slicing mechanism with as many variables, components, shady salesmen and greedy markups as the automobile industry. That’s not to say knives aren’t worthy of such diversity or complexity, rather that it becomes easy for the industry itself to implement confusing new tricks in order to take more money from the consumer’s pocket. To buy the right knife is to fall in love–to buy the wrong one is to feel like you’ve been had.
Kung is focussed exclusively on giving you your money’s worth and then some. He created the Mizu Chef’s Knife in partnership with restaurant and manufacturing industry experts, and then put it up on Kickstarter, all with the diligent intent of bypassing inflated corporate models. Like a refined blade that knows exactly where to slice, the Mizu aims squarely for the mid-range in terms of cost and high range in terms of material and performance. This is a knife that’s managed to cut plenty of dollars off the average price for a competing product of the same quality, but not to point of being so suspiciously affordable that it’s probably too good to be true. Given that the Mizu is already well past its funding goal, with only 20 days left, it’s safe to say consumers appreciate the gesture.
As far as features go, the Mizu was again designed with the singular goal of pairing premium precision with mid-range cost. The blade employs high-carbon VG10 Damascus Japanese steel for easy sharpening and seamless slicing and boasts a HRC 60-62 hardness rating for top-shelf durability. It features a 15-degree dual bevel for dexterity and both a slanted bolster and curved heel for optimal, safe usability. The handle is made of G10 synthetic fibre resin for improved grip and durability. These are all features you might find on blades that cost around $150 or more and virtually never $65 or less.
In crafting the Mizu Chef’s Knife, Kung and his cohorts are not so much trying to reinvent the wheel as much as they are trying to reinvent the cost of the wheel, and they took the task to heart. On their Kickstarter page is everything from pie charts to miniature spreadsheets comparing the Mizu over and over again to the competition, making it clear not just how great a deal the blade is, but how the cost of other knives like it can escalate so quickly. The reason for such gouging is usually a corporate model ballooned by middlemen, broad manufacturing deals, and a ceaseless agenda to pump every possible dollar out of the system.
By contrast, Kung and his team are refreshingly straightforward and transparent. In fact if you review their Kickstarter page you’ll meet every member of the team and even read about production delays or how the type of steel they’re using comes from a solitary factory in Japan. This abundance of sharing–be it information or margins–all plays into the modern precept that if you speak directly to your audience you can both cut away at the oversaturated middle ground and garner a following at the very same time. The result is a premium product minus all the lies, price markups and other forms of corporate inflation, and that’s what puts the Mizu Chef’s Knife a cut above the competition.
If you want to purchase a Mizu Knife, you best be quick as there’s only 20 days left in their Kickstarted and limited spots available in their early bird special price.