Global Knives Review 2023: Cutting Edge?

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Considering a Global knife? I've reviewed some of the best Global knife sets. My top choice is the Global Classic 3-Piece Starter Set.

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Global knives have a modern design, razor-sharp edge, and premium materials. They have been in Japan for over 30 years, making them an established brand in one of the top markets. But do Global knives live up to their resumé?

I like the Global 3-Piece Starter Set because it can cover most kitchen tasks with optimal performance and excellent value. But you might find another option that you like better.

In this Global knives review, I’ve broken down how Global knives feel and perform, what materials they’re made of, their best features, common complaints, and more. You’ll have all the information you need to make the best decision.

Which Global knife could earn a place in your kitchen? Read on to find out.

At a Glance

My Pick
Global 3 Piece Starter Set
Best on Value
Global Kabuto Knife Block Set
Premium Choice
Global Hiro 7 Piece Knife Block Set
Global 3 Piece Starter Set
Global 7 Piece Kabuto Knife Block Set
Global Hiro 7 Piece Knife Block Set
For Global cutlery, I recommend the Global Classic 3-Piece Starter Set. It has great reviews, excellent performance, and is affordable compared with other knives.
The Global Kabuto Knife Set has a modern aesthetic and includes seven pieces: a paring knife, utility knife, Chef’s prep knife, Nakiri knife, Chef’s knife, bread knife, and 6-slot acrylic block.
This set comes with six blades from the Classic collection. It also includes a peeler, vegetable knife, Chef’s knife, bread knife, utility knife, and knife block.
My Pick
Global 3 Piece Starter Set
Global 3 Piece Starter Set
For Global cutlery, I recommend the Global Classic 3-Piece Starter Set. It has great reviews, excellent performance, and is affordable compared with other knives.
Best on Value
Global Kabuto Knife Block Set
Global 7 Piece Kabuto Knife Block Set
The Global Kabuto Knife Set has a modern aesthetic and includes seven pieces: a paring knife, utility knife, Chef’s prep knife, Nakiri knife, Chef’s knife, bread knife, and 6-slot acrylic block.
Premium Choice
Global Hiro 7 Piece Knife Block Set
Global Hiro 7 Piece Knife Block Set
This set comes with six blades from the Classic collection. It also includes a peeler, vegetable knife, Chef’s knife, bread knife, utility knife, and knife block.

All About Global Knives

Global knives were first designed for the Western market in 1985, when the Japanese company Yoshikin commissioned industrial designer Komin Yamada to create an all-steel kitchen knife.

Yamada was worried that Japanese consumers would find stainless steel handles cold and uninviting, so he added a dot pattern to the handles to create visual interest and curiosity. The rest, as they say, is history.

Global knives feature exceptional balance, much like the storied Samurai swords before them. They also feature a signature ground edge that stays incredibly sharp for a long time.

Yoshida Metal Industry still manufactures each Global knife in Nigata, Japan.

Global Knife Collections

Global knives fall into one of three collections: Classic, SAI, and UKON.

The Classic collection is the original line and features a streamlined design. This collection sports an iconic dimpled design to provide warmth and a secure grip to the stainless steel handles.

The SAI collection is the newest collection. SAI knives feature a unique design inspired by the Samurai sword. The textured blades is three-ply and hammered by hand to create a beautiful, non-stick blade surface. The seven black dots represent the seven Samurai codes.

Finally, the UKON collection has a similar design to the Classic collection but with a few tweaks. The thicker blade is 10% sharper, while the added thumb rest allows for a safe and secure grip. The handle sports three rows of black dimples.

What Makes Global Knives Unique

There are a couple of reasons Global knives stand out. I wouldn’t say Global knives are of the same quality as Shun or Wusthof knives, but I can confidently recommend them to home chefs and cooking enthusiasts.

The first distinction is the blade. Unlike other Japanese knives and Western-style knives, Global knives don’t have a beveled edge. Instead, the blade is ground to a point on both sides, resulting in a sharper angle.

The blade steel is also different. Global knives are made from Cromova18 stainless steel, which is 18% chromium. The chromium content increases stain and rust resistance. It also has two elements–molybdenum and vanadium–for an extra-sharp blade.

The second distinction is the handle. The first thing you’ll notice is the lack of a bolster. This is because most Global knives are stamped blades, not forged. This does not include knives in the GF series, which are forged.

The blades are welded to the handle, which is actually two pieces welded together. This means Global knives won’t have the same durability as a forged blade.

But that also means Global knives are lighter weight and easy to handle. They have perfectly balanced weight, thanks to the sand-filled handle. You read that right. Each handle has sand inside to weigh it down and provide balance.

Are Global Knives Dishwasher Safe?

No. Global knives should not be put in the dishwasher.

High heat and harsh detergents could compromise the soft steel. Not to mention, contact with other objects could dull or damage the knife.

Global Knife Reviews

Best global knives review

Global 3-Piece Starter Set: Best Global Knife Set

The Global Classic 3-Piece Starter Set is perfect for beginners and cooking enthusiasts alike. It comes with the following:

  • 8-inch Chef’s knife (20 cm)
  • 5-inch utility knife (12.7 cm)
  • 3.5-inch paring knife (8.9 cm)

Like other Global Classic knives, these feature Cromova18 knife steel with super sharp edges. The blades are stamped and welded to the handle, so there is no bolster or tang.

The blade is flat ground on two sides with a long taper to maximize the edge retention.

The stainless steel hollow handles are filled with sand to provide the ultimate balance, while the signature dimpled design helps improve the grip.

These kitchen knives have a thinner blade than you might find with German knives. But it does make them more flexible.

Global 3 Piece Starter Set

Users gave rave reviews to the Global Starter Set. They liked the pieces included and were impressed with the sharpness out of the box.

These knives can be a pain to sharpen. I would use Global honing steel to maintain the edges, or I would send them to be sharpened professionally. There were reports with chipped blades, so I wouldn’t risk damaging the blade on a cheap sharpener.

If you need the essential pieces, I like this starter set of Global Classic knives. It’s a solid value with loads of usefulness.


  • Great starter set
  • Light, easy to handle
  • Super sharp
  • Superb balance
  • Comfortable textured grip


  • Reports of chipped blades
  • Can be difficult to sharpen

Global Hollow Ground Santoku: Best Individual Knife

For a knife that can do it all, you might like the Global Hollow Ground Santoku Knife. It has a blade length of 7 inches (17.8 cm), a good size for most daily tasks.

Like other Global kitchen knives, this Santoku has a blade of Cromova18 stainless steel. It resists stains, rust, and corrosion while holding its edge longer.

The double-edged blade is super sharp, perfect for cutting and chopping vegetables, fish, and boneless meats. The Granton edge creates pockets that are designed to prevent food from sticking to the blade.

In spite of the Granton edge, several people still experienced food sticking, especially foods like cucumbers and potatoes. While I find that annoying, it wouldn’t dissuade me from getting the knife.

This knife has a hollow handle filled with sand for superbly balanced weight. Users found it easy to maneuver and comfortable to hold.

The handle can get slightly slippery when wet, but the textured handle material helps you maintain the grip in those instances.

To maintain the sharp edge, I recommend passing the blade over honing steel after each use.

Global 7" Hollow Ground Santoku Knife G 80

Some people complained of chipping. I find hollow-ground blades to be more susceptible to chips, especially if you put them in the dishwasher or don’t care for them properly. If you’re in doubt, go with a flat ground blade.

If you want a lightweight knife that can handle a heavy amount of food prep, I would recommend this Global Classic Santoku Knife.


  • Highly versatile
  • Scalloped edge for food release
  • Super sharp
  • Well-balanced, good weight
  • Comfortable, easy to hold


  • Reports of chipping
  • Some still had food stick

Global Classic Heavyweight GF-32 Chef’s Knife: Best Value Single Piece

The Global Classic Chef’s Knife is a staple Japanese knife from the GF series. It has little in the way of frills but a lot in the way of practicality.

This Chef’s knife has a blade length of 6.25 inches (16 cm), which is slightly shorter than the average Chef’s knife. I like the all-steel look. It feels clean and professional.

Unlike other series, Global GF knives have forged blades for increased durability and quality. The drop-forged steel blade features Cromova18 stainless steel, which resists stains, rust, and corrosion.

The blade is double-edged at a 15 degree angle for razor sharpness, but you will have to sharpen the blade from time to time. It’s tough to sharpen properly, so I recommend sending it to a professional for sharpening.

The iconic signature textured handle is comfortable to hold and offers a secure non-slip grip.

Global Classic Forged, GF-32-6 1/4"/16cm Heavyweight Chef's Japanese Knife

User reviews were highly positive, although there were isolated reports of chipping. I like this Chef’s knife for mincing, chopping, and slicing vegetables and boneless meats.

This Global Classic GF-32 Chef’s knife is perfect for food prep and everyday use.


  • Lightweight and super-balanced
  • Offers unmatched control
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Razor-sharp knife
  • Highly versatile


  • Difficult to sharpen properly
  • Reports of chipping

Global Kabuto Knife Block Set, 7 Pieces: Best Value Global Knife Set

The Global Kabuto Knife Set has a modern aesthetic and includes seven pieces: a paring knife, utility knife, Chef’s prep knife, Nakiri knife, Chef’s knife, bread knife, and 6-slot acrylic block.

Like all Global knives, these feature Cromova18 stainless steel blades that stay sharp. The blade is ground on both sides for extra sharpness, and it’s tempered to 56-58 Rockwell hardness for a tough but flexible blade.

The ergonomic, stainless steel handles sport a dimple pattern for a comfortable, slip-resistant grip.

I like the modern look of the acrylic knife block. However, the knives go in vertically, which means you need more clearance to pull them out. It also doesn’t have the same quality as a wooden knife block.

Global 7 Piece Kabuto Knife Block Set

Users found these to be light and easy to handle. They liked the super sharpness and the ease of cutting. A few felt the block could be improved, but that was the most common complaint.

If you want the best value, I recommend getting these Global knives.


  • Great value
  • Sharp knives
  • Modern aesthetic to block
  • Dimpled, comfortable handle
  • Lightweight


  • Knife block could be improved

Global 8.5-inch Knife Sharpener: Best Sharpener

Professional chefs will tell you a knife sharpener is essential if you want your knives to stay sharp. This Global 8.5-inch Knife Sharpener (22 cm) is perfect for sharpening all of your Global kitchen knives.

This sharpener has a stainless steel handle with a finger guard for safety and protection. Most knife blocks have a slot for sharpening rods, but you can also store it in a drawer.

The rod is ceramic, which is harder than steel but has a finer grit. Ceramic works faster while still being gentle on your stainless steel knives.

Ceramic is a brittle material, however, and can break after a time of heavy usage. And if you accidentally drop it? It will most likely break. I’m a bit clumsy, so that could be a dealbreaker for me!

This sharpening rod is long enough to use with almost any Global knife. To clean, simply hand wash with mild soap and warm water. It is expensive, but it might be worth it if you want a ceramic rod that’s designed for Global knives.

I recommend the Global Knife Sharpener for anyone who has steady hands and needs light knife sharpening.

Global 8.5" Knife Sharpener


  • Ceramic rod
  • Finger guard for safety
  • Long enough for most kitchen knives


  • Pricey
  • Fragile

Global SAI Chef’s Knife: Best Splurge Individual Knife

From the SAI collection, this Global SAI Chef’s Knife has a blade length of 7.5 inches (19 cm), the perfect size for easy food prep.

The SAI knife is the workhorse of the kitchen, perfect for cutting, slicing, chopping, and mincing a variety of foods.

The stainless steel blade is made of Cromova18 steel. It’s tempered and hardened to Rockwell 56-58 hardness, an ideal balance between durability and edge retention.

The blade is sharpened to the acute angle of 12.5 degrees on each side, allowing you to get super thin slices. The textured surface of the blade releases food easily.

The ergonomically-designed handle has a thumb rest for an easy, secure grip. The handle is short, which is perfect for my small hands. If you have larger hands, however, you might find it difficult to use.

Global SAI-01, Sai Japanese Chef's Knife, 7-1/2", Stainless Steel

Users roundly agreed that the weight and balance is on spot. But it’s designed for right-handers. For left-handed people like me, Global SAI knives do feel a little awkward.

Buyers also loved the versatility of the SAI Chef’s knife. They enjoyed the non-stick blade for dicing potatoes, bell peppers, onions, and more. The knife is designed for an easy rocking motion like other Western-style knives.

This is a great knife for multi-purpose food prep. It is expensive, though, so you’ll have to decide if the benefits outweigh the extra cost.


  • Excellent weight & balance
  • Thumb recess for secure grip
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Razor-sharp edge
  • Easy food release


  • Not designed for left-handers
  • Handles can get slippery
  • Pricey

Global 3-Piece Kazoku Hybrid Set: Best Hybrid Set

Can’t decide on a Global Knife Collection? Why not just get them all! The Global Kazoku Hybrid Set comes with three knives, each from a different collection.

  • Global G-62 Fluted Cook’s Knife (7 in/18 cm)
  • Global SAI Santoku Knife (5.5 in/14 cm)
  • Global Ni Utility Knife (4.25 in/11 cm)

All the blades in this set have straight, sharp edges. The knives are made with the same Cromova18 stainless steel as the other Global knives.

Each knife in the Hybrid Set has a stamped blade that’s welded to the handles. These Global knives have hollow handles filled with sand to provide exceptional balance.

The shape of each knife is different, reflecting the collection it represents.

Global 3 Piece Kazoku Hybrid Set

Customers were pleased with the sharpness and how the knives handled. The Cook’s knife is on the thin side. A thicker blade would help the knife cut through tougher vegetables, like squash.


  • A good sampling of collections
  • Textured handles, non-slip grip
  • Super sharp blades
  • Good weight and balance
  • Lightweight


  • Stamped blades not as durable

Global 8-Piece Knife Block Set & Bamboo Block: Splurge Global Cutlery Set

The Global 8-Piece Knife Set blends classic and modern with the stainless handles and bamboo knife block.

It comes with a paring knife, small Chef knife, serrated utility knife, hollow-edge Asian Chef knife, large Chef’s knife, bread knife, kitchen shears, and a 7-slot bamboo block.

The stainless steel blades are stamped and welded to the handles. The blades feature a sharp ground edge that can cut through fruits and veggies with ease.

The ergonomic, dimpled handles provide a comfortable slip-resistant grip. It’s filled with sand to weigh down the handle and make for a balanced feel.

Users had praise for the Global knives 8-piece set. They liked the sharp edges and the weight and balance of the knives. There were isolated reports of pitting after several months, but overall the customer feedback was great.

This product doesn’t seem to be available any more but I’ve left the review in place for information.


  • Extremely sharp
  • Well balanced
  • Feels lighter
  • Beautiful bamboo block


  • Reports of pitting after a few months

Global Hiro Knife Block Set, 7 Pieces: Splurge Global Knife Set

The Global Hiro Knife Set comes with six blades from the Classic collection. This knife set includes a peeler, vegetable knife, Chef’s knife, bread knife, utility knife, and knife block.

Like other Global knife sets, this one includes the most essential pieces. Each knife has a super sharp blade made of stainless steel. These knives are stain- and rust-resistant.

The stainless handles are textured for a safe and secure grip. They’re hollow and filled with sand for exceptional balance.

Users found the knives to be super sharp. Several recommended caution to protect your fingers!

The knife block isn’t always as pictured. Even though the slanted design allows for easier access, the color can be lighter than shown. I prefer a block with more heft on the bottom to ensure it doesn’t topple over when I pull out a knife.

Overall, this is a good set of Global cutlery. I would recommend it as a value buy.

Global Hiro 7 Piece Knife Block Set


  • Lightweight
  • Resists stains and rust
  • Easy to use
  • Quite sharp


  • Block isn’t as pictured

Global Masuta 5-Piece Knife Block Set: Best Set with Sharpener

The Global Masuta 5-Piece Knife Set goes back to the basics with this simple set of quality knives. It comes with a carving knife, vegetable knife, Santoku paring knife, ceramic sharpening rod, and knife storage block.

These knives are from the Classic collection, so they feature dimpled handles and smooth stainless steel blades.

Like other knives in the Classic series, they have hollow handles filled with sand for good balance.

The simple wooden block is angled so you don’t need as much counter space to access your knives. These knives feature smooth contours and a seamless construction to make them easy to clean.

This is the only set in the Global knives review that includes a sharpening rod, so you can maintain the blade edges from the comfort of your own home.

This is a good value set. If you want a basic set of knives with the ability to sharpen them, the Masuta knives are right up your alley.

Global Masuta 5-Piece Knife Block Set


  • Includes sharpening rod
  • Light weight, good balance
  • Extremely sharp blades
  • Easy to clean
  • Quality wood block


  • Not as many knives in set

Global UKON 6-Piece Knife Block Set: Best Global Cutlery Set for Right-handers

The Global Ukon Knife Set includes six pieces from the Global UKON collection. It comes with a paring knife, serrated utility knife, Chef knife, Santoku, bread knife, and storage block.

The Global UKON knives feature an updated, thicker handle and blade for more stability. The handles still have black dots for a textured feel that resists slipping.

The Cromova18 steel blade means the Global UKON knives resist stains and rust. But this line has 10% sharper edge than the Global Classic knives.

The storage block received mixed reviews. Several users were pleased with the appearance and slanted slots for easy access, but others said it took up too much counter space.

I like this set of Global kitchen knives if you want heavier knives. These don’t have the heft of other brands, but they still have excellent balance and weight.

Global UKON 6 Piece Knife Block Set


  • Even sharper edge
  • Sturdy handle and feel
  • Thumb rest
  • Slip-resistant handle


  • Block got mixed reviews

Alternatives to Global Knives

Wusthof Classic Ikon Knife Set

Wusthof knives are the top name in German cutlery. This Wusthof Classic Ikon Knife Set puts the quality and craftsmanship of Wusthof on full display.

This set comes with a generous 16 pieces. Each piece has a high-carbon stainless steel blade with a double-bevel. The blade is sharpened to a razor-sharp edge. It has a full-tang and fully-forged construction for durability and long-lasting cutting performance.

If you don’t prefer the stainless steel handles of Global knives, you might like the more classic synthetic handles of Wusthof. The stainless steel end cap has the logo etched on it to round out the look.

In spite of the fantastic performance and reviews, there is one major drawback. Wusthof is expensive. Many people don’t have the room in the budget for a set like this one.

For more detailed information on this set and other Wusthof knives, visit my complete review.

Wusthof Classic Ikon 16 Piece Knife Set with Walnut Block


  • Razor-sharp
  • Full-tang, forged construction
  • Comfortable non-porous handle
  • Exceptional edge retention
  • Superb cutting performance
  • Made in Solingen, Germany


  • Extremely expensive

Shun Classic 6-Piece Knife Set

When it comes to Japanese knives no kitchen knife brands surpass Shun in reputation. Shun knives are made in Seki, Japan and feature extremely sharp edges and beautiful Damascus-clad steel blades.

This Shun Classic Knife Set comes with six pieces, including a paring knife, Santoku knife, Chef’s knife, honing steel, kitchen shears, and knife block.

The VG-MAX cutting core and 64 layers of stainless Damascus cladding provides the ultimate mixture of edge retention, flexibility, and hardness.

I like the Pakkawood handle, both for its timeless appearance and the non-slip grip.

This is a smaller set, but still expect to pay a pretty penny for it. Visit my review of the best Japanese knives to learn more about this and other Japanese knife sets.

Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set


  • Incredibly sharp
  • VG-MAX cutting core
  • Damascus cladding
  • Comfortable, non-slip handles
  • Long-lasting durability


  • Pricey

What to Know Before Buying Kitchen Knives

Kitchen knives are an investment, so it’s important to look for the right things.

Japanese kitchen knives are suited for precision cutting and getting paper thin slices. If you prepare a lot of vegetables and fish, Japanese knives are great for those tasks.

(I should note that when I say Japanese knives, I mean Japanese-style knives, not necessarily that the blades are made in Japan.)

They feel lighter and are sharper than Western-style knives. They’re generally more expensive, as well.

Western-style knives are what most home cooks in the U.S. are used to, and they have a heavier feel to them. They have a sharpened edge on both sides of the blade which makes them easier to use, but they aren’t as sharp as Japanese blades.

Whichever style of knife you prefer, there are a few non-negotiable features. The knife must be sharp, first and foremost. The knife must be comfortable to hold and use. Finally, it must be tough enough to withstand daily use without chipping or breaking.

Global Knives Review: Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to get Global cutlery, I recommend the Global Classic 3-Piece Starter Set. It has great reviews, excellent performance, and is affordable compared with other knives.

If you want a single piece? I’d go with the Global Hollow Ground Santoku. This multipurpose knife can go from fruit and veggies to boneless meat and fish. It will give you the most bang for your buck.