May 14, 2017

Sabatier Knives Review: Get Peerless Level of Fine Edge

Sabatier-Knives-Review

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If you want to slice like a Ninja in the kitchen, you need an authentic Sabatier knife. Now you might have heard the name, but like anything good in this world, Sabatier knives has been imitated by a lot of cheapo manufacturers trying to use the name for marketing advantage. You have to be careful, just because a blade is marked “Sabatier” doesn’t mean its the real deal.

So what exactly is a “Sabatier knife”? First, we have to trace back its roots at the dawn of the 19th century in Thiers, France, where two families named Sabatier made kitchen knives and used their name as a brand and marketing tool. Now you have to understand that back then, copyright and trademarks are barely in existence.

The name, therefore, became a mark of any high quality, fully forged, single piece of steel, riveted handle knife that holds the edge like a Valyrian sword. Today, each brand carrying the Sabatier name will have to contain a second word just to distinguish it from the rest.

​Modern High-End Sabatier Knife

According to experts, some of the oldest and well-established manufacturers are still the makers of high-end Sabatier knives today. In order to make this review helpful to you, I will provide more details regarding these authentic manufacturers.​

  • K Sabatier : This authentic knife maker has some of the most expensive high-end knives on Amazon. You have to look for the “made in France” and “by Sabatier Aîné & Perrier since 1834” mark in the name to ensure that the item is the real deal.
  • Deglon Sabatier : The Deglon Sabatier Company of Thiers France has been making Sabatier Deg knives with forged stainless steel blades, round bolster since 1921. The three-riveted thermoplastic handle means that that knife has a full tang and sturdy mounting. This brand is generally more expensive than the K Sabatier even on Amazon.
  • Stellar Sabatier : Stellar Sabatier knives are made by Horwood Homewares Ltd., the UK manufacturer that started in 1896 in Bristol under license from Rousselon Frères who in turn owned the legendary Mexeur Lion Sabatier. Stellar Sabatier knives are made from Carbon Molybdenum Vanadium steel and are generally cheaper compared to K Sabatier and Deglon Sabatier. It is characterized by three riveted black handles which means that it has a full tang.

I will not review any cheap knives claiming to be Sabatier in this review. You can easily find a lot of that in some local stores but be warned, these are not likely to be authentic.

​Best Sabatier Knife for Most Cutting Needs

Looking for Sabatier branded knife on Amazon alone is mind-bending to say the least. Since anybody can now use the brand, there are hundreds of mass produced types that bear the name but not the quality. This review does not intend to be exhaustive for this reason. What I decided to do instead is to give you a small sampling of what I consider as the most versatile sizes, useful for most cutting needs.​

via amazon.com

If you are looking for high quality and authentic Sabatier forged knife that can be used for most purposes, the K Sabatier 4" paring knife fits the bill. It is forged from a single mass of Rockwell 54-56 HRC Carbon steel, tempered and polished crosswise to produce a well-balanced blade that is capable of cutting hard stuff.

This kind of steel is considered soft steel which is perfect because it makes this knife easy to sharpen. But don't let the "soft steel" classification fool you, this knife holds the edge better than any stainless steel counterpart. The 3 rivets hold the Polyoxymethylene (POM) handle to the tang, providing a sturdy blade with awesome cutting power.

Make sure to dry the blade after washing to avoid rust. Don't be surprised if the blade changes color when in use. This is a normal reaction of carbon steel with any of the substances found in what you're cutting out. This blade has great balance which allows you to achieve professional results when you work on food details.


Pros

  • Authentic "Made in France" Sabatier forged knife
  • Carries the legacy of the oldest Sabatier factory in Thiers
  • True carbon steel material
  • Great feel and balance

Cons

  • The blade and oxidize and rust
  • Requires a more maintenance than stainless blade

via amazon.com

If you're looking for more cutting power but same quality as the K Sabatier 4" paring knife, the K Sabatier 10 Inch Forged Carbon Steel Chef Knife is the perfect replacement. Made from the same Rockwell 54-56 HRC Carbon steel and forging technique, you will find this blade capable when faced with larger cutting situations.

The extra five inches provide weight so that you don't have to rely on your strength to cut something harder, instead, just allow gravity to take care of it.A chef's knife must first of all feel good, and this 10" knife feels like you're handling an 8" instead of 10". It has great balance and it feels like an extension of your hands.

It does not require frequent sharpening because the edge is amazingly sharp. When you do need to sharpen it, it only takes a few minutes, you don't even have to sweat it.Just like any knife made from carbon steel, this knife does require extra care. Make sure to keep it dry after using by wiping it with a clean cloth and it's preferable if you can coat it with a little bit of vegetable oil just to prevent oxidation.

This might sound like a bit of extra work, but if you're the kind who will just dunk your knife in the dishwasher and leave it there overnight, you better buy a stainless steel knife.


Pros

  • It has all the advantages of the K Sabatier 4" paring knife
  • It has exceptional fit, feel and finish
  • Razor sharp edge

Cons

  • Just like the K Sabatier 4" paring knife, it will oxidize and rust
  • Requires extra care

via amazon.com

Did I mention dunking your knife in a dishwasher? Well, the Stellar Sabatier 3.5” Paring Knife, since it's made of stainless steel, can withstand just that. If you're looking for the same quality Sabatier knife for multipurpose use but can't promise to take care of it, this is the one you're looking for.

The entire knife is forged from one billet of stainless steel. The POM handle is secured to the full tang by spun solid rivets, giving you a safe and well-balanced blade.

This knife is ideal for a range of jobs that you don't want to use a large knife for. I have this knife for more than two months now and I mainly use it for cutting vegetables and fruits but it's still amazingly sharp. By the way, these are just some of the vegetable recipes your children will love and you can find here. The stainless steel makes this knife ideal for acidic materials because it does not react and changes its taste.


Pros

  • Unbeatable price
  • Does not oxidize
  • Does not change the taste of fruits and vegetable
  • Does not require extra care
  • Ideal for a wide range of cutting purposes

Cons

  • Might be too small for larger cutting needs

via amazon.com

The serrated knife fills a different cutting niche compared to the regular blade. This kind of edge is not suited for chopping, instead, it is used mainly for slicing. The serrated edge is particularly suited for slippery surfaces like oily steak and soft surfaces like bread and pie crust.

The serration enables the blade to grip the surface of the slippery or soft material, cutting through it without damaging its texture. While this type of blade requires less sharpening compared to regular blade, it's also more difficult to sharpen when it gets dull. It usually requires a professional to sharpen it.

If you need a blade that fills this cutting need, the Stellar Sabatier 5"/12cm Serrated Knife is the perfect choice. It is forged from a single billet stainless steel which means that it needs less maintenance. It also does not oxidize making it ideal for acidic food like fruits and some vegetables. Unlike carbon steel, stainless does not react and change the taste of the food.


Pros

  • Affordable for a blade this size and quality
  • It requires less maintenance
  • Does not rust or oxidize
  • Does not react to food

Cons

  • Fills only a specific niche
  • Less versatile compared to straight edged blades

via amazon.com

If I can only have one knife and one knife only, the Sabatier Olivewood Stainless Steel 8-Inch Chef Knife is the one I’d pick. You know why? For the simple reason that it’s so versatile. It’s more powerful than a 4-inch paring knife, but it’s not as heavy as a 10-inch chef knife. It can easily fill the cutting niche of those two size ranges without feeling awkward in my hands. I can easily cut with precision those fiddly materials like tomatoes but I won’t need to reach out for the larger blade when I need to cut large chunks of meat.

True to the Sabatier tradition, this knife is forged from high carbon stainless steel and it features a full tang and true bolster. The handle is made from Olivewood which gives it a classic look and it is held in place by spun solid rivets. The bolster provides a counterweight to this blade making it a well-balanced knife.

Although this blade is made of stainless steel, you can’t leave it overnight in the washer because it will damage the wooden handle. You need to hand-wash this knife and dry it immediately.


Pros

  • Useful for a wide range of food preparation
  • Made from stainless steel which means it does not react to food
  • Well-balanced blade
  • So convenient to use
  • It does not rust or oxidize

Cons

  • Requires a little more care for a stainless knife

​Final Thoughts

To be honest, I really had a hard time rating these knives. The quality of Sabatier knives is generally stellar as long as you really have the authentic ones. Most chefs and I included, we would just buy these knives for keep sake because it’s kind of irresistible especially when there is a sale.​

But when push comes to shove and if I can only have one knife in my kitchen, I’d pick the Sabatier Olivewood Stainless Steel 8-Inch Chef Knife. The versatility settles the matter for me. It does everything all the other four can do, and it's true to the Sabatier trademark of quality and ease of use.

While stainless does not hold the edge well compared to carbon steel, this knife is amazingly sharp and it doesn't dull too easily. It's easy to sharpen like any stainless knife and the fact that it doesn't change the taste of the food, makes this knife a clear winner. That being said, suppose this knife wasn't created, I'd pick any of the four and would still be equally happy.​

How about you? What's your experience with Sabatier knives? Share your thoughts by dropping a comment or two in the section below.​

    Claire J. Ruiz

    I'm Claire, and my passion is cooking. I believe that food is what actually unites people and the dining table is where we set aside our differences. When we eat we become vulnerable because enjoying food requires a different level of trust and surrender to the person preparing your food. Sharing and enjoying food is one of the most intimate experiences in life.​

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