Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to offer you my opinion on a product that I have used for over 30 years. 30 years has been a long time. What I'm about to share with you is not pretty, but it works. It stands the test of time, and it does a good job. What I'm going to talk about are Old Hickory knives.
Old Hickory has been around a long time, it has changed owners a few times, but they're still being made the same way with the same materials, in the United States of America. Here is a link to their manufacturer's site. Old Hickory is currently being manufactured by the Ontario Knife Company. You will notice that Ontario Knife Company makes many different types of knives and tools. The purpose of this article is to talk about Old Hickory kitchen knives. As with most
products, it behooves you to look around as prices vary sharply from the manufacturers site. There are a number of retailers that carry these knives. When I purchase Old Hickory knives, I purchase them in a set of five. They come in a cute little box, and it is identified by No. 705. I've included below a couple of sites, don't forget to figure in shipping. Of course, one of the sites is Amazon, and one of the sites I've included is KnifeCenter.com, which is where I get the vast majority of the knives that I buy.
Did I mention that Old Hickory is made in the USA? I'm not going to tell you that every knife I buy is made in the USA, but most are.
Okay, let's talk about the knives. The set of five I mentioned above comes with five individual knives, an 8" slicer; a 7" butcher; a 6" boning; a 4" parer; and a 3 1/4" parer. The two biggest knives, the slicer and the
butcher, we seldom use, but we do use them on occasion. The other three we use daily. These knives are made of carbon steel and have hardwood handles. Now, I am not a knife expert by any means, and have other knives that we use also. We have a set of knives for butchering, but we've also used these knives for butchering chickens. The reason we use other knives for butchering, is that they have a finger guard. When your hands are wet, or bloody, we like to use a finger guard in butchering. It keeps your hand on the handle. But, don't get me wrong, we have used the Old Hickory knives many a time for butchering. My butchering knives have a blade of stainless steel, and they're all made by Buck Knife Company, and they do a good job. But the carbon steel blades seem to stay sharper longer. Maybe in another post I'll talk about sharpeners. I have struggled for years trying to find a good way to keep knives sharp, but we'll talk about that sometime later.
The two Old Hickory big knives some folk use for survival type knives. I've included a video to give you an idea. I've also included a picture showing the different thickness in blades that the man in the video makes reference to. The knife I'm using in comparison is my big outdoor knife, which I seldom use anymore, but I wanted to use it for comparison purposes. My big Buck knife, I've actually had it longer than Fern and I have been married. There are few things I can talk about that I have that is older than our marriage. But they both seem to work just fine. So much for survival knives.
A little story here. Fern and I met about 34 years ago at a major university in rural Oklahoma. A couple of years later we were married. We both worked part-time jobs, went to school full-time, and were very poor. For entertainment we would walk through the small downtown area and window shop. One night while doing this we noticed on the side of the road was what looked like a kitchen knife. We picked it up, brought it home and
cleaned it up. I don't have a clue how old the knife was when I got it, but it wasn't brand new. And I don't have a clue how it got to be on the side of the road, but it wasn't all gooey and sticky or anything like that. So, I don't believe it was involved in any sinister type activity. But, the knife came to our house and has lived here happily ever after. I've included the old Old Hickory knife next to one of it's newer cousins. You can see one is slightly more worn, and it has worked a lot in our house over 30+ years. This knife has processed sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, King salmon, Silver salmon, Red salmon, northern pike, caribou and moose. And it's probably cut more than a few plastic water lines in it's life. Sounds like a keeper, doesn't it?
A couple of years back we discovered the No. 705 Old Hickory five pack and have given a handful of these to folks as gifts, along with a number of Lodge cast iron skillets. What utterly surprises me the most is that most people don't care for cast iron or Old Hickory knives. They don't seem to fit their modern kitchen decor. They're just not pretty enough. This may sound a little tacky, and the reason it sounds that way is because it is tacky. Now don't get me wrong here, there are some high quality pretty knives, but the truth of the matter is most folks don't care how well a knife cuts or performs, all they care about is the looks. They don't care about good quality metal, they don't care about years of durability, what they want is pretty and cheap, and that's what they get, a cheap knife that won't cut, because they wouldn't know a good knife if somebody gave them one. It doesn't take a very good knife to slice a microwave burrito. But in my house, we use knives as a tool and like grandpas taught all of us, buy the best tools you can get. He didn't say the most expensive or the prettiest. Grandpa said the best. Fern just reminded me that there is too much comparison mentioned above. But that comparison between pretty and cheap vs. functional and effective applies to multiple other facets of life.
We'll talk more later, Frank