JUDGED BY MATTHIAS VAN REIMERSDAHL
Blade geometry – Top.
Sharpness – Top.
Blade material – For the price range, no complaints.
Handling – Fits nicely in the palm.
Meeting these criteria is a matter of course for Dick, one of Germanys few remaining knife manufacturers. The company’s vault contains the treasures of its experience going back to 1778, giving Dick grand-old-man status among knife manufacturers still producing in Germany. Dick knives are the first choice of professionals because of their design, the choice of materials in the blade steel, and above all in the handle. These hardy knives can stand up to almost anything. Their only long-term foe is the dishwasher – so be sure to maintain sharpness by hand-washing only. Taking that trouble never harmed anyone. But why do you so rarely find these workhorses in home kitchens? What is it that makes them the first choice of cooks, butchers, industrial carvers and the like, yet not the first choice with women, too?
Because they are heavy. Because they are made for men’s hands. So – does this mean that the voice of women carries so little weight in the Esslingen manufacturers product development?
The fact is that since 1905, the issue date of todays product series, the design has changed only marginally. To ensure balance between handle and blade size, metal rings have been incorporated into the plastic of the handle. This may be functional – but does it add home kitchen appeal?
The knife market is fiercely competitive. There’s domestic competition from Solingen, whose manufacturers have also been carving out their niche for years. Theres competition from manufacturers in France, which claims to be the cradle of the European chef’s knife. And there are also the specialists from – you guessed it – Japan. All this is not easy for a company of such tradition and history. Yet these unassuming, hard-working Esslingen knife-makers have managed to establish branches all over the world, with 240 full-time employees in Germany. Consistency, quality, diligence and a long product life – all these help guarantee the trust customers have in these knives.
I can’t imagine a world where Esslinger knives aren’t out there continuing to conquer cutlery drawers, magnetic kitchen strips and knife blocks.