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Review: MAC 4" mini santoku (petty / paring) knife

jkling17 | Dec 9, 201110:08 PM

I got this knife for my girlfriend, who is only 5'2", with small hands. I do most of the cooking and have several good quality knives including a nice basic Japanese carbon santoku, and keep all of them very sharp.

On occassion, my sweetie does some cooking (she can cook quite well but I really enjoy it so she lets me ...). Ok now full disclosure is that somehow after all these years I hadn't noticed her doing any food prep and found out recently that she uses (gasp) my paring knife for food prep. Apparently, she finds my regular-sized santokus too large for her comfort and even somewhat intimidating. Ok ... well I've got Google and a credit card so this is probably an issue that I can solve, and ordered one.

It finally arrived today, after a minor mix-up. The vendor initially sent the wrong model MAC petty knife but immediately made it right, along with an email return shipping label and no excuses at all - awesome. Way to go, vendor! FYI they are MV Trading through Amazon.

So today, I finally got to put it through its paces. MAC has a good reputation so I was prepared for the blade to be "pretty sharp out of the box". And it was. It readily sliced thin paper and make quick work of an onion, with both push cuts and quick chopping. But ... it wasn't what I would call "razor sharp".

I gave it a quick honing on both sides, with a dmt x-fine 1200 grit and xx-fine 8000 grit. We're talking a quick session here, just a few minutes of quick easy light swipes and feeling for the burr. I de-burred by pulling it through a tightly rolled up paper towel and then retested. Verdict - Wow - now this knife is now super sharp. It positively shreds paper with very little or no apparent lateral movement. Cool.

I then handed it to off my petite sweetie, along with an ill-fated and doomed onion. Even before eviscerating the hapless root vegetable, she remarked that it felt right in her hands. 30 seconds later ... the onion was transformed into a combination of thin slices and diced pieces. She then looked at me, smiled, and said, "if you want one of these get your own". And, with a flip of her blond locks, put it into the block and then proceeded to made me some popcorn. Success!

So, the primary results are what I had hoped for. But on the flip side, I had hoped that it would also be a really neat secondary prep knife for me. Alas, the handle is just fine but the blade is on the small side for me to seriously consider it for regular use. Given, it's santoku design, it doesn't seem particularly well-suited as a proper petty or paring knife. I already have those and prefer a traditional petty design for that application.

In conclusion - this knife is a really quite a nice general utility prep knife for people with small hands: some women, lots of kids, the vertically challenged, etc. While it is reasonably sharp out of the box, a quick touch up takes it to the next level.



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