If you’re a cook or a fan of knives in general, then you’ve probably heard of Almazan knives. This cleaver has a unique profile and has gained a lot of popularity in the last couple of years, especially. Fans of the style love how they feel in your hand and the ease of cutting with this style. The undeniable beauty and unique curvature are instantly recognizable by the curved back edge toward the front of these knives. However, you may not know that there is a huge debate over who actually invented the blade. I will explain the controversy and share what I was able to discover and an overall look at how the knives work and feel so that you can make your own decisions about how to stock your kitchen.
How Almazan Knives Are Different from Other Cleavers
Before we get into the strange story of the Almazan knives creation and a review, let’s look at what makes an Almazan different from most cleavers. Standard cleavers come in two overall styles. The most well known and universally recognized is a rectangular blade. Most kitchens have at least one or two of these knives to cut through bone-in meats. They are sometimes called butcher’s knives. Meanwhile, there is also a variation of the standard cleaver with a forward-leaning tip.
The forward profile cleaver or butcher’s knife often gives you a slightly narrower front tip to the blade, which is useful in many ways. For example, the thinner tip can be used to cut through a small yet thick piece of meat while maintaining a cleaver’s weight to do the job. Some cooks consider it a novelty, while others hail it as essential or supplemental to the more blocky traditional cleaver style.
The Almazan cleaver has a curve on the front half of the blade. However, rather than curving upward along the blade edge as many knives do, this curve is on the knife’s backside. In profile, the shape of the blade is similar to that of a clothing iron without the top handle. By reducing the bulk and weight at the front of the blade, these knives cut the same as a blocky cleaver, with less metal mass.
The VK Damascus Knife Company makes a superb example of this style in the Carbon Steel Serbian Cleaver Chopper. This beautifully forged knife has a lovely red tinted pakkawood handle. It comes with a leather sheath for easy carry as well. See the Amazon reviews yourself by clicking here.
The Great Almazan Mystery
In the world of knifemaking, many blades are instantly recognizable due to the original maker’s style, and Almazan knives are no different. The mystery comes in when you learn that two different companies calling themselves Amalzan knives started producing these outstanding kitchen knives around the same time. Each one claims that they are the original, and they do not have much to say about the other company.
The first knifemakers say the Almazan brand is a family name. This maker says they completely invented the style. Alternately, the second group claims they are from Almazan, Spain, and the style they’ve popularized is a traditional Serbian chef’s knife.
Almazan Kitchen began as a Facebook-only company where people could custom order their hand-forged knives. Since then, they have expanded and now have their own online business. The Almazan Kitchen is adamant that they are the original and have a strongly worded suggestion that you support them as such by avoiding knockoffs.
The Almazan Store sells the same style of knives, which they make in Almazan Spain. This company has nothing whatever to say about the origin of the blades on their website. Whether this is taking the high road or an admission of guilt is a matter of some debate. However, the fact remains that they do lots of youtube videos. This group says the style is a Serbian chef’s knife. However, finding evidence of the style before these companies popped up is difficult.
Notably, it can be challenging, if not impossible, to find the true origins of knives given how long humans have been forging them. It is also interesting that in all my research, I did not find a single mention of a court case where one of these groups went after the other to reclaim their title as the original Almazan knife sellers. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts to clear up the issue once and for all time, there was precious little to go on.
Initial inquiries haven’t provided me with any new information. Moreover, this appears to be a case of one word against another, making this one of the most bizarre mysteries in the modern knifemaking world. It’s also possible that two different people or groups came up with the same idea at the same time and gave it the same name. Although this isn’t common, it has happened in the past, though not with knives specifically.
One of the most visually stunning Almazan-like blades you can find is the Handmade Damascus Steel Cleaver from Amazon. The richly colored rosewood handle adds to the overall appeal of this gorgeous seven-inch blade. At two hundred layers, the Rockwell hardness on this knife is 58-60 HRC. Additionally, the sheath is hand-stitched and comes with a convenient belt loop. Find out more when you click here.
Review: Are Almazan Knives Worth It
Almazan knives are pointed different from other styles, but does that come with real, functional use? This is an important question to answer when looking at adding a new tool to your kitchen. The simple answer is yes, and I’m happy to explain why.
There are two major advantages to the way the front of an Almazan knife is shaped. The forward curve at the tip reduces weight and changes how your blade interacts with the deepest part of a cut. A cleaver is made to go through thick cuts and chopping bone.
When you cut bone-in meat, or even merely a lot of meat in general, your hands will fatigue over time. This exhaustion means you are more prone to make mistakes, and frankly, it can be painful. The more tired your hands, the slower you work. By forming a gentile curve, instead of filling extra space with a rectangular blade, not only is there more visual appeal, but it uses less metal to give you the same effect. Thus, less weight on your hand.
The weight change also moves the balance back on an Almazan knife. Putting more of the weight near your body and less near the blades’ end makes it easier to handle. This is an advantage for safety.
The second effect of the curved blade is how it goes into the meat. By reducing the surface area of the blade at the end, it means less metal in the deepest part of large thick cuts of meat. What that does is make the knife less likely to stick. There’s less friction from slightly lesser surface areas coming in contact.
Moreover, that curved edge braces well against the meat when you need to remove your knife from becoming lodged in a bone. Instead of an end that can go straight up and down, that curve allows you to push back as you lift, gaining more leverage as you go to free your knife. Although proper cuts and high-quality knives rarely stick in the meat or bone, it can still happen. This shape helps you remove your blade.
The Dream Reach Professional Butcher Knife from Amazon is also an Almazan-like style blade. The hand-forged tool is made of high carbon steel and high manganese steel. Unlike stainless steel knives, this one requires a little extra care, oiling, and you need to dry it after use. However, in the companies’ own words, ” The cutlery knives are sharpened manually by workers with more than 30 years of experience by using natural knife grinders mined from Mount Emei. Compared with kitchen knives made with mechanical ways, the service life of such knives is longer.” Check out these outstanding Almazan similar knives by clicking here.
Any way you slice it, these knives are worth having in your kitchen. I recommend trying one out on thicker cuts of meat to see where they truly excel.
Whatever maker you choose, the Almazan knife style is undeniably useful. Having one of these unusual-profile blades in your kitchen arsenal is worth the addition. Less front end weight makes for a nice swing when you need to get through a thick cut or a tough bone.
Like any unique knife, it takes a little while to get used to the blades’ different heft, but it’s worth the time. Moreover, it won’t be very long before this knife feels natural in your hand. Especially if you cook a lot, having more options for your chopping block is smart. A well-stocked set of kitchen knives is always essential.
Choosing an Almazan knife is up to you. However, I thoroughly recommend adding this durable style to your cooking arsenal if you want to get the most out of your food.