A selection of beautiful, hand-made knives and boards by Robert Herder of Germany.
Beech and oak bread boards made from local woods in Lanarkshire.
Robert Herder founded his tempering company at Solingen, Germany, in 1872 and became famous for producing knives of outstanding quality. The unusual combination of sharpening technology (see grinding and glazing, below) and fine craftsmanship ensures that this reputation endures, along with the knives' optimal cutting properties.
Solingen 'dry-fine' grinding, Bulge grinding and Blue glazing
In contrast to most modern knives, Windmühle are still ground according to the principle of 'solingen dry-fine grinding' and many are fine-glazed by hand. In 'dry-fine grinding' , the grinding angle is much further up the blade than it is in standard, modern grinding. The resulting blade tapers to a thin, very sharp and long-lasting cutting edge.
Bulge grinding is a technique that is only used by Windmühle's most skilled craftsmen. It refers to the creation of a convex profile to the blade so that, in cross section, it appears to bulge slightly. This shape produces an extremely thin and finely ground cutting edge.
Glazing is a special process of fine grinding in which the final, and finest, processing of the blade surface is called 'Blue glazing'. This typically leaves characteristic bluish or rainbow-coloured shimmers on the blade. Most of this work is carried out by Windmühle's master grinder W. Fehrekampf.
These dry-fine ground knives are not suitable for levering or canted cutting and should not be used on hard cutting boards. (A wooden board is the perfect surface for them.)
Knives with wooden handles should never be immersed or soaked in water or placed in a dishwasher. To wash your knife, hold it by the handle and clean the blade with warm water and a little dishwashing soap, using a sponge or soft cloth if necessary. Rinse the blade with warm or hot water, keeping the sharp end pointing downwards. Dry the blade thoroughly with a cotton or linen cloth.
If the wooden handle gets sticky or oily, simply wipe it clean with a damp Ecloth. After washing and drying your knife, replace it in a suitable knife box or magnetic rack or, with the blade protected, in a kitchen drawer.