Price, test, where to buy

Price, test, where to buy

Timothee Mulcare

Shop $245 $225, materialkitchen.com


Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.


Not gonna lie, I want to be remembered as someone who cares deeply about polo sweaters, cooks only with an air fryer, owns lots of headphones, but is perhaps, also most known for this tried-and-true endorsement of a knife set.

And I’m not going to be coy: Material’s trio of knives set along with its matching stand is the proudest possession in my kitchen arsenal thus far. I started cooking four years ago after I moved out of my college campus, and those years were accompanied by cheap Target knives that were just fine; no matter how dull, they could do prep work just fine, and I could live with that. Thus, Material’s stainless steel Japanese knives were not something I thought I needed until I used them. These knives slice finely, chop elegantly, all while be accompanied by a magnetic matching stand. So, it’s no wonder I’d be so smitten with this set, that I now use daily.

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Each knife boasts 3 layers of Japanese stainless steel and high carbon for sharpness, and the blade extends into the handle for resilience.

Timothy Mulcare

Don’t just cut. Slice.

I first used the eight-inch chef’s knife on a chicken breast and I didn’t know what to expect, so I simply caressed the edge on the skin, and it cut through the meat deeply and smoothy. Being impressed with that level of sharpness was the incentive I needed to take prep work seriously. No more being complacent with dull knives or amateur meals. I quickly learned the motion and movement of how to gently slice meat. I have since ventured into making tuna sashimi and salmon poke triumphantly with Material’s chef knife. What’s my end-game piece of meat to use it on, you ask? Japanese A5 Wagyu beef, for sure.

As for the easier ingredients like fruits or veggies, I use the petite four-inch knife. With it, I can do the impressive feat of holding the leaf end of welsh onions or baby bok choy, ready the edge on the other, and chop off the root—in the air, no solid surface needed!—effortlessly without losing control. When I want prep or cut thicker and crustier things like a loaf of bread, I rely on the six-inch serrated knife, which I can wield like a sword (without, you know, wielding a sword). Each knife features an oval-shaped handle that feels just right to hold, since the weight is distributed evenly and the blade extends into the handle, making it easy to get a firm, non-slip grip.

Shop $245 $225, materialkitchen.com

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The sleek wood stand, magnetized on both sides, can hold up to 8 knives.

Timothy Mulcare

Show them off—you’ll want to.

When you have a trio of gorgeous knives worthy of the pros and the joes, presenting them on a striking, yet practical stand is the way to go—and Material offers just that. At first, I thought the stand looked nice, but I’m a less-is-more guy to the core—for years, I merely stored my knives in the drawer. Then, after I organized all three blades on the stand’s smooth, magnetic wall, I couldn’t help but go along with that when you got it, flaunt it attitude. It displays their matte and stainless steel sheen in a show-stopping manner, and unlike many knife blocks, the magnets inside won’t dull the knives. While the stand is quite hefty, that’s how you know it’s reliable.

Shop $245 $225, materialkitchen.com

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The stand is sturdy and holds the knives steadily, making it easier for you to clean them.

Timothy Mulcare

It’s the whole package.

Frankly, it’s hard to meet a Japanese stainless steel knife not worthy of liking—unless, of course, it was poorly made and even more poorly displayed. But, the quality of Material’s knives speaks for itself; they’re a workhorse at meat prep, all without looking intimidating. Plus, the brand’s elegantly crafted wood stand does the knifes justice by putting each blade front and center, instead of hiding them away. You also get to hear that little high-pitched “shink” sound—like sharpening a knife—when you slide the knives off the magnetic wall. Why not flaunt all this excellence on your own kitchen counter?

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{Photograph} by Timothy Mulcare. John Olson Equipment Type for Halley Sources.

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