This bladesmith is a cut above the rest | Inquirer Business
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This bladesmith is a cut above the rest

Chef’s knife. The knives of Nacionale Bladeworks can be considered works of art. —PHOTOS FROMNACIONALEBLADEWORKS.COM

If dancers invest in shoes, painters invest in brushes, singers invest in a good microphone … chefs and serious cooks invest in knives.

Ryan David, creator of Nacionale Bladeworks and who himself is a cook specializing in Chinese cuisine, explains it this way: “I felt that having an authentic Chinese knife gave me an edge. It felt like a superpower. A powerful extension of my hand.”


Once a culinary student simply receiving knives from his grandfather, who was imparting his “kitchen wisdom,” David today is the one gifting friends with knives.

If you’re a chef, he’s the best friend you would want to have. He’s the guy who understands chefs the most; from the pleasure of cooking for your family to the pressures of cooking professionally, he gets it. He especially knows the need for and joy of a sharp knife.


So with his wife Karen, he created Nacionale Bladeworks, which they describe as “a project born out of our love for the rugged and fast-paced nature of a professional kitchen.”

His obsession with knives has taken on a whole new level, benefiting chefs or cooks who just need to purchase his knives to experience the precision these achieve.

Now he is inspired by traditional Japanese bladesmiths, “combining traditional techniques and modern advancements in metallurgy.” They have partner bladesmiths today who ensure their knives are in top condition.

A quick look at their website ( will leave the untrained eye confused but would get the culinary expert drooling. At the moment, they have 18 knives on display, with seven sold out.

The names will also draw out an “if you know, you know” comment.

For instance, one will wonder what a Bunka is. The site offers a 180-mm Bunka with a glow-in-the-dark (for finding your knife in the middle of the night?) handle.

The site does not explain what a Bunka is but this is how another site describes it: “The Bunka is a bonafide badass, like a kitchen knife in a leather jacket.” That is an uber cool way of describing a multipurpose knife recommended for vegetables and for getting under the fat and sinew of meat when butchering.


Then there is the Gyuto, another multipurpose knife, but designed for cutting meat. In fact, Gyuto translates to “cow sword.”

Nacionale Bladeworks also offers a Santoku, yet another multipurpose knife, but this time with a bias for vegetables. Santoku translates to “three virtues” or “to solve three problems,” which they say refer to slicing, dicing and mincing.

There is also the Debas, designed for fish, although it can also be used for chopping vegetables as well as chicken or duck.

With these specialty knives, it’s no wonder even chefs abroad make an effort to purchase Nacionale Bladeworks products.

It also gives off an “I’m cool” or “I’m in the know” vibe. Like if you have one, you certainly know how to ninja your way to the best meal of the life of whoever you will feed.

Best of all, the testimonies on how incredible these knives are have been coming from legitimate chefs. So if you are just an aspiring cook, you may just want to get one for inspiration and to give off the impression that you’re an excellent chef.

Who knows, with these knives, whatever you cook may just turn out to impress even a master chef. Now that’s a great investment. At least in your own kitchen, you can be a master chef.

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TAGS: Nacionale Bladeworks, Ryan David
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