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Unless you’re a chef or a connoisseur of fine knives, you may have never heard of the name Nesmuk. Chances are, though, you have benefited from this particularly exotic German knifemaker at the table of your favorite fine restaurant, however, because Nesmuk chef’s knives are the cutlery of choice for many well-known chefs, including Michelin star chef Dieter Müller.
Nesmuk was founded in Germany with the concept of creating products that are perfect in every aspect. The knifemakers at Nesmuk spend three to four years studying and carrying out comparative analytical tests, then developing methods of highly skilled precision craftsmanship, when creating a Nesmuk knife. Nesmuk is one of the top luxury knife manufacturers in Germany, and was ranked 5th among Germany’s top luxury brands in 2011.
Every knife produced by Nesmuk is hand-made, and is a unique tool to the owner of that knife. Star chefs often wait patiently for months for their knives to be forged, or even travel personally to Solingen to purchase the Nesmuk knife. Each knife produced by Nesmuk is backed by a 30-year free re-sharpening service, and Nesmuk has its own special strop for sale to keep knives sharp between re-sharpenings.
Nesmuk knives have become distinguished not only for their traditional craftsmanship and high technology, but for their aesthetics. Nesmuk has received numerous awards for the beauty of their knives, including the International Knife Award, the GOOD DESIGN AWARD of the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, and has received a nomination for the official Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany.
A very unique feature of Nesmuk knives is that their folding knives and pocket knives have no visible nuts or screws. These knives have spring and blade fitting that is accurate to a hundredth of an inch, and feature rounded bezels with the Nesmuk bat on one side and an optional personalized engraving on the other side.
The most popular Nesmuk knife is the Exklusiv, which is crafted from Damascus steel, with up to 480 layers of select carbon steel and a Rockwell hardness of 62. These knives, as well as other models of Nesmuk knives, are delivered in a piano lacquer case with a wooden sheath or an elk’s hide sheath.
In folding knives, Nesmuk has several varieties. All of the Nesmuk folding knives share the same dimensions and overall shape, but differ in the type of steel used and the available handles. Each of these folding knives is 7.95” long opened, with a closed length of 4.52” and a 3.35” blade. Every Nesmuk folding knife is delivered in a piano lacquer case with a certificate of authenticity and an elk-leather pouch.
The first, and most popular, is the Nesmuk Exklusiv Folder, a hand-forged Damascus blade with two types of steel processed in 66 layers. Each blade has a unique pattern on it formed by the torsion of the blade, and a wide variety of handles are available for the Exklusiv folder. You can choose from black jade, tiger iron, silver, hammer-blow silver, or lapis lazuli handles. For Nesmuk Exklusiv Folders with a lapis lazuli handle, the blade is additionally coated with a layer of DLC (Diamond Like Carbon).
The next Nesmuk folding knife is the Nesmuk Janus Folder, which is equipped with a blade made from special stainless steel with a very fine microstructure. These knives are also coated with DLC, providing excellent friction properties and improving the cutting performance of the blade, which features a Rockwell hardness of 58 HRC. The handles of these knives are made of piano lacquer, and are available in black, blue, white, orange, or silver. The Nesmuk Janus Folder was nominated for the official Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany, and has won the GOOD DESIGN AWARD for 2013.
Rounding out Nesmuk’s lineup of folding knives is the Nesmuk Soul Folder, a knife featuring a blade made from high-performance stainless steel rich in niobium. The niobium gives the blade outstanding toughness and a very fine metal structure, leading to the blade’s excellent sharpness and edge retention. The hardness of the Soul’s blade is 60 HRC, and the blade is finished by hand and extended by the central axial bezel. The Nesmuk Soul is available with handles of olive, desert ironwood, white ebony, or birch burl black, providing beautiful handles that are unique and eye-catching.
As you may expect, Nesmuk’s knives, with their luxurious handles, exotic steel blades, and unique appearance, do not come cheaply! Prices range from 490 € (over $600 USD) for the Nesmuk Soul folder, 690 € (almost $900 USD) for the Nesmuk Janus folder, and 1390 € (almost $1800 USD) for the Nesmuk Exklusiv Folder.
Nesmuk’s knives, as expensive as they are, are reputed to be well worth the price. It is not uncommon for a Nesmuk knife to be passed down from one generation to another, making the investment in a Nesmuk knife a lifetime investment in the finest of cutlery.