Cutting performance is superb. Its extremely narrow, sharp blade produces very thin, even slices, and it slides into the toughest foods (like squash) with ease. Professionals and consumers alike agree that the Global G-2 is very light, but not everyone likes this feature. Brett Moore, the About.com guide to gourmet food, says the lighter blade "reduces hand fatigue," but some owners at Amazon.com say that they would prefer a knife with more heft. Testers at a leading cooking magazine were also divided, either loving or hating the hand-feel of this ultra-thin blade. The balance of the knife, however, is universally praised. Most owners find the handle comfortable and easy to grip, but some say it's uncomfortably small for those with large hands.
A typical shape for a chef's knife: a smooth (non-serrated) blade with a curved edge. This design allows cooks to slice, chop and mince with a smooth, rocking motion. The blade is stamped steel, rather than forged, and has no bolster, which accounts for the knife's light weight. It's made of Cromova 18 stainless steel, a combination of molybdenum and vanadium, that reviewers say holds an edge better than other types of steel. However, this ultra-hard steel is vulnerable to chipping and breakage. Global's lifetime warranty does not cover chipped blades and broken tips, but the manufacturer says sharpening the blade can often repair minor damage. However, some users say that can be tricky due to the narrow edge. The manufacturer recommends honing the blade periodically with a diamond or ceramic rod and sharpening it on a whetstone when needed rather than using an electric sharpener.
As for the handle, it's a seamless extension of the stainless-steel blade. It's smaller than many knife handles -- too small, according to some users with large hands. It also has dimples to reduce slippage, although professional testers say it still feels slippery when grasped with greasy hands. The hollow handle is filled with sand that flows back and forth as the knife is manipulated, helping to maintain precise balance. Though the handles are dishwasher-safe, the manufacturer recommends hand washing to protect the blade.
A decidedly modern, streamlined look. Its seamless metal construction and black accents on the blade give it an almost space-age appearance. Most reviewers seem to like this; Brett Moore calls Global knives "very beautiful, yet functional," and Emily Kaiser Thelin and Emily McKenna of Food & Wine magazine describe the G-2 as "elegant." While traditionalists might not care for the design, we didn't find any reviewers who objected to it.
The Global G-2 8-inch Cook's Knife may not be for everyone. For those who are used to a heavier, European-style chef's knife, the light and narrow Global G-2 may take some getting used to. Moreover, users have to be prepared to handle it with care, washing it by hand and honing it to maintain its edge. However, the majority of users seem delighted with its smooth slicing performance and exquisite balance, making it the clear, best choice.
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Report Credibility: Very Good Cook's Illustrated magazine reviews eight hybrid-style gyutou knives, including the Global G-2 8-inch Cook's Knife, the Mac Professional 8-inch Chef's Knife and the Korin Misono UX10 Gyutou, 8.2-inch. Users of varying hand size and skill try to dice onions, mince parsley, quarter butternut squash and cut up whole raw chickens. The knives are also machine-tested for sharpness and durability at a lab in the U.K. Each knife earns ratings for cutting performance and design.
Review: Chef's Knives, Hybrid-Style, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, Nov. 1, 2009
2. Choice magazine
Report Credibility: Very Good The Global G-2 8-inch Cook's Knife goes up against 12 similarly sized chef's knives, including knives from Shun, Wüsthof and J.A. Henckels. Multiple testers -- male and female, right-handed and left-handed -- chop a variety of foods with each knife, and a laboratory tests the knives for sharpness. Commentary highlights good and bad points of each model, along with personal preference details like weight.
Review: Kitchen Knives, Editors of Choice magazine, Jan. 30, 2008
Report Credibility: Very Good TheKitchn.com, a cooking blog, lists the five chef's knives most frequently recommended by both its editors and readers. The Global G-2 8-inch Cook's Knife is named as a reader pick. Other top picks in the article include the Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch chef's knife (now discontinued), the Messermeister Meridian Elite 10-Inch Kullenschliff Chefs Knife and the Wüsthof Classic Santoku 4183.
Review: Buying the Basics: 5 Terrific Chef's Knives, Cambria Bold, Feb. 15, 2012
4. Food & Wine Magazine
Report Credibility: Very Good This article focuses on Japanese-style knives, such as the santoku. Testers start out with more than 100 knives, pick the 30 "that felt best in our hands" and put those through their paces in the Food & Wine test kitchen. Each knife performs a variety of food-preparation tasks, such as slicing grapes and chopping chicken. The Global G-2 8-inch Cook's Knife is named as a top pick, along with knives from Shun Classic, Kyocera and Mac Professional. However, there's no comparison among the winners and little information about each knife's performance. Also, the non-winning knives are not identified.
Review: The Knives You Need Now, Emily Kaiser Thelin and Emily McKenna, July 2009
5. GQ Magazine
Report Credibility: Good The British incarnation of the popular men's magazine GQ offers a guide to the top 10 must-have kitchen accessories. The Global G-2 8-inch Cook's Knife is selected as the top cutlery pick, with praise for its lightness, superb balance and keen edge that holds its sharpness. However, it's not clear what kind of testing, if any, this knife went through to earn its recommendation.
Review: The GQ Kitchen Gear Guide, Stuart McGurk, Aug. 22, 2011
Report Credibility: Good About 110 owners review the Global G-2 8-inch Cook's Knife at Amazon.com, giving it an overall rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. Owners praise the knife's balance, comfortable grip and superior edge retention. Most also like its lightness, although some say they would prefer a heftier blade. Some users with large hands say this knife feels too small for them. The most negative reviews come from owners who say that the high-carbon blade chipped or broke -- a problem specifically exempted from coverage under Global's lifetime warranty.
Review: Global G-2 - 8 inch, 20cm Chef's Knife, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2012
Report Credibility: Good Brett Moore, About.com's guide to gourmet food, discusses seven popular chef's knives. Material and construction are discussed briefly, but cutting performance isn't really addressed. Moore recommends the Global 8-inch Cook's Knife for its lightness, non-slip grip, superb balance and "extremely sharp" blade. He also notes that the Cromova 18 stainless steel used in Global knives holds its edge better than other steel. Other top picks include the Wüsthof Classic 9-inch Cook's Knife and the Shun Classic 8-inch chef's knife. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top 7 Chef's Knives, Brett Moore, Not Dated