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A chef knife is indispensable. One cannot work in the kitchen without it for cooking meals. So it is time to introduce something that truly stands out – the Serbian chef knife popularized by the YouTube channel Almazan Kitchen.
Although not popular as Japanese chef knives, the Serbian chef knife is an unusual cutlery designed for use on hard items. Typically, it is hand-forged and solely made to let you feel like a pro in your kitchen.
It has a wide appearance and a splendid look. It is heavy and is sharp enough to facilitate more delicate slicing. You can even use it as a cleaver.
What is a Serbian Chef Knife (Almazan Version)?
Most of us know a chef knife as a cook’s knife made to cut, dice, and slice. Although a standard kitchen knife can do these tasks, a chef knife is believed to be better in terms of performance.
A chef knife comes with a blade that is usually 8-inch long and 1.5-inch wide. A few of these knives are 6 to 14 inches long. Chef knives have either stamped or forged blade made mainly using carbon steel. The remaining ones have blades made using ceramic or stainless steel.
A Serbian chef knife is much more than a regular chef knife. It cuts briefly, smoothly, and effortlessly, which is what we expect from a chef’s knife. However, it looks similar to a Chinese cleaver but features a curved edge, unlike the latter (squarish). This knife is believed to be the finest cleaver in the world of cleavers.
It can cut almost anything, from soft to hard, with minimal effort because of its ideal combination of weight and balance. Although you can use it for perfectly dicing vegetables, cutting fruits, chopping nuts, and slicing herbs, it is not ideal for carving dense meat, slicing bread, peeling fruits, and disjointing a few cuts.
You can rely on this knife even for bushcrafting so that you can prepare food in the backwoods. You can quickly chop wood and prepare kindlings to light fire. Its firm and sharp blade is ideal for cutting hard eatables.
The Almazan knife’s versatility does not get confined here; it also extends to where it can use the knife. Apart from homes and restaurants, this knife also works well outdoors.
Thus, many people refer to this cleaver as a hunter’s chef knife. The highly sharpened edge makes it ideal for use in tough situations faced outdoors. However, even the overall design renders a tough look.
Blacksmiths tend to make this knife using Serbian Sarschach steel. This steel is used in the forging process. In the olden days, to make this knife, people used the quenching technology that hardens the steel using a unique heat treatment that also involves cooling.
Origin of the Name Almazan
Almazan is not the name of any European town in Serbia or Spain. Instead, it refers to the uncle and nephew duo, Boki and Alex Almazan, who runs the youtube channel Almazan Kitchen. They belong to the Balkan Peninsula in Serbia.
This is why many outside Serbia recognize the Serbian chef knife as an Almazan knife. Indeed, this knife is believed to be one of the most famous Serbian heritage items used for decades.
Best Serbian Chef Knives in 2023 – Best Almazan Knives
Imarku Butcher Knife – Best Serbian Chef Knife for the Money
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This knife will offer excellent edge retention and stay sharp for ages, as it is made of high solid carbon and manganese steel. All knives are handmade and quality tested before selling, so get ready to be pleasantly surprised – good rust and corrosion resistance too.
The butcher knife is quite versatile. With a hard blade, you can chop pretty much any bone and handle soft foods like fruits and vegetables. The blade measures seven inches in length, and the cleaver has an angle of about 55 degrees.
The knife feels well put together and stable as you use it. It has a full tang design and an ergonomic handle. There are no risks of injuries due to having enough room for your fingers and solid handguard protection. The handle also prevents slipping accidents.
Whether you need to move the knife around or store it accordingly, the package includes a leather sheath that matches like a glove. You can also attach it to the belt, should you take the knife outside on barbecues or camping trips.
- Good value for money
- Well put together
- It comes with a leather sheath
- Excellent edge retention
- Versatile applications
- The blade is a bit too thick for fine and delicate cuts
Kopala Kitchen Knife
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Made with ancient techniques for durability and sturdiness, this cleaver is likely to impress with its solid profile. It feels heavy, and it does most of the work for you – you need to guide it accordingly. However, it is wear-resistant and will surprise you with its durability.
The blade is based on high carbon steel, while the sides are made of mild steel. It is razor-sharp out of the box, and more importantly, it will maintain its edge for ages without requiring sharpening. High manganese steel is also used to ensure toughness.
The unit is hand-forged. The blade measures 7.8 inches in length, while the handle is slightly shorter. The full tang construction ensures a stable profile. The handle is triple bolstered and will never slip out of your hand – lots of room for your fingers as well.
Finally, the knife comes with its leather sheath for storage and carrying it around – should you go hunting or barbecuing outdoors. A sharpening stone would be better than any other sharpener for maintenance. Plus, you should never clean it in a dishwasher.
- Hand-forged for durability and toughness
- Multiple types of steel for a solid profile
- Razor-sharp out of the box
- Ergonomic and convenient handle
- It comes with a leather sheath
- The handle is a bit too straight – could have done with more ergonomics
VK Damascus Handmade DWA6610
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This 11.5-inch long Almazan knife is designed to cut and chop veggies and fruits either in the kitchen or in the wild. At first glance, it looks quite sophisticated and quickly grabs one’s attention. However, at the same time, it is also functionally versatile.
The 4.5-inch blade is made using carbon steel (1095) and is forged by hand. Thus, you get a truly sharp cutting edge. Its hardness level is 55-57 HRC, which is less than expected from a Serbian cleaver. However, this does not affect its ability to retain sharpness for long and remain strong. Instead, the edge is retained despite heavy use.
This high-carbon steel is harder but more brittle than steel with lower carbon. Nevertheless, it is fine to rely on this material, as several kitchen knives and pocket knives were made using it. Furthermore, it is popular amongst several survivalists and bushcrafters due to its ease of sharpening and toughness.
Another feature of this knife is that it comes with a full tang edge, which means you enjoy an ideal mix of grip and balance. The grip comes from the riveted handle made using pakkawood.
- Modern look
- Ideal balance
- Solid professional build
- Leather included
- Cheap steel
LY1122 Hunters Serbian Chef Knife
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The razor sharpness of the blade, original, rusty look, and fine-looking craftsmanship are the two selling points of this Serbian knife. It is beautifully designed to appear stunning in any kitchen.
The overall craft is adorable, especially the typical hand-forged structure and hammered finish. The rust that you can see on the blade’s surface indicates that the blade is made by hand, using high-carbon steel having an HRC of 57. In addition, the integrated full-tang design makes it more reliable for use.
The black handle features an integrated steel shank, wood, and rivets. Thus, this modern Serbian knife is made using both wood and steel. With a weight of 300g, it is easy to carry this knife with you.
- Super light
- Perfect balance
- Razor-sharp for easy paper cutting
- Not all will like the rusty look
VkY KNIFE Handmade Damascus Steel Cleaver
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Go for this Serbian chef knife if you wish to try something modern. The 11.5-inch long knife is an excellent chopper for professional chefs. Unlike the blades of other Serbian chef knives, this knife’s blade is made by hand-forging the Damascus steel (1095 / 4340), which is hard as well as flexible.
The steel layers are forged by a hammer to form a stunning pattern. This steel gives you a sharp edge. You also get a full-tang design. The handle is riveted and made up of wood.
- Stunning look
- Ideal for heavy-duty tasks
- Well balanced
- Cowskin leather, which will not appeal to animal lovers
Salient Features of an Almazan Knife
- Hand-forged: This is the typical characteristic of a genuine Serbian chef blade. It is forged and ground using hands and is treated with heat and fire by employing conventional Master Smithing procedures of forging.
- Lasting Blade of High Carbon Steel: Most modern kitchen cutlery is built using stainless steel, a popular material that is easy to maintain and is resistant to corrosion. However, it is not as strong as plain high-carbon steel. A Serbian Chef knife is made using only carbon steel. It is forged with this steel for better strength and endurance than a chef knife. Carbon steel is a mix of two ingredients: steel and carbon being in more quantity than in any stainless steel. The higher the amount of carbon, the more is the strength of the steel blade treated by heat. Both materials are highly strong and durable. They are forged into a thinner blade than usual, due to which the resulting blade becomes tremendously sharp. Further, this level of sharpness remains intact for a long time.
Professional chefs prefer carbon steel due to its efficiency; they can cut faster than other steel materials. On the flip side, carbon steel is susceptible to stains and rust, provided you do not take care of it. Further, this blade tends to get dark, but this does not affect the cutting performance. However, the chefs do not mind additional maintenance, as the knife is efficient. Most chefs do not use the knife for a day after cutting, due to which it can fix the oxidizing patina. This is necessary, or else the metallic taste of the knife will get transferred to the food you cut using it. Proper care and maintenance will make the knife last a lifetime.
- Hard: Another special characteristic of an Almazan is its hardness. Its hardness level on the Rockwell scale is 58-60. Until today, the ancient quenching technique taught to different generations makes the knife stiffer and harder, measuring 60±2 on the Rockwell (HRC) scale. This is far superior to the mechanically designed knife measuring 52±2 on the Rockwell scale, which is the standard hardness level. Further, the density and stiffness are considerably enhanced through regular hammering by expert forgers. As a result, a hardened carbon steel blade is harder or more durable than a kitchen knife. According to knivesandtools.com, blades with 58 to 60 HRC tend to be sharp for a longer time than cheaper knives. This means that an Almazan ensures you more return on the investment made in the long run.
- Design: The thin blade is very wide at the handle and tapers towards the tip. Its heavy bulk facilitates slicing through tough things just as a standard cleaver. It is ground to an extremely sharp edge, due to which it can fulfill any slicing requirements. The slicing motion differs from a regular chef knife due to the straight edge, but it is effective. The overall design is stunning enough to impress any guest at your home or adore your kitchen set.
- Multi-purpose Use: An Almazan is useful for any cutting or hacking. It works uniformly, whether a vegetable, fruit, wood, or meat.
- Enduring Sharpness: Craftsmen manually sharpen the knife using the natural grinders excavated from the mines in Serbia’s Balkan mountain range. This makes its sharp edge last longer than the mechanically-built kitchen knives.
- Lasting Handle: Typically, the handle of a Serbian chef knife is made using pakkawood. The dense and epoxy-infused wood does not allow moisture to percolate inside the handle. Pakkawood is stabilized and is made by compressing in high pressure to ensure good density and durability without compromising natural beauty. In this sense, the handle, too, has a long lifespan. Professional chefs will not prefer a handle made using fine or softwoods, as they cannot tolerate frequent wet conditions. These days, you may even find handles made using modern materials such as Micarta.
- Robust Blade: The forged blade is powerful enough to face any situation in the wild. It is handcrafted to help you even in the most challenging situation. The credit goes to the quenching methodology merged with the unique producing technology rendering tougher rigidity and persistence. Never again will you have to use a different knife!
A Serbian chef knife or an Almazan knife is ideal for professional chefs, as they are sharp, strong, and exceptionally durable. Its blade is made using carbon steel, due to which its edge sharpness lasts genuinely long, and the edge withstands much sharpening without any damage.
Consider this strong knife for excellent cutting and slicing experiences with various foods, which will be consistent for years to come. Whether in a kitchen for cutting veggies or out amidst nature, this multi-purpose knife is all you need.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.