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A chef knife is indispensable. One cannot work in the kitchen without it for cooking meals. It is time to introduce something that truly stands out. This is when a Serbian chef knife can be your top choice which was popularized by the introduction of the Almazan knife as you may have seen on the World Wide Web.
Although not popular as Japanese chef knives, the Serbian chef knife is an unusual piece of cutlery designed for use on hard items such as squash. Typically, it is hand-forged and solely made to let you feel like a pro in your kitchen. It frequents the dreams of a professional chef or anyone who prefers to spend free time in cooking. You can cook daily meals more easily than before using one such knife.
It has a wide appearance and splendid look. It is heavy and is sharp enough to facilitate more delicate slicing. You can even use it as a cleaver.
Introduction to Serbian Chef Knife(Almazan Version)
A chef knife comes with a blade that is normally 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 mostly using carbon steel. The remaining ones have blades made using ceramic or stainless steel.
A Serbian chef knife is much more than a normal 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.
Although you can use it for perfectly dicing vegetables, cutting fruits, chopping nuts, and slicing herbs, it is less ideal for carving dense meat, slicing bread, peeling fruits, and disjointing a few cuts. It can cut almost anything, from soft to hard, without a little effort because of its ideal combination of weight and balance.
You can rely on this knife for bushcrafting so that you can prepare food in the backwoods. You can easily 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 where you are on a vacation or on an adventurous trip.
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. 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. Rather, it refers to the family of brothers namely, Boki and Alex Almazan. They belong to the Balkan Peninsula in Serbia.
This is why many outside Serbia recognize Almazan knife as a Serbian chef knife. Certainly, this knife is believed to be one of the most popular Serbian heritage items used for decades. Today, this knife is made in Germany, France, and Serbia.
Nowadays people use either of these two terms to refer to the same knife.
3 Best Serbian Chef Knives of 2021 – Best Almazan Knives
These are 3 Almazan knives we have found on Amazon.
VK Damascus Handmade DWA6610
This 11.5-inch long Almazan knife is purely designed for cutting and chopping veggies and fruits either in the kitchen or in the wild. At first glance, it looks quite sophisticated and easily 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. Rather, the edge is retained despite heavy use.
This high-carbon steel is harder but more brittle than steel having a lower amount of carbon. It is fine to rely on this material, as several kitchen knives and pocket knives were made using it. Even today, it is popular amongst several survivalists and bushcrafters due to 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
- Medium price
LY1122 Hunters Serbian Chef Knife
The razor sharpness of the blade, original, rusty look, and fine-looking craftsmanship are truly the two selling points of this Serbian knife. It is beautifully designed to appear stunning in any kitchen.
The overall workmanship 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. 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
- Medium price
VkY KNIFE Handmade Damascus Steel Cleaver
Go for this Serbian chef knife if you wish to try something modern. The 11.5-inch long knife is a great 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 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 as well as 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. This became a cue for making Serbian chef knives. While chef knives are made using different build materials, an Almazan 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 namely, steel and carbon being in more quantity than in stainless steel. The higher the quantity 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 normal 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 with it than other steel material. 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 to do the 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 that 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. The ancient quenching technique taught to different generations until today 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 level of hardness. Further, the density and stiffness are considerably enhanced through regular hammering done by expert forgers. 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 that of a normal 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 kind of cutting or hacking. It works uniformly whether it is 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 difficult situation. The credit goes to the quenching methodology merged with the unique producing technology rendering tougher rigidity as well as 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 great cutting and slicing experiences with a variety of foods, which will be consistent for years to come. Whether you are in a kitchen for cutting veggies or out amidst nature for bushcrafting, 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.