Housewares Design Awards

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2006 Best in Category: Cutlery

Calphalon Corp.

Calphalon Katana Series Cutlery 8 pc set

Known for its high-quality cookware and bakeware, Calphalon Corp., a division of Newell Rubbermaid, also produces a variety of other kitchenware items for consumers, including cutlery. The Calphalon Katana Series cutlery 8-piece set received the Housewares Design Award in the Cutlery category.

There are many features that differentiate the Katana Series in the marketplace, from the materials to the design elements, noted Joel Tetreault, an industrial designer for Calphalon Corp. “We’re trying to differentiate [Calphalon] in the market. This product takes it to the next level,” said Tetreault. He added, “It’s a true fusion of performance and design.”

Named for the sacred sword carried by Japan’s Samurai warriors, the Calphalon Katana Series cutlery has its roots in a centuries-old tradition of superior cutlery and craftsmanship, noted the company.

Made from VG Japanese Steel, just like the impressive swords used by the Samurai, the striking Katana Series was created by using a time-honored layering process that produces a Damascus-style blade. This process results in exceptional sharpness and durability for the blade, and gives the knives an exquisite surface pattern, according to the company.

“VG Japanese Steel is considerably harder than commonly used German steel,” said Tetreault. “VG steel boasts the ultimate in edge retention— it can be honed finer for exceptional sharpness and is unique in appearance.”

According to Tetreault, the Damascus-style blade provides home cooks with many convenient features. “The Damascus-style blade is clad with 33 layers of stainless steel for a truly distinctive style, superb rigidity and rust resistance,” he commented.

For a comfortable feel, the ergonomic poly-resin handle is contoured. The handle’s design is also balanced for control and precision.

In addition, the cutlery’s distinctive bolster and block set the collection apart. The patented bolster area is pulled forward of the back edge of the blade, providing a substance for the consumer to hold onto while gripping the knife in various hand positions when performing different kitchen tasks. The bolster design offers a secure, comfortable grip and increased control.

“The cutlery has an integrated bolster design and tiered block design, [which provides] functional interaction with the integrated bolster when the knives are placed in the block,” Tetreault said.

To enhance the cutlery, the pieces are housed in a Japanese-style block made from durable, premium bamboo hardwood. The tiered design not only accommodates the integrated bolster of the Katana Series knives, but also provides safe and secure storage. The knife block features 13 slots to store the knives.

Aesthetics were also an important factor when designing the cutlery. The collection combines elements from both Asian and Western designs.

“[The Katana cutlery] is an East meets West design— Japanese-inspired forms with Western influences,” explained Tetreault.

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