Posted By: DaneI only recently got into higher-end cutlery. As I was looking for a good entry-level knife, someone recommended the Richmond Artifex II. I decided to give it a try since, at just $60, it would be a more palettable investment (compared to the countless gyutos that are beautiful and highly-rated but cost $150 or more!). Well, I couldn't be happier with my purchase.
For context, I'm coming from a 15-year-old set of department-store kitchen knives that were mid-range (at best) when originally purchased but haven't been well cared for in the years since. I don't even think they'd been sharpened. So admittedly, the bar was pretty low for me. On the other hand, I've had experience with some higher-end knives, such as my grandmother's Wusthof set and my mom's Cutco set. In other words, I felt confident in my ability to distinguish a good knife from a not-so-good knife.
The Richmond Artifex II impressed me from the moment I first laid eyes on it. It actually LOOKS well-made: The handle is smooth with tight rivets. The metal is creamy with not a single scar or blemish from production.
Despite being a solid, well-built knife, it's surprisingly light and balanced in the hand. The spine of the knife is nicely crowned and very smooth, making it super comfortable to hold. The Artifex II is definitely a knife I could see myself using for those extra-long chopping sessions.
The knife had a really nice edge right out of the box. After a solid six or so weeks of use, I haven't felt the need to resharpen or even touch up the blade.
At this point, I've added a couple Japanese gyutos, a Japanese bread knife, a petty, and a utility, but the Artifex II will definitely remain in my rotation. I couldn't be happier with this knife, especially for the price. It makes a great starter knife for someone who's knew new to the world of high-end cutlery, or it would be an outstanding beater knife for chefs who don't want to have to worry about damaging their $300+ gyutos.
Buy with confidence!
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