About this project
The knife is a chef's most important tool, yet it hasn't changed much in the past few hundred years - we think that's a problem.
Ask almost any chef to show you their hand and you’ll see a callus on their index finger
Our entire company started with a simple observation - chefs are taught to hold their knives with their thumb and index finger on the blade for maximum control, yet chef's knives are not designed for this. When you try to hold a regular knife properly, pressure builds up in the pad and heel of your hand and it hurts. The results are the gnarly calluses most chef's wear with pride, and lingering hand pain for the rest of us.
This crucial insight got us thinking that the chef's knife hasn't changed much in the past few hundred years. We realized that while there is a whole lot to like about traditional knives, advances in metallurgy, chemistry, and automation technologies could be incorporated to create something MUCH better.
Our San Sebastian™ knives offer 3 key advantages over other knives:
- 1) The Grip: We spent the last year observing how people hold their chef's knives and gathering data in the form of 3D models. Our NextGrip™ shaped handles are the culmination of this research and are designed to better reflect the way people naturally use their chef's knives.
- 2) The Steel: Steels have advanced significantly in the past 50 years and we wanted our knife to embody this. We worked with one of the premier US knife steel manufacturers to develop our superior NextSteel™ blades.
- 3) Customization: Your hand is unique. Your chef's knife should be too. We developed a method to capture the critical features of your hand using inexpensive, readily available technologies, and then convert those measurements into a high quality one-off grip tailored to you.
What is NextGrip™?
NextGrip™ is our organically shaped knife grip designed to reduce the stress on your hand. To create it, we painstakingly observed how hands naturally hold knives. We used laser scan data to build an ergonomic design which contours for maximum support. Then we did countless iterations of 3D printing and testing until we had something that felt right. The grip on the final design uniquely extends into the blade area to provide comfortable resting places for your thumb and index finger. It also provides broader areas of support for your index finger and hand, reducing stress and pain.
What is NextSteel™?
NextSteel™ is the result of a collaboration with Carpenter Technology Corporation, a premier tool and knife steel manufacturer in the US. We approached Carpenter with a challenge - to deliver the best steel ever used in a chef’s knife. They enthusiastically responded with NextSteel™ super-alloy, a powder-chemistry formula that combines high hardness for premier edge retention with superior flexibility to minimize shattering. The formula is extremely corrosion resistant yet, unlike other high end knife steels, has a low enough vanadium content that you don’t need to be a master knife maker to sharpen it.
We are offering 3 versions of our San Sebastian™ Chef's Knife
San Sebastian™ Pro 8" Chef's Knife
Built for the professional chef. Constructed out of quality 440C cutlery steel featuring our ultra-comfortable NextGrip™ technology, our PRO model San Sebastian™ is designed to take the unrelenting punishment of constant use and repeated sharpening in a professional kitchen environment. A great value, the San Sebastian™ Pro gives you all the essential features you need in a package you never need to feel guilty about abusing.
Grip: Red Food Grade Silicone (Please specify left or right handed)
Blade Finish: Matte 440C Steel
San Sebastian™ Elite 8" Chef's Knife
The perfect blend of technology and craftsmanship, the San Sebastian™ Elite features our advanced blade and grip technologies. Our NextSteel™ super alloy is the highest quality steel ever used in a chef's knife, and our NextGrip™ handle was built from laser scans of the human hand using proper knife form to offer the most comfortable grip on the market. The San Sebastian™ Elite is geared to those who are truly passionate about the kitchen and seriously want the best science has to offer.
Grip: Black Food Grade silicone (Please specify left or right handed)
Blade Finish: Polished NextSteel™
San Sebastian™ Custom 8" Chef's Knife
The ultimate San Sebastian™ experience, NextGen offers you all of the features which make our Elite model so revolutionary: NextSteel™ superalloy, and NextGrip™ ergonomic handle, with the option to have the grip custom tailored to your unique hand shape. Purchase our custom model and send us a scan of your hand next to a US Quarter coin. Our proprietary technology will convert these measurements into a grip made exclusively for you.
Grip: Teak. NextGen custom knives are built to your individual hand shape out of high quality teak. This wood is not only beautiful but has been used for millennia to build ships because of its toughness and resistance to water (which comes in handy when you spend a lot of time in a kitchen).
Blade Finish: Polished NextSteel™
Here's a direct, side-by-side comparison of the three 8" chef's knives we are offering during this campaign:
Puncture-Resistant Knife Roll
Because our grips are larger, the San Sebastian™ won’t fit in the pockets of a standard knife roll. This presented an amazing opportunity to tackle one of our big knife roll gripes - that it is way too easy to accidentally puncture your roll during normal use. To address this issue, we designed the first puncture-resistant knife carrying case. We solicited fabric samples from mills across the United States, in a multitude of different fiber chemistries, thicknesses, geometries and constructions, and kept testing until we found something that passed our rigorous standards. The final version has 6 pockets for your favorite kitchen tools (three are oversized for your NextGen knives or other larger implements) and a paneled, puncture-resistant interior. We are offering our puncture-resistant knife roll as part of a package with a special edition version of our San Sebastian™ Custom.
San Sebastian™ Sticker
“Evolution of the Knife” T-Shirt
We created the “Evolution of the Knife” short sleeved T-Shirt reward for people who are as enthusiastic about their knives as we are. The design features a graphic, stylized version of 49 different knives from around the world (can you name them all?). You can get the shirt in Men’s and Women’s cuts and in small, medium, large, XL & XXL, and in grey, yellow, black or navy.
Made in the USA!!!!!
At NextGen we have painstakingly worked to build partnerships with companies and craftsmen in the United States to offer top quality knives, made in America, at reasonable prices.
How the custom scanning works:
Getting fitted is super easy and you can use equipment from your home or office to do it. To have a custom knife made for you:
- 1) Purchase a San Sebastian™ Custom from our Kickstarter campaign
- 2) Scan the hand you intend to use the knife with on a desktop flatbed scanner or copy machine with scanning capability
- 3) Email the file to us at Custom@NextGenKnives.com with your name AND Kickstarter username
- NOTE: Please don't forget to include in the scan a US quarter coin (as shown in the adjacent picture) for size reference. If you are located outside of the US please contact us so that we can select together a suitable substitute. Also we ask that you send a scan of at least 200 dpi resolution.
If we sell 200 San Sebastian CUSTOM model knives we will purchase an industrial CNC machine which will help to accelerate our production schedule (once the machine is installed and running) and enable us to perfect the finish of the knives.
If we sell 200 San Sebastian PRO or ELITE models we will be in a position to negotiate for bulk rates on an ideal silicone, maximizing the quality of our handles.
Risks and challenges
We love instant gratification and hate surprises. To this end, we have worked really hard over the 9 months leading up to this Kickstarter to tease out and address in advance as many of the challenges in producing your San Sebastian™ as possible. This has included performing a 50 unit production run so that we already have working relationships with vendors and suppliers BEFORE the start of this campaign. Our biggest challenge going forward involves scaling up. If this campaign is as successful as we hope, we will require additional machines and team members to fulfill orders in a timely manner. Integrating both into our operation is sure to create headaches, but we feel that we are well positioned to manage these.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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