Kaufmann Mercantile Brings German Knives Stateside

Pick up one of these singular knives

The people of Solingen, Germany, don't mess with dull knives.

This is a town that once defined itself by the sharpness of the swords it produced–so much so that there was a law banning dull blades, which would tarnish the town's reputation.

That law is still in effect. And although the sword-making industry has died out, the town is still home to Windmuehlenmesser.

This company has been making knives since the 19th century, and it still produces its blades by a technique known as drop forging.

Most modern companies punch out blades from metal sheets; drop forging involves beating blazing-hot carbon-steel bricks with hammers until they take the shape of a thin blade. Then the knife is blue-glaze finished—another almost extinct craft technique–which enhances the knife's durability and sharpness.

Thanks to Brooklyn purveyor Kaufmann Mercantile, the knives have arrived in the States. Start with the utilitarian chef's knife ($245) before considering the Bird's Beak ($22), which has a curved blade that makes quick work of peels and cores.

And remember: If these knives weren't as sharp as we promise, they'd be illegal. How's that for a warranty?