TOG Knives: Hand-Made Copper Knives That Are Carved In Japan
TOG Knives is a Bristol-based brand that designs and sells hand-made, batch-produced kitchen knives that are forged in Seki, the Samurai sword capital of Japan.
The knives are characterised by ten layers of copper in the blades, and by their laser-engraved Kebony maple handles. Their fine quality has led them to be endorsed by ten Michelin star chefs, and they’ve appeared on Masterchef, and the Great British Menu. They’re regularly seen on BBC Saturday Kitchen, too.
The layers of copper in the blades kills bacteria, giving the knives a distinctive appearance. As well as the copper, the knives use three different steels to get the qualities needed. The eco-friendly Kebony maple handles has a unique comfortable shape, and a laser-engraved Japanese pattern.
Now, TOG is on a mission to get sharp knives into every household in the UK. As well as producing the best knives they can, the brand teaches people how to sharpen knives, providing them with the products they need to sharpen them, whilst teaching them how to store them and maintain them properly.
TOG Knives was founded in 2015 by Bert Beagley-Brown. “I bought my first Japanese knife in 1997 and I fell in love. It cut like nothing else. I bought a whetstone and I learned to sharpen it. That was the start of my obsession. I visited Seki, the Samurai sword capital of Japan, and I was totally inspired by a visit to Hiromune Takaba, one of the few remaining Samurai swordsmiths in the country,” said Bert.
“Japanese knives have the best performance and craftsmanship in the world, but they’re designed for Japanese food and Japanese people. My lightbulb moment was in 2011 when I saw an opportunity to work with craftsmen in Seki, to design the best kitchen knife I could, specifically for the Western Market,” added Bert.
In 2013, whilst working from a room in his home, Bert sold his first kitchen knife via a website he had built. He had three knives in the range, and his first customers were family and friends. By the time TOG Knives incorporated in 2015, the knives were being stocked in high street retailers in Bristol and London, including Selfridges. Soon after, they were taken on by Steamer Trading, the UK’s largest chain of kitchen shops.
TOG knives has since expanded beyond just kitchen knives. The range now includes American Black Walnut chopping boards, and a matching knife block; all hand-made in the UK. In recent years, TOG has launched four fine whetstones, a range of Higonokami folding Japanese pocket knives, a TOG X Witloft leather knife roll, two magnetic knife racks (made from offcuts from their chopping boards to minimise waste), and their own gin.
Bert has an MEng from Cambridge and an MA from the Royal College of Art. In 2004, he won a NESTA Creative Pioneer Award and he Co-founded Sprout Design, a product design consultancy specialising in Sustainable Product Innovation and Inclusive Design.
Find out more here: https://www.togknives.com