EverydayCommentary: Artisan Satyr Review


There is a tremendous bias against Chinese made knives, even now when are positively flooded with stellar exemplars. The Satyr (pronounced like the Passover feast “seder”) is one of those knives. So here is the question—is the bias against Chinese knives jingoism or is it because they make so many knives it is hard to hold one up as a standard bearer like we do with the Sebenza? I ask this because we are LONG past the days where Chinese knives were poorly made or built with inferior materials.

I would never discount the sentiment that the bias is rooted in jingoism, but part of me thinks the problem finding a high end Chinese knife to serve as a standard bearer or benchmark like the Sebenza is the flood of knives makes it hard to grab one and hold it up as a classic. WE/Civivi/Sencut releases a new design a week, on a slow week. Other brands like Vosteed produce fewer blades but they still radically outpace US companies in terms of releasing new models. Some models are evergreen, like the Civivi Elementum, but they tend to be cheaper knives (see also CJRB Pyrite). Without having truly high end evergreen models, its hard to pinpoint one knife that stands out as a classic.

The Artisan Satyr, however, has lasted quite a long time in Artisan’s line up and it has a very simple, clean design that gives rise to broad appeal. For a lot of reasons I’ll get into below, I think this is the knife we should compare other Chinese blades too. Its the first knife I feel comfortable calling the Chinese Sebenza (as opposed to cringe-inducing Chinese Sebenza clone). And what I wouldn’t give for a Mini Satyr.

Artisan makes a great knife, but I am not personally familiar with the Satyr. I am biased towards American made knives, but I have many friends within the Chinese knife industry at this point, and if I have a connection and I like the knife, I will gladly carry an import.

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