Questionable Knife Design of the Day: ‘Maple Set’ Knife and Cleaver

FDRL Maple Set courtesy the

As the design statement explaining the raison d’être behind FDRL’s Maple Set cutting tools lays out, “with this project we wanted to explore an alternative emotion to the standard kitchen knives you see every day.” In order to second that emotion, we’d need to know if they’re really serious. As a thing of beauty, we’re all in. A single block of hand-crafted maple that celebrates two otherwise fairly mundane kitchen tools…what’s not to love? But if the creative minds at the Ottowa design consultancy intend these blades for actual food preparation use, that’s another story . . .

Leave aside any weight or handling issues. They probably feel great in the hand and, if you believe the web site, both are “balanced to ensure that they can be used by any level of chef.” Okay then.

But wait! Wood? It’s naturally porous, meaning that yummy stuff like pork blood and onion juice will seep right in, right? Au contraire, we’re assured. “The wood is sealed and food safe to allow for easy cleanup.” Yes, but for how long? One use? Maybe a dozen? Whatever the sealing process, it won’t stand up to any kind of serious use for very long. Can you say, “cross-contamination”?

And then there’s that blade, the composition of which they don’t disclose. It extends up into the wood and the whole thing’s held together with four rivets. Peachy. Until, inevitably, the wood gets wet. Then dries. Lather, rinse, repeat. Again, that bond won’t last. Not as firmly as you’d need it to. At which point you’ll get a Weeble-like wobble when you lean into a cabbage head or something similarly solid-ish. Should make for some interesting chiffonade, no?

This was obviously a blue sky, “because we can” kind of project. The web site calls it a prototype and indicates they’re “sourcing manufacturing,” apparently looking for someone to actually produce these things. Good luck with that. Again, as a work of art in our dream kitchen, maybe mounted on a wall? Yes, please. But taking up slots in our knife drawer, ready to be grabbed when it’s time to break down a duck or turn out some mirepoix to start a soup? Thanks, but no.


  1. Ducky says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for useless things, and I love wood stocks on my guns, so it only stands to reason I’d love to see these mounted on my wall. Useless and beautiful, like my first girlfriend.

  2. Robert Farago says:

    Not an ideal choice by any means. But I’m glad they’re not banned. Darwinism is a good thing not a bad thing.

  3. Pantera Vazquez says:

    These are definitely of absolutely no use, except maybe for starting conversations:
    -Hey, what the f*ck did you get those for? You paid How Much?

  4. Sam L. says:

    Purty thangs, them. Wouldn’t use them, so wouldn’t buy them.

  5. Nanashi says:

    They’re not completely useless. I could see using the cleaver as a cutting board for mincing garlic and similar tasks that don’t require much space. In theory, at least…

    1. Ing says:

      A cutting board that can cut you right back…

  6. darksied says:

    all they really have to do is make the knife out of steel and powdercoat it to make it look like wood problem solved

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Questionable Knife Design of the Day: ‘Maple Set’ Knife and Cleaver

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