Several years ago I found this knife at a thrift store:

mystery knife

I like this knife a lot because it is very effective at transmitting force to the food I am cutting. But I am anxious because I do not know how to find a replacement if this one breaks or is lost. Does this style of knife (where the handle is directly above the blade so you can transmit force vertically) have a name I can type into a search engine?

  • 2
    It's not the same, but if you like that knife, you might like an ulu.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 21:59
  • I've seen a wavy knife with a handle like that (not serrated, but for cutting wavy slices like crinkle cut chips). In that case you can't slice, only push, so it makes sense.
    – Chris H
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 8:06
  • @Jolenealaska: I agree that it's not the same, but this gives me something to type into a search engine. Thanks! Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 17:59
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    It's too bad they didn't put the patent number on it (which I assume is what Japan Pat. means). There's a higher resolution pic at pnijjar.freeshell.org/2012/knife. Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 20:33
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    Gotta say, though: it looks incredibly dangerous. You're not supposed to put a lot of force on a knife: the edge is supposed to do the work. If you have to force it, then you don't have control, and if it slips, you get hurt. Especially with the serrated edge, which is only effective when you draw, not push.(A mezzaluna designed to rock, not force.) So it doesn't surprise me that there aren't a lot of these around. Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 20:36

4 Answers 4


I believe it is a frozen food saw. The serration is very small like you would need to saw through frozen fish for example. Given that it was made in Japan, I believe it is a YAX brand knife/saw. While I couldn't find that exact style from them, they did make some that were very similar.

Google Image Search "yax frozen food saw" and you'll see several.

  • The images I saw all had a much longer nose (so to speak) but they are very similar. Nice find :)
    – Megha
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 0:52
  • Yes, I see the resemblance. This one looks as if it could be a cousin. Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 3:39

While that knife is not one I'm familiar with (as interesting as it looks), there are a few knives I do know of that have the handle directly above the blade. It transmits force very cleanly, you're right, it makes it much easier to leverage for cutting. The ones I've seen are curved, for a rocking rather than slicing method of cutting - but you might find it interesting to look into them anyway, either as well as your knife, or if you can't find the same.

You might look for "Ulu" knives, which are found in Alaska (and nowadays, online, of course). It is an all purpose knife, its actually the first knife of this type that I found. There are a couple variations, including slightly different curves or handle types, but the standard one is shown below.

enter image description here

Another type of knife is the "mezzaluna", out of Italy. Many of these tend to be two-handled (although ones similar to the ulu in shape do exist), which will give the option of more force, instead of trying to two-hand the little handle of the ulu (center of force is your whole torso), or more control over the rocking motion. Others, will have more than one blade mounted next to each other, the set of two or three blades meant to quickly cut finely - often for herbs, but no real reason you couldn't use it to cut anything else if you wanted, twice as much slicing per cut. And finally, there exist much larger versions (where the two-hand grip really works), which might be used for long, controlled cuts (like a pizza cutter or something).

two-handle typedouble-blade typereally large type

And finally, you might look up "vertical grip" knives (also vertical force, or vertical handle) - this will get you to some odder knife shapes, maybe from modern day re-imagining or re-engineering for ease of use, or maybe intended for assistive use (for those with reduced abilities or the like) - but if you like them, no reason not to go ahead and look. one site which has a few is here.

enter image description here enter image description here http://gazelhome.com/products/gazel-kitchen-knife

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    +1 As I commented above, the suggestion of an Ulu is helpful even though it is not exactly what I am looking for. The vertical grip suggestion is helpful as well. Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 18:01
  • @PaulNijjar - yeah, I'm actually interested in your knife for the same reasons I like these knives, the easier to control leverage and force. I actually do hope someone comes up with the better answer, because I wanna know, too! But until then, I hoped that this answer might be better than nothing even if it isn't exactly right - though the comment about ulu posted first because my pics were being evil. Thanks for your comment :)
    – Megha
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 23:58

enter image description here This is a frozen food knife or a bone saw. It is made by YAX. It is very similar to the knife you are asking about. At times you can find one on EBay. Hope this helps and good luck.


If you like knives that have this similar grip, you can look at menkiri knives: enter image description here

It is not exactly the same as what you are asking for but has similar control leverage and force that you described.

Furthermore, I am actually searching for the name of a similar type of knife, which I post here: Does anyone know the name of the knife this ice cream seller is using?

Hope someone can answer it too!

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