Australian Paring Knife | "The Kookaburra" Knife

Posted by Steven Tuckey on

Big Red Knives BBQ Collection:

Ah, spitting fires, smoking coals. On largest island that is also the smallest continent is there anything more Australian on this unique land than firing up the barbie and having a group of mates over for the arvo? These proudly Australian made and owned barbecue knives will elevate your outdoor cooking and dining experience to a level never before seen. Accessorise your Aussie dream with the manly and roguishly handsome Big Red Knives BBQ Collection. For knives like these, it’s not an expenditure, it’s an investment!

Paring Knife | The “Kookaburra” Knife 

Experienced chefs and passionate home cooks all know the value and the necessity of the paring knife. Small and essential, the size of these knives is what makes them agile and useful. The word ‘paring’ is often interchangeable with ‘peeling’ in relation to these knives as they are often used to peel fruits and vegetables. However, the Big Red Knives’ Kookaburra Knife with our signature high-carbon Japanese VG-10 steel and a blade length of 96mm, these knives can fly through any precision work. These Aussie animals are known for their laughter! Kookaburras’ laughter-like sound is actually their call which they use to establish territory among different family groups. Often “laughing” loudly at dawn and dusk their calls are known in Australia as the ‘Bushman’s Clock’. You’ll sure be the one laughing when you handle this beautifully crafted and handy knife at your barbecue! Get on it, mates!



Performing many tasks that a larger knife cannot handle, paring knives are small but essential. Stylishly core a strawberry, seperate sausages and slice those shallots. Paring knives are the mainstay of any professional kitchen for a variety of reasons. For fruits and vegetables they may include segmenting citrus, removing seeds, mincing herbs, eyeing potatoes and skinning mushrooms. For proteins they can be used for scoring meat, trimming fat from meat, de-veining prawns, shucking oysters, filleting small fish and deboning chicken. Our Kookaburra knife is made with the same ergonomic handle as the rest of the Big Red Knives range, giving you the option of gripping your knife with either your thumb or index finger on the spine, allowing for high control and precision work. With a spear point and razor-sharp edge, no task will be a struggle but rather easy work as part of your outdoor dining experience.


The Australian Kookaburra:

True to the larrikin Aussie spirit, these Kookaburras too have a disregard for convention. Despite being members of the kingfisher group, Australian kookaburras are terrestrial kingfishers who live and hunt in the forest and do not live by the water. Fish aren’t a major component of their diet, instead they eat a range of animals on land from insects to small mammals and even venomous snakes! All kookaburras are carnivorous and they have even been known to prey on young chicks and ducklings on farms. There are two main varieties native to Australia, the blue-winged Kookaburra that are often found across northern Australia and the Laughing Kookaburras common in southwest and eastern Australia, including Tasmania.


Kookaburras all have long bills that can grow up to 10cm long (4 inches) almost the exact blade length of our knife! The native bird is an agile flyer and a adept hunter. It sits patiently perched on a tree before swooping down to attack and carry off its prey in its large beak. Our carefully considered design also had deftness and precision performance in mind. With sharp spear-like tip and double-bevelled razor-sharp cutting edges, the Big Red Knives’ Kookaburra knife allows for fine movements when either separating the skin from the flesh of fruit or flesh of the meat off its bone. A small package of reliability and style, it is small enough also to grace your charcuterie platter and will not look out of place when serving your guests on the dining table.


KOOKABURRA FACT: “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree” is a famous Aussie children’s song written in 1932 by Marion Sinclair. Despite its Aussieness, the song has been adopted as a traditional Girl Guide song internationally and performed around the world, notably in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and United Kingdom. You can take the song out of Australia, but not Australia out of the song, I say!



Collection: Big Red Knives BBQ Collection

Manufacturer: Koi Knives

Made in Australia with Japanese steel

Blade steel: VG-10 Japanese hard steel core with Stainless Steel cladding

Blade length: 96mm (overall 222mm)

Blade thickness: 3mm

Weight: 170gm

Handle length: 130mm

Handle wood: All local but varies from wood of olive trees, Shiraz grapevines from McLaren Vale (wine region of South Australia) to specially sourced wood Australian deserts.



Aussie Knives by Aussies:

Thats not a knife, THATS a knife” now we all know the memorable quote from Crocodile Dundee but his Bowie knife though good for hunting is not ideal for use in the kitchen. In fact, as far as Aussie knives made by Aussies go and in the words of our bladesmith Shannon theres nothing like it that exists.”


We are a local Australian company of two, Shannon and Ramon. Our story began in the dry Adelaide Hills with our parents, Shannons father was a blacksmith and Ramon has an affinity with Japanese culture as his parents met in Japan. Combined with our love for knives, cooking and making things from local materials, we came up with a unique idea of making traditional Japanese knives with an Australian twist. Since then our company Koi Knives have been making knives for several years we have made a range of 12 Japanese knives. However, many have asked us to make a range of Western knives. Initially, we were hesitant as Western knives are made with softer steel, they tend to be less sharp and also blunt quicker. Wheres our true Aussie early settlerspioneering spirit we thought? This is not a challenge! This is an opportunity! We decided to give the idea a fair suck of the bottled sauce and a fair crack of the whip. From there we began designing and eventually crafting this new range. Instead of western steels, we stuck with a Japanese hard high-carbon VG-10 steel as the core of the knife but designed with a Western-style grip.


Our knife shed as our HMS Endeavour, we hit the shores of our expedition with this new set of Aussie knives. The first and finest truly Australian knives are crafted here locally by your two local blokes. We sought to pay homage to our land and our native animals with this set. To create a truly unique and Australia product the shape and form of each knife was modelled after a specially chosen iconic native animal which we also emboss onto the steel at the end.



The core of the blade is made entirely of VG-10 is a type of Japanese hard steel, it is  cutlery-grade steel with a high carbon content containing 1% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 1% Molybdenum, 0.2% Vanadium, and 1.5% Cobalt. The Gin VG-10 stands for Gold, as an indicator of the premium standard of quality. This core is then sharpened to razor sharpness and then cladded with the same steel for protection and longevity. After this, we smelt three layers of sandblasted stainless steel on the top section of the blade for a gun-mental steel finish. The sandblasting also on a practical level provide micro air cavities which prevent vegetables from sticking to the blade while cutting. The final result is like the Australian landscape in a blade, from the scorching sands to shimmering shore: from the spine, the darker sandblasted steel tapers down from the grind line to reveal shiny stainless steel before a dancing line glints off the clad edge to the razor-sharp cutting edge.



These Aussie knives are part of our Full Tang Clan. Full tang is when the steel of the blade runs all the way through the handle instead of Partial Tang where the steel might end partway through. Full tang allows for more force to be applied without a risk of the knife snapping at the bolster (the base where the blade transitions to the handle). Our knives are very sharp so less force would have to be applied in any case, however, we chose the full tang design in keeping with the aesthetics of Western knives and to set this collection apart from our Japanese Koi Knives. Functionality was designed into the handle with different grips in mind to fit ambidextrously and snugly in your hand. When using a "Handle In Hand Grip" the bevel contours seamlessly from fingers to palm. When using the "Pinch Grip" the smooth transition from handle to blade forms a great comfortable position to pinch the knife.


One of the elements we are most proud of is our signature resin-infused handles crafted with local woods. Each handle is one of a kind and cannot be replicated. All the wood is sourced locally, typically in South Australia’s wine region and varies from the wood from olive trees to Shiraz grapevines, however we have even gathered Gidgee wood from the Simpson Desert. These handles are made with resin in a range of different colours, we feel very strongly about pairing certain colours to the animal that inspired the knife.



After each use:

Simply wipe down in warm soapy water, dry and place on a knife rack away from humidity. Job done!


Long term maintenance:

Big Red Knives are made with a VG-10 Japanese steel core and therefore has a higher carbon content than the average Western kitchen knives. This lends the knives their particular long lasting sharpness, however they also like to be kept dry when not in use and should not be exposed extensively to heat, hot water or ambient high humidity. They should most definitely never be put into the dishwasher or other such nonsense. Each knife was made with love, so please take care of them for us!



Knives made with a VG-10 Japanese steel core are harder at the edge, this means less honing is needed but should instead be professionally sharpened and ideally with a whetstone. Depending on frequency of use, the knife may need to be sharpened by a professional every 3-6 months for most people. We have an extensive list of sharpeners we can recommend in every state if you’d like to contact us.



Similarly, the handle was crafted with resin and coated with a polish that also should not be soaked in hot water. Extended exposure to hot water may damage the polish on the handle that is the protective shield for the wood and resin. Over the years, if the handle starts to look a bit dull a small amount of furniture polish may be used to buff back the shine.


For more information on knife maintenance please see our page:

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