Australian Small Chef's Knife | The "Wallaby" Knife

Australian Small Chef's Knife | The "Wallaby" Knife

Posted by Steven Tuckey on

Ultimately your primary kitchen knife is an important tool that you will be using every day, the size, shape and weight should be easy for you to handle and suit you. Those of ya who prefer a lighter and shorter all-purpose knife? No worries, the Big Red family has your back with this new addition to our range! Designed and carefully crafted to be the perfect tool in the kitchen for all your food prep needs. Made to be smaller than the Big Red Knife, the Wallaby Chef’s Knife is 35mm (1.37”) shorter in blade length and 69g (2.4oz) lighter giving it more control and manoeuvrability. Proportioned like a Bondi lifesaver, this knife is beautiful to look at yet is strong, highly capable and is here to save you in the kitchen! 


The Wallaby Knife is a powerhouse of a chef’s knife and can be used for all your general cutting. Made locally by your South Australian knifesmiths with premium high quality Japanese high-carbon VG-10 steel as the cutting edge, this knife is made to perform clean surgical cuts on your vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and starches. With a razor-sharp cutting edge, the usual suspects such as tomatoes, onions and roasted meat will be no match for the Wallaby Knife. Designed for long-lasting performance and durability, the high-carbon Japanese steel has a protective layer of sandblasted stainless steel encasing the top section of the blade, giving it the signature Big Red Knives’ look inspired by the sandy plains of our outback. The micro air cavities on the top section of the blade additionally prevents your vegetables and starches from sticking onto the blade as you slice, letting you work efficiently across the cutting board. Its curved blade is designed for a variety of cutting styles including quick rock chopping for mincing garlic and herbs. Around 10% lighter and 3.5cm shorter than the Big Red Knife, the new Wallaby Knife was made for those who prefer a lighter and more agile all-rounder chef’s knife with the same blade profile and quality craftsmanship!

The Australian Wallabies:

The Wallaby is a much loved marsupial native to Australia though later introduced to other parts of the world. There are around 30 species of wallabies and the category is essentially a designation for any macropod that is smaller than a kangaroo. They can range from the size of a rabbit to up to 1.8m (6ft) for the largest of the species. They have long jaws and big, flat teeth made for chewing grasses and other plants. These herbivores are widely distributed across Australia and most significantly in the more remote and rugged areas with less in the great semi-arid plains which are more suited for their larger and fleet-footed kangaroo counterparts. They are a group of cleverly evolved species that were evolved to thrive in the harsh landscapes of Australia. Rock Wallabies for an example have specialised modified feet adapted to grip rock with their skin friction as opposed to digging into the soil with large claws, similar to mountainous goats!

Much like the difference between the Big Red Knife and the Wallaby Knife is that the smaller size concentrates the strength and power. Despite being smaller than a kangaroo the wallaby has powerful hind legs that can bound at high speeds and jump at great heights. These little rippers are quick with an average top speed of roughly 48 kilometres per hour (30 miles per hour). They’re equiped with powerful muscular structures. In particularly, the species of Tammar Wallaby also has elastic storage in the ankle extensor tendons which gives it a powerful spring-like ability. Such muscular structures for a smaller and lighter marsupial allows for the wallaby to reach impressive heights and speeds relative to its size. Unlike the roo, wallabies have a proportionally longer and more powerful tail which they use for balance and support. Similarly the Wallaby Knife has the same shape of blade and size of handle, the shorter blade length however lends the user more control and finesse in wielding the tool.  

WALLABY FACT: Adult male wallabies are colloquially called “bucks”, “boomers” or “jacks”. Adult female wallabies are referred to as “does”, “flyers” or “jills”. Like many other marsupials their young are called “joeys”. 


Collection: Big Red Knives

Manufacturer: Koi Knives

Made in Australia

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

Blade length: 185mm (7.28”)

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.

Handle length: 133mm


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 settlers pioneering 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 G in 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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Australian "Wallaby" Know How