Friday, December 7, 2012

More Accolades for our New Haven Oyster Knife!

Grub StreetNew York

The 2012 Grub Street Gift Guide: 29 Gift Picks for Food Lovers of All Sorts

Click here for the full slideshow.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

R. Murphy Wellfleet Oyster Knife featured in the Wall Street Journal Today!

Oysters Ascendant

From working stiff's snack to rare luxury, this mollusk has seen its share of ups and downs. Now, the forecast looks brighter than ever

How to Shuck an Oyster
                                                                                                                                               F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal
 Wellfleet oyster knife

  Don't be daunted by shucking: It just takes a little practice and a proper knife. Our favorite, for its pretty brass and rosewood grip and its steady heft in the hand, is the Wellfleet oyster knife (pictured here) by R. Murphy ($37, Here's how to wield it: 

Bruce Hutchison for The Wall Street Journal
1. Grip oyster with flat side of shell facing up.

Using your nondominant hand (wrapped in a dish towel for protection), grip oyster with flat side of shell facing up, cupped side down. Slide tip of shucking knife into hinge joint at pointed end of oyster, keeping blade flat and parallel to shell. Work blade into hinge, wiggling and turning until you feel a release or "pop"—the sign you've severed the ligament that keeps the shell closed.
Bruce Hutchison for The Wall Street Journal
2. Draw knife across interior of top shell

2. With blade still inserted and parallel to shell, draw knife across interior of top shell, separating oyster flesh from it. Pry off top shell and discard.
Bruce Hutchison for The Wall Street Journal
3. Edge blade under oyster meat and slice muscles attaching it to shell.

3. Now oyster's meat should be resting, whole, in a small pool of liquid (called liquor) in bottom shell. Taking care not to spill liquor or pierce flesh, edge blade under oyster meat and slice muscles attaching it to shell. Eat and repeat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Great Review by Rowan Jacobsen, Author of A Geography of Oysters

A Geography of Oysters is a James Beard Award-winning book and a terrific read! Rowan asked to try our oyster knives when we met him at the Chefs Collaborative Summit in Seattle a couple weeks ago.  Here is what he posted on his website:

The Perfect Gift for That Special Shucker

Oct 14, 2012

2 oysters & a clam...
I recently had the opportunity to test-drive the new, flagship oyster knives from R. Murphy Knives, which has been making knives in Ayer, Massachusetts (not far from Concord) since Henry David Thoreau was wandering the region’s woods. In an age of outsourcing and overseas manufacturing, R. Murphy knives are still made in Massachusetts, and still top-quality. (If you don’t believe me, just ask Cook’s Illustrated, which named R. Murphy’s New Haven the best oyster knife in America.) R. Murphy makes a number of oyster knives, in both stainless steel and high-carbon, and you can get them with wooden handles or “Murphy green” plastic, which, truth be told, is what I lean toward, because I feel like you get a better grip and can exert a little more control and force. They make everything from a classic “Chesapeake Stabber” model to the New Haven, the Seattle (which is sharp only at the tip and is designed to go in through the bill, as they do out west), and, impressively, the Duxbury, clearly designed with a nod toward Island Creek Oysters. (If you’ve followed the shucking competition circuit at all, you know that many of the top shuckers grind their blades down to a short nib, and that’s what you get in the Duxbury). Anyway, here is most of the line (clam knives, too):

So many bivalves, so little time...
Most of these knives run you $12-14 bucks, no biggie, but cast your eyes back to the top of this post, because it’s those hand-polished wood-and-brass beauties that really have me salivating. ($37; not so bad, considering.) The handles are extremely heavy, and perfectly weighted, so once they slide into your hand they feel like a natural extension of it. I’ve never used an oyster knife with a weighty handle, and it made a difference. (The blade, of course, was wicked sharp, which didn’t hurt.) I slayed a slew of oysters in record time, and felt a little bit cool while doing so, which is why I highly recommend them for that special someone in your life who likes to kill oysters. I was impressed by the Wellfleet (bottom), but it’s the aptly-named Damariscotta (top) that will basically be inseparable from my right hand from now on. Watch out, bivalves. Resistance is futile.
Rowan Jacobsen hosted the Chefs Collaborative Summit this year.  He is the author of numerous books and many articles reporting on food, the environment and the connections between the two.  He has written for the New York TimesNewsweek, Harper’sOutside, Eating Well, Forbes, Popular Science, and others, as well as speaking on sustainability, food, and wine.
Thanks, Rowan!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chefs Collaborative Sustainable Food Summit 2012 - Seattle

R. Murphy Knife Co. is proud to be a sponsor of another exciting, important event -- the Chefs Collaborative Sustainable Food Summit -- in Seattle -- 
Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2012.
Chefs Collaborative is widely recognized for its “Sustainable Food Summit,” which annually galvanizes more than 300 chefs, food professionals and the media for a 2-day educational and experiential conference.

Founded 20 years ago and currently boasting a membership of 12,000, the collaborative is working to change the sustainable food landscape.  It is a national network of people involved in our food system -- chefs, food producers, and food professionals. These people understand that by working together, learning from each other, sharing information, and using their own buying power they have the power to influence change.

They do this in part by organizing and supporting:
 - regional programs to educate members on complicated issues in food supply and distribution
 - local programs to promote dialogue among farmers and chefs
 - seafood tutorials on sustainability for culinary schools and restaurants

Chefs Collaborative is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainability among chefs in both restaurants and institutional food service; fostering local and regional networks of chefs; and ensuring a strong voice in the media for the chef perspective on a more sustainable food system.

So you can see why were are proud to be a member of such a wonderful organization and to be a sponsor for their annual summit!  We will be at the Summit with our cook's, shellfish, and food processing knives. Come by and see us at registration or after lunch on Monday, Oct. 1. We're looking forward to it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

ICOF Friends for Haiti Benefit this Saturday, Sept 8!

R. Murphy Knives is honored to be a sponsor of Island Creek Oyster Foundation - Friends for Haiti Benefit.

All proceeds from this event go to the Caribbean Harvest Foundation's Tilapia Fish Farming Program. This Foundation is committed to providing sustainable aquaculture in one of the most impoverished places in the world. 

Island Creek Oysters Foundation (ICOF) will provide 40 families per year with Tilapia Fish Farming Kits and related supplies. The annual income of the 40 families who receive ICOF Tilapia Fish Farming kits, can rise from an average of $300 per year to nearly $3,000 per year.  These kits and related supplies also provide a year-round source of protein for their families and a reliable income.

ICOF has a goal to donate a minimum $100,000 to Caribbean Harvest from this year's event.

So, buy your tickets and come down to beautiful Duxbury Beach Saturday evening, Sept. 8, 2012.  Enjoy delicious food prepared by famous chefs, oysters (of course), signature cocktails, wine, and music.  Bid on wonderful auction items, including R. Murphy cooking and oyster knives!  Check it all out here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New logo for R. Murphy Knives

We are pleased to introduce our new logo designed by Guarino Design Group of Cambridge, Mass.

We just love the simplicity and elegance of it.  Although our old logo has served us well for 78 years (since 1934), we felt it was time to modernize and update our look.

It is now displayed on our website, blog (see above), Facebook, and Twitter pages.  We'd love to hear your comments!

In a few months we will transform our website to go along with our new look, so stay tuned!

We think Mark Guarino did an excellent job!  Wicked sharp!
Thanks, Mark!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Livin' High on the Hog... (part 2)

Hog Island oysters, that is!  (as we said in part 1)  Sent by a friend of Murphy and fan of oysters from her weekend visit to Hog Island Oyster Farm.  Check out R. Murphy oyster knives in action!

Hog Island Oyster Farm is located in beautiful Tomales Bay, 49 miles north of San Francisco.

They have been growing delicious oysters since 1983. 
Check out their website.

We're so glad you like our knives!  We love your oysters!

Livin' High on the Hog... (part 1)

Hog Island Oysters, that is!  A friend of R.Murphy and fan of oysters sent us these great videos and photos from her weekend visit to Hog Island Oyster Farm!  Murphy knives in action -- check it out!

Hog Island Oyster Farm is located in beautiful Tomales Bay, 49 miles north of San Francisco. They have been growing delicious oysters since 1983.  Check out their website.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summertime and the Whittling is Easy!

Summer is a great time to sit on the dock and whittle away while chatting with your friends.  We'll be taking our carving and whittling knives up to Squam Lake, New Hampshire to do just that for a week this month.  I've discovered that it is a very pleasurable activity regardless of ability!  So, we bring along a few for everyone in the group to try -- it's great to see what people come up with -- mini-totems of intriguing designs. 

We received a wonderful letter from a  "real" woodcarver, Jim Rohl, who mentioned us in his article in Chip Chats magazine.  Below is the excerpt and his letter.  Hope you enjoy it!  The full article is in the May-June issue, which can be obtained from the National Wood Carvers Association.

Suggestions for Carvers 
By Jim Rohl

3. What this country needs is a good, cheap whittling knife. When I meet another carver, I feel I should introduce myself by saying, "My name is Jim and I have more knives than I need." That way I'd get the problem out in the open right away.
    But new projects present new difficulties, and the need for new tools.
    Recently I carved some large bird species life size, and I wanted a knife with a longer blade than what was in my tool box. I've given away many carving knives made by R. Murphy Knives of Ayer, Mass., to beginners over the years, and knew pattern makers and leather workers who used Murphy adjustable blade knives, so I looked at the Murphy Web site.
    Three days later I was making chips with a Murphy 35/8" Sharp Point Shoe Knife.
It was the best $10 I've spent this year. The blade is thin (1.5 mm stock) and ground to a good long level. In less than five minutes I had it honed to a shaving edge and was set to go.
3 5/8" Sharp Point Shoe Knife
    The handle is long and thick enough to be comfortable in my aged hands, and it could easily be modified with a little work with a rasp and sandpaper. It is held on by a single brad so you could easily make an entirely new handle if you wished.  It doesn't hold an edge like the work of the great custom carving knife makers, but I've got no kick coming about its performance in basswood and white pine. Next time I'll buy the 31/8" blade though - it would be plenty long enough.•

Jim Rohl, 204 Black Oak Dr., 
St. Peters, MO  63376
We received the following letter from Jim with these kind words along with a copy of his article from Chip Chats.   Thank you, Jim!

     Dear Sirs,

I have enclosed a copy of an article I wrote which was published in the most recent edition of Chip Chats, the magazine of the National Wood Carvers Association. I wrote this as a result of the knives I ordered from you several months ago. I've given a couple of them away to beginning whittlers, and have continued to use one of them for most of my whittling. I cannot begin to tell you how much Ilike it. It takes a great edge and holds it well. The blade is just the right combination of flexibility, width, and thickness, and the handle is comfortable. I spent several hours whittling yesterday and my fingers and hand are not sore at all this morning.
Thanks for making such a great product. 
Jim Rohl

Friday, June 22, 2012

Proud to support....

R. Murphy is the proud sponsor of two riders in the Pan Mass Challenge, better known as the PMC.  This incredibly successful event takes place August 4-5, 2012.  From their website:
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge 

The PMC is a pioneer in the athletic fundraising event industry and today raises more money for charity than any other in the country. On August 4 and 5, 2012, 5,500 cyclists will travel one of 11 routes, logging between 25 and 190 miles over one or two days, through 46 Massachusetts cities and towns. Their collective goal is to raise $36 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund and bring the organization's 33-year fundraising total to more than $374 million. For more information about the PMC, call 800-WE-CYCLE or visit
Good luck, John and Marcie!


We would also like to call your attention to another organization in need of just about anything you can donate.  The United Yokefellow Ministry -- from their website:

The UYM is a service oriented organization, dedicated to helping others (and other organizations) while providing programs and services that make a contributing difference in the lives of those we serve and their families. One of our main goals is to create, structure and implement those programs that strongly support the “ageing at home” philosophy as we are committed to helping seniors, the physically and mentally challenged, and others in need by providing them with the means to remain in the familiar, safe environment of their own homes (or homes we rehabilitate and offer) while maintaining their safety and dignity.

We received a request for cutlery from one of their members who recently, single-handedly processed about 800 pounds of fish donated by local fishermen to help feed the community in need!!  That is some feat!  We gladly sent them a couple dozen knives.  Please check them out on the link above.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thanks to "Go Shuck An Oyster" for this great review!

Go Shuck An Oyster

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012

Quality Products at R.Murphy Knives

Photo Credit:  Sarah B. Richards
Review by Rachel:

If you're new to shucking oysters, or have shucked thousands of them, you should consider purchasing a knife from a Massachusetts company that manufactures several types of knives, R. Murphy Knives. 

Photo Credit:  Sarah B. Richards
R.Murphy Knives makes a high-quality product, and has several options for shuckers of all levels of experience. 

We tested out the New Haven model, a sleek yet strong stainless blade. The New Haven knife can be ordered with a wooden handle or green polyproylene.  We opened a half dozen Duxbury oysters with these traditional model knives. It was no surprise to learn that 
Cooks Illustrated Magazine voted this knife as best oyster knife out of six models tested. 

Photo Credit: Sarah B. Richards
The knives were easy to handle with a comfortable grip, and the blade was strong and just sharp enough to open the oysters easily. These knives were definitely a favorite among the new and experienced shuckers who tried them with us. 

R Murphy also offers custom labeling of their knives. Individuals, farms, restaurants or other businesses can add a custom label to the product.

R Murphy is located in Ayer, Massachusetts and was established in 1850. They have a large selection of all types of knives, including chefs' knives, oyster knives, knives for seafood and many other categories. 

Take some time to peruse their website! We loved the New Haven oyster knife and definitely recommend it, and look forward to checking out some of their other models in the future.

Enjoy shucking.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Aw shucks, Ma...

Does your Mom read Cook's Illustrated magazine?  Has she ever bought something because it was featured there?  Yes?  

Well, why not treat her to their current award-winning oyster knife, the New Haven - made right here in Massachusetts by the skilled craftspeople in our factory at 
R. Murphy.  It’s everything she’ll want in an oyster knife – “well crafted, with a simple, comfortable wooden handle” that easily opens the bivalve without damaging the meat.  

Never shucked on oyster before?
Show her this short video  --  Chef Jeremy Sewall of Island Creek Oyster Bar demonstrates the technique so well that the reporter is successful on her first try!  Mom will become the pro-shucker of the family!  With oyster season fast approaching what could be more thrilling?  Happy Mother's Day!

In the mid 19th century New Haven was a major center of the oyster industry in New England.  Here's an advertisement from one of the big players at that time.  R. Murphy has made the New Haven oyster knife for over 100 years!  
The New Haven

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Great customer service!

I would like to share a wonderful letter, well, actually a Facebook post, we received today from one of our customers in North Carolina.  He recently bought our New Haven oyster knife, the one that is featured in this month's Cook's Illustrated magazine (June 2012).  Here is what he wrote:

"Thank you so much for the professionalism and customer service last month. If you remember I bought a New Haven oyster knife last month. The very tip broke off so I called to inquire about it. You were very concerned and anxious to find out what may have been wrong with the product. After explaining the event you not only replaced the knife, you included another one to try out. I'm impressed with the pride, courtesy, and integrity in your company, especially in today’s society. The new knives perform awesomely. The Duxbury is a great knife for the medium to large oysters we get here and I may be using it for the sturdier oysters. The tip on the New Haven that you sent this time is slightly more blunt than the original, and that may have had something to with the other one breaking, as I have had no problems with the new one. Again I can't thank you enough for your time and customer service. Thanks for the great knives."

We are so pleased that he took time out to say what we at R. Murphy believe to be so important -- good customer service!  And as he also recognized, we are very proud of our products!  We know we make fabulous knives because of our attention to detail and choice of superior steels. Sharp, durable, long-lasting, and great looking!  

We are glad our customers and Cook's Illustrated magazine (tested in America's Test Kitchen) recognize it, too!

Thanks, JB from NC!  Happy shucking!

New Haven

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Fenway Park!!

Congratulations!  You have much to celebrate over your 100 years!

You've given birth to the Red Seat, the Green Monster, the Pesky Pole, the Curse of the Bambino, and Manny Being Manny.

You've retired numbers like 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14 and 27.

You've been home to players with names like The Kid, Tony C., Yaz, Rocket, Big Papi, The Little Professor, Smokey Joe, Petey, and Nomah!!!

You've witnessed some amazing moments in baseball history: Fisk's Fair Pole Shot, Clemen's 20th strikeout, Dave Robert's steal, Curt Schilling's bloody sock, Tek & A-Rod brawl, Buckner and Bucky.

And we've been lucky enough to see it all.  After all, we've been making knives here for 62 years longer than you've been knitting socks!  We love you, Fenway Pahk!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

R. Murphy New Haven Oyster Knife - Winner - America's Test Kitchen!

Now you can watch this episode on TV!  click here for info
And you can watch it online - click here

We couldn't be more thrilled!  America's Test Kitchen chose our New Haven oyster knife as the best of six oyster knives they recently tested!  You can read about it in the June issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine on the newsstands now.  And here is the quote describing it:

                                            "This oyster knife is well crafted,
                                              with a simple, comfortable wooden
                                              handle that never budged in our hands."
Our winning knife is only one of the many oyster, shellfish and plastic handled shellfish knives we make. And we've been making them in Massachusetts since 1850!  Please feel free to browse our website to look them all over.  Thank you ATK and testers!

Read the overview of the testing below and go online to Cook's Illustrated to read the results and methodology of the testing.

Cook's Illustrated



R. Murphy New Haven Oyster Knife with Stainless Steel Blade
This oyster knife is well crafted, with a simple, comfortable wooden handle that never budged in our hands.

Published May 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.
The right one can make a difficult task a lot easier.
You could wait for a night out to enjoy the briny pleasure of a fresh, raw oyster, but with the right tool and some practice you can shuck oysters at home for a fraction of restaurant prices. Regular knives are unsuitable for opening oysters because they’re too sharp and flexible; the thick, dull blades of oyster knives function as levers to pry shells apart without cutting into them. To find the best all-purpose oyster knife—one that would be compact enough to handle small oysters yet sturdy enough to tackle large ones—we ordered dozens of oysters in a wide range of sizes and enlisted a battalion of testers, from newbies who’d never attempted the task to expert shuckers like Jeremy Sewall, owner of and executive chef at Boston’s Island Creek Oyster Bar.
Our testers tried out six different knives in four different styles (named for their region of origin), priced from $7.99 to $16.80. All managed to open oysters, but some did so with far less struggling. Handle design was important, since it takes a certain amount of pressure to shuck an oyster. Some handles felt clumsy and were too thick, slippery, or short to hold firmly. The best handles fit comfortably in our palms and had a nonslip surface that didn’t send our hands sliding toward the blade. One thicker blade with beveled edges proved too clumsy to open oysters with speed or dexterity. A deft little French-style knife with a pointed blade impressed testers; we recommend it only for more experienced shuckers because of its sharp tip. But all testers gave top marks to a New Haven–style knife that had a flat blade with a slight upward bend at the tip. This bend gives excellent leverage when popping the hinge and can slip under the meat, curving along the inside of the shell to neatly sever the muscle and detach the oyster meat. Our winner is light and comfortable and has a simple design that enabled even first timers to efficiently open everything from chestnut-size Kumamotos to 4-inchers from Martha’s Vineyard.