Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 5
October 2008
What Is It?
  Banana knife  
  This 11 inch-long knife features a wooden handle and a thin steel blade that has both an inner and outer edge. The blade is inscribed with "Henry Boker", which refers to a German knife and tool-making company that began in the 1700s.
Blade inscription   Outer edge of the blade
  During the manual harvesting of bananas, agricultural workers generally use machetes to cut down the stems, which is where the fruit is found. A group of 10 or more bananas growing together is called a hand, a bunch of four to six bananas is called a cluster and a single banana is called a finger. On average, stems are said to grow about 150 fingers. The banana hands on each stem are cut into clusters using a knife such as the one shown here. Using the curved inside edge of the knife, workers cut around the clusters, using a circular motion. Apparently, these knives are also used for pruning out smaller bananas. In our research, there is no indication as to how the outer edge of the blade is employed. Perhaps it is used for hacking away at more difficult-to-remove banana clusters?  
  Banana knife  
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