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Cutco knives ??

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I'm trying out a couple of Cutco knives on loan and wondering what the big deal is.

I think its the made in America thing, but the handle of the 10-inch chef's knife is huge -- and I have big hands -- and while the edge is good I haven't seen any advantage over my favorite German knives so far.

The other one is a very thin serrated knife which I guess is primarily for bread -- with which it works very well. I have't tried it yet with a roast, but I suspect it is too thin a blade to hold its own.

Any experiece with the brand? Love, it, hate it, why?

Bob

  1. Bob,
    In summary, Cutco has a unique marketing approach, and they cost too much.

    Cutco knives are somewhat harder than Wusthoff or Henckels, but softer than Shun or Global. We don't have a Rockwell Hardness tester here, but we think they'd test out at C-57 or 58. As a result, it will hold an edge slightly longer and take slightly longer to sharpen.
    But like all knife makers, selling them is an art. Because there are no accepted, repeatable measurements for sharpness, like there is for hardness, knife makers can legally make any claim they want, no matter how outrageous. Cutco claims it is "The World's Finest Cutlery" and get's college kids to sell it between semesters.

    Cutco also trys to promote their knives by saying that they will sharpen them for life for free, which sounds good until you actually try to find the packing materials to pack them up.

    Does that help?

    1. If you or anyone else besides Cutco touches your knives for sharpening, you void your warranty. The only way I see being able to send your knives back to the manufacturer for sharpening is to buy two sets. It's a total PITA, and there is absolutely no knife made where it won't need to be sharpened.

      1 Reply
      1. re: personalcheffie

        >>> If you or anyone else besides Cutco touches your knives for sharpening, you void your warranty.

        What warranty is there to void?

        Sharpening is considered maintenance, no matter who does it. "Reasonable" maintenance doesn't void warranties or is it considered abuse. It is just that those costs would be your responsibility if done by anyone else.

        I do not question their Forever Guarantee at all, but I do agree it is a PITA but so is sending back in a Zippo. ;-)

      2. Hey,
        Cutco's are great knives: full tang, hardened steel blades, lifetime warranty. But I only have my set because I got dubed into the "Make $13 an hour, plus commission" want-ad about six years ago.
        I can tell you they are still pretty great today though, and their top product the "Super Shearers" actually do cut pennies into curly cues, as I actually had to learn how to do this in my sales presentation. But unless your neighbor's kid gives you the puppy dog face, don't fall for the hype.

        1. I love my cutcos. bought a few from the son of a client as a gesture of good will and i really like them. Forget about sending back to sharpen, i sharpen them just like i do my forshners every month.

          I currently own the large bread, the samll serrated and a chef's. Bot DW and I use all the time. It is a little heavy for my every day stuff but I recommend as much as my forschners and I have been using that puppy sine 1978.

          1. My husband got the small chef's knife as part of the goodie bag at a Direct Selling Association meeting about 8 years ago and I've been using it ever since. It gradually became the one I grab day-in, day-out for just about everything, along with a paring knife. I drag out the big killer chef's, mezzaluna or mandoline for some tasks but that's my go-to. I steel it every time I use it. Now that I think about it, I don't think I have ever sent it over to be professionally sharpened. I do that myself periodically.
            I think that Cutcos are fairly expensive vis-a-vis other knives but I didn't pay for it. I don't have any particular knife fetishes and have really good knife skills so I'm really happy with it.
            It's a damned good knife.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MakingSense

              I got a couple as gifts many years ago, so don't know what they cost. I was just using the serrated spreader today and thinking how I use it as much or more than any of my other knives. I also got a regular serrated and it's nice. So I can't say about their regular knives but I love the two I have. My other knives are Henkels and I can't say they don't fit in with them.

            2. I've had a set for about 10 years, and I love them. I can't say I've compared them to many other knives in terms of either quality or cost, so I can't comment on their value. But I've used them fairly consistently and have yet to meet a food they won't cut.

              As someone already noted, their shears are excellent (both in and out of the kitchen), plus they come apart for easy cleaning, so you never end up with sticky blades. My other daily favourites are the paring knife, the trimmer (with the DD blade), and the small chef's knife. I basically use these three for just about everything in the kitchen.

              The OP mentioned the handles, and again, while I can't compare to many other knives, I find the size just about perfect for my hands, which are (apparently) fairly small. The BF, with his bigger hands, isn't quite as enamoured of them on that front.

              - Lea
              http://canada-eats.com

              1. I have a vegetable slicer that I got from a family friend and I'm not real fond of it. I go for my Wustof first I've had to send the Cutco back to get it sharpened and I don't think they did a great job. I think for everyday knives, I go with Henckels and Wustof but I do like their speciality stuff. Love the sandwich spreader and my neighbors rave about the ice cream scooper.

                  1. I've been very pleased with the Cutco serrated chef's knife, serrated spreader and the pruning shears. I choose my Cutco chef's knife to cut up whole raw chickens because the serrated edge "grabs the skin" thus avoiding dangerous slipping and the handle is comfortable and safe when your hand is greasy from handling the raw bird.
                    The pruning shears has a "racheting" mechanism which works especially well on a rough branch or stem. In conclusion, I bought these pieces to support a neighbor's son, but have been very pleasantly satisfied with my purchase.

                    1. I have a set of Cutco. I've had them 20 years and I like them a lot. They are expensive. I figure this is because of the way they are sold and high union labor costs. I also have a couple of Henckels. I use them the most. The Cutco does have a much better feel in my hand.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Stack8

                        We recieved two sets as a wedding gift some 10 years ago. (It was a REALLY nice gift) We keep kosher, hence the two sets. I would never have selected the brand but I can honestly say they are great. I find the serrated spreader a useful tool in particular while the pairing knife is a good size and the chef's knife has good balance.

                        They have held their edge nicely and in fact only several have been sent back for sharpening on one occassion. To that end, someone used the pairing knife (in both sets) to pry open somthing thereby damaging the tip. Cutco sent be two new knives.
                        I dont recall the length of time for turn around on the sharpening, but it must have been quick as I would have griped otherwise.

                        I expect that I will have them for years to come.

                        1. re: SeanT

                          Oh - at least give them Ginsu II status. But Ginsu never took advantage of teenagers selling their product door to door. (Oh... I'm sorry... gave the wonderful youth of our country a chance to earn some spending money, while making the corporate owners really rich.)

                          There are plenty of folks happy with their Ginsus, with the understanding that those wonderful serrated edges willl cut an aluminum can. And I'm sure that folks with Cutcos are plenty happy in their homes, preparing their happy meals.

                          But they're just like people who buy a front-wheel drive car and say how it's the best handling car ever. There's no such thing as a front-wheel drive on-road race car, and there's a reason why. As you approach the higher speeds and performance requirements of racing, rear-wheel drive is much more controllable.

                          Are CD's better than records? For the great majorityof people, the answer would seem to be obvious. But the very top of the grade audiophiles understand that CD's are limited and have a built in distortion in converting analog music to digital data. The very best records, direct to disk recordings, made with the best materials and care in pressing and played with thousand dollar moving coil cartridges, have greater dynamic range and frequency response, and less of certain kinds of distortions than CD's.

                          When a chef, or a person that likes to cook a lot, becomes good enough to feel the limitations of his equipment, he realizes the importance of a really sharp edge and an easily manageable blade. It's useless to argue about brands or types, (e.g.- chef's vs. santoku), the choices are too personal, but it's useful to understand the grades that are out there and available. Cutco is indeed better than a Ginsu. But comparatively, not by as much as one would think from the prices. You don't see chefs using Ginsu or Cutco, and there's a reason why. If you think that your Cutco is still sharp after years of using a piece of glass as a cutting board, try using it to cut a soft chunk of maguro - then do the same with a real Japanese thin, hard-steel core, one-sided, ground by hand, knife that costs anywhere from $400 to $2,000. You may most surely decide that the difference is not worth it, But you will most surely see and feel the difference.

                          All these testimonials for Cutco are like testimonials for Ford. Fine. Wonderful. Glad you like your Ford. But did you ever hear of a Ferrari or a Porsche? I can't afford a Ferrari or a Porsche - so I drive my front-wheel-drive Nissan. And it is a wonderful car for what I payed and for what it is - but it is far from being a truly great car, and it doesn't somehow run forever without maintenance, even if I treat it like it does. I used to have a Porsche (used 356B Super-90), I've driven Ferraris, and I understand what a great car is. If I ever tell you that the Nissan is a great car and that it will run forever without maintenance - please ignore me. I must have lost my mind.

                          1. re: applehome

                            I have bought misc. pieces of Cutco over the years from college kids that I know and also have a few pieces that were given to me by my mom years ago. The steak knives are nice (my set is over 25 years old) never been sharpened by Cutco but still cuts a bad piece of meat like it is butter. Thank God we don't serve tough meat too often!

                            My all time favorite piece of Cutco is the serated spreader. Making sandwiches for the kids is a piece of cake with the serated spreader. Cuts crust of bread nicely, spreads and cuts the sandwich in half and only one dirty knife to put in the dishwasher!!!!!

                            I'm sure I will buy more pieces over the years as more kids I know are selling them.

                            1. re: medforded

                              Never, ever, put a quality knife in the dishwasher.... oops, never mind.

                            2. re: applehome

                              A,

                              Jfood for the side of cutco. they are no ginzu and to categorize the difference between them and a Japanese blah-blah like a ford and high performance car is unfair. Like allknives , they need care honng and sharpening. When jfood was shopping two years ago for a new 7", spent hours in knife shops trying every blade up to the aforementioned $500 magnifico. Decision was a forschner. Why? it fit my hand well, was not into the really heavy end and felt the hand;e/weight fit what what jfood was looking for. It sits in the drawer with many cousins (several cutcos, included)

                              For the knife, one needs comfort size, durability and sharpening ability. Cutco has all of those in jfood's opinion.

                              If you have some informationother than CD and auto comparisons or their sales method please post, but can't figure out why you dislike.

                              1. re: jfood

                                ginsu knives = 1 good use. After that, you realize they dont cut anything at all anymore

                            3. re: SeanT

                              can you say cheap plastic handles?

                              1. re: nysryd

                                who cares about the handles, that ain;t the business end of the knife. it feels great in jfoods hand and cuts beautifully

                            4. I love my Cutco knives. The serrated chef knife is what I use most, but I also love the petite french chef's knife, the spreader, the parer, the shears and the steak knives. I've had them for over 10 years and never sent them to be sharpened. They could probably use it, but I don't want to be without them for even a few days. I was mad at my friend when she gave the college student my contact info, but it was a great demo and I haven't regretted buying those knives at all.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: AmyH

                                Hello! I am a sales representative and I noticed you said you might need the sharpening but couldn't live without the knifes for even a few days!lol I find this to be true among most of my customers so I just wanted to let everyone know that Cutco also provides service calls for our customers. You don't have to ship them back to the company to get the sharpened. Depending on wher eyou are located, a sales rep that has been trained to sharpen, can come to your house and sharpen them for free. It usually takes me about 45 minutes to sharpen our basic homemaker set.

                              2. I did a SHORT stint as a Cutco salesperson when I was in college, but I always loved the knives - when I was finally able to afford them some years later, I ordered the rest of the Homemaker set + the steak knives - I especially love the steak knives and the spatula spreader -
                                I use the French chef and petite french chef knives the most for chopping etc. The only complaint is that I have to bug my husband to sharpen the knives often.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sandrachang

                                  My mother bought some cutcos from my sisters boyfriend about 35 years ago. I have them now and use them almost every day. I use a 3 stage electric sharpener and they hold an edge for a few months.

                                  I also have 2 ginsu knives. One I keep in my toolbox and I cut PVC pipe with it alot. The other I use on cakes. It's a great cake slicer

                                2. I like my cutco knives, and for what it's worth, certainly don't feel ripped off paying what I paid. For what they are--a perfectly useful and durable knife for daily home cooking--I think the price is right. Of course you can find better knives by paying more, that's true for virtually any product you can imagine, so I don't know if that is particularly useful advice. Unless you've got the resources to afford (and skill to appreciate) the very top of the line, I'd say they are definitely worth considering. And I agree, tI'd be surprised if their is a better deal than the steak knives. We've been using them every day for dinner for years and haven't had to sharpen them and dinner guests still comment on how well they cut.

                                  1. I bought a set of them years ago and was never really impressed. The only reason I bought them was that someone at work was selling them. I much prefer Global.

                                    1. Funny you should post about Cutco...I am a chef now, but sold the knives for two years in college. I always wondered why the chefs I called on wouldn't buy them, but now that I am in the industry I understand. The handle doesn't work for professional cooks...plus, having all serrated (excuse me, "double d edge") blades isn't as advantageous as they'd like you to think. My overall opinion: the trimmer (the knife I believe you are referring to) is great for at-home veggie slicing, but the large set Cutco reps try to sell you is a rip-off. Plus, the supposed "free sharpening for life" is really a gimmick to sell you more cutlery, not service what you already own.

                                      1. My opinions on Cutco are a bit complicated. I'm a professional chef and spend a good part of my day with a knife in my hand, so I like to think I know a thing or two about knives. A chef friend of mine that I used to work with owns some Cutco's and they really aren't bad. One day we swapped our knives back & forth just for fun, doing a variety of tasks from meat cutting to veggie prep: my 10" Shun Classic vs his 9.25" Cutco.

                                        In one sense it was like a Corvette vs a Ford F-150...the Shun is feather light and feels like an extension of my hand. By comparison the Cutco is pretty hefty, but to be fair the handle felt good in my hand, and it's no heavier than a comparable German blade. We both felt the Shun cut better, at least on some items, although it's hard to say if it's because it's sharper or just thinner.

                                        Bear in mind I only messed with the Cutco for a week or two vs using my Shuns daily. And I have no idea how long the Cutco's will really stay sharp in a professional kitchen.

                                        All in all, I'd say his personal Cutco's (chef, shears & paring knives) were pretty nice. Yeah, a bit overpriced, one could say. If you lined up knives from Shun, Global, Messermeister, Henckles, Cutco & Wustof, I'd probably rank 'em in that order. Part of the equation is quality, no doubt. But feel is more important in a working knife. A wonderfully made knife that doesn't fit your hand will stay sharp forever- by staying in your block or roll and never being used. Global's personally fit me about the best of all mass produced knives by a slim margin over Shun's but I think the Shun's cut better and have a better edge. Messermeister is my favorite of the Germans. Take this as JMOHO, YMMV.

                                        Are the Cutco knives junk? Not at all. Would I buy one? Er, probably not...but if somone gave me their Santoku, shears or bread knife I'd probably stuff it into one of my work rolls. I suspect that "D/D" bread knife would do batard for banquets of 300 every weekend for years. So long as you use a cutting board!

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: Beowulf

                                          I think you've given a very fair analysis.

                                          We get Cutcos in regularly for sharpening at the shop where I work. I've never really used one personally and didn't know a lot about them. I will say I'm consistently surprised at how easily they sharpen. We sharpen on a Commercial Chef's Choice, not my personal choice for sharpening, but when comparing with all the other knives we sharpen for customers these sharpen just as well or often better than the other big names. Seems to be a decently made blade and while I'm not crazy about the handle design doesn't feel too badly in my hand.

                                          (I'm a fan of the Messermeisters for German and the Shuns for Japanese as well).
                                          I wouldn't go out and buy one either but likewise I'd toss one in my bag or block if someone gave me one...

                                          1. re: ziggylu

                                            Maybe they sharpen easily because they're made of stamped 440A.

                                            1. re: applehome

                                              Could be. that's getting into technical knowledge I admittedly don't ahve. What does Forschner use for their stamped knives - 440 A, B or C? or something else?

                                              And also of course...after they leave my store I really don't know how long they hold that new edge that was easy to put on.

                                              1. re: ziggylu

                                                Victorinox/Forschner, along with Wusthoff, Henckels and most other German/Swiss makers use German Solingen steel, which is a stainless steel that has the approximate hardness characteristics of 440C or ATS-34. V/F typically stamps, while the others typically forge, so the V/F knives are usually thinner and lighter. But I understand that V/F also sells forged knives and vice-versa, the others have a stamped line. I guess it's just what they're known for.

                                                440A is not used by most US knife makers - I don't know of anybody else (beyond Cutco) that uses 440A rolled steel and stamps out their knives. Folding/hunting knife makers that use 440A forge their blades. It is used for surgical tools, which Cutco likes to boast. But how many times do scalpels get re-sharpened?

                                                1. re: applehome

                                                  Don't think the German knives use 440C... and I thought Henkels used VG10... Well I could be wrong on that.

                                                  1. re: Soop

                                                    As I said, if you read my post correctly, most of the older German knives use Soligen steel, which actually is all over the place in terms of specs, as the term Soligen steel is not a standard but a general reference to where Germany has traditionally and most famously manufactured steel. 440X is a set of US standards, so obviously, Germany is not going to use the term even if it were identical to their standards. They are going to have a set of DIN or ISO standards. Having said all that, I have read that most of the steel that comes form Soligen is close to the very much used norms of US 440C/154CM/ATS-34 standards in terms of percentage of carbon and nickel. The actual annealing and tempering methods used to form the final product (and thus the final hardness) are different form company to company, and product to product.

                                                    There is no way that the traditional German cutlery would have used VG-10. It is a Japanese steel, originally manufactured by Takefu in Echizen. It is harder than the norm for German knives. In recent times, they may have moved towards harder, thinner knives. But the entire forging philosophy difference between Japan and Germany goes back centuries, and going to thinner harder steel would be a major philosophical change for the German manufacturers. They have partnered with Japanese Seki city manufacturers so that they can retain some of the market share they are so used to. But that's not the same as actually manufacturing the knives.

                                                    Here's a couple of references:

                                                    http://www.agrussell.com/Steel_Guide/...

                                                    http://www.knives.com/engnath_steel.html

                                        2. I'd never give up my Wustof knives, but the Cutco scissors are exceptional. They cut through anything, come apart for cleaning, and take endless abuse (including the dishwasher). And they have a precision fit between the blades that is great for a lefty like me.

                                          1. We bought a couple from a student selling door-to-door. Really just to be neighborly, not that we needed more knives. I did like the made-in-USA thing. We got a serrated bread knife and general chef's knife.

                                            They stayed sharp a long time, years, with regular use. The bread knife is still darn sharp, but the chef's needs sharpening now.

                                            One disadvantage I haven't seen mentioned so far -- re the handle. It's a design issue. The top of the handle (against the palm) is flat. More times than I can count, I've absentmindedly set the knife down to go do something else, then came back to discover the sharp edge UP. That could be a hazard! I don't know how it happens, but it does.

                                            1. I have a set of Wusthof Grand Prix while my mother has the serrated Cutco set. I can't stand the Cutco knives after becoming accustomed to Wustoff. I find Cutco cheaply made in comparison. However, my mom just has the serrated knives, not the regular knives which you can hone and sharpen. I'll stick with my Wusthof... probably will last my lifetime. In six years of regular use and honing, I've only had to sharpen them a couple times.

                                              1. I'm not even going to read this long, highly opinionated thread. To the OP: I (a poor student living on loans, who loves to cook) was given a set of Cutco knives as a wedding gift.

                                                This set included an 8" Chef's, a bread knife, a pairing knife, and a sandwich knife. I've been pleased with them. Not overwhelmed mind you, just pleased.

                                                Don't worry about all the hype around knives. Just find what works for you and go with it. I think when I get tired of these Cutco's I'll get some Forschner's. If I win the lottery I might step up to a hefty German (Messermeister, Wusthoff, Henckels). Bottom line, get a good blade for a decent price. This is a tool, not a display item.

                                                10 Replies
                                                1. re: joshlane4

                                                  This thread is bizarre. There isn't anything complicated about Cutco knives. They are simply very, very bad knives, designed by people who know nothing about cooking, and sold by an unscrupulous marketing company. End of story.

                                                  I understand that a lot of people like their Cutcos. These are people who have only experienced even worse knives. And yes, there are even worse knives. But for the same money you spend on Cutcos, you can get much, much, much better knives.

                                                  Here are just a couple of basic criticisms: The "double d" edge is a serrated edge, no matter what the marketing company says. Serrated edges tear food, they don't cut it. They are suitable for bread. That's all. If you think you are getting clean cuts with a Cutco knife, then you have never used a sharp knife. There's no shame in this; most people haven't. I have friends who have cooked professionally for years who think they have used a sharp knife but haven't. It's only recently, now that western-style Japanese cutlery has become more prevalent (and more importantly, the waterstone skills required for maintenance) that cooks in the U.S. and Europe are figuring out what a sharp knife is.

                                                  A cutco is not and cannot be a sharp knife. A standard european chef's knife can be very sharp, but usually isn't.

                                                  Secondly, the shapes of these knives do not work for any of the real cutting techniques. If you learn the correct ways to slice, julienne, brunoise, tourne, or chifonade, you will find these techniques difficult or impossible with a Cutco. Case in point: the shape of the chef's knife (the only really important knife in the kitchen) is a complete joke. Designed by and for people who have NO idea how to cook.

                                                  Don't be duped. If you can afford Cutco, you can afford real knives. Try going to knifeforums.com (the kitchen section) with your questions. They guys there can make recommendations for any budget.

                                                  1. re: paulraphael

                                                    Well, yes, but your interests are not those of most home cooks and, as you note, many professional chefs. Most of us are looking for a knife for routine kitchen tasks, not a knife sharp enough to shave with, or perfectly smooth under a microscope..

                                                    1. re: mpalmer6c

                                                      I would have to disagree with you vigorously, mpalmer6c. I come to these discussions searching for advice about tools of the highest caliber. Working with great knives and other good cooking implements is a joy and a pleasure and I am very grateful for the advice of posters who clearly know more than I do. as paulraphael points out, I think correctly, there's a lot of misinformation and ignorance out there about good quality knives. A lot of people seem to be swooning in love with some bad knives mostly because they don't know any better.That's why I find comments from people in love with their cutcos who have little experience with anything else very unhelpful. If you want to talk about the relative merits of knives, great, if you want to display your affection for your cutco knives, get a room. For some, mediocre (cutco) might be a step up from crap, but I have to think that most home cooks who come here looking for advice are interested in something better than mediocre. Knowing you can get a good knife without spending a lot (f dick, forschner) or a good knife spending a lot (shun) rather than a mediocre, overprice knife from a cutco sales rep is valuable information. And in fact, you do need a good, sharp, reliable knife for routine kitchen tasks, at least the ones I do.

                                                      1. re: chuckl

                                                        Your point is well taken chuckl.

                                                        Chad Ward mentioned in his book An Edge In The Kitchen that there are knife cooks and pot cooks. Some feel they need that perfect knife to feel good about what they are preparing and likewise some feel they need that perfect pot. I am a knife cook for sure. So for some they don't get the need for a superior knife.

                                                        I can assure anyone that once they have used a great knife that has a fantastic edge they will never know want to go back to a cheap or more accurately a mediocre knife.

                                                      2. re: mpalmer6c

                                                        But until you have used that high quality, super-sharp knife in a kitchen, you will never know whether it's worth it to you or not. Professional or not doesn't matter at all - everybody has the right and the responsibility, to themselves, of deciding what level of cutlery to use and how much to spend. Cooking, at the level that most chowhounds get into it, is a hobby. It is fulfilling a basic function, yes - but when you decide to live to eat, rather than to eat to live, you decide to spend more than the minimum effort and money to try and produce something more than the minimum level of sustenance. Great cutlery is part of that, if you want it to be.

                                                        It's not frustrating to hear people say they aren't interested in great cutlery, it's just like the people here who eat at chains and are happy about it. But it is frustrating to hear people proclaim that a particular, poorly made and relatively outrageously expensive brand of cutlery is great cutlery. It isn't great cutlery. It's made cheaply and sold and direct marketed in such a manner that it can't be directly compared to the rest of the cutlery world. It's like having a blind loyalty to eating at Red Lobster, and proclaiming it to be the best seafood because you believe their ads on TV.

                                                        Anybody that thinks that Cutco is great steel needs to get their hands on a Shun, Global or hand-made Japanese bifurcated blade from any of several great Seki city trained swordsmiths. These aren't all outrageously expensive - most are well within the budget of someone that has spent their good money on a set of Cutco's. They can also try some of the better German steel, which are cheaper. Perhaps they can borrow a knife from a friend, or find a store that will accept returns. They should make sure that the knife has recently been sharpened by a pro - some brand new knives are shipped in a to-be-finished condition, and so need to be sharpened locally - the vendor should tell you if this is the case.

                                                        The sharper a knife, the less effort it takes to cut anything. The harder the knife, the longer the edge will hold, and keep coming back with steeling. It does take more effort to actually sharpen and grind a harder steel, but you won't need to do it as often. Try dicing an onion with these knives - not only is the effort so much less, but you'll never cry again. Julienne a couple of carrots. Try cutting some meat - maybe slicing a top loin primal into steaks, or coarse-chopping a lot of pork shoulder up for chile verde. Steel the knife and see how quickly the incredibly sharp edge comes back.

                                                        I promised myself, a while ago, that I wouldn't post in another Cutco is great thread - it's just a waste of my time. But it's just so frustrating to watch others drinking snake oil and telling each other how great it is. Perhaps no more so than watching others elect leaders that you know will do them and their children great harm, just because he's "one of them". The hope is that lifetimes are not wasted believing in something or someone that has nothing of any real value to offer.

                                                        1. re: applehome

                                                          Bravo - another in your series of truly outstanding posts. If you're not already familiar with it, I'd like to recommend to you the book "The Supper of the Lamb" (in which culinary arts meet theology, which can be read without paying much attention to the latter if, like me, you lack spirituality), and in particular the chapter "The Tin Fiddle" in which Robert Farrar Capon, writing some 30 years ago, makes exactly the same point as in your Red Lobster analogy, using instead the example of a tin fiddle. If one had never heard a real wooden violin, and was told that a tin one produces an even better tone, the world would likely go on listening to and enjoying tin fiddles and be none the wiser, in spite of being hopelessly misinformed. Just so with Cutco knives, the tin fiddle (or Red Lobster, which works equally well) of the cutlery world.

                                                          1. re: FlyFish

                                                            Thanks - that book sounds like it's right up my alley - I'll look for it.

                                                            1. re: applehome

                                                              it's terrific, I haven't bought it yet, but I was reading it in a bookstore and it was great

                                                        2. re: paulraphael

                                                          If all the chefs knives look like this: http://www.cutco.com/products/product... then that doesn't reseble any kind of French or German blade geometry I've ever seen. That's a gyuto.

                                                      3. Part of the equation is quality, no doubt. But feel is more important in a working knife.
                                                        Beowulf has hit the topic in the center with the statement. Knives are personal.

                                                        Applehome fills in the rest of the story but may be a bit over the top for some. Not everyone is willing to eat at Red Lobster all the time. But obtaining custom cutlery is not for everyone. Quality knives are worth the cost. So get the best you can afford and go up from there.

                                                        yogiwan

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: yogiwan

                                                          "Knives are personal." - I can't agree more.

                                                          I have Wusthof, Global, Cutco, and Forschner in my kitchen as well as a few other specialty knives. I hone about every 2-3 uses (or after every heavy use) and sharpen every few months. All my blades are sharp enough to slice through paper; if not, I sharpen them. I find most factory sharpened edges to be not sharp enough so I re-do the edge even on newly purchased knives.

                                                          In the end, at least for me, the feel and balance of the knife outweighs the type of steel if the knife can at least hold an edge and sharpen well. My knives are tools to be used, not art pieces to be collected and admired. If they are not comfortable, they stay sharp forever since they rarely get used. I reach for my Forschner and Cutco chef knives the most. My Global and Wusthof are stuffed away because I rarely ever use them - their handles are uncomfortable and slippery (hence lack of control) compared to the Forschner Fibrox and the Cutco handles. The Cutco handle fits my hand perfectly and is one of the most comfortable of all of my knives although I imagine it may not be the case for everyone (I have small palms and long fingers). I believe my Forschner chef's knife holds an edge longer than my Cutco chef's knife. But it really doesn't make that much of a difference since I maintain my knives' edges anyway and, after honing, the Cutco knife is just as sharp. By the way, I got my Cutco knive set 14 years ago (back in the days when I didn't know much about cooking or knives) and have never sent anything back in for sharpening. The DD edge knives are holding up just fine but I only use them occasionally for slicing bread and melons (well except for the steak knives, which are obviously used for meat... they perform superbly as well, not having been sharpened since I got them).

                                                          If I lost all of my knives and had to purchase new ones, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't buy the Cutco ones, not because they are not good knives, but because the Forschner knives are a LOT cheaper AND really good knives - thus a much better value. But if someone wants to give me a set of Cutco knives as a gift I sure wouldn't turn them down :-)

                                                        2. I recently was about to toss a set of steak knives we were given to us as a gift about ten years ago. I hated them. Cheap plastic handles and serrated edges. However my wife really liked them. All of them had chips out of the serrations from normal use (gotta wonder if any one swallowed those) and the tips were really worn. Just as they were about to hit the bin I noticed they were Cutco's so I packaged them up and sent them to NY. The funny thing was that when I went to the post office I got grilled about how well they were packaged. It seems the post office gets a lot of packages being sent back to Cutco and people often just throw them in an envelope. Whoops.
                                                          I received a new set in about a week. Was I pleased with that? Yes. Right up unto the point that I looked in the catalog they included and discovered a set of four steak knives is $112! I got a good laugh out of that.
                                                          I'd compare these to any $30 set available at most department stores. Grossly over priced IMO. For $50 you can get a set that is much nicer.
                                                          In 30 plus years I have never seen a Cutco knife in a professional kitchen. The serrated (excuse me DD edges) are just not suitable for professional use, nor are the handles.
                                                          Will this matter to the home cook? Probably not. What should probably be of concern to many is that for the same $ you can purchase knives of vastly superior quality.
                                                          I was happy with their warranty service and if Cutco was priced at 50% less then they *might* be a fair value. At the current price point you are paying for a Ferrari and getting a chevette.

                                                          1. Figured I would throw in my .02 about cutco.

                                                            I actually wound up selling them for a bit while in school (like 25% of all other college kids I think ha)

                                                            Cutco knives are very solid and are probably the best buy for the average household. Emphasis on average here, the warranty ensures that all the abuse that the normal home chef puts their knives through (dishwasher, glass cutting boards etc.) can be fixed.

                                                            It is somewhat of a pain to ship the knives back, but is still cheaper than getting other knives professionaly sharpened. The warranty is no joke, while working I ran into people who wanted to replace their "ancient" set of knives...when I got there sometimes I would find that they were an old set of cutco. One women had an entire set, a few bucks in shipping and she had a brand new batch of knives. Of course I lost a sale there, but it made me appreciate the warranty.

                                                            I use a mixture of knives myself. I love the sandwich spreader, slicer/trimmer, veggie peeler, etc. I'm not that fond of the chef's knife anymore and mostly use a cheap santaku that I picked up for chopping.

                                                            So great warranty, I love how the handles feel, and they last even with abuse. They are somewhat expensive, but will outlast anything at that pricepoint.

                                                            16 Replies
                                                            1. re: ploftus

                                                              It's all relative. If your benchmark is really crappy knives, then mediocre knives are a step up. But that's not to say they aren't still mediocre knives. I recently bought a Messermeister Elite 5-inch santoku on ebay and I think it's a pretty good knife. Holds an edge really well and is broad enough to scoop up the veggies, chicken, meat, whatever. Quite the versatile knife if you like the santoku style.

                                                              1. re: chuckl

                                                                Hey I appreciate the help y'all. I'm a college student but I'm also having the army pay for my school so I'm not exactly desprate for money (nice to be one of the only college students that's not in that boat). I hade Cutco call me and I figured it was alright until the second day of training (Tomorrow is the 3rd/last day of training). I went home and called a few relatives to get some appointments under my belt. I had some talks with people who have had cutco and knew folks who worked there and had worked there themselves. None of this actually had that big of an impact on me actually. It was when I went into my room and reflected for the night. One thought that hit a spark was "wait a minute, if cutco is so good then why don't they sell openly and actually be compeditive with everyone else?" Because I believe that merchandise should sell itself. And also a main point is that products sold at a high price should actually legitimately be worth that price on the OPEN market. Why is Cutco so afraid to compete with the big boys? The answers are obvious as I can see.

                                                                Tomorrow is when the trainees buy knives to have something to show people. I decided to make a deciton before this point so I wasn't stuck with some knives I wouldn't use very often. So with some advice and self reflection I decided not to continue with such a company. This is simply due to the fact that I think customers should get the best deal. And I simply can't sell something I don't believe in and am not passionate about. I'm in the Army for a reason and that's to protect and serve. Not to belittle and make money. I'll leave the selling to the product itself.

                                                                1. re: wdccomand

                                                                  Good for you - some real right thinking. I don't think that it's necessarily belittling anybody to sell them Cutco, but it does seem like you are taking advantage of them - especially when you use your own personal friends and family. I hate it that it's part of their training - it just seems like a lousy corporate sales policy to start you out by taking advantage of your friends. Best wishes for your school and thanks for serving.

                                                                  1. re: applehome

                                                                    Here is a review of many Chef's knives including the wonderful Cutco. You can see for yourself just how great they really are. :-)

                                                                    http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar...

                                                                    1. re: billieboy

                                                                      Excellent article BB. To see all these popular brands (and some more extreme) compared so thoroughly for actual usage is really good work on their part. I've seen more "scientific" tests, where knives are analyzed for strength and flexibility, even bent to breaking, etc., but while they may reflect some kind of quality scale, they don't measure day to day usage. Cutco always falls behind on the steel quality tests because they use the cheapest steel, but this gives a better sense of why those kinds of factors add up to make this a lousy product for everyday use.

                                                                      1. re: applehome

                                                                        No, it's an awful review. It's basically a test of how well the knives he bought were sharpened at the factory. that's not really a useful standard. Every knife I've ever bought was dull from the factory. Some are pretty sharp, but they're all duller than they could have been, or were after a few minutes work. There's also huge variation in how any two knifes from the same maker are sharpened.

                                                                        1. re: dscheidt

                                                                          I sort of agree, but Cutco says they are the best in the world. Wouldn't they come sharp out of the box?
                                                                          My Misono scared the hell out of me right out of the box.

                                                                          1. re: billieboy

                                                                            You can not sharpen a Cutco. They have to be sent in or you have to put up with some sales person coming to your house.
                                                                            Overall I thought that was one of the better reviews I have seen.

                                                                            1. re: Fritter

                                                                              jfood is not sure which Cutco you refer to but jfoood has been sharpening his Cutco for several years when he sharpens all his other knives and it takes an edge very well.

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                I have the Cutco steak knives with the Double D edge. From the Cutco web site;

                                                                                "When they (DD recessed edge) need sharpening, do not use the CUTCO Sharpener or any other sharpening service. It will ruin the special edge. Send them back to CUTCO and we will put a factory-fresh edge on each knife."

                                                                                1. re: Fritter

                                                                                  jfood does not have the serated but the regular edge which is like the other knives in jfood's drawer. Your reference is why jfood would never buy the Double-D's.

                                                                                  From their site:

                                                                                  Straight-Edge Knives
                                                                                  CUTCO knives with straight edges require periodic sharpening to maintain optimum performance. We recommend using our CUTCO Sharpener to touch up the edges as soon as you notice the knife beginning to dull. You may also send these knives back to CUTCO for factory-fresh sharpening.

                                                                          2. re: dscheidt

                                                                            That's true - about knives not being as sharp as possible out of the factory. It's more traditional with some Japanese knives that they are shipped unfinished and the user is expected to sharpen it before using. So the Nenox, for example, was probably at a real disadvantage.

                                                                            Also, there was no real factor of testing long term usage other than some honing. How long did the edge hold, could it actually be restored by honing with a steel or did it do better with a few swipes on a fine stone (in the manner of hard, thin Japanese blades which don't really fold over)? In short, if you do sharpen the blade yourself (which they started out by saying they weren't taking into account), then what kind of effort did it take to make it wicked sharp?

                                                                            Nevertheless, given that no review is perfect, I think it was an honest effort (not biased), and that the information provided is useful. Every knife got the same treatment - if the presumptions are not accurate (e.g., all knives are sharp from the factory), then people ought to be aware of that. But it doesn't necessarily invalidate the entire test. Macs are darn good knives and Cutcos are pretty bad ones. A test like this brings out some real differences, and people could do a lot worse in getting knife advice.

                                                                            1. re: applehome

                                                                              Hey, guys. Just thought I'd jump in with a few words about my Cutco experience. I have a full set of knives and absolutely love them. The guarantee is not void if you sharpen your own knives, as a free sharpener comes with most sets. And there's no need to pack up your Cutco to send them for sharpening. If you call the company, they will get in contact with a representative from an office near your house, and a trained manager will come to your house and sharpen your knives for free. I have had my Cutco for years, and I have absolutely love my knives and the relationship that the company has with its customers.

                                                                              1. re: tniksink

                                                                                what other knives have you compared cutcos to?

                                                                                1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                  keep in mind, this thread started in 2006

                                                                            2. re: dscheidt

                                                                              True.. but the majority of people, especially those purchasing Cutco, Wustoff, etc., will expect their knives to be the sharpest they'll ever be out of the box. I work selling cutlery daily to the public, and this is the impression that 90% of people have -- the factory edge is the ultimate. I think it's a very fair test then, not an awful review because the author was using the knives as most people (including those in this thread) would use a knife.

                                                                2. Cutco is expensive, but no more expensive than the German blades I have owned over the years. I bought a Cutco French Chefs knife 35 years ago from a relative who was selling them of course. I did it as a favor as I was pointing out my collection of Henckels to the kid.

                                                                  Bottom line is that the Cutco is still going strong and the Henkcels bit the dust a long time ago. I don't know about the guarantee as I sharpen my own knives

                                                                  A few years ago I bought a Cutco pocket knife from a friend of my son, yet another favor.

                                                                  At $80 I thought it a pretty pricey pocket knife even with its fancy leather case. It is the sharpest folding knife I have ever seen and has kept its keen blade and has never needed sharpening. I suppose I could use it as a shaving razor, if I did shave

                                                                  Anyway, that is my experience with Cutco.

                                                                  1. I had a cutco pocket knife for 14 years and after 14 years of being used as a pry bar, screwdriver, gasket scraper and just about any other form of abuse you can think of, the blade had become a little loose. I called cutco customer service and in about a week I received a new one complete with the original engraving on it and a return mailing label to send the old on back free of charge. My wife's kitchen is stocked with nothing but Cutco and I don't know why everyone keeps talking about sending the knives in for sharpening. If You call the local cutco representative, they come to your house and sharpen them for free. Forever. Period. If there is anything wrong with a cutco knife, You get a new one. For free. Forever. Period. I melted the handle of one of our steak knives while using a torch to do some soldering on a copper pipe(too close to the knife). Guess what? New knife. They didn't even care how it got melted.
                                                                    No German knife or any other even comes close.
                                                                    Also, Feel free to sharpen them yourself. I have done so many times and, no, it absolutely does not void the warranty.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: usterwop

                                                                      what other knives have you used that you can compare them against?

                                                                    2. We have a full set of Cutco and when guests come over and happen to use one, they instantly comment on how sharp they are and want to know where they get them. I'm a big fan of my French Chef knife and the paring knife with the full size grip. I also think they make the best fishing fillet knife in the world. Buy Cutco, you can't go wrong!

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: rdevita

                                                                        i'd like to hear you make a side-by-side comparison of a cutco knife to any comparably priced knife from messermeister, shun, or any other good manufacturer. Until you can do that, you're just blowing smoke

                                                                        1. re: chuckl

                                                                          if forschner qualifies, jfood has done that and likes both of them equally.

                                                                          1. re: chuckl

                                                                            Is that even possible? I thought shuns and other "good manufacturers" were priced a good bit higher than Cutco

                                                                            1. re: sarge

                                                                              " I thought shuns and other "good manufacturers" were priced a good bit higher than Cutco"

                                                                              The fact is that Cutco is very expensive considering the quality of the product. Quality wise they are about the same as a sani-safe or Dexter but those are both about 1/5 the price of Cutco. Messermeister and other German knives as well as base Shun's can actually be a good bit less expensive than Cutco.

                                                                        2. yeah I remember using cutco as a kid because my mother had a few pieces from when she was in college. I thought they where amazing, but that's because they where serated and all the other knifes that had been neglected by my parents where about as sharp as a brick. I was digging throught my dad's "droor of death" (a kitchen droor that is packed to the brim with abused dull yet pointy knifes) and stumbled across an unbearably dull costco straight edged chef's knife. I spent a good 15-20 minutes putting a perfect edge on it. I put it in my dad's knife block and told him not to put it in the droor cause it'd end up cutting someone one day. In retrospect I really didnt like the way the knife felt in my hand. I'd much rather use a F/V knife and save a lot of money while I'm at it. I have henkels, wusthof, global, F/V, and shun knives and would never consider putting cutco on either of my magnetic strips

                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Loki

                                                                            FYI, Amazon has several Shun's on its Friday special. Is $58 as good price for the bread knife or $78 for an 8" chefs?

                                                                            1. re: repete

                                                                              repete, $58 is far too much to pay for a bread knife. You should be able to get a Victorinox/Forschner bread knife for much less -- Amazon sells it for exactly half of that $58 -- and it will perform at least as well.

                                                                              1. re: Politeness

                                                                                "$58 is far too much to pay for a bread knife"

                                                                                Rubbish! The Mac bread knife is one on the most highly thought of bread knives amongst Chef's and it's a good bit more than that. The Masahiro is another stellar bread knife. I'm not a big Shun fan but just because you can buy a lesser product for less money does not mean other products are over priced. I have used plenty of Victorinox and Forschener products and they are fine for what they are.

                                                                                http://www.amazon.com/MAC-Carving-Bre...

                                                                                http://www.amazon.com/Masahiro-MV-H-i...

                                                                                1. re: Fritter

                                                                                  Fritter: "Rubbish!"

                                                                                  Sorry, but the purpose of a bread knife is ... to ... cut ... bread. Simpliciter. You do not need an expensive piece of jewelry to cut bread, and Cooks Illustrated has found that many expensive pieces of jewelry labeled "bread knife" actually do not cut bread all that well. The jewelry sure will impress your friends, though, looking gorgeous -- until they flub their assigned task.

                                                                                  The cutting of bread is a rather simple task; how to make a good bread knife is not rocket science. Still, knives best suited to other tasks may not cut bread very well. Just as the very best flat base screwdriver must yield to a Phillips screwdriver when the screw to be driven is a Phillips-head screw, so the best tool for slicing bread is not a fine forged hard alloy single-bevel exhibit piece, but rather a plebian Forschner Victorinox bread knife.

                                                                                  1. re: Politeness

                                                                                    A cheap bread knife doesn't stay sharp long and some are next to impossible to sharpen. A quality knife sharpens well. $58-$75 is certainly not too much to spend for a good bread knife. I want my bread cut not crushed or shredded.
                                                                                    Their are plenty of people out there that believe you should buy the cheapest of every thing. If that works for you then enjoy.
                                                                                    The Mac and the Masahiro are both excellent bread knives. Since those two and perhaps the Guede probably set in more Chef's tool boxes than several others combined I think your view is a bit distorted. While It may work for you IMO it's certainly not the universal consensus.
                                                                                    If you want knife "jewelry" then you will spend LOT more than $150. The "best" is subjective and depends on each individual and what they need. That should be perfectly clear when you read a thread like this about a brand like Cutco. To put that in perspective a crappy Cutco slicer runs $80.

                                                                                    http://www.guede-solingen.de/english/...

                                                                                    1. re: Fritter

                                                                                      Fritter: "A cheap bread knife doesn't stay sharp long and some are next to impossible to sharpen."

                                                                                      That's a mouthful. How long a knife stays sharp is a function of many factors, including most importantly frequency of use and the hardness of the steel in the blade, which is only very loosely correlated with price. I doubt that there is much, if any, difference between the hardness of the steel used in the Guede and the hardness of the steel used in the Forschner. Bread knives, of any price or construction, are primarily used to cut -bread- which, unless you mix sand into the dough, is a substance that is kind to knife edges; bread knives of any description typically require the least frequent sharpening of all the knives in our repertoire.

                                                                                      Fritter: "A quality knife sharpens well."

                                                                                      Well yes, but "well" is not "easily": different concepts. Any wavy-edged knife, like the Guede to which Fritter linked -- or the Forschner Victorinox to which we alluded and which has the added complication of being beveled on one side only, is a real bear to sharpen; it is a good thing that neither the Guede nor the Victorinox needs to be sharpened frequently. Serrated edge knives, the edges of which aid in cutting bread without crushing or shredding, are all but impossible to sharpen, which is part of the reason we eschewed a serrated edge bread knife.

                                                                                      Fritter: "Their are plenty of people out there that believe you should buy the cheapest of every thing. If that works for you then enjoy."

                                                                                      O.k., you made me smile. Our burden in life is to bear the label consumer snob, as we tend to hold out for the best, even if it means temporary forbearance without anything at all in a category until our budget will make space to go for the best. We are asked why we insist on having an induction cooktop and a Miele dishwasher in our kitchen, why we have huge room-dominating transmission-line stereo loudspeakers instead of cutesy speakers like those that sit alongside computer monitors, why we specify to our mechanic that our car's brakes be fitted with specific brands of rotors and pads that need to be sourced from Australia, and why we will not even ride as passengers in friends' cars if their cars are fitted with all season tires. Insisting upon buying "the cheapest of every thing" is not in our playbook. We ended up with a Forschner Victorinox bread knife because, head-to-head against the LamsonSharp forged bread knife http://www.chefsresource.com/lamson-r..., which was the next best of the bread knives that we considered, the Victorinox worked better for us; it was as simple as that. Unfortunately, it turned out that the Victorinox was inexpensive, and so our carefully cultivated reputation as snobs was forever tarnished.

                                                                                      1. re: Politeness

                                                                                        "I doubt that there is much, if any, difference between the hardness of the steel used in the Guede and the hardness of the steel used in the Forschner. "

                                                                                        Then you are either very slow or have not read about the Mac on the web site you linked. A Forged Victorinox bread knife is more expensive than either the Shun or the Mac. The $20 Forschner-fibrox is just a stamped knife (As per the web site you linked). The steel is not comparable in any way to the Guede or any of the other forged bread knives I've mentioned in this thread. Bread knives are often used as slicers in general. That's why both Mac and Cutco label them as a meat slicer/bread knife. If you personaly are doing nothing with a bread knife but slicing a few loafs a year then by all means buy the stamped Forschner for twenty bucks. $58 for a Shun bread knife is still a great price no matter how you slice it and I'm not even a Shun fan.

                                                                                        " Any wavy-edged knife which has the added complication of being beveled on one side only, is a real bear to sharpen; it is a good thing that neither the Guede nor the Victorinox needs to be sharpened frequently"

                                                                                        Again it's clear you are very confused or simply do not under stand the product. Not only are some of the knives I have mentioned here ground with a 70/30 western edge they are not all that difficult to sharpen. This IS the benefit of most of the bread knives that are made with better quality steel. Some of the lower end stamped knives that are serrated are often trash once they get dull. With regular use that doesn't take very long.
                                                                                        Ye gets what ye pays fer!
                                                                                        While the link you posted is not working I'll post links to the same web site so we have a solid comparison.
                                                                                        BTW Guede also makes the Viking bread knife which does not have the exact same handle but is about 33% less expensive. Perhaps you should write them and let them know that they are totally wrong about sharpening the Guede/Viking. ;-)

                                                                                        http://www.chefsresource.com/viking-b...

                                                                                        http://www.chefsresource.com/mac-brea...

                                                                                        http://www.chefsresource.com/8-bread-...

                                                                                        http://www.chefsresource.com/offset-b...

                                                                                        1. re: Fritter

                                                                                          Fritter (quoting us): "I doubt that there is much, if any, difference between the hardness of the steel used in the Guede and the hardness of the steel used in the Forschner." (Fritter responding): "Then you are either very slow or have not read about the Mac on the web site you linked."

                                                                                          According to Forschner, the Rockwell hardness of the steel in the stamped Fibrox kniives is 55-56. http://www.swissarmy.com/Forschner/Pa...

                                                                                          According to Guerde (Güde), the Rockwell hardness of the Güde forged blades is 55-56. http://www.knives-from-solingen.com/s...
                                                                                          I repeat: I doubt that there is much, if any, difference between the hardness of the steel used in the Güde and the hardness of the steel used in the Forschner.

                                                                                          It was Fritter who held up Güde as the paragon. Now you wish to discuss Mac knives instead of Güde, the latter apparently relegated to the back seat because its blade has the same hardness as a Forschner, but less than a Mac. My family live in Japan, as have I done for a good portion of my life; before Japanese knives became the latest fad here I knew the knives from Seki in the same way that Oscar Levant knew Doris Day: http://www.quotiki.com/quotes/9234 Fact is, the hardness of the steel does not make a bread knife cut bread any better. The more salient point is that the scallope (wavy) edge -- in both the Forschner Victorinox and the Güde -- does help a knife cut bread better, but that edge configuration is something that the amateur cook should not attempt to sharpen at home without a lot of study and preparation. The techniques for sharpening straight and slightly curved blade edges will mess up a scallope edge. (OTOH, the LamsonSharp bread knife that I referred to in an earlier post comes with a lifetime pass to return it to the factory for professional sharpening, which is a good deal.)

                                                                                          1. re: Politeness

                                                                                            "According to Guerde (Güde), the Rockwell hardness of the Güde forged blades is 55-56h"

                                                                                            Uhm no. That link you posted in German is not the Guede web site and does not even list the Guede bread knife. The Guede website states the following;
                                                                                            'A hardness of over 60 HRC".
                                                                                            Sorry friendo but that's a long ways on the hardness scale from 55.
                                                                                            The web site you chose to link up-thread puts Mac at a RW hardnes of 57-61. That's also well above Forschner. I guess you don't want to talk about the Mac any more. LOL
                                                                                            Lets also not forget that Shun you poo poo'd has an HRC of 61.
                                                                                            Three quality knives. All much higher on the hardness scale than Forschner. I don't expect that will be a big surprise to most.
                                                                                            Apparantly you think hardness is the only measure of quality. There is not much comparison in the quality of a stamped knife and a forged knife.
                                                                                            Period.
                                                                                            The Forschner as you mentioned up-thread is only ground on one side. Because of that it's difficult if not impossible to sharpen properly and thus it has a very limited life. You can go on spin cycle and talk about Seki, Cars and stereos until the cows come home but it won't change the fact that the Guede, Viking and other quality forged bread knives ARE ground so they can be sharpened easilly. Again read your own links in regard to the Guede/Viking bread knife;
                                                                                            "The high-carbon chromium vanadium stainless steel allow for best cutting edge, ***ease of sharpening*** and corrosion resistance"

                                                                                            Cutco comes with life time sharpening as well. I guess that makes it a "quality" knife.

                                                                                            1. re: Fritter

                                                                                              Fritter: "Apparantly you think hardness is the only measure of quality."

                                                                                              In this thread, only Fritter has associated hardness with quality. We, on the other hand, associated hardness only with frequency of sharpening.

                                                                                              For at least a century, there has been an ongoing debate between the advocates of carbon steel blades of the sort that made Theirs, France, famous and the stainless steel blades favored in Solingen, Germany. In the past decade it became a fad in North America to dismiss both Theirs-style blades and Solingen-style blades in favor of the "new" Seki-style, a fad which is amusing to those of us whose family knives include knives from Seki that date from before the second world war.

                                                                                              Anyway, the Theirs-Solingen debate centers primarily around hardness. The French adhere to the belief that their softer carbon steel blades take a better and sharper edge, a point that the Germans have generally conceded, while arguing that their harder stainless steel blades do not need to be sharpened as often, a point that the French have generally conceded. So there was no winner, but a choice: do you want the finer edge, which needs to be sharpened frequently, or do you want the more durable edge, which gives away that last iota of sharpness for a longer-lasting edge and decreased frequency of sharpening? The debate has continued for years and years.

                                                                                              Two United States knife-making companies have been players in the same debate. We live in Portland, home of the formerly independent Gerber Legendary Blades, and of Kershaw, a company founded by a Gerber employee. (You now probably are more familiar with Kershaw as "Shun.") For years, serious chefs disdained Gerber knives for one reason: the Gerber blade steel was deemed too hard, which made the Gerber knives too difficult to sharpen. Although Gerber knives were well made in other respects, they made few inroads into professional kitchens specifically because they bore the rap "too hard" and "hard to sharpen," the latter being the consequence of the former.

                                                                                              Until Japanese knives were "discovered" by North American fad-followers five or six years ago, among knives that were generally available in the United States the ones that were made with the hardest steel were Chef's Choice knives, made in Pennsylvania by a company called Edgecraft from a proprietary trade secret alloy that has a Rockwell hardness of 60+, about the same hardness as Global knives. A serious case could be made -- you certainly would find cause to disagree -- that Chef's Choice makes the best production knives in the world, better than any knives made in Seki, Solingen, or Theirs. I am not here to attempt to convince you of that, as just the fact that a Chef's Choice knife does not need to cross an ocean to get to you clearly makes it déclassé in some eyes. And Chef's Choice knives no longer reign as the hardest steel knives that are widely distributed in North America, though they are harder than the great majority of German-sourced knives. However, if hardness of steel were the be-all and end-all of knives, then long ago a huge cult would have been formed around Chef's Choice knives -- but there was not and is not any such cult.

                                                                                              Fritter: "The Forschner as you mentioned up-thread is only ground on one side. Because of that it's difficult if not impossible to sharpen properly and thus it has a very limited life."

                                                                                              Here you have been praising many brands of Japanese knives over and over, and then in one fell swoop you condemn the great majority of them. Most of the sainted Japanese knives are ground on one side only. Besides, far more than the one-side grinding, the scallope edge of the Forschner -- a feature shared with the Güde knife you revere and (from the photo on the link you provided, a feature there called "serrated," though it appears not to be so) on the Mac knife you revere -- is what makes the Forschner hard to sharpen. I seriously doubt that you would be capable of sharpening a Güde scallope edge with the tools available to you; and if you attempted to sharpen the Mac's "serrated" edge, you most likely would grind off the serrations.

                                                                                              Fritter: "There is not much comparison in the quality of a stamped knife and a forged knife.
                                                                                              Period. "

                                                                                              There is no question that it is more expensive to forge steel for a blade than it is to stamp a blade out of rolled sheet. For that reason, the least expensive knives made have stamped-steel blades, and many of those are of low quality, and the knives made with forged blades, including some very high quality ones, are made with forged blades. But there are many, many factors that enter into the "quality" of a knife other than whether the blade was forged or stamped, not the least of which is suitability to task. It no more makes sense to generalize that all stamped blades are low quality and all forged blades are high quality than it would be to generalize that a car with a long wheelbase is always higher quality than a car with a short wheelbase. There is an advantage in a bread knife, in particular, to have a blade of uniform thickness from edge to spine, rather than a wedge shape, thin at the edge and thick at the spine. Forged bread knives, in fact, are configured to mimic a stamped steel blade's uniform thickness, and generally have a thinner spine than other forged knife configurations.

                                                                                              Finally, we never suggested that the LamsonSharp's lifetime sharpening feature is what makes LamsonSharp knives quality knives; if you go back to what we wrote, you will see that we said only that it was a "good deal." In fact, LamsonSharp does make some very excellent, unassailably high quality, knives -- but the lifetime sharpening is merely a lagniappe to the inherent value. We do thank you, however, for bringing Cutco back into the thread to keep us on topic.

                                                                                              1. re: Politeness

                                                                                                "In this thread, only Fritter has associated hardness with quality"

                                                                                                Not even close to being accurate. You tried to compare the HRC of a $20 fibrox to a quality knife implying they were of equal quality based on that one factor alone. Clearly you now realize that the HRC numbers you posted were not accurate.

                                                                                                "I seriously doubt that you would be capable of sharpening a Güde scallope edge with the tools available to you "

                                                                                                Some just use the edge of a stone or a round file and work their way down the blade. You can also use a round steel. There are special sharpeners available. Both the Mac and the Guede are right at the top of the list in regards to bread knives for many professional Chef's.
                                                                                                Again see your own links in regards to ease of sharpening for the Guede/Viking. Here's a link that might help others;

                                                                                                http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktk...

                                                                                                "There is an advantage in a bread knife, in particular, to have a blade of uniform thickness from edge to spine"

                                                                                                That's true. Here's what Thomas Keller has to say about the Mac;
                                                                                                "The thin blade also allows for a straighter cut because there is less 'wedging' within the food when the blade passes through it.'"

                                                                                                "the lifetime sharpening is merely a lagniappe"

                                                                                                If you get "Free" sharpening you simply pay for it when you purchase the knife. This is one of reasons that Cutco knives cost 4-5X what they are actually worth.
                                                                                                In closing I'll just suggest the CH that asked about the Shun with a $58 price tag carefully consider the advice given. There are indeed two sides to every coin. In the case of the bread knife there is a very small price gap between a cheap knife and a quality knife that can be enjoyed for many years.

                                                                                                1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                  Fritter: "You tried to compare the HRC of a $20 fibrox to a quality knife implying they were of equal quality based on that one factor alone."

                                                                                                  Never. First, please be aware that in the English language, there are two distinct concepts, "to imply" and "to infer," The speaker or writer is the one who implies; the listener or reader does not imply, but rather infers. Now the exact words that we used (Aug 15, 2009 09:28AM) were:

                                                                                                  "How long a knife stays sharp is a function of many factors, including most importantly frequency of use and the hardness of the steel in the blade, which is only very loosely correlated with price."

                                                                                                  You will notice that in that statement is neither mention nor imputation of "quality," none whatsoever, express or implied; and you will not find any post that we have made in this thread that implies a link between hardness and quality, but only between hardness and frequency of the need to sharpen a blade. In fact, if Fritter reads what we wrote, we expressly stated that the hardness of the steel is only "loosely correlated with price," which IMPLIES that some CHEAP knives can have hard steel. Any correlation between hardness of steel and QUALITY was Fritter's INFERENCE, neither stated nor implied in what we wrote but rather inferred by Fritter and Fritter alone. As we wrote (Aug 16, 2009 04:10AM), "In this thread, only Fritter has associated hardness with quality. We, on the other hand, associated hardness only with frequency of sharpening."

                                                                                                  We are heartened to see that Fritter has shown an open mind about the issue of uniform blade thickness in the specific function of a bread knife. Now we would like to ask Fritter to play a mind experiment: imagine that Fritter has a big lump of dough and wants to make that dough into a uniformly thin layer, say for a pie crust. Fritter could punch the dough down onto a flat surface with Fritter's fist until the dough was more or less evenly distributed, or Fritter could use a rolling pin to roll the dough out in smooth movements. The latter technique is not only easier and faster, it also will result in a more uniformly even thickness. Substitute a lump of malleable heated steel for the bread dough, and Fritter will see the argument for making bread knives specifically by stamping the blade from sheet steel that has been rolled between two very massive rollers at very high pressure, rather than forging the blade from the lump by local pounding, the equivalent of pounding dough with one's fist, which, in steel fabrication, is called "forging." Yes, it is possible to get a uniformly thick blade using the forging technique, but the end result merely mimics rolling the steel between giant rollers, which is faster, easier, and automatically arrives at the desired result.

                                                                                                  Fritter (Aug 15, 2009 04:43PM): "The Forschner as you mentioned up-thread is only ground on one side. Because of that it's difficult if not impossible to sharpen properly and thus it has a very limited life." Fritter (Aug 16, 2009 06:47AM): "Here's a link that might help others; http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktk..."
                                                                                                  We followed Fritter's link, and we found an up-close and personal description of the Güde bread knife's blade: "The Blade is flat on the left side, serrations are ground on the right side. "

                                                                                                  Does Fritter regard the Güde bread knife to be difficult if not impossible to sharpen properly and thus to have a very limited life? If not, why not?

                                                                                                  The same article to which Fritter links at http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktk... speculates on the kind of steel used in the Güde bread knife's blade: "The steel, I am assuming is X50CrMoV15, or something very similar to it. At least behaves like one when sharpening and using it." The reference to X50CrMoV15 is actually a live link, where the strengths and weaknesses of that specific steel are described thus:

                                                                                                  "If you don't want to bother maintaining your knives this is a good choice. Except for the low edge holding ability of course. In the end, you end up sharpening it a lot more often, so low maintenance statement is really arguable."

                                                                                                  Fritter (Aug 15, 2009 04:43PM, in response to our statement that the Rockwell hardness of the Güde forged blades is 55-56): "Uhm no. That link you posted in German is not the Guede web site and does not even list the Guede bread knife. The Guede website states the following;
                                                                                                  'A hardness of over 60 HRC".
                                                                                                  Sorry friendo but that's a long ways on the hardness scale from 55."

                                                                                                  The Specification of the blade at the bottom of the hands-on Güde bread knife review linked by Fritter states: "Steel - X50CrMoV15 54-56HRC." http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktk...

                                                                                                  There appears to be some inconsistency.

                                                                                                  1. re: Politeness

                                                                                                    Lets take another look at what you did say in regards to hardness (HRC) and a few of the knives in question;

                                                                                                    " I doubt that there is much, if any, difference between the hardness of the steel used in the Guede and the hardness of the steel used in the Forschner"

                                                                                                    Thus you did imply that the Forschner was of the same or very similar quality to the Guede based on nothing more than hardness. You have tried several times to suggest the Guede is not harder than the Forschener. Clearly that reflects your belief that HRC is relivant and an indicator of quality in regards to how long the blade will retain it's edge.

                                                                                                    "you will not find any post that we have made in this thread that implies a link between hardness and quality, but only between hardness and frequency of the need to sharpen a blade"

                                                                                                    I think it's more than fair to say most directly associate over all knife quality with two things: How how sharp a knife is and how long it will stay sharp. You have stated that bread " is kind to knife edges" . Nothing could be further from the truth. Crusty bread is brutal on a knife edge. The softer the steel used the more frequently the bread knife will need to be sharpened or disposed of. I think it's clear to most that the Forschner is the softest blade of the bread knives being discussed by a fair margin.

                                                                                                    The Guede website states the following;
                                                                                                    'A hardness of over 60 HRC".

                                                                                                    I am confident that Guede is familiar with their own product and I see no need to question the integrity of the information on their web site. If you read the link I posted with the Guede review you can see the damage bread can do to a knife edge as well as a discussion in regards to the ease of sharpening the Guede. You may also want to note at time the linked article was written the author was un-certain of the type of steel used and the following was stated;
                                                                                                    " I am **assuming** (the steel) is X50CrMoV15, or something very similar to it"
                                                                                                    The HRC numbers given were generic for that type of steel.
                                                                                                    We now have those numbers directly available from Guede so there is no current need to assume nor is there any discrepancy.
                                                                                                    I am not against Forschner fibrox across the board. I have noted in the past that I've handed them out to my cooks.
                                                                                                    I also want to clarify a few points I hit on up-thread.
                                                                                                    A stamped knife or a forged knife can be of great or poor quality. One is not absolutely better than the other on that one factor alone. The over all quality of construction needs to be considered as well as HRC and steel type. It may be a surprise to some to know that Global knives are stamped as are some Mac's. However these brands are also sintered and a lot of workmanship goes in to them. There really is no comparison in quality between a Forschner fibrox and a Mac Superior.
                                                                                                    I also want to note that in regards to the difficulty of sharpening bread knives the issue is not just from being ground on one side but rather the way they are ground or the type of edge.
                                                                                                    The problem with many of the Forschner bread knives is that they are either serrated or have very fine scalloped edges. The knives like the Guede/Viking have a large scallop that is far easier to deal with.
                                                                                                    Not many are going to spend a lot of time trying to save a $20 knife that is serrated or has a blade with small scallops.
                                                                                                    You have made it clear that you are basing much of your opinion on what you have read on the internet and looking at photos. I think it might to wise to temper your advice to others with that in mind.
                                                                                                    If you only cut dough or rarely use a bread knife then I might agree with the suggestion of a Forschner.
                                                                                                    For many others I think it a poor choice.

                                                                                          2. re: Fritter

                                                                                            I've been reading these posts with amusement. I have to say, I'm with you on this one, Fritter. Just because a Kia can get you where you need to go, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy a luxury vehicle if you can afford it and don't mind paying the price.

                                                                                            When I got my first apartment, I started out with a $70 set of Revereware (the cheap kind with the silly layer of copper on the bottom too thin to really do anything). I cooked with hand-me-down utensils and appliances, and knives that I thought were fine. Over time, with more knowledge, experience and money, I upgraded everything. Not because I needed to upgrade, but because I wanted to. I enjoyed finer cookware, knives and gadgets, and still do. In fact, I've probably only had to replace six pots and a handful of separated or rusted spatulas and slotted spoons in thirty years, so all of my later purchases could probably be classified as unnecessary.

                                                                                            Yes, you can buy a cheaper bread knife, and if that is what someone wants, good for them. In fact, there are plenty of posts on these boards from people who believe that any decent slicer renders a bread knife totally unnecessary . I disagree. I like having a decent sized, sharp bread knife when slicing through soft or tough breads. I would hardly call a $58 dollar knife "jewelry." Perhaps a visit to a Japanese knife website might be an eye opening experience for someone who considers this expensive.

                                                                                            The other perspective, i.e., spending less money, is helpful to those who can use the advice or who are looking to invest less money in their tools. But it is not for everyone.

                                                                            2. Because this thread has become repetitive and personal in nature, we're going to lock it.