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Mar 24, 2010 08:30 PM

Kohl's Food Networks 7 1/2 inch Santoku Knife with cracked blade

I just bought one of these knifes, regular price supposed to be $79.99, on clearance for $31.99, and I had a $10 off coupon and a 20% off coupon so it ended up costing me $17.59 plus tax. It is supposed to be made of 33 layers of Damascus stainless steel. But when I got home and took it out of the package I noticed a very small crack in the cutting edge, which was probably just the middle hardened steel ply, about a quarter inch long. It was the last one so I can't exchange it but I can get my money back. But my daughter saw it and wanted it, even with the crack as it appears to be super sharp and otherwise well made. I decided to keep it since I don't think I will ever get another one so cheap. I figure if the crack does get bigger I can always return it under the lifetime warranty, and in the meantime my daughter gets to use a much better knife than any other she has. How long do you think the blade will last with a hairline crack in the inner plies of the knife?

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  1. Lazycook,

    This is my honest and sincere suggestion: return it. I know what knife you are talking about. $79.99 is completely overpriced for that knife. That Damascus pattern on that knife is just for look and it adds no performance value. So I won't say you bought a $80 knife for $20. A quarter of an inch is a pretty good size crack. I guess it depends how she will use it. If she is to only use it to slice meat and vegetable, then it will probably last a good while, but if she is to use it to cut butternut squash or a lot of mincing (chopping against the cutting board), then the knife can crack a lot faster.

    If you have to return it for lifetime warranty (which usually has fine print), then you have to pay for the shipping. In the case, you decide to return the knife, let us know and post another post. A few of the knife enthusiasts will brainstorm a Santoku (or any other type of knife) based on your price range and needs. Best wishes.

    1. Not only is it unsightly but a crack in a knife blade is an extremely dangerous thing. Like Chemicalk said, if she uses it to cut harder, denser items like butternut squash and puts some pressure behind it, the knife could literally break in half. With force behind an already unwieldy and hard item like a squash, a sudden snap of a sharp metal knife blade into 2 pieces is the stuff of nightmares.

      Take it back. Now. And frankly, buy something without the Food Network emblem on it. There's a reason it was on clearance.

      Why not buy one of these for $28? The brand is always rated #1 by America's Test Kitchen/Cooks Country/Cook's Illustrated Magazine.

      15 Replies
      1. re: Fuller

        The warranty says I can just return the knife to any Kohl's, don't have to mail it in. BTW, is this a common problem with multilayer knives where the hard brittle core layer cracks or chips? I believe I read of this happening to even high priced Japanese knives if used for heavy duty cutting.

        1. re: lazycook

          Yes, and no. Yes, there can be some cracks and chips on hard steel knvies due to heavy use, but not out of a box. Also, I am not aware of any crack of that size. If you have a quarter of an inch long crack, then the knife probably has cracked through more than the hard brittle core. You can upload a photo if you like. My experience of chips on Japanese knives are less than 1/16th of an inch. They are barely visible if visible. Microchipping is not uncommon, but a quarter of an inch is something else.

          1. re: lazycook

            "The warranty says I can just return the knife to any Kohl's, don't have to mail it in."

            OK, great. So take it back.

            Like I mentioned, to me it's more a matter of safety. $17.50 isn't a huge deal, but a trip to the hospital to close up a nice gash on your hand/fingers is.

            1. re: lazycook

              I see you are reluctant to return it. In that case, I do suggest you at least grind out the cracked edge. I just think it is much easier and cheaper to return it and buy a new knife, but if you really like this one, then grind it out, but you will have to grind 1/4th of inch which probably will be difficult for you to do alone.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                This should not even be a discussion. If you buy a knife with a damn crack in the blade you take it back. I can't believe there is any hesitation. At best this is a defective, inferior, faulty, poor quality item and at worst it is a serious safety issue.

                1. re: Fuller


                  I know. As you can tell, I also suggest to return it, but I feel if the person has made up his/her mind of not returning it, then I can only suggest a remedy, which is to grind the crack completely out. I personally won't do it and don't see the advantages of grinding out a quarter inch crack out for hours vs returning it.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Sorry - I wasn't trying to be a pain. I should have replied to the OP on that comment and I simply neglected to do so; my fault!

                    1. re: Fuller


                      It is cool man. I were not upset. I thought you wondered why I tell the original poster to grind out the knife, so I decided to explain it.

              2. re: lazycook

                "I believe I read of this happening to even high priced Japanese knives if used for heavy duty cutting."

                It can happen WITH SERIOUS ABUSE. Chips are much, much more common results of abuse. I've heard quite a few reports of Global knives specifically cracking, and I have taken these reports to be evidence of a design or manufacturing flaw within Global knives, not as a necessary downside of owning fine knives. In any case, a knife shouldn't come out of the package that way.

                I'd return it.

                1. re: lazycook

                  If you post and ask for advice, then take the advice! You have been told to return the knife. Either return it or don't ask for advice! The knife is defective!

                  1. re: Mother of four

                    I am the original poster. Well my daughter has been using this knife for five months and the crack never got any bigger. However I decided to return the knife for another reason. There seems to be a noticable drag when cutting certain items such as meat. And its not because of the crack. I wonder if anyone else has noticed this drag when cutting using a multilayer knife. BTW, I plan to buy another Food Networks knife to replace it as I bought some other ones and am well satisfied with them, the construction seems excellant, and when they put them on sale I can get them for $17.59, regular price $49.99, or even less if they have a coupon at the time.

                    1. re: lazycook

                      Can you explain the "drag" in details? It must be pretty bad for you to return it. Do you mean there is resistance as you cut into the meat maybe it is tearing/shreading the meat, or do you mean the knife skates on meat surface and is not easily cutting through the meat surface?

                      Also, do you mean the knife "drags" once it cut through the meat and hit the cutting board? Or do you mean the knife "drags" as it touches on the meat? Finally, how thick is your meat usually?

                      My cladded knives work fine.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Well I returned the knife, Kohl's took it back no questions asked. They even gave me a $10 store credit to make up for the coupon I used when I bought the knife originally.
                        The drag seemed to be friction when cutting a thick piece of raw beef. The knife supposedly had 33 layers of steel, and you could see the damascus markings. Possibly the drag was due to the indentations that a santoku type knife has. even though they claim that is supposed to cut drag.
                        I used the store credit and refund to buy another food networks knife, this time their top of the line eight inch silcone handled chefs knife, regular $66 but they had it on clearance for $26.79 so I ended up getting it for $12.77 plus tax after deducting a 15% off coupon and the $10 store credit. Its a really nice knife for $12.77. BTW, I suspect they are discontinuing this line of knives so right now you can get most of them, especially the most expensive ones, half original price or less. They have a lifetime guarantee and what is nice is you don't have to send them back to the manufacturer to make good on it, just bring it in to your local Kohl's.

                        1. re: lazycook

                          The damascus pattern should not increase ficition. The only thing comes to my mind is that the blade surface (side of the blade, not the edge) is too smooth, so the meat stick/suck to the blade, which can cause minor drag, but it should cause major ficition cutting meat. You can tell. If this is case, then you will notice almost everything like meat, potato, tomatoes... stick to the side of the blade and you have to get them off. Potato can readily stick to a knife blade and cause noticeably resistance. Anyhow, I don't think I can nail down the cause without actually handling the knife in person. Maybe some knife experts will stop by and provide some insight for this matter.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            You are right about things like potatoes sticking to highly polished blades, especially if they are wide.
                            I love the new Food Networks 8 inch chefs knife I just bought. It passes the tomato test with flying colors, that is it will slice a soft tomato without crushing it. I am making sun dried tomatoes right now and have been slicing up about a hundred cherry tomatoes a day. I was using a serrated bread knife, but this new knife is so sharp and the blade shape just right so it works even better.