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I need a new set of knives, as I almost lopped my finger off with a semi-dull knife. What do you all think of these?

What knive sets would you recommend?

Aso, which is better. The Ionic Breeze, or the Blue Air?

*** Update ***

OK. Unless George Soros and Donald Trump read this website, and decide to hit the tip jar to the tune of $1800.00, I think we can rule out the speculation about me purchasing a set of CutCo knives.


36 replies
  1. 1
    demimondian says:

    Henckel makes great knives; we own three. I typically encourage people to buy a block, though, and fill it in on demand. Generally, buying a set means buying a bunch of knives you’ll never use. (After twenty-plus years of marriage, Frau Doktor Doktor Demimondian and I have only finally filled in the block we got as a wedding present.)

    Generally, it’s better to spend the money on a top-flight knife sharpener. We own a Chef Choice model 110, but nowadays, I’d spend the extra fifty bucks to get a Chef’s Choice model 120.

  2. 2
    Jay says:

    Hey John, the absolute best knives you can get are Cutco products. They are pricey, but they come with a lifetime guarantee and unbelievably sharp. I have a set. My in-laws bought theirs around 15 years ago. The handle on one of their steak knives broke last year. They called and the rep told them to mail it in. Within a few days, they had brand new replacement.

    Here’s the site.

  3. 3
    Bernard Yomtov says:

    What about sharpening the ones you have?

  4. 4
    Mike S says:

    Ginsu, all the way. You never know when you’ll need to cut a can in half and then slice a tomato.

    Be prepared. That’s what I always say.

  5. 5
    over it says:

    I agree on the Cutco knives. They are the best. Before my brother joined the military he was a Cutco salesman. Was not a very glamorous job but he was able to get good discounts and he gave our parents a nice set as a Christmas present. That was over 5 years ago and they are still sharp(almost too sharp!).

    Also, I heard that the Ionic Breeze got slammed by Consumer Reports(or some like entity). Might want to read up on it. I know nothing about the other one.

    here is something about the consumer reports thing

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    I can’t even find aprice on the Cutco knives.

  7. 7
    RSA says:

    I’m a big fan of Henckel knives, but that particular set looks like it has lots of pieces I wouldn’t use. For the price, I’d go a step up on the quality to get a few good forged knives (Zwilling Henckel). I get by with 8″ and 10″ chef’s knives, an 8″ carving knife, and a paring knife. Knife block from a garage sale, and the Chef’s Choice 110 electric sharpener mentioned above. Knife heaven. Of course, people have different preferences. A good friend of mine who’s an amateur chef prefers French knives (Sabatier) and Japanese knives (I don’t know the brand) for their different distribution of weight and the way the blades are shaped. It’s worth going into a store and trying out different knives in person, to see how they feel.

  8. 8

    I would recommend a set of LamsonSharp knives, simply because their factory is located about 15 miles from me and I like supporting local manufacturers whenever I can.

    I’ve had a set for as long as I can remember.

  9. 9
    demimondian says:

    RSA’s got it right: go try out any major knife purchase before you buy it. Find a good knife that fits your hand and style, and keep it sharp, and it’ll serve you for a lifetime.

  10. 10
    bg says:

    I used to sell Cutco knives – they’re mostly sold door-to-door, so unless you wait for a visit, they may be hard to find. That said, I still think Wustof and Henckels are better. Wustof is often slightly cheaper.

    As for sharpeners, get yourself a steel and use it every time you use your knife. If you want an electric, the Chef’s Choice is an excellent brand.

    No matter the knife, if you care a lot, you’ll probably want them professionally sharpened every 5-10 years or so.

  11. 11
    bg says:

    I should also add, my calculus doesn’t involve serrated knives. Those are all the same to me.

  12. 12
    Bob says:

    Sharper Image’s Ionic Air got ripped in Consumer Reports.

  13. 13
    Anderson says:

    I need a new set of knives, as I almost lopped my finger off with a semi-dull knife.

    Why does it sound like it’s the “almost” that bothered you?


  14. 14
    Toren says:

    Consumer Reports can bite me. I use the Ionic Breeze in several locations around the house and it works great, even in the room where I smoke my pipes (people often comment in surprise how they can’t even tell I smoke in there). If you buy a refurbished unit from Sharper Image they’re much more reasonably priced. The filter plates are top rack dishwasher safe, and no more filters to buy ever.
    For knives, if you want a set and know how to sharpen, Henckels are okay, if overpriced. I like Global better. Myself, I bought three sizes of the Kyocera ceramic blades and after eight years, they are still razor sharp. I love ’em. If you want a big set of metal blades and you’re not a dab hand at sharpening, get an electric sharpener to go with them. Knife World liked the Chef’s Choice 120.

  15. 15
    Kimmitt says:

    I sold Cutco knives in high school. I ended up being a lousy salesman, because I couldn’t bring myself to care whether or not the folks I talked to bought knives, but the knives themselves were and remain superb. I still use my sample knife from a decade ago daily.

  16. 16
    M. Scott Eiland says:

    Whatever happened to those Ginsu ads? They’d offer you fifty-seven knives, a blender, and the keys to Tokyo for $19.95 if you’d just ORDER NOW!

  17. 17
    ppGaz says:

    What about sharpening the ones you have?



  18. 18
    CaseyL says:

    “Whatever happened to those Ginsu ads? They’d offer you fifty-seven knives, a blender, and the keys to Tokyo for $19.95 if you’d just ORDER NOW!”

    Godzilla heard they were giving away keys to his favorite stomping ground and they’d never offered him one (“After all I’ve done for them! I put Tokyo on the map, dammit!”) and he got so upset that his buddy Gammera burned Ginsu down. Very sad.

  19. 19
    Grotesqueticle says:

    Henckel, all day. I agree with the commenter above. Buy a block, and fill in the knives you’ll use. All I really need is my 8″ Chef Knife, an 8″ carving knife, a filet knife and everything else is gravy.

  20. 20
    rilkefan says:

    Hmm, this comment appeared, then disappeared:

    All you really need is a chef’s knife, unless you’re doing fancy delicate stuff. America’s Test Kitchen just did a feature on cheap knives and highly recommended the Forschner Victorinox Fibrox (what a disaster of a name, but anyway) for $25 – they say it’s better than most $100 knives.

  21. 21
    EL says:

    Afraid my comment disappeared, too. I recommend Global knives, and I agree that you don’t need a set. I use a small chef’s knife 90% of the time, and a paring knife for most of the rest of the time. Someone with larger hands, which would be most adults, would probably want a larger chef’s knife instead, or in addition.

    The nice thing about Global knives is that you don’t use a regular sharpener (and I have a Chef’s Choice) but a smaller, much easier to use system that costs about $20.

  22. 22
    Eric Bryant says:

    Henkel + Lansky sharpening setup = cutting bliss. Frankly, any ol’ knife combined with a good sharpening tool will works fine; the main advantage of a higher-quality knife is a blade that’s both hard and tough. The first attribute keeps the knife sharp, while the second keeps the edge from chipping out (or the whole blade from breaking). Achieving both is somewhat difficult and therefore pricey.

    We’ve got a couple of Cutco knifes in our kitchen. Two words describe their serreted edges – viciously sharp. Normally I hate the idea of any knife I can’t sharpen myself, but these haven’t required any sharpening in three years. I’m not sure what steel they use, but it’s good stuff.

  23. 23
    mac Buckets says:

    First, unless you are doing something horrible to your steaks, or you eat steaks every day, my advice would be to get your steak knives from Crate and Barrel, and invest the bulk of your money in the important blades that carry the workload. I’ve used Henckel Professional “S” — a good leap ahead of the “Gourmet” Series — for about 7 years and they are my all-time favorite (good deals here and here make them arguably more cost-effective than the Gourmet set).

    Four knives probably do 90% of your work, so I urge you to get a small set and grow it as you need. 8″ chef, 3″ parer, 5-6″ utility, and an 8″ bread knife will go a long way. Henckel’s shears are sweet, too.

    A caterer I work with occasionally uses Globals, and she loves them. They’re lighter (and oh-so-stylish), so if you don’t like the heft of Henckel, it might be the way to go. Try them all in a kitchen store before you buy anything — there’s a reason that all hitters don’t use the same Louisville Slugger.

  24. 24
    Kimmitt says:

    Yeah, you really don’t need more than four knives or so unless you’re much more serious about cooking than you’ve implied so far on this blog.

  25. 25
    Montino says:

    Wusthof is the best, and definitely worth the money. I have had several for 40 years.
    Keeping knives sharp is how you DON’T cut yourself. Cutting yourself usually happens because a dull knife rotates the object being cut instead of gliding straight down through it, thus rotating the knife onto your finger.
    A good sharpener is crucial. I use a stone, and do them the old-fashioned way. An electric sharpener is good too, and you should look for a model that takes the very minimum off.
    Basically all you need is a 8″ chef’s knife; the new ‘santoku’ models are excellent. You’ll do 95% of your cooking work with that.

  26. 26
    Scott says:

    I got my wife a 10″ Shun, and she loves it. It is thinner and lighter than Henckels or Wusthof, and it’s cobalt steel. I’m not a metallurgist but I think that means it will hold an edge better.

    Whatever you get, be sure to hone it regularly with a steel which is different from sharpening. Honing realigns the blade that is there so that it faces the thing you are cutting, sharpening is removing the metal to create a new blade. Regular honing can eliminate the need for sharpening.

  27. 27
    RKB says:

    I’ll put in a vote for the Whustof Trident set — we’ve had them for years, and have never had any complaints. Love the shears. We even bought two sets, just because we do so much chopping and cutting.

    Amazon has a good deal going on a solid set of knives for about $175, as long as you don’t mind not having steak knives.

  28. 28
    mac Buckets says:

    Basically all you need is a 8” chef’s knife; the new ‘santoku’ models are excellent.

    The santukos I’ve had are too difficult to “rock” quickly and evenly, so a good chef’s knife gets the nod for mincing garlic and fine-chopping parsley and herbs. I think the sturdier construction of a full-tang, solid steel chef’s knife makes it a better longterm value, too. I do love my santuko for fine slicing (like making carpaccio or sushi), but for me, it’s an add-on, not a replacement.

  29. 29
    Don says:

    In the face of a message from an actual user here I’d second the FU CU. When I sold camera gear in the late 80s they came out with a yea for one of the biggest pieces of SLR crap we sold, the Minolta, over several other brands. Although we loved it (those people with the CU article in their hands were the only ones who bought those things) it certainly made me question their methods and conclusions.

  30. 30
    demimondian says:

    I have both a santoku and a traditional chef’s knife (as well as a number 4 Chinese cleaver.) The only case why I find the santoku useful is for very fine slicing of thick but delicate material. The traditional chef’s knife is best for everything else — chopping herbs, etc.

  31. 31
    BSR says:

    Consumer Reports isn’t great at evaluating everything. Computers & electronics are some of their weak points. The stuff changes too much, and CR’s testing cycle isn’t quick enough. Most home products (large & small appliances, vacuums, etc…) are pretty well researched & reviewed, so I would trust the review of air filters.

    That said, everything I’ve bought at Sharper Image in the last 10 years (that is their own brand) has been an absolute piece of crap. I won’t buy their stuff any more if it’s a SI product. If it’s some other brand name I want, then I shop for price (and SI rarely wins). They used to have cool products, but now it seems to be mostly stupid electronic gadgets or personal health items.

    The price of the Ionic Breeze has to be driven up by the huge number of ads I see on TV for the thing. Anything hyped that much usually isn’t worth it. USA Today also had an article that questioned the effectiveness and safety of the Ionic Breeze. The ozone it outputs could be harmful to household members with asthma.

    Avoid the hype, check sites like epinions, and find a decent filter-based (yes, they still work) air-cleaner. Thank me later. ;-)

  32. 32
    DJ says:

    Fabulous choice. I have a large set of Henckel knives that live in a variation of the knife block on the site you listed. The one I use most (i.e. several times daily) is an 8″ French chef’s knife. It’s about 29 years old now and looks NEW. Get the top-of-the-line knives, take care of them, and they’ll last the rest of your life.

    Then, get a Lansky knife sharpener and use it per the instructions.

  33. 33
    Andrew says:

    I’ve used wustof, henckel, shun and global. Of the german knives I find henckel superior to wustof. However, after moving to the japanese knives (shun and global) I’m never going back. They are sharper out of the box and keep their edge much longer. Shun are probably a bit higher quality and the blades are forged in a way to make them look like a samuri sword. The globals are a little cheaper, easier to clean, but some may be turned off by their modern look.

    Buying a knife block is usually not the best way to go. I would suggest buying one large knife (either chef or santoku), a paring knife, a utility knife, a serrated knife (for bread and tomatos), and a boning knife (if and only if you do alot of work with chicken and fish carcasses). I also suggest going to an asian market and picking up a cheap meat cleaver (great for cutting through bone and hard squash).

    I also prefer the magnetic strip on the wall to the block. It takes up less counter space, and I think the knives retain their edge better.

  34. 34
    Catsy says:

    Regarding the price of a full set of CutCo knives, John, you don’t /need/ a full set. They cost about as much, if not a little more, than any other high-grade knife individually, but two or three of them will do everything the average home cook needs. We have a Trimmer and 9″ Carver, and those two knives are what we use about 75% of the time. Will last a lifetime; worth every penny.

    (I do not and have not ever sell CutCo knives. I do, however, think they’re the best knives I’ve ever used.)

  35. 35

    If you’ve got access to Costco, they have a great deal on Henckels. I’ve got this set, and they’re extremely sharp and hold an edge very, very well. The link wasn’t forming properly, so I’m simply going to paste the URL:


  36. 36

    For sharpening, I prefer anything ceramic for fine sharpening. I haven’t tried diamond. I’ve got a friend who swears by wetted 1000-grit sandpaper, though; he clamps it to a piece of old jalousy glass and sharpens by hand. He does his chisels and other wood-carving stuff that way, too. Ceramics suck for blades that are truly dull, though, so if you want to revive your existing knives I’d either invest in something with a coarser grit to start or have them professionally done.

    Oh, the Henckels set at Costco above is $170 for eight knives, the block and steel. I’ve looked around a lot and it’s by far the best deal on knives I’ve ever seen.

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