I've recommended them often enough, along with many around here, when the question is what low-cost bangforthebuck knife is recommended, so I really figured I ought to at least have one example to actually experience myself. Besides it will make a great little gift for someone who's never known much better than a Ginsu. Here is what $44'n change (my automatic bid beat the nearest bidder by $1) will get you shipped to your door from ebay:
Brand new 10" Victorinox Rosewood chef's knife
I played around quite a bit just to get this shot-quality, a little more with the next photo and got a better image, but this shows you pretty much what you get. How I feel about this knife:
What appears to be stabilized Rosewood, and just a bit lighter in color than it looks here. It's not the slender coffin-shape I prefer but I found it easy to adjust to. I understand a lot of pro-kitchen folk like this sort of handle. The NSF plastic handles that distinguish the Forschner from the Vic are about the same shape I believe, and it should be noted those can be had for half the price of the Vic Rosewood.
The belly has a slight curve to it, and though again I am not used to it, being partial to the flat Sabatier-like profile, it is a rather gentle curve and again as with the handle I found it took very little getting used. It makes sense that you could expect this from a knife that sees so much pro-kitchen use. 10 1/16" (255.5 mm) x 2 1/16" (52.4mm) at the heel, pretty tall and just 2.4mm too much width to fit my knife block.
Here I was pretty impressed. Width of the blade over the heal is a mid-weight 2.44mm, and there is a straight distal taper running right to the tip where it is a not so thin 1.2mm. You'd expect this though from a knife that typically sees rough use in pro environments.
What was impressive though is the thinness behind the edge. For a knife that can be had for $40 it's pretty good to see an edge thickness that is just .010" for most of the blades length. Grind is a V shape, and I was also impressed with the sharp this knife comes with. Just as is from the plastic sleeve it was shipped it easily did 1mm and less onion and tomato slices. Not surprisingly a paper test showed the edge to be a rather steep 15deg/side, as measured with my wedges.
The steel, "Victor Inox" in case you never noticed what the name actually stood for, I understand is the usual German stainless, X50CrMo or somesuchthing. I am guessing by the sheen and the ring it gives off when struck that it is tempered to the same 58RC or so of the typical Wusthof/Henkles stuff.
So after fooling some more with lighting and fiddling the buttons on my camera a bit I finally caught this which can just barely be made out (click on the pic to enlarge for a better view). The Exilim Pro is peerlesss in the price range for freezing motion and that is specifically why I chose it, but in terms of ordinary picture quality it pales a bit in comparison to a comparably priced Cannon or Nikon.
That distil taper I spoke of actually begins a good 1/2" behind the handle here, and you may want to consider filling it in with some epoxy, or superglue even, to prevent gunk collecting in there. Otherwise everything was smooth, flush and polished to a nice sheen. Though speaking of that sheen, maybe it was my imagination but it did seem to create some friction with the food at times. But breaking it with a fine stone, or Bon Ami cleanser and the like, will take care of that.
To sum up
Finally having one in hand I can say with some confidence now that Victorinox/Forschner are a very good value for the budget minded looking for starter knives. They may be a step down from Fujiwara and Tojiro, but they will please.
Edited by Rick Alan - 8/18/14 at 12:46pm