I don't have the NECI issued kit... they let you get your own if you want... but from what I've seen, I'm pretty sure its a mixture. The French knife is pretty hefty and I suspect is forged. Some of the other knives are definately stamped... the bread kinfe, for example... but do you really need a fordged bread kife? Probably not. Some of the knives are really quite crap... the school issued fillet is a tragedy. Most of the students end up suplementing their kits with different things they happen to like. There's rather a lot of students usuing Japanese style vegeable knives these days. Most of our chef instructors still have and use (day-to-day) their forshners from back in the day. I have a Mac french knife and I think its about the greatest thing EVER. Everybody's so jealous, even the chefs. Given the chance, buy your own stuff, and buy most of it as cheap as you can... things get lost. I've gone through three pair of tongs already, and my bench knife got all bent and I had to get a new one.