There are at least eight disadvantages to Cutco knives.
1)Inferior tempering. Cutco is stamped instead of forged. All best knives are forged (with the exception of Henckels Twinstar which is using a new technology called sintering) because forged knives make a better edge among other reasons. All the worst and cheapest knives are stamped because it is cheaper and easier. The forging process randomises the metal particles for a slightly tougher knife. It also permits the differing thicknesses of metal which is necessary for a heavy raised bolster between the knife handle and knife blade. Forged knives have more metal than stamped knives and thus are heavier. The forging process enables extra metal proportioning to give the knife perfect balance. Most prefer the weight of a forged knife. It feels heftier and more substantial. Forged knives generally are thicker, have more heft, hold an edge better, provide bolsters which brings better balance and safety, and obviously have been made with a lot more care and craftmanship. The forging process enhances the flexibility (making it less likely to snap to break), density, and hardness, and better solidifies the structure of a knife.
2)Steel. Cutco claims they use the highest quality steel money can buy. They call it high carbon surgical grade steel. While this is subjective Cutco uses 440A grade steel while most top of the line knives (which is where Cutco is priced at) uses 440C, which is higher in carbon. 440C is more expensive to make, buy, and manufacture with. 440C also makes a sharper edge, and holds it better. Because of it's grain structure 440C is also more stain resistant. And while 440C steel is generally only found in top of the line kitchen knives, 440A is often found in the cheaper, run of the mill type kitchen knives. Where they got the surgical grade label is beyond me, 440A steel doesn't have a regular grade and a surgical grade. When you think of surgical instruments you think sanitary, expensive, and high quality- it's just sales hype.
3)Lack of bolsters provides for inferior balance and less safety.
4)Double-D edge. Most cooking enthusiasts prefer a straight edge which the double-d is not and you cannot sharpen Cutco edges yourself whenever you please. Salespeople use the ol' rope a dope trick when giving a presentation because the serrated pattern cuts tougher objects better, but any chef or cooking enthusiast will tell you that kitchen knives are made to cut through food like meat, bread, and tomatoes- not rope or leather. For that a utility knife is best- and there's are plenty of utility knives that cut through rope and leather better than Cutco's.
Cutco's salespeople swear up and down double-d edges are neither straight, nor serrated but unique (don't all salespeople?). The Double-D edge is in fact another type of serrated edge. Cutco calls their serrated edge "Double D" just like Spyderco calls their serrated edges "Spyderedge." Except Spyderco isn't trying to fool anyone and markets their as a superior serration pattern while Cutco tries to claim theirs is different.
But anyone who knows anything about knives can tell you the ^^^^ pattern on the edge (take a look at the cutco.com website for an explanation and drawing, currently at: http://www.cutco.com/jsp/catalog/features.jsp ) makes it a serrated edge. The whole double-d thing is just hype like everything else about the knives. The Double-D edge is not patented and never was.
The problem with the serrated pattern is that it doesn't make a clean cut- little nicks and tears in the food is made. Serrated knives are generally only good for fibrous vegetables and bread- where it is needed. Cutco reps may claim that it makes a clean cut, but this is only true for cutting stuff you can press straight down on (like butter), but for things you need to slide the blade back and forth on (like meat) the teeth will tear it up. Serrated edges are also somewhat more difficult to clean.
As for sharpness, you may think they stay razor sharp but in reality only the crevices of the blade edge are. You see serrated edges like the Double-D's look like this: ^^^^^^ when contacting the food the points get worn down rather quickly but the crevices stay sharp, so it may seem like it is razor sharp but in reality only the crevices are. It can never be as sharp as a well maintained plain edge, the edge preferred by cooking enthusiasts and professionals. Maybe a serrated edge is better at cutting rope (the rope a dope trick), but the best kitchen knives are not made to cut through rope, they are made to make a good, clean cuts on food. Master chef Wylie Dufresne just recently told GQ magazine in their Sept '03 edition, "I have plenty of friends whose parents have Cutco in a knife block. You pull them out and they're all as dull as can be."
Other knives you can sharpen yourself whenever you want, but with Cutco knives you need Cutco to sharpen them for you. I will refer you once again to Cutco's own website: at cutco.com, currently here: http://www.cutco.com/jsp/customer/guarantee.jsp
"For resharpening of Double-D[emoji]174[/emoji] or straight-edged knives, send them along with a return shipping and handling fee of $5.00 (1-3 items) or $8.00 (4 or more items) to the CUTCO address below."
You have to pay for them to be sent in and sent back all the while without your knives. I've heard of representatives of the company coming out and sharpening them for you, but this is by no means guranteed to happen so there is obviously good reason they don't state this on their website.
5)Handles. Of course this is subjective but the handles are different from any of the others and some people find them uncomfortable (especially those with extremely large or small hands since they were designed for the average hand), some others find them dorky looking and wouldn't want to set them out on the dinner table. Sure the handles were designed to be comforable- all handles are designed that way! And like all good salepeople, Cutco even has a good story to tell about it. That doesn't mean they actually ARE comfortable. Consumer Reports, the leading consumer magaine, also found the handles to be uncomfortable. The handles are made of what Cutco call "Thermoresin" and thermo=heated and resin=plastic, injection molded plastic is the absolute cheapest material cost and method possible. And the type of plastic the handles are made out of, celluloid plastic, is highly nitrated and self-oxidizing like the gun cotton in smokeless gun powder (to a lesser extent) thus highly flammable- not good for a kitchen knife. Although the rivots are made of what they call "nickel-siver", there is no silver in them. They call it nickel-silver because it has a silver color to it. The handles have no current patent on them, other companies could copy them but choose not to. Wear Ever cookware had handles designed by the same person in the 30's and 40s, they have since dumped this design.
6)Corrosion. Many people (including Consumer Reports magazine) believe that Cutco blades corrode a little easier than most. Consumer Reports seemed to hint that it may have to do with the type of metal used, polishing, or coating.
7)Restrictions when buying. Since you can only buy from a Vector rep, you are forced to select your rep with care because a flock of amateur sales reps can and will include a range from the best professionals through the worst rip off artists.
8)Price. Many will agree that Cutco is not best for commercial use but it is priced for commercial use. You can get a 7 piece block of top of the line hand-forged, bolstered, well balanced Wusthof-Trident Grand Prix for $249. A similar set of Cutco can easily run you $300-$400. Tramontina Professional is supposed to be the best value having the same features as the best knives but at about 1/3 the price. There may also be hidden costs added (such as shipping & handling, C.O.D., sales tax, etc.) that make the actual price much higher that the displayed and originally discussed price.
Cutco is sold at prices very similar to knives that are top of the line yet are not as good as them in almost every way except they do have comparable rockwell hardness, are full tang, and have a good guarantee. I wouldn't spend my hard earned money on guarantees though and the other qualities you can find in much cheaper knives.
The average household has very cheap, low quality knives that generally only last 5-15 years. So when they hear there is a forever guarantee it becomes the main selling point. What they don't know is all knives in that price range are built to last a lifetime and with proper care they definately will. The only way they won't is if you abuse them, which Cutco's guarantee doesn't even fully cover. Also, in case it doesn't last a lifetime, many top of the line knives carry a lifetime guarantee.
Cutco's money back guarantee is for 15 days. Most large retail chains like Sears and Walmart carry a 30 day money back satisfaction guarantee. The forever guarantee is nice, but a couple nitpicks: "Should you damage your CUTCO through misuse or abuse, we will replace the item for one half of the current retail price." it needs to be sent in to Cutco "with an explanatory note" and Cutco is the sole determinor of what is misuse or abuse (such as chipping your knife), also the "guarantee is intended solely for consumer/in-home use." Don't believe me? Check out the Cutco website yourself: http://www.cutco.com/jsp/customer/guarantee.jsp
I you are looking for the guarantee, Henckels Twinstar and Messermeister (among many others) both offer similar lifetime warrantees and are of better quality (in many people's opinions). If you must have the best kitchen knives available, Wusthof Trident Grand Prix is highly regarded as the best kitchen knives money can buy and the prices are similar to Cutco's. If you are looking for brand name, Henckels is considered the #1 selling brand in the world, been in business since 1731, and they will replace their twinstar knives that have a "diamond edge" with new ones if they get dull. For the best value, you can find high quality, forged, full tang knives with bolsters at a very reasonable price (about 1/3 that of Cutco's) you might want look into the Tramontina Professional Series which is regarded as the best value in the knife industry. If you don't want to spend very much money on knives, the Forschner Victoronox is made by the same people who make Swiss Army Knives and considered the best of the very cheap kitchen knives. If you don't want to sharpen your knives, you might want to look at the Regent Sheffield Infinity Edge or Henckels Twinstar depending on how much you want to spend. Most retail stores have a 30-day money back guarantee.
My opinion is that Cutco is not worth their price and I'm sure most professionals would agree. In fact you would have great difficulty finding one culinary arts school, master chef, or knife expert that recommends this brand. Norman Weinstein, a nationally recognized knife skills instructor who's taught since 1995 at the Institute of Culinary Education was quoted by the Baltimore Sun newspaper as saying "Why, why, would you buy such a knife?" http://www.thecomplaintstation.com/c...picID=00034515
Cutco is able to sell their knives at such a high price because they are being sold to people by their sons, nephews, and granddaughters (basically people who care for them and trust them, or their friends, and know very little about knives). Consumersearch.com looked over all the professional reviews available and while 11 professionals liked Wusthof Trident the best, only one liked Cutco and that one only liked Cutco compared to other stamped knives: http://www.consumersearch.com/www/ki...fullstory.html
The bottom line is that no brand or set is best for everyone and you should check them all out and compare to decide which is best for your needs, wants, and preferences. The retail store is probably the best place to do this, unfortunately Cutco is not sold there.
I agree, Cutco is crap, but I have some issues with other of Smithy's explanations.
This statement confuses forging and tempering. Forging is a shaping process accomplished through heat and applied pressure (hammering). It also works out a few impurities. In hand cast steel, forging didn't randomise things but improved the crystal lattice. In comparison toI modern casting methods (one of which is sintering and the most prevalent for quality steels) forging does not create as good a metal pattern. Randomness in the crystal lattice of steel is where breaks and other flaws from impurities form. You want long clean lattices. Tempering also affects lattices, not just forging.
Stainless Steel is terrible to forge and very rarely is it actually fully forged. What you see now is a "drop-forged" term. Somewhat different animal and an automated one at that. This is also only a profile process. The rest of the process is the same as stock removal.
Tempering is a heat and time process that sets the chosen compromise between toughness and brittleness. Ideally this includes a cryo quench in high-quality steels. The selected tempering is critical to the final quality of the knife. It is true that Cutco has a poor temper, but mostly because 440A is a poor steel for this purpose. It's very rust resistant and is popular for dive knives however. Cutco having a poor corrosion record with this steel is another sign of cut corners.
Stamping/cutting. Stamping is certainly a cheaper method. Really good steels don't take to stamping. But modern technology changes this argument too with the introduction of the stock removal method of crafting knives. And really high end knives and cheap ones are produced this way. Stamping is a 2D forming method that knocks out the knife profile in a thinnish piece of bar stock. Good steels are laser cut for profile. In both cases, the stock removal method then grinds the stock for the primarly edges and secondary edges as well as drilling for screws or pins. Then comes the tempering. Final edge and polish and handle mounting. For stainless steel, this is the only economically feasible approach and modern steels make this more reliable a product for a set level of quality.
Most of the high end kitchen knives don't tell you what they use. Based on price and the RC of the finished product, I don't think they're 440C. Most kitchen knives are tempered to about 56 RC (Rockwell hardness scale), about the same as Cutco. That's pretty soft for a knife. 440C will go appreciably higher up to 59-60 for a much better performing blade for not much more cost.
440C is not more stain resistant. 440A has .65-.75% carbon and 16-18% Chromium. 440C has .95-1.2% carbon and the same Chromium. The higher carbon of 440C promotes more rust (and also the support for a higher temper). It's not grain structure.
But there are many better stainless steels than 440C for a kitchen knife if you really want the best. Take a look at S30V.
I'm not sure where you're going with this statement. I think it's more of a personal opnion for what people like. I happen to strongly dislike the full blade width bolster and you like it, or at least some forms of it.
From a knife perspective, bolsters have very little function beyond aesthetics. They can be part of a balance design, but it's better to run a tapered tang for balance and strength purposes.
Anyway, stock removal supports easy incorporation of bolsters so it's not the stock removal method that's the problem for bolsters. Additionally, many good knives have bolsters added later of a cheaper metal for ease of manufacture and cost savings.
If the safety claim is for some protection from riding up on the sharp edge of the knife, the dropped edge of the kitchen knife design already performs that task. If you have another perspective on how a bolster adds safety, I'm interested in hearing it.
Good info Phatch,
Besides S30V, the VG-10 some Japanese knives like Global use is a bit more advanced too. From what I understand about tempering, heating and cooling are not the only factors involved. The technique pressure is applied such as that in forging is another. Of course the pressure and forming technique and craftsmanship aren't the only reasons professionals and experts almost always prefer forged. The thickness, heft, and balance of forged (or sintered) blades give them a tremendous advantage because that is what cooking professionals and enthusiasts like. GQ magazine did a kitchen knives review in Sept of last year that included what the knives weighed in at. Out of Henckels 5-Star, Global, Wustof, Cutco, and Kyocera chef's knives the only knife lighter than Cutco was Kyocera, the only knife not made of steel but ceramic instead. The blade on Cutco is thinner and more flimsy, and the lack of heft makes it feel like less quality. Bolsters not only keep you hand from slipping onto the blade (something a dropped edge, which isn't on all types of knives, doesn't cover as well) it also provides weight in a specific area for designed for better balance. Hollow handles like that on Global's can also give better balance.
Cutco knives are actually excellent. They feel great in the hand and are deadly sharp. I find them enjoyable to use. The best thing is to see the knives in person and have a demonstration. I got mine years ago and they hold up like champs. They benefit (as all knives do) from a quick sharpening between 2nd or 3rd uses.
i am wondering about this "balanced" knife bit ... what is it??
given a certain size for a handle, are we talking about if you put the
knife on a finger just behind the bolster the knife will lay horizontally??
if so, by definition, NO paring knife will be balanced, it will be handle heavy.
and how much will a handle have to weigh to balance a forged 10" chef's
blade?? unless it is very heavy, NO handle can balance such a large blade,
or else the whole knife would feel like it weighs a ton. and what about
chinese cleavers? no balance at all but a chinese chef can use that blade and out-cut, out chop, out-slice just about anyone!! and guess what ... chinese cleavers have NO bolsters, NO rivets in the handle, and NO full
tang construction! so 250 million (or so) chinese chefs are using inferior knives and don't know it?
This is a rebuttal to the eight disadvantages of Cutco. To be completely honest with everyone, I am a veteran Cutco representative. It was my job to answer these objections to Cutco. I have, however, NEVER been dishonest with a customer or anyone concerning Cutco.
1)Forged knives are generally thicker and heavier. While this may be the preference of chefs, Cutco is made for the average family. Women usually dislike heavy knives, and every woman I’ve ever seen with Wusthof or a high grade Henckels has preferred the weight of Cutco. True, the worst and cheapest knives are stamped, but that does not mean Cutco is the worst or cheap. There are plenty of terrible, much more expensive knives that are forged. When the weight matters, however, such as in a cleaver or an ice cream scoop, Cutco takes the time to thicken the metal, and add more substance to the tool. As for flexibility, all you would have to do is compare the blade of Cutco to a forged blade, and it is very easy to tell Cutco is much more flexible. There is a balance of hardness and flexibility, which is due to the steel used and heat treating process. Forged is simply traditional, not necessarily superior.
2)There is no noticable significant difference between 440A and 440C steel. There are multiple types of “surgical grade” steel, so I will admit that describing Cutco as surgical grade is obscure at best, but here’s something interesting. The following is a short list of hospitals that have used Cutco, specifically because of its withstanding edge, sanitary nature, and corrosion resistance, to cut HUMAN TISSUE:
Los Robles Hospital, CA
Northside Hospital, CA
St Joseph’s Hospital
Egleston Children’s Hospital
Athens General Hospital
Milledgeville State Hospital
3)Bolsters are purely traditional. Proper weigh proportion in the steel provides the same balance and stability. This is, of course, based on preference.
4)I’ve never said that a Cutco knife is not serrated, although I’m sure some reps do. It may be or not be depending on how broad a definition of serrated you are quoting. I believe it is more accurate to call the edge recessed. As a recessed edge, the points are SUPPOSED to wear down. They keep the inside of the edge sharp. Talk to Cutco owners who have owned their knives for 10 or 15 years without sharpening them, and see what they say about the edge. Also, try cutting through any food with a Double-D edge, even one that is decades old, and then say it does not cut clean and strait. These are things, of course, that I cannot prove in words, which is one of the reasons why Cutco is demonstrated, not boxed and placed on shelves. As for the sharpening, every set of Cutco comes with a hand-held sharpener for the strait edge knives in the set. The Double-D’s can be sent back to the factory. Most of the time, however, there is a local office that will pay a representative to go to a customer’s home and sharpen the double-d edges with a service sharpener. Representatives often ask specifically to be a part of this, because without prompting, most Cutco owners buy more Cutco every chance they get. My point in all this, talk specifically to a Cutco owner who has had the product for a while. I personally have sent my own Cutco back just to see the process. I wrapped the blades in cereal box board and shipped them in a flat rate box. I was without it for about 8 days and the total cost came to about $12. They came back in perfect condition.
5)You are right, Smithy. This is completely subjective. Again, talk to a Cutco customer. As far as Consumer Reports, Cutco has been rated a best buy several times, so if they did find them uncomfortable, everything else about the knife must have been pretty **** impressive. Again, I never say the handles are not plastic, but I do say they are not polypropylene, which is what even expensive knife makers usually make their handles from. The material is in no way comparable to gun powder. That’s a gross exaggeration. The material will melt before exploding, and the temperature would have to be well over 300F for even that. The specific type of nickel silver used by CUTCO is called “Type 65-18,” “18% nickel silver,” or “German silver.” It is an
excellent material to use because of its attractive color, its ability to resist staining or tarnishing under adverse conditions normally found in the kitchen. The chemical composition of nickel silver is:
The metal silver is not found in nickel silver rivets. The term “silver” in the name nickel silver
refers to the color of the rivets. It is extensively used for architectural purposes where beauty and corrosion resistance are important.
6)Again, I could tell you this is untrue, but please, just talk to a Cutco customer who has owned their Cutco for several years. I personally have never seen Cutco corrode or rust. I have, however seen mineral deposits from cheap dishwasher detergent. This is unavoidable and easily removed with an oxidizer like Bar Tender’s Friend.
7)There are multiple ways to buy Cutco. Go to the website and request a catalogue, or find a local office. Mary Kay is also direct sales and I’ve never heard someone describe them or any other as disadvantaged.
8)Cutco is expensive. Period. However, you pay for more than knives. Prank call Cutco customer service and tell them you broke your Cutco knife. Cutco has incredible customer service, and they will handle just about any problem you might encounter with kitchen knives. As far as the misuse and abuse clause, this is merely to protect the company from replacing the same knife thirty times because someone’s son likes to throw it into walls or cut down trees. If you break a Cutco tool, the company will most likely replace it for free if you send it back to them. The half-price replacement is for obviously abused knives, such as ones broken into multiple pieces or melted down in a fire and reformed into a statue of Mickey Mouse. The guarantee for Henckels and Wusthof is two pages long and requires very specific types of malfunctions for a tool to qualify.
Also, Cutco supports multiple charitable organizations, and donates hundreds of thousands towards education. The marketing company responsible for Cutco is called Vector. Everyone in Vector starts as a sales representative and works their way up. No one is promoted without putting incredible effort into their business, and several major business men in America, as well as several important people in history have been a part of that process and commented on how it has added to their character and drive. The criticisms you hear about Cutco and Vector are often from lazy sales reps who don’t understand why they don’t get paid for doing nothing, like they would in most teenage targeted jobs. It is not a scam. It is not a terrible product. Talk to any Cutco owner or sales rep that has been with the company longer than a month, and you will hear the same.
Thank you for reading, and I hope that you find the moral of all this to be that everything is speculation. Try it out for yourself. Decide for yourself.
I'm not sure where to begin. There is so much mis-information, non-information, false information, and extraneous information that the subject has become overwhelmingly complicated.
Let's start with the bottom line:
1) Cutco knives are good for some people. They aren't good knives for a serious cook.
Now let's move on to some specifics:
1) Not all Cutco knives have a "Double D," edge. Specifically, the chef's knife does not. This means the chef's knife will get dull, and for a number of reasons including the edge geometry and the quality of steel employed by Cutco, will dull rather quickly.
Since most people have little experience with using actual sharp knives, this may not be a big issue. In fact, most Cutco owners will begin using the Double D edges for all purposes. The Double D edge is essentially a saw blade with a wide set. It does not cut a clean, narrow kerf. However, it does cut. Compared to most knives in most people's homes this is an improvement. Compared to an actually sharp knife, it's an insult.
For the sake of clarity, I define "sharp" as an edge width less than 3/1000", with a good degree of trueness (that is, the edge is not rolled over, or waved).
2) Forged vs Stamped: Forged knives are not inherently better than stamped knives. Some of the best knives in the world are stamped.
All but a few Globals (which BTW I don't consider to be all that great as knives) are stamped.
Alas, Cutcos are not among the best knives in the world either. But they hold up to a lot of abuse. For someone who is content to use a serrated steak knife for all kitchen purposes -- theyre' a real step up. At least you get something the right length.
3a) Steel Types: 440A, 440C, "most good stainless knives," "surgical steel," VG-10, etc.: There's so much BS in this thread from a couple of people, I'm not sure how deeply to go into this to clarify it.
Let's start with "surgical steel," "Surgical steel" is a degree of stain resistance. It has nothing to do with the quality of the steel as it relates to sharpness. "Surgical" sounds sharp, but it's pure hype. The comments about hospital use are misleading also. Human tissue yes, but in path and the morgue. Cutcos can hit bone and keep on going. Swell.
I don't want to delve too deeply into the relative differences between 440A and other 440 series steels. But, for our purposes, they have to do with the ability to put on, maintain, and retain an edge. This isn't really an issue with Cutco knives, because they were never truly sharp to begin with. They were only effective saws -- and they stay that way for a long time. If you want to saw an onion instead of chopping it, fine. If you want to make thin slices of fish, you're SOL ("bit out of luck").
Global knives are not made from VG-10 (which is a pretty good grade of stainless), but from a steel they call Chromova 18. S30V is an interesting steel, but not as advanced as some of the Swedes like 13C26 and AEB-L. Like the other Crucible SXV series steels S30V is difficult to sharpen.
Almost all mass-produced, forged German, Swiss, and American (i.e., Lamsonsharp) knives are made from two types of steel -- either X45CrMoV, and more recently with X50CrMoV. They aren't made from 440C. I'm not sure why, but I get the feeling that people are throwing names and terms around without knowing much about therm. I could be wrong.
Greeny referred to "Bar Tender's Friend," he meant "Bar Keeper's Friend." BKF is a polish, BTF is a drunk.
3b) Hardening, tempering, and other steel treatments: This is a big part of why otherwise identical steel formulations perform differently. I don't want to get into what I know about this -- which isn't very much anyway. However, I do want to say that "hardness," which is a quality you frequently see quantified as as Rockwell Hardness Number (like HRc56 for instance) is highly overrated and misunderstood. The most important qualities in knife steel are toughness, strength, edge holding, and ability to take an edge. Of these, "strength" is related to hardness. Strength is resistance to deformation. Toughness is the relationship of ductility to brittleness. That is, how far will it bend before it tears or breaks.
"Hardness" in the way knife sellers use it (Rockwell Hardness), is a measurement of the steel's ability to resist a permanent dimple when a sharp awl is pushed into it. Not something you do a lot of.
4) Bolsters: Bolsters are nice if you like bolsters. With wooden handles, they're helpful for keeping food out the handle, but not essential. Handles are very personal, but Cutco handles are actually pretty good handles IMO. Most good synthetic handles are made from a material called POM. Dishwasher safety is not an issue, because no good knife should ever go in the dishwasher.
Smithy confuses "bolsters" with "finger guards," which are often attached to bolsters -- frequently by sintering. Not all bolstered knives have finger guards, and it's quite possible for a user's hand to slide forward and into the heel -- if the user doesn't use a proper grip.
GQ is not a good source for information on knives. Neither is Consumer Reports. Cooks' Illustrated is iffy. Your best source of information is someone who knows enough about cooking, knives and is willing to consider your specific needs. I can almost guarantee you that my favorite chef's knife, a 40 year old carbon Sabatier, is the wrong knife for you. But anyone who says it's not a great knife for me, is wrong. This is one time the net pays off. Listen to Phil.
5) Balance: Balance is as balance does. People like different balance points -- some like balance forward (towards the tip), and some like balance back. Some like a different balance for different purposes, and some people don't care very much.
Usually, we say a knife is "balanced" if the balance point is near where the user grips with thumb and forefinger. The question of grip leads inexorably to the thought that some people have good knife technique and some people don't. Good technique and a sharp edge are far more important than the cost, shape, length, steel, or any other quality of the knife. Sharp wins every time.
This also leads to the advice, "go to a local knife store and try the knife before you buy." Surprisingly, you usually don't learn that much from pretending to chop for two minutes. Weight and handle familiarity become over important. It takes about a week to know if you like the feel of a knife, and two or three sharpen, sue, maintain, dull, sharpen cycles before you get a real feel for the quality of the steel.
Most of today's professional cooks with good knife skills prefer fairly light knives over heavier ones. This is a lot of the reason Japanese knives are pushing Germans out of pro kitchens. Some very good knives are fairly flexible. Misono UX-10, MAC Pro, and so on.
6) Sintering: While there are some exotic, modern forms of sintering, sintering itself has been around forever. Nothing new about it. I'm not sure which techniques Smithy meant.
7) Knife Sets: When we're talking Cutco, we're solidly in the realm of "knife sets." Not necessarily a good thing. In fact, usually not. Some knives are good for some purposes, but not others. Cutco makes a decent steak knife, for instance -- if you like a serrated steak knife. Their chef's knife, in the greater scheme of things, truly sucks.
If price is an issue, it's helpful to have very high quality for the knives you use most often, but not such a big deal for the knives you seldom use.
8) Kuan -- don't save the post for the archives. Please.
9) Bottom line agan: VlogLady, Cutco knives are good for people who find knife maintenance impossible and don't really care about using high-performing knives. People who think, "As long as it cuts consistently -- it's cool." This is by no means unreasonable. Very few "serious" cooks find them attractive, but plenty of other people do. If you're considering purchasing a set for yourself, you need to analyze your needs and your willingness to go the expense and/or trouble of properly maintaining some other type of better knife. A dull $250 Masamoto won't cut an onion any better than a Cutco steak knife.
Start another thread, and you'll get lots of help from knowledgeable people. Do me a favor and talk about yourself, how you cook, how tall you are, whether you have big hands, how you hold a knife, whether you know how to sharpen, whether you're willing to learn, how much you're willing to spend ... etc. You see, not only is there no one right knife for everyone, there's no one right knife for you -- just a few best choices. The more we know the more we can help you limit you consideration to knives you can afford and will enjoy.
Did you look at the dates? Greeny went on a dig for cutco and is a rep trying to improve people's searches on the product. A slightly polite form of spam.
As to the whole hospital issue, it's probably the same as the ads for pain releivers. Manufacturers heavily discount sales to hospitals so they can claim they're the meds in use. Hospitals buy based on price for lots of OTC options. It's all a marketing scam.
No. I didn't look for dates. My egotistical self image as a knife sachem was too overwhelming. How embarrassing. :blush: But hey, if one person is saved. It won't have been in vain. (There's NO way I'm going to pull this out, is there?)
Yes it is. And as I said, they're in path and the morgue. Cutco has its place. But not in my kitchen.
My name is izbnso and I have a problem. I bought a Cutco knife. :blush: The shame, the shame, please don't tell anyone. I bought it from the neighborhood kid who I didn't know well enough to give a graduation check to, but got guilted into it because it was his summer job to help pay for his living expenses at college. It is still in the box it came in, way in the back of the cabinet.
I know, I know I should have just given him cash and told him to forget the sales pitch, but if my husband can buy light bulbs in bulk from the disabled vets I can throw our money away on crappy kitchen tools in the name of higher education.