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Thoughts on Calphalon Knives

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by jetsrb32, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. jetsrb32


    Jun 4, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    What is your opinion on Calphalon Knife Sets? I am looking at this set specifically: Calphalon Simply Cutlery 18-pc. Knife Block Set

    Are they junk or a good value? This would be for your average household kitchen.

    I am also looking at the Victorinox/Forschner Fibrox handled stamped blades.

    Lets throw the Chicago Cutlery Insignia2 into the mix as well

    Which do you think is a better knife set / better value?

    Thanks :thumbup:
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  2. Benuser


    Nov 19, 2010
    A set of 18 pieces? You will use three, but pay for all of them. I would suggest a really good chef knife, and a simpler parer and bread knife. Victorinox is good value, as is Fujiwara FKM.
  3. Bernoulli


    Jun 15, 2007
    I have Calphalon pots and I really like them. I'd probably skip their knives. Victorinox is a cutler. Calphalon is a pot maker. My prejudice comes from working with other kitchen ware company's knives that have their knives made by an outside source. The old Chicago Cutlery knives were made in the U.S. and were good value. I'm told the new ones are made in China and aren't as good.

    VIctorinox is on everyone's list as the best value available. That said, I wouldn't buy a set unless uniformity is of major importance. I'd buy only the knives that I'd use a lot.
  4. bluntcut

    bluntcut KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 28, 2012
    Shoot from the hip - Calphy junk softy, Ditto Chicago. Victorinox ain't bad if it's under $100 but at 400+ bucks - you can do better. Get 2 good knives which you happy using them as well and cool to show off. Get a Miyabi 7000MC starter set for $200 at Cutleryandmore. They are san mai blade with zdp-189 core. Or start with a Zakuri at JKI or get an Richmond Addict 2 at ChefknivesToGo.

    You don't really need more than a chef + paring + cheap steak-set. If you are more into vegies, get a Gesshin Uraku.

    Be mindful that sharpening skills is more important than what/which knives you buy. Dull knife = car with flat tires, so don't let a pinto zoom past your new lamborg :p
  5. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Calphalon knives are doughy. Almost "sticky"-soft in that they cling to a butcher's steel. They are frustrating knives to say the least. An ex of mine's folks had a set and they absolutely refused to stay sharp. Touching them up was always a headache because the second you looked at them wrong the edge was rolled or just plain completely dull. And the geometries were thick.
  6. kalaeb


    Aug 4, 2012
    +1, well said
  7. looker


    Jun 4, 2007
    +1. I couldn't cut get it sharp enough to cut my way out of a paper bag.:barf:
  8. brooketroutejr


    Dec 17, 2014
    I purchased and fortunately was able to return a knife block set by Calphalon. One of the steak knives started rusting after on wash through the washer. I was told this would void my warranty and that I should purchase a rust removal product as if this would correct for their extremely poor craftsman ship and the knife would stop rusting. The quality of the steel if very low and the customer service should you need it is awful. DO NOT PURCHASE CALPHALON KNIVES!:mad:
  9. samuraistuart

    samuraistuart KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 21, 2006
    I had a Calphalon Santoku. I believe the steel was VG-1. I could get it sharp, but it quickly would go dull. Not a fan at all. Got rid of it.
  10. KSV26


    Nov 30, 2014
    Victorinox for sure. Take a look at the Victorinox with the Rosewood handles.
  11. Bhamster


    Mar 27, 2004
    Maybe you should step back a few feet and think of what sort of cooking tasks you do routinely and how you intend to treat the knife, washing sharpening etc.. A good sharp chefs knife or gyuto well maintained is a good place to start. Just decide on size and then acquire other tools for specific tasks. Kitchen knives are not like socket sets, it is more like a whole toolbox. The whole knife set in a wooden block is more often used for gifts and counter ornamentation then well used tools. As holders for knives go, the wooden blocks are kind of crappy as well. If you are convinced you need a whole set at once, then get any of the freshmen culinary student toolset packages from F.Dick or the like.
  12. Bazzle


    Dec 17, 2013
    Apologies to the guy that started the sentence "take a few steps back",. I personally hate when someone starts with that remark.
    I feel that for most home cooks a good santoku, boning, and pairing knife is in order. Most of us don't have a cutting board large enough to justify even a small chefs knife. Victoinox and a few others make a dandy versatile knife, it is serrated and the blade is rounded. It can be used to dice and chop like you would with a chefs knife. Famous in a lot of kitchens.
  13. homechef


    Jan 9, 2016
    I recently purchased a contemporary calphalon 17 pcs set and I love it. great balance, easy to align the secondary edge. I'm no pro but I can take the steel to them and have them easily shave hairs off of my arm. All but the steak knives are full forged from german steel and feel very nice in my hand. They perform very nice as well. For the price I am extremely happy. The reason these quality german steel knives are so affordable is that although the steel is german they are worked in china. I just purchased a 5 inch santoku and am waiting for the tomato/bagel knife to completely fill my block. I am a very happy customer with my set.
  14. homechef


    Jan 9, 2016
    I have a calphalon 17 pcs contemporary set. I use my chef's knife and and both of my 7 and 5 inch santoku knives as my go to knives. I also like to use my utility knife as a steak knife. and the bread knife obviously when cutting loaves of Italian bread or something of the like. I have not carved a turkey with my slicer knife yet but it will shave hair off of my arm so it is ready and waiting. I don't use the traditional steak knives much though. I like the german high carbon/stain resistant full forged knives better. It is nice to have options when needing a knife in the kitchen if you can afford it. I have always liked knives of all sorts so for me more is better.
  15. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    The mainstream German knives are not "full forged" anymore. They typically have bolsters forge welded to a strip of steel and then they are then die stamped to shape.
  16. SCBaldr

    SCBaldr Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 14, 2016
    When I was a professional cook, my workhorse was an 8" Victorinox hybrid chef's knife with the fibrox handle which was very thin bladed, held a very fine edge and lasted me years of day in-day out use doing everything that professional kitchens do with knives. I think I paid $40 for it. It turned out to be a terrific value.

    I always thought block sets were just there to make the companies that make them stupidly large profit margins. Even in a professional kitchen. I only had three knives that I used on a regular basis and that is only because I was doing some limited butchering too, if not for that, it would have been just two knives. The Victorinox I describe above did about 80% of my work. I had an Ontario Knife Co. 4" Paring knife in 1095 steel which did another 15% of my work, and then I had a Victorinox (only bought it because the chef's knife end up working out so well) butcher's knife with which I did my limited butchering. I had a DMT honing steel too. If you're looking for everything you need. I would say you only need three things, A Chef's knife, a Paring knife and a good honing steel.
  17. Fritz MacKrieg

    Fritz MacKrieg

    Jul 22, 2014
    Calphalon and Chicago Cutlery are to knives what Starbucks is to coffee. If you are okay with the mass produced low quality stuff, go for it! Otherwise, I recommend the Tojiro DP chef knife and petty knife, and Tojiro ITK bread knife. These three will cover 100% of your needs.
  18. flphotog


    Jul 10, 2014
    Not exactly true, not sure what you consider mainstream German but Henckels and Wusthof both make fully forged knives. They also make stamped knives which have some pluses and minus but the ones I just bought from Henckles are forged.
  19. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
  20. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    Their own factory tour videos and in the case of Wusthof, their own statements contradict you. The knives that you consider to be "full forged" have the bolster material forge welded to a long strip of blade steel and are the profile stamped to shape with big dies. The official Wusthof video even shows the blade steel being feed into the machinery from a big roll.

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