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Unbelievably inexpensive but very good chef knife set!

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by tomthebaker, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. tomthebaker

    tomthebaker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    First, a little bit about me. I am a professional chef, trained at the French Culinary Institute in 1987:eek: Now I own an artisan bread bakery, and do most of my gourmet cooking in my home kitchen. I'm a sharp-edge geek. Always have been Love Busse Combat group, and rarely post outside of that forum. I'm pretty much a knife snob. Always used German steel, except for my Chinese cleaver. Haven't used much in the way of Japanese style blades, but I appreciate them. I just already had all my gear before they were popular here.

    I was shopping in the local (Walmart owned) Sam's club for some bakery supplies. Normally, I would never consider shopping for knives in such a pedestrian place, but a collection caught my eye. Damascus. What, is that real? I looked closer, and it was a set of VG10 core knives, with damascus overlay, and wood laminate handles. $99.00. Must be something wrong with them! Tramontina brand?

    I looked more closely. Japanese style handles, thin, Japanese style blades. Bolstered handles. Chef's knife (8"), Santuko type, utility knife (one of by favorites, esp. for shallots, garlic and mushrooms, and sadly missing from many "sets" of knives) and a nice size (not too small) paring knife. I looked even more closely. Is that a convex edge? On a box set of kitchen knives? Bonus! I won't have to re-do an obtuse edge to get something sharp!

    Now, I looked over the box, "made in China." Not really confidence-inspiring, but hey, VG10 heat-treat protocols are simple and well-published. Should be a no-brainer even for the Chinese manufacturers.

    I checked Amazon for prices. NO Tramontina Damascus. I Googled Tramontina Damascus. Nothing. Sam's club exclusive? must be new, because Google didn't even pick it up on the Sam's Club website.

    After I brought them home last week, I have been using them exclusively at home. Excellent edge retention, for stainless. Lots of cutting meat and chopping vegetables, and I haven't needed to strop them at all. The only downside I can see, is that if you are used to using a steel to bring the edge back on your kitchen knives, you will be much better off transitioning to a strop for these convex edge blades. The thinner Jap. style blades are a no-go for chicken bones or frozen foods, but I have a cleaver for such work.

    I paid around 150 or more each for some similar Japanese damascus-over-VG10 knives as gifts for my bakery manager in the last 3 years, and they are now selling at over 200 each. Value. Quality. Style. I am really impressed with these.

    Crappy phone pics (yeah!)

    in the included drawer block:


    On an appropriately dirty cutting block:




  2. Ta2warrior


    Aug 11, 2012
    Wow... Tramontina. I have a few of their machete's, if it is the same company from Brazil. Very good price. In a few months, let us know how they've held up :thumbup:
  3. kalaeb


    Aug 4, 2012
    Not gonna lie, it drives me nuts that you guys can drop the amound of green that you do on hunters, daggers and bowies, but bargain hunt the knives used the most, the kitchen knife. Lol. Are you sure it did not say vg-1?

    Happy cutting.
  4. Ta2warrior


    Aug 11, 2012
    I bargain hunt everything, but like all things, must eventually pay what something is worth, sale or not. This is a great price. Heck I still use my Old Hickory set.. along with my Shun's, Akifusa's, and other high end kitchen knives.
  5. Hard H2O

    Hard H2O

    Aug 10, 2007
    My favorite kitchen knives are my Tramontina white handled cheapies I got at Sam's Club.

    Now as a Costco member I miss the selection of kitchenware i could get from Sam's Club.
  6. Skeptikos


    Aug 17, 2009
  7. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    My son's got a Tramontina Santoku. A very simple one with a wooden handle. Looks and feels kind of cheap. Takes and holds a great edge.
  8. Brew-Jitsu


    Oct 22, 2012
    Never heard of 'em, but these look nice, so long as they hold up...


    Feb 11, 2006
    These knives are made in Eastern China . I also import them .
  10. tomthebaker

    tomthebaker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2005
  11. Ta2warrior


    Aug 11, 2012
    How do you like them so far?
  12. tomthebaker

    tomthebaker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    They are just fine. As expected, the thin stainless blades don't hold an edge forever, buta quick stropping brings them right back. Also, I have been successful so far in preventing the household females from running them through the dishwasher.
  13. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    Hunters, daggers and bowies? How about what some pay for FACTORY folders and fixed blades?!?!?!?!?:eek:
  14. FTR-14c

    FTR-14c Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 24, 2011
    I checked Sam's Club on line and could not find them.
    What a bummer, I would snatch those up in a second.
  15. tomthebaker

    tomthebaker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    I don't know why they don't show up online. They have them in Tulsa, maybe the store could help you? Their ## (918) 627-1443
  16. Ta2warrior


    Aug 11, 2012
    Awesome to hear! Thanks for the update. I'm going to get a set for sure.
  17. franzb69


    Dec 6, 2012
    amazon has them
  18. TheVerge


    Mar 2, 2013
    Bump! These are on clearance for 39 bucks right now. There had hundreds of sets at my local SAMs. Granted, I'm 18 miles from the corporate headquarters, but what a steal. Can't wait to put an edge on these.
  19. FTR-14c

    FTR-14c Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 24, 2011

    I would love a set. If you are in the area and pick one up for me I will cover all costs.
    My e-mail is [email protected]
  20. tomthebaker

    tomthebaker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    Wow! They dropped the price to $59 in Tulsa 2 weeks ago. $39? That's insane. I'll have to get some for gifts.

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