Finding the right kitchen knives for various food preparation tasks can be a chore. For example, it’s difficult and indeed rather embarrassing, not to mention dangerous, to try and peel certain vegetables with a steak or bread knife. That’s why any kitchen where good food is made with regularity needs a quality knife set which will cater for all possible cutting requirements. As a frequent cook myself, albeit one who is far from being considered expert, I appreciate the various kitchen tools that make preparing food easier and safer for all concerned.
The Chicago Cutlery brand of kitchen utensils and equipment has long impressed me and one of their products in particular has received high praise from many quarters and is thus an item I want to review in more detail so you can get a good idea of the benefits this Fusion 18-piece kitchen knife set which comes with its open maple wood block can bring to your kitchen and cooking arena.
High-carbon stainless steel blades
One of the features which set these knives apart from other sets is the material with which the blades are made. High carbon stainless steel is a metal alloy which has slightly higher amounts of carbon than average steel. This can range from 0.6% carbon all the way to a full 1%. The benefit of this higher than usual carbon to steel ratio is the added strength given to the metal as a whole and thus makes the knife blades even better at cutting through any type of food. Extra strength is gained through the ability of carbon to further solidify the structures in the steel and the same high ratio is also used in 85% of steel equipment we use every day of our lives in America.
Stainless steel is a very familiar metal to all of us and most metal utensils in the average kitchen are made from this material. As the name suggests, the steel is less susceptible to staining due to the chromium (usually about 10.5% of the complete metal) which helps to prevent stains. However, one slightly unfortunate side effect of a higher carbon stainless steel is the extra chance of corrosion. That said, this can easily be rectified with regular oiling which will keep the knives in great condition. One can use ordinary cooking oil to achieve this and make sure the knives are thoroughly dried before returning to the maple block.
Chicago Cutlery knife construction
The fusion 18-piece knife set is one of the best designed collections of knives I’ve seen for a long time and as an Interior Designer, I’ve seen a lot in my work. As with all good knives, the blades extend all the way through the handle and are held solidly in place by ultra-secure rivets. The handles are specially design poly-grips which provide both comfort when cutting and good traction so your hands are never in danger of slipping. It is wise to make sure your hands are not wet when cutting foods however.
The high carbon in the stainless steel, as mentioned previously, means the act of cutting into the food, whether, meat, bread or cheese, is made ever so much easier and less pressure and force is required. This also makes the process safer and prevents strains and accidents often associated with poorly designed kitchen utensils.
Best designed kitchen knives
Another factor which makes these knives such an attractive purchase is their aesthetic design. They are sleek, modern and stylish which means they will contribute to the overall décor and ambiance of the kitchen interior where they are placed. The honey maple wood (also available in natural bamboo) adds extra charm and will compliment various existing design schemes. One small drawback that previous buyers have noted is the arrangement of the knives when stored in their wood block. In some cases, the knives don’t quite line up with one another and this has been commented on. That said, it’s not detracted from the raving reviews and multiple 5 stars given to the product on Amazon.
The Chicago Cutlery knife set includes:
- 7.75″ chef knife
- 7″ Santoku (slice, dice, chop and mince)
- 8″ Slicer
- 3.5″ Parer
- 3″ Peeler (generally known as a Lancashire peeler)
- 7.75″ Bread
- 5″ Partoku (smaller than the Santoku, combines the convenience of a paring knife with the versatility of the Santoku)
- 5″ Utility
- 4.25″ Steak (8 of these)
Plus there is a special sharpening tool.
Knives come with taper grind edge technology
These Chicago cutlery knives come with even more benefits, namely the taper grind edge technology which makes cutting even easier than regular high-carbon stainless steel knives. So what exactly is this taper grind edge technology and why is it important?
A knife of this type has a blade that decreases in size from the handle to the tip and from the top or spine of the knife to the bottom or cutting edge of the blade. The blade is made from just one sheet of metal and has been ground on one or two sides so that the blade tapers smoothly from the spine to the cutting edge without a bevel or fluted edge. This means the tapered blade is more stable and sharper thus making it capable of withstanding more cutting action than more regular knives. As one buyer put it, this design makes cutting through a potato as easy as cutting through butter.
Buying the knife set
I like to buy online and I have done for many years. I’m not one for shopping in real stores with all the leg-work involved and I find it so much easier to compare prices on the internet and discover good deals. When buying cutlery and kitchen tools myself, I check a variety of online locations and I have done this too with this 18-Piece Knife Set. Again and again, Amazon comes out as the cheapest option and the best value for money with their fast and secure delivery system.
You’ll also want to read previous buyer’s reviews which can be found on the product page here: Chicago Cutlery Fusion 18-pc Block Set.