210 of 212 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Set for College Kitchen
I am absolutely in love with this Chikara set. The first compliment I received came 5 minutes after it arrived and I set it on my kitchen countertop. The holder is a beautiful caramel color that the picture does not do justice. After 2 weeks of using this item, I can say that the 8 piece set is enough for someone who cooks a few times a day. The most useful knives...
Published on December 17, 2010 by A. Pan
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More pics would have helped me make a better choice.
Good, sturdy steel, good knives BUT --
The old knives I have have all developed slight inward humps near the base from sharpening. This is because the handle-end of the blade is blunt and won't go into the sharpener, so you get this non-uniform wear at the butt end. I resolved to get a better set, without the unsharpenable butt.
The pic shows one of...
Published on April 8, 2011 by mattyd
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210 of 212 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Set for College Kitchen,
This review is from: Ginsu 7108 Chikara 8-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set with Bamboo Block (Kitchen)I am absolutely in love with this Chikara set. The first compliment I received came 5 minutes after it arrived and I set it on my kitchen countertop. The holder is a beautiful caramel color that the picture does not do justice. After 2 weeks of using this item, I can say that the 8 piece set is enough for someone who cooks a few times a day. The most useful knives that I have found is the 7-inch Santoku and 5-inch utility knife. I use the Chef's knife once in awhile but found that the Santoku does the work just fine. They come extremely sharp but for the edge to last longer, you should hone it after one heavy use or two light uses.
In addition, they are forged and not stamped. As a lifetime user of stamped knives, the fact that they are forged makes a huge difference. Each slice carries more weight the the old stamped knives. If you don't know the difference, google it. You'll find it informative.
Overall, these knives were a bargain for the burden of work they accomplish and look beautiful. They have sleek beautiful handles and are just the right size for a standard kitchen. They look and feel a lot more expensive than they are.
If you get this set, make sure you read up on how to treat your knives and it will last a lot longer. Here are some golden rules:
1) Hone your knives, Sharpen once a year.
They are various informative videos on Youtube that tell you how to HONE your knives. They should be done after every use to keep it sharp and long-lasting. Sharpening is only done once a year. The set comes with a steel rod which is okay for honing. It takes a few times to master it but once you do, your knives will stay sharp and your preparation time will be a fraction of what it used to be. If a college student can do it, you can do it.)
2) Rinse as soon as you're done with it. Dish detergent can be used. Hot water is okay. Most importantly, you MUST dry it off after you use it. Make sure that from tip to handle, everything is toweled off before putting it back in the holder. Try not to cut acidic things with your nice knives but if you do, rinse it quickly.
3) Handwash, no dishwashers. In a nutshell, it causes it to rust and ruins the handle.
4 Keep it in the holder or invest in a traveler. If you just stick it in the drawer it will get dull very fast and ruins your knives. If you travel with it, get a traveling holder.
5) Get a decent cutting board. No glass, no marble, wood is best, plastic is okay. Nothing dulls a knife faster than repeated banging against stone/glass.
6) Be reasonable with your usage. No one in their right mind will open a can of tuna with their knife when a dollar will buy you a can opener.
I will post an update with this product in a few months. So far, it has been the most wonderful and much needed addition to my kitchen.
The serrated knife that came with the set cut through a thick, tough shoulder cut of steak like it was a piece of cake. No sawing required! Still amazed!
Still the favorite set in my apartment. I have been honing it extensively and the knives have not lost their sharpness or edge. The santoku has two small spots of rust on them already from lazy roommates that don't wipe off the water. But I digress, I still love these knives and will probably still love it more than my first born child.
Wow I can't believe people actually want to listen to what I have to say, but thanks and here's another update.
I STILL have this set that I bought my sophomore year of college and I'm graduating in May. And nope, I still don't need a new set and yes I (and my 3 roommates) use it everyday.
1) alas, the kitchen shears which were as sharp as ever died on us when I discovered there was rust in the joints. This is the only replacement I have made.
2) requires a bit more honing than before which usually indicates I need to sharpen them. For that I run them through the Wusthof knife sharpener (will post link later) and they are brand new again.
After almost 3 years and only one kitchen casualty (shears) I still think this was a great deal and I love everything about these knives. The blades hold up, the edges are still sharp. One commenter stated that more expensive knives remain sharper for longer. I have a Wusthof bread knife and my parents have a J.J. kitchen set at home. Not as heavy as the Chikara is, 2-3 times more expensive, and believe me my parents are "empty nesting" still and even the name brand knives will get dull and reach the end of their lifetimes faster if you don't hone them. So leave this review with this set in your cast and tattoo "HONE THEM" on yourself (or significant other) and as long as you maintain them, you won't be disappointed by the sharpness, durability, and versatility of these knives.
82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality, great price!,
This review is from: Ginsu 7112 Chikara 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cutlery Set with Bamboo Block (Kitchen)I have been a professional chef for over twenty years and have always reserved my good quality knives for use at work. I have had a few budget sets for home use over the years (since I worked a lot I didn't do enough cooking at home to justify spending $200-$300 for a high quality block set for the house). When I saw this set on Amazon, I was very skeptical; and as a chef, I really didn't want a set of "Ginsu" knives sitting on my counter. So I researched these knives on several different sites and decided to give them a try.
I am extremely satisfied with the performance of these knives and I am recommending them to all of my aquaitances. I was truly shocked to get such a high quality set of knives with great such great weight, strength, and balance for under $120.
Buy these knives.
95 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal,
This review is from: Ginsu 7108 Chikara 8-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set with Bamboo Block (Kitchen)This product was everything i expected, It is in Consumer Reports magazine as a best pick for a reason. Only flaw is that it does not come with a bread knife.
102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,
This review is from: Ginsu 7112 Chikara 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cutlery Set with Bamboo Block (Kitchen)The Good:
Excellent knives for $119. Good weight and balance of handle and blade. It feels great in your hand. Razor sharp but sharpening is a must before each use (or at least every other use). It may not have the prestige presence of a Wusthof or Henckels set on the kitchen counter, but it DOES NOT look cheap. Its Japanese design and bamboo block make it more of a resemblance of a Shun knives set. And Shun is actually more expensive than the two more popular brands.
Handle's finish becomes very flat and dull after wash. Dab a little oil on a paper towel and rub it on the handle and it will look fantastic without being slippery.
The Ginsu name seems to make it sounds like a cheap TV offer knives set. But believe me it looks and performs like a $500 set.
***Best knives set for your money. You will not find a better knives set for $120 unless you find a set of high end Shun, Wusthof or Henckels for 85% off at a closeout sale somewhere.
95 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyday cook needs quality knives,
This review is from: Ginsu 7108 Chikara 8-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set with Bamboo Block (Kitchen)I saw this knife set in a Consumers Report magazine and they were VERY highly rated. The good thing about these knives is that you get solid quality and performance but for much less than a Henckels or Wusthof type knife. I'm not a professional chef by any means so I don't need to drop $300 - $500 on knives but the set I was using before was ridiculous. Long story short, these knives cut great and they even feel like a really solid product. I sort of smirked when I saw the name Ginsu. I still have those old-time infomercials in my mind's eye but I guess Ginsu really is a legit brand name. I am definitely satisfied with this purchase!
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Knives,
67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Deal,
This review is from: Ginsu 7112 Chikara 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cutlery Set with Bamboo Block (Kitchen)Don't let the name Ginsu fool you: This is a beautiful, professional-level knife set that screams quality--at an exceptionally low price (list price = $169.95). Ginsu has really upped its game (note that there are a lot of cheap knock-off knives out there that call themselves Ginsu, especially Ginsu 2000 and 3000, which are total junk). Several other points: 1. This set recently won a best in category Housewares Design Award; 2. The knives and block are made in China (just an fyi); 3. The company is actually owned by Berkshire Hathaway, i.e., Warren Buffet; 4. You should not run these through the dishwasher; 5. You will need to think about a sharpening system in addition to usual honing steel that comes with the set (I suggest the Edgemaker Pro system, which, if you search hard enough on the 'net, can be had for as little as $22.95 with free shipping). Shipping was very fast from this merchant.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! So sharp, and beautiful too.,
I have owned Henckels, Wusthof and Cutco knives for 40 years of amateur cooking, so I can tell you those other "high end" knives are more expensive, but no better than the Ginsu Chikara knives. (I don't know about the much cheaper serrated Ginsu knives. They might be fine, but I hate sharpening serrated blades and you will eventually have to, or consider them throwaway because they are so cheap). These are very well made, with hard steel blades that keep an edge longer than those more expensive knives. Harder steel is good for sharpness but it makes them easier to spot and chip, so do take special care of them (see below). I love the feel of the handle and the look of the knives and bamboo block, so classic. The santoku blade is my favorite, perfect for all vegetable chopping. Honestly, I mainly use the santoku and the paring knives. The rest are hardly used, but I could do without them! The block is vertical so hard to store under cabinets - you have to pull it out. If you want, you can buy a tilted block, but I like the clean bamboo look myself, and I have a clear area so that's no issue for me, but it's an annoyance if you have to store under cabinet.
Cleaning: If you love these knives for their sharp edges and good looks, they are worth special care. As I said, the steel is a little harder, thus easier to rust and chip than softer steel. Do clean and dry right after use. They WILL rust if not cleaned and dried immediately after use (vinegar removes). My cheaper Wusthofs spotted too when I got lazy and did not clean them right away or washed in the dishwasher. Do not wash them in the dishwasher, because they will rust and spot and whatever time you thought you saved will be wasted in cleaning the spots. There is more danger of chipping the blades in the dishwasher rack with other things. It makes the handles look dull too (oil restores). All the fine knives I own recommended hand washing and drying immediately after use. They will survive the dishwasher, but you won't like the side effects.
Storage: Don't leave them lying on the counter or in a drawer. Keep them safe in the block or a magnetic rack when not in use. This really helps keep the blades from damage and saves a lot of sharpening time. I once broke a Henckels long meat carver at the handle due to careless handling. They are welded right at the handle, and that's where it broke. My fault, too lazy to put it back in the block, but I learned my lesson. I suspect these will snap too, so I am obsessive about storing them in the block.
Sharpening: Before each use, I check for sharpness on my fingernail and hone the blade if necessary. I'm speaking from a lot of years of using fine knives, and I really believe keeping them sharp is the key to enjoying them and using them safely. A dull knife is dangerous. I've sharpened knives with everything from Japanese waterstones to several top line electric sharpeners. They all work, but the electric saves so much time that I just won't bother with using the hand stones any more. But be careful, because some electric sharpeners will rapidly remove too much metal and use up your wonderful knife. Just hone or steel the edge most of the time, and reserve the coarse grinding only for repairing a chipped or hopelessly dulled edge (mainly used knives I buy that are trashed). With this set, I use a Western 20 degree edge on every knife for longer edge life - less chipping. Personally, I'm not much good keeping the angle exact with a steel so I rely on this electric sharpener:
Edgeware 50141 Ceramic Edge Electric Knife Sharpener
I like this because the ceramic removes the absolute minimum of metal and it works very well on the santoku.
For a good manual sharpener I use:
Chef's Choice M4623 Diamond Hone 3-Stage Manual Sharpener for Euro-American/Santoku/Serrated Knives
This is less expensive and more compact, so I leave it out and use it constantly for honing. I like this because the diamond slot will restore really worn out or chipped blades and it has the ceramic for honing.
Here's another good simple manual sharpener which also does scissors:
Wusthof 2-Stage Knife Sharpener
Whew, I got carried away. Since I spend a lot of time using knives, I find my knives are so much easier and safer to use with proper care. Shortcuts waste time in the end.
Bottom line, the Ginsu Chikara line is a best buy. Care for these knives well and you will enjoy using them for many years and many meals.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Knives,
First, if you are a fan of Japanese knives like Shun, these give you an equally handsome and *far, far less* expensive option. I am not saying the blades have the same beauty and quality of Shun Damascus steel, but they are sharp, keep their edges well, and are easily sharpened. More importantly, they work very well, so well that I have stopped using my other knives.
This set would also make an excellent graduation or wedding present. And the Ginsu name also gives a fun, kitsch quality.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ginsu Chikara 8-Piece Knife Set,
-Package was shipped well. Knives were individually wrapped and protected to prevent dulling during shipping, and block had no chips/scratches or anything of that nature.
-Nice balance in the hand. Feels "good" to wield, easy to control when cutting. Handles are best sized for someone with smaller hands, I think. Someone with huge hands might wish the handles were bigger.
-Quite sharp right out of the box, and stays that way if you hone the knives before each use, or at least every other use. Unfortunately, I had to go to the Ginsu website to read their instructions for honing the knives, as no such instructions were included in the packaging. Honing is important: by honing properly before each use, the knife stays sharper for longer, meaning safer+easier cutting and fewer trips to a knife shop to have the set sharpened again.
-Love the Santoku knife, use it more than any other knife in the set. Great for chopping and dicing.
-No proper bread knife in this set. Seems like an oversight to me, since a bread knife is one of those must-have things in a knife set. The serrated 5-inch knife can be used as a bread knife if the loaf is small and the crust is not too thick. Still, they should have included a real bread knife.
-Bamboo knife block is of good quality, and it looks good on the counter. Still, I wish it had been designed like most knife blocks where the knives rest at an angle in the block. It makes it easier to get the knives out and put them back, especially in a crowded kitchen where the block is crammed against the wall among other things.
Overall, I think this is an extremely good knife set for the money, and I am glad that I bought it. Treat the knives well by honing them every time and drying them immediately after use, and they will treat you well in return. I bought this knife set because it had such good reviews here and in Consumer Reports, and nothing in my experience so far has contradicted those good reviews.
If you need a knife set, you can't do better than this set for the money, in my opinion.
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