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VINE VOICEon October 29, 2010
Color: Crimson|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was surprised to discover that the Ginsu company was still in business. I guess all those people who bought the original Ginsu knives based on the 70s TV commercials, with their lifetime warranties, are in luck.

Ginsu is not the name you think of when shopping for high ends knives. This set demonstrated that this is still the case.

The knives are very, very sharp. Any piece of metal can be sharpened to a razor edge. Sharp does not make a good knife. Comfort, balance, edge retention, ability to be honed, and durability make a great knife. I'm not sure why Japanese Steel matters when the knives are clearly stamped "China." OK, the raw steel may be from Japan, but the knives are Chinese. Being made in China does not make the knives bad, just as being made in Japan or Germany would not make them good. The fact that they are being marketed as "Japanese" when they are not should make one pause.

The handles feel cheap and have plastic accents. The Crimson red does not match the color pictured. Mine are slightly pink and somewhat sparkly. The balance is actually quite good. The eight-piece set includes 6 knives, a honing rod, and the magnetic strip. The magnets on the strip are very strong and I already nicked one of the knives putting it on the strip. I prefer a slotted bock for storage. I was not able to hone the knife back to the original edge, but it still was sufficiently sharp.

The MSRP on the Ginsu website lists $199, but the MSRP on Amazon lists $299 reduced to $249. At any of these, the knives are overpriced. Ginsu makes less expensive sets, but I don't have them for comparison. I prefer my Henckels set.
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Color: Crimson|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"An entire set of Ginsu knives? In my very own home?" The allure of bright crimson Ginsu knives adorning my kitchen was too strong to deny.

Sure, like so many Americans, there's already an obligatory "You got married, and I was at Williams-Sonoma, so here's your Henckels set" butcher block on my counter, but it could not satiate my need for Ginsu -- the brand famous for slicing a can, a rusty nail, and yet, remaining sharp enough to slice a tomato...

The day the box arrived, I wasn't really sure what was in it. In fact, it wasn't until I pulled a knife out that I knew that I hadn't been sent a wrong package. If you're thinking about giving this set to someone as a gift, know going in to it that the presentation is about as stingy looking as you can possibly get.

Fortunately, my Ginsu knives arrived in decent condition. And I suppose I'm one of the fortunate ones who received a crimson set that's actually crimson. So, I cleaned them off and started to slice. I sliced and diced, and throughout my slicing and dicing, noticed that the oddly-curved handle was becoming increasingly less comfortable as time went on.

Yes, the carrots were chopped nicely, but my wrist was starting to cramp a little. I switched off to a different knife, but it didn't help very much. Overall, it felt like Ginsu was trying to give the appearance of something with ergonomic design in mind, but didn't pay much attention to the actual ergonomics. At least, for a guy with fairly average sized hands.

Although the knives were all quite sharp, the design and handling really took some getting used to for any sort of precision cutting. And the more I looked at the knives, the more I started to realize that they look and feel like something that you'd get on sale at Target, bundled with a similarly shaped and colored toaster. The overall feel just didn't seem to match up with the price.

If you're a Ginsu aficionado, this is probably the set for you. But otherwise, there are a lot of other sets from other manufacturers that hit this price range, which are likely to have better quality handles, and won't look so dated in five years.
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Color: Crimson|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Ginsu Shoku Series Cutlery is a very nice set of knives at a very attractive price. There are 6 knives, a sharpening tool and a magnetic wall holder. I wish I had space on my wall for the hanger because it's very well made and would be a great space saver. They are seriously sharp with a good weighted feel to them and a pleasure to use. I chop lots of vegetables on a daily basis and these are effective for everything I've tried so far. They came at a good time when things like watermelons are still in the stores as well as lots of different kinds of squash. I was impressed that it did a great job cutting an acorn squash. You know how difficult the skin on that type of squash can be to cut. As I mentioned in the video, the instructions say to sharpen the knives before each use, but I use them many times between sharpening and have not had an issue with the sharpness. They have detailed instructions on sharpening on their website [...].

The other knives that I own are a few old Cutco knives that I rarely use anymore, a few small Vitorinox utility knives and a few Shun knives which I use often. I hate to say it, but these knives are very comparable to the Shun knives, some of which cost half as much for a single knife as these do for the whole set. Maybe over time I'll notice some differences, but using them side by side for the last month, they perform just as well.

They include a limited lifetime warranty to be free from defects in workmanship. They also have lifetime sharpening if you want to have your knives factory re-sharpened. Prices for shipping and handling in the continental USA are: 1 - 3 knives $25.00 or 4 - 6 knives for $25.00. They also do custom engraving for $5 per knife. This would add a nice, personal touch if you were to give the knives as a gift. (Or if you just want to add a customized look to your own knives.)

I hope the video gives you a better idea of the color and finish on the handles of these knives. I really like that they are a different color than my other black handled knives because it makes it easy to pick them out of the knife block. And these are my "go to" knives these days for all my cutting and chopping.

Update - I forgot to add and to show the bonus set of kitchen shears that came with the set. The handle of the shears is black and they are a nice and sharp, a good quality set.
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on May 21, 2014
Every time I visit my Daughter, I get to use one or more of these Ginsu knives to either complete a salad with chopped fruit or cheese or slice meat for a sandwich. They have maintained their edge magically.
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on October 3, 2011
Cooking is my hobby and I have been doing it many many years. I am not a gadget guy but love high quality basics. Why I waited so many years to acquire a quality set of knives, I do not know. Based on Consumer Reports I selected this set. Ginzu has a cheaper one rated higher but only slightly and this one had a better selection of knives. I am truly amazed by the ease of use of these knives. On TV chefs effortlessly slice onions, celery, tomatoes and on and on. These knives make me slice like a TV star. They are very sharp, cut smoothly and the magnetic strip makes it easy to keep out of grand kids reach. The only slight negative is the boning knife is not as flexible as it could be. I will be getting rid of a lot of old tired knives. I never realized how much a great knife improves the cooking experience.
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VINE VOICEon November 16, 2010
Color: Crimson|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As others have noted: "Crimson" means PINK. The handles are PINK.

Ok, my review:

These Ginsu knives are what you'd expect them to be: stamped steel, sharpened up. While they're touted as "Japanese Steel", they are clearly stamped "China." A quick comparison versus Shun (quality Japanese knives) and Wusthof (quality German knives) reveals that these are lightweight and not evenly balanced. Still, they are the expected quality for their price point.

As everyone has noted: they are SHARP. But, as a select few have noted, any thin piece of steel can be sharpened up. After putting the 7 inch Santoku through its paces over the past month, it's already lost its edge. And before you ask, no, the honing steel is NOT included to sharpen the knives up. The steel is there to hone the knives; to straighten or align the edge. It won't put an edge back on. Anyway, although it didn't hold an edge for very long, it DID sharpen right back up easily. Mixed blessing there, but short term; it's good.

The handles are comfortable. However, they are too light and include cheap gray plastic accents. Bad balance plus sharp edge can often equal uneven application of force and accidents. (So, be mindful!)

My gripe about the packaging: two of the knives had bent/dinged edges because the packaging isn't sufficient enough to keep them from becoming damaged in shipping.

Now.. The included magnetic holder is a champ! Well designed, easy to install, does its job well. Also, the honing steel works very well; and unlike the knives, it's well balanced.

If you're looking for a set of knives that will function well, these should suit you. Just please remember that they are stamp-formed steel and won't last you a lifetime.
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on October 28, 2010
Color: Crimson|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Since Ginsu has gone to the trouble of offering designer colors in these sets and even mentions the colored handles as the first selling feature, I felt it was important to note that I found the finish on the handles to be a cheap looking metal foil-like finish. I honestly wonder if this foil finish is going to stand up under everyday use. It feels like a good scrubbing might peel it off or scratch it. There's a granular "sparkle" to it that makes me think of ugly 80's fingernail polish. I received the "crimson" set and had hoped it would complement my red Kitchen Aid mixer and Le Crueset collection. Unfortunately, the color is much closer to a dusky pink tone and doesn't match anything that is in my kitchen (including the window treatments). The color shown on the ad page is not accurate. When my husband saw them he asked "What's up with the pink knives?". I would advise buyers to select the black handled set - black goes with everything. The price seems to indicate that this is a "premium" set though I think the design and color selection is unfortunate. If these matched or complemented the reds used by other high-end kitchen tool manufacturers, I would have given the set 5 stars. I know it sounds a bit elitist, but if you've ever invested money into high-end cookware with the intent that they last a lifetime, these things end up mattering more.

The knives are extremely sharp. Included was a bonus set of kitchen shears (handles are black - not crimson) as well as one of the sturdiest stainless steel magnetic bars I've encountered. With 7 pieces, this set is very versatile and would make a nice gift for young couples or graduates. Like another reviewer mentioned, the honing (sharpening) rod might be a bit too short to use very safely. The actual rod itself measures more than an inch shorter than the one in my Wusthof set. The balance of these knives is quite good. The stainless steel claims to be Japanese steel but made in China. I like the weight of these knives in my hand and the blades themselves are actually quite attractive.

Anyone who already uses high end knives will likely be disappointed with this set. It's nice for those who are new to cooking or just don't cook very often. My Wusthof knives are about 10 years old now and probably need a good professional sharpening. I'll use the Ginsu Shoku knives in the meantime and will try to update this review with impressions based on extended use at a later time. While this is an overall nice set, they won't replace my Wusthof Grand Prix collection.


My original evaluation was only 3 stars so I have upgraded this review by one star as I have become more impressed by the quality of these knives. They are extremely sharp and well balanced. The only additional quibble I can add at this point would be to note that the bread knife seems to be a bit thicker than the knife bread in my Wusthof set, making my bread slices a bit raggedy looking. It's likely that I may need a new technique using this knife.

I would still suggest that buyers select the black set as the other color options are not well executed.
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VINE VOICEon January 2, 2011
Color: Crimson|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've used these knives for about two months now, and I'm mostly happy with them. As you would expect for this price (which, although a bit expensive for me personally, a little research shows to be rather intermediate), the blades are forged rather than stamped. Presumably a lot of what you are paying for here is the harder Japanese steel which is said to hold an edge better. So far they seem to hold an edge quite well, but I'm not sure how well I could really tell the difference, honestly.

I *can* tell you that I find these knives very comfortable. I didn't really realize how comfortable they were until, after using them for a week or two, I picked up a knife from my old set -- it felt blocky and the edges seemed to press into my hands. I had never noticed that *before*, mind you, but after using these new knives, the old ones seemed awkward.

Here is what makes these knifes comfortable:

1. The cross-section of each handle is vaguely oval with the top flattened somewhat, meaning that there are no corners on it.

2. The handle is arched, helping it rest nicely in the hollow of your hand.

I've posted some photos that will hopefully make some of this clearer.

The handle is hard plastic, and there is a metal cap on the end. Separating the plastic of the handle, which in my case is their "crimson" color, from the ends is a thin gray rubber (?) seal. Toward the back part of the handle, on the underside, that gray seal becomes a raised half-oval whose purpose I can only guess is to help prevent the knife from slipping out of your hand (see photo). I *assume* that for this price we are getting a full tang, but honestly you can't tell.

Some reviewers seem not to like the handle, calling it cheap, or the crimson color, calling it pink. Well, this is definitely not bubble-gum (Pepto Bismol) pink, but it is very reflective, and that lightens the color. I like the crimson color personally, and I think the handle looks just fine. The surface of it is textured and I haven't had any problems with it slipping in my hands when wet.

If you are familiar with Santoku knives, be aware that the one in this set is a western-style Santoku. Its blade is every bit as thick as the chef's knife. As you can see in the photo, it has the Granton edge (scallops) to allow you to cut through food with less drag. One thing I was mildly disappointed about is that less than 3 inches of the blade is flat, which means that it isn't so good for chopping - you'll need to rock it. I would have preferred 5 inches of flat before the upward curve starts, as many Santoku knives have.

One last thing to note is that the blade on the chef knife is 8" long; in some sets (including my old one) it's 9" long. That means that this one might not go all the way through that watermelon, but on the other hand it's definitely lighter to chop with.

In short, I do like the set, particularly how comfortable it is, although in the final analysis it will be the quality of the steel and how well the handle holds up that will determine whether it is worth the price. We're sort of trusting that the Japanese steel is good stuff.


Update: there seems to be some concern over the fact that these knives are supposed to be Japanese steel yet have a "made in China" stamp. Japanese steel is a kind of steel, a recipe for making it; I think it has more carbon than typical steel, and is therefore harder. That formula for steel can be used anywhere. I *assume* that's why this is called Japanese steel, anyway; I don't know whether the use of the term is regulated. But the knives are in fact made in China, if that matters to you.
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VINE VOICEon October 31, 2010
Color: Crimson|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really like to cook and do use knives fairly often - I do a lot of stir fries and pasta dishes that require cutting of fresh veggies, chicken, etc. But, I am by no means a gourmet chef. My previous set of knives are a set of Cutco, leftover from my husband's high school selling days. ;) I disclose this to point out that I cannot compare these to real, true gourmet chef knives.

But, coming up from the basic Cutco set, these are a huge improvement - beautifully balanced and sharp and hefty feeling, but not so much that I'm scared to use them. The handles are comfortable, though they do feel a touch slippery. There are more than enough blades in the set - and the magnetic holder is a true bonus - it's very well made and offers a good alternative to taking up counter space. The bonus scissors are a nice touch as well (but be aware they have black handles, not the red of the rest of the set.)

The red is not a deep dark red, but I think it's fairly attractive - I wasn't trying to match anything else in my kitchen.

However, big warning - my dear husband, being a fantastic guy late last night, loaded the dishwasher and ran it, with two of the knives inside. Oops. I hadn't warned him that they weren't dishwasher safe (the Cutcos are), and now two of my knives have pink handles, rather than red. The blades don't seem adversely affected, but the handles have permanently changed color. Thank goodness I wasn't trying to match anything.

I would say that these would be a fantastic set of knives for a wedding registry, house warming, etc. for people who cook but don't need gourmet tools. They are well made and have everything you'd need to get started.
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VINE VOICEon September 15, 2011
Color: Crimson|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am not going to say that these are the greatest knives in the world; I'll leave that for Global. However, when price enters the equation, this set of knives comes out as a great option based on the price/ quality relationship. The knives are balanced and have a nice weight to them (especially the chef knife). Their sharpness is pretty good, though they may require a little more love and care than higher-end brands.

As you can see in the product description, the wide variety of knives makes it so that in most households you will not need any additional knives for cooking. And at least in our case, the crimson handles were a definite plus for our kitchen. We just got a block to put them instead of using the storage strip provided with the knives.

If you are looking for a good set of knives without breaking the bank, I think this is a very interesting option to consider.
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