Most helpful positive review
75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Best knife I have. Razor sharp and feels good
on December 16, 2008
I have the MTH-80 Mighty Chef Knife with Dimples. It came extremely sharp out of the box and stays that way. I have only honed it lightly a few times with a borosilicate glass steel after smacking the cutting block with my poor style. This thing rocks. With my Chicago Cutlery knives the same abuse would put very slight dents in the edge barely visible as a glint of light under a bright light and I could feel the loss of sharpness after a few cuts. The edge on the MAC is so acute and fine that I didn't want to take a change and loose anything with a steel (which is not recommended) or even a 1200 grit ceramic steel (which is recommended) so I went with the borosilicate glass rod which is finer. It still cut fine and I didn't notice a difference but I could feel a slight change in the razor edge. The rod brought the edge back to new or better every time. This thing is tougher and holds an edge better then good non-stainless carbon steel knives I have used. It may be a little harder to sharpen.
This knife is thinner, lighter, the steel is harder, it holds a edge better, and is more nimble then a comparable Western knife like a Wusthof or Henckel. Some may not like that. I do, although you don't want to use it like a clever and you probably could get away with that with Wusthof or Henckel. They both have their place but I like the MAC for my style of use.
Some have recommended the Forschners from Victorinox . I tried the paring set for $10 and the serrated parer or sandwich knife. They are sharp but not as sharp as the MAC's and don't hold an edge as well. Also, the Fibrox handle, at least on the paring knives, is so small it gets lost in my hand. I cut a hard crusty French bread with the serrated knife and the points were showing signs of blunting or rolling over. A little steeling brought that back but I don't think the Forchners are all they are cracked up to be. I would agree they are probably the best knives for the money (for example those 3 knives for $10). They are pretty amazing for the price but the MAC's are about the best cutting experience you can buy. I do really like the little Forschner serrated knife and go for it when cutting an English muffin or corn bread, etc.
You can pay more for something to look at but the MAC's perform up there with some of the best. They should probably be considered an entry level into Japanese knifes along with Shun, Global. Shuns seem a little more frilly for the home cook with fake Damascus, etc. for the average consumer and MAC's are more of a commercial work horse. I do like the Shun Wa handles.
I am looking forward to getting the MAC PK-30 paring knife and the SB-105 bread knife to replace some of my other inferior knives. Those 3 are really all I need.
The MAC's are not real fancy with silver inlays or high polish or anything but it cuts like a razor and stays that way better then any of my other knives. The fit and finish is good too.
The steel is very similar to the Globals and Shun's but I don't like the feel of the Globals handles and Shuns are more expensive. Also, the MAC came very sharp out of the box. They say Globals do too, but some I looked at in the store had a burr on the edge and need some attention before use.
To keep it sharp, I would recommend anyone with a knife like this, the Shun's or the Global's either get the MAC or Idahone ceramic steel or a Idahone 2 or 4 stick sharpener. Amazon has them listed a "not available" but you can get one at Sonoma Cutlery. These are easy to use and you get the correct angle just by holding the knife vertical and stroking. the 4 stick model also has a 15 and 20 degree angle for the sticks. I would use the 15 degree slots.
I don't usually come back and rate something I bought but I did a lot of research and after using the knife through Thanksgiving I have become passionate about it and MAC knives in general and want to share them with everyone else. They are kind of a secret and fairly hard to come buy. Also MAC's are not sold in sets and you may not even be able to build a set from one style of MAC (like Classic, Professional, Superior, etc). You may have to mix styles. This is apparently in Japanese tradition even though these are Japanese made western style knives. What you get with most Japanese western knives is Japanese steel and Japanese style sharpening and profile. To make a knife this thin work with such a fine edge you have to have harder steel then western manufactures generally use or the blade would quickly dull from use.
For other references check out Cooking for Engineering Chef knife test.
(do a Google search on it) and also see Knife Forums. For KF do a Google search with the knife you want to explore with the KF in the search. For example search " best chef knife site: and put knifeforum. com ". Leave off the quotes and spaces. Sorry if that was a little cryptic. It looks like Amazon won't let me put the URL's here.
Also for knife sharpening see: Chad Wards directions in knife forums.
Update: 3/19/14. I have sharpened it a couple of times now with great results. I use a belt grinder with micro grit belts. This leaves a convex edge like it comes from the factory. I have also sharpened it on Japanese water stones and an Edge Pro. All work well. It is still holding up and cutting great.
I might add the only weakness I see, and it applies to all the knives in this class mentioned above. When using a knife with a more acute and hard edge like this the edge can chip if dropped in the sink, using poor cutting block technique (twisting on the board). My wife does that. So, a knife like this may not be good for everyone. If you want to abuse it and throw it in the dish washer, etc. you would probably be better off with a heavy German Knife (Wusthof or Hencke). In that case you loose the razor like cutting you get out of one of the Japanese knives.