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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2008
Verified Purchase
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.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2008
My wife and I have been using Henkels knives for some time, but were looking to switch to Japanese steel knives for the superior hardness and sharpness of the blades. We were very drawn to Kershaw Shun for both the beautiful look (who doesn't like Damascus steel?) and strong reputation and reviews. That kind of ended when we actually picked them up. The several Shun knives we tried were just too heavy and large-handled for me and particularly my wife's hands. We took a look at Global and liked the sharpness, but they seemed a bit too light for our tastes, as well as seeming like they might get slippery when wet with the metal handle. I'd read good things about MAC, but didn't have a local dealer. On a trip to Chicago, we finally got a chance to handle these and found the weight and balance to be perfect for our hands. We bought a few and have been overwhelmingly happy with them. While they may be fairly utilitarian in appearance, they're perfect workhorses in the kitchen. In addition to the perfect handles for medium to smaller hands, the thinner Japanese steel cuts through tougher vegetables (potatoes, carrots, etc) with less resistance than thicker blades. They hold their edge incredibly well with only occasional ceramic steeling. I have taken the time to put them across a couple Norton Arkansas stones and have been able to bring out a new degree of sharpness that has increased our satisfaction even further. Highly highly recommended.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2007
Verified Purchase
I cannot adequately express what a superior knife this is. I have been purchasing and using (heavily) top grade knives for 10 years. This knife, with proper care, maintains a razor sharp edge that is second to none. The edge is ground at a more acute angle than German or American knives, and you can definitely tell the difference. The only knife that comes close is the Kershaw Shun 8" Chef's knife. But unless you just like the look of the Shun series (and let's face it, they're beautiful), save yourself $50 and get this Mac knife. The edge is keener and easier to maintain, and my girlfriend likes it more because it's lighter weight. 5 stars. Also, the handle is much more comfortable than I thought it would be.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2012
Forgive this review for being a little long-winded. Like many buyers of the Mac, this is my first foray into Japanese knives from the heavier German style. Most reviews gush over the sharpness of the blade, which is indeed true, but don't really discuss its shortcomings, or at least things a well-informed buyer should be aware of. So here goes:

Pros:
--The knife typically comes with an excellent factory edge that is indeed razor sharp. It glides through vegetables like they are not even there.
--It is extremely light and agile, making you feel like you could handle a much larger blade. This is a big deal. I strongly recommend someone comfortable using a heavy 8" German knife to consider a 9.5" or even 10.5" Japanese knife (too bad there is no MTH-100). The benefits of a longer knife are huge. The handle, too, is excellent.
--The MAC actually looks much better than in the picture, with a much higher polish on the blade and a decent looking handle.
--I haven't owned it long enough to talk about edge-retention, but it will almost certainly beat a German knife if cared for properly.

Cons/things to be aware of:
--You may have to change you cutting style. This is the big one. If you are like me, and you have learned to cut with the more European style of a pretty active back and forth slicing/rocking motion with the tip resting on the board, this knife will feel awkward at first. It's so sharp that the edge actually bites into my cutting board (a fairly standard wood one) even when using minimal force, causing the knife to drag, slow down and feel uncontrolled and dangerous. You will likely have to switch to a more japanese style of cutting vegetables with more push-cutting and less sawing action.
--The knife's superior sharpness is much less of an advantage cutting soft proteins. You will notice some improvement over a German knife, but not too much.
--The dimples don't do anything, and some foods, like minced garlic and raw meats, stick to the blade quite a bit more than my German knives. This probably also contributes to its relatively weaker performance cutting soft proteins. I suspect it's because the sharper edge makes much smoother rather than torn cuts.
--Japanese knifemakers seem to have more quality issues than the Germans. I ordered this along with the MAC 3.25" parer. The parer was very noticeably not straight from butt to tip and the blade had some curvature. I've never heard of a Wusthof or Henckels with a bent blade. Many reviews of other Japanese knifemakers also mention quality problems. Carefully inspect the knife you buy and send it back if it is anything less then perfect.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with the knife. It won't immediately replace my German knives, but I suspect I'll be using it more and more in the future.

1 month update: The edge retention is a bit disappointing. I had hoped that it could go a week or more without any loss in sharpness (home cooking, not professional), but this isn't the case. After 2-3 uses it no longer shaves hair off my arm (my test since that's how it came) and needs some steeling on the ceramic rod. The steel may be on the soft side for a Japanese knife. Mac doesn't say how hard the steel is, only that their knives are between 57 and 61 HRC, with their Ultimate line being the hardest. Still, steeling a knife isn't hard, and it brings the edge right back up quickly.

Foods sticking to the blade really is a nuisance. The dimples are useless and I recently got out my trusty German knife to mince up half a head of garlic as the sticking makes this kind of thing a real pain with the Mac. Still pleased with the knife though.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2007
Mac Knives are hands down the best made. Mine stood up to years of use in a professional kitchen. I have a knife kit full of Wusthof, Forschner, and Henckels knives that just gather dust now. You will not be disappointed by Mac.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2007
i am a professional chef and use this knife for 8 hours a day and it is by far the best blade i have ever used. easy to keep sharp and man is it sharp a must buy for anyone considering purhcasing a chefs knife.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2008
I just got the as a Christmas present, and I couldn't be happier. I am a cooking enthusiast, and have mostly high end equipment. The MAC knife replaces a well used high end Henkel that I have had for 15 years. Although well maintained and sharpened regularly, the Henkel is no match for the MAC. The best way to describe the MAC is a razor blade with a well balanced handle. It slices so cleanly and with no effort that I am having to re-learn how to chop and slice. The weight seems to be about half on the Henkel which I did not like at first. Now that I have used it more, I really enjoy the delicate feeling and superior results. Highly recommended
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I'm embarrassed to say I ever had any Henkle or Wusthof knives because when I first used this it blew all the other knives away. Don't spend senseless amount of money on any sets; all you need is either and 8" chef's (aka cook's) knife, a paring knife, and a euro knife. You don't need a 4", 5", 6" cook's knives; you need a bread knife but you can use one from target that costs $5. Trust me, this is my father's very good advice (he's been a culinary chef for 40 years).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2007
This is quite simply the most amazing knife I've ever used. I've never had anything cut as well or as easily. Its like Excalibur, but one anyone can own. Compared to the others in its price category e.g. Henckels, Wustoff, Chef's Choice, (all of which I own) there is no comparison. Glides through fibrous mangos truly like butter. Its thin so it has to be treated well, and watch your fingers. But for cutting through soft and semi-soft foods, I'll never use anything else.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
Verified Purchase
I had worked as a chef most of my life before becoming a lawyer and hanging up my knives. I hated the life and the heat of a kitchen and had to quit when I injured my back. I wrote The Diet Bible and Te Bachelors Bible and became a lawyer. I have used every knife you can name and because of the reviews and Thomas Keller's endorsement I bought as Mac. This is a decent knife, but not nearly as sharp as the Masamoto VG 10 or Misono Gyuto. The best value is the Tojiro at $70, but none of them compare to the Masamoto and Misono which are the sharpest and hold the best edge the longest. The average American does not have $300 worth of wet stones and cannot properly sharpen their knives. Just hone these with steel every time you use them and sharpen every year and they will last a lifetime. They are thin, well balanced, and sharp, and they blow this Mac away.
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