Most helpful positive review
344 of 350 people found the following review helpful
Perfect Set for College Kitchen
on December 17, 2010
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.
** UPDATE 2/21/15: Knives are still being used multiple times everyday; I now mainly use the chef and utility knife (bigger cooking duties with a bigger family!). The santoku will still make the rotation if using meat & veggies at the same time so that the blade does not get contaminated. I've gone through a few kitchen shears since then, but my knives are still beloved. There are a few kinks near the tip of my chef's knife from being dropped on the ground. More of an aesthetic damage as I rarely cut with the top 1/3 of my knife anyway.
Here's an additional tip I would give to myself if I only knew ahead of time: Make sure to wipe down your honing blade from top to bottom with a kitchen towel every week or so. It will develop rust from dew build-up from sitting in the holder.