Customer Reviews: Ginsu Koden Series 14-Piece Cutlery Set with Black Block
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - I've used many different kitchen knives and cutlery sets before, and one of the main problems with some of them is that they give you too many knives and they're low quality. Most home cooks should be able to get by with a chef's knife, paring knife, kitchen shears, and steak knives. I also have a tomato knife, a boning knife, and a bread knife in my personal collection. However I am a bit of a knife snob, so right away, I was looking for faults in the Ginsu knives. I replaced my regular knives with the Ginsus and used them for one month to evaluate their effectiveness.

SHARPNESS - Ginsu advertises these knives as "never needs sharpening." This is a bit misleading. One would think that they never need sharpening because they are made of some type of fancy space-age steel that never dulls. Many knives make this claim, and you will notice that all of them are serrated. These knives are made of high carbon stainless steel. ALL knives will get dull eventually, and Ginsu serrated knives are no different. They claim they never need sharpening because when you use a serrated blade, you are actually sawing through the food rather than cutting with it. Once some of the serrated teeth start to dull, the knife will still cut fairly well, giving the appearance of being sharp. But what is actually happening is that the knife is now tearing and shredding the food, and while some of the serrated teeth are sharp, others are bent, misaligned, and dull. You can sharpen serrated knives, but you have to sharpen the teeth individually and it's easier just to replace the knife. I tested the sharpness of the knives by using the chef's knife to make several hundred cuts through PVC pipe, which is softer than bone, and I think a good approximation for normal wear and tear that you can expect to put these knives through over time. I then examined the teeth through a magnifying glass, and did notice evident wear on some of them and some slight misalignment of the teeth, although it was less than I expected (I will try to post a close up picture of this). Finally, I tested the cutting ability using a tomato, and it seemed to handle it just fine. So you may wonder why this matters at all, if the knife can still cut well? For most people, it probably won't. I don't like using them because dull serrated knives will leave a rougher edge on your food, and for a lot of things I make, I want a clean cut. Additionally, I use my chef's knife a lot to cut raw meat, and this knife does not handle raw meat well at all. The serrated blade pressed the meat in on the upstroke, requiring me to use downward pressure and saw through it. You shouldn't have to use much pressure at all with a good sharp knife, letting the weight and sharpness of the blade do most of the work.

QUALITY - For the price, the knife set is actually fairly decent. The blades are full tang, meaning that the metal runs all the way through the handle, so it's unlikely that they will break easily. They are made of high carbon stainless steel, which is an alloy of carbon, iron, and chromium and slightly stronger than stainless steel. The blades appear fairly strong and do not look cheap. The knives are a bit lighter than brands like Wusthof and J.A. Henckels. The handles are unfortunately made of plastic, but you're not going to find anything different at this price, and the handles are pretty nice. They are also ergonomic so they conform to my hands well. They look much better than I would expect from a knife set at this price.

USE - Right away, one of the best things I liked about these knives is that I didn't need a separate bread and tomato knife. For most applications, the santoku knife handled both with ease. It did take some getting used to the knives, but I don't think most cooks will have a problem with this. The scalloped edge of the santoku is great for preventing onion and celery from sticking to the knife blade, so you don't have to slide your hand down it to get all of the pieces stuck to a traditional knife. I used the boning knife on a few whole chickens and to de-bone some thighs and was a bit disappointed with it, as I think it is too light. Almost all of the knives are very well balanced, with the exception of the paring knife, which I think needs a little more weight in the blade. The kitchen shears are some of the best I've used, and are great for removing fat from chicken breasts or cutting through sinew.

CARE - Do not put these knives in the dishwasher (you should not put any knives in the dishwasher, regardless of what the manufacturer says). Do not store any of these knives in a drawer, which will bang up the edges. Keep them in the block when not in use, and wash the blades with hot soapy water and dry immediately. Even though they are stainless steel, they can rust and will rust if you don't take care of them. The knives do come with a limited lifetime warranty.

OVERALL - If you don't make a lot of very fine cuts and don't need to cut raw meat, I can't really say anything bad about the Ginsu Koden series. They handle the majority of food with no problem. Just be aware how serrated knives work, that they will dull eventually, and that they don't handle raw meat very well. But if you're okay with that, I think it's a fairly decent mid-quality knife set.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
UPDATE: Sep. 29, 2013

After 21 months of use, most steak knives blades are in the process of separating themselves from their handles. The others, less used, are still holding together but may begin to fall apart soon. There is some kind of a plastic 'cork' and the handle end that falls off, then the handle can no longer hold the blade in place and the entire assembly falls apart.

Get these if you don't expect to use them for more than a year. Otherwise, look elsewhere because 'quality' or 'durability' are what you give up in exchange for a low price.


This is my first Ginsu set and I am pleasantly surprised for it not being as cheap as the price may suggest. While by no means 'professional quality' knives, the 12 knives plus shears make up for a decent, quite usable set that doesn't make a significant dent into your bank account upon acquisition.


- 4.5" Steak knives (six)
- 3.5" Paring knife
- 4.5" Utility knife
- 5.0" Boning knife
- 8.0" Slicer
- 8.0" Chef's knife
- 7.0" Santoku knife
- Kitchen shears
- Knife block

The Ginsu corporation promises to replace any defective knives for as long as you send $3.00 per knife to cover the postage.


These may not be top of the line cutlery and are a little on the light (as in not too heavy) side but they feel okay to use. It's Chinese surgical steel and Ginsu claims that their double-serrated blades will stay sharp forever. That remains to be seen but they cut pretty well so far.

The wood block is sufficiently heavy to support the set on any countertop and, if yours is black, they set looks pretty good sitting on it. The black paint besides being a style statement is pretty good at hiding the wood block's imperfections. Hopefully it won't chip away soon.

To summarize my experience, the set is well worth the expense and I expect it to last for at least 2-3 years.


Good price, reasonable quality, nearly all 'essential' knives included call for a 4-star or "I like it" rating. In other words, knowing what I know now, I would be buying this set if I needed some good quality knives and I was on a budget.
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on May 25, 2012
The vendor did a great job of shipping, receiving, and overall customer service. Unfortunately, my knives began to rust after the first (hand) wash. Also, I am definitely not a pro in the kitchen, but I am left-handed and the weighting felt unbalanced. Disappointed because otherwise it was a great-looking set.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Douglas Quikut has made a very impressive set of Ginsu knives for the money. All but one of the knives are serrated on both sides for not just the sharpest cutting, but both right handed and left handed people can use these with equal skill. There are 14 pieces in this set- an attractive black wood knife block, kitchen shears and 12 stainless steel with stainless steel handled knives- 6 steak, paring, utility, boning, slicer, chef and santoku. All the knives never need sharpening, except for the large santoku knife, which is not serrated on both sides like the others.

These knives are made better than average, but they will not compare to a top of the line set, which for a set of 6 steak knives could cost over $100.00 alone. I have a set of very good steak knives where the blade is the entire length of the knife, being covered with a handle which is kept in place with silver dowel rods inserted into the blade. These knives are not like that, as the blades are inserted in plastic and the stainless steel handles. They are very light weight and the blades are extremely sharp and thin. If you are used to using a heavier knife and cutting hard, you will have to learn very quickly to use less pressure. The razor sharp blades are warranted with a limited lifetime warranty. Should the blade be defective, you return the knife with postage money and they will send you a new knife. This is a warranty similar to one that you always get with an expensive knife set.

You can't beat the price on this set, as the knives are so sharp, I actually cut through the edge of a thin piece of paper like it was butter. You'll have a knife for cutting everything with the 12 different ones they give you, but just remember to use way less pressure, as these are razor sharp and super light weight.
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VINE VOICEon January 10, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I picked up this knife set along with Chicago Cutlery Metropolitan 20pc Block Set shortly before the holiday season. I used both sets during the holidays and I have to say that the Chicago Cutlery set is a better value for the money. The blades are sharper, there are six more blades in the set and the block is better quality.

To give you a better idea of what you can expect I will breakdown the two sets. Please note, my review is for those consumers looking for a relatively inexpensive set of knives. Neither set is truly "professional quality"; the company's claims that they are should be taken with something less than a grain of salt. If you want/need that grade of knife you are going to pay quite a lot more for a single knife than you are paying for these two sets.


Ginsu - 14 piece set with 3.5" paring knife, six 4.5" steak knives, 4.5" utility knife, 5" boning knife, 8" slicer, 8" chef's knife and 7" Santoku knife. Scissors and plastic covered wood block.

Chicago Cutlery - 20 piece set with 2.75" peeler, 3.5"parer, eight 4.5" steak knives, 4.75" partoku knife, 5" boning knife, 5.5" utility knife, 6,.75"santoku, 7.5" chef's knife, 8" slicer, 9" bread knife, sharpening steel, kitchen shears and hardwood block.


Ginsu - All blades, with the exception of the santoku, are serrated and never need to be sharpened. This is supposed to prevent the tearing of food and eliminate the hassle of keeping the blades in good order. The blade handles are stainless steel and there is a black end piece with the Ginsu logo imbedded in it. The knives fit well in the hand, feel a bit light and are not especially sharp. (There is no comparison between the Ginsu bread knife and the Chicago cutlery one - the Ginsu flattens fresh bread and tears the skin of tomatoes, the Chicago Cutlery knife glides through both. The santoku knife in this set is the exception - it cuts very well but does need to be maintained. The knife set itself is pleasing to look at and would be a sharp addition to those kitchens with stainless steel appliances.

Chicago Cutlery - The non-serrated knives have a tapered edge on the blade for optimal sharpness, they also have the typical hollow ovals seen on most santoku knives to help food release from the knife. The metal tang extends from the tip of the blade to the end and this strengthens the knife and also gives it balance in the hand. The scalloped edge blades have the full tang as well. Both styles have a triple rivet securing the handle to the tang. The handles are black plastic and are formed to fit the hand. The knives slice well, fit nicely in the hand and have a pleasing weight to them. The knife set will look appropriate in most kitchens.


Ginsu - Dishwasher safe*.
Chicago Cutlery - Hand washing recommended.


Ginsu - Wood block with black plastic cover.
Chicago Cutlery - Hardwood storage block.


Ginsu - Limited lifetime warranty.
Chicago Cutlery - Full lifetime warranty.

As noted above, I would have no qualms about recommending the Chicago cutlery set to the typical weekend warrior cook. It is a very good value for the money. The Ginsu set I would recommend only for those who like a bit of flash, very little hassle (with sharpening), a smaller unit and don't mind mediocre performance.

*For purposes of this review I am putting these knives in the dishwasher and seeing how they hold up, so far, so good, if I note etching, water spotting or other undesirable effects I will update. (Side note: years of experience and advice have taught me to keep my sharps out of the dishwasher.)
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on May 1, 2015
All the knives do not fit! Going to have to buy an whole new block!
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VINE VOICEon February 22, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
... and my knife skills aren't going to impress anyone on "Top Chef," but I just was not happy with this knife set. The steak knives and the kitchen shears work just fine, but the other knives are all terribly awkward to use, in my opinion.

I found the "Always Sharp blade with symmetric edge technology" was consideribly less impressive than it sounds. The paring knife was almost impossible for me to use, and I think I tried every knife in this set trying to find one that would cut through a large sweet potato with ease. (I ended up getting one of my old Henckels -- the cheap ones -- out, which did the job with no problem at all.)

I did find the knives satisfactory for cutting through meat, but I really wouldn't recommend them when so many of these knives are so difficult to use. I'm giving them to charity and hanging on to my Henckels.
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on February 28, 2014
I was given the Ginsu cutlery and at the time was thrilled. The sharpness wore off within a year. I use cutting board and care for my utensils. They are garbage. Once again a commercial hype. I would invest in Cutco- You buy cheap you get cheap. I am very disappointed.
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on April 27, 2013
Great knives, just do not put them in the dishwasher. They WILL rust. Also, each time I place a knife in the block, it slowly chips away at the block leaving behind a black residue underneath the block.
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VINE VOICEon January 9, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First, I must say that I am not a master chef but I do like to cook. I also have a set of Wusthof knives from Costco. That being said for the price, I would say it would be hard to beat these knives! The knives perform very well especially the 8" Chef's knife. They are light and the blades are very sharp. I have been using these for a few weeks and they have retained their edge. After a few weeks, I can honestly say that I can't really tell the difference between the 2 knife sets. If I had to choose, I would definitely go with the Ginsu ones since they are much cheaper.
I know some people have had a problem with their wood blocks being damaged but mine was fine out of the box.
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