Customer Reviews: Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife
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on November 10, 2001
The Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife is by far the best ever, and I've used three other brands. The knife and blades store securely in the very attractive tray and the attached cord tucks away neatly behind the stand. I especially like the bread knife which works wonderfully on crusty breads. The blades slip easily into the knife handle and are just as easily removed. This is definitely a quality product and well worth the price.
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on August 4, 2006
I bought this knife and wanted to use it to carve up a roasted pig for a luau party I was having. The knife was a little under powered, it seemed to struggle when cutting larger slices. The pig was quite large (60 lbs) and after about 20 minutes of continuous use the knife became quite warm and stopped working. After a few choice explectives I handed it to my husband. Lucky for me my husband is a mechanical engineer who owns his own business which includes a metal working machine shop. Later that week he took it apart and discovered that there is a very fragile plastic Nylon gear that is part of the main drive. The plastic teeth on the gear were stripped and that is why the knife stopped working. He told me he did a few quick gear calculations (he is a smart fellow) and determined that the plastic nylon gear teeth strength was way underpowered for the design. He was able to make a duplicate gear out of stainless steel in his machine shop and assembled the new metal gear into the knife replacing the junk plastic one. Since that time the knife has worked flawless. I have since carved all sorts of roasts, pork, turkeys and no matter how long or hard the carving is, even if I hit a bone, it never stopped working. The Cuisinart engineers should be embarrased, this is such an easy fix to make (all they need to do is change out the Plastic nylon gear for a metal one, maybe cost them an extra 10 cents?), it is like they never did any research and developement on this product because I know if they tried to cut anything other then bread the dam knife would stop working after about 10 minutes of use. I would say that all the good reviews here are from people slicing bread, if you want to slice meat and use the knife for more then 10 minutes you will need to find an engineer and a machine shop to replace the plastic gear, after that it works great.
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on November 24, 2006
I am very disappointed with this product. I was carving my Thanksgiving turkey yesterday when the knife stopped working after it got hooked on bone in the wing. The motor continued to work, but the blades stopped moving. The knife has only been used 3 times, but I had to throw it out today. I opened the plastic case, and found a metal worm gear coming off the motor shaft,and a cheap nylon gear attached to it to move the blades back and forth. The nylon gear was stripped and the knife was useless. My prior knife, much less expensive, lasted for 18 years. The Cuisinart knife is not well made and only works well when it is not under any stress.
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on January 30, 2008
I bought one of these last August to use up a gift card. I used it for the first time the week before Thanksgiving on a london broil. I got through about three slices before the blades stopped slicing. The knife motor ran but the blades did not slice. After reading one of the earlier reviews, I suspect the teeth on the cheap nylon gear Cuisinart uses instead of a metal gear stripped off.

I wanted to try an electric knife to carve the turkey and bought a Hamilton Beach Carve 'n Set which worked perfectly, came with a carving fork, was housed in a convenient storage case and, more importantly, cost $20.00 at a local BB&B.

I recently decided to return the defective Cuisinart for repair. They not only want $5.00 "to facilitate the speed and accuracy of your return..." but they also expect the consumer to pay the cost of shipping their defective Cuisinart CEK-40 back to them.

Despite the quality and longevity of the other products they sell (we own several), their electric knife is a piece of comparatively expensive, klutzy junk that flaunts itself on more counter space than it needs or deserves. Their policy covering returns and repairs of defective products is the quintessential rip off.

If you need a quality electric knife at a very decent price, I suggest you consider the Hamilton Beach set and avoid Cuisinart's "gift" to the culinary world.
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on February 13, 2005
I bought this knife in November after reading the reviews here. I feed my large breed dog a "raw meaty bone" diet and wanted a reliable knife to cut pork shoulders and other large pieces of meat. This knife exceeded my expectations. Worked so great on the Thanksgiving turkey (not for the dog), that I bought three more as Christmas gifts.

It does make a peculiar burning smell for the first hour or so of use, and my wooden knife holder was thrown out after the third use. It rests in the drawer just fine with the other larger utensils.

I highly recommend this knife.
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on January 1, 2006
First of all, this knife is underpowered. It bogs down easily and the blades feel reluctant to slice into anything. But there is also a fatal design flaw. The internal mechanism of this knife uses a stainless steel worm gear to drive a nylon circular gear which in turn drives the blades. The second time I used the knife (on Thanksgiving) the blades siezed up on a piece of turkey bone. The nylon gear ceased turning because of that but the worm gear continued to spin. I took it apart to see why the knife blades no longer moved even though the motor whirred away. Result? The nylon gear is stripped and the knife is irreparably dead. It isn't that hard to design a mechanism with a safety cutout to separate the gears if one stops rotating (or alternatively, to build both gears out of stainless steel) and given the fact that this is by far the most expensive electric knife there is, Cuisinart certainly should have been able to do so. A knife that disintegrates as soon as it hits something tough is worthless junk. This one cost me $25 per cut.
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on June 21, 2007
I have owned 3 of these knives, I cut bread with it from my bread machine almost daily and meat 6-7 times a year. It cuts well and performs like a champ. The only problem is that it has never lasted me past the warranty date. The first one I hadn't realized was under warranty so I bought a new one, the second one I sent in and they sent me a new one but amazingly it lasted a shorter time than the others. It turns out there is a significant design flaw in the trigger, at some point it only works Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knifeintermittently then stops working all together. 3 out of 3 knives can't be a coincidence. I'm going with a different brand especially since I can buy 2 electric knives from a different manufacturer for the outrageous price of one of these.
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on March 12, 2007
My mother and I bought two of these knives at approximately the same time, and we fell in love with them. But strangely, after just a few uses, the trigger buttons on both of our knives stopped working. After opening the device and adjusting the trigger switch, mine began working again...sometimes. During a number of dinners I have embarassingly clicked and clicked the trigger switch, then finally put the knife away and cut my food manually. Either this is a design flaw or a heck of a coincidence that both knives we purchased broke the same way. It doesn't work at all now. Otherwise, it's a great electric knife...but you are taking a chance when you buy this product!
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on September 27, 2003
This is, by far, the best electric knife I have ever used! I have tried many others that cost between 10.00 and 30.00 and all they did was chew whatever you were cutting into pieces. I have come to believe greatly that you get what you pay for. I have used the knife to cut meat and bread. The knife blades are so sharp that they can cut through hot bread without mashing or creating a pile of dust from the crust. My mother has borrowed it because the electric knife she owns just can't "cut it"..haha. I think I will order her one of her own for Christmas this year. You won't regret this purchase..look at it this can spend 50.00 now and never have to worry about getting another electric knife or you can spend 20.00 and be back looking for another one in a year.
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on November 11, 2002
I bought this item (my first electric knife) a few months ago because I was frustrated trying to carve meats such as brisket and roasts and having them disintegrate into a messy pile of chunks and strings. The Cuisinart CEK-40 is a bit higher in price, but I think it's worth the extra. The knife is high-quality, attractive, has a powerful motor and extra long 4-foot cord (which was a real selling point for me). The knife comes on a cutting board stand with room to store the blades and cord and will either stand on the counter or (in my case) fit nicely flat in a kitchen drawer. It cuts well with either hand (another selling point since I'm left-handed), and I particularly like the separate bread & carving blades (excellent quality and super-sharp) and safety lock (so that you can lay the knife down while it's plugged in, but it won't start if you touch the trigger). I haven't tried the knife on bread yet, but it works wonderfully on hot or cold meats, effortlessly turning them into neat, thin or thick slices with no tearing or crushing. All in all, I'm very satisfied and wonder now how I ever got along without it.
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