Customer Reviews: Ginsu Chikara Series 07112 12 Piece Cutlery Set
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Size: 12 Piece|Change
Price:$98.32+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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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.

**UPDATE: 12/20/10
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!

**UPDATE: 9/3/2011
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.

**UPDATE 2/2/2013

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.
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on June 12, 2010
I have been a professional chef for over twenty years and have always reserved my good quality knives for use at work. I have had a few budget sets for home use over the years (since I worked a lot I didn't do enough cooking at home to justify spending $200-$300 for a high quality block set for the house). When I saw this set on Amazon, I was very skeptical; and as a chef, I really didn't want a set of "Ginsu" knives sitting on my counter. So I researched these knives on several different sites and decided to give them a try.
I am extremely satisfied with the performance of these knives and I am recommending them to all of my aquaitances. I was truly shocked to get such a high quality set of knives with great such great weight, strength, and balance for under $120.
Buy these knives.
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on June 25, 2009
This product was everything i expected, It is in Consumer Reports magazine as a best pick for a reason. Only flaw is that it does not come with a bread knife.
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on October 30, 2014
This is the first review I have ever written on Amazon; being asked to give a review by every vendor for every purchase everyday is a bit annoying. That being said, I finally had to write this. This is the worst set of knives I have ever seen. I purchased these nearly two years ago based on the recommendation from Consumer Reports. At first, I was excited by both the price and effectiveness. These knives were seriously sharp and well balanced.

I first noticed the problem with the paring knife within the first 4 months. When looking at the blade, I could see an actual indentation in the knife edge, as if I had hit it as hard as I could on something harder. Soon the knife started developing rust spots, and additional "chips" out of the beveled edge. I hand-wash all of my knives, dry them, store them, and use them properly. This was not an issue of misuse.

I contacted Amazon a few months later, and since it was beyond 90 days (maybe 180, can't recall for sure), they said they could not do anything and referred me to Ginsu (in Arkansas). Someone from there contacted me, and we had a phone conversation regarding the product. They asked about use (or misuse of the knife (i.e., did I put them in the dishwasher, cut open cans, etc...)), and then the rep actually asked if I stored them in the kitchen near the sink where they would be susceptible to rust. Seriously? Knives in the kitchen? Isn't that where they are generally stored?

They agreed to send me a replacement at no cost, which I appreciate. In the past year, that knife, the Chef's knife, and the utility knife have all had multiple chips/divots in the blade, as well as rust spots. I did get a replacement for the utility knife, but again, the replacement is in the same deteriorated condition now.

I love to cook and have used knives for 35+ years. Many brands, many stores (e.g., K-Mart) and have never seen a set of knives rust and chip like these. I see many people are happy with this set of knives, and more power to them. I suppose my knives are an anomaly, but it's weird how even the replacements knives end up the same.

I do not recommend these knives.
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on March 6, 2011
First off, I'm not a pro chef or anything just an occasional home chef. I do have a few really nice Wusthof Classic knives, but not a whole set. The other cutlery sets I have are cheap junk. I was looking for a quality set that wouldn't break the bank and these were rated very well by Consumer Reports and all the reviews were good. I've had them a few days now...

The Good:
When I took these out of the package, I was impressed by the feel in my hand and the weighting. I immediately hand washed them and tried them out. They cut very well and are very sharp. I especially like the handles. They have a nice feel and grip to them. Also, the handles are slightly longer than my Wusthof handles on the same size knives which I REALLY like. AT this point, I was REALLY excited about my new knives....

The Bad:
After being so excited, I did have a few issues arise. The biggest issue is that one of the steak knives is very noticeably shorter than the others (see my pictures posted on the product page at the top). It is not a huge issue because it still works, but when you pay almost a hundred dollars for cutlery, you expect a little more quality control than when you pay twenty five for a set. The second issue is with the "bamboo" block. I thought I was buying a bamboo block, but it turns out that only the outside it bamboo. The inside is a cheap white wood of some sort (see pictures poste). Again this does not affect the usage, but my expectation were set higher and I feel deceived.

If I had to buy them again....yes. A little hesitation, but in the end they are great knives for the money.

UPDATE: Customer Service was great! Didn't expect it to be an American company. They are sending me a replacement steak knife at no cost and I don't have to send them the short one.
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on January 14, 2009
The Good:
Excellent knives for $119. Good weight and balance of handle and blade. It feels great in your hand. Razor sharp but sharpening is a must before each use (or at least every other use). It may not have the prestige presence of a Wusthof or Henckels set on the kitchen counter, but it DOES NOT look cheap. Its Japanese design and bamboo block make it more of a resemblance of a Shun knives set. And Shun is actually more expensive than the two more popular brands.

The Bad:
Handle's finish becomes very flat and dull after wash. Dab a little oil on a paper towel and rub it on the handle and it will look fantastic without being slippery.

The Ugly:
The Ginsu name seems to make it sounds like a cheap TV offer knives set. But believe me it looks and performs like a $500 set.

***Best knives set for your money. You will not find a better knives set for $120 unless you find a set of high end Shun, Wusthof or Henckels for 85% off at a closeout sale somewhere.
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on September 12, 2009
I saw this knife set in a Consumers Report magazine and they were VERY highly rated. The good thing about these knives is that you get solid quality and performance but for much less than a Henckels or Wusthof type knife. I'm not a professional chef by any means so I don't need to drop $300 - $500 on knives but the set I was using before was ridiculous. Long story short, these knives cut great and they even feel like a really solid product. I sort of smirked when I saw the name Ginsu. I still have those old-time infomercials in my mind's eye but I guess Ginsu really is a legit brand name. I am definitely satisfied with this purchase!
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on March 27, 2008
Don't let the name Ginsu fool you: This is a beautiful, professional-level knife set that screams quality--at an exceptionally low price (list price = $169.95). Ginsu has really upped its game (note that there are a lot of cheap knock-off knives out there that call themselves Ginsu, especially Ginsu 2000 and 3000, which are total junk). Several other points: 1. This set recently won a best in category Housewares Design Award; 2. The knives and block are made in China (just an fyi); 3. The company is actually owned by Berkshire Hathaway, i.e., Warren Buffet; 4. You should not run these through the dishwasher; 5. You will need to think about a sharpening system in addition to usual honing steel that comes with the set (I suggest the Edgemaker Pro system, which, if you search hard enough on the 'net, can be had for as little as $22.95 with free shipping). Shipping was very fast from this merchant.
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on October 11, 2010
I have had this knife set for about 2 weeks, and here are my impressions so far:

-Package was shipped well. Knives were individually wrapped and protected to prevent dulling during shipping, and block had no chips/scratches or anything of that nature.

-Nice balance in the hand. Feels "good" to wield, easy to control when cutting. Handles are best sized for someone with smaller hands, I think. Someone with huge hands might wish the handles were bigger.

-Quite sharp right out of the box, and stays that way if you hone the knives before each use, or at least every other use. Unfortunately, I had to go to the Ginsu website to read their instructions for honing the knives, as no such instructions were included in the packaging. Honing is important: by honing properly before each use, the knife stays sharper for longer, meaning safer+easier cutting and fewer trips to a knife shop to have the set sharpened again.

-Love the Santoku knife, use it more than any other knife in the set. Great for chopping and dicing.

-No proper bread knife in this set. Seems like an oversight to me, since a bread knife is one of those must-have things in a knife set. The serrated 5-inch knife can be used as a bread knife if the loaf is small and the crust is not too thick. Still, they should have included a real bread knife.

-Bamboo knife block is of good quality, and it looks good on the counter. Still, I wish it had been designed like most knife blocks where the knives rest at an angle in the block. It makes it easier to get the knives out and put them back, especially in a crowded kitchen where the block is crammed against the wall among other things.

Overall, I think this is an extremely good knife set for the money, and I am glad that I bought it. Treat the knives well by honing them every time and drying them immediately after use, and they will treat you well in return. I bought this knife set because it had such good reviews here and in Consumer Reports, and nothing in my experience so far has contradicted those good reviews.

If you need a knife set, you can't do better than this set for the money, in my opinion.
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on December 3, 2009
Just like everyone said these knives are very sharp and have stayed that way so far. The bamboo knife block and the handles are very well made and look very good. I have avoided rusting by cleaning and drying the knives as soon as im done with them. A quality product.
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