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161 of 183 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2007
I'm not a professional chef, but I know my way around a kitchen. One thing I never stint on is knives. Cheap knives are a waste of time--good knives are a joy forever. By "cheap" I mean badly crafted knives, not inexpensive knives, because it's always possible to find a moderately-priced knives that outperforms knives double or triple the price.

This is one of those knives.

I haven't been able to determine whether this knife is forged or stamped. The price makes me think it must be stamped, but the Victorinox site implies it's forged. No matter--either way, this is a fantastic knife.

It weighs a bit less than my Calphalon 8" chef's knife, and while I don't think the Calphalon is too heavy--many people do--I find that the Fibrox knife just feels better over the long haul--easier to manuever and control. It doesn't have a traditional bolster (another reason I wonder if it was stamped) but I find that it makes little or no difference--it's so well-balanced that gripping the front of the handle is perfectly adequate for control. (And you know what? The fibrox handle is very, very comfortable.)

Sharp? Yes, very. The reviewer who found hers to be dull must have had a knife that was damaged in some way, or somehow got past quality control, because out of the box this knife was exceeded in sharpness only by my Shun santoku.

Over the last two days, I've used this knife to trim and cube chuck steak and Boston butt, chop kale, slice chorizo, and dice roasted red peppers. I used it to carve our turkey at Thanksgiving, and it's equally at home doing a chiffonade of basil or dicing carrots. At this price, I'm likely to buy duplicates to keep both at my parent's and in-law's houses for when I cook there, because it's rapidly becoming the knife I can't work without in the kitchen.

Yes, I paid more for that santoku, but I think I like this knife better.
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944 of 1,100 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2008
I liked the knife at first but after only a few months of light use, about 1/4" of the tip seems to have broken off. This doesn't surprise me, as the blade is thin compared to the better knives.

Update on this review: I was beyond the Amazon 30-day return period, but Victorinox was more than happy to replace it, emphasizing that all their products have a lifetime guarantee.
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119 of 136 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2005
This is the chef's knife I've been looking for. The blade is the right balance between stiff and flexible. The perfectly curved shape automatically starts that rocking motion that makes chopping a breeze. I've been skeptical about ever developing the ability to chop like the chefs on cooking shows. No longer. And to think -- it was my bad knives to blame all this time! I'm buying several of these to give as Christmas gifts this year.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2006
Have lots of knives and all were more expensive by far than this gem and yet this is the one I reach for more often than not. I was afraid it might feel flimsy but it doesn't. It holds it edge nicely. I'd be happy to own more than one.
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682 of 805 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2006
The Forschner 40520 was rated as "best overall" in Cooks magazine in Fall 2004. Pretty good report card from "the" chefs magazine. It took top honors over several high end ($80 -$100+) Wusthofs and Henckel models. While they didn't claim that the Forschner was better at any one specific task or that the craftsmanship can stand up to the others (its blade is cut from a blank ribbon of steel, instead of a hand-forged one piece) they did say that its lighter weight was preferred by some of their testers and that it handled the basics just as well as more expensive models. I just took delivery of mine last week and I am putting it to the test. I can say that it arrives razor sharp...nice... and that it's fairly well balanced. The handle is made of a grippy composite that allows you to securely hold firm if wet or in akward positions. The handle is a little longer than others I've owned, maybe too long for small hands, but it is contoured so you can move up towards the blade for better control. The blade does have a nice rocked contour, which makes chopping & dicing easier. I've grown to prefer ligher weight blades and you don't sacrifice much when it's this sharp. Overall I would say that for the price, this is a great chef knife..time will tell if any problems develop. Definitely doesn't have the same craftsmenship or allure of one of the high end Germans, but if your looking for a highly functional, lightweight, standard chef, it's hard to go wrong here.
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219 of 257 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2007
The knife length is determined by the size of the cutting board, and it is rare to see anything larger than 18 X 24 inch boards in a home kitchen, which is perfect for an 8 inch knife.

In commercial kitchens, we tend to use 24 X 36 inch laminated maple cutting boards 2 inches thick, and these work well with a 10 inch knife.

A professional entre-metier can chop about a ton of vegetables per hour with a 10 inch knife, but home cooks are more likely looking at a about a pound per minute, thus the 8 inch knife.

I have tried almost every knife ever invented for over 30 years now, and I have never found anything even close to Victorinox for balance, edge, and value, even in knives that cost 10 times as much, that are often good only for squashing tomatoes.

Plus, knives are always kept razor sharp (always buy a coarse/fine carborundum oil stone and sharpening steel), and attempting to wield a 10 inch or larger knife can be extremely dangerous for those that have not been professionally trained (they are also dangerous to those that have been professionally trained, and I have a few scars to prove that). Best Regards.
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288 of 340 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2005
This knife is such a value. I have always had a hard time accepting the high-prices on Wuesthoff or Henckel knives because I never felt the VALUE was worth it. Boy am I glad I held out for the Victorinox knife! This knife, also known as Forschner, is consistently sharp. Just a few swipes of the sharpening steel and its good as new again. I use this knife and a 6" every day. The handles are comfortable and do not get slippery when wet. They are practically the only knives I use. I wash and wipe dry after each use (NEVER put in the dishwasher). I think you'll be as pleased as I if you try this knife.
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161 of 189 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2007
I to bought this knife because of the rating in Cook's Illustrated. I have Henckels and was interested in something to use in more utilitarian situations. I didn't want to baby it; I wanted to use it and then put it in the dishwasher and forget about it. After using this knife I realized that I made a mistake in ever buying the Henckels. They now seem heavy and clumsy in my hand. Every time I reach for a knife I grab this one. I only bought one knife because I wanted to see if it would hold an edge and to see how hard it would be to re-sharpen. Well after a year of constant use I still don't know how hard it will be to re-sharpen because I haven't had to do that yet. It was yesterday while slicing tomatoes that I realized just how fantastic this knife was. Here I had a knife that hadn't been sharpened in a year and I was slicing tomatoes like I was using a seriated utility knife! The only reason I don't have more than one is because my magnet is full of Henckels that I don't like to use. Anybody want to buy a set of totally babied Henckels? I need more knives I like to use.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2009
Based on all the promotion by Cook's Illustrated one would think that using this knife would be some sort of zen-like experience. It's not.

The stamped blade arrived very sharp and the handle is grippy but has some deformation where it was pulled from its mold. The blade slices easily through food and is capable of making thinner slices than most forged knives but that's where the good news starts to end. Food sticks like crazy to the smooth-as-glass stamped blade which can really slow down certain tasks. When chopping or mincing, the lightweight design doesn't feel nearly as smooth as a good forged knife.

I compared the Victorinox side by side with a generic Chinese forged knife that is a copy of a Wusthof or Henckels. I prefer the Chinese knife by a considerable margin. The forged knife has a much better feel when chopping and the rougher surface of the forged blade causes most food to pop off the blade whereas it sticks to the Victorinox. The wedging action of the thicker forged blade also helps to make prep work go faster with most foods than with the Victorinox.

So while the Victorinox is a good knife for the price it's certainly not a worthy substitute for a high-end German or Japanese knife. In fact, a good Chinese forged knife might be a better choice for about the same amount of money. The Chinese knife will probably need to be sharpened out of the box but that's a skill that every knife owner should know. If you're really a serious chef then get a Wusthof Ikon or other high-end knife and enjoy. Of course, those knives will eventually need sharpening as well.

I have to agree with some of the more critical reviews here. The Victorinox is good for an inexpensive knife but it's not the chef's delight that some would have others believe.
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63 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2006
I selected this knife because it was recommended by Cooks Illustrated as a lighter weight french knife. The handle is easy to grip and the knife is very sharp -- a delight to use.
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