If you are in the market for an affordable chef’s knife, you need the Victorinox 40520 Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife.
For the first 7 or so years that Lia and I had been together, we had been using kitchen knives handed down to do me by my mother. Maternal love notwithstanding, these knives were anything but great. They did the job for the most part, but I’d used a really nice set of chef’s knives for a couple years before I suddenly no longer had access to them. For a long time I wished I had them again but could never afford new ones. Then, one day Lia and I just got fed up with the inability of our knives to cut worth a damn and I sat down to do some quality research. It was getting close to Christmas and I felt it was time to gift ourselves.
Now, buying a chef’s knife or set of knives is a major purchase that affects your life, like a good quality office chair or a set of audiophile quality headphones so you shouldn’t take it lightly. Being one of those people who does endless research before I make a decision on a major purchase like that, I was delighted when my research paid off and saved me a lot of money on a high quality chef’s knife. Enter the Victorinox Fibrox Chef’s Knife.
Most people know the name Victorinox as makers of Swiss army knives, but few realize they make an excellent line of kitchen knives as well. As soon as this knife arrived via Amazon, the apathy we often experienced when faced with cutting vegetables or meat evaporated like a Seattle fog in the new day sun. Suddenly we were cutting everything we could that was edible and then some things that weren’t. Both of us also managed to badly nick our fingers in short order and quickly learned to respect this knife.
Coming from both ends of the kitchen knife spectrum of cheap and bad to awesome and expensive, I never imagined a knife this affordable could be this good. Costing under $30 on Amazon, the Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch chef’s knife is made of a stamped high carbon stainless steel blade which happens to be the same grade as that in the classic Wusthof knives which cost three times as much. While not quite as heavy, the knife still feels good in the hand and quickly becomes an extension of your arm as you slice your way to nirvana. The Fibrox handle is exceptional, being super-grippy even in the messiest carving situation. No matter how slimy our hands have been, neither of us have never lost our grip on the knife. I also find it very comfortable to use, and makes me admit that I don’t like the feel of the handle of a lot of more expensive chefs knives when using them in the proper fashion with my index finger resting around the top of the blade.
The knife comes razor sharp and keeps its edge for quite a long time. It was a good 3-4 months of use before we had to take a steel to it to hone the edge back to peak performance and only now almost two years later do we think it’s finally time to take the knives in to have them professionally sharpened. As long as you’re cutting on a suitable surface (ie, NOT plastic) like a nice Epicurean cutting board or butcher block, your knife should stay wicked sharp for a good long time. Victorinox knives also come with a lifetime warranty.
If you don’t believe my opinion and want more, America’s Test Kitchen gave it top marks and it was the only “Highly Recommended” knife in the Inexpensive Chef’s Knives category. Cooking for Engineers also liked it, naming it the “best Value” in their extensive tests between 11 knives of various brands. Of course, the Japanese knives beat out the Henckles and Wusthof offerings, but the big surprise is that the Victorinox knife beat out the German knives in every respect. Granted, the contest is seven years old, but regardless this is still impressive, even now that Wusthof has updated knives available. If you STILL aren’t convinced this is worth a look, read the reviews on Amazon and take note of it’s ranking at the top of Amazon’s best seller list for kitchen knives.
We have been so impressed with the chef’s knife, we’ve since purchased two 4-inch paring knives (these things are scary), the 7-inch santoku and the 10-1/4-inch bread knife that Victorinox also makes. I think it’s fair to say that we’re pretty much set and are definitely not feeling like we need anything more than this. Luxury brands no longer hold sway over our minds as they once did (although it’s hard not to drool over the Global knives at our local kitchen store.) We’re very content with Victorinox. Any of our friends who have used our knives are blown away by them and many have purchased their own.
If you’re still using one of those awful serrated knife sets from Wal-Mart or Target, do yourself a favor and order one of these knives, then watch this informative video by Alton Brown on proper knife handling. You will be amazed at how much a really great knife can change how much you enjoy cooking!
The Giveaway! (Now Ended)
And now for the really awesome part! We’re giving away one of these fantastic knives (a $50 value!) to one lucky random person! You have two ways to enter the drawing.
1. Simply “Like” us on Facebook.
2. And/or leave a comment here, telling us how badly you need new knives.
Doing each of the above will give you an entry into the drawing. If you have already liked us on Facebook, you’re already entered and need only leave a comment to double your odds!
The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (sorry to everyone outside North America) and will be open until 12:01AM US Central Standard Time on Thursday the 16th, 2012. One randomly-lucky individual will be announced here and notified via email or Facebook for shipping information.
Good luck, and tell your friends! (especially if their knives are terrible.)
UPDATE 8/16/12: And the winner is…
A big congratulations to our lucky winner JESSICA DREW! Soon you should have an email request for your information so we can ship your sharp shiny new chef’s knife to you!
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our first giveaway! We promise to do this again soon (next month?), so don’t forget to watch the usual social channels (and here) for updates on future giveaways!
Stay classy, internet.