Are you eager to take your knives to the next level? When you first learned the basics of kitchen prep work and started cooking up entire meals, the knives you used were probably the least of your priorities. Back then, what was more important were gathering the right ingredients, using the perfect proportions, and nailing down the proper cooking techniques.
Now that you have thoroughly grasped the fundamentals, you deserve an upgrade. It’s time to throw out your old kitchen equipment and have them replaced. You can start with your knife block. As your cooking skills improve, you also have to avail yourself of a set of kitchen knives that can keep up with your pace while also helping you improve your cooking skills.
Among the many knife brands in the market, Mercer kitchen knives are deemed one of the best. If you’re interested to learn more about these knives, then read our review below!
Some Essential Know-How Before Buying Kitchen Knives
What most people do not know is those kitchen knives are actually composed of different kinds of knives. The common denominator among these knives is that every single one of them is used inside the kitchen, specifically for prep work. There is no single “kitchen knife” per se. Rather, the term “kitchen knife” is a catch-all term for any knife used atop your kitchen counter.
As you can imagine, there is a kitchen knife designed for every specific task in the kitchen. For instance, when cutting up bread into smaller pieces, you would use a bread knife, which is an example of a kitchen knife. There are many other kinds of kitchen knives that you must familiarize yourself with. In the next section, you will discover what they are and how they can serve you.
So, What Are the Various Types of Kitchen Knives Again?
Due to the sheer number of kitchen knives out there, it is easy to get confused about which kind of kitchen knives you have to purchase. It entirely depends on what you see yourself preparing and cooking in the kitchen. For example, if you see yourself deboning and filleting meat, there are kitchen knives designed to help you easily remove the meat from the bones.
Here is a list of the most common types of kitchen knives you will encounter:
- Chef knife
- Utility knife
- Paring knife
- Bread knife
- Carving knife
- Butcher knife
- Boning knife
- Filleting knife
- Salmon knife
- Santoku knife
- Nakiri knife
- Tomato knife
- Peeling knife
Before you go out to the department store or online to buy a kitchen knife set, you should first consider your needs. You wouldn’t want to throw your hard-earned money on knives that you won’t ever use. Think about what kind of food preparation you usually do and how a specific kitchen knife would help you speed up the process and make it easier for you.
What Should I Check for When Buying Kitchen Knives?
Upon perusing the extensive catalog from the store, you might find yourself wondering which among the knives on sale is the best one for you. Below are just a few things that you must check for when out in the store to buy kitchen knives.
The kitchen knife market is saturated with stainless steel knives for good reason. In fact, most of your kitchen equipment is probably made from the same material. This is because stainless steel is non-corrosive, making it perfect for situations where water is constantly present. You can wash your knives under tap water without worrying about rust or stain.
Aside from stainless steel, there are knives that are also made from different materials. For instance, carbon steel knives are the preferred material for peeling knives and cleavers because of their rigidity and strength. Another example is ceramic knives which are made of zirconia. They are extremely lightweight compared to stainless steel knives and are non-corrosive as well.
Stamped or Forged
If you choose to go with stainless steel knives, you should know that not all of them are made the same way. While they do share the same appearance that you would expect from a stainless steel knife, how they were manufactured determines the differences in terms of quality and price.
Generally, there are two ways by which steel knives are made: stamped and forged. Forged knives are made by pouring molten steel into a cast, then hammered into its proper shape, and finally, honed and polished. Meanwhile, stamped knives are faster and more cost-effective since they are merely cut from the same metal sheet, making them less expensive than forged knives.
Besides the sharp edge of the blade, the other important thing to check is how the handle feels. Since you are going to be using the knife by gripping its handle, you should make sure that it feels just the way you want it to. You mustn’t downplay the importance of a good and comfortable handle as it can affect your workflow and safety.
Usually, handles (also called scales) are made of wood. While wood is not the most durable material out there, most chefs and cooking enthusiasts would agree that wood feels firm yet comfortable in your hand. Less expensive options also include plastic handles which do not feel as comfortable as wood. Some even forego the handle by extending the tang into a steel handle.
Individual or Set
Whether you want to purchase an entire set of kitchen knives or just a single one, the decision is entirely up to you. If you want to fill the slots of your kitchen knife block in one go, you can buy an entire set and be done with it. However, this can make you spend money on knives that you won’t ever use. Also, this route denies you the chance to discover knives from other brands.
Meanwhile, buying individual knives can lend you more flexibility in options. Some knife brands design and manufacture specific kitchen knives better than others. If you purchase an entire set from them, you might end up buying subpar kitchen knives. However, if you wish to populate your knife block, buying knives per piece will be more expensive overall.
Before committing to buying a kitchen knife or a knife set, check for the after-sales service first. You can do this by reading the reviews from customers who bought the knives. You have to be on the lookout for email response time and warranty information. Some brands offer lifetime guarantees, while others only offer limited warranties within one to three years of purchase.
What Is the Best Kitchen Knife?
The answer to this question is entirely up to you and your needs and wants. There is no single “best kitchen knife” that ticks everyone’s boxes. However, there are brands that consistently push high-quality kitchen knives out in the market and are certainly worth looking into. In the next section, you will learn about the Renaissance knife set from Mercer Culinary!
Introducing the Mercer Culinary Renaissance Knife Set
If you are ready to massively overhaul your collection of kitchen knives, then you must consider the Renaissance knife set from Mercer Culinary. The knife set includes five different kitchen knives and a tempered glass knife block. Aside from being an aesthetic addition to your kitchen countertop, the knife set includes kitchen knives most commonly used in the kitchen.
Specs at a Glance
- Available on Amazon for $162.49
- Comes with five different kitchen knives
- Includes a fashionable tempered glass block
- Knives made of non-corrosive steel (X50CrMoV15 )
- One-piece forged construction for extra durability
- Comes with a tang that extends into the entire handle for added support
- Easy maintenance - can easily be honed and resharpened
- Comes with a Mercer Culinary limited lifetime warranty
About the Brand
Committed to providing only the best products and services to the foodservice industry, Mercer Culinary boasts a wide range of products such as cutlery, kitchen utensils, sharpening tools, kitchen storage, and even kitchen apparel. While they are not in the same league as the premium brands such as Wusthof, they have a well-respected reputation among chefs and hobbyists alike.
Remaining as one of the industry leaders for more than 30 years, Mercer Culinary has become a beloved name among culinary students, professionals, and workers in the foodservice industry. The company has provided more than 90% of culinary academies in North America with essential kitchen equipment such as the Mercer chef knife and Mercer steak knives.
Beautiful and Sleek Knife Block
If you already have a knife block of your own, then be prepared to bid it farewell. The tempered glass knife block that comes with the Renaissance kitchen knife set is absolutely stunning with its sleek and modern aesthetic. No matter the interior design you have in your kitchen, the tempered glass block will surely fit right in and even add to its beauty and charm.
Made of German Steel
The Renaissance knives are actually made of German steel. Each of the five knives that come with the Renaissance knife set is made from X50CrMoV15 steel. This type of steel is rich in chromium content, resulting in high corrosion resistance. Aside from chromium, the steel is also high in carbon and vanadium, both of which offer extra hardness.
As mentioned before, one of the drawbacks of buying a whole set of knives is that you might end up with one or two knives that you are never going to use. The good thing about the Renaissance knife set is that it includes the most commonly used knives in the kitchen. Below are the specific knives that you can expect from the package:
- M23540 Paring Knife
- M23600 Utility Knife
- M23560 Flexible Boning Knife
- M23570 Wavy Edge Bread Knife
- M23510 Chef’s Knife
While extremely rare, a small number of customers who bought the Renaissance knife reported about the blade slipping off the handle. This can be a serious hazard as it can lead to accidents such as cuts and open wounds. However, only a handful of customers report such scenarios and can be dismissed as rare cases of defective units managing to evade quality control.
Another drawback mentioned in several product reviews is the lacking sharpness out of the box. While a quick honing and sharpening of the blade does the trick, it does say a lot about the manufacturing process behind these knives. If you already have a honing rod or a knife sharpener at your disposal, then you wouldn’t have to worry about this issue.
Otherwise, you can check out our sharpening guides to help you out.
If you buy a Renaissance knife set from Mercer Culinary, you can be assured that your knives will be covered by their limited lifetime warranty. If you wish to make a warranty claim, you can simply head to Mercer Culinary’s official website. You will be asked your personal details, proof of purchase, and a photo of the knife in question.
Having great culinary skills doesn’t have to be expensive. While it does take practice, upgrading your skills in the kitchen can be made easy by a set of high-quality knives. Mercer knives are known for their impressive quality and affordable price tags. If you need an entirely new set of knives, you cannot go wrong with Renaissance knives from Mercer Culinary.
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