Pros: Very sharp; great warranty; free factory sharpening
Cons: Expensive; must be bought from a salesman; EXTREMELY aggressive salesmen
Rating: 4 out of 5
My fiancee and I went to a product show (for kitchen products) with a friend on a lark. She knew going in that she would be looking for good knives, and we stuck around while she listened to the Cutco salesman’s pitch. We were so impressed that we bought a whole set, even though we hadn’t intended to; we haven’t been disappointed since. They’re very sturdy and sharp, and they’re easy to sharpen even when you do dull them. I’ve never had such an easy time slicing things before. They get a little dull after slicing something very starchy, like sweet potatoes, but you can get a simple sharpener from Cutco to go with them that takes care of that in minutes. If the knives ever get very dull, you can have them professionally sharpened by Cutco for the cost of shipping!
Cutco knives have resin handles, so they won’t split like wood. The knife blades extend all the way through the handles and are bolted in, so they can’t be pulled out. The serrated blades have what’s called a “Double D” blade, and heck, we’ve found that we can cut straight down through vegetables with it without any sawing motion – it’s that sharp!
The kitchen shears are fantastic, and will cut through the rib cage of a chicken with ease. The spatula-like spreader is great for everything from butter to jam. You’re supposed to avoid getting mayonnaise on it or it can discolor, though.
The warranty is fabulous. If anything goes wrong, they’ll replace your knives. Even if the thing that goes wrong is user stupidity, they’ll replace them at half-price. That’s how difficult these knives are to damage!
My only real complaint is that you can’t buy Cutco in the store. I admit it, I don’t really like dealing with sales people (Sales reps take note (added later): All you Cutco reps reading this, our local representative’s phone number came with the catalog. You can all stop emailing me with your names & phone numbers. Really. There’s already been about 10 of you. Enough already. I appreciate the helpfulness, but I’m unlikely to hand out my credit card information to any person who emails me out of the blue. Thank you and have a nice day…), so I’d be happier if I could buy Cutco knives in the store.
We’ve had our Cutcos for more than three years now, and there’s not a scratch on them. And believe me, we are not easy on our kitchen tools.
Added in 2004: When we moved to another state we solved the problem of packing up and moving our knives by taking advantage of the chance to send them to the factory for re-sharpening. We love the shape they came back in, and Cutco even repaired a little bend in one knife that we’d hardly noticed, at no charge.
Added 3/16/2006: I’ve had people berate me for giving these a positive review, stating that every decent chef knows that forged knives–not stamped–are the way to go. Yes, I’ve heard that too. However, if you read food scientist Alton Brown’s equipment guide, he has a much more balanced view of the pros and cons between the two different types of knives. And, well, my experience with these knives has been positive, so I’m not about to either lie and say I hate them just because someone tells me I should, or write some bizarre “we love ours but people tell me this kind of knife is bad, so don’t buy it,” kind of review. I call ’em as I see ’em, folks–these reviews are based entirely on our experiences, good or bad.
Added 7/18/2006: That’s it. I’m dropping my rating a point (to 4) simply because of the salespeople. That’s how irritating they’ve become. I love these knives, but at this point I may never buy from Cutco again because I can’t stand their aggressive salespeople. Even the note in the above review asking sales reps not to write and offer to sell me more knives apparently isn’t enough–I’m STILL getting emails. One sales rep’s mother emailed me to try to sell me knives. The customer service is awesome, the product is incredible, but the salespeople single-handedly make dealing with this company a complete turn-off.