Victorinox kitchen knives is a great recommendation

With most products, there is a cost-quality tradeoff. Put differently, high quality products tend to be expensive, and crappy products tend be cheap. This is especially true when you’re talking about a market where quality is easy to evaluate (cars for example). It’s less clear in markets like fashion where quality is difficult to measure or you’re paying for intangibles like a brand.

Victorinox kitchen knives

If you ever find something that is both inexpensive and high quality, that’s the kind of discovery that makes Priceonomics tingle with happiness. The Victorinox Fibrox chef’s knife is that kind of product.

Cookware is a market where it’s hard to assess quality unless you’re an expert. Should you pay $300 for a pan? Is it actually better than the $10 pan, or is the manufacture charging you $290 for a tiny increase in quality? Who knows!

At Priceonomics, we don’t know. So, we asked cooking enthusiast Matt Maroon to put together a list of the essential equipment for a gourmet kitchen. Matt outlined the problem:

Many types of cookware are what Scott Adams would call a confusopoly. Customers know so little about what they’re purchasing that their decisions are based more on branding or a salesman’s tactics than quality or price. Nowhere is that more the case than knives, where people routinely spend hundreds or even thousands for mediocre products.


Matt put together a great list of what you should buy if you want to get serious about cooking.

If you have ever walked into a kitchen supply store like Williams Sonoma, there are an overwhelming number of knives for sale and they can be extremely expensive. For a novice, it might seem like an impossible task to figure out which knife to purchase.

But Matt’s expert analysis showed us the way:

These don’t have to be expensive either, in fact most of the brands people can name aren’t very good. If you want to shell out the big bucks (~$250) for a Shun Ken Onion I can’t say I blame you. They’re beautiful and feel great in your hand, and nobody makes a better blade. But this $26 Fibrox by Victorinox is just as sharp and holds a good edge.

The Fibrox knife by Victorinox is a fantastic recommendation by Matt. It used to be called the Victorinox Forschner, and it was considered to be awesome back then too. At least that’s the conclusion of our exhaustive look at knife reviews. It’s quality is comparable to a much more expensive knife, but it only costs $26. It’s the high quality / low cost item that bucks the cost-quality tradeoff. It’s the kind of product we love at Priceonomics.

The comments on this Hacker News article highlighted the awesomeness of this knife:

“Strong recommend on the Fibrox knife. If you don’t already have a serious knife, don’t buy one; get the Fibrox and use it for awhile. You may never want another knife, and if you ever do, you’ll have a very good idea what you’re looking for. Beware of knives: they’re Veblen goods.”

“Victorinox Fibrox knives are by far the best value you will get. They are inexpensive and are quite the workhorse.”

We found only one real objection buried amongst all the praise:

One caveat that people rarely discuss about Victorinox Fibrox knives is that the don’t hold an edge very long. They’re a great starter knife and a great long-term knife if you don’t mind sharpening it fairly frequently.

So, if you need to buy a kitchen knife, Priceonomics recommends the Victorinox Fibrox chef’s knife for $26 on Amazon. We don’t know anything about kitchen knives, but we trust the people who recommend it. Even better, its high value to cost ratio fits nicely with our worldview of consumer products.


Difference between honing and sharpening

Tips from The Kitchn

If you watch food competition shows, you’ll probably see a competitor or chef expertly running their knives over that steel tool pictured above. In fact, you might even own one of those steels if you have a big knife set or knife block.

So do you know what that tool is? It sharpens knives, right? But here’s where you’re wrong: That tool, no matter what it is labeled, is decidedly not a sharpening steel.

Honing Steel

Sharpening vs. Honing

The tool many think of as a sharpening steel is actually a honing steel. So what’s the difference between honing and sharpening?

To know the difference, we first need to know why and how knives get dull. When a knife gets dull, the sharp edge has been lost and/or the blade’s edge is no longer aligned properly due to use. Even if the blade is still sharp, just losing that alignment means that it won’t cut through food properly.

So how do we get that sharp edge and alignment back? Here’s where honing and sharpening come in:

  • Honing: A honing steel basically pushes the edge of the knife back to the center and straightens it. It corrects the edge without shaving off much, if any, of the blade’s material. Honing doesn’t actually sharpen the knife, but if done properly, the knife will seem sharper because the blade is now in the proper position. Honing should be done often — some even hone before each use.
  • Sharpening: Sharpening, on the other hand, is a process where bits of the blade are ground and shaved off to produce a new, sharp edge. It can be done using a water stone, whetstone, or electric knife sharpener. Sharpening can be done less frequently than honing — just a few times a year depending on how much use the knife gets.

How to Tell If Your Knife Is Sharp

Knowing when your knife is dull and needs maintenance is important so you can cut, dice, and chop safely and with confidence. My favorite way to tell if a knife is sharp is to cut a tomato — since a sharp knife will easily cut through the tough skin and soft flesh with ease — but another way to test it is to try to slice through a piece of paper that you hold up in the air. Related information here.

Honing and Sharpening Knives

Knife need to be honed or sharpened? Here are a couple of tutorials and references to show you how to do it properly. It may seem awkward and strange at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be honing your knife like the pros you see on food TV.

And if knife sharpening seems too arduous a task, there’s no shame in taking it to a professional instead — in fact, that’s what I do, and I love the ease and results!

Are you hunting for a new kitchen knife

I have been on the hunt for a new knife for a while, having got hooked on the Global GS5 years ago and wanting a second similar knife for the kitchen for busy days.

Recently I have been reading a lot about various knife makes, European and Japanese, ceramic and steel, and got pointed in the direction of Wusthof- a mid-range German knife with good reviews that compare it favourably with much more expensive Japanese knives like Global, Shun, etc. however I wasn’t at all happy with the Wusthof santoku knife I tried so I continued looking and finally bought the Shun Nakiri. I live in the UK and had the best price, even after delivery and import costs, for this knife- the equivalent of around $150. It arrived this afternoon and I got it out and gave it a go. Immediately it is a huge improvement over the Wusthof and maybe slightly better than the Global it was bought to offer an alternative to.

Needless to say I am over the moon. I don’t mind paying this much for a good knife that I will use on a daily basis at all, even if others in my family think I’m crazy! The cost of other knives in the set is a set-back, however, as I would be reluctant to spend the same amount on the 4-inch paring knife I have my eye on, or over $200 after duty, etc for the 6-inch santoku which I could easily find room for in my kitchen. If the Santoku was the same price as this I would buy it in a second, and if the paring knife was around $70 I’d have that to. At the moment though this beauty will have to do, until it’s time for another treat at which point I will definitely look to Shun again.

You really get what you pay for with knives in my experience. So if you have the money and are going to get the use out of this to justify it, you will not be disappointed.

Article shared below is a guide on choosing the right kitchen knives:

” Before you go out and buy an expensive knife or set of knives, let’s look at a few knife basics so you know what you are talking about. No matter what you read about a particular knife or what’s hot with the celebrity chefs, the most important feature is how the knife feels in your hand.

Most high end quality knives are going to be made well and are sure to be sharp and hold an edge, but with knives, size does matter. If you have little hands, most likely you don’t want to be working with a 12 inch chefs knife. Some styles are lighter than others and might be right for you but not someone with big strong hands.
So do your homework and find someplace that will let you give the knife a test drive. This is a piece of equipment you will own for a long time and use everyday. ” – Source:

The Basic Cuts Using a Kitchen Knife

When working with peppers as pictured, always cut from the inside out–the waxy outer surface can cause the kitchen knife to slip. (More about knives here)

I’ve put together a few picture reels to assist you in learning some of the very basic knife skills. Specifically, I’ve included photos on the best way to go about dicing an onion, mincing/pasting garlic, and finely chopping herbs. I find that these are the skills that I use most in preparing meals.

types of cut

How to Dice an Onion

By keeping the root end intact, this method ensures that you can quickly dice an entire onion without creating a mess. Keep in mind that the more narrow your incisions, the finer the dice.

How to Mince Garlic

This method will allow you to quickly peel and mince garlic. By smashing the entire clove, you also release the flavorful juices. Adding kosher salt and making a paste comes in handy when adding garlic to a salad dressing or marinade.

How to Chop Fine Herbs

This process is actually defined as a “chiffonade.” For herbs which bruise easily (basil, sage, etc), this method allows you to cleanly and delicately slice herbs without damaging their texture.

Of course, these are just the fundamentals. Master everything here, and we’ll move on to butchering wild game in the near future.

Keep those knives sharp!