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Old 02-08-2009, 01:10 AM   #1
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Calphalon vs Anolon vs Norpro...opinions?

Hi, I was at Marshall's today and they have...

1. Anolon Advanced 7.5" Kyotsu
2. Calphalon 7" Santoku
3. Norpro Klever 7" Santoku

I didn't realize Anolon was making knives so I was suprised to see one on the shelf. I know Calphalon made knives. I've never heard of Norpro.

The Anolon lists their steel as German CroMo V, Ice Hardened and Glass Finished steel but it's actually made in China (steel sourced from Germany).

The Calphalon lists their steel as German steel but also made in China

The Norpro lists it's steel as X45CrMoV15 German steel, also made in China.

I'm guessing here. Is Anolon sourcing it's blades from Henckels because of the Ice Hardened marketing?

According to this source *sorry, can't post this yet due to forum restriction* the DIN shortened specification of EN X50CrMoV15, which is what Wusthof uses although the W claims their steel is 42(83?) not 4116, is X45CrMoV15. This makes me wonder about the Nordpro blades.

Calphalon? I have no idea but imagine it's one of these two.

Anyway, a little background first, I do own some Wusthof and a set of Henckels 5 star that I got years ago. I'm not THAT into knives that I want to buy Japanese steel at this point in time. I've noticed the Santoku design for awhile, I've seen and heard raves about the style and I've been curious to try it. Now, silly me, I got some cheapo Grand something or other for $5 a couple of years ago and of course I hated it but as I've had my Chef's knives I figured it was no big deal and I eventually gave it away. Today, as I was shopping at Marshall's I saw the three previously mentioned knives - the Calphalon and Analon for $20 and the Norpro for $10. The sales clerk was alright with me taking them out of the package and they all felt decent in my hand.

What I don't know, as I'm not really in the knife circle so to speak, is what grade steel I should expect from these knives? I know that German steel in general is doesn't hold it's edge like Japanese steel but there are still levels within German type steel. Looking around while searching for info many here show they are very knowledgeable.

So my question is (all that just to get to this? ): "Do the steels found in the aforementioned knives represent Wusthof or Henckels at it's finest or are they more comparable to the, what I would call, midgrade steel you find in the, for example, Henckels branded knives (the more expensive ones) at Target. It seems like Calphalon has "premium" in their literature for the Contemporary collection but not for their Everday collection which signifies to me that the former is better? I can't find anything on Norpro (not even their website) except for a few for sale listings on Amazon.

For the record, I signify midgrade steel to represent a knife that doesn't hold it edge as well as the top levels in their respective steel types (ie German sourced steel). I know $20 isn't that much in the long run but I figure it doesn't hurt to get opinions and information anyway, does it? Maybe there's a "sleeper" in the bunch which would beat shelling out more money for a tried and true brand name? Any hands on experience, advice and knowledge you can throw my way would be appreciated.

Thanks!!!

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Old 02-08-2009, 04:05 AM   #2
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I've tried an Anolon knife and seriously recommend that you don't touch them.
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:47 AM   #3
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Are they the Calphalon Katana-series knives? I've seen a few of those laying around my local TJX stores. The VG-1 is reputed to be a pretty good steel. Not as good as VG-10, but it's supposed to have a fairly high carbon content.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jpaulg View Post
I've tried an Anolon knife and seriously recommend that you don't touch them.
Specifics (If you don't mind my asking)?
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
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I picked up a Calphalon Katana Honesuki on clearance at BB&B the other day. I used it to dress some chicken thighs and was very impressed with it. I don't know if the sharpness will last but for $25 I thought it was worth it.

The Wusthof knives I have are made in Germany. I think even the stamped knives I saw at Macy's were made in Germany as well. The Nordpro knives might use a similar steel at Wusthof but I doubt that they are rebranded W knives.

If you want a good cheap knife, you can get the 10" Forschner by Victorinox Chef's Knife from Amazon for less than $25. The eight inch one costs about the same. This is the knife that Cooks Illustrated recommends.

Chad
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bladerunner View Post
Specifics (If you don't mind my asking)?
The steel they use doesn't hold an edge that well, especially when they charge above 'rubbish' prices.

The handles are horrible. You'd need hands the size of dinnerplates in order to hold them comfortably and the non-slip grip is useless and annoying.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:05 AM   #7
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Depends a lot on the use. I use a mix of German, French and Japanese knives.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:11 AM   #8
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Do you think the Calphalon is better than the Anolon or are they too similar? Compared to Wusthof? I've been reading this forum for a good part of the day and I know some don't hold the German steel in high regard. Still, for comparison's stake, using Wusthof as one of the top rated German steels I don't think would be out of place.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:18 AM   #9
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The Katana knife says Japanese steel made in China. I don't know what model you are looking at so it would be hard to say if it was comparable to German Steel.

Chad
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:36 AM   #10
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The Katana knife says Japanese steel made in China. I don't know what model you are looking at so it would be hard to say if it was comparable to German Steel.

Chad
Whoops, I thought I had said it was the Contemporary line. I noted the C. line, just not that it was the same as the knife I was looking at. Sorry.
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