Cutco Knives

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Assistant Cook
Mar 28, 2004
There are at least eight disadvantages to Cutco knives.

1)Inferior tempering. Cutco is stamped instead of forged. All best knives are forged (with the exception of Henckels Twinstar which is using a new technology called sintering) because forged knives make a better edge among other reasons. All the worst and cheapest knives are stamped because it is cheaper and easier. The forging process randomises the metal particles for a slightly tougher knife. It also permits the differing thicknesses of metal which is necessary for a heavy raised bolster between the knife handle and knife blade. Forged knives have more metal than stamped knives and thus are heavier. The forging process enables extra metal proportioning to give the knife perfect balance. Most prefer the weight of a forged knife. It feels heftier and more substantial. Forged knives generally are thicker, have more heft, hold an edge better, provide bolsters which brings better balance and safety, and obviously have been made with a lot more care and craftmanship. The forging process enhances the flexibility (making it less likely to snap to break), density, and hardness, and better solidifies the structure of a knife.

2)Steel. Cutco claims they use the highest quality steel money can buy. They call it high carbon surgical grade steel. While this is subjective Cutco uses 440A grade steel while most top of the line knives (which is where Cutco is priced at) uses 440C, which is higher in carbon. 440C is more expensive to make, buy, and manufacture with. 440C also makes a sharper edge, and holds it better. Because of it's grain structure 440C is also more stain resistant. And while 440C steel is generally only found in top of the line kitchen knives, 440A is often found in the cheaper, run of the mill type kitchen knives. Where they got the surgical grade label is beyond me, 440A steel doesn't have a regular grade and a surgical grade. When you think of surgical instruments you think sanitary, expensive, and high quality- it's just sales hype.

3)Lack of bolsters provides for inferior balance and less safety.

4)Double-D edge. Most cooking enthusiasts prefer a straight edge which the double-d is not and you cannot sharpen Cutco edges yourself whenever you please. Salespeople use the ol' rope a dope trick when giving a presentation because the serrated pattern cuts tougher objects better, but any chef or cooking enthusiast will tell you that kitchen knives are made to cut through food like meat, bread, and tomatoes- not rope or leather. For that a utility knife is best- and there's are plenty of utility knives that cut through rope and leather better than Cutco's.

Cutco's salespeople swear up and down double-d edges are neither straight, nor serrated but unique (don't all salespeople?). The Double-D edge is in fact another type of serrated edge. Cutco calls their serrated edge "Double D" just like Spyderco calls their serrated edges "Spyderedge." Except Spyderco isn't trying to fool anyone and markets their as a superior serration pattern while Cutco tries to claim theirs is different.

But anyone who knows anything about knives can tell you the ^^^^ pattern on the edge (take a look at the website for an explanation and drawing, currently at: ) makes it a serrated edge. The whole double-d thing is just hype like everything else about the knives. The Double-D edge is not patented and never was.

The problem with the serrated pattern is that it doesn't make a clean cut- little nicks and tears in the food is made. Serrated knives are generally only good for fibrous vegetables and bread- where it is needed. Cutco reps may claim that it makes a clean cut, but this is only true for cutting stuff you can press straight down on (like butter), but for things you need to slide the blade back and forth on (like meat) the teeth will tear it up. Serrated edges are also somewhat more difficult to clean.

As for sharpness, you may think they stay razor sharp but in reality only the crevices of the blade edge are. You see serrated edges like the Double-D's look like this: ^^^^^^ when contacting the food the points get worn down rather quickly but the crevices stay sharp, so it may seem like it is razor sharp but in reality only the crevices are. It can never be as sharp as a well maintained plain edge, the edge preferred by cooking enthusiasts and professionals. Maybe a serrated edge is better at cutting rope (the rope a dope trick), but the best kitchen knives are not made to cut through rope, they are made to make a good, clean cuts on food. Master chef Wylie Dufresne just recently told GQ magazine in their Sept '03 edition, "I have plenty of friends whose parents have Cutco in a knife block. You pull them out and they're all as dull as can be."

Other knives you can sharpen yourself whenever you want, but with Cutco knives you need Cutco to sharpen them for you. I will refer you once again to Cutco's own website: at, currently here:
"For resharpening of Double-D® or straight-edged knives, send them along with a return shipping and handling fee of $5.00 (1-3 items) or $8.00 (4 or more items) to the CUTCO address below."
You have to pay for them to be sent in and sent back all the while without your knives. I've heard of representatives of the company coming out and sharpening them for you, but this is by no means guranteed to happen so there is obviously good reason they don't state this on their website.

5)Handles. Of course this is subjective but the handles are different from any of the others and some people find them uncomfortable (especially those with extremely large or small hands since they were designed for the average hand), some others find them dorky looking and wouldn't want to set them out on the dinner table. Sure the handles were designed to be comforable- all handles are designed that way! And like all good salepeople, Cutco even has a good story to tell about it. That doesn't mean they actually ARE comfortable. Consumer Reports, the leading consumer magaine, also found the handles to be uncomfortable. The handles are made of what Cutco call "Thermoresin" and thermo=heated and resin=plastic, injection molded plastic is the absolute cheapest material cost and method possible. And the type of plastic the handles are made out of, celluloid plastic, is highly nitrated and self-oxidizing like the gun cotton in smokeless gun powder (to a lesser extent) thus highly flammable- not good for a kitchen knife. Although the rivots are made of what they call "nickel-siver", there is no silver in them. They call it nickel-silver because it has a silver color to it. The handles have no current patent on them, other companies could copy them but choose not to. Wear Ever cookware had handles designed by the same person in the 30's and 40s, they have since dumped this design.

6)Corrosion. Many people (including Consumer Reports magazine) believe that Cutco blades corrode a little easier than most. Consumer Reports seemed to hint that it may have to do with the type of metal used, polishing, or coating.

7)Restrictions when buying. Since you can only buy from a Vector rep, you are forced to select your rep with care because a flock of amateur sales reps can and will include a range from the best professionals through the worst rip off artists.

8)Price. Many will agree that Cutco is not best for commercial use but it is priced for commercial use. You can get a 7 piece block of top of the line hand-forged, bolstered, well balanced Wusthof-Trident Grand Prix for $249. A similar set of Cutco can easily run you $300-$400. Tramontina Professional is supposed to be the best value having the same features as the best knives but at about 1/3 the price. There may also be hidden costs added (such as shipping & handling, C.O.D., sales tax, etc.) that make the actual price much higher that the displayed and originally discussed price.

Cutco is sold at prices very similar to knives that are top of the line yet are not as good as them in almost every way except they do have comparable rockwell hardness, are full tang, and have a good guarantee. I wouldn't spend my hard earned money on guarantees though and the other qualities you can find in much cheaper knives.

The average household has very cheap, low quality knives that generally only last 5-15 years. So when they hear there is a forever guarantee it becomes the main selling point. What they don't know is all knives in that price range are built to last a lifetime and with proper care they definately will. The only way they won't is if you abuse them, which Cutco's guarantee doesn't even fully cover. Also, in case it doesn't last a lifetime, many top of the line knives carry a lifetime guarantee.

Cutco's money back guarantee is for 15 days. Most large retail chains like Sears and Walmart carry a 30 day money back satisfaction guarantee. The forever guarantee is nice, but a couple nitpicks: "Should you damage your CUTCO through misuse or abuse, we will replace the item for one half of the current retail price." it needs to be sent in to Cutco "with an explanatory note" and Cutco is the sole determinor of what is misuse or abuse (such as chipping your knife), also the "guarantee is intended solely for consumer/in-home use." Don't believe me? Check out the Cutco website yourself:

I you are looking for the guarantee, Henckels Twinstar and Messermeister (among many others) both offer similar lifetime warrantees and are of better quality (in many people's opinions). If you must have the best kitchen knives available, Wusthof Trident Grand Prix is highly regarded as the best kitchen knives money can buy and the prices are similar to Cutco's. If you are looking for brand name, Henckels is considered the #1 selling brand in the world, been in business since 1731, and they will replace their twinstar knives that have a "diamond edge" with new ones if they get dull. For the best value, you can find high quality, forged, full tang knives with bolsters at a very reasonable price (about 1/3 that of Cutco's) you might want look into the Tramontina Professional Series which is regarded as the best value in the knife industry. If you don't want to spend very much money on knives, the Forschner Victoronox is made by the same people who make Swiss Army Knives and considered the best of the very cheap kitchen knives. If you don't want to sharpen your knives, you might want to look at the Regent Sheffield Infinity Edge or Henckels Twinstar depending on how much you want to spend. Most retail stores have a 30-day money back guarantee.

My opinion is that Cutco is not worth their price and I'm sure most professionals would agree. In fact you would have great difficulty finding one culinary arts school, master chef, or knife expert that recommends this brand. Norman Weinstein, a nationally recognized knife skills instructor who's taught since 1995 at the Institute of Culinary Education was quoted by the Baltimore Sun newspaper as saying "Why, why, would you buy such a knife?"
Cutco is able to sell their knives at such a high price because they are being sold to people by their sons, nephews, and granddaughters (basically people who care for them and trust them, or their friends, and know very little about knives). looked over all the professional reviews available and while 11 professionals liked Wusthof Trident the best, only one liked Cutco and that one only liked Cutco compared to other stamped knives:

The bottom line is that no brand or set is best for everyone and you should check them all out and compare to decide which is best for your needs, wants, and preferences. The retail store is probably the best place to do this, unfortunately Cutco is not sold there.
I havent even heard of these knives, but I sure am not going to purchase any now
holy cow knife_reviewer! it's a bit disturbing how much you know about knives! :? lol!

i own wusthof classic knives and think they are great.
A great review! Although I can sharpen DD edges but; do I want to every day?

You review is balanced and really fair... as well as correct . Now my real question:

What is the real reason you had to create a new user to review a product? Do we have a liability problem saying what we either think we know or actually simply believe on this sight? I know Ashcroft runs the FBI but honest, reviewing knives isn't Commie.

If so, I didn't mean to say that SPAM wasn't good to my taste.

I read the long review of Cutco Knives talking about how poor
they are for the money. I have had my Cutco knives since 1972.
I bought them while in college to use after I got married. To this
day they are all sharp and have never needed sharpening with the
exception of the paring knife. They all still look like new. I have
bought other high end knives in all these years and none of them
have every lasted like my Cutco knives. I actually am about to
order some more paring knives because I lost the one that came
with my set. I think one thing that has kept them sharp is that
I do not put them in a dishwasher, I always wash by hand. I do
not know anything about the technical details of knives and the
steel they are made from but I can tell you about using them and
I would not take for my Cutco knives.
Well... I felt that posting had something odd to it. I found SIX other websites with the EXACT same posting! :? Here are links to other message boards and sites. I feel this person is a disgruntled ex worker OR a sales rep for another company. Here are the links folks:

Also, look for the reply from Phil from the 1st link.

Im in sales folks. This is just ANOTHER tactic. If Im wrong I will appologize. But this stinks to high heaven. I dont like it when folks pass on propaganda to my friends. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! :x

I dony know jack about knives... but I dont like slander and BS. I think I shall contact Cutco to make them aware of this. ;)
Yes I posted this to some other relevant forums too, so what? Does that somehow make any of this information incorrect? It's good information any cooking enthusiast should know when considering knives.

I encourage you to pass this info along to Cutco's marketing arm Vector too, but I'm sure they already know about it because it's the truth and I challenge them or anybody else to refute it.
Take your marketing / sales retribution someplace else buddy. I aint buying it. If you care to CONTRIBUTE to the forum in a normal fashion FINE. But to make you account and spew this stuff "for our benefit" is pure BS. You are either out to make a buck or out to slander the company. And this is NOT a forum for it. Take it up with the BBB and not with us. Our own forum members will tell us about products. :x
Deadly Sushi said:
Take your marketing / sales retribution someplace else buddy. I aint buying it. If you care to CONTRIBUTE to the forum in a normal fashion FINE. But to make you account and spew this stuff "for our benefit" is pure BS. You are either out to make a buck or out to slander the company. And this is NOT a forum for it. Take it up with the BBB and not with us. Our own forum members will tell us about products. :x

I'm trying to figure out exacty what your problem is. Is it that this was my only post under this account or is it that this post was also posted on several other forums? Or is it that you think I have some other motivation for posting this? Either way, it doesn't make the post any less true or informative. I could be a hypocritical, pedophile, nazi of the worst kind and this would still be a very good post. So why don't you actually try to respond to the facts in my review rather than resort to bickering and character assasination? This is the only way anybody in this forum will benefit.
Cutco is the best!

My family has had Cutco knives for over ten years now. We wash it in the dishwasher. No stains or corroding like the author says the blade might. The blade has yet needed to be sharpened and it cuts everything from raw meat to cooked perfectly, it is perfect for all vegetables as well; the handle is designed to fit all hands large and small, unlike the regular flat handles that actually hurt your hands because of the way you hold it. Cutco's handle is designed to have no stress on your hands and it does that perfectly. We have bought wedding presents for my relatives from Cutco online so you don't have to buy from a sales Rep. They also love the products and it lasts them a lifetime unlike other wedding presents that might get warn out or broken in a few years. The DD edge never gets dull because it has three razors in between each point instead of just points like other serrated knives and also the Wustaf and Henckles. I am only 19 and I know that when I own a house and get married, I will buy one set of Cutco whether its the bigger sets or one of the smaller sets and I will be set for the rest of my life. You don't need to resharpen the blades but if you do you only pay one way shipping, Cutco pays for the return shipping. Cutco has the best guarantee out there, and if anyone has heard of L.L. Bean it is just like there's except Cutco has the 15-day trial period. I have a feeling this guy has never tried out a Cutco knife for a very long time because if he did then he would find out how they make cooking fun and easy. Cutco is the only reason I help out cooking dinner and cutting food. If you want more info on Cutco just ask me.
In the interest of full-disclosure, I am a CUTCO sales rep (and quite a good one in my opinion). :)

I have some things to say about the orignal post - and don't worry, I won't just feed you the lines that anyone who's gone through the CUTCO program has learned.
The information I'm about to present is based on the following background:
a. I'm a knife salesman, and have looked into many of the competitive, professional quality knives on the market (including personally visiting Solingen, Germany during my 10 months studying engineering in Germany).
b. I have come in contact with round-about 100 CUTCO owners and shared stories with many others.

1) The "inferior tempering" is a common complaint about CUTCO knives. Forged is generally accepted as a better quality. Personally, I think it's more of a buzzword quality than actually providing significant improvements in quality.
The most significant difference is the weight. Some people do prefer a heavier knife, but it's a personal preference - I've run into many people who appreciate a lighter knife.

2) Steel. I don't believe CUTCO actually claims they use the highest quality steel money can buy. Regardless, 440A is great steel. High carbon stainless steel is what you want to look for in good quality knife. According to the post, 440C is better - I don't have any arguments against that. The whole 440 family is good.
There actually are surgical and dental tools that use specifically 440A.

3) Lack of bolster. This is really a part of argument 1 - any knife that's not forged isn't going to have a bolster. The inferior balance is way too broad of an explanation. Not all bolster knives are balanced - not all non-bolster knives are imbalanced. The safety issue can be argued - but that's not the purpose of a bolster.

4) Double-D edge. CUTCO knives are extremely sharp - period. The rope and leather make for an impressive deomonstration, but you'll get similar results with anything - for instance the meat, bread, and tomatoes mentioned.
It's not a serrated edge - it just looks like one. Serrated knives cut with the points ^^^^ - the Double-D edge uses the recessed edges as described in the link provided earlier ( ). The points will naturally dull, coming in contact with surfaces, bones, etc. But since they aren't essential to the cutting process (in CUTCO's case) performance is not hindered.
A properly used Double-D edge will make a clean cut through just about anything (within reason, of course).
All knives dull, and will need to be sharpened. CUTCO doesn't only sell Double-D edges, some have a standard straight-edge and most sets come with an easy to use sharpener for those. The Double-D edges do need to be sharpened by a professional though. As mentioned, for $5 or $8 you can send in your entire knife set and get a brand-new edge put on. I think that's a great deal, and so do most people I talk to. It is, of course, a bit of an inconvenience to be without your knives for a couple weeks. Some representatives are trained in sharpening the Double-D edges - call someone at your local office, and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to come out and service you (expect a sales pitch too).

5) Handles. Comfort and looks are completely subjective, so I won't talk about that aspect. There are many different types of "thermoresin." The type used in CUTCO handles is similar to that used in dishwasher spray nozzels, food mixer blades, automobile gears, pump housing and blades, and ski bindings. They can withstand temperature extremes from 300-350 degrees F.

6) Corrision can happen to any knife. Good thing CUTCO has a forever guarantee.

7) I think there are certain advantages and disadvantages to the direct sales method. Some disadvantages include not being able to compare high quality products side-by-side and that occaisionally a misinformed or disingenuous representative will say things that just aren't true. On the other hand, most of CUTCO's sale's reps know a lot more about their product than people you'll find in department stores or even specialty cutlery outlets.

8) Price. If, after seeing a full demonstration and using the knives yourself, you don't think they're worth it - then don't buy them. It's that simple. But don't make your decision based on the price tag and a few comments here and there.

In all my visits, I have met only one CUTCO owner who wasn't extremely satisfied with their knives. I love visiting CUTCO owners, because they almost always buy more. I think that really says something about the product.

Finally, I'd like to say that in my completely honest opinion, that CUTCO is not a knife that most professional chefs would use. But they're not really marketed for professionals, they're intended for home-use. And again, I've never had anyone complain about the quality.

Thanks for your time, sorry for the long response.
Feel free to ask me any questions, I'll do my best to answer.
This seems to be a nice forum, I think I'll be coming back often.

Thanks again
Well, we all have our favourites, don't we...?

Like another respondent, I bought several of my Heinkels 20 odd years ago at about $35 per each, and like their weight, tang, bolster etc, but find it difficult to keep the edge up (and I know its because I'm an amateur, and have a real job to go to five if not six days a week-which includes sales)

I bought a full set for my godson a few years back, at roughly half list price, in February, when the price reductions seemed to be "on", eaning the price of quality is indeed negotiable...

I bought a chef's knife (a miniature one at that...all of 9") at the A+P last year and it cost about $120 Cdn, which seems high compared with my original purchases...

Have been "shopping" my 20+ year old paring knife, with its broken tip and bent blade, and seems fairly unsharpenable amongst the several knife stores, and in spite of its being a genuine Heinkel am getting little action in a freebie exchange, and so so much for the big warranty exchange thing...

At Christmas, my unknowing children bought me a full knife block of Henckels knives from that all-knowing source called Wal-Mart, with the Jinsue edges...and the light gauge steel...

And tonight watched "Chef at Large" where Michael did the Japanese knives (sharpened on one side only) slice most nicely with high carbon steel, but need to get wiped off or get stained from each use, and, according to Michael Smith the Chef at Large are the sharpest instruments you'll ever use in this life, as with others you "saw" through the matreial but with the genuine Japanese the heft carries the blade through the work on its own...its up to you to guide again different from other "brands"...

Is it smart to buy a big buck knife and try to keep it up indeinitely? Hard to say...some guys can do that, most of the ladies will find the routine with a sharpening steel and or whetstone beyond them, whatever the "quality" of the blade, in which case the cheaper Wal-Mart materials may satisfy most, who don't desire the "professional" grade, or, cooking "fried pork chops" even approach the need for same...


I sharpen mine on the Arkansas whetstones, and it seems to work for some (still whetting away with my Normark filletting knife after 30 some years, but agree it doesn't work as well with the "Buck" skinning/hunting knives)

The serrated edges of the Wal-Mart knives still work reliably in cutting whatever as well as my several self inflicted wounds, but at the end of the day, you cannot resharpen them, and they are pretty thin...
Okay, I am a sales rep for Cutco - just to get that in the open. I don't expect to make a sale here, but I couldn't believe all the garbage that started this channel.

The person above did a pretty good job with most of the stuff

First I would like to say that the service call is nice, yeah there is going to be a pitch of course we are sales reps, but there is always the magic word "no".

The guarantees between the companies you named are not even close check out the sites people.

15 days is more than enough time to check out kitchen ware - I cook 3 -4 times a day I don't know about other people but 15 days of something I use several times is enough for me, especially when I generaly decide on something in the first day.

The steels you talk about, learn about things before you talk about them. 440C is a good grade steel, it has more carban than 440A and 440B, just to let people know 440's are good steel for knives and such because they can be tempered into the hardest rockwells. the difference is 440C has more carbon in it so it can be pushed to the 60's for some knives. You say Henk's is like that when no they are about the same as Cutco's. Cutco's rockwell is 55-57 where I want to say Henk's is 56-58. The good thing about 440A is that it is more resistant to corrosion than 440B or 440C - and I have seen 50 year old cutco and you can tell that it was used a lot, but it looked great. All metals of advantages and disadvantages, but if you combine the fact the the cutting edge doesn't come into contact with the hard surfaces you cut on, why do you want 3-5 more degrees of rockwell hardness? We look at it being better for people that it is more resistant to rust and such.

Someone sent me an email of this post a little more drawn out etc. But one thing it said was there was not a "nickel-silver" well if you type it in to google you will see that there is. It is also called german silver. It is an alloy of nickel, copper, and zinc. I also talked to a machine shop owner and he knew what I was talking about and also said the nickel silver was "damn hard". So it is an expense that is worth it to me.

Bolsters, generally to help with balance you say safety which is pretty much a straight up lie. The bolster actually hampers a knife more, it does help with balance but when you sharpen your knife notice you don't sharpent the bolster - so what happens years down the road when the blade has been sharpened and there is and indent where the bolster sticks out; you can't make a good cut with it and you have to buy a new knife or get a saw and cut part of the bolster off. Sounds like fun to me.

I tried to make the reply informational, it just bugs me to see things like this that are half-truths and mostly decietful or straight up lies. Look into things more carefully than on a biased article.
I am a cutco owner and also own a wide array os Wusthof, Shun, Gehring, Global, and Mundial knives. I must say that the bolster is nice to have and makes the knife easier to handle. If you've noticed the bolster design on the new Wusthof "Le Cordon Bleu" collection, it is only part of the handle and is not a problem when sharpening.
Cutco Parer

I have a Cutco Parer that is razor sharp. I like the feel of the handle in my hand (it's riveted but molded for the hand).

That's the only Cutco I have because we already have so many knives - Globals, Messermeisters, Wusthof, Henkles, Connoisseur and Chicago Cutlery. My CC knives were made years ago, when they were still made in Chicago and not imported. I used my CC knives all through school. 10" Chef and parer - they still feel great.

I recently bought a Blue Ginger Veggie Cleaver by Ming Tsai that has become the most recent extension of my right hand. The thing is magic. Thirty bucks @ Super Target.

I have three Dionne Lucas knives I keep in my trunk wrapped in a kitchen towel with a hair tie. They are not even full-tang but they are good traveling knives. They're a zillion years old. Dionne Lucas was the first woman to have a cooking show on TV but she was so ugly and nasty, she got cancelled. That's why everyone remembers Julia Child - because of her wonderful personality and ability to teach those incredible techniques to a TV audience.

I have two "no name" knives from a set my mom bought me years ago. (They might be Ecko.) Full tang and riveted, they feel great and favor the French blade type (pointed, no belly like German knives). Cooked zillions of meals and threw huge parties with those knives.

I definitely prefer wood to composite handles.

The point is - don't be a knife snob. Don't buy a knife unless you can hold it in your hand and feel its balance and grip. If it feels good, is sharp, made of good stuff and will do the jobs you need done, plunk down your credit card and call it yours.
Go buy a Shun. Expensive, but the sharpest edge I have ever seen.
I didn't read the whole review. There was just too much. Most of which I already know.

I do take exception to one thing.

Stamped knives. There are a lot of excellent knives made out of stamped steel instead of forged. My Gerber hunting knives are made from stamped steel and I have no complaints about it. My Forschner knives are from stamped steel and I have no complaints. My old Dexter Russel knives are stamped too and again. No complaints. My old set of MAC knives are all stamped steel (except for the "cleaver") and I have no complaints about them either. My Chinese cleavers are all stamped steel.

I also have a bunch of forged damascus blade Japanese knives and they are excellent. However, if I were to replace them, I'd probably have to pay a couple grand each.

The point I'm making is just because a knife is made out of stamped steel, it does not mean that knife is not a quality knife. Too much, in my opinion, is made about the importance of forged knives.
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