Martha Stewart Collection Cutlery, Classic 20 Piece Set
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13 of 13 found the following review helpful:
A Great Value Sep 01, 2007
By Jamison Gray
We purchased this set about a week ago, and are very impressed with the design and construction. I've had a couple of open stock Henckels knives for a many years, and always wanted a full set, but they were always too expensive (except for the newer, lower-quality lines they've put out). So, I was very surprised to find this Martha Stewart set, for hundreds less than the comparable sets from folks like Henckels. I'm not a knife expert, so can't comment on the quality of the steel, etc., but in side-by-side comparison with my triple-riveted Henckels, Martha's knives equal or exceed them in design and construction. They just ooze quality - the blades are one piece of steel extending all the way down the the hefty chunk at the end of the handle, which helps give them a very nice heft and balance in the hand (as well as a very attractive look in the block - these would look at home in the most upscale of kitchens). You could hammer nails with the butt of these knives. All but the steak knives have a full metal hilt (right word? metal blending from the blade to the handle). Despite the lack of this extra metal at the base of the blade, the steak knives still feel very solid, and are a step up from the steak knives bundled with many other sets.
The variety is wonderful - I can't quite foresee how we're ever going to use all of them, but it's nice to have options. The Santoku blades are supposedly better for cutting sticky foods; they do a nice job cutting up fish.
The Martha Stewart Collection branding (an imprinted logo on the block and on the blades) is subdued enough that you don't have to feel self-conscious about it if that sort of brand flaunting isn't your thing. All but the steak knives have a label printed on the base indicating the length and type, visible at a glance when they're in the block. I have no idea how long the labels will last.
I'm keeping my rating at a 5 due to the value of this set, but I do have a couple of criticisms:
* The (unremarkable) scissors don't come apart for cleaning (doesn't Martha watch Alton Brown?). I'd call them the weakest part of the collection.
* The knives go into the block sideways (sharp edge toward the right), rather than vertically (edge down). Maybe this is better for maintaining sharpness, space management, or readability of the labels, but it's a bit more awkward for grabbing and reinserting knives.
* The only instructions for use and care were what was printed on the box. I would have liked a little more. The sharpening instructions were hard to visualize.
* Not recommended for the dishwasher. This isn't surprising, at least for the cooking/chef knives, but I've gotten used to putting the steak knives from our current cheapo plastic set into the dishwasher. I find I still grab one of the old cheapies sometimes, e.g. for cutting up a banana, because I know cleanup will be easier.
You can get knife sets for cheaper that will do the job just fine. But if you're thinking about getting a cheap set now so you can upgrade to some fancy German brand some decade down the road, I'd suggest skipping the cheap ones and going straight for these - you may find you'll never want to buy another knife. These would make a great wedding present, too - we would have been delighted to get this.
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Great buy! Aug 22, 2010
By S. Shahjahan
We abused these knives for almost two years by washing them regularly in the dishwasher, not properly drying them, and using glass cutting boards. We never even sharpened them (we only used the sharpening steel that came with the kit, which is really only for keeping an already sharp knife aligned). Only a couple of the steak knives should show a slight bit of rust on the blade, which is to be expected if you either put them through the dishwasher or leave them wet after washing. The rust came off immediately after using the sharpening steel and even this was infrequent. We have since reformed and no longer put our knives in the dishwasher; we use wood or plastic cutting boards. We use a sharpening stone monthly and have had no problem with rust. This is a good buy and they should be treated like one. You don't hear people with super expensive five-star knives complaining about dullness and rust, but that's probably because they sharpen them and don't throw them in the dishwasher. I recommend these knives, but also recommend that you purchase a sharpening stone (about $20) and make sure you hand wash and immediately dry the knives after each use.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Rusting Beware Aug 16, 2008
By J. Goodell
My wife and I got this set for our wedding. After 4 months, rust has started to develop on the blades. It might be better to look elsewhere.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
Overall good value for an okay chef knife set with some reservations Jun 06, 2011
SEE UPDATE AT END OF REVIEW.
I purchased the Martha Stewart Classic Cutlery Set from a store 2 weeks ago.
I had owned a Henckle International Classic set for 20 years, which were finally falling apart, so I was seeking a more economical replacement of my old favorites as the Henckle replacement set I wanted was priced about $100 more than I wanted to pay in this down economic time.
So after looking at numerous reviews, then going to a store and really comparing knifes, I settled on the Martha Stewart Classic Cutlery 20 piece Set, even with the mixed online reviews, since the store I purchased from gives me a 6 month return policy. I paid $99.99 for the Martha Stewart set at the store, which was a sale price.
This is my opinion, thus far, of the set:
Well made: full tang, 3 solid rivets, good quality steel, solid handles that should hold up to wear very well
Really well balanced: better than a number of the other really expensive knife sets I looked at, including my old Henckles
Excellent knife assortment: ALL the knives you'd essentially need for most cooking chores, and then some.
Excellent value: Good price for what I would call a "real" knife set vs. "cheapo" knives that you use and toss in a couple of years
*Uneven sharpness/grind edges in the knives: both Santokus, serrated 4.5" utility, 8" bread knife, and 8" slicing knife came with the kind of sharpness that slices onions, tomatoes, bread etc. with great ease and precision you'd expect from a brand new quality knife. With a good knife, you should feel like you need a box of band aids handy in case of carelessness. However, the two chef's knives and small utility and pairing knife are good, but not great. They do the job, but not with the awesome quickness you'd expect for a really good knife. This did improve some with sharpening on my hand sharpener (not the honer that comes with the box...that is only for even-ing the edges if they are nicked).
*More temperamental care than my old Henckles. I always hand wash and dry my knives. You have to with good steel knives. If you immediatley hand wash and dry the MS Classic knives after each use, and put them away in their block, they should do fine. But they are somewhat temperamental. I left the bread knife on the drain board on a towel for a couple of days...it had been washed and dried and simply left there, but the dampness of other items being placed next to it over the time period caused the steel to discolor faintly (like the bottom of a stainless steel pot). This was easily removed with "Bartender's Friend." Over the years I've had occasional less that perfect care with my Henckles but never experienced this kind of immediate reaction.
Overall, I think I'm fairly happy with the Martha Stewart set. The sheer volume of choices and types is awesome, and the build quality of the knife is excellent. The balance in your hand is a dream...not too heavy, not to light, even the pairing knife and short utility balance with beauty. The steel will be a bit more temperamental, which I will watch for and update this review if it becomes so bad that I need to return them to the store within my 6 months. I am a little disappointed in the less sharp knives, but the steel quality is there that I believe if I take the time with a good knife sharpening stone or kit, I can get the edge I desire for awesome quickness and precision. If not, I might consider returning them within my 6 months if they simply won't hold a decent edge and by then have saved up for the Henkles. In which case, I'll also amend my review. But in all likelihood I will content myself with this set as they are decently good for a decent price for my pocketbook now.
PRODUCT UPDATE 9.20.11
I've dropped my stars from 4 to 3 and lowered my review of "overall good value of quality chef set" to "overall good value of okay chef set."
After owning this set for 4 months, I have decided to return it. I wanted to like the Martha Stewart set. I really did. The knives do feel so good in the hand and appear so well made. Even better than my old classic Henckle. And, I did not have problems with rusting I first orginally feard and had read in other reviews, even after good but less than pristine care (hand wash, dry, no dishwasher, but several times they were laid out on drain board or washing delayed a few hours).
What I am unhappy about is that the knives simply will not hold a sharp edge. I realize any knife will require resharpening, but I do not believe they should require this amount of attention all the time. (Maybe it is simply my lack of sharpening skills...but I treated my Henckles with less care than this and all was well for 20 years.)
A number of the Martha Stewart knives were only so-so sharp out of the box, and after repeated attempts of honing and sharpening (with a small hand-held sharpener), those did improve somewhat, even to good, for one use but then quickly reverted to their dullish nature. More disappointing, the santuko knives which were quite nice have after only 4 months lost their somewhat nice sharpness...okay, sharpening would be expected, perhaps. But it again takes continued honing and sharpening to improve them somewhat, but not to the out of box experience, and again after one use, resharpening is needed.
In frustration, I purchased a set of Sabre knives on sale from Costco and am immediately impressed with the Sabre quality which is wicked sharp from the box. The Sabre knives have the look and feel of the Martha Stewart set that I have come to enjoy, but the Sabre knives also have the quality of steel that produce a chef quality edge. The Martha Stewarts were NEVER this sharp, not even out of the box. Unfortunately, I don't believe the steel quality is adequate in the Martha Stewart set to produce and keep a really nice edge....so back Martha Stewart goes to the store. Thankfully I am still within my 6 months return date. I recommend purchasing the Sabre 15 knife set with swivel base in its place.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
Very happy with these knives Apr 07, 2011
My husband purchased this knife set as a Christmas present in 2009. I have several expensive German knives and was surprised that he bought me a set of these relatively inexpensive blades. Moreover, I read the Amazon reviews for this set and was very concerned about the reports of rust on the knives. So concerned that I almost returned the set.
I just want to say that I've used all the knives on a daily basis. I've abused them by letting food dry on them, washing them in the dishwasher, and not drying them before putting them away. After a year of use, the only rust I've ever seen are a couple of spots on the steak knives, which were easily rubbed off with a towel.
Overall, these knives work as well as my more expensive German knives and have a nice heft. They take on a razor-like edge after sharpening and tend to keep it. I was dubious of the Santoku blades included with the set, but they are really great for chopping wet and sticky food.
I would have given the set 5 stars except for the poor quality of the scissors which come with the set. I've purchased the identical scissors at a hardware store for 99 cents! They work, but it would have been nice to have scissors that come apart for easy cleaning.
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