The Victorinox Swiss Classic Straight Edged Chef's Knife is not the prettiest knife in the block when it comes to kitchen cutlery. Its handle isn't riveted or polished wood, and there's no elaborate story behind the construction of its blade.
But this utilitarian knife, made by the company behind the iconic Swiss Army knife, is one of the favorite cutlery brands among professional chefs, butchers, fishmongers and accomplished home cooks.
And when I had the chance to test it, I found out why.
About the Victorinox Swiss Classic Chef's Knife
At first glance, the Swiss Classic Victorinox kitchen knives don't look like anything special. Its handle is made of a material that the company refers to as Fibrox, a textured, matte-black plastic. While the knife is categorized as a straight edge, it does have a very slight curve to it, but less so than the chef's knives from, say, Wusthof or Henckels. If you're used to the bolster of a forged knife, this knife might even feel a little insubstantial to you at first. (For those unfamiliar with chef's knives terminology, the bolster is the lip of metal at the end of the blade where the blade meets the handle, intended to balance the knife and act as a finger guard. This knife is a stamped construction, made of high-carbon no-stain steel, and the company has a special technique for honing the blade that is intended to give it an edge that's long-lasting.
However, the knife has an unassuming price point to go with its no-frills appearance - it can be found for around $45 for an 8-inch blade.
The Victorinox Straight Edge Chef's Knife to the Test
I'm used to heavier, forged chef's knives like those made by Wusthof, Shun or Henckels, so I was prepared to feel like the Victorinox knife was not as substantial as some of its pricier counterparts.
But I was surprised to discover how much I loved the 8-inch version I tested (the knife also comes in 5-, 6- and 10-inch sizes). For starters, the lighter weight of the knife (6.25 ounces, a full 2.5 ounces less than my go-to 8-inch Wusthof Classic chef's knife) turned out to feel comfortable and nimble, rather than flimsy. Part of this is because of the knife's comfortable handle, which has a molded ridge that fits the hand perfectly. Even someone who isn't used to a chef's knife will instinctively know just the right way to hold this knife the minute he or she picks it up. The company has designed the handle to minimize wrist tension, and I will say that cutting never seemed tiring as I was using the knife.
As I began chopping, slicing and mincing, I appreciated the balance of the knife and the effortless way it worked through just about anything, whether it was mincing herbs, cutting up a chicken or chopping hard vegetables like carrots. The blade is just curved enough to allow for a slight rocking motion. In the days I was testing the knife, I found myself reaching for it for every task, and enjoying the ease and comfort in using it. The blade is thinner and slightly more flexible than a forged blade but I never felt like this was a detriment.
And the lack of a bolster did not bother me in the least, in fact, it seemed more comfortable and less likely to give me blisters.
The main drawback I noticed with the Victorinox knife was that foods like onion or potatoes "stuck" to the side of the blade more than with other knives I've used. Of course, for a corner-cutting cook like myself, this could be a boon – I found myself taking advantage of the diced onion that stuck to the side of the knife by swiping them off right into the skillet. And for home cooks who are conscious of visual appeal, the looks of this knife could be a turnoff when there's a world of rosewood-handled, Damascus-bladed knives out there. These knives were designed with the butchering and restaurant industry in mind, and their looks reflect this functional, no-frills origin.
Luckily, there are plenty of accomplished home cooks who will appreciate that the beauty of the Victorinox Straight Edge Chef's Knife is in its performance.
- Reasonably priced
- "Sticky" blade
- Very utilitarian looking
- Made from high-carbon no-stain steel
- Fibrox (plastic) handle
- Conically ground blade, won't discolor or corrode
- Edges are laser tested
- National Sanitary Foundation approved
- Textured slip resistant handle
- Available in 5-, 6-, 8- and 10-inch
- Dishwasher safe (though not recommended)
- Made in Switzerland
- Lifetime guarantee against manufacturer's defects
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.