As a cooking instructor I find that one of the most commonly asked questions my students have is “what knives should I use?” Whenever I get this question I recommend the set I use myself – the Chicago Cutlery Fusion 18-Piece Knife Set. This set is a great combination of quality, variety, and price. There are sixteen knives in total, including eight steak knives. A very useful 8-inch sharpening steel is included in the package, as well as a bamboo hardwood block for storage and display.
The quality of these knives is fantastic. Forged bolsters make them well weighted and easy to use. The handles are coated with black polyurethane for extra comfort. The blades themselves are made of high carbon forged professional stainless steel and have a taper grind edge, making them both strong and sharp. If there’s ever a problem with one of the knives, there’s a lifetime warranty that will hook you up with a new one. I use these knives all the time both at home and while working – there isn’t much I can’t do with them!
- Variety of Knives: The knives included in this set cover just about any situation you might come across in the kitchen. There’s a 8 inch slicer, 7 ¾ inch chef, 7 ¾ inch serrated bread, 7 inch santoku, 5 inch partoku, 5 inch utility, 3 ¼ inch parer, and a 3 inch peeler. I get tired just listing them all out! I’ve yet to run into a situation where one of these knives couldn’t handle the job. Really, I can accomplish anything I need to get done.
- Steak Knives: Along with the kitchen knives, this set also includes eight 4 ¼ inch steak knives. I wasn’t looking for steak knives when I bought this set, but I figured they might come in useful at some point so it was a nice bonus. A few months later I gave them a try. I was so impressed by how well they worked that I immediately switched them out with my other set and have been using them exclusively ever since.
- Comfort Grip: I wasn’t sure how I’d like the polyurethane grip in the beginning, but now I’m hooked. It’s not so thick that the handle is squishy and hard to grip. It has just the right amount of give to keep me comfortable, but is firm enough that I’m able to keep control. Perfect!
- Sharpening Steel and Wooden Block: These are two nice bonuses that came with the package. The sharpening steel works very well for keeping the knives sharp, and the wooden block looks very nice on my counter.
- Strength and Sharpness: The build of these knives are superb. They’re weighted very well, making them comfortable to use and easy to control. The taper grind edge stays very sharp. If I notice any dullness, a few seconds with the sharpening steel is all it takes to bring them back to their former glory.
- No Shears: This is just a small complaint, but it would have been nice to have a set of kitchen shears included with this package. They’re very useful to have on hand and are often included in knife sets. Most people already have a pair on hand, though, so in the end it’s not that big a deal for me.
- Knives Don’t Line Up: Okay, okay, I know I’m just getting picky, but there’s no way to get the handles to line up on the top row of the wooden block! They all end up just a little bit off kilter. It’s just enough to drive me nuts! This obviously has nothing to do with the actual performance of the knives, just a little thing that bugs me.
A good fillet knife set is a crucial part of any kitchen, and my Chicago Cutlery Fusion 18 Piece Knife Set gets a lot of use. The variety of knives makes for a very versatile set, and the steak knives are a great plus. The additional sharpener and storage block really make the set complete. They’re comfortable to use, easy to control, and stay sharp. It’s hard to find anything bad to say about these knives – if you’re looking for a new addition to your kitchen I’d definitely recommend this set.