Saber knives ? Anybody tried or heard about them ?

lilloApril 15, 2011

I am looking to buy a new set of knives as my old ones are useless. Any body knows anything about the Saber knives ? Costco has the 13 piece set for $199.99 after $100.00 rebate. I also saw today that they have a Henckels 13 pieces set for $199.99 in their warehouse . I do not know which one is better, as I am looking to buy a set that I won't have to sharpen or change latter on.As I already invested in a whole new set of Staub and Lecreuset pots and pans I do not want to pay more than that for a new set of knives. Any recommendations. Thank you.

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Sabers are quite good -- but ordinary -- knives. Run-of-the-mill steel of typical German design....albeit manufactured in China. Their ads are full of utterly meaningless drivel contrived to impress the ignorant. "Chef sharp"...."German steel"......etc., etc....the usual tripe!

There's absolutely nothing wrong with them. They're designed to compete effectively in the "everyman's" kitchen marketplace and are, indeed, well-conceived for the purpose. For the price, they're quite competitive. I have little doubt you'll be pleased with them. Just don't expect to impress any of your friends who may own Macs or Shuns -- and who will have paid for them MUCH more than what you're considering.

I've linked one info-site below. Here's another one:

I have no doubt there are others.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amazon site reviews of Saber knives

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 12:17AM
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Thank you asolo for the link. Costco has also a set of coulorful knives called Komachi 2 made by Shun. Would these be better ?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 7:30AM
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IMHO, no. These are price-point knives carrying the Shun name marketed to inexperienced people without much money. I wish Shun wouldn't do stuff like this, but they obviously have. They will work fine but are certainly not the Shuns I was referring to. Beginning with their "classic" line, Shun makes wonderful upscale knives. The Komachi 2 line is not the same as the ones they built their reputation on.

Really good knives made with really good steel are expensive. Too expensive for most folks. From what you've said, I suspect the Sabers will suit you fine. If you know how to hone and how to sharpen so you can keep the edges in shape, they should serve you well indefinitely.

If you've got an extra 100+ you can come to a place of understanding about kitchen knives you will never forget. That's the cost of a Mac 6 1/2" santoku...the one I've linked below. When you compare it to whatever comes with your Saber set -- or pretty much anyone else's set -- you will understand the difference as soon as it comes to your hand. This is the lowest-priced quality santoku available. Thin, strong, about 60 Rockwell, with grantons, a 16-degree edge-grind and well-conceived handle and overall configuration. I'm suggesting it as a lark for you suspecting that it will change your opinion about what's important in kitchen knives from the first time you use it. The difference between it and what most people are accustomed to is profound. Then, again, you're talking about serious money for a single knife.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mac Santoku

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 10:59AM
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The best performance-for-money in kitchen knives is found where restaurant and food service cooks shop. (Not the well-off ones, I mean the ones who don't have much money but need to earn a living.)

Check out your favorite restaurant or butcher, on the magnetic knife strip will be some plain looking knives with white or black poly handles. The white ones are usually Dexter-Russell, made in the US. The black ones are usually Victorinox Forschner Fibrox, made in Switzerland and/or Germany (with the occasional Spain and US). Both are available online too, e.g. Amazon.

I think the Victorinox are a little better. These knives have slim, light blades, of good steel, comfortable non slip handles, are well sharpened, and regularly win in Cooks Illustrated's knife tests. I have some that I've been using for twenty years. If you want some bling, they can be had with colored handles too. They can be sharpened to 15 degrees but come at 20, which is fine.

Most knife sets are a waste of money. They include a bunch of little knives that are not useful (who needs slicers in 4'', 5'', and 6''), and the largest knives are too small (a chef's knife should be 10'' not 8'', ditto a slicer). Most cooks only really need a few knives: a large chef's, a large slicer, a paring knife, a serrated slicer for bread, and maybe a santuko or other knife with a rather straight edge. Plus a honing steel.

Victorinox has some sets with just those knives, for about $100.

Any knife you get will need regular sharpening.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 8:39PM
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I don't need any more knives. No, really! But there is a lengthy review of these Sabers on the "Cooking for Engineers" blog.

Here is a link that might be useful: Saber Knife Review

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:30PM
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I agree with John. My knives are an assortment from F. Dick and Victornox/Forschner, all lower end from the restaurant supply store. They are great, and I don't feel bad about not loving them, or making a purchasing mistake. Got one I didn't like and gave it away to someone who is thrilled with it. It was about $30, not $130.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:33PM
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Is The Shun Kershaw sold at Costco a good set or is it a cheaper version made for Costco ?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:11AM
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Like their Komachi line, this is another price-point offering. I'm sure they're fine, but they're not the knives Shun/Kershaw built their reputation on.

"Real" Shuns pretty much begin with VG-10 blade-steel......which begins in their "classic" line. The sharper blade-angle made (finally) practical by this steel is what put them on the map vs the dominant European brands (Henkels and Wusthof) some years ago.

If you want to get nuts about kitchen knives, blade steels, edge-angles and etc., the web is loaded with information and videos. Linked below is a six-minute everyman's tutorial about Shun. However, what it says applies generally.

From what you've written, I'd advise considering a set that gets you by for now -- maybe the Sabers, for example -- combined with one single, more expensive, better-quality individual knife such as the Mac Santoku linked earlier. Your slicing needs will be taken care of for now and the differences between "consumer grade" knives and really good knives will also be made apparent. The differences I'm talking about will not become apparent to you outside of your actual use. Pictures and text don't bring it home. Over time, you can form your own opinion about what really matters in your own kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shun knife video

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:03AM
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So . . . the last sentence of your post raises an issue. There just is no knife, or set of knives, that you won't have to sharpen later on, not if you're actually using the knife. Some are better out of the box than others, some are much better at edge retention than others, but all will need some maintenance (honing at least) and at least occasional sharpening.

I rather like Costco for all sorts of things, but don't know anything about the Saber knives. I don't know what Henckels line they are offering, but the better forged German knives are good examples of the sort of knives that they are (if that makes sense) and can give you a lifetime of good performance if well maintained. Things can get quite different and finicky if you start looking at different steels and Asian knife designs, but a good quality German knife should be relatively low maintenance and serve you well. Somebody mentioned Victorinox/Forschner -- these are a very good option if you want a less expensive stamped knife.

Is there a cooking store near you? You might not find the prices higher, or at least not much higher, and there's at least the opportunity to try a few things to see how they feel in your hand, maybe slice up a carrot or something.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 2:02PM
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