Tech

Benchmade Three-Piece Chef Knife Set Review: Light and Sharp


A good knife is not just a tool; it’s an extension of your hand. When the Benchmade set arrived, I immediately grabbed the utility knife (I call it small knife), and about 10 minutes later, I forgot I was holding it (in a good way). The blade is thin and slides under the flickering light on the steak I’m cleaning without any planning. My fingers move and the knife obeys. A good tool allows you to act on instinct and experience that way.

The handle is comfortable and well balanced with the blade, although I question the wisdom of having ring holes on a chef’s knife, as they are more likely to collect food and dirt than folding knives. On the other hand, these are nice, lightweight, highly responsive knives. After a few months of using them, I find that about 80% of the time, I still reach for the 6-inch utility knife.

They hold the edge very well, which means less time is spent on honing. I’ve only sharpened them twice since I got them, much less than if I’d sharpened my own knives in the same amount of time. These seem to hold the edge better than my Benchmade folding knife. That’s likely due to Benchmade’s proprietary SelectEdge technology, which uses a 14-degree angle. That can be difficult to maintain, but I used a Work Sharp field grinder ($30 at Amazon, $34 at Work Sharp), has a guide of 20 degrees, then drops to 14 from there.

Beginner’s Luck

It’s worth noting that, not just a knife for fanatics, these are great knives for beginners. Somehow, they are more accessible and easier to work with than many knives in the interior our knife guide. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but I’ve observed it in the rest of my family.

Thanks to that knife guide, I test dozens of knives every year. They all live in the kitchen drawer (I know, it’s horrible, but it’s a good stress test). The Benchmade knife is the first experimental knife my wife uses regularly. My kids also use these knives without hesitation.

I have no logical explanation for my family’s willingness to take these knives. Some may be that they look less exotic than many of the knives I tested. They look like most people’s idea of ​​a chef’s knife. They don’t have the crazy swirl on steel, and they don’t seem like they need hours of care after you’ve finished them (because they don’t). But more than that, there’s just something invisible about them that makes you want to pick them up and use them. Good tools tend to appeal to you.

Knife fanatics may roll their eyes at things like this, but these knives won’t satisfy them anyway. They will rightly point out that there are harder steels out there. That’s right, although there are two options for the Benchmade kit, the CPM-154 or the 440c, the former is the one I tested.

Another big question is whether they are worth the money. A good knife doesn’t have to be expensive; my favorite knife has no mark on it and I can’t remember where it came from or how much it cost. For this price, you can order custom knives, just like my fellow chefs did years ago.

If you know enough about your personal preference for knives and have the money to order a custom knife, that’s what you should do. But for others, these Benchmade knives are a great choice. They are accessible, thin and light, hold very well to the edge, are easy to sharpen, and come with a lifetime warranty.

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