I'm drooling over that case. And the block is ingenious. Love that it's open, especially at the bottom. I get kind of weirded out every time I think about what's inside the closed holes of my current knife block.
Any idea when these will be available?
In your Orthogonal Thought post
the 10-piece set would only be $200. Now they're $300? I'm disappointed, man.
(Just kidding. I'm drooling.)
I did, didn't I? I think that's still a goal for Menefee over time - to be able to produce a set that retails around $200, but I suppose it's not easy to convince retail stores to carry your product if profit for them is going to be to small. If this first batch sells well, he should be able to order a much larger batch of knives to be forged which should bring the cost down. At $300 it's a good deal especially if you consider that an equivalent bag or block is probably $75-$100. Well, there isn't an equivalent bag or block on the market, so I just made those numbers up - the bag really is better than anything else I've tried and the block is both unique and genius.
I hope they sell those blocks and bags separately from the full knife set, cause I want both! That's hands-down the best knife block design I've ever seen, and the bag looks terrific too, even though I don't often transport knives.
Any idea when these knives will be on the market? I've just gotten my first real apartment and I'm tired of using my roommates shoddy, blunt knives. These look perfect, and just in my budget.
Received an update on when the knives will become available. It looks like it'll be on Amazon.com first and may be available as early at Wednesday October 7, 2009. Saber Knives told me the first batch has already been shipped and is en route to Amazon.com.
Here's where you'll find it on Amazon.com: click to go to Amazon.com's listing of Saber Knives
I don't know that I'm as convinced this is such a "deal". Full disclosure: I haven't used the Saber knives, so what I'm saying below is based on general thoughts about purchasing knives, as well as Michael's description of the Saber knives.
Getting a large set of knives is almost always a bad idea for a beginner, and frankly even for more advanced cooks. Typical advice would be to start with a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife that can double as a slicer. For a similar amount of money, one could buy a Tojiro DP chef's knife, a Misono or Shun paring knife, and a Forschner bread knife -- and still have a good chunk of change left over. Bottom line is that it's a myth that you have to spend huge amounts of money to get good quality Japanese knives.
The Saber knives look heavy, and with a full bolster will be a PITA to sharpen. Granton edges are less functional than most people would like you to believe (compare this to Glestain knives, where stick resistance is seriously reduced...other than that Granton edges are typically not worth it). By contrast, the chef and paring knives in the starter set above will deliver much higher performance to the average home chef.
Just a note to prospective purchasers of such a thing: find a way to get your hands on Chad Ward's An Edge in the Kitchen (if you can't afford the book then take a look at your library), or spend a little bit of time on Knifeforums.com "In The Kitchen" forum, before plunking down $300. You may well find that you are able to both save your hard earned cash and come out with a high performance solution.
Truth be told, I did struggle a bit with this part - the massive set. I wrote a paragraph on it several times while preparing this review and in the end axed it because I couldn't get the right message across. It occurs to me that in the various revisions of the review, I lost the crux of it - so here's my executive summary:
Saber Knives performs on par or better than famous brand named German knives. Saber Knives do not perform as well as the Japanese knives that I prefer. The bag and/or block that comes with Saber Knives are unique. The bag is the best designed knife bag I've ever seen or used to date.
I have a small issue with the block design.
it is neat - it is unique - it is clever. in theory I like it....
my problem is the vertical withdraw motion needed. on a counter top with overhead cabinets, a slanted withdraw angle avoids the knuckle banging on the over head cabinet bottom.
if one has a "clear" space - obviously not a problem. but in working up a custom design block for my collection I am concerned with having an angle that permits an easy withdraw motion. my cooktop has a hood - and overhead cabinets left and right - so a "vertical" withdraw of an 8 inch or ten inch knife just would not work without pulling the whole block out to the front of the counter.
Hello all, this is Rich Menefee, founder and creator of Saber Knives.
I wanted to take this opportunity to address something that " Dilbert " mentioned in his constructive criticism of my block.
Dilbert, you are absolutely correct on your observations on the limitation of my block. I know this because I discovered it early on in the prototype stages.
There are hundreds of block designs currently on the market. In my humble opinion they are all roughly the same. Slightly different shapes, colors, materials...but basically a sloped / slotted hunk of wood that prevents you from seeing the desired blade, holes that fill up with all manner of debris, and are stationary.
I felt there were ample options for consumers who wanted a block that was traditional and common.
My goal was to do something completely different.
Is it for everyone? Obviously not.
I have one of these blocks on my counter top, ( I'm not just the founder, I'm a customer ) and I have cabinets that hang down and prevent me full access to the block.
This is what I have done. I have placed one side of the base against the side of my stove top. I have then moved it just far enough away from the tile back splash so it rotates freely on its lazy Susan base.
It is high enough off the counter so it clears my stove top, and I simply rotate the device towards the stove top where there is ample room for me to pull the biggest knife out without interference under the range hood.
This process is very simple as I can not only see what blade I wish to pull, but can easily rotate into position.
I look forward to answering any questions you might have about my product and encourage any of you who have ideas on how to improve upon any of my products to please contact me.
Nothing would make me happier then to listen to the people who buy these things on how to make them better.
You have my word on it.
It looks like Amazon.com has a seller pricing the set at $350. I've received a couple emails asking me if I really do recommend these knives at $300 (and I guess, now at $350) and to be honest, I didn't know the price would rise so high. When I started testing the knives I thought the set would have a street price of around $200-$250, but since then (apparently due to market forces and economics of the retail world) the price has jumped 50%. I still think these are a great alternative to Henckels and Wusthof, but I'd probably opt for a set of Forschner or a few Japanese knives now that we're talking $350. I know that day in and day out, I use an 8-in chef's and a paring and that's pretty much it. In my block, those are the two that are "expensive" and the rest (bread knife, boning, etc.) are fine quality, but low cost (nothing over $20). However, if you are new to cooking and want to have a full set so you can experiment with what knives feel best for different tasks or you like to have a set of high quality matching knives, then purchasing a set isn't a bad idea - and this is a good quality full set that is still a really good price. Unfortunately, at $350, I can't recommend the set to everyone. (At $200, it was easy to make that recommendation - at $300 when I published the article it was a harder - at $350, I felt it was necessary to write this comment.)
Will the knife bag be available for purchase separately?
At first, I think it will not - but it is my understanding that it will eventually be available. I don't know how much it will be or when they will be available, but if I find out, I'll let you guys know.
Hi all, yes, the bags will be for sale very shortly. They will be offered on Amazon.com and at Costco.com very soon.
I'm betting Amazon first as we are already set up with them...and Costco within a few weeks as there is a lot of paperwork to be concluded prior to it being available.
Retail on this bag should be about $50 to $60 dollars.
I built this bag after looking at all of the others on the market that were selling for between $75 and $100 dollars.
I am certain you will all love it.
What type of material is the handle made of?
It looks like either wood (which is banned in 38 states because it absorbs moisture and encourages bacteria growth) or a cheap plastic (which is dangerously slippery when wet).
I picked up the set with bag after reading this and emailing the company. It is very nice to have a full set. Before this I had an 8" MAC chef's knife (on recommendation of this site) and a good paring knife from the restaurant supply. The rest of my collection was a mid-priced set that I had received as a wedding gift. I have given my old knives (except for the MAC) to my daughter who has just moved into her first apartment.
The 8" & 10" chef's knives are heavy, but well balanced. I am an average American female and I don't find them unwieldy or awkward to use.
I like that there are two sizes of paring knives.
The slicer is a dream, but my big love of the set is the bread knife. It is a rock star.
As some people have said, the other knives are used less frequently, but it is nice to know they are there. I don't use a French Boning knife much, but maybe I will now that I have it!
What I have really enjoyed is having a number of "good" knives for when I have friends & family "helping" in the kitchen. I can send them off to slice & dice with one knife while I am using another.
The case is great. I keep mine in a block I already had for home use, and I am auditioning for the Food Network, so I hope to have need for a travel case soon. :)
After Shopping around for a 5 piece Shun knife set for $300, the 11 pc Saber look very tempting.
Anyhow, I was wondering about the wood block design. My current cheap knife block has vertical slits (angled for easy withdrawal) but the knives cut the block taking the knife in and out. The wood is cut worst on the slits for my steak knives because the blade is jagged.
The Saber knife block has great ideas but it has the same flaw that my knife block has. I know that Rachel Ray's furi set and Shun rotated the slits 90 degrees to accommodate withdrawal. This is one thing that would prevent me from buying a set like this. If my girlfriend or friends mishandle came over and mishandled my knifes just a few times, not only will the blades dull faster, but the block will be cut up.
Also, it doesn't mention anywhere if the blade resembled Global/Shun 15-16 degrees angle or the 20 degree German angle. I'm guessing 20 degrees since its more comparable to German Knifes.
I wish i had a use for the knife bag, but i don't. It sure looks like the bag to get.
Not sure I understand the problem. Vertical knife slots in a "traditional" block are an issue because gravity holds the sharp edge of the knife against the wood as you pull the knife. A straight up system like Saber has or horizontal system like many contemporary blocks have do not have this problem since gravity isn't pulling the knife blade into the wood...
Get a grip folks. You are nuts to pay hundreds of dollars for such things. The four billion poor people on this planet know that any knife that isn't blunt is good enough. I've managed perfectly well for years with a dollar store bread knife and my Swiss Army knife.
On traditional blocks, the problem can be solved quite easily by putting the knives in with the edge pointed up. Simple engineering solution I figured out long ago from observing the cuts in the wood.
That does work for many households, but I could never recommend it - the balance of some blades cause them to be able to slide backwards and out of the block if the block is jostled or accidentally struck.
Can you explain this? Based on the picture above, the knives are lowered vertically, not horizontally into a block on a lazy Susan. The only thing stopping the knife from falling through the block is the width of the blade that is pitched on the back of the blade and the SHARP edge. After taking the knife in and out enough times you will be cutting the block and hence dulling the blade. Yes?
The knives are held up by their finger guards - all the slots are wider than the blade from spine to cutting edge, so no part of the edge should touch. Each slot is not so deep as to allow the blade to drop in past the finger guard and for the santoku (which does not have a guard) the bolster rests on the edge of the slot.
I just added some more info to the bottom of the article:
1. Mr. Menefee has offered to send anyone who emails and asks for a paring knife a free 3.5-in paring knife so they can try out the knife for themselves.
2. Costco.com now sells the professional knife bag for $55.
Scroll up to the bottom of the article to see the details.
Paring knives are no longer available for free by emailing Saber Knives.
The knife arrived arrived yesterday Thursday 12/17, after requesting it last Friday 12/11. Wow, that is fast. Lucky for me, got one of the last free ones
OUTSTANDING KNIFE !
My only wish is a la carte offering. $100 is the price point for treating myself THIS YEAR.
If they can sell this way,
I would buy either one of the following 3 piece sets
$75 for 5",6",7" boning,utility, santoku
$85 - 6,7,8 utility, santoku, chef
$95 - 6,7,10 utility, santoku, chef
and I told them so, got my fingers crossed...
Can anyone tell me where I can find these knives? Amazon in out of stock! Thank you!
Hopefully, this will make things easier for people who want to order Saber Knives. They just started an online store so you can direct order from them and given the number of people that have asked for the ability to buy one knife at a time, they are offering individual knives for sale at $7 per inch.
Saber Knives Store
I don't even know where to start. There's so much to say about these knives :-)
I couldn't find them locally or online in time for Christmas, so I ordered direct from Mr Menefee, and he was both efficient and delightful to correspond with. It's always a joy to be "in touch" with inventors who love their work :-)
I think many of the criticisms that have been voiced here are accurate... I'm just not sure they're relevant <LOL!> Some of them sound like the culinary equivalent of looking at a Volkswagen and expecting it to be a Mercedes... or a Kia... That just... isn't what the Sabers are *for*, folks! <LOL!> They're not luxury items, and they're not dollar-store-throw-aways. They're good knives, and reasonably priced. Period.
Of course these are not the knives for everyone, they were never meant to be. They were meant to satisfy a specific, under-served niche in the market. I have no idea if they serve the intended market well or not, because I'm not it <LOL!> I'm a suburban minivan-mommy with three kids.
And I freaking LOVE this knife-and-block set.
With a family of 5, and two or three really expensive "good knives", you don't get much help in the kitchen. It's too inconvenient and intimidating.
With a generous set of awesome, sharp, well-balanced and designed knives that just beg to be used, you get people CLAMORING to help.
Put a price tag on *that*, I dare you! :-)
We've eaten more home-cooked meals since Christmas than we did for the last 6 MONTHS. No exaggeration. Because suddenly it is FUN to do the prep work again.
The main points that I would like to convey about these knives are obviously from a family/mommy perspective. But I don't see people expressing that perspective much, so here goes:
0. They're fun to use. Not annoying, finicky, or temperamental.
1. There are enough knives to go around a large family and let everyone help.
2. There are enough knives of different shapes and sizes to suit different hands and different tasks.
3. The knives have weight, substance, and enough polish to clearly announce themselves as "good knives", not "junk"
4. Despite being "good knives", they are not so expensive that dad has a heart attack when one gets run through the dishwasher or used to cut on a glass plate. He can philosophically comment "That's not how we treat the good knives, sweetie, it dulls them - here's how we fix that up again." and grab the steel to show 'em how it's done.
5. The knife block just plain rocks. It is the best knife block ever.
We have overhanging cabinets, but we just spin the rack until the desired handle protrudes from under the cabinet. Never even gave it a thought. The blades do not touch the block unless you try very hard, and the extra slots and spaces are extremely useful We've put aside two now-unneeded counter-top utensil containers because things fit so nicely in the Saber block.
I cannot BEGIN to stress enough how valuable it is, as a family who wishes to pass the love of good food, good cooking, good tools, and good relationships on to our children, to have tools that we can actually *afford* to teach our children to USE. Spending more money on individual knives to save money over this "set" would not achieve any of the goals *we* personally had (see above points).
If it weren't for the fact that the affordability was the point here, I'd say they were priceless <grin>.
But truly, their value is not counted in dollars, not by me, at least.
My kids have participated in meal prep voluntarily, and we've eaten and *enjoyed* creating home-cooked meals together almost every day since Christmas, and we just haven't ever done that before. We'd devolved into a convenience-food rut that really sucked. We even got a new crock pot just so we can have an excuse to cut up more veggies together ;-p
I just couldn't be happier with them.
As for my husband, who is the one who got them as a Christmas gift; well, he doesn't have much to say.
He's the quiet type.
But he hasn't griped once about anything to do with their form, function, or value. And he's in the kitchen, having fun with the kids again.
And for me, that says it all.
How about targetting Europe as well? I have a set from Zwilling & Henkels, but would love to try out Saber as well!
Checked out the amazon.co.uk, but I dont see the sets sold there.
Hey, just to answer your question, I know that the retail site for Saber, www.SaberKnifeStore.com
, ships to Europe. Take Care!
Just to let everyone know, there's a huge sale that should be running on Costco.com for the 13-piece knife set in triangle block for $100 off ($199!). The sale is for one day only and is for July 27, 2010.
I just remembered about reading this article and promising myself that I'm going to get them when they become available, and what do you know? Costco is having the $199 deal again! ("through December 12, 2010. While supplies last.") Got myself a Christmas present :D
Hope someone is still reading this string of comments!
I just received the chef bag set today and so far I am very pleased from the limited testing I have done with it.
My next question since I would like a beautiful way to store these at home as well - does anyone know if there is a way to purchase the triangle block alone? I love the design but for me getting the specific knives in the bag set with the bag for versatility was the better fit...
Thanks and Merry Christmas all!
Keep a look out on the Saber Knives website
. The latest update from Saber Knives is that they plan on adding the knife block to be sold on the website directly. I'm not sure when this will happen, so keep checking once in a while.
I love working in my kitchen. It is an extension of my childhood, from when my sister and I worked along side our mom, in her kitchen. She showed us how to prepare food for large family style meals and how to bake for birthdays and holidays. The last few years, I've been noticing fatigue and cramping in my hand, while chopping and preparing food, so I've decided to upgrade my kitchen knives, in order to make it a bit easier for me.
Over the years, I have acquired a few knives that have served me well but this is the first time I have allowed myself to become serious about finding and purchasing good knives. Searching kitchen knife reviews led me to Cooking For Engineers. The first article I read was Chef's Knives Rated. I've been price checking and comparing the MAC MTH-80 Mighty Chef to other chef knives for over a while now...They cost more since the article was written...Even so, I am tempted to purchase one, but I would still need more knives. Would you put together and share with me, a mix and match knife (make/model/size/cost) ensemble (paring/boning/utility/santoku/chef/bread/carver/cleaver) that you think would make up a good variety of knives to have on hand in the kitchen? I surely would appreciate it.
After trying to wrap my head around the cost of the new knives I would like to own, I'd be lying if I said that this Saber Kitchen Knives article didn't make me happy and excited. They do appear to be a great cost saving value and the reviews are stellar. I read that Saber uses German stainless steel X45CrMoV15, while the high end German (more expensive) competitors use X50CrMoV15 or X55CrMoV15. What do the numbers 45, 50 and 55 mean? What does it mean in terms of steel quality, stain resistance and durability for long term use comparisons?
Can you recommended any home knife sharpeners for MAC/Japanese knives or Saber/German knives?
My advice comes from the opposite end: do everything you can not to dull them!
Never, ever use a sharp knife on anything harder than maple, and even that's stretching it a bit.
Soft cutting boards (even wet wood is softer than dry)
No sawing through bone with a chef's knife when another tool would be better suited to the job.
Dry immediately after use. Sharpness is a microscopic function, and water + metal equals corrosion, no matter how "stainless" the steel.
Until you know your tools intimately -- which may take a few years, find a good, reliable knife sharpener and visit him regularly and keep asking why your knives don't stay sharp. Ask HIM for advice! If he's any good he'll tell you why, and what any good doctor would: "I hope I don't see you for a long, long time!"
So just like the guy a few days ago asked, i have been looking for new knives.. was just going to buy some individually but in general this set looks strong.
You dont typically write reviews like this one, where you give it so many points without the cons. Do you think that this set is strong enough of its own or would you prefer some of the blades and then mix and match with other individual blades you find in your other reviews?
Basically i would really like you to answer the guys question from like 2 days ago.
Most of the cons will be related to how the knife feels in your hand or if the curvature of the blade will suit you. That's true for each knife in the set. For that reason I use a variety of different knives. I still use a Mac MTH-80 for my chef's knife, a Forschner for my boning, a Shun for my paring...
The Saber set is a very strong set (performing as well or better than my Henckels and Wusthof blades) - it's good all around, but it's unlikely that any particular knife set will have the best chef's, bread, paring, boning, etc. knife for you. At this price, though, I think it's one of the best values you can find in today's marketplace.
If you're want the best individual pieces for you, then it's going to be a long process that involves trying and buying a lot of knives to piece together the set you will use. Along the way, you'll end up with a bunch of extra pieces that just didn't feel right after a few weeks, etc. I think it might make sense to get a set of Saber Knives as a starting point since most of your cutting needs will be met by them and then if you don't like a particular piece, replace it with something you do like better in the future. If you end up liking all the pieces, then your search is over. Unfortunately, once a reviewer confirms a certain level of quality and performance has been reached, the individual buyer needs to pick from all the ones the reviewers like to see what is best for him. Are you hands, fingers, arms, table setup, etc. more similar to mine or another reviewers? All these variables play into whether or not you'll find the use of the knife pleasurable and comfortable.
here's the naked truth:
there is no universal "best" for every cook on the planet.
if you buy a decent set of knives in terms of overall construction and metals, the only thing left is how the handle fits your hand and whether you are comfortable with the blade geometry.
good construction = full tang; 2-3 rivets on the handle; bolster if you want one.
metals: Chinese lead knives just don't hold an edge. cheap knives usually are not made from high quality steel.
steel: take your pick - the classic carbon steel knives that will discolor and patina or stainless. don't get hung up on Brand X has a Rockwell C hardness that is 1.1435632 more that Brand Y - in practice it doesn't make a difference.
the handle: they're all different. whether the handle feels right in your hand is something only you can judge.
blade geometry: a chef's knife is not a chef's knife. there is no ISO documents that describes how long, how much belly, where the belly starts, etc., a chef's knife should have.
geometry gets more important as you move into different "general styles" - for example the santuko - same lengths available as for chef's knives, but the blade shape is flatter. too flat, not flat enough, maybe a cleaver style? absolutely impossible to 'predict' - those are things you need to decide based on your own use and habits.
here's a good approach - pick out the sizes & styles you think you are interested in. go the five&dime and buy a cheap knife with the handle & geometry that appeals. check it out. you should expect that it will not hold an edge all too long (that's the cheap metal thing) - but it will give you some cheap, up close and personal experience you can use when you decide to plunk down more cash.
Allow me to express myself : this website and its viewers completely rock.
Hello i am from Canada, I was looking into these amazing knives for culinary school and was dissapointed when i found out that i couldnt get it through amazon or costco b.c i live in Canada. So i went to the Saber knive website emailed the company, checked my emails later that night and Rich himself CEO emailed back saying he is working on geting it in canada at costco on the website. He then offered to ship the knive set to me himself. I mean how great is that. A week later and $300 later (thats including shipping and boarder fee) i have my set and absolutely love them.
there is a smaller set available at costco.
I have bought all different kinds of knives. I was shocked to see that the chef knife I bought at Benny's for 6 dollars, was a great knife, after I sharpened it it was even better, and managed to keep an edge.
It would be interesting to have a knife review for chef knives under 20 dollars, I am sure this knife would do great. I will try and get back with more details.
There's a lot of best knife e can found in shop of amazon. I think Saber Kitchen Knives are one the best knives that i bought. It have a good quality!
Costco currently offers the 16-piece Saber set for $170.
This might sound like a bargain, but frankly, who needs all this crap? I am a CIA graduate and longtime culinary professional, and all I really use is a 10-inch chef's, bread knife, boning knife, and very occasionally a fillet knife. The steak knives, shears, sharpener, and monstrous block are just clutter.
Some time ago, Costco offered another brand of "German" knives. The knives themselves were subpar IMHO but I liked that they were offered a la carte. Any chance Saber will offer something simliar to Costco customers?