WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

Ken Onion Cutlery by Chef Works

Us Woot writers sometimes wish we wrote for The Onion. No, not the satirical newspaper, "The Onion" is what we call the Ken Onion cutlery empire. We're not sure exactly what we would write for them -- maybe knife names -- but we don't care. 

daveinwarshington


quality posts: 15 Private Messages daveinwarshington

Nice! All of my Ken Onion knives are very high quality. Too bad I just bought a new set of kitchen knives, I'd be all over this. And Made In USA! The knives I got are German...
I also just got the 'Ken Onion knife sharpener'. All my knives are like razors now...

phishneslo


quality posts: 5 Private Messages phishneslo

If these knifes are exclusive to Woot, how is the retail price different than the price at which Woot is selling them?

I wanted a chef's knife, but alas... All these knives have non-traditional blade profiles, which is ok, as long as it was done for the sake of something other than being non-traditional...

And what the heck is a santilly knife? Looks like an Asian veggie chopper or something. Would be nice if the descriptions said a little about the actual knife...

[edit] Oh, I get it! San-tility! Like Santoku + utility! That is unique.

ceagee


quality posts: 61 Private Messages ceagee

If you could get only one everyday cooking use knife, which would it be ?



bolligra


quality posts: 33 Private Messages bolligra
ceagee wrote:If you could get only one everyday cooking use knife, which would it be ?



For me, it would be a Santoku knife which, unfortunately, is not offered here.


As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

JMDSax


quality posts: 0 Private Messages JMDSax
ceagee wrote:If you could get only one everyday cooking use knife, which would it be ?



8" chef's knife or a 6-8" Santoku (which is essentially a Japanese style chef's knife).

andrewtl


quality posts: 22 Private Messages andrewtl

Made by 'Chef works'??? What happened, did Ken Onion shun the other company?

pfffft!

kaolis


quality posts: 27 Private Messages kaolis
andrewtl wrote:Made by 'Chef works'??? What happened, did Ken Onion shun the other company?



Ummm...Ken Onion does his own thing.
http://www.kenonionknives.com/

Shun Ken Onion has been a retired line for some time now. Not news. Nothing lasts forever.


bowlingb


quality posts: 15 Private Messages bowlingb
ceagee wrote:If you could get only one everyday cooking use knife, which would it be ?



8" Chef's knife. Decent quality ones can be had for under $40.

http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-Classic-Chefs-Knife/dp/B0061SWV8Y/

http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-40520-Fibrox-8-Inch-Chefs/dp/B000638D32

breaddrink


quality posts: 19 Private Messages breaddrink
ceagee wrote:If you could get only one everyday cooking use knife, which would it be ?



Really, the most used knife is that which has a straight edge. None of these have that.

Chopping has to otherwise reach a precise stopping point on all of these curved blades styles, which is hard to locate and 'feel'.
This is why a chefs knife works so flawlessly in it's design. It's length works with the slight curve of the blade, and you always end the cut, even if your technique isn't perfect.

I use knives all day, nearly every day in my work.
While I don't have any actual experience with these, I don't really feel any great desire to try them out either.
These seem a little gimmicky. It's like they're all based on looks. Aesthetics above function.

Seeing that these are mainly curved blades, they are used mainly for slicing or paring, though that said, the bread knife looks a little under serrated.

Answering your question, from this selection, the filet knife seems to be the most traditional and useful if you needed a filleting knife.

hasopt


quality posts: 3 Private Messages hasopt

These look like they have a stamped blade rather than a traditional forged blade. I have a few Ken Onion knives by Shun which are outstanding. These have a similarly shaped ergonomic handle, although different material. Blade is completely different. Seems very pricey for a stamped blade though.

gnuman


quality posts: 1 Private Messages gnuman
hasopt wrote:These look like they have a stamped blade

I don't agree. Looking carefully at the reverse paring knife, I see thickness tapering from heel to tip and from spine to edge. That's not something you normally see in stamped blades, which have roughly uniform thickness throughout. I'm gonna go with these being forged blades.

CMH814


quality posts: 0 Private Messages CMH814

As far as I can tell these are the Chef Works Ken Onion Rain Knives without the blade surface treated to make the rain pattern. The pattern is supposed to make the knife almost non stick and provide better cutting. The handles on the original knives also look like they have a nicer finish on them.

http://www.chefworks.com/?page=shop/browse_ken_onion_knives&category=cutlery_kenonionrainseriesknives&PHPSESSID=3a0sa7ibgck3l6ub2usjf0nha7

So I guess the question I have is: are the knives still the great deal they seem even though they are missing some features that made the original prices so high?

kaolis


quality posts: 27 Private Messages kaolis

So, since these are Woot knives, we should be able to get answers.

Stamped or forged..or??

Are these BDZ1 high-carbon stainless steel, if not what ?

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
kaolis wrote:So, since these are Woot knives, we should be able to get answers.

Stamped or forged..or??

Are these BDZ1 high-carbon stainless steel, if not what ?



Ok guys, lets start with the steel. it is 420HC american made.
The handle is a textured G10, which is fiber glass suspended in resin. Also American made It is the only dishwasher safe material I have ever seen.
There is a huge confusion on the term forged. All steel is forged. forging is the process of hitting the metal to align the molecular structure. These days it is done at the rolling mill. What people mean to say is that it is drop forged which is the process the high end German knife makers use, which usually has a full bolster and tang, and is ground to three dimensions, as opposed to stamped knives which as the one person pointed out is flat. These knives are neither. They are laser cut out of a very thick stock, then ground like a drop forged knife.

I find it interesting that the comment was made that a straight edge knife is the best for chopping. Especially when they admit they have never used any knife with a good curve on the blade. Knife use is subjective, but as you have probably now guessed, I am the project developer for these knives and worked with both Ken and the manufacturer to make these. the truth about the staigt edge knife is that it is simply easier and cheaper to make, as it requires less tooling and steel. Ken spent two years studying the chefs and how they used knives and came up with the curves and angles used in these designs.

These knives are a derrivation of the rain series now being offered in high end stores. Woot wanted to offer great value, but still offer superior Ken Onion design. I am happy to answer any other questions you may have.

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
bolligra wrote:For me, it would be a Santoku knife which, unfortunately, is not offered here.



The santility is the Ken Onion of the Santoku. Ken adusted it so it had more belly curve for better gliding. It is wider for better scooping. The spine of the blade is not distilled tapered adding extra weight so it can go through chicken joints. The hande is set at six inches and leveraged so you can pinch grip more comfortably and and have better leverage for cutting through difficult item like squash.

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
breaddrink wrote:Really, the most used knife is that which has a straight edge. None of these have that.

Chopping has to otherwise reach a precise stopping point on all of these curved blades styles, which is hard to locate and 'feel'.
This is why a chefs knife works so flawlessly in it's design. It's length works with the slight curve of the blade, and you always end the cut, even if your technique isn't perfect.

I use knives all day, nearly every day in my work.
While I don't have any actual experience with these, I don't really feel any great desire to try them out either.
These seem a little gimmicky. It's like they're all based on looks. Aesthetics above function.

Seeing that these are mainly curved blades, they are used mainly for slicing or paring, though that said, the bread knife looks a little under serrated.

Answering your question, from this selection, the filet knife seems to be the most traditional and useful if you needed a filleting knife.



I have heard many chefs make similar comments to the ones made here. It is unfortunate that you would choose to trash an item before you actually try it. Why you are not wrong for your cooking, I am sure that I can show you 2,000,000 grandmas who are a better cook than you and would use a paring knife to skin a cow if you would let them.

What traditionalists like you always forget, is that they are trained, and the normal home cook isn't. So Ken and Chef works created shapes that honored tradition, like the fillet knife, but also shapes that solved every day problems like the supreme utility, which will cut everything on a sandwhich plus the sanwich itself. In other words a multifunction knife. It is interesting that you mention design. I agree with you that most design is simply cosmetic. However these knives are designed to be the most ergonomic knives ever created. the curves you don't like are specifically designed to be used with the curves of your body. Interesting how the body has no truely straight lines.

Just because you wouldn't use one of the new shapes, doesn't mean they don't work and are only a gimmick. I feel your comments would be a lot more valuable if you actually tied them first.

nobet44


quality posts: 0 Private Messages nobet44
deaomega wrote:The santility is the Ken Onion of the Santoku. Ken adusted it so it had more belly curve for better gliding. It is wider for better scooping. The spine of the blade is not distilled tapered adding extra weight so it can go through chicken joints. The hande is set at six inches and leveraged so you can pinch grip more comfortably and and have better leverage for cutting through difficult item like squash.


This is unrelated, so forgive me, but I never had the chance to speak with a knife guru before. What super-steel do you favor most, for both kitchen (IE VG-10) and EDC (IE ELMAX) knives? Thanks for your input!

phishneslo


quality posts: 5 Private Messages phishneslo
deaomega wrote:I have heard many chefs make similar comments to the ones made here. It is unfortunate that you would choose to trash an item before you actually try it. Why you are not wrong for your cooking, I am sure that I can show you 2,000,000 grandmas who are a better cook than you and would use a paring knife to skin a cow if you would let them.

What traditionalists like you always forget, is that they are trained, and the normal home cook isn't. So Ken and Chef works created shapes that honored tradition, like the fillet knife, but also shapes that solved every day problems like the supreme utility, which will cut everything on a sandwhich plus the sanwich itself. In other words a multifunction knife. It is interesting that you mention design. I agree with you that most design is simply cosmetic. However these knives are designed to be the most ergonomic knives ever created. the curves you don't like are specifically designed to be used with the curves of your body. Interesting how the body has no truely straight lines.

Just because you wouldn't use one of the new shapes, doesn't mean they don't work and are only a gimmick. I feel your comments would be a lot more valuable if you actually tied them first.



I have to say, the 7-piece set looks pretty interesting... I didn't see that when I made my earlier comment. The 8-inch cook's knife, especially. I think I would really like the shape and feel. Too bad you aren't offering that one individually.

My problem with new / non-traditional blade profiles is that I don't understand how I would use them. I spent a large part of my 20's in the kitchen of a large gourmet cater - chopping, boning, and peeling. Now, I find that a chef's knife, a couple of boning knifes, and a paring knife are all I think to use.

I am thinking that 7-piece set might be right up my alley. The reverse paring knife looks pretty useful too.

kaleoa


quality posts: 1 Private Messages kaleoa
deaomega wrote:The santility is the Ken Onion of the Santoku. Ken adusted it so it had more belly curve for better gliding. It is wider for better scooping. The spine of the blade is not distilled tapered adding extra weight so it can go through chicken joints. The hande is set at six inches and leveraged so you can pinch grip more comfortably and and have better leverage for cutting through difficult item like squash.



I'm going to give the Santility a try. I noticed there is a 8" and 10" Rain Cook's Knife. Do you know if these will be offered individually as Woot versions as well? I see the 8" in the block sets, but I don't really need a set. Thanks.

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
nobet44 wrote:This is unrelated, so forgive me, but I never had the chance to speak with a knife guru before. What super-steel do you favor most, for both kitchen (IE VG-10) and EDC (IE ELMAX) knives? Thanks for your input!


As you have guessed,both Ken an I have tested amny steels over the years, nad to daye the one we like best is SG2, made by takafu corporation in Japan. however i was stunned at the quality of the steel being made by Carpenter Steel in reading PA. Their BDZ1 was a great surprise, and they have a new steel that we are going to launch this year that could change everything. Stay tuned.

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
kaleoa wrote:I'm going to give the Santility a try. I noticed there is a 8" and 10" Rain Cook's Knife. Do you know if these will be offered individually as Woot versions as well? I see the 8" in the block sets, but I don't really need a set. Thanks.


as of now, there is no plan to offer theses

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
phishneslo wrote:I have to say, the 7-piece set looks pretty interesting... I didn't see that when I made my earlier comment. The 8-inch cook's knife, especially. I think I would really like the shape and feel. Too bad you aren't offering that one individually.

My problem with new / non-traditional blade profiles is that I don't understand how I would use them. I spent a large part of my 20's in the kitchen of a large gourmet cater - chopping, boning, and peeling. Now, I find that a chef's knife, a couple of boning knifes, and a paring knife are all I think to use.

I am thinking that 7-piece set might be right up my alley. The reverse paring knife looks pretty useful too.


The Ken onion cooks knife was orrigionally inspired by Sarah Molton, and Bobby Flay. It was specifically designed to work with the motion that all professional Chef's were trained to use and culinary school. what makes it great is the fact that a lay person will now pinch grip becasue the design of the knife forces them to. that is the genius of the his designs. It makes you beter becasue of the way it is designed. You just have to hold it to understand. all of the shapes are useful depending on how you cook.

kaolis


quality posts: 27 Private Messages kaolis

@deaomega: Thanks for all of the fantastic information.

puds


quality posts: 0 Private Messages puds

After buying one of these knives, I went to Chef Works and was quite surprised that this is not the same knife sold there for $200. This is a MUCH cheaper version--handle suitable for dishwasher--who in their right mind puts their knives in the dishwasher? Not the same quality blade. Why didn't the description say it was made similar to the original and not pretend it was THE original Ken Onion cutlery? Very disappointed.

deaomega wrote:Ok guys, lets start with the steel. it is 420HC american made.
The handle is a textured G10, which is fiber glass suspended in resin. Also American made It is the only dishwasher safe material I have ever seen.
There is a huge confusion on the term forged. All steel is forged. forging is the process of hitting the metal to align the molecular structure. These days it is done at the rolling mill. What people mean to say is that it is drop forged which is the process the high end German knife makers use, which usually has a full bolster and tang, and is ground to three dimensions, as opposed to stamped knives which as the one person pointed out is flat. These knives are neither. They are laser cut out of a very thick stock, then ground like a drop forged knife.

I find it interesting that the comment was made that a straight edge knife is the best for chopping. Especially when they admit they have never used any knife with a good curve on the blade. Knife use is subjective, but as you have probably now guessed, I am the project developer for these knives and worked with both Ken and the manufacturer to make these. the truth about the staigt edge knife is that it is simply easier and cheaper to make, as it requires less tooling and steel. Ken spent two years studying the chefs and how they used knives and came up with the curves and angles used in these designs.

These knives are a derrivation of the rain series now being offered in high end stores. Woot wanted to offer great value, but still offer superior Ken Onion design. I am happy to answer any other questions you may have.



samgeer


quality posts: 0 Private Messages samgeer
andrewtl wrote:Made by 'Chef works'??? What happened, did Ken Onion shun the other company?


Ken Onion lost his contract with Kershaw knives which contracted with Shun to make their and his kitchen knives. I think it is Kershaw's loss.

samgeer


quality posts: 0 Private Messages samgeer
ceagee wrote:If you could get only one everyday cooking use knife, which would it be ?


I like a six inch utility knife for a lot of chores, but paring knives around four inches are very good too

onthedl


quality posts: 0 Private Messages onthedl

These seem ridiculously overpriced for what they are. You can get Shuns for these prices, and you know you're getting good steal with those. These look really cheap and gimmicky.

barrywhite


quality posts: 0 Private Messages barrywhite

What is the rockwell hardness rating on these knives, the filet knife in particular.

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
samgeer wrote:Ken Onion lost his contract with Kershaw knives which contracted with Shun to make their and his kitchen knives. I think it is Kershaw's loss.



Hi, since I was the head of shun, when ken left, I can tell you he quit and wasn't fired.

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
samgeer wrote:I like a six inch utility knife for a lot of chores, but paring knives around four inches are very good too



As the product developer, I recommend the Santility

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
onthedl wrote:These seem ridiculously overpriced for what they are. You can get Shuns for these prices, and you know you're getting good steal with those. These look really cheap and gimmicky.



You are simply wrong. Shun Ken onions were two and a half times the prices here. I should know I was the head of shun at the time. I am now the product developer for these. The materials are way more advance than what was used then. They are a great value.

deaomega


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deaomega
barrywhite wrote:What is the rockwell hardness rating on these knives, the filet knife in particular.



They are a 58 Rockwell.

barrywhite


quality posts: 0 Private Messages barrywhite
deaomega wrote:They are a 58 Rockwell.



I'll be happy to try it out. I cut a lot of meat at work and will try to post more on it after I use it for a while.

I'm assuming these will be popping up every other week until the first lot is sold out. If not, oh well. I'm looking forward to a boning knife with a blade shape I like that isn't as soft that I will have to sharpen it every other week. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations and the hype associated with the Ken Onion name.

Craig234


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Craig234

deaomega, nice to have you here helping people.

On a separate note, I bought a Shun set a few years ago here on woot. burglar stole one of the two large knives, and I inquired to at least find the model number, and Shun support could not offer any information other than that they're not available.

I was a bit disappointed that they couldn't at least look up the model number so I could watch for buying a used replacement to re-complete the set.

Sardinicus


quality posts: 9 Private Messages Sardinicus

Mmmm. . . bread.

Kudos to the photographer here.

barrywhite


quality posts: 0 Private Messages barrywhite

Filet knife showed up. So far so good. Tore through the sirloins and filets at work. It will never slip from hand. I'm looking forward to using it on some whole hogs in a few weeks.

Grip was great, factory edge was good. I just washed it and sanitized it, no stropping or honing. It should be easy enough to sharpen, no weird curves to deal with.

Tip tip has be worried it will break off eventually but so far so good.

phillysco


quality posts: 0 Private Messages phillysco
deaomega wrote:Ok guys, lets start with the steel. it is 420HC american made.
The handle is a textured G10, which is fiber glass suspended in resin. Also American made It is the only dishwasher safe material I have ever seen.
There is a huge confusion on the term forged. All steel is forged. forging is the process of hitting the metal to align the molecular structure. These days it is done at the rolling mill. What people mean to say is that it is drop forged which is the process the high end German knife makers use, which usually has a full bolster and tang, and is ground to three dimensions, as opposed to stamped knives which as the one person pointed out is flat. These knives are neither. They are laser cut out of a very thick stock, then ground like a drop forged knife.

I find it interesting that the comment was made that a straight edge knife is the best for chopping. Especially when they admit they have never used any knife with a good curve on the blade. Knife use is subjective, but as you have probably now guessed, I am the project developer for these knives and worked with both Ken and the manufacturer to make these. the truth about the staigt edge knife is that it is simply easier and cheaper to make, as it requires less tooling and steel. Ken spent two years studying the chefs and how they used knives and came up with the curves and angles used in these designs.

These knives are a derrivation of the rain series now being offered in high end stores. Woot wanted to offer great value, but still offer superior Ken Onion design. I am happy to answer any other questions you may have.



I purchased 3 of these knives. Originally I thought they were going to be the rain series. I was disappointed when I opened the boxes and saw what they actually are. Thanks for posting this information on these knives.
First Impressions
I bought the reverse paring knife because it is truly unique. Should make paring easier with a more natural motion.

The slicer and bread knife, well time will tell. My current slicer is a MAC, so I will compare against that. The bread knife, I think the offset handle and slight curve blade should make things easier.
420HC - Latrobe specialty steel. Fairly good performance at a cheap price. I would expect a better grade steel on an $80 knife, and a $50 paring knife. I do not anticipate good edge retention, particularly on the slicer.

phillysco


quality posts: 0 Private Messages phillysco

Just adding to my prior post. I bought these mainly for my wife to use, thinking she would love the ergonomic design...WRONG!
She won't use them. I bought three of these...Slicer, Bread, and reverse parer.
Well I decided to sell the slicer which I used all of twice. Looks like new. Put it up on Ebay for 2 weeks now at $39.95 and free shipping. No bids. I dropped the price to $34.95 and it sold. After I paid the fees and the shipping, I ended up with $20. That is one quarter of what I paid.
So much for the great value I got.
This is what happens when you buy kitchen cutlery where the profit margins exceed the cost of production.
I am keeping the bread knife and reverse paring knife since I already know no one is willing to pay even half of what they cost new.
Oh and by the way, the RAIN series knives are all over Ebay and UNSOLD to boot. I am very glad I did not buy one of them.
Caveat Emptor!