The 15-piece Knife Block Set from Anolon gives good value but a strange mix of old-fashioned features and modernistic all-stainless design. The knife assortment includes six of the most used prep knives and a matching set of six all-stainless-steel steak knives, enough for the average kitchen and a family dinner service.
A sensible selection of prep blades includes a paring knife, utility knife with serrated edge, one 7-inch santoku for efficient slicing of vegetables, fruit and meat, and 8-inch chef’s, bread, and carving knives. All the common tasks of the kitchen are well covered by this set, and the block also includes kitchen shears and a sharpening steel. Expect the knives to hold a sharp edge since the blades are ice-hardened and tough. Regular honing will be needed to keep them razor sharp, but that’s normal maintenance for Solingen steel blades. Forged bolsters do extend all the way to the cutting edge on most of the prep knives — that old design gives blades some extra strength but gets in the way of sharpening and limits the cutting stroke.
The block itself isn’t inspiring, with a matte grey finish and utilitarian slotted face. It cleans up easily, and the usual precautions — keeping it above countertop spills and out of heat and steam pockets — should keep it in good condition.
Full tang construction combined with stainless steel handles gives these knives a seamless modern look. Keeping the knives bright and unblemished will depend on good maintenance and sensible use, since the German Solingen steel is the stain-free high carbon alloy and does require special care. With hand washing and drying, the knives keep their good looks — but running them through a dishwasher could quickly degrade the polish.
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