This bargain set of forged steel knives appears to be more than it actually is, since six of the knives in the block are stamped steel steak knives. After counting the block, sharpening steel, and kitchen shears, that leaves only three actual prep knives.
The workhorse knives you do get include an eight-inch chef’s knife, five-and-a-half-inch utility knife, and three-and-a-half-inch paring knife. All three are drop-forged with taper-ground edges and solid steel bolsters. The chef’s knife is the most versatile, used for slicing and chopping meats and vegetables of all kinds. The number of applications depends on your skill with the blade — different parts perform different functions from chopping to dicing and mincing.
The utility knife and paring knife will handle sandwich prep, boning, and prepping and peeling fruits and veggies. This isn’t a set of knives capable of handling everything in the kitchen. You’ll miss having other important blades like santoku and bread knife.
Although Chicago Cutlery is an American company, this cutlery set was manufactured in China. The high carbon stainless steel blades are of ordinary quality but backed by a good lifetime warranty. The knives should be hand washed only, if you expect that warranty to apply. Dishwashing machines could degrade the blade steel and corrode the rivets holding the polymer handle slabs in place.
Although it’s more expensive, the Henckels Class 7-Piece Block Set offers more and better prep knives without the steak knife set.