This three-knife set from Chicago Cutlery’s Fusion series updates a classic forged knife pattern with a sleek, modern look. These three prep knives could be a practical first step in setting up a kitchen. Although the look is modern, details are definitely old school.
With a 7-3/4-inch chef’s knife backed up by a 5-inch utility knife and a 3-1/4-inch paring knife, this set offers nothing but the basics. Keep the edges sharp, and most tasks in the kitchen will still fall within their range. The paring knife peels fruits and vegetables and cuts out defects in produce, while the mid-range utility knife can handle sandwich prep, boning, and carving. For light chopping, mincing, and slicing, pick the chef’s knife. Each part of the chef’s blade traditionally does a different job.
Expect at least daily maintenance with a honing steel, since the high carbon stainless steel of these blades won’t stay razor-sharp without regular effort on your part. The flat taper grind of these blades should work well if maintained properly. The forged build includes two large bolsters framing the soft nylon grips. The large rear bolster contributes to balance and possibly lessens fatigue over the long haul, but that may not be noticeable in the two smaller knives. The Fusion pattern does have a clean modern look and a comfortable, safe grip design. The shape allows plenty of twisting leverage and control, and the dropped front bolster prevents sliding forward towards the cutting edge.
The biggest drawback here is that same bolster, which extends all the way to the cutting edge and restricts access for slicing or for sharpening the knives. Technically, the set is dishwasher safe, but hand wash to maintain the edge and the finish in their best condition.