This eight-piece Metropolitan Knife Block set from Chicago Cutlery offers no-nonsense practical quality. Rated as a “Best Buy” by Consumer Reports Magazine in 2007, this Metropolitan set includes only the most basic knives. Many owners will choose to expand it, but the knife set is still a good start for a small kitchen.
With only two large knives — the 7.5 inch chef’s knife and the 8-inch slicer — the Metropolitan still has the essentials for most work. The chef’s knife has the versatility to cover most kitchen tasks by itself, though it will be efficient at some and awkward for others. For carving roasts, whole cooked poultry, and other meats, the slicing blade provides a professionally taper-ground slender cutting edge suited to serving as well as prep. The block set does not include a bread or pastry knife and also lacks a santoku for slicing vegetables. The utility knife provided could double for both sandwich prep and boning meat. Two paring knives raise the piece count without adding much ability. An eight-inch sharpening steel and a set of strong kitchen shears leave only one slot for expansion.
The quality is good, with stamped high carbon stainless steel blades fitted to polymer handle slabs in a full tang construction. Three rivets securely bond the knife tangs to the grips. The lifetime warranty covers many problems but not damage incurred by prying. The simple construction leaves the knives vulnerable to twisting stress which could loosen rivets and open gaps. Used properly, the set is still a good value. Edges stay sharp with the regular use of the honing steel and the set cleans up easily, though washing by hand is recommended over dishwasher cleaning.
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