A chef’s knife with a 12-inch cutting edge is a little beyond the range of most people, since a classical knife that large is too heavy for most to use comfortably, and a good forged knife of that size costs a pretty penny. The 12-inch Chef’s Knife from R.H. Forschner/Victorinox fits budgets and kitchens better than the usual full-sized blade.
Stamped steel doesn’t mean poor quality here. High carbon stainless steel and a fully enclosed tang, wrapped by a molded black Fibrox handle, match the functional quality of more expensive designs. The knife has the secure grip you’d find in forged versions, but with a lighter overall weight. The bolster here is formed Fibrox, not heavy forged stainless steel. The slightly textured handle surface adds a little more leverage for heavy work.
Another weight reduction comes from the thinner blade stock. Forged knives generally provide more steel than is absolutely necessary — with quality stamped or cut knives like this one, you get blades that perform as well without the extra weight. Some owners may want to grind the bevel a little more extreme than the angle set by the factory, but if you use the knife for heavy chopping or for tougher chores like dividing hard squash, the bevel chosen by Victorinox is good enough and actually will stand up to hard work better than a thinner edge.
The 12-inch chef’s knife holds an edge well, but expect to hone it with a kitchen steel now and then to keep the cutting edge in top condition. When well worn, refurbish it at home with ordinary whetstones. Probably the most use you’ll get from this good knife isn’t for the unusual tasks when you need the blade length — you’ll find it most handy for ordinary slicing and prep. The extra edge and the light weight add up to more efficient work. Once you get accustomed to the longer blade, you’ll wonder why you didn’t have it before.