If you are looking for an entry-level knife that won’t cost too much money, but will still allow you to work properly, Mercer Culinary vs Victorinox are great options. Both brands are commonly used in culinary schools. Both companies are known to produce decent quality knives at fairly affordable price points. So, which one is actually better?
Continue reading below to find out more about:
– The available knife sets in Mercer Culinary and Victorinox
– The weight and handling qualities of each knife
– The blade quality of Mercer Culinary vs Victorinox
– The cleaning and maintenance requirements of each knife
– The comparison of their warranty
– Which one between Mercer Culinary and Victorinox that is generally better and more recommended
Mercer Culinary: Available Knife Sets
Mercer Culinary has been making knives for more than 30 years, and they supply their product to so many culinary schools in North America. In addition, their products can also be found in restaurant kitchens and the likes. They have also entered the residential market. See also: Benchmade Griptilian 551 vs 556.
In general, Mercer Culinary vs Victorinox knives do have good quality. Their chef’s knives come with triple rivets, and there are stamped knives and forged knives. Their knives are NSF-certified, meaning that those knives are safe and won’t contaminate your meals with chemicals. Plus, these knives have good ergonomics.
Here are some of the best knife Mercer Culinary knife sets:
1. Mercer Culinary Millenia. This set is affordable and budget-friendly, suitable for new culinary students and home uses. This set consists of an 8-inch chef’s knife, a boning knife, a paring knife, a carving knife, a bread knife, and a sharpening steel. The blades are made from high-quality Japan carbon steel, while the handles are made from Santoprene. These stamped knives are lightweight, suitable for beginners and casual users. An experienced chef usually prefers heavier knives.
2. Mercer Culinary Renaissance. This is a high-quality chef’s knife that is widely known as a workhorse in professional kitchens. The 8-inch chef’s knife is forged from high-quality German carbon steel, while the handle is made from Delrin. It is relatively heavy, and it will provide a great balance when chopping.
Victorinox: Available Knife Sets
Victorinox is also a familiar name in the professional scene. Founded in 1884 as a cutlery workshop, the company is now known for producing not only kitchen cutlery but also knives for other purposes – their Swiss Army line is perhaps one of the most well-known. Needless to say, their knives are of really good in terms of quality and durability.
In North America, Victorinox initially sold their knives through RH Forschner, and hence their products were more widely known as “RH Forschner by Victorinox”. However, since 2009, all products have actually been renamed to just Victorinox. Still, some people prefer to call these knives Forschner.
Here are some of the most popular lines of Victorinox:
1. Victorinox Fibrox. This is a chef’s knife available in 8-inch and 10-inch. It is a stamped knife, and is quite affordable. The blade is made from high-quality and lightweight European stainless steel, whereas the handle is made from the slip-resistant thermoplastic elastomer. It is really lightweight, so it is recommended for beginners and casual users.
2. Victorinox Rosewood. It is actually very similar to the Fibrox line. However, it features a wooden handle. The only advantage that it has over Fibrox is the beautiful look. However, it is quite more difficult to clean and maintain, as the wooden handle is more prone to damage.
3. Victorinox Swiss Classic. This line is also similar to Fibrox, except for the handle design. There is a ridged part on the upperside of the handle, while the lowerside is thinner and scalloped. It looks nice, but it doesn’t really feel comfortable to hold, especially when transitioning between different kinds of cuts.
4. Victorinox Grand Maitre. This is a high-quality forged knife designed for professional chefs. Compared to the other knives, this one is quite heavier. Professional users will like the balance that it offers, in addition to the impressive performance.
Design and Handling
Mercer Culinary knives generally have good handling. If you prefer a lightweight knife, you should aim for a stamped knife like the Mercer Culinary Millenia 8-inch chef’s knife. It is lightweight, and it has a nice ergonomic handle. Beginners will find it comfortable to hold and easy to lift for making different cuts.
However, experienced users may prefer heavier knives. The added weight helps to enhance the power of the downward stroke and the overall stability when chopping. Mercer Culinary Rennaisance are forged knives suitable for such users.
Victorinox knives also have good handling, but you need to choose your knife more carefully. Some models, like Victorinox Swiss Classic, has a peculiar handle design. This can be a love-it-or-hate-it matter. Some users like the unique handle design, but most prefer the common handle design which they find more familiar and more comfortable.
Nevertheless, the common handle design is great. Fibrox, Rosewood, and Grand Maitre have ergonomic handles that are solid and comfortable to wield. The stamped knives like Victorinox Fibrox are lightweight and easy to lift. Meanwhile, the forged knives like Victorinox Grand Maitre are heavier, offering a certain feel and balance.
So, how is the blade quality of Mercer Culinary vs Victorinox? In general, knives from both brands have quality blades that can be sharpened well, are generally rust-resistant if you take good care of them, and are fairly tough. For the usual kitchen tasks, they are all very capable.
However, it has been mentioned by some users that Mercer Culinary knives tend to lose their sharpness more quickly. This seems to be true with the cheaper knives. You need to sharpen the blades constantly. Some users have also said that some knives are somehow difficult to sharpen properly.
On the other hand, Victorinox knives seem to hold their edges better. They are easy to sharpen, and they cut really well. It is still recommended that you sharpen your knives every several cuts, but these knives don’t become dull too quickly.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The cleaning and maintenance requirements of Mercer Culinary vs Victorinox are quite similar. As a rule of thumb, it is better to wash your knives manually with your hands, a gentle soap, and clean water. Dishwashers are usually too powerful and tend to chip on the blades. Even if a knife is said to be dishwasher-safe, the knife will typically break down more quickly if washed in a dishwasher than if washed by hand.
Mercer Culinary knives are not dishwasher-safe. It is clearly stated in the product pages on the official website. Washing them in a dishwasher will quickly cause rust issues – this has been mentioned by many users, who unfortunately didn’t know that they had to be washed by hand. Some people may find this inconvenient. But, in the end, you must practice good maintenance habits not only for knives, but also for most equipment.
Victorinox offers some product lines that are dishwasher-safe, such as Victorinox Fibrox. Usually, dishwasher-safe knives have plastic handles, but you must double check before throwing yours into a dishwasher. Meanwhile, if your knife has a wooden handle, you should not clean it using a dishwasher because the wooden handle may get damaged.
Using a dishwasher every once in a while won’t immediately break the knives. But, as mentioned above, even though some Victorinox knives are dishwasher-safe, washing them by hand is generally more recommended. This method won’t scratch the blades and will allow them to last longer.
Last but not least, let’s take a look at the warranty information of Mercer Culinary and Victorinox. It is very important to check the warranty policy before purchasing a knife. You don’t want to end up with a defective blade without any way to claim a warranty because of a bad warranty policy. Fortunately, both Mercer Culinary and Victorinox are known for their professionality and excellent customer support.
Mercer Culinary provides a limited lifetime warranty for consumer-grade users. It will cover any manufacturing defect found in the blade or handle of the knife. However, it will not cover normal wear and tear. It also won’t cover any damage that is caused by neglect, abuse, or improper maintenance. Meanwhile, for corporate users, the limited warranty only goes for 25 years.
Victorinox also provides a limited lifetime warranty that will cover defects in the blade or handle. The company guarantees that all of their knives are made from first-class stainless steel, and are truly durable. However, they also won’t cover any damage from normal wear and tear, abuse, misuse, or improper maintenance.
Mercer Culinary vs Victorinox
All in all, after comparing them against each other, we can conclude that Victorinox is generally better. Of course, the two of them produce a wide range of knives with varying quality levels, but Victorinox generally has better design and blade quality. The blades, in particular, seem to hold their edges better. Both brands do offer lifetime warranty for the consumers.