Good deal on the sharp Victorinox Swiss Army paring knife

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/25/good-deal-on-the-sharp-victori.html

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Pretty sure Cook’s Illustrated America’s Test Kitchen named this the best paring knife.

I’d link to their review, but they have it behind an effing pay wall.

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That handle looks awfully cheap, but for $7 I guess you can’t ask for much. Virtually no chance it is full tang. Some specs say its fiber reinforced, but others say it isn’t so who knows. At least the knife is cheap enough that if the handle snaps I can just buy a new one.

I have some of these little Victorinox knives, and I love them even though they’re cheap. It’s easy to put a wicked sharp edge on them and they hold that edge for a while.

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The tang probably extends about 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the handle. I’ve had one (the larger 4" blade) in constant use in my kitchen for over 30 years. I have no concern over it snapping. “Full tang” is not relevant in a little paring knife. If someone pries with it, the blade tip will certainly bend or snap before the handle.

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X-All-The-Y_phixr

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I was more concerned with the failure mode when the plastic gets old and brittle.

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one of the kitchens I formerly worked at had a Victorinox citrus peeler and some other ones, the Vic worked great and the others barely worked at all.
So if their citrus peeler is any indication, they make good stuff IMO.

That’s a concern with plastic but as I say, it hasn’t happened so far and the knife spent many years in a block in the kitchen window exposed to UV every morning. Vic call the material “Fibrox”, which at least implies fiber reinforcing.

I just checked their website, and only their larger knives are now described as having Fibrox handles. The paring knives are polypropylene, which is used by a number of European knife companies, including Wusthof. I’m not worried.

Can it core a apple?

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Yes - it can core an apple.

Also, for @jandrese : the handle is very secure. I’ve got one of these and it’s lasted for years. The blade’s a little smaller than when it started because while it does sharpen well, as with all blades the older they are they just get smaller - and sharper.

Also also - I stabbed myself in the palm a few years back but it was my own assholery at fault and not the knife itself.

The rest of our big arse cutting knives are Globals.

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Victorinox’s kitchen knives are usually a good deal when on sale. But they’re not much different quality wise than most other decent food service knives. And in particular the parers are over priced. These aren’t materially different than a Dexter Russell paring knife that can be had for 2 or 3 bucks. At $7 bucks you can get my favorite bullshit parer the Dexter Russell v-lo on sale.

Opinel also sells carbon parers 2 for 18 with wood handles, or stainless 4 for $40 with colorful handles. That are seriously, seriously better for a couple bucks more per blade than the Victorinox at this price. Have a big following as non serrated steak knives.

No food service knife with a plastic sanitary handle is. Particularly on paring knives which are built to be practically disposable. But given how parers are used there’s little reason to pay up for more. Neither these specific knives, nor the entire fibrox line are intended to be lasts a life time grade products. Food service knives are designed to be cost effective and perform under abusive conditions as house knives in commercial settings. Victorinox’s line has garnered a reputation beyond that space thanks to Cook’s Illustrated/Country stumping for them. But what it boils down to is that this class of knives is a great value for performance, especially for most people who aren’t typically concerned about fancyness. You get more knife for your money than anything off the shelf at the big box store.

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They tend not to survive that long in commercial kitchens. The blades snap, or end up too heavily ground down to use before that. Never really seen it happen, have seen a handle snap on a food service knife. But that was a bread knife, it broke around the tang, and it was more of an “oh shit its wedged in the industrial dishwasher” situation.

At home I’ve got a DR parer that’s a good 15 years old and fine.

The Victorinox knives are also available with rosewood handles. But they’re usually $$$$ for what they are. A lot of the reputation for quality at price these things have is left over from before they caught on and they were significantly cheaper. You can get a far better chef’s knife for the $60 bucks the rose wood chef’s knives usually retail for.

Still not full tang, but the rivets can show you roughly how deep they go.

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I’ve never felt the need for my paring knives to be “full tang.” Even for a utility/camping knife, I’ve never had a problem with cheap Swedish carbon steel knives that aren’t full tang.

Full tang as a concept is a little over wrought. Plenty of plenty strong knives traditionally don’t have what’s usually meant by the term. Traditionally handled Japanese kitchen knives don’t. And a lot of old school European outdoor knives don’t. Outdoor knives that have been used for centuries to butcher and disjoint animals, which is pretty heavy duty work.

Look at what Mora blades are working with:

Even the heavy duty model isn’t intended to run through the full length (or with) of the handle. And the more traditional style blades don’t either, more over they taper and step down ending up very narrow for a good length of the tang. And they’re plenty strong. And that’s right about what most food service knives have going on. It goes pretty deep into the handle, but not all the way through. Its fairly wide towards the blade. But its tapered or shaped from at least the mid point. Its more that you want a good or strong tang that’s appropriate to the job.

Paring knives aren’t used for heavy duty work, and they’re really basic knives. So all you really need for a sturdy one is the blank to keep going about 1/3 to a 1/2 way into the handle. And that’s what most of these have. Even a lot of clam and oyster knives don’t have much more than that when it comes to extruded handles. They’re just much thicker and made from springier steel. The kind of forces that shit’s put under will snap the blade of a full tang outdoor knife. And they do fine.

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some of the best knives out there. their chef’s knife is my favorite ever.

Come on men! Let’s take this hill!

Not yet Lars I still have apples to peel.

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