Reviews about inexpensive kitchen knives usually aren't complimentary, but Victorinox Swiss Classic knives beat some products that go for double and even triple their cost. Their blades, made from stamped high-carbon stainless steel, are lightweight and very sharp, and their patented nonslip handles (made of a plastic called Fibrox) are described as comfortable and easy to grip. Although forged knives dominate the kitchen knife market, these knives are among the stamped steel knives that are competitive with the pricier forged models. We read good reviews for several different knives in this line, from a chef's knife to a serrated bread knife. One professional source, citing the good and bad points of each tested knife, says the Victorinox stamped chef's knife has no bad points. However, some users say these knives are inferior to high-end brands like the Wusthof Classic (*Est. $180 for three) . They say that they don't hold an edge as well, and they look and feel cheap, particularly in their handles. We saw a few complaints about durability, but Victorinox does provide a lifetime warranty on these knives.
Note that the manufacturer has renamed this knife line. Formerly known as RH Forschner by Victorinox Fibrox, the older version had "Forschner" printed on the blade. The newer version, with a slightly narrower handle but an identical blade, is called Victorinox Swiss Classic, and it doesn't have the word "Forschner" on the blade.
Cook's Illustrated magazine includes Victorinox stamped knives in several tests, each focusing on a different type of cutlery. The publication seems to use the knife as a control in more recent reviews, apparently using it to judge the quality of other knives. This line is also rated in professional tests by Australia's Choice magazine. Michael Chu of CookingForEngineers.com includes the Victorinox stamped knives in a test of chef's knives, and we found user reviews at Amazon.com and ChefTalk.com. There's not a single 1 star review of the set on Amazon.com, .
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
In this report, editors use the Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch chef's knife, which they identify as "our favorite inexpensive chef's knife," as a control in their tests of eight gyutou knives -- a hybrid between a traditional chef's knife and the lighter, Japanese-styled santoku. Each knife is rated on cutting performance and design.
Review: Hybrid Chef's Knives, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, Nov. 1, 2009
2. Choice magazine
Australia's Choice magazine is similar to ConsumerReports.org in the U.S. Thirteen chef's knives, including the 20 cm Victorinox Fibrox, are tested by men and women. The knives are also lab tested for sharpness. The article includes a list of pros and cons for each knife.
Review: Kitchen Knives Review and Compare, Editors of Choice magazine, Jan. 30, 2008
3. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
The editors of Cook's Illustrated test nine slicing knives, including the Victorinox Fibrox 12-inch Granton Edge slicing knife. Each knife is rated based on slicing performance, sharpness and comfort. The testers prefer long, tapered blades, with rounded tips and scalloped edges.
Review: Slicing Knives, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, Nov. 1, 2008
4. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
We didn't find many tests of serrated knives, but this one from Cook's Illustrated rates 12 knives, including two knives by Victorinox Fibrox. Knives are tested on bread, tomatoes, sandwiches, cake and a sticky dough. The testers prefer knives that are slightly flexible. They also like blades that are 10 inches to 12 inches, with serrations of moderate length and uniform spacing.
Review: Serrated Knives, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, March 1, 2008
5. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
The Victorinox stamped 8-inch chef's knife is compared to eight other knives with innovative designs. Editors rate the knives on four factors: handle, blade, kitchen tests and edge retention. Pros and cons are listed for each knife, and recommendations are made.
Review: Innovative Chef's Knives, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, March 1, 2007
6. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
The editors of Cook's Illustrated test 10 paring knives, including an inexpensive Victorinox Fibrox knife. Other knives in the test cost up to $35. Knives are used for a variety of kitchen tasks and are evaluated based on their comfort, maneuverability and sharpness.
Review: Paring Knives, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, April 1, 2006
7. Cooking for Engineers
Reviews here focus on objectivity and precision. The methodology is explained in detail, but only one tester tries out the knives. The Victorinox Fibrox knife is rated the best value, with good to excellent scores in all four tests.
Review: Chef's Knives Rated, Michael Chu, Nov. 19, 2005
There's not a single 1-star review in about 90 reviews for the Victorinox Swiss Classic knife set and only one owner gives the set a 2-star rating – though she admits she did not use the knives.
Review: Victorinox 46892 Fibrox 3-Piece Chef's Knife Set, Contributors to Amazon.com
This site is a meeting place for cooks of all kinds, from restaurant chefs to home cooks. In its reviews of chef's knives, Victorinox Fibrox knives earn three of the top five slots, but they receive only 10 reviews in total.
Review: Chef's Knives, Contributors to ChefTalk.com