New Self-Sharpening Knives from Calphalon
Product Description: From the manufacturer: “Knives stay sharp for a lifetime with Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Cutlery featuring SharpIN™ Technology. Sharpeners are built right into the block, automatically sharpening straight edge knives every time you remove them from the block to ensure peak sharpness at the start of every cutting task. Knives are made from high-carbon, no-stain forged steel, and feature full tang construction and a comfortably balanced, triple-riveted handle. In addition, knife handles are labeled so you can always pull the correct knife out of the block. The Calphalon Classic SharpIN™ Forged 12-pc. Cutlery Set includes a great selection of essential knives for dicing, chopping and more, plus six steak knives, too. Built-in ceramic sharpeners automatically sharpen knives with every use. Forged, high-carbon, no-stain steel. (Steak knives made from stamped steel). Full Lifetime Warranty. Full tang design for strength and balance. Labeled handles for easy identification in the block. Triple-riveted handles are contoured for a secure grip.”
Test Kitchen Overview: Calphalon has come out with three new self-sharpening sets ranging in price from $129 to $279 depending on the number of knives and implements. The higher end models also feature fully forged German steel. Available as of May 2015, they can be found through various sources (see below). Our Test Kitchen was sent the 12-piece, which has a suggested retail price of $180.
While you might think of knives as more of a “cooking” tool than a baking tool, the truth is that we use knives all the time when making desserts. Whether we are peeling and coring fruit, chopping chocolate, prepping carrots for cake, or simply cutting smaller pieces of butter or cream cheese for faster softening, we reach for knives multiple times a day. And like anyone who spends time in the kitchen, sharp knives are a necessity, and yet, we are not always on top of keeping our knives as sharp as they could be. The idea of this being taken care of for us was enticing. But how well would the sharpeners work?
First of all, not all of the knives in the block have the self-sharpening feature. The sharpener is within the slots for the 8” Chef’s knife, 5” Santoku and the 4.5” Parer. (The set also includes a 6” Serrated Utility knife, 6 serrated steak knives, scissors, the block and an open slot for another knife. We were thrilled with the inclusion of scissors in this set as we use scissors all the time – for trimming pie crust, cutting parchment, etc.). We focused our testing on the knives that have the self-sharpening feature.
In order for the sharpening feature to work you need to draw the knives out of their slots by pulling them out and angling down at the same time. The sharpener is at the base of the slot (as seen above), so if you remove the knife from the slot with an upward angle, then the knife won’t contact the sharpener. Once we realized this, it was very easy to withdraw the knives correctly every time.
We used the knives pretty much daily over a 2-month period. We sliced strawberries, cored apples, pears and pineapples, chopped herbs for savory baking, chopped chocolate, minced nuts, chopped dried fruit, prepped carrots and zucchini, sliced cheese and used them every and any way we could. The knives kept a nice sharp edge and we are impressed.
Pros: The set offers a good array of knife sizes and styles. The edges definitely keep an edge. If you are not adept at sharpening knives and have found yourself using dull knives in the past (very dangerous, we might add) because you just couldn’t get it together to sharpen them, this is the perfect solution. For the price this is a great purchase – and perfect for a gift.
Cons: The block takes up counter space. If you are short on space, that’s an issue (although that’s quite a few knives in the small square of real estate it takes up). We would have liked a shorter paring knife. If you are an ace knife sharpener and have a wet stone and know how to use it, these knives might not stay or be sharp enough for you.
Suggested Use: With the block near at hand you will be able to chop, slice and dice whatever you need to.
Where to Buy: Through Calphalon directly, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other sources.
Price at Time of Review: Suggested retail price is $180. At time of review this set was available through Calphalon for $149.95. Always worth hunting for deals.
Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.