What We Like
Great selection of knives
Includes sharpening steel
What We Don't Like
Poorly made knife block
No serrated steak knives
Looking for a comprehensive knife set that can handle all of your food prep needs? The Chicago Cutlery Fusion 18-Piece Block Set has all of the essential tools for slicing, cutting, and chopping. It also includes a sharpening steel so you never have to worry about a dull blade. Assessing components like design and ease of use, we put this knife set to the test to see how well it performed on a variety of kitchen tasks. Read on to see whether it’s worth buying.
Performance: A super-sharp and versatile set
The Chicago Cutlery Fusion Block Set comes with 18 knives that can tackle just about everything we can think of. The set includes eight 4.25-inch non-serrated steak knives, a 7.75-inch chef's knife, an 8-inch slicer, a 7-inch Santoku knife, a 5-inch Partoku, a 7.75-inch serrated bread knife, a 5-inch utility knife, a 3.25-inch paring knife, a 5-inch utility knife, and a 3-inch peeler. The set also includes a sharpening steel, so you easily resharpen the knives as needed.
On the back of the box, you’ll find a diagram with photos of each knife and an explanation of what you should use them for. We found this incredibly helpful—so be sure to hold on to the box or at least take a photo for future reference.
Thanks to their black poly handles, the knives have a very comfortable grip.
To get a feel for the knives’ performance, we got to slicing, dicing, and chopping. First, we cut up vegetables for a salad. We used the 5-inch Parktoku to cut the stem and ends off of a bell pepper, and then used the paring knife to remove the ribs and seeds. We were pleasantly surprised to find that a peeler was included with the set; we used it to remove the skin from a cucumber. After cooking up some baby back ribs in the oven, we sliced them into pieces with the 8-inch knife, which is intended for cutting clean, even slices of meat. We also cut a baguette with the 7.75-inch bread knife and its scalloped edge handled the hard crust with no problem.
Overall, we were very impressed with the performance of the Chicago Cutlery block set. We liked the selection of knives and the versatility of cutting options. Although we were surprised to find that the eight included steak knives weren’t serrated, they did actually cut through meat with ease.
Design: Attractive knives, but the block could use some work
The Chicago Cutlery knives are made of high-carbon stainless steel. Thanks to their black poly handles, the knives have a very comfortable grip. The handles are edged in stainless steel for a sleek, modern appearance. The knives should be washed by hand to maintain their sharpness and dried immediately to prevent spotting and rusting.
While we were pleased with the quality of the knives, there were a few things we didn’t like about the design of the knife block. Unlike the exterior of the block, which is nicely stained, the inside of the knife slots are unfinished and filled with quite a bit of wood shavings. The manufacturer didn’t measure or cut the knife slots evenly, either. For example, the eight steak knives in the bottom row don’t sit equal distances apart. One of the slots is cut particularly close to another, so the knives rest crookedly. It’s not all that noticeable from afar, but you can see the disproportionate design upon closer inspection. This isn’t a dealbreaker by any means, but we expected better quality for a higher-end knife set.
While we were pleased with the quality of the knives, there were a few things we didn’t like about the design of the knife block.
Aside from the unsymmetrical slots, the Chicago Cutlery knife set is well-made and looks great in our kitchen. Weighing over 13 pounds, the knife block was heavier than we expected, but that’s probably a good thing—as it certainly won’t tip over easily. We like the slanted design as it allows for easy retrieval.
Price: Worth it if you want a complete set
Retailing for roughly $150, the Chicago Cutlery Block Set is one of the higher-priced knife sets on the market. Given its extensive array of super-sharp knives, it’s definitely worth the cost, but if you’re fine with a smaller, slightly lower-quality set, you can find one at a much cheaper price point.
Competition: Budget options abound
Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set: Cuisinart’s set retails for just under $50—about two-thirds less than the Chicago Cutlery set. It offers a slightly smaller (yet still ample) selection of knives and it includes a sharpening steel as well. Like Chicago Cutlery’s set, Cuisinart’s knives are made entirely of high-carbon stainless steel, and users praise their modern, sleek design. If you’re looking for a significantly cheaper set, it’s certainly worth considering.
Farberware 21-Piece Classic Forged Triple Riveted Cutlery Set: You can’t go wrong with Farberware’s $60 set. This low-cost block has all the same offerings as the Chicago Cutlery set, along with a few extras including a carving fork, cleaver, and a kitchen fork. Perhaps best of all, each slot has a built-in sharpener, so your knives will automatically be sharpened every time you remove and replace them.
Extensive selection and solid performance.
If you’re looking for a complete set that includes every knife you could want or need, Chicago Cutlery’s block set is an excellent choice. The knives’ performance and durability make them well worth the high price and the block looks great on your kitchen counter, too.
- Product Name Fusion 18-Piece Block Set
- Product Brand Chicago Cutlery
- Price $150.00
- Weight 13.55 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 9.6 x 8.4 x 14.8 in.
- Color Stainless steel
- What’s Included 3.25-inch paring knife, 3-inch peeler, 5-inch utility knife, 7.75-inch chef’s knife, 8-inch slicing knife, 7.75-inch bread knife, 5-inch Partoku, 7-inch Santoku, eight non-serrated steak knives, sharpening steel, wooden knife block
- Warranty Lifetime