June 21, 2023

Last Updated: January 12, 2024

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Victorinox Knives: A Good Choice for Kitchen Knives?

By trk

Last Updated: January 12, 2024

best kitchen knives, kitchen knife reviews, Victorinox, Victorinox knife sets

Victorinox knives are a popular choice for the kitchen. They are affordable, well made, and favorites of several kitchen experts, including America’s Test Kitchen.

We put Victorinox knives to the test to find out what’s great about them, what’s not so great, and who they’ll work best for. Read on for our detailed Victorinox kitchen knife review.

Victorinox Knives at a Glance

Here are the lines of Victorinox knives. All Victorinox kitchen knives are made in Switzerland and come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.



Fibrox Pro/Swiss Classic

see on Amazon

see at Victorinox US

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife 8 inch

-Swiss Classic is replacing the Fibrox Pro line

-Stamped, high carbon steel blades

-Partial tang, no bolster

-55-56 HRC (hardness)

-15 degree double bevel cutting angle (20 on boning knives)

-Ergonomic TPE or polypropylene handle (plastic), available in several colors ("fibrox")

-8" chef's knife about $50

-Several buying options including block sets.

Victorinox Grand Maitre chef's knife 8 inch

-Forged, high carbon steel blades

-Full tang, partial bolster

-56 HRC

-15 degree double bevel cutting angle (20 on boning knives)

-POM (synthetic, black) or hardened maple handle

-8" chef's knife about $125

-Several buying options including small sets.

Victorinox Swiss Modern chef's knife 8 inch

-Stamped, high carbon steel blades

-Partial tang, no bolster

-55-56 HRC (hardness)

-15 degree double bevel cutting edge (20 on boning knives)

-Straight, flat PPC (synthetic) or walnut handle

-PPC handle available in several colors 

-8" chef's knife about $40

-Several buying options including small sets and block sets.

Victorinox Wood chef's knife, 8 inch

-Stamped, high carbon steel blades

-Partial tang, no bolster

-15 degree double bevel cutting edge (20 on boning knives)

-Western style contoured rosewood or modified maple handle, hand polished

-8" chef's knife about $55

-Several buying options available, including small sets and block sets.

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About Victorinox

Victorinox Swiss Army knife open

Victorinox is a privately owned company located in Switzerland. It was founded in 1884, when Karl Elsener opened his cutlery workshop. In 1891, Elsener began supplying soldier's knives to the Swiss Army. This was the beginning of the iconic Swiss Army knife. 

Today, Victorinox is a global company with five product categories: Swiss Army KnivesHousehold and Professional KnivesWatchesTravel Gear and Fragrances. All Victorinox knives and watches are made in Switzerland. Victorinox has facilities in China, as well, where the luggage and possibly some of the fragrances are made. The company also has other divisions around the world, including Europe, the US, Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, and India.

In 1937, Victorinox began selling cutlery in the USA through the distributor R.H. Forschner & Co. A well-known manufacturer of butcher scales (i.e., knife handles), Forschner eventually became the exclusive U.S. distributor for Victorinox knives. In 1996, Forschner changed its name to Swiss Army Brands, Inc., and eventually sold all their remaining shares to Victorinox, so they are now a division of the Victorinox company. 

The Swiss Army Knife is the core Victorinox product. Victorinox makes 45,000 Swiss Army knives every day, or about 10 million per year. They are the largest manufacturer of pocket knives in the world, and still supply the Swiss Army with multi-use knives.

Victorinox makes a wide range of kitchen cutlery: chef's knives, santoku knives, paring knives, bread knives, steak knives, and paring knives, plus specialty butcher knives in the Forschner tradition: cimeters (large, curved knives for cutting big chunks of meat), slicing knives, and breaking knives (similar to cimiters but smaller). They also make pull-through sharpeners and honing steels, cutting boards, and other kitchen utensils such as graters, peelers, serving forks, flatware, and spatulas.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro cimiter

Fibrox Pro cimiter.

You may see Victorinox products listed as "Victorinox," "Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery," "Victorinox-Forschner," or some other variation. As long as the listing has "Victorinox" in it, it indicates ownership by Victorinox and is an authentic Victorinox product. 

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Features of Victorinox Knives

Here are some interesting features of Victorinox knives.


Victorinox uses the steel X55CrMo14, labeled by Victorinox as "1.4110" steel. This is a proprietary steel that's similar to 440B or Sandvik 12C27. These are considered mid-range steels and are used commonly throughout the knife industry. It's prized for its durability and corrosion resistance. The drawback is that it's soft, which means more frequent honing and sharpening. But with knife steel, your choices are softer-yet-more-durable and harder-but-more-brittle--so softer steel is a good choice for most home cooks. Yes, you can find harder steel that's still quite durable, but you'll pay considerably more for it.

We talk more about hardness below. 


Victorinox uses a few different materials for their knife handles. Their most popular lines--Fibrox Pro/Swiss Classic--have synthetic handles that are a mix of TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) and PPE (polypropylene). These are mid-range plastics that have a soft, comfortable feel and provide good grip, but aren't particularly durable (or pretty). This combination of synthetics is what Victorinox calls "fibrox." The Fibrox Pro has a thicker, rounder handle while the Swiss Classic is thinner and more contoured. You may want to try them both before you decide which one you prefer.

Read more about thermoplastic elastomers

The Swiss Modern line uses another soft plastic, PPC (polypropylene carbonate), a biodegradable polymer with the potential to reduce greenhouse gases. 

They also use POM (polyoxymethylene), a higher grade synthetic typical of higher end knife brands (such as Wusthof), for the handles on their forged line, the Grand Maitre, as well as hardened maple (two options). POM is a hard synthetic and impervious to heat or cold (i.e., it won't melt or crack).

Finally, on their Wood line, they use rosewood and modified maple (two options). 

Some people find the Victorinox handles large and uncomfortable, while others prize them for their comfort and usability. We recommend that you try before you buy (or use your Amazon Prime account and take advantage of free returns).

Victorinox Philosophy 

We talked about the company above, but the Victorinox philosophy is worth a closer look. The company founder, Karl Elsener, had a strong sense of social responsibility, and his ethics live on in the company today. Victorinox has strived to keep all of their manufacturing in the same region of Switzerland so they can provide jobs and decent livelihoods for the area residents. 

Victorinox is also an environmentally conscious company, and has been since the 1970s, before there were regulations that required them to be. Preserving natural resources for future generations is an important value of theirs. They also require environmentally conscious practices from their suppliers. 

You can read about their socially responsible policies and more in their article, Think Long Term, Act Ecologically

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Who Are Victorinox Knives Best For?

Victorinox chef knife cutting beef

Victorinox kitchen knives are a great choice for just about any cook, but they aren't right for everybody. 

Most Victorinox knives are quite affordable, so they're great for anyone on a tight budget. 

They're also great for people who care more about durability than the ability to retain a sharp edge: Victorinox knives are made from fairly soft steel, so although they're durable and can be extremely sharp, they don't stay sharp for all that long--meaning you have to be willing to steel and sharpen them regularly for maximum performance. 

If you're a cook who wants functional, affordable tools and doesn't care about fancy details, Victorinox is an excellent choice. 

If you prefer lighter knives to heavier knives, Victorinox stamped knives are some of the lightest knives you'll find. Of course, this is because the handles are lightweight plastic and the blades don't have a full tang, both of which mean that the knives won't feel as balanced as forged, full tang knives. But for most home cooks, this isn't an issue because we're only using our knives for a short time each day; professional cooks, who use their knives for hours on end, can benefit from higher quality blades and handles, as well as better balance, which reduces hand fatigue when knives are used for several hours at a time. 

Victorinox is also a great choice for people who want to buy products from an environmentally conscious, socially responsible company. And if you really want to be green, go with the Swiss Modern line, which has biodegradable handles.

Overall, Victorinox knives are great for most home cooks. More expensive forged knives with fancier handle materials and harder steel are largely a want, not a need for home cooks. The Victorinox Fibrox Pro/Swiss Classic is an affordable choice that will last for many years--probably decades--in your kitchen. If you can afford fancier knives and want them, that's fine. But Victorinox blades will provide just as much excellent service as knives that cost hundreds more. 

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Why Are Victorinox Knives So Affordable?

First of all, not all Victorinox knives are affordable. Their forged knives, the Grand Maitre line, are priced similarly to other Western forged knife brands like Wusthof and Zwilling (about $125 for an 8-inch Grand Maitre chef's knife). They are equivalent in quality to these other brands.

But their stamped knives are affordable: about $45 for a Fibrox Pro 8-inch chef's knife.

There are a few reasons the prices are so low: 

  • There are fewer steps in making a stamped blade vs. a forged blade, so they're cheaper to make.
  • The steel used is an inexpensive, softish high carbon stainless steel (about 55-56 HRC). 
  • The blade width (at the spine) is thinner than many Western knives, so they use less steel. This also helps to make these some of the lightest knives on the market.
  • Inexpensive plastic handles: people like Victorinox handles because they're comfortable, but most of them are made from inexpensive polymers. 

So for these reasons, you'll find that Victorinox stamped knives are highly affordable, but still provide great service. You can certainly justify buying more expensive knives, but if Victorinox is your only option, you'll probably be happy with them.

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How Much Should You Spend on Kitchen Knives?

How much you spend on kitchen knives is a personal decision, and there is no right or wrong answer. If you have a big budget and love beautiful tools, then go ahead and buy expensive kitchen knives. You will certainly enjoy them and get decades of use from them. We love high end brands like Wusthof, Zwilling, and Miyabi.

But if you just want tools to get the job done, then affordable knives are just as good a choice. If you're in this camp, then there are a few good quality brands to look at, including Victorinox and Dexter. 

You can find other inexpensive knives on Amazon and elsewhere, but we recommend going with an established brand, especially when the cost is nearly identical. Most no-name cheap kitchen knife brands are made in China, and while that in itself isn't always a bad thing, it really can be with no-name brands.  

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How Does the Victorinox Fibrox Pro Compare to Other Kitchen Knives? 

Here's how the Victorinox Fibrox Pro (their most popular line) compares to the best selling lines of some other popular knife brands. 

To do a fuller comparison of the complete lines of each brand, see our Wusthof review, Zwilling review, and Chicago Cutlery review.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Vs. Wusthof Classic

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife 8 inch

Victorinox Fibrox Pro chef's knife.

Wusthof Classic Chef's Knife

Wusthof Classic chef's knife.

Steel: Fibrox Pro is stamped high carbon stainless steel (X55CrMo14) with a partial tang and no bolster. Wusthof Classic is forged, high carbon stainless steel (X50CRMoV15) with a full tang and full bolster. The Fibrox Pro is lighter and easier to sharpen (because, no bolster), the Wusthof Classic is heavier and has a more solid and balanced feel.

Sharpness: Fibrox Pro sharpness is 55-56 HRC. Wusthof Classic is 58 HRC. The difference is due partly to steel quality, but mostly to the heat treatment that the forged blade undergoes. 

Edge Retention: The Wusthof Classic will have better edge retention because it's harder. However, the difference is small, and may not be noticeable in daily use. 

Handle Material: Fibrox Pro handle is TPE or polypropylene, Wusthof Classic is POM. POM is a harder, more durable synthetic, while polypropylene has a softer feel and will be more sensitive to heat extremes (i.e. cracking and melting). 

Price: Fibrox Pro chef's knife goes for about $45; Wusthof Classic goes for about $170. 

Recommendation: Both are good knives. We actually prefer the Fibrox Pro because it's easier to sharpen (however, Wusthof makes forged lines with partial bolsters that are equally easy to sharpen).

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Vs. Zwilling Twin 4 Star

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife 8 inch

Victorinox Fibrox Pro chef's knife.

Zwilling Twin 4 Star II chef's knife

Zilling Twin 4 Star chef's knife.

Steel: Fibrox Pro is stamped high carbon stainless steel (X55CrMo14) with a partial tang and no bolster. Zwilling Twin 4 Star is forged, high carbon stainless steel (X50CRMoV15) with a full tang and full bolster. The Fibrox Pro is lighter and easier to sharpen (because, no bolster), the Zwilling Twin 4 Star is heavier and has a more solid and balanced feel.

Sharpness: Fibrox Pro sharpness is 55-56 HRC. Zwilling Twin 4 Star is 57-58 HRC. This difference is due to steel quality, but mostly to the heat treatment that the forged blade undergoes.

Edge Retention: The Zwilling Twin 4 Star has better edge retention because it's harder steel. However, the difference is small, and may not be noticeable in daily use. 

Handle Material: Fibrox Pro handle is TPE or polypropylene, Zwilling Twin 4 Star is also polypropylene. Handles will have a similar feel, though you can see the difference in shape in the photos above.

Price: Fibrox Pro chef's knife goes for about $45. Zwilling Twin 4 Star goes for about $140. 

Recommendation:  Both are good knives, but again, we prefer the Fibrox Pro because it's easier to sharpen (however, Zwilling makes forged lines with partial bolsters that are equally easy to sharpen).

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Vs. Chicago Cutlery Walnut Tradition

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife 8 inch

Victorinox Fibrox Pro chef's knife.

Chicago Cutlery Chef's Knife (stamped)

Chicago Cutlery Walnut Tradition chef's knife.

Steel: Fibrox Pro is stamped high carbon stainless steel (X55CrMo14) with a partial tang and no bolster. Chicago Cutlery Walnut Trdition is high carbon 420 stainless steel with partial tang and no bolster. The steels are quite similar and will provide about the same edge retention and sharpness. They are equally easy to sharpen because neither has a bolster.

Sharpness: Fibrox Pro is 55-56 HRC; Chicago Cutlery does not disclose the hardness of their knives but our estimate, based on the type of steel, is around 50 HRC. Thus, the Fibrox Pro will hold an edge longer.

Edge Retention: With similar steel and hardness rating, these knives will have similar edge retention.

Handle Material: Fibrox Pro is TPE or polypropylene. Chicago Cutlery Walnut Tradition is wood. The Fibrox Pro will be a little rounder while the Walnut Tradition will be flatter. Preference will be largely personal.

Price: Fibrox Pro chef's knife goes for about $45. Walnut Tradition chef's knife goes for about $20. 

Recommendation: Though the Chicago Cutlery knife is cheaper, we recommend spending an extra $25 or so and getting the Fibrox Pro. Chicago Cutlery knives are made in China today, and the quality isn't as good as it once was. For the price, the Fibrox Pro is a much better knife. We also prefer the blade shape of the Fibrox Pro, especially if you like to do a rock chop.

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Using the Victorinox Fibrox Chef’s Knife (How We Tested)

Victorinox knife cutting up a chicken

For this review, we tested both the Fibrox Pro and the Swiss Classic chef's knives in two sizes: the 8-inch and the 6-inch. (The Swiss Classic line is replacing the Fibrox Pro line, so they are identical except for slight differences in the handle shape.) First, we measured the sharpness with a professional edge tester (more on this below).

Then we put the knives to work in the kitchen for about a month, cutting and dicing numerous food items, just as a cook would use a chef's knife. These included: tomatoes, onions, squash, carrots, pineapples, cheese, baked goods, and more. Some of our more interesting tests were piecing out whole chickens to test how the blade would work with bones and in awkward spaces, and cutting lightly frozen beef tenderloin into wafer thin pieces for beef carpaccio. 

We found that the Fibrox Pro and Swiss Classic were both great all-around kitchen knives. They cut through vegetables with ease, and though the blade on the 8-inch knife was a bit wide for piecing out a chicken, it worked well.

We should note here that the 6-inch chef's knife is considerably narrower than the 8-inch chef's knife, looking almost like a boning or utility knife, as you can see here:

Victorinox Fibrox Pro chef's knife

Fibrox Pro 8" chef's knife: wide blade.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro 6 inch chef's knife

Fibrox Pro 6" chef's knife: much narrower blade.

The same is true for the Swiss Classic chef's knives. So if you want a standard chef's knife with a wide blade and plenty of knuckle clearance, don't go smaller than the 8-inch blade on either line (but the narrower 6-inch blade was easier to use for boning a chicken).

All of our testers loved these knives for chopping up onions and garlic because they're so light and sharp. But as light as these knives are, we surprisingly had no problem with pineapples, squash, or slightly frozen beef.

That is, these knives are light enough to use for just about anything, yet durable enough to cut through hard veggies, fruits, even chicken bone. The combination of the thinner blade, light weight, and 15 degree double bevel gives these knives an extremely sharp feel--like they can glide through just about anything.

they even did a great job on the beef tenderloin, which we attribute to the thinness of the blade.

The synthetic handle is soft, with a slightly rough surface that provides excellent grip, even if your hands are wet. Yes, these handles have kind of a cheap look-and-feel, yet they are extremely comfortable and also very safe.

The angle where the handle attaches to the blade is angled for the perfect pinch grip:

Victorinox Fibrox Pro in hand

Our only complaint about the Fibrox Pro and Swiss Classic is that they required frequent steeling between uses to keep the blade in good shape. This is a small complaint, though, since any comparably priced knife will require similar treatment (and even many knives that cost a lot more). 

Overall, the Fibrox Pro and Swiss Classic are great all-purpose kitchen knives. Since other Victorinox stamped blades are the same, we can recommend all the lines, so you can get the handle design you prefer. 

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Sharpening Victorinox Knives

Victorinox Knife and Tool Sharpener

During testing over a period of about 5 weeks, we sharpened the Fibrox Pro once with a Victorinox pull-through sharpener (about $48), which brought it back to almost like-new sharpness (varying from 285-340g on the sharpness tester).

We also used a honing steel every time we used the knives in an effort to keep the blade in tip-top shape.

You can find cheaper pull-through sharpeners, but this one is great because it's small enough to fit in a pocket (about 8"x2.5") and it does a really nice job getting blades sharp. It can't do what a whetstone or guided rod system can do, but if you want a simple, lazy way to keep your knives in good working order, this is a nice tool.

If you are looking for a fixed angle sharpener, remember that most Victorinox knives have a 15 degree double bevel, and the boning knives have a 20 degree double bevel. 15 degrees is pretty standard for kitchen knives, so most pull through sharpeners will work well for Victorinox knives (but make sure of the sharpening angle before you buy--you don't want to use a 20 degree sharpener because it will make the knives feel duller). 

For more information on kitchen knife sharpeners, see our article A Beginner's Guide to Kitchen Knife Sharpeners

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Our Favorite Victorinox Knife: Fibrox Pro/Swiss Classic

Victorinox Fibrox Pro chef's knife

Fibrox Pro: rounder, fuller handle. 

Victorinox Swiss Classic chef's knife

Swiss Classic: flatter, contoured handle.

See Fibrox Pro chef's knife on Amazon

See Swiss Classic chef's knife on Amazon

See Swiss Classic 14-piece Swivel Block Set

See all Victorinox Swiss Classic and Fibrox Pro buying options on Amazon

See all Victorinox Swiss Classic buying options at Victorinox US

Out-of-the-box sharpness: The Fibrox Pro scored an amazing 215g, which puts it in the "new high end cutlery" category. The Swiss Classic chef's knife was even sharper, at 190g. These knives were sharp out of the box. In fact, they were so sharp we measured them a few more times to make sure we'd done the test correctly. (We did.) 

We know some users complained that their knives were dull when they got them, but ours were not. If you get a knife that's dull out of the box, you should return it immediately.

Like most cooking sites and reviewers, our favorite Victorinox knife is the Fibrox Pro/Swiss Classic. Why two lines? Because Victorinox is phasing out the Fibrox Pro and replacing it with the nearly identical Swiss Classic line. The only difference between the two is a slight difference in handle shape: the Fibrox Pro has a thicker, more rounded handle while the Swiss Classic has a slightly smaller, more contoured handle. 

Both handles are comfortable, so it's up to you to decide which one you like. But we will say that if you're buying single knives and will want to add to your collection, you'll have more choices with the Swiss Classic line, as there's no telling when the Fibrox Pro buying options will go away for good.

If you're buying a set, we really like the Swiss Classic 14 piece swivel block set:

Victorinox Swiss Classic 14pc Swivel Block Set
Victorinox Swiss Classic Swivel knife block, back view

This sounds like a big set, but it has every knife you need, plus a honing steel and kitchen shears:

  • 8" chef's knife
  • 7" santoku
  • 8.25" bread knife
  • 4.5" serrated utility knife
  • 3.25" paring knife
  • 6-4.5" steak knives (serrated)
  • 10" honing steel
  • pull-apart kitchen shears.

Okay, you may not need the serrated utility knife, but you will find uses for it in your kitchen.

Not only does the block swivel, but the back is flat for placing a cookbook on it. If you have limited counter space, this is a near-genius solution for when you need to use a cookbook or other device.

What else can we say about the Fibrox Pro/Swiss Classic knives? They both get high praise from cooking sites and review sites all over the Internet. If you want an affordable brand of kitchen knives, there aren't a lot of other choices that are as high quality as these Swiss-made beauties.

Once again, our only complaint was about having to sharpen these blades often, but at this price point, that is to be expected.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro chef's knife

buy victorinox fibrox pro/swiss classic kitchen knives:

Amazon buy button

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The Victorinox Grand Maitre: Also a Great Knife

Victorinox Grand Maitre chef's knife 8 inch

See Grand Maitre chef's knife on Amazon

See Grand Maitre 7" santoku on Amazon

See all Grand Maitre buying options on Amazon

See Grand Maitre buying options at Victorinox US

We also tested the only Victorinox forged line, the Grand Maitre chef knife, though not quite as extensively because it isn't the Victorinox knife people generally want to buy.

This knife was extremely sharp out of the box--it scored a rating of 225g, which is in the "new high end cutlery edges" category. It performed very well, and feels solid, like it will last for a long time. The blade is slightly narrower than the Fibrox Pro/Swiss Classic blade, but there is still plenty of knuckle clearance on the 8-inch blade.

The handle is classic and comfortable, and is available in black POM (synthetic) and brown modified maple.

Like the Fibrox Pro and Swiss Classic, the 6-inch Grand Maitre chef's knife has a much narrower blade than the 8-inch and looks more like a utility knife.

The Grand Maitre santoku is a beautiful knife, too:

Victorinox Grand Maitre santoku

Grand Maitre santoku with black POM handle.

These knives are substantially heavier than the stamped lines, so more like using a Wusthof Classic than the lighter, more nimble Fibrox Pro or Swiss Classic. They're priced more like the Wusthof knife, too, at about $125 for the 8-inch chef's knife and about $165 for the santoku.

Victorinox Grand Maitre chef's knife 8 inch

buy victorinox grand maitre kitchen knives:

Amazon buy button

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What to Look For When Buying Kitchen Knives (A Buying Guide)

Knife Parts Diagram

Here we discuss basic features to look for when buying kitchen knives.

Sets Vs Individual Knives

You may think a set is the way to go, but before you buy a large set, be sure you need all the pieces in it. Most cooks really only need three knives: a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife. Everything else is extra.

This is not to say you can't benefit from having more knives. Some people will prefer a santoku to a chef's knife and a utility knife to a paring knife, or a serrated utility knife to a non-serrated one. Having a variety of knives to choose from can be a good thing, especially if you're new to cooking and are still exploring all the possibilities (which can take a lifetime!).

Steak knives are a great part of a large set if you eat steak (or other meat). But before you buy the largest set you find, think about what knives you'll really use.

As mentioned above, we really like the Victorinox Swiss Classic 14 piece swivel block set. It's got great knives, plus steak knives, plus a honing steel and kitchen shears. The only questionable knife in this set is the serrated utility knife; otherwise, it's a great set at a great price.

But if you'd rather start out with the basics, Victorinox offers several single blades and smaller sets. This can be a smart way to go if you're not sure what knives you'll use.

Overall Fit and Finish

Another thing to look at is the overall fit and finish of the knife. Is it well-proportioned? Well balanced? Comfortable in your hand?
Some inexpensive knives in particular can have odd finishing or poor quality rivets, meaning the knife may be uncomfortable to use and probably won't last very long. Be sure to avoid such knives.

Look for things like:

  • Smoothness of handle: you don't want any protruding rivets or unfinished spots that dig into your hand.
  • Smoothness of spine: the highest quality knives have a filed-down spine that won't dig into your hand.
  • Smooth transition from handle to spine: no gapping or looseness where the blade meets the handle so the knife is solid and there are no crevices to collect gunk.

Blade Considerations

The blade is probably the most important consideration when buying a knife. You want something sharp, that will last and resist corrosion. Here are a few other things to look at when buying. 

Forged or Stamped?

Victorinox Grand Maitre chef's knife 8 inch

Grand Maitre forged blade: note the bolster.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro chef's knife

Fibrox Pro stamped blade: no bolster.

forged blade is made from a piece of steel heated under pressure. The blade is thicker at the top and tapers to a thin edge. Forged knives have a bolster (can be full or partial), which is an area of wider steel where the blade meets the handle; this increases weight, improves balance, and protects your fingers.

The heat and pressure temper the metal, making it stronger, and often sharper.

Forged knives typically have a full tang, but not always. (Tang is the part of the blade that runs through the handle; a full tang improves balance and adds strength.) 

A stamped knife blade is cut from a steel sheet. It has a uniform thickness throughout (except the edge, of course), and usually has no bolster or tang. Both are true of Victorinox stamped blades.

Stamped knives are usually lighter than forged knives (which some people prefer), and have a different feel. They are usually less balanced, with the weight being mostly in the blade. This can cause hand fatigue, but only if you're using the knife for hours at a time, which few home cooks do.

Forged blades are stronger than stamped blades because heating toughens the steel, and the bolster adds thickness and weight. However, technology has come far, and today most stamped knives are strong enough to stand up to kitchen use and are also very sharp and very durable. 

At one time, forged knives were always the better choice, but that isn't really true anymore. There are many reasons to prefer a stamped blade, including lightness, comfort, and price. 

As long as you go with a reputable brand, you can't really go wrong with either option.

Steel Type and Hardness

Type: We discussed Victorinox steel type already, but that's because it's an important aspect of choosing a knife. The most desirable knife steel today--at least for most home cooks--is high carbon stainless steel. This is a hard, durable steel that resists corrosion and is easy to sharpen. 

There are many types of high carbon stainless steel, and some are higher quality than others. Victorinox knives are made from a mid-range quality high carbon stainless steel. It's durable, easy to sharpen, and affordable. However, it won't stay sharp as long as some other high carbon stainless knife steels do--but if you want a knife that holds an edge longer, you'll have to pay considerably more.

Hardness: Knife steel hardness is measured by the  Rockwell Scale in HRC units. Kitchen knife hardness can vary widely, from about 50 HRC up to 63 HRC (or even higher for some expensive Japanese brands). In general, Western/German knives are less sharp and more durable, while Japanese knives are more sharp but less durable (meaning: more brittle and prone to chipping).

For most cooks and most cutting tasks, the best hardness is somewhere in the middle, from 53-58 HRC. This level of hardness provides a nice, sharp cutting edge, but is also very durable. 

The lower the hardness rating, the more frequently you will have to steel and sharpen the knife. But if you own a honing steel and a sharpener, this is easy to do.


Sharpness out of the box should be a given, so if a new knife is dull, you should return it.

However, sharpness is not in itself an indication of quality. A good sharpening process can make any knife--or any piece of metal, for that matter--razor sharp. 

No knife stays sharp forever, and softer steel like the type Victorinox uses is durable, but it dulls more quickly than harder steel will. As we said, you need to have a honing steel for routine blade maintenance and a sharpener to keep your Victorinox knives sharp. 

Your sharpening tools don't need to be Victorinox, but the Victorinox steels and sharpeners are affordable and functional. You also don't have to worry about having the right cutting angle if you go with Victorinox (more on cutting angle below).

Shape, Size, Weight, and Balance

Not all of the same types of knives are identical. Chef's knives, in particular, can vary greatly in length, width, shape, and balance. You should try several different knives to learn which shape you prefer.

Most people prefer a chef's knife with these traits:

  • The blade should be tall enough to give you knuckle clearance (i.e., space between your knuckles and the cutting board). Thinner knives make good boning and fillet knives, but don't allow you to use the rock chop very well if there's not enough knuckle clearance.
  • The belly of the knife--where it curves up to the tip--should provide a good rock chop motion; not all chef's knives have the right shape for this. On the other hand, if you prefer straight, slicing cuts, then you want the opposite of a curved belly. Look for santoku blades, which are flat across the bottom.
  • The right spine thickness: you want a knife that's thin enough to be maneuverable, but you also want durability. There's a wide range of spine thickness among chef's knives, so be sure you get the shape you want. (E.g., if you want an all purpose knife, avoid blades that are too thin.)
  • Length: The standard chef's knife length is 8 inches (7 inches for a santoku blade). But you can find chef's knives as short as 5 inches and as long as 14 inches. Try a few different lengths before you decide what's best for your cutting style.
  • Balance: This is less important for home cooks who don't use their knives for hours on end, but good balance makes a knife feel comfortable in your hand and makes it a pleasure to use. A knife's center of gravity should be right about where the blade meets the handle (or where you grip it). It's not a deal breaker if the balance is off, but if it's too off, it may make a knife harder to use.

There are other considerations, but these are some of the most important.

Cutting Angle

The cutting angle is the angle at which the blade is sharpened. The most common angle for kitchen knives today is 15 degrees each side, or 30 degrees total ("inclusive"). 

Most Victorinox blades are sharpened to 15 degrees each side. Boning knives are sharpened to 20 degrees each side (or 40 degrees total). These are standard angles, and these knives feel sharp and maneuverable. 

You don't need to know the cutting angle before you buy, but if you want to keep the knife sharpened as the maker intended it, then the cutting angle is important. 

 Many people don't care, especially with inexpensive knives, and sharpen all their knives to 15 degrees, or to the angle of their pull-through sharpener. Knowing your knife's cutting angle allows you to choose whether you want to keep it or not.

Handle Considerations

When looking at knife handles, the main considerations are shape, size, and material (what the handle is made of). 

Shape and Size

First of all, a handle should fit in your hand comfortably. Most knife handles are made to be comfortable in most hands, but if you have particularly large or small hands, you may have to try a few before you find one that fits. 

If a handle doesn't fit your hand well, the knife will be hard to use, causing strain and fatigue or even blisters.

As we said above in the Overall Fit and Finish section, look for a smooth handle without protruding rivets or rough edges. 

Victorinox handles are generally liked by pros and home cooks alike. If you're looking at their stamped lines, your choices are between the Swiss Classic and Swiss Modern lines. The Swiss Classic handle is contoured, rounded, and fairly large. The Swiss Modern handle is flatter, thinner, and more streamlined. We prefer the Swiss Classic/Fibrox Pro handle, but you should try both so you can compare (and try other brands as well).


Your main choices for handle material are wood or synthetic. Wood handles can be made from cheap woods or very expensive woods, but all wood handles have a warm, soft, organic feel that most people like. 

Synthetics vary from soft and rubbery to hard and durable. All are comfortable, and which you prefer is up to you. 

Most of the Victorinox synthetic handles are on the soft side, which makes them comfortable, but not all that durable. For more durable synthetics--like the POM they use on the Grand Maitre--you'll have to pay considerably more for a knife.

One note here is that Victorinox markets its synthetic handled knives as dishwasher safe, but you should never put your knives in the dishwasher. The harsh detergents can dull the blades and shorten the life of your knife. Always, always wash your good kitchen knives by hand.

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Victorinox Kitchen Knife Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Good quality
  • Durable steel
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable, non-slip handles
  • Lifetime warranty and 30 day return policy
  • Made in Switzerland (not China).
  • Soft steel (HRC 55-56) needs more frequent sharpening
  • Not as pretty as higher end knives
  • Soft handles aren't very durable.

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Other Affordable Knife Brands

There are many other affordable knife brands to choose from if you don't want to go with Victorinox. Here are a few we like:

Chicago Cutlery--made in China, no longer in USA, and the quality has suffered somewhat. But they are an affordable brand with a lot of options to choose from. See our Chicago Cutlery review for more information.

Dexter Knives--made in the USA and great quality for the price. See our Dexter review for more information.

Misen Knives--Not as low priced as Chicago Cutlery, Victorinox, or other Chinese brands, but affordable for high quality German steel knives. Misen knives get a lot of love from cooking sites and review sites.

Dalstrong Knives--Marketed as affordable, but you'll pay at least $80 for a chef's knife. A huge variety of styles and shapes, including some unique blades. Made in China but good quality. See our Dalstrong review for more information.

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Victorinox FAQs

Victorinox Swiss Classic chef's knife

Here are some frequently asked questions about Victorinox knives.

Are Victorinox Knives Good Quality?

Yes. For the price, Victorinox stamped knives are very good quality, and their forged line is as good as high-end German knives like Wusthof. The synthetic handles aren't super high quality, but they're comfortable and provide great grip, so most people love them.

How Do Victorinox Knives Compare to Other Brands?

It depends on the brands you're comparing to. But in general, Victorinox kitchen knives are considered an affordable brand of mid-range quality. This makes them a great choice for a lot of different cooks, not just those on a tight budget--but if you are on a tight budget, Victorinox is one of the highest quality knives you can buy.

What Is the Best Victorinox Knife to Buy (for the Kitchen)?

It really depends on your preferences and budget, but the favorite of most review sites, including ours, is the Fibrox Pro or Swiss Classic chef's knife. (The Fibrox Pro is being phased out and replaced by the Swiss Classic.) Every kitchen needs a chef's knife and this is a fabulous all-around knife that's durable enough to cut through hard foods and bones, but soft enough to sharpen easily. 

Victorinox also makes bread knives, paring knives, serrated utility knives, santokus, and butcher knives, so you really have a wide range of options to choose from. We like the Swiss Classic line best, but the blades are the same on all the stamped lines, so whichever one you go with will provide the same performance.

If you want to upgrade to a forged knife, the Grand Maitre is also a fabulous knife, but the prices are more like Wusthof prices than Victorinox (stamped knife) prices.

Where Are Victorinox Knives Made?

All Victorinox knives are still made in Switzerland.

Are Victorinox Knives Dishwasher Safe?

Technically, some of them are: Victorinox markets their synthetic-handled knives as dishwasher safe. However, it is a bad idea to put any kitchen knife in the dishwasher because the detergents are harsh enough to discolor and possibly damage the blades. Maybe it doesn't matter because of the low price, but we recommend washing all your cutlery by hand to keep it in its best shape and prolong its life.

What Angle to Sharpen Victorinox Knives?

Most Victorinox knives have a cutting angle of 15 degrees each side (30 degrees total). Boning knives have a cutting angle of 20 degrees each side. If it's important to you to keep the factory angle, you'll want to sharpen your knives accordingly. This is pretty good news, because 15 degrees is the most common angle for most pull-through sharpeners.

Are Victorinox Knives Forged or Stamped?

Both. Most Victorinox knives are stamped, including their most popular lines, Fibrox Pro and Swiss Classic. They make one forged line, the Grand Maitre, which is also a great knife but not as popular (or affordable) as the stamped lines.

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Final Thoughts on Victorinox Knives

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Victorinox knives have a lot of good qualities: they are a good balance of price, functionality, and quality. They're made in Switzerland, not China. They're durable, easy to sharpen, and will last for years or even decades--but if you lose one or ruin one, it's not the end of the world.

Also, Victorinox is an environmentally conscious company that works hard to reduce their waste and have as small a carbon footprint as possible.

We like the Swiss Classic line (formerly Fibrox Pro) for an affordable, good quality knife. 

They're not the prettiest or sharpest knives on the planet, but for the price, they're hard to beat.

Thanks for reading!

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About the Author

The Rational Kitchen (TRK) is a collaborative effort, but the founder, editor, and writer of most of our articles is Melanie Johnson, an avid cook, kitchenware expert, and technical communications specialist for more than 20 years. Her love of cooking and the frustrating lack of good information about kitchen products led her to create The Rational Kitchen. TRK's mission is to help people make the best decisions they can when buying kitchen gear. 

When not working on product reviews, Melanie enjoys reading, playing with her dog Ruby, vintage video games, and spending time outdoors and with her family.

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