If you have a knack for cooking, you know how important it is to get the right ingredients. And not just the cooking ingredients, you need a reliable and impeccable set of knives as well. So, mercer vs victorinox – which brand offers the best set of knives in the culinary market?
While everyone has their preferences, for us, Victorinox seems to just have all the superior qualities. That doesn’t mean Mercer isn’t any less impressive. But Victorinox just ticks all the right boxes in terms of affordability, blade composition, blade geometry, and durability.
As a result, if it were indeed a debate, we would have to go with Victorinox, hands down. Let’s find out a little more about both brands and their special features. That way, you, too, can come to realize the same conclusion as we did.
Mercer Culinary: Fresh, Functional & Affordable
Compared to Victorinox, Mercer stepped into the culinary world just yesterday. It’s been only about 53 years or so since they first came out in New York. And even then, they didn’t start making knives right away.
In fact, their knives only became popular in the last three decades. That’s also why they’re the lesser-known culinary brand out of the two. You will rarely come across their knives in international commercial kitchens.
However, they do have an ongoing demand in the North American culinary schools and residential kitchens. Not to mention, they’re still new to the business and thus, constantly developing and expanding on their ideas.
Plus, Mercer knife sets come in a really affordable price range compared to most other contemporary brands. So, that’s another reason why most home chefs nowadays are looking to pick up Mercer knives for their kitchens.
Features That Stand Out With Mercer:
Here’s a brief but comprehensive list of the features that stand out with Mercer knives:
Mercer knives have a composite composition when it comes to the blades. Unlike most other traditional brands, they don’t use a certain type of steel only to craft the blades. Instead, they prefer to merge the layers of at least two different steel types to come up with a new one.
The process is known as lamination. And it fits right in with their philosophies as a modern brand. The knives look pretty stylish, too, with a better glistening-ish texture. As for primary steel, they tend to use German steel quite a lot.
Mercer knives are pretty easy to sharpen since they don’t have a super rough & tough surface. German steel has a low carbon percentage. Hence the steel is comparatively softer. The sharpening doesn’t take up much strength either.
Even though Mercer knives have soft edges, they aren’t fragile. It doesn’t chip easily while sharpening, and thus, you can use them for a prolonged period. Compared to the price, it lasts for quite a while, if not more.
The knives provide a decent balance and don’t slip away from the hands suddenly. Such stability comes from features like thicker bolsters and rounded spines within the knives.
Furthermore, they have separate handles for different conditions that ensure excellent grip in all sorts of environments. So, you can keep on working undisturbed even when it’s 100-degrees outside.
Prominent Knife Sets: Mercer
Here are two prominent knife sets from Mercer that caused the most uproar thus far:
Mercer Culinary Renaissance
Renowned as chef’s knives, the Renaissance is a must-have set for many culinary schools in North America. And here’s why :
- They come under just 50 bucks, making them super affordable for beginner chefs
- Doesn’t require as much sharpening
- Stays in form for at least a year, if not more
- Made from premium-quality German steel
- Heavy Delrin handles for better stability
Mercer Culinary Millennia
This one’s more of an all-purpose set. And you can get them at super cheap rates. Here are a few more reasons as to why they’re so popular –
- Made from premium-quality Japan (Carbon) steel, and thus, super lightweight
- Highly budget-friendly, so best for culinary students and low-income families
- The set consists of five different knives, including a high-grade sharpening steel
Victorinox Culinary: Classic, Elegant & Reliable
Let’s get on to Victorinox, a culinary brand that promotes both sophistication and reliability. They have been around for literally a century by now. And with time, their products, i.e., knives, are only getting better.
They recently rebranded back to the name Victorinox for their knives. Before that, they were widely known as Forschner knives as part of the “RH Forschner by Victorinox” line. Either way, the knife quality hasn’t dropped one bit, and neither has the customer-base loyalty.
Features That Stand Out With Victorinox
Here’s a brief overview of all the features that stand out when it comes to Victorinox knives:
Some of the Victorinox knives come with a pretty weird handle design. And while that certainly plays forward the whole ‘brand uniqueness’ agenda, it’s also a bit controversial.
The famous ‘Victorinox Swiss Classic’ is an excellent example in this case. Unlike common handles, they have a different center of gravity. Which, in turn, shifts the overall balance.
It can take some time to get used to the new handling, that’s for sure. But once you do, it feels really light and easy to chop everything. Furthermore, the shift in gravity makes sure you don’t develop any unwanted calluses.
All Victorinox knives are well known for their amazing stability. As long as you’re not super disoriented, you don’t have to worry about any type of slippage with these knives.
Recently taking an interest in the culinary world? You should go for Victorinox knives like the Fibrox or Rosewood then. They have a pretty normal design with solid wielding strength and performance. You can easily pick up the pace with knives like these by your side.
Not only are the Victorinox Knives easy to sharpen, but they can also hold their sharpness much longer. While with Mercer, you’ll have to sharpen them every few months.
Therefore, Victorinox knives lose their vitality after years of usage since they can uphold better edge retention than Mercer. Even when they get dull, they can still put up a lasting performance than most other contemporary knives.
Victorinox uses a mix of steel as well for their knives. It’s a specialized alloy known as X55CrMo14 which contains mostly French and German steel.
The German provides that sharp glistening while the French take care of the durability of the blade. And together, they’re like an unstoppable force. Quality and longevity – they make sure to ensure the best forms of both.
Prominent Knife Sets: Victorinox
Since Victorinox has been around longer, they have at least triple the renowned knife sets than Mercer. Here’s a light discussion on two of them for a brief comparison –
The Fibrox is probably Victorinox’s most affordable knife line at present, alongside the Rosewood. Here’s why they’re a must-have:
- Quality and yet affordable chef’s 8-10″ knife
- European stainless steel blade provides extra protection against water/rust damage
- Extremely lightweight thermoplastic handles
Victorinox Swiss Classic
As the name suggests already, it’s a classic. And here’s what these knives are famous for –
- Unique handle design provides a different feel
- Stylish looks and thus, frequently used alongside cooking books
- Sharp blade suitable for all types of cuts
Mercer Vs Victorinox – Which One’s the Best?
At the end of the day, it all depends on personal preferences. You can just as well enjoy Mercer if you’re more comfortable with their knives. But for us, Victorinox is the clear winner.
Their reputation alone says everything you need to know about them. Mercer still has a long way to go if they want to establish themselves on the same level as Victorinox.
You should choose Mercer if you’re:
- super new to the culinary world and looking to test some knives
- in need of some really low-priced but considerably reliable knives
- looking to get the same (vaguely) high-quality features like $100 posh knives
- looking to try out the ‘laminated’ steel
And you should choose Victorinox if you:
- don’t want inconsistent sharpening like Mercer
- want long-lasting edge retention than not only Mercer but most other culinary brands
- like the fact that they have been in the business for over a century
- prefer quality even if it costs a bit more
- want to try out the unique handles and blades
- like their classic designs since they make you feel more comfortable
- like multi-purpose & budget-friendly knife sets
So, which culinary brand won the Mercer Vs Victorinox debate from your perspective? If it’s Victorinox, then it seems we share similar requirement ideologies regarding knife sets.
And if it’s Mercer, then no worries either way. Even though they can’t compete with Victorinox on the same level, they are still a pretty great brand.
Plus, the fact that they have made a good name for themselves in such a short time says a lot. They also offer better price points. Hence, Mercer would be a great alternative if you want to try out something new other than Victorinox.
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