There’s no sense denying it; not all knives are equal. From full-blow budget options such as Global Knives and Cangshan Knives to high-end blades coming from world-renowned brands like Shun Knives and Wusthof Knives, the choice seems limitless, and you’d be left pout wondering whether you should go with quality or affordability. Here’s the thing; you can avoid making a choice altogether and get both by going with a midrange option such as Mercer Culinary Knives.
Mercer Culinary is a brand that promises quality, durable blades built using premium materials without going hard on your wallet, which would appeal to any aspiring chef looking to unveil the secrets of cutting techniques. Does this brand live up to its promise? Find out through our Mercer Culinary review!
Mercer Culinary Knives Review Center 2021
|Image||Mercer Culinary Knives||Rating|
|#1 - Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set||99%|
|#2 - Mercer Culinary Partners in Education 23-Piece Millennia Culinary School Kit||96%|
|#3 - Mercer Culinary Renaissance 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set||93%|
|#4 - Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Piece Knife Roll Set||89%|
|#5 - Mercer Culinary Zum 6-Piece Forged Block Set||85%|
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Now that you’ve seen our top 5 recommendations, we’ll give you more detail on each of them, including why we liked them. When you’re ready, click the yellow button to get the best price on Amazon!
#1 – Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set
The Genesis collection from Mercer Culinary is the aspiring chef’s dream come true. It’s a no-frills set that includes everything you need for all your cutting tasks around the kitchen along with either a glass knife block or a wooden magnetic strip that you can use to proudly display your blades for your guests to be blown up by your cutlery arsenal.
As far as the knives themselves go, you get a set of five pieces, including a Chef’s Knife, Bread Knife, Kitchen Utility Knife, a good pumpkin-carving knife, Paring Knife, and a Boning Knife that you can add to your Boning and Fillet Knives. Nothing fancy, not even a Kitchen Shear, just straight-out kitchen drawer essentials for everyday use.
All the blades are made of heat-treated X50 Cr Mo V15 German steel, which is one of the finer grades of stainless steel that’s used in several expensive knives coming from the world’s finest brands, making this set a real bargain that will give you the bang for your buck. What’s even better is that this German steel isn’t only fancy and expensive, but it’s also quite high-performant. It’s hard enough to hold an edge for long while being flexible enough to resist breaking and soft enough to withstand chipping or shattering. Now that’s quality construction.
You’re probably looking for the catch here, but really, there isn’t any. Even the handles, despite being synthetic rather than wooden, are quite comfortable and can give you a firm grip and enough balance for all your slicing, dicing, and chopping tasks. Granted, they’re not as good as the handles of more expensive knives from big brands such as Shun, but they get the job done perfectly.
What we like about it:
The NSF-certified Genesis 6-piece set from Mercer Culinary is an excellent no-frills knife collection that would definitely get your cutting skills to the next level if used correctly. It includes everything you need around the kitchen, and all the blades are forged and made of 50 Cr Mo V15 German stainless steel, which means that they boast great durability and unmatchable performance. Besides, they’re quite forgiving when it comes to maintenance, as all you have to do is use a quality Knife Sharpener, be it a Sharpening Steel or Sharpening Stone, every now and then, and you’ll be good to go for a good number of years.
#2 – Mercer Culinary Partners in Education 23-Piece Millennia Culinary School Kit
School tools can be costly, especially if you’re in a culinary school. And if you’re just starting out in your journey and still in the first learning steps when it comes to cutting techniques, you don’t want to start with a super expensive set, as you’re probably going to ruin it quite quickly. Well, Mercer Culinary has the solution for you; the Millennia Culinary School Kit, which is slightly different from the Genesis set mentioned above in our Mercer knives review.
For starters, the Millennia collection includes 23 blades, which means that it covers both the essentials and a bunch of extras that would make your experience even better. It even includes a ruler, a thermometer, and honing steel, which would come in handy in a variety of situations, making it a true culinary school kit, and a perfect companion if you’re not planning to cook at home, especially that it comes with a rollable travel case that’ll allow you to take your set everywhere you go.
The other difference between the Millennia and the Genesis sets is the build material. While the first set includes knives made of German steel, the latter uses Japanese high-carbon stainless steel, which is equally excellent and durable. Now, the X50 Cr Mo V15 steel is indeed superior to the X30 Cr13 steel, but it’s still quite good at holding an edge, so we have no complaints here.
Being stamped, not forged, these knives don’t have a bolster like the blades In the Genesis set, but the ergonomic design of the handles make up for that and offer enough safety for your hands when you’re chopping your veggies or boning your meat.
What we like about it:
If you’re a culinary school student or someone who moves around a lot and would like a travel role with all the cutlery essentials and extras, there is no better option than the Mercer Culinary Millennia Culinary School Kit, at least not in this price range. The stamped knives are made of Japanese high-carbon stainless steel, which says a lot about durability, and the handles are ergonomically designed for a comfortable and safe grip. The price is a bit steep, but for the blades and quality you’re getting, this set is worth every penny.
#3 – Mercer Culinary Renaissance 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set
The Renaissance set from Mercer Culinary is pretty similar to the Genesis set reviewed above. Again, you get all the cutlery essentials, including a Chef’s knife, Paring Knife, Utility Knife, Bread Knife, and a Boning Knife, along with a tempered glass block, one of the most modern Knife Blocks we’ve seen within this price range or one of Mercer’s Magnetic Knife Strips.
The blades in the Renaissance set are made of heat-treated X50 Cr Mo V15 steel, the same German steel mentioned earlier. What’s unique about this particular German steel is the efficiency it offers, as it’s strong enough to keep its shape and withstand falls and accidents while being soft enough to resist chipping, thus giving you the best of both worlds. It’s also quite forgiving when it comes to maintenance and sharpening, besides being stain and rust-resistant, making it suitable for both home and professional use.
Just like the blades in the Genesis set, these knives are forged, with thick bolsters to protect your hands when you’re swinging your blade around. Forged blades offer superior balance and durability compared to stamped ones, making the Renaissance collection a real bargain for the price.
Although these blades come razor-sharp right of the box, it’s worth noting that they won’t hold their edge forever, so it’s essential to keep honing steel nearby, especially that the set doesn’t include one.
What we like about it:
Just like the Genesis set, Mercer Culinary’s Renaissance knife set is a budget solution for those who want to expand their cutlery arsenal without blowing a hole in their budget. Don’t let the low price tag of this set fool you into thinking that it doesn’t offer high-quality, as it does. The knives are forged, and they’re made of premium German steel, which means that they’re both durable and exceptionally sharp right of the box. Add that to the comfortable handles and easy maintenance, and you’ve got yourself a deal.
#4 – Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Piece Knife Roll Set
If you liked the Millennia set reviewed above but found 23 items to be too much for your needs, here’s the solution: get the Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Piece Knife Roll Set, which offers the same quality and features but with a fewer number of items and a reduced price. (Mr. perfect companion for culinary student, much?)
The Millennia 8-piece set includes everything you may ever need when cooking. You get a Chef Knife, Santoku Knife, Paring Knife, Boning Knife, Slicing Knife, and a Bread Knife, along with a Honing Steel that you can use to maintain your blades and an 8-pocket bag that would come in handy when you’re taking your tools to school or cooking outside.
The blades are made of Japanese high-carbon stainless steel, which says a lot about durability. These Mercer knives are built for hardcore use. They’re durable, well-balanced, and flexible, making them quite versatile kitchen appliances. Not only that, but they’re also razor-sharp and can hold their edge for long, all while being easy to hone and maintain.
The handles on these knives don’t disappoint either, as they boast a perfect blend of Santoprene and polypropylene to provide both a comfortable and firm grip along with durable construction.
What we like about it:
Built of high quality, durable stainless steel? Check. Come razor-sharp and are forgiving when it comes to maintenance and honing? Check. Offer a comfortable and firm grip thanks to ergonomically-designed handles built with control in mind? Check, check, and check! No matter your level around kitchen appliances and cutlery items, you won’t be disappointed if you opt for the Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Piece Knife Roll Set. It includes everything one needs around the kitchen, along with an easy to transport 8-pocket bag, which adds to the convenience.
#5 – Mercer Culinary Zum 6-Piece Forged Block Set
Let’s be honest for a moment; we don’t get a high-end kitchen knife set just for efficiency, we do it for the show as well. No emotion can rival the pride you feel when a guest compliments your knife set while it’s sitting nicely on your kitchen counter. The problem is; most sleek-looking block sets cost a fortune, which makes them a far cry for those just starting out, or does it? Well, not all high-quality knife blocks are expensive, and the Zum 6-Piece Forged Block Set from Mercer culinary is the living proof of that.
The set includes all the kitchen essentials, which 8″ Chef Knife, Bread Knife, Boning Knife, Utility Knife, and a Paring Knife, all of which are forged and made of premium German stainless steel that can resist stains and last for a lifetime with proper maintenance. You can either get a glass block or a magnetic knife holder along with your set, and it comes in a padded gift box, which means that you can send it as a gift to the new chef in the family.
What’s unique about this set is that the knives feature Delrin handles that are molded for an ergonomic, firm grip, and rounded for superior comfort, which means that it suits those looking for a knife set that can be used for heavy-duty cutting tasks with ease.
What we like about it:
The Mercer Culinary Züm 6-Piece Forged Block Set contains everything you may ever need in your kitchen, offering an excellent quality that’s hard to rival in this price range. The blades are sharp and durable, the handles are comfortable and offer a firm grip, and the set comes with a nice glass block that would make your kitchen counter look more modern and beautiful. What else could you ask for?
How We Chose the Top Mercer Culinary Knives in our List
Whether you’re just starting out in the culinary field or an already established chef looking to expand their cutlery arsenal, it’s essential to get the best knives for a seamless and safe experience. While it’s usually a hit or miss when it comes to getting budget blades, you can actually get pretty decent items if you go with a reputable brand, which is the case for Mercer Culinary.
All of the items mentioned above in our Mercer knives review are vetted and checked based on a set of essential features, which are:
Ask any chef about their criteria for choosing kitchen knives, and you’ll get various answers, but all of them will start with the material. The best kitchen knives are made of fine materials which are durable, hard, and flexible, and that’s exactly what Mercer is offering.
Mercer knives use either German X50 Cr Mo V15 steel or Japanese X30 Cr13 steel, both of which are premium materials that are flexible enough to resist breaking, strong enough to withstand falls, and soft enough to resist chipping, making Mercer knives one of the best when it comes to the material used despite their low price tag.
All of Mercer Culinary knives feature comfortable synthetic handles that offer a solid, firm grip while providing enough balance for you to control your blades with ease when you’re cutting, chopping, slicing, or dicing, something that would appeal to both professional and home cooks.
The price is probably the top-selling point of Mercer Culinary knives. A full set of these blades costs the same as a single knife from high-end manufacturers such as Wusthof or Shun, all while offering a near-perfect performance and excellent durability.
Different Types of Mercer Culinary Knives
There are four main types that you need to know about:
Mercer Culinary Japanese Stainless Vs. Mercer Culinary German Steel
Both German steel, which is used in the Genesis set, and Japanese steel, featured in the Millennia set, offer premium performance, with excellent durability and a razor-sharp blade that can hold its edge for long. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that the German steel used in some Mercer Culinary knives, is superior to its Asian counterpart, offering better balance and sharpness.
Mercer Genesis Vs. Renaissance
Having gone through both our Mercer Culinary Genesis review and Mercer Culinary Renaissance review, you’re probably thinking that they’re the same set rebranded, but that’s not entirely true. Despite having a lot of similarities, the Genesis and Renaissance sets do have some small differences, but the one that really sets them apart is the handle construction.
While the Renaissance knives offer a traditional hard handle with a recessed bolster for easy sharpening of the full length of the blade, the Genesis blades come with synthetic handles that have a rubberized feel to it with a traditional bolster that may interfere with the honing process. The rest is basically the same, and both of them offer excellent performance, so it all boils down to your personal preferences.
Why you need the Best Mercer Culinary Knives in your Kitchen
A chef’s cutlery arsenal reflects his skills and how serious he is about his culinary journey. Since there’s a world of difference between nameless knives coming from a department store and ones that come from a high-end manufacturer such as Wusthof, you need to take your time and get something that would truly help you out in your journey. The problem is; the choice can seem limitless, which is why the middle ground may be the best option, and that’s where Mercer knives prove their worthiness.
Mercer knives are cheap. Seeing their prices, you may start to wonder “how could anything this cheap be worthwhile for a chef like me?”. Believe it or not, they are worth your time. They may not be as aesthetically appealing as Kasumi knives or Kamikoto Knives, for example, but each blade is made following the market’s latest standards and using the industry’s best materials, such as the German X50 Cr Mo V15 steel and Japanese X30 Cr13 steel, making them one of the best options for those seeking good cutlery items for a reasonable price.
Furthermore, Mercer knives come exceptionally sharp right of the box and can be maintained with ease using proper honing techniques, making them a godsend for newcomers in the culinary world.
All in all, the best Mercer Culinary knives are affordable, sharp, and durable. They’re basically a no-brainer for any professional or home chef, and a necessity rather than a luxury in any kitchen.
While you’re here, check out some of our other kitchen accessories and knives! As always, we recommend you keep your knives sharp with an electric knife sharpener, as well as safely kept in either a knife block or on a magnetic knife strip held safely in your kitchen pantry or kitchen island.