Comments: We will admit that for those of us of a certain age, the name Ginsu has not always evoked a great sense of quality. We will further admit that we once straightened the trunk of a Christmas tree with our original Ginsu knife.
But times have changed.
Ginsu, holding onto its reputation for sharpness, has added boatloads of quality and style to its knives and knife sets. This 5-piece Chikara set (chikara being the Japanese word for power or energy) is forged of Japanese stainless steel, which has a reputation for stain and rust resistance, strength, and the ability to hold a sharp edge. The tang extends the full length of the handle, which is made of a heat-and water-resistant resin. The knife block, which is gorgeous, is made of bamboo. The knives have a very solid feel.
This set is ideal as a gift, or for someone just starting out. For someone with bigger hands or bigger ambitions, a 6" chef's knife and a 5" Santoku might not be big enough. But they are probably ideal for someone who is a little intimidated by big knives or for someone relatively new to the kitchen. Those wanting larger knives may want to step up to the 8-piece or the 12-piece sets, each of which includes a 7" Santoku and an 8" chef's knife.
These may be a small notch down from the best of the German knives, but they are so good and such a deal, they also deserve our overall rating of excellent. And you can bet we won't be using any of these knives on our Christmas trees….