Around the house, I’m known as a pretty proficient home cook, even if I do say so myself. But I’m the first to admit that my knife skills are nothing to write home about. I have the basics of safety down, and I can more or less get all my ingredients the same size, if not the same shape, when I need to. And I know which knife works for which task.
Still, knives are cardinal tools in my kitchen. I can’t tell you how many gadgets I’ve tested over the last two decades that I’ve decided can’t do anything my knives don’t do as well, and with less fuss. The gadgets tend to gather dust on a shelf while my knives get used multiple times daily.
So I was happy to test a set from Kilne, the new direct-to-consumer brand launched by Endy co-founder Mike Gettis with his business/life partner Noelle Hjelte.
The knife set is the first product out the gate. Here’s what I like:
Kilne knives are full tang. That means solid steel runs from tip to tail, which makes them strong and well-balanced in the hand. For me, they have the heft I like, but aren’t too heavy. So I can chop longer before my hand gets tired, and maintain control better.
The handle grip is made from a polymer that doesn’t get slippery in a wet hand, and that the makers say is dishwasher-safe. (Promise me you won’t put your knives in the dishwasher. Or at least that you won’t do it very often. It’s so much better to hand wash and dry knives after use. Kilne’s website has good tips on knife-care.)
Chromium-molybdenum-vanadium steel (whatever that means) blades are as sharp as stink. The kit comes with a sharpening tool, and a set of scissors, which I find myself using all the time.
The Acacia wood block is handsome, but it doesn’t hog space on the counter.
The set is affordable. For $190, you get 8-inch chef and bread knives, a 7-inch, general-purpose Santoku, a 3.5-inch pairing knife, shears, a sharpening stick, and the block. I think it’s exceptional value, given the quality. There’s a 60-day home trial, free returns, and a lifetime guarantee.