I absolutely love Chicago Cutlery knives. But, the very reason I like them might make them inappropriate for you. Why? Because they wear down and dull easily and they are pretty easy to bend too. What some may see as negatives – the wearing and bending – can be a definate plus for you as it is for me if you are willing to put just a little more care into your knives. Let me explain:
Chicago Cutlery knives are made of steel that might be just a wee bit softer than other knife steels and the blades are much thinner than what some cooks like – but these are the advantages I am talking about. Softer and thinner blades allow the knives to be quickly sharpened and they can be sharpened to a much finer cutting angle than knives normally found in the typical kitchen.
I have just finished sharpening three Chicago Cutlery knives for a customer; a 65S, a 62S and a 72S. When the customer dropped them off they were so worn that they really did not have a cutting edge. Since these blades are thin, I was able to profile the cutting edge to twelve degrees. Now that is sharp! A straight razor is sharpened at ten to twelve degrees. And, it was easy to do because the steel is, as I said, a bit softer than many kitchen knives.
I know you’ve seen people cutting a sheet of paper or a newspaper to show how sharp a knife is. If you really want to see sharp, try cutting a napkin. A napkin is so soft it is impossible to cut with anything less than a razor edge. Take the knife to be tested and use its point to punch a hole in the napkin. Then, very slowly, see if the knife will cut the napkin without leaving a jagged edge. If so, that is what you can call sharp.
Here are a couple of pictures showing these knives cutting a napkin. It is not so easy to see, but look for the cutting line running from each hole.