Are you shopping for kitchen knives but debating between Mercer Culinary and Victorinox?
In this in-depth comparison of Mercer vs. Victorinox, you’ll learn the key differences between each brand’s knife offerings. I’ll cover 11 different categories from performance to price.
Read on to find out which of these knife brands belongs in your kitchen.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Mercer vs. Victorinox: Comparison Chart
- Difference 1: Company History
- Difference 2: Where It Is Made
- Difference 3: Collections
- Difference 4: Construction
- Difference 5: Design
- Difference 6: Blade Material
- Difference 7: Handle Material
- Difference 8: Sharpness
- Difference 9: Blade Hardness
- Difference 10: Warranty and Guarantee
- Difference 11: Price
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy Mercer or Victorinox?
Here’s a quick look at Mercer vs. Victorinox so you can get an idea of how they compare.
Swipe to view the entire chart on mobile.
|Where It’s Made||Taiwan||Ibach, Switzerland|
|Blade Material||X50CrMoV15, X30CR13, VG10||X46CR13, X70CrMo15, X55CrMo14|
|Handle Material||Santoprene, DELRIN, polypropylene (PP), Santoprene/polypropylene, textured, glass-reinforced nylon, wood||Polyoxymethylene (POM), thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), PP, polypropylene copolymer (PPC), wood|
|Design||German and Japanese-style knives||Swiss and German-style knives|
|Weight (8″ chef’s knife)||8.8 ounces (forged) 7 ounces (stamped)||9.6 ounces (forged) 7 ounces (stamped)|
|Edge Angle||30-32 degrees||30-40 degrees|
|Blade Hardness||53-57 HRC (most knives) 60-62 HRC (MX3)||55-56 HRC|
|Warranty||Limited lifetime warranty||Lifetime warranty|
|Price||$$ (view on Amazon)||$$$ (view on Amazon)|
Mercer Culinary is a brand of Mercer Tool Corp., founded in 1968 by Mel Wallick. The business traces its roots back to Mercer Street in New York City — a street known for top-level retail then and now.
Mercer Culinary is well-known for its professional-grade knives. It’s a leading supplier of kitchen cutlery and tools to culinary institutes across North America. But the brand also offers knife storage, chef’s apparel, and kitchen safety and sanitation products.
Mercer knives are popular on Amazon. They are a choice brand for home chefs who want professional-grade kitchen knives at affordable prices.
Karl Elsener founded Victorinox in 1884 in Ibach-Schwyz, Switzerland. Today, it’s a multi-generational family business. Victorinox is most famously known for its iconic offering: the Swiss Army Knife.
Karl Elsener’s Swiss Master Cutler’s Association took over the contract from Solingen manufacturers to supply knives to the Swiss Army in the late 1800s.
Besides knives, Victorinox makes quality watches, travel gear, and fragrances. You can even personalize a Swiss Army Knife or watch for a memorable gift.
Victorinox has a longer history, has remained true to its Swiss roots, and continues to be a family-owned brand. Mercer is a brand that initially catered to culinary students and professionals but is now embraced by home chefs, too.
Difference 2: Where It Is Made
Mercer is based in Ronkonkoma, New York, but produces all its knives in Taiwan. Manufacturing overseas keeps its German steel-sourced knives priced lower than brands like WÜSTHOF and Zwilling, which feature similar offerings.
Ibach, Switzerland, is home to the Victorinox factory, which manufactures all of its knives. The brand stays true to its roots and has a heavy focus on sustainable manufacturing. It’s a practice that began in the 1970s.
Hydroelectric power generates the factory’s energy, and eco-friendly practices reduce the use of heating oil and water. All its protective packaging is recyclable and uses upcycled components.
Mercer features more knife collections, constructions, and design options than Victorinox.
Some collections, such as Millennia, Millennia White, and Millennia Colors, are similar, but each has a distinct look and feel.
Let’s take a brief look at what both brands offer.
- MX3: With a VG-10 stainless steel core and high-carbon, laminated outer layers, these forged knives offer the very best in precise, sharp cuts and ergonomic comfort.
- ZüM: Forged, high-carbon German steel knives with a sleek, sophisticated design that looks as good as it performs.
- Renaissance: Classically designed, forged, full-tang German-style knives with short bolsters and taper ground edges.
- Genesis: The no-slip Santoprene grip handle offers a secure grip even when your hands are wet. These forged, full-tang knives have good balance and provide lasting sharpness.
- BPX: A collection of stamped butcher knives with textured handles and ice-hardened steel for blade durability.
- Millennia: Razor-sharp, stamped knives with a comfortable Santoprene grip designed to reduce hand fatigue.
- Millennia White: Offers textured finger points, a non-slip grip, and low-maintenance stamped blades that stay sharp. Handles feature a black and white design.
- Millennia Colors: A collection of sharp, stamped knives with six handle colors designed to assist with safely handling foods to avoid cross-contamination. For example, red-handled knives are only for raw meat.
- Praxis: Super-sharp edge on stamped Japanese steel blades with eye-catching rosewood handles and gold-toned rivets.
- Ultimate White: Stamped, high-carbon Japanese steel blades with white, ergonomic textured handles for a secure, safe grip.
- Asian Collection: Razor-sharp Japanese-style stamped knives made with high-quality German steel and rounded traditional wood handles.
- Swiss Modern: Straight edge stamped knives in a modern design with a choice of walnut wood or synthetic, colored handles.
- Swiss Classic: Lightweight, colorful, low-maintenance stamped knives for every task in your kitchen.
- Fibrox: Designed for professionals, with non-slip handles, ergonomic comfort, and blades that are easy to sharpen and clean.
- Wood: Attractive wood handles with distinct graining securely hold sharp, stainless steel blades designed for precise cuts and a comfortable grip.
- Grand Maître: The only forged knife collection from Victorinox, Grand Maître features high-carbon stainless steel blades with elegant wood or polyoxymethylene (POM) handles.
Mercer has more forged collections than Victorinox, which only has one forged offering: Grand Maître. Both brands have multiple stamped collections.
Mercer’s forged collections include MX3, ZüM, Renaissance, and Genesis. Stamped knives round out its remaining seven collections.
Stamped knives are less expensive to manufacture than forged ones. Therefore, you can expect more affordable pricing.
The manufacturing process is different for forged and stamped knives. Forged knives start as one piece of steel that undergoes multiple steps to shape, harden, grind, and polish it until it’s ready to receive a handle and undergo sharpening.
With stamped knives, you can produce multiple blade forms at one time by punching out or laser cutting them from a large sheet of steel. The blades undergo tempering, honing, and sharpening before receiving a handle. The process is less labor-intensive.
Forged knives are heavier due to the thicker blade, hold their edges better, and are much more durable than stamped knives. But stamped knives are lightweight, flexible, and are ideal for those who want a more budget-friendly option.
If you want a brand with a variety of design choices, Mercer Culinary delivers. No two collections are exactly alike.
I’ll mention a few design features of the different collections, but I’d like to give you an up-close view of Genesis — one of Mercer’s largest.
Mercer Genesis full-tang knives have a forged construction and a half bolster.
The sheen of the German stainless steel contrasts nicely with the matte-finish, black Santoprene handles. The handles are soft and non-slip, offering a secure and comfortable grip.
The Mercer Culinary logo is on one side of the handle in the form of a stylish, stainless steel rivet. The butt of the knife dips downward, giving your fingers a place to rest.
On the face of the blade, you’ll notice the Mercer logo, type of steel, model number, and the National Sanitation Federation (NSF) food safety and sanitation designation.
Genesis is a handsome collection of knives. It’s only available with a black handle, so you’ll need to check out other Mercer collections if you want color or wood.
For example, Millennia Colors offers a choice of up to six colors on most knives. Praxis offers rosewood handles with stunning gold-toned rivets. The Asian collection features rounded wood handles and Japanese lettering on the blades.
Victorinox doesn’t have as many collections as Mercer, but each is very distinct. The most popular choice is Fibrox.
Fibrox knives were designed by professionals but are also a favorite of home chefs. They’re not fancy; they’re functional. The black handles, made from thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), are grippy and made for comfort.
The textured, ergonomic handles offer no crevices for food to collect, making them a hygienic choice. You’ll also get a sure grip even if the handle gets wet.
You’ll find the Victorinox logo on the handle and the easy-to-sharpen blade. The blade also carries the NSF certification and the Swiss Made emblem.
Victorinox is one of the few brands authorized to use the Swiss Made claim since it speaks to authenticity and the high-quality products for which the region is known.
Depending on the collection, you can find one of three types of steel used in Mercer knives:
- German steel (X50CrMoV15): An alloy with a high chromium content, making it corrosion resistant. It’s also high in carbon and vanadium, adding to its durability and stain resistance. It offers good edge retention but not as good as VG10.
- Japanese steel (X30CR13): Softer than German stainless steel, this composition makes kitchen knives less likely to chip. It holds a decent edge, but the good news is that it is easy to sharpen at home.
- Japanese steel (VG10): A high-quality steel considered the gold standard of Japanese steel. It’s a hard, high-carbon, high-vanadium steel made in Takefu, Fukui Prefecture, Japan. It retains the cutting edge exceptionally well, but it is brittle. Overall, it’s corrosion-resistant steel.
Victorinox uses martensitic steel for all of its blades. It’s a stainless steel alloy with a high carbon content that resists corrosion. Its hardness allows knives to retain a sharp edge.
Because of its composition, it is strong and highly durable. The main ingredients of Victorinox steel are chromium and molybdenum. The raw materials Mercer uses include X46CR13, X70CrMo15, and X55CrMo14.
Both brands use a variety of materials to make knife handles.
Mercer uses synthetic options including Santoprene, DELRIN, polypropylene (PP), a mixture of Santoprene and polypropylene, and textured, glass-reinforced nylon. It also offers rosewood or light-colored wood if you prefer a natural handle.
Santoprene, DELRIN, and polypropylene are durable thermoplastics. They have a textured feel, like rubber, and offer a firm grip. Glass-reinforced nylon handles are lightweight yet durable.
Victorinox offers polyoxymethylene (POM), thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), PP, or polypropylene copolymer (PPC) handles. These are durable synthetic substances with different benefits.
POM is heatproof. TPE is fade-resistant with a soft, grippy feel. PP and PPC are lightweight and economical.
Victorinox also features wood handles, including modified maple, rosewood, and walnut. The modified maple is heat-treated and has a deep, rich color. Rosewood is hearty and offers a natural, warm red tone. Walnut wood has noticeable graining that makes each knife unique.
Difference 8: Sharpness
Blade sharpness indicates how a knife handles different cutting tasks.
Most Mercer knives have an edge angle of 15 to 16 degrees per side. That’s a total edge angle of 30 to 32 degrees, the standard for most German-style knives.
The Japanese-style knives in Mercer’s Asian Collection are either 16 degrees per side or have two different edge angles. For example, the Sashimi and Deba knives have a 6-degree edge angle on one side and 15 degrees on the opposite side. This is common with Asian-inspired blades.
Victorinox knives, sharpened to 15 to 20-degrees on each side, offer a total edge angle of 30 to 40 degrees. This is a normal sharpness range for most kitchen knives.
The 30-degree edge angle gives you a fine edge that is sharper but slightly more prone to chipping. With 40-degree edges, you’ll have a duller but tougher knife that can handle aggressive chopping.
Overall, both brands have incredibly sharp edges. As you can see below, both can produce paper-thin slices of grapes.
The Rockwell Hardness Scale measures the hardness of materials. While there are multiple scales, Rockwell Scale C (HRC) is the most common when rating the hardness of knife steel.
Most Mercer knives score between 53 to 57 HRC, but the MX3 collection scores 60 to 62. The high end of the Rockwell C Scale (60+) represents exceptionally hard blades. Harder blades stay sharp longer but are more likely to break.
Victorinox knives are softer, scoring a 55-56 on the Rockwell Scale. The lower the number, the softer the blade. Soft blades require more frequent sharpening, but they are less prone to chipping.
Blade hardness indicates how delicate or durable your knives are. It helps you determine the best ways to use and care for them. Overall, German blades are typically softer than Japanese blades.
Mercer offers a limited lifetime warranty on all knife collections for home use. This warranty guarantees a replacement for any defective knife throughout the life of the initial purchaser or recipient.
Mercer knives purchased for commercial use, such as in a restaurant or culinary school, come with a 25-year warranty.
Victorinox offers a lifetime warranty that begins on the original date of purchase. The brand guarantees the use of first-class stainless steel and that the knives will be defect-free.
The warranty covers all current collections purchased from Victorinox or an authorized Victorinox retailer. To start a warranty claim, you’ll need to provide proof of purchase.
Victorinox knives are more expensive than Mercer knives because they are Swiss-made (a high benchmark for craftsmanship) and use high-quality steel alloys.
Mercer makes its knives in Taiwan, which keeps costs down.
You’ll get a range of prices from both brands, depending on the collection and the purchase location.
For example, Mercer’s forged collections (MX3, ZüM, Renaissance, and Genesis) are pricier than their stamped offerings (BPX, Millennia, Praxis, Ultimate White, and Asian).
Victorinox Grand Maître is the most expensive due to its forged blade and choice of wood or synthetic handles, while Fibrox is much cheaper since it employs a stamped blade and synthetic handle.
The current prices of Mercer and Victorinox knives are shown in the chart below. Click or tap the price to learn more about each knife or knife collection on Amazon.
|Knife / Knife Set||Price||View Details|
|Victorinox Swiss Modern 8-Inch Carving Knife||Amazon|
|Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Victorinox Rosewood 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Victorinox Grand Maître 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Victorinox Grand Maître 7-Inch Santoku||Amazon|
|Victorinox Fibrox 3-Piece Knife Set||Amazon|
|Victorinox Swiss Classic 7-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Victorinox Rosewood 7-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Mercer Genesis 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Mercer Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Mercer Ultimate White 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Mercer Züm 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Mercer Renaissance 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Mercer Renaissance 7-Inch Santoku Knife||Amazon|
|Mercer Genesis 6-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Mercer Millennia 8-Piece Set||Amazon|
|Mercer Renaissance 6-Piece Set||Amazon|
Now that you know the differences between Mercer vs. Victorinox knives, it’s time to decide which brand is better for you.
Before I offer my recommendation, let’s recap the key differences:
- History: Victorinox has been operating in Switzerland for over 138 years. Comparatively, Mercer Culinary has 54 years of history. Victorinox, founded in Switzerland in 1884, is family-owned and operated. Mercer’s 1968 founding took place in New York City.
- Manufactured in: Victorinox knives are made in Ibach, Switzerland. Mercer knives are made in Taiwan.
- Collections: Mercer has 12 knife collections compared to Victorinox’s five.
- Forged options: Mercer has more forged collections than Victorinox, which only has one (Grand Maître).
- Design: Mercer Culinary offers more features in terms of knife types, handles, and design elements than Victorinox.
- Materials: Both brands use high-quality steel, but the alloys have different compositions.
- Sharpness: Most Mercer blades have a total edge angle of 30-32 degrees per side, and some are sharpened to 6 and 15 degrees on alternate sides in the Asian Collection. Victorinox knives’ total edge angles range between 30-40 degrees.
- Hardness rating: Overall, Mercer knives are harder than Victorinox, so they hold their edges longer but are also more brittle and prone to chipping.
- Warranty: Mercer’s lifetime warranty states that lifetime refers to the lifespan of the initial purchaser or recipient. Plus, Mercer’s warranty caps at 25 years for commercial users. Victorinox does not offer a warranty for commercial use.
- Price: Of the two brands, Victorinox is more expensive.
Bottom Line — Mercer and Victorinox are both solid brands. I can recommend either without hesitation. But some differences are worth noting to help guide your choice.
If you want knives that look and perform like higher-end brands but are still affordable, go with Victorinox. I recently named it one of the best kitchen knife brands because the knives are beautiful, functional, and affordable, and they’re committed to the highest quality standards.
Yet, most Victorinox knife collections are stamped. They don’t offer the balance and heft of forged knives. That’s where Mercer Culinary shines.
Mercer features four forged knife collections that can contend with the likes of WÜSTHOF or Zwilling for a fraction of the price.
Your preference for the look and feel of the knives will be the deciding factor. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with either brand.
You can check current prices and learn more about both brands at the links below:
- Are Mercer Kitchen Knives Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- Best German Kitchen Knives: Top 5 Brands Reviewed
- The Definitive Guide to the Best Kitchen Knife Brands
- Are Victorinox Kitchen Knives Good? An In-Depth Review
- Wusthof vs. Victorinox: How Do Their Kitchen Knives Compare?
- Best Chef’s Knife Under $100: Top 6 Compared