If you’re shopping for kitchen knives and considering Victorinox, you’re in the right place.
Although the brand is best known for its iconic Swiss Army Knife, its kitchen knives are durable, ultra-sharp, and award-winning.
In fact, I named Victorinox one of the best kitchen knife brands in the world.
But is it the right brand for you? What makes these knives special?
In this in-depth review, I break down the pros and cons of Victorinox kitchen knives. You’ll get all the details about how they look, feel, and perform (with lots of pictures).
You’ll also learn how they’re made, how they compare to the competition, how much they cost, and much more.
So, if you’re looking for an unbiased review of Victorinox knives, keep reading.
Use the links below to navigate the review:
- Company Background
- Knife Collections
- Materials and Construction
- Where It’s Made
- What Others Are Saying
- Bottom Line: Are Victorinox Knives Any Good?
The beginnings of Victorinox are traced to Karl Elsener’s cutlery shop, which opened in 1884 in Ibach-Schwyz, Switzerland — one of the poorer areas in Europe at that time.
Elsener’s small shop started as a way to combat poverty in his town, but the creation of a knife for Swiss soldiers in 1891 changed everything. He further developed the soldier’s knife, and by 1897, the now iconic Swiss Army Knife was born.
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The business that started in a small shop is now a global brand. Although the Swiss Army Knife continues to be the anchor product, Victorinox also manufactures household cutlery, professional knives, watches, travel gear, and fragrances.
The company’s name comes from a blend of the founder’s mother’s name, Victoria, and inox.’ Inox, in many languages, is another word for stainless steel. Thus, Victorinox became the official name of the company in 1921.
Victorinox offers several knife collections, and the materials, design, performance, and price vary across the lineup. The chart below provides a quick overview of each collection.
Swipe or scroll to view the entire chart.
|Knife Collection||Price||Blade Material||Blade Construction||Handle Material||Reason to Buy|
|Swiss Modern||$$$||High-carbon stainless steel||Stamped||Polypropylene copolymer (PPC), polypropylene (PP), or Walnut||Sleek, contemporary design|
|Fibrox||$$||High-carbon stainless steel||Stamped||Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)||Low cost, excellent grip|
|Wood||$$$||High-carbon stainless steel||Stamped||Modified Maple or Rosewood||Elegant rosewood handles|
|Grand Maître||$$$$||High-carbon stainless steel||Forged||Modified Maple or polyoxymethylene (POM)||Thick forged blade and elegant rosewood handle|
|Swiss Classic||$$$$||High-carbon stainless steel||Stamped||PP or TPE||Thick forged blade and elegant rosewood handle|
The design varies across Victorinox’s knife collections. Some knives feature elegant wood handles and thick riveted blades, while others are more utilitarian.
First, let’s take an in-depth look at Fibrox, the brand’s most popular collection.
The Fibrox knife collection is designed by professionals for professionals. That likely explains why it’s not fancy. All of the design is focused on its functionality.
To that end, it features hygienic black handles designed without crevices for food to collect, ultimately keeping them clean.
The Victorinox logo is prominent on the handle and blade. The Swiss-Made emblem also speaks to the authenticity of the brand.
The ergonomic handles fit naturally into hands of different sizes, offering places for your thumb and pinky to rest to create a secure yet comfortable grip even when the handle gets wet.
The handles are made of a non-slip and food-safe synthetic material called TPE. It’s a soft yet grippy material that protects against hand fatigue.
The stamped straight-edge blade is sharp and easy to sharpen. It’s lightweight and nimble — able to handle a variety of tasks.
Now that you know the main features of Fibrox, let’s review the design of the other Victorinox knife collections.
Swiss Classic: This collection offers bright colors. You can choose from black, red, green, pink, yellow, or orange handles. The handles are elongated with a recessed area in the middle for safe and comfortable gripping. The blades are stamped. This collection features a Dux knife with a scissor-like, serrated design that allows you to cut equal slices effortlessly.
Grand Maître: The only forged knife collection by Victorinox, these full-tang knives are elegantly designed — they look similar to the Wusthof Ikon collection. They feature a choice of synthetic or wood (the graining on the wood handles is eye-catching) handles with an exposed tang. Each handle offers a hand-polished sheen to contrast with the brushed stainless blades. These knives are equipped with a half bolster that adds heft and balance and provides a smooth transition from handle to blade.
Wood: The stamped knives in this collection feature a wood handle, either modified Maple or Rosewood. Modified Maple means maple wood heat-treated to increase durability and stability and enhance the deep rich color. The Maple offers a brown-grained look, while the Rosewood offers a slightly reddish hue.
Swiss Modern: The stamped knife collection offers a sleek, modern look synonymous with the Swiss style of straight, bold lines and minimalism. You have a choice of synthetic handles in black or muted shades or wood with intricate graining.
Victorinox uses martensitic steel for its blades. It’s a high-carbon stainless steel alloy made from chromium, carbon, and molybdenum. The formula is designed to resist corrosion and make the blade more durable.
The handles are either synthetic or natural.
Synthetic handles include:
- Polyoxymethylene (POM): A dense moisture and heat-proof plastic. Many of Victoronix’s competitors, such as Wusthof and Zwilling, use this material.
- Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE): A rubberized plastic that offers a soft grippy texture. It’s strong, lightweight, and resistant to fading.
- Polypropylene (PP): A hard plastic that’s lighter and more economical than POM.
- Polypropylene copolymer (PPC): An economical, lightweight plastic that’s slightly softer than PP.
Natural (wood) handles include:
- Modified Maple: Maple wood that has been heat-treated to increase durability and enhance the deep rich color
- Rosewood: A luxurious wood with a sturdy composition. It offers a slightly reddish hue.
- Walnut: A water-resistant wood with subtle graining.
Here are the handle types available in each collection:
- Swiss Classic: PP or TPE
- Grand Maître: Modified Maple, or POM
- Wood: Modified Maple or Rosewood
- Fibrox: TPE
- Swiss Modern: PPC, PP, or Walnut
Grand Maître is the only collection that offers forged blades. All the other Victorinox blades are stamped.
So, what is the difference between forged and stamped kitchen knives?
Forged knives have more heft and balance. They’re made from a single bar of steel that’s heated and shaped into a knife blade. It’s an extensive process that requires skilled craftsmanship and technology, but the result is a durable knife designed to last.
Stamped blades are made from a large sheet of steel that is laser cut or “stamped,” much like a cookie-cutter would cut shapes out of a large sheet of dough.
Stamped blades go through a tempering, honing, and sharpening process before handles are attached, resulting in a knife that is lightweight and more flexible than its forged counterpart. You can see the stamping process in this quick video.
Why does it matter? Because each type is suited for different tasks, and each varies in comfort and performance.
Forged knives tend to last longer and can handle tougher cuts of meat or thick vegetables better than stamped knives because they are more rigid. They also hold their edge sharpness longer and have good weight and balance.
Stamped knives are better suited for delicate tasks such as deboning a fish because they are lightweight and flexible. They are often less expensive than forged knives, so they work for just about any budget.
Also, professionals usually prefer stamped knives because they’re lighter and don’t put as much stress on your wrists over long periods.
Thankfully, Victorinox offers both. You have a choice.
Victorinox knives offer solid performance overall. They are sharp, comfortable to hold, and provide a secure grip. The knives are lightweight but not as well balanced as some higher-end knives like Wusthof and Zwilling.
On the Rockwell Scale, a measure of blade hardness, Victorinox knives rate between 55 and 56 HRC (Hardness Rockwell Scale), making it relatively soft.
In comparison, German-style blades rate between 57 and 58 HRC, and Japanese-style knives are typically around 60 HRC.
Harder blades hold their edges longer but are more prone to chipping. A blade with a lower Rockwell score will dull more quickly but can tolerate more abuse without damaging the edge.
Victorinox knives are sharpened to a 15- to 20-degree angle on each side for a total edge angle of 30 to 40 degrees. Victorinox slicing knives have an edge angle of 15 degrees on each side while boning knives have an edge angle of 20 degrees per side.
While the exact sharpness will vary depending on the quality knife, knives with a total edge angle of 30 degrees, like Victorinox offers, are incredibly sharp.
In general, knives you use most often, like the chef’s knife, have a total edge angle of 30 degrees or 15 degrees per side. Victorinox offers this, and it is the same angle used by Zwilling and many other top cutlery brands.
Although some customers complain that Victorinox knives aren’t sharp enough out of the box, my experience was the opposite. As you can see in the photo below, these knives make paper-thin slices of fruit and vegetables with ease.
They’re also tough enough to cut through firm ingredients like meats, watermelon, butternut squash, and root vegetables.
Fibrox and Swiss Classic handles feature a soft, grippy texture. As I tested the Fibrox Chef’s knife, my hand felt completely secure even when the handle was wet.
Although I appreciate the safety of the handles, their shape takes time to get used to. Victorinox handles don’t have the same contoured shape as typical Western-style knives and aren’t round like traditional Japanese-style knives.
The handles in each collection are different, and you need to experience them to decide which one is right for you (if you shop online, you can buy a few options and return the ones you don’t like).
Although some people love them, I’m not a fan of Swiss Modern handles. The straight lines and modern look are visually appealing but not comfortable or functional.
Overall, Victorinox knives perform exceptionally well. And, since the brand offers multiple options, you can find the design and materials most suitable for you.
Where It’s Made
All Victorinox knives are made in Ibach, Switzerland — the same town where the brand’s founder opened his cutlery shop over 130 years ago.
Even though the brand has factories in the United States and China, all cutlery is Swiss-made.
Victorinox is committed to sustainable manufacturing. They live by the principle, “as much as necessary – as little as possible.” All packaging is recyclable, and the electricity in its factory is generated by hydroelectric power plants in the nearby mountain region.
While prices vary by collection, Victorinox knives are more affordable than other premium brands.
Victorinox knives are affordable mainly because they have stamped blades (except the Grand Maître collection). Stamped blades are less expensive to make than forged blades and require fewer manufacturing steps.
The most expensive collection is Grand Maître, which is the only forged collection of the brand. The most affordable collections are Fibrox and Swiss Classic.
All Victorinox knives feature a limited lifetime warranty.
The chart below shows the current prices on Amazon of Victorinox’s most popular knives and knife sets:
|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|
There are a lot of positive aspects to Victorinox knives, but you should also be aware of the downsides before buying.
I noticed during testing that the stamped knives feel unbalanced. The blade is heavier than the handle, making it more difficult to control and putting more stress on your hand.
Some of the handles are uncomfortable or awkward. The handles on Swiss Modern knives are completely straight and flat on the sides, making them uncomfortable and difficult to hold for long periods. And although the Fibrox handles are designed to be non-slip, the texture takes some getting used to. Some people don’t like it at all.
Some home cooks complain that the knives are not as sharp out of the box as other comparable brands (especially Japanese knives like Shun and Miyabi). Even after sharpening, they still don’t feel as sharp enough.
Similarly, Victorinox knives require sharpening more frequently than many other brands. Why? Because Victorinox uses relatively soft steel for its blades. While Victorinox blades score 55 and 56 on the Rockwell scale, brands like Wusthof and Zwilling score 58 and 57, and most Japanese-style knives score in the low 60s. Softer steel won’t hold an edge as long, but it’s easier to sharpen and is less prone to chipping.
The stamped blades are lightweight and feel flimsy compared to thick forged blades. As a result, they are not preferred for tough kitchen jobs like cutting meat or slicing dense vegetables such as cabbage or acorn squash. Heavier knives don’t require as much force to chop through ingredients.
Fibrox and Swiss Classic knives have a utilitarian look. They’re designed for function and aren’t the most attractive knives. They feature a basic blade profile and a synthetic black handle without rivets, a tang, or any other elements you can expect with high-end knives. That said, the Grand Maître and Wood collections are much more aesthetically pleasing and a better option if you’re looking for a set to show off.
Victorinox is an iconic brand with longevity and innovation on its side. But what are reviewers saying? In addition to my own testing, I analyzed the brand’s sentiment among dozens of other experts.
Here’s a snapshot of what others are saying about Victorinox.
Epicurious recently reviewed the Best Chef’s Knife and chose Victorinox Fibrox as the Best Budget Chef’s Knife. It was called a “total steal for a solidly good knife.” But besides its affordability, testers found it to be precise, sharp, and significantly better at repelling food than most knives tested. They thought the handle was more comfortable than attractive but noted it made knife work easy.
The New York Times’ Wirecutter reviewed 23 knives, chopped 70 pounds of food, and named the Best Chef’s Knife. Although it did not earn the top honor, the Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife was the Budget Pick. The knife was lauded for its sharpness and affordability. It was called easy to use, durable, and the “best knife you can buy for under $50.” Yet, reviewers found that it was not as sharp as other knives tested.
Good Housekeeping UK tested the Victorinox Swiss Classic Kitchen Set. Testers thought that the blades sliced evenly and with precision. They liked the versatility of the offerings and experienced good performance with all of the knives. Yet, testers thought the knives appeared flimsy and felt too lightweight. The handles were not comfortable and got slippery when wet. Overall, the knives handled most culinary tasks with ease.
Good Housekeeping shared the 12 Best Kitchen Knives, and Victorinox made the list. The Grand Maître 8-Inch Chef’s Knife was selected as the Best Ergonomic Chef’s Knife. Reviewers praised the curved Rosewood handle for offering a comfortable ergonomic grip. They were also impressed with how well the blade performed with slicing, chopping, dicing, and deboning tasks.
Victorinox is an affordable and quality brand with a proven track record. Besides using quality materials and being focused on sustainability, the company employs skilled artisans, many of which have been with Victorinox for decades.
There are many positive aspects of Victonriox knives, but are they right for you?
You should buy Victorinox kitchen knives if you value:
- Affordable knives with a variety of design options
- Lightweight stamped blades
- Soft-steel blades that can handle abuse without chipping
- Sustainability — Victorinox looks for ways to reuse, recycle, and upcycle
- A brand that has been around for more than 130 years
- A multi-generational family business still making knives in the same place it was founded
But you should not buy Victorinox kitchen knives if you value:
- Thick, forged blades
- Hefty knives that feel solid in your hand
- Knives that stay sharp and don’t need sharpening often
- Handles with a traditional contoured design
- Handles with a smooth texture
- Knives that are razor-sharp right out of the box
Bottom line — Victorinox knives are well made and affordable. Yet, most Victorinox knife blades are stamped and don’t offer the balance or heft as higher-end forged knives.
For the price, they are functional, innovative, and can handle nearly any job in the kitchen.
Would I recommend Victorinox kitchen knives? Absolutely. In fact, I chose Victorinox as the Best Value Kitchen Knife Brand. So, if you’re looking for an affordable option that outperforms cheap, mass-produced knives with low-quality control and standards, Victorinox is an excellent choice.
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