There was a time when I used to think all knives are the same; they cut and chop your veggies and that’s about it. It wasn’t until I tried a good quality knife for the first time to discover what a massive difference there is!
They say the only kitchen gadget you need is a high-quality chef’s knife. I am going to go and say, you need a quality knife set to get the freedom to experiment with any recipe.
From chopping to boning to fileting, a great knife set transforms the way you cook. So in this review, we are going to take an in-depth look at Mercer — one of the best knife brands out there.
Mercer has many different knives set but today we are particularly going to talk about their Genesis knives set, a classic choice for cooking connoisseurs.
In this Mercer Genesis Knives set review, you will find everything there is to know about one of the culinary must-haves for any home chefs.
But before we jump into the Mercer knives reviews, let’s take a look at the key features that distinguish Genesis set from any other ones.
A Quick Look
- High carbon, precision-forged German X50 Cr Mo V15 Blade.
- Full tang action with incredible balance
- Ergonomic Santoprene handle
- Taper-ground edge with easy honing,
- Limited lifetime warranty
Mercer Culinary Genesis Knives Set Review
What’s in the Set?
In this Mercer Genesis Knives set you will get:
- 8” Bread Knife
- 8” Chef Knife
- 5” Paring Knife
- 5” Utility Knife
- 6” Boning Knife
- Glass block
Mercer Culinary Genesis Set is made out of high carbon, precision-forged german stainless steel. The key to identifying quality knives is to see if they are precision-forged or not.
A precision forged knife is something that is made out of a single bar of steel. The steel gets heated and then pounded into shape. The constant heating and cooling effect make the blade almost unbreakable.
The heat rearranges the molecular structure of the steel, making it stronger than any other type of knives out there. Mercer uses this method to create a solid and durable knife that can serve you decades after decades.
This knife set is made out of high carbon, German X50 V15 cutlery steel. This set resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration.
These knives set has a full tang for each individual knife. If you are not familiar with full-tang, it is said to be one of the key qualities of a well-made knife.
When your knife metal blade travels all the way to the end of the handle, between the handle material, then it is a full tang knife.
What full tang does is, it adds balance to the whole thing. Without this, the knife will always tilt towards the heavy side.
Full tang provides added stability. So when you are chopping very fast, the knife does not move out of place. You have less of a chance of accidentally cutting yourself with a full tang knife.
A lot of well-renowned brands do not carry full tang knives simply because they require extra effort to make.
It is an ancient knife-making technique that still applies in today’s world. It is nice to see that Mercer celebrates authentic and effective styles for their knives.
Mercer Genesis comes with an ergonomic Santoprene handle that offers a solid grip and comfort even if you are chopping for a long time.
The handle is made out of this rubberized material instead of some cheap plastic. The problem with plastic or wooden handles is, they tend to slip out of your hand. This can result in serious damage especially as the blades of these knives are very sharp.
The textured grip makes it non-slippable so you do not accidentally cut yourself if your hand is wet.
If the grip is not comfortable, you will get a sore wrist very quickly. So having a classic shape in this Mercer Genesis set makes cutting and chopping a breeze.
The knives in Mercer Culinary Genesis come with a taper-ground edge. These types of blades decrease their size from the handle to the tip and from the spine to the cutting edge. The blade is always built from a single sheet of metal just like Mercer Genesis.
The main difference between taper-ground blades and hollow ground blade si, this type is strider and sharper than any other option.
You get a rigid structure that can handle years and years of use without losing the integrity of the blade. It can withstand both hot and cold environments as well.
Glass See-Through Knife Block:
This set comes with five different knives, all in different shapes and sizes. So it is no wonder that Mercer provides a block to keep them secure.
This knife block is made out of strong tempered glass so that you can see your knives even when they are inside the case. The see-through glass block is a really unique feature that everyone seems to love.
The block is cleverly designed to keep the knives sharper for longer. If you have ever used a generic knife block before, you know how sliding them on and off leads to the knives getting dull or damaged.
The design of this block is sort of like magnetic ones. So instead of siding the knives into slots, the knives slip into a tempered glass block.
If you are worried that a glass block can easily tip over and ruin your precious knives, Mercer has thought this through!
Their knife block does not tip over or even wobble as the glass used for this is quite heavy. Mercer Culinary also offers a wooden framed option with a tempered glass casing. You can choose either one.
The Mercer Culinary Genesis set is NSF certified and proven to be a great standard for safety, caliber, and performance all in one! The knives have been rigorously tested to see if they have any harmful elements or materials in them. They have been proven to be of high-quality.
Ease of Use – 9.8:
The handles of this set are designed to perfectly fit between your palm. so you feel as though the knife is an extension of your body and not a separate object. This is important because you cannot use a knife properly if it does not feel comfortable.
This set is very easy to use due to the well-balanced blade and ergonomically shaped handle. The handle has a slight texture that makes you feel secure and stable while using it.
Sharpness – 9.9:
This is one of those knives set that you need to be extra careful with. Otherwise, you will lose a finger. The blades of these knives are incredibly sharp and thin. This means you do not have to sharpen them on a daily abscess to get a good cut.
They hold their shape and retain the edge very well even after using them for years! No wonder people love it so much.
Durability – 9.8:
This set is famous for being incredibly durable and resistant to heat. The durability is ensured due to its full tang and forged German steel blades. With this Mercer knife set, you will never face any rusting issue, scratches, or discolor.
The blade is extremely resistant to any outside damage. So even after using them for years, they will look brand new and shiny.
Versatility – 9.6:
You get a bread knife, a chef knife, a paring knife, a boning knife, and a utility knife. This pretty much sums up everything you’ll need to run a perfect kitchen.
You do not need 20 different knives options for home cooking. Between these five knives, you can pretty much chop, cut, slice, debone, and carve.
The boning knife in this set is a great addition which a lot of top knives brands do not provide with their sets.
This knife is ideal for prepping any meat or fish. You can use it to debone an entire chicken or salmon. So this set is incredibly versatile and basically all you need.
Value for Money – 9.9:
This is probably one of the most affordable kitchen knives set out there. Made with high-quality materials by a renowned brand that has honed their craft through the years, getting this set within this price feels like an unbelievable deal.
Mercer always tries to provide its customers with the best products within a reasonable budget. They feel if everyone can not get access to use them, their efforts are in vain.
This set is a great investment for any kitchen and a great value for money.
- Very sturdy and well-gripped handles.
- Modern and sleek to look at with the glass block.
- Very easy to clean and maintain.
- Durable and sturdy construction.
- The knife block makes it hard to remove the knives without tilting it. So you can not put them in a cupboard.
Buying the Mercer Knives: What You Need to Know
Before you purchase your Mercer Knives set, there are a few key things you need to look into. In this part of the review, we try to give you a brief look into those parts.
Types of Mercer Knives:
German vs Japanese Steel:
Mercer uses two different types of steel for their knives. Both are really good and both have unique features that make them stand out. One is their famous German Steel like and the other is the Japanese Stainless line.
The German steel blade is thicker and heavier. They are great for everyday cooking due to their all-purpose design. Being extremely resistant to what and temperature change, these knives tend to last a long time.
The Japanese steel, on the other hand, is ideal for finer, more delicate slicing works. The Japanese steel is thinner and sharper which means you can do precise work with them.
Japanese steel has a higher carbon content than German steels. This allows them to be really thin without breaking. They are more flexible.
The difference between Japanese steel and German steel is not based on quality as both are excellent for that. The difference occurs in terms of functionality and usage.
So it is totally up to you to pick which one suits your needs the most.
Genesis vs Renaissance:
Mercer has two really popular knives set: Renaissance and Genesis. We have already talked about Genesis Culinary in this review. So let’s talk about the Renaissance set.
The main difference between these two lines would be the handle construction. The Renaissance has a classic hard handle with a recessed bolster. This makes this set really easy to sharpen.
If you are used to the traditional handle and how it feels, going for the Renaissance line is probably the best idea.
The Genesis uses a contemporary synthetic material that has a better grip but feels strange at first. Apart from this, the rest of the construction is pretty much the same.
To take care of your Mercer Genesis Culinary set, you need to properly sharpen them every once in a while. There are many ways to sharpen your knives. From modern technologies to old-school stones, here are our top methods for efficient sharpening:
If you are looking for a very simple solution, the best one to pick would be using a pull-through sharpener also known as, v-shaped sharpener.
To use a pull-through sharpener, you do not need any extra skills or effort. This type of sharpener comes with one or two small grinding wheels. You gently pull the knife through to sharpen it.
The advantage of a pull-through knife sharpener is; it’s fast, efficient, easy, and takes little to no effort.
The problem with this type of sharpener, however, is, the edge becomes jagged and uneven if you only use this to sharpen your knives.
This is a great momentary solution but you can not use pull-through sharpeners as a replacement for proper sharpening.
If you are in a rush and need a functional knife, it’s very easy to give your knife a boost with one of these. A good choice would be Smith’s Adjustable Manual Knife Sharpener.
Sharpening stones are probably what we think of when we hear professional knife sharpening. Every chef has one of these in their kitchen or even multiple depending on their knife collection.
They are small and rectangular in size and come in various levels of coarseness. The grit size of these stones is what affects the blade.
The finer the grit, the better the result. Usually, you have to start from coarse to fine.
The grit size is defined by numbers. So an extra coarse whetstone can be numbered from 0 to 200. The finest one is probably the 1400-1500 ones.
If you want to purchase a good regular whetstone for your kitchen, going for something in between like 1000-2500 is good.
KnifePlanet Knife Sharpening Stone Set is a great set to have if you have never used them before. You get all the selected grit numbers that are necessary for a fine sharpness.
An electric knife sharpener is just like the pull-through sharpener except for the fact that it’s electric. So instead of having grit wheels, it buffs the blade with rotating steels every time you drag your knife through it.
Electric sharpeners are fast, effective, and very easy to use, they always have pre-set angles and come with few different slots for different knives.
They are more expensive and durable than manual sharpeners.
The downside of electric sharpeners is, they wear off your knives faster. So you don’t get to enjoy your favorite knives for years.
But just like the pull-through one, these types of sharpeners are good if you plan to use them sparsely. We like Chef’sChoice Professional Electric Knife Sharpener for that reason.
You have probably seen Gordon Ramsay using one of these before any of his cooking demonstrations. That’s because professional chefs use honing steels every time they use their knives.
People often assume honing steels are sharpening steels, but that’s just not the case. Honing steels don’t exactly sharpen your knives. What they do is, maintain the edges of an already happened knife.
The edge is the most important part of any knives. When you are sharpening the blade, the edge can bend at weird angles which normally we don’t notice. A honing steel pulls it back to the center thus retaining the balance of the knife.
Without good honing steel, you can not maintain the quality of your knives in the long run.
We really like Shun Classic Combination Honing Steel because of its authentic shape and high-quality craftsmanship straight from Japan.
Cleaning & Maintenance:
As we have mentioned, always use a honing steel before using any of your knives. Another crucial part is cleaning them.
Even though most knife brands say their knives are dishwasher safe, you should always clean them in the sink. This is to make sure they are always in top condition.
The best way to clean your mercer Genesis would be with some warm soapy water. Gently wash them with dishwashing liquid and dry using a kitchen napkin.
For old knives that have gotten stains and rust, try using Krud Kutter for squeaky clean surfaces.
Where to Buy Your New Mercer Knives
If you don’t want to go to your local Home Depot or Walmart, picking your set form online is a really good idea.
While buying knives online, it is important to check the reviews to make sure you are getting an authentic product and not a replica.
You can buy your Mercer Genesis Knives set from amazon. It is the best place to find all the pros and cons of hundreds of customer reviews. So you know exactly what you are getting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
01. What is the Difference between Sharpening and Honing?
When you sharpen your knife, you basically remove a thin layer of metal from the edges of the blade. This is what gives your knives a new start.
To sharpen your knife, you need to rub it against something grainy like a whetstone or a V-shaped sharpener. There are actually many other methods of sharpening your knife depending on your knife type and shape.
Honing, on the other hand, is not sharpening at all. In fact, you can only use honing steel when your knife is pre-sharpened already.
What honing does is, keeps the edge of the blade straight. It keeps the edge intact and thus maintains the overall balance of the knife.
If you only use a sharpening tool but don’t hone your knife later, the cutting would be uneven and your knives won’t last as long as you had intended them to do.
02. Where are Mercer Knives Made?
Mercer knives are actually made in Taiwan. People often assume they are a Chinese brand due to the affordable and lower price range. But that’s simply not the case.
Mercer is made in Taiwan using forged German steel. If you have ever used any authentically German Knives brands like Wüsthof, you would be able to notice how strikingly similar or basically the same they feel to Mercer.
You get the same quality, design, and performance without having to spend a huge amount of money. It’s a win-win!
03. Are Mercer Knives Any Good?
Mercer is one of the top well-respected knife brands that are famous for their quality materials and skilled craftsmanship. Needless to say, they are industry favorites for many many chefs.
The key difference between Mercer Cutlery and other brands would be the price range. Mercer tries to make affordable options that anyone can buy. They believe quality products do not have to be inaccessible for the majority.
While Mercer is definitely not the best, they know what they are doing and respect their customers to provide the best within budget.
Mercer is particularly popular among young culinary students as their knives feel and perform like professional-grade kitchen knives.
04. Are Mercer Knives Dishwasher Safe?
Mercer knives are not recommended to wash in a dishwasher. In fact, you should never wash any of your knives in the dishwasher even if the brands claim it’s safe to do!
This is because good quality knives are high maintenance. You are not buying a good knife, you are investing in it. You take care of your knife properly and in return, it will serve you a lifetime.
Simply wash your Mercer knives with regular dishwashing liquids and rinse them under running water. Then use a soft cotton towel to dry them thoroughly.
Never put your Mercer knives in the block before they have dried completely. This is to ensure your knives are not going to rust.
05. Mercer vs Victorinox – Which One is Better?
Both Mercer and Victorinox make really good and durable knives that can last you a lifetime. Mercer knives however have a better feel to them.
Victorinox is famous for its stamped blades. Mercer is famous for its heavy and weighed knives with a traditional German style. They are extremely sharp and retain the edge well.
Victorinox might feel sharper at first compared to Mercer. But this is because Victorinox uses thinner blades that do not hold their shape over time.
Compared to that, Mercer provides a thick, heavy blade that can survive any amount of sharpening. They don’t break or bend.
Mercer knives are a really good choice for anyone who is looking for a quality set within an affordable budget. Who says you need to spend hundreds of dollars on good knives?
Mercer Culinary Genesis Set comes with a limited lifetime warranty as well! Cheap, reliable, razor-sharp; they are basically a foolproof choice for any professional or home chef!
In this Mercer knives review, we tried to focus on the key points to help you make the right decision.
If you are someone who has never bought a knife set before, this is a great starting point. Owning a good knife set is necessary if you are passionate about your cooking.
This set is comfortable to hold, with easy-grip handles and a solidly built blade that can cut through paper. Overall, you won’t be disappointed in any way!
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