Victorinox Fibrox Chef's Knife Versus Swiss Classic
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Posted on 08 Jan 2018 04:37

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Although Victoronix offers professional cutlery at price ranges over $100, when it comes to chef's knives under $50, this popular brand is one of the most highly recommended. If you are not familiar with this company, they invented the Swiss Army Knife, perhaps the most well-known "knife" in the world.

Victoronix offers more than just two knives in this price range. In addition to the Fibrox and Swiss Classic knives I'll be discussing here, they also offer an 8-inch chef knife with a rosewood handle in this price range. This knife also comes in 10 and 12-inch versions, both of which come in over $50. It is the handles, in fact, that are different, which is why I wanted to compare the two mentioned in the title.

While many cooks will be familiar with the type of wooden handle on the rosewood knife, which is a two-piece riveted style of handle, these two have hidden tang handles and the handles are made of a what the company calls Fibrox. See the parts of a knife for more on these terms.

What is the Handle Material?

The fibrox handles are made of thermoplastic elastomers or TPE. This is a blend of an elastomer with a non-elastic polymer, (aka plastic). These give a soft rubber-like feel while being processed like plastic. They can also be colored, and Victorinox has several different colors available including blue and red. Unlike wooden handles, these handles are dishwasher safe. However, I would advise against putting your knives in the dishwasher as they can get banged around by the jets of water which may knick and dull the blade's edge. Both knives have an exposed heel with an exposed heel that makes full-length sharpening possible, along with a raised area at the front of the handle to serve as a bolster or guard.

If you are used to chef knives made in the classic German style with wooden handles with notches and bumps, meant to be more ergonomic, you'll notice that the handles of the Fibrox knives are oval shaped. This may be called ergonomic by the company but it is not over-engineered like some handles. This is one reason for their popularity. This type of handle makes the knife more suitable for a diverse range of cooks. Although you can get used to any handle, ergonomic designs aren't always what they are cracked up to be. As it stands, the Victoronix Fibrox Chef's Knife is one of the best-reviewed budget knives made. America's Test Kitchen is quite fond of it.

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The Swiss Classic Chef's Knife uses the same hidden-tang design. As the company puts it, this knife has a handle "inspired by our Fibox Pro line [which] is textured, ergonomic, and slip resistant and is paired with lightweight European steel for a perfectly balanced design." Both knives, if 8-inch, are the same weight. The difference is not the blade, it is the handle. For some reason, the company states it is "the same blade used by professionals with a handle that suits the needs of home chefs." Why they think that professional chefs have hands with a different design from home chefs, I cannot fathom.

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The Swiss Classic series also includes Santoku versions.

So, if you are comparing these two knives (they are often featured in reviews), and you need to choose one to purchase online without being able to hold it, I'd advise you to go with the Fibrox Pro line, as this design will give you the best chance of having the knife feel good in your hands. The handle of the Swiss Classic has an odd ridged top with a thinner scalloped section underneath that makes for a knife that will fatigue the hand and make for odd transitions between different kinds of cuts, rather than offering advantages to the handler. To boil this down to general advise: You want the same thing that chefs use, not something designed for 'home cooks.'

This is not to say that the Swiss Classic isn't an excellent knife. If you can compare both knives and handle them, you may find it comfortable and more balanced feeling. However, I might still advise you to go with the simpler handle design as once you get used to the feel of the knife you'll find simple is better and more versatile. Not everybody has the same size hands, obviously, or the same strength in their hands, so it is impossible for anyone to tell you what will absolutely be the best knife for you. The point is, then, if you are purchasing online, you are better off going with the simpler handle. Either choice will take a very sharp edge and last for years of chopping and slicing.

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