Pampered Chef Knives Vs Cutco: Which Brand Is Better?

The world of chef knives is immense.

There are so many different brands and models out there that, at times, it can be hard to keep track.

When looking for a good set of home chef knives, you usually encounter brands like Cutco and Pampered.

Both of these brands have been hailed as some of the “best” picks for home cooks, but which would be the better choice for you?

In this article, we look at the chef knives of both of the brands to see how they stack up against each other.

We examine their histories, features, and uses, so it’ll be easier to decide which one is the best pick for you.

Read on to learn more.

Pampered Chef – An Overview

Pampered is a company that traces its roots all the way back to 1980.

The brand was founded by Doris Christopher, a home economist and educator who aimed to bring high-quality kitchen equipment to homes everywhere.

After all, having good equipment makes time in the kitchen much easier and enjoyable.

The brand offers a wide range of stoneware, cookware, pantry supplies, kitchen equipment, and even small appliances!

The company is based in Illinois, but it has an expanded reach into Germany and Austria.

Pampered has a great website where you can learn all about the company, its products and even shop for you and your friends!

While they aren’t ideal for professional chefs and culinary students, their knives are still fairly high-quality and would be a great pick for just about any home kitchen out there!

The company only launched its line of kitchen cutlery in 2006, but it made huge waves in the culinary community.

This is because of the great quality of the blades despite their price.

They were sharp, well-designed, and ergonomic, which gave them a solid place in the culinary community.

So, if you’ve been looking for a quality brand of kitchen tools for your home, you can find a wide range of them through Pampered.

Cutco – An Overview

Cutco has been around for a long while.

They started back in 1949, but back then, they were called Alcas Corporation.

This name came from Alcoa and Case Cutlery, who are the founders of Cutco.

Alcas went through a fair amount of changes throughout the years, as Alcoa bought Case’s share of the company in 1972.

Afterwhich, Alcas bought the entire company from Alcoa in 1982 and acquiring Vector Marketing Corporation in 1985.

While the brand might seem new to some people, it is probably only because it officially changed its name to Cutco in 2009.

Before that, they were known as Alcoa.

The company gained traction because of its unique way of marketing its knives.

Instead of stocking up in stores and using middlemen, Cutco markets directly to their customers, taking out the need of a middleman.

This is done through independent sales representatives who do at-home demonstrations to customers.

While their kitchen knives aren’t exactly made for a professional chef, they offer many benefits for home cooks.

One of the premier benefits of buying Cutco products is that they come with a Lifetime Guarantee.

Even the knives change ownership throughout the years, and you can return your Cutco products at any time to get a free replacement.

On top of that, they also offer lifetime free sharpening to their customers so you can always keep your blades in tip-top condition.

This is especially useful for those who don’t know how to use a whetstone properly or don’t have the time to sharpen their blades themselves.

Pampered Chef Knives Vs. Cutco – Which Is The Better Pick?

In this section, we take a close look at the features offered by the brand to see which one has the edge over the other.

We’ll be taking a look at the features of their best chef knives.

In that light, we’ll be looking at the chef’s knife from the fully forged collection of Pampered.

And we’ll also be checking out Cutco’s chef knife to see how they stack up against each other.

Steel

To start, we’re going to compare the steel used by each brand.

Cutco claims to use the “highest” quality stainless steel on the market.

This is very subjective, so while they aren’t exactly wrong, there are some “better” types of steel out there.

Typically, Cutco chef knives are “stamped” out of a large sheet of 440A steel.

Stamped knives tend to be weaker than forged ones, but advancements in technology have stamped blades to match up a bit better with forged ones.

440A steel is fairly good steel, but knives are priced in the same range as Cutco that use 440C steel, which is higher in carbon, allowing for better edge retention and better blades overall.

Pampered chef knives, on the other hand, are forged from a single piece of steel.

This makes for an overall better build, but keep in mind that the brand uses X45CrMoV15, German steel that Mercer also uses.

This steel meets the bare minimum carbon content to be labelled “high carbon”.

In fact, it only contains about 0.45% of carbon in it, which is good enough for decent edge retention but could definitely better.

So while the construction of Pampered knives is a bit better than Cutco, the steel used by Cutco is a bit better than the ones used by pampered.

The Edge

Pampered models are all forged to an edge of 17 degrees on either side.

This isn’t the sharpest edge out there but is competent enough for a home kitchen.

And since the blades are made out of high-carbon steel, the edge will stay sharp for a pretty long time.

On the flip side, Cutco’s knives are sharpened to a 15-degree angle, which is significantly sharper than Pampered models.

Cutco knives also come with a Lifetime Sharpening program, so if the edge dulls out, you can send them back to the company for free sharpening.

Since their steel has a higher carbon content, the blades from Cutco will also retain their edge longer than Pampered ones.

But remember, for the same price as a Cutco blade, you can get a much higher quality knife, albeit you might have to forgo the free lifetime sharpening offer.

Functionality

For home use, both of these blades would be an ideal pick.

While Cutco knives are a bit sharper, both of the brands will probably be able to offer knives sharper than the ones you have in your kitchen.

Both brands offer full-tang models, so they will be balanced and comfortable to hold.

However, Pampered knives come with a guide of sorts that shows you where to grip the knife for the most control.

So, for beginners, Pampered might be the better pick.

Price

Pampered models are much cheaper than Cutco ones.

In fact, one of the main criticisms of the Cutco brand is that it is costly.

You can get your hands on a Pampered knife for less than $100, while Cutco models usually reach above the $150 price mark.

And while Cutco blades may be of higher quality than Pampered ones, there knives in the same range as Cutco that are much better.

So, if you’re trying to save money, Pampered would be a great pick.

But if you’re willing to invest in a higher-quality blade with a Lifetime Guarantee, then Cucto would be a better choice for you.

Conclusion – Which Brand Comes Out On Top?

So, which brand do we recommend more?

Well, because of its price and functionality, Pampered takes the pick, even though they use lesser quality steel and have a blunter edge.

This is because they are much more affordable than Cutco knives, and many knives would serve you better in Cutco’s range.

The Lifetime Guarantee and Free Sharpening of Cutco are hard to say no to, so if this is a feature that attracts you, you might benefit from getting one of their blades.

But at the end of the day, as long as your chef’s knife serves all your needs in the kitchen, it doesn’t matter what brand you have!

All that matters is that you are happy and satisfied with it.

Last Updated on July 19, 2021 by Andy Wang

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.