Miracle Blade set OK for price

Edges are razor-sharp but balance is uneven, add-ons are costly

As Seen on TV

Your Money

January 11, 2004|By Matthew Kauffman | Matthew Kauffman,THE HARFORD COURANT

My kids have been worried about Chef Tony. He's the guy in the white coat and toque slicing and dicing through those curiously mesmerizing infomercials for the Miracle Blade III knife set. With the speed of a Benihana chef, Tony makes quick work of onions, tomatoes, salmon, pork chops, roast beef, cookie dough, frozen vegetables and more.

He effortlessly cuts through a shoe. He throws a tomato against the knife edge and the tomato, as if from fear, magically splits in half. My kids are convinced the prerecorded ad will end abruptly one day with Chef Tony bloodied and screaming in pain.

But are the knives any good? Here are the test results:

Pros: Out of the box, the knives are razor sharp, and they perform admirably in a variety of cutting tasks, including filleting salmon, chopping peanuts and herbs, and, of course, gleefully sawing through an old shoe. (At least I think it was old.)

Cons: Knives are molded into lightweight plastic handles, and some are decidedly flimsy and unbalanced. Some owners have complained of rust stains and blades dulling quickly. Shipping is expensive, and even "rush" delivery was slow. The knife block is an expensive add-on.

Reality check: Infomercial touts "German stainless steel," but our knives were made in China. Ads also claim set is dishwasher safe, but it arrived with repeated warnings that dishwasher cleaning can make the labels fall off. Claim that "similar" knives sell for $200 to $300 is a stretch.

Bottom line: You get what you pay for with the Miracle Blades. That phrase is usually meant as a criticism, but it needn't be. Getting what you pay for is actually a refreshing proposition.

The Miracle Blades can't compete with the best Wusthof or Henckels blades. But they aren't junk, either. And if you avoid add-ons that can run up the price, you'll get a decent set of knives for a very good price.

For a full review of this product and an archive of previous tests, visit www.ctnow.com/ontv.

The Hartford Courant is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. To comment on items sold on television or to recommend a product for testing, send an e-mail to Kauffman care of yourmoneytribune.com.

As Seen on TV

Product: Miracle Blade III Perfection Series

Description: 10-piece knife set, including slicer, fillet knife, paring knife, "rock 'n' chop," "chop 'n' scoop," kitchen shears and four steak knives

Pitch: "The last knives you'll ever need."

Price: $39.95, plus $14.95 shipping

Information: www.miracleblade.com

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