One more Chrome knife, which ended up with me as a loaner. I was asked to sharpen it and provide feedback about the knife in general, which I did, brutally honestly, because there is very little(if any) positive that can be said about Chroma kitchen knives, and this paring knife in particular. As mentioned in the Chroma Cutlery Santoku knife review, there was a set of 4 knives, well 5 to be precise, one was a duplicate, and had a really big crack on it. Anyway, that cracked knife is not relevant to this knife all that much, so I'll skip it in this review. I've said many times, I don't like writing negative reviews, because I hate using and testing bad knives. Sadly, this Chroma paring knife was one of those bad knives and frankly there was no joy in sharpening or using it.
General- Well, generally speaking Chroma Cutlery Porsche Type 302 P09 is what it says, a paring knife. Small paring knife, pretty light weight, just 82.00g(2.77oz), which is pretty good result, given that it has all metal construction. As far as its design goes, depending on your taste it may vary from slick to weird. Can't say I liked other Chromas, but in my opinion this one looked the best. Alas, if only looks could help the performance, but no. P09 paring knife is designed and constructed along the same lines as the rest of the knives in the set I got. Satin finished knife, distinct handle, and the buttons on either side, which is unique to Chroma knives as far as I am concerned. Since the knives were used, I can't comment on their NIB conditions. As I got it, the edge was really beat up, but the rest of the knife was in ok shape. There's not much else to talk about. Design specifics were also covered in the Chroma santoku review mentioned above.
Blade- Chroma P09 paring knife features 83.00mm(3.27") long blade, which is 2mm thick, pretty good for a paring knife, but not the thinnest I've seen, not the thickest either. The blade is 20mm wide at the heel, which is pretty typical for the knives of that size. Generally I am not very fond of disproportional handle/blade ratios, but in this case, longer than the blade handle is a must, since you wouldn't be able to hold smaller handle properly. Blade geometry is your average drop point thingy, which works pretty well for a small paring knife. As far as the knife usability and blade geometry went, I was quite ok with them. And that's where all the positives end with the knife. Sharpening a knife made out of such soft steel is a problem on its own. You are forced to grind unusually thick edge, somewhere in vicinity of 40°-50° inclusive angle, which in turn degrades cutting performance severely, and even then, if you are not really careful, the edge forms tick burr, keeps folding, etc. In short, no fun and you are simply happy when all this is over. as for the edge holding, there is none to speak of. Yes, it will last for a little while with really thick edge, but nothing interesting to compare with Wusthof or Henckels, let alone high end Japanese kitchen knives.
Steel- I have to admit, initial info on steel being AISI 301 stainless steel was incorrect. I was contacted by Chroma representative, who clarified the steel naming issue, it is Type 301, proprietary batch made in Japan, for Chroma Cutlery. Close, but not identical to Chromova 18 steel used in Global Kitchen Knives. That is a whole lot better compared to 301, which isn't a knife steel at all. Unfortunately, back when I was researching 301 steel issue, I've tried to contact Chroma through their website contacts, and never got any response, and in addition to that, info on type 301 being proprietary alloy was not available. Searching for 301 yields AISI 301, and coupled with disappointing results in my own tests and couple other knife enthusiasts, we ended up concluding it was AISI 301. According to the same source, median hardness of Chroma knives is 57HRC. It is rather puzzling why all the issues with sharpening in that case. Anyway, I am expecting a new knife from Chroma, which will be thoroughly retested, so updates will follow.
Handle- Very distinctively shaped handle, which is common for Chroma Porsche design line. It is rather unusual, and form what I can tell, based on using a set of four different knives, that handle shape doesn't always work well, but for this paring knife it was pretty much the best out of four knives tested. I do realize, this is very subjective statement, and you should take it as such. Which handle will work the best for you, depends on your use pattern and preferences. Although, in all honesty, I'd advise you to stay away form those knives, as they are worth very little as knives. I can't really explain why did I like the same style handle on this paring knife and absolutely hated it on others. One way or the other, small knife felt better and more comfy in the hand, at least when it was dry. As far as grip security is concerned, things didn't change compared from other knives. Smooth steel is a really poor choice for that. Whenever your pals will be wet, or especially oily, the handle becomes very slippery. There are no grooves, ridges or anything else to aid with grip security and that's hardly a good ting even for a paring knife. The buttons on the sides of the handle somewhat help with keeping the knife stable in a choke grip, granted that you manage to jam them between your fingers, but it's not nearly enough to call the handle secure.
Usage- Very little actually, because I already knife how 301 steel performs, or to be precise, how it doesn't perform at all. Mainly I was interested in testing the knife handling, which seemed to be better compared to other Chroma knives, and I was sort of curious about that fact, why would the same handle feel better for this knife. Not that I was able to determine the exact cause, but it was worth playing, although that didn't last long, the blade was getting dull real quick and I was in no mood to spend any significant time sharpening this knife again. I still had to sharpen it again, but had I used it longer time sharpening job would've been much worse. Because of the thick edge, which I was forced to grind due to the soft steel, cutting performance sucked, and obviously using the knife was more effort that it should have been. In short, stay away. If you want to have it as a decorative piece and cut an apple once a year, that's up to you, but as a serious, daily use knife it is a really poor choice, just like other Chroma type 301 knives.
Conclusion- Since this knife in this review was most likely a counterfeit, you should disregard issues with sharpening and edge holding is this review. Genuine Chroma Porsche design knife I've reviewed in Chroma Cutlery Porsche Type 301 P02 Santoku(2014 model) article has shown much better results, exceeding mainstream western knives, performing on par with Global Knives.
- Blade - 83.00mm(3.27")
- Thickness - 2.00mm
- Width - 20.00mm
- OAL - 185.00mm(7.28")
- Steel - Type 301 56-58HRC
- Handle - Stainless Steel
- Weight - 82.00g(2.77oz)
- Acquired - 06/2007 Price - 48.00$
- Watanabe Ko-Deba Knife Review
- Tojiro Flash Paring Knife Review
- Shun Classic Paring Knife Review
- Global GS-40 Paring Knife Review
- Global GSF-15 Paring Knife Review
- Henckels Twin Select Paring Knife Review
- Wusthof Grand Prix Paring Knife Review
Last updated - 12/07/14