Cutco has a fairly unique business model. Instead of relying on smart pricing, good advertising, and great web presence, it uses a direct marketing approach. Cutco hires many salespeople, mostly college students, to visit their friends and family members and demonstrate how good their knives are in-person. The power of these demonstrations is enough to drive sales, even with the high price-tag on Cutco knives.
Any chef will tell you that kitchen knives aren’t all the same. There’s a world of difference between an expensive Wusthof or Shun and a cheap knife that you pick up in a department store. Better knives are made from finer materials to exacting standards, meaning they’re comfortable to use, extremely durable, and simple to maintain. But what about midrange sets like Mercer Culinary Genesis? How do these less expensive sets stack up to their fancier competitors?
Once you’ve got your basic knives covered, it’s time to move on to more advanced cutting tools. A chef’s knife, paring knife, and bread knife might be sufficient for getting things done, but they won’t be quite as easy to use as knives that are dedicated to the specific task you’re doing. When it comes to chopping vegetables, the specific blade you’re looking for is a nakiri knife. Short, light, and powerful, nakiri knives can make onerous food prep a breeze.
Copyright and trademark law are complicated. They’re also fairly recent inventions. In fact, we had knives long before we had the idea to police the uniqueness of brand names. In Theirs, France, there were two families who made those knives. Both of these families were called Sabatier.
If I was to describe the perfect knife, I would mention a few specific qualities. It would probably be made from VG-10 or high-carbon steel, it would have a classic wooden handle, and it would have a mild Damascus pattern that made it unique, special and not too gaudy. These three features would all make the knife very expensive: not only would the steel itself be expensive, but the intricate Damascus patterns would add to both the material and labor costs. On top of that, the carefully crafted wooden handle would be quite pricey on its own.