After 3 weeks of testing, this is our Hammer Stahl Knife Set Review (5 piece set), including both PROs and CONs.
Hammer Stahl Knife Set Review
I’m absolutely fascinated with Hammer Stahl’s company history.
As one of the oldest cookware manufacturers in America, their roots go back to 1874, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, with the founding of a company by Jacob Vollrath, specializing in the manufacturing of railroad frogs, cast iron ranges, steam engines, farming tools and enameled cast iron cooking utensils.
The company continued its growth by focusing on cooking utensils and expanded its manufacturing facilities to accommodate creating of stainless steel cooking products as well.
During World War II, Vollrath dedicated its business to the war effort by producing pans, pots, spoons, ladles and 12 million canteens for soldiers: “On June 28, 1945, Vollrath was awarded the Army-Navy “E” Flag for their record in the production of materials needed in the war effort. Walter J. Kohler, Jr. became The Vollrath Company’s fifth president in 1947. When the polio epidemic struck, Vollrath developed the Polio-Pak Heater which produced 15 double-thick steam heated woolen packs to administer to patients. Many emergency orders were received during the night and often shipped by air express, or driven personally by a company employee 100 to 200 miles from Sheboygan.” (source)
After decades of successful acquisitions, expansion into plastics, commercial foodservice products, and consulting, Vollrath decentralized and sold the consumer cookware and cutlery division. This is the company that is now known as Hammer Stahl.
German Steel made in China
Hammer Stahl cookware is made proudly in Clarksville, Tennessee however their knives are German Steel made in China.
Hammer Stahl 4 “Essentials” Knife Set + Wooden Block
This very handsome set includes:
- 12-Slot Bamboo Block
- 8″ Chef’s Knife
- 8″ Bread Knife
- 4.5″ Santoku Knife
- 3.5″ Paring Knife
Hammer Stahl knives are made of German X50CrMoV15 high carbon stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness of 55 – 57.
The blades are sharpened with a 20 degree bevel angle.
What does this mean for you?
German X50CrMoV15 high carbon stainless steel is the same type of steel used by Wusthof, one of the most well-known and highly respected cutlery companies in the world.
Let’s break it down:
X – stainless steel
50 – 0.5% Carbon content which contributes to the hardness of the blade. This make the blade stronger, and stays sharper, longer.
Cr- Cromium for stain resistance
Mo – Molybdenum for hardness and anti-corrosion
V – Vanadium also for durability and hardness
15 – 15% Cromium
In conclusion, a very durable, stain and rust resistant knife that stays sharp, perfect for people who take care of their knives. That means:
- Wash by hand, dry knives immediately
- Swipe back and forth on honing steel every few days
- Sharpen professionally as you need
How it feels in my hand
Each knife is going to be a different, so we’ll go knife by knife.
PRO: The 8″ Chef’s Knife is the powerhouse. The knife is heavy, hearty. The weight of the knife makes cutting through tough vegetables a breeze, even spaghetti squash.
It’s nicely balanced with a pinch grip – and the balance, along with the weight also makes chopping back and forth with a rocking motion effortless.
CON: The handle is big, though. I have small hands and while it’s comfortable enough, I think the Hammer Stahl set is really made for larger hands.
The wood on the handle is Pakkawood that’s infused with resin.
One more thing about the handle – Hammer Stahl calls it “Quad Tang” – the handle’s steel is exposed on all four sides for comfort and balance. I would also add durability, too. This is not a dainty knife.
The 8″ Chef’s Knife’s heft is a little overkill for smaller or softer vegetables, like these cucumbers. Because the knife is so crazy sharp and the weight requires less of my hand working, I really had to be careful with smaller foods.
But that’s where this 4.5″ Santoku comes in.
My favorite knife of the set
PRO: This baby is just the right size for smaller, softer vegetables and fruit! The blade is thinner (and just as sharp), the handle is smaller, and it fits my hand sooooo well.
I found myself using this Santoku knife the most often throughout the 3 weeks we tested this set. I’d call it a utility knife, it’s good for mincing herbs, cutting fruits, slicing vegetables.
The blade has just the slightest of curve so that you can chiffonade herbs with a rocking motion.
The hollows in the blade also means that ingredients won’t stick to the blade as you cut.
The blade is thin, so that you can do delicate knife work like supreming grapefruit (cutting the segments without membrane).
This little guy
PRO: So sharp. So precise. Look at that point!
CON: I wish the handle was juuuuust a little bit shorter. That butt end kept getting in the way when I was trimming a crap-load of brussels sprouts.
But if you have larger hands, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Scalloped Bread Knife
Let me show you the scalloped edge again:
The rounded, scalloped edge is so much easier to use than an angled serrated blade sharp teeth. It’s a smoother cut, great not just for homemade bread, but also for tomatoes. We also used it to slice a big boneless ham, into thin slices for sandwiches.
I’d love a honing steel
CON: This 5-Piece Core Cutlery Set doesn’t include a honing steel. To “complete” the core set, you can purchase the 8-Piece Completer Set that includes the 8″ honing steel, vegetable cleaver, 4 steak knives, a 7″ filet knife and kitchen shears.
Best Value for Knife Set
PRO: Of all the knives and knife sets we’ve ever reviewed on Steamy Kitchen, Hammer Stahl wins the award for the best value. I highly recommend the 4-piece set, with the knives only for $129.95.
I’ve never been a fan of on-counter knife blocks – it takes up a lot of space and impossible to clean. Instead, I like keeping my knives organized in a drawer with a bamboo slot like this for $29.99.
Here’s why the Hammer Stahl knife set is a great deal:
- You get 4 essential knives – bread/tomato, chef, paring and santoku.
- German X50CrMoV15 high carbon stainless steel
- Every millimeter of the knives scream quality and care, even the handle design. These knives will last you forever.
- Very handsome, beautiful design
- The 5.5″ Santoku makes me very happy. I LOVE THAT KNIFE.
- Made in USA
Hammer Stahl 5-Piece Core Knife Set Giveaway