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Published on August 6th, 2012 | by Greg


Hampton Forge Kendo: Sharp Colors

Knives can tilt towards boring- the same old patterns of black and metal, with only the occasional accent to set one set apart from the next. Cutting boards, at least, have become a bit easier to find in colors- and though they won't last like a nice wooden butcher's block, the plastic ones are easy to clean and hide away. Cutlery storage also tends to be a bit basic, magnetic knife blocks or standing ones that take up quite a bit of space and can actually dull your expensive blades.

The Hampton Forge Kendo Colors 11-piece Cutlery Center combines all of these things, adds some nice colors, and does it all for under $50. Of course, there are some compromises made to get it to that price, but it's still a great gift. You get four cutting boards, a pretty clever storage system, and six knives. All in all, it's not the set for serious chefs who can pretty easily spend several times that amount for a single knife. But that isn't the target market, and the regular light home chef looking for something attractive and space-saving could do much worse.

We'll be honest- the fact you can buy the set at Wal-Mart, and that the company does not seem to list it on their site did bode ill. And we haven't been super-impressed with with resin-coated cutlery in the past. These didn't change our minds completely- they do dull quickly, and the colors can chip a bit. These are lightweight knives for the most part, a bit off-balance, but the handles are decent, if not totally solid. You get a:

3″ bird's beak knife
3.5″ paring knife
4.5″ utility knife
8″ bread knife
7.5″ slicer
8″ chef knife

And all for, again, $50. Just keep your expectations in line, and make sure to use the color-coded cutting mats appropriately! Available now.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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