Chicago Cutlery: Old Vs New

Chicago Cutlery: Old Vs New

Chicago cutlery is one of America’s oldest and arguably the best cutlery for homes and businesses. Which was once a handmade knife made to perfection, has now shifted to a more industrial business module. However, this change has had an impact on its popularity and raised the debate on which knives are better.

If you’re willing to invest in Chicago cutlery, but confused on whether to invest in their handmade or industry-made product, then look no further. In this article, we’ll compare the different Chicago Cutlery old vs new.

So, what are the differences? Is one better than the other? Let’s find out.

A Look Back to How It All Started

This prominent cutlery and kitchen tool firm, formerly known as American Cutlery Co., has been established for more than 50 years. Soon after, the firm relocated to a more dominating state and began expanding its operations under the name Chicago Cutlery.

The firm is well-known for using cutting-edge technologies to produce its goods. Their dependable quality was one of the key reasons they distinguished out among their competition. In the early 1990s, the corporation grew in popularity across the United States, and in the early 2000s, they began to use modern business policies.

Like many others, Chicago Cutlery moved their manufacturing operations to China, seeking their low cost for great technology. This shifted the general outlook of their products, mainly knives, but the consumers soon accepted the new product for the lower price for the great quality.

Today almost all Chicago Cutlery knives and kitchenware are made in China. Even though the company claims to maintain its optimum quality still, consumers debate on their changes.

The Built Quality

In America, Chicago cutlery used to be meticulously handcrafted. The main manufacturing operations were done in Chicago, and thus the name. On the other hand, the newer knives are entirely produced in China.

Both new and antique knives last a long time. The latest Chicago Cutlery seems to be a little sharper off the bag. However, this is in comparison to the older ones, which have been used and restored several times.

Back in the day, the company hired workers from many parts of the world, including German craftsmen. The focus was to deliver the best quality every time and being able to gain the trust and popularity of the brand.

While old Chicago Cutlery knives have a market value and are frequently repaired and resold, contemporary knives do not. The new Chicago Cutlery knives are a one-time purchase with a long life cycle due to their availability. Thus, making both variations a great option for home use.

The Blade

Back in the day, Chicago cutlery knives were forged. As a result, they had to be heated before being shaped with a steel rod. On the other hand, the new Chicago knives are laser cut.

The knives have a more precise finish, thanks to the laser cut. Sharper blades are becoming more popular, and all knives of the same type have a comparable finish. Because they are better constructed for kitchens, the cutting experience of the latest design is expected to be better.

Both variations of the knife blades are known for their cutting experience. But the company never discloses its formula for the blade.

The Handle

The handles are undoubtedly the major difference between the two variations. Previously the handles of all the Chicago Cutlery knives used to be handcrafted and made of wood. The new handles are made of plastic to be more economical.

When it comes to the comfort of gripping, either one is just fine. However, most people feel the wooden handles feel better on hands than the plastic ones. Since plastic is more durable, they are better for the long run than the wooden handles that need to be restored.

Overall, all old Chicago Cutlery knives are better off in terms of aesthetics. However, many chefs and kitchen workers claim the plastic handles are better for constant use as they put less pressure on the hands.

The Price Point

Unlike premium cutleries, the main attraction of Chicago Cutlery is the great value for money. The company provides top-quality products at a very affordable rate. One of the company’s main thoughts behind shifting manufacturing to China was to produce better quality at a lower price.

If you surf the web or any hardware stores, you find most of them in bundles. The newer models are much easier to spot than the old ones. Nonetheless, the price of more recent models or bundles is comparatively lower. It is due to their mass production scheme.

If you want to invest in the older knives, you may find it difficult to purchase them as a set. You may find the cost a lot for a single restored piece due to its unavailability.

All in all, if you want to buy the knife for its uncompromised quality for the lower price, then the newer product is a better fit. However, if aesthetics matter more to you, only then the old Chicago Cutlery knives are advised.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Old CutleryNew Cutlery
Made in the USAMade in China
Wooden HandlePlastic Handle
Forged Steel BodyLaser Cut Steel Body
Superior Cutting ExperienceComfortable Cutting Experience
Difficult to Find in BundlesFound in Bundles and Single Piece
Costly Restored PiecesCost-Efficient
Prone To Damage Over TimeDurable

People also ask

Are Chicago Cutlery knives made in China?

The company has its main manufacturing base in China, which allows it to thoroughly conduct quality control management on each product.

How long has Chicago Cutlery been around?

Chicago Cutlery has been around since the 1960s. They are an American company that specializes in kitchen knives and cutlery sets.

Are Chicago knives good knives?

Chicago knives are very good knives. They are high-quality knife that is used in many professional kitchens.


This article compared the major and impactful differences between the Chicago Cutlery Old vs New. We looked at everything from built quality to user experience.

All-in-all, if you’re looking for an industrial kitchen knife set, then going with the newer knife bundles is a great investment. However, if you wish to buy one knife with a premium feel and cutting experience, the older knives are a great option.

I hope this article will help you decide which investment will better fill your needs. So, till next time, stay sake and Bon Appetit.

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