Sunday, July 18, 2010

Amazon Overkill & A Few Product Reviews

Good Sunday morning everyone! If you live in the central Iowa area - did you make it through that storm last night? Maggie and I awoke at 3:30 this morning to the sounds of the heavens opening up above. Power went out, tree limbs came down, hail was flying. Yikes!

We did survive, however  - and at the moment nothing seems to be too damaged, so that's good. But, on to the reason you're all here today!

I'll begin today's 'quick hit' post by sharing a funny picture with you. Recently I ordered a magnetic knife bar from I wanted something to store my nice cooking knives on that wouldn't damage the blade like a regular drawer could. I found one that I liked on Amazon (the review is further down the page) and ordered it. On Friday, the box finally came in....and it was HUGE. Amazon sent me a 3 foot box - I began to question, just how big was the knife bar I ordered? Well - take a look:

Overkill? I think so...

My knife bar measured a respectable 20 inches - but in no way did it need to be shipped in a box over twice it's size! There wasn't even any packaging or 'stuffing' in the box. Just my little knife bar, on it's own, floating around in a giant box. I don't know about you, but I can't help but look at that picture and laugh. 

Product Reviews: 

It's been a little while since we've done a product review on the site. Today, we have two. First, I'll cover the magnetic knife bar that I referenced earlier. 

After a lot of product comparisons on Amazon, I finally settled on the MIU brand of magnetic knife bar. I have to say, I am satisfied with the overall product - although there are a few things I would like to see improved. 

The Good: First, the bar is nice and large - which is one of the main reasons I chose this brand. It's not only long - which allows you to store a lot of knives - or space out the ones you really want to protect - but it's also wide - giving you a lot of surface space to stick to. Secondly, the bar has a very nice visual appeal. Since this is going to be hanging on your wall in your kitchen, you certainly want something that looks halfway decent. The bar has a semi-mirrored finish which makes it blend in with any stainless steel appliances. There are also little rubber accents on the bar, which while functional (keeping knives from becoming very stuck!) it also adds a little visual flair. Finally, the magnetic power of the knife bar itself is very strong. You wont have to worry about the knives falling off! 

The Bad:  The only real downside to the bar is the total lack of hanging instructions. You are given two screws and some wall anchors and little else. The back of the bar appears to be a standard hanging set-up. It appears you set your anchors, screw in the screws and then pop the bar's hangers over the screws. Not. So. Easy. You see, the screws are bigger than the bar's anchors, so that wont work. What they don't tell you (and you only find out with a lot of searching) is that you have to remove the rubber caps on the ends of the bar (which don't appear to come off - you only find this be accidentally forcing one out) and mount the screw THROUGH the hole - then replace the rubber cap. While not too difficult to do (and a better idea as the bar is now SOLID on the wall) it would be nice to throw in a simple picture so you don't waste your time measuring, leveling and setting up the bar only to find that the way it appears it should hang - isn't correct at all. 

The only other complaint I've found is that the surface metal is very soft. I bumped the corner with my screwdriver while hanging the bar and it left a dent and a scratch in the corner. Not cool for the price of admission.

Overall, I would rate this magnetic bar a solid 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone that needs a way to store their beloved kitchen knives. 

For the second review today - I'll take a closer look at my new chef's knife: 

Last weekend, I finally broke down on spent some decent money on my first real chef's knife. As I touched on in the blog this week - wow, was it worth it! 

The Good: Just about everything. If you've ever tried to butterfly something with a less than stellar knife, you know if can be very frustrating! Heck, if you've ever tried to slice ANYTHING with a less than stellar knife, you know the feeling I'm talking about. After one slice with the Victorinox knife, I was in love. I didn't have to put any pressure on the knife - I hardly had to move the blade. One simple 'back and forth' swipe and POW - the fat of the chicken was sliced right off. Butterflying? Forget about it! Two or three 'swipes' and that chicken breast opened up like a book. I don't know how I ever functioned without one of these before - but I'm never cooking without it again! The knife is lightweight - which is a surprising bonus and the handle is very comfortable and not at all easy to lose your grip. 

The Bad: Only one thing - the cost. It's hard to tell yourself - 'this is a good investment' when you see entire knife SETS for the cost of your chef's knife. However, it is a worthy investment once you get over the initial price shock. Spend the money on a good knife set - it will make your life a lot easier in the kitchen. The only other 'bad' thing of note is you are essentially forced to buy the sharpening steel as well - ($18 to $25) in order to keep you knives in top shape. It works with all of your knives, however, so that purchase is a little less damaging to your wallet. 

Overall, I would rate the Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend the purchase of this knife - and the whole set! 

The knife, fresh after purchase last Saturday

That's all we have for you today! I hope you enjoyed our product reviews - we haven't done them in a while so it was high time to give some respect to products we use ourselves everyday. We're back on a normal schedule this week (I have an early week too - so no 9:30 blog posts this week!). Starting with tomorrow's grocery day! Tune in then to see the ingredients for the coming week. Until then, 


1 comment:

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