I picked up the Aero Knife up on a bit of a lark. I figured if it gave me a couple of posts worth of material then it would be worth it. I didn’t have high hopes for a $10 knife from an infomercial. By the time they are done paying their celebrity endorser and making a bit of profit, you are looking at a knife which costs probably about 3 dollars to produce and market (a lot of marketing).
I tried to set reasonable expectations. I figured that the knife would be worth the price if it did a decent if not spectacular job at food prep, while the “edge that never needs sharpening” would hold the line at being better than a more traditional knife in its typical American consumer’s neglected/dull blade condition. In other words, I wasn’t expecting it to be a great knife, but adequate for casual use.
This “knife” failed to live up to my fairly modest expectations. For one thing, it is so light, and with the micro-serrated edge it is flat-out lousy at chopping tasks. With the exception of press-cutting cheese like in the infomercial, the knife almost always needed to be sawed back and forth to actually cut what you put in front of it.
The philosophy behind the knife is understandable. Make a very hard stainless with serrations, and it will maintain its edge because it will always be harder than what you are cutting. In this sense the knife works.
The problem lies in that it doesn’t slice for crap. If anything soft foods get caught and torn by the serrations.Hard foods required many repetitions of a back-and-forth sawing motion. I tested the Aero knife on many foods, and with a few notable exceptions it proved completely inadequate for all but the most basic kitchen tasks. It did alright with onions, but the more ripping cut did much more damage to the cell walls than a sharp chef’s knife, and thus my eyes were watering out of control.
Here are some of the foods I tested in order from best to worst (in how the knife handled them).
Cheese: This one is featured prominently in the infomercial because the skeletonized design reduces friction. This actually worked as advertised.
Onion: Not bad. Mostly because it is a food that is soft enough to be pressed through. Though the serrated design tore the cells, leading to substantially more eye-watering.
Apple: Again fairly solid. A drawing motion helped speed the slicing process.
Carrots: Definitely needed to draw as opposed to press the knife. The results were mixed. My slices were uneven and ragged.
Squash: Granted, it was a knarly, warty, tough squash, but it took a definite sawing motion to slice the vegetable.
Italian Sausage: Satisfactory, but ragged.
Pepperoni: Press cutting was difficult, but substantially better than trying to draw the serrations across the meat. It tore horribly.
I could probably go on and test more different foods, but I have logged probably a solid 2 hours of prepping food and I can state unequivocally that the Aero Knife is a piece of crap. If you absolutely need a cheese knife, go with this Wustof. If you want a simple prep knife, buy an el cheapo of traditional design from a box store and learn how to sharpen it. It might not hold a great edge, but for the time that it does, it will be a much better tool.
So now the fun begins. Destructive testing. This evening I cut some more squash. But first I sawed through a piece of scrap maple. Then I cut through an empty bean-can. And another squash. Finally, I hacked through about 3/8″ of cinder block. And another squash. I am going to leave the results as a tease, for Part 2 of my review. Oh, and I tried throwing it a couple of times. Actually stuck it on my 3rd and 4th attempts.
As I work on the second part, how do you want me to abuse the Aero Knife? I figure I would try and baton with it, but I have a feeling that the skeltonized blade will buckle in short order. So I need a few ideas for testing before killing it.