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Ikea Vardagen 20cm cook’s knife
Pros: incredible value, lightweight, versatile, lifetime warranty, easy to hone
Cons: less durable edge, handwash only
Star rating: 4.5/5
This inexpensive blade has consistent balance at the bolster and is lightweight without feeling flimsy. The chunky plastic handle and matte steel do look a little cheaper, but the classic European shape and wide blade feel pleasingly natural when chopping in all directions and styles.
It may not seem as sleek and fancy as its more expensive competitors, but it does the job with a versatile, easy-to-use grace. It’s sadly handwash only, but the stainless steel means you won’t need to be obsessive about care.
The sharpness of the edge was outstanding straight from the box, and despite dulling significantly in our vigorous longevity test, it easily regained its precision with sharpening. It was able to shave a paper-thin slice of tomato with little to no pressure, while also making light work of a finely chopped onion.
For only £15, this knife is remarkably good – as sharp as any of the much more expensive competitors – so even if handled recklessly, it could easily be replaced. But, to save money and be more environmentally friendly, we still recommend looking after your knives.
The longevity of the burr is the only evident issue, but a quick re-edge with a knife sharpener or whetstone will improve the edge.
With great performance across the blade (especially from the point to tip), this knife feels comfortable, and with regular honing and care, will last a long time. This is a must-buy next time you visit the Swedish homeware emporium, as it is only available to buy in store.
Comfort & versatility: 4/5
Sharpness & durability: 4/5
Value for money: 5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Length: 33cm (20cm blade)
Materials: molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel, acetal plastic handle
Dishwasher safe: yes
Warranty: limited 15 year
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This review was last updated in December 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.